So once again we have survived.

Batman Begins

SPOILER ALERT !!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here… Now, of the three main editors of the Movie News of AICN, only one hasn’t seen this movie yet… Yeah, me. So, who’s the one dealing with all these spoiler-ific reviews? Yeah, me… At least I was having fun running around Chicago’s dastardly and evil O’Hare airport, missing connections and having good times while the Austin screening of BATMAN BEGINS was rolling… Anyway, this is all to say that I haven’t seen the movie. I didn’t read the script. I want there to be some surprises in the movie for me, so I haven’t read any of the below reviews. I’m sure they’re great, but I’m gonna be selfish on this one. If BB’s as good as everyone and their mother is saying it is, I want to be as fresh as possible come next week. So, be warned. There could be tons of spoilers below.

We have a couple regulars to start off. Our main man Vern and Ghostboy. Vern is first up to bat! ZING! He also has some personal information to share with his mass of fans! Enjoy!

I got two thrilling stories for you today boys. First up is my review of this new Batman picture. Second is an unrelated, earth shattering movie scoop that you have not seen on access hollywood, E.T. – The Entertainment Tonight, the Michael Jackson trial re-enactments, or any of those shows. Possibly it was in some newspaper column in a city called Rochester, but I have not confirmed that yet. Anyway enough preamble let’s get down.

STORY #1 starring Batman

You know how RAMBO 2 tried to help our nation get over Vietnam? Well this one is trying to help us get over Joel Schumacher. The idea of BATMAN BEGINS is to pretend none of that other shit ever happened and start over. And they do a good job taking a 98.9% different approach.

Batman BeginsOne thing they figured out, if you want a good comic strip type movie you gotta hire a great maniac to play the super hero. Take for example Eric Bana, who gave one of the best performances of whichever decade that was in CHOPPER. Absolutely brilliant as a lovable psychotic murderer who cuts his own ears off, so they cast him as (The [Incredible]) Hulk. Same thing with Christian Bale here, many of us are most familiar with him as a sadistic yuppie with perfect abs running around naked with a chain saw, biting women on the ass, etc. So he’s perfect for Batman.

This one’s pretty different from AMERICAN PSYCHO. His character (name’s Bruce Wayne I believe) is another rich guy but he wants to make the world a better place and that kind of crap. Not shoot women with nail guns. But at first we don’t know that, we first meet him as an american con in a hellish Chinese prison. He’s a bad motherfucker we know because 1. he’s probaly gonna turn out to be Batman I bet and 2. he purposely goes to Chinese prison to practice on criminals. Good stuff. (spoiler note: unfortunately we do not get to see some sort of badass escape from Chinese prison, a forgivable offense but also the first sign that this is not a perfect movie sent down from the Heavens like the internet would have you believe. Let’s have realistic hopes here, fellas.)

This is a smart idea to start out weird like this because everybody, even me, knows that Bruce Wayne’s parents were killed by a mugger or the Joker or Green Goblin or somebody like that, and that’s why he decided to dress up as a bat and get good at climbing ropes. So it’s nice to start out with something unusual before rehashing that material again. This does tell that old yarn again but what they do is they make it more in depth, more grounded in a halfway real world (not entirely real, let’s not exaggerate). They make you really like Bruce’s dad and get sad when he (spoiler) gets killed. And they show how and why Bruce Wayne builds the whole Batman operation from the ground up: how he learned to fight, how he got a cool cave, where his equipment comes from, how he avoids arousing suspicion when ordering strange items from overseas, who helps him cover his tracks, even why he has those little spikes on his gloves. And why he decides hey, you know what would be cool, I should go with a bat motif.

Like in the other movies, Batman wears an asinine armored scuba outfit with point ears, but they use a couple good tricks to make it forgivable. Number one, they don’t show it as often. There’s one part where he’s in silhouette and he looks really cool. It’s kind of like remember that movie ALI, I thought Will Smith really looked alot like Mohammed Ali when you either squinted enough or when they showed him from the back. This is the same way, he almost looks cool when they’re not showing him.

Number two, they show him building the suit, so you can understand why it looks so stupid. Just the body part alone cost $300,000 dollars. What’s he gonna do, start over because it doesn’t make him look cool? Bruce Wayne isn’t that petty. If they’re real friends they’ll judge him on who he is, not on his clothes. And think about this Batman, you look EXTREMELY fucking cool compared to Daredevil. (That little pep talk works on all super hero movies except Daredevil.)

And the third trick about the costume is, alot of the movie isn’t about wearing the costume, it’s about leading up to the costume. Travelling around the world training, fighting crime without a costume, pretending to be a drunk playboy. They make Bruce Wayne into more of a character, more of a methodical guy instead of just the weirdo who stares out the window and/or makes speeches about duality.

Not that there aren’t speeches. I liked how much the movie focused on story and character instead of the usual “comic book movie” stuff, but there’s a section there where it gets a little bogged down by too much dialogue of characters exchanging their views about justice. I wanted to say, “Hey, David S. Goyer who wrote this script, you know one of the reasons your character Blade is so cool? Because he knows when to shut the fuck up, which is most of the time.” David S. Goyer wasn’t there though and anyway before I got a chance to say it the movie really kicked in.

One thing I liked is how much they try to make it seem real. They shoot it more like a crime drama, not some gothic fairy tale. And most of the gadgets seem like semi-plausible experimental military type technology. Even the grappling hooks he uses they make seem sort of real, because they sound like equipment you kids use for your rock climbing or Road Rules. Also Gotham seems like a real city some of the time. Later on though, especially when the action gets big and out of control, they end up with some of the cheesy soundstage feel. Also the crime ridden areas of Gotham remind you of those ’80s New-York-is-hell movies like THE WARRIORS or CHAINS or a couple of the Michael Jackson videos. At least they don’t have dudes with mowhawks pulling switchblades on people.

The cast is great, especially Bale (SHAFT), Liam Neeson (DARKMAN) and Michael Caine (ON DEADLY GROUND). Katie Holmes is pretty good except she can’t pull off a couple chunks of exposition they gave her and they made her lecture Bruce Wayne enough that you wonder why he bothers with her. Nothing too bad though. As for the villains, the emphasis is much more on Batman getting things in place than on villains, but they’re good ones without much of a trace of that histrionic post-Jack-Nicholson-as-the-Joker comic book movie villainy we’ve seen from Tommy Lee Jones in that one movie, Arnold Schwarzenegger in that other movie, Colin Farrel in a different movie where his super power is flicking deadly peanuts and paper clips at people, or the other guys like that in the other movies.

A warning for action movie fans though: the action is this movie’s one major weakness. Its KRYPTONITE if you will. (little comic book reference for you guys, I bet some of you hardcores will get that one. [if not it’s from superman I believe, don’t quote me on that it might be spiderman but I think superman though]). In a movie that pretty much starts out with a dude going up to Shaolin Temple and asking to be trained, you want to see some good fights. To be fair, I just watched 8 DIAGRAM POLE FIGHTER so my standards are temporarily high. But most of the action here is shot in a very Bruckheimery/GLADIATOR style where the camera is too close and shaky for anybody to really have any idea what is going on, except that it involves Batman in some way I believe, and possibly that guy who he is fighting. This is frustrating because Goyer definitely sets up what could’ve been some great fights, including more than one where our guy has to take on multiple ninjas with swords.

Hint to Christopher Nolan: in a ninja fight, there should be some shots that show their arms and legs. So you can see what they are doing. In my opinion. I’ll send you some ninja movies if you don’t understand what I’m talking about. Like I always say, think Bruce Lee in ENTER THE DRAGON, not John Saxon.

Honestly though, unlike hugely popular best picture winner that I didn’t like GLADIATOR, the badly shot action scenes didn’t ruin the movie for me. Because I really liked the story and characters, and never was waiting for another fight. I was thinking you know, I’m really enjoying this movie, I’m surprised how seriously it’s treating the story, how it expects you to care about character drama instead of guys in colorful costumes climbing around on giant statues and crap like that. Which means of course that most people will hate it and say it’s boring, like (The [Incredible]) Hulk. That’s what I was guessing but when the movie ended there was a huge, enthusiastic applause and people walking out with big smiles like they’d been smoking weed all day, which they hadn’t, because they were waiting in line for this screening. I’m not a psychic as far as I know, I have never touched an object associated with a crime and gotten visions to help solve the mystery. But my impression was that this was an honest to Christ applause, they really were excited about this movie. As far as I saw Batman was not in the audience so they weren’t just being polite. So hopefully alot of you will like it.

If not, there’s always life.

STORY #2 starring me

Okay, so BATMAN BEGINS was story #1 today, story #2 has no connection or similarity to story #1 at all except that it also concerns a Great American Icon. In this case, me. I don’t want to sound like I’m full of hot air, I know most of you won’t give a rat’s tail end about this, but for anybody that does it’s time to go public with the information that some young Hollywood hipster from Canada is trying to make a movie out of my web sight, life’s journey, etc. The script writer is named Skander Halim, and when he first approached me for this “option” business a couple years ago he told me he was a story editor for a TV show but “don’t watch it, it’s about a farting alien.” I felt sorry for the kid so I played along. I got ten bucks and a pack of Newports so it was a pretty good deal. Also his people sent me a script of his called PRETTY PERSUASION. Pretty good script I thought although yes, Skander, I saw HEATHERS too. Let’s move on with our lives now.

I’m still sure a movie about me is only a little more likely to happen than CATWOMAN RELOADED. But the twist I never saw coming is that his PRETTY PERVERSION script was turned into an actual movie, and a genuinely good one in my opinion. I saw it at the Seattle International type Film Festival last week. I’m not gonna review it obviously because I have a commitment to excellence so I watch out for the ol’ conflicts of interest there. But this sleazy and perverted, er I mean bold and uncompromising black comedy actually turned out great. It has a few elements I seen in WILD THINGS and yes, HEATHERS but it puts them together in a really smart, original and confident way. I laughed alot and only squirmed when I was supposed to. Like the part where James Woods gets caught jerkin off on the couch. Seeing triumphant scenes like this on the screen I realized it was a whole lot smarter than I caught on when I read the thing. I’m slow I guess.

My solemn vow not to review the movie almost seemed unneccessary because watching it I knew I genuinely liked it, not in a “that’s pretty good for some guy who actually reads my crappy web sight” kind of way. In my opinion. So if you can confirm that it is good from some objective third party or parties, please fly to New York or LA on August 12th to enjoy it in its limited release before it spreads like wildfire and becomes this generation’s DIE HARD. Or at least SPEED. Sorry there is no nudity but there is some cunnilingus so Harry will like it.

The movie Mr. Halim wrote about me is of course called VERN TELL’S IT LIKE IT IS and it is sort of a phoney baloney hollywood version of how I came to be and the great impact I had on the world through reviewing films on my TV show. (Don’t ask me, I didn’t write it.) He told me it was like a hard-R version of Pee Wee’s Baadasssss Song or whatever that first Pee Wee Herman picture was called. To be frankly honest it is not the sort of gritty and philosophical masterpiece that I would have written if I for some reason wanted to make a movie about myself. But I didn’t and his script made me laugh so I hope they will make it and share my laughter with the world. Also because I would get paid.

According to some rag called the Hollywood Reporter, Halim is about to direct a ghost movie he wrote. But if he is an honorable man of his word like you or I, he’s also working hard trying to get the story of yours truly into the right hands. Personally I think it’s his life long dream project, like GANGS OF NEW YORK, only with more prison, uh, scuffles. (I should mention by the way there are many unpleasant incidents in this script that are 100% fabrications. I don’t do shit like that anymore don’t believe the hype people.) It’s alot of lewd humor but also satire about internet film critics, high vs. low culture, and who knows what else, I only read it once. But I remember there was alot of stuff in there for people who really love the films of Cinema. Remember when you first started posting about how much such and such movie sucked, you did it because you mostly LOVED movies. That’s who this movie is for in my opinion, the old you. Also for ladies.

My role in the movie is to write lots of harsh notes to Halim which he will probaly ignore. I am trying to get him to change the title to BOILED HARD which promises all the action of HARD BOILED but with all the explosions of DIE HARD. Even if he doesn’t listen to me though I got some of me in there because the script faithfully adapts some stories from my columns and quotes some of my reviews. The other horse shit in there hopefully I’ll clear up in the novelization.

I’m hoping this will be the first movie in Hollywood history adapted from a geocities web sight. Then maybe those fucks’ll give me some more data transfer without making me pay $4.95 a month or whatever. And before you say anything, yes, Hulk Hogan should play Vern. Actually Roddy Piper would be better in my opinion. I sent this guy a list that started with Nick Nolte and ended with DMX. I’m just praying I don’t get Leslie Nielsen.

Anyway sorry for the self indulgence, but now it is off my chest and I am a free man. I don’t have enough money to fight crime though so don’t give me any shit about what I do with my life. I’m talking to you, Katie Holmes.

thanks friends,

–Vern

Originally posted at Ain’t-It-Cool-News: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/20410

View the archived Ain’t-It-Cool-News Talkback

  • June 9, 2005, 4:23 a.m. CST

    Vern

    by Wonderboys

    (name’s Bruce Wayne, I think)… STUPID SNOB

  • June 9, 2005, 4:27 a.m. CST

    Vern as movie must be made. MUST BE MADE!

    by Atropos

    Go Vern!!!

    Hope that movie gets made dude, been reading your sight for years now. Still think you should write a book in the vein of your “Tells-it-likes-it-is” columns though, even think I emailed you about it once upon a time when I had an AOL account. At least self-publish the columns-man, It’ll go right next on my bookshelf next to ‘5 on the outside’…

  • June 9, 2005, 4:27 a.m. CST

    I’m actually seeing this movie at midnight next tuesday

    by andrew coleman

    Long review, skimmed a lot of it

  • June 9, 2005, 4:37 a.m. CST

    Michael Caine (ON DEADLY GROUND)

    by CuervoJones

    hahaha, bravo!

  • June 9, 2005, 4:40 a.m. CST

    As always, Vern…

    by DocPazuzu

    …top-notch and hilarious. “Pee Wee’s Baadasssss Song” alone is going to keep me smiling all day.

  • June 9, 2005, 4:56 a.m. CST

    Vern, that was gold, but…

    by AeroB

    …did you like the movie, or what? Because I kinda got the impression that you did, but your review was so joke-filled that I couldn’t really tell all that well when you were serious and when you were screwing with us for a laugh.

  • June 9, 2005, 5:17 a.m. CST

    Vern’s integrity…

    by Eugene O

    Vern, NO ONE posts spoiler warnings like you! You are a true professional when it comes to the writing of…err, words. Personally, I don’t care about spoilers. Seems like a sort of cry-baby move to whine because something you are reading SUDDENLY revealed something you didn’t want to know—when all you need to do is close your eyes or look away (or hit the “back” button on the keyboard). But, okay, some people build up a momentum when they are reading and– “Look, Ma! No hands!”– they just can’t help themselves. Anyway, nice review. I hope you become filthy rich from The Vern Movie. I have one of your t-shirts, too. Actually, two, too. Also.

  • June 9, 2005, 5:45 a.m. CST

    I am so sorry….

    by Drworm2002

    …but that first review fucking sucks. hell Mien Kemp was a better read.

    other then that…I can’t wait to see this flick

  • June 9, 2005, 6:31 a.m. CST

    “Mien Kemp”…

    by DocPazuzu

    …pales in comparison to that literary work of genius, “Mink Shemp.” Also, let us not forget the unassailable merits of “Mint Shrimp” and “Ming Krump.”

  • June 9, 2005, 6:46 a.m. CST

    Glad that Vern and Ghostboy gives some positive credits to Hulk.

    by CurryIce

  • June 9, 2005, 6:50 a.m. CST

    Where’s Moriarty’s X-Men 3 script review?

    by ZakChase

    Weren’t we promised that like a week and a half ago? I’m hankerin’ to read that.

  • June 9, 2005, 6:59 a.m. CST

    Why do you guys think this film will be any good? Batman Begins

    by Thayden Ozma

    Haven’t you been reading my posts?

    Etley Oge, fuck yeah Batman knows your Mom! My favorite comic character is unleashed in just a very short amount of time. It’s about time people saw what Batman was all about, the Batman that we all knew existed, but some failed to see. Beatin’ up dudes is hella cool, especially when Batman is doing it. Then again there really isn’t much that Batman does that isn’t cool, except for the fact that he can’t seem to keep a girl around even with all his cash. I mean I’ve seen some ladies with the most God Awuful scumbags in the world and you can’t tell me if Anna Nichole married Emperor Palpatine for his money that some girl can’t accept a schitzophrenic, crime-fighting owner of his own company? I mean, does the guy smell? He looks clean? Oh well, at least he’s always got driving fast and beating up dudes that should have been beaten up years before he got to thems asses to fall back on when he thinks of just how lonely he is. But shit if I had those abs I’d never be lonely, I’d just draw faces on them and name them different eccentric friends and make them talk with my muscles. Who needs more? -Az

  • June 9, 2005, 7:13 a.m. CST

    DEAD END cowl

    by BranMakMorn

    The simplest way to distance the new film from the mess of the other Bat films was to use the BATMAN DEAD END cowl and mask. A simple choice and instantly tells the general audience that this Batman is a different take.

  • June 9, 2005, 7:32 a.m. CST

    “I can count exactly three people I could fire right now”

    by I Dunno

    Die, Hollywood scum! Anyway, it all sounds pretty good except the action scenes. I can’t stand fight scenes where the action is too close up and blurry with Mtv-on-crack editing. Why do some directors insist on doing that?

  • June 9, 2005, 7:47 a.m. CST

    http://www.petitiononline.com/qp2d1234/petition.html

    by RIVERO

    http://www.petitiononline.com/qp2d1234/petition.html

  • June 9, 2005, 8:12 a.m. CST

    by Rhett Butler

    Ras Al Ghul was Denny ONeil

  • June 9, 2005, 8:23 a.m. CST

    Rivero

    by DocPazuzu

    You sad, sad anorak….

  • June 9, 2005, 8:52 a.m. CST

    To : RIVERO

    by CurryIce

    . . .

  • June 9, 2005, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Hey CurryIce

    by DocPazuzu

    Did you ever get your hands on the unrated Blade Runner? I seem to recall you were looking for it.

  • June 9, 2005, 8:58 a.m. CST

    I believe Ras Al Ghul was…

    by Thayden Ozma

    Egyptian originally?

    Perhaps, it’s been a while. I can forgive this in the movie for the subtle fact that Ken Wantanabe should be in as many roles as fucking humanly possible, he commands your attention and gives off a presence that, well maybe Alec Guiness did in his day? He’s up there with Christopher Lee for me in quality of actors out there today. -Az

  • June 9, 2005, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Shaky-cam action

    by BillEmic

    All this take about how lame the action sequences are has me worried. Yeah, I know the movie isn’t about fights but, come on. We all saw how bad-ass Christian Bale was in “Equilibrium” – and those fights showed everything. Why skimp out in a friggin’ Batman movie? This sucks.

  • June 9, 2005, 9:18 a.m. CST

    Spider-Man —> Kryptonite?

    by The Pusher

    Is that one guy stoned? I thought Superman’s weakness was about as common knowledge as the Skywalker family.

  • June 9, 2005, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Vern and people who just don’t get it

    by RodneyOz

    So embarassing to post publicly and reveal that you didn’t get the joke of Vern pretending not to be sure of the name Bruce Wayne, or that kryptonite is Superman’s weakness… read a few more of the man’s reviews, learn to hear his voice, and it will all make sense. Pearls before swine, dudes…

  • June 9, 2005, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Daredevil

    by beelkay

    I like Daredevil’s suit better than the Superman Returns one. What is up with that!?

  • June 9, 2005, 9:32 a.m. CST

    Shaky cams

    by beelkay

    I hated the shakiness of The Bourne Supremacy…it gave me a headache. I hope BB isn’t like that. Also, I seem to recall someone saying that Batman’s fights aren’t shot with the idea of showing what he’s doing, but quick and dirty and closeup to make it scarier or something.

  • June 9, 2005, 9:37 a.m. CST

    “Vern and people who just don’t get it”

    by DocPazuzu

    It’s the same type of clueless twats who didn’t get Mark Twain’s masterful spiel in the latest V for Vendetta talkback. The mind boggles at the utter lack of subtlety in the lives these people lead.

  • June 9, 2005, 10:04 a.m. CST

    Cyrus

    by guerillatokyo

    His “review” was one of the worst I’ve ever read on this site.

  • June 9, 2005, 11:06 a.m. CST

    It’s going to split audiences

    by AlwaysThere

    Begins will most likely fare better with the general public than The Hulk did, but it wont pass with flying colors.

  • June 9, 2005, 11:34 a.m. CST

    isn’t that the guy that Ernest talked to?

    by oisin5199

    Can’t understand why people like this guy Vern’s reviews. I “got” that he’s being sarcastic. But it’s not funny, comes off as pretty condescending and it’s also pretty annoying when you want to actually read a review and not someone who’s just being a smartass. That’s what talkbacks are for.

  • June 9, 2005, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Where’s Moviemack’s review?

    by adambalm

  • June 9, 2005, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Well, about the choppy edited action scenes…

    by JohnnyTremaine

    few directors now really can direct action. Most of the guys from the 40’s though, did: like Mike Curtiz, Johns Ford and Houston, etc.

    Another reason that action is filmed close and tight is due to an actor’s lack of physical ability, wether that is fighting skill or just plain coordination. Who knows, as good an actor as Mr. Bale is, for all we know he may have the physical grace of Archie Bunker.

  • June 9, 2005, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Hulk is really not a bad film.

    by DerLanghaarige

    I just saw it again yesterday. I liked it more than the first time (Okay, the ending still sucks). PS: Is Moviemack dead?

  • June 9, 2005, 2:11 p.m. CST

    To AeroB and Sworn 42 Enemy

    by Vern

    Aero: Yes I liked the movie alot, sorry if it wasn’t clear. I made fun of its weaknesses to deflate the other reviews I’ve seen which are a bit of the old internet hyper-bully and maybe setting some people up for disappointment. But it was a good batman picture and like I said it looks like most of the fans will enjoy it in my opinion. Sworn 42 Enemy: Who knows but my guess is if it ever happened then yes, it would be a small independent type picture. I know what you mean, but the script is funny and I trust this guy knows what he’s doing. Still, I was assured from the beginning that if I don’t like it I can give it a merciless beating like I would any other movie. Except this time it’s personal. Anyway thanks for your concern, I appreciate it. your friend Vern

  • June 9, 2005, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Is Cillian Murphy in this movie for more than 5 minutes?

    by 007-11

    Because NO ONE seems to have shit to say about him.

  • June 9, 2005, 3:22 p.m. CST

    I’m getting worried

    by BillEmic

    I went from being cautiously optimistic about this movie to being ecstatic after I saw some of the recent trailers. Then Mori and Harry’s reviews got me even more excited, thinking that this was going to be the best Batman yet. Now after this latest batch of reviews, I’m feeling pretty much deflated. I know that the fighting isn’t the most important part but the action is always a big draw in a superhero flick – and if these fights are as poorly shot as those in the Steven Seagal direct-to-DVD movies Vern reviews…well, that just sucks. I mean, come on: Jackie Chan is motherfuckin fifty years-old and he’s not hiding anything in the new Police Story movie. He shows every move, every angle; the fights look damn good and you can tell that he’s putting in as much effort as he can at his age. Now Christian Bale is in his prime, ripped to shreds, and we KNOW he can fight (Equilibrium) – but they’re still filming these fight scenes with a jerky hand-held camera? Bullshit. It’s this kind of direction that ruined what should have been a historic battle between Jet Li and Mark Dacascos in “Cradle to the Grave”. I wish directors would learn…there’s no shame in letting an AD film a fight scene for you if the final product looks good. I wonder if they’ve grounded this film too much in reality and some years for now we’ll look back and fondly remember Burton’s gothic fantasy.

  • June 9, 2005, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Funny shit, Vern

    by RaulMonkey

    I laughed hardest at the movies in brackets after Bale, Neeson and Caine.

  • June 9, 2005, 4:43 p.m. CST

    i always get a kick…

    by DAS JANKE

    out of people referencing actors’ worst roles. “The cast is great, especially Bale (SHAFT), Liam Neeson (DARKMAN) and Michael Caine (ON DEADLY GROUND).”

  • June 9, 2005, 4:47 p.m. CST

    Vern’s brackets

    by adambalm

    Yeah, I didn’t find Vern’s review particularly funny, but for some reason that part had me rolling on the floor. Comedic gold.

  • June 9, 2005, 6:23 p.m. CST

    Cheers to the British

    by Eldrice

    They’re the only ones who can do decent fantasy, even something as quintessentially American as Batman.

  • June 9, 2005, 6:49 p.m. CST

    “Before the Opera Thomas Wayne shows Bruce the infamous pearl ne

    by sleepyhead

    This will get lots of laughs over in Britain.

  • June 9, 2005, 7:05 p.m. CST

    No wonder I go to movies

    by suddendeath

    I had a hard time reading those super long reviews. I think everyone should preface their review with: Short Story: I like it or I hate it.

    I’m such a lazy bastard. But that’s exactly what a movie goer really is… aren’t we?

  • June 9, 2005, 7:27 p.m. CST

    El Underlingo, I can count one dirty jew that I can fire right

    by kimbo

    some one ought to take you out in the back and beat you like they use to in grade school for wearing pink.

  • June 9, 2005, 7:52 p.m. CST

    DocPazuzu

    by CurryIce

    LOL, that was you? Funny that you remember my name. Well, i don’t really care anymore how many cuts there are but i really want to have the theatrical, director’s and the new cut(was it a LD cut? is this the unrated cut you’re talking about? don’t know anymore) in one package! I never bought a BR DVD(still have my old VHS tapes of the theatrical and Director’s Cut) I still hope that Ridley Scott or whover is going to release a “monster” DVD edition with all three versions or later on HD-DVD or BluRay. If there are even more edited editions then i’m not really that interested ’cause i’m sure that they’re not really something life changing…I would be even happy enough to have the theatrical AND the Director’s Cut in one package.

  • June 9, 2005, 11:03 p.m. CST

    Stan Gable

    by Bryan

    Anyone who refers to Family Circus as a “comic strip” has no business writing talkbacks. Garfield is a comic strip. Family Circus is a one panel cartoon like The Far Side or Marmaduke. To call one circle with a sentence a “strip” would be idiotic. Get it straight. And don’t correct other people unless you have accurate information, which you do not.

  • June 9, 2005, 11:11 p.m. CST

    reinvented action?

    by Vern

    Christian Bale reinvented action? What did he invent it to? How come nobody told me this? I better watch that silly looking movie.

  • June 9, 2005, 11:53 p.m. CST

    Yeah, Kurt Wimmer for 1st A.D. on “Batman Continues.”

    by Christopher3

    And, uh, I’ll give Katie Holmes a pearl necklace if she wants it.

  • June 10, 2005, 2:50 a.m. CST

    Hey CurryIce

    by DocPazuzu

    There’s a torrented laserdisc rip DVD of the unrated cut (with voiceover) here: www.myspleen.net . Last I heard, the guy who owns the rights to this cut won’t allow it to be released officially anymore because of personal differences with Scott. This might be your only chance.

  • June 10, 2005, 3:59 a.m. CST

    nintendo

    by whatyoufear

    those 150 million dollars are tightly packed inside the back of batman’s neck. BAT-TURN RETURNS.

  • June 10, 2005, 6:51 a.m. CST

    To DocPazuzu:

    by CurryIce

    DocPazuzu thx for your advices but i’m not a big torrent fan but I’ll try to get it in any way when i’ve the time and energy for it (`cough

  • June 10, 2005, 7:03 a.m. CST

    Nintendo: “Equilibrium is not without its flaws.”

    by CurryIce

    thx for clarifying that ’cause i was about to flame you for praising Equilibrium ^^. Well i thought it had a pretty direct-to-video(perhaps ’cause of low budget)touch on it and was pretty lame overall but the Gun-Kata thing(i still don’t know how to spell it) was pretty exciting. Heard that there are actually people who tries to realize this special martial arts in real life (good luck for that ;-)) Nevertheless i think with Equilibrium Wimmer proved he has some potential(at least technically) and after Ultraviolet perhaps he get’s a Hollywood budget for something big. If Paul W.S. Anderson and Stephen Summers are allowed to make big budget movies then why not Kurt Wimmer. Perhaps he can deliver better movies than them.

  • June 10, 2005, 10:08 a.m. CST

    “Before the Opera Thomas Wayne shows Bruce the infamous pearl ne

    by Childe Roland

    Well no wonder the boy grows up to dress like a bat and beat the piss out of people! I still have nightmares about the time I accidentally walked in on mom and dad as a tot. To have the old man demonstrate the way he plans to dot mom’s neckline would be enough to push anyone over the edge. Oh… and moviemack’s next post in a Batman Begins talkback will fixate on the tight, choppily cut fight scenes. You don’t have to be a Dark Knight Detective or a Middle Eastern Wizard to piece that one together.

  • June 10, 2005, 10:31 a.m. CST

    The power of Gun-Kata is insignificant…

    by DocPazuzu

    …next to the might of Gym-Kata!

  • June 11, 2005, 7:49 a.m. CST

    “Garfield is a comic strip. Family Circus is a one panel cartoon

    by I Dunno

    You sound like Brody in Mallrats arguing that the separate cookie store is not part of the food court.

  • June 11, 2005, 8:09 a.m. CST

    Equilibrium

    by Thayden Ozma

    Sure it was flawed, but there were moments that truly inspired from that flick. At least enough to get you all talking about it. Sometimes a great idea doesn’t get the biggest budget and Equilibrium was not a small idea. – Az

  • June 12, 2005, 8:47 p.m. CST

    Nintendo, take your meds; we don’t all have the spare time t

    by JohnnyTremaine

    And I’m sure you’re correct in that Mr. Bale is a physically gifted young man. I’ll take your word for it. Oh, and I can bet that most on these boards would agree that John Ford, John Houston and Mike Curtiz in their primes could out-direct the Kurt Wimmer’s of today with a blindfold, earplugs, and both hands tied behind their backs.

  • June 15, 2005, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Congrats Vern, don’t forget the little people…

    by sTalking_Goat

    Think they could get The Bruce to play you? I’d write him a letter if you like.

    Now get back to work on the Seagal book dammit.

  • June 16, 2005, 12:18 p.m. CST

    I hope it’s good.

    by comealive1288

    Can’t get to see it until Friday but I hope that Caine delivers.

  • Aug. 24, 2006, 2:49 a.m. CST

    hey

    by ipolo

    this thing still up?

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Thursday, June 9th, 2005 at 5:09 am and is filed under Action, AICN, Comic strips/Super heroes, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

15 Responses to “Batman Begins”

  1. Rewatched this for the first time since the theatre – it holds up pretty well, despite the action sequences being even WORSE than I remember. I’m sure this has been debated before on other boards, but no, I’m pretty sure the incoherent shaky-cam/quick-cutting was not intentional for the fight scenes (to mimic the confusion of the enemies or whatever the excuse was). The Predator-like stalking scene at the dock, maybe – but if it was an intentional decision to make a TRAINING SCENE between Neeson and Bale IN BROAD DAYLIGHT incomprehensible as to who’s doing what, then that’s a really terrible decision. And yes – certain shots in the fight scenes are filmed SO UP CLOSE it literally looks like you’re watching a fullframe crop of the real movie.

    But yeah, despite the terrible action in what is basically an action movie, the movie is still somehow great. The story is epic and strong and smart, the performances are excellent (except Holmes – she’s just as bad as everyone remembers). Some people complain the dialogue is too on-the-nose and obvious, but I kinda liked it. I mean, almost every single line that Bruce Wayne’s father says is either exposition or IMPORTANT SPEECHIFYING, but who cares, he pulls it off and we like the character for the 5 minutes of time we’re given with him. I’d rather have broad, obvious dialogue over 99% of the crap we’re fed these days anyway.

    Speaking of characters, I love that a big summer movie kept its main villain secret, so much so that the person I watched it with last night was pretty shocked by it, since the movie does a pretty good job of making you forget that character was even in the movie.

    Oh and one thing I actually noticed, having seen this right after Batman and Robin, is that there’s actually a fair amount of one-liners here that I didn’t remember. The Scarecrow telling Batman to “lighten up” as he lights him on fire seemed positively Freeze-ian, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

  2. I do think Nolan is improving with his humor, and hell even with BATMAN BEGINS (which I admit had some real groaner one liners. “I gotta get me one of those!” might just be Oldman’s worst non-LOST IN SPACE moment ever) you’re right about some of the lines are actually funny. (“You actually took my advice about theatricality quite literally.”)

    But I know this has been argued endlessly about the action, but I’ll say this. Some of the fighting scenes* are confusing post-action, yet I thought the Batmobile chase was well-shot? I thought the dock sequence was well-cut in what Nolan was gunning for? Hell even that broad daylight scene you mentioned, I didn’t think was that confusing but whatever I won’t argue with what we think. I have no interesting in beatlessly saying you’re wrong or I’m right because it makes no difference nor will it change minds. If it did, we all would be like AsimovLives and hating Jar Jar Abrams in a never-ending circlejerk.

    All in all, for a risky potentially backfiring decision to shoot the 2nd unit action scenes himself, I think Nolan helped the movie warts and all by those fight/action scenes not feeling so cut and paste run of the mill? I appreciate the effort in striving for excellence. Even if you fail, still strive for excellence. WWJVD? (What Would Jesse Ventura Do?)

    I got that Chris Nolan blu-ray boxset and watched BB last night, more and more I can absolutely see that ambitious larger-than-life storytelling (and mostly successful at that) which Nolan is going for that with BEGINS does evoke the influence he got from Donner’s SUPERMAN movie, even if its two different aesthetic tones. Which is appropriate since it’s two completely different characters with their own appropriate mythologies that do deserves blockbuster storytelling that isn’t just the usual CGI and explosions and shit. This is fucking Batman! If DARK KNIGHT is a crime movie, BEGINS is a grim fantasy. Makes one wonder wtf DARK KNIGHT RISES will be?

    *=One for example would the scene with the ninjas in the climax, though I loved that one shot ending with Batman cutting off the sword attack with his armguard. That’s a great book panel-inspired shot right there.

  3. Yeah the Batmobile chase is the most coherent action scene in the movie, and surprisingly uses alot of the same locations (the tunnels/underpasses, the spiral parking garage) that show up again in The Dark Knight. It’s kind of cool to have that kind of continuity in a series. I do still wish that the overall Gotham of TDK looked more like the Gotham of BB, and I even wish Katie Holmes (as flat and awkard as she was) played Rachel in the second one, just for continuity’s sake.

    Speaking of which, I totally didn’t remember the eerie, silent opening graphic to TDK with the bat symbol was done here first. Little things like this really do make me believe Nolan has a master plan with this trilogy.

  4. Looking forward to GOTHAM but I seriously hope they don’t try and stretch it out into too many seasons. I watched BATMAN BEGINS again tonight and its a hell of a great origin story. I fear GOTHAM may dilute some of it’s power by dragging the ‘early years’ on for too long. One thing in it’s favour is it’s focus on Jim Gordon, who has been our every-man avatar through the Batman films. Just gotta say Gary Oldman is outstanding as Gordon in my opinion.

  5. GOTHAM looks and sounds awful. If you’re going to use a premise based around the GCPD adapting GOTHAM CENTRAL would’ve been a much better idea. Not only would you have access to the iconic members of Gordon’s team (I.E.: Harvey Bullock, Renee Montoya) but Batman already exists so you would have access to using his established rogues every now and then too. Instead of “Before he was The Penguin” or “Before she was Catwoman”. Pathetic.

    Only TV series that DC is working on now that I’ll check out due to straight curiosity will be PREACHER whenever AMC puts that on the air and CONSTANTINE on NBC.

  6. I saw the trailer and thought it was a bit too much of a stretch. I had some high hopes because Donal Logue deserves a high-end gig after TERRIERS, which may have been his best work and would have proven to be a major role for him if the show had been continued, but I digress (I could seriously go on about how unjust it was that that show was cancelled).

    I’d always thought television would have been the best way for DC and WB to continue the Batman character, considering how much the medium would now allow for a more relatively coherent portrayal of the character compared to the Adam West days. But going in this direction really doesn’t interest me.

  7. CrustaceanLove

    May 11th, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Yep, the reason GOTHAM CENTRAL worked is because it was specifically about the difficulty of being an ordinary cop in a corrupt city full of insane supervillains with a vigilante in a bat costume undermining your authority at every turn. Take that stuff out and it’s just a generic police procedural.

  8. Broddie – Personally I would hate to see a TV series about Gotham with an operational Batman flying in and out of the story. I like the Nolan trilogy too much to want any more interpretations of the adult Batman. Of course, I’ll be forced to get over it once SUPERMAN vs BEN-AFF comes along, so I’m just being pissy. But I am very interested in what they might do with this origin story. I’m hoping it will compliment Nolan’s films rather than go off in unnecessary directions.

  9. Darren – Yeah you see that’s the thing about GOTHAM CENTRAL Batman was never in it. He was a cameo soaring through the sky at best. It was about cops in a city that lives in the shadow of the bat which is interesting and a premise that has not been explored not even in an animated movie yet.

    That would’ve been much more engaging to me especially if they added Gordon to the mix since he sat out the comic books series being that it was during the time of another Commisioner’s reign. But stories like The Joker sniping the cops in the precinct or the Two-Face/Renee Montoya stuff would’ve been great to adapt and show how the real people of that city have to cope with such madness for a change instead of just the crime fighting vigilantes.

    I don’t like the Nolan trilogy. Only really liked one movie so I have no real attachment to any of that stuff. Even if I did I’m still open to any interpretation of Batman as long as it’s an interesting one. With that said this doesn’t seem like an interesting one.

    I think I’d have preferred a show with 14 year old Bruce Wayne going off on his own and him being followed across the world till he was in his mid 20’s and came back to Gotham. That’s fresh enough to be an interesting new take in an area of Batman’s life that rarely gets developed in the comic books and especially live action and animated media. It’s also a concept that still has a lot of room for exploration without making it some cliche procedural corrupt city showcase like a dozen other shows on TV. It’ll be more like a modern Kung Fu mixed with MacGyver. As it stands GOTHAM will probably end up as self indulgent as the last movies did.

    I didn’t like any of the previous work by the show runner. Also when he name checked the same cliched works other people name check to get “cred” with Batman fans it let me know everything I need to know.

    It’s always a red flag for me when a new comic book writer or some hollywood guy working on a Batman media project always goes “Yeah I love Batman. Particularly The Killing Joke and The Dark Knight Returns”. Like sure buddy everybody loved those stories and everybody is sick of seeing many others try to ape them for the last 25 years too. If he were to say “Stories like The Cult and Batman Ego spoke to me” it would still sound like pandering but it wouldn’t come across as disingenuous. After all only a select few Batman fans would probably say something like that so you’d know there’s some passion there.

    I don’t know. When it comes to creating new Batman stories I prefer when people try to explore new angles for some of the more surreal areas of Batman history. The areas that have not been beyond exploited by too many hacks to even seem interesting anymore by this point unlike Year One or TDKR.

    When creators take inspiration from the more obscure or unexplored areas in the canon that the majority of the casual audience never even heard of giving them something fresh within something so familiar.

    When folks dare to take risks with re-tinkering stuff that may not have lived up to it’s previous potential. Like James Tucker with the Brave & The Bold TV show or Grant Morrison with reinterpreting Silver Age, Bronze Age and even foreign Batman comic book concepts (Ie: Lord Death Man) for a modern audience during his Batman run.

    This GOTHAM show seems like more of the former and none of the latter.

  10. My ass is somewhat ignorant when it comes to comics. I did read the two you mentioned above, TDNR and The Killing Joke, as well as Watchmen, in my late teens, but I never continued with them. I liked the comics, or rather graphic novels, that I read. I just like movies more, so my perspective of the vastness of the Batman world is limited. Don’t know if that’s a curse or a blessing. I’ll go with blessing, since I have a love for the Nolan films.

    One thing Nolan’s films have going for them that compliment the comic’s is their mythical treatment of the legend of Batman. BATMAN BEGINS first third was great the way it showed Wayne putting himself through initiation by getting locked up with criminals, to train for a purpose, even though he hadn’t figured out how it would all come together. I like that his identity as Batman was created out of his fear of bats. Although I think his real fear was of being trapped alone down that hole. The bats were just the dark expression of that fear, or the demon.(preaching to the converted here, I know). Burton’s films were good, but they didn’t have the scope or depth of Nolan’s. I’ll attribute that to the graphic novels.

    The *only* thing that was iffy in BB was the soap-box preaching of Rachel Dawes about revenge and justice, then to add insult to injury she double bitch-slaps Bruce in the car. Man, that was harsh. What a bitch.

  11. Eh I still have hope for GOTHAM. I think what sticks with me was that for 99% of the YEAR ONE novel, Gordon was on his own. And at one point after a corrupt cop threatened his family, Gordon handcuffed him and beat the fucking hell out of him.

    If we get that sort of character, who could be awesome in his own right without needing Batman…yeah the show could work.

    As for the other comic book-y shows we’re getting this fall:

    iZOMBIE sounds like zombies meets TRU CALLING, or WARM BODIES as a P.I. show or something.

    Ironic that CONSTANTINE has been snipered by non-nerds online as a “SUPERNATURAL rip-off” since SUPERNATURAL (by its creators’ own admission) ripped off the Hellblazer comics and even gave a character a John Constantine-ish trenchcoat. I did it weird how NBC lets HANNIBAL do alot of stuff at 10 pm that’s shocking for a broadcast network on primetime, but David Goyer is having to fight the network to let JC smoke. WTF?

    THE FLASH I’m definately looking forward to and I think its the one of the bunch that I’m almost certain will be good. Then again I’m a ARROW fan so call me biased. (At the very least, I think they got the right guy for the part.)

    AGENT CARTER is the first Marvel Studios movie/TV show set around a female lead. It could be MAD MEN but with punching, but I think that’s more ambitious* than the people behind it are seeking. I love Hayley Atwell, who was my pick for the TOMB RAIDER movie reboot that was announced a few years back, so I hope for the best.

    *=A show set in the 1940s during the Cold War? One could imagine Marvel using this format to use their communist supervillains (like longtime Iron Man nemesis Crimson Dynamo) that can’t directly translated to 2014.

  12. I never saw SUPERNATURAL but as the resident avid comic book reader around these parts I thought the trailer for CONSTANTINE looked spot on. I’ll check it out. The 2 DC shows I’m most curious about as PREACHER and the dark horse that is HOURMAN. Couldn’t get into ARROW (ironic since Ollie was always one of my favorites) so I’ll skip THE FLASH. Anywho introducing Batfleck

  13. iZOMBIE was a really good series btw I just don’t have any faith in a CW show doing the concept any justice.

  14. why is Batman pouting?

    Also Broddie, I have two words on that PREACHER adaptation….”Fuck Communism.”

  15. I like the DARK KNIGHT RETURNS look on the Batsuit.

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