Batman Begins- In Retrospect

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Batman Begins- In Retrospect

Post  thecolorsblend on Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:32 pm

Watched bits of TDKRises the other night. I even posted some bullshit or other about it. Go dig it up, I'm not your personal Google. Anyway, so I wrote about how it kinda sorta works from the angle of an Elseworld's story along the lines of Superman- Secret Identity. I said what I meant and I meant what I said.

Still, it got me kind of curious about Batman Begins. How does it hold up now that it's all over? I mean, TDKRises plays differently for me now than it did when Nolan was basically the zeitgeist of all things comic book film, even the time right after Avengers kicked the fertilizer out of his style. But anyway, TDKRises could be said to be more of a sequel to Batman Begins than it is TDK. So what's the verdict all these years later?

Honestly, it's amazing in retrospect what I assume is studio interference can accomplish. Nolan wasn't allowed to be a pretentious cock while making Batman Begins. WB's attitude wasn't "right away, Mr. Nolan". I gather they didn't care much about Batman Begins so long as it was commercial enough and came in on time and on (or under) budget.

Makes a big difference to the final product. But one major take away point of Batman Begins is that TDK wasn't inevitably where a sequel had to go. It could've gone in other, more comic book-oriented directions. I mean, Batman- Year One takes place in the same universe where Plastic Man is a day-to-day reality. And BB, by itself, could've gone in other directions after the credits rolled.

Still, the plot's pretty straight forward, the actors are all as invested in their characters as they'd ever be, Nolan still gave a damn and if the script is heavy on tin dialogue that George Lucas would approve of courtesy of David Goyer, well, you take the bad with the good, I guess.

Is BB "my Batman", as they say over on Jett's Nolan-ass-licking site Batman On Film? No, not really. But it's an interesting enough film if you view it as a standalone piece. As part of a trilogy... honestly, it's nowhere near of a piece with the rest of the trilogy as far as style goes. But that's neither here nor there. If you can overlook the melodramatic dialogue, the over-the-top "origin" scenes, the stylistic clash with the subsequent sequels, the ADD, rapid-fire, "MTV-style" editing and other stuff... yeah, not bad. Not great (and I REALLY resent this film's legacy) but not bad.

Still Elseworld's though.

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Re: Batman Begins- In Retrospect

Post  non_amos on Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:52 pm

The first time I saw Begins I was somewhat impressed. Still hated that Keaton's legacy was abolished or whatever but if you had to reboot, this seemed OK. Really liked the fleshed-out origin too of which the Joker was not the murderer of his parents. Yeah, Batman 1989 is my film for sure but I think that little tidbit always bugged me but I guess you could say that in the whole narrative thing Burton made it work.

That being said, I still think the Burton film was more faithful to the source material in spite of the liberties he took. I still remember that article(s) that was posted on these forums which actually was so lengthy I never finished reading it. Maybe some day I can find the time but I remember how different scenes were pointed out & then compared to the comics, Golden Age Batman I believe.

But look at duh Nolan. It initially appeared he was really trying to establish something here but where it got 'ugly' is when it was obvious that he was ashamed of comic booky! The whole ultra-realism ad nauseum, not using much of the rogues gallery, changing the ones he did use, etc. So while he made 'quality' films you also can't help but feel offended.

But let me emphasize this. With the 1989 film they 'caught lightning in a bottle' as the saying goes, the magic of that whole film & while I like Begins & even TDK, I just don't feel like duh Nolan captured that same magic like I experienced in the summer of '89.
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Re: Batman Begins- In Retrospect

Post  thecolorsblend on Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:52 pm

When it comes to fidelity to the source, it's interesting how people view this stuff. It's quantity vs. quality. I think I'm the one who posted that Burton/Golden Age comparison. I said what I meant and I meant what I said.

But at the same time, for as much as Burton got right, he made a few deviations from the source. The total number's pretty small (probably less than 10) but a few of them were egregiously different. The Joker killed Bruce's parents, Catwoman's a put-upon secretary, the Penguin was a former circus freak and all that. Not very many divergences but, damn, they were big.

Nolan took a lot more liberties by numbers (no Mark of Zorro, Ra's al-Ghul very indirectly killed the Waynes, Bruce never started training until about the age of 19 or 20, Bruce learned most of his stuff from the League of Assassins Shadows) but they were less severe in the big scheme of things.

So if one views fidelity to the source as the end all be all, Burton has fewer departures but they're all the more noticeable because they're so vast and because they're so few whereas Nolan's smaller "mistakes" are easier to overlook because many of them can be consigned to nitpicking.

So hmm...

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Re: Batman Begins- In Retrospect

Post  thecolorsblend on Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:24 pm

Oh, something else. Whoever did the sound mixing for Batman Begins should be run out of the business and never work in that industry again. It's a bigger trainwreck than what happened at the end of the movie. Half the time the music's drowned out by sound effects and even dialogue in a few cases. In scenes like that, the music needs to be more front and center in the mix because it's carrying MAJOR elements of the narrative.

An example would be the car chase with the Bat-Tank, where Molossus from the score takes center stage. It damages the thrill and suspense of the sequence because the music is barely audible. The score should be your guide in those moments because you can't (or shouldn't) rely on dialogue to do the job.

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Re: Batman Begins- In Retrospect

Post  non_amos on Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:34 am

Speaking of music I loved what Hans Zimmerman did with MOS but for the life of me I can't find anything memorable with what he did on duh Nolan Bat-films. For that reason I was worried about MOS but was pleasantly surprised. However, that 'duh-duhhhh' thing he did with TDK for example is about the only thing I find worth remembering.

Contrast that with Danny Elfman's score on the Burton film & Elfman blows duh Nolan films away! From the opening credits even for crying out loud! And then throughout the movie, the music fitting perfectly whatever scene. Just wonder why we can't have more of that now?
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Re: Batman Begins- In Retrospect

Post  Apologist Puncher on Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:43 pm

'Begins' was the best BATMAN movie out of all three of Nolan's films.

They all became "Gotham Villains: The Movie, Co-Starring Batman" after it.

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Re: Batman Begins- In Retrospect

Post  non_amos on Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:45 pm

Apologist Puncher wrote:'Begins' was the best BATMAN movie out of all three of Nolan's films.

They all became "Gotham Villains: The Movie, Co-Starring Batman" after it.

Yeah, you got a point there but I might add, with Batman 'phoning in' his performance in those films. And what was up with Bale? At least in Begins he tried to bulk up & look athletic which had to be a feat after films like THE MACHINIST. But in subsequent films it's like he just didn't care. And Keaton gets criticized to this day for the same thing?!  Rolling Eyes 
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