July 4th, 2005
First off: happy birthday to broken_gizmo. (Uh, and the USA in general, too.)
I finally saw Batman Begins. Great cast, by and large, doing mostly stellar work: the only real exception was Katie Holmes, who reminds me of a younger Stockard Channing except without the talent, smarts, sex appeal, authority, or general pizzazz. But it was fun hearing the (Welsh) Christian Bale and the (English) Gary Oldman and the (Irish) Cillian Murphy all be Americans. Hee.
The film is beautifully shot and nicely edited, and it has a sound mix that I would probably have liked better if the cinema hadn't had it amped up far too loud (I had to put my fingers in my ears for all the dramatic bits). And, well, it's a pretty dumb plot: I was hoping for something along the lines of the Batman: Year One comic, and some of the film matched up nicely with that, but...
...so one of the big revelations is that Ra's Al Ghul and his League of Shadows guys are basically pissed-off straight-edge super-ninja urban planners: they destroy cities that become too decadent. The League claims the Black Plague was their work, and they also claim responsibility for the Great Fire of London in 1666. Except... honestly, there are a lot of good words to describe pre-Plague Europe, but I'm not sure decadent is one of them... and, well, London still seems to be going pretty strong. So, um, oooooh. Scary. Or not.
Basically, I would have preferred a somewhat more straightforward crime-fighting movie for this first chapter, building up to the big-name villains in the inevitable sequel.
But it was enjoyable; overall, I think Christopher Nolan did well by the film, and I'll be interested to see what he does with the next two.
I think you're the fifth or sixth person I know to complain of "holy shit that was LOUD" syndrome. Rest assured, it was not just your theater; our best guess is that they had Twister-esque "YOU MUST PLAY THIS PRINT THIS LOUD OR WE WILL BE VERY UPSET WITH YOU" love notes in with the prints.
*nod* I keep seeing people mention this, and am very glad I ended up seeing it at an older theatre, whose speaker system isn't capable of the sort of Sonic Death Projection that more modern cinemas can put out.
As is, one of the right-hand speakers couldn't quite take it and was crackling every now and again...but I think I only thought, "boy, I need earplugs" once, if at all.
Theo and I also are fond of the point that the machine evaporated water.
Um, what is 70% of the human body comprised of?
But on the whole agreed. It had its good moments (Michael Caine) and its not so good moments (Katie Holmes). It also had the ability to conjure wonderful mental imagery, such as when Batman uses his bootgadget to summon his bats... can you also imagine Batman there with a big box of midges, patiently training the bats to come when whistled?