More yammering about Batman Begins
My opinion of the movie didn’t change too much, and I liked and didn’t like most of the same stuff as before. One thing that I noticed this time was how good Liam Neeson was. Last time, I think I was distracted by the way his character deviated from the comics version, so I didn’t appreciate his performance as much. The character seemed much cooler on a second viewing, though. More importantly, he was the only actor who could sell the elevated language that everyone was speaking in. I noticed it most of all in the scene before he burns Wayne Manor down, when he’s talking to Christian Bale in the hallway. Bale’s delivery seems slightly wooden, but Neeson saves the scene. And really, every scene he’s in. The little praying motion he does right before he dies is a great piece of acting that would’ve seemed cheesy if a lesser actor had done it. The conversations in the early scenes when he’s training Bruce Wayne, particularly the swordfight on the ice, are the best parts of the movie. Neeson disappears into every role he plays so well that I tend to take him for granted, but this movie, oddly enough, convinced me of his talent.
I hated the same stuff as last time: the gliding on the cape; Gotham as the center of civilization; and of course, the crap around the Batmobile (guy looks into his coffee cup after the car drives by, the car smashes into a compact car parking spot, “At least tell me what it looks like! [car drives by]… Forget it”) oh, so funny, stop, you’re killing me. But the cowl didn’t bother me as much. The only scene where it doesn’t work is when Batman is talking to Gordon on the island in the midst of the fear gas riot. During this scene I kept thinking they’d crammed pudgy Alec Baldwin and his big chin into the costume.
I was more bothered by the fight scenes this time around, as the choppiness just seemed like bad storytelling. I kept thinking that something like the fighting in the lobby scene in the first Matrix would have been nice. Not the wire-fu, but just pull back a little and let us see what’s going on. Batman in a fight would be so much cooler than Keanu Reeves. I’ve been watching bits and pieces of Bale in Equilibrium lately, so maybe I’m just comparing with that.
The movie is a good baseline for what superhero movies should be. That said, I don’t think I’ll ever watch it again. I don’t think that there are any subtle nuances that I missed, or scenes that need to be reexamined. The movie was entertaining, but had very little in it that felt new.
An article here about people in Hollywood who make their livings dressing up like fictional characters so tourists can take photos with them. The article focuses on a guy that dresses up like Superman, and while the bits where they talk about the other actors seem kind of sad, I found the Superman parts genuinely touching.
The B12 of anger must be wearing off.
(link via Superfrankenstein)