The movies in this category are my favorite movies of all time. They are in no particular order. If you haven’t seen one of them, be sure to try to catch them on Netflix, TV, or Redbox.
“Batman Begins” (2005)
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Starring: Christian Bale, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy and Tom Wilkinson
The origins of the Caped Crusader of Gotham City are finally brought to the big screen in this new adaptation of the perennially popular comic-book series. The young Bruce Wayne (Gus Lewis) leads a privileged life as the son of wealthy, philanthropist parents, both of whom stress their commitment to improving the lives of the citizens of crime-ridden Gotham City. After his mother and father are murdered by a mugger, however, Wayne grows into an impudent young man (Christian Bale), full of rage and bent on retribution until encouraged by his childhood sweetheart, Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes), to search for answers beyond his own personal vendettas. Wayne eventually finds discipline in the Far East under the tutelage of Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson), a member of the mysterious League of Shadows who guides him in the study of martial arts — and the ways in which an ordinary man can hone his senses to an almost superhuman acuity. After seven years away from Gotham, Wayne returns, determined to bring peace and safety back to the city. With the help of his faithful manservant, Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine), and Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), a scientist at his late father’s corporation, Wayne develops a secret identity as Batman, a masked fighter for justice. But when a shady psychiatrist (Cillian Murphy) joins forces with the criminal underworld, Wayne realizes that putting an end to their nefarious plans will be very difficult indeed. Batman Begins also features Gary Oldman as Lt. James Gordon and Tom Wilkinson as the crime boss Carmine Falcone.
~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Why I love it:
“Batman Begins” is the best Batman movie ever made. While that may shock some readers at first, it is just my personal opinion and here is why:
“Begins” is dark, violent, brooding and plays out in a film-noir type fashion. These are the things a Batman movie needs to perfectly resemble the tone of the comics. The setting, Gotham, feels like its been ripped right out of the comics. It’s a vast,over-populated city that’s completely run down and nightmarish place that needs some serious cleaning up. The man who charges himself with cleaning duty is the exact same Batman from the comics in every way, from the way he looks to the way he acts. He’s just a ridiculously determined billionaire who fights for justice using his martial-arts skill, advanced technology, and his detective abilities. All in all, this film feels and looks just like a Batman movie should.
Now I’m not saying that “Batman Begins” is a better movie than it’s sequel, “The Dark Knight”, but I think it is a better Batman movie. “The Dark Knight” is too crisp and clean, and isn’t gritty or grimy enough to be a Batman film. Gotham doesn’t feel like the Gotham from it’s predecessor, or from the comics. While it is still dark, emotional and brooding, “The Dark Knight” feels more like an amazing, modern crime-drama that centers around a hero dressed as a bat and not a Batman movie. Overall, I do think “The Dark Knight” is an all around better film than “Batman Begins”, but “Begins” is the better Batman film. Now after hopefully proving my point, there is a bunch of other things I love about this movie.
This is film is, on almost every level, truly great . It’s has an amazing cast (Christian Bale, Liam Neeson, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman in the same movie!!! They have all been nominated, or in most of their cases won, an Academy Award), an interesting, well written and emotional origin story for the best comic book character ever created(my opinion), great cinematography and visuals with some great action scenes, and a terrific musical score by the one and only Hanz Zimmer. Since this film is so well written, there are many lines from this movie that I still quote on a regular basis(I know I’m really nerdy but I really don’t care.) Lines such as, “If you make yourself more than just a man, If you devote yourself youself to an idea, then you become something else entirely… a legend, Master Wayne, a legend!”, “It’s not what I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.” and “Why do we fall Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up,” are all amazing pieces of dialog. They are quotes that you can learn from and live your live by that have really great meanings, but also perfectly portray the wonderful themes of the movie extremely well.
There are a couple small faults with the movie. Ra’s al Ghul was pretty awesome in the beginning, but since he is only in the movie for a small amount of time, he isn’t developed very well. He still has several amazing lines and is someone who’s point of view you can actually respect, but I just wish he had more screen-time, especially because he’s the main villan and one of Batman’s biggest enemies in the comics. I also think the climax could have used a little better choreographed action that wasn’t edited as choppy but it was still satisfying for the most part. This is still an A- movie and these flaws only bring it down a tad.
One thing that makes me mad, is because “The Dark Knight” was such an enormous hit and there was so much hype around it, this movie is sometimes forgotten by many people. I hate how many people have seen “The Dark Knight” but haven’t seen this movie. If this movie wasn’t so good, there would be no “The Dark Knight”. I just wish “Begins” would get the respect it deserves.
Thank god we all have the fantastic Christopher Nolan at the helm of this amazing franchise. Hopefully, “The Dark Knight Rises”(The last film in Nolan’s trilogy) will eclipse the previous installments, and become one of the greatest trilogies of all time.