Mike Matei / July 19th, 2008
Bat-a-thon Part 3
April 10, 2010 at 2:01 pm
I know some fans of Batman Begins can be pretty mad about your opinions on the movie, but I just want to share my own thoughts on it without going all out on you because you’re still a pretty respectable guy. Also, I’m sure you may disagree with some of which I said but I respect that!
So here goes!
First of all, the title is Batman BEGINS! The term ‘Begins’ means that it’s an origin story detailing Bruce Wayne’s journey into becoming Batman. Sure Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher each share their own output on how Wayne became The Dark Knight, but Christopher Nolan does a better job on how he became the hero through his parents’ murder and his extensive training with his strong kung fu skills that were never explained in the earlier movies. It’s very true to the original comics which is one of the reasons why so many Bat-fans loved this movie!
What I like about this movie are the performances that really stand out. Christian Bale expresses the brooding mood of Bruce Wayne which I found to be totally realistic. Plus when he’s Batman, he really kicks ass. I know you mention the villains in the movie, but I have to say the way they were chosen is pretty simple. They’re both B-grade villains that don’t have the same luster as both The Joker and The Riddler. However, I’m glad that Nolan decided on some B-grade villains for a Batman origin story without intending on mentioning any A-grade villain until the very end.
You forgot to mention the fantastic Tom Wilkinson as the film’s main crime boss, which perfectly shows Gotham’s dark descent into crime. I like the way Liam Nesson was used in the movie because he comes off as an anti-Qui Gon Jinn. Like in The Phantom Menace, he mentors Bruce with his fighting skills but then about halfway in the movie, he becomes the main villain which I think is a brilliant twist on Liam’s part!
I know you don’t like the way Scarecrow was lacking in the movie, but I’m sure you have heard of the actor playing him and that’s Cillian Murphy. In fact, he starred in another villain role that same year which is Wes Craven’s Red Eye. In both films, he’s very good in being sly and fiendish. If you haven’t seen it, you must because I promise it might make up for lacking his appearance as the Scarecrow.
I know the fight scenes in the movie tend to be blurry but I think it looks way worse when watching the movie in 4:3 pan-&-scan format. But with the film’s 2.40:1 aspect ratio, watching those fight scenes are much easier to follow and enjoyed!
Now about the voice, it should come as no surprise to you that I have no problem with it. When I first saw this movie, I didn’t have an issue with it because I thought that was supposed to be part of the new look for Batman and he’s pretty good at scaring the criminals which works for the dark nature of The Dark Knight. In fact, I didn’t even think it WAS an issue until 2008’s The Dark Knight was coming out but I’m sure some people have gotten over it by now.
One thing that made me giggled when hearing your thoughts on the movie is when you asked how does Batman survive falling out of a building while being set on fire. Why? Well…he’s THE GODDAMN BATMAN! Seriously, why ask that? Also, the Tumbler is what it supposed to be. It’s a very cool sleek type of Batmobile that works well with the reality of the movie. I was actually kinda sad when it was destoyed in The Dark Knight, but I was hoping it might come back in the next film! Plus, I’m sure Batman already set it in some automatic GPS directions so that Gordon doesn’t have to drive it himself.
Speaking of The Dark Knight, I agree that it is better than Batman Begins and it could be considered as the best Batman film of them all. Terrific entertainment, amazing performances (especially Heath Ledger’s triumphant Oscar-winning performance), and stellar action sequences. I know your biggest gripe with the two films are the run times of 2.5 hours each. However, I think it helps these movies because Batman stories are very complicated to tell, but Nolan and his writers did a great job conveying both the themes and characters in those run times. Also, the film’s ending truly represents the hero’s psychological view on how both a hero and a villain has to act.
So there you go, that’s how I feel about both films (mainly the first one in general) from my own stand point. I know some of my opinions may sound like they came from the mouths of Bat-fans all around the world, but that’s how I really see about these films. I love all the Batman movies, but I feel the Nolan ones are better because of how they are highly faithful to the original comics. I know you prefer the original 1989 film the most, but I respect that and I believe both Burton and Nolan should be commended for how each of their films represent the decade in which they were filmed!
That’s all I have to say, so good bye for now!
March 27, 2014 at 7:05 pm
i think batman begins would have been ok if they just didn’t use batman.maybe another caped crusader but i really hated the film as a batman film.
October 25, 2014 at 7:00 pm
I think his point was you don’t need to spend an hour and 15 minutes talking about the backstory. I can understand having a backstory in there. I’m totally for that, but half of the movie? That’s a little ridiculous.
April 12, 2010 at 4:42 am
Well im kinda agree, but even in other ways im not…
After Heath Ledger played the Joker before he passed away, a new and more realistic joker was created… And i kinda have an explanation for why the joker were so invinsible in some of the few scenes you did`nt see his face… Because rumors says that he did`nt play the Joker all the time, he died when they were in half way in the film..
So when you did`nt see his face, it were played by somebody else 🙂
that is very simple, and also an explanation 😛
But one thing that would be much more cooler, is if they made an new “Batman Forever” movie, with the Riddler and Two Face..
Cause as you see in the end of “The Dark Knight” You see he becomes two face and flip a coin 😀
So it will be no dough that the next Movie will be with “Two Face” 🙂
Cant wait for that, but i wonder which character they will pick up next as the Riddler O_O
Maybe Jim Carrey again, he did`nt play that bad in the “Batman Forever” movie either, and because of his funny himself it would be nice to expect that for next 🙂
Well i have heard that the next Batman movie will arrive in 2012, its… and it will be an better version of “Batman Forever” hm… but we`ll catch it on when it arrives on Cinema`s 😀
That was an Okay Movie Review, cant wait for next 🙂
October 25, 2014 at 7:02 pm
Yeah, I was pissed when they didn’t have two-face or the riddler in the dark knight rises. Make another!
April 12, 2010 at 10:36 pm
Yep James, you are in the minority when it comes to Burton’s batman being the best one, and I’ll tell you exactly why. You aren’t an original comic book fan of the character, just a more casual fan. Now don’t get me wrong, Burton’s film was very unique in its tone and mood and stylistic in a great way, but it made mistakes when explaining the origin of Batman. The biggest one?
BATMAN’S PARENTS WERE NEVER KILLED BY THE JOKER!
Burton completely made that up to intensify the rivalry between the hero and the villain of the movie, and while it did do that, the fact was that it was still WRONG. Batman’s parents were killed by one of the growing number of the desperate and oppressed in Gotham, and I applaud Nolan for getting it right. Also, the early early comics never gave the Joker a name or alter-ego like Burton did. His own origin was a mystery and the psycho pretty much came out of nowhere, like in the Dark Knight. Applause for Nolan again,
I know my fellow hardcore fans will agree with me. Movies like these are even better when they get the facts straight, and to fans like me that is the single most important thing!
October 25, 2014 at 7:05 pm
Well, who says Burton didn’t want to follow the original? He wanted to make it his own. An example is the remake of Psycho. It was just a shot for shot remake of the original and it sucked major balls. Batman worked because it was a darker version that hadn’t been attempted yet, and also because they wanted a new story of Batman, not just the same thing they saw before.
April 18, 2010 at 8:05 pm
Okay, well I’m a hardcore Batman fan and my favourite film of both franchises together is Tim Burton’s Batman, and my favourite incarnation of the Joker is of course Jack Nicholson (he’d only be placed lower if I included the animated series which does beat all the films by far) and before anyone hates on me I do love The Dark Knight and i think Heath Ledger was amazing as The Joker but Batman Begins really didn’t do it for me, I remember going to see it really excited about a new Batman film and I kind of enjoyed it but I remember that 2 of my family members fell asleep in the audience and I was starting to drift aswell, the part the really gripped me was the hint of the Joker in the next film, the anticipation for that excited me beyond all belief and The Dark Knight excelled all expectations. Admitably at first I was skeptical about the Joker just being a psycho in make up but when I found the 1st trailer on youtube I was pretty damn excited. ANYWAY.. was mainly gonna say that the Burton films were the 1st I and many other young fans 1st saw Batman and I have always loved and treasured it as a film, if it wasn’t for that movie I doubt I would be the hardcore comic reading fan I am today, I’ll admit that yes it was a bit of a stretch to have The Joker as the guy that killed Batman’s parents, but on the side of Tim Burton giving a backstory there is a lot of defense for that; first of all if you want to talk about Nolan staying true to the comics how come the Joker’s grin is not the result of chemicals and instead a razor? To be fair because Joker has no definitive backstory that means that both directors are perfectly entitled to have their own interpretation of the character and the decision on whether or not to give him a backstory. Also it is noted that Tim Burton’s Joker is based on the incarnation in the graphic novel The Killing Joke which does in fact give him a backstory as does the story arc/ graphic novel Lovers and Madmen where the Joker is actually called Jack and later does get his smile via scarring caused by Batman, the cuts/scars are supportive of the Chris Nolan version and that they were caused by Batman supports Burton’s film.
In closing do not hate on James Rolfe’s opinion or just assume that all hardcore fans consider the Nolan films to be gold, I prefer the Burton ones because they are a bit closer to being like a graphic novel or comic book, in the Nolan films everything is just too realistic and detailed.
Thank you James for expressing yourself and being part of this minority that agrees Batman Begins just isn’t that awesome.
April 20, 2010 at 11:13 pm
Leave a comment, not a short story. What the fuck!
April 21, 2010 at 4:15 am
Dunno guys, I also prefer Nicholsons Joker… It always seemed the way to play a comic book character like Joker – over the top with a pinch of madness :D…. Well basically I prefer Burtons’ movies over the new ones – Why so serious Nolan? ;D. I don’t like ”realistic” Batman, I want the comic book one!
April 23, 2010 at 7:56 pm
Thank You! and yes my comment may be long but it’s a book blurb compared to CarreyFan23’s comment, and a sentence compared to his comments, seriously, this guy has a comment on nearly every video! and I’m not saying that’s a bad thing I just think that’s a lot of f*cking comments that show dedication.
April 27, 2010 at 12:10 pm
Now now boys………lets not turn the comment area into a fucktard fest.
April 27, 2010 at 7:42 pm
When I watched your review on this movie, I felt like you could realy feel the movie, and when you nitpicked it, you always get it dead on and it seems like you are able to construct in your head what could have been done how to make it better. It shows that you are a realy talanted movie critic and dorector. I hope this encorages you to keep doing your thing.
May 3, 2010 at 12:37 am
Hi, I just made an account so this will be my first post and I pretty much made it just get in on this conversation. I really enjoyed James’ review, but I do think that there seems to be a pattern when it comes to reviewing the newer Batman films versus the old ones, in terms of what generation you belong to.
For example, I’m 19, and while I and most of the people that I know have seen both the two most recent Batman films as well as Tim Burton’s Batman, the general consensus is that Heath Ledger is definitively the best Joker. I read an above post in which someone mentioned that they were disappointed because they preferred the more comicy portrayal of characters, not this more “realistic” one. Now this may simply be a point of view that I will never understand, as I didn’t grow up on the classic, more hokey Batman cartoons, but I can’t imagine anyone preferring the old Batman films over the new ones.
Jack Nicolson is an excellent actor who did a good job conveying a certain possible aspect of the Jokers personality and it fit well within the atmosphere and tone of that particular film, but every scene that Heath Ledger is in, he dominates, they might as well have called this movie The Joker.
And I hear some people say that his performance is exaggerated because of his death during the film, and it may be true that he probably would have received less recognition then he did if he hadn’t passed way, but that in no way deters from the fact that he was nothing less then outstanding, and that is was obvious that he poured his heart and soul into this role, something that I honestly can’t say (and I think, sentimentality aside, everyone whose seen both films knows) that Jack Nicholson did the same. He was great, but he didn’t tear himself apart for the role in the way Ledger did, and I think that it comes across obvious to anyone who really pays attention to the details.
Again, I’m not trying to hate on old Batman fans, I am just asking you to maybe compare the films with unbiased eyes, as James’ review of the two new films seemed a little cloudy behind the lense of nostalgia.
May 4, 2010 at 5:58 pm
I gotta disagree with your opinion on Begins, James. It’s my personal favorite Bat film (yes even above TDK) and I feel it’s a very, very well done movie.
May 26, 2010 at 4:56 pm
I was very surprised to read your comment. Sure if you don’t like the Burton film no big deal. but your reason for disliking it over the Nolan film perplexes me. You criticised James for not being a true fan then ignored similar problems with the newer films. Yes it is true that the Joker did not kill Bruce wayne’s parents in the comic. But the Nolan version probably has more “errors” than the Burton one
Now i don’t want to argue over this but i have to make some points. As examples:
– Ra’s Al Ghul does not train Batman to be Batman. This to me was more of a problem than the Joker killing the Waynes whic added to the movie.
– Speaking of which why is his name dumbed down to “Raas” Al Ghul when it has always been Ra’s Al Ghul
– The Batmobile usd in nolan’s film is nothing like the early Batmobile. it is much more like the one used by Batman towards the end of his career (as seen in DKR).
Now i could go on for more examples but you get my general drift so i’ll just give one more. This brings me to the single biggest problem i have with the recent batman films. Clue – what does Ra’s Al Ghul call Batman in the comics?
Answer – Detective.
This has been a staple of every batman incarnation i’ve seen from way back. “World’s greatest detective”. Written by Detective Comics. Yet this Batman barely shows any such skills. He is more reliant on money, technology and gadgets than his brain. indeed his butler and harvey dent seem to be much smater. He could be any vigilante with money. Personally i’ve felt that outside of the comics the best Batman has been that on the Justice League animated series. Always one step ahead of the game in is mind. That’s what makes him cut it against those with do have superpowers. But i never get that feeling from these recent versoins.
May 30, 2010 at 8:51 am
Dark Knight is awesome maybe one of my favorite movies (i don’t watch a whole lot of movies but i mean of course the joker is invincible…..he’s the joker!
June 23, 2010 at 3:33 am
One thing the Nolan movies have over the Burton ones is recurring the villain. The Scarecrow being in both, however briefly, adds a touch of the comics to them.
July 3, 2010 at 5:18 pm
I prefer Ledgers Interpretaion by far. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Jack Nicholson is awesome, but the only thing he has in common with the Joker from the Comics (Especially The Killing Joke) is, that he fell into a pool of Acid and came out the way he looks now.
The Joker I prefer has no background. Nobody knows who he is or who he was before. He’s an everyday normal person who had a bad day and went crazy, not a guy who was already a criminal or a psychopath. In my opinion, Burton missed the character in his movie (I basically wrote the same in a comment on Bat-a-thon Part 2, but since there’s a little discussion here I thought I could repeat it).
July 4, 2010 at 12:44 pm
Hey James, Scarecrow is my favourite villain in Batman too.
I actually prefered Batman Begins to the Dark Knight, but I still love the Dark Knight and Heath Ledger deserves all the praise he’s given.
July 7, 2010 at 1:20 pm
I respect your opinion James, but I disagree about the Batman Begins. That movie it’s by far the best, I really liked Dark Knight, but BB really raised the bar. Those Batman’s movies from the 80’s and 90’s were good for the time, I was there too, I’m 30 years old, but compared with BB and TDK it doesn’t stand a chance, the writing was superb, the action top notch and so was the acting.
Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin weren’t serious enough, specially Batman & Robin. If you like those goofy Batman’s movies more than BB & TDK, then probably you won’t like the seriousness of Batman Arkhan Asylum (the game).
July 10, 2010 at 3:54 pm
Nah, Batman Begins is overrated indeed. Though it may be better than Tim Burton’s Batman, it’s definitely not the best of the series. And the action scenes aren’t top notch, they are pure crap. The editing was just horrible.
July 12, 2010 at 12:20 am
I have only one thing to say, surprisingly enough. I am a hard core Joker fan, so I just wanted to comment on that last complaint of yours. The reason the Joker was so invincible is because that’s the way he’s always been in the comics. Sure, he could have had a more difficult time, get shot or something, but they were only staying true to his character, which I respect. ^^ Loved the Bat-a-thon! Thanks so much! 🙂
July 12, 2010 at 2:01 am
I just had to mention I found it interesting that the worst regarded Batman movie contributed a popularly adopted backstory for one of the characters; Mr. Freeze, before Batman and Robin, was just an ice-themed villain in the comics, but otherwise a normal criminal. The movie gave him a tragic backstory that has since been adopted into canon for other media.
July 12, 2010 at 3:33 am
“I also made a decision not to see it at imax because I wanted a genuine impression”
You cheap bastard 😀
July 20, 2010 at 10:42 am
i think there is no point in killing Joker off y not put out auditions and see who can do him justice,i mean they should check out blinky500 productions on youtube and their website they have short films.well there dark night version of joker the guy who acts as him is GREAT!
July 24, 2010 at 2:43 am
I acctually like batman&robin, and if you dont like that you can just suck it
August 23, 2010 at 8:18 pm
This is what i think. batman&robin sucks. batman begins ok i guess i dont know. the dark knight havent seen it yet!
August 23, 2010 at 11:04 pm
I actually liked that Mr. Freeze. But he’s the only reason I watched that movie.
As for Batman Begins, thank you. Some one who wasn’t drowned in the hype. The movie was okay. Not the gift flown down from the heavens in the arms of cherubs, like every one else seemed to think. I didn’t like Raz at all. They through out his entire character history for a pretender. And I too was severely disappointed with the Scarecrow treatment. And the choppy sped up fight sequences were fucking annoying as all hell. But it was okay as a batman movie.
As for the sequel, I agree the fight sequences were better. But this dirty, filthy, wanna be joker will never be more than an extra as far as I’m concerned. I just plain didn’t like the second movie at all. When you get bored 1/3 of the way into the movie, and actually feel the need to leave and go watch the news, there’s a problem.
All in all, both are passable, but neither shines as brightly as every one else seems to believe. I look forward to Disney buying out DC like they did with Marvel, and see how this sorta stuff continues or if Batman ends up on a cover of a movie with a penis castle in the background.
August 23, 2010 at 11:21 pm
Yes… Ledger is a hack. I’m not happy he died, but it is because of his death that most people are praising this joker as “THE BEST JOKER EVER!”
Which simply isn’t true. Not even close to that effect.
The best joker to ever grace the screen is the Joker from Batman the Animated series. At least up until they switched story board writers and animators.
Seriously. Go check it out. It’s done /just/ cartoony enough that parents wouldn’t give it a second thought about children watching it. And it’s dark and foreboding enough for it to draw in parents. The animation style, dialogue, and voice acting are phenomenal. The settings, the available technology, even the clothes all roll in together to make a very compelling show. I highly recommend it over Batman Begins, and the Dark Knight. Certainly worth more than them when you realize Luke Skywalker is the voice of the FUCKIN JOKER!
August 25, 2010 at 9:02 am
Yeah fuck that shitty tumbler! hahaha nice words:D
August 26, 2010 at 8:10 am
I never watched Batman Begins, but I would really want to. I think it’s pretty good. And The Dark Knight, just awesome! A perfect movie! Not only is the Joker awesome, Batman and Harvey Dent/Two-Face are awesome too. For me personally, this is the best movie ever made. I have the DVD and I watch it over and over again. I’m looking forward to the new Batman-movie. Is it going to be released next year or 2012?
September 4, 2010 at 1:15 pm
I don’t know about another one *AVGNrocks2903* but rumors have been spreading around that there might be a third one and that johnny depp plays will be the riddler but it may be TWO-FACE and THE RIDDLER who knows i just hope that scarecrow doesn’t get the same treatment like he did in DARK KNIGHT he deserves better.
October 4, 2010 at 1:00 pm
I remember when I saw Batman Begins on the big screen I thought “waaah I didn’t see anything of what happened during the fight scenes” and for that reason I was a bit desappointed since I watched Batman The Animated Series (in France on fr3) and I was a huge fan of Batman Returns.
But Nolan just hit the top with The Drak Knight. I can’t agry with you. I thing Begins was a bit under its pretentiousness while TDK just exploded what I was expecting. It surpass the Hype. And yes I really prefer Ledger than Nicholson, just because he doesn’t have to be always laughting to make you laugh.
My Bat-top would be 1-TDK, 2-Batman Returns, 3-Batman and Robin (just because it sucks soooooo bad that you can’t stop laughting)
October 15, 2010 at 4:02 pm
OMG! The Bat Credit Card has “Batman Forever” written on! I never noticed that!
By the way, I totally agree with James for all movies except for The Dark Knight that I think was better than he said. Also I can’t tell for Begins because I TRIED to sit trough it three times, but I always fell asleep! Man, that movie is soooo boring! Spending so much time on the birth of a superhero is just wrong! A superhero movie should talk about the superhero! I don’t care of him while he was a regular person, just give me a quick explanation!
November 10, 2010 at 12:32 pm
I think (a big part of) the reason everyone was so blown away by Batman Begins is that the last most people saw of the character was Batman and Robin. Going from the worst Batman movie to arguably the best(up to that point), a complete 180 from the word Go. THAT is why it blew people’s minds.
November 14, 2010 at 9:33 pm
I’m a little late with this, but I just watched the review and couldn’t agree more. “Batman Begins” was overrated, boring, and slow. “The Dark Knight” was slightly better, if only for Heath Ledger, but he is NOT the best Joker by any means. That title still belongs to Jack Nicholson. When I say this, people look at me as if I ate their puppy, or something.
I just want my superhero movies to be…well…FUN. I think the first Tim Burton movie accomplished that, but the Christopher Nolan flicks? Nah. They’re respectable and all, but they’re too serious in tone. They’re definitely not the movies I watch when I just want to eat some popcorn and turn off my brain.
It’s a shame the animated series wasn’t reviewed-I was addicted to that show as a kid. Maybe another time?
November 22, 2010 at 3:05 am
I love all these people stating their opinions as definitive fact. Just as James said all the Jokers are unique versions, and none of them are “the best”. That being said, Nicholson is my least favorite. I’m a big comic book fan and Ledger and Romero were both very loyal and powerful performances of different incarnations of the Joker whereas I felt Nicholson did a very convincing portrayal of what he THOUGHT the Joker might be like based on pop culture portrayals without actually studying the character.
James, I think if you read Identity Crisis, Year One, and Long Halloween you’d be more accepting of the most recent incarnation of Batman. Comics have come a long way in 75 years. They originally served as entertainment for young children, but nowadays they tackle challenging moral, political, and philosophical issues in interesting ways.
November 22, 2010 at 8:13 pm
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I stated my opinion as “definitive fact” out of frustration. BB and TDK are getting so much obedient praise, I can’t help but express my distaste in this way. They’re good movies, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t think they are the best Batman movies ever made. Dare to say this in a crowded room, and you get some hard stares. Oh, well. Can’t please everybody.
November 28, 2010 at 5:33 pm
Always voice your honest opinion James! I didn’t like BB very much, I mean I thought it was alright. I didn’t even like TDK. I’m a huge fan of Batman, and Batman Returns by Tim Burton and they were always my faves. To me they are the right mix of darkness, realism, and comic book storytelling.
The new movies are overrated. I hate that they are trying to make the movies too real and explain everything (like how and why his suit and car are made and all the gadgets.) I also hate Christian Bale’s voice acting. He goes way too deep and aggressive to me. He’s such a good actor, I just think he overplays the role when he’s in costume.
January 3, 2011 at 1:34 am
I don’t know what people are talking about saying people only like Heath Ledger as the Joker because he died. I saw the movie before I even knew Heath Ledger had died (I don’t pay attention to non-political news). I still think he did an amazing job, though my favorite Joker has to be the one from the animated series, the one that is in most of the video games, including the amazing game, Arkham Asylum.
January 25, 2011 at 6:57 pm
dark knight joker is great
the dark theme is done well
and batman begins sucks ass totally sucks
February 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm
The Dark Knight was awesome love it targeted for modern audiences, maybe thats why James doesn’t appreciated that much, hes a guy that just likes classics and thats ok, i love classics to. I know he said he likes it, but you know what i mean..
February 15, 2011 at 3:40 am
I always love your reviews James. I know this one is old, but I love it. Personally, I still love the Tim Burton Batman films. They are the first things that pop into my head when I think Batman along with the animated series. The Christoper Nolan films are great, but I think they are WAY overrated. To me, they don’t feel like Batman films. They feel like Christoper Nolan films like Mememto and Inception but with a guy dressed as Batman. I think Bale is a great Batman, but he kind of over does the part. Heath Ledger is also great, but I feel his performence is overrated. I can’t look at anything of Batman without seeing Heath Ledger. To me Jack Nicholson will always be THE Joker in me eyes. But what I like about both the Tim Burton and the Nolan films is that the films fit the style of their director. The Burton Batman films have a theme about misfits like Pee Wee & Edward Scissorhands. While the Nolan films focas on the mind like Mememto and Inception. That’s what I like about those films. I love the Tim Burton films! They are the best. The Nolan films are great, but I think they are overrated.
March 24, 2011 at 4:43 pm
you need to show how the batman became batman james duhh. its also called batman begins for a reason, it was the start of a new batman franchise. the batmobile needs to be more like a black upgraded bigger lambo not a tank but it did have a motorcycle in it which i thought was pretty cool so that makes up for it. i loved scarecrow in the animated series and wished he had the hat in the movies but w/e atleast he was in it.
May 14, 2011 at 2:55 am
You know, I’ve always felt sorta the same way about “Batman Begins.” I loved it, don’t get me wrong, but it was overrated. But it definitely made-up for “Batman & Robin,” and, to an extent, “Batman Forever.” While I’ve been waiting to see Scarecrow on the big screen since I was a child, I was far more excited about Ra’s al Ghul (he’s my favorite villain, ever). I thought Liam Neeson pulled it off brilliantly, especially if you go by “Batman: The Animated Series” rendition of Ra’s. I wasn’t sure who Cillian Murphy was until closer to the release when me and a buddy watched “28 Days Later.” I thought he was a great choice for Scarecrow. I thought “The Dark Knight” was brilliant, but felt that Heath Ledger’s untimely death encompassed the movie, which led to the massive success. He did great, and his Oscar was deserved, but I feel like it should have been for “Lead Actor,” and that “Supporting Actor” should’ve went to Aaron Eckhart, or at least a nomination.
PS. I thought you might dig this: In “Batman Forever,” Brad Dourif was considered for the role of Riddler, but obviously lost out to Jim Carrey. He was again considered (while the movie was still planned) for Scarecrow in “Batman Triumphant.”
May 16, 2011 at 5:23 pm
The BAT CREDIT CARD???!!!!! I’LL KILL YOU! I’LL KILL YOU ALLL!!!!
*surprised nobody made a reference*
Anyways, I have to agree…..at least, basing off of James’s information he gave. I know a lot of people who consider Begins to be the best, and I think a few that think its the best movie ever.
June 11, 2011 at 6:16 am
Really? Comparing actors to animated ones? “But someone has to ACT the voice!” Shut up. Not even a worthy comparison. Ledger rocked that roll, and it IS the best Joker. Not because he died, but because it brings out the qualities that you claim to like from the animated. He is frustrating and clever by always escaping and putting Batman in hard situations, and he doesn’t laugh as much. Overabundant laughter is not a necessary characteristic to give your character that you are playing as an actor. Ledger meets that middle ground, and almost has you rooting for the bad guy. It may not be the best performance in the real universe, but the Bat-verse should applaud it standing up without hesitation.
July 9, 2011 at 2:09 pm
As always I like your reviews. I also think Tim Burtons batman was better then batman begins. people do knit pick at everything. now a days Im surprised if people like anything anymore. And the movies that critics and people like in my opinion are horrible. I don’t know whats going on but at least when you review movies you take it for what it is and you don’t complain about small things. I think you should review new movies that come out. I would take your opinion over critics any day.
July 22, 2011 at 7:04 am
I felt almost exactly the same way about the Begins and the Dark knight. They were pretty good, but not awesome. I don’t need to be explained how Batman can do his Batman things, these are supposed to be comic movies. Burton had a great fantasy feel world in his Batman movies and I could easyli believe that in that world Batman can do his shit because he can.
July 24, 2011 at 8:57 am
James, this is the first time I don’t agree with you on a review, and I must say your argumentation seems kinda weak. I know how it is when you just don’t like a movie, and it’s hard to explain why. But aside from the bad editing during action scenes (Well, Nolan chose to do it that way to accentuate the feeling of confusion the criminals must feel when fighting Batman, but I agree it doesn’t work very well), I think you are being very inconsistent in your critique.
You complain that the movie’s taking itself too seriously in its themes, and you want it to just get on with the action and fun. Yet you want Alfred to be against Bruce’s crazy plans. Well, wouldn’t that be an effort to make the movie more serious than it already is, and wouldn’t it just postpone the action?
Other than that you mention some random goofs that couldn’t possibly drag your general opinion of the movie down by that much. Okay so he falls from a tall building and a guy didn’t get burned by the big flashlight. You said it yourself, it’s a comic book adaptation. Suspend your disbelief.
I’m not a big Batman/Nolan fan, I think he does a good job but nothing holds a candle to the themes and ambience of the animated series, so this is not a fanboy bitching. It just sounds like your opinion is a little distorted by all the hype. I know the feeling, believe me. But I still think you should be able to separate the annoying circumstances surrounding the two Nolan movies and just appreciate them as very well-rounded and incredibly well-written (yes, IMO the biggest force of this adaptation. i don’t like Nolan’s realistic approach, Batman, one of the five most accomplished martial artist in the DC universe, shouldn’t be able to be stopped by the Joker and a couple of dogs, but admittedly the Nolan brothers have weaved together incredibly intricate plotlines for both movies).
September 7, 2011 at 12:24 am
The last two Batmans were pretentious, I guess the only reason I don’t like them that much was the hype factor. When everything you see is Batman you kind of get sick of it unless you are a big Batman fan.
September 11, 2011 at 12:55 am
Mt girlfriend totally agrees about batman begins, its sucks.
October 12, 2011 at 7:37 am
i like that voice of batman in batman begins then the bad guys wont know that he is bruce wayne
October 21, 2011 at 6:12 am
I really do NOT like Christian Bale as Batman… even in the Dark Knight, which is awesome (mostly due to the Joker)…. Bale just does not fit the Bruce Wayne suit…
Since Bale is used to asshole roles and he’s an asshole in real life, he’d be a great villan (I liked him in American Psycho).
I liked Batman Begins but I agree, it’s overrated. While I do love the Dark Knight,… I think Batman Begins is somewhat uninspiring.
Of course I still think it’s a good movie, FAR better than the older movies (except the first Burton Film) and I think he was so appreciated not because it’s an awesome movie, but because it’s a good movie after the absymal Batman and Robin which still haunted people nightmares…
October 27, 2011 at 10:19 pm
To be honest, I kinda liked Batman begins. i liked the backstory part, although some part where just getting long. But what pissed me off was how they treated Scarecrow. You know he’s just here so fans wouldn’t be pissed off that no classic batman villain where there. He’s like thrown in as a side-story: a real shame, since I’m sure that with some good SFX and writing, Scarecrow would have been PERFECT for these darker movies.
The Dark Knight was great. Actually, the Joker was great. Not just Heath Ledger’s performance, but the whole character. I must admit I’m not as big as a movie fan as James, but the Joker was to me one of the most memorable psychos of all. But I’m still pissed about Scarecrow’s cameo. Come on, it’s like they’re rubbing it on our face.
Hopefully, Scarecrow will get more screen time in the 3rd movie. Catwoman has been confirmed, and I’ve heard Bain will also be there.
November 16, 2011 at 7:24 pm
If your a comic fan you’ll have a problem with it…when Batman and Robin came out it was pretty much established that each superhero flick was set in it’s own pocket universe. Therefore NOT a part of the normal DC or Marvel universe. Even the x-men and spider-man films goes by this rule. They are trying to change this with the avenger movie coming out and all the appearances of S.H.I.E.L.D agents and Ironman and shit in other marvel movies but…it is a experiment and we have yet to see if it’s a good idea with more than one established superhero in a movie. But other than that this is HIS personal opinion so my question is…
what is YOUR problem!?!
December 11, 2011 at 11:01 am
I absolutely agree with you about begins and dark knight. I felt neither of them really got any of the characters correct compared to the comics.
December 18, 2011 at 4:03 pm
James, I respect you a whole helluva lot, and your opinion weighs pretty heavily in my book, since you’re a filmmaker and all, but I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with you on your opinion of Batman Begins and Dark Knight. I thought they were both spectacular movies, but for different reasons. Begins is an origin story (surprise!) and it plays out EXACTLY like an origin story should. In my opinion, Begins is a build up to Dark Knight. If you look at it like that, everything makes sense in Begins and it doesn’t feel out of place. At least it didn’t for me.
The nit-picky details I just flat out disagree with, we can leave it at that. I don’t need to write out a huge treatise about how you’re wrong and I’m right, blah blah blah. We just disagree.
There was too much hype for Dark Knight. Did it live up? Well, does ANY movie live up to the hype? ESPECIALLY since Heath Ledger died? And that’s another thing that made me mad about the hype. The poor man died, his family is grieving, his child will now grow up without a father. This is NOT something you should fucking cash in on, the fucking pricks. It makes me sick.
Nevertheless, despite our differences, I still have the utmost respect and I’m rooting for you as a filmmaker. I can’t wait for the AVGN movie to come out, (and I can’t wait for my autographed picture 😛 ) and I can’t wait to see how it plays out. The anticipation is working against you, and there’s going to be a boatload of hype (at least with the fans) but just remember that even if there’s a ton of hype surrounding a movie, it can still kick fucking ass, The Dark Knight proves it can happen. You just have to overdose on Vicodin, Xanax and Ambien after you make your film. Yeah… that was in bad taste… I apologize 🙁
December 21, 2011 at 5:19 pm
@DonSkiver In other words, you’re saying “No offense James, but you’re wrong”.
January 5, 2012 at 3:46 am
I can’t believe I can’t find this anywhere online but a few years ago I processed an Indonesian Batman themed credit card. It wasn’t even your regular square card, it was themed and cut up in the most stylish manner.. Yeah. Other countries have the coolest credit cards I’ve ever seen.
February 12, 2012 at 12:13 am
Having just recently played Arkham Asylum and seeing some of City, I don’t think the question should be “will Nolan’s 3rd be as good as the dark knight?” but rather, “will the new movie be as good as the games?” But I like batman in all mediums. The (newer) games are great, the Burton/Nolan era movies are great, the animated series was/is incredible, the comics are stunning…hell, I found a viewmaster that had slides of the old batman cartoons that were pretty good. Gushing aside, when begins came out I too was crushed by the scarecrow’s limited screentime and liam neeson’s blandness (Ghul was a nice comic shout-out). Scarecrow was represented well in the Asylum though so I’ll always have that at least.
February 18, 2012 at 11:49 am
Sorry,but aren’t you making a big deal out of this? Back then it was the first time Batman mentioned Superman in a live-action movie I guess thats why he was surprised…but who cares?
February 26, 2012 at 8:24 pm
Personally, Ledger’s Joker has that scary, insane appeal to it that everybody likes so much, but the best Joker will always be the TAS or the recent Batman video game adaptions. That Joker is funny and goofy, yet a total psychopath that I would afraid to meet in person. Nicholson’s Joker was crazy, but just not scary enough. You’re not supposed to laugh along with the Joker’s actions, you’re supposed to say, “Holy crap, I can’t believe he did that.”
March 2, 2012 at 12:28 am
woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow you are so off about batman begins. you are usually so right on point. I can not believe how you can criticize this….sad. How can you find so much substance in Jaleel White but find so much to be picky about batman begins….its a little insulting to be honest with you.-christopher nolan
March 6, 2012 at 9:31 pm
I really enjoyed watching Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Except the voice of batman, what is that all about?
BUT i have never managed to sit through both films the entire way a second time. It’s almost the same feeling as watching the Usual Suspects again. Still great movies, but the plot is completely ruined and there just doesn’t seem to be any magic left in them.
And the new film is out this year, at least it gives me 1 reason to go to the cinema i guess.
March 16, 2012 at 12:44 pm
the Ras imposter thing was a more realistic representation of Ras Al Gaul’s immortality in the comics, and while I do think the growly voice was just plain stupid, think about it if he talked in his normal voice then people would know that Batman was Bruce Wayne….but if that was the case then they should have gave him a voice changer. But the Scarecrow thing pissed me off murphy was great! fuck Neson give us more Jonathan Crane!
March 18, 2012 at 7:22 pm
I loved Ra’s al Ghul.
I loved Bruce Wayne.
I loved Alfred and Lucius Fox.
I loved the Scarecrow and Falcone and how well timed parts were and the actors were chosen.
I loved Hans Zimmer’s Molossus.
I loved close-encounters fight scenes.
I loved the sense of ambition and pretentiousness of this film.
Every piece of Batman Begins have made the on-screen justice that Batman comic’s character was waiting for more than 40 years.
Yeah; Batmobile was unnecessarily gigantic, some things weren’t too clear, and the pissed-off voice of Bale was just not right.
So fucking what. THIS is how Batman should have been from day one. Or at least, after The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One appeared.
Oh, and The Dark Knight. What the hell. It’s not a movie, nor it’s a movie about a comic character. It clearly states the way EVERY super-hero movie should be. I’d go as far as to say as The Dark Knight serves perfectly as an evolutionary “missing link” all movies adapted from comics needed.
The only thing i can imagine as better are both latest Batman Games, Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, which happens to be THE SHIT!!!
But then again, i just happen to love Batman and know a thing or two about the character, thanks to the obsessive interest that first Tim Burton movie fueled on me.
Thank you, Tim Burton.
Thank you very fucking much, Christopher Nolan.
THat is the way has to be done from now on.
I’m really looking forward on the Dark Knight Rises and i’m putting a LOT of my best wishes (as i’m sure millions of fans are too) in order for WB not to fuck up.
Great reviews James.
Thank you very much for what you do and for the way you do it. Clearly, I don’t agree with some of your personal views, but that just make things better. You’re the man! Best of luck and thanks again!
March 19, 2012 at 2:30 am
god damn right
April 8, 2012 at 2:33 pm
I Hate Batman Begins!! And I love Liam Neeson as an actor but I thought Batman Begins was nearly as bad as Batman and Robin (At least B and R had Alicia Silverstone :)) I Hated the beginning back story and the lack of True villians besides Scarecrow who was in it for like 2 minutes! I think The 1st Tim Burton is the best, Then Batman Returns, Batman Forever and then B and R. Haven’t Seen Dark Knight.
April 30, 2012 at 8:14 am
Hey James (or anyone).
Have you seen this…
It’s a vid of the (best) 1966 and the 1989 Batmobiles drag racing…which one wins?
May 21, 2012 at 5:57 am
Just due to the fact BB is an origin story, does not give it a free pass to be slow, plodding and badly shot.
Keeping with superhero movies. Dick Donner’s Superman was an origin story too, but it was fast paced and you could actually see the action.
Origin stories do not need to be that dull.
I’m a Nolan fan, but I do feel he was wrong to re-start the Batman franchise, he’s not an action director. Writer maybe, director no.
BB could have easily had 30 odd mins cut from it, and it would not have lost anything.
Mind you I think you could cut 2 hrs from BB and still have no effect.
Now I thought TDK was a vast improvement over BB by a long way too. I almost find it hard to believe Nolan directed it.
Still TDK is not what I would call a “great” movie. Yeah it’s good, but it falls apart in terms of character. Joker was not Joker at all, why Heath get so much praise for playing Joker when he didn’t I have no idea.
Personally I found Eckhart (think about the future) as Dent/Two Face a FAR more interesting (and better acted) character(s) than Joker.
Bruce/Batman was still as dull as in BB, Rachel was as inane as previously, no wonder they killed her off.
With the exception of Gordon and Dent/Two Face, there are no characters really worth anything in TDK.
Still I am looking forward to the next installment.
As it’s the last I hope Nolan has some balls and kills off Batman…properly.
May 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm
Here’s one not looking fordward to The Dark Knight Rises at all, I really didn’t care for Nolans batman films at all, I like inception a little bit but it just strikes me that Nolans films are all the same. They’re grey, monotonous and the dialouge is just too drawn out. Now I don’t want to involve The Avengers here too much but to me that’s a far superior comic book film and I recommend people to rather turn their focus on that one rather than the upcomming Batman film. I’m one that’s all far the dark visual style of Batman but I don’t get how people can argue that Nolans did that so well cause they’re really more grey and plain boring.
Heath Ledgers Joker was a very interesting villain but personally I feel that it would have worked better for a diffrent kind of batman enemy. I agree with James that the whole build up in Batman Begins is way too dragged out, most general batman fans know at least a glimpse of how he became the batman and half a film was certainly not required to explain it. If they wanted to impress me they should have followed up on Burtons style of Batman and of course, alter it enough for some decent originality too it. But like James said, these films came out pretentious and to me personally, they’re the most uninteresting in the entire series of the ones I’ve seen which are the 60’s and following films.
June 19, 2012 at 5:56 pm
I hope there’s a Bat-a-thon Part 4 coming up when TDKR hits the theaters. If only James could go into The Animated Series or at least cover some of the more famous Batman animated movies such as Mask of Phantasm which is an awesome movie and ten times better than any of the Burton/Schumacher crap.
September 8, 2012 at 8:51 am
Actually i didn’t think Batman Begins was that great, it was good imo but not better than the classic Tim Burton one, that movie was awesome.
i agree that people can’t really compare Ledger’s Joker to Nicholson’s Joker, one is more psychotic and the other is more comedic.
but i do think that the dark knight is tie with the first batman movie for best one of the all time, the Burton one has a small place in my heart since i watched it when i was young but the Dark knight is just brilliant.
September 15, 2012 at 9:28 pm
You know your villain is threatening when he or she uses puns
October 12, 2012 at 8:23 pm
Even here In costa rica, The Batman begins was clearly overrated… And so much to say with the dark Knight… Also they thought THAT batman was the original story!… I mean, It gets clearly more closed The the Tim Burton’s . because Joker did not kill Bruce’s parents, and nobody still nowadays knows joker’s origins . Not that acid pool rip off.. However , I still considered TIm Burton’s Great movies. Actually m favorite It’s Batman Return ! and yes, more beyond than Dark Knight and Rises… As James said. Everyone said different stories about this Hero, maybe that’s why makes a widedly bunch different fans with differents points of view… Honestly, let’s give the artist what they want, eventhou, respecting the timeline and original story as they can… In my opinion, Tim Burton and Chris Nolan did great jobs on its time… Actually Rises gives me one of the greatest superhero ending ever… And many sweet parts of each Batman movie… You have to include Batman animated series and batman beyond… Which are spectaclar in my opinion and give us the realistic (1), funny smart (2), best batman version (3) ever created! … And of course like it isn’t enough, they unified with Rocksteady Studios and created the BEST BATMAN games ever! Not only because of his appeal and well done completionist story, but the fact that ARE EXCELENT GAMES
October 30, 2012 at 2:09 am
I’m proud to be in that minority with you James.
January 9, 2013 at 10:13 pm
Batman and Robin was the first movie I ever watched in a theater. I loved it then, but as I got older I am like “WTF?” each time I watch it. I still love it though for it’s craziness. The movie could have been so much better, and that’s sad. Is it a good movie, heck no, but is it a nostalgic treasure for me, yes it is.
I used to feel the way James did about Batman Begins, it took me a while to watch it. Now I love it, it’s a good movie. It was a grand departure from the earlier films, and it did a great job. Nolan did a great job making the world of Gotham look grand and epic, and it’s a beautiful film to watch. Bale’s an excellent Wayne and Batman, I don’t mind his voice at all. It can be grating to some folks but I do not mind. Liam Neeson gave a great performance as Ra’s Ah Goul (Might have spelled that wrong) I think James missed this part, as Ra’s is an important part of the Batman series. The Scarecrow was underwhelming though, he deserved a better story. The supporting cast was good (even Katie Holmes), and the musical score was excellent. The ground was laid for an even better film.
And that’s what The Dark Knight was. Easily the best Batman film ever made, it has it’s problems but it’s an engrossing film. Heath Ledger was great and gave his career defining role (It’s a shame he did no live to see it.) Everything else fit great and made a great film.
February 27, 2013 at 6:33 pm
batman and robin directed by Joel Schumacher = MONKEY SHIT, IT HURTS MY EYES,EARS AND MAKES ME FEEL LIKE SMASHING SHIT! George Clooney !!!
June 10, 2013 at 1:22 am
I left halfway through dark knight to have sex by the dumpsters
June 25, 2013 at 5:11 pm
Director Joel Schumacher first realized that George Clooney would make a good Batman after drawing the famous cowl over Clooney’s face in an advertisement for From Dusk Till Dawn, this was unbeknown to film critic Roger Ebert, who wrote in his negative review of this film and then later stated on Ebert & Roeper that “It doesn’t matter who plays Batman; I think they cast Batman based on the chin,” referring to what he saw as lack of development of Batman as an interesting character in any of the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher films.
March 11, 2014 at 7:46 pm
Nice job literally copying it from the Batman and Robin trivia page on IMDb. Nice try shit for brains.
September 30, 2013 at 9:39 am
While I can agree on a few points about Batman Begins, I think it surpasses the first Burton film by far; for one thing it sets and maintains its tone very well, and with such a big gap between films I think that going with another origin film was the right call, especially since the origin was handled so well.
I do agree that the Tumbler was a bit of a strange choice, as it didn’t really add anything to the film except for chase sequence with some unnecessarily campy lines from the cops (and probably a lot of dead cops as well judging by all the flipping cars). While the escape sequence was good to have, they could have done it just as easily with another vehicle.
Regarding the disappointing inclusion of the Scarecrow; while I do think Scarecrow is a villain that needs a really good film where he’s the main bad-guy, I think he works in Begins, as the twist is that he’s really just a middle man, and a puppet to Raisch al Ghul, which I think was a great twist for the film. Raisch makes a great villain, though the change in pronunciation was a pointless change, and it ties the whole thing together as the plots do all combine into a cohesive whole.
That’s not to say there aren’t plot holes, there are in fact a few major ones, and Alfred’s casual acceptance annoyed me too. But as a Batman film it sets a well crafted, serious tone. I’m not saying it couldn’t have been better, but all of the elements work, and work well. There are maybe a few too many transparent nods to the material (i.e – the bat signal, though I did find that one amusing) that could have been stripped out. His whole romance element with Rachel felt a bit vestigial, like it has to have romance to be a movie or something, though that can be overlooked purely because it sets up the whole “what you do” line towards the end.
Overall Batman Begins is definitely the best film adaptation yet, but there is still a lot of potential left unexplored. I actually thought that Jim Carrey was a good fit for the Riddler in Batman: Forever, but the storyline and dialogue were horrific, a new film with a well-written Riddler would be great to see.
Oh, and as for the best Joker; Mark Hamill by far, absolutely no competition.
October 9, 2013 at 7:17 pm
lol and now theyre doing a superman vs batman
November 10, 2013 at 12:01 pm
Personally, I actually love the Schumacher Batman films. I love the bright colors, the humor, the actors, etc. I actually am one who finds Batman and Robin to be a great film. I have watched the film enough times and read the novelization of the story as well. I have also debunked the common reasons for why people hate it. For example: Mr. Freeze. People always bitch about him being all about ice puns and nothing else. 1: I have listened to all of his dialogue in the movie and found he actually speaks rather intelligently, and rather similar to the Mr. Freeze from the Animated Series. 2: MR.FREEZE ALWAYS TALKS ABOUT ICE IN PRETTY MUCH ALL OF HIS ITERATIONS. It’s his main thing. Hell, the man is supposed to be insane. Why wouldn’t he be babbling crazy shit? Also, I like the route they went with for Robin in the movie as well. It shows he’s wanting to become his own superhero, and if they had made Batman Triumphant, I guarantee you it would have Robin becoming Nightwing, Which they were hinting at in both Schumacher films. The movie also has some scenes that take time to be quiet moments for adding character development. I really don’t buy that it was entirely meant to be a comedy. I legitimately love the movie, no joke.
November 15, 2013 at 7:40 am
Nolan wanted to make a more realistic film, about a vigilantly that fights crime by striking fear into the hearts of his enemies.
February 21, 2014 at 8:14 am
I’m glad I’m not the only one here that thinks Batman Begins was overrated… Thanks for the video!
March 11, 2014 at 7:44 pm
Haha. “There was also Batman vs. Superman but they pulled the plug on that as well! Who woulda thought that would be successful? Two of the most loved superheroes in one movie? What a bad idea.” Oh James from 6 years ago, so naive.
August 27, 2015 at 12:13 am
I am a huge Batman fan and I have all of the Arkham games. Arkham Knight is my favorite.
Batman 1966: 4
Batman (1989): 5 (I love the Danny Elfman Soundtrack)
Batman Returns: 5
Batman Forever: 3.5
Batman & Robin: 2.5 (I thought it was an ok movie)
Batman Begins: 4
The Dark Knight: 5
Dark Knight Rises: 5
I can’t wait for Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman
December 7, 2015 at 11:21 pm
I’m really surprised you didn’t touch on BTAS and Mask of the Phantasm at all in this series. I guess they’re not live action, but they’re still incredibly well done.
March 23, 2016 at 10:25 am
Bruce Wayne’s ninja training reminded me of Sub Zero training for the Lin Kieu
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