Batman Begins – A Bite Size Film Review

5 02 2015

Batman Begins (Legendary Pictures - 2005)

Director: Christopher Nolan

Writer: Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer (Batman and characters created by Bob Kane).

Cast: Christian Bale, Katie Holmes, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary OldmanCillian Murphy, with Ken Watanabe and Liam Neeson.

Composer: James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer

Cinematography: Wally Pfister

Studio: Legendary Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, and Syncopy Inc.

Best Line: “It’s Not Who I Am Underneath, But What I Do That Defines Me.”

BB1

After suffering the loss of his parents during his youth; Bruce Wayne dons the cape and mask to become the legendary caped crusader Batman, as he attempts to save Gotham City from the criminal underworld it is built on, as well as those around him. Set in a realistic setting other than a comic book world, Batman Begins is an interesting film as it becomes more of a crime/action film than a Superhero film. The film is beautifully produced. Gotham City looks gives the impression of a dying criminal city with very few things to appreciate in it. The action scenes, particularly the end train chase and mid car chase are spectacularly done and impressive to watch.

BB2

The films cast are a brilliant selection and easily dive into their specified roles and are very believable but also easy to connect with. The emotional devices of Wayne’s love for Rachel, as well as the emotion he feels after his parent’s death and how this changes them can be felt on a high level even if it is more an action film than a drama. The film’s soundtrack is one of its most standout features. A nice mix of emotional pieces and action pieces, particularly the train chase at the end are used to raise tension to great effect. The film’s main theme is the main attraction as it is easily recognisable but also surprisingly catchy. Altogether Batman Begins is an enjoyable film and a definite must see.

GENEPOOL





Is It Possible To Write A Film Review In 100 Words Or Less?

4 02 2015

Save the Cat!: The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need (Michael Wiese Productions - 2005)

A few months ago I had this idea of trying to write a short film review. The idea being to write a short film review that more or less got to the point quickly without analysing the film in detail as I think that my monthly film reviews are more of analyses than reviews. Originally the idea was inspired by the Blake Snyder book; Save the Cat!: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need. Snyder talks about the situation we have all been when we want to go to the cinema but have to decide what we see.

“We’ve all had this experience… It’s Saturday night. You and your friends have decided to see a movie. One of you is picked to read the choices from the newspaper while the others listen and decide.“ – Save The Cat! (2005)

Snyder goes on to describing the situation similar to pitching a movie. Snyder was what is called a Spec Writer who would write a script then attempt to sell it to a big studio. Snyder though points out an important problem which both you as someone who wants to see a film and as a writer faces in a pitch.

But what’s it about? If you can’t answer that question, you know it pretty quickly. If what the movie is about isn’t clear from the poster and the title, what are you going to say to describe it?” – Save The Cat! (2005)

This is where the idea of a 100 word film review spawned. As point of a blog post possibility as well as a Creative Writing exercise. To get a full review within such a strict word count would be hard, but it would restrict me to how much detail I went into. It would basically come down to what happens in the film, who’s in it and is it any good, as well as any additional footnotes regarding who made it, soundtrack and effects. After a few months wavering over this idea I finally sat down to attempt it.

Neo-Tokyo

Originally I was thinking of using the film AKIRA as the first one as I saw it a few months ago for the first time, loved it and is one of the film reviews I want to do the most. When it came to it though, I didn’t want to spoil a bigger post of it later on as I feel a full-blown analysis (of the kind I produce) would be better off as there is a lot I want to cover. So I did a film I have reviewed once before and know pretty well: Batman Begins. When writing it however I discovered a problem, at least a problem for my writing style. The word count of 100 words was not enough. The problem was that despite me trying to get to the point quicker, my style of writing was still a bit too detailed. Even with some cutting I struggled. So I upped the limit, sounds like cheating, but it gave me options. I raised it to 250 words and only kept that to the blocks of text reviewing the film and not the quick references at the top of the review stating who directed it, who’s in it, who composed the music for it, who was the cinematographer and which studio produced it (and the film title also). Also, originally I was going to give it the title ‘100 Word Film Review’ followed by the title. Due to the increased word count I changed it round to ‘250 Word’. In the end however I gave it the title “A Bite Size Film Review” as I thought it was a much better title. While in the end I was not able to produce a review in 100 words; I feel like I have managed to accomplish the original intention however. Thus managing to produce a film review template that allows people a quick source option when wanting a quick guidance on whether or not they want to watch a certain film (that reads like an essay at university level). I now just have the uphill task of doing it for many more films.

Batman Begins Poster

GENEPOOL (The film review in question will be posted up tomorrow).





It’s Not Who I Am Underneath, But What I Do That Defines Me – Batman Begins

27 07 2011

Batman Begins (Warner Bros. - 2005)

Christopher Nolan is back, the ace director who created the mind bending world of Inception and directed the Highly Successful The Dark Knight returns as we travel back in time. You may remember that the first 2 reviews I did were Inception and The Dark Knight well this month it is time to go back in time and see what came before The Dark Knight. I have an interesting story about Batman Begins. It was about a year ago and I was watching Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Straight after that was Batman Begins on ITV. I missed the first 40 minutes and after watching Batman Begins I could clearly see that Batman Begins is better than Lord of the Rings (all 3 Lord of the Rings films).

Batman Begins takes a different look at the Caped Crusader by putting the character in a more realistic world than the world of a Super Hero; it makes the film more like a Crime Thriller than a Super Hero Film. This also adds to the characters with them being realistic and not having any supernatural powers. It is also an origins story explaining how Bruce Wayne went from having his parents killed to becoming the Caped Crusader. The story was written by David S. Goyer with Music provided by Hans Zimmer. The film was the first film to be produced by Legendary Pictures.

Christian Bale stars as Bruce Wayne and his alter ego Batman. He is joined by a marvellous cast which includes Michael Caine as Alfred (Bruce Wayne’s Butler), Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox (The man who supplies Bruce Wayne with all the Technology needed to be Batman), Gary Oldman as Sgt James Gordon (one of only a few uncorrupted police in the city), Liam Neeson as Henri Ducard (the man who trains Bruce Wayne in martial arts and to fight injustice) and Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes (a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne and a Gotham City District Attorney).

The film starts out with a boy called Bruce Wayne who is playing with a friend of his called Rachel Dawes and he falls down a well and is attacked by Bats. Then the narrative changes to an adult Bruce who is in a prison in Bhutan. He is approached by a man called Henri Ducard who invites Bruce to train with an elite group of warriors called The League of Shadows which is run by a man named Ra’s Al Ghul. The narrative returns to Bruce as a child and he goes to the theatre one night with his parents. His parents get shot and die, the man is then captured and Bruce is raised by the Family Butler Alfred. Many years later Bruce returns to Gotham from University to attend the court appearance of the man, who killed his parents, he is to be set free so he can testify against a major crime boss. Bruce intends to kill him but one of crime bosses assistants gets to him first. Rachel discovers what Bruce was going to do and tells Bruce that his father would be ashamed of him. That night Bruce goes to see the Crime Boss named Falcone. Falcone tells Bruce that Bruce would not understand. Bruce then decides to travel the world and get into the mind of a criminal and eventually gets put in prison for stealing from his father’s company.

The Narrative returns to the Present where Bruce is trained by Henri Ducard and once fully trained the truth is revealed. Ra’s Al Ghul wants Bruce Wayne to lead the League of Shadows and destroy Gotham City which Ra’s Al Ghul believes has become so uncorrupted that it must be destroyed. Wayne refuses and destroys the palace of the League of Shadows and saves Ducard’s life in the process. Bruce then decides to return to Gotham City.  

On the journey back to Gotham Bruce learns that he is technically dead because the CEO of Wayne Enterprises wanted to take the company public. Bruce explains to Alfred of his plan to turn himself into a symbol to scare criminals. Bruce discovers a cave underneath Wayne Manor where bats are living and then chooses his image. He visits Wayne Enterprises and discovers a science division and meets a man named Lucius Fox who allows Bruce to use some of the equipment that has been created there. Bruce enlists Gordon’s help in disguise and then begins prepare his equipment; he also gains access to an armoured car.

Batman then stops a Drug Shipment, Captures Falcone and gives Rachel the evidence needed to convict him. Batman also uses Falcone’s body on a big light and uses it as a signal for the police to follow (creating the Bat Signal). Falcone is sent to Arkham Asylum with help from its corrupt administrator Dr. Crane.  Crane has been paying off Falcone to ship a toxic Hallucinogen into the City. When Falcone wants a bigger share Crane uses the Hallucinogen on Falcone making him go Insane. Batman later finds Crane and the toxin is used on Batman. Alfred finds him and takes him home. A few days later Bruce wakes up on the day of his birthday and is given a cure for the toxin by Lucius. Rachel then visits Crane and Crane shows her that he is pouring his toxin into the water supply, he then sprays her some of his toxin. Batman arrives and rescues Rachel and then evades the cops in his Black Armoured Car. He takes Rachel to his cave and injects her with the cure. He then gives her 2 vials of the cure and puts her to sleep, Alfred then takes her home. At his birthday party Bruce finds out from Lucius that the toxin can only be used when it is in a vaporised state, he also finds out that Wayne Enterprises has lost a device which turns water into a vaporised state.

While at the party a woman introduces Bruce to a man named Ra’s Al Ghul. Then he sees Henri Ducard who reveals to Bruce his real Identity as Ra’s Al Ghul. Bruce pretends to be drunk to get his guests to leave. Ra’s then tells Bruce about how the League of shadows has worked for years. They destroy a civilization when it’s reached its pinnacle and becomes a home of corruption, they previously caused the Black Death and set London on Fire. They have previously attacked Gotham before and failed. They have been working with Crane to poison the city with Insanity and are now about to cause the whole city to lose its mind. The League then traps Bruce in Wayne Manor as they set it on fire. Alfred returns and saves Bruce.

The League then release all the convicts from Arkham Asylum causing all the inmates to escape. All the cops in Gotham turn up as well as Gordon and Rachel. They are then trapped on the island as Ra’s Al Ghul turns on a machine designed to vaporise water causing everyone in the area to go mad. Gordon uses one of the Vials of the cure from Rachel and meets Batman. Batman tells him what is going to happen and gives Gordon the Batmobile. Batman then saves Rachel and a small boy and reveals to Rachel his true Identity – “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me”. Batman then fights Ra’s Al Ghul on a train which is heading to Wayne Tower which is also the central hub of the whole water supply in the city. Gordon uses the Batmobile to destroy the train tracks stopping the train from reaching the water supply and Batman leaves Ra’s Al Ghul on the train just before it crashes.

The next day Bruce takes control of Wayne Enterprises and put Lucius in charge as CEO. At the burned down remains of Wayne Manor Rachel meets up with Bruce who says to him that Batman is who Bruce really is. Batman then meets up with Lieutenant Gordon who tells him that they have a long road ahead and also tells Batman of another criminal who leaves a playing card at the scenes of his crimes. Batman says he will look into it and then leaves.

Batman Begins is a Brilliant film with many enjoyable pieces. The new direction created by Nolan and Goyer makes this an incredibly enjoyable film for everyone. The story is well written and the cast play their parts well. Katie Holmes in particular is very good as Rachel Dawes and is a lot better than Maggie Gyllenhaal who plays the role in The Dark Knight.

The Dark Knight is a lot better than Batman Begins but there are some pieces in Batman Begins which should be in The Dark Knight. The fight between Batman and Ra’s Al Ghul is brilliant whereas the Fight between the Joker and Batman could have been better. Also Begins has a lot of appearances from the Batmobile which gets destroyed in The Dark Knight.

Hans Zimmer has created some amazing pieces of music in films in recent years but his work in the Batman Films is probably his best with a brilliant theme for the lead character which is also heard in The Dark Knight, it is truly an iconic piece of Music. Batman Begins is a very enjoyable film and one of the Best Super Hero films around. Nolan and Goyer have made something excellent and it continues with The Dark Knight and the upcoming Dark Knight Rises. Batman Begins is Excellent from start to finish and an extremely enjoyable for everyone.

GENEPOOL





Godzilla News – Super Heroes to Super Lizards

16 07 2011

Godzilla 2012

It has been some time now since the latest news on Legendary Pictures Godzilla Film. Well yesterday I found out that some Bad News and Good News. The Bad News is that the film may not come out in 2012 and may come out in 2013 or 2014. However the film finally has a Writer. David S. Goyer who wrote the Blade Films, Blade The Series, Batman Begins and the upcoming Man of Steel is now moving from Super Heroes to a Super Lizard.

Godzilla (Heisei - Toho Co., Ltd.)

Now I like Batman Begins it is an Amazing Film but I for this film I still want the Proper Godzilla not just another Monster Movie. America has access to all this amazing CGI Graphics but when it comes to their own remakes they have to do it their way and make something completely different. The 1998 (RUBBISH) was not a Godzilla Film. OK Legendary Pictures has previously stated “Our plans are to produce the Godzilla that we, as fans, would want to see. We intend to do justice to those essential elements that have allowed this character to remain as pop culturally relevant for as long as it has.” Thomas Tull, Chairman and CEO of Legendary Pictures (Wikipedia). So for this film we should get a Giant Lizard who is a Giant Force of Nature with an Atomic Death Ray. Now Gareth Edwards is still on board to direct and he is a fan of Godzilla. With these two components David S. Goyer will have to write something based on the Japanese Godzilla.  So we should get a proper Godzilla Film and with David S. Goyer writing the script it should be an Amazing Film.

Godzilla (Toho Co., Ltd. 1954 - Present)

Also 2014 (60th Anniversary of Godzilla) is the planned return of the Japanese Godzilla. So if Legendary Pictures does release their version of Godzilla in 2014 then we could get two Godzilla Films in one Year, FANTASTIC.

GENEPOOL








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