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





Top 10 Most Exciting Films in 2014

22 01 2014

Film Reel 2014

You may remember that last year when writing this post for last years films, I stated (more like implied) that 2013 was going to be rubbish compared to 2014. Well, since then the world has sort of changed a bit. Jurassic Park 4 (Jurassic World) has been pushed back to 2015, but at least it looks like it is finally going to happen at long last and Seventh Son which was due for release last year has now been pushed back to 2015 despite the fact that the trailer has already been released (which means the film is probably finished). When looking at the films due for release this year, I came to the point of realisation that there is only about 10 in total which look exciting (at least to me). While there is the upcoming Divergent which may apply to my interest, I don’t know much about it other than it being based on a book, which I got a mini supplement of when I went to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which I still have to read (the supplement not The Hunger Games: Catching Fire). I am also not planning on watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier or the next Amazing Spider-man film either. Even the bottom two at the time of compiling the list, I was unsure about, however the top 8 films look promising. So while the selection of films due for release is relatively short, the quality of the top lot, looks fantastic and so this could be one of those few years where quality takes over quantity.

Muppets Most Wanted (Walt Disney Pictures - 2014)

10. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Muppets Most Wanted – These are the bottom two films I mentioned in the above paragraph. They share this spot due to me being very unsure about them. Firstly, The Muppets. This is the sequel to The Muppets from 2012. Quite a good film all in all and very enjoyable and so when the sequel was announced I was already excited. This all changed though when I found out who was in the film; Ricky Gervais. The problem I have with him being in this film in particular is that I don’t think he can act all that well. My opinion on him being in it has lowered my expectations for the film overall. I did though see a trailer for the film a few weeks ago, and his position in the film is more clear, however, I am still very unsure.

TMNT (Imagi Animation Studios - 2007)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles though sounded promising. My hope was that it was going to be like TMNT back in 2007. Brilliant piece of Animation and a generally fun film. I had hopes of this happening again, then I found on-set pictures; its live action. This has me in a nervous position. Either it could be, and probably will be CGI creatures, which would be a good thing, or if they are suits, it could be a bad thing. My opinion is still split, but who knows, it might work, or it might be the silliest film of the year, but on the bright side of all this, Michael Bay is producing it, and he did do a Great Job with Transformers.

Edge Of Tomorrow (Village Roadshow Pictures - 2014)

9. Edge of Tomorrow – Another film I am also not so sure about, but at the moment appears to have more legs than the above two films. I don’t know much about this other than from what I have read and saw in the trailer. The film stars Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt and is based on the Japanese Novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka and appears to be set in the not too distant future where Man appears to be at war with some alien race known as Mimics. However, Mr. Cruise is constantly caught in a time loop and keeps returning to battle all the while dying. From my first impressions, it does sound silly, but after watching the trailer, it brought me to think about Battle Los Angeles, and in particular the trailer for it. It got my interest just enough, to be excited about it. While I still don’t know all that much about the film, it does show a little promise, and who knows, it may be a great film after all.

Transcendence (Alcon Entertainment - 2014)

8. Transcendence – The directorial debut of Christopher Nolan‘s long time Cinematographer; Wally Pfister. Not much is yet known about this film other than a basic plot line. Basically Johnny Depp is an Artificial Intelligence researcher who is targeted by technology terrorists but this pushes him in his research, which as he continues makes him want to be a part of it. Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara and Morgan Freeman will also be staring and Christopher Nolan will be producing the film. Pfister is a great Cinematographer, as shown with his work alongside Nolan, but what is he going to be like as a Director. Well, it is more than likely that Nolan will be helping him along the way. Transcendence does look promising on all counts, but it is still a mystery and only time will tell if Pfister will be any good as a Director (especially seeing as I am getting the feeling that this is a sort of Black Sheep of all the films being released this year).

Interstellar (Syncopy - 2014)

7. Interstellar – Christopher Nolan returns with a brand new film starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway. Details of the film are being kept under wraps. The basic plot revolves around the opening of a wormhole allowing the human race to travel large distances and explore space. Sounds like a good version of Star Trek. While Details are currently sketchy, the simple fact that Nolan is Directing a new film is enough to get me excited.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (20th Century Fox - 2014)

6. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – After the success of the wonderful Rise of the Planet of the Apes back in 2011, it is nice to see that they are going ahead with this series, and that it has nothing in common with the Tim Burton Planet of the Apes about 13 years ago. Andy Serkis returns as the role of Caesar with a whole new male cast including Gary Oldman and Keri Russell and new Director in the form of Matt Reeves. Eight years have passed by since a deadly virus emerged and Caesar and his race of genetically altered Apes have reached a truce with a band of human survivors, however war is on the horizon to determine the new dominant species. With a great first film in a potentially new series, this film shows a lot of hope, and while it is very different to most of the films being released in 2014, that doesn’t mean it is an outsider in any shape or form, it actually has great potential in becoming one of the hit films of 2014.

Transformers: Age of Extinction (Paramount Pictures - 2014)

5. Transformers: Age of Extinction – I am a big fan of the Transformers series. Since watching the first one in 2007, I have been a loyal fan of the series. While I do prefer Megan Fox’s character over that of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s, to me, the main part of these films are the machines themselves. This time around though, it is a brand new cast (except for Peter Cullen of course), but thankfully not a reboot. It is Mark Wahlberg who takes the centre stage this time around with Michael Bay returning to direct. Not much is known about the plot so far and there is yet to be a trailer, but the title sounds interesting.

X-Men: Days of Future Past (20th Century Fox - 2014)

4. X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Sequel to one of the best Marvel films to date. X-Men Days of Future Past brings together the cast of X-Men: First Class with that of the original X-Men Trilogy plus some new characters to the film series including Bishop (but sadly no sign of Gambit). The film appears to take the point of view in three dimensions, that of the original trilogy, the future and the past. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender return alongside their older counterparts, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen for the parts of Professor X and Magneto. Hugh Jackman and Ellen Page return as Wolverine and Kitty Pryde (sadly Anna Paquin‘s scene has apparently been cut) along with Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique. This time The X-Men are facing potential extinction from the human race and must travel back in time to prevent the future from happening. The cast is great and it deals with one of the best known stories in comic books. Days of Future Past, looks to be the best Comic Book film of the year, I am really excited about this one.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (Book)

3. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 – The series continues as Katniss Everdeen played by the terrific Jennifer Lawrence returns as the unlikely symbol of the suppressed regions of Panem and lead them into battle in the hope of bringing down the Capitol. Alongside Jennifer Lawrence, series regulars Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson return alongside the Legendary Donald Sutherland as well as new cast members including Julianne Moore. While I don’t like the idea of two films being made for the final book for the basis of money, I do like the fact that it is going to be in two parts……….because it prolongs the series. I have yet to read the third book, but the films and books are working in tandem quite well producing a great experience and from what the series has produced so far, I can’t wait for more.

The Host (ShowBox - 2006)

2. The Host 2 – Here we are again. Talk of a sequel to the magnificent 2006 South Korean Monster Movie directed by Bong Joon-ho; The Host (or Gwoemul as it is sometimes known) have been going round since 2007. It is very hard to find information on the sequel, mostly due to a film released in 2013 under the same name but shares no similarities with the far better South Korean film. But on the odd occasion where I am able to find information on the film, the release date for it points to this year. So with some hope, we should finally see the sequel/prequel to one of the best films of the last decade. It is likely of course to be released in South Korea first of course, but with hope there should at least a limited release due to the film’s popularity overseas. While I can’t provide definite information other than the plan for the film to actually happen, I really do hope this film comes out sooner rather than later. If you have not seen the first film, I recommend you do.

Godzilla 2014 (Legendary Pictures - 2014)

1. Godzilla – After long last, the Legendary Pictures Godzilla film is finally going to be released this year. After about 4 years of waiting, when the announcement came that Legendary had been given permission to do it, Godzilla is set to return to the big screen. This film (thankfully) has no relation to the 1998 film and is related to that of the original Japanese Monster. So far details of the plot have yet to be announced but it is stated that Godzilla will be fighting two other monsters and that the Big Lizard himself will look like the original Toho Monster. Just a couple of months ago, the first trailer was released, and it looks Fantastic, only a silhouette of Godzilla can be spotted in it, but it looks like he should. Along side the King of the Monsters, the film stars Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe and apparently a cameo appearance from Akira Takarada (who appeared in the original film Sixty years ago). Providing that Gareth Edwards brings the film together, Godzilla will no longer have his name tarnished by a film in the late 1990’s, and possibly, a great film to celebrate his 60th Anniversary. 2014 is the year of The King of the Monsters.

GENEPOOL





Money Does Grow On Trees

5 06 2012

It is a widely known concept that money does not grow on trees, but I have found evidence that it does, well actually it doesn’t. I am referring to a series of Adverts by Barclays from a few years ago starring two Great actors; Gary Oldman and Donald Sutherland. After recently seeing The Hunger Games, the film reminded me of these adverts (because Donald Sutherland was in the film and the adverts).

The adverts are cleverly made and appear to have their own story. Oldman and Sutherland appear to be on a road trip and Sutherland tells the story of a man he knew who could grow a money tree, while Oldman questions this story but then Sutherland finishes off with a piece of Wisdom, almost like a punch line.

Each Advert has its own individual story, the first talks about the man being able to grow them in the first place. The second talks about the man using specialist help to grow his trees and boost the crop. The third and final advert talks about using special tools to look after the trees. Barclays use these stories to explain how their business works…………………….so they can grow money trees. That could explain why the adverts don’t tell you where to get the seeds.

These adverts are really good to watch over and over again thanks to them being on YouTube. The Adverts have a nice story and some interesting wisdom (and Donald Sutherland’s Amazing Voice). These adverts have inspired me recently, I have been inspired to do a rather special post with the same ideas but no money (and sadly No Donald Sutherland, I will try to post it this month). It has also inspired me for storylines for Matt’s new animated series Papercuts (if he lets me write for it). Who knew that Adverts could be enjoyable and inspiring at the same time.

GENEPOOL (It may look odd writing about an advert but these are very Good adverts)





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








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