Bust out the violins...

What is all this crap about disappointing box office revenues? Batman did 47/70 million for the weekend/week and it wasn't enough? In one week that's not enough for you guys? Hollywood can blow me.

Batman Begins

Man, I was so convinced this movie was going to blow I really didn't know what hit me. Batman Begins is so freaking good I hope it is the first of many, many more. As a first film for a fresh start there are so many great foundations for the mythos and they all ring true to the character. With so many versions of Batman out there, I thought that was an impossible task.

For a comic book movie, it's phenomenal. For a general, all-around Hollywood flic, it's still pretty good. There's still alot of things it appears filmmakers of today can't escape from in an action blockbuster, such as:

1. Damsel in distress
2. Close-up, super-quick, rapid editing fight scenes
3. car chase
4. Secondary character gets a shot from the mainline
5. Villain is not the villain

I wasn't sure if they were going to be able to capture what it meant to be Ra's Al Gul but they really nailed it. Right down to Ra's wanting Wayne to be his eventual successor (and even hints of his immortality).

I am a long time Christain Bale fan so it was no surprise to me that he pulled it off.

Michael Caine's Alfed was fantastic. For once Alfred is not a throw away character and is played as the integral character to the story that he is.

Liam Neeson, I could listen to him talk for days. He's pretty much got the mentor thing down pat.

Gary Oldman was really great to watch as Gordon, I never understood the previous casting of the Burton versions. I don't know why they had that whole section with the Batmobile. Well I mean I know why in a Hollywood sense, I just wish they'd have found another way around it.

Katie Holmes is pretty to look at, sure, tho she actually held up better than I thought. It's a long way from Dawson's Creek.

Morgan Freeman is good in everything.

Cillian Murphy, he worked okay I guess. The Scarecrow was played about as well as he is in the comics, really just a foil for bigger things. I thought he was the focus of the film as the villain, but he's clearly just a convenient plot device. It could have been a disaster, but not bad at all.

Overall it's a really good Batman story that for once didn't try to insult my intelligence-- too much. Nolan and Goyer really came through. I hate to boil down the responsibility of a movie to two guys, but those are the names attached to this incarnation along with the cast. Luckily for most of us the machine they oversaw is working.


American Splendor Revisited

I caught this on cable today and was greatly enamored with it the second time around. I enjoyed it alot the first time, but I guess I was just caught up with the story and overly intrigued with the life history of comic book seminal Harvey Pekar and his fellow luminaries. On the second viewing it's hard to ignore the beautiful camera work and lighting, with great shots and settings that linger enough for the eye to take in. Far too common in modern films the camera cuts are by the second, denying any allowance to appreciate the scene. American Splendor is full of picture perfect composition wrapped around Paul Giamatti's engrossing portrayal of Pekar, albeit the portrayal exaggerated for film. The film between the film which features Pekar himself and his real-life counterparts is an interesting deconstruction of the documentary/biopic formula. Outside of the interest it would hold for those who enjoy or work in comics, it's a great movie that finds drama in the banal, just like the comics it celebrates.