It Begins

"It's a black... tank."

Best. Movie. Ever.

Okay so I'm a little biased. I'm a bat-freak through and through, although I didn't dress up in a mask and cape to the midnight show. Maybe if I had one... I went in with high expectations, and I was still blown away. That IMAX screen is effin' huge!

The Good:
- the actors. Christian Bale is the best Batman/Bruce Wayne by far. It's interesting to note that his Wayne persona reminded me a bit of Pactrick Bateman from AMERICAN PSYCHO. Bateman to Batman. All the supporting actors did great - Gary Oldman, finally playing a non-villainous role. Liam Neeson, who should officially retire from mater/mentor roles (but he's damn good at it, isn't he). Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Cilian Murphy, Rutger Hauer, Tom Wilkinson... hell, even Katie Holmes was surprisingly decent. (I've realized recently that she's not very good at acting. I was blinded by her... uh, charm.)

- the story. Nolan took some bits from Frank Miller's "Year One" comicbook, but also added in more details like how Bruce Wayne trained to fight like ninjas, how he lived like a criminal to better understand them, how he got "all those wonderful toys", how he made the batcave, etc etc. Batman's origin is a hundred times more interesting than Superman and Spider-Man. Combined.

- the villains. They complemented the story very well, with the whole "fear" motif Nolan was going with for the movie. They thankfully don't overtake the movie - this is strictly Batman's story. I hated the fact that Burton was more interested in the villains and focused more on them than Batman.

- Gotham. No more gothic buldings in a twisted form of German Expresionism. No more neon from Schumacher's flicks. Now it's a slightyly futuristic metropolitan city. With a ghetto underbelly for the criminals.

- Batman. He's not just some nut in a mask. He's effin' scary. Criminals actually fear him. I love how Nolan shot it like a horror movie, with Batman as the monster and the thugs as the victims. Oh and when people see Batman while they're under Scarecrow's toxin... it's freakin' awesome.

The Bad:
- action scenes. All of the fighting scenes are shot super-close, in choppy edits, so I had no idea what the hell was going on. All I knew was that Batman was kicking ass. Okay I know Nolan is not an action director. And I empathize with the fact that Bale probably couldn't move very swiftly with that suit on. But even in the scenes with Bruce Wayne, the fight scenes are the same. Take for example the scene in the beginning of the movie, when Bruce Wayne fights 7, no, 6 Chinese prisoners. He's the only white guy there, so he stands out pretty well. So what happens? They start fighting in mud. Now I have no idea who's who. People are falling down, but I don't care.

- the love interest. When will they learn that Batman doesn't need a girlfriend? HE'S BATMAN. HE'S A LONER. ALL HE CARES ABOUT IS CATCHING THE BAD GUYS. HE HAS NO TIME FOR GIRLS. The only love interest should be Catwoman, and Burton already did that story with BATMAN RETURNS. So please, no more.

- the music. Actually, I liked the music. But there's no noticeable theme. Batman's theme from the previous movies RULED. Please bring it back.

- Although they got most of the stuff right, we have yet to see Batman as a detective. He's not just a billionaire ninja. He's supposed to have a brilliant mind and is considered (in the comics and the awesome cartoons) to be the world's greatest detective. When can we actually see that come to play in the movies?

The movie ends with an obvious hint at what (or who) the inevitable sequel will be about, and frankly, I can't wait. The actors signed for 3 movies. I don't know if Nolan's gonna come back, but I hope he will. He did a fantastic job. Now he just needs to study some old James Cameron movies and learn how to shoot some action.

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