#110: Batman Begins (2005)

When and how did I watch this?

August 16th, 2016, on a friend’s PLEX account.

Had I seen this film already?

Yep.

What did I know about the movie before watching it?

Once again, this film was vague in my memory.  I’ve seen all of the Batman films since ’89 to this point, with the most recent one being an exception, and this one is the foggiest.

What do I know about it now?

Wow.  The action, suspense, thrills, economized pace, and memorable characters make this one of the liveliest on the list. Bale’s Batman still leans into the husky-voiced pretty boy turned complicated figure motif, but he still delivers the best version of the Caped Crusader since Keaton donned the batsuit.  Nolan’s version of the protagonist is vastly more complicated than any previous caricatures, likely borrowing heavily from the comics, spending more time on Bruce Wayne’s history, his attachment to his father, and his greatest fears. Gotham is thrust into utter chaos, as usual, but to a scale that makes you feel uneasy.  Scarecrow is a terrifying figure, not easily forgotten. Everything is working here.  Of course, true to pretty much all Nolan films, the cinematography and sound are stunning.

What are some themes in the film?

Wealth and class, revenge, terror, government vs. martial law

Did this affect me personally?

Yes.  Alfred (Caine) delivers some moving lines while addressing Bruce/Batman.

Why is this ranked #111?

Nolan’s Batman films are all on this list.  Batman Begins is the weakest, which isn’t saying a lot.

Did my wife watch/like it?

Initially turned off to it, having seen the much more perilous Dark Knight, she grew to like it as the film progressed.

Would I watch it again?

Yes.  There’s a lot going on here, and I’m sure I would see something new every time.

Would I recommend it to a friend?

Once again, most of my friends have likely seen this, but a rewatch is always in order.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

Indeed; the whole Nolan trilogy does.  Batman Begins serves, as the title suggests, as the beginning of a brilliant sequence, not unlike a novel featuring the necessary peaks and valleys, complicated heroes and villains, and the ever challenging quest to pin down morality and justice, both to the individual and as a society.

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