Saturday, June 25, 2005

Batman Begins: The Antidote

We saw Batman Begins last Saturday, thus completing our mini-Christopher Nolan festival (we watched Memento Friday night--amazing movie that will twist your brain in ways you thought it couldn't go).

Batman Begins was, in a word, terrific. It wasn't perfect--the film editor in me wanted to cut the parts where characters shout exposition at each other, however necessary it was to get the information across. But it felt real to me in a way that no other movie of its genre ever has.

Aw, heck, I suck at writing reviews, at transforming my gut reactions into words more eloquent than, "Whoa, cool." So read Film Freak Central's review to see what I thought of it.

On a more personal level, Batman Begins was the Batman movie I always wanted to see. Scratch that--it was the Batman movie I needed to see ever since Joel Schumacher's soul-annihilatingly awful Batman & Robin, which was the single most painful moviegoing experience of my life.

Chris O'Donnell surfing down through the atmosphere, Arnold Schwarzenegger saying, "You're not sending ME to the COOLER!", the pointless, celluloid-munching romance between George Clooney and whatever vapid model was trying to make the leap to acting that year--these memories used to throw me into bouts of hyperventilating apoplexy, the kind that you normally only see in survivors of wars or natural disasters.

But now I can look back and smile, knowing that the franchise is now safe in the hands of a man who understands Batman enough to know that he would never put nipples on his armor.

P.S.: Cillian Murphy as Dr. Crane/Scarecrow: was there ever a more adorable, huggable, stuff-in-a-bag-and-take-home-able villain? I think not. Those eyes, those cheekbones, that verging-on-heroin-chic fair skin...I'm done fer.

P.S.S.: On a related note, I refuse to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. After the extensive makeup work Johnny Depp underwent for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Pirates of the Caribbean, covering every bit of his natural sex appeal, I thought my attraction to him was as impervious as Kevlar.

NOT. SO. The trailer to Charlie alone was a serious threat. Depp freaked me out every time he opened his mouth. Shudder. I may need to watch Chocolat again to rekindle the swoon.

Because Batman Begins proves that there's an antidote for everything.


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Jeri Smith-Ready is a Maryland author of books for teens and adults.

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