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on 3 October 2011
Christopher Nolan sows the seeds of Batman & watches it grow in a reboot that set the standard of all reboots we've seen in recent years.

We're introduced to Bruce Wayne as a young boy who for reasons that soon become obvious is terrified of bats. After witnessing his parents coldly murdered in a back alley, we see a disillusioned Bruce travelling the world, getting caught up in the world of criminality, until a mysterious mentor guides him to a mountain lair where he will be trained to fight by the 'League of Shadows', a secret ninja organisation hell-bent on destroying criminals & the cities who sire them. Thankfully, Bruce is not quite so genocidal in his ways in refusing the latter & returns to Gotham to fight crime, where he learns Wayne Enterprises is now a global conglomerate, with a particular department in military technology, including body armour, a terrain vehicle & several gadgets in tow.

Hence, Batman's origins are explained in full, the anguish, the pain, the fighting skills, the suit, the batmobile & the grapple gun. It takes about an hour for Batman to finally appear but this back story is an enthralling watch & builds up to one of the movie's most rewarding moments where Christopher Nolan got it right where so many TV & movie directors have got it wrong - finally the criminals are afraid of Batman, terrified in fact as they know something is there but they don't know what (What is more terrifying than that?) But Batman's enemies are inventive intelligent characters and it's not long before Bruce's past catches up with him.

Visually, this film is a stunning watch, Gotham city disturbingly portrayed as a city of darkness, decadence & decay with a criminal underworld controlling everything. The batsuit looks terrific, no longer with a big yellow bat symbol across its chest (or nipples either for that matter) while the batmobile is one of the most memorable vehicles in movie history & its chase scene is a cracker. Bale portrays a tortured Wayne with conviction with an excellent supporting cast in Michael Caine as Alfred with a subtle humour, Tom Wilkinson as a Crime Boss, Cillian Murphy as the cool yet demonic Scarecrow, Liam Neeson as Bruce's mentor (is there any role Neeson can't play?), Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon & Morgan Freeman as the gadget-letting Lucius Fox and Katie Holmes.....well, we'll forgive her this time.

This is a superb telling of the origins of the Batman character, full of brooding tension, a very apt musical score and an exciting finale. That reboots of the James Bond, Predator & Star Trek franchises followed in the aftermath of this film is a testament to how effective it is as an origin story.

The special features disc is also worth a watch (particularly as the DVD menu is controlled by navigating a virtual comic!) and contains plenty of interviews with cast & crew (Nolan's vision in creating this movie is of particular interest) and intriguing documentaries on the suit & batmobile amongst others. The packaging for this particular version could be considered to be for the die-hard fans only, but it has an undeniably cool holographic cover where Batman emerges from a colony of bats and also includes a 72 page comic book with some classic Batman stories including a re-print of the first ever Batman strip from 1939.

Considering the franchise was buried by Joel Schumacher's 'Batman & Robin' debacle, this shines as a truly excellent movie, with memorable packaging and well worth the inflated price over the single 1 disc edition.

Welcome back Batman.
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on 7 August 2007
Ok, first of all you need to realise that this isn't a sequel to the previous 4 Batman films, nor is it a prequel to them.

This film sees director Christopher Nolan, take the dark knight back to his roots, to tell the story from the beginning - HIS way.
First of all the HD transfer of this film is breathtaking, the already stunning cinematography is enriched with the HD visuals and great sound to accompany it.

The story really does live up to it's name, where Batman 'begins'. He shows him briefly as a child, but mainly in his later years, prior to donning the cape for the first time. What makes him want to do what he does, how does he do it? who designs his costume?

This film feels more realistic than the other incarnations, and the audience sees more of Batman/Bruce Wayne behind the scenes to be able to empathise with his character.

A great cast supports the fantastic Christian Bale as Batman. Michael Caine as Alfred the butler is an inspired choice. Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, Katie Holmes as Bruce Wayne's childhood friend, Rachel. Cillian Murphy as the scarecrow and plenty more.

All in all a fantastic film, which in my opinion is the best of all that were made. I will always have a place in my heart for Tim Burton's 2 Batman films, but Nolan's has overshadowed them in all areas.
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on 30 June 2013
If you are a huge fan of the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight Trilogy like me then this is an easy buy as it is the first time in the UK that we have received single film editions of all 3 of the films. Batman Begins the start of the extraordinary trilogy that spread across 7 years is an extremely well written and directed film it fully restored Batman to his Dark, gritty comic book counterpart but also added a realistic type world twist making this film very unique. The locations, costumes, props etc. are all amazing in this film the bat suit in Batman Begins has become my favourite bat suit of all time. The performances from Christian Bale, Katie Holmes, Liam Neeson, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Cillian Murphy and Ken Watanabe are superb and really enhances the movie's overall look and feel as a Batman film. The steelbook is a very welcome edition to any steelbook collectors, collection. The artwork on the steelbook is stunning with a nice matte finish and really nice gold, orange tinted shine that really highlights the incredible image on the front and back of the steelbook, there is also inside artwork which also matches the stunning artwork on the back and front of the steelbook. Overall the Batman Begins blu-ray steelbook is a very nice steelbook for collectors and it would a very welcome edition to any blu-ray collection if you have a blu-ray player but do not own the film and you wish to own the film this is a great way to own it as the disc is exactly the same as the standard blu-ray edition and for a little extra money you can have this extraordinary limited edition steelbook
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on 24 August 2007
This story of batman is just flat-out brilliant. Whereas the other movies have dealt with the moral issues only casually, some of them more resembling a rollercoaster ride in a theme park for children, this movie tackles it head-on, and provides, on top of that, action and romance - it keeps you interested on a number of levels. In my opinion, it is THE defining superhero movie, because it deals with these deeper issues of the soul in a way that makes them more 'visible' and inspiring. For this to be the least bit believable the actors have to be in tune with these things themselves, and I will say that, in my opinion, they do not fall short, but support the very essence of the characters they 'fill out'.

Christian Bale is the first actor to realistically portray Batman. The other Batman films have failed to some extent, but this movie comes so close that it is difficult to find other words than 'spot on the head of the nail'. But all the performances are above par, outstanding all round.

I am tremendously grateful for this movie, I find myself seeing it from time to time again. What a movie. Any comic-book fan or action film-lover should have this film, for any number of reasons.

This movie even seems to transcend the comic books themselves, I don't know, perhaps this is a little too much. But it is a truly amazing film.

In conclusion: Get it.


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on 22 September 2005
Only when you've entirely removed the concept that this is continuing on from the Burton (good)/ Schumacher (bad) series, then you will trully appreciate Batman Begins in it's own merit.
As the title suggests, it states the origins of the dark knight.
Here we have a young, bitter Bruce Wayne (Bale) overwhelmed by his impotent rage (from the death of his parents- but you knew that already), brawling in some unnamed prison in China being rescued and educated into a sort of ninja vigilante by a man named Henri Ducard (Neeson). From there on out we have a steady progression into the masked spook we all know and love. Along the way he battles the mob and the Scarecrow (Murphy).
The Chicago settings are utilised to the best of their abilities in creating a dark, grimy, overpopulated city (much.. like Chicago) and the music, though somewhat old-hat, is impeccable in acheiving what we expect, the kind of music you can comfortably ignore when watching a film like this.
The cast too is top notch. Bale is by far the most angry of the Batmen, and certainly maintains the intensity you would expect from a methodical viglante dressed like an animal. Keaton may have got across a dark, more worn out mean spirit of the later Wayne but Bale manages to be every bit as fierce as a young angry man could be. Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, and Gary Oldman are strong supporting cast, the latter playing against the usual stereotype of nutcase and instead playing earnest and honest Commisioner Gordon. But it's Cillian Murphy who really stands out as the first non-jokey/camp Batman villian. Murphy is superb in his measured malice, a corrupt psychiatrist whose meddling in crime is made more sinister by his hidden pleasure to psychologically torture people. Even his mask is given a reason for existence rather than the usual resigned 'well he's just mad is all' approach. He wears a sort of potato sack mask over his face to scare mental patients in his experiments. By the end he is less like the ridiculous comic character and more a mix between BF Skinner and Harold Shipman.
Of course this movie is not without it's faults. The weak love story between Bale and the ever annoying Katie Holmes only takes away from the action and is only there to make sure no one thinks ol' Wayne is gay. Secondly the Scarecrow isn't given nearly enough screen time, which in comparasion to the Joker and the Penguin's billing in the first two Batmen seems a little lacking. Third, in it's promise to be darker and edgier it still is 12 rating. This isn't nearly as violent as it could've been or even as edgy as it should've been (by comparasion to Batman Forever or Batman And Robin, though, it's the equivalent to Silence Of The Lambs or Clockwork Orange). And Lastly though they claim to be going for all it's ingeniuety it falls into the stock 'train derailed' climax, like Spiderman2 only less.
Still, it's a solid interpretation that stands alone as intriguing as it is entertaining. Fans of the comics will be more in tune with this gritty vision and the average joe can be pleased with the limited amount of CGI action.
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on 16 July 2008
This 'special' Blu-ray edition Batman Begins [Blu-ray] [2005] - with lenticular panel and postcard inserts - is not the same one that you get from the USA (e.g. Movietyme - region-free) as it lacks the multipage comics that appear in the US version. Slightly disappointing - but much cheaper than Movietyme price.

However, both the video transfer and TrueHD audio are impressive. A worthwhile addition to my collection. Can't wait to get my hands on a Blu-ray copy of 'The Dark Knight'!
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After the increasingly silly Batman films of the Tim Burton era, the franchise was in band need of a reboot and a fresh vision. And in Chris Nolan's fine film it got just the boot it needed.

Christian Bale is on fine form as the rich kid whose life undergoes a radical upheaval when his parents are murdered. Unable to cope he embarks on a journey of self destruction in foreign lands, fighting for the underdog and lost causes. Eventually he finds meaning in life, and the training to do what he needs to do and he sets off back to Gotham with vengeance in his heart s he transforms into Batman, the dark knight that will protect his city. What follows is a well drawn tale as he revenges himself on those who killed his parents, then has to protect the city from an even greater threat, whilst all the time having to deal with his own conflicting nature and the morality of what he does.

Played with just the right amount of darkness, complexity and occasional humour, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this film. It strikes all the right notes, and is filled with some great actors (especially Liam Neeson as Batman's mentor and Michael Caine as Alfred) who bring every part to life. It was a promising start to the new series. A solid 4 stars.
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on 26 September 2005
Just to note, this is NOT A REMAKE of the first Tim Burton film.
Christopher Nolan creates a whole new film from the comic sources, especially Frank Miller's seminal 'Batman: Year One'. He remains faithful to the character's history whilst developing engaging characters rather than creating a movie around set-pieces. That said, the set-pieces that feature are spectacular, and, like the rest of the movie, grounded in the realism (as much as is possible in a comic-book world). Gotham truly feels like a sprawling, seething city with an impressive monorail system and inner island. The characters play major parts in Bruce Wayne's life and the development of Bruce/Batman as a character is excellent. The movie turns out even better than one could have imagined upon learning that Nolan was going to direct a realistic Batman movie with Christian Bale as the protagonist. It is emotionally and intellectually fulfilling, and supremely enjoyable, something lacking in many films today, let alone comic-book based movies.
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on 13 October 2006
Easily one of the best films I've seen in a long time. The only disappointing area of the film was the "romance" between Christian & Katie. I felt that Katie's acting was only replaceable by a piece of wood! There was no chemistry between the two leads.

Aside from this, Liam Neeson and Christian Bale were fabulous (aside from the fact they're both gorgeous!). The story itself is defined and well paced. It certainly is the grown up Batman. It moves away from the almost comic previous films and Batman becomes a character you cannot help but will to become the man he wants to be.

The action and fight scenes are explosive, fascinating and edge of your seat material. The film itself is dark and I think this adds to your feeling that, had fate taken Bruce Wayne another way, Batman could be a exact opposite of what he actually becomes.

I would definately and already have, recommended this film to my friends. A job well done in my opinion.
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on 5 April 2007
Batman Begins completely reboots the Batman franchise to make it dark, gritty and absolutely breathtaking. It starts from scratch in documenting how billionaire Bruce Wayne (the brooding and rather delectable Christian Bale) became the legendary vigilante Batman, but before you can say "batmobile" Batman is facing adversaries (a creepy Cillian Murphy and Liam Neeson) who wish to destroy Gotham completely. The story is fast paced with a good balance between action and dialogue. It's certainly a film that you can watch repeatedly.

Although Katy Holmes is given little to do as Bruce's life-long friend and Gotham's district attorney, there are few other holes in the script and the acting is astounding, particularly on Bale's part and with comic turns from Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman

This is, without a doubt, one of my all time favourite films. I'm just regretful that I didn't ever get the opportunity to see it on the big screen.
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