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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Batman back to his roots...and all the better for it.
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...
Published on 7 Aug 2007 by Mr. A. J. Knight

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some commentary
Firstly, I've never paid any attention to the different sides of Batman, especially the dark one. I've always been more interested in the story of the character, how he grew-up and what how he feels. It's a good film with an excellent actor and a new style for the Batman series. The best part of the film for me is his training, which takes place in the...
Published on 4 Nov 2005 by toof_pf

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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Batman back to his roots...and all the better for it., 7 Aug 2007
This review is from: Batman Begins [HD DVD] (HD DVD)
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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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply outstanding - THE superhero movie of the decade, 24 Aug 2007
This review is from: Batman Begins [HD DVD] (HD DVD)
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sinister and surprising, 28 Mar 2007
will_de_beest (South Oxfordshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Batman Begins - 1 Disc Edition [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Endure the tedious ninja stuff in the first half-hour (the same as every other oriental martial arts movie you've ever seen) and you have a well-plotted and beautifully visualized thriller that makes a good case for its dark view of Bruce Wayne's psychological motives. Although you can probably predict the arc of the plot, there are still some subtleties and surprises, especially among the villains, that kept me interested.

Worth a special mention is the gradual emergence of the bat imagery, which came across as mere whimsy in Batman's TV days. Here it is allowed to make sense, and the aerial shot of the fully-caped Batman scanning Gotham from the pinnacle of a skyscraper is one to send cold shocks down the spine - I only wish I'd seen it on a cinema screen.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly how the fans wanted, 26 Sep 2005
J. Purse "joe-tele" (Gloucester, UK) - See all my reviews
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The fantastic beginning to a masterpiece of a trilogy, 30 Sep 2013
Laura Hartley (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Batman Begins, unsurprisingly, is the first film in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, now known as The Dark Knight trilogy. The story begins with a young Bruce Wayne who witnesses his parents deaths' at the hands of a desperate beggar, out to steal his father's wallet. After this tragedy, Bruce has never been the same. Many years later, Joe Chill, the man who murdered his parents, is granted parole in exchange for testifying against Gotham's most feared criminal: Falcone. Bruce goes to the trial with the intention of finished Joe Chill off himself; however, one of Falcone's men gets there first. Still full of angry thoughts and determined to find out more about the criminal underworld, Bruce goes travelling. He gets into a bit of trouble on his travels and ends up in a prison in Bhutan but he is soon rescued by Henri, a member of the League of Shadows lead by Ra's al Ghul, who offers to train him to overcome his fears and become as stealthy as a ninja. After completing his training, Bruce finds out that the true intention of Ra's al Ghul is to destory Gotham City, so he leaves the League of Shadows and returns to Gotham to help fight crime and protect the city. Thus, Batman is born.

Batman Begins is almost 10 years old now, it was released in 2005, and when watching most films from that time period now, you can tell that they're slightly dated from either the different fashions, slightly dodgy CGI or lesser quality graphics, but this wasn't the case at all with Batman Begins. I firmly believe that this film is, and will forever be, timeless. I was really impressed by the action sequences, the high speed chases, the quality of the costumes - everything. All of these things get better as technology progresses but this film must've been way ahead of it's time when it was released because all of those things still managed to impress me nearly 10 years on. Gotham City is, of course, fake and so is the Bat Cave, but from watching this film you wouldn't know it. There actually aren't too many CGI effects in this film as the director, Nolan, preferred 'traditional stuntwork'. How everything looked so darn real is beyond me. There wasn't a single moment in this film when I thought to myelf that something was unrealistic because I believed that what I was watching was reality (yes, it was that good).

The plot had me gripped the entire way through the film. I was watching this on my TV at home and I kept trying to multitask and complete a crossword or play a game on my iPhone but after mere seconds of distraction my eyes were glued right back on the screen. This film is almost two and half hours long, but it held my attention for pretty much every second. The plot is fast paced with the story developing all the time. This is an amazing start to a trilogy because it gets right into the action without sacrificing any of the much needed background explanation, thereby setting a concrete foundation for the subsequent two films and making this a very interesting film in its own right. One thing that bothered me about the plot was that I felt it was quite similar to that of The Dark Knight Rises in some ways (yes, I watched the last film before the first film), though I guess that would be classified as a fault of the latter and not Batman Begins.

The cast is absolutely brilliant with a vast array of talented actors. Christian Bale is a phenomenal actor with the ability to play a wide range of different personas. Bale can do happy, sad, angry, vengeful, surprised, determined, scary, playboy - you name it, he can do it. I honestly cannot think of anyone better for the role of Batman than Christian Bale as he gives a superb performance both Batman and Bruce Wayne. I never doubted Batman for a second, despite the fact that he's dressed up as a bat, has a raspy voice and a drives a Batmobile. Batman is a character that borders on the ridiculous but with Bale's solid performance there's no doubt that Batman means serious sh*t. Alongside Bale, there's Gary Oldman, Liam Neesom, Katie Holmes, Michael Caine, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson and Morgan Freeman. You just can't go wrong with this cast. If any one of the above people had been replaced with someone else, this film just wouldn't have been the same. Each and every one of these actors has such a unique presence on screen and together they are simply fantastic.

Something to note is that this film was genuinely rather frightening at some points so I probably wouldn't recommend that anyone under the age of about 12 years old watch it. Despite the fact the fact that Batman Begins is a very serious story, there are still elements of humour dotted throughout which are much needed considering how dark this tale is. It's by no means a funny film but there's just the right amount of darkness and humour to stop you from slipping into a dark pit of despair whilst watching.

In addition, the soundtrack is brilliant. The soundtrack is something that I only ever pick up on in the very best of films and I have to say that the score for Batman Begins really did the film justice. The action, the drama, the darkness, is all supported by this fantastic array of sounds and without the soundtrack I definitely wouldn't have found as dramatic or entertaining. It's amazing how much a soundtrack can add to a film but hats off to Hans Zimmer, the composer, for this dark, musical masterpiece.

All in all, Batman Begins is a fantastic film with a gripping plot, a vast array of talented actors, great action sequences, lots of mystery and intrigue and a good soundtrack. I would highly recommend this film and the rest of the series as each and every film in the The Dark Knight trilogy is a masterpiece.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A whole new beginning, 22 Sep 2005
By A Customer
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing film and an amazing steelbook, 30 Jun 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Batman Begins......Triumphantly, 3 Oct 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good video transfer - but not the extras you get in USA, 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me., 2 July 2013
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
Bruce Wayne is constantly tortured by his childhood memories when he witnessed his parents being murdered. Taken under the wing of The League Of Shadows, a deadly ninja assassin army devoted to erasing crime with their own brand of harsh justice. After completing training, Wayne refuses to join them on account of not agreeing with their methods, he returns to Gotham City to reek his own one man war against crime.

Director Christopher Nolan literally goes back to Batman origins to not just give the dead franchise a kiss of life, but actually to spark it into a sort of triumphant homecoming. Gone is all forms of camp veneer so evident in Joel Schumacher's offerings, and in place we have a darkly rich picture intent on fleshing out Batman's motives, and crucially, his fractured persona.

One of the most pleasing things to me was that Nolan paced this picture to perfection, the build up of character, and then birth of the Bat, dominates for practically the first hour of the piece. This gives Batman Begins some crucial heart, it really helps us to focus on this weird super-hero now that we have some meat on his bones. We then follow Wayne from a Chinese prison to The League Of Shadows monastery, watching his transformation from brawling man of anger into a controlled fighting machine. A machine that still roams with a revenge laden heart.

Then its to Gotham City where he then births Batman and all bad guys are on his agenda. Mob boss Falcone, the mysterious Scarecrow, and also a face from his past that rears its surprising head. Wayne is driven by powerful motives, and it's here in the second part of the film that Batman Begins rewards those who indulged in the character build up. In come the stunts and outrageous sequences, all played out in Nolan's desperately dank Gotham City (a far cry from Tim Burton's dark Oz like scapes). This Gotham is pot boiling to disaster and is crying out for the Bat to sweep all before it, and thankfully Nolan and his cast fulfil all the early promise to deliver a wonderful action fantasy that caters for all ages.

Christian Bale dons the Batsuit and it fits like a glove, his Bruce Wayne may lack the ebullient charisma that Michael Keaton's had, but his Batman is mean and moody and comfortable with the zippy dialogue. Michael Caine plays Alfred the loyal servant to the Wayne family, much heart and emotive drive from Caine ensures the role is a roaring success. Cillian Murphy is Dr Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow who actually scares more as Crane with his piercing eyes and devilishly smirky leer, whilst both Gary Oldman (Jim Gordon) & Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox) are solid with what little they actually have to do. Liam Neeson gets his teeth into a meaty role as Henri Ducard, and as a character arc he gets the best scenes (Nolan clearly having great fun here).

Minnor let downs to me without hurting the picture are Katie Holmes (pretty but hardly convincing as Assistant D.A. Rachael Dawes) and Rutger Hauer as Earle (a little bit of menace wouldn't go amiss here Rutger old man). Still, as I said they are very minor let downs because as comic book adaptations go, Batman Begins is from the top draw, a franchise re-suited, rebooted and completely reinvigorated. But now the test comes with that all important sequel... 9/10
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Batman Begins - 1 Disc Edition [DVD] [2005]
Batman Begins - 1 Disc Edition [DVD] [2005] by Christopher Nolan (DVD - 2006)
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