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Old 02-28-2013, 05:45 PM   #26
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Default Re: Anyone feel the same way...?

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I have to agree. From a fan standpoint, Begins holds a special place. A VERY special place. But I always felt that it set itself up to be easily surpassed by sequels, and I think it definitely was. The filmmaking just went to higher and higher levels and became so much more commanding and epic. The sequels felt "bigger" in all the right ways.

Just a great trajectory for the whole series. But I understand why some fans still love Begins the most or have the most sentimental attachment to it completely.

And I love how much more important Begins feels after Rises too.
Yeah, it's always been about escalation. Things getting bigger and bigger. Like a balloon.

And that's why I never got my hopes up about Nolan doing a fourth movie, even if I wanted him to do more things with his approach (obviously, the Riddler or Strange). He was painting himself into an impossible corner with the theme of escalation - and I'm surprised he pulled off a third as gracefully as he did, even if it's not completely perfect. The balloon literally cannot get any bigger from here.

This is another personal reason I favor Begins. It's more intimate. I feel like a million great stories could take root around that level. My approach would've been more along the lines of really exploring that style of Batman and that style of Gotham. It felt like that exploration was over before it really got started. We had the beginnings of the Scarecrow, got a glimpse of Arkham, saw Batman prowling the streets a little, but it was a tease.

When I first saw Begins, I misinterpreted that tease as a promise. I thought Nolan was setting the stage to go deeper into that sort of thing, not essentially just dump it there.

I like 'street Batman', I guess. I don't dislike the big scale stuff, but I feel like we've had plenty of it now, and I'd like to see us cool down from the 'bigger is better' mentality and just get into some rich mystery/noir storytelling.

The biggest thing that bugs me, though, is how Batman was nearly perfectly portrayed in Begins, but he gradually devolved going into TDK and got worse with TDKR. It was like, as the balloon expanded, Batman's competency and quality was slowly being pushed out of the room by it's girth.

And it's not just the voice getting worse, or the increasingly appearing stupefied :0 face, or the confusingly often abandonment of stealth or logical tactics established during his training and initial career, but the writing, the drama - both in terms of how he holds himself and how he appears or is shot by the camera. Batman seemed more and more like a plastic tool and less like Bruce showing his true face. He has less and less intelligent things to say as Batman, and seems more strained than cool and ominous when he says anything.

But more importantly than any of that, is the fact that he becomes less mature. He goes from intelligent, mysterious, scary, careful, and efficient in Begins to utterly reckless, arrogant, and amateur by the time we hit Rises.

I know the pit was supposed to be the bit where he cures himself of his arrogance and recklessness (but not of the other portrayal problems). But these are common sense things, things that someone like Wayne spent years of his life discarding to become the best he could possibly be and, you know, stay alive doing what he's doing. He can't afford to be that childish and he's known it since Begins.

So why would he ever behave like that, especially as he becomes more seasoned?

It's just counter to logic. It feels like Begins Batman should be the seasoned one we see at the end of his career, while Rises Batman acts like he should be the novice from the beginning (IF that). It's totally backwards, and along with the voice degradation, I'll forever be painfully distracted from fully enjoying the movies, even if I otherwise absolutely love them (excusing more minor nitpicks here and there).

This alone tempts me to call Begins my favorite, regardless of how blown up the balloon is or isn't at that point in the trilogy.

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Old 02-28-2013, 11:09 PM   #27
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I remember leaving the theatre in 2005, and feeling a little disappointed. The whole movie just felt like one giant setup for the sequel. Nothing was that memorable about it. No wonder there was so little hype.

Christian Bale, who was supposed to be the perfect choice (and every fan wanted him in the role), actually played it in the most generic and uninteresting way imaginable. And the other cast weren't really much, either. Just famous actors phoning it in yet again.

There were a couple of things I liked about it, though, like the 'Blade Runner' style look of some of Gotham.

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Old 03-01-2013, 12:44 AM   #28
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One giant setup for the sequel? How do you say? Besides the little hint of the Joker card, I found it to be very much standalone and could have been if there was never a sequel after. Very different when I walked out of the first showing of The Dark Knight when I felt a sequel was necessary.

And RustyCage, you bring up, as you usually always do, a valid point on Bruce's action as being more careless and "immature", but I found it as just having a big head in returning into action thinking everything will be a breeze to go through, even by downsizing Bane(no pun intended) by saying he's just a mercenary and by saying he beat Ra's al Ghul who "was the League of Shadows".

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Old 03-01-2013, 01:06 AM   #29
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One giant setup for the sequel? How do you say? Besides the little hint of the Joker card, I found it to be very much standalone and could have been if there was never a sequel after. Very different when I walked out of the first showing of The Dark Knight when I felt a sequel was necessary.
Because the exposition of his origin goes on for a good chunk of the movie. It takes at least an hour for Batman to finally show up. Most of the movie is about his origin. It felt like the first movie intended for a franchise, because there was barely any Batman in it. It's like the new Spiderman movie. And lo and behold, they are doing the same with Superman too.

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Old 03-01-2013, 01:17 AM   #30
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Going through his origin doesn't necessarily mean a sequel needs to be made though.

And it's not quite like The Amazing Spider-Man as that left out so much chunks that it would be silly to not get a sequel.

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Old 03-01-2013, 02:26 PM   #31
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Funny how Nolan didn't know if TDK having a sequel was a sure thing (whereas I thought it did). Soon to be quoted.

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Old 03-01-2013, 02:34 PM   #32
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He was almost going to leave BB as its own as well, though, if you want to be technical about it

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Old 03-01-2013, 05:37 PM   #33
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I still no they never intended for The Dark Knight to be half as successful as it was. The hype came out of nowhere.

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Old 03-01-2013, 07:41 PM   #34
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It seems I misunderstood you then.

The smokey/noir stuff is something I've always wanted more of in Batman, so we're on stark opposite ends of the preference spectrum there.

I didn't like how Gotham became visually sterile and more of a generic NYC-clone feeling place as the films progress.
Yeah, just tastes/preferences I suppose. Gotham during most of the Adams era was portrayed as looking like a real city. I didn't find it 'sterile' as you say, I thought it lent great weight to the proceedings. Feeling the big, open world that WAS our world made it feel bigger, more important to me. The unique structure and style, the insane stories helped too.

I can see why people like the cluttered, smokey Gotham from some of the comic book eras, and BB recreated that almost perfectly (I remember people complaining about there not being enough 'spires'). I wouldn't have liked that, but I know why you or others do.

Personally, just for the sake of something different, I'm hoping for kind of a mixture of those looks for the next iteration. Maintain the sheer scale of the Nolan world, but augment the hell out of the buildings to create a slightly more gothic appearance (the aforementioned spires etc)...but I still don't want much smoke or steam.

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One giant setup for the sequel? How do you say? Besides the little hint of the Joker card, I found it to be very much standalone and could have been if there was never a sequel after. Very different when I walked out of the first showing of The Dark Knight when I felt a sequel was necessary.

And RustyCage, you bring up, as you usually always do, a valid point on Bruce's action as being more careless and "immature", but I found it as just having a big head in returning into action thinking everything will be a breeze to go through, even by downsizing Bane(no pun intended) by saying he's just a mercenary and by saying he beat Ra's al Ghul who "was the League of Shadows".
It's strange. Like everyone else, I took the Joker card as a sign of "Everything's established, now ***** gonna get CRAZY in the next one" and I wasn't disappointed. With TDK... usually after a movie, I chatter away, talking about what I liked and I'm excited for the sequel etc. But with TDK I sat in the theatre afterwards, frozen with awe at what I'd just seen, completely silent. It was a great feeling. And for the first time, I though to myself "If they don't do a sequel, I'm happy. I can take that sacrifice/victory at the end of the movie as the true victory in the war". Having seen TDKR however, I'm very glad I got a third one.

About Batman's recklessness in the first half of TDKR, I took that has him losing control a little... Bruce becoming Batman again for the first time in years - after not having him or Rachel or really Wayne Enterprises to channel his needs into - was like a recovering addict who getting his first fix in years. He seemed downright gleeful when he was Batman again, getting to exert his rage. But, as I said, it was becoming counterproductive to his overall mental health. Batman was like a treatment for him, not a solution. That's when the pit came.

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Old 03-01-2013, 09:15 PM   #35
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I don't know, as a hardcore fan of Batman that I am, I couldn't be alright if we didn't get a third film with Batman just taking the blame of a villain and him becoming the villain in the end and then making Gordon having to suffer through it such as destroying the bat signal and all. I am relieved a third film was made to rectify this and seeing Batman having his army being the police was so satisfying for the entire trilogy.

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Old 03-02-2013, 01:02 PM   #36
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It's strange. Like everyone else, I took the Joker card as a sign of "Everything's established, now ***** gonna get CRAZY in the next one" and I wasn't disappointed. With TDK... usually after a movie, I chatter away, talking about what I liked and I'm excited for the sequel etc. But with TDK I sat in the theatre afterwards, frozen with awe at what I'd just seen, completely silent. It was a great feeling. And for the first time, I though to myself "If they don't do a sequel, I'm happy. I can take that sacrifice/victory at the end of the movie as the true victory in the war". Having seen TDKR however, I'm very glad I got a third one.
That's the exact same reaction I had for BB and TDK man. I can't deny it, I remember telling my friends after TDK that I'd be okay if they didn't make another one. Looking back I think a lot of it had to do with Heath not being around and me thinking there was no way they could top that.

But like you, I'm so glad we got a third one and to my delight they found plenty of ways to surpass themselves yet again. But the main value of making Rises was that there was so much that Bruce still needed to overcome and it was extremely rewarding to get to finally see that. And also just tying up the whole trilogy into a neat package. BB and TDK are so different that if they stood alone it would have just felt like two movies. The third movie synthesizes them (while being its own thing as well) and melds the whole package together into what we now know as The Dark Knight Trilogy. It also made both prior movies even better in the process.

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Old 03-02-2013, 06:11 PM   #37
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Yeah, just tastes/preferences I suppose. Gotham during most of the Adams era was portrayed as looking like a real city. I didn't find it 'sterile' as you say, I thought it lent great weight to the proceedings. Feeling the big, open world that WAS our world made it feel bigger, more important to me. The unique structure and style, the insane stories helped too.

I can see why people like the cluttered, smokey Gotham from some of the comic book eras, and BB recreated that almost perfectly (I remember people complaining about there not being enough 'spires'). I wouldn't have liked that, but I know why you or others do.

Personally, just for the sake of something different, I'm hoping for kind of a mixture of those looks for the next iteration. Maintain the sheer scale of the Nolan world, but augment the hell out of the buildings to create a slightly more gothic appearance (the aforementioned spires etc)...but I still don't want much smoke or steam.
Actually, I was one of the people naysaying the over-dramatic 'goth' approach for Begins. It was fine for more artistic/symbolic movies like Burton's take. I'm open to that, but it was clear it would've been inappropriate this time. I was ready for a 'literal' Batman take. Hyped.

I guess that's what it boils down to in each movie, what is appropriate for the story being told that particular time. So, considering, I'm not too whiny about it, even if I would have liked more of it.

But yeah, more to the point, I thought they struck a beautiful balance with atmosphere vs reality in Begins. It was smokey and noirish, but still very grounded. It didn't lose it's heart, but it also didn't lose it's footing. Nothing too over the top.

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Old 03-04-2013, 06:27 PM   #38
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Because the exposition of his origin goes on for a good chunk of the movie. It takes at least an hour for Batman to finally show up.
That's the best part of the film and it's the best hour of ANY superhero film.

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Old 03-04-2013, 10:20 PM   #39
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That's the best part of the film and it's the best hour of ANY superhero film.
Yeah, I'm pretty tempted to echo this sentiment. It wasn't like it wasn't a Batman film for an hour, it was 'hey, Batman MEANS something' for an hour. And the grand reveal is icing on that cake, because they took so much care building the creation of Batman up.

It was a richer hour of meaning and captivation via character drama than I've experienced with another superhero flick. Ever.

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Old 03-05-2013, 11:44 AM   #40
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That's the best part of the film and it's the best hour of ANY superhero film.
Yup , nothing touches Begins until Batman stands in the building. Just perfect entertainment.

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Old 03-05-2013, 02:58 PM   #41
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That's the best part of the film and it's the best hour of ANY superhero film.

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Old 03-18-2013, 11:43 PM   #42
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That's the best part of the film and it's the best hour of ANY superhero film.
completely agree.

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Old 04-07-2013, 07:12 PM   #43
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Why did Henri Ducard even hide his identity in the first place? Was it just to be a shock to the viewers. It makes zero reason why to do that any other way.

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Old 04-08-2013, 11:44 PM   #44
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Why did Henri Ducard even hide his identity in the first place? Was it just to be a shock to the viewers. It makes zero reason why to do that any other way.
He uses a decoy for protection and to keep up the mysticism surrounding Ra's al Ghul. It's clearly explained in the movie.

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Old 04-10-2013, 01:34 PM   #45
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You guys NEED to see this promo for the ABC Family premiere of Begins:

VIDEO-CLick to Watch!:


.....

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Old 04-10-2013, 09:22 PM   #46
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^...the hell?

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Old 04-10-2013, 09:27 PM   #47
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LOL, ABC Family's attempt to sell the movie to teenage girls is pure comedy gold.

"He fights for family...and lives for luuuuhhvvv"

P.S. Liam Neeson, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Morgran Freeman are NOT in this movie...we swear!

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Old 04-11-2013, 07:31 AM   #48
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The best origin film ever. If they do another bat origin film and top that then great. But if not then I'm more than happy to keep loving the hell out of this one.

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Old 04-20-2013, 03:34 PM   #49
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I love the trilogy But yeah Begins or TDK is my favorite live-action Bat film,Not sure which But I feel Begins is VERY underrated!!

Begins also has my favorite Gotham City since B'89,I really missed the narrows/Arkham and general look&feel of Begins Gotham in TDK&TDKR

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Old 05-27-2013, 12:07 AM   #50
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Batman Begins is still the best Batman movie. I've recently rewatched the trilogy and to be honest, it feels totally different than The Dark Knight. Of course, it's more of a "generic superhero movie" and they wasted the Scarecrow but the tone just fits.
I agree that that's the difference: BB feels more generic and studio-directed.




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BB is definitely like the "indie" film of the Batman movies. I mean, it's obviously still a huge studio movie, but you had a young Chris Nolan bringing some of his indie sensibilities to it, and you had WB kind of unsure how to market it which led to it creating something of a cult following.
You could feel what Nolan was trying to do. But overall you could feel the generic dialogue, the forced love interest, all that studio executives trying to make it a superhero movie by the book. I don't feel Nolan did what he wanted until TDK.

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It was weird having a Batman film not be the center of attention in the movie world, but there was some trust that needed to be earned there. It was a fun time as a fan, felt like you were in on something great. It was very satisfying to expose people to that movie on DVD in the following years and see their reaction.
I'd say Bruce Wayne was more the center than Batman. When Bruce finally became Batman, the editing hid him from everyone's sight.

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