Saheli*: Musings and Observations
Monday, June 20, 2005
 
Batman Begins

I liked it. It could have used a little trimming in the beginning while expounding Bruce Wayne's Asian backstory. (Midstory? After the fatal childhood robbery, before the adult Bat.) Katie Holmes did not really measure up to the rest of the cast; a baby-face does not automatically qualify one to act as an idealist. And, as one of my companions to the showings said, there were no real iconic moments. But I liked it. And better than the much vaunted Tim Burton versions. Those were dark, but also mildly cartoonish--their injected comic relief was too visual, the darkness constantly broken up by wackiness. People might accuse this Batman of being too serious--indeed, one of his villains does just that--but the pitter patter with Michael Caine's Alfred and Morgan Freeman's Lucius contradicts that. This Bruce Wayne is goofily bemused at what he has to do to make Batman, but as Batman his humor is all the dreadful glee of hunting.

I purposefully lowered my expectations ahead of time because I knew they'd been raised too high. Besides the hype and the wonderful posters everywhere, reading that director Christopher Nolan's favorite comic-book movie is my beloved Superman II might have raised the bar too high for most anyone director. Again, excepting Holmes, this lived up to the tradition of a great ensemble cast. Analyzing the lack of iconic moments, the main feature in which it doesn't measure up to Superman I & II, I have to guess that the main fault is choppy editing during the action sequences. Nolan really emphasized staccato fear and the terror of knowing something awful is happening in the dark. Why bats, Alfred wants to know? "Bats frighten me. I want my enemies to share my dread." The terror of being swarmed by bats is grounded in the partial blindness caused by your own fear and their flying; their wings chopping up your visual field much like rapid cuts and a quickly moving camera. That gave the film lots of atmosphere, but not enough pullback, and I hope that in the next one (there better be a next one!) he gives his Bat a little more room to swoop in.

Ahem, bats are generally nice creatures, but I couldn't help but be somewhat more frightened because of this. Be careful people! If there's any chance you've been bitten by a bat, get attention immediately.
 


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Saheli Datta started this when she was a journalism student at Columbia in New York. Now she lives in the Bay Area. *Old people call me R. New people, call me Saheli. Thanks! My homepage. Specifically, my links. Email me: Saheli [AT] Gmail [dot] Com

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Blogs I Read (Or Try To)
113th Street
american footprints(Nadezhda & Praktike)
ANNA's Diary
Apartment Therapy
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
Dave Barry
The Bellman
Mine's On The 45 (Brimful)
Campaign Desk (CJR)
ChennaiCentral
ClimateBoy
Combing the Sphere
Crooked Timber
Daily Dose of Imagery
The Daily Rhino (Bong Breaker)
Dark Days Ahead
The Decembrist
Brad DeLong
Atanu Dey on India's Development (Deeshaa)
Daniel Drezner
Ennis
Ephemera
Cyrus Farivar
Finding My Voice
Forsv
Neil Gaiman
Ganesh Blog
Geeky Chic 2.0 (Echan)
Geomblog
Green Ink!
Heliolith
Alexandra Huddleston
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Indeterminacy
India Uncut
InSpiteOfEverything
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter et al
The Intersection (Chris Mooney)
Jesus Politics
John and Belle Have a Blog
Mark A. R. Kleiman
KnowProse (Taran Rampersad)
1Locana
Maenad (Nori Heikkinen)
Scott McCloud
Mind Without Borders
Electrolite: Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Corey Pein
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Kevin G. Powell
QuakeHelp (South Asian Quake)
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
Reneebop
Rhinocrisy
Scott Rosenberg(Salon.com)
Rox Populi
Felix(&Rhian)Salmon
samVaad
Nick Schager
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Sepia Mutiny
Amardeep Singh
Snarkmarket (Robin Sloan & Matt Thompson)
South-East Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Blog
SreeTips: New To Sree
Steprous (Bear)
Robert Stribley
Subjunctive.net:klog
Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
Tech Policy
TiffinBox
A Tiny Revolution
To The Teeth
TreeHugger
Unfogged
VatulBlog
Venk@
Manish Vij
Vinod's Blog
War and Piece
Nollind Whachell
Wonkette
WorldChanging
Matthew Yglesias:Old
Yglesias:Tpmcafe
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham
Ethan Zuckerman
Zwichenzug



Some Categories

Blogs focusing on policy, politics, and national security:
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
The Decembrist
Brad DeLong
Daniel Drezner
Eschaton(Atrios)
Green Ink!
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Informed Comment: Juan Cole
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter
The Intersection (Chris Mooney)
Irregular Analyses
Jesus Politics
Mark A. R. Kleiman
Liberals Against Terrorism(Nadezhda & Praktike)
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
War and Piece
Wonkette
Yglesias:Tpmcafe

Photo Blogs
Daily Dose of Imagery
Ephemera
Alexandra Huddleston
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
TiffinBox

Columbia Journalism Folks
Apartment Therapy
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
Campaign Desk (CJR)
Ranajit Dam
Cyrus Farivar
Alexandra Huddleston
InSpiteOfEverything
Corey Pein
Nick Schager
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham

Literature, Fiction and Entertainment
Dave Barry
Neil Gaiman
Electrolite: Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Scott McCloud


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