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May 28, 2005

Ten Minute Mega-Teaser for Batman Begins

Even better than the other one. This one contains several minutes of the training sequence from the other trailer, but a lot more than that. It veers dangerously close to the "telling the entire movie" problem, but it looks so damn good that doesn't put me off.

A review of the teaser:

* I wondered what Morgan Freeman was doing in the movie, and I hoped they weren't just giving him a token black role (as they did with Billy Dee Williams in the first one). It seems they haven't-- he plays an actual character from the comics I'm happy to see: Lucius Fox, Batman's mechanic/the designer of the Batmobile. I love that aspect of the comics-- when they admit that Bruce Wayne couldn't do all of this on his own, and they introduce you to his small circle of allies, like his mechanic, or the surgeon he goes to when he's badly wounded.

* Gary Oldman -- of course one of my favorite actors -- doesn't play a bad guy, as I figured. He plays Lt. Jim Gordon-- and, if I heard correctly, with the correct Chicago accent (he's a recent transfer to Gotham). Cool stuff. It looks like they'll try to make Gordon as cool and kick-ass as he was in the comics.

* Michael Caine is too much actor for Alfred, but I won't complain. Another of my favorite actors of all time.

* I knew one villain was the Scarecrow. I'm a little annoyed they're once again going with two villains-- which makes no sense. It's hard enough to explain Batman's origin and a villain's origin in the same movie; why add a second villain and origin? Why do they think one villain isn't enough for a movie?

On the plus side, the second villain is one of Batman's best foes, and one only comic-book readers know about, as he wasn't on that dumb TV show (actually, I think he was only invented in the 70's or 80's)-- Ra's Al Ghul. I think it's awesome they went with this subtle and cool villain... still worried how they're going to cram both villain's backstories into one movie, though.

* They're still insisting on giving Batman the power to fly, without having to go back to the Batcave for special gliding equipment. This annoys me, but I'll forgive it.

* The whole thing looks great, and the dialogue's great too. It's like a "prestige drama," Oscar-bait, but it's about f'n' Batman.

* Christian Bale is suprisingly good as Bruce Wayne (as Michael Keaton was too), but also sort of unconvincing as Batman (again, as Michael Keaton was). I think he's trying too hard to sound ominous with his "Batman voice," and I think Michael Keaton beats him on this score. This isn't really minor, but everything else looks and sounds so good I'll just chalk it up to the early Batman trying a bit too hard to play upon the fears of the superstititous, cowardly lot of Gotham's criminals.

* Katie Holmes seems fine in the movie. She's too young and too callow to be in a Batman movie, but from what I've seen Christopher Nolan coaxed an unobjectionable performance out of her. We shouldn't have any Natalie Portman problems, I think.

* Finally-- the movie gets into the spirit of Batman, and sort of hints at the Red-shift of the cultural zeitgeist, too. Bruce Wayne asks what will happen to a murderer, and his trainer says simply (and darkly) "Justice." He then explains(get this): "Crime cannot be tolerated. Criminals thrive on the indulgence of society's understanding." Hah!

Not exactly George Lucas writing in anti-Bush digs, is it?

This movie is going to be great. No need to lower expectations. They've gotten everything almost exactly right.

And... Jen also links a longer international trailer for Fantastic Four, and damnit, that looks pretty good too.

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posted by Ace at 12:09 PM

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