Tuesday, April 20, 2021     Volume: 22, Issue: 7
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
BINGEABLE: BARRY
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART (1990)
BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM
BOSS LEVEL
GODZILLA VS. KONG
GUILTY PLEASURES: CHEER (2020)
HAVE A GOOD TRIP: ADVENTURES IN PSYCHEDELICS
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
I CARE A LOT
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
IRRESISTIBLE
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
LYING AND STEALING
NOBODY
NOMADLAND
PALMER
PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
SHUT UP LITTLE MAN! AN AUDIO MISADVENTURE (2011)
SOUL
SUPERINTELLIGENCE
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE MAP OF TINY PERFECT THINGS
THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN
THE SUNLIT NIGHT
THE WHITE TIGER
THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW
TREAD
TV REVIEW: BATES MOTEL
TV REVIEW: DEFENDING JACOB
TV REVIEW: EVIL
TV REVIEW: FIREFLY LANE
TV REVIEW: HELL ON WHEELS (2011-2016)
TV REVIEW: HOMECOMING
TV REVIEW: HOW TO WITH JOHN WILSON
TV REVIEW: I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE
TV REVIEW: I MAY DESTROY YOU
TV REVIEW: I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK
TV REVIEW: LENOX HILL
TV REVIEW: LITTLE AMERICA
TV REVIEW: LOVECRAFT COUNTRY
TV REVIEW: MRS. AMERICA
TV REVIEW: ONE MISSISSIPPI
TV REVIEW: PAINTING WITH JOHN (2021)
TV REVIEW: RAMY
TV REVIEW: RUN
TV REVIEW: SERVANT
TV REVIEW: SPACE FORCE
TV REVIEW: TABOO
TV REVIEW: THE BOYS
TV REVIEW: THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD
TV REVIEW: THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT
TV REVIEW: THE LADY AND THE DALE (2021)
TV REVIEW: THE LAST KINGDOM
TV REVIEW: THE MIDNIGHT GOSPEL
TV REVIEW: THE MOST DANGEROUS ANIMAL OF ALL
TV REVIEW: THE NEW YORK TIMES PRESENTS FRAMING BRITNEY SPEARS (EPISODE 6) (2021)
TV REVIEW: THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA
TV REVIEW: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
TV REVIEW: THE THIRD DAY
TV REVIEW: THE VOW
TV REVIEW: TREADSTONE (2019)
TV REVIEW: UNDONE
TV REVIEW: WANDAVISION
TV REVIEW: WARRIOR
TV REVIEW: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
TV REVIEW: ZEROZEROZERO
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS (2005)
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL (2014)
WEWORK: OR THE MAKING AND BREAKING OF A $47 BILLION UNICORN (2021)

UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS (2005)

PHOTO BY PHOTO COURTESY OF WARNER BROS. PICTURES

UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS (2005)


Where is it playing?: Amazon Prime, iTunes

What's it rated?: PG-13

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

The only complaint I have when it comes to The Dark Knight, a nearly flawless film, is how much it tends to overshadow its predecessor, Batman Begins. In fact, many people didn’t even realize The Dark Knight was a sequel, at least at the time of its release. It’s a testament to how well the film stands on its own, but I still can’t help but pity those poor, unfortunate souls who missed out on Christian Bale’s first outing as the Caped Crusader.

It had been eight years since the ultra campy Batman & Robin (1997)—universally hated, except by ME of all people (but that’s a discussion for another time)—graced theaters only to be met with boos and walk-outs. Enter director Christopher Nolan, a man with a vision. A vision so pure, so godlike, it nearly blinded my unworthy mortal 12-year-old eyes as I sat in awe, staring up at a screen inhabited by a sword-wielding ninja version of Liam Neeson (this was three years before Taken, mind you, so he wasn’t exactly the rich man’s Chuck Norris yet).

I’m of course recalling a specific sequence in the film in which Henri Ducard (Neeson) and Bruce Wayne (Bale) are duking it out on a glacier. The constant cracking of the ice combined with Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard’s taut score is haunting. Sorry if this sounds like I’m geeking out on an unhealthy level, but I’m already too many words in to go back and take a more objective stance.

And while I’m at it, I think enough years have passed to discuss the twist with Neeson’s character. Although he is Wayne’s mentor, providing him with the necessary martial arts training to later become Batman, Ducard’s true identity is Ra’s al Ghul—the film’s big baddie. What made the reveal interesting was the fact that Batman didn’t have to square off against a costumed villain for once, although we still get one in the form of Dr. Jonathan Crane, aka Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy).

Murphy is chilling in the role, although the character is ultimately just one of Ra’s al Ghul’s pawns. The same can be said of mob boss Carmine Falcone (Tom Wilkinson). The film is full of bad guys, which is ironic because its biggest strength is prioritizing focus on Bruce Wayne/Batman (obviously not one of my strengths so far). Prior Batman films were consistently criticized for their “villain of the week” attitude, but Batman Begins was inarguably the first to break that curse.

I haven’t even touched on Bale’s performance, which is a massive shame on my part, because he’s brilliant. I get why people love to make fun of his growly Batman voice, but I feel like he gets it just right in this one. It’s the other two where things go overboard (“WHERE’S THE TRIGGER?!”). (140 min.) 

—Caleb Wiseblood










Weekly Poll
Do you agree with the Santa Maria City Council's decision to regulate mobile car wash operations?

Yes. There's a reason the city receives lots of complaints about them.
No. These are people's livelihoods on the line, during a pandemic no less.
I understand the need to regulate, but I still want access to quick and easy car washing!
Car washes are a waste of money; just do it yourself.

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