Friday, January 22, 2021     Volume: 21, Issue: 47
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A VIGILANTE
BEST WISHES, WARMEST REGARDS: A SCHITT’S CREEK FAREWELL
BINGABLE: ABANDONED (2016)
BINGEABLE: BARRY
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BINGEABLE: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTARIES
BINGEABLE: OUTLANDER (2014-present)
BINGEABLE: STRANGER THINGS 3
BINGEABLE: THE SINNER (SEASON 2)
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
DA 5 BLOODS
ENOLA HOLMES
FIRST COW
GUILTY PLEASURES: CHEER (2020)
HAPPIEST SEASON
HAVE A GOOD TRIP: ADVENTURES IN PSYCHEDELICS
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
HONEST THIEF
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
LYING AND STEALING
MANK
SHUT UP LITTLE MAN! AN AUDIO MISADVENTURE (2011)
SOUL
SUPERINTELLIGENCE
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE MIDNIGHT SKY
THE OPERATIVE
THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN
THE PROM
THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO SEVEN
THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW
TREAD
TV REVIEW: BATES MOTEL
TV REVIEW: BEST LEFTOVERS EVER!
TV REVIEW: BOSCH
TV REVIEW: DEFENDING JACOB
TV REVIEW: EVIL
TV REVIEW: FEAR CITY
TV REVIEW: HELL ON WHEELS (2011-2016)
TV REVIEW: HOMECOMING
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: JULIE AND THE PHANTOMS
TV REVIEW: LENOX HILL
TV REVIEW: LITTLE AMERICA
TV REVIEW: LOVECRAFT COUNTRY
TV REVIEW: MRS. AMERICA
TV REVIEW: RAMY
TV REVIEW: RUN
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 GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW (SEASON 11)
TV REVIEW: THE LAST KINGDOM
TV REVIEW: THE MIDNIGHT GOSPEL
TV REVIEW: THE MORNING SHOW
TV REVIEW: THE MOST DANGEROUS ANIMAL OF ALL
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: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
TV REVIEW: ZEROZEROZERO
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS (2005)
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL (2014)
WONDER WOMAN 1984

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










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