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BATMAN BEGINS (two disc Deluxe Edition)

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 140 minutes, 2 disc set, Tankamn Begins (Batman Begins spoof), theatrical trailer, multiple featurettes, confidential files, and 72 page comic book

STUDIO: Warner/ Legendary Pictures/ DC

RELEASE DATE: 10-18-2005

Batman has always been one of the most fascinating comic book characters. His single purpose to save Gotham by becoming that what he fears most (he fears bats) to drive fear into criminals lends Batman to loads of stories. A few stories get it right and are downright brilliant.

BATMAN BEGINS is the best Batman film ever. The four movies that came before were basically big budget versions of the 1960s TV series. BATMAN BEGINS is a serious reboot that presents Batman as a down to Earth gritty hero in a realistic environment. The movie details the story of how Bruce Wayne became Batman and where he was during the seven years he disappeared from Gotham. Bruce Wayne (Christaian Bale) is without focus as he tries to learn about criminals when Ducard (Liam Nesson) gets Bruce out of a Chinese prison and becomes Bruce's mentor. He trains Bruce to become more focused and gives him a purpose, but Bruce will not join the League of Shadows- an organization Ra's Al Ghul leads and Ducard is a part of. The League of Shadows sees Gotham as a plague that needs to be destroyed where Bruce makes it his purpose to save the citizens of Gotham from the criminals who have taken hope away. Bruce receives help from his butler Alfred (Michael Caine) and Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) to become Batman. His first ally is Sergeant James Gordon (Gary Oldman), a detective who has lost hope in the fight against the criminal element.

BATMAN BEGINS is one of the best films of 2005 with a character based drama with action thrown into the mix. The first Batman film where Bruce Wayne/ Batman is as interesting as the bad guys he fights.

Movie Review:  https://enterline2.tripod.com/batman_begins.html

VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

The transfer is beautiful. Image detail is fantastic.

AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 DD

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

The sound and music is powerful, but you do have to be careful with virtual surround sound settings on some DVD players if you want to hear the dialogue.


Disc 1- The only two extras on disc one are TANKMAN BEGINS (a BATMAN BEGINS spoof made for the MTV Movie Awards) and a one minute theatrical trailer. Too bad they didn't include the eight minute trailer that was shown after the season 4 finale of Smallville from May.

Disc 2-

I love the menu for the first disc, but I think having to go through the Inner Demons interactive comic to access the special features or get to a regular menu is just driving batty. The second disc has several interesting featurettes that more than make up for the lack of a director's commentary. Each featurette is about 8 to 15 minutes long with loads of behind-the-scenes footage from pre-production to post-production. Very few special edition sets intrigue me enough to make me want to watch every featurette.

BATMAN: THE JOURNEY BEGINS- This is where the story of how the movie came about. The story of BATMAN BEGINS' preproduction from the script to the creation of models in Chris Nolan's garage to the casting (including how Christian Bale had to bulk down after bulking up too much for the role).

SHAPING MIND AND BODY- The use of the Keysi Fighting Method in BATMAN BEGINS and how they modified it for the fight scenes.

GOTHAM CITY RISES- The combination of sets, photographs, photographic plates make Gotham a living and breathing city in the movie.

BATMAN: THE TUMBLER- The design of the Batmobile from model to the actual building and testing to the Batmobile in action.

PATH TO DISCOVERY- This featurette covers the location shooting done in Iceland from building the sets, the stunt work, and the quick time they had to shoot the sword fighting on the frozen lake.

SAVING GOTHAM CITY- This one covers the minatures work, live action material, and CGI they combined to make the climax of the film.

GENESIS OF THE BAT- Chris Nolan and David S. Goyer tell what Batman comics had the most influence on the movie's script (the 1970s comics by Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams, Batman: The Long Halloween, Batman: The Man Who Falls, and Batman: Year One), Denny O'Neil and artist Jim Lee talk about the Batman comics, a little bit on the new Batman comics (the Hush story arc and Batman and Robin (written by Frank Miller and drawn by Jim Lee), and the villains that were used from the comics for the film.

Also included on the second disc are Confidential Files which have info on the characters and Batman hardware featured in BATMAN BEGINS. Rounding out the disc are art galleries for the US and international posters and the poster explorations.

Included with the two disc set is a 72 page comic featuring the first Batman story (from Detective Comics 27), The Man Who Falls, and an excerpt from the Long Halloween maxi-series.

FINAL ANLYSIS: BATMAN BEGINS is a fantastic two disc deluxe edition set. Even though it costs just a few dollars more, the deluxe edition set is the best choice when measured up against the single disc edition. I can't wait for a sequel and see what they do with the DVD for that one.

this DVD Review is (c)11-7-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com