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  • Writer's pictureThomas Duncan

Batman Begins (2005) ft. Allyson Techmeier


Guest: Allyson Techmeier


Cast:

  • Christopher Nolan, Director/Writer

  • David S. Goyer, Co-Writer

  • Hans Zimmer and James Howard Newton, Score

  • Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne / Batman

    • Gus Lewis as Young Bruce Wayne

  • Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth

  • Liam Neeson as Henri Ducard / Ra's al Ghul

  • Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes

    • Emma Lockhart as Young Rachel Dawes

  • Gary Oldman as James Gordon

  • Cillian Murphy as Dr. Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow

  • Tom Wilkinson as Carmine Falcone

  • Rutger Hauer as William Earle

  • Ken Watanabe as decoy Ra's al Ghul

  • Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox

*Recognition:

  • Batman Begins was released on June 15, 2005 in the United States.

  • Batman Begins ranked at the top in its opening weekend, accumulating $48 million. The film's five-day gross was $72.9 million, beating Batman Forever (1995) as the franchise high. Batman Begins also broke the five-day opening record in the 55 IMAX theaters, grossing $3.16 million. Polled moviegoers rated the film with an A, and according to the studio's surveys, Batman Begins was considered the best of all the Batman films.

  • It is the fourth-highest-grossing Batman film, as of August 2012, behind Tim Burton's Batman, which grossed $411 million worldwide and also being surpassed by its sequels The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, both of which have grossed over $1 billion. It was also the #7 grossing film of 2005.

  • The film was met with mostly positive critical praise particularly for Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale as the title character including from film director Tim Burton—who had directed the 1989 Batman film and its first sequel—felt Nolan "captured the real spirit that these kind of movies are supposed to have nowadays. When I did Batman twenty years ago, in 1988 or something, it was a different time in comic book movies. You couldn't go into that dark side of comics yet. The last couple of years that has become acceptable and Nolan certainly got more to the root of what the Batman comics are about."

  • Batman Begins has been cited as one of the most influential films of the 2000s. On the film's 10th anniversary, Forbes published an article describing its lasting influence: "Reboot became part of our modern vocabulary, and superhero origin stories became increasingly envogue for the genre. The phrase "dark and gritty" likewise joined the cinematic lexicon, influencing our perception of different approaches to storytelling not only in the comic book film genre but in all sorts of other genres as well." Shawn Adler of MTV stated Batman Begins heralded a trend of darker genre films, that either retold back-stories or rebooted them altogether. Examples he cited were Casino Royale, as well as the in-development RoboCop, Red Sonja, and Grayskull. In 2012, Kevin Feige, film producer and president of Marvel Studios, stated, "Chris Nolan's Batman is the greatest thing that happened [to superhero films] because it bolstered everything." Filmmakers, screenwriters and producers who have mentioned Batman Begins or The Dark Knight Trilogy to describe their projects include: Jon Favreau (Iron Man), Damon Lindelof (Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness), Robert Downey, Jr. (Sherlock Holmes), Hugh Jackman (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class), Sam Mendes (Skyfall), Marc Webb (The Amazing Spider-Man), David Ayer (Suicide Squad), Bryan Cranston (Power Rangers), Patty Jenkins and Matthew Jensen (Wonder Woman), James Mangold (Logan), and Todd Phillips (Joker).

  • Batman Begins would be nominated for one Academy Award for Cinematography (Wally Pfister) losing to Memoirs of a Geisha (2005).

  • Batman Begins currently holds an 84% on RT, a 70 score on Metacritic, and a 3.8/5 on Letterboxd.

What is this movie is about?/Elevator Pitch: What is justice? It's a sneaky movie about the death penalty.


Plot Summary: In "Batman Begins", directed by Christopher Nolan, the origins of the iconic caped crusader are explored with a fresh and gritty perspective. The film follows the journey of Bruce Wayne, a wealthy industrialist haunted by the tragic murder of his parents in Gotham City. Determined to fight crime and bring justice, Bruce embarks on a transformative odyssey to become the legendary vigilante known as Batman.


Leaving behind his privileged life, Bruce travels the world and encounters the enigmatic Ra's al Ghul and his League of Shadows, a secretive organization dedicated to restoring balance through extreme means. Under the tutelage of the wise and elusive Henri Ducard, Bruce hones his physical and mental prowess, embracing his fears and embracing the symbol of the bat.


Returning to Gotham City, now plagued by corruption and crime, Bruce dons the persona of Batman to wage a one-man war against the criminal underworld. With the help of his loyal butler Alfred Pennyworth, tech genius Lucius Fox, and dedicated police officer Jim Gordon, Batman strives to dismantle the syndicates led by mob boss Carmine Falcone and the sinister Dr. Jonathan Crane, also known as Scarecrow. As Batman delves deeper into his mission, he uncovers a grand scheme orchestrated by Ra's al Ghul and the League of Shadows to destroy Gotham City. With the city on the brink of chaos and facing the threat of an apocalyptic weapon, Batman must confront his own fears and confront the demons from his past to save the city he has sworn to protect.


Did You Know:

  • Although Christian Bale performed many of his own stunts, he wasn't allowed anywhere near the Batmobile.

  • While shooting on the streets of Chicago, a person accidentally crashed into the Batmobile. The driver was apparently drunk, and said he hit the car in a state of panic, believing the Dark Knight's vehicle to be an invading alien spacecraft.

  • Christian Bale's active dislike of his uncomfortable Batman outfit helped his performance as the Dark Knight as he was perpetually in a foul mood when wearing it.

Best Performance: Christopher Nolan (Writer/Director)/Christian Bale (Batman/Bruce)

Best Secondary Performance: Christian Bale (Batman/Bruce)/Michael Caine (Alfred)

Most Charismatic Award: Morgan Freeman (Lucius)/Cillian Murphy (Scarecrow)/Michael Caine (Alfred)

Best Scene:

  • Prison Fight

  • Training Montage

  • Joe Chill

  • Another Path

  • Becoming Batman

  • First Fight

  • Arkham Asylum

  • Rooftop Chase

  • Birthday Party

  • Fear Toxin

  • Monorail Showdown

  • Epilogue

Favorite Scene: Becoming Batman/Bruce Reveals to Rachel/Epilogue

Most Indelible Moment: Epilogue/Monorail Showdown/Arkham Asylum


In Memorium:

  • Lawrence Turman, 96, American film producer (The Graduate, The Thing, The River Wild)

  • Alan Arkin, 89, American actor (Little Miss Sunshine, Argo, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter), Oscar winner (2006)

Best Lines/Funniest Lines:

Bruce Wayne: ...It's not who I am underneath... but what I *do*... that defines me.


Batman: I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you.


Bruce Wayne: Should I just bury the past out there with my parents, Alfred?

Alfred Pennyworth: I wouldn't presume to tell you what to do with your past, sir. Just know that there are those of us who care about what you do with your future.


Thomas Wayne: And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.


Alfred Pennyworth: Why bats, Master Wayne?

Bruce Wayne: Bats frighten me. It's time my enemies shared my dread.


Henri Ducard: [kicks him] Death does not wait for you to be ready! Death is not considerate, or fair! And make no mistake: here, you face Death.


Bruce Wayne: You're vigilantes.

Henri Ducard: No, no, no. A vigilante is just a man lost in the scramble for his own gratification. He can be destroyed, or locked up. But if you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, and if they can't stop you, then you become something else entirely.

Bruce Wayne: Which is?

Henri Ducard: Legend, Mr. Wayne.


Bruce Wayne: I seek the means to fight injustice; to turn fear against those that prey on the fearful.


Henri Ducard: Your compassion is a weakness your enemies will not share.

Bruce Wayne: That's why it's so important. It separates us from them.


Bruce Wayne: Well, a guy who dresses up like a bat clearly has issues.


Ra's al Ghul: When a forest grows too wild, a purging fire is inevitable and natural.


Alfred Pennyworth: The Wayne legacy is more than bricks and mortar, sir.


Henri Ducard: You traveled the world... Now you must journey inwards... to what you really fear... it's inside you... there is no turning back. Your parents' death was not your fault. Your training is nothing. The will is everything. If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, you become something else entirely. Are you ready to begin?


Jim Gordon: I never said thank you.

Batman: [looks back at Gordon] And you'll never have to.


Bruce Wayne: Does it come in black?


Valet: Nice car.

Bruce Wayne: You should see my other one.


The Stanley Rubric:

Legacy: 9

Impact/Significance: 7.83

Novelty: 8.17

Classic-ness: 7.33

Rewatchability: 7.33

Audience Score: 8.9 (84% Google, 94% RT)

Total: 48.56


Remaining Questions:

  • Why would Ducard put Wayne in charge of a legion if he was only the newest recruit?

  • Do you prefer the tone of the Burton movies to Nolan?

  • Is it important that Joe Chill is restored to the murderer of the Waynes instead of the Joker?

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