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Judge Dan Mancini's Blog

Judge Dan Mancini • Location: Tucker, GA
• Member since: April 2002
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The Dark Knight Calls a Do Over
June 7th, 2005 5:58AM

Moriarity's review of Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins, posted yesterday at Ain't It Cool, has gotten me excited about the film. Not that I find Moriarity's opinion entirely reliable (isn't he the one who favorably compared Punisher to The French Connection?), but the points he makes mostly confirm my hopes that Nolan would deliver a Batman movie that finally does justice to the character.

Specifically, I'm enthused by his report that the film is genuinely scary, that it succeeds in giving us a criminal's-eye-view of Batman as a seemingly supernatural monster. He claims the picture is a hard PG-13, bordering on R. I hope I agree.

I don't read comic books anymore, but I like comic book movies for some reason. More accurately, I want to like them. I dig the rollercoaster thrill they provide, but am often disappointed with the laziness of the scripting, the sort of generic comic book template applied to the plots and characterizations of most entries in the genre. The substance of the extremely preliminary buzz on Batman Begins (from geeks and mainstream critics alike) suggests that Nolan and company may have defied all that, finally delivering a modern comic book flick that rivals the first two acts of Richard Donner's Superman (when I was a kid, I couldn't wait to get past the Clark Kent stuff and to Superman saving the day, but I found the third act corny and difficult to sit through when I revisited the picture as an adult). Granted, Richard Schickel panned Begins in Time, as did David Denby in The New Yorker. But Schickel's dis was on on the basis that the movie lacks a hammy villain like Nicholson's Joker (an asset in my opinion), and Denby seems to have an axe to grind over Nolan's "capitulation" to Hollywood. Most of the remaining reviews out there are positive. More importantly, they appear to be positive for all the right reasons -- an admiration for the tone, style, and substance of the picture.

Man, I hope the positive buzz is right. In any event, I'll be queuing up to see the movie come June 15, that's for sure.

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