Megan Perry is the Spring 2013 Editor-in-Chief of the East Los Angeles College Campus News. She has been a part of the Campus News team as a staff writer and page editor before making it to EIC. Perry is currently an English major headed to University of California, Santa Barbara after her current run at ELAC. Perry has written poems, countless stories and will continue to pursue her writing. Perry’s contribution to Film A Week is the newest to the list that includes previous writers Erik Luna, Summer Gomez, Jesus Figueroa and Jennifer Berrueta. Follow her on Twitter (@MeganMann) and follow on Instagram (@thebooknerd).
Batman wasn’t born a hero, which Director Christopher Nolan brings to the forefront in the 2005 summer blockbuster, Batman Begins.
The film can be split into two parts: the background and birth of Batman; and a never-expected ending that will blow audience’s minds. With themes like revenge, Nolan shows another side of Batman. He shows the hero’s human side and the struggle it takes to be a hero.
Bruce Wayne, played by Christian Bale, trains in a secluded cabin in the snowy mountains to face his fears of being attacked by bats. The training scenes were beautiful, with Wayne working with Henri Ducard his trainer, played by Liam Nesson, in different scenarios to strengthen his body and mind. At one point, Wayne and Ducard were sliding atop a frozen lake with swords clinking back and forth and beautiful icy mountains in the background.
Through a series of tests and the help of a little blue flower, Wayne learns his extraordinary abilities. It brings the image of The Karate Kid training with his sense. Wayne transformed from somewhat of a push over to a total vigilante out to get the villains; Batman was alive.
Unlike the other superheroes, Batman had to struggle in order to become the well-known hero he is known as today. His parents were killed, giving him the need to know the criminals mind in order to defeat the criminal mind. He traveled and got into trouble for seven years.
When he returned, Gotham City was split between the rich and the poor, giving a dark undertone throughout the film. The poor areas were some of the most grimy areas, with a close resemblance to the skid row in downtown Los Angeles. It is dark and cloudy, sometimes rainy, for the most part of the film. Batman brings exquisite weaponry to the scene, one being the Bat Mobile. The Bat Mobile in this film has to be one of the coolest, being a massive armor tank with huge wheels in the rear.
Nolan’s film highlights that Batman wasn’t born with extreme abilities. He flies into a wall. He drives into parked cars. He makes mistakes, just like anyone else. To prove that hard work pays, Nolan set Batman up against the psychological killer Scarecrow. Scarecrow, played by Cillian Murphy, knows how to manipulate people’s minds. Scarecrow’s costume was as simple as a brown burlap sack with holes cut in it as a mask, but really brought the creeps out whenever he put on. His simple costume perfectly contrasted Batman’s sleek $350,000 suit.
Only Bale could make a form- fitting all-black suit equipped with cape and cap look stunning. It wasn’t like the other superheroes who wear tights and bright colors to bring attention to themselves. Batman is dark and lurks in the shadows with the ruffians, which is why he needed an awesome suit. The costume designers hit it on the nose, and made Batman look amazing.
Serg Beret on Batman Begins:
Nolan’s take on the origin of Batman set the precursor of superhero films to come and was not afraid to take a risk in doing so. The legend of the Dark Knight has a rich background and Nolan took note by taking the source material (following close to Year One & The Long Halloween) and adapting it for a modern era with a dynamic vision that embrace the dark that Burton established back in 1989 with thriller elements displayed in his previous film, Insomnia.
The performances delivered are across the board fantastic with Liam Nesson’s Henry Ducard stealing the show with a sauve demeanor before his reveal as (spoiler alert for a eight year-old film) Ra’s Al Ghoul. The cinematography in this film, while not as perfect as The Dark Knight, captures the feel of the grit and grime Gotham possesses. The action never disappoints with a fascinating chase on the Gotham rooftops and the outbreak of the weaponized hallucinogens invaded the city being the main highlights. The only disappointment I have with the film is the pacing that feels a bit too quick. It takes it time to develop the character of Bruce Wayne and Batman. Yet, when Batman does appear, it starts to go on a different pace. Batman Begins is a remarkable film through and through, making the Bat the ultimate superhero once again.
Next week, Film A Week takes on a famous Star franchise that ruled the Summer back in the 80’s. That’s right, Film A Week is boldly going where everyone has gone before. With the highly anticipated Star Trek Into Darkness already in theaters and cinemas at this current point in time, Film A Week is ready to experience a beloved classic and its wrath. Across the moon of Vega, its Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
Film A Week 20: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
Saturday, May 25th
Part of Take Back the Summer Cinema Month