Sunday, June 19, 2005

Bateman, er, I mean Batman*

Let me be up front. I don't like Christian Bale. I don't think he's dreamy or cute or hot or any other form of attractive. I don't hate Christian Bale or his work. I do think that either his American accent needs refining or his speech impediment. Not sure which.

I went to see Batman this morning. Our family ritual works like this. Friday or Saturday, Brad or Big Brad (my brother and father, respectively) calls to let me know the name of the designated movie for the weekend. We always go on Sunday morning, the first show available if possible.

We (the Brads and I) always invite my mom, my sister Jenny, our friend Scott, and my friend Bear. We meet at Big Brad and Mary's house, and Brad drives us in his car. It's the biggest. Then, we drive to the theater about twenty minutes before the start, where we meet Scott. Scott parks in the first space under the tree, and Brad directly to the right.

Brad collects money from everyone, or not, and buys the tickets. We go in, no snacks, sit in the middle fairly close to the screen, and make fun of people until the commercials start. The commercials usually suck, but Scott's pretty good with the making fun, so we enjoy that.

Today, Mary and Jenny didn't go. Mary (my mom) doesn't do sci-fi, cartoons of any kind, or comic books. Jenny loves her sleep. Brad decided to relinquish stewardship of the tickets to me as we walked to the ticket booth. Which is fine, but I don't carry cash with me usually. So I had to ask Big Brad for cash, on Father's Day. I gave it back at the end somehow, but way to bait and switch.

We went in, watched the commercials, made fun of the people etc. The movie started. I didn't expect much, because I didn't know that Christopher Nolan of Memento directed it, and also the not liking Christian Bale. I liked it.

I'm not talking "Hey, this movie made me question my place in the world and all the choices I've made in my life," but "Hey, I think this seems to suit the spirit of the comic book." For those of you who don't know, I love comic books. I've been reading them forever, with the aid of Brad. He's got almost as many comics as a store, and goes for quality more than quantity. I've challenged my students to ask me trivia about the X-Men (comic), and they can't stump me. You can try if you want.

So, the movie. I liked it. First the good stuff. The visuals of the costume, batcave and batmobile worked well. I liked most of the Raz Al Ghul/origin stuff, and also the back in Gotham storyline. Michael Caine did great, loved his accent and character.

Now the iffy parts. Katie Holmes and Chrisitan Bale had NO chemistry. I didn't believe for a second that either one cared about the other. Bale spoke in this awful guttural voice as Batman, I guess to disguise it. The main horrible weapon made no sense for a variety of reasons, and even a cursory mopping up of the mess of the climactic battle didn't make it on film.

I'm unreasonably prejudiced, I'll admit. I watched American Psycho a few years ago, and cannot list all the reasons that movie sucked. Not the least of which was the stupid premise, but also because Bale didn't sell me on the psycho bit, even as he waved around a chainsaw.

Do you like comics? Do you like movies about comics? Do you enjoy Batman as dark, tortured hero-type? Do you like Christian Bale? Do Ninjas do it for you? Do you heart Mrs. Cruise? Would you like seeing Michael Caine play Alfred as a dutiful but smart-ass cockney? Do you enjoy love interests without passion? Will you watch needlessly convoluted super-villian plots and equally convoluted solutions to said plots? Need explosions and car chases in your flicks? Have you got the hots for Liam Neeson?

If you answered yes to two or more of the above, go see Batman.

*Christian Bale plays Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.


sxKitten said...

Yes, although I'm not a fanatic. Absolutely. Yes. No, not really. Oh yeah, ninjas are the coolest! Not even a little bit. Most definitely. Nope. If I must, and they have cool gadgets. No, but they're pretty cool if they're well done. Well, yeah, although he's not as hot as Dean.

That's 6 affirmatives, so I guess I'm going. On the other hand, I don't want to encourage Mrs. Cruise, so I'll wait for the DVD.

EdWonk said...

I think that I'll wait for the DVD at Blockbuster. (As a teacher in a small town, there would be no chance of going to this movie without being "made" by several students.)

What does "do it for me" were the old Batman TV series which they re-ran when I was a child.

My favorite villain was, and always will be, The Riddler.

Sadly, Frank Gorshin, who played the original Riddler, died recently. I'll always remember his unforgettably maniacal laugh.