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Batman Begins (Blu-ray Disc, 2010, Canadian)

Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale, Katie Holmes | Theatrical release: 2005
Movie synopsis
Genius of mystery and intrigue Christopher Nolan (MEMENTO, FOLLOWING, INSOMNIA) helms this prequel to the Batman films based on the DC Comics series, explaining how Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale)--the billionaire prince of Gotham whose parents were killed in an alleyway mugging--transformed into the crime-fighting superhero. With flashbacks to his privileged childhood, young Master Wayne, as he is called by the butler Alfred (Michael Caine), develops a terrible fear of bats when he falls through the backyard garden into a hidden cave. As a young adult, Wayne lives among the League of Shadows, a martial arts group in the mountains of Asia. His leaders Ra's al Ghul (Ken Watanabe) and Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson) teach him strength, endurance, and--unfortunately--evil, against which he naturally rebels. Returning to Gotham and reinstating himself as a dapper socialite and the rightful heir to his parents' enterprise, Wayne quickly devises his secret identity, commanding help from the gadgetry expert Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman). With one eye on his childhood playmate Rachel (Katie Holmes)--now a beautiful woman and dedicated lawyer--and the other on his mission to save Gotham from criminal corruption, Batman makes his fledgling debut. But when the blue-blooded mastermind Dr. Crane (Cillian Murphy)--who steals every scene with chilling menace--taints the water system with a hallucinatory substance, Batman realizes he has met his first true opponent. An attitude of grave seriousness elevates BATMAN BEGINS above more cartoony Batman movies, as Nolan crafts a dark drama that thrives on sci-fi intrigue. Bale strides into the role with grace, adding refinement that is seldom seen in action-oriented films. And while the action scenes explode with high-tech glitz and fast-moving thrills, they are evenly placed among sequences of plot and character development, making for a complex and satisfying viewing experience.

Product Details
  • Edition: Canadian
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Film Country: USA
  • UPC: 883929141876

Additional Details
Genre:Science-Fiction/Fantasy
Format:Blu-ray Disc
Display Format:Canadian

eBay Product ID: EPID84945934

Editorial reviews

"[A] triumph -- a confidently original, engrossing interpretation, with a seriously thought-through aesthetic point of view..."
Entertainment Weekly - Lisa Schwarzbaum (06/24/2005)

"[T]his tense, effective iteration of Bob Kane's original comic book owes its power and pleasures to a director who takes his material seriously and to a star who shoulders that seriousness with ease."
New York Times - Manohla Dargis (06/15/2005)

"Christian Bale makes the best Bruce Wayne/Batman since Warner Bros. revived the franchise in 1989."
USA Today - Mike Clark (06/17/2005)

"[I]t's the flair of the set pieces that really impresses....The film delivers a pleasingly robust sense of spectacle....It is a welcome new beginning."
Sight and Sound - Edward Lawrenson (08/01/2005)

"This intimate, brooding resurrection brings the Caped Crusader back to life by sending him back to his roots."
Uncut - Chris Roberts (08/01/2005)

3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Lined with wry humor, the film addresses questions of corporate greed..."
Rolling Stone - Peter Relic (11/03/2005)

"[B]rooding, carefully crafted, and comparatively low-tech....Mr. Bale brings true gravity and pathos to the task at hand."
Film Comment - Kent Jones (11/01/2005)

Ranked #7 in Uncut's Best Films Of 2005 -- "Nolan's vision of Gotham is a hellhole straight out of Hieronymus Bosch."
Uncut - Uncut Staff (01/01/2006)

Ranked #4 in Rolling Stone's "Top 25 DVDs Of 2005' -- "Gotham looks lived in, not art-directed, and Bale creates a hero of haunted fire."
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers (12/01/2005)

4 stars out of 5 -- "Nolan's Year One reinvention of the franchise is largely about ambiance and mood....A more sober study in psychology..."
Ultimate DVD - Richard Houldsworth (08/01/2007)

Reviews & Research

Customer Reviews

Average review score based on 327 user reviews

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Created: 08/14/06

Batman Begins

Genius of mystery and intrigue Christopher Nolan (MEMENTO, FOLLOWING, INSOMNIA) helms this prequel to the Batman films based on the DC Comics series, explaining how Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale)--the billionaire prince of Gotham whose parents were killed in an alleyway mugging--transformed into the crime-fighting superhero. With flashbacks to his privileged childhood, young Master Wayne, as he is called by the butler Alfred (Michael Caine), develops a terrible fear of bats when he falls through the backyard garden into a hidden cave. As a young adult, Wayne lives among the League of Shadows, a martial arts group in the mountains of Asia. His leaders Ra's al Ghul (Ken Watanabe) and Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson) teach him strength, endurance, and--unfortunately--evil, against which he naturally rebels. Returning to Gotham and reinstating himself as a dapper socialite and the rightful heir to his parents' enterprise, Wayne quickly devises his secret identity, commanding help from the gadgetry expert Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman). With one eye on his childhood playmate Rachel (Katie Holmes)--now a beautiful woman and dedicated lawyer--and the other on his mission to save Gotham from criminal corruption, Batman makes his fledgling debut. But when the blue-blooded mastermind Dr. Crane (Cillian Murphy)--who steals every scene with chilling menace--taints the water system with a hallucinatory substance, Batman realizes he has met his first true opponent. An attitude of grave seriousness elevates BATMAN BEGINS above more cartoony Batman movies, as Nolan crafts a dark drama that thrives on sci-fi intrigue. Bale strides into the role with grace, adding refinement that is seldom seen in action-oriented films. And while the action scenes explode with high-tech glitz and fast-moving thrills, they are evenly placed among sequences of plot and character development, making for a complex and satisfying viewing experience.

2 of 6 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 10/19/08

2005 Christian Bale Emerges From Youth to Dark Knight

Director Nolan's "Batman Begins" doesn't disappoint while revealing how the orphaned billionaire, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), is so influenced by his parents' murders that he becomes an avenger of violent crimes: Batman, the dark-suited, noble knight of all super heroes.

Alfred, the most famous butler (Michael Caine), is largely responsible for mentoring the youngster, 'Master Wayne'. Flashbacks are strategically deployed to show that the boy fell into a bat-infested cave in his backyard in Gotham & developed a phobia. Yet, flashing forward to Wayne the man, reveals he temporarily hung-out in Asian mountains, where he was influenced by the League of Shadows' leaders, Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson) & Ra's al Ghul (Ken Watanabe), who trained him to use martial arts for evil purposes.

After rebelling against their use of evil, Wayne goes home to Gotham & develops dual identities: his public persona's the business-like billionaire, while privately he becomes the masked crusader. Batman's goal is to cleanse Gotham of criminal activity.

With the help of police officer, Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) & a genuis with technology, Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), Batman & Bale hit their strides taking on nefarious characters such as mafia don Carmine Falcone (Tom Wilinson), twisted physician & drug dealer Dr. Jonathan 'The Scarecrow' Crane (Cillian Murphy) & a mystery villian lurking in the shadows waiting to strike, who's all too knowledgable about Wayne.

Superb fantasy story & character role playing cast make the film worth seeing once~

88 of 90 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 09/13/09

A Must Have 4 EVERY Cape Crusader Fan!!

Batman Begins discards the previous four films in the series and recasts the Caped Crusader as a fearsome avenging angel. That's good news, because the series, which had gotten off to a rousing start under Tim Burton, had gradually dissolved into self-parody by 1997's Batman & Robin. As the title implies, Batman Begins tells the story anew, when Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) flees Western civilization following the murder of his parents. He is taken in by a mysterious instructor named Ducard (Liam Neeson in another mentor role) and urged to become a ninja in the League of Shadows, but he instead returns to his native Gotham City resolved to end the mob rule that is strangling it. But are there forces even more sinister at hand?
Cowritten by the team of David S. Goyer (a veteran comic book writer) and director Christopher Nolan (Memento), Batman Begins is a welcome return to the grim and gritty version of the Dark Knight, owing a great debt to the graphic novels that preceded it. It doesn't have the razzle dazzle, or the mass appeal, of Spider-Man 2 (though the Batmobile is cool), and retelling the origin means it starts slowly, like most "first" superhero movies. But it's certainly the best Bat-film since Burton's original, and one of the best superhero movies of its time. Bale cuts a good figure as Batman, intense and dangerous but with some of the lightheartedness Michael Keaton brought to the character. Michael Caine provides much of the film's humor as the family butler, Alfred, and as the love interest, Katie Holmes (Dawson's Creek) is surprisingly believable in her first adult role. Also featuring Gary Oldman as the young police officer Jim Gordon, Morgan Freeman as a Q-like gadgets expert, and Cillian Murphy as the vile Jonathan Crane. A great addition to your collection.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 07/08/06

Batman Rocks Again!

'Batman Begins" at last penetrates to the dark and troubled depths of the Batman legend, creating a superhero who, if not plausible, is at least persuasive as a man driven to dress like a bat and become a vigilante. The movie doesn't simply supply Batman's beginnings in the tradition of a comic book origin story, but explores the tortured path that led Bruce Wayne from a parentless childhood to a friendless adult existence. The movie is not realistic, because how could it be, but it acts as if it is.

Opening in a prison camp in an unnamed nation, "Batman Begins" shows Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) enduring brutal treatment as a prisoner, as part of his research into the nature of evil. He is rescued by the mysterious Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson), who appoints himself Wayne's mentor, teaches him sword-fighting and mind control, and tries to enlist him in his amoral League of Shadows ("We burned London to the ground").

When Wayne refuses to kill someone as a membership requirement, Ducard becomes his enemy; the reclusive millionaire returns to Gotham City determined to fight evil, without realizing quite how much trouble he is in.

The story of why he identifies with bats (childhood trauma) and hates evildoers (he saw his parents killed by a mugger) has been referred to many times in the various incarnations of the Batman legend, including four previous films. This time, it is given weight and depth. Wayne discovers in Gotham that the family Wayne Corp. is run by a venal corporate monster (Rutger Hauer), but that in its depths labors the almost forgotten scientific genius Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), who understands Wayne wants to fight crime and offers him the weaponry.

Lucius happens to have on hand a prototype Batmobile, which unlike the streamlined models in the earlier movies, is a big, unlovely juggernaut that looks like a Humvee's wet dream. He also devises a bat-cape with surprising properties.

These preparations, Gotham crime details and the counsel of the faithful servant Alfred (Michael Caine) delay the actual appearance of Batman until the second act of the movie. We don't mind. Unlike the earlier films, which delighted in extravagant special-effects action, "Batman Begins" is shrouded in shadow; instead of high-detail, sharp-edged special effects, we get obscure developments in fog and smoke, reinforced by a superb sound-effects design. And Wayne himself is a slow learner, clumsy at times, taking foolish chances, inventing Batman as he goes along.

This is at last the Batman movie I've been waiting for. The character resonates more deeply with me than the other comic superheroes, perhaps because when I discovered him as a child, he seemed darker and more grown-up than the cheerful Superman. He has secrets. As Alfred muses: "Strange injuries and a nonexistent social life. These things beg the question, what does Bruce Wayne do with his time?"

What he does is create a high profile as a millionaire playboy who gets drunk and causes scenes. This disappoints Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes), his friend since childhood, who is now an assistant D.A. She and Lt. James Gordon (Gary Oldman), apparently Gotham City's only honest cop, are faced with a local crime syndicate led by Carmine Falcone (Tom Wilkinson). But Falcone's gang is child's play, compared to the deep scheme being hatched by the corrupt psychiatrist Dr. Jonathan Crane (Cillian Murphy). This movie was great.. I totally recommend it.!

0 of 3 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 12/22/05

Fantastic film - the best in the series

Batman Begins, this summer's entry into the Batman film legacy, redefines the series. Director Christopher Nolan, who has already captivated me with his takes on "Memento" and the Al Pacino vehicle, "Insomnia" finds the story and the star to tell it. It's a dark piece, and owes far less to the comic book than the Tim Burton versions. All of the action and adventure is tied to the psyche of the man who becomes the dark hero. I don't think Nolan worried about that, because it is obvious that the fan base and the money men wanted a return of the harrowing aspects of the Dark Knight, following the successes in bringing the Marvel comics to the screen, and wanted the cartoon (Jim Carrey, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Batgirl and Poison Ivy) parts gone.

To get there, Nolan relied on storylines and backdrops from the excellent graphic novels that have grown up around the Batman legend, then paired with David Goyer to write the screenplay. The result is that this film is far and away the best of the five.

Christian Bale plays a stripped-down, emotionally unavailable Batman, and his character is thoroughly outlined. You know exactly what his demons are, and you go through the decision-making process he takes with Alfred (the outstanding Michael Caine) to build the Batcave, and find the identity of the hero who will finally make criminals feel his presence.

The origin of Batman's training, the ninja backdrop, and the presence of his fearful mentor, Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson, better as a Ninja than a Jedi), open the film, and we see Bruce Wayne traversing through some of the most dangerous spots on the globe, in Asia, to meet the fearsome Ra's Al Ghul (Ken Watanabe, on the screen for too short a time). Ghul is fighting against crime as well, but has chosen Gotham City, Bruce's former home, as his battlefield. His League of Shadows wants to destroy the city, and the crime with it. Wayne cannot go along with the plan, and his escape from the Tibetan stronghold is perilous and destructive. Some good support in other roles, notably Mr. Earle (Rutger Hauer digs himself out of B movies for a guest shot), a youngish police inspector, Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman in a great cameo), and of course, the stylish presence of Michael Caine.

The actual battle scenes are tense and inspiring, the Batmobile is undoubtedly a star of the movie all on its own. Camera shots and cinematography are second to none in this production, and all of it carries out Wayne's/Batman's message....

"I went around the world, searched in all the shadows. And there is something out there in the darkness, something terrifying, something that will not stop until it gets revenge... Me."

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