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Batman Begins (PG-13)

Release Date: June 15th, 2005 by Warner Brothers Pictures.
The Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy.
Directed by Christopher Nolan

  BASIC PREMISE: The revenge story of Bruce Wayne's journey that eventually turns him into Batman.

  ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Dazzling special effects and stylish cinematography makes for a wild, adventurous ride. The choreography of the fight scenes are also exceptional and even breath-taking. But what really makes Batman Begins work is the perfect casting of Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne. He chews his lines with plenty of personality and dry humor. He also looks strong and built enough to be convincing as a superhero that easily fights off crime and then vanishes within split seconds. The other actors are also pretty good, including Michael Caine as the butler and Gary Oldman as a lieutenant. Katie Holmes is very beautiful and charming. Morgan Freeman also manages to entertain in a rather short, yet entertaining scene. What could have been a boring, been-there done-that plot ends up very engaging because of the factor of revenge. The villains are convincingly evil and, likewise, Batman is convincingly good. Revenge has rarely been this much fun to watch.

  SPIRITUAL VALUE: Not only is revenge fun to watch but it is also thought-provoking. Bruce Wayne initially refuses to kill his enemies, yet he is understandably forced to because he is angry that they killed his parents when his was younger. It is very intriguing to watch Bruce confront his fear of bats and eventually to become one, in a way. His duel life as Batman and Bruce Wayne is just as complicated as Spiderman and Superman's duel lives but he maintains a level of subtle honesty without being too upfront about his new secret "job". The ending, of course, is just the beginning--it is still very rewarding by making you not only hunger for the other Batman movies, but also understand them in a whole new light.

  INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Bruce Wayne's fear of bats is shown a little too often in flashbacks.


  THE BOTTOM LINE: A highly-entertaining summer blockbuster full of dazzling special effects, a terrific cast, and a dramatic story that is very engaging as it is insightful. The best summer movie so far.

  RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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