Tag Archives: Gary Oldman

Batman Begins (2005)

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Batman Begins

Time: 140 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman
Michael Caine as Alfred
Liam Neeson as Ducard
Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes
Cillian Murphy as Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow
Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon
Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox
Director: Christopher Nolan

As a child, a young Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) witnesses the death of his parents at the hands of a criminal. As an adult, Bruce travels the world seeking the means to fight injustice. He lives among the boroughs of criminals and thieves in central Asia. Eventually, he meets and is trained by Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson) and Ra’s Al Ghul (Ken Watanabe) who are part of a group called the League of Shadows. When he returns, Bruce finds that Gotham City has become overrun with crime and corruption. Discovering a cave under Wayne Manor, Bruce assumes the identity of Batman to take on the criminals and organized crime underworld of Gotham.

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After Batman and Robin, the Batman franchise desperately needed a reboot. This is the first superhero movie that tried to take the movie into a more realistic direction and changed the way superhero movies are being made today. This movie does take its time to set up its plot and characters’ backstories which will put some people off as usual superhero movies set up their backstories fairly quick. Unlike other adaptations of Batman, this shows how Bruce Wayne became Batman. One thing that I found better in this movie compared to Tim Burton’s version is you get to learn more about Bruce Wayne. In the 1989 film it immediately starts and Batman has existed for some time. There are lots of superhero movies which show the main characters’ backstories such as Spiderman and Superman but this was the first superhero that really spends a lot of time delving deep into the psychology of the character. The movie isn’t predictable at all; it takes many twists and turns. With Batman Begins, everything is played as realistic as possible; the characters mostly feel like real people and it somehow manages to make the idea of a millionaire dressing up as a bat and fighting crime somewhat plausible. As much as I like Tim Burton’s Batman, this is the first adaptation of Batman that for me got the character right. It is also the second representation of a superhero that I felt was perfect after the original Superman.

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When it comes to playing Batman, the actor actually needs to play two characters: Bruce Wayne and Batman. Michael Keaton in Batman nailed that role, Val Kilmer did an okay job in Batman Forever and the less I say about George Clooney in Batman and Robin the better. Christian Bale managed to pull off both parts off well as Batman, even as well as Keaton. He managed to personify Bruce as a millionaire playboy and Batman as an intimidating presence (with a raspy voice as well). Also great in the supporting roles are Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson and Cillian Murphy. The characters felt and were acted like real people.

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Hans Zimmer’s and James Newton Howard’s music in this movie is very effective and atmospheric. The action is filmed very well: one thing about the Dark Knight Trilogy is that most of the things that go on look like they could happen in real life, this includes the action scenes. This Batman Begins’s cinematography always seems to give this atmospheric realistic feel to me. When the action scenes are paired with the score, it is a masterclass of filmmaking. The best example of this is a scene with the tumbler, Batman’s
car.

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This movie changed the ways comic book movies were made, no longer did they just focus on just action (which still was fine) but also focused on character development and plot. The Dark Knight Trilogy goes beyond just being superhero movies. This film is both a fun action movie and a thrilling drama that takes many twists that will keep the audience of the edge of their seats.

The Dark Knight (2008)

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The Dark Knight

Time: 152 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne
Heath Ledger as The Joker
Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent
Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth
Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel
Gary Oldman as Gordon
Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox
Director: Christopher Nolan

Set within a year after the events of Batman Begins, Batman (Christian Bale), Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman), and new district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) successfully begin to round up the criminals that plague Gotham City until a mysterious and sadistic criminal mastermind known only as the Joker (Heath Ledger) appears in Gotham, creating a new wave of chaos. Batman’s struggle against the Joker forces him to confront everything he believes, improve his technology to stop him and forces Batman closer to crossing the fine line between hero and vigilante.

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The Dark Knight is one of the best sequels to an already great movie. This is up with The Godfather Part 2, Aliens, Terminator 2 and The Empire Strikes back for a sequel being as good if not better as the original. The film is much darker than Batman Begins, mostly because of The Joker but also because Batman is tested much harder by his new adversity. The dialogue between characters is very interesting and captivating, an example of this is one scene that is between Batman and The Joker. Most of the best things about this movie can only be seen, it can’t be explained. The first scene in The Dark Knight is one of the most surprising openings to a movie because of the soundtrack and the setup which I won’t spoil for those few people who haven’t seen this film yet. Once experiencing that first scene the first time I watched it, I knew that I was in for something special.

The Dark Knight

As in Batman Begins, Christian Bale is great as Batman. He again manages to portray both Bruce Wayne’s side and Batman’s side. I honestly don’t need to say much about Heath Ledger’s surprising performance as The Joker as it’s been talked about so often. But no one expected him to act like this. People already knew he was a good actor but the fact that he was going to be The Joker was looking to be one of the worst miscasts for an actor for a role. However he impressed everyone by going beyond the comic book. People compare his performance to Jack Nicholson’s in Batman (1989). For me Jack Nicholson’s performance was the first supervillian that translated from the comic book to the big screen. Heath Ledger is the perfect portrayal of a sociopath who happens to be The Joker. For me, both performances were perfect but I slightly like Ledger’s performance slightly more, only because his character seems more realistic as an absolute psychopath than Nicholson’s. As usual, the cast from the previous movie, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman returns. The only character who has had a new actor was Maggie Gyllenhaal replacing Katie Holmes as Rachel who was also really good here. Aaron Eckhart was perfect as Harvey Dent. I can’t really give examples of his best moments in the film as it may spoil things for the few people who haven’t seen this movie yet. I will say that Dent goes through some changes as a character.

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Like the first film, Hans Zimmer composed the score to The Dark Knight and as usual does a good job. The action was filmed well, like in the first film; every action scene is made to seem plausible as possible. There are some scenes like the truck flip scene that weren’t CGI, Christopher Nolan actually managed to make that happen.

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If you replaced the character of Batman with someone else, it is still a really good crime drama. That’s the best way that I can describe The Dark Knight: a great crime drama with Batman in it. One of the best comic book movies of all time manages to be a great movie on its own, not just as an action movie. The excellent acting by everyone, the immersion of the world and the interesting story makes it an essential movie for everyone to watch.