Batman and the Smiths

Posted: June 27, 2005 in General, Movies/TV/Music

While out visiting Cara in MA over the weekend I caught showings of both Batman Begins and Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

I found myself pleasantly surprised by Mr. & Mrs. Smith. It was throughly entertaining even if it was a little predictable. This is what “popcorn cinema” should be, fun and (mostly) empty entertainment. This is the kind of movies I want to see more often. It reminds me a lot of True Lies which I think has the same “fun factor”.

I don’t have any major issues with the film. I have no love for Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie (but no hatred either). I do think that Doug Liman has really hit the nail on the head (again), and I can’t wait to see his next project. I just hope they don’t try to make a sequel for this movie.

Adversely to Mr. & Mrs. Smith I found Batman Begins to be a bit of a letdown. There were plenty of good bits, but it was like eating a chocolate chip cookie without enough chips. There just was too much truly average sections between the good bits to make the movie on a whole all that good. The pacing just seemed like an 80 year old with too many face lifts, too tight in some places and far too loose in others. Nolan needed to trim 30+ minutes off this film, especially early on.

Above all else I think my biggest complaint is the action is shot far too close with cuts that really don’t show enough. Instead of a “bad ass fight scene” you end up with a muddle. I don’t know if this is because the actors can’t carry off the fight scenes, but honestly with a movie like this why couldn’t you put a stunt man in the bat suit? The Matrix has really established the bar for fight choreography in US cinema. I don’t expect Batman to be a lot of CGI and wirework, but I do expect more than we got.

Don’t get me wrong, Batman Begins is still a better movie than the earlier attempts. I think there is no doubt that we will see more Batman in the near future, but when you hold Batman up to the quality of films like X-men and Spiderman, it just doesn’t stand up. I just didn’t have as much fun watching the movie as I should have.


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