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Batman Begins

USA 2005
produced by
Larry J. Franco, Charles Roven, Emma Thomas, Benjamin Melniker (executive), Michael E.Uslan (executive) for Warner Brothers, Syncopy, Legendary, DC Comics
directed by Christopher Nolan
starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer, Ken Watanabe, Morgan Freeman, Mark Boone Junior, Linus Roache, Larry Holden, Gerard Murphy, Colin McFarlane, Sara Stewart, Gus Lewis, Richard Brake, Rade Serbedzija, Emma Lockhart, Christine Adams, Catherine Porter, John Nolan, Karen Shenaz David, Jonathan D.Ellis, Tamer Hassan, Vincent Wong, Turbo Kong, Tenzin Gyurne, Jamie Cho, David Murray, David Bedella, Martin McDougall, Risteard Cooper, Jack Gleeson, Sarah Wateridge, Charlie Kranz, Tim Booth, Tom Nolan, Ilyssa Fradin, Jay Buozzi, Omar Mustafa, Patrick Pond, Poopy Tierney, Rory Campbell
story by David S.Goyer, screenplay by Christopher Nolan, David S.Goyer, based on the comic created by Bob Kane for DC-Comics, music by James Newton howard, Hans Zimmer, special effects by Graphic Nature, digital effects by Cine Image Film Opticals, visual effects by Dougle Negative, Cutting Edge, Moving Picture Company (MPC), BUF, Rising Sun Pictures, Senate Visual Effects, Jim Henson's Creature Shop, Thousand Monkeys

Batman, Batman (Christian Bale)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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After his wealthy and well-meaning parents (Linus Roache, Sara Stewart) were killed in a hold-up, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has sworn to fight crime each and every way possible - something that eventually lands him in a Bhutan prison. There though, Wayne attracts the attention of one Henri Cucard (Liam Neeson), who breaks him free from jail to have him trained to become a part of Ra's Al Ghul's (Ken Watanabe) Shadow Army. But when Wayne finds out about the evil intentions of the army, he burns down the army's Himalayan headquarters, killing pretty much everyone, but he saves Ducard's life.

Eventually, Wayne returns to his hometown Gotham City and decides to put everything he has learned at his Shadow Army training camp to good use, building himself a scary outfit (that of a bat) and using ninja techniques to stir up Gotham's underworld - with the help of one good cop, Gordon (Gary Oldman) and one honest DA, Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes) - who just happens to be his childhood sweetheart.

But there's something big going on in Gotham, someone named the Scarecrow - who will eventually turn out to be Dr Crane (Cillian Murphy), head of the Arkham Asylum - is spreading fear ... which is not just a figure of speech, he's actually using a fear-inducing drug. But someone wants to spread fear on a larger scale than the Scarecrow has ever dreamed of, and that someone is ... Ra's Al Ghul, who now turns out to be not the Oriental Wayne killed in the fire after all but none other than Ducard, whose life he saved. And Ducard has long seen through Batman's/Wayne's disguise, and burns down Wayne Manor to get rid of his chief opponent - but to pay back a favour, he does not actually kill Wayne himself but just leaves him to die.

Of course, Bruce Wayne does not really die, and he makes it to Arkham Asylum, Ra's Al Ghul's new headquarters, just in time before the villain and the scarecrow can spread fear for good ... and with the help of just a few cops, he takes all the baddies out, and saves Gotham City for good ... until of course the Joker will strike (see The Dark Knight for that).

Michael Caine is wasted as Wayne's well-meaning butler, Rutger Hauer as the chairman of Wayne Industries, and Morgan Freeman as the token black man ... er, head scientist of the company.


First of all, in my humble opinion, Batman Begins has one of the least poetic film titles ever. I mean, couldn't they have thought of something more original?

Second of all, why - apart from the obvious reaason, money - Christopher Nolan, former (overrated) arthouse darling has signed on to do the film is somewhat beyond me. Doesn't he give a ratfart abvout his credibility?

Third of all, couldn't they have gotten better actors for the lead roles than pretty face Christian Bale as Batman and sugar sweet Katie Holmes as his love interest?

And fourth of all - why does this film take itself so goddam seriously, when all it's telling is a simplistic tale versus good and evil? And why does it play more like an epic movie than anything else, wasting almost an hour with the Batman's origin everybody watching the film must know anyways? Instead of having some fun with its source material like the classic Batman, it just goes on and on about only allegedly big themes liek crime and punishment and guilt and redemption, but giving them nothing but the tried-and-true treatment.

Add to all this an over-complex but simplistic plot that doesn't seem to be able to make its point (and in over two hours, too), botched-up action sequences, some way-too-obvious CGI-effects and a bland directorial effort that wouldn't touch atmosphere with a stick, and you've got ... well, not very much, just a waste of time.

Rather annoyingly though, this film did really good at the box office.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD