A Warning Sign -

1/11/05

BATMAN BEGINS (2005)

*****

Violence: Heavy
Racism: None (Morgan Freemans in it)
Homophobia: None
Blasphemy: None

I suppose the reason, I've always liked Batman is that unlike all the other superheroes, he does'nt actually have any superpowers. He cant fly, was'nt bitten by a mutated spider, or changed by radiation - he’s just a regular guy with some hi-tech toys and something to prove.

A lot like Chris Martin, really. He's a normal guy, who just tries a little harder than the rest of us. By living his life more purely, he has become what he wanted - The Messiah.

Sure, Batman may be a bit of a vigilante, but nobody’s perfect. He's headstrong with ideals, makes mistakes, and sometimes acts before he thinks. But instead of a angry, violent man with a fetish for rubber, we see a man, who cares about others and wants to do the right thing, battling his personal demons, and trying to do what's right.

Just like Chris. So anyone who says, he should'nt have hit that journalist, or scraped the other guys car, with his keys, can shut up because hes no worse than Batman, and everyone knows, Batman is cool.

This is the fifth Batman movie - but the first one to get it right. It is far and above the last 4, and probably even better than Spider Man but in a different way. I'm also glad that whacko Tim Burton isn't allowed to make them anymore. Its brilliantly directed by Christopher Nolan, who did Memento and has a brilliant script. Of course, it also contains an amazing cast. Christian Bale is brilliant as Bruce Wayne/Batman (oops! possible spoiler!) and Liam Neeson is brilliant as Henri Ducard. Katie Holmes out of Dawsons Creek is brilliant AND gorgeous as Wayne's childhood sweetheart Rachel Dawes, even if she is a Scientologist. In fact, everyone in this is brilliant - Morgan Freeman (whose Black) as Wayne Enterprises’ scientist Lucius Fox, Micheal Caine as a butler, and Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon.

The film is obviously dark, and very violent, with loads of fights and beatings and explosions. Their is none of the humor that went along with the darkness of “Batman Returns”. Theirs some emotional trauma, a few scary hallucinations (needed to be scarier though), but no sexuality, and very few profranity's that I noticed. I heard one swear word uttered under the breath, that was barely noticeable, but there might have been more that I didn’t catch.

There was a brilliant bit, when Batman made his first appearance in the movie, in the importing of the drugs. When he took away that man inside that crate, the suspense began, and even I, became wide-eyed and caught up in the moment. Those, who have been part of the Batman era for a long time knew that Batman wouldn't kill that man, when he was hanging from the string, but we knew he would go to the very limit, but he wouldn't kill anybody, just for justice.

I loved how it really took issue, between justice and vengeance. It shows the importance of compassion, to those that may not deserve it. Batman's motivation is a reminder, that it is not only what you do, but why you do it. Indeed, our actions are open to misinterpretation, and erroneous conclusions being formed - like Chris and the journalist. This movie reminds us, the decent, moral position is to understand, that evil is actualy the result of being poor, and criminals are to be understood and treated and helped, rather than justly punished and locked up like they deserve.

They're was a strong message, about facing your fears, about learning to control them, and using them to your advantage, that was very poignant. Truly, I could picture Chris watching this film.

I really, really enjoyed this film, form the moment it started - in fact, I loved it straight off the bat!

 

15/5/05

THE HITCHHIKERS' GUIDE TO THE GALAXY (2005)

***

Violence: Minor
Racism: None
Homophobia: Mostly Harmless (LOL!)
Blasphemy: Tons

If you, like me, were worried that a British movie written by an intelligent, University-educated writer, acted by a stellar cast including Tim from The Office and Mos Def (who's Black), and a directed by a talented pop video director would still not convince at the box-office, then I've got news for you. DONT' PANIC! The Hicthhiker's Guide To the Galaxy does not disappoint.

Where it does disappoint, is that the film-makers have resolutely avoided having COLDPLAY on the soundtrack, despite Chris having written a song called DONT' PANIC. This is clearly unfair. Their literally the biggest band in the world but Neil Hannons on it and the Divine Comedy haven't done a good record since National Express. On the other hand, they have got Stephen Fry, whos gay, and thats good because gay people are fine by Chris Martin. Their is also a character who is a scientist, like Chris's brother.

However, the film is quite scathing about religion, representing its spokesperson, adherents, and practices as hopelessly ignorant, which I find offensive. The coldly rational and Godless universe presented in this film is not the one I live in. "God give me style and give me grace, God put a smile upon my face" (AROBTTH 3:1). At one point the movie asks, “Who Is This God Person Anyway?” - well, millions of record buyers know!

The Hicthhiker's Guide To the Galaxy is an astronomically funny movie, but dont' expect it to add anything to the radio programme/novels/TV program. But what it is, is a fitting farewell to one of Cambridges favourite sons. So see this movie and join in us in saying - So long, Mr Adams, and thanks for all the fish!!!!

And remember - "We live in a beautiful world, yeah we do, yeah we do" (PARACHUTES 1:2) - no matter what the vogons think.