Sunday, 1 April 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 100: Monday Apr 9

Pow! Biff! Phew! It's Batman day at The Prince Charles Cinema

Those clever folk at the Prince Charles have picked the best three Batman movies for sure.

Batman (Martinson, 1966) 3pm

Time Out review:

This spin-off from the camp '60s TV series is bolstered with all the major baddies: The Penguin (Meredith), Joker (Romero), Riddler (Gorshin) and Catwoman (Meriwether). With a flip script by Lorenzo Semple Jr, it has a few inspired slapstick sequences (West trying desperately to dispose of a bomb without blowing up nuns, children or animals), but the emphatic senselessness gradually becomes tiresome. More surprisingly, the production work is by and large excellent. Nelson Riddle's musical cues are fun, and the design still looks sleek today - I'd choose Adam West's Batmobile over Michael Keaton's any day. Tom Charity

Here is the trailer.

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Batman Begins (Nolan, 2005) 5.50pm

Time Out review:

'Christopher Nolan’s films (‘Following’, ‘Memento’, ‘Insomnia’) are about the dependence of identity on narrative: we know who we are only because of the stories we make of our own lives. With ‘Batman Begins’, Nolan successfully applies this mode to a character who is essentially a self-crafted living legend – and, in the process, reinvigorates a franchise that had been lost in self-pastiche. ‘Batman Begins’ is a film of two halves, if not quite dual identity. Nolan’s touch is more plainly evident in the first hour, a confidently non-chronological narrative covering Bruce Wayne’s privileged childhood, his parents’ murder and the self-doubt that leads him from Gotham’s underworld to a Himalayan backwater, where Liam Neeson pops up to offer enlightenment and ninja training on behalf of mysterious guru-potentate Ra’s al Ghul. Suitably honed, Bruce (Christian Bale) returns home to take advantage of Wayne Enterprises’ curiously neglected combat research facilities. Only then does the familiar pointy-eared persona coalesce and the narrative straighten out accordingly. The latter half offers a more conventional (and cluttered) city-in-peril plot, pitching the novice crimefighter against Cillian Murphy’s psycho psychiatrist, ‘the Scarecrow’, whose fear toxin threatens to plunge Gotham into anarchy.' Ben Walters

Here is the trailer

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The Dark Knight (Nolan, 2008) 8.30pm

Time Out review:

'Christopher Nolan follows the sombre origin myth of ‘Batman Begins’ with a less introspective, more frenetic sequel. Once again there are lots of ideas on the boil, this time mostly to do with community action and leadership, but an endless flow of bullets, bombs and bat business drowns out most debate. Right from the off, Nolan sidesteps the analyst’s couch and plunges us straight into battle. The challenge that Nolan has set himself is to make a comic book film that’s serious, entertaining and popular. It’s a tall order, but an admirable one. ‘The Dark Knight’ is a film that’s fantastic on the action front, seeds its acrobatics in its own reality, and always feels relevant even when its ideas are drowned out by clatter. That said, every once in a while, you’d like to be able to lean into the screen and tickle somebody’s ribs.'  Dave Calhoun

Here is the trailer.

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