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Movie Review: Batman Begins

Alternate Title: The Sorrow and the Batty

Story: I like my super heroes dark and conflicted. Forget those cartoon-like, kid versions of Batman you have seen since the franchise came to the big screen. This is the real deal, directed by Christopher Nolan (Memento) and written by Nolan and David S. Goyer.

This screen version is similar to the super hero created by Bob Kane back in 1939. This Batman is edgy and even when he is doing his super hero good deeds is a bit scary. I like that in a guy in tights.

Our story, through flashbacks, (thankfully without the use of a dreaded narrator) reveals how Batman got his wings.His anger and guilt over seeing his parents murdered in front of his eyes, as a child, is the essence of how and why he became the caped crusader.

If you like noirish avenger films, with lots of action and some good gadgets check out this summer's cool treat.

Acting:Christian Bale as Batman is solid and memorable. He wipes out your memory (if you had any) of the other Batman incarnations with George Clooney, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer or TV's campy Adam West). Michael Caine as the loyal man servant, Alfred, looks like he was having a great time. Morgan Freeman, as a gadget man, similar to James Bond's Q-type guy also had a fun twinkle in his eye.As always, an unrecognizable Gary Oldman, this time as a good guy, was fine. Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later) was really wonderfully creepy as the bad psychiatrist. Liam Neesan, as the bad, good, bad guy did not seem to be having as a good a time as the other characters. And finally, we have Katie Holmes, as the unnecessary, love interest. It was impossible not to think about her and Tom Cruise whenever she appeared on screen. Very distracting, indeed.

Predilection: I like an interesting Super Hero.

Critters: A trillion bats.

Food: Some gruel in prison.

Soundtrack: A bit over the top.

Opening Titles: None. All credits at the end.

Visual Art: Gotham, is a stunning, dark city.

Theater Audience: A lot of teenage boys.

Drift Factor: I was too entertained to drift.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Nit Picking: Bats are very clean mammals. No nits to pick.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen for sure. For some other Christian Bale films, try renting: American Psycho, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Velvet Goldmine, Little Women, Swing Kids, Newsies and the unforgettable Empire of the Sun.For a bit of trivia, his late father, David Bale married Gloria Steinem.

Length: A bit over two bat hours.