I swear i'll be writing more in 2014

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Batman Finally Begins

When Batman was made into a movie in 1989, it was a big deal.  No longer was it Adam West in tights fighting evil Boy Scout Troop leaders all the while teaching children proper manners.  This was Jack Nicholson playing the Joker minus the stupidity and Michael Keaton playing a great Bruce Wayne and an okay Batman.  At the time, us fans were quite impressed how far it came from the cheesy 60s show.  Fast forward 15 years later, and we have the same deal, this time the clownish Jack Nicholson filling in for the fun Adam West.    

Batman Begins treated the story as close to reality as it possibly could.  Though we still don't have Heath Ledger's Joker blowing J-Nick's out of the water, we have the best film back story presentation yet of the Batman legacy.  Aside from that, Christopher Nolan does a great job with his villains and the Scarecrow is frail but deadly and Ra's al Ghul is a fantastic first rival for the Caped Crusader.  Most importantly, there's no Robin, which is the story's attempt to appeal to a younger generation Scrappy Doo-style.  Remember the kid in the neighborhood who liked Scrappy Doo?  It wasn't a coincidence that that kid was the post picked on. 

The origin of Batman is one of the great stories that have reached film, what are some others you ask?  Hohoho, well, here you go:

The Top 25 Greatest Stories Ever Hulaed … err Told That Have Reached the Big Screen. 

This means, take out acting, filming, dialog, action, suspense, basically all things that make movies great, and cut it down to the simple story. 

25.  Unforgiven

This is a tale of an old cowboy who was once a killer but has retired.  After some cowboys cut up some whores, he enlists his old friend and a young kid for revenge.

24.  The Goonies

As a kid, you always want to find that treasure map and here you go.  Having to travel through sewers (which for some reason is quite normal for children) just makes it even better, as does including a pirate.  ARRRRRRRRRRRRR!

23.  Scarface

A violent crime story where the protagonist is in fact the villain is always fun.  Both film versions are a little different, but the Al Pacino version has him rising though the ranks by killing more important people than he is and I know they both have the villain having uncomfortable feelings for his sister. 

22.  Ben-Hur

Judah is doing well for himself, but once he realizes his roots he becomes a slave turned gladiator and ends up witnessing the crucifixion while his family turn into lepers.  This is a fun story. 

21.  Apocalypse Now

An army captain who becomes addicted to the brutality of the Vietnam War is sent back on a mission to kill an American General who has gone crazy.  It's basically a re-telling of Joseph Conrad's The Heart of Darkness, though not set in Africa. 

20.  Inglorious Basterds

There's nothing like a good Jewish on Nazi revenge story.  Any story where you get to blow up Hitler and other leading Nazis in a huge blood bath is pretty nice. 

19.  Gone With the Wind

Set during the Civil War, a snotty little flirt has to learn how to take care of people after her town is destroyed and never really learns what true love is.    

18.  Castaway

This is the best film has done with the whole "Man stranded on a deserted island" story. 

17.  Forrest Gump

A dim-witted, fast running man grows up in the latter half of the 20th Century and for one reason or another, always finds himself in the middle of America's most important political and social events.

16.  The Departed

Though it's a remake, the story here is an undercover cop, and an undercover mob guy who actually is a cop.  It's a great idea. 

15.  No Country For Old Men

Here we have a psychopathic killer trying to find money, along with some Mexicans and another bounty hunter, which is being held by a stubborn cowboy slash Vietnam Vet who is eager to take on all comers for the money.  Meanwhile, the killer is being chased by a cop who's in way over his head.

14.  Gangs of New York

Set in the 1860s, rival Five Points gangs do battle with each other.  The leader of the Irishmen is killed by the leader of the Natives in front of his son's eyes.  The son goes away for awhile, and comes back as the Native's leader's right hand man incognito, which leads to another battle between the two gangs. 

13.  Back to the Future

Steven Spielberg invents a time machine through a DeLorean and a crazy old man and bratty teenager travel back and forth throughout time, knowing that if they change anything, they'll change everything!

12.  It's a Wonderful Life

An all-American son keeps trying to fulfill his dreams but keeps getting stuck taking over his families problems and never leaves town.  Eventually, after his Uncle loses several thousands of dollars that should be deposited into the family owned bank, he nearly kills himself.  An angel shows him how life would've been much worse for his hometown without him and realizes how wonderful his life is. 

11.  Kill Bill

An evil crime boss has a gang of assassins and begins to have an affair with one of them.  She gets pregnant with his baby and runs away.  He finds her on the night before her wedding and kills the entire wedding party and puts a bullet in her head leaving her for dead.  After awaking from a four year coma, she makes a list to kill everyone who wronged her one by one, and when she gets to Bill, she finds out her baby is alive and being brought up by Bill.

10.  The Wizard of Oz

During a tornado, a young girl is knocked unconscious.  During her unconsciousness, she goes away to a wonderland full of munchkins, witches, talking lions, a tin man, a talking scarecrow, flying monkeys and a little wizard man. 

9.  Batman

A boy falls into a well that is filled with bats, and the nightmare haunts his entire life.  His parents end up getting shot in a mugging so he spends his life fighting crime to payback the city's scum.  Oh, and he also dresses up like a bat. 

8.  Indiana Jones

A college professor goes on several expeditions to find forgotten artifacts and encounters many dangers along the way including Nazi's, a Temple of Doom, snakes, and unfortunately even aliens. 

7.  The Ten Commandments

A Jewish slave who was once considered royalty leads his people to freedom.  He performs several miracles along the way and speaks to God personally who tells him that man must follow 10 rules to be better people. 

6.  The Shawshank Redemption

An innocent man goes to jail for killing his wife and spends a couple decades digging his way out, and doing the warden's and several other people's taxes.  Once he escapes, he brings down the whole racket and reunites with his long time prison mate in Mexico. 

5.  The Terminator

Man relies on computers so much that they ultimately create a doomsday scenario and relinquish all control of that scenario to computers.  Along the way, several different Terminator robots that look exactly like Arnold Schwarzenegger among others are sent back in time to either kill or protect the leader of the future human revolution and his mom. 

4.  King Kong

Something better than the deserted island story, is the story of an undiscovered island with a large beast on it.  Even better than that is capturing that beast and trying to use it as entertainment in New York City.  Still better than that is the beast escaping and running amok and climbing the Empire State Building. 

3.  The Godfather

Here's the best tale of the Mafia crime syndicate through the eyes of a few generations of one family.  An immigrant comes to America as a child by himself with nothing.  He meets a few friends along the way who help him make a decent earning working at a butcher's shop and committing some small crimes.  Eventually, this leads to him having to kill the local mob boss who is a menace to the entire neighborhood.  As he grows into the new crime boss, he does things a little differently and tries to help his people by granting them favors, just as long as they know they owe him a favor.  He intends to pass his power on to his oldest son, but instead, it goes to his only "non-affiliated" son who's a war hero, as the oldest son dies by infliction of many bullets into his body.  Once the "good" son becomes the new Don, he ends up having to kill his weak brother and many other people along the way. 

2.  Lord of the Rings

Several rings are forged to help rule the people and creatures of Middle Earth.  Unbeknownst to the elves, dwarves and man, one more ring is created with pure evil to rule them all.  A huge battle between good and evil ensues and good wins, however, the ring is never destroyed and is lost and forgotten.  It's eventually picked up by a hobbit that makes the hobbit turn greedy and evil, and then another hobbit who it doesn't have as strong of an effect on, but still makes him darker.  From this hobbit, it's past on to yet another hobbit with a pure heart who is asked by a good wizard to return the ring to the evilest place on Middle Earth.  Some creatures pop up here and there, and there are several battles between men and orcs. 

1.  Star Wars

A bunch of people in hooded-robes run around with multi-colored light sabers and for the most part, it works.   

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