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June 24, 2005     Cape Gazette
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June 24, 2005

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126 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, June 24 - June 27, 2005 'Batman Begins' takes viewers back ... with a vengeance By Rob Rector Someone should shoot an email over to George Lucas and tell him to see "Batman Begins" if he real- ly wants to know how to make a prequel. Soaring above all cinematic competition, not only this sum- mer, but this entire year so far, "Batman Begins" should set the standard on which all other com- ic-to-film translations are made. Technically stunning, richly de- veloped and cast with precision, "Begins" makes up for the slag heap of garish glitz and Batsuit nipple shenanigans that pocked the franchise in its last two out- ings. It is replaced with the hun- gry growl of a predacious beast - savage, impulsive and poetic in action. Christian Bale, the chameleonic actor who, at 6-foot-1 previously shed 60 pounds to a skeletal 120 pounds for his last role in "The Machinist," dons the suit as though he had wings of his own. The film follows him as Bruce Wayne, and first introduces us to him as an 8-year-old boy who is heir to billions, but is also an in- trepid little chap. After witnessing the murder of his parents, Wayne globe trots in search of answers. It is during this spiritual quest he meets Henri Ducard (played by Jedi master Liam Neeson), who leads a nefarious group of vigi- lantes called "The League of Shadows." Young Wayne's tutelage is bone-splinteringly tough. "This is not a dance," Ducard growls at his embattled apprentice during a sword fight on a frozen lake, nes- tled in the mountains of Tibet. Wayne cannot succumb to the honorless oath of the group, whose "eye for an eye" philoso- phy of vengeance does not bode well with him. He embarks on his own stealthy Bigger small brewery in nearbY Milton! Free tours every M & F@ 3pm Watch beer being made--sample our stuf 302.684.1000 for directions breed of justice in the once-glori- ous Gotham City, which has since been reduced to a ramshackle den of debauchery and corruption. The film's cast reads like a ver- itable who's who of acting ge- niuses, each devoted to internaliz- ing, and ultimately inhabiting, their characters. Gary Oldman is a rock solid Commissioner Gordon, Michael Caine masters his servant role as Wayne's butler Alfred, recent Os- car winner Morgan Freeman is a sly Lucius Fox (who is Bruce's Q, providing him with all his won- derful weaponry, including an ass-kicking Batmobile) and Tom Wilkerson cuts a striking figure as Gotham's chief crime lord. Credit is also due to director Christopher Nolan, who twisted cinematic narrative convention with "Memento" (and whose de- but "Following" was screened at the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival). He first paints a very realistic Gotham (unlike the surreal Gothic Tim Burton city or the neon- belched glitter of director Joel Schumacher), which melds mod- ern with Depression Era land- scaping. Then, he lets his charac- ters slosh through the grime and grit of its decay. When a corrupt Dr. Crane (played by "28 Days Later's" Cil- lian Murphy) unleashes a hallu- cinogenic toxin to the denizens, Nolan provides us with a brain- fried view of the trippy proceed- ings. "Batman builds heartily on its characters foundations, giving the film the sort of narrative drive that usually stalls in summer films' third acts. We care deeply of the psychological repercus- i Brewpub in downtown Rehoboth Beactd great woodgrilled foods, really small brewery & even a microdistillery! 302.226.BREW 320 Rehoboth Ave Open 7 days Read the free Beach Paper, published every Thursday! Christian Bale stars in the prequel "Batman Begins," now playing in local movie theaters. siOns of the man behind the mask and allwho inhabit the batcave of his heart. The final scenes offer a know- ing wink of what is to come, and after spending two and a half hours with these fleshed-out fan- tasy figures, it is difficult not to eagerly anticipate the next blind- ing flash of the bat signal. K Elegant dining in a cozy French atmosphere since 1980. Three charming dining areas and rooftop deck. Vme Spectator Award of Excellence since 1993. All bottles of wine are half-priced on Mondays. 1 1/2 lb. Whole lobster dinner Monday - Thursday New for 2005 A selection of small appetizer and dinner plates from our regular menu. Also, an exciting $25 three course, fixed-price dinner special, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. offered nightly except Satut:day and Holiday Sundays.  I 210 Second Street, Downtown Rehoboth Beach  | ( Please, Come Dine With Ust [ m il ii[ m