Hello again, this is Balcony Betty and since I’m here for a sequel, I must have been well—or at least tolerably well—received. I am taking a reader’s advice and reviewing more than two movies this time, although in my defense, Grim flaked last month. This past month I have seen many movies and have picked these four to review: ‘Batman Begins’, ‘Kingdom of Heaven’, ‘Mr. And Mrs. Smith’, and ‘The Pacifier’. So without further ado, here come the reviews.
First, let’s start at the beginning. ‘Batman Begins’ is a look at what makes Bruce Wayne become Batman and how the transformation occurs. Anyone who has heard of Batman knows the general storyline; rich boy is the only witness to his parent’s murder, he is then raised by his older English butler, and when he is grown dons cape and mask to run around Gotham at night fighting evil. Most of the other Batman movies, TV shows, and cartoons jump from the Wayne’s death/funeral to Bruce strapping on the mask and patrolling the streets (okay, the rooftops) of the city, completely bypassing the middle period. This is not so with Batman Begins. This movie dives into the middle ground and remains there, surfacing to the known storyline in the last five minutes with a sequel teaser referring to The Joker. This movie shows us where and how he learned to fight, where he gets his gadets, gizmos, and the always amazing Batmobile (in other words his “Bat Toys”) and provides an explanation as to the cave beneath Wayne Manor. The cast has some relatively new faces: Christian Bale, Cillian Murphy, and Katie Holmes and some big name favorites; Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, and Michael Caine as a quick-witted and surprisingly youthful Alfred Pennyworth. I gave this movie four and a half howls of pleasure , but I’m a sucker for a good silver screen adaptation of a comic book classic.
For all of the hype that it received prior to its opening and all of the controversy surrounding its theme, I must admit that I was somewhat disappointed in ‘Kingdom of Heaven’. Now, don’t get me wrong, for what it had to offer, the movie was good and girls, you’ll agree with me on this, two and a half hours in a dark room with Orlando Bloom is well worth the price of admission. But, for being proclaimed an epic story of love and the fight for the holy land, I found this movie just didn’t live up to expectations. Yes the movie took place in the Holy Land during the time of the Crusades, but the only battles that took place, while techniquely well choreographed and impressive to watch, really did not hold true to the preview hype. And yes, there is love, but it seemed at times that the love and romance scenes were added as an afterthought, leaving the viewers with the feeling of unfullfillment. I can only hope that when the DVD version comes out later this year, with additional footage, that it enhances the movie. There were parts where I was bored and wishing for a nice blood filled battle.So, for the disappointment, I gave this movie only two and a half howls of pleasure.
‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’, staring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as the title couple, is a typical boy meets girl story—with a twist. In this movie the boy and girl aren’t ordinary, but are in fact the two best assassins in the world. The hitch to their happily ever after is, they are employed by rival companies and to make matters worse, each one has orders to kill the other. What follows is a thrill ride of gunfights and near-escapes with laughs and jokes intermixed. I found this movie to be very entertaining and so I gave it four howls of pleasure.
The last movie I reviewed this month was ‘The Pacifier’, which I will admit I picked up at the video store on the way to watch my young cousin for an evening. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the movie. At first, the idea of Vin Diesel in a Disney flick seems completely preposterous; the bad boy of action, the original xXx himself, in a family movie. But the movie had enough action to keep Diesel’s fans happy and enough tenderness to tug at the heart-strings of those same fans. I gave this movie three and a half howls of pleasure, all because it made me laugh and had enough action to keep me from becoming bored.
Well, that’s it for this month. I hope you have enjoyed my reviews. With any luck I will return in the months to come. Until then, remember to stay down in front and no talking once the movie starts, or else you may find yourself covered in popcorn raining down from the balcony.