|I saw Batman Begins opening weekend, and like Robert, I left the theatre thinking "that was the best 8 bucks I've spent on a movie in a LONG time"....|
This was a particularly refreshing feeling after the experience of watching Lucas' final hurrah...
I was particularly tickled to see SO much of my soon to be ex-city, Chicago, in the background. Having spent hours and hours hiking through the city streets of Chicago, I was able to spot a great deal of Chicago's magnificent and eclectic architecture in the movie; for me, this added a uniquely personal level to the movie
Who ever scouted the city for the locations really, really knew what they were doing. The day light skyline shots are some of my very favorite Chicago vistas. Also, the nighttime panoramic shots of the "narrows" are taken out from Lake Michigan looking back onto the awesome Chicago skyline (with the "narrows" added in via CGI).
Choosing the dramatic, awe-inspiring, and canyon-like "LaSalle Street" bank-corridor for the location of Wayne's corporate headquarters (which is in reality the Board of Trade building tweaked with some CGI magic), was to my mind a touch of brilliance in stylization.
"Lower Wacker" drive (a la The Blue's Brother's famous chase scene) is also prominently, and aptly featured in the film, along with Chicago's many draw-bridges.
In so many subtle ways, "Batman Begins" is an thrilling tribute to the city of Chicago, made all the more so, through its clever and well-integrated *stylization* of the city.
On this level, (and more) "Batman Begins" is an awesome tribute to the art and craft of Romantic Realism...