Finally got around to seeing Batman Begins, and it gets a definite thumbs up. Bale does a helluva job as the Dark Knight, Neeson was a wonderfully cold and calculating Ra's Al Ghul, Oldman was a very believable Gordon, Freeman, Fox was well-played (as usual), Murphy was a decent Scarecrow (though I thought the actual Scarecrow character was a little underused, and sometimes hard to understand), and Caine...well, he did good as Alfred, but Caine always plays Caine, he's no character actor. Well done story, beautifully shot, plenty of scenes that had me going "whoa, shit!" Seeing as how Nolan had directed Insomnia and Memento, both of which I thought were great, it's nice to see him continuing the excellence. Could have done without Katie Holmes, though, she was completely wooden and useless (as usual). Nice to see Mark Boone Junior, who always make me laugh unintentionally, it's always good to see Hauer, and Tom Wilkinson showing up was a nice touch.
Speaking of Tom Wilkinson, watched The Exorcism of Emily Rose last night...and I was disappointed. I'm not sure what I expected, but it was better than what I saw. Don't get me wrong, it was an excellent story, and well acted; Carpenter did a great job as the tormented title character, Feore's supporting role was nicely arrogant, and of course, my man Wilkinson turned in an admirable performance. Problem was, the film-makers tried to combine a courtroom drama with a horror film, and failed to let either one get "big' enough. The courtroom part dragged a little, and became hard to believe, most notably Scott's prosecutor character, who was very one-dimensional to the point of annoyance. The horror aspect never really fired up, and apart form one nifty cloud effect, one ugly way to wake up, and one set of hallucinations over the course of about a minute, there was little to be scared or creeped out by. In the end, you've seen a courtroom flick and a horror film, but there was no drama or tension in the court and no meat in the horror. A decent idea that just didn't seem to work for me.
Here's one that you'd never think I would have seen: The Beautiful Country. Do yourself a favour, don't bother. A muddled story of a Vietnamese guy who decides to go find his mother in Saigon and then his ex-G.I. father in America. Sounds like a story that could have some feel-good drama to it, yes? No. Just dragged, and dragged, and dragged some more, leading up to a confusing end that felt like there was another 10 minutes missing. Even the most heart-wrenching part (a child's death) was just boring. Ling Bai's presence, which should count for something, was wasted, it was like using a small paper cup to bail out the Exxon Valdez. Only reason I saw this was that Ray had rented it, and we had nothing else to do, and he hated it, too.