This 4th of July weekend I declared my independence from my movie theater seat and performed what I believe was my first mid-movie walk-out of 2005. The film that earned this distinction? Batman Begins. A few friends had liked it and I figured I was due for a summer blockbuster. Unfortunately, the popcorn was the only thing I enjoyed about this popcorn movie.
I was bored from the beginning, a condition which was exacerbated by the fact that the editing seemed determined to alter any kind of narrative thread or dramatic momentum. I'm opened to fractured timelines anytime, but the julienned flashbacks were not working for me. OK, he's a kid. No, that was just a dream. He's an adult in prison. Oops! Now he's a kid again. Dangit. How did he get to ninja training camp so fast? Kid again. Andddd, we're back from college contemplating homicide. Cue ninjas!
I kept thinking, "I'll give it ten more minutes." Then Katie Holmes would deliver a little chipmunk grin and lay some really leaden pipe with trite, third-grade reading comprehension lines about good people and bad people. Then I thought, "I should at least stay until he's in the bat suit," but an hour into the film he was just barely strapping on the perfectly fitting prototype, so I bailed without even knowing if the 10,000 bat hats ever arrived from China.
As I moseyed back to the parking structure, I asked myself, "Am I just not appreciative of super hero movies or action films anymore?" But no, that's not the case. I really enjoyed Spider-Man 2 and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (which came to mind during some of the frozen ninja scenes in Batman Begins).When a story is strong, I can appreciate a roller-coaster action ride, simple dialogue and gratuitous violence as well as any fan boy. Ah, well. I only lost an hour and $10.75. I shouldn't bitch too much.
The following conversation was recently overheard at a tiny, indie record store.
Employee stocking display to employee behind counter: What is this display about?
EBC: Oh, that's the "bands that were on the Garden State soundtrack" section.
ESD: (laughs) Oh, yeah?
EBC: Yeah, it just kind of happened by accident. We put The Shins there and Iron and Wine and Postal Service together and it just seems to work.
ESD: No, yeah, that's a really good idea, actually.
EBC: Yeah, it kills every weekend.