1,001 Movies – Week 14

“Barefoot in the Park” to “Batman Begins”


Barefoot in the Park (1967) – Based on the Broadway play, this early work by Neil Simon is full of wisdom and good humor.  Robert Redford and Jane Fonda star as a newlywed couple trying to adapt to their small five flight walkup apartment. Along for the ride is the mother-in-law and Mr. Velasco, a middle aged Bohemian type who lives in the upstairs apartment.  (SF)

Barry Lyndon (1975) – Stanley Kubrick’s gorgeous film version of William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel. Kubrick takes his time to tell the story, but it’s well worth it. Ryan O’Neal is sublime in the title role. (GS)

Barton Fink (1991) – “Between Heaven and Hell There’s Always Hollywood!” This is the Coen Brothers fourth film and their most colorful. No, I mean the film is just soaked in cinematic color. Not their best film, but there is a lot to recommend it and deserves a look.  (GS)

Batman (1989) – When Tim Burton cast Michael Keaton (he of the cupie doll lips) as Batman, fans were up in arms! What did we know? The two of them revitalized the series with style. (GS)

Batman Begins (2005) – This movie understands Batman’s core audience, and offers something so special it transcends into a mainstream event cherished in all circles of film lovers. Christopher Nolan, the mastermind behind the highly innovative film Memento, rescued the downhill Batman film franchise by creating a rich visual tapestry that provided the most comic book accurate version of live action Batman ever produced. Batman Begins provides a realistically dark, atmospheric world for Batman to inhabit, more gritty and urban than the franchise’s previous comical efforts. Batman Begins offers a rich backstory for Bruce Wayne, straight off the comic book pages, and trusts the audience to be more engaged by character growth and realistic story telling than flashy fast edits and MTV generation advertising techniques found so frequently in other super hero films. By staying true to a comic book that’s succeeded for countless decades, this film is a masterpiece of cinema. This is the truest to a comic book film since Ghost World(CK)


 Originally published in Raspberry World – Volume 2, Issue 1 (June/July 2007) 

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