Batman Begins (directed by Christopher Nolan, 139 min)
Another week, another movie based on comic book characters. Still to come this summer is the big-screen version of the Fantastic Four. But first there's Batman Begins , the backstory (apparently we're not supposed to call it a prequel) of the pointy-eared caped crusader.
Christian Bale packs on the 60 pounds he lost for The Machinist to live out Bruce Wayne's early days. We learn how he gets his physical skills and what drives him to become Gotham City's most energetic do-gooder.
Christopher Nolan (Memento, Insomnia) directs a starry cast that includes Michael Caine as Alfred, Katie Holmes as a district attorney and Liam Neeson , Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai) and Cillian Murphy (28 Days) as various baddies.
There's no Robin. Good news, especially since 1998's big bomb, Batman & Robin, almost killed off the franchise. Opens Wednesday (June 15). For venues and times, see Movies, page 115. Screened after press time. See mini-review June 10 at www.nowtoronto.com/film and full review in the June 16 issue of NOW.
The Honeymooners (directed by John Schultz, 85 min)
It's unlikely that the audience for The Honeymooners will know (or care) that the movie's a remake of a 1950s Jackie Gleason comedy series. Or that the working-class comedy about a bus driver named Ralph Kramden, his pal Ed Norton and their two wives inspired the original animated sitcom, The Flintstones.
The fact that the show's being performed by a mostly black cast - headed by Cedric the Entertainer - adds to the curiosity factor. But isn't this the kind of thing you can see for free on TV? Who's going to pay to see this on a big screen? Will the honeymoon be over after a weak opening weekend? Opens Friday (June 10). For venues and times, see Movies, page 115. Screened after press time. See review Thursday (June 9) at www.nowtoronto.com/film.