The Hunger Games return with such a sequel twist that you can't believe writer Suzanne Collins didn't think of film when writing. Catching Fire builds up with all types of subversive messaging which is interesting but also brings into relief the limitations of the genre and film.
Batman Begins is a reboot of the Batman films starring Christian Bale as The Caped Crusader. The film was followed up with a sequel in 2008 and a second sequel in 2012.
After several unsuccessful projects intended to revitalize the series, director Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer began to work on the project in 2003. They aimed for a darker and more realistic tone for the film, unlike Batman & Robin's campy approach to the character. They drew inspiration from Batman: The Man Who Falls, Batman Year One, and Batman The Long Halloween. The Man Who Falls formed the basis of the story, while Batman Year One was the origin part, and The Long Halloween was characters. The Long Halloween would be used as the basis for the Dark Knight in 2008.
Ducard Training Bruce
Starting off with a flashback, young Bruce Wayne is playing with his friend Rachel Dawes in the backyard of Wayne Manor.Bruce falls down into a well leading into a cave. There he is attacked by a horde of Bats. Then awaking from his nightmare, Bruce is a young adult in a prison in Bhutan. He then meets Henri Ducard who offers him a chance to join the League of Shadows if he recovers a rare flower for him. Bruce finds the flower and climbs to the top of a mountain where Ducard is. When he is brought to the League of Shadows, he meets Ra's Al Ghul and Ducard explains how he lost his parents. He then trains Bruce in the way of the Ninja. During his training, Bruce tells Ducard why he didn't avenge his parents killer Joe Chill and how he became a criminal to learn how they think, which is how he found himself in jail.
Building the batsuit.
Bruce completes his final test for membership; however before being accepted he has to execute a man branded as a criminal. Bruce says he doesn't want to become an executioner and then with his sword, flings a hot brand onto a pile of explosives, detonating them. He fights Ra's until the roof collapses on him. He then saves Ducard from falling off a cliff and returns home to Gotham City after seven years. When he returns home, he finds that he's been declared legally dead which he is obviously not. He also discovers a large cave underneath the mansion that was once used by his family as part of the Underground Tunnel in the Civil War. He then shows up at an Executive Board meeting at Wayne Enterprises, surprising the board as he'd been declared dead for some time. He asks them for a job at the Applied Sciences Division and discovers a large amount of technology he could use as Batman. There he meets Lucius Fox who runs the division; he shows him a nomex/kevlar survival suit which Bruce asks to borrow for "cave diving". He then begins to order pieces for his Batsuit from various dummy corporations so it can't be traced back to him if any gets suspicious.That night, he puts on the suit and a ski-mask, and sneaks up on Jim Gordon and tells him of his plan to put criminals in his city behind bars and tells him to look for his sign.
He eventually finishes his Batsuit and on his first night, he spots Carmine Falcone and his thugs exporting/importing drugs with the the help of a crooked cop. He takes care of all Falcone's men and when he goes after Falcone himself, he ask him who he is and Bruce replies "I'm Batman". Gordon then arrives sometime after and finds Falcone's men but no connection to Falcone. However he then learns Falcone is tied up to a spotlight and when Gordon looks at what it's shining, it's the Bat symbol. After his first night out, he returns home with several injuries to which Alfred suggests having an alibi for. Then it switches to Jonathan Crane visiting Falcone in prison where he's requesting to be switched to Arkham Asylum. Crane is then revealed to be working for someone and shows Falcone the scarecrow mask. He then puts it on and uses his hallucinogen on Falcone causing him to have a mental breakdown and has him moved to his ward at Arkham Asylum. Bruce then goes out to ensure the public thinks of him as a playboy in order to prevent any suspicion of him being Batman. After his dates swim in a Hotel fountain, he purchases it; furthering his charade as a carefree playboy. That night he goes out on patrol again and finds Crane's hideout but is affected by the hallucinogen and has to call Alfred again. After several days, Bruce recovers and Alfred tells him Lucius Fox created the antidote for the toxin and Bruce asks him for some more. Rachel then stops by and drops off Bruce's birthday gift and tells him she can't stay for the party as she's going to the Narrows to talk to Crane. Bruce then rushes to the Batcave and tells Alfred to entertain his guests while he's gone.
At Arkham, Rachel begins to question Crane forcing him to use his toxin on her. Batman arrives though and since he's been vaccinated against it, he uses it against Crane forcing him to talk. He reveals Ra's Al Ghul is behind everything, despite that Batman saw Ra's Al Ghul die, but before Batman can ask anymore questions the Police storm the building. Batman escapes with Rachel, taking her back to the Batcave in the Tumbler. He then inoculates her with the antidote back at the Batcave and gives her two vials of it to take to Gordon-one for him and the other for mass production.
At his birthday party, Bruce is confronted by Ducard who reveals himself to be Ra's Al Ghul, and has arrived in Gotham City to destroy it like he's done countless other times to other cities throughout history. He reveals that he allied himself with Crane to poison the city's water supply by injecting the toxin in to it. He had plans to vaporize by using a special device which would blanket the city in the poison causing mass panic which in turn would destroy the city. He reveals they created an artificial depression to cripple the city, but the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne inspired the wealthy to help. After Bruce pretends he's drunk to clear out his mansion, he fights Ra's. His men then burn down the mansion, but Bruce escapes to the Cave with Alfred. Rachel brings the antidote to Gordon and stops Crane who is now calling himself the Scarecrow with a taser.
Batman reveals his identity to her, and has Gordon take the Tumbler to the Wayne Enterprises Tower, the central hub for elevated train system which Ra's is using to transport his device. Ra's then boards the train, to take it to the main water line at the tower and set off a chain reaction leading to the water vaporizing and the toxin spreading throughout the entire city. Batman then confronts onboard the train and fights him. Ra's then realizes that since Batman is on the train he never intended to destroy but instead sabotage it. Gordon then fires at the elevated tracks and destroys the tracks. Batman escapes via using his cape as a glider and Ra's presumably dies when the train crashes. Following those events, Batman becomes a public hero and Bruce takes over his company, secretly buying the majority of therefore becoming the primary stockholder in the company which allows him to gain control of it. His first order of business is firing the present CEO, William Earle and replacing him with Lucius Fox. Gordon is promoted to Lieutenant and unveils the Bat-Signal to Batman, and tells him about a costumed villain who leaves Joker playing cards at the scene of his crimes. Batman promises to investigate and disappears, off into the night.
Warner Bros hired Christopher Nolan in January of 2003 to direct a then untitled Batman film and David S. Goyer signed on two months later to write the film. Nolan said he wanted to reinvent Batman by "doing the origins story of the character, which is a story that has never been told before". He wanted Humanity and realism to be the basis of the film and that "the world of Batman is grounded in reality. It will be a recognizable, contemporary reality against which an extraordinary heroic figure arises." Goyer said that the goal of the film was to get the film audience to care for both Batman and Bruce Wayne. Nolan felt that the previous films focused more style then the characters and that his inspiration was Richard Donner'sSuperman, which mainly showed the character's growth. He also wanted an all star supporting cast for Batman Begins to lend a more epic feel and credibly to the story. Nolan's "jumping off point" for the story was The Man Who Falls which depicts Bruce Wayne's travels throughout the world and a young Bruce Wayne falling into a well which was adapted into the movie. Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb was Goyer's inspiration, with the villain Carmine Falcone being in the film and he drew inspiration from it's "sober, serious approach". Harvey Dent was considered for the film but after the writers felt they couldn't do him justice, they created Rachel Dawes instead. They saved Harvey Dent for the sequel The Dark Knight in which he was portrayed by Aaron Eckhart. The sequel to Long Halloween, Dark Victory which is Christian Bale's favorite Batman story, also served as an influence. Many elements of Batman Year One were also used in the film.
As he had done before with his previous films, Nolan did not use a second unit and was on set to film everything himself. Principal Photography began in March 2004 at a glacier in Iceland which was standing in for Bhutan. The crew built a village and the front doors to Ra's' palace, as well as a road to lead to the site. However filming was interrupted by the weather, with 75 MPH winds, rain, and no snow. Cinematographer Wally Pfister had planned on using a crane to film one sequence but due to the winds, he had to use a handheld camera instead. As his inspiration was Superman and other blockbusters form the 70's and 80's, Nolan shot parts of the film in England, specifically at Shepperton Studios where the Batcave was built. The set measurements were 250 feet long, 120 feet wide, and 40 feet high. Nathan Crowley, the production designer installed twelve pumps in order to create the Waterfall that required 14,000 gallons of water and built rocks by using molds of real caves. In January, Warner Bros. rented an airship hangar at Cardington, Bedfordshire for filming in March. The hangar was used to construct the Narrows sets, and the Monorail track. For Wayne manor, Nolan chose Mentmore Towers out of twenty possibles. For Arkham Asylum, they chose The National Institute for Medical Research building in Mill Hill. To stand in for Gotham City, Nolan chose Chicago where many of the film's scenes were shot.
Nolan modeled the look of the film after one of his favorite films, Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. He screened the film to Wally Pfister, the cinematographer to give him the idea of the style and attitude he wanted the film to reflect. He had Production Designer Nathan Crowley create the look of Gotham City. He built a model of Gotham that filled Nolan's garage. Together they designed as a large Metropolis that would reflect the various changes in it's architecture throughout it's history. They took elements from New York City, Chicago, and Tokyo; with the freeways and the monorail system being taken from Tokyo. They based the Narrows on the now demolished walled city of Kowloon in Hong Kong.
Crowley originally started coming up with a design for the Tumbler by model bashing.He used the nose cone of a Lockheed P-38 model for the chassis of the turbine engine of the Tumbler. He had six models built 1:12 scale over the course of four months and used those to create a large version of the Tumbler with a crew of 30 people. Together they carved it out a large block of Styrofoam over the course of two months. They used the Styrofoam model to create a steel "test frame" which had to hold up to several measures: be able to obtain a speed of at least 100 mph, go from 0 to 60 mph in 5 seconds, have a steering system that would enable it to make sharp turns at city corners, and withstand a self propelled launch up to 30 feet.