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A Review of the BEGINS Super Bowl spot
Monday, February 7, 2005

I knew it was coming, I just didn’t know when. I was anxious and I’m sure you were too. I sort of had a hard time watching the game. Then I saw the “sponsored by BATMAN BEGINS” segment as they returned to the game from a round of commercials, and figured that it would be up in due time. When I saw the bats, I nudged my buddy, and said, “Here it is dude!” When it was over, my phone began ringing – my wife, friends, Chris Nolan (just kidding) calling with “Did you see it?!” It was a quick thirty seconds, but the message was delivered – there is a new BATMAN coming and it is different than what you have seen or expect.

As BOF sources told us, it was a cut made especially for the Super Bowl that featured both new and previously seen footage. You knew immediately this was about The Batman. We got our first look (other than pictures) at Michael Caine’s Alfred (LOVED - "Master Wayne. It's been a long time."), Katie Holmes’ Rachel, Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox, and –which I’m sure pleased everyone – Cillian Murphy as The Scarecrow (Don’t worry about the fact he was revealed – you ain’t seen NOTHING yet!). This will certainly get the word out that BATMAN BEGINS sports an excellent cast.

The short spot ends with the camouflaged “Tumbler” coming to a screeching halt and Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) asking Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), “Does it come in black?” Nice. Hell of a tagline as well – “This Summer - Evil - Fears THE KNIGHT!” Just enough stuff in it, but not too much. Certainly makes one want to see more. Overall, I give it a solid A.

I have been of the opinion for a while now that BATMAN BEGINS is going to be damn good. The feedback that I have received from the BOF audience has been almost entirely positive, I assume most Batman fans out there feel the same way. But BEGINS has already won the Batman fans over for the most part. There is one group – and the largest demographic by far – I have had concerns about. This is the group that consists of “Average Joe Movie Person.” These individuals are not Batman fans per se, yet they will make or break BATMAN BEGINS at the box office this summer. I’ve wondered whether or not this group is interested in a new Batman film? Do they realize that this is not a sequel nor is it a prequel to the previous four Bat-films? Do they know that a new Batman film is even coming this summer? Most of these fears were alleviated last night when the BATMAN BEGINS spot ran during the Super Bowl.

I was very interested in seeing people’s reaction to the ad. I didn’t see the teaser or the trailer in theaters, so this was the first time I was able to see a BEGINS response in person. From what I witnessed in person and from the MANY emails I received, I don’t think there is any need to worry about BATMAN BEGINS - it is going to be a hit.

When the spot aired, I was sort of caught watching it and watching others. I knew that it was going to be online, so I focused my attention on the people at the bar I was at. “That’s Batman,” or “Batman?” I heard several people say as most sat silent with their eyes glued to the screens. “Does it come in BLACK?” received a few chuckles as people realized that they getting a look at the new Batmobile. “Cool!” “Bad ass!” were some of the things I heard as the spot ended. Just based on that, I’d say it there was an overall positive reaction to the commercial. But I had to know more.

“Marc S.” is a self-professed “Marvel Guy.” He knew about BATMAN BEGINS prior to the Super Bowl spot, but says he really didn’t care about it – he does now. Marc called Batman an “icon” and now plans to see the movie this summer.

“R.T.” – who I have known for 25 years – dug it and called it “intense.” He says that he has planned to see it opening weekend for a while now. He liked what he saw Sunday and also mentioned that he’s been impressed since seeing the teaser last summer.

“Mark W.” recognized Bale from EQUILIBRIUM. He confessed that he loves comic book films, although he isn’t really a “comic book guy.” Mark says that the BATMAN series was getting “sillier and too out there” for him after the first one in 1989. He liked what he saw in the Super Bowl ad and really liked what I told him about the “realism” aspect of BATMAN BEGINS. He also plans to see it when it opens in June.

“Scott J.” said while he knew about BEGINS beforehand (from “R.T.”), he really didn’t know any details about it. He plans on seeing it soon after it opens in June as well, and would have anyway because “it’s Batman.” He also liked the fact that Katie Holmes is in it because “she’s hot!” Hey, that’s a good a reason as any.

Overall, it seems that the Super Bowl spot was very well received. Most of the emails I’ve gotten (and I got hundreds, literally) depicted a positive reaction from people. There was a lot of “Another BATMAN?” at the beginning of the spot that changed to “That looks awesome!” by the end of it. I also got a vibe from the guys at the bar I talked to and from the emails as well – people are going to see it because it is Batman. A BATMAN movie comes out and you go see it because he’s an icon. But a lot of people went to see BATMAN AND ROBIN opening weekend too. The key – and I think you will get this from BEGINS - is good word of mouth. You want those people who go opening weekend “because it’s Batman,” to come out of that theater and tell their friends, “You’ve just GOT to see this BATMAN BEGINS. “

The teaser, the trailer, and now this Super Bowl spot have all done their job. The hype and anticipation is starting to build. Come June 17th, it’ll be up to the film to deliver.


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