....and as a long time Batman fan, I must give it my unequivocal thumbs up. Great, great movie.

Was treated to a premiere courtesy of a local rock station who was giving out passes to tonight's special screening.

Some of my thoughts, and please fellow Batman fans, contribute your thoughts on this as you see this movie this week.

Christian Bale as Batman - Solid choice. He plays the three roles well, with enough inner conflict to make him a great Batman. I don't know what it is, but for some reason, he always looks like he has lipstick and face makeup on when he's wearing the Batman mask. Maybe that's just the way his face is, but it caught my eye. They have him doing quite a bit of martial arts training in the begining, which is a different touch, but it works in the context. Also does a great job of showing how he's conflicted by bats, and how he comes about to choose 'bats" as his weapon of fear.

Rather than share much else of the plot, because it has some nice turns, splits and surprises, I'll say there are several great points of humor littered during very serious scenes, which sets the tone for the movie. Made it go by quickly despite it being nearly 2:30 hours. The ending is great, a funny twist, and the entire theatre I was in roared with laughter and applause.

Commish. Gordon appears in the movie as "Sgt" Gordon, and sets up how the two work together in the series.

If your looking for a "pre-qual" or a continuation of the other Batman movies in the last two decades - don't.

The movie makes sure to cut the ties by making several big departures, including changes in details of how Bruce's parents are killed and who does it, a complete change from the first Batman w/ Michael Keaton.

The film is dark, yet makes light jokes at the right times to keep it moving.

The realism factor makes a big difference in learning how he becomes Batman as well, and I thought was a great touch. Lots of big time actors too, Morgan Freeman, Katie Holmes, Liam Neeson, Gary Oldman and Michael Caine, who at times steals the show.

Anyway, I've been a longtime Batman fan, and was quite irked at how much a steaming pile of you know what the last two movies have been.

From this fan, the movie gets a big thumbs up. Go see it.