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11 / 11 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the twentieth race in Brazil are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Just one race to go - Abu Dhabi in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 23rd November.

28 / 10 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the nineteenth race in Mexico are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Only two races to go - next race is Brazil in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 9th November.

22 / 10 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eighteenth race in Austin are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Mexico NEXT WEEKEND! Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 26th October.

You can still enter a new team for the final three races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

07 / 10 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the seventeenth race in Japan are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Austin in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 19th October.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

*** Some of the weightings have been tweaked *** for the final four races - check the league page for details.

02 / 10 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the sixteenth race in Russia are in! (Sorry for the delay - moving house!) Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Japan (Suzuka) THIS WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 5th October.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

16 / 09 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fifteenth race at Singapore are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Russia in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 28th September.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

02 / 09 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fourteenth race at Monza are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Singapore in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 14th September.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

26 / 08 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the thirteenth race at Spa are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Monza NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 31st August.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

29 / 07 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the twelfth race in Hungary are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. We're into the summer break now, the next race is Spa in four weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 24th August.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

22 / 07 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eleventh race at Hockenheim are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Hungary NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 27th July.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

08 / 07 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the tenth race at Silverstone are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Hockenheim in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 20th July.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

01 / 07 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the ninth race in Austria are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Silverstone NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 6th July.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

24 / 06 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eighth race at Paul Ricard are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Austria NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 29th June.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

10 / 06 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the seventh race in Canada are in, including the travesty that is Danny Ric not getting fastest lap. Sigh. Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Paul Ricard in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 22nd June.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going. Oh and by the way, half of us are being beaten by my girlfriend. So we might need to up our game a little.

29 / 05 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
Sorry for the delay! The results from the sixth race in Monaco are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Canada in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 8th June.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

13 / 05 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fifth race in Barcelona are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Monaco in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 25th May.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

29 / 04 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fourth race in Azerbaijan are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Barcelona in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 11th May.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

15 / 04 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the third race in China are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Azerbaijan in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 27th April.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed the first races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

08 / 04 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the second race in Bahrain are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is China NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 13th April.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed the first races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going. It's worth doing - if you'd missed Australia and then picked the perfect team for Bahrain, you'd be in the overall lead now! Special congratulations to The Big G, who jumped from plum last to 3rd place, largely due to the inspired choice of Pierre Gasly.

Note the Williams weightings have been increased due to them being shite.

25 / 03 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the first race in Australia are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Second race is Bahrain in 2 weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 6th April.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed the first race - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

18 / 03 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The 2018 season is now open for entries! You can change your team as often as you like so you might as well pick a team now while you're thinking about it. You can always read the rules later! You have until midnight GMT on Friday night (23rd) to qualify for the first race in Australia.

26 / 11 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
It's all over! The results from the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi are in! Check the results or see where your team finished and see who won the championship!

That's the lot for 2017, come back in 2018 just before the real season starts and we'll do it all over again!

12 / 11 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the nineteenth and penultimate race in Brazil are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Abu Dhabi in two weeks, which is the final race of the season. Nobody's going to catch Bunch of Wasters in the lead, but it's all to play for underneath. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 24th November.

29 / 10 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eighteenth race at Mexico are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Brazil in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 10th November.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

22 / 10 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the seventeenth race at Austin are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Mexico NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 27th October.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

08 / 10 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the sixteenth race at Suzuka are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Austin in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 20th October.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

If you have Carlos Sainz on your team, you'll keep him at Renault. If you have Jolyon Palmer then you'll score for Sainz who replaces him.

01 / 10 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fifteenth race at Malaysia are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Suzuka NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 6th October.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

17 / 09 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fourteenth race at Singapore are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Malaysia in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 29th September.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

03 / 09 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the thirteenth race at Monza are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Singapore in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 15th September.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

30 / 07 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the twelfth race at Spa are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Monza NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 1st September.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

30 / 07 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eleventh race in Hungary are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Spa in four weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 25th August.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

16 / 07 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the tenth race at Silverstone are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Hungary in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 28th July.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

11 / 07 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the ninth race in Austria are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Silverstone THIS WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 14th July.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

25 / 06 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fantastic eighth race in Azerbaijan are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Austria in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 7th July.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

12 / 06 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the seventh race in Canada are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Azerbaijan in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 23rd June.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

30 / 05 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the sixth race in Monaco are (finally) in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Canada in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 9th June.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

18 / 05 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
If you want Jenson Button on your team for Monaco, pick Fernando Alonso as JB is his replacement at McLaren for this race.

14 / 05 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fifth race in Barcelona are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Monaco in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 26th May.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

01 / 05 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fourth race in Russia are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Barcelona in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 12th May.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

17 / 04 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the third race in Bahrain are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Russia in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 28th April.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed the first three races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

09 / 04 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the second race in China are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Second race is Bahrain next week. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 14th April.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed the first two races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

26 / 03 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the first race in Australia are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Second race is China in 2 weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 7th April.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed the first race - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

 

 

Batman Begins

Batman Begins

Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Gary Oldman, Rutger Hauer, Morgan Freeman, Katie Holmes, Tom Wilkinson, Cillian Murphy, Ken Watanabe.

Directed by Christopher Nolan.

Story: Batman begins.

Running Time: 2hrs 20 minutes.

Certificate 12A.

 

Joel Schumacher comprehensively killed the previously wonderful Batman series with the empty Batman Forever and the spectacularly awful Batman and Robin. What to do next? Why, forget they ever happened of course, start again and do it differently this time round.

Scientology makes people like Katie Holmes believe in man-sized bats. The 1989 Tim Burton / Michael Keaton Batman movie is one of my all-time favourite movies, plumping for the fantasy approach and pulling it off perfectly with magnificent and appropriate performances from Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson and Michael Gough. Batman Begins chooses a darker and more soulful path, relying heavily on plot and characters to build its web rather than exaggerated cool fantasy sequences. In fact, this Batman is trying so hard to be real that it comes across as less real. The very premise of a man in a batsuit flying across town whacking bad guys is so bizarre that it relies on a degree of fun and fantasy to remind us that it's not really supposed to be true. Without that tongue-in-cheek ingredient, we have to rely completely on the portrayal of a bat-man being convincing enough to believe. All credit to the cast and crew, they do in fact manage to pull it off, addressing each potential difficulty effectively, although naturally with a superhero movie, it wouldn't stand up to careful analysis! Why have a gap in the bulletproof costume round the chin, for example... doesn't seem too bright to me...

Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne in me-learny-chop-socky mode Christian Bale makes an excellent justice deliverer and tunes his performance beautifully to the tone of the story. Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Rutger Hauer and particularly Tom Wilkinson contribute strong support, with Gary Oldman fitting into a rare goodie role (Commissioner Gordon) with creditable aplomb. The weakest link in my opinion was Michael Caine as Alfred the butler, but I suspect that's largely because Michael Gough so convincingly made the role his own in the previous movies. Caine himself is fine, but exudes only a fraction of Gough's fatherly charisma. The fight scenes, although well designed, are a little confused - it's very difficult to see who's clobbering whom, particularly in the opening jailhouse scenes. Despite the fantasy theme of Michael Keaton's Batman, those hand-to-hand combat scenes seemed more captivating, with Keaton managing to inject the same character into smacking someone as in conversation. And as for Jack Nicholson's Joker - well, there's no-one here that comes close.

It's the car.  Chicks love the car. Story-wise, it's refreshing to see a Hollywood blockbuster that has an intelligent approach to heroes and villains, even if it's not exploited to its fullest extent. Here, both goodies and baddies believe that they are acting for the good of all, which is often how major conflicts arise in the real world. The only problem with this aspect in the movie is that neither side ever doubt that they're absolutely in the right, without considering for an instant the other guys' point of view. I'd prefer to have seen a Batman troubled with nagging doubts about the ethics of his own standpoint - they even hinted at that in the Keaton movie, so why not explore it in a supposedly deeper and more thought-provoking version? I guess that's because it's not as crowd-pleasing as a half-arsed love interest with new-Scientologist-of-the-moment Katie Holmes. And at nearly two and a half hours, it's a little tough on the bum cheeks as it stands - so maybe they're saving that for the sequel. My money, however, is on a Matrix Reloaded type action-fest for episode 2. We shall see.

Despite my reservations, Batman Begins is an excellent movie and well worth two or three viewings. It's crammed full of character, is extremely well-made and will undoubtedly revive the batty franchise. It's not as clever as it thinks it is, and ultimately it doesn't succeed in its aims as well as Tim Burton's premier, but that's like saying that Michelle Pfeiffer isn't as delectable as Natalie Imbruglia - they're both fine specimens so why cast a shadow by comparing against the best? Go see it for the cracking movie it is.

I enjoyed this film: 4/5

I think the average moviegoer will enjoy it: 5/5

Testosterone Satisfaction Rating: 4/5 Batman is still super-cool.

To enjoy this film you should: prefer a more down-to-earth approach to a superhero.

 

Batman Begins is on general release in the UK now.

 

Your comments

The comments printed here are not necessarily the views of Forwardcharm!

 

At last the film that should have been the first in the sequence is released ... and it's great!!
Direction from Nolan is excellent as we get to learn about the man beneath the mask and why he wears it.
Fear is the main aspect in Batman Begins and it starts with a child, leads to a young man torn apart with guilt, the demolition of pre-conceived ideas; the building of a structure and discipline followed by the awakening of an inner strength that can only come about after you have met and conquered your fears.

Bale is cast excellently as the Gotham Black Knight and with the training given him by Neeson he swings into action with the help and emotional support of Cain. Freeman as Lucius Fox is a bit like Q in James Bond and the gadgets (especially the car) are worth seeing.

Most of Gotham is crime ridden and all the major players are on the take ... except one good cop, played very well by Oldman (and it's nice to see the usual villain playing a good and sympathetic role) We get the same usual story line here as with most DC Comic films in that the hero has to protect his real identity to keep those around him free from becoming victims and being used against him. Hence the negative vibes mid film from Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes) before she realises who Bruce really is.

We can't of course miss the politics, which seem to be in most American big budget films (if you look), Lucas' ROTS includes choice references to George W. Bush's evil empire, but those references are child's play compared to this film and the digs it makes at America. For example, think of the scene in which Lucius Fox shows Bruce Wayne a suit designed to stop any and all manner of light enemy firepower? When Wayne asks why the government didn't use these for the military, Fox answers that $300,000 per go was too much money to spend on each soldier (look up Rumsfeld).

There are lots of fighting scenes in this picture and Ninjas, if you enjoyed ROTS and it's action you will feel the same about Batman Begins. An excellent film which is both intelligent and entertaining, it's dark and gets you thinking .... whilst being very enjoyable!
Mike G