Picks and Pans Review: 3 Reasons I Love...

updated 07/11/2005 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/11/2005 01:00AM

Michael Caine

1. The Cockney veteran is a standout in two of this summer's high-profile movies. In Batman Begins, he steals scenes as Alfred, Bruce Wayne's loyal butler, and in Bewitched he shines as Nigel Bigelow, witchy Samantha's disapproving warlock dad. To both films, he brings a welcome touch of class—and sass.

2. No matter how cheesy or minor a movie, Caine, 72, always brings a verve and commitment to his role. Witness in Bewitched, when he magically turns up on a tin can label as the Jolly Green Giant. Never has the Giant been jollier. Or in Batman, his reaction upon first viewing the damp underground cavern Wayne intends to transform into the Batcave. "Charming," a dubious Alfred deadpans.

3. The two-time Oscar winner has aged gracefully, making the transition from leading man to supporting roles with ease. So what if he rarely gets the girl anymore? He wins something more crucial: the hearts of moviegoers.

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