Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (IMAX)

First, I’d like to take a moment to send my thoughts & prayers out to the people of Aurora, Colorado affected by this horrific tragedy. It’s sad that you can’t even go to a movie anymore without worrying whether or not you’ll make it home alive.
SPOILER ALERT: There may be some slight spoilers in my review. While I don’t consider them to be spoilers (everything I’ll talk about as far as the plot goes appears in the trailers) some people might. There is however a MAJOR spoiler if you haven’t seen The Dark Knight. But that movie has been out for 4 years and if you haven’t seen it by now… what the hell is wrong with you? :p You’ve been warned.
It’s finally here!!! I’ve been looking forward to The Dark Knight Rises for a long time. I remember seeing the first trailer for it back last summer when I went to the midnight screening of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows part 2. I jumped in my seat and couldn’t contain my excitement. Now that I’ve seen the movie in its entirety, what’s the verdict? Well, it sucked…..
Just kidding! The Dark Knight Rises was AMAZING!! Everything I hoped it would be and then some. A fitting conclusion to an epic trilogy.
The Dark Knight Rises takes place 8 years after the events of The Dark Knight. Batman had taken the fall for Harvey Dent’s crimes and the city of Gotham now seems peaceful. Of course this is all based on a lie. Jim Gordon (played by the brilliant Gary Oldman) is sort of the facilitator of this. He’s one of the few people who know what really happened. Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has been living as a recluse, a shadow of his former self. But he’s forced to come out of retirement when a new threat, the villainous Bane (Tom Hardy) comes into the picture hell bent on destroying Gotham. Bruce/Batman is aided by the ever loyal Alfred (Michael Caine), Lucious Fox (Morgan Freeman), Jim Gordon, as well as rookie cop John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Wayne Enterprises board member Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard).
Christopher Nolan is truly one of the greatest directors out there. While his films may not always be perfect, he puts his heart and soul into them. I’ve loved his approach to Batman throughout this trilogy. This last one in particular is very dark (probably the darkest of the three) and emotional. I found myself tearing up several times. But I enjoyed every minute of it. The movie is nearly 3 hours long, but it sure didn’t feel like it. I was never bored nor did I feel like it dragged. Especially in the last third of the movie with one of the most amazing, breathtaking action/showdown sequences I’ve seen in years. My jaw dropped.

The acting was stellar. It goes without saying that Christian Bale is excellent and in my opinion is the best Batman. What I loved the most besides him kicking ass as the caped crusader is his quieter moments as Bruce Wayne. You can really feel his pain and see the affect all of this has had on his characters’ life.

 Of course, I was most looking forward to seeing Tom Hardy (whom I’m a HUGE fan of) as Bane and I wasn’t disappointed. I never doubted for a minute that he could play Bane. He blew me away with his performance. It was chilling, terrifying, and powerful at the same time. That’s definitely not a bad thing. He’s virtually unrecognizable (which shows you how great an actor he is that he can transform himself like that), wearing this Hannibal Lector type mask for pretty much the entire film. Tom Hardy shows more emotion with just his eyes than most actors do whose face isn’t covered by a mask. I’m so happy his career is taking off. He’s definitely going to be around for years to come. Getting back to his character, I liked how Bane is Batman’s equal both physically and mentally. As the two of them battled it out, it scared the crap out of me. It’s the first time you feel like this might not end well for Batman. On a side note, I know some people have complained about Bane’s voice over the last several months, specifically when the prologue was released. The fixed it some in post-production. And while I may have missed a few words here and there, overall I understood him just fine. One more thing, even though Bane is this truly evil character, I found myself strangely attracted to him. He’s got a body like you wouldn’t believe, but I think it’s mostly because I know behind that mask there’s a really good looking guy. Okay, enough of me gushing over Tom Hardy. Moving on…

I know many were skeptical about Anne Hathaway (who I like as an actress overall) when she was cast Selina Kyle/Catwoman, but I trust Christopher Nolan and knew he wouldn’t have chosen her unless he knew she was right for it. And I think she does a good job.

The action sequences (especially at the end) were spectacular. Batman’s gadgets/vehicles were kick ass as well. Especially his new flying vehicle called The Bat. Wow :o

This movie was meant to be seen in IMAX (if you’re lucky enough to live near an IMAX theater I highly recommend going to see it this way). A good portion of the movie was shot with those special IMAX cameras and it looks stunning.

Hans Zimmer is back with another beautiful musical score that sends chills through me every time I listen to it. I’ve already added it to my iPod and have listened to it repeatedly over the last few days.

I could go on for days about how good The Dark Knight Rises is. It’s pretty flawless as far as I’m concerned. I know there’s still 5 months left to go in the year, but this is my absolute favorite movie of 2012 (and one of my favorites of all time). I seriously doubt anything will be able to top it when I make my top ten list at the end of the year.

Thank you Christopher Nolan for creating such an epic trilogy. There aren’t too many truly well made films anymore and you’ve managed to create such masterpieces that will be remembered for years to come. I look forward to seeing more from you in the future.

I feel sorry for the person who directs the eventual Batman reboot. There’s no way in hell they will ever be able to top what Christopher Nolan has done.

My Rating: 10/10  

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Amazing Spiderman

I hadn't really planned on seeing this movie. I've never been a big Spiderman fan (as some of you know, I'm more of a Batman girl) and I wasn't impressed with the first trailer I saw. But after seeing the more recent trailers I thought I'd give it a chance. I'm glad I did :)

Like many people, I wasn't crazy about the Spiderman franchise beeing rebooted so soon. It's only been I think five years since the last Spiderman movie. What's the point?

Having said that, I did enjoy the story even though there are many similarities between this and the Toby McGuire version.

I'm not even going to bother explaining the plot since most people are familiar with the story behind how Peter Parker became Spiderman (and if not you can Google it).

What impressed me the most about this movie was the acting. Overall everyone gave amazing performances and I really enjoyed watching the characters. I think Andrew Garield was a good choice to play Peter Parker/Spiderman. I've been a fan of his since I saw him in The Social Network (a movie I highly recommend if you haven't already seen it). I actually like his version of the character better than Toby's. He and Emma Stone (who I'm a fan of as well. She plays Peter's love interest Gwen Stacy.) had amazing chemistry. Their scenes together were probably my favorite part of the whole movie. Even if the dialog was a bit cheesy, even cringeworthy at times. But that's to be expected in a movie like this. Rhys Ifans plays Dr. Curt Connors/The Lizard. He's a great actor and I always enjoy seeing him onscreen.

My only major complaint was the visual effects for The Lizard. Boy were they bad! This movie had a $200 million plus budget and this was the best they could do? I've seen movies with a tenth of that budget that looked better. That was the only part of the visuals that was lacking though. The movie overall looked gorgeous. I saw it in regualar 2D (I wasn't sure if I wanted to pay the extra money this time around) so I can't comment if the 3D was any good. But I can tell you the 2D version looked just fine.

While I still don't think a reboot was necessary, I enjoyed The Amazing Spiderman for what it was- a fun, entertaining summer movie. It's good but not great. The acting is what really sold me on it. If you're into these types of movies definitely check it out. Oh and be sure to stay during the credits. There's a small scene that kind of sets up the eventual sequel.

My Rating: 8/10