Steven Knight joins the audience at the Independent Film Festival of Boston to talk about his film LOCKE, starring Tom Hardy. Great insight into the filmmaking process, for those who haven’t seen the film, there are some light spoilers in the end of the video. Read our full review here.
The simple act of reading a plot description can easily skew your predisposition one way or the other. Going into a film with the bare minimum of understanding can occasionally yield fantastic results. The film landscape is a varied one, and the deluge of blockbusters are merely a screen blocking some decidedly different fare. [Read more…]
Editor’s Note: The review is mostly spoiler free, however, as always with movies like this, we recommend you see the film prior to reading this review.
The Dark Knight Rises is director Christopher Nolan’s third visit to the characters and universe of Batman and Bruce Wayne, and according to the director, his last. Christian Bale and the rest of the original cast returns, in a film that is certainly the epic conclusion promised by the films marketing campaign. The villain this time, is the almost superhuman Bane, played by Tom Hardy.
We meet Bane as the film opens, a scary looking fellow with a breathing apparatus that covers most of his face. In a stunning action, they hijack a plane mid flight, and kidnap a captive of the CIA. In a world where the seams of most stunts are quite apparent thanks to poor CG, this particular stunt definitely leads the audience to ask, how did they do that?
Eight years following the death of Harvey Dent, and the fall of the Joker – Batman hasn’t been seen, and Bruce Wayne has hid in seclusion. With the Organized Crime completely eradicated thanks to the Dent act, Gotham is safe.
During a fundraiser held at his house, one of the help is asked by Alfred to bring a meal up to the wing where Bruce Wayne has been living in seclusion. The help turns out to be Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), a cat burglar, who breaks into Wayne’s safe, and steals his Mother’s pearls.
The plot thickens, as we learn that John Daggett, a business rival of Bruce Wayne’s, has sought the help of the likes of Bane and Selina Kyle, to enact a plan to take over Wayne Enterprises. However, Bane’s plan is far more sinister, and goes down a path that sends Gotham spiraling into a darkness that is completely unprecedented.
As a series, I don’t feel like the last film, The Dark Knight, called back much to the first film, Batman Begins. However, this movie is tied closely to Batman Begins, and I definitely recommend rewatching Nolan’s first entry into the franchise. While, I enjoyed Batman Begins, and it is certainly an excellent origin film, this is a much stronger movie, with a villain that is like nothing we’ve seen so far in Nolan’s Batman Universe. Bane’s booming, frightening voice reverberates the theater, and is matched by his strength, providing a perfect rival for Batman.
Much like the unfounded criticism that was initially received from the internet when Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker, Anne Hathaway also fell victim to this same sort of assumptions. She was excellent as Catwoman (important to note, she is not once referred to as that), and filled her shoes [edit: stilettos] well. The always excellent Joseph Gordon-Levvitt was great as Blake, an orphan that was inspired at a young age for good by Batman.
The sweeping aerial shots shot on 70MM IMAX film were dizzying and gratifying. If you haven’t seen this film in true IMAX, make it a point to go again, I’d take IMAX over 3D any day of the week. If Nolan were to release a feature of all the IMAX B-roll he acquired shooting this movie, I’d be there. Hans Zimmer’s score is the perfect underline on every scene in the film, it tells us exactly what we should feel and when..
The film is long, clocking in at around 2 hours and 45 minutes, however I didn’t feel like any of it dragged. I found the pacing of the film perfect, and it was as long as it should have been.
The film’s title The Dark Knight Rises is a perfect summary of what happens in this movie. Nolan’s conclusion shows a Gotham in despair, and the rise of the hero and symbol that many longed to return. I really enjoyed the film, and I’m completely satisfied with its end. Part of me does wish that Nolan would rethink his thoughts about the series, however, another part of me is happy that he ends his time with it on this high note. We’ve seen what the series can become under certain hands, and I hope that the series stays where Nolan has left it, but only time will tell.
BUCKY LARSON: BORN TO BE A STAR
This movie puzzles me. I feel a conflict. I feel compelled to not like this movie; to think it looks stupid…and well, it does…but for some reason, there are parts of the preview that look sort of funny. I actually laughed at the scene where a thick mustached Kevin Nealon is screaming at a crying Bucky Larson, asking him if he stole his grapes. I don’t know why that struck me as funny, but it did. Perhaps this dumb looking movie will actually be funny? The R-rating, as always, intrigues me and the dude playing Bucky Larson, Nick Swardson, is sort of funny on Reno 9-11. I’m torn on this one.
PREDICTION: 2 1/2 stars
I love Steven Soderbergh. He makes some pretty tough to watch movies sometimes, I will say, but aside from the Oceans movies, they’re all generally really good and different. I think he just captivates me because he likes to experiment. All his movies are different. He’s made comedy (The Informant!), thriller (Traffic, Out Of Sight), epics (The Argentine, Guerrilla), noir (The Good German), sci fi (Solaris) and on and on. He deserved his Oscar for Traffic. That movie was just incredible. So I like the guy as a filmmaker. This seems to be one of the biggest films he has ever made. The Oceans movies were filled with A-list stars, but always seemed small in scale. This is a global set film, with a shit ton of stars as well. I know Outbreak was fucking 16 years ago (jesus that makes me feel old), but it still seems like its the pinnacle of killer virus movies. I suppose we are in need of a modern one. This one looks very similar, but sort of bleaker and darker. From the trailer, it seems like Matt Damon is the lead and I’ll tell you, his reaction to the news that his wife is dead (its not a spoiler fuckface, its on the trailer!) is pretty amazing. The confusion when he asks to speak with her after the doctor has already told him that she died is really great acting. Soderbergh knows how to direct actors. The man gave fucking Julia Roberts an Oscar, so he knows what he’s doing. I love Kate Winslet and Jude Law as well, so I think this movie will be something pretty epic and special. Looking forward to it.
PREDICTION: 3 1/2
When I first saw this trailer, I thought “Didn’t they just fucking make The Fighter?” This is the MMA version of The Fighter, I guess, only with worse acting and probably a lamer story. I watched MMA once and was bored to tears. They kicked a little bit and then got each other in some grapple hold for about 15 mins before one of them tapped out. Yawn. Give me Hulk Hogan vs. Macho Man Randy Savage over that shit any day of the week. I would say the only reason to see this movie would be for Nick Nolte. I can never get enough of that crazy fuck. He is one of the most underrated actors ever to work. If you’re interested in acting, I implore you to watch every Nick Nolte movie that you can, yes, even Three Fugitives! The man is just so intense in every role, even the shitty ones. The man took heroin to get into the role of a drug addict for The Good Thief!!! He’s the only reason why someday I will see this inevitable turd.
PREDICTION: 2 stars