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Aug
04

Posted on Saturday August 04, 2012 at 2:15pm in

The Dark Knight Rises

No Spoilers.

After the brilliance that was The Dark Knight, I was really looking forward to The Dark Knight Rises. That’s why when Larry said we could all go see it in IMAX I was on board from the start. We all went to go see it in IMAX in Minneapolis last Saturday. I have been meaning to write about it for a long time but I’ve just been too busy to sit down and type it out.

I’ll start with my overall opinions and then I’ll get nitpicky. First, overall, it was a good conclusion to a great trilogy. Batman Begins I was never a big fan of and never felt the need to see more than once. However, The Dark Knight is probably one of my favorite movies ever. It’s good on its own. You don’t really need to see the first movie to enjoy it, although it probably helped. The Dark Knight Rises does not measure up to the second movie. That’s not to say that it’s not a great movie. If it wasn’t following such a tough act, I’m sure it would have seemed much more impressive. Christopher Nolan is, after all, a very talented director.

Now, I’m going to start nit picking. What held the movie back? I’ll be making a few comparisons to The Dark Knight, as well.

1. Bane. This is the main villain of the movie. In the original Batman comic, Bane was the only person to ever defeat Batman in battle. He was also a master escape artist, fighter, strategist, genius, master of disguise with a photographic memory. That’s a lot of power to cram into one villain, I was curious to see how many of these things the movie would allow, considering Nolan has restricted the Batman movies with a firm foot in “reality.” To my disappointment, Bane was none of these things in the movie. The only thing Bane really seemed to be was a man in peak physical condition with a lot of physical power.

This makes him different than the other villains in the series. He is the first villain to be actually physically threatening. He is also quick to kill first and ask questions later, making him scary in a whole different way than the Joker or Scarecrow.

I did like his omnipresent voice that filled the speakers of the theater, though. Although, on second thought, they really should have had subtitles for this guy. I must have missed 10 of his lines at least because he was difficult to understand. Bane was a good villain, but could have been better. For such a prolific character, they could have given him more depth.

2. Catwoman. Unnecessary, uninteresting.

3. The background music was way too loud. There was always an overbearing musical score playing in the background – even during “quiet scenes.” It made it so that it was difficult to hear dialogue in certain parts. I would watch it again to go back and catch the pieces I missed.

4. Batman. He was just a little too weak. I get that it was the “point,” but I think they over did it. He was really helpless in this movie. That’s not what people go to see Batman for.

There are a few other specifics I could mention, but for the sake of keeping this post spoiler free, I will refrain. Nitpicking aside, this is a good movie and a strong conclusion. If you liked The Dark Knight, you should go see this – you will enjoy it. You may find yourself nitpicking like me, but you won’t be disappointed overall.

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Jun
15

Posted on Friday June 15, 2012 at 8:28pm in

Prometheus

This movie just came out recently and there has been a lot of talk about it. It’s been hyped up quite a bit and I thought it looked really good myself. Unfortunately, after seeing the movie, there was a lot that I thought was wrong with it. It’s a “loose” prequel to the movie Alien, in that it takes place in the same universe yet is not directly connected. You don’t have to watch Alien to understand what is going on in Prometheus.

Here are my reasons why Prometheus was disappointing.

1. David. He is the most interesting character of the crew, but is not really explained in the movie. He is an android, and the crew treats him like one but you never know what his deal is. What motives does he have to do what he does? It was really disappointing to see great teaser trailers like this:

which seem really interesting but get nothing of the sort in the actual movie. David does get a lot of screen time, but little of it is interesting. He is just a flat character. He is clearly capable of having very interesting dialogues, but there is only one or two scenes of this and they are very short. I would have liked to see more of David, in a more meaningful way.

2. The plot holes. There are a few rather large plot holes that in the interest of keeping this spoiler free I can’t really discuss. Questionable character motives that make little sense can also be included in this category, I think. There are a lot of moments when you’ll find yourself scratching your head wondering how or why a character jumped to a certain conclusion or decision.

3. Dumb Scientists. The scientists that make up the crew of the Prometheus make a lot of really bone-headed decisions. Even a layman can tell that actions such as removing your helmet on a foreign moon even though the air is breathable or not sending in robots or drones to explore beforehand is pretty dumb. This really detracts from the realism of the film.

4. No Aliens. Yep.

5. Unanswered Questions. This movie poses a lot of questions that would have been nice to have an answer to but leaves most of them open in the end. This could be looked at as a good thing to some extent, but I think there was just too much left to the audience. Seems lazy on the screenwriters end.

6. Long panning shots of the same room over and over again. They never go anywhere in this movie but one hollowed out mountain on the same moon for over two hours. Prepare for lots of long panning shots of ‘exploration.’ There were long stretches of boredom. Seeing the same cave is just not as interesting in a movie as it would be if this were real life.

As you can see, there is quite a bit wrong with this movie. It’s a little too long, a little too boring, and a little too nonsensical. I wanted to like this movie, because it looked good – but I can’t really recommend it. I have some mixed emotions because this movie had a lot of potential and it did have some good moments, but it probably isn’t worth the money to go see it in theaters.

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Oct
26

Posted on Wednesday October 26, 2011 at 3:59pm in

Bryan recommended this movie to me.

The Invention Of Lying

I remember when it came out and I don’t remember hearing much about it. I don’t know why this movie didn’t get more attention because it was really good. The plot follows a man (Ricky Gervais) who lives in a hypothetical world where no one is capable of telling a lie. Everyone just says whatever thought crosses their mind without regard to how it will affect others. This has many effects on say… first dates, relationships, marketing and advertising, books and movies (there is no such thing as fiction), and so on.

One fateful day, something clicks in the man’s mind and he tells the world’s first lie. Or as he puts it “says something that isn’t.” With his new way of seeing the world he is able to manipulate the people around him to shape the world as he sees fit. Since no one else understands the concept of a lie, everyone instantly assumes that everything he says is the truth, believing the most outrageous claims without a second thought.

This was a clever movie and very well done. It wasn’t only entertaining but made you think a lot about the importance of lying. I definitely recommend seeing this one.

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Jun
27

Posted on Monday June 27, 2011 at 12:14am in

I saw two new movies lately that I feel like writing about. One of them is really good, the other one was not so good. Let’s start with the not so good one, and end on a good note. First up, Sucker Punch.

Sucker Punch

I was disappointed by Sucker Punch. I was really looking forward to this one. The trailer looked pretty good

Not to mention, it was a Zack Snyder film. While he did direct one of my favorite movies, Watchmen, he didn’t write the story. I think this was the main setback in Sucker Punch. The script just wasn’t solid. The concept wasn’t solid. The characters were so shallow. The story was a simple treasure hunt ‘find these 5 items to get to the end of the movie’ type plot. It’s been done so many times.

The story did have a few turns in the middle, and a “twist” I suppose at the end. The problem is that none of the characters were developed enough to feel anything for. Just bland cliches with little to no background.

I had hoped it would be at least entertaining to watch for its action. Unfortunately, that gets dull pretty quickly, too. I really wanted to enjoy this movie, but I can’t say that I recommend watching this one. This is one of those ‘seems like it would be good, but they did it wrong’ type things. Sorry, Mr. Snyder.

Let’s forget that for now and move on to something more interesting. X-Men First Class.

X-Men First Class

Maybe I should mention that I haven’t really been the biggest fan of X-Men movies before I begin. They were maybe better than the typical super-hero movie, but I didn’t find anything that special about them. First Class is a prequel to the original three X-Men movies (Four if you count that Wolverine spin-off. I don’t). It shows how the central conflict began between the mutants.

There are two opposing thoughts for mutants. One is that mutants are the future of mankind, normal humans will become extinct and try to fight the mutants to spare their own kind. The other is that while mutants may be the next stage of human evolution, there is no good reason why the two can’t exist in peace. Both of these sides have very solid ideas, which I think made watching this movie so interesting.

The characters and the actors portraying them are so deep and compelling. They chose all the right people, and exactly the right script. From beginning to end, I was engaged in the story. Even never having cared much for X-Men films, after watching the gradual conflict between Xavier and Magneto forming, I really wanted to watch the previous X-Men movies again.

As much as I would like to talk in detail about the finer moments of the film, I wouldn’t want to steal from you the opportunity to see it for yourself. I think that this is just a great movie, X-Men fan or not. If you’re going to pay money to see a movie in the theaters this summer, let it be X-Men First Class.

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