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  • Justin 2:57 pm on June 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Christopher Nolan, David Goyer, Diane Lane, Henry Cavill, Laurence Fishburne, , , , ,   

    Man of Steel Review | The Franchise is Back on its Feet 

    1

    Generally I agree with the critics, who have in this case, given this movie a C or two stars, but I am really not sure what movie they were watching or what they expected. Man of Steel is far from perfect, but the hard work is there, and it shows as the movie succeeds as a entertaining piece of work, getting the superman franchise back on its feet.

    I’ve never been a superman fan; to be fair I’ve never read the comic books as a kid and high level, I didn’t get the proposition. He’s simply a alien, and yet his archnemesis is a rich human (Lex)? Given he’s kinda invincible except for kyrptonite, all you can do is (a) hurt the people he cares about (Ma, pa, and Lois and people in general) and/or (b) get some kryptonite…7 years ago, Bryan Singer who just loves Superman and Superman II gave us Superman Returns and like Batman and Robin, the franchise knew for sure it needed a break and some serious thinking…Enter Nolan’s team and Zack Synder’s, and we finally have a Superman movie, that is far from perfect, but is a pretty good reboot of a franchise. The movie takes on my biggest beef usually with Superman; he’s a alien. Snyder/Goyer and team completely work and build off that yes he is a alien and do something cool with it.

    Krypton is about to die, but the world’s chief scientist Jor-El (Russell Crowe) has built a rocket for his son Kal-El to travel) to Earth.  The infant Kal-El is imbued with the planet’s codex, which contains all of Krypton’s knowledge, in particular the ability to craft the species’ eugenics.  General Zod (Michael Shannon) attempts a coup and tries to get the codex, but is apprehended and sent into the phantom zone along with his co-conspirators.  Krypton explodes, Kal-El reaches Earth safely, is found and raised as “Clark Kent” by Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane), but with the twist that Pa Kent truly wants Clark to hide his powers for fear the world will reject him, at least for now.  The adult Kal-El (Henry Cavill), eventually discovers his true origin, and then has to fight to protect the Earth when Zod discovers that the Last Son of Krypton—and therefore the codex—are on our planet.

    2

    The overarching narrative loosely follows the origin story we all know, but with many welcome twists.  Clark’s journey is viewed through the prism of his two fathers rather than him going through the standard story beats of discovery, fortress of solitude, join Daily Planet as a cover, and then save the day as Superman.  We’ve seen that so many times before.  In this new adaptation, the beats are there, but are rearranged and maybe given alittle more depth.  Most importantly, we see two different belief systems that get to the same end-game.  Jor-El believes that Kal-El should embrace his powers, and become a force of good for Earth to guide our planet to a better tomorrow.  Jonathan believes Clark needs to keep his powers a secret in order to stay safe or else humanity will reject him, but that eventually they will be ready and embrace him. At this point of course, Zod returns and all hell breaks loose.

    3

    Not getting into too much details many things about the movie work well. Krypton/the first 15 minutes are really great; from the visuals, to the setup, to Hans Zimmer’s music that as usual in these types of movies, engulf, rather than support the scenes, and its great. The cast throughout the movie is hilariously strong; from Crowe, to Lane, Costner, to Shannon. It’s sad that Morpheous does nothing more than run down city streets like a tidal wave is coming, but his character (Perry White) doesn’t do much anyway…so you either get a decent name or just don’t show this character…Adams does a good job as the new Lois Lane; they show us that she’s a great journalist, rather than just telling us; and while I’m never really convinced of her relationship with Superman, I don’t know how else to show it that hasn’t been done 1000 times before.

    5


    The fight sequences are pretty damn cool; doing things that people have tried, but done in a way we’ve never seen before on a matter of levels. Snyder has taken an understanding of Superman’s physical abilities and attempted to test them in a way that’s pretty entertaining. But they could have also edited and elevated the movie’s action sequences a bit more; I didn’t need a 10 minute special effects dazzle with liquid metal tentacles that ends with him just flying through 
    something to make it blow up. 

    The movie is far from perfect. It’s alittle too long, and we could have done without a couple of the action sequences, but like Batman Begins, the franchise is off to a very good start.  The ending of the movie (literally the last three minutes) mirrors Nolan’s Dark Knight Rises ending; a lot happens and then its over. While the idea that he’s hiding behind a pair of glasses and a dresshirt as a journalist is ridiculous in this day and age, I was already on board and enjoying myself and so the movie succeeds for me.

    Review: B
    6

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  • Justin 3:53 am on October 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Christopher Nolan, , , , , ,   

    Skyfall Director Sam Mendes Says Movie Heavily Influenced by The Dark Knight 

     

    Early reviews of Skyfall (have been very positive) and have drawn similarities to The Dark Knight. How much, seems a bit unlikely you could say (for obvious reasons), but Director Sam Mendes has now said that Christopher Nolan’s movies, in particular The Dark Knight, have had a great impact on how he took on and lead Bond 23:

    “In terms of what [Nolan] achieved, specifically The Dark Knight, the second movie, what it achieved, which is something exceptional. It was a game changer for everybody….What Nolan proved was that you can make a huge movie that is thrilling and entertaining and has a lot to say about the world we live in, even if, in the case with The Dark Knight, it’s not even set in our world… That did help give me the confidence to take this movie in directions that, without The Dark Knight, might not have been possible.”

    Mendes also said that Batman Begins and TDK showed how people are more than capable and hungry for gritty and real, and that was supposed to be part of the Bond reboot and that it helped him “sell” some of the darker moments of Skyfall to the studio. I’m certainly really curious now to see if I note the parallelism when I see Skyfall.

    It should be noted that Nolan himself said after filming The Dark Knight Rises that he’d love to do a Bond film. In conclusion, Nolan is awesome.

     
  • Justin 2:09 am on August 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Christopher Nolan, ,   

    Hans Zimmer | The Music and Sounds of The Dark Knight Rises 

    My Batman posts continues. Today a new featurette debuted about the great music concerning The Dark Knight Rises by Hans Zimmer. Its a nine minute piece concerning the music and some of the sound effects of the movie. If you were a fan of the music and want to see Hans Zimmer talk about its creation along with some of the effects of the movie, then check it out. They also talk how the movie was different from the other two yet a continuation, the chant, and how they created the sound effects for the Bat. Enjoy.

     
  • Justin 7:49 pm on July 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Christopher Nolan, , , Heath Ledger, , Katie Holmes, , , , , ,   

    Christopher Nolan’s Farewell Letter to the Dark Knight Franchise 

    Foreword of the The Art and Making of The Dark Knight Trilogy book (Coutresty of SHH):

    Alfred. Gordon. Lucius. Bruce . . . Wayne. Names that have come to mean so much to me. Today, I’m three weeks from saying a final good-bye to these characters and their world. It’s my son’s ninth birthday. He was born as the Tumbler was being glued together in my garage from random parts of model kits. Much time, many changes. A shift from sets where some gunplay or a helicopter were extraordinary events to working days where crowds of extras, building demolitions, or mayhem thousands of feet in the air have become familiar.

    People ask if we’d always planned a trilogy. This is like being asked whether you had planned on growing up, getting married, having kids. The answer is complicated. When David and I first started cracking open Bruce’s story, we flirted with what might come after, then backed away, not wanting to look too deep into the future. I didn’t want to know everything that Bruce couldn’t; I wanted to live it with him. I told David and Jonah to put everything they knew into each film as we made it. The entire cast and crew put all they had into the first film. Nothing held back. Nothing saved for next time. They built an entire city. Then Christian and Michael and Gary and Morgan and Liam and Cillian started living in it. Christian bit off a big chunk of Bruce Wayne’s life and made it utterly compelling. He took us into a pop icon’s mind and never let us notice for an instant the fanciful nature of Bruce’s methods.

    I never thought we’d do a second—how many good sequels are there? Why roll those dice? But once I knew where it would take Bruce, and when I started to see glimpses of the antagonist, it became essential. We re-assembled the team and went back to Gotham. It had changed in three years. Bigger. More real. More modern. And a new force of chaos was coming to the fore. The ultimate scary clown, as brought to terrifying life by Heath. We’d held nothing back, but there were things we hadn’t been able to do the first time out—a Batsuit with a flexible neck, shooting on Imax. And things we’d chickened out on—destroying the Batmobile, burning up the villain’s blood money to show a complete disregard for conventional motivation. We took the supposed security of a sequel as license to throw caution to the wind and headed for the darkest corners of Gotham.

    I never thought we’d do a third—are there any great second sequels? But I kept wondering about the end of Bruce’s journey, and once David and I discovered it, I had to see it for myself. We had come back to what we had barely dared whisper about in those first days in my garage. We had been making a trilogy. I called everyone back together for another tour of Gotham. Four years later, it was still there. It even seemed a little cleaner, a little more polished. Wayne Manor had been rebuilt. Familiar faces were back—a little older, a little wiser . . . but not all was as it seemed.

    Gotham was rotting away at its foundations. A new evil bubbling up from beneath. Bruce had thought Batman was not needed anymore, but Bruce was wrong, just as I had been wrong. The Batman had to come back. I suppose he always will.

    Michael, Morgan, Gary, Cillian, Liam, Heath, Christian . . . Bale. Names that have come to mean so much to me. My time in Gotham, looking after one of the greatest and most enduring figures in pop culture, has been the most challenging and rewarding experience a filmmaker could hope for. I will miss the Batman. I like to think that he’ll miss me, but he’s never been particularly sentimental.


     

     
  • Justin 2:00 pm on July 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Christopher Nolan, , , , , , , , , ,   

    The Dark Knight Rises | Review 

    [SPOILERS AHEAD]

    After seven years on the screen, Christopher Nolan’s interpretation of the Dark Knight comes to a close, and while the movie has its imperfections, The Dark Knight Rises is a very satisfying piece of film.

    Eight years have passed since Batman takes the fall for Harvey Dent’s killing spree at the end of The Dark Knight. The City, thanks in part to the Harvey Dent Act is having an age of clean streets. Bruce Wayne however, emotionally (and physically) destroyed from the events of the second film has essentially exiled himself; hoping that hanging out in the rebuilt Wayne mansion will somehow turn around things.

    Things change when Selina Kyle (fantastically played by Anne Hathaway) steals from Bruce, prompting him to look into her background and some new thug on the scene named Bane, possibly requiring Bruce to come out of his retirement.

    This movie feels very different than Batman Begins and The Dark Knight in most ways (such as the type of villain and the flow) which is great, and was absolutely the right thing to do. About a quarter way through, it was obvious that you feel like Batman Begins was the appetizer, Dark Knight was the steak, and Dark Knight Rises is a great dessert.  As Groomsmen Pauly correctly mentioned in his review, this is more of a comic book movie than previous chapters; its def a crime/cop drama, its def epic, and to my repeated annoyance at comic book adaptations not being truly a comic book movie, this one is actually more of a comic book movie than most. It is ironic that this year brought not one, but the two purest ones to date.

    The scenes with Michael Caine are great, and while you immediately know one aspect of the ending very very early on when Alfred is talking to Bruce, that’s just fine.

    For a while, you might be thinking this movie’s runner-up title could have been John Blake Rises, and that’s just fine too. It becomes very clear this is no ordinary cop. His detective skills are so badass, you’ll be quite surprised what he deduces, without much effort, from the get go but that’s the point. Like the previous ending aspect, you see early on (as well as throughout the movie with this one) what you hope is to come by the end. Even with that said, these motions are great to go through with an ending that’s more badass than you hoped.

    There’s been some criticism that there were too many characters and not enough development of the new and the old, but I thought the balance was pretty damn good. It’s an A-list cast and they, not surprisingly, give top-notch performances. I think there is plenty of room appropriately carved out for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but hey we all knew going into the movie that there was reason for this.

    At times you might think of Les Miserable or Tale of Two Cities. Les Mes for the messages and for the literal fact that Liam Neeson was in the last Hollywood version, and Anne Hathaway is in the new version. Also the Nolan boys explicitly mentioned that TDKR was inspired mainly by Tale of Two Cities. This is clearly seen, from the people’s court to the alignment with Sydney Carton, as both Carton and Wayne express their belief in their cities, what they do for their cities, and of course literally down to the words spoken by Gordon at the end, which are some of the famous last lines of Carton.

    Nolan puts his best foot forward on the action this time around (especially in terms of choreography and angles) and the Batman/Bane fight sequence halfway through is just gruesome. The “Bat” is completely badass, and Selina Kyle def shows off how to drive the Bat pod. The opening plane kidnapping, the first B and B showdown, Bruce rising from the pit (when the Bats came out plus Zimmer’s score, I think there were a few people who raised their hands in triumph, wait were those my hands?), and of course the very last shot of the movie are awesome.

    I still had trouble understanding Bane several times, there are some scene jumps, and some other obvious oddities, but these things truly are minor when you look at the whole canvas. Zimmer’s score was sometimes so loud I could not hear anything else, perhaps it was just my IMAX theatre (which is by the way, the right place to see this movie), but I’ve been loving Hans Zimmer’s scores since Crimson Tide and The Rock, so turn it up.

    Bane (Tom Hardy) is a very different villain from the Joker. In the end, he’s a point man (ironically what Hardy was in Inception), and that works pretty well, when you see the whole canvas, which in this movie you can again see pretty early on; even if you figure out the puzzle, seeing it completed 2 hours and 45min later is still awesome.

    The Dark Knight Rises overall is a great movie that thankfully closes out one of the best trilogies in film, and the best comic book trilogy out there.

    A-

     
  • Justin 1:16 pm on August 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Christopher Nolan, , , , , , , ,   

    First Official Image of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises 

    Thoughts? Not what I expected, but maybe this is before she gets her catwoman suit or something. And its just one picture w/ zero context and I trust Nolan.

     
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