Blog Archives

The Dark Knight Rises Review

The Dark Knight Rises Review

Let’s just go ahead and answer everyone’s question right up front. Is The Dark Knight Rises better than The Dark Knight? No it is not. But that in no way is a negative judgment against Christopher Nolan’s last Batman adventure. Not a lot could top The Dark Knight. It was a force of nature four years ago and still is today upon repeated viewings, so if you go into the theater expecting a better movie you may leave a little disappointed. What you will get is a long, ambitious epic that puts a perfect cap on Nolan’s Bat trilogy.

 

It has been eight long years since Harvey Dent went a bit on the crazy side and tried to kill Jim Gordon’s family while Batman took the fall for the fallout so that the city could hold up Dent as their savior and use his death to pass an act that has cleaned up the city. With major crime effectively under control Bruce Wayne has retired from being the Caped Crusader to become a recluse who nurses his battle wounds and lives in regret over the death of his love, Rachel Dawes.

 

But like with any hero Bruce cannot escape his need (or want) for Gotham to have the Batman again. When he is robbed by a lovely cat burglar named Selina Kyle, played very capably by the scene chewing Anne Hathaway, he begins to slowly come out of his shell eventually getting back into the cape and cowl despite his butler Alfred’s insistence that he should stay away.

As happenstance would have it, the return of Batman comes about at the same time a new big bad known as Bane is setting his master plan in motion to take over Gotham and complete Ra’s Al Ghul’s vision. Bane is viciously played by Tom Hardy who is not as scene stealing as Heath Ledger’s Joker but is much more of a physical threat to Batman. This is one thing that helped the movie immensely. While Batman Begins had Ra’s and Scarecrow and The Dark Knight has the Clown Prince of Crime, none really seemed like Batman’s physical superior. That is not the case here. Bane is a physical specimen and much more dangerously is just as smart as he is strong. If you are read up on Bane’s history in the Bat universe then you know basically what is coming about halfway through the movie but the event is still powerful and brutal.

 

I really had no problem understanding Hardy’s unique voice during the movie. With stories floating around since last December about his performance being lost in the muffled voice behind the mask I had a few concerns going in but it looks like Nolan did heed advice and clear up Bane’s dialogue which is great because Hardy’s nuanced performance adds so much to the story. It’s not just the voice (which yes does sound like Goldfinger) but the emotions he is able to convey with his eyes and body motions that complete the character.

Now don’t get me wrong the movie is not without flaws. But most of them are so small that they don’t merit mentioning but one that I do want to mention is Gary Oldman’s Jim Gordon. He has plenty to do in this movie but after having him be such an integral part of The Dark Knight he does seem to get lost in the shuffle of the massive story and the number of characters that are given screen time. Oldman is still wonderful in his scenes but Gordon had much more of a meaningful role in The Dark Knight.

 

Everyone else on the roster has brought their A-game as you would expect. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s John Blake does not seem like a thrown in character. Much of the first half of the movie is from his perspective yet it feels completely at home in the Nolan Bat-verse. Morgan Freeman is his usual witty self and Michael Caine puts an exclamation point on the statement that he his the best version of Alfred ever, comics or film. Seriously, dude had me tearing up in two scenes. In a Batman movie.

This is a big, robust movie that is like most of Nolan’s work. It gets so big with so much at stake that you feel that it may collapse on itself but in the hands of a great director it transcends just being another Batman story and speaks on many levels including political unrest, the loss of hope and how anyone can become more than a man.

 

Where The Dark Knight felt as a stand alone movie this feels like a companion piece to Batman Begins while also bridging every character from all three films. It succeeds in bringing to a close the greatest super hero trilogy ever and avoids the pitfalls of most third films (see Godfather, Spider-Man) by giving a true emotional payoff for the characters that we have been investing ourselves in since the summer of 2005.

 

When I look back I would probably say that The Avengers is still the greatest comic book movie ever made but The Dark Knight Rises may be the better movie.

 

Nerd Rating: 9/10

Advertisements

The Dark Knight Returns Gets A Trailer. I Just Peed A Little.

We have already seen The Dark Knight rise this year, now it’s time to watch him return. The first trailer has been released for the DC animated feature based on one of the greatest comics stories ever written: The Dark Knight Returns. Telling the story of a long retired Batman who is coaxed out of the shadows by the decaying, dying Gotham around him, Frank Miller managed to encompass almost the entire Bat-verse in their twilight years and show that the world will always need a Batman.

It’s a great thing DC is breaking this up into two parts because the story truly is massive and should be given the proper time. By the look of this preview it looks like they staying pretty true to the source material and the voice cast, as with almost all DC animated releases, sounds top notch. I am loving the Peter Weller take on Batman from the little I heard. And if you have read the graphic novel (which should be a requirement of any Bat fan) then you know that the second half should be the real deal with The Joker returning and Batman having his final battle with Superman.

I just pray DC doesn’t do The Dark Knight Strikes Again. As great as TDKR is TDKSA is bad. Bad Bad.

Pull List 6/27/12

The Dark Knight #10

Gregg Hurwitz takes over writing duties with this issue and he is off to a great start with the beginning of a Scarecrow story that truly looks to be going in a disturbing direction. Children are being kidnapped and returned with no physical scars but emotionally dead. It looks like they are going to take Gordon in a dark place too with his disappearing act on Batman and his hallucinations about Barbara and James Jr. when he is affected by Scarecrow’s toxin. David Finch’s art is quality as always.

Score: 8.5/10

Batman Incorporated #2

Grant Morrison gives up the complete back story of Talia Al Ghul from her conception, to her training as a master assassin and even through to her and her father’s dealing with The Black Hand. It’s a good look inside the character but a step back from the weird first issue and we still are hanging on that cliff.

Score: 7.5/10

Aquaman #10

Aquaman and Black Manta finally get to duke it out here as Ya’Wara and Prisoner try to convince Aquaman to not kill Manta so they can learn what his plan is. Do heroes learn nothing. They end up giving Manta what he is after and he teleports away and surprises Mera and Shin. Mera finally learns the truth about how Black Manta’s father died at Aquaman’s hands. I smell marital problems later.

Score: 8/10

Superman #10

This issue hurt. Superman tries to figure out Anguish’s daddy issue as they fight around Metropolis. She sees the story on Superman’s secret (wrong) identity and heads off to kill the innocent man’s family. Yet somehow in this modern age no one can notice Superman fighting on the news stations as they ask this man if he is the Man of Steel?? Ugh. Anyway Supes gets all therapeutic and Anguish leaves. My head hurts.

Score: 5/10

Star Trek #10

Kirk, Spock and the rest of the away team discover the mystery of Beta III and how the Starship Archon became involved in the society that worships the machine Landru. Kirk rescues a hot chick to the Enterprise because….well he’s James T. Kirk. Kirk reports back to Pike and we learn that Beta III was a dirty Federation secret and Kirk is now being watched.

Score: 7.5/10

Before Watchmen: Nite Owl #1

Man was this issue loaded with stuff. We get a glimpse into Daniel’s early life with his abusive father and how his obsession with Nite Owl flourished into a partnership with the first man to wear the cowl, Hollis Mason. His first meeting with Rorshach is as random as you would think it should be. With the fleshing out of the character in this series the inevitable comparisons to Batman will come but you would just be depriving yourself of a good comic and classic character.

Score: 8/10

Spider-Men #2 (of 5)

Holy crap this book is just as good as the first issue. Peter and Miles have a slight skirmish on the rooftops of NYC. By skirmish I mean the most polite fight I have ever read and so dang entertaining. Miles gets the better of Peter and takes him to Nick Fury who gets to listen to one of the best Spider-Man rants ever and tasks Miles with telling Peter what is different about this alternate universe ( you know, the Peter being dead part). Mysterio shows up in time to try and kill both Spider-Men. Awesome.

Score: 9/10

All-Star Western #10

Arkham gets to enjoy the “charm” of Tallulah Black as he nurses her back to health. The Court of the Owls are still making plans and one of them involves using Jonah as an unknowing assassin. I’m glad to see the Owls weren’t just a one issue write off for the crossover event. With Hex being in the old west I want to see how powerful the Owls actually were in Gotham.

Score: 8/10

Justice League #10

Graves surprises the Justice League on their satellite base and makes quick work of every member. Like really, it took like two pages to dispatch the entire Justice League. So Graves must be the greatest villain ever in the history of comics. More Shazam at the end with the re-introduction of Black Adam.

Score: 7.5/10

The Ultimates #12

What appears to be the end of the Reed Richards/City story has Tony being used as bait while his “little friend” tries to sabotage The City’s main computer. And I promise you, you will never guess who Tony’s friend is. And Cap makes an appearance at the end to help just as all the hard work is done. Good job Cap.

Score: 8/10

 

Pretty decent week this week. Spider-Men is the obvious choice for book of the week. Sadly it looks like Superman will be getting dropped. I have given it ten issues and have yet to feel excited about the title.

Read comics!!!

The Dark Knight Rises Gets A Final (Final) Trailer

Thought the final trailer that played before The Avengers was all we were going to get? You should know better than that.

Warner and Nokia have teamed up to release this final….really final….seriously this is the director’s cut of trailers, final trailer.

After watching this three or so times (don’t judge me) I really like this trailer maybe more so than any of the previous ones. We know the basic setup of the movie by now so this trailer assumes that and goes balls to the wall with action which is nice seing as how this is a Batman flick.

The Dark Knight Rises opens on July 20.

New Dark Knight Rises Trailer…..Holy S***

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=g8evyE9TuYk

Well played Warner Bros. Well played. Right when my Avengers hype is at the maximum for this weeks premiere you show up with this….this beauty of a preview showing that TDKR is the movie that may hold the comic standard this summer.

Only time will tell. Go and watch!!!

Block Batman Block

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ONebtUty3AI

Why do Lego’s make everything better? Here is the second full Dark Knight Rises trailer completely in Lego. Am I the only one that would buy entire movies redone in them?

The Pull List 3/28/12

20120328-164308.jpg

AVX #0
We start out the big event with M.O.D.O.K. getting his ass kicked (again), Scarlet Witch thinking she’s a horrible person, Vision telling her she’s a horrible person and Hope Summers telling Scott to f*** off.
Score: 7/10

AVX Rd. 1
Scott acts like a complete tool the entire issue and manages to kick start a fight with The Avengers. Good going dick. Oh and the Phoenix is back to take over Hope and make things fun.
Score: 7.5/10

The Ultimates #8
Reed may have found a new ally (as if he needed one). Tony and Thor are taken hostage while the president decides to take the offensive on The City. Pretty good stuff.
Score: 8/10

Aquaman #7
After last month’s Mera side story we get back to more serious tones with Black Manta back to cause more problems and Aquaman trying to unravel the mystery of who sunk Atlantis. This is still one of my favorite books every month.
Score: 8.5/10

All Star Western #7
Jonah heads to NOLA, which still looks as dirty today as in western days, to search for Moody only to get sidetracked by some good old fashioned gladiator type bum fights. Love the story but the art gets on my nerves a bit.
Score: 8/10

The Dark Knight #7
Batman and Bane go at it one more time to finish up the new venom story and we learn the secret of White Rabbit and no she doesn’t magically become a real rabbit.
Score: 7.5/10

Superman #7
New creative team begins with the introduction of Helspont who went to mid 90’s villain school. Dan Jurgens is involved so that may explain a lot. Not a big leap in quality (so far).
Score: 6.5/10

Star Trek #7
Good beginning to a new story directly correlating with the movie and a very good twist ending. Looking forward to see where it goes.
Score: 8/10

Also I am going through American Vampire Vol. 3 so here are the quick scores for the first two.
Vol. 1- 9.5/10
Vol. 2- 9.5/10
Moral of the story kids? Scott Snyder is one of the best things going in comics today.

Read comics!!!

Top 12 Movies of 2012

I know 2011 is just barely half over but it’s never too early to look ahead at next year’s crop of movies. Next year, at least on paper, looks to be one of the biggest years at the theaters with the return of Batman, the Avengers assembling, Ridley Scott returning to science fiction and Peter Jackson revisiting the Shire. While I have been to the theater more this year already than in past years I will list the 12 movies that already have me ready to drop down 10 bucks for a ticket….or 12 for 3D….or 15 for IMAX 3D….or 23 for IMAX with Dbox. Jesus movies are too expensive. I think I may go straight 2D next year.

John Carter (March 9)

Let’s hope Disney’s live action tentpole movie next year fares better than Prince of Persia did. Based on the first John Carter novel, A Princess of Mars, it finds the titular character die in the Civil War era only to reawaken on Mars in the middle of a large conflict. I did like the first preview shown so I have hope that this will be a good flick.

The Hunger Games (March 23)

A young adult novel about a post-apocalyptic society that once a year pick one adolescent male and one female to fight to the death in what is called The Hunger Games. Sounds like young adult reading huh? Suzanne Collins trilogy of novels gets the big screen treatment with a great cast including Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks and Donald Sutherland. If this is as big as people are expecting we could be looking at the next big film series with Harry Potter done and Twilight ending.

American Reunion (April 6)

Not too be confused with the series of low rent straight to DVD sequels, this is the true sequel lovers of the film trilogy (namely me) have been waiting on. Jason Biggs, Allyson Hannigan, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Chris Klein, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Tara Reid, Shannon Elizabeth and Sean William Scott are all back for their high school reunion and I am pretty sure some stuff involving super glue, pubic hair, gay bar dancing, pie screwing and band camp stories may be involved. And yes John Cho is back as the MILF guy….bonus!

The Avengers (May 4)

Marvel’s big five year plan has all been leading to this. Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor and Captain America all in one movie. One big splooge in my pants movie. The plot is still somewhat under wraps but me thinks Loki is teaming up with the Skrulls to do the whole take over the planet thing. Does it matter really? This movie is going to be huge…..as in massive.

Prometheus (June 8 )

Ridley Scott returns to the Alien franchise with a prequel that tells how everyone’s favorite chest bursting, acid bleeding xenomorph came into being. I am so excited for a new Alien film it borders on nerdgasm. Then add in it’s Ridley Scott and a cast that includes Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender and it’s pretty easy to see why this made the list.

Amazing Spider-Man (July 3)

Some people think it is too soon for a reboot but I am not one of them. Next year will be ten years since Sam Raimi released the first of his trilogy and while the second film remains one of the finest comic book movies ever made the third was a bloated POS that collapsed under too many villains and not enough story. Andrew Garfield (who was excellent in The Social Network) takes over the role of Peter Parker and yes we are going to have to watch another origin tale but the preview does show that there may be life left in the ole webhead.

The Dark Knight Rises (July 20)

Christopher Nolan ends his Dark Knight trilogy is what is sure to be the biggest movie of 2012. And like all Nolan films this one is a closely guarded secret but we know the main plot involves the League of Shadows coming after Batman with Bane in toe. Whether they will quasi follow the Knightfall storyline and have Bane break Batman’s back remains to be seen but I think it is a safe bet to say so. Joseph Gordon Levitt, Tom Hardy and Marion Cotillard join the cast in a mini Inception reunion.

 

 

The Expendables 2 (August 17)

I didn’t see the first Expendables in the theater and when I finally saw it on Blu Ray I was kicking myself for not seeing the huge action orgasm on the big screen. I won’t make that mistake with the sequel. The main crew of Stallone, Statham, Li, Crews, Couture and Lundgren are back this time hunting down Mickey Rourke’s (Tool) killer. Explosions ensue, head are shot, women are bedded then credits. Perfect.

Dredd (September 21)

Guess what? I like the 1995 version of Judge Dredd. And I am not ashamed to say it. Everyone has their guilty pleasure movie and it is my favorite one. You like Top Gun you say? Then I like Judge Dredd. I always thought a new Dredd movie was always a pipedream after the Stallone version left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths (Why? It’s awesome!) but finally 17 years later it is happening. And with Karl Urban perfectly cast as Dredd I say it’s time to strap on your Lawgiver and show Mega City One who’s boss….or Judge.

Bond 23 (November 9)

It’s been a rough road getting the new Bond movie into muliplexes. MGM’s bankruptcy (isn’t this like their fourth one) has ensured that we have the longest wait in between films without changing actors to play 007. But it finally looks like their is light at the end of the tunnel. The main plot is still a mystery but we do know that Javier Bardem has been cast as the villain and Ralph Fiennes will play a mystery character. As a Bond fanatic this wait has been rough but hopefully it will be worth it come next winter.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (December 14)

After the merry go round of directors everyone thought we were finally on the way back to the Shire when Guillermo Del Toro was brought on to helm The Hobbit but those dreams were dashed when MGM couldn’t seem to find financing for the massive two part epic (MGM again!! Seriously what purpose do they serve?). Del Toro left and finally Peter Jackson stepped up to the plate realizing that if he didn’t direct the tale of Bilbo Baggins it would never get made. The story is being split up with the second coming out December 2013 (called The Hobbit: There and Back Again) and sees Martin Freeman taking over the role of Bilbo who is tricked by Gandalf, played again by Ian McKellan, to take on an expedition with twelve dwarves into the Misty Mountains to win the treasure guarded by the dragon Smaug.

Django Unchained (December 25)

Quentin Tarantino follows up his biggest hit ever (Inglourious Basterds) with a revenge tale starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kevin Costner. Django (Foxx) is a free slave who is trained to be a bounty hunter by a German (Waltz) and the two team up to rescue Django’s wife from an evil plantation owner (DiCaprio) and his slave trainer (Costner) who has the slaves fight in death matches for the owner’s enjoyment. As much as I loved Basterds I can easily see this becoming my favorite Tarantino film (my favorite is Jackie Brown).

Other big 2012 releases:

Underworld: Awakening (Jan. 20)

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (Feb. 17)

Dark Shadows (May 11)

Men In Black 3 (May 25)

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (June 22)

The Bourne Legacy (Aug. 3)

Total Recall (Aug. 3)

G.I. Joe 2 (Aug. 10)

Resident Evil: Retribution (Sept. 14)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D (Oct. 5)

Halloween 3D (Oct. 26)

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt. 2 (Nov. 16)

The Lone Ranger (Dec. 21)

Want Some Nerd News? Here You Go.

by Captain Oblivious

 

– First off see that dude? That’s Henry Cavill and that is your new Superman. I will admit I don’t know jack about him except he was in the Showtime series The Tudors. But he was almost cast as The Man of Steel in Superman Returns as well as almost being offered the Bruce Wayne gig by Christopher Nolan and the role of James Bond before Daniel Craig was cast so by that alone he may be that awesome who knows? I’m just putting my trust in Zack Snyder like I did with Watchmen and hope for another winner.

– Joseph Gordon Levitt may be about to join the cast of The Dark Knight Rises after all. Suddenly all seems right with the world. Who’s he going to play? I don’t care. The mere fact that Nolan’s third batflick may include the JGL is blowing my mind.

– Javier Bardem is in talks to be the new Bond villain. Holy poopstick.

– Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 releases on April 15th and will include a piece of the Part 2 opening scene. Hard to believe it’s almost over.

– The trailer for Captain America will debut during the Super Bowl this Sunday. Am I the only one thinking it’s about freaking time!?

– Killzone 3 is out February 22. Finally something to occupy my time. Mindless killing.

 

 

 

 

Anne Hathaway Makes The Dark Knight Rise

 

by Captain Oblivious

I apologize. I could not resist the title. Anyway this is a bit of old news but news I wanted to talk about anyway. And that is the announcement that Anne Hathaway has been cast as Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises. Not only that but Tom Hardy’s role has been revealed to not be that of Hugo Strange but of Bane.

First off I love the Hathaway casting. I mean look at some of the other rumors out there. Megan Fox? The acting piece of cardboard that was so bad that Michael Bay did not want her anymore…..MICHAEL BAY!! Cher………no. Anne Hathaway is as good as it gets in Hollywood right now and I love it.

And while i am a bit disappointed the Joseph Gordon Levitt casting did not pan out I will gladly watch Tom Hardy in anything. And Bane in the hands of Chris Nolan should be done the proper way. A twisted man raised in prison that uses any means necessary to be better than and break the Batman.