Fear the Batman and his raspy voice!
As a boy a young Bruce Wayne watched in horror as his millionaire parents were slain in front of his eyes, a trauma which led him to become obsessed with revenge but his chance is cruelly taken away from him by fate. The discovery of a cave under his mansion, and a prototype armoured suit leads him to take on a new persona, one which will strike fear into the hearts of men who do wrong, he becomes Batman (Christian Bale).
Since everybody and their mothers have been hyping up the release of the epic conclusion of the Christopher Nolan Batman Saga, I thought it would be a good time to go back and check out what these other two did to have all of this excitement. However, it only got me more and more excited for what’s bound to come July 20th.
What Nolan does here with this Batman flick is give it a whole new look, edge, and feel to it. Instead of going for the slap-happy, goofy type of Batman we usually see from Adam West and the terrible Joel Schumacher, we get a real serious Batman that works a lot better. That’s right, no Prince jams, no Bat nipples, and no hammy villains: everything is played straight to the core and that is one of the main things that Nolan does here perfectly. Nolan actually gets into the character of Bruce Wayne more and find out how, why, and for what reasons he goes off from being this million dollhair playboy, to all of a sudden becoming a kick-ass dude dressed in a Bat suit. Of course being dressed as a Bat when you’re laying down the law on somebody is a little kooky in its own right, but they actually bring that up amongst other topics, and it all comes together perfectly.
Nolan also knows how to make this film look great with some perfect shots coming from the cinematography, but also with the sleek and dark look this film had the whole time, especially when it came to Gotham City itself. Gotham City here, actually looked like a metropolis rather than just a set with some fancy designs on it and it got me into this setting where every one and everything is just dirty as hell, everybody and their mothers are all corrupted, and there is no law being brought down on anything bad happening. Gotham City has never looked better and it only gets cooler and cooler to look at once Nolan begins to bring in some of Batman’s cool gadgets and whatnot, all of which, are going to make you want to head on back down to the local Toys R Us and play around a little bit. I’m probably alone on that one but it’s just another excuse to go and play with my toys.
There was plenty of action that worked, especially the finale which kept the energy flowing, but it start to bother me after awhile. Yeah, Nolan gives us the action we want but whenever he does, the camera is constantly up each person’s asses and you can’t see anything else other than a couple of figures throwing punches and kicks at one another. With all of these “hand to hand” combat fight sequences being edited so tightly, it was really hard for me to even get a feel for who was hitting who and who was doing what to whom, and I guess I just also wanted that “awww shittt he just broke that bulls….” moment that I usually get whenever I watch a superhero/action movie. Instead, I just guessed who was winning and who ended up winning and 9 times out of 10, I was right.
Christian Bale was a great choice for Bruce Wayne/Batman because the guy can look and act the part no matter what it is that he does, and he is no different here. I like how Bale gave off this dark but cocky attitude about him that made his character seem more like Patrick Bateman, which isn’t such a bad thing considering that is by-far one of his best performances of all-time and it’s definitely a lot easier to cheer on this guy when it comes to the beat-downs. Katie Holmes was pretty damn flat as Rachel and I think that’s mainly because the writing didn’t give her much to do, other than constantly bitch at every one around her, especially at Bruce and then act like they’re in love at the end. Yeah, didn’t really believe that after all of the hissy-fighting but maybe she was just tense. Then again, that’s always an excuse for ladies.
As for the villain(s) of this flick, each and every single one of them do fine-ass jobs and give a lot more to this story, even if it is without any real iconic villain that we all know and love from the Batman series. Liam Neeson is sinister as Henri and seems like the type of dude you really don’t want to mess with, even if it is Oskar Schindler; Tom Wilkinson was freakin’ funny (in a good way) as the last mobster in Gotham City; and Cillian Murphy does a great job playing up that whole crazy-persona here as Dr. Crane, and thankfully, he doesn’t overdo it one bit. Oh yeah, another surprise is that The Scarecrow is actually scary this time around. Never going into the corn fields ever again.
Consensus: Batman Begins is not perfect but it’s a very dark, bleak, and serious type of superhero film that works due to it’s inspired direction from Christopher Nolan, and some awesome performances that all of the cast gives out, with the exception of Katie Holmes which was pretty predictable.
Wished it just kicked more ass.
Seth Rogen plays Britt Reid, the son of the owner of one of LAs major newspapers The Daily Sentinel. After his father’s death he inherits his newspaper and meets his mechanic Kato (Jay Chou) , who is not only his mechanic but also developed weapons for Reid Sr. They then decide to take on LA’s criminal underworld by posing as bad guys while Britt using the moniker The Green Hornet. But the city’s biggest and only crime boss Chudnovski (Christoph Waltz) doesn’t like people assaulting his criminal dominance.
The Green Hornet is a film that has been moved around many times, and even though that would be a bad sign right away for some projects, this one was different. Although, not all that different really.
The film is directed by Michel Gondry who is most known for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Be Kind Rewind, and many crazy-cool music videos. This seemed like an odd film for him since it’s kind of different from what he’s used to, and to be honest I don’t think he really does much here although he tries too. I must say that he does a good job here of showing off some really cool action sequences that actually add a lot to the film. Gondry makes the scenes look cool, even though they seem rather pointless, but that distinctive flair he has it what makes it a tad better than other action sequences. I didn’t see this in 3D but I can see why they chose Gondry, cause it looked really cool in 2D, I can only image how cooler it would have looked if it went that one dimension.
However, the script is where the problem lies here. The comedy wasn’t as funny as I was expecting, because it is very inconsistent. Sometimes I found a joke that I chuckled at, other times I found myself feeling very awkward because a joke or one-liner just wouldn’t stick well, and all I could do was sit there and squirm at it. I rarely ever found myself bursting out in laughter, and that’s what disappointed me cause this film looked like it had plenty potential to be hilarious. It also had plenty times to be something new and inventive, instead it just went for the regular super-hero film route, that we have all seen time and time again. By that last act, you almost feel as if there’s too many things going on, and it just gets so wrapped up in itself.
I usually can stand Seth Rogen‘s bumbling, nerd shtick, but here he was just way too unlikable. Britt Reid is this spoiled brat, who doesn’t get all the attention that he wants, so he does mean things, and although Rogen has this signature likability to him that usually works with any character, here he just was such a dick that I couldn’t stand him after awhile. Jay Chou does a pretty good job here although he has that problem that Ken Watanabe had in Inception, and that’s we can’t quite understand what he is saying. He’s adorable (no homo), and looks like he’s got the stunt skills to actually pull all of these moves off, but it’s hard to fall in love with this character when you don’t know what is comedy, and what is not, because he isn’t all that understandable. Christoph Waltz was perfect in Inglorious Basterds playing a villain, and here he’s not so bad playing a less-than noticeable role as a villain. I liked how Waltz played Chudnovski, this hot-tempered yet insecure kingpin and gives him this goofiness that has us not take him as seriously, and I think that works because the film doesn’t really take him seriously also. Cameron Diaz’s character, Lenore, was a character that I think they could have left out, but with her scenes, you can tell she’s trying her hardest and does alright. And who cannot forget cameos from James Franco and Edward Furlong, who plays a meth addict, and actually looks like he’s been trying some as well.
Consensus: The Green Hornet has moments of fun, with good comedy and stylish action, but the script lets down this cast, and promised us a new take on the superhero genre, even though it turns out to be the same as they all are, and you can’t help thinking this could have been so much better given the talent involved.
Probably the best movie that Eastwood has directed, second is Unforgiven.
As tens of thousands of Allied troops push further inland, the Japanese troops defending Iwo Jima during World War II prepare to meet their fate in this Clint Eastwood-directed Oscar nominee, a companion piece to his hit film Flags of Our Fathers. Ken Watanabe stars as a Japanese general who knows his men are outnumbered and, with no hope of rescue, that most will eventually die in battle — or end up killing themselves.
Clint Eastwood is always known as the snarling, killing, bad-ass that we all know and love him for. And in some of his films we see him direct his heart out onto the screen. But almost every one is good, but just not terrific. Then came this film, and, God, does he put it all out there.
I loved this film from start to finish, almost every thing here satisfies me because it did many things, that I have never really seen in other war films. These soldiers were literally trapped and had no way out of these caves, and their only will to survive was through death itself, and we feel that coming out of this story. It all feels claustrophobic, and scary, just like all these soldiers felt at the time this war was going on.
Eastwood directs this in such a easy and restrained way that we understand these people. The film is neither pro-America or pro-Japan, but more of like pro-humanity. The violence is straight in our face and although it is there, we focus more on these soldiers and their customs. Eastwood doesn’t just show us a look at these soldiers trying to survive, but how much they have respect for their orders, and will die for it.
There is no little hidden message about how we shouldn’t have gotten ourselves into this war or anything like that but it’s a straight-up war story, that’s not so much about the battle they fight, but for more about their guidelines which you really have to respect Eastwood for, cause in ways this could have gone terribly wrong.
I had one problem with this film and it was that I had a feeling one thing about this film wasn’t totally developed yet, but still it is a minor complaint to a great movie.
Ken Watanabe gives off the best performance in his career here as the Japanese general, who has so much honor, so much pride, yet so much humanity in his soul that even though he is close to dieing himself, he doesn’t know what he is dieing for, and is always still the same brave person throughout which I loved. The rest of the cast doe great jobs adding in their own great skills of acting, and making their characters more human-like.
Consensus: Humanity and emotional is how Letters From Iwo Jima plays out, with a brilliant direction from Eastwood, and wonderful performances from the cast, you can not miss out on this great treasure.
Ruined all hopes for a Samurai Jack movie.
Tom Cruise stars as Nathan Algren — an American hired to instruct the Japanese army in the ways of modern warfare — in this lush epic set in the 1870s, which finds Algren learning to respect the samurai and the honorable principles that rule them. Pressed to destroy the samurai’s way of life in the name of modernization and open trade, Algren decides to become an ultimate warrior(with Ken Watanabe) himself and to fight for their right to exist.
The film is marketed as being the Tom Cruise epic vehicle that shares a lot of similarities to Dances With Wolves. The story may seem the same, but the game has sort of changed.
The most satisfying thing about this film is its high production values it used. This is a triumph in products and costume design as you feel like you actually are in Japan during this time period. I mean how everybody looks, they aren’t just people dressed up, you actually feel like these are real people and you are apart of their village as much as they are.
The one thing that kind of made the film was that it wasn’t a one-note action pick like a lof epics accidental hit. The scenes where Cruise is learning the ways and lifestyles that these people take with honor in all their choices was really interesting. Now, granted the epic action scenes, especially the last 20 minutes, are always exciting and very well choreographed.
I did have a couple of problems with this film though. I feel like the message the film was trying so hard to bring out failed, mostly due to all the blood shed it brought out along the way. Stories like this are always interesting to follow; a man haunted by his past and loathed by his comrades gets his chance at redemption by adapting another culture’s beliefs and lifestyle. You know the ending; an epic battle but the he somehow is the last man left standing. The problem with this one is that it seemed as though the writers were so afraid to cut out the jargon that bogged the story down, but that’s Hollywood for ya.
I think that Tom Cruise, for as much as shit as he gets, is till one of the best actors working today, but doesn’t quite convey any different emotions I first had about him here. He does a good job, but I still see Tom Cruise in a samurai outfit, and not any real emotional character. The real stand-out here is Ken Watanabe who takes this image that we have of this typical old, wise samurai and turns it on his head and makes him a lot more human with more emotions.
Consensus: The Last Samurai has high production values that show with its great look and awesome action scenes, but doesn’t use and original story and still has problems convincing me that Tom Cruise is this samurai.