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REVIEW: The Dark Knight Rises

July 20, 2012 1 comment
Tom Hardy and Christian Bale in The Dark Knight Returns

They both talk.
You can’t understand either of them.

I have crafted the perfect sentence to describe The Dark Knight Returns. Here, read this: The Dark Knight Returns is a worthy and satisfying end to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight saga, a reimagining of the beloved hero Batman as a dark, tortured avenger in a bleak, cynical world. That sentence is absolutely perfect. I’ve been saying it for 22 hours now, and everyone I’ve said it to has immediately said, “Oh. That makes sense. I guess I’ll go see it!” What I’m not mentioning when I say that The Dark Knight Returns is the worthy and satisfying end to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight saga is that I hated every second of it from the opening gambit to closing “twist”. I was bored out of my skull from beginning to end as I watched characters new and old alike run through the motions of closing this series out.

Every single scene in this movie feels like it’s specially crafted from beginning to end. Not in a good way. It feels like all the individuality, personality and anything that might be cool or fun or different has been sanded down like an edge on a sphere. It opens with Bane robbing a plane. He’s robbing the plane of the scientist that’s on it. That would be pretty cool if you didn’t see it coming from having watched The Dark Knight that one of the masked men in the criminal’s crew is Bane himself. This was the first time of many that I found myself muttering to myself, “I get it.” Read more…

REVIEW: Nine

September 9, 2010 Leave a comment

I guess every critic worth their salt has to try their hand at reviewing a movie on its first run, after one time having seen it. The grand majority of movies I’ve reviewed so far are ones I’ve seen time and again. Indeed, movies I will have to review going into the distant future at a pace of one a day will be ones I’ve seen before, such as The Matrix and Citizen Kane. I’ve seen Tarantino’s six films more than once a piece, and I’m gonna have all six done. Nine is a movie I resisted seeing on initial release. I’ve seen the first two minutes three or four times now, trying to find a spare two hours in which to watch the whole thing.

Now that I’ve stuck around for more than that, I’ve found that I had good reason to skip this feature. You remember Chicago, right? Beat Two Towers for Best Picture back in 2002. I remember that it sucked. It was an entire feature built around the idea that I’d enjoy watching a musical about a woman who treats her husband badly, kills a man and gets away with it scot-free. Not only that, but becomes a successful Broadway star. As a man, that doesn’t sound appealing. When I saw it, it wasn’t appealing. Not only was the movie everything I expected it to be, it also had this weird musical vocabulary. Every musical number was staged in a weird fantasyland where the whole world was literally a stage. The same is true of Nine, from director Rob Marshall (Chicago). If I were to say he needs a new musical vocabulary, would I be wrong? Read more…