Wednesday, 25 July 2012

(film review) - The Dark Knight Rises

I've said this before and I will say it again, people will always compare, it's human nature. With that said, I completely understand why this film has mixed reviews.

Let's put this film into prospective. Everything about this film is Human. What I mean by that is, throughout the Nolan Trilogy, Nolan was able to bring a fantasy character in a semi fantasy universe alive in the real world to make it seem real enough to be believeable rather than fantasy. With that said, this is why you don't see a character like Clayface or Poison Ivy. I mean in a real world, how would this work? Marvel have successfully translated this in the films leading up to The Avengers, but I'm more curious as to how NOLAN will make it work. Some people already proclaim him as a God and watching his films, damn. I digress.

So, without a shadow of doubt, Heath Ledger's Joker stand's tall among all the character's in the Dark Knight Trilogy, but with the success of the second movie which virtualy paid for the world to keep spinning (I joke - The Avengers took that mantle), the third film is somewhat slightly lack-luster and less action paced.

I'll explain.

After the "Death" of Harvey Dent/2Face, Batman was blamed and took the fall while prisoners under the Harvey Dent Act were sent to Blackgate Prison for their crimes. The death of Harvey Dent held heavy on Chief Commissioner Gordon's head and this also led to the next 8 years of guilt for the chief as well as Batman retiring and Bruce Wayne becoming a recluce within his Mansion.

For whatever crimes Bane (Tom Hardy) is convicted of, he manages to escape and make his way to Gotham to basically crush it along with Batman in the process. Batman only arrives on cue as Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) appears which then triggers a series of chained events leading to Bane and Batman battling it out.

Things get a bit trying for Batman as well as Bruce Wayne which is where both Bruce & Batman are to rise, from the ashes as it were, like a phoenix and defeat the bad with good triumphaning over evil and defending the people of Gotham in the process.

You'd think this could be explained within two hours. However, this "two" hours (regular film time) is dragged out in such a way, for me personally, the extra 45mins or so actually felt like a 2 hour film until you look at the time afterwards. For me, the action was evenly paced with the drama but compared to the previous film, there was not enough explosions, fire and random anarchy/carnage in which the Joker (Heath Ledger) provided and more drama this time around. Alot more stress pain and torture in this film. Bane is a totally different character and one who, in the comics, puts Batman through his paces and out of comission by breaking his back.
In the midst of everything that is going on, young cop John Blake (Joseph Leonard Gordon-Levitt) is the only one guy who represents what Batman and Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) used to stand for and the one person who actually does a lot to save the day.

For me, I took this film on it's own merit and after reading a few stories and background surrouding this film, I completely understand how the film was directed and why, so that not any one character would stand out more than the other, i.e Joker over 2face or any other chracters in The Dark Knight. Not to say that oscar winning performances are dubbed down or ruled out, but the main characters are somewhat more evenly stretched and play very good parts.

The bottom line is, this is a great film and no one should expect this film to be better than the last film. as the dynamics of the chracters involved are very different from one another. If you like Batman, you will definately enjoy.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

(film review) - The Amazing Spider-Man

All people do is, compare. I guess that is how we monitor progression and/or evolve. You start with something then you try to do better. Kinda like making improvements or beating your personal best. If you never knew the story of Spider-Man from the comics, then 10 years ago, there was a film which told you that story. (For a brief description on all the Spider-Man films seek: Pre-Amazing Spider-Man [Tobey Maguire]) In this film, the story is told but in a slightly different way.
The Amazing Spider-Man will be compared to other comic book films as well as the previous Spider-Man films. From what I have read and heard so far, the film is generally getting mixed reviews but mostly positive. However, you will need to bare in mind before watching this film, YOU CANNOT COMPARE THIS TO THE LAST COMIC BOOK/MARVEL FILM (The Avengers), as that is just not fair. Compare this to another remake such as The Dark Knight, The Incredible Hulk or Ironman 1.

From before this film came out, I understood that this film is meant to be darker than the previous Spider-Man's, but with the film being done via Disney, I kinda questioned, 'How Dark is Dark'? Kick-Ass is Dark! When I first saw it, I was in more shock than anything. The Christopher Nolan Batman's are Dark. However, this Spidey film isn't as dark.

Andrew Garfield plays Peter Parker (The Amazing Spider-Man) who is bitten by a genetically engineered Spider and becomes Spider-Man. However, as well as falling in love with a female from his school, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), Peter has great troubles dealing with the "loss" of his mother and father, then his uncle, not to mention trying to seek revenge, stay up-to-date with school work and have a "normal" teenage life. What makes it worse, on the streets is a man turned Lizard, Dr Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) who is hellbent on his own personal goals.

I wouldn't say it is impossibly to spoil this film as the storyline and plot is very simple. Hero has to save the world against the threat. However, where the film thrives for me is 1, the action, 2, the acting between Peter and Stacey, 3, The way Spidey moves and most of all, the direction.
In this film, you see that Spider-Man is just a boy. I think it's more to do with the backdrop and how dark the background is, plus the directing, but this is emphasized more than ever. A boy in a suit who is almost just like everyone else. You can actually feel his struggles and pain. You feel his weight and the pressure he is buckling under. A little bit like Spider-Man 2, but Peter Parker is under a lot of pressure; tear jerking moments. The only difference I would say about this film and the previous three with Tobey is that, this should have been the Spider-Man film from day dot (day one). Chop and change a few things from the Tobey Spidey and do a little mix and swapping and you'd have a perfect Spidey film. You've kinda seen it all before, so there isn't much of a "WOW" factor but still is a good watch. For me it was simply how Spidey moves as he does much more and much more spider-like. Even elements of steath.

Visually, the film is Amazing and you do witness the great heighs Spider-Man climbs, but other than the special effects, the film is just like watching all 3 previous Spidey films with a darker setting. For me, I left the cinema thinking, "I liked that". But as there wasn't anything too amazing about it the film will only apply to Spidey Fans who will enjoy. Otherwise you could wait for the DVD and the directors cut. Don't get me wrong, i'm not sayign this film is shoddy, but I think if Nolan was on the job...

The ending is better though and most definately, there should be more spidey films like this. Providing they get more authorisation for sequels, then they will be albe to expand on Spideys huge catalog of enemies for someone so young, 20ish Spider-Man films could be done and I guess it would be much better to see more and more villains and of course, seeing him in Avengers 2 or 3 would be great! - Go Marc Webb!!!