The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Film Review

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Like many, many cinemagoers, I was ridiculously excited about this film. Although, having said that, I haven’t re-watched Batman Begins or The Dark Knight, I didn’t participate in a movie marathon of these three films and I didn’t go to a midnight screening, or even a screening over the first weekend.  I guess I am not a truly dedicated, passionate, obsessed fan. But I was still ridiculously excited.

I don’t want to recount the plot at all. If you haven’t seen the first two, get them out and watch them, then go see it. If you don’t want to, then there may be some things you don’t understand. Deal with it. All I’ll say is that the film is set several years after the last film and Gotham is a safe city. A lot of the characters are back – Bruce Wayne/Batman (Christian Bale), Alfred (Michael Caine), Fox (Morgan Freeman), Commissioner Gordan (Gary Oldman). And we’ve got some new ones – Bain (Tom Hardy), Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Selina/Catwoman (Anne Hathaway), Miranda (Marion Cotillard) and the delightful surprise of seeing Ben Mendelsohn, albeit totally underused, as Daggart.

The film had much of the stuff that we’ve come to expect over the previous two films; some gruesome violence, authority figures not trusting each other and lots and lots of explosions. If it’s sounding boring or formulaic, it’s not. Yes, it is long – almost three hours, but time passes quickly in the film. Lives and the whole of Gotham city are transformed. And, in the true nature of cinema, everything rests on the final few seconds. Having said that, I picked several of the twists, which annoyed me. For me to pick up on them, there must have been too many hints. Either that, or I’m getting smarter.

There’s been a lot of talk about what the film symbolizes. Is it anti-The Occupy movement? Is it more about anti-capitalist terrorism? I’m not sure what Christopher Nolan intends from the film, how he intends it to be read. For me, it’s an awesome action film with a bit more depth than many, a fabulous cast and is well and truly worth the wait.

See it in the cinema. See it on a big screen with good sound. See it with a big audience. Just see it.

This review first appeared at www.melbournegeek.com on August 27, 2012

 

 

Killing Them Softly (2012) Film Review

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There’s an illegal card game that is protected by the mafia, run by Markie(Ray Liotta). Previously, Markie had arranged a hit on this game, thinking no-one would suspect him – which they didn’t but later he ended up coming clean. The other mafia folk forgave him for being a nice guy. The mafia’s nice like that. Another dude, Johnny “Squirrel” Amato (Vincent Curatola) takes this opportunity to hit the game again thinking that the automatic suspect will be Markie. He uses a couple of hired hands; Frankie(Scoot McNairy) and Russell(Ben Mendelsohn). The mafia is not happy, and send a couple of hitmen to resolve the situation (Brad Pitt and James Gandolfini).

I reckon that a lot of people will love this film. It’s got that kind of coolness about it. I think it is a very good film. Not for me, I’m afraid; I was mostly bored. Very excited to see Ben Mendelsohn getting more roles, I’m a huge fan. His presence didn’t save the film for me, but I did enjoy it.