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

 

 

Inception (2010) Film Review

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It’s the future. Highly trained people can infiltrate your dreams and steal secrets. Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) has been doing this for years, and his own mental stability is questionable. He had a wife, Mal (Marion Cotillard) who passed away, but her image is now sneaking into the scenarios and sabotaging his work. He and his business partner Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) are hired by Saito(Ken Watanabe) to go one step further. They are to penetrate the dreams of businessman Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy) and plant an idea – the concept known as inception. They gather together a team consisting of Cobb, Arthur, chemist Yusuf (Dileep Rao), forger Eames (Tom Hardy) and architect Ariadne (Ellen Page) and take the challenge.

I loved this film so much. It’s got heaps of running, fighting, shooting and explosions that I love in an action film, but then there is plot. Heaps of plot. Confusing and challenging, but ultimately there was a cool logic that made sense – provided you buy into the world of the film. Which I totally did. What’s more, it’s a film with an ambiguous end. I love an ambiguous end. Thanks, Christopher Nolan.

Inception won Oscars for Best Achievement in Cinematography (Wally Pfister) Best Achievement in Sound Mixing (Lora Hirschberg, Gary Rizzo and Ed Novick), Best Achievement in Sound Editing (Richard King)and Best Achievement in Visual Effects (Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley, Pete Bebb and Paul J. Franklin) and was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Writing Original Screenplay, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures Original Score and Best Achievement in Art Direction.