Having to go to ground after the events of the first film, the four horsemen are toey. These guys are performers, they need an audience. Well no Isla Fisher’s character – she’s not in this film. Anyhow, they (Jesse Eisenberg as Atlas, Woody Harrelson as McKinney, Dave Franco as Wilder and joined by Lizzy Caplan as Lula) come back, with the help of Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), but there is a new player in the game – Walt Wabry (Daniel Radcliffe) a millionaire eccentric who loves magic. Now Bradley (Morgan Freeman) and Tressler (Michael Caine) also need to come back, and we have a lot of fun. Big magic, big tricks, no idea about what’s going on and then BAM things get fun. It’s ace in the same way the first one is ace. I doubt they’ll make another, but I kinda hope they will.
The world is dying. There is not much food and there is dust everywhere. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a farmer, but was previously an astronaut. Now, with his father (or father-in-law, I can’t recall if that matters) Donald (John Lithgow), he is raising two children; Murph (Mackenzie Foy, then later Jessica Chastain and still later, Ellen Burtsyn) and Tom (Timothee Chalamet and then later Casey Affleck). Then he ends up stumbling across a NASA station or something and gets roped in to a mission to explore possible inhabitable planets through a wormhole. There is the Professor (Michael Caine), a fellow astronaut, Brand (Anne Hathaway) and later the nice surprise of Mann (Matt Damon. Didn’t know he was in this film!).
Yawn. I just couldn’t get into this film. I couldn’t car about the characters, I didn’t have any particular care about the planet dying. I think it is a really well made film, if about an hour too long (it’s just under three hours). The one standout thing was the soundtrack – amazing, really bringing forth the emotion without being overly annoying or overbearing.
Interstellar was nominated for Oscars for Best Achievement in Production Design, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score (Hans Zimmer), Best Achievement in Sound Mixing, Best Achievement in Sound Editing and Best Achievement in Visual Effects. It was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Score (Hans Zimmer) and BAFTAs for Best Cinematography, Best Original Music (Hans Zimmer), Best Production Design and Best Special Visual Effects
Dr Larch(Michael Caine) runs an orphanage with a side business of providing the occasional abortion. Homer (Tobey Maguire) is one of the orphans who, after several attempts at being adopted out, becomes a permanent fixture of the orphanage and a favourite of Dr Larch, learning some doctoring skills. Then Candy (Charlize Theron) and her boyfriend Wally (Paul Rudd) visit for a procedure and Homer sees his chance to see the world. Well, a bit more of Maine, at least. Wally goes to war, Candy and Homer hang out a LOT, the other workers at Wally’s parents’ orchard have issues and it’s all a big story.
And yet… despite all the things happening, all of the big and major and life-changing and extremely dramatic things, I felt very little throughout. I just didn’t really care what happened to any of the characters, I shared none of the emotion of any of them. It did have that epic feel of a typical Oscar Best Film, and there is no surprise that it was nominated. Thank goodness American Beauty won that year.
The Cider House Rules won Oscars for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Michael Caine) and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or published and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (Lasse Hallstrom) Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Film Editing and Best Music, Original Score.
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
Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is travelling the world, attempting to find way to get past the murder of his parents that he witnessed as a small child. After training in some mountains with a mysterious group, he eschews their offer to join them and returns to Gotham, to his butler, Alfred (Michael Caine) in the hope of improving the lives of the residents. But there is a bad guy, the Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) who is causing problems. Bruce meets Fox (Morgan Freeman) who is in research and development, and Batman Begins.
Having used The Dark Night as a teaching text, I tend to be overly focused on that film over either this or the final in the trilogy. Watching this again reminds me of just how good it is – characters are set up, a strong story is told and it is left on the edge of the next film. Wonderful.
Batman Begins was nominated for an Oscar for Best Achievement in Cinematography.
2027. All of the people in the world are infertile. The youngest human, eighteen-year-old “Baby Diego” has just been killed and everyone is mourning. Theo (Clive Owen) is suddenly and violently approached by his ex-wife Julian (Julianne Moore) to assist in getting Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey), a young, pregnant woman to safety.
It’s an amazing thought – the human race dying out not from illness or disease but just not being able to make more. What drives people as a species to keep going? And what would really happen to the miracle – the occasional person who falls pregnant? This is not an easy film to watch. It’s violent and emotional and does not pull punches at any time. But it is wonderful, and beautiful, and I hope that I have the guts to watch it again sometime.
Children of Men was nominated for Oscars for Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (Alofonso Cuaron, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby) Best Achievement in Cinematography and Best Achievement in Film Editing.
J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt McKenney (Woody Harrelson), Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher) and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) are four magicians (of different varieties) who are brought together by a mysterious other, they don’t know why. They appear as a big new act in Las Vegas; “The Four Horsemen” and do a performance that lead FBI Agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and Interpol Agent Alma Dray (Melanie Laurent) investigating their every move. The magicians are being bankrolled by multi-millionare Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine) and the authorities are being assisted by a magician who now makes his money revealing tricks, Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman). But who is who, and what is really going on?
I’m not a massive fan of magic. It’s not that I don’t get it; I reckon I get as wowed as most people. I just don’t really care how it’s done. I’ll go along for the ride if I must, but I’d be just as happy avoiding it. What I do like is a really clever film that has everyone one step ahead of everyone else… or, at least, you never really know who is doing what for who and why. And I really, really love that moment at the end of a heist film where everything is revealed, or the final plan takes place. Spy films, too. What is really ace about this film is that there are several times when all this happens. It is fast, constantly confusing and totally amazing.
I heard a lot of parents complain about this film, finding it to be one of the weaker of the Pixar films. I don’t recall watching the first Cars, but recently was forced to watch it – and I though it was quite good.
The story is that there is a group of cars who are pushing sustainable fuel, but when using it in several trials, it appears that the fuel is causing cars to explode. The British and American spies are trying to get to the bottom of it , including Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) and Holly Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer). But Mater (Larry the Cable Guy. That’s how he’s listed on IMDB) gets tied up in the whole event. To save his friend, Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), Mater needs to work harder than before.
Look, it’s not a new concept – the mostly cool kid is embarrassed by his old friend with his cool new mates, but ultimately realises his error. I think I couldn’t really care less about the story of the film – I was just enjoying the voices of Caine and Mortimer coming out of the cars. Lovely.
Ah, 2000. Back to the days when there could be a hilarious comedy about a bomb at the most patriotic of events, the Miss United States pageant. And that when everything seemed mostly wrapped up, the FBI could move out, ignoring any continuing threat. I wonder how a film like this would work post 9/11?
Sandra Bullock is at her comic best playing Gracie Hart, an extremely unfeminine FBI agent with no manners and no grace at all. But when a mysterious terrorist called The Citizen seems to be targeting a beauty pageant, the FBI need an agent on the ground. With the assistance of pageant expert Victor Melling (Michael Caine), Gracie gains some Grace and the hearts not only of the nation, but also of fellow FBI agent Eric Matthews (Benjamin Bratt). Oops, may have been a bit of a spoiler, but it’s thirteen years old. Surely a spoiler at this stage is reasonable – unlike all of those people who live Facebook-statused Offspring two weeks ago and did a spoiler alert after only minutes. Booo.
Miss Congeniality is a great film. Funny, a top cast and a ridiculous plot. Yes, there is a bit of political incorrectness, and there are certainly flaws, but generally it is a very enjoyable experience. Plus Candice Bergen is in it. And William Shatner. Love it – two reviews in a row with William Shatner. Lovely.
Bleak, bleak, bleak. Harry Brown (Michael Caine) is an elderly man living on a very poor tower estate in England. The estate has been overtaken by young thugs; ‘hoodies’ who live for violence and drugs. Harry’s friend Leonard (David Bradley)has had enough and decides to get revenge, but instead is murdered. D.I. Alice Frampton (Emily Mortimer), an idyllist police officer is paired with D.S. Terry Hicock (Charlie Creed Miles) to investigate, and is hopeful that she will bring the murderers to justice. But things just get bleaker and bleaker. It’s all just awful.
This is what ‘broken Britain’ is all about. The end of the film has the slightest glimmer of hope, but only after your film has been removed, beaten with a baseball bat, stabbed a few times and shoved back. It is a very, very good film. Just incredibly depressing.