Terrorists are out to destroy all of the major world leaders, so once a major event with all the world leaders attending is going to happen in London, it is their perfect opportunity. US President Ben Asher (Aaron Eckhart) attends, and when things go pear-shaped, luckily Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is around to save the day. Again. And it is like an action film on steroids. I swear, between this and the John Wick films, I think that the creatives on action films have decided to forgo detailed plot and just have a bad thing happen and lots and lots of fighting, chasing, shooting and all the good things. And there’s another of these ones too. Ace times for action films.
Jack (Tom Cruise) and Victoria (Andrea Risebrough) are living in a future where aliens attacked the Earth and in the war, the moon was destroyed and the Earth fell to pieces. Humans quickly built a space station and moved everyone onto it and now Jack and Victoria are on a mission on Earth to find and repair drones. Humans have their memories wiped, yet Jack has dreams of the times before the war. However, it turns out that not all is as it seems, as Jack discovers when he meets his wife, Julia (Olga Kurylenko), who he knows from his dreams, and the mysterious Beech (Morgan Freeman).
I enjoyed the look of the film and, generally, I like Tom Cruise in a sci-fi action film. But I had very little idea of what was going on. I just could’t really engage and so kept drifting off and then I was lost. And I wasn’t quite sure what had been achieved at the end. I presume things were saved?
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.
After being falsely convicted for killing his wife, Andy (Tim Robbins) ends up in Shawshank prison. Eventually he befriends Red (Morgan Freeman) and a group of other prisoners, and settles in for a long stay. And then…
I recently heard someone state that this is a hugely overrated film, but I disagree. It’s a great story that does not go where you expect it to go. If you haven’t watched it, do. It’s on television all of the time, but get it on DVD or stream it, or whatever so you don’t have to deal with annoying advertising, and enjoy it.
The Shawshank Redemption was nominated for Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Morgan Freeman), Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published (Frank Darabont), Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Film Editing and Best Music, Original Score
After being captured and forced to be a drug mule with a new substance, Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is beaten and the drug begins to seep into her system. It seems that the drug allows the human to access the 90% of the brain that they don’t use, and that makes you totally magic. And Morgan Freeman is in it.
I knew that getting past the “science” was going to be tough. It is not true that we only use 10% of our brains, and there is no way that we could function if we did. But I thought I might be able to let it go… I couldn’t. There are so many other ways this could have been written to make it less ridiculous and unreal, and to have to swallow Morgan Freeman’s scientist saying “oh, yes, 10%”. The action of the film was great, and I’m quite a fan of Scarlett Johansson, but this is not a great film.
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.
Batman (Christian Bale) has done heaps to make Gotham a better place, and wants a quiet life with his love interest, Rachel (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Two things stand in his way; he needs a good man to be a public face of good in Gotham, and Rachel is seeing another man. Both of these problems are directly related to Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). Then along comes the Joker (Heath Ledger), appearing to “watch the world burn”, bringing his own chaos to Gotham.
I’ve made it no secret that I love a good superhero film, I love the excitement and chaos of a good chase, some explosions and fighting. The Dark Knight is the next step up – dark, sinister, with some truly horrible stuff happening. Clever, and no matter how many times I watch it, I have to look away when the Joker has the pencil. The opening bank raid is one of my favourite film opening sequences, not least because I get a moment of William Fechtner, and that’s always a good thing.
The Dark Knight won Oscars for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Heath Ledger) and Best Achievement in Sound Editing and was nominated for Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Art Direction, Best Achievement in Make Up, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing and Best Achievement in Visual Effects.
There’s a bad guy, Lord Business (Will Ferrell) who is trying to destroy the ordered Lego world where ordinary guy Emmett (Chris Pratt) lives, and he must step up to save it. Oh, and they are all made of Lego.
It’s full of cameo voice roles, great gags, pop culture references and yet I just didn’t like it that much. Perhaps it was too much of a build up. I don’t know. All I know is thank goodness for Will Arnett, because his Batman totally saved it for me. Perhaps finally I have outgrown kids films? I doubt it.
Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is retired and living a quiet life. His favourite thing to do is flirt with call-centre worker Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) – until he is forced out of retirement. He is an ex-assassion, now categorized as RED – Retired Extremely Dangerous. To get his freedom, he needs to assemble a team of other REDs including Joe (Morgan Freeman), Victoria (Helen Mirren) and Marvin (John Malkovich), dragging Sarah along with them.
I loved it. I loved seeing Helen Mirren wielding a machine gun and just all the running and shooting and explosions, humour, of course, and Bruce Willis doing what he does best. Kicking ass.