I'm not going to make the argument that The Dark Knight is the greatest movie ever made, but it's closer to that spot than 99.5% of movies are. And it's my favorite movie ever. Why? Many reasons. The Joker is just about the scariest and most iconic villain since Hannibal Lecter and Ledger absolutely blows Nicholson out of the water. I love the realism - Gotham looks and behaves like a real city. The ensemble acting, especially by Ledger, Oldman and Eckhart is tremendous. The action scenes, especially the truck/Batpod chase in middle, are some of the best ever shot. Christopher Nolan is a genius - his tale is complex, striking, iconic and deep. He has taken a blockbuster franchise and made it a towering, Shakespearean drama - he has successfully combined the best of pop entertainment with the best of enduring art.
A slow gritty look at the life of John Dillinger
Reviewed by Axellion for Public Enemies at 2010-04-01 10:41:29
Public Enemies is a solid, convincing film about the exploits of John Dillinger, and the team of investigators tasked with apprehending the infamous bank robber. Director Michael Mann has crafted a great thick atmosphere around the events of Dillinger?s exploits and his eventual down fall.
Johnny Depp starts as Dillinger, a self-stylized robin hood of depression era America, he and his gang roam the country taking banks for everything they have. During his travels, John charms and falls for a beautiful young lady; Evelyn Frechette played by the wonderful Marion Cotillard. They become deeply connected, nearly inseparable. Depp?s performance is understated and lacking any of the wild characteristics that his more popular portrayals are known for. He brings great class and seriousness to the role of Americas most wanted man. Cotillard is equally as thoughtful about her role, playing Dillinger?s great love with grace and poise.
Dillinger is chased by the fledgling Federal Bureau of Investigation, and agent Melvin Purvis, Christian Bale, as is true of the most of the films cast; does not over play his character, reframing from screen grabbing performances, opting for a more subdued presence then capable of.
The story is slowly paced; perhaps a bit to slow as the mid-section tends to drag a bit. Dillinger finds his list of friends disappearing, organized crime is moving away from simple robbery into the more profitable venues of gambling and kidnapping. The heads of Chicago?s families begin to see Dillinger as a threat to their security, his flamboyant headline grabbing raids bringing unwanted attention to there door steps.
I wanted to love this film; its rough take on the story of America?s most famous bank robber was poignant and well told. The gunfights had realism and a lack of explosive style that I appreciated in light of today?s frequent over the top action sequences, Unfortunately I was slightly let down, I did not connect with the characters, Depp and Bale lacked the spark that a great hero villain relationship; never getting to dig into each others nature. It?s a waste to have these two fine actors and never have them explore an antagonistic connection. The entire film has a grounded authentic composition, the action sequences are edited with almost no music, the intense gun fire and low upfront angles give them a gritty more striking tone.
Public Enemies is a very well made film, its cinematography and set pieces are beautiful, the characters are grounded in reality, the action is dirty and hard hitting. But I think it may take itself a bit too seriously. Depp doesn?t get to fully develop the persona of Dillinger; his motives are never completely visualized. It is a bit too long and slow in the second act, but does have a great authentic feeling. I enjoyed its details and realistic rendition of fascinating true events, but was not caught by the characters, it failed to grab and excite me.
This is the fourth movie in a long-running series. With few exceptions, that is usually when a series falls apart (think Jaws 4, Superman 4, Batman & Robin). 'Salvation' works mainly because of a good cast and solid pacing, with some nice effects thrown in. As a summer action movie, it does its job to entertain. But it's still a far cry from "Judgment Day" and even a bit short from the original. It pairs up about evenly with 'Rise of the Machines," however.
The film had some great acting, and some awe-inspiring cinematography. And yes, I loved all the action scenes. However, there was no real substance to the plot; instead, we get typical Hollywood quasi-intelligent cliched conversations that try to sound deep and meaningful. Needless to say, it ends up being cheesy. Another problem I had with the movie was it's PG-13 rating. Hollywood insists on making money; to their credit, they do it well. But to take an R-rated franchise and dull it down to a PG-13 is just obnoxious. They did the same thing to the Die Hard movies (Live Free or Die Hard's unrated version was SO much better than the theatrical one). It's not that I love blood and f-bombs, it's that it makes the movie feel more like it's predecessors.
Bottom line: while obviously not being anywhere near as good as the first two due to some script flaws and it's weak rating, Terminator Salvation still managed to entertain with it's loud and exciting action. Plus, it was better than the Rise of the Machines.
Disappointing to say the least. The movie is a one note bore until late the film. The dialogue is atrocious. Slipping in the "I'll be back" line was as forced a line as I've ever seen. In fact, it drew an audible groan from the crowd I saw it with. Leaps in logic and rather mundane action drop this film to the bottom of the barrel in terms of summer blockbuster material. I honestly can't think of one thing the director did right. Shooting this one note crapfest through panty-hose to give it a grainy feel may have seemed like an artistic touch but all it did was add to the unsavory feel and genuine disappointment this movie will generate.
Salvation is pretty good as a post-apocalyptic war movie with spectacular visual effects, but as a Terminator movie, it has a completely different vibe from the other three. I went in expecting something less than T1 and T2, and thus was not really disappointed. Salvation is probably almost as good as T3 (which I happen to like), but it almost feels like it's in a completely different genre. You have men fighting against all manner of machines, and the Terminators themselves are almost incidental, at least until the finale. Anton Yelchin is great as a young Kyle Reese and, as Marcus Wright, Sam Worthington completely steals the movie away from Christian Bale. I would likely watch it again, but this is definitely a different kind of Terminator movie.
Christopher Nolan is quickly becoming one of my favorite contemporary writer/directors. The first in the newest batman series, Batman Begins blew me away. Nolan managed to take my favorite comic book hero (the only one that has the balls to fight crime without any special powers) and turn out not only an entertaining movie in Batman Begins, but one the preached all of the morals and ethics I believe in. I thought he could do no better, but I was wrong. The Dark Knight really is one of the best films to come out in the last decade, if not longer. The realism in it down to the way the actors deliver lines is incredible. Nolan managed to create a perfectly believable world. On top of that, the hauningness of the Joker as his plan begins to unfold to the audience is overwhelming(particularly in the interrogation scene between he and batman). I'm not neccessarily a movie buff, but I'm a huge movie fan and a man of strong morals and ethics and I believe that the Dark Knight sends a wonderful message. I don't get to the theaters too often (I usually don't have money) but I saw The Dark Knight 5 times in theaters, and more on video. It is one of the best movies I have ever scene, and it never gets old. I strongly recommend it.
Great film; very intense and dark to be sure. The oft-mentioned great performance by Ledger is certainly merited. Good storyline and effects, with lots of action but tries to not go too much "over the top" with action. Excellent movie that deserves to be held up as a new standard for comic book films (albeit a very dark one).
This movie does a great job capturing the excess and douchery that was the 1980's. Christian Bale does a great job as the protagonist. His dark, brooding side is fascinating to watch in action. Ultimately though, the film falls apart in the last 20 minutes or so. The ending was very disappointing to me, but it's worth watching for Bale's performance alone.
A super-hero movie this good could have been even longer than 2 1/2 hours. Especially if the extra time would have made room for a more noteworthy entrance and exit for the Joker in order to expand his story. There was not much of a story arc for him, but he was equally fascinating to watch from his first moment to his last. "Who let the Joker out of his box?" someone in the film asks. And I wouldn't have minded seeing the box. Christopher Nolan did the same thing with Scarecrow and Ra's Al Ghul in Batman Begins. Given the overdone origin stories in previous Batman films, Nolan falls off the other side of the horse by giving us crazy people who did not become evil; they just are evil. It is fascinating how the Joker changes his story about the origins of his scars depending on who he is addressing. I was disappointed when Batman didn't let the Joker finish telling that final version. Given the progression of the first two versions of the Joker's tale, there is the hint of a suggestion that the Joker actually afflicted himself with his deformities. As fascinating as Ledger's Joker is to watch, we have no perspective of him as a character. And as awesome as Ledger is, we will never know what it would have been like to watch this role without the actor's death attached to it. But this film is also about someone named "Batman," who is getting short-changed in recent hype about the film. Batman gets an awesome new suit - one that lets him turn his head (so he doesn't have to use sonar to know what is behind him). He gets a new, slightly chubbier mask. His gravelly, THX-enhanced voice remains the same: a bit too death metal (I found his grunting contest with Two-Face almost laughable). Batman is much cooler when he is not trying to explain things. The action set-pieces are amazingly done. The film is short on digital animation. It shows Indiana Jones how shocking and exciting a spectacle like this can be with restrained CGI. The dank, grey, smoky, digital Gotham City from Batman Begins is traded in for a Gotham that is more pristine, brighter, more familiar, more corruptible. The action of this film takes place in realistically conceived space.
See the rest of this review at http://braidedthreads.blogspot.com/2008/07/will-real-batman-please-stand-up.html
I'll be honest - I was worried that Heath Ledger's death had tainted some of the early reviews - it's hard to diss a dead man. I was greatly relieved when his performance actually made the movie. He was perfect.
Maybe the best Batman movie ever? Heath Ledger is creepy yet strangely mesmerizing as the Joker, I couldn't wait to see him onscreen again during the film (is he doing a sort of freaked out Bugs Bunny accent? really, I swear, listen to it again!)
The Bat cycle is cool, and the rest of the cast and script is great, but Ledger proves why he was so well-regarded, in his last (unfortunately) performance.
This might be...
Reviewed by CoolerKing for Equilibrium at 2008-04-04 11:46:37
... the stupidest, half-thought-through movie I've ever seen.
And it has a legion of fans, who compare it favorably to The Matrix and praise the coolness of gun-kata, the movie's special form of martial arts using handguns.
Those people are idiots.
Or so the preview says, and it certainly does live up to those awesome reputations. Brad Anderson (Session 9) delivers another dark psycho-thriller involving emaciated Trevor, who 'hasn't slept in a year'. Seeing Bale that thin is frightening in itself. Trevor's reality begins to unravel, and his life becomes a sort of waking dream of what is real vs. what is imagination. Lots of great atmosphere and surreal scenes abound. If Hitchcock were still alive, this would be the movie he'd opt to make.
Good acting all around and a strong plotline. It does have a dreamy, slow atmosphere, so don't expect too many 'jumps' or scares.