Tag Archives: Batman

The Double Review, A Visually Stunning Mess

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The Double

Directed by: Richard Ayoade

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Noah Taylor, Yasmin Paige, and James Fox

Richard Ayoade managed to surprise me with his directorial debut Submarine, so naturally I was excited to see what else he could do as a director. Submarine appealed to me based on my love of Wes Anderson, he is clearly had an influence on this film and it can tell. Although I couldn’t get it out of my mind while watching it, I still found a lot to like about the movie. Now The Double feels like another directors work, Terry Gilliam. Throughout the movie I noticed the parallels it had to movies like Brazil and 12 Monkeys. This really made me realize that Richard Ayoade is seriously lacking a style of his own. His movies feel anything but his own. He may be able to direct his actors well and control the camera well but he seriously needs to develop his own style of filmmaking instead of purely homaging other directors work.

Simon James (Jesse Eisenberg) sits alone in a completely deserted subway car. He clenches his briefcase to his chest and waiting to arrive at work. An unknown man approaches him and tells him that he is sitting in his seat. Simon looks around and eventually he moves for the man. This shows us just how timid he is and really shows the audience the kind of person he truly is. Even if there is other empty seats on the train he lacks the courage to tell the man to sit somewhere else. He arrives at work only to get his briefcase stuck in the doors of the train causing him to lose it. He arrives at his work only to get declined access. He can’t help but messing up. He goes unnoticed by his peers and the girl he is infatuated with.  We get a good sense of who he is in a span of 10 minutes and that’s one of the film’s strengths.

We soon meet the girl of Simon’s affection, Hannah (Mia Wasikowska), a lonely girl who works in the copy room. He always goes to visit the copy room but never has the courage to ask her out. It is not till a night when a man kills himself in the courtyard in the apartment complex that Hannah and Simon share. Distraught the two end up having dinner together and start to realize that they have a lot in common. A few days later we are introduced to James Simon (Jesse Eisenberg) a lookalike of Simon James who begins working at his job. Not long later he begins to usurp Simon and becoming a formidable force at his job and soon the same thing begins to happen to his life. He begins to go down the dark path of not knowing the difference between reality and what is in his head.

I really enjoy what Richard Ayoade brought to the screen with The Double and even more so with Submarine. The biggest problem with The Double is the story. Based on Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s short “The Double” it tells the story of two doppelgängers battling it out in dystopian like future, which isn’t quite explained. Nothing is truly compelling about the story itself. It was a rather repetitive shallow story about a man losing his life to a “different” person. Simon would interact with James pleasantly in one scene and in the next he is at his throat, it is just a repeat of the same formula. This happens throughout the entire movie, up to the very expected ending that shows just how unimaginative the story actually is. There is not true depth to the story at hand and if you really want to look into it the entire movie is revealed within the first 20 minutes. With Enemy it left it a mystery while on the other hand The Double gives you too much information.

Some believe this to be a comedy, just like Calvary, but I don’t think I found a single humorous moment. I’m not sure why it is being claimed as one but if that is what people are taking away from this movie that it is fine.

Were the story lacks the technical side of the film is amazing. Even though Jesse Eisenberg is able to convincingly play two different characters. He is both timid and mesmerizing. Richard Ayoade is very competent when it comes to directing actors, I don’t think there was a single dull performance. Given that Ayoade is also a very good comedian and I think it helps his directing and the talent that he brings behind the camera.

Even if I feel that the style of the movie is not his own I do still like the style that was brought to the film. The sense of dread and melancholy is shown very well with the sets and cinematography. One of the highlights of the film is the style. Brazil was a heavy influence on the film stylistically and did add to the film. I only wish that Ayoade would pick a certain style and stick with it.

Though it appears that I don’t like the movie that much given the content of the review I did actually enjoy myself watching it. It has its fair share of problems and I feel the hype for this movie really doesn’t pay off in the end.

Grade: C

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Mad Max: Fury Road Comic Con Trailer

DSC_3888.JPG Mad Max: Fury Road is a curious movie to me. It has been in production for as long as I can remember but only now is getting a release. I love the first two films; Mad Max and The Road Warrior, and I am even more excited for this one. Not really a reboot but more of a continuation of the events of the first three film, only with a new Max. From the footage alone I think that the wait may have been worth it. I know every one was in an uproar over the Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice Trailer that the excitement for this one wasn’t really there but after the trailer I think that this may have been the one to wait for. Shot with only storyboards and not an actual script it seems this will be more of a visual experience than anything else.

This is the fourth film in the Mad Max franchise with Tom Hardy taking on the role of Max Rockatansky, a role made iconic by Mel Gibson in the original films, a hardened ex-cop in a future beset by gas shortages and marauding gangs. The story is said to the take place a short while after Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, which keeps Mad Max relatively young. This time centering on Max and the “Five Wives,” a group of women Max must protect from the bad guys.

Directed by George Miller. Starring Tom Hardy as “Mad” Max RockatanskyCharlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa, Nicholas Hoult as Nux, and Hugh Keays-Byrne as Immortan Joe. Produced by Village Roadshow Pictures and distributed by Warner Bros. 

Marvel Will Not Move ‘Captain America 3’ for ‘Batman V. Superman’

This could either be a good thing or a bad thing. Snagging release dates this early is somewhat important now and the first weekend of May is probably the most important one to snag early on. It now looks like the first weekend in May 2016 is going to be the most crowded day of the year. Captain America 3 seems like a sure thing to gross over a 100 million that weekend but at the same time Batman V. Superman comes out the same day and that might cause some problems. Superhero movies are the cornerstone of box office revenue now a days and when you have to competing on the same weekend and appealing to the same audience than one is going to make and the other will fail or both with fail. I don’t see it happening any other way. The both would do big business but not if they are competing on the same weekend with the same crowd. This is the problem with the marketplace today, you either go big or go home and with two big studio unwilling to change the release date they both are going to lose a load of potential business.

The Dark Knight Rises Review

The Dark Knight Rises

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard

It is a sad thing that such a tragedy occurred last night during the screen of The Dark Knight Rises that happened in Colorado. I can’t believe that someone would do such a horrible thing during a movie screen into unsuspecting audience members. The family member of the deceased and the wounded are in my prays and hope that everything is okay. RIP. I did manage to see a midnight screening of this movie and I have to say that it completely lives up to expectations. With a smart screenplay and the action sequences, which the previous movies seemed to lack for the most part, and that Bane was actually a perfect choice for the villain since he is able to go head to head in fighting with Batman. He is completely menacing with a voice that both creeped me out and served a purpose since the mask covered the majority of his face and Tom Hardy was able to convey such emotion and body language while being some what limited with the mask in the way. Christopher Nolan has yet again made an accomplished movie that satisfying end to his trilogy that will not disappoint anyone. Christopher Nolan seems to be able make awesome ending to movie, while Batman Begins and The Dark Knight had some what of cliff hangers, since he made millions of people question what the ending of Inception really meant. The ending of this movie can really be interpreted anyway that someone wants, I’m not going to spoil it but it was a fantastic way of ending the movie.

Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy concludes with this Warner Brothers release that finds The Dark Knight pitted against Bane, an unstoppable foe possessed of tremendous physical and intellectual strength. Nearly a decade after taking the fall for Harvey Dent’s death and disappearing into the darkness, a fugitive Batman (Christian Bale) watches from the shadows as the Dent Act keeps the streets of Gotham City free of crime. Meanwhile, an elusive cat burglar seizes the chance to strike, and a masked anarchist plots a devastating series of attacks designed to lure Bruce Wayne out of the shadows. Determined not to abandon the people who he once risked his life to protect, The Dark Knight emerges from his self-imposed exile ready to fight. But Bane (Tom Hardy) is ready, too, and once Batman is within his grasp, he will do everything in his power to break Gotham City’s shadowy savior.

It is a strange thing to see such a movie series end, like Lord of the Rings, I was glad that they ended it on a good note. So far this is by far Nolan’s best shot film, the visuals are fantastic such as the Bat soaring through the sky with ease and a thousand extras flooding the streets in a massive brawl. I have to say that the cinematography is by far the best that Wally Pfister has shot, next to Inception that is. The best scene that I thought was the first encounter that Batman has with Bane, it takes place in the sewers on top of a bridge. The music cuts out and all you hear is the noises that are made during the fighting, no epic theme or background music which just added to the effect, and the constant monologuing by the menacing villain which made the scene even more intense because it all ties the plot together, and I can’t help but say the fact that he says the line from the comic that made him famous, it all shows that Nolan has taken the comic counter part of Bane serious and valued the comic Knightfall when creating the visually stunning scene. Another fantastic addition to the cast was Anne Hathaway, who I had doubts at the start but changed my opinion of her character drastically. So far Nolan has been criticized for having weak female characters in his film but with his addition of Selena Kyle is by far one of the strongest and most interesting characters of the series and Anne Hathaway complete embodies Selena Kyle and completely steals the show.

If I consider this anything it is a story about Bruce Wayne and not Batman, he has to learn how to overcome his shortcomings and take his place back as the Batman, trying to get the mindset back after 8 years in seclusion and Christian Bale does the best performance so far as the billion dollar philanthropist. Outside of that it is about social injustice and social anarchy when presented with a difficult position during the times of suffering. Bane brings in an army and creates a revolution  for Gotham’s lesser citizens to rise up and take control of the city from the rich, sounds a bit like the Occupy Wall Street protest. With all those subtext and themes it makes it a much more realistic story and really represents what we have gone through in the last few months and is another reason it sets itself apart from the rest of the comic book movies of this summer, which are all well and fun but lack that certain something that makes these Batman films such excellent film and something that makes people return for more. Like I said about the other films Nolan knows how to both create entertaining movie and yet keep them thought provoking and excellent filmmaking from one of the best working directors of today.

This is the movie that I have most excited for since the first trailer back in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. It is what a comic book movie should be entertaining yet fascinating. I’m glad at how much it ties into the first film and how it close out the trilogy. The little character reveal at the end really didn’t surprise me all that much, I called it hours before I walked into the theaters. The movie is what a Batman movie should be and the inclusion of Bane, a not so known character that has always gotten a bad rap since his appearance in Batman & Robin, but Tom Hardy makes up for that by creating a character that is both menacing and a brilliant tactician, just like the comic book. It may not be as great as The Dark Knight but the expectation are way to high regarding the fact that it was going to be difficult in the first place to exceed that movie in general. So far it is my second favorite of the series but with such a good series it is hard to choose just which one is the best, for me it is The Dark Knight, and this is a movie that deserves to be seen on the big screen. Receives my highest recommendation

10 out of 10

The Dark Knight Review

The Dark Knight

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Michael Caine, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal

After the much publicized death of Heath Ledger after production ended on the Dark Knight it became a very popular topic and a very sought after film. Once I saw the film I see why, Heath Ledger give a performance that completely changed everything about the Batman movie, it showed how committed he was to making a performance that was equally haunt and yet fascinating and tragic and yet compelling, this performance is by far the best and most committed performance of the last decade. Sitting at number 3 on my favorite movies list, right after Star Wars A New Hope and Raiders of the Lost Ark, it has become one of the greatest movie of all time that shows just how far people will go to survive. Joker is the polar opposite of Batman, he has no morals and he is not afraid to waste away people to accomplish his set out goals, Batman is humble and has one rule don’t kill, constantly the tests Batman and on a grand scale knows that he can’t break these rules which gives the Joker the upper hand.  This is what makes Joker such a fascinating villain and character is because he has no rules and proceeds with his plans regardless of how it effects anyone, it is also why he is Batman arch-nemesis. After watching this movie I knew that no  one is going to be able to outperform Heath Ledger in the role and I knew that this is what a true villain is, not some who is only out to destroy the world like most villains in any superhero movie as of late, he tests the hero and pushes him to the limits of his ability and tries to outwit the hero at every turn and that is why the Joker succeeds where other comic book villains do not and that is one reason this movie is as good as it is because it is not afraid to show a truly menacing villain.

The Dark Knight

With just one year having passed after taking out Ra’s Al Ghul’s plan to have Gotham eliminated and the mysterious disappearance of Dr. Jonathan Crane AKA the Scarecrow, and after the city was nearly plundered with his toxins, Bruce Wayne and his vigilante alter-ego the Batman, continue the seemingly endless effort to bring order to Gotham, with the help of Lt. James Gordon and newly appointed District Attorney Harvey Dent. But a new threat has now emerged into the streets. The Dark Knight faces a rising psychopathic criminal called The Joker, whose eerie grin, laughter, and inhuman morality makes him as dangerous than what he has yet to unleash. It becomes an agenda to Batman to stop the mysterious Joker at all costs, knowing that both of them are in an opposite line. One has no method at all and seeks to see the world plunge into the fire he has yet to light. One represents the symbol of hope and uses his own shadow to bring the peace and order he has yet to accomplish doing.

The Dark Knight

There is a lot to be admired about this movie, from the sheer scope of the mythology to the performance, The Dark Knight barely misses a note. I think the inclusion of Harvey Dent was a fantastic idea because it is a story about him and how he starts off as the good guy, who would eventually take Batman’s place as Gotham’s defender, to the villain Two-Face who was completely different from what he originally stood for. Essentially it is a self contained story of Dent’s rise to power and then fall to power after begin manipulated by the Joker into seeking revenge after the death of his loved one and Aaron Eckhart played the role perfectly bring layers to the character that Tommy Lee Jones’s interpretation ever had. The most interesting and intriguing scene in the entire movie is the integration scene, it both shows Joker’s true nature and his beliefs of Batman and how they aren’t different from one another. It also shows just how far Batman is pushed in the scene nearly breaking his rules and becoming just like Joker. It is an incredibly intense scene and shows just how great the performance from Heath Ledger is. It is a breathtaking scene that shows just how accomplished the movie really is. The next best scene was the flipping of the tractor trailer, it is a nice visual image and shows that nice scene can be achieved with out the use of CGI. What this movie has accomplished is simply amazing from critic love, to a posthumous Oscar (which he rightfully deserved) and it also shows just how Christopher Nolan can create a spectacle movie that both has substance and action without compromising either.

The Dark Knight

There is a lot you can say about this movie, mostly about how political it can be at sometimes which I know is present but I don’t think is a statement at all about the government itself. I have deep love for this movie and how it represents how superhero movies can be made to great movies, sure there are good superhero movies out there but nothing on the same level as Christopher Nolan’s interpretation of Batman. Nolan has created one of the best movies of all time with this one, something that the Academy realized after the fact and that is why they increased the nominations to 10 so that brilliant movies like this one have a chance at the recognition that it deserves.

10 out of 10