Sunday, June 17, 2012

Why Batman has to die in 'Rises'

There is a lot of anticipation for Christopher Nolan's last chapter in his 'Dark Knight' trilogy, and along with that anticipation comes a decent amount speculation as to the fate of the world's greatest detective.


 And here is why:

Reason #1

Take a good look at the poster. It reads: "The Legend Ends." That's right, ENDS; as in, it's over, concluded, there is no coming back from this.

Now, I don't want you to think that I am basing all of this off of the unusually detailed, slightly depressing poster alone(do I smell foreshadowing, anyone?). No. I am basing this off of Nolan's history with the franchise. He is clearly doing his own thing with the source material and has no intentions of dragging it out any further. Ergo: it truly must be an ENDing and there is no greater ending than... well, death.

Reason #2

Christopher Nolan is a filmmaker who is obviously obsessed with giving his audience something that they have never seen before; he wants to give us something memorable. However, people have seen Batman on the big screen before, so Nolan has the seemingly impossible task of making his own take on the iconic hero stand out amongst all others (here's hoping that nippley armor is not involved). So how do you make your Batman movie stand out?

For one: in any iconic, linear, motion-picture trilogy things always get darkest just as the second movie ends and the last movie begins. From there, you as a filmmaker can take your story one of two ways: things get better or things get even darker. Now it may be a sad truth, but people always tend to remember the darker things better.

Example: When you and your friend are riding your bikes down the street and you pass the tree where the firefighter safely retrieved Ms. Jenkins' cat only to have it jump out of her arms minutes later and run into the street where it gets struck by a car, the conversation never goes:

     "Hey! Remember that time the firefighter saved Mrs. Jenkins' cat?"
     "Yeah! That was awesome!"

It always goes:

     "Hey! Remember that time when old lady Jenkins' cat got run over by that car?"
     "Yeah! That was... pretty terrible..."

And every time the courageous act of retrieving the cat will only be brought up as a side note after the cat's death has already been mentioned.  

Or two: You go all the way and kill off the bat. It's never been done before (on screen at least) and it's definitely going to stick with people (for better or for worse).

Reason #3

What I like most about Nolan's Batman movies is that he is obviously focusing more on what it truly means to be a hero and the harsh (as well as the rewarding) consequences that come along with making such a sacrifice. The ending of 'Dark Knight' is a perfect example of this. Batman takes the blame for Harvey Dent's death (as well as the deaths of the cops that Dent killed) in order to maintain Gotham's faith in "real heroes." So how do you top declaring yourself a homicidal, masked vigilante with a taste for popular political figures and policemen in order to protect society from itself?

Well, in one of the newer trailers for 'Rises', Catwoman tells Batman that he has given everything for the people of Gotham. Batman simply replies: "Not everything. Not yet" (do I smell foreshadowing, anyone?). What more could this committed hero possibly have left to offer?

Given the fact that this is Nolan's last installment and that the sequel laws of film demand that Nolan top the ending of "The Dark Knight", as well as all the allusions to a dark yet satisfying curtain call, it can safely be concluded that the only thing the caped crusader has left to offer the Gothamites is his life and in today's society, there is no greater sacrifice than the giving of one's life in order to protect.

Batman is all about making those sacrifices and doing whatever necessary in order to maintain peoples' faith in themselves as well as in humanity and sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

These are the questions: Prometheus

Were you confused after the end credits hit from Prometheus? Don't worry, you're not alone. Ponder with me, if you will, a handful of the questions that would have cleared a few things up had the writers deemed them important enough to answer.

1.) [Watching beginning credits] Is this planet supposed to be Earth?

2.) [As spaceship leaves Engineer on unspecified planet] Who's spaceship is that?
3.) How does that black goo work exactly?
          - How can you "engineer" life if it has to go through seven different hosts?
4.) What did David say to the Engineer whilst speaking their language?
5.) If the Engineers' DNA is a 100% match to humans, why don't we look exactly alike?
6.) Also, how do you, a scientist, safely conclude that these "Engineers" are our creators based solely  on a DNA match?
7.) Did the Engineers design their hologram recordings to conveniently appear as plot segways?
8.) How is Shaw surviving being thrown around by the Engineer while being held together by stitches?
9.) What's that giant head supposed to be?
10.) Why is there a seemingly random picture of a xenomorph on the wall?
11.) Why does Captain Janek suddenly know that this moon is a military instillation?
          - And why didn't he let everybody know sooner?
12.) Why is Shaw with Holloway? He kinda seems like a dick.
13.) Who's really in charge around here: Janek or Vickers?
14.) So, those worms aren't important? 
15.) If Weyland dies next to David, where is his body in later shots of David?

If you have other questions, feel free to post them below. Likewise, if I come up with any more, I will post them above. Also, if you have answers to any of these questions, please let me know!

Monday, June 11, 2012

5 favs of 2012... so far

5.) Prometheus

The sole fact that I do have a love-hate relationship with this film, is enough to earn it a spot in my top five favorite movies this year.

4.) Jeff Who Lives at Home

The Duplass brothers discover that they do not have to make a movie totally depressing in order to make the audience feel things.

3.) The Avengers

You know your list is tight when The Avengers is only NUMBER THREE on your list of favorite movies this year.

2.) The Cabin in the Woods

There was a period of time where, after seeing this movie, I had lost interest in watching any other movies.

1.) The Grey

Sure it wasn't anything that I was expecting it to be, yet I was able to walk out of the theater totally entranced by what I had just experienced- kinda like an Oliver Stone movie, only without all the sex and drugs.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Review: Prometheus

It has been over 30 years since Ridley Scott has so much as touched the sci-fi film genre and for those eagerly anticipating Prometheus, it has been well worth the wait; that is, at least, if you were not expecting a direct prequel to Ridley's '79 Alien.

With a first half that is damn near perfection, Prometheus takes off with a crew made up of 17, including: Noomi Rapace (the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Michael Fassbender (young Magneto), Charlize Theron ("Monster"), Guy Pearce ("Memento"), and I'm pretty sure even Colin Farrell has a few lines. If this cast sounds impressive, that's because it is; everybody gives a good performance, but the performances are only a single aspect of what makes this film so captivating.

Once the crew of the Prometheus reach their destination (after only two years of cryostasis), they're eager to explore the home of what could possibly be their creators (can't say I blame them) and finally get the answers to all our questions. However, our creators don't seem to be in the mood for a Q&A and suddenly mankind's very existence is at stake.

If you're scared already, do not fear: whether it be the three-dimensional, eye-popping visual effects, which are some of the best in recent memory; intense self-operation-giving scenes involving strange looking alien lifeforms squirming just below the skin; or the "Aha!" moments which will come to those keeping a watchful eye out for those Alien-tie-ins, there is almost never a dull moment, thanks mostly in part to the terrific pacing on Scott's part. 

That isn't to say, however, that this is a perfect movie. I mentioned earlier that the first half was damn near perfection and that is true. Sadly, as the plot thickens, some things are explained well while other things are not, to the point where you become just as confused and disappointed as the crew of the Prometheus (if only slightly less so). I will go no further into detail about this for all of you Prometheus virgins, which at this point should be most of you.

As for those of you who will be looking for the Alien-tie-ins as I was, Prometheus is a great stand-alone film. That is all I will say about that.

Overall I would give Ridley Scott's return to science fiction a grade somewhere in the B+/A- range; however, I would feel more comfortable giving it an A- as a stand-alone, which it was intended, for the performances, the amazing visual effects, and the ever-intriguing ideas that drive the story (if even to an unsatisfied conclusion).

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Worst movies of 2012... So far

5.) Dark Shadows

Yes, wandering aimlessly from one gothic set piece to another whilst cracking jokes (and I am using this word loosely) about Alice Cooper being a girl may look good on paper, seeing it on screen bored me to, well... death.

4.) John Carter

I have not been this bored during a two-and-a-half-hour long big-budget, sci-fi, (romance?), action movie since Avatar.

3.) Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

If a crazy-ass Nicholas Cage performance cannot save your movie from being one of the most BORING superhero (antihero?), action movies EVER, then you don't belong in Hollywood. Come to think of it, this is one of Cage's more laid back performances.

2.) Battleship

Never before have I wanted to leave a movie at FIVE different points (that's right, I counted). The only thing that kept me in my seat for the duration was hope that I would catch the fleeting glimpse of Liam Neeson's next screen appearance.

1.) The Devil Inside

Not scary. Barely captivating. Horribly written. Mediocre acting. And I'm pretty sure that every single person who saw this movie was disappointed by what was very possibly one of the worst endings in movie history. 

I look forward to the bashings I may receive from those readers who are convinced that John Carter is a good movie. Next week I will post my five favorite films of the year so far.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Sorry everybody!

It's been a while and I apologize to any of my frequent readers (if there are such things). I have been busy with life and have not been up to writing much in my down time (if there is such a thing anymore). However, I come bearing good news! June marks the middle of the year and I shall be bringing you my favs and disappointments so far this year.

Keep reading!