#560 – The Dark Knight Rises

Action

Where to start with The Dark Knight Rises? Firstly, I enjoyed it. Nolan delivers, but only up to a point. The fact is, despite being fun, this flick is hugely lacking in some fairly significant areas…

Right. A problem I’ve had throughout Nolan’s trilogy is the amount of actors, really good actors, that barely have any screen time. It’s madness. The result is that characterisation slips and archetypes begin to take over. Levitt’s cop is a perfect example.

Then there’s the plot that frankly makes little to no sense. Imagery, theme and story has all been happily butchered from Miller’s run on the comic and Frankenstein-ed back together. In this instalment especially the cracks appear. I’m not too precious about the treatment of source material, but there are some serious unexplained plot holes and leaps of faith that don’t bear even casual scrutiny.

And finally, I’m going to stick to three issues, there is the fact that this film is a Batman film is it not? Yes it is. Right, so then, why the fuck is there no Batman shit going on! There is one sequence in the tunnels where the bat and cat take down some hench dudes and it feels good. Other than that he flies the bat-copter (yes the bat-copter, not the fucking bat!) and gets his back broken, which is played down massively… I want screaming and bones bursting through flesh. I want to know without doubt Bane just fucked him right up!

I’m ranting now. I’ll desist.

Dark Knight Rises

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#559 – Attack Of The Werewolves

Horror

You have to be a serious fan of werewolf flicks to make watching Attack Of The Werewolves worth your while. Even then I’m not sure you’re going to actually enjoy it that much. Honestly, it’s kind of cheap, not a fault in itself, but it is also without the charm that it really needs to compensate for it’s low budget.

Attack Of The Werewolves

#558 – Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows

Action

Wow, is Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows a mess of a film. I mean it’s entertaining in the most base sense of the word, but it’s art and craft is zero. It feels, and I almost guarantee this is actually the case, as if it was written by committee. It’s so disconnected from one moment to the next. Why Rachel McAdams is in it is beyond me. I mean, they really needed to trawl the virtual cutting room floor and get her back in the movie. How that didn’t happen is a question someone should be asking. It makes no sense. RDJ is charming and fun enough, but with zero context and that’s the fault of sorts. Nothing matters, so there’s no danger, suspense or attachment by a viewer to anything happening on screen. It’s just visuals. Why any character does anything is a mystery. It is a modern flaw of mainstream cinema… style (which isn’t all that stylish to be honest, or interesting) over substance (there is no substance). Please stop.

Sherlock Holmes Game Of Shadows

#557 – The Iron Lady

Drama

Despite the great acting and assured direction The Iron Lady lacks a narrative. There is actually no story, at all. Just a series of scenes that relate to things that happened in Thatcher’s life. There is no lifting of the veil as one might expect, just a collection of instances that equate to snippets, if that, of a life we already know quite a bit about. No doubt the talent of everyone involved is unquestionable, but for an audience to engage on an emotional level is almost impossible. It’s just not that type of film, which leaves things feeling somewhat underwhelming.

The Iron Lady

#556 – Safe House

Action

I don’t know why I bother with flicks like this. Safe House is well made and has some fancy camera stuff, but there is barely anything really going on. I couldn’t tell you what it was actually about, or who anyone was, or why I should give a shit about what happens to them. It’s a popcorn movie pretending not to be and is basically pointless. That is unless you happen to have been involved in getting paid to make it. Then I guess you’re a fan of it at least to some degree. You know like when you go out and can afford to by groceries without worrying about it. You know, potatoes, pasta, rice etc. all that bland stuff… toilet paper too. Don’t forget the toilet paper.

Safe House

#553 – Welcome To The Dollhouse

Comedy

If you liked Napoleon Dynamite you’ll probably enjoy Welcome To The Dollhouse. It’s a bit more grounded in reality, but still has oodles of kooky charm. Essentially the success is in Solondz’s ability to get across the tragic existence of Matarazzo’s pre-teen character ‘Wiener-dog’ and still give the audience reason to laugh without feeling cruel. Black comedy in an indie setting conquers all. Well, almost, though it did win the Grand Jury Prize for best dramatic feature in 1996 at Sundance. It’s cool.

#552 – Red Lights

Thriller

Considering the acting talent in Red Lights it falls considerably short of where as a viewer you feel it should be. It all seems too far fetched and prone to leaps of faith or massive coincidence all of which undercuts the story. The acting is good, the tale weak and poorly handled. Which is a shame, because once this bad boy was green lighted with the folks involved it could have been a heavy hitting psycho-thriller. As it turned out more mild concussion than knock-out.

Red Lights

#551 – The Raid

Action

My expectations were high and The Raid came out and met them face to face, head butted them and put the boot in as they went down. This is an action movie. A pal stated that this was just 2012’s ‘lets-go-crazy-for-a-foreign-film’ film. He is misguided. The first half is guts and guns and it’s superb. The second half is martial arts of the highest order and surpasses the bullets of the first half. The reason this film is so good is because during the fisticuffs Gareth Evans knows to only cut for a reason, not for effect. This results in clear wide angles of serious martial art talent and when it does cut in tight, it’s to see knives penetrate or bones break. Superb stuff. Hollywood, take note.

The Raid