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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Darkest Hour

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another quick review and today I’ll be giving you the first of 4 new reviews and the first film I’ll be talking about is Darkest Hour. So this is a film I heard a lot about last year especially in December because Gary Oldman’s performance and since it was recently released here in the UK I checked it out to see what the fuss was about.

The plot can be summed up as the following: “During the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Hitler or fight on against incredible odds.” Now I have to admit upfront that my knowledge of historical events is pretty bad, especially when it comes to war-related events. Any information I had been lost when I left school over 10 years ago, so when I film like this comes along, I like the concept of learning of the past through film even if there are fictionalised elements implemented. With all that being said I found this film to be very interesting and captivating. I liked the tone and atmosphere, everything felt very dire, there’s a sense of confusion, anger, fear and though there’s a feeling of hopelessness, you can also see those who hold onto optimism. I liked exploring the different emotional mindsets of all the major characters and seeing how they dealt with the war overseas and the government scenarios. While I certainly enjoyed the story overall, there were some story beats that felt familiar for a dramatic biopic and at certain points, the pacing felt slow, though that may have been because I was really tired. The cast was good with some of my favourites being, Kristin Scott Thomas as Clementine Churchill, the wonderful Lily James as Elizabeth Layton, Ronald Pickup as Neville Chamberlain, Stephen Dillane as Edward Wood, and Ben Mendelsohn as George VI who hs a very interesting relationship with Churchill. But what really carries this film is the powerful performance from Gary Oldman, his screen presence is very intense and magnetic and besides a few instances, he steals every scene he’s in. Oldman really gets lost in the role and he’s unrecognisable besides through his voice in a few instances. Plus I love seeing Oldman being angry, he’s very intimidating, scary and he can do so much from just scowling to shouting or using physical actions. And the film score from Dario Marianelli was quite nice and certainly had some beautiful and powerful moments especially in the latter half of the film. In conclusion, Darkest Hour was a good film, but it was truly elevated by Gary Oldman’s performance.

So have you seen Darkest Hour and if so what did you think of it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Howdy ladies and gents, it’s time for my second review of a recent film in the form of The Hitman’s Bodyguard, a film I wasn’t too interested in watching until recently when certain reviewers convinced me to give it a go.

The plot can be summed up as the following: “The world’s top bodyguard gets a new client, a hit man who must testify at the International Court of Justice. They must put their differences aside and work together to make it to the trial on time.” The plot wasn’t bad but felt incredibly familiar to other comedy films I’ve seen. The plot tries to be a little more serious with the emotional material relating to the two main characters but also with the political material, it doesn’t quite work because the film’s largely focused on humour and the tone is fairly silly and over-the-top, some of the more heartfelt or realistic moments don’t resonate because it doesn’t gel with the rest of the film. That being said the film’s silly nature is what makes it fun to watch, and while I could predict how certain events played out, it was still a decent time. The cast was good. Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson were really good as Michael Bryce and Darius Kincaid, both of these characters have different personalities, styles and ways the take out their enemies and seeing their worlds collide was fun. Reynolds and Jackson were essentially playing themselves or at least versions of characters they’ve played in other comedy films, but luckily their chemistry and screen presence elevates their characters. Elodie Yung was good as Amelia Roussel, she had a key part to play and I enjoyed how much screen time she had and anytime Salma Hayek is involved I am there, I love that woman and she was very fun as Sonia Kincaid. Hayek is so aggressive, sassy and crazy in this role and its fun to watch her rant and rave. The only person that didn’t leave an impression was Gary Oldman as Vladislav Dukhovich, this character barely did anything and could have been played by anyone and Oldman was wasted in this role. The action in the film was pretty good, there was some really fun and creative material that went into the hand-to-hand combat, gunfights and the car chases, the latter being my favourite with the chase sequences being shot very well. In conclusion, The Hitman’s Bodyguard was a basic yet decent film, it does nothing new but the chemistry between Reynolds and Jackson, along with some ridiculous humour and good action scenes keep it from being completely forgettable.

So have you seen The Hitman’s Bodyguard and if so what did you think of it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Review

Howdy people of the internet, time to review a film I’ve been waiting to watch for AGES, I am of course talking about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Rise of the Planet of the Apes was one of my favourite films of not only 2011 but also of the last few years and I was so hyped for what would happen for the future of this new film series. The trailers have all looked great and the early reviews have just put me in a good mood. So how has this sequel turned out? Well read on and find out!

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Here is the film’s story in summary:

“A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.”

This film is pretty damn good as it tells an intelligent, dark, grim and unsettling tale of survival between two species when they unwillingly collide. This film is really grim with barely any happiness in sight, there is violence, war and death and the level of tension throughout the film is so intense that it will leave you gripping you gripping your seat just waiting to see what happens next. It is clear from the outset that both the humans and apes want to survive, but within their ranks some want peace while others want war and it is cool to see the parallels between the apes and humans. The film is also very tricky and throws you a good few curveballs to keep you from guess what will happen next and just when I thought something was going to happen one way, it totally changed direction which was fun and exciting.

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As for the cast they are all pretty good, but it should be noted that after the film is over you’ll only remember two characters because of their awesomeness. So let’s start with the first of those characters in the form of Andy Serkis as Ceaser. Now Ceaser is character we got to see grow up and learn to find his place in the world in the last film, here he is a leader. The ape’s grown up, he’s the head of tribe of apes and he’s a family man and it quite beautiful and nice to see how far our hero has developed. We see in this film that Ceaser wants to keep his ape clan united, doesn’t want to fight humans and strives for peace, but due to the complications involving humans and apes within his group he is forced to make very tough decisions. I loved seeing the emotional complexities of this character and seeing how far he would go to help humans but also protect his people. Andy Serkis did such an amazing job in this role and he is making it harder to distinguish the difference between performance capture and normal acting.

The other major character who kicks as is Koba played by Toby Kebbell. Damn this character stepped up, I knew from the trailers he would have a bigger role in this film than the last, but his character is just as important as Ceaser in terms of where the story goes. Koba despises humans because of the torture and experiments they did on him in the past, he even has the scars to prove it and while he is loyal to Ceaser, he cannot accept the coexistence of humans and apes and goes to great lengths to make sure that he gets his revenge on them. Koba is mean, he is a dangerous, corrupt and crazy individual, but for all of his wrongdoings you do feel some compassion for the guy because he has had a my crappy life, he’s suffered at the hand of humans and since Ceaser is showing them mercy where he didn’t get any in the past obviously he’s gonna be pissed. Kebbell did such a great job with this character and I’m glad that he was the one to flesh out this character.

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The humans don’t fare as well as the apes as they are not nearly as memorable and for me aren’t as interesting as the cast from the last film bar a few individuals. Jason Clarke is the best of the human characters as Malcolm, a man who has many similarities to Ceaser as he too is a family man and only wishes to coexist with the apes. Malcolm is a courageous and strong individual who goes to great lengths to try and keep things under control even when the situations he’s in are going south fairly quickly. Gary Oldman as Dreyfus was good but severely underused, I love Gary Oldman, any time he’s around you are in for a good time, however while I understood his character’s motives, at the same time he wasn’t in the film nearly as much as I would have liked. Kodi Smit-McPhee as Alexander and Keri Russell as Ellie did their parts well but I wasn’t overly fussed about them. The last mention I want to give is to Kirk Acevedo who played Carver, now this guy was a douche, he pretty much doesn’t care for the apes and blames them for everything that has gone wrong for the humans and his actions pretty set off sparks between humans and apes. I love Acevedo as Charlie from Fringe but here is so cruel and foolish, such bad guy.

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When it comes to the presentation it is simply incredible. Visually this film is insanely beautiful, the CGI work by Weta Digital is nothing short of amazing, they have created incredible environments and along with the motion capture work they’ve brought the apes to life in a way that is so realistic, you actually forget that you’re watching CGI apes. Couple these great visual effects with some lovely cinematography and an interesting colour schemes and you have a wonderful-looking film. Also the soundtrack by Michael Giacchino is pretty cool too, the more subtle and tension-filled themes were among my favourites and use of the wooden xylophone was so cool, but I will say that while I am a massive fan of Giacchino this isn’t one of his memorable soundtracks.

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In conclusion Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is easily one of the best films not only of the summer but also of the year. While the film didn’t turn out the way I expected, the film is still one of the most engaging and dramatic blockbusters we have gotten for some time and while Michael Bay continues to throw dumb and soulless material at audiences with Transformers 4, this happens to be a the total other end of the spectrum. I highly recommend that you go out and see this film as it is SO good and worthy of your time.

Rating: 8.5/10

So what did you think of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes? Did it make you happy or make you sad or angry? Whatever your thoughts are I’d love to read them, so be sure to comment below so we can start some discussions yo! Laters. 😀

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Trailer #2 Review

Howdy people of the internet, time to review a new film trailer that dropped this week and today I’m gonna be talking the second trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. I was already hyped for this film and have been looking for to it ever since the last film in 2011, however I’ve been more hyped up for Godzilla and X-Men: Days of Future Past because they coming out very soon. But then this trailer dropped this week and thank god because I’ve wanted to see some new footage from this film for ages. So how does it look? Well read on and find out!

Check out the trailer below yo:

So to put it simply… THIS. LOOKS. AWESOME.

Honestly I knew this film was gonna be great and while the teaser gave a glimpse as to what was gonna happen in this film, this trailer does a better job at illustrating the overall story, tone and structure. What we basically get in this trailer is that apes live in their own little society until the humans come along and mess with the flow, both sides will collide. And it looks killer.

The first and most obvious thing to talk about in this trailer is the tone and atmosphere. For anyone who watched Rise of the Planet of the Apes, they will notice too that things are significantly different in tone and atmosphere. In this film things look are a lot darker in terms of lighting with a blue hue, having actual locations to film in also makes this film feel a lot more realistic and there is also a level of detail here in the visual effects on the apes and locations that is just spectacular. At the end of the last film we saw how the plane captain spread the virus around the world and seeing how this film shows that is the result of that virus is great. Looks like the planet has gone to shit. I’m seeing a sort of post apocalyptic style to the city locations like in I Am Legend or The Road.

So it seems like our ape friends have developed a great deal since the last film, their group is much bigger, there are ape children too and they stick together. But even more crazy is the fact that they ride hours and wield guns! Damn, that’s cool. These guys are growing more human by the day. And at the center is our man Ceaser who has grown a lot more than before, he’s a leader and wants to protect his ape family, but he knows that when push comes to shove with the humans he’s gonna have to fight. Ceaser just comes across as a bigger badass mainly because of the improvement of his speech, while he’s not talking in full sentences, his speech is much improved and when he shots lines like “APES TOGETHER STRONG!” “Was has already begun.” You can’t help but freak out about how cool he sounds. Gotta tip my hat to Andy Serkis and the dude proves once again that his motion capture performances are no easy task and can make connect with characters who aren’t just human.

I also like how much the humans are involved in this film. Now obviously they are not as important as the apes and I think most people are more interested in what’s going on with Ceaser and his storyline with his ape colony. But these characters do look compelling. I’m definitely liking the look of Jason Clarke and Gary Oldman’s characters. Clarke seems to be the next main human character in this franchise since Franco’s character no longer alive, it seems like he doesn’t want war and wants to try and be the mediator between the humans and apes and Ceaser acknowledges that, but think I Oldman’s character isn’t having that. It seems like Oldman has a beef with the apes and is tired of being the second the apes and wants to claim back the land for humans and it looks like his motivation maybe the loss of his family (that’s what I assume from that picture with the two kids on it that makes him cry). I also love the fact that my dude Kirk Acevedo (Charlie from Fringe) in this film, totally happy for the guy that he’s in big film like this.

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In conclusion I think that the is trailer is awesome. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes looks like it has the potential to outdo the previous film in every way. The dark and moody atmosphere looks gorgeous, I’m loving the evolution of Caesar and human characters, the action is looking like its gonna get crazy and from what I’m seeing in the trailer I’m loving the way in which the story is heading. Bring on the next apes film, I need my fix yo!

So what did you think of the first full trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes? Does it make you scream with excitement or yawn with bordem? Whatever your thoughts are I’d love to read about them in the comments below so get talking! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2014 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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RoboCop (2014) Review

So here we are in 2014 with the remake/reboot of RoboCop, a film that a lot of people haven’t been looking forward to. From the time the set pictures showed up with the new suit loads of fans freaked out in disgust. However since the trailers showed up, it’s changed some people’s opinions. Now I’ve bashed almost everything to do with this film prior to its release, but something told me I’d end up watching it for a review at some point. So is this film worth a watch or was this franchise better left off in the 80’s? Read on and find out!

The story is not necessarily new and those who are old enough to remember the original film know what the deal is, but for those not in the know he is a quick summary:

“In 2028 Detroit, when Alex Murphy – a loving husband, father and good cop – is critically injured in the line of duty, the multinational conglomerate OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer.”

Even though things were changed, the story is very similar to the original 1987 film, and for what it is the story here is decent. The film basically takes the original source material and mixes up a few things, it really is a modern re-telling of the 80’s film and that has advantages and disadvantages. When it works, the film feels modern, interesting and the aspect that stood out the most was the tampering of human life and what it means to be human or a machine. But the disadvantages include the fact that this film also lacks the originality, over-the-violence and 80’s charisma that made the original it so fun. Also, the new focus on the human aspects of Alex Murphy especially when it comes to his family had too much focus, it just felt boring and any time the wife and kid were involved the film lost my interest and the pacing slowed down. All that being said, the film does have heart, good action, moral dilemmas and deception on both sides of the law.

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As for the cast, they’re decent however the characters are a mixed bag with some solid people and some not so good ones. Joel Kinnaman does an okay job Alex Murphy, he’s a likeable enough person, if a bit bland, only after he become RoboCop does he become more interesting and even then it takes Kinnaman a little while to find his groove as the new cyborg, but when he’s serious and kicking ass he’s actually cool. Someone who is not boring is Gary Oldman who is awesome as Dr. Dennett Norton. In my opinion Oldman was the best character in this film. Norton is a scientist who clearly wishes to use his work for good, but when it comes to crafting RoboCop he is faced with a moral dilemma and from there he has to try balance the line between doing his role at OmniCorp and moral and ethical implications of his actions. He really is the Dr. Frankenstein of this film and I liked that complex they created for him. Another good performance comes Michael Keaton as Raymond Sellars, he is actively trying to get the robot in America ban reversed and trying to change public opinion with RoboCop. He is a man who has a way with words, he’s smart and yet crafty at the same time.

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Not to be overlooked, Samuel L. Jackson as Patrick “Pat” Novak is amazing. Pat is the host of a notable TV show and he is very strong-willed, opinionated, charismatic and funny, and this role is really elevated thanks to the greatness that is Sam Jackson. There is one great moment with Jackson that channels his performance from Snakes On A Plane to great effect. Abbie Cornish was the weakest link as Clara Murphy (well besides the kid, no offence but I didn’t buy his performance at all). As Alex’s wife, Cornish just slowed down the film and while I understood her emotional scenes, I didn’t buy her acting like everyone else. Jackie Earle Haley was interesting, cool and funny as Rick Mattox. Michael K. Williams was cool as Alex’s former partner as Jack Lewis, Williams puts on his badass act and has some moments of humour too. Jennifer Ehle as Liz Kline and Jay Baruchel as Tom Pope are pretty good too, I especially liked the humour that came from Baruchel’s character.

When it comes to the presentation it is pretty good, the action sequences are good and were a little more inventive and aggressive than I thought they’d be, though nothing here was overly unique or memorable like the current set of superhero films that own the action genre when it come to creating memorable action set-pieces.

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In conclusion RoboCop, as much as I hate to say it wasn’t that bad. I really wanted to leave the film saying I hated it, but I can’t deny that there were elements I did enjoy. The film still doesn’t hold a candle to the original, but it is one of the better reboots of recent years. If you need any more convincing let me leave you with this, I’ll take this film over the 2012 Total Recall remake any day.

Rating: 7/10 (I don’t give this rating lightly, but it was actually goof)

So what did you think of RoboCop? Did you think it was good or bad and how do you think it fared when compared to the original? Whatever your thoughts are drop them below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Month of Superhero Film Reviews: The Dark Knight

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #26 of my Month of Superhero Film Reviews! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. Okay so today we conclude our review of Batman films with one of the most overrated films in recent history, The Dark Knight.

Now I’m gonna talk about a film I don’t like to discuss with most people. Why? Because everyone bums the hell out of this film like it is the best thing since sliced bread and in my opinion it really isn’t. Fans and critics went made in 2008 when this film released and it has been hailed for changing the comic book superhero genre since. I saw the film when it released and I thought it was good, but not nearly as godly as people made it out to be. Ever since then I’ve watched the film a few times but my views still haven’t changed. So now in 2013 I’m revisiting the film again, has my opinion changed? Read on and find out.

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Taking place after the events in Batman Begins, Batman raises the stakes in his war on crime. With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the city streets. The partnership proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the terrified citizens of Gotham as The Joker.

The story was pretty interesting for the most part but not perfect though. I like the way this film continues on from the last with its visual and verbal references, but I also like how the story progresses and gets more complex and higher in stakes. the introduction of the Joker makes for some very dramatic, suspenseful and unpredictable situations that have intriguing results. There’s a lot of interesting themes about corruption, morality, justice and injustice and nature vs. nature, and there’s all beautifully explained in the film. I think one of the reasons I’m not keen on the film is because there’s just a lot of aspects that I don’t care about, when the film isn’t focused on Batman or the Joker, then my interest fades, plus sometimes the film feels long and tedious. I guess the only reason I don’t like this film is because it doesn’t really feel like a comic book film, it feels more like a long thriller film with just a few comic book elements thrown in. And while that may work for most film audiences, for me who is a nerd and a fan of the more comic book side of Batman, this film just feels lacking.

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Now let’s talk about the cast who do a good job at bringing these characters to life for the most part. Christian Bale was still pretty good as Bruce Wayne, I feel like his character went through hell in this film as he had to fight the terrors of Gotham while trying to keep himself intact and eventually get out the crime fighting life and move on with Rachel. But as Batman, Bale was still dodgy. He is intimidating, but his voice is still terrible and over the course of the film gets worse. Michael Caine is still awesome as Alfred, Caine is just a great actor and he shows us his talents as Bruce’s trusted butler who helps Bruce and his alter ego, offering advice and being funny at times.

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But let’s talk about the main reason this film works and that is Heath Ledger as the Joker. This version of the Joker is just a psychopath, he is a nutcase with a twisted sense of humour and morality and he does bad things just to see will happen. I remember seeing this film in the cinema and remembering that this is why I liked the film so much and that rule still applies today. Ledger is just magnetic in this role, every time he’s on-screen all attention is on him and his charisma  and powerful persona makes him amazing to watch. He is crazy and I love it, and while I can’t say it’s my favourite interpretation of the character (That is still Mark Hamill), this in my opinion is way more interesting and captivating than Jack Nicholson’s version.

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Also Gary Oldman as James Gordon is great. Oldman’s role is more expanded than before and we get to see his character pushed to the forefront of the story. Gordon has to deal with his alliance to Batman and Harvey Dent as well as the Joker’s crazy actions. I just love how much more screen time Gordon got and how he ascended to the role as police commissionerAs for Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent/Two-Face I thought he was pretty cool. As Dent Eckhart was nice as the district attorney who really wanted to clean up Gotham and do justice the right way. Eventually Dent gets corrupted and goes on the path of revenge as Two-Face and I liked his interpretation of the character as he was corrupt, on-edge and shell of his former self. Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes was nice and I found her version of the character to be more engaging and likeable than Katie Holmes. You could see that even though Rachel had moved on with Harvey Dent, that she still feelings for Bruce and because of his life as Batman it made things a great more complicated. And lastly Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox is still badass, I just like how he keeps supplying Bruce with all his gadgets for his duties as Batman.

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Now let’s talk about the presentation, visually the film is pretty impressive, the cinematography is wonderful, the presentation of the action and Batman’s fight scenes is a hell of a lot better and the editing is much smoother than before. I also like the special effects applied to Aaron Eckhart after he becomes Two Face too. The only  thing I wasn’t keen on was the fact that Gotham City lost its visual style from the first film and just adopted a very normal look in this film which I just didn’t agree with. As for the soundtrack by James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer it is hella cool. The two basically take the themes from the first film and build upon them while introducing new themes too. The music is loud, dramatic, suspenseful and versatile and it really adds to the scenes where it is used.

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And lastly how does it compare to the comics? When it comes to Batman I’ve only read a few comics, most of my knowledge comes from years of watching Batman cartoons and research online. Well since Christopher Nolan’s Batman universe is more realistic, several things were updated or modified to work in the real world. As such many things have a more grounded approach. For example the Joker no longer has bleached skin and instead has paint and scars on his face and Two-Face instead of having acid on his face and a split personality, his face is burnt away in a fire.

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So to conclude The Dark Knight is still a great film and is a wonderful piece of material from director Christopher Nolan. It has a story that has a lot of interesting themes and thriller-esque elements and with a fabulous central performance from Heath Ledger it is a film worth watching. That being said, I still don’t think its the best comic book film ever made, it strays too far from the source material and almost doesn’t feel like a superhero/comic book film at all and there’s just a few small things that I don’t agree with. Now loads of people think I’m crazy because of my views on this film and I’ll continue to fight my corner until the end of time, but as it stands The Dark Knights is awesome, but not as extraordinary as a lot of fans and critics make it out to be.

Rating: 8/10 (A fine Batman film, but not as godly as many make it out to be)

So there’s my review people, only 4 more to go! So have you seen The Dark Knight and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Month of Superhero Film Reviews: Batman Begins

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #25 of my Month of Superhero Film Reviews! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. Alrighty then, we’ve talked about both of the Tim Burton Batman films, we’ve also talked about the ONLY Joel Schumacher that matters, so we’re skipping ahead to 2005 with the awesome Batman Begins.

Okay now we’re talking. I remember not being initially interested in this film at all due to its whole dark and realistic approach and lack of traditional Batman comic source material. But then I gave the film a chance around 2 or 3 years later and I found out that I really liked it. The film was definitely different and there were a number of things I wasn’t keen on but otherwise it was a solid film which I appreciated. So its been a while since I’ve seen it last time and now that I’ve watched it again has my opinion changed? Read on to find out.

So the plot in this film tells the origin story of the Bruce Wayne from his fear of bats to the death of his parents to his training with the League of shadows to his eventual transformation into the hero known as Batman. In this film Batman has to deal with the villain Scarecrow and the much larger threat in the form of Ra’s al Ghul and his plot to destroy Gotham City.

The story was pretty cool. Even though I am a very adamant comic book fan, the more realistic, dark and gritty tone really worked thanks to the great script and good direction from Christopher Nolan. Everything works in a more practical and realistic fashion, though there are comic book elements implemented as well and I think they’re incorporated nicely. The reason I liked the story so much was due to Bruce’s origin story, I don’t think there’s been a Batman film to date that’s gone this deep into Batman’s life prior to donning the suit. We get to see his childhood, his training and the creation of his lair, suit, weaponry and so on. I also like the part of the plot involving Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Shadows plan to destroy Gotham, I thought it was pretty cool and hardcore. I think my only issues with the film is the fact that it wasn’t as comic book-esque as I had hoped, Batman is character I’ve always enjoyed in the animated TV shows and to see all of the source material changed and modified to work in the real world just didn’t gel with me at times during this film.

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Now let’s talk about the cast who do a good job at bringing these characters to life for the most part. So let’s start with Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman. I do like Bale’s portrayal of Bruce Wayne, I think he gives us the most accurate version of the character from the comics and his journey through this film is pretty cool and much more detailed than any other Batman film before it. However I can’t say that Bale makes a good Batman though. Bale as Batman is just terrible due to one key factor… His voice. I understand that Batman is different from Bruce Wayne and needs a different voice, however Batman in this film sounds insanely stupid! He’s all gruff, gravelly and as a lot of people have been saying online, sounds like he has throat cancer. Though it does make for some unintentionally funny lines of dialogue.

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Then we have Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth. I do love Sir Michael Caine and I think this is the first film where I really became accustomed to him as an actor. Caine’s version of Alfred feels like he has more of a backstory and feels like he has more of an active role in Bruce’s life after he becomes Batman. You can see that Alfred definitely care for Bruce and wants to help him out, but he also isn’t afraid to speak his mind and voice concern when dangerous situations look like they’ll occur. Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes was where I personally found the weak link in the film. Don’t get me wrong she’s not that bad in the film, but she’s not that great either. Dawes is a character made for film and has no relation to the comics and as a love interest for Bruce I just didn’t care because that is the one element in superhero films that I can deal without. Also Gary Oldman as James Gordon was cool, again like Michael Caine’s Alfred I feel like Oldman’s Gordon had a more active role than his predecessor and left a better lasting impression on me. Oldman is a fine actor and while his character isn’t as big as he is in the sequels he’s still pretty cool here.

Then we have our first villain in the form of Liam Neeson as Henri Ducard. Neeson is one of the most awesome actors out there and I loved his character in this film how he becomes Bruce’s mentor only to turn out to be the bad guy later on down the line. You can see that Ducard has much mystery surrounding his character and that as good as he may seem he has ulterior motives and I thought Neeson did great in the role and made the character magnetic on-screen. As for villain number two who was Cillian Murphy as Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow we was different, his character was very clever, questionable and strange and as the Scarecrow he was even funkier using his toxins to make people freak out and hallucinate. But as good as he was I felt like he could have been better and when he is taken out it is done in the most anti climatic way.

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Tom Wilkinson makes for a cool Mafia boss as Carmine Falcone, he’s an intimidating bastard who plays a small part in the larger picture of evil plans going down in the film and Wilkinson was good. And lastly Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox was just the coolest guy ever. He’s a guy that works at Wayne Enterprises but also supplies Bruce with all his gear necessary for his missions. I like the relationship that Bruce and Lucius start in this film and since the character is played by Morgan Freeman you can’t really complain can you?

Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is nice I like look of Gotham City because it is so dark, has great lighting and has a unique colour palette that really helps show off how ugly and distinguishing the city is. I also like a lot of the action sequences in this film, Batman’s attack sequences are nicely pulled off though it is badly shot and edited at times because you can’t really see what’s going on. As for the soundtrack by James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer its pretty good, the score that they create while it doesn’t have that same level of epicness and gravitas that Danny Elfman’s scores did back in the Tim Burton’s films, it does have a main theme that sounds pretty beastly and overall the soundtrack amplifies the action in the film very well.

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And lastly how does it compare to the comics? When it comes to Batman I’ve only read a few comics, most of my knowledge comes from years of watching Batman cartoons and research online. I think everything in this film is modified to work in the real world so characters, vehicles and weapons work in a more practical and realistic manner. There are a few comic book elements retained like the death of Bruce’s parents and his fear of bats and his martial arts skills too. I’m not too familiar with the villains of the films so I can’t talk about them. Other than that everything else is either new or changed for film purposes.

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So to conclude Batman Begins is a pretty cool film. A lot of people these days say that this film is the weakest element in The Dark Knight Trilogy but I think that is unfair as it was the film that created the foundation for the sequels to build on. This film created a new, dark and realistic world for Batman and redefined the character with much stronger storytelling, themes, characters and wonderful presentation. The film does indeed have problems and I don’t love it as much as I did before, but out of all the three Batman origins we’ve had so far this is my favourite and I recommend the film highly.

Rating: 7.5/10 (It’s dark, gritty and different but it’s still hella good!)

So there’s my review people, and now we’ve reached the FINAL 5 FILMS! WOOOO! So have you seen Batman Begins and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Gary Oldman Boards Dawn of the Planet of the Apes!

It seems like there really hasn’t been that much news on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes for quite some time, but it seems like we have some new information relating to not only casting but the story too. The following article comes from superherohype:

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(Photo Credit: Lia Toby / WENN.com)

“Things are really ramping up for Matt Reeves’ upcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. In addition to the returning Andy Serkis, recent reports name Jason Clarke and Kodi Smit-McPhee as two of the sequel’s principal cast. Now, ComingSoon.net has learned exclusively that Gary Oldman will be boarding the project as the leader of a human colony!

Set 15 years after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn finds most of humanity wiped out and the intelligent apes ruling over the world. Part of the film’s focus is said to be on a small group of San Francisco-based scientists that are forming a resistance against the apes and part follows Serkis’ Caesar as he, like his namesake, tries to maintain order and power within his new civilization.

A name very well known to cinephiles, Oldman recently starred in John Hillcoat’s Lawless and reprised his role as Commissioner Gordon in last summer’s The Dark Knight Rises. He can be seen later this year in Robert Luketic’s Paranoia and early next year in Jose Padilha’s RoboCop.

Featuring a screenplay by Mark Bomback, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes starts filming this spring for a May 23, 2014 release. Peter Chernin, Dylan Clarke, Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa are producing.”

Firstly I love me a bit of Gary Oldman so I am really happy that he’s joined this film’s cast. But what’s even more interesting is this mini synopsis for the film, it sounds pretty interesting. I am quite surprised that the film is actually set 15 years after the last, that is a pretty big gap and obviously a great deal of things could have transpired between then and now. I was hoping the gap between films would be a lot shorter maybe ranging between 3-6 years or something. I’m guessing Caesar will be a great deal older in this next film. I just hope that we get to see how events transpired over the years and we get to see how the human race fell prey to the virus. I just hope the humans will be interesting but not outshine the apes. Anyways overall I am looking forward to this sequel even more! 🙂

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2013 in Films, Media

 

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Lawless Review

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another blog post, today I bring you another review in form of the gangster film, Lawless.

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When I saw this trailer for this film I was immediately interested mainly due to its similarities to Boardwalk Empire, a TV series I love immensely. Lawless seemed to embody the same kind of look and feel of that TV show, but it also looked like it had an interesting story tell and the cast alone had my attention immediately. So then I went to see the film on Monday this week and it was pretty darn good and going to tell you why in this review.

So story wise it goes a little something like this: Set in Depression-era Franklin County, Virginia, a bootlegging gang (in the form Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy and Jason Clarke) is threatened by a new deputy (Guy Pearce) and other authorities who want a cut of their profits.

The story in Lawless is really good and I enjoyed it a lot. I felt like it provided a story, set in an interesting point in time and felt like an accurate portrayal of the events that took place in that era. There’s a lot of good stuff to expect form a film set in the Prohibition-era like drama, crime, violence, alcohol and all those dodgy dealings that go on in the background. I also like the way it develops for the characters involved and see how they gradually change over the course oft he film. The pace of the story is bit slow for those who like these kinds of films with a bit more action, but if you give it a chance and get into it then the story is an entertaining one.

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When it comes to the characters of Lawless the cast do a tremendous job with their roles. Shia LaBeouf as Jack Bondurant was really good, I was impressed with LaBeouf, he has some acting chops and I was glad to see he can actually act. The story of Lawless really centers around Jack and his journey throughout the film and liked that aspect. Tom Hardy as Forrest Bondurant was absolutely awesome as Forrest he is the hardest of the three brothers and the quietest too. Hardy’s character is very relaxed all the time, doesn’t really say much and some times only responses to things with a slight groan haha. His character is as funny as he is brutal and I loved it. And Jason Clarke as Howard Bondurant. I think that LaBeouf, Hardy and Clarke function well as brothers, they have some great chemistry on-screen and really seem to have that brotherly bond done pretty well.

And then there’s Guy Pearce as Special Agent Charlie Rakes, he was some kind of beast of man! He was this cold, merciless and evil member of the government that wanted to shut down the illegal moonshine operations in Virgina and Pearce played his part really well. Guy Pearce’s character is such a bastard in this film and you really hate him because of all of the cruel and unforgivable things he does, but as I said before Pearce plays his part really well. Also Gary Oldman as Floyd Banner was awesome in the film (like he is always) and while he wasn’t in the film as much as I thought he would be, when he does have his screen time his presence is magnetic. Mia Wasikowska as Bertha Minnix was interesting, I wasn’t expecting to like Wasikowska that much because I really didn’t like her in Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland, but in this film she was tolerable and actually quite nice. Jessica Chastain as Maggie Beauford was really good, I remembered Chastain from her work in The Help and I loved her in that film and was glad to see her deliver another solid performance in this film too. And lastly I wanted to give a shout out to Dane Dehaan as Cricket Pane, I really liked his character in the film, Dehaan and LaBeouf worked well together and I’m glad to see Dehaan continuing to be in films after his great performance in Chronicle.

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The presentation of Lawless is great, the film is well-shot and has some nicely executed action scenes with gunfire and things of that nature. Also another thing to note is that Lawless is pretty brutal and violent, I almost forgot the kind of film that I was watching until the fight scenes came around, whether it be the Bondurant brothers dishing out the pain or Charlie Rakes wasting somebody because he felt like it, there is some violent damage dishes out and it is very visual, but I love the film for going that extra mile when it comes to realism. The soundtrack for Lawless is pretty good too, not overly memorable, but there are some nice tunes here and there.

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I also think another reason I liked this film so much would be because of its direction, I didn’t know until today that John Hillcoat who directed The Road, which was one my favourite films I saw in the cinema in 2010. I get that same vibe of drama, emotion and engaging characters in this film as I did with The Road. Though Lawless isn’t perfect, it is a slower-paced film and it is one that builds up to the action rather than just throwing it out there for the sake of it. For me I was really expecting something in the same vain as Boardwalk Empire and while Lawless is impressive, it just doesn’t reach the that level of epicness I thought it would have.

In conclusion Lawless is a great film, it has a story that’s engaging and interesting from start to finish and its full of drama, character development and brutal action scenes. While the film isn’t as good as it could have been and falls short of the epic mark it could have achieved, Lawless is still the best film I’ve seen in the cinema since The Dark Knight Rises and that’s saying something.

Rating: 8/10

Well that’s been my review, hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading it and drop me a comment and let me know what you made of the film. Until the next time people, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Dark Knight Rises Review

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another film review. Today’s review will be on the film that we’ve all been waiting for, the epic conclusion to the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy of films; The Dark Knight Rises.

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Now like I said in my Films I’m Looking Forward to in 2012 segment on The Dark Knight Rises is there really any need for me to talk about how big this film is? Do I really need to try and convince you to see this film? Chances are you’ve already seen it or are going to watch it. Everybody knows about The Dark Knight Rises and the hype for this film leading up to its release has been ridiculously high. So the real question is; after all this time has Christopher Nolan delivered a satisfying conclusion to his Batman trilogy? Well I can say without a doubt that the answer to that question is a big fat YES! The Dark Knight Rises is FRIGGING AWESOME! FACT.

Plot

So what’s the story in TDKR? Well the film takes place 8 years after the events of TDK and it seems like Gotham City has been in a state of peace for a while thanks to the Dent Act, that is until a new theat appears on the scene in the shape of Bane. Despite his tarnished reputation after the events of TDK, in which he took the rap for Dent’s crimes, Batman feels compelled to intervene to assist the city and its police force which is struggling to cope with Bane’s plans to destroy the city.

The plot of TDKR is deep, dark, elaborate and has many layers to it. I found the story in this film to be very deep and involving from start to finish. I loved how the film handled the events from The Dark Knight and still made them relevant in this film, and it was also impressive how the film sets up all of these new characters along with some of the more established people from the previous two films and make them all come together and have a purpose. The plot as a whole I prefered to the TDK, while the TDK did have a lot to like in terms of corruption, chaos and moral and ethical decisions that had to be made I think I liked TDKR more because it was on a larger scale, with greater stakes and we had a villain that was ready to sink Gotham city into the ground. Everything about TDKR just screams better to me. Granted that the plot does take a little while to get going in the first act because of the new characters and plot points to establish, but once the film gets into the swing of things it is awesome.

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Characters

Now let’s take about the characters of TDKR and while there are many, I feel like I will only talk about the 3 main characters; Batman, Bane and Catwoman and then mention any other relevant people afterwards. But just to let you know now the standout performances come from Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Michael Caine and Anne Hathaway as their performances really did resonate with me and stayed with me after the film ended.

Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman was actually really good in this film and I think it is his finest performance in The Dark Knight Trilogy. Before this film I thought he had made a decent Bruce Wayne, but I was never overly fussed, nor had I ever been attached to his character, but his performance really won me over in TDKR due to the circumstances that take place in the film, the journey Bruce/Batman has to go on and what that does to him physically and mentally. While in the previous two films we’ve seen Bruce go through a lot, I don’t think any amount of training could prepare him for what happens in TDKR. I mean he’s been out of the game as Batman for 8 years and has become a recluse, but when Bane is on scene he has to become Batman once again to save Gotham. And I found it really interesting the way Bruce had to get back into swing of things as Batman, how he had to get into the right mindset and physical groove for his encounters with Bane. Bale brought his A-game in this film and for the first time in this trilogy I really liked his version of both Bruce and Batman. There are some really deep and emotional moments with this character and you go through it all with him over the course of the film as he falls from grace and has to build himself back up again.

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Let’s talk about Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman. I am just going to say it right now, Anne Hathaway kicked ass as Catwoman. The interesting think about her character was her history and her motives for doing what she does, sure she is a thief living on the wrong side of the law but she has a reason for doing it and I love how Catwoman was relevant to the main plot too. Ms. Hathaway brings the smart, cunning and sexy nature of Catwoman from the comics to the big screen, it is easy to get attached to her to her character because Hathaway portrays her in such a great way and another thing Hathaway got right was the fighting elements too. She kicks so much ass in this film and I was really impressed by Hathaway, I think this is her best role in any film ever. And yes she looks sexy as hell in that cat suit yo! 😀 Now let’s move onto Tom Hardy as Bane. Simply put, he killed it as Bane. Bane was a very captivating character and a great villain to watch in this film. He is an intelligent, calculated and menacing terrorist leader who just from looking at his face you know is just badass. Tom Hardy brings a great deal of tenacity, intensity and realism to his role and he creates this presence on-screen so when you see him you know that something’s gonna go down. Whether it’s the intense look in his eyes that’ll make you quake in fear or the way in which he delivers dialogue that’ll shit your pants, Bane is just a beast of a guy. What I love about Bane is that he is a villain with a mission, who has loads of followers willing to do his bidding, but he also isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and get in on the action himself.

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Outside of Batman, Bane and Catwoman there are few other notable characters that made this film work, like Alfred. Michael Caine in The Dark Knight Trilogy has always been one of the key aspects of what makes Nolan’s films work, and while he doesn’t have as much screen time as I would have liked when he is on-screen it matters. He is still the reliable butler supporting Bruce throughout all of his endeavours, but in this film when Bruce is clearly up against a force far beyond his physical and mental capabilities he voice concern for Bruce’s safety and when he delivers his lines in this film it is so heartfelt and emotional that you can’t help but well up and maybe shed a tear for the old man. Caine is still incredible as Alfred and his character in this film has never spoken truer words. Another notable character whose relevance in this trilogy of films is massive is Gary Oldman as Commissioner James Gordon. It was great to see his character dealing with the events of TDK and feeling guilty for covering up the death of Harvey Dent, but what is also more interesting is when the city falls into chaos and how he deals with it as he spring into action. I was glad to see the return of Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, I was interested to see where his character would go after TDK and I was glad to see how his character had changed since the last film and how he was relevant in this film too. And lastly Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake was fantastic, Blake was an intelligent and self-aware police officer who plays a big part in the film and he had some great scenes with Cruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon, he was agreat addition to an already stellar cast and I believe Joseph Gordon-Levitt was almost as great as he was in Inception with the way he handled his character in this film.

There is a great deal of interesting interaction between different characters too whether it be the character dynamic will work between Batman and Catwoman or the confrontation between Batman and Bane or the more intimate moments between Bruce and Alfred or the scenes with Commissioner Gordon and John Blake. Most of the cast members all interact with each other at one point or another and it is just lovely to see how they bounce off of each other. The key thing that has my interest in the fight between Batman and Bane, finally we’re going to get a big one-on-one fight with Batman and another enemy which is totally necessary in my opinion.

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Presentation

Visually the film is great, everything looks stunning and while the small special effects used on stuff like The Bat look good, the main reason TDKR succeeds its down to the cinematography. The way the film is shot is simply amazing, so many times I was just taking in all of the beautiful shots of the city and those wonderfully shot scenes and sequences in the winter. Never before has a film with so little CGI and special effects ever impressed me so much. I just love how real everything is and how much practical effects they used on the film, the visual side of TDKR is truly a sight to behold. Also outside of the intimate scenes with the main characters there are some absurdly cool scenes of destruction and chaos going down. Football fields crumble, buildings are demolished, explosions happen in many locations and mass panic ensues. TDKR also gives us the best fight scenes in the entire trilogy, whether it be Catwoman throwing down against her adversaries or the incredible fight scenes between Batman and Bane. Now most Batman films seem to be lacking in the fighting department because Batman’s never been a proper fight before, but in this film the fight scenes are not only good, they are hella good! They are well-filmed, well-choreography and they’re shot in some really interesting and beautiful ways and the music that comes with these scenes only amplifies the awesomeness by 100%!

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The soundtrack by Hans Zimmer is great. The previous soundtracks done by Zimmer and James Newton Howard in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight have been damn good, but this soundtrack is my favourite so far. This soundtrack captivated me deeply (much like when I saw Inception). Zimmer’s work is simply incredible, it is a combination of the two previous Batman films with some new themes brought into the mix for this third film. It was soft and touching in the emotional scenes or it can be loud and insane in the tense action scenes. I think my favourite track was “Gotham’s Reckoning“, it builds from the beginning to end and just becomes this ferocious and chaotic beast of a song.

Obviously there is another big question that needs to answered; is The Dark Knight Rises better than The Avengers? For me that is a tough call, I fell in love with The Avengers and watched it 4 times in the cinema, while I’ve only seen TDKR once, but I feel that I would still put The Avengers ahead of TDKR because it was everything I wanted and more. The Avengers for me was the definitive version of what a comic book film should be while TDKR gives a realistic form of a comic book film.

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Conclusion

So in conclusion The Dark Knight Rises wasn’t just great, it was amazing. To be honest I was just expecting a film that was just going to be good but not as good as The Dark Knight, but luckily the film exceeded any expectations I had of it. It was big, loud and proud. This was my favourite of the Christopher Nolan films because it gave me everything I had wanted from a Batman film; a dramatic story with amazing dialogue, deep and interesting characters, brilliant, brutal and well-choreographed fight scenes, incredible cinematography and a fantastic soundtrack. While the film does a few nitpicky issues and many may argue that TDK is still the best Batman film around, I however beg to differ. This is my favourite Batman film, I was hooked from beginning to end and I was thoroughly satisfied with the end result. I REALLY WANT TO BAG TO SEE IT RIGHT NOW! I feel gutted for the person who has to reboot the Batman film franchise, he’s got a tought act to follow.

Rating: 8.5/10

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2012 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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