If you had to ask me about my most anticipated ape related movie of the year, the answer by far would be Dawn Of The Planet of the Apes. My follow-up would be how many ape related films are they releasing this year, and if you had a list of titles I’d probably shut up and stand there bewildered. The thing about these Apes movies is, damn are they intriguing. Something about the combination of weird talking apes, time travel, social commentary and horrific dystopian ape societies really seems to resonate with audiences at large. Why shouldn’t it? What’s not there to love? To make it better, the cast for Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, is a growing list of names that is spelling out another great Apes film in the long line of Non-Tim Burton related Apes films. Recently cast [Via THR] is beloved character actor Gary Oldman, who all should know by now as Commissioner Gordon from the Nolan Batman trilogy.
Bram Stoker gave us a gift in 1897. The gift was Dracula, a character very loosely based on the exploits of Vlad the Impaler, who was a dab hand at impaling people on spikes (yeah, he never got invited to many parties I’m guessing). From this one novel an industry was born, with films still being made today about ‘Count Alucard’ and actors such as Christopher Lee, Bela Lugosi and Gary Oldman all having a crack at the role of the world’s most famous vampire.
There is a moment that caught me off guard in The Dark Knight Rises. Bruce Wayne and his loyal butler Alfred share a moment where a breaking point has been reached. We get a touching speech or plea from Alfred asking Bruce about burying members of the Wayne family, and that he refuses to bury yet another under his watch. I shed a tear. Normally, this might be a normal reaction to an emotional moment in the movie (or if you’re a sissy apparently), but my friends and family have come to know me as one thing: an emotionally dead robot. For a movie to have that impact on someone like me means there is a connection to these characters, to this story, to this trilogy. that resonates deeply to garner such a reaction. I think shows how terrific the storytelling and direction under Christopher Nolan was and is. By the end of this movie, the journey is over and I am relieved that it is over. Not because of how overwhelmed I am after 165 minutes of this roller coaster ride, but because it had to end. There was nowhere else to go. In that, we have both the strength and the flaw of the movie.
It has been eight years since the death of Harvey Dent and the disappearance of “The Batman”. He has taken the fall for the crimes committed by the horribly disfigured Dent/Two-Face and in the common theme of the movies is symbolism. Batman was supposed to be the symbol of justice, the right overshadowing the wrong, the hero that emerges from the dark shadows to bring stability in bad times. However the question that plagues the minds of Commissioner Gordon and Batman is that they have perpetuated this lie, that the peace time that has occupied Gotham City is based on an ideal that should not exist, and how does that make it right? Does the end justify the means? The movie investigates this idea and its effect on the citizens of this (seemingly) thriving city. There are obvious political and social overtones, but for now, let’s finish this synopsis just to set the table. We get introduced to Bane right off the bat (yes, went there, deal with it) as you can tell that he is the man with the plan in an awesome sequence involving a new take on hijacking airplanes. You also see the blind faith that his minions put into the man with the mask, not unlike those that put their faith into Batman when he first emerged. He obviously has his sights set on Batman and Gotham City. Bruce Wayne, on the other hand, is a broken man, a Howard Hughes recluse that no one has seen in years, merely a symbol himself like his alter ego. Only when he meets Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) does his suit beckon him once again. It is then that he realizes the danger yet to come.
I will say it is hard to write a review on a movie that people need to witness themselves, because I think everyone will have a different reaction to it, so I will not go into further details of the plot. That way you can jump into it and draw your own conclusions. Lets talk about the cast. Bale is always good, consistent in his quest for a purpose, especially in trying fight for his city and rising (Boom) to the challenge throughout the movie. Michael Caine is in a smaller role, but is still equally powerful as Wayne’s confident/father figure. The exchanges the two of them have will be sorely missed once the final reel rolls off the projector. Gary Oldman is always good, but really comes off great as man struggling with the lie. In trying to find the justice in his actions, in a city of legacy built by deception. Morgan Freeman is good as well, but you probably want to find out how the newbies did. Let us start with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake, as the idealistic cop who gets an audience with Commissioner Gordon. He did a fine job in playing understated, if not determined police officer trying to hold on to hope in a city of despair and confusion.
The girl duo of Marion Cotillard and Anne Hathaway also did a great job in providing characters for both Bruce Wayne and Batman respectively to play off of. Hathaway (who, thankfully, is never referred to as Catwoman at all in the entire movie), brings a certain sass in a woman trying to run from her past and the determination to make sure she always gets her way. That and that suit on that bike. Holy crap.
Of course now we get to Bane. Tom Hardy does an admirable job as the most effin’ evil friggin’ villain I have seen dominate the screen in a long time. He just resonates pure evil and man, I wanted to see Batman kick his ass back into 1993. While not as good as Ledger as the Joker (who would be?), Hardy does terrifically in being the ‘voice’ of the oppressed, yet bringing an insane vibe in that muffled delivery of his (which is not as big of an issue understanding him as everyone made it out to be). This is a man on a mission, where no one can get in his way and that look in his eyes, pretty much the only other thing we can see Hardy emote with, is terrifying. It also comes off as purposeless, however because you want to know why he gets to be such a dick but it never really gets explained in a meaningful manner. I got Bane being the unbeatable villain, but what I really wanted was why he turned into such a monster. If Bruce Wayne could get to the point where he sees nothing but vengeance, why not see the reason why Bane followed that path of refusing to be beatable? A minor quibble but one that bugged me throughout the movie.
The movie itself is a clinic in why Christopher Nolan is one of the best storytellers out there. Visually, the picture is beautiful, and does not need 3D or any of that garbage that Nolan refused to do. The pacing is a bit slow in the first hour, but let us face it, eight years have passed, there must a slow burn to the process in catching up with our favorite Gothamites. Every sequence carries a purpose in the movie, and nothing is wasted. The music by Hans Zimmer also is beautiful yet demanding. It takes a hold of you and carries you from scene to scene, and provides the best mood setting in the trilogy in my opinion. It also tends to overpower the dialogue but that might be a result of the theater as opposed to sound editing. It is still friggin’ epic as all hell.
Obviously we all know this is the last of the trilogy so there was a set plan for this to end. While it is good that Nolan and Co. have decided to have a distinct end to their take on the Bats, I feel that it suffered in the same regard. We all see it coming and I felt no shock value of the path of Batman and his journey to ‘rise’. In fact, I felt rushed along towards the end in order to wrap up certain storylines. As product of the hype machine, I understand having the most anticipated movie come into town that we all have been guessing what the proper ending should be. We were all probably looking for the conclusion to be foreshadowed in the movie and unfortunately, I felt became formulaic during the whole movie. After all, it is a superhero movie so there are certain rules the film must follow. However, it is only minor distraction because it does the formula justice. The movie felt predictable and somewhat pretentious at some points. It wanted to throw us off the path by slipping in random events or characters that seemed to dissolve as the movie went on. Granted, it was not so blatant that I felt Nolan was trying to ‘Shyamalan’ us (the act of throwing in crap to throw people off the scent despite having to do with the twists and turns the movie may offer up), but it did not help with the aforementioned slow pacing. However, this movie still ranks better than 95% of the movies out there this year and these minor problems in my mind, but so comes with the territory of following the best movie of the trilogy (Obviously now determined to be The Dark Knight).
Again, I want to offer up that this is one of the top 3 movies I have seen this year. It is a great movie and proves that the trilogy idea of having a beginning, middle, and concise ending to a set of stories is the way to go. Nolan and Bale have made their mark in not only comic book movie history, but in the cinema world on how to tackle a character and setting in the modern world. The expectations were extremely high and they have met them. I do wish it was exceeded, but it did its job. It did not overwhelm and did not (thank the lord) underwhelm. Go see the movie, go love the movie, and see what it does for you. Go shed a tear too while you are at it, you might not see another trilogy tackled as masterfully as this one.
And please don’t go check out This Is Not The Dark Knight Rises Review. You’ll be glad you didn’t.
I have recently moved to a town without a theater. This was entirely based on work, so I did not have much choice in the matter, as I would never voluntarily move 40 minutes away from a theater. This has greatly hampered my movie watching ability. I saw The Avengers opening weekend luckily enough, but I just saw Amazing Spider-Man and will not see The Dark Knight Rises until the end of the weekend. So when it came time to assign one of our Bomb Droppers the joyous task of reviewing TDKR, I realized I still really wanted to review it. So C Tan suggested I should do it anyway, just BS using vague adjectives and fake plotlines I’ve gleaned from the trailers. I had one thing to say to his suggestion.
Well first we got the news of a fairly new star becoming RoboCop (Joel Kinnaman), and from that the opinion was that this was going to be a bit of a new cast for this remake. But since then we have had big star after big star being announced for the main roles, first we got Gary Oldman as the scientist, then Samuel L. Jackson as the TV mogul and now it’s looking like we will have Hugh Laurie playing the ‘Dick Jones’-type villain role in this remake.
So for a recap on what we know about the film so far and who is playing what, then please check our previous articles, links below:
Hugh Laurie to play the main villain in the new version of Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 sci-fi action classic, According to The Hollywood Reporter, Laurie will play “the evil and ultra-rich CEO of Omnicorp, the company that makes Robocop.
Well it’s about bloody time! With the finale of House it looks as though the many talented English star Hugh Laurie is finally going onto more serious film roles, and the roles don’t get more serious than the evil and ultra-rich CEO of Omnicorp (well not for nerds anyway).
Thanks to House we know that Hugh Laurie can be the bad guy, but the real question is can he be as evil as Ronny Cox’s character of the same role in the original film? Of course he can and we will be saving the date for release when we get one. 9 August 2013 is the current date, but we imagine this will change.
Now since there is no more news on the film we have the original trailer for RoboCop (1987) to tide you over until we have more news for you. They don’t make them like this anymore…