Archive for Christopher Nolan

My Top 11 Batman Films (Because a Top 10 just ain’t cool enough)

Posted in Batman: My Top 11 with tags , , , , , , on August 29, 2013 by Last Road Reviews

Well here it is my top 11 Batman films. Most people give a top 5, 10 or 20but here at Last Road Reviews we like to do things differently so you get a top 11.

This list will build up to my favorite Batman movie. Those who know me I’m sure already know my top 3.

11. Batman Year One

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10. Batman Forever

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9. Batman Returns

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8. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2

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7. Batman: The Movie

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6. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

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5. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1

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4. Batman

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3. Batman Begins

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2. The Dark Knight Rises

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1. The Dark Knight

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The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Review by Steve Pulaski

Posted in Dark Knight Rises ( Steve Pulaski Review) with tags , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2012 by Last Road Reviews

Review written by Steve Pulaski

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THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

*** Out of 4

In 2005, we saw Christopher Nolan reboot Batman’s origins with a deep, intricate film, giving us a collective history on the character from orphaned-child to crime fighting hero. In 2008, we saw a surprisingly fantastic sequel, that is often considered to be one of the best superhero films ever made. Now it’s 2012, and Nolan has openly concluded his dazzling trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises, an effective piece of entertainment, very kinetic, worthy, and intriguing.

To keep the storyline as general as possible, it is eight years after the events of The Joker and Harvey Dent left Gotham City ostensibly irreversible in its damage. Now, crime in Gotham has decreased tremendously under the Dent Act, in memory of the town’s former governor, Harvey Dent, who is now their posthumous hero. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has drifted into a reclusive soul, barring a bathrobe and slippers, walking with the assistance of a cane, and is so far off his game, he fails to even see the blunt signs of the conniving and devious Selina Kyle, known as Catwoman (Anne Hathaway).

It isn’t long before another villain comes into play, named Bane (Tom Hardy), who tries to pry Gotham City out of its newly found peaceful nature and is determined to spread anarchy as far as the eye can see. He sports a metal mask, concealing his mouth, and delivers some of the most eerily satisfying monologues that are on-par with The Joker’s tomfoolery seen in The Dark Knight. I am also a big fan of his voice that, unlike Bale’s Batman voice (which is pleasantly shoved to the side in this film), is a more authentic replication of a comic book character’s voice. It sounds robotic and heartless, as it should, and it doesn’t sound fake or put-on, like Bale’s.

Inevitably, I feel Hardy won’t get the recognition he deserves for playing Bane, as I mentioned prior in my review of The Dark Knight, no matter what Nolan will choose to do the series or what route to take, it will always be remembered by the iconic performance of the late Heath Ledger.

The film occasionally comments on many issues of the world, such as violent terrorism when showcasing the encounters of Bane and his team of goons, the financial blows to the country, including a fantastic hold-up scene near the beginning of the picture, and a view on society that can seen as a commentary relevant to today’s uncertain times.

The Dark Knight Rises, unfortunately, starts off on the wrong foot, bombarding us with new faces, developing them in a hazy manner. We get introductions to many characters, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s John Blake, a rookie cop, and while the film knows it wants to incorporate two sneaky villains, it has a hard time giving both of them valuable screentime and substance. It seems to sometimes become lost and crushed under the weight of its monologues, which are occasionally overlong and over-written.

For a film about the caped-crusader himself, it should also be noted that he makes very few appearances in the film, and to me, that’s not a bad thing. Nolan ends his trilogy in a much more coherent way, wiser than the conclusions to other past sagas, such as Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3. While that picture knew how to accomplish things visually, it struggled to balance its three villains, its hero’s alter-ego, and the pending love interest that continued to burden its hero, Peter Parker. The Nolan Brothers, Chris and John, who penned the screenplay to this film, wisely choose to center much of the action on the heroes out of costume, giving a more real approach to the undefined definition of a “superhero film.” We see Batman as his alter ego, Bruce Wayne for most of the film, showing that he is a hero regardless of the gear he sports.

One thing we neglect to learn are Bane’s motives behind his devilish attacks, one of which is the explosion of a football stadium, which is captivating and stylish, much like the rest of the film. Never do we dive into his backstory, or Catwoman’s, as more than just “they do it because they’re evil.” It’s unfortunate after watching The Joker, who instantaneously presented himself as a fleshed-out villain. Not to mention, Hans Zimmer’s score, which was put to great use in the original Dark Knight, is bombastic and sometimes very distracting, sort of becoming hard on the ears after a while. This is coming from someone who has never been too caught up in the story of Batman’s origins and, likely, I’m one of the few with this complaint. If you can simply immerse yourself into this epic, than this will probably not bother you in the slightest.

The Dark Knight Rises sometimes meanders and after 164 minutes of relentless action and monologues, one will definitely need a break and some time to take in everything they were just handed. While the film begins in a shaky manner, it pulls itself together quickly, delivering a visual cacophony of beauty and style, especially in its last twenty-five minutes that are profound and invigorating. Considering this film had to live up to nearly impossible hype and still manages to come out standing on two feet, it is still a success in my eyes.

NOTE: The twist ending put a big smile on my face too, seeing as originally, I was very upset by one of Nolan’s origin decisions.

Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Morgan Freeman. Directed by: Christopher Nolan.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Review

Posted in Dark Knight Rises (Dave & Neil Review) with tags , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2012 by Last Road Reviews

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THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

Here is the first ever 2 for 1 review as Neil and I tackle the Dark Knight Rises

Review by Dave Kaye

***** Out of 5

To say I loved this movie would be an understatement. For me this was an epic conclusion to what could possibly be the best trilogy of all time. Christopher Nolan has totally reinvented Batman and never has the character or films been any better. The writing is great the characters are great and Bane (Hardy) makes for a great villain. The addition of Anne Hathaway was great and she is my favorite Catwoman. Nolan does a brilliant job with the story and action and I would rate this a very close 2nd to the Dark Knight and honestly the main reason I rate the Dark Knight higher is due to Heath Ledger as Joker.

Dark Knight Rises met and passed my expectations and is hands down my favorite film of 2012 and quite honestly I don’t see anything topping this. In my opinion Christian Bale is hands down the best Bruce Wayne/ Batman and once again is excellent. Overall Dark Knight Rises was an epic conclusion and Nolan has done it again with another masterpiece.

A REVIEW BY NEIL W. WRIGHT

3.5 Out of 5

(Spoilers in the review)

One of the most enjoyed creations on this planet, for me, is Bat Man. Yes, I feel a kin to Mr Wayne, no my parents were not killed by some degenerate, but he uses his anger for good. I like that. How many people in this world use their anger for hate mongering? Christopher Nolan created the new movie Bat Man as a realistic version for us all. Who do you empathise with more? Adam West or Michael Keaton or Christian Bale? I say Christian Bale. Nolan gave us pause to really put Bat Mans origin through the wringer and analyze it with emotion. It is my belief that Bruce Wayne died the moment his parents hit the pavement, for the seed of vengeance was planted. I am sitting at my ‘puter to try and explain my thoughts on The Dark Knight Rises, but it feels like I am writing an obituary. As I adored Batman Begins and was enthralled with The Dark Knight so I of course was going into “Rises” with high expectations, perhaps to high. Shall I start then?

I left the theatre feeling quite ill.

Unfortunately the score was extremely loud. And other than the interesting chant (deshi,deshi, basara, basara….which is Arabic for he is coming fast) in the odd piece the score was lacking originality compared to the first two films. Hans Zimmer lost his touch maybe because James Newton Howard was missing.

With this loud and blaring score in my ear half the time I was unable to hear most of the dialogue, especially when Bane was speaking, that was irritating my G-D!!!

So what are my biggest problems with the film you ask, other than the score?
ALFRED GIVES AWAY THE ENDING!!!! Alfred had hoped Bruce would never come out of exile and maybe leave and find happiness. Alfred tells Bruce the times when he was on vacation during Bruce’s first leave of absence that he would sit at a café somewhere and see Bruce sitting with his new found family. But not speak to one another just nod and Alfred can be at peace. And what happens at the end? Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, yes CATWOMAN, together presumably as a couple, with Bruce smiling for once. Not on my watch Nolan, no fucking way!!!

Okay, next.

The character of John Blake played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt was fine, except the lingering feeling that this guy is going to be an issue with the overall film. And I was correct. He tells Bruce that he knew he was Bat Man the moment they met when John was a boy. How? John Blake lost his parents also in an unreasonable fashion such as Bruce Wayne did. But John explains that he has to hide beneath masks to please others to hide the anger and pain over his parents deaths. When John met Bruce while in he was in the orphanage and Mr Wayne came by to greet the kids. John knew the pain Bruce was in and it made sense to him that Bruce was Bat Man. I would say that Batman disappearing for years the same exact fucking time as Bruce goes into hiding would be a hint.

So after Bane and Bat Mans first fight, after Bane dislocates Bruce’s spine (just like in the books so I appreciated that at least), Bruce is taken to a prison that is technically underground. But can be climbed out of if your lucky. So fine, Bruce gets better, heals up and strengthens but here is the kicker BRUCE WAYNE IS BROKE, didn’t know that? This happened earlier in the film when Cat Woman stole Bruce’s finger prints so that his business adversaries could ‘lose” it for him, when fingerprints are needed to use funds to invest and whatnot. Also, WHERE IS BRUCE??? Its not in America not with the strange language that is spoken. How did he get back to Gotham so quick, with no money, no food or proper clothes??? Big hole, big hole in the story.
Now, to have a nuclear bomb as the axis of fear for the city? Not original or feasible. Batman flys off in his new jet plane thing called THE BAT, ugh, with bomb in tow and it explodes a couple of miles off the coast of NEW YORK, yes I recogize New York, and BOOOM! There still would be waves of nuclear destruction hitting New Yor…I mean Gotham..but nope…they are safe. And as I explained the ending at the beginning of this piece how the FACK does Bruce escape that??? I felt like I was living in 1967 and watching Adam West flying off with a shitting bomb!!!!

Last but not near least….John Blake’s first name is actually ROBIN???!!!! Not Tim Drake or Jason Todd or Dick Grayson??? This is what I expected to a certain respect but not in such a shitty manner. Miranda Tate is actually Ra As Ghul’s daughter Talia, that I figured out almost immediately and that worked fine. But Robin John Blake??? How dare Nolan do this? Its just too horrible to realize but I did and I regret.

These are the only reasons I was let down by the film. Other then these reasons it wasn’t overall bad as a film but as the ending of the Dark Knight Trilogy it was a let down. The Dark Knight Rises is The Godfather Three of the trilogy.

Nuff said.

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