Tag Archives: trilogy

“The Dark Knight Rises” Review

Christopher Nolan’s epic Batman trilogy comes to a close with The Dark Knight Rises, and while it may not surpass the masterpiece that was The Dark Knight, it is still a pretty fantastic movie and a fitting end to a memorable saga.

Set eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, Gotham is enjoying a state of peace due to the Dent Act as we find Bruce Wayne staying out of the public eye, retired as Batman and watching Wayne Industries endure money struggles. All of this begins to change of course as Bane comes in to restore his brand of order to Gotham, as well as break the Batman in both body and soul.

It’s that last part that sets the movie apart. Where Joker and Scarecrow and Two Face either wanted to kill Batman or drive him crazy, Bane is out to break his spirit. He is Batman’s physical superior and can not be taken down with any of the old tricks we’ve seen. At the same time he is cold and ruthless and most importantly smart, making Batman seem as weak as he has ever looked before. We get a very desperate Batman. Tom Hardy does a fantastic job making Bane every bit the badass he is supposed to be (once they fixed the voice issue) and makes it believable and emotional watching him strip Bruce Wayne of everything he knows and loves, which is where the “Rise” part of the movie kicks in. It is the theme of the movie and is taken both literally and figuratively, as each character has their own demons and challenges the must rise above. They lay this theme on very thick. Almost too much so.

Better than Batman and Robin

In this age of cinema you can’t increase the stakes and the scope (and the budget) without  increasing the number of characters too, and Nolan obliges with a number of additional characters. At the forefront is Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle, who is never referred to as Catwoman (good move), and does well in playing the anti-hero. She has good chemistry with Bale and is played very close to the Year One version of the character. Her acrobatics are sometimes a little too flashy and once you start getting her, Batman and Bane on screen at the same time it’s starts to get very comic book-ey. Not to ruin the final act for you, but it’s kind of like this. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does counter what Nolan had been working toward this whole time by grounding Batman into reality. This also applies to the heavily promoted “Bat” flying vehicle which, while it is awesome to see in action, takes reality to the limits.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard also do well as John Blake and Miranda Tate respectively, but the talk about their roles was never about how they would perform, but who they’re characters were supposed to be. ***SPOILER ALERT: To put it mildly all of the rumors we heard about them and the how the movie ends turn out to be true and if you know they are coming you see it from a mile away. However they wait as long as possible to actually confirm everything and do it in such a way that it doesn’t really matter that you know in the first place. A great job in dealing with such a difficult task.***

Make no mistake about it, this is definitely the end of the Bale/Nolan Batman saga and they tie a nice and neat bow on everything to make sure there is nowhere else to take it. Everything that is promised through the trailers and throughout the movie is delivered and done so in spectacular fashion. The movie takes the trilogy full circle, taking you through very similar progressions and set pieces as Batman Begins. The difference is that it does all of these much bigger, and in some cases better. No, this isn’t as good as The Dark Knight, but it is an intense movie with huge set pieces that keeps you on your toes from beginning to end and puts a fine cap on the mother of all blockbuster comic book trilogies.

Paranormal Activity 3 Review

Paranormal Activity 3 opened to a record $54 million dollars for an October debut. Money is great and makes the film a commercial success for sure, but was it any good?

A prequel to Paranormal Activity 2, which in itself is a prequel to the original Paranormal Activity, PA3 wastes no time getting us back into familiar territory. Sisters Katie and Kristi, yes those sisters, discover old tapes left by their recently deceased grandmother. The tapes are from their childhood, and they mysteriously have no memory that they ever existed. Before they get a chance to watch them the tapes are stolen. We then see the tapes. The rest seems like a toned down version of the first two films.

The tapes go back to a young Katie and Kristi, living with their mother Julie, and her boyfriend Dennis, who is a wedding videographer (see where we’re going with this?). Dennis and Julie begin hearing noises and guess what Dennis decides to do? If you guessed hire someone to inspect the house, I’m sorry but you are wrong. If you said film the whole thing using his all of his video equipment, DING DING DING, we have a winner!

If you’ve seen the other two movies, with the exception of plot points I won’t spoil for you, you pretty much know the drill from here. The “spirit” in the house gradually makes it’s presence more and more known day after day, culminating in a final scene that aims to scare the pants off of the entire audience. The main problem is that while the story is fairly interesting, excluding some plot holes that pop up when connecting them to the other 2 films, the scares just weren’t there for me. I can recall 5 moments that had a legit scare factor. The rest of it is just waiting for those moment to come up. Sure there is something to the scenes just telling us an entity is in the house, but those points never really amplify like they do in the first two.

Part of that could be due to the acting. While the entire cast does a fair job throughout the movie. Some of the reactions to the scares borderline on being funny instead of scary. I didn’t expect to laugh so much during one of these films. The other part could just be direction. After two movies, there is only so much that could be done. Perhaps the decision was made that suspense was the best scare left, and they put plenty of it in there. As for the ending, it definitely provides the scares, however it also completely changed the whole way that I look at the series. Unfortunately I can’t say that it is for the better either.

If you are new to the series, then PA3 delivers adequate scares with a twist ending. However if you are a Paranormal Activity veteran, expect pretty much the same movie you’ve already seen twice before, with a ending that adds a whole new outlook on the series. Overall, an okay movie. Entertaining, but I won’t exactly be having troubles getting to sleep tonight.