The Dark Knight Rises has finally brought a shuttering conclusion to Nolan’s beloved Batman trilogy, and the legacy it will leave behind will overshadow and dissuade all new comers to revitalize the franchise as the bar has definitely been set not only for the cape crusader but also for every comic hero’s cinematic Hollywood blockbuster treatment. For what differentiates Christopher Nolan’s interpretation from the others in this genre is that it’s a reflection of our dark and disturbed times, hopes and fears, thereby elevating it to “art” and not just mindless disposable entertainment. I mean the cinematography alone is worth the price of a ticket.
Since the teaser trailers Batman fans all over the world have been chattering endlessly about the outcome and unveiling of the rival, Bane (Tom Hardy), and from which of the numerous graphic novels and lore the Nolan Brothers would derive from. Well I’m here to tell you I don’t know cause I’m no fucking Batman nerd but Tom Hardy gives a menacing performance with even more marbles in his mouth than Batman – and near impossible act to follow in Heath’s Joker.
Also with Bane we are introduced to the highly anticipated, and every boys’ wet dream, Catwoman. Now, I wouldn’t say I was disappointed when Anne Hathaway was first cast…I was fucking pissed! Almost as much as when they had to replace Katie Holmes with slouchy Maggie Gyllenhaal. But at least back then Katie was probably deeply devoted to Scientology and dressing fashionista Suri. Anyway, Hathaway didn’t exactly set the screen on fire straddling a bike in her black skintight suit, but with Bale’s acting chops there was a semblance of chemistry – though she seemed more into her roommate.
Marion Cotillard with her french peepers is seductive as always until she get’s behind the wheel…and Joseph Gordan Levitt’s mystery role is all what we suspected. But it’s really Christian Bale’s portrayal over the years – from Batman Begins to now – that makes this trilogy respectable and not even comparable to Tim Burton’s version (with 3 different actors playing Batman) which now in retrospect lacks any credibility because Batman is serious business to many of us and Gotham is a state of mind.
It was not as sad as the Toy Story trilogy end but comes a close second – and only because it concluded pretty much the way every other superhero movie ends (most recently The Avengers) where the hero not only saves the world from a ticking time bomb but then saves face by putting the costume aside opting for an auspicious beginning. Hopefully Christopher Nolan will do the same and won’t be tempted to make an Inception sequel.
I know some of you out there will think I’m jaded but if it were not for love birds Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield The Amazing Spider-Man would be totally unwatchable. Granted, they may not be as glamorous as Liz and Dick but at least they don’t make you want to barf like Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. But enough of that mushy stuff, as the movie was pretty much just a rehash that brought nothing new or exciting to the Stan Lee Spider-Man franchise, except proof that Garfield is more suited for Spidey than Tobey Maguire – who was rather more convincing playing an awkward homo in The Wonder Boys. Emma is delightful as usual and it’s obvious why Jim Carrey is infatuated.
As for the rest of the cast, I actually forgot Denis Leary was Denis Leary…so, too bad he dies. Martin Sheen and Sally Field are there for the hefty paychecks as Martin tries to make up for his fuck up of a Son by nagging Garfield with countless speeches on good morality. While Garfield mumbles to himself and shoots villains in the crotch, the over theatrical arch villain, a bloated bipedal lizard on steroids, Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) fits right in with the West Side Story sound stage set design, with his tears streaming to the tempo of the corny ass soundtrack by James Horner from Titanic. Who would have thought you could do worse than Celine Dion?
As the 3D probably concluded a total of 3 minutes, I’m convinced the only reason why Director Marc Webb got the job was for his last name. I guess there are two kinds of fans, Spider-Man and Batman. I obviously prefer The Dark Knight and await in eager anticipation. In fact, I already Fandangoed the fucker and now all I have to worry about is getting good seats – unlike these two old Broads that sat down in a little Boy’s saved seats for his Parents who went to go get him popcorn. More exciting than the movie itself was the confrontation that followed – like none I’ve ever witnessed in all my movie going years. Suffice to say the Parents had to call Management when the old bats refused to move, but not until the entire sold out theater starting chanting “Get up, Get up” did they stand. And I thought Spider-Man was for kids.
I had let go of Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy when it had it’s second return with American Dad! and The Cleveland Show, monopolizing adult cartoons and becoming the highest paid TV writer and merchandise sell-out in Hot Topic and touristy t-shirt shops. All the while using the same crude schtick from his College Thesis, The Life of Larry. Hypocritical I know, since I haven’t done jack shit since my College days except for these same ripping posts, but in my defense – I don’t get paid let alone have any readers to give site stickers to. So when I first saw the trailers for Ted I was a bit apprehensive of another bromance riff movie. But who would have guessed that what would separate this apart from the Hangover bunch or this years 21 Jump Street would be Mark Wahlberg and a Motion Capture CGI Teddy Bear.
Mark seems to have flourished as a comedic actor since talking to plants in The Happening, though perhaps inadvertently with The Other Guys and as a Bostonite Meathead in The Departed as Sargent Dignam or when he was Dirk Diggler and dropped his pants. And perhaps he took Andy Samberg’s SNL mockery of Mark Wahlberg talks to Animals skit to heart a little too far as he signed on to a talking bear movie before ever watching any of Seth MacFarlane’s work. But like his Marky Mark stardom I’m pretty sure most of Wahlberg’s success has for the most part all been an accident…I mean who’d of thought it possible to get through the backdoor to Hollywood by being the younger brother of one of The New Kids on the Block would amount to this? An utterly convincing portrayal of an arrested developed 35 year old stoner who has to question whether to live with Mila Kunis or his talking stuffed Teddy Bear. Now that takes some doing.
Like most MacFarlane works it’s saturated with pop culture references to the point of overkill. I mean if you thought the Flash Gordon bit was getting old the Taylor Lautner joke was already dead. But the longest lasting joke, other than just plain growing up and facing responsibilities, will be the everlasting love of the Stalker, Giovanni Ribisi, who kidnaps Ted for his kid and his obsession with Tiffany.