Tag Archives: marion cotillard

Good Knight

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.

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Apoxalypse Now!

Even with bans against slobs eating on public transportation, spitting fines, and employees must wash hands signs, we’ve seen plenty of deadly epidemics in our world’s history – everything from the Bubonic Plague to Taco Bell’s E. coli and Bieber Fever. I’m nagged daily on my germaphobia, if not with a lecture on weakening my immunity, then with a look like I’m a freak for protecting a hand with my sleeve around door knobs or train poles. So to all my touchy-feely friends, sorry if my hugs seem like I’m wearing a surgical mask but after seeing Contagion  you might finally get it. I’m sure it won’t be long until we see “pass the Purell” in the American lexicon as Sodergbergh rounds up more A-list actors than Robert Altman, utilizing intercutting stories and subplots in this global pandemic flick (making Nashville look like a family picnic!).

Before Kate Winslet has a chance to get naked she plays doctor specializing in epidemic cures and we are on edge (trying to ignore the mouth breather sitting next to us and biochem Demitri Martin) with our infected cast, and dead Gwen lying on a autopsy table with her head sliced open and forehead peeled back, and Matt Damon, demanding to know “What happened to her!!?”….”What happened to her!!!?” He and the rest of the world sure manage to keep their heads on straight, not dropping one cuss word when I would be losing my fucking shit!! Meanwhile, back at the laboratory, biologists, the CIA, Homeland Security, and Elliot Gould all work to find a vaccine – spearheaded by Dr. Fishburne as Jude Law shows the power of a video blog vs. the printed media, accusing the Government for lying to the public and insinuating a massive conspiracy perpetuated by the pharmaceutical companies. Perhaps I too should wear a snaggle tooth to get some more subscribers? But as lab-coats get lost in a game of ring around the rosy with accusations against Fishburne for secretly advising his chick over the general public to leave the cootie zone, the story forgets all it’s compelling premises and angles; Damon’s immunization, biological warfare, nefarious plots of genocide, and literally turns to some batshit crazy excuse.

(Bubble Boy!)

Sucks Bryan Cranston didn’t have his Breaking Bad chemistry set. Thankfully Soderbergh’s eye paired with Stephen Mirrione editing move us through these pending plots with a spooky pulsating electronic score to keep us on pace and at least raise the question and possible scenarios in this day and age how the panic of the people will play out. But unfortunately Contagion’s characters are unfulfilled even with a vaccine shot up there nose. But what really left me hanging was the Doctor’s reaction to whatever the fuck was inside Gwen’s head?…Bedbugs?

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Inception Intervention

Well, I can’t tell lies, ’cause they’re listening to me. And when I fall asleep, bet they’re spying on me…” – Cheap Trick

After a slew of lame blockbusters since last summer’s Star Trek, Nolan revives a “new hope” among audiences that commercial entertainment can be fun again. Inception, proving to be a crowd pleaser for even those with a brain, starts as a complex plot of exposition and rules in a world addicted to shared dreaming and those in the business of dream thieving when Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), a pro at exploring and extracting secrets through the subconscious, is hired by Saito (Ken Wantanabe) to infiltrate and sabotage his corporate rival Robert Fischer Jr’s (Cillian Murphy) mind though the theory of “Inception.” Cobb, should he be able to complete this convoluted dream mission, accepts when promised his freedom and to be reunited with his children – currently in his “Father’s” (Michael Caine) custody (who speaks British unlike anyone else in the fam). As this all star cast continues with accompanied dashing point man Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a charismatic forger Eames (Tom Hardy), and a prying, know-it-all, student architect Ariadne (Juno), this sci-fi turns full into the ultimate heist through a maze of multilevel dreams, and a series of kick queues. However problems soon erupt when Jr’s dream goes into autodefense mode and Leo washes up on Shutter Island again and is haunted by his over possessive, desperate, dead wife Mal (Marion Cotillard), who also makes a comeback as Edith Piaf.

Sound confusing? As Winston Churchill said in a 1939 radio broadcast, just a few weeks after England declared war against Germany, “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.” And one of the keys to this conundrum of a movie is the number 528. Kidding. I’d hate think that unlocking the code to this movie comes down to some quasi mathematical frequency or equation or even worse, numerology, (I mean try sitting through Jim Carrey’s The Number 23!). But if 528/Love is at the heart of the matter, then it’s just yet another similarity to The Matrix. I say, if both Neo and Cobb’s dilemma and motivation is sacrificial love then that’s just pathetic. Churchill was right, I say fuck Mother Russia and let the Cold War begin!

Like No Country for Old Men, a man would have to put his soul at hazard and like Sheriff Ed Tom Bell say, “O.K., I’ll be part of this world…” And in this world Nolan creates a notion that turns into a concept and then an idea that grows into a virus that is resilient and hard to eradicate. So maybe just take a leap of faith and go along for the ride.

“You’re waiting for a train to take you somewhere.

You hope you know where the train takes you,

But you aren’t sure if it will go there –

But it doesn’t matter because you are together.”

Either way in the end is the glass half full or half empty?

I say it’s half…

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