Tag Archives: Bruce Willis

5 Classics That Don’t Hold Up

Every once in a while somebody will try to get me to watch a “classic” movie.  The reason I tend to stay away from these is because film making has significantly improved over the last few decades.  Older movies tend to be slower and boring, because story pacing just wasn’t what it was today.  When I look at Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Fight Club, and GoodFellas I’d like to think I could watch them in 40 years and I  wouldn’t really be able to tell they were older save the actors. I recently watched The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly and that’s still a good movie. Movies have evolved from slow, meandering , at least most we still get Tree Of Llife, and now with good editing movies can still tell great stories in a 3rd of a time. I don’t even think movies had deleted scenes back then so everything they filmed was left in.  These are the movies I think are fine, but really don’t hold up, and these are what people consider the greatest movies of all time,  and I can see now you feel that way but they don’t work for me anymore.

5 Citizen Kane

So everybody tells me this is the best movie of all time right, so I put it into my Bluray player and I’m sitting waiting for it to get good.. and waiting.. and waiting.. and waiting.. and waiting.. and then it was over.  Now had I seen this when it came out, I’d probably be dead by then, but i’d enjoy it better.  This also had a decent pace and good cinematography , it only suffers from me having seen the movies that takes the elements this used.

4. Indiana Jones and The Temple Of Doom

If I believe correctly this is considered the weakest of the Indiana Jones movies and for good reason. Not to say any of these is bad or is a bad movie, but this is the one where they took the most risks and it didn’t pay off it bit them in the ass hard.  The characters are annoying it’s not very funny or charming, the action doesn’t hold up because of the technology unlike the first one.  Not to mention the characters are so annoying, even Indie isn’t as fascinating as he usually is, still a whole lot better then Kingdom Of The Crystal Skulls.

3. 2001 : A Space Oddessey

This might be the most boring movie I’ve ever seen in my life, I’m not joking whenever I want to take a nap , I put this on.  I can appreciate the fact that the special effects are frickin amazing.  It has that old school charm, but it still holds up, now admittedly I’ve never finished this movie, i’ve sat through the opening three times and either fell asleep or lost interest.  Once again amazing special effects, I think the movies biggest problem, along with most Kubrick films sorry I know i’m in the minority, is the overall lack of urgency with the story telling.  The opening with the apes should’ve only taken about 10 minutes, maybe, but it goes on for like 30 whole minutes, which just encases what’s wrong with the pacing with this movie, every scene is 3 times as long as it needs to be.  Another thing is I appreciate a good score, but this turns into a video with scenes going along with 5 minute songs when the audience has already taken away what they need to in the first minute.  Hopefully one day , I’ll be able to finish this movie , and I’ll admit it’s not entirely fair to judge without seeing the entire thing, but sue me I tried.. like 4 times.

2. The GodFather

Sharpen your pitchforks, heat up your tar I know I know.  I think a big thing that doesn’t help these movies is that everyone tells me they’re the best of all time, and i get my hopes up.  Once again the main killer is pacing and lack of subtly.  We just told stories different back then.  This is a 3 hour movie that honestly could’ve been 2 or even standard 90 minutes.  I can see why people like it it’s so damn iconic.  This might be the most quoted movie of all time.  If they were to realease a “If you’ve got shit to do later” edition i’d buy it and probably love it.

1. The Shinning

This is the only one of these movies I consider bad.  The acting is bad, the writing isn’t that great, it’s boring, it’s not scary, and worst of all it’s boring as fuck.  I don’t know if I’m catching the director’s cuts of these movies, but my god they’re not doing themselves any favors.  When I heard the Razzies nominated this for Worst Picture and Worst Actress I was offended.. and then I saw the movie and i’ll be damned if the women who played the wife doesn’t give the worst performance I’ve seen in a movie so celebrated.  This movie didn’t even get nominated for a whole lot of Oscars and I see why.  This seems to be that one Kubrick movie that it’s okay to hate, and boy did I hate it. There’s too much of this movie that’s nothing going on.  There was a 5 minute scene of the wife and boy watching T.V.

It seems to me that Kubrick really needed a better editor.  Of all the movies I watched of his they all tend to be over 2 and a half hours and it usually feels unnecessary, I was going to include ClockWork Orange, but I actually enjoyed that movie somewhat, this was totally unpleasant experience.  And really the score doesn’t help, it almost becomes a parody of itself.  Not to mention too much ambiguity.  Now I complain about this a lot , but as someone who writes screenplays half the time something is ambitious , I either couldn’t explain it or didn’t feel like explaining it.  Now I’m nowhere near as good as the great Kubrick, but I can’t help but wonder if he didn’t have answers so he just left them blank, and let the audience do the work.  This seems to be the most polarizing of Stanley Kubrick films and I dare you to go back and watch and it tell yourself it’s not silly and it still holds up.

The Place Beyond The Pines – An Awkward Review

There’s a class of movies that deserve “Almost Oscars”.  These are movies that are quite good, but not quite Oscar Caliber film making.  Something Like Looper, Drive, Scott Pilgrim, movies that are really great, but not something that should win Best Picture.  Well with Place Beyond The Pines we have something that Almost deserves an almost Oscar.

This is a crime drama from Derek Cianfrance , featuring a fantastic cast.  This is a movie about fathers and sons, choices and decisions and consequences and is a massive undertaking of storytelling and a very ambitious movie.  The story spans two generations of a cop and a criminal and their sons.  It stars 3 of my personal favorite actors Ryan Gosling, Dane Dehaan, and Bradley Cooper who are all fantastic.

Now right off the bat I had a grudge against this movie.  First of I don’t believe any movie should be over 2 hours long.  Film makers should keep their audiences in mind when making these movies and generally speaking most of the movies over 2 hours don’t need to be that long.  Not to say I don’t like long movies, but it takes fantastic editing, story structure, and story pacing to make it work.  So when I saw this movie was 2 hours and 20 minutes I already stuck my lip out to pout at it. I can’t stand really slow meandering movies that are under the guise of atmosphere or intellectualism.

Another thing that had me worried is a usually don’t like these multiple storyline crime dramas.  Crash was cool, Pulp Fiction and Go made it work, but almost every other time they don’t work for me.  I thought this was going to be one of those gimmicky movies were all the stories would intertwine and the characters would meet every once in a while, and those can be fun, but this looks like it’s going for the gold.

The best and worst thing I can say about this movie is that it’s basically 3 different movies in one that tell one narrative.  A lot of the reasons that these multiple time line movies don’t work is because usually one is better or more engaging then the other and maybe one drags.  Another problem is one might get too much attention and the other might be under developed.  All 3 segments here are given equal development and time focused, I’m going to give each Segment it’s impression since it’s so fragmented, and also strangely congealed.

The First segment has Ryan Gosling realizing he has a son, and trying to be involved in his life.  The reason this segment works is because we all know his character.  It’s a good guy who can’t help but stay in trouble with the law, but has a heart of gold.  Ryan plays it well with not too much attitude or “swagger”.  It also works in that sort of predictable story told really well sort of way.  You can pretty much tell how it’s going to play out, but what makes it good is the knife twisting as the tension ratchets up constantly. It also had me reassured because it’s very tight and moves just fast enough while giving enough development to make it work.  This is where the writing, acting, direction, and score really come together to make a damn good short film and start of the movie. Excellent start, I almost advice turning the movie off at that point, because it peaks at that point.

Next is the Bradley Cooper as the cop.  His segment starts after the Ryan Gosling segment and here is when the movie starts to lose it’s punch after a while, but it’s still hanging in there.  Once again very predictable what’s going to happen, but it’s still got tension and recurring themes of consequence and choices.  Acting good, direction still good.  The problem is that while the first segment had an excellent solution and set up, here the solution is really weak, which takes the wind out of the momentum the movie had.  Everything’s just a notch down, but I’m still hanging with it.

The Third Segment is where the movie turns into what I was afraid of.  The tightness and focus is gone along with the tension.  It’s just waiting for the big reveal.  And this brings in a complaint with one of the actors the son of Bradley Cooper’s character.  Now Bradley Cooper is the cop, and Ryan Gosling’s is the criminal , but for some reason Bradley Cooper’s son is a wigger.  It’s still a good performance but it’s really weird and off putting at times.  And once again the segment really just drops the ball on the ending.

Now the reason I really liked this film is that it is basically one really long story and they don’t use any narrative tricks or fancy editing to tell the story, it’s very traditional.  Part of me thinks that maybe they should’ve used the segment with the sons as a frame story and then let the movie play out as a sort of mystery.  But really that’s not the problem.  The problem is that the story is just top heavy.  They simply had a better beginning then the ending and the movie just continuously drops in quality.  It’s not a significant drop, but you do notice.  And even where it ends up isn’t even that bad it’s just a disappointment given the excellent start.  Overall I’m glad I saw it, I wouldn’t rush out to go see it, but if it’s playing in your city check it out, or even better catch it on Redbox on a Lazy Sunday and you’ll enjoy it that much more.

Ironman 3 a dissapointment?

Just saw Ironman 3 last night, and wow did I enjoy it.  I’m not going to say I love it yet, I want to go see it again to really get a feel for it.  I think the biggest hurdle this movie has is the fact that it’s not a superhero movie anymore.  It’s much more of a thriller, maybe a little Jason Bournish, with a mystery all through it.  This is not a review, this is purely a comparison to the Ironman Franchise, including Avengers.

This is the mis steps Ironman 3.  This is a mixed complaint, but the movie doesn’t have a really fast pace or great story structure.  There’s no 3 act template so the movie, probably on only the first viewing,, doesn’t seem to have a direction for a lot of it. The story is also very untraditional.  A british screenwriter Drew Pearce wrote the script with Shane Black and you can really feel his hand here.  It feels like a new franchise, and a new character.  there’s also a real lack of action during the beginning. Also the snappy dialogue is gone and it’s more of a dry wit sort of thing, so it’s not as funny, whilst still being pretty funny. The complaints that I have are more in the comparison with The Avengers then Ironman 2.  There’s also a character moment that I won’t spoil that personally I enjoyed, but I can understand why people found it unsatisfactory.

Now the positives, and there are many, is that this is the most mature Marvel film out of the bunch, and while I did complain that Tony Stark wasn’t swarmy or Jokey enough, that’s the point, he’s not the smooth talker anymore, we get a little bit of it in the beginning, but now he’s out of his element.  The humor is darker and more specific dialogue then the rapid fire style of the first two.  But Ironman 2 was too jokey with lazy humor, people talking over each other, and it really wan’t all that funny.  This is a new side of Tony Stark, much more vulnerable and frightened almost frail portrayal.

This movie is ultimately a left turn for the franchise, instead of being a traditional action movie, it’s a thriller.  As a thriller it’s pretty bad ass, It wasn’t very convoluted it has good villains, really good acting,and a real sense of threat.  Most of the time Ironman is in a defective suit and can’t fight the way he usually does adding a sense of danger, that was missing in Avengers and Ironman 2.  Also the villain to me hands down is a mass improvement for the franchise, much more clear motivations, and a plan that’s actually excellent.

Basicaly all my complaints with Ironman are in comparison with Avengers, it was hard to top and I don’t think they were trying to do that, I think they were trying to make a tony stark centric story and focus back on the characters.  In comparison with Ironman 2, it’s a much more superior film, in almost every fashion.  So for anybody wondering it’s better then Ironman 2 not as good as Avengers.  If you come in expecting Avengers you will be utterly disappointed. I’m finding more things to appreciate it the more I think about it

Will Marvel Ever Get All It’s Characters Back?

When I was growing up I was never very much into comic books, I was more of a manga guy, admittedly I regret this, but comic books are way too expensive even for me know as a grown adult.  I did end up reading a few runs here or there, but I got the essentials book for Spiderman and Xmen, both fantastic runs, and I read the ultimates for both of them.  Ironically whenever the Avengers came in the picture, I was like “boooooo”.  They all seemed silly weak and boring to me compared to Wolverine or Spiderman.

Now I’m all about the Avengers characters.  Captain America and Thor are two of my favorite Superheroes, and Ironman is my absolute favorite movie character, maybe second to Tyler Durden or Scott Pilgrim.  Marvel took them embraced their silliness and made really fun movies out of them.  I just came out of Ironman 3 and wow comic book movies have come so far. I got into an argument with someone on the internet over if Spiderman would show up in the Avengers 2. I said no that’s stupid, the amount that sony would charge would not be the amount worth of the income.

In a bit of mixed bag news it’s just been reported that Marvel now has control of Blade, Punisher, DareDevil, and Ghost Rider.  Now all of these movies are damaged goods, except maybe Blade.  While I didn’t think the Thomas Jane Punisher was all that bad, all of these movies have had what’s considered the lowest reception for a major superhero movies.  Personally, i’d rather not see any of these characters back.  They’re hard to get done right and many are arguing that every one of these movies needs to be Rater R to really stay true to the comic books.  But this brings about really good news.

The good news being that it’s not going to be too far off until Marvel has Fantastic Four, Xmen, and Spiderman and can actually make a true Avengers movie and can hand pick the best of the characters that fits the stories and easily pump out 3 movies a year.  The reason I say that is because Fantastic Four, and Xmen are also damaged goods.

The way franchises work is, if you make a weak sequel the following movies will suffer, Fox has shot themselves in the foot not once, but twice with the Xmen franchise.  First the made X3 then it was Xmen Wolverine Origins.  So when they finally made a fantastic movie , xmen First class, it didn’t do that great.  It was a modest hit, and after looking at the returns I was surprised that they are proceeding with a sequel.  then I thought about it, they’re absolutely desperate to get that tentpole.  Right now it’s all up to Wolverine, which honestly i don’t see doing that well. Personall I’ll go see Xmen Days of Future Past because I love the new reboot, but I’m done with Xmen and Fanastic Four.  And I’m sure a lot of people feel this way, Fox has a bad reputation of mishandling superhero movies.   Even if the reboot is successful, which it probably will be, I doubt the general public will care enough to keep it going, eventually both franchises will stop making money, and Fox will stop making the movies.  If they were smart they’d make a movie once every other year to keep public interest up, but nope they’re being greedy, and wringing them dry.  I give it 10 years.

On the other Side is Spiderman. now Amazing Spiderman did pretty damn good business, not quite reaching The originals, Avengers, or The Dark Knight, but slightly better then ironman numbers, but once again instead of Sony spreading these movies out they’re making one every other year.  This doesn’t work because eventually you’re either going to make a bad sequel or the public will get tired of them. They’re even talking about a Venom movie trying to copy the Marvel shared universe template.

The Advantage Marvel has is that they’re not on a time clock to get these movies made.  For those of you who don’t know, Sony and Fox have to make a movie every certain amount of years or they lose the rights to the characters.  But if Marvel doesn’t want to make another Captain America movie they don’t have to worry about losing him as opposed to Spiderman.  Marvel also has the advantage of having an excess amount of characters to pick from.  It also has the advantage of not having franchise fatigue.  An Avengers movie comes out once every 3 years so it’s an event, they’re on their way to having a license to print money.  Ironman 3 has already gotten a huge boost from Avengers, they just need to keep the momentum going and have all their properties flourish , while Fox and Sony get picked of sequel by sequel, and once Marvel gets their hands on Spiderman or Wolverine it’s over, money in the bank.

The Master – Why It’s Not As Good As Everyone Says

There’s always a festival/ critical darling director, whose movies are not quite as engaging, provocative, or powerful as people say they are.  A few directors come to mind, but let’s look at Paul Thomas Anderson.  I have a love hate relationship with this guy.  He’s a fantastic director, most if not all of his movies have gotten nominated for oscars, and he gets amazing performances out of his actors, also adding a surreal, but gloomy aesthetic to whatever he’s making.

He’s not a very good writer , I’m afraid.  His scripts have good dialogue , but the character arcs don’t go anywhere, the pacing is meandering, and there’s no real story or plot.  I guess you could consider them character pieces, but the characters don’t really change or have any definable qualities.  What’s more he does the thing that pisses me off with these directors is that you can’t enjoy the ending unless you understand the overlying theme in the movie.  The theme of your movie is supposed to be layered over top your story, it shouldn’t dictate where your story is going.  Black Swan is about DoppleGanger’s, Performance Anxiety, and Insantiy, but without realizing that I can still understand the ending and go back and catch that later.

It’s another case of I can’t quite say it’s overrated, nobodies talking about the script, it’s not quite as long as his other movies, and My God the acting paired with his direction is incredible, but it’s still just a bit off from being something I would return to consistently just for the acting.

Pacing

I’m going to try to not turn this into A Paul Thomas Anderson hate train, because I really respect the guy, he’s a fantastic film maker.  But all of his movies have the problem of poor pacing. They’re unnecessarily slow, and scenes go on for too long.  Sometimes that’s a good thing, adding to the uncomfortability he gets across with his camera work, but most of the time it leads to me being bored.  Even his best movies have a lag so bad , I consider changing it to something else, which once again probably reflects on the script.

Too Long

This is of course subjective, but there are some movies that are character pieces that don’t have a whole lot of story.  Personally I tend to stay away from them, because they’re usually one of these movies that’s the director patting himself on the back for his cinematography instead of spending time developing characters.  But it can work.  The Wrestler doesn’t have a whole lot of story.  The issue with making a movie this long with no story is that it feels like a waste of time.  Had this been an hour and a half character study and test of patience, it’d be tighter, and not only keep everything it was going to say, but be forced to get the point across more deliberate.  There are good movies that just bullshit for an hour.  And while I acknowledge, a lot of stuff in the middle of this movie works really well, about half of it boring as shit.  Once again subjective, but some people tend to agree.

Characters

In every category every year there’s a nomination, that is only given as a high five to the actor and the movie, that has absolutely no chance of winning.  Not to say they haven’t earned it, but there’s no way it’ll win.  This year we have Amy Adams in The Master. Now I’m tempted to say Amy Adams gives a great performance, but really I don’t remember her doing much in the film.  And further more, I don’t get a feel for her character.  I couldn’t give you one character trait and describe her.  Seymour Hoffman’s character gets a little more.. character i guess, but that’s only because he’s a metaphor for a real life human being, but Adams isn’t given anything to do, and doesn’t have an arc.  Once again Jacquion Pheonix is the only one who really delivers because he’s given more to do.  He’s an alcoholic insane guy, whose as aimless as the plot is.  Not to take away from the lovely Amy Adams, god knows she’s earned the ability to just get the obligatory nomination, but I really do think there are more deserving performances.

Stop worrying about Themes and focus on story

My favorite Paul Thomas Anderson movie is probably There Will Be Blood.  It does have a lot of meandering, but it actually manages to tell a real story, instead of banging over the overlying metaphor that only him , and critics seem to understand.

The Master is basically a metaphor for Scientology and other Cults.  It’s also the ClockWork Orange concept of telling a man to be civil doesn’t work, they will always be savages.  Niether one of these really adds to the story.  This movie feels like it had no direction.  Every scene was thought up from the scene before, almost as if Anderson got his favorite actors, and then said let’s make a movie, and got on the set, and improvised.

Ambiquity 

Here’s my big problem with these directors and critics.  Whenever they see a movie they have already made up in their mind they’re going to like it regardless of the actual quality.  This is the most blatant case of last year.  Now this is far from a bad movie, and I wouldn’t give it necessarily a glowing review, but to praise this movie and ignore the major flaws baffle me.

I think when a movie is too open ended when does it stop being good and when does it become flaky, unfocused, or pretentious.  My big problem with Prometheus is that nothing is set in stone, there’s no answer to anything.  Here it’s even  more apparent.  None of the characters have motivations, any constistent flaws, there’s no plot and there’s no sub plot.  Nothing has any weight.  I read an interview where he said that Anderson had no where to take the story before and no direction and eventually used stories from a navy buddy of his and unused parts from previous movies, which leads me to believe he just patched this together from separate ideas instead of one cohesive place of inspiration.

There’s a scene where Seymour Hoffman’s character makes Pheonix’s character do something repeatedly as it tests his patience.  I’m sure somebody who liked this movie would say it’s a metaphor for the audience therefore making excuses, but no then there would’ve been more of that in the movie.  There’s nothing for me to grasp onto so at the end of the 2 hours , I just felt empty like it wasted my time.  Flight was 2 and a half hours, and it meandered a little, but overall it had a character arc, and sub plots.  Denzel’s character is different from when he started the movie until when it ended.  Can’t say the same about the characters here, which overall means there’s a lack of character development.  Pheonix is honestly brilliant here.  His voice, mannerisms, and unpredictability really make him fascinating to watch, it’s too bad his character doesn’t progress or do anything definable enough to call it a good performance.

I plan on revisiting this movie again, hopefully It’ll grow on me like a lot of these do. Definetly worth seeing and definitely a Rental, which is sad.  This movie speaks to me, it’s an allegory for religion it’s got 3 Oscar Caliber actors acting their asses off, and some of the best direction, i’ve seen all year, so sad that Anderson couldn’t step out of his own way and deliver a well balanced movie experience.

GangSter Squad, the entitled of bloggers, and the dumbing down of movie audiences

There’s a certain entitlement you get when you attach yourself to a particular group of people. Not only am I a film buff, but I am also a Blogger, so needless to say I have my nose pretty far up in the air.  A big problem I have is judging people based off their taste in entertainment.  Now this isn’t just me in person or anything it’s usually somebody raving about a movie that I deem is terrible.

Now I’ve dedicated a significant amount of time to not only filming but creative writing, so I can consider myself a somewhat authority, whilst not being supreme.  Just like how somebody who plays Sports, watches sports, and play fantasy league is the authority on Football.  But when I think a movie is all around bad, and I see a Facebook update about how good it is I wince.  Maybe even roll my eyes, and sometimes I have to remind myself that liking a bad movie isn’t a reflection of intelligence, just like liking a good movie or a movie I deem good make me any smarter.  There’s just a lot of factors that go into a good movie that other people don’t recognize or even look for.  Story Structure, Editing, Pacing, etc.  And there’s nothing wrong with anybody enjoying anything.  I liked For Colored Girls , as an absurd comedy, but I’d still watch it again.  Sometimes I wonder where does the general audience fall on movies, and if they know something is bad.

There are certain movies I hate.  Generally speaking they’re usually really lazy, or have bad logic or character motivations. Basically if you have potential you use it.  My least favorite movies are the ones that get by solely on having an ensemble cast.  Expendables and Red come to mind.  To me both extremely mediocre movies that have no business on anything other then a Redbox Exclusive.  The reason I hate these movies is because of the lack of effort.  Say what you will about Twilight, it’s polishing a turd.  The best Twilight movie you could make would be a self aware parody of itself.  There is no real way to make a good Twilight movie.  But when you have a cast full of superstars, there’s absolutely no reason you should squander such talent.  There’s no excuses.

So coming back to this wonderful audience who I constantly remind myself, I am not better then them, I wonder when does an audience stop appreciating a movie on a purely visceral or base experience and when does it begin to become a good movie for them?  All the time, I look at the number one movie in the U.S. and think “wow that’s a shame”.  But who says Audiences are going into Transformers to see Citizen Kane.  With Movies like Stark Trek, Avengers, and Fast and Furious you can have exciting action and still have a good movie with it.  Not every movie has to be an Oscar Film.  And hell most of the films getting Oscars, I don’t think deserve them either. Hollywood can’t win with me.  But maybe some audiences like movies because they’re tailored for them, just like naturally I was going to enjoy Avengers.

That being said, a movie that I openly despise is coming out on Bluray recently.  The movie called “GangStar Squad” is everything I hate about a movie while admittedly being not bad.  Maybe I was disappointed, this has maybe one of the greatest ensemble cast of the year.  There was a lot in place to make this a good movie.  Great actors, a new director who had a hit with ZombieLand, and really interesting marketing.  The trailers led me to believe this was a really smart tongue in cheek homage to classic gangster movies, while discussing itself as a generic action movie.  What I got was the generic action movie.

Let me talk about on a purely non biased non personal level what’s wrong with this movie. First off everything is a cliche.  EVERYTHING.  If you played a drinking game with water, how many times you can call how a scene will play out you’d  overdose on water.  I’m meeting the movie on every level, but it just sinks.  At a certain point I just said to myself ” If the action is good we’re okay” but no the action scenes are boring, and filmed flatly.  It’s all cookie cutter and dull.  The performances are okay, and the script is absolutely anemic.  No character development , just cliches, can’t blame the director , but he’s losing credibility with me by the second.

Now the reason part of me hates this movie is because of what it represents.  The audience wash’t coming out saying ” oo that was fun” they are saying “that was a good movie” , now this has happened before, but it’s usually a specific audience, say tweens coming out of twilight or black people, i’m black it’s okay, out of  a Tyler Perry film.  This movie gets off purely on it’s star power , and marketing rather then any actual quality.  And I get that some people don’t watch as much movies as me, probably doesn’t recognize some cliches, but I can’t point out how many moments are stolen from other movies.  Is what’s considered a good movie becoming less and less selective?  Or do people really vote with their wallets.  Overall, I just have to remind myself, in retrospect it doesn’t really matter, Audiences will see what they want to see , and really bad lazy movies will be #1, great movies will struggle in the box office, and occasionally you’ll get a Limitless and Source Code which will outperform expectations critically and finically, one can only hope Audiences and Snobby Film Buffs like me can try to see eye to eye more.

The Dark Knight Is A Liar

Everybody loves The Dark Knight trilogy.  Geeks love it , Girls love it, Jocks love it, Parents love it, inmates love it, Nolan excels at making thinking man movies that also function as pop corn movies.  Fans of Nolan think he is a genuis, and god’s gift to cinema.  Detractors say that he’s overrated, and simply uses narrative tricks to fool people into thinking his movies are better then they are.  Me being Mr. That’s Over rated , Tend to lean to the detractor side.

Not to say that Nolan isn’t a genius, or at least isn’t capable of being a genius, but I think he’s a much better director then screenwriter.  His dialogue is absolutely atrocious ” Cat’s got your tongue”, and his scripts tend to have get really sloppy, especially during the third act.  I don’t think I’ve seen a Nolan movie that hasn’t dipped in quality in the third act.  Inception was going great until it buckles under the weight of itself and really lost me emotionally. The Dark Knight has one of the weakest 3rd acts , for me personally , because it falls into the trappings and just becomes your typical Batman movie.  I noticed with Dark Knight Rises , and I hope this trend doesn’t continue, that his movies have gaping lapses of logic inside of them.  Stuff will happen that doesn’t make sense that nobody can explain.  Like in the beginning of The Dark Knight the joker knew exactly when to drive a bus out of the side of a building, and none of the other drivers or passengers notice?

The Dark Knight, to some, is the epitome of superhero movies.  Personally it’s more of a crime drama , so i prefer the darker Spiderman or the Avengers before.  Now I’m going to lose a lot of people, but the dark knight trilogy do not have a “dark” tone.  Now somebody of lesser intelligence may say ” What are you talking about it has dark in the title”.

Let me explain.  Having a dark tone, means having a movie that on the surface level is funny , quirky, or fun, but on further inspection you realize how depressing it is. It also means having characters you aren’t necessarily supposed to root for, and characters who are introspective and self loathing or even doubtful.  Fight Club is a good example, it’s real funny, but overall the story and characters and the situations they find themselves in are messed up.

The overall message of The Dark Knight trilogy is hope in humanity and hope in general.  It’s got other themes and ideas that ultimately conflict, but basically what I got from Dark Knight is people are good.  That’s definitely not dark, and of course there’s nothing wrong with that except it feels like a cop out.  The reason people like myself honest to god hate the dark knight rises, but can understand why some people of equal intelligence can like it, is because all the contradictions.  The Themes conflict other movies,  The overall smartness conflicts with the dumb logic the movie has and plot inconstancies, and worst of all is the tone.  The overall tone for your last movie needs to be absolute dread, something that was pulled off a lot better in The Dark Knight.  Harry Potter was a much better conclusion for several reason.  First it split up the movies into two parts giving both stories time to breathe and keep the story structure in pacing under control.  Second it meant that we can really get a sense of looming dread throughout the series.  They even desaturated the posters and marketing to make it look like saving private ryan to help really nail home ” This is the end”.  The most obvious thing it did was kill off it’s characters. Spoilers I guess, or is it too late?  Shit even Twilight had the balls to kind of kill off most of the main characters.  In the entire Dark Knight trilogy only 2 secondary characters die.

It doesn’t feel dreadful because Nolan is too soft to kill off any of his main characters.  Your last movie needs to have character death or that sense of dread, neither work because the last act is so rushed you don’t really get a sense of time passing for suffering.  The lesser intelligent person may also say ” But it’s so realistic and gritty, and he’s Batman”  Well you’re not all the way wrong.  He is in fact Batman, and it’s realistic and gritty for a superhero movie I suppose, but not really.  Kickass was realistic and gritty save the rocket launcher.  TDK trilogy always had moments that stick out as clearly unrealistic but no more so then TDKR, and gritty? Not really if you read the comics you realize Batman is a thug.  He will break your bones, snap limbs, bring you to the bring of death, but there’s none of that here.  Bane even snaps a guys neck offscreen.  Nolan doesn’t have the edge like Fincher who would’ve knocked this out of the park. And even if it was “gritty and realistic” outside of relations to other comic book movie that still doesn’t mean it’s dark.  It’s more of just a pop corn movie then an intellectual masterpiece people make it out as.

That being said, i can genuinely see why people love this movie.  It really only pays service to people who like TDK , which is a lot of people.  For people like me who loved TDK but doesn’t think it’s the best film ever, it’s a serious letdown, to each his own