Opening in Chicago, 07/20


Very short list this week:

The Dark Knight Rises (trailer)
Director: Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, Inception)
Personal Interest Factor: 10
Jeanine and I have been watching all of Nolan’s post-Following films over the last month, and just have Inception to go. My tentative ranking: 1) The Prestige, 2) Inception, 3) Batman Begins, 4) The Dark Knight, 5) Memento, 6) Insomnia.
Metacritic: 80

Farewell, My Queen (trailer)
Director: Benoît Jacquot (Tosca, À tout de suite, The Untouchable, Villa Amalia)
Personal Interest Factor: 7
French film about Marie Antoinette and her apparently lesbian leanings involving a servant. Diane Kruger plays Antoinette, which is … untraditional casting. Antoinette was 18 when she died, while Kruger is in her mid-30s, and I don’t think it’s any particular insult to her to say that she doesn’t look like a teenager. Maybe the movie’s up to something else with this, I don’t know. Trailer looks stylish, though. Anyway, I remember À tout de suite being released, and I have no idea why I didn’t see it.
Metacritic: 67

Trishna (trailer)
Director: Michael Winterbottom (A Mighty Heart, Genova, The Killer Inside Me, The Trip)
Personal Interest Factor: 6
The latest from the prolific but wildly inconsistent Winterbottom, who in the last few years has seemed to make comedies that I really like and dramas that I don’t so much. This is an adaptation of Tess of the d’Urbervilles, which is a novel that, like all good red-blooded Americans, I was assigned to read in school but did not actually read.
Metacritic: 60


19 responses »

  1. Realize I should have posted this here, my bad:

    What…..a let-down.
    One sentence review? “Powerful and exciting. Full of sound and fury. Signifying nothing.”
    There were so many groan-inducing moments in this movie, I can’t believe Nolan made it.

  2. Monologuing? CHECK
    Groan-inducing idiot moves by major characters at inopportune times? CHECK
    Stupid discussions and KISSING with minutes left until the world goes to shit? CHECK
    Groan-inducing character reveals? CHECK
    Bad guys that run at the good guys with their guns to HIT them when they have bullets? CHECK
    But damn, if the last twenty seconds immensely satisfying.

  3. Avoiding spoilers here until others have seen it: but The Dark Knight Rises is terrific. Definitely more in line with Batman Begins (to which it can be viewed as a direct sequel) than the last installment. It’s a straightforward adventure picture that doesn’t forget to have fun.

    Hathaway is the MVP.

    (EDIT: Filmman and I posted at the same time – we’re never going to find consensus on this franchise!)

  4. Hey, but I saw it in the new AMC ETX theater, with the 12 channel surround-sound and speakers on the ceiling.
    Oh, but it’s simply a ripoff, because the digital projection FAILS miserably in the blacks.

  5. James…the idea that the movie held you enthralled to the point of saying ‘terrific’ after the unabashed awesomeness of the ‘motorcycle chase scene’ was absolutely and completely ruined by the complete inanity of the police (these cops were worse than the cops in Die Hard!) and then how the Man turns the pod and does the most ridiculous thing he could do to get out of the chase…and come on…that was brilliant compared to the LIST of things that happened at the ending.
    The one worst thing with this movie? For a movie trilogy that Nolan declared would be ‘rooted in the reality as much as possible even though this man dresses as a Bat’, every. single. thing. that happened in this movie was the most fantastical, ridiculous thing that could never be rooted in a real-world sense to anything happening in the world today. It was like he said ‘here’s a world with a bat’ and then decided ‘here’s a comic book interpretation that we’ve seen in 1 million other superhero movies the last decade’. Nolan completely turned his back on his own structure and tone and gave us something we’ve seen FAR too much of already: A ‘superhero’ movie. Batman is not a superhero. He is a beaten man who went insane and decided to fight evil as a giant bat. Blake even has a MONOLOGUE about it! …and still, the movie turned its back on that.

  6. I should point out that yes, Hathaway was remarkably good as Catwoman.
    Stole the show. Nolan and company nailed the relationship and back-and-forth these two characters share and it’s rooted in the ‘real world’ of a man who dresses as a bat and a woman who dresses as a cat who is a ‘cat burglar’. Get it?
    The action scenes are some of the most thrilling Nolan has done (until each and every one is ruined by some stupid, inane ‘out’ that Nolan uses simply to keep the movie moving).
    The next Brando is ruined by having to play far too broad to overcome the ‘gas mask’ he is wearing. That said, he is still awesome and brutish and the ‘great fight scene’ and the fight scene at the end are all so awesome and thrilling. (Though, again, the ‘great fight scene’ feels completely shoe-horned into the movie, with no dramatic build and no reason for appearing where it is).

  7. I also clarified on Facebook, and I should do that here:
    The movie absolutely met my expectations. This is action filmmaking and storytelling of the first order. Thrilling, engaging, strong characterizations and a 3-hour runtime that feels only the *slightest* bit bloated.
    This was FAR better than Temple of Doom or Godfather 3 or any of the other ‘misses’ of a trilogy that have occurred and again, damn if that last thirty seconds-or-so isn’t one of the most satisfying trilogy endings ever.
    BUT it’s all wrapped in a fantastical, groan-inducing superhero movie framework.

  8. Another one-sentence review for this movie:
    “The most secure area in the world doesn’t notice MOTORBIKES parked in the LOBBY of one of the most secure buildings in the world.”

  9. I thought TDKR was really outstanding. I’ll try and post a review tonight, but all should be aware that it’s likely to be spoiler heavy.

  10. I don’t expect any of us not to like this, but of all of us…I really thought Brian would be on top of a lot of the awful nonsense in this movie (and at least a little of the wonky editing). I’m kinda shocked.

  11. Well … I’m not trying to be a dick here, but I’ve read your complaints, and frankly have no idea what you’re talking about.

    I’m going to start my review now, so for the sake of posterity, let’s hold any further comments until that’s up. Shouldn’t be more than a couple hours or so.

  12. No idea what I’m talking about?
    They drove motorbikes out the front door of one of the most secure buildings in the world? Where did they park them? How did they get them in?!
    No idea?! She was monologuing to give Oldman time to place the thing on the bomb.
    You’re being a dick. You can tell me you don’t agree, but to tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about?
    You, of all people, who was so into the ‘place’ of the last movie didn’t even have an issue with Gotham having no sense of ‘place’, since it was shot in 3 different cities?

  13. With 100 cops chasing him, he has time to turn the batpod and shoot a car carrier and drive the length to it and jump the highway while all the cops just watched? He could park a HELICOPTER in an alley about the length of a football field and the cops can say ‘missed that one’….

  14. You can tell me you don’t agree, but to tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about?

    I didn’t say that *you* don’t know what you’re talking about, I said that *I* don’t know what you’re talking about.

    But OK, you have some problems with extremely minor plot points. I got it. Like I said, I’ll have my review up within 3 days – or at least by the end of the month – and we can talk further in that thread. That way, in three years when I want to revisit the comments here I can find most of them in one thread.

  15. Jesus, you are a pompous ass.
    But then, you compared a theater massacre to getting into a car after a really bad accident.

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