Reviews

8 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
7/10
Actually, the dark knight spends most of his time falling...
24 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
In the comics, Bane is known as "The Man Who Broke The Bat" – the man who defeated Batman, broke his spine, then let him live just so he could suffer. The Dark Knight Rises follows closely to that story, with one fairly major tweak:

The man who broke the bat was Heath Ledger's Joker.

Eight years after the events of Dark Knight, we start our film with a Bruce Wayne that is already broken. Not only has he not been Batman during these eight years, he hasn't been Bruce either. He doesn't leave the house, he can barely walk and his company is going down the drain.

With an opening like that, and a title like this one, there is surely only one way this character can go.

Down…?

Although not an awful movie at all, this movie does have a lot of problems and just doesn't live up to the previous installment. There are some scenes that are a bit silly, some bits of the story that are illogical, but the biggest issue is that Batman kinda sucks in this movie. Seriously, this is a Batman movie that will have kids fighting to be Robin when they play together.

Don't believe me? Here's a list of Bat-fails from the movie. Note – it's also a list of pretty much every scene Batman has.

*SIGNIFICANT SPOILERS FOLLOW*

1. Batman meets Catwoman – she knocks him down with ease and steals his mum's necklace and his fingerprints.

2. Robin figures out his secret identity with almost no effort.

3. Batman meets Catwoman again – he takes back the necklace… but loses his car.

4. Batman fails to stop Bane from messing up the stock market – he actually helps Bane to escape by distracting the cops.

5. Batman loses all his money and his company – he gets kicked out of his own board meeting.

6. Batman successfully manages to get his chosen successor to take over the company… but she turns out to be the main villain.

7. Alfred walks out on Batman.

8. Batman meets Catwoman again – she leads him straight into a trap.

9. Bane slaps Batman around with ease, breaks his back, steals his toys, then drops him in a prison to rot.

10. Batman fails several times to make it out of the prison – something that a little girl could do.

11. Batman, after his glorious "rise", comes back for his final battle with Bane – it ends with Catwoman saving him from otherwise certain death.

12. He refuses to stop talking in his silly Bat-voice, even when everyone who can hear him knows he's Bruce Wayne.

At no point during this movie does Batman ever really "rise" – at no point does he do anything remarkable. Sure he does have a couple of small wins, but they're clouded at best. Namely:

1. He gets out of the prison… eventually… but so did a little girl, with no training.

2. He makes it back to Gotham, with no money, little food, no idea where he is… but this is all done off screen.

3. He saves Gordon… but only just, and he wastes so much time putting together a big fiery bat symbol first.

4. He flies the bomb safely away… after wasting time chatting and kissing with less than 5 minutes to detonation… also he's not really in the plane.

In comparison, every other character makes more sense and is more useful to the plot.

The other issue with this movie is the elephant in the room. It seems to be trying very, very hard to connect back up to Batman Begins, whilst simultaneously avoiding any mention of Joker.

The result of this makes The Dark Knight a pointless movie – which is shocking. Worse, the overall storyline would now work better WITHOUT The Dark Knight – the greatest Batman movie ever made.

In fairness, Nolan admitted this was deliberate – he felt it wrong to bring Joker into it at all if Heath Ledger wasn't alive to see it, which is fair. But this movie doesn't just feel like it ignores Joker – it feels like it erases him – which is a big shame.

Still – it's not bad, and if you loved Dark Knight you will have to watch this…

…even if you don't want to…
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9/10
First Class - the name says it all
16 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Honestly, the title says pretty much everything you need to know. This is, quite simply, a first class X Men movie.

It was the best X I've ever had. It rocks.

The original idea of the film was to be "X-Men Origins: Magneto," and the final product didn't stray too far from that. Sure, there's a little bit on Prof X and the creation of the X-Men concept, but Magneto is pure class and easily steals the limelight.

We open with the scene from the first X movie, with Magneto in the concentration camp, ripping apart a metal gate to get to his mum. Only this time we get to see what happens next…

… Magneto is taken into a room and introduced to the villain of the film: Sebastian Shaw!

… yeah, I had no idea who he was either, don't feel bad.

Anyway, Sebastian is very interested in seeing more of Magneto's powers. Unfortunately, Mini-Mag can't control his powers yet and Sebastian is unimpressed. To help Magneto focus, Sebastian points a gun at his mum…

… then pulls the trigger.

And so we have the setting of our tale: Magneto's quest for vengeance.

It rocks!

Some other stuff happens to, nuclear war, end of humanity, etc. We also see a little of Prof X's kiddiehood. Turns out he was a bit of a jerk. Same goes for Beast. But don't worry, none of that gets in Magneto's way.

Did I mention it rocks?
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Green Lantern (2011)
1/10
Gives all other comic book movies a bad name.
16 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
When an ancient evil awakens and kills our local intergalactic protector, Hal Jordan is chosen to replace him as the new Green Lantern and must stop this evil before it destroys our world.

THIS MOVIE GIVES ALL OTHER COMIC BOOK MOVIES A BAD NAME!

Having never read any Green Lantern comics, or seen him in any other media before, I have no idea if it's true to the comics. Either way, it sucks.

OK, so there are 3600 odd Green Lanterns, who each protect 1/3600 of the universe. Each has a magic ring which allows him to create anything he can imagine. The ring is charged by a lantern, which in turn is charged by the central core, which is charged by the will power of everyone in the universe.

That's stupid.

Yes, lots of comic book characters have stupid origins, most to do with the magical properties of "radiation," but still, he gets his abilities from will power? Really? It gets worse.

The big bad is charged by fear. However, fear turns out to be a less stable form of energy, which is why he goes insane and decides to destroy the universe.

I could go on to describe the very, very long list of plot holes in the film, but when the basic concept is so stupid do I need to say more?

That said, I did like the remake of Superman's balcony scene.
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The Tourist (2010)
3/10
Good for insomniacs
16 July 2012
2 years ago, Alex Pierce stole over $2bn from a gangster and, understandably, disappeared ASAP. Since then, the police have been following his lover around in the hope that he will eventually come back for her.

Sure enough, 2 years on, she finally receives a letter from him. It tells her to take a certain train and chose someone at random of his general height and build and make the police believe it's him.

With a story like this they could have gone in several directions: Action, Romance, Comedy, Police or Gangster spring easily to mind. So what did they choose? ...none.

The romance is cheesy and unbelievable, the comedy is few and far between, the police are incompetent, the gangsters are pointless and the action is dull.

Very dull.

In fact, during a recent experiment it was discovered that approximately 67% of people who watch The Tourist fall asleep at least once during the movie (based on a sample size of three people).
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2/10
Dull
15 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.......

Seriously, this was so dull.

Harry and co teleport to new place. They get found. They wave wands at each other. Harry and co teleport to new place. They get found. They wave wands at each other...

... for nearly 3 hours! Pretty much nothing happens and anything that does happen either makes no sense or doesn't bloody get shown.

For example, Harry's BFF randomly gets upset, storms out, randomly comes back a few minutes later. Why? What was the point?

The Minister of Magic comes to see Harry. Next scene we learn he's dead and the Ministry has fallen to the bad guys... what happened? And why the did they leave us watching a stupid wedding while an epic war of good vs evil was taking place down the road?

How do they just randomly keep being in the right place? We need to find these "Horcruxes"... oh look, there's one in the first house we go to. We need the Master Sword to destroy it... oh look, it's in this lake right next to us... Harry is drowning... oh look, BFF is back... ARGH!!!!!

How can you possibly build any kind of suspense when everything is just ridiculously easy? I mean, sure, in a lot of films you kinda know certain people are not going to die at certain times, but this goes far beyond this. Not only do you know they're not going to die, you know EXACTLY how they'll get away. *Spolier*: They wave wands at each other, then teleport.

In summary then, if you like wand waving and the occasional teleporting you do not wanna miss this.
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6/10
He's a walking, talking American flag.
15 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Historically, Captain America was designed to be a walking, talking American flag. He was first released during the second world war as part of the propaganda campaign and his popularity quickly faded away with the war's end. He soon disappeared from the comic book pages all together.

Decades later it was decided to try and bring him back, and they made up a story of him being frozen in ice to explain his absence. The film captures his tale perfectly.

Our hero is a skinny little guy called Steve Rogers. He spends his days getting into fights with people a lot bigger than him and then letting them beat him to a pulp and dreams of joining the army, so the Germans can give him a proper thrashing. Unfortunately for him, the army keeps turning him down, no matter how much he begs, as he's deemed physically unfit to serve.

In summary, he's a bit of an idiot.

To cheer him up, his friend sets him up on a blind date. However, while he's out with the girl he discovers he can't take his mind off getting another beating, and ditches her for another try at joining the army.

…an idiot with a weird fetish...

Finally, after all his months of trying, he is accepted. By a German. Who plans to mutate him using a completely untested new drug. Needless to say he jumps at the chance.

There's a big debate in the movie as to why Steve was chosen, with the German saying it's "because a weak man knows the value of strength, the value of power."

Well, that's one theory… and here are some more likely ones:

1. The German is being held against his will, and thus chooses the subject least likely to survive the process.

2. The plan is to have an army of super soldiers. Why waste your best men on the first experiment, which will almost surely go horribly wrong?

3. He won the prize for being the 1 millionth army applicant. Hurray!

Regardless, they pump him full of steroids and Captain America is born. Unfortunately, the German is assassinated along with any hope of creating any more super soldiers.

Still, one superhero is better than nothing, and they put him to good use, to do the thing he was originally created for.

They wrap him in an American flag and make him dance around as part of the propaganda campaign…

…and people think Batman is hardcore…
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1/10
The lies are not beautiful.
15 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The first impression of this movie is of a pretty little French film with a very pretty little Audrey Tautou playing a character called Emilie. And if that doesn't remind you of the French classic Amelie, nothing will.

So far, so good.

One day, Emilie receives a romantic letter from co-worker Jean (don't get excited, Jean is a guy's name in France). However, as the letter is sent anonymously, Emilie bins it, assuming it to be from some crazy old customer.

A little later, Emilie realises that her mother is very depressed about her love life, which will only be made worse when she finds out her father is planning to remarry. And so, Emilie innocently decides to pass on the love letter to her mother to cheer her up…

…obviously nothing could possibly go wrong. Until her mother gets upset that a second letter hasn't been sent…

This film had all the ingredients to be a really nice film (i.e. Audrey Tautou), but as it progresses any trace of innocence is stripped away layer by layer. By the time we reach the end, the lies being told have nothing remotely "beautiful" about them. They're just cruel and twisted.

First impressions can be deceiving.
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6/10
Not bad, but not needed.
14 July 2012
After the train wreck of Spider-Man 3, the powers that be decided it was time for a complete Spider-Man reboot. The vast majority of the audience asked the same question: "Why?"

Regardless, here we are, The Amazing Spider-Man. OK, you all know the story. Say it with me:

"When bitten by a genetically modified spider, a nerdy, shy, and awkward high school student gains spider-like abilities that he eventually must use to fight evil as a superhero after tragedy befalls his family..."

...and straight away we have the biggest problems with this movie.

Firstly, it's not clear who this movie is aimed at. Everyone who knows anything about Spider-Man knows spider bite + dead uncle = Spider-Man, but this movie really seems to drag it out anyway. It's a Spider-Man movie that will at times make Spider-Man fans hit the snooze button, but there's not much in it to attract a new audience either.

Secondly, they get the story wrong. I know, I know, Marvel has many universes, etc etc, but it still just feels... wrong...

Peter Parker isn't nerdy. He's a teenage Bart Simpson, complete with skateboard. Sure, he gets bullied and he understands science stuff, but he still comes across a little like an idiot who has managed to get hold of an answer sheet.

Then we have the new secret agent conspiracy surrounding his parents. This is the big new hook, the whole purpose of a reboot, the story arch that will keep us glued to the trilogy... but who cares?

Spider-Man should be about an ordinary kid, dealing with ordinary life while simultaneously realising that "With great power, comes great responsibility" (or the much less catchy paraphrasing used in this film). The parent conspiracy just takes away some of the purity of the character.

That said, it's not that bad a movie. And it does explain the mystery of why Spider-Man always seems to have somewhere to swing on (save the child of a crane driver and you're sorted for life).

But, as expected from a series that just didn't need another origin movie, it feels pointless.
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