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The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Four years was worth the wait; Bale, Hardy, and Hathaway all shine
Four years after the release of THE DARK KNIGHT, and eight years after the DARK KNIGHT story left off, Bruce Wayne/Batman (Christian Bale) comes out of hiding to fight one more time, this time with Bane (Tom Hardy), a Darth Vader-like villain, only tougher, who intends on destroying Gothem, while toying around with Batman's powers. Luckily, Wayne/Batman has some company along the way, with some assistance from girlfriend Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Anne Hathaway).
Although it's longer than THE DARK KNIGHT, four years was still worth the wait for this Batman flick. It's an exciting experience; it's loud, has great, explosive action, and incredible acting. Bale, Hardy, and Hathaway all shine in their roles.
Just off his Oscar win for THE FIGHTER, Bale gives another determined and powerhouse performance as the main character. While he isn't as wild as Heath Ledger's Joker, Hardy is very tall and monstrous as Bane, and has some pretty brutal fights with Batman. Used to sugary roles and sugary movies (THE PRINCESS DIARIES perhaps being the biggest example), this is about-face role for Hathaway. I thought she did a reasonable job; she looks and sounds sexy, has great and clever dialogue in some parts, and fights well in the action scenes. I can see a great acting career for her in the future.
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is a great Batman movie and a great summer movie, and the action, acting, and three main roles all highlight the adventure.
Once again, Spielberg's dinos do not disappoint
Steven Spielberg's THE LOST WORLD, while not a masterpiece, is still an exciting adventure filled with action, powerful music, and credible performances.
An entertaining and exquisite storyteller, Spielberg takes us now to Isla Sorna, aka Site B, where dinosaurs were bred before traveling to Isla Nublar. Two teams with different plans unexpectedly meet on the island, and only their goals will determine if the dinosaurs will live or die.
Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, the late Pete Postlethwaite, and Vince Vaughn, among others, are featured in this movie. Once again, Spielberg's dinos do not disappoint; the movie is brutal, complete with two Tyrannosaurs and their baby, sneaky raptors, and pesky little Compsognathus (not featured in the original JURASSIC PARK) that can bite you to death like a pack of wolves. I think the tall Goldblum and the stunning Moore (love her hair) make a good on screen couple, and Postlethwaite gives a determined performance as a Tyrannosaur hunter. While more situated for comedies, Vaughn blends in well with the drama.
All in all, after a four-year absence from the director's chair ('93 to '97), Spielberg comes back with a bang with THE LOST WORLD. Although it's far from his greatest triumphs (JAWS, RAIDERS, E.T., SCHINDLER, PRIVATE RYAN), his JURASSIC PARK sequel is an entertaining two hours of dinosaur action and drama.
The World Is Not Enough (1999)
My favorite Bond film
THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH has to be my favorite James Bond film. It seems that Pierce Brosnan's Bond films have the longest teasers (pre-credits sequences) in the series and the River Thames chase was a brilliant start, not to mention well-filmed with the London background. The action scene that stands out from them all in the film is the helicopter attack on the Caspian Sea. The plot is very interesting with twists and turns with all the oil involvement, and Pierce perhaps gives his finest Bond performance in his four outings.
Robert Carlyle makes a chilling villain as Renard (he's already dead and can't feel pain), but the biggest highlight of TWINE is the two leading women: Sophie Marceau and Denise Richards. Marceau is very well-cast as villainess Elektra King and is perhaps the best Bond villainess since THUNDERBALL's Fiona Volpe. Richards is a gorgeous actress and she's very charming and fun as heroine Dr. Christmas Jones. These are two of the most beautiful and sexiest Bond girls in the series; you are going to love both of them.
With its well-staged action, epic plot, Pierce's wonderful performance, and two brilliant Bond girls, TWINE is a Bond adventure both Bond fans and non-Bond fans will treasure. ****