Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Flops
I gave this review a 6 after I watched the theater release in part because of irrational exuberance of another Batman film. As it has been out on cable/Apple TV and I've had the chance to watch it again, it deserves perhaps a 3. The film is so sloppily paced and the plot fails to really focus a coherent story this is likely Nolan's worst film.
The good - the first scene is pretty cool (once you get passed asking why no CIA agent thought about taking the hood off of a prisoner that is handcuffed - but compared to other plot holes in the film that's relatively minor).
The bad: everything else.
The film starts with a celebration of Harvey Dent (not a bad move) 8 years later.....uh, why 8 years later? In real time it is only 4 years later but for some reason the script calls for double that? Someone could ask why is that a big deal - the deal is it makes Bruce Wayne a creepy hermit. He's holed himself in his mansion for 8 years? Really?
Anne Hathaway: actress did the best with what she had, which was a total of 15 minutes of screen time with Bruce/Batman and the same 15 minutes in real time. Regardless of what viewers thought about Katie Holmes and Maggie Gyllenhaal, the character of Rachel was established - she was a childhood friend. Selina was never established. She robbed Bruce once, danced with him and stole a car, fought with him for a few minutes and later betrayed him. And she's the love interest? Uh, where did the interest establish?
Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman: More or less forgotten.
Bane, Talia and the general plot: Ludicrous. Another example of a film where there is a villain switch everyone saw coming, no real motive or to the extent there was one no attempt to satisfy the motive (couldn't Talia just hit the switch at any time?)
Plot holes: All over and have been discussed ad nauseum, from the strange prison that is inescapable yet Talia did and didn't help anyone out, is in nowhere land but Bruce manages to get back to Gotham and find Selina in a huge city, to cops being underground for months (?) and are still clean shaven and look like they are showered and ready to go to work, to the pointlessness of Modine's character, to Batman taking the time to burn his signal onto a bridge when there is a time bomb (another ridiculous cliché) about to go off, to a nuke blast which Bruce survives and manages to escape to a bistro and not be noticed, not that he isn't one of the most recognizable people in the world.
This was a sloppy, sloppy film
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
We Need to Talk About Damon the Devil
I don't think there are any spoilers here.
Tilda Swinton is masterful in this film, a woman who perhaps isn't equipped to deal with motherhood yet still is forced by society mores to care for an unlovable child. Hence the problem with the film.
(Short note) - I haven't read the book but from what I understand it is more evenhanded with the battle between an unprepared mother and a difficult child. I will endeavor to read the book.
Back to the film, the kid is just too much, too much hate, too much aggression, too much...well too much. Most normal parents would have put the kid into a mental hospital. If not kill the kid.
That shouldn't distract from Swinton's performance, which is very, very good. But the director relied too much on the shock value. Unfortunate.
The Brothers Grimm (2005)
An utter mess....not the worst film I paid money to see
but the worst I've paid money to see since The Avengers. I like Gilliam's previous works, particularly Brazil and 12 Monkeys but absolutely nothing in this movie works. I've read that there was much internal drama between the producers and Gilliam which led to the unattractive release date and a break in filming, but there has to be more I'm unaware of.
I'll start with the good: Gilliam is a great director and many scenes shine with his visual style. Unfortunately that's the only good.
The problems: No character development. I recall the empathy I had for Willis' character in 12 Monkeys and Pryce's character in Brazil, and the complete lack of understanding or even desire to care for any character (good or bad) in this film. Every character is a caricature (some so bad for words) that could be conjured by even the most novice writer. Cavaldi = awful, unfunny character. Pryce = well, just awful. Grimm Brothers = are they clowns are heroes? They go from one to the other and back again. The lead actress = strong character or damsel in distress? The movie doesn't care to characterize these characters so why should we? The editing. The worst I've seen in a long time. Scenes bounce back and forth with complete disregard for developing a story or even an interesting diversion. I'm convinced that this is NOT Gilliam's doing and that a director's cut on DVD will be much different. The ending is pure dreck with sloppily untied plot devices.
The "big picture". Is this a horror movie? A slapstick comedy? A drama? Nothing wrong with mixing genres but typically when a film does so it does methodically, not thrown into a blender-enhanced concoction.
There are other problems. The CGI is NOT 21st century quality, the attempts at humor mostly failed, the attempts for action scenes were not titillating and the attempts for horror weren't scary.
I saw this film at the Lincoln Center theater in Manhattan. The auditorium was filled to about 50% capacity. In addition to the most people taking bathroom breaks that I've ever seen, I witnessed about a dozen leave the film early. At one point towards the end a viewer proclaimed "oh my gawd" at a cringe-worth scene that was the highlight of my experience.
I won't begrudge Gilliam fans not to see this. A blockbuster rental isn't that expensive, but this is certainly the most disappointed I've been with a film in a very long time. I've only given the 1 star treatment to a select few films, but this one certainly gets it.