The acting was good by all involved and it's true that Leager's performance as the Joker rises above just being good. It is a great performance worthy of an Oscar. There's a part of me that's angry that drugs took away such a great actor and a bit towards him also for choosing that dangerous, worthless path. Perhaps that's selfish of me but it's also a compliment to the talent he wasted. I also liked Harvey Dent by Aaron Eckhart despite some reviews criticizing it. I am not a reader of the comic books but I found Two Face's creation story to be about as realistic as possible. I'm not sure how they could possibly top this movie in a sequel and I don't know if any other villain could live up to the standard that the Joker set here. We'll see, I guess.
Realism. Let's talk about that. The success of this movie is founded upon a more realistic portrayal of Batman and Gotham and of the superhero genre in general. Sure the action is amped way, way up but the director, Tim Nolan, somehow manages to make it feel plausible enough that you stop worrying about how preposterous it all is and focus on the story. I like this new approach, the opposite of camp, and when it matches the source material, it should be used from now on. The Hellboy movies have also benefited from this. Truth: take the source seriously and you end up with a better finished product. Hollywood got something right this time even if we've had to suffer through countless superhero movies and films designed not to challenge us more than some executives think we can handle.
I don't want to give anything away but this movie takes you on an emotional journey that leaves you a little exhausted at the end. It has action, suspense, terror, true love (and not true love), philosophy... and it's all woven into a complex gripping story. It is remarkable that it managed to keep so many plates spinning at once. I'm impressed.
Go see this movie. See it on the big screen. You'll thank me for it. It is worthy of a second theatre viewing and I'll be going again.
Let's talk about the bad first. My first complaint was that the actions sequences were too over the top. Most notably was the swinging from the vines scene by Mutt. In fact there were many touches of over-the-top CGI... the nuclear blast scene was cool but then they went and overindulged by having the fridge fly a mile through the air. Would have been much better with a more restrained view. Indy could have gotten in a fridge in the basement and then we are shown a shot of the house gone after the blast but the Indy crawls out of the rubble. Realism goes a long way even in a movie with supernatural elements like Indiana Jones.
Over all the acting by the whole cast was passable but nothing great. Kate Blanchett I thought gave a uneven performance. First her Russian accent wasn't very authentic. They really should have found a real Russian fem-fatal to play the part. Her acting was noticeably poorer in the CGI heavy scenes while strong in the rest. LaBeouf and Ford did well together but lacked the magic chemistry that Ford and Connery had. Karen Allen gave the least convincing performance and her character's emotions always seemed out-of-touch with the situations she finds herself in but I was glad she was back nonetheless.
The story this time was a real brave choice was Spielberg and crew. It could have easily ruined the feel that the trilogy produced. I thought the script would have been better if it saved the more bizarre aspects regarding the aliens until later in the film. They could have then had a big reveal to catch the audience (and Indy and friends) completely by surprise. My favorite sequence in the whole movie was the opening one. It had mystery and suspense. I think we are feed too many bread crumbs long the way to have that same feeling in the final action scene.
Overall Indy 4 is a fun movie but I found myself not thinking about it much after I saw it. Even Ironman left me excited for a couple days. Indy 4 is missing ingredients that would have made it great. Indy 4 feels diluted by the influence of more recent adventure films like the Mummy. Indiana Jones movies are dusty, dirty, and gritty. Models and live action provide that dusty feel but CGI does not.
I loved the main plot about the forced removal of a people. It was about ethics and caused me to think. The writing however could have been better as the solution to the dilemma was so obvious that the story should have treated it as though it was already considered by the Indian.
The side story arc with Wes was one of the dumbest, most ad-hoc sub-plots in any TNG episode. Completely random and beyond my suspension of disbelief. It would have been much more interesting if they explored what caused the changes in his personality instead of just using it as a spring board to a big reveal. All in all, the surprise doesn't work and the epilogue had me shaking my head at how nonchalant Beverly and Picard dealt with such a world-altering event.
I've been a fan of Steve Carell for quite some time now because of the Daily Show. This is a guy that knows how to be funny but not in a cheap way. I'm glad he now has had his first moment to shine in Hollywood. Will Ferrell should be worried that the bell is tolling on him. Despite being Hollywood's Goto Comedy Man the last few years, he is way over-rated and this movie proves it.
Go see this movie!
The kids in the theater laughed a few times (but not as much as they have the potential for). As an adult, I laughed twice. Once was at a pretty good joke, I must admit, about what's edible. The other was at something that wasn't intended to get a laugh.
Oh, regarding Wonka, what a strange dude! He's got problems... real problems.
All I can say is that "Fist of Legend" delivers! The opening fight scene was surprisingly brutal and I was instantly hooked. The action doesn't take too long a break in this movie but also found the story compelling and interesting -- something unusual in a martial arts flick. Most of the protagonists are fully developed and the viewer likes and feels for them. The villains aren't nearly so fleshed out and come off as one-dimensional but oh well. Everything else from the costumes to the acting and the settings were decent. The sum package is one of the best martial arts movies I've ever seen and I've seen more than my share. "Fist of Legend" is to Jet Li as "Drunken Master" is to Jackie Chan.
I saw the dubbed Dimension US release. Although I hate dubbing and any editing of a foreign release (are you listening Dimension?), I found the dubbing here mostly okay except for the General's insanely over-the-top "evil" voice. I also felt that some of the dialog seemed to have lost meaning in the translation but it's forgivable.
Sadly "Pi" didn't live up to my expectations. Basically I found the plot silly. Perhaps my background in mathematics and computers kept me from consuming the premise: I saw through it's hokeyness. The movie was also addled by the overt weirdness stereotypical of indie films. I have nothing against weird avant-garde movies or indie films (I love many of them) but sometimes indie films use weirdness for weirdness' sake or to simply add time to a movie whose story is running short.
I held out my judgment on Pi until the very end. The ending left me feeling empty and confirmed my fears that the movie had built itself up too much to be able to deliver the goods. There were some scenes I liked such as the ones between Max and Sol. In summery, although I didn't enjoy Pi overall, I don't consider it a waste of time. I was just expecting more.
As for the poker, there's a few corny moments (but watch the special features because they explain why they did some things).
I guess the best part of the movie is the card mechanics but the story was okay too.
The DVD extras are decent too consisting of a "Making of" short, an interview with Fox, and the theatrical trailers.
In short, buy this DVD!