Daniel "Pinto" Gunderson reviews a two movies after going to see them in theater during the weekend.
(Photo courtesy of Facebook)
This past weekend, I had a chance to catch up a little on my movies. While the two week hiatus has been nice, I had to get out and catch a couple films. Not only this week will I review two films, The Dark Knight Rises and The Watch, but next week will be a little bit of the same as I will be reviewing The Bourne Legacy and The Campaign.
The Dark Knight Rises
Probably the summer’s most highly anticipated movie, The Dark Knight Rises came out on July 20. Bruce Wayne/Batman was played by Christian Bale while the main antagonist, Bane, is played by Tom Hardy. Other actors in this movie include Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake/Robin.
The premise of the movie, like most “hero must beat the villain” type movies, has Batman trying to save Gotham against Bane’s plans of completely destroying it. In the beginning of the movie, Bane hi-jacks a plane with Dr. Leonid Pavel (Alon Abutbul), the only scientist who knows how to control a nuclear device Bane plans on taking.
Meanwhile, Gotham is at peace and Bruce Wayne is a recluse, holed up in his mansion and not caring about his business, his image and certainty not Batman. Things start to change, however, when it becomes apparent something is going on in the sewers of Gotham.
While coming around, Wayne decides he needs to help out his city but Alfred (Michael Caine) tells him that if he decides to go forward with trying to help, he cannot stand idly by and watch him destroy himself.
Batman asks Selina Kyle to take him to Bane so he can challenge him and save the city. He quickly realizes Bane is much stronger and is beaten to within an inch of his life. Bane’s people take Batman to a prison in the middle of the desert that is nearly impossible to escape from.
Bane has set up a television in this prison so that Batman can watch his city crumble before his eyes while he lay, physically unable to do anything to stop Bane.
Fun Fact: The villain Bane first appeared in the Batman comic series in 1993. The other villains that Batman faced first appeared in 1940 (Joker), 1941 (The Scarecrow) and 1971 (Ra’s al Ghul).
What I Liked:
Christopher Nolan, the director of the Batman trilogy, had a tough task facing him when he was making this movie. How do I make a villain more convincingly scary and intimidating than the Joker was in the The Dark Knight? Well, you can’t. It is not possible. Heath Ledger took the character to a whole new level.
So, you go find a villain who is not evil for a purpose, like the Joker. You find a villain who is just evil to be evil. Enter the villain Bane. A man obsessed with showing the city of Gotham that the corrupt were put away by the corrupt. He wants mass chaos to ensue, which it does, so he can see a city destroy itself.
To me, it was the best compliment you could have to the Joker. Not once did I feel like Nolan was trying to make Bane out to be a worse human being than the Joker. He was out to make Bane just plain evil. Tom Hardy did a great job playing the character and Bane will go down as one of the more impressive and all together scary villains in my book. However…
What I Didn’t Like:
Usually a script plays out where the bad guy dies in the end and this movie is no different. This is not a spoiler alert because that is to be expected if you haven’t seen this movie yet. The way Bane dies, however, is so anti-climatic it bothers me.
There’s a plot twist in the movie where you find out who Bane really is, but that doesn’t change the fact that his is the main antagonist of this entire film, so he should die a very dramatic death like any villain would in any movie.
Bane’s death, at first, made me think he would come back. When he didn’t, I started to chuckle at the oddity of the way he was taken out. It is an expectation that wasn’t met and it bugged me. It didn’t ruin the movie, but it was one reason why this movie was not as great as the The Dark Knight.
GO = Go See It!
Seeing this movie in theaters is a must and people are taking the hint. The entire movie is an experience and you will not regret dropping a little cash to go sit in the theater to watch this movie. It has led the box office in sales since it came out just over two weeks ago. Worldwide, the movie has grossed $732 million.
It’s an intense movie and puts a great bow on top of the trilogy present that is the Batman series. From Ra’s al Ghul to Bane with the Joker in between, the villains that Batman defeats were all amazing in their own way. If Nolan ever goes back for a fourth try, which he somewhat left open at the end of this movie, I would be a little disappointed. This was as close to perfect as they come.
This movie didn’t have as much fanfare behind it as the The Dark Knight Rises did, but it did include some comedic hard hitters when it comes to the world of film. The main characters are played by Jonah Hill, Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn.
The movie is about suburbanite Evan Trautwig (Stiller), who has created a large amount of neighborhood groups to fill a voidhe feels in his life. He is also the manager of the local Costco. One night, a night watchman at the Costco is killed in a very unconventional matter and this causes Trautwig to create a Neighborhood Watch.
He only has three members show up for the inaugural meeting. Bob Finnerty (Vaughn), Franklin (Hill) and Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade) join the group but take it more as a group of guys getting together to have fun, not a serious group which Trautwig intends it to be.
During their time together, they discover some odd happenings around the town and begin to find out things that they would have rather left undiscovered.
Fun Fact: This is more of an interesting fact than a fun one. The movie was originally called Neighborhood Watch, but was changed to The Watch to distance the movie from having any association with the Trayvon Martin case in Florida.
What I Liked:
I have always been a fan of Vaughn, even though many people think he plays the same character in every movie. I think his timing and delivery in movies is hilarious and I usually am left laughing at his performances in whatever movie he is cast in.
This movie was no exception as Vaughn’s character allowed him to have a funny outlook on life, especially the outlook he has on the relationship between him and his daughter. His character is one that wants to be just another one of the guys, while still having a family life.
It is a balance that is faced everyday by millions of men who have a tough time accepting that the days of having a group of buds who went out and raised all kinds of heck are over. It is time to start being a family man. I don’t think, however, that all those men have the humor of Vince Vaughn.
What I Didn’t Like:
The premise of the movie seems extremely farfetched. I get that we are dealing with an alien invasion, but why? I always want a bit of reality surrounding a movie plot, regardless of how unrealistic that plot is, if that makes sense.
You expect some “that would never happen in real life” moments in a movie like The Avengers. With this, much like Pineapple Express, it was just so fake that it hurt the movie. I throw out Pineapple Express because that’s what I thought about when I saw this movie.
There was over exaggerated violence, odd plotline and extremely vulgar language and actions. While I liked Pineapple Express, there was something missing about that movie that left me with a bad taste in my mouth. After watching this movie, I realize that it was the unrealistic aspect of the plot.
F = Forget It
I wouldn’t worry about going to this movie again because seeing it once was more than enough for me. I go so you don’t have to and this would be one of those movies that falls in line with that thought. It’s not family friendly, it is not a “take a girlfriend” type movie and a group of guys will go, laugh, but ultimately want their money back.
This is one of those movies that you’ll run into when thinking about renting something for the night, remember it a little bit from when it was in theaters and make a point to rent it. Next time. In the end, bad timing, unfortunate title to the movie and a poorly thought out plotline make this movie not worth the time or money.
Next Up: The Bourne Legacy & The Campaign