Archive for July, 2012
After watching The Dark Knight in 2008, I was sure of one thing: Catwoman would be in the next film. From the moment Lucius Fox responded to Bruce Wayne’s question of whether his new suit would protect from dogs by saying, “should do fine against cats,” I knew the character would make an appearance. As Christopher Nolan and his writing partner/brother Jonathan had left Bruce Wayne and his alter ego Batman, it seemed the logical next step. The Joker had destroyed our hero’s hopes in every way. He corrupted Harvey Dent, who Bruce believed was the only hope of eliminating the need for Batman’s vigilantism by legitimately prosecuting Gotham’s criminals. He had murdered Bruce’s childhood sweetheart, Rachel Dawes, who Bruce believed was his “one chance at a normal life.” He had even forced Batman to become a villain and take the blame for Dent’s actions as Two-Face in order to keep the city from losing all hope. So Nolan’s next entry would need to lighten the mood in contrast to the anarchic sense of play of Heath Ledger’s Joker. The villain needed to engage Batman in a different way that still challenged Bruce’s perception of himself as both villain and hero, man and Bat. Moreover, Bruce needed someone to help him move on from Rachel and be reminded that life could still be fun. To me, using Catwoman was the perfect way to do it.
Director: Sarah Polley
Screenwriter: Sarah Polley
Length: 1h 56m
Synopsis: Margot (Michelle Williams) is married to goofy chicken chef Lou (Seth Rogen). She seems happily married to him, as he brings out her young glee and childish mischief through inside jokes, funny games, and silly pranks. Margot goes on a trip for business, and meets Daniel (Luke Kirby), an enigmatic artist who turns out to live across the street from her. He’s serious, introspective, and intelligent. He speaks to Margot’s adventurous, adult side, and understands her more deeply than she does herself. Margot finds herself torn between the marriage that is making her happy enough, or a new and potentially greater love that could destroy everything she’s built for herself.
Dear Benh Zeitlin,
My partners and I took in a screening of your movie Beasts of the Southern Wild this afternoon. It is certainly a unique vision brought to life in a beautifully surreal fashion, and we would love to provide distribution for it. However, there are some changes we’d like you to make before we make things official.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Screenwriters: Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan
Length: 2h 44m
Synopsis: It has been eight years since the death of Harvey Dent, and as no one has seen him no one has likewise seen Batman or Bruce Wayne (Bale). Dent’s false reputation had allowed Gotham’s law enforcement to crack down harder on crime than ever before, and the city came to enjoy all of its long overdue good fortune. However, a masked radical named Bane (Hardy) once trained by the League of Shadows has recently laid camp in Gotham’s underground, with an entire army of hardened criminals at his disposal. His plans are to seize the city and finish what Ra’s Al Ghul started by destroying it and its people. Bruce dons the cape and cowl again despite his many lasting injuries and the hatred of the police, but after everything he has done it is Bane’s physical and mental fortitude that may finally be his undoing. The frightening organization of Bane’s forces checkmates the city, and Batman falls to his hand in one-on-one combat, afterwards taken to an inescapable prison halfway round the world. Without its greatest hero Gotham now faces its most trying of times, and Bruce is made to suffer knowing that he’s helpless to save the city he loves. Will this finally be the end of both Batman and Gotham?
Director: Benh Zeitlin
Screenwriters: Lucy Alibar, Ben Zeitlin
Length: 1h 33m
Synopsis: Six-year-old Hushpuppy (Wallis) and her widower father Wink (Henry) live together in a bayou basin known as The Bathtub in a community of harmonious eccentrics. What would normally be considered squalor is their kingdom of essential living, with an unspoken adoration for the land as strong as that between a mother and her child. Recently, however, Wink has suffered an injury that, while not altogether inhibiting, threatens his very life. Hushpuppy, already a free spirit in her own right, listens eagerly to what she knows are her father’s remaining life lessons meant to guide her towards being someone who she and her home can be proud of. Meanwhile, mythical beasts known as “aurochs” have become freed from their melting polar captivity and begun charging south toward The Bathtub. Along with an oncoming storm that could change the tides of favor against them, Hushpuppy, Wink, and those of their land must prepare themselves for trials heretofore unmet.
Director: Woody Allen
Screenwriter: Woody Allen
Running Time: 1 hour 42 minutes
Synopsis: Essentially an anthology film of Woody Allen shorts, To Rome with Love tells multiple stand-alone stories that take place in the titular picturesque city. There’s John (Alec Baldwin) who is an architect replaying the great love affair of his youth through Jack (Eisenberg) and the vivacious wannabe-actress Monica (Page), and there’s Leopoldo Pisanello (Benigni) who suddenly becomes a celebrity and soon starts to go crazy with all of the attention. Though each stories’ humor varies, they all offer a glimpse of a different facet of the city.
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Screenwriters: Reid Carolin
Running Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Synopsis: Mike (Tatum) is a handsome young man who works a handful of odd jobs to pay the bills, but his real ambition is to make custom furniture. While working at his construction job, he meets Adam (Pettyfer), a recent college dropout looking for employment and purpose. Looking to help, Mike brings him to his other job at Xquisite, an all-male revue, and brings him onstage to dance. The club’s owner, Dallas (McConaughey), likes what he sees and hires him. Later, as Adam becomes more enamored with the stripper lifestyle, Mike becomes increasingly disillusioned. As Adam’s straight-laced sister, Brooke (Horn), questions whether Mike is using stripping as a crutch, he begins to wonder how much longer it can last.
Director: Marc Webb
Length: 2h 16m
Synopsis: A reboot of Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man trilogy, this iteration of Spidey goes back to his origins. As a young child, Peter Parker’s (Garfield) parents run away for unknown reasons, leaving him with his Uncle Ben (Sheen) and Aunt May (Field). As a teenager, he begins to discover secrets about his parents that lead him to Oscorp and cross-genetic experiments. This leads him to a room full of genetically altered spiders, one of which bites him, giving him spider powers. Upon receiving these powers, he must learn how to use them in truly responsible ways. Peter is suddenly faced with a powerful adversary in his mentor Dr. Curt Connors (Ifans), who becomes the super-villain known as the Lizard after injecting himself with reptile DNA in the hopes of re-growing his missing arm. Connors then plans to infect all of New York with his affliction, giving Peter a challenge he may not be ready to handle.
Director: Wes Anderson
Screenwriters: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola
Length: 1h 34m
Synopsis: One day on the quaint New England island of New Penzance in 1965, two twelve year-old misfits named Suzy (Hayward) and Sam (Gilman) run away together to survive on their own – at least temporarily – in the woods so as to escape their everyday lives. Suzy’s family, headed by loving but detached parents Walt (Murray) and Laura (McDormand), both of whom are lawyers, considers her a problem child and doesn’t know how to handle her outbursts. Sam, concurrently, is an orphan, as his foster parents have just recently relinquished guardianship. While she runs away from home, he runs off during a Khaki Scout summer retreat run by the concerned but confused Scout Master Ward (Norton), and they meet in a secluded field as per their arrangement their letters. Together with Captain Sharp (Willis) of the local police, the parents and scout master form a search party to retrieve the children. It would seem, however, that the youngsters are utterly determined not to go back.
Director: Lorene Scafaria
Screenwriter: Lorene Scafaria
Length: 1 hour 41 minutes
Synopsis: After his wife flees their marriage, Dodge (Carell) is left alone in the three weeks before a gigantic asteroid, innocuously named Matilda, destroys Earth. Unable to take part in the pre-apocalypse debauchery over fear that he’s wasted his life, Dodge is instead determined to find his high school sweetheart after he receives a long-lost love letter from her. Helping him on the journey is his neighbor Penny (Knightley), who is looking to find a way to fly back to her family in England. As they travel, Penny and Dodge meet other people dealing with their imminent end in a plethora of ways and discover that what they’re searching for may not be what they really need.