Posts Tagged ‘Christopher Nolan’
Director: Louis Leterrier
Length: 1h 55m
A mysterious hooded figure gathers together four talented magicians (Eisenberg, Fisher, Harrelson, Franco) and turns them into a team called The Four Horsemen. During a big Las Vegas show, they pull off the trick of stealing 3 million euros from a Parisian bank. FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Ruffalo) and Interpol agent Alma Dray (Laurent) are tasked with finding any explanation for the heist beyond magic. They’re helped by a former magician now devoted to exposing the secrets behind the trickery, Thaddeus Bradley (Freeman), but as the group pulls off one heist after another, Rhodes slowly discovers there might be something more sinister at work. Read the rest of this entry »
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.
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: 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.
So far this year we’ve enjoyed the emergence of several very well made movies, such as Toy Story 3, Inception, Shutter Island, How to Train Your Dragon, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Cyrus, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and the recently released The Social Network, among others. Exactly what makes these movies so well made are an innumerable amount of things both big and small, not the least of which are their direction, editing, acting quality, and art direction. But with every film, when you get right down to it, what really makes or breaks everything is the writing. A phenomenal director and editor tandem can sometimes get past a so-so script, such as with Steven Spielberg and Michael Kahn with Jurassic Park, but the vast majority of the time the quality of the writing is what determines how good everything else can potentially be.
So far it would appear that the two movies that are being praised the most for their writing quality are Chris Nolan’s Inception and Aaron Sorkin’s The Social Network. It seems like every review of the latter has dedicated a whole paragraph to dote upon this particular aspect, crediting both Sorkin and his source material (Ben Mezrich’s The Accidental Billionaires). The former has received sterling reviews as well, though because of how intentionally ambiguous the film is some critics were hesitant to award it prematurely. In those critics’ defense, it is indeed harder to defend a story’s craftsmanship when its coherence is questionable and the overall theme and thesis lend themselves to expansive debate.
Can the stories of these two movies be compared? Read the rest of this entry »
If you haven’t already, read Part 1 here to see our interpretation of the film’s ending.
Part 2 – Taking a Leap of Faith
Being able to visit dreams is no doubt a concept that is difficult to grasp, especially once you try to consider all of the philosophical possibilities attached to such an idea. That this concept forces us to adapt the foundations of our methods of critical thinking, and indeed logic itself, because we are no longer dealing with the “real” but unbridled cognitive enterprise, we must resort to a manner of thinking that requires pure conjectural reasoning and rationality. By this I am suggesting that it would behoove our intentions to successfully explore this movie by thinking more abstractly about it (theoretically, conceptually, etc.), in addition to relying on concrete cues provided by the film’s text* (details observable in some form or fashion that lead to confirmed or implied conclusions). By doing this it may be possible to discover the film’s main goal and purpose. Read the rest of this entry »
Director: Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Memento, The Prestige)
Screenwriter: Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Memento, The Prestige)
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio (Shutter Island), Ken Watanabe (Letters from Iwo Jima), Marion Cotillard (Nine), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (500 Days of Summer), Ellen Page (Whip It), Cillian Murphy (Sunshine), Tom Berenger (Sinners and Saints), Tom Hardy (RocknRolla), Michael Caine (Harry Brown), Dileep Rao (Drag Me to Hell)
Length: 2h 28m
Synopsis: Neuroscientists Cobb (DiCaprio) and Arthur (Gordon-Levitt) have a unique job, which is to enter the dreams of others and navigate them in order to find out important information – mainly secrets (this is called Extraction). The invention that they use to perform such a task allows for several people to share another person’s dream, which they can more or less construct to their liking. While working within dreams may sound (pardon me) like a dream, the procedure can in fact be very dangerous. Many things can go wrong that can leave the individuals inside a dream with severe psychological problems, not the least of which is the inability to ever be sure if you’re dreaming or not. Cobb and Arthur’s newest assignment asks them to not just steal information from someone’s brain, but plant an idea in it as well (this is called Inception). The mission demands that they recruit a team and delve deeper into someone’s mind than they’ve ever gone before, and the deeper they go the less chance they have of ever waking back up. Read the rest of this entry »
A recent article on Rotten Tomatoes suggested Rachel McAdams might play Black Cat, a burglar/love interest for Peter Parker, in Spiderman 4. The article got me thinking about the original sexy cat burglar of the Batman comic books, Catwoman. The question of who would play the sultry seductress has plagued me for years. Who could beat Eartha Kitt’s sultry purr from the original television series? Who could look sexier than Michelle Pfeiffer in a leather body suit in Batman Returns? And most importantly, who could erase the lingering sting Halle Berry’s portrayal left on Batman fans?
The role isn’t easy to fill. The actress who plays Catwoman needs to have an obvious sexuality that a lecher like Bruce Wayne can barely resist. But she also has to have a hint of class so she will not seem out of place in his high-powered world. Finally, she needs to convincingly straddle the line between good guy and bad guy. Sure she’s ultimately a self-serving burglar who uses her sexuality to stun the guards, but she’s got to be just moral enough for Batman to believe she could be on his side one day.
While McAdams certainly seems capable of delivering the character’s class and questionable morality, she, no offense, just doesn’t have that mildly trashy sex appeal. Sex is really what Catwoman is about. Which brings me to the question posed in the title of this piece: how about Megan Fox? There is no question she has the sex appeal, as Cliff said in his What If… on Fox, she has made her career out of it. It’s the character’s other components that present a problem.
Fox’s previous roles haven’t given her much room to show off her acting chops, but what better time than in a role where she can rely on her appearance to do most of the work? Most comic book films are not noted for their acting, though director Christopher Nolan’s recent interpretations of Batman have certainly changed that, but Fox’s sexuality should at least make her somewhat capable of embodying the character. The real challenge for her will be playing the normal, Selina Kyle part of the role.
Perhaps Fox’s biggest obstacle would be her age. She is eight years younger than Christian Bale and still looks more like a juicy piece of jailbait than a mature, professional woman. A few years ago, Angelina Jolie might have been a shoe-in for the role, but now that she seems determined to be a serious actress, that’s out of the question. Still, with make-up and the right costuming, Fox could look like a woman in her late twenties. After the crushing disappointment of loosing Rachel Dawes in the last film, Megan Fox as Selina Kyle may be just the hot young thing to bring Bruce out of his depression.
The Dark Knight: Batman Becomes a Westerner
The character of Batman as presented in director Christopher Nolan’s 2008 film The Dark Knight represents many of the iconographic elements that comprise what is known as the Westerner. The caped crusader can more accurately be distinguished as being more medieval (that is, consisting of character traits more attuned to medieval literature) in most of his filmic representations, such as Tim Burton’s Batman (1989), and such a connection does not completely stop with Nolan’s most recent feature as even the film’s title outright labels its hero a “knight.” But despite this, Nolan has introduced the character of Batman to the world of cinema in a new way that displays him more as a western idol reminiscent of the days of John Wayne. American audiences gorged themselves on this newest version of the classic superhero, amassing a domestic box office revenue of over $530 million (second only to Titanic‘s $600 million+), and the reason for this may be found in the social structure of its viewers. Read the rest of this entry »