Friday, July 27, 2012

The Watch, and My Thoughts On TDKR: 7 Word Weekend

New Movie Releases Reviewed in 7 Words Each

Killer Joe (limited) - Warning: This movie is not about Starbucks. 

Step Up Revolution - Why? And also the other six words...

The Watch - Oh I will. If only for Ayoade. 

It's a funny thing the marketing for The Watch. Richard Ayoade is seen in all the trailers but really only heard in one. Obviously, with him being a British comedic actor (best known for The IT Crowd, which if you haven't watched, netflix is streaming, go now. Well, go after this column. Fine, after work then) not the most well known in the states, it can be expected. But they've really gone out of their way to downplay his role. I wonder if the reverse is true in the UK? Mayhap Jonah Hill is pushed to the background in the trailers there. It doesn't bother me, I just find it amusing since the only reason I have an interest in seeing the film is for Ayoade.

[Update: Apparently others have complained about it as well and there is now a commercial running that specifically notes Ayoade.]

Step Up Revolution... Ha, seriously, I've wasted enough talking about it with this sentence.

Might as well give my thoughts on The Dark Knight Rises since we're here. Oh, I'm sorry, did you have an appointment? No? Then sit back down. Thank you. 

Let me preface by saying I enjoyed it. The scale was epic and parts of it were amazing. That said I felt that it failed to live up to the last film. The story was weaker all around and while Christopher Nolan spoke of it paralleling A Tale of Two Cities, it lacked the backbone of Dickens' work. The film pushes like it's going to be a political war of the classes, but Bane's ultimate goal of blowing up the entire city with the world's slowest bomb, killing the poor and rich alike, really stops it in its tracks (especially since a lot of his motivation is predicated on you having seen the first film). All this would be fine if I felt that Nolan was making some point. But there's nothing. There's a lot of tap dancing followed by the extra super happy ending. A lot of setup without any real method to the madness. After the complexities of  The Dark Knight, I guess I was just hoping for more. 

I also take issue that we had to wait an hour to see Bruce don the cowl, just so we could have a couple scenes and then another hour minus Batman. I'm trying hard to write this without really putting any spoilers in for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, which unfortunately leaves some holes in what I'm writing without being able to say it. So I'll skip why I was unsatisfied with Batman's personal ending. And move into what I liked.

Okay, Anne Hathaway is the best Catwoman, hands down. It was a more down to earth approach which I loved, and she brought a much needed energy to the film. I would say she was equaled if not surpassed by Joseph Gordon Levitt whose character had the most complete arc in the film. But as I said after I walked out of the theater, is there anything he's been in that he hasn't raised the quality of a couple notches?  Despite my always thinking Bane was a second rate, boring character, Nolan managed to make him interesting. Though for all the love people have thrown Tom Hardy's way, it's not like Heath ledger who disappeared into the Joker. The mask... The voice... It could have been anyone in the role and I don't think it would have made a huge difference. I heard a few people say his revamped voice worked, but I just thought it sounded cartoonish and funny. 

I did also enjoy the ending in general if only for the fact that they made sure it paid off for the fans in big ways. Most of the twists could be seen early on by anyone who's ever picked up a batman comic or watched a film before, but that was alright. It was still enjoyable to see the little reveals. I felt the film was slightly messy structurally without a really saying anything, which brought it down to standard comic book movie level. All in all not as good as the last film, but a solidly enjoyable popcorn movie.

And to those who think it surpassed the last film, let's talk in a year when the big screen high has worn off. 

Oh, and one thing I can't help but ask to those who've seen the film. When Alfred is talking about Paris, did anyone else think he was basically delivering Ben Affleck's speech from Good Will Hunting? Cause the comparison popped into my head right away and I couldn't help but laugh. 

What are your plans this weekend? Out to see TDKR or The Watch? Dialed into the Olympics?


  1. Skipping the Watch since it's getting such horrible reviews.
    I enjoyed the Dark Knight Rises. It was almost too dark, but I'm a Nolan fanboy, so it just rocked. Ending was great, except that now I want to see a film with Robin. And Hathaway was a great catwoman.

  2. Unfortunately my weekend plans include visits to starbucks with 5 kids so I can get online since my wifi is down!! Sucks! I want to see The Watch, Batman and honestly I wouldn't mind seeing the Step Up movie because I'm obsessed with So You Think You Can Dance and would find it fun to look out for past contestants that might be in it. (weird, I know. ha) No movies in my immediate future...that whole 5 kids at home thing....Hope you are having a fun weekend.

  3. I really, really want to see Anne Hathaway's take on Catwoman. To me I feel the same way about Catwoman being played by someone other than Michelle Pfeiffer or Julie Newmar as others did about the Joker at first.

    I'm pretty sure I just misspelled everyone's name. :p

  4. I agree with you about TDKR, I still enjoyed it and think as a bookend to the trilogy did a great job....but as it's own film it is bloated/clumsy and yes Bane's voice sounds like Billy Madison on steroids. I enjoyed the end though, I guess I'm just a sucker for teary eyed English butlers.

    1. I loved the ending, I just didn't see enough of any build up to buy a romance between Selina and Bruce.

  5. Olympics for me. I've been recording the late night stuff to watch it during the day. They only come every few years after all.

  6. I have always felt reading your reviews that you are overly critical of movies but you are entitles to your opinion. I feel like there aren't a whole bunch of movies that you really enjoyed. You always find something wrong with them.

    1. I'm sorry you feel that way. I actually have written quite a lot of positives about many movies, and indeed I said I liked TDKR. In fact I'm such a Nolan fan, that I was expecting more from it. You drop in occasionally so yeah, you're going to see negatives. I don't have as much time to write as I did when I first started TNR. Lately I've focused more on this column which is largely about debating what movies are worth the cost of admission each week. I've kept it going because while I haven't had time, I haven't been ready to give up TNR just yet. But that has meant that I've had less time to discuss everything I see.

      And I'm not the type of person to blindly love everything I watch. I enjoy having discourse with others over our opinions on movies. I believe that part of what makes them enjoyable is viewing them not as some flashy mindless time waster, but as an art to be looked at, held up, and examined. Sometimes there are flaws and often times, you'll find hidden beauty within them.

    2. I don't blindly love everything I watch either. It's hard for me to rate a movie a 5 out of 5 or 10 out of 10. Usually I just like movies and love a few. I think you have criticized a lot of movies that I found quite enjoyable and that's my beef. I guess I haven't read a lot of your positive posts and the ones I have read have been on movies I never heard of.
      I am a big movie buff so I take offense to easily. Review the way you want, don't let me get in your way. BTW, DarkWing Duck was an awesome cartoon. "Let's get dangerous"

    3. I was really harsh on DK Rises when I came out of the theater. (DK being Dark Knight, not Donkey Kong) But then my brother pointed out that for almost any other director it would have been a perfectly fine movie, and that my criticisms were more about being disappointed in Nolan. So I agree with TS's review, but perhaps for the wrong reasons. That said, however, you may be right, PTM, that TS points out more flaws than strengths (I don't know, I haven't been counting) but you have to admit that there is often more humor to be had in cracking on a film than praising it. So maybe that plays a part.

      (BTW, Donkey Kong Rises could be an awesome movie. Is M. Night Shyamalan available?)

  7. I think I'll be passing on these three movies. I'm too far behind to waste my time on anything but the ones I think I have a decent chance of liking.


Related Posts with Thumbnails