In a recent interview with Christopher Nolan, he big farewell to the franchise that’s probably made him enough money to retire. (Though I doubt he will stop making films just because he has an epic pile of cash stored away.)
“Alfred. Gordon. Lucius. Bruce . . . Wayne. Names that have come to mean so much to me. Today, I’m three weeks from saying a final good-bye to these characters and their world. It’s my son’s ninth birthday. He was born as the Tumbler was being glued together in my garage from random parts of model kits. Much time, many changes. A shift from sets where some gunplay or a helicopter were extraordinary events to working days where crowds of extras, building demolitions, or mayhem thousands of feet in the air have become familiar.”
“People ask if we’d always planned a trilogy. This is like being asked whether you had planned on growing up, getting married, having kids. The answer is complicated. When David and I first started cracking open Bruce’s story, we flirted with what might come after, then backed away, not wanting to look too deep into the future. I didn’t want to know everything that Bruce couldn’t; I wanted to live it with him.”
“I told David and Jonah to put everything they knew into each film as we made it. The entire cast and crew put all they had into the first film. Nothing held back. Nothing saved for next time. They built an entire city. Then Christian and Michael and Gary and Morgan and Liam and Cillian started living in it. Christian bit off a big chunk of Bruce Wayne’s life and made it utterly compelling. He took us into a pop icon’s mind and never let us notice for an instant the fanciful nature of Bruce’s methods.”
“I never thought we’d do a second – how many good sequels are there? Why roll those dice? But once I knew where it would take Bruce, and when I started to see glimpses of the antagonist, it became essential. We re-assembled the team and went back to Gotham. It had changed in three years. Bigger. More real. More modern. And a new force of chaos was coming to the fore. The ultimate scary clown, as brought to terrifying life by Heath.”
“We’d held nothing back, but there were things we hadn’t been able to do the first time out – a Batsuit with a flexible neck, shooting on Imax. And things we’d chickened out on – destroying the Batmobile, burning up the villain’s blood money to show a complete disregard for conventional motivation. We took the supposed security of a sequel as license to throw caution to the wind and headed for the darkest corners of Gotham.”
“I never thought we’d do a third – are there any great second sequels? But I kept wondering about the end of Bruce’s journey, and once David and I discovered it, I had to see it for myself. We had come back to what we had barely dared whisper about in those first days in my garage. We had been making a trilogy. I called everyone back together for another tour of Gotham. Four years later, it was still there. It even seemed a little cleaner, a little more polished. Wayne Manor had been rebuilt. Familiar faces were back—a little older, a little wiser . . . but not all was as it seemed.”
“Gotham was rotting away at its foundations. A new evil bubbling up from beneath. Bruce had thought Batman was not needed anymore, but Bruce was wrong, just as I had been wrong. The Batman had to come back. I suppose he always will.”
“Michael, Morgan, Gary, Cillian, Liam, Heath, Christian . . . Bale. Names that have come to mean so much to me. My time in Gotham, looking after one of the greatest and most enduring figures in pop culture, has been the most challenging and rewarding experience a filmmaker could hope for. I will miss the Batman. I like to think that he’ll miss me, but he’s never been particularly sentimental.”
I had such high hopes for Silent House. While it was a typical suspense film, I liked the premise of this new “single take” feel. Kind of like a found footage movie, but with a unique twist.
I had gone into it with the thought that it was a paranormal film. I don’t know why, but I was corrected shortly into it.
The premise of Silent House is interesting, though poorly executed and pretty transparent. The entire film (albeit short) wants you to focus on the man that’s come into the house to torment this family. They want you to focus on what’s happening on screen, while they clearly spent most of their time trying to film the entire thing in a way that made it seem like one continuous take. (I read afterwards that they filmed in ten minute segments and then cleverly spliced together.)
I had the entire plot figured out pretty quickly. I won’t flatter myself and say that I knew what was happening right away, but it wasn’t too far into the movie before I figured out the backstory. Towards then end there’s a “twist”, but for any skeptical moviegoer, it’s not that big of a surprise. I didn’t completely see what the twist was, but I knew there was one that was coming.
It’s a relatively dark film, mood wise not just visually. It deals with some pretty deep things in a way that I don’t necessarily agree with.
Elizabeth Olsen (younger sister to the famous Olsen twins) was pretty good in her first leading role. I was a bit surprised by how genuinely frightened she seemed in many of the scenes. Perhaps some clever film making behind the scenes lead to her actually being scared, who knows.
Unfortunately, the film didn’t really do it for me. I went in wanting to be scared. I wanted to jump and yell and be afraid of every time she walked around the corner. But I wasn’t. There were only one or two times where I asked myself “Did that just happen?” as the majority of the scary parts were just “oh, there’s a guy standing way in the back of that room, and you can make out his silhouette” and the like.
The “twist” at the end (that again, I saw coming) was what I like to refer to as a cheap movie ending. They try to convince you that all of the things you’ve been seeing for the last hour and a half actually played out differently than they had. Which doesn’t line up if you go back and think through the various bits and pieces. Similar to The Sixth Sense (I hate to make that comparison when talking about a twist ending, but it sets the precedent), when you look back after knowing the ending, it makes sense. He really didn’t talk to anyone but the kid. He really is dead, etc. Silent House wants you to believe much the same, but you can’t. You can’t buy into what they’re selling as the ending, because you saw what you saw. They want you to believe that what you saw wasn’t real, that it was imagined, but it’s not. It’s real, and you did see it.
My guess is that they needed a way to wrap up the movie, and went for the easiest way out. Or that the original ending was much more gruesome, and it didn’t test well.
In summation, I didn’t care at all for this movie, and am glad I didn’t spend any money to see it. Even if you’re a big horror movie fan, you can skip this one as it’s not really worth a whole lot of your time – despite how short it is.
It’s no secret that not only is Christian Bale my man crush, but so is Batman. I’ve been waiting for this movie since The Dark Knight‘s credits rolled. (Which coincidentally I just re-watched on Friday afternoon.)
To say I went in with high hopes would be an understatement. Thankfully, this movie does not disappoint.
Some will argue that it’s too long. Some will argue that Selina Kyle (Catwoman) is kind of lame. Some will argue that the middle of the film feels kind of boring. And those people could all be right. However, there’s so much awesomeness jam packed into the entirety of the movie, that it’s very easy to overlook its flaws. It’s not a perfect movie – in fact, as much as I loved it, I still prefer The Dark Knight more. Mainly because Heath Ledger knocked his role so far out of the park. (According to the trivia on IMDb, the Joker isn’t even mentioned in this film out of respect for Heath.)
Remember in The Dark Knight where the Batpod pops out of the Tumbler for the first time, and you’re like “OH MY GOD, THAT IS AWESOME!”? There’s a lot of that in The Dark Knight Rises. There’s many scenes where you expect something to happen, and it does, but way more awesome.
I love Tom Hardy as an actor, and have since I saw him in Inception, and he doesn’t disappoint at all as Bane, the film’s main villain. I will admit I had a hard time understanding some of his dialog at times – which I later read him saying was intentional in an interview. He reported that he was trying to sound like Bartley Gorman, an Irish bare-knuckle boxing champion. To me, he sounded a bit like a drunk Sean Connery. In a bad way? Not necessarily.
You’ll read many reviews over the next few days (assuming you even care about reviews) that talk about spoilers and “what happened at the end” and whatnot. But I’m not that guy, I never have been. I loved the ending of the movie. I loved the story-telling that the Nolan brothers put together for this franchise wrap-up. I may have not seen what was coming towards the end of the film, but apparently it was because I was distracted by all the shiny flying things, and fist fights to have seen it. I felt there were two very distinct AHA! moments towards the end of the film. But in discussing it with others after the film, I’m alone in those AHA! moments, and everyone else had seen them coming. Don’t fear, though, even if you see the “twist” coming, it’s still an excellent movie.
I was a little disappointed by the lack of Michael Caine, though. Probably because I could just listen to him talk for the next 50 years, and not care. That guy’s accent is just awesome. (Side note, I’m going to watch The Prestige later today, just to hear his opening voiceover again.) While disappointed, I understood why there was a lack of his character. It fit into the story, and I didn’t get the “Well he’s just off filming some other movie and phoning it in” feeling that sometimes you get when a big actor is missing from a franchise.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is amazing, as always. Talk about a child actor that really grew into his own. Look back at some old episodes of Third Rock from the Sun, and you can clearly see that this kid was going places. (It’s funny that I call him a kid, he’s barely a year and a half younger than I am.) He fits right into the already well established franchise, and feels like he’s been there all along.
I really want to love Anne Hathaway in everything. I honestly do. It’s just getting harder and harder. And I feel a bit badly. When news first broke that she was being cast as Catwoman, everyone flipped out. Don’t lie, you were mad, too. People said “Why her? She’s going to ruin it!” and the like. But I defended her. I said things like “Remember when Heath was cast as the Joker, and people felt the same way? And look how that turned out!” I knew that there was a reason Christopher Nolan had her cast. Nolan is one of the most brilliant filmmakers of our time, how could he possible make a blunder and not fix it? If she was terrible, he’d have recast her. AhemKatieHolmesAhem. (Say what you want, Katie Holmes wasn’t in The Dark Knight due to scheduling conflicts. She sucked in the first movie, and they re-cast her. Plain and simple.) Thankfully, however, Anne Hathaway isn’t in the film enough to ruin it. Which I’m glad for, because the scenes she’s in really didn’t do it for me. She has quite a few fist fights, but I don’t buy it. I don’t get that a tall, skinny, lanky girl could overtake a 6’2″ 220 pound dude with a gun. If that makes me a sexist, so be it.
Chances are, by now, you’ve already seen this movie if you had planned on it, and my review isn’t going to sway you either way. So what I say here is almost moot. However, this movie is fantastic. I’d say it was my top movie of the year so far, but that honor goes to The Avengers, which beats this out only ever so slightly. The Dark Knight Rises delivers, in major ways. It wraps up the franchise amazingly. The story, the action, the characters, the good guys, the bad guys. It’s got everything I wanted it to have (except maybe some more trailers before it), and I’m glad to have seen it on the big-screen. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to go see it, spend the money. If you don’t have the money, borrow the money. You won’t be disappointed.