After wallowing for almost two decades in movie limbo thanks to the horrific failure of “Batman & Robin,” it took Warner Bros. hiring of independent filmmaker Christopher Nolan to finall bring Batman out of the whimsy of the nineties and transform him in to a relevant cinematic hero once more. Christopher Nolan, always a man intent on bringing his own ideas to the forefront and never crushing under pressure, decided to basically play the trilogy of Batman movies on his own terms and delivered three of the most quintessential Batman movies ever made. Christopner Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” trilogy presents the quintessential cinematic Batman that would come to influence a slew of comic book based films that strived for realism and an adult attitude toward the source material.
I’ll admit I had little to no expectations for “The Fighter” primarily because the stylish trailers have made it feel almost like a clone of the Channing Tatum clunker “Fighting,” when in reality it’s truly an Oscar caliber drama about a man who has the potential to become a boxing legend, but cannot escape the clutches of a family who refuses to let him rise above their lower class pit of despair, regret, and broken dreams. “The Fighter” is based on the true story of Mickey Ward, a low level boxer out of Boston who dreams of becoming the legend his brother Dickey touts himself as.
The story of Pocahontas just isn’t interesting. There’s nothing about this pseudo-historical tale about a young woman who became civilized that attracts it to me. With “The New World,” there’s no new angle presented to the audience, no new exploration of other characters, and the soapy drippy romance is still present and accounted for. “The New World” just didn’t live up to the hype that preceded it, and that’s because Malick anxiously looks for a new method of telling this yarn and pretty much never achieves his goals in that respect from the get go.
“The Machinist” is such an accomplishment, an accomplishment that, big surprise, went almost unnoticed in Hollywood. It’s utterly refreshing in this day and age to watch a movie so intellectually stimulating, it’s fulfilling to watch a psychological thriller that demands the audience watch, pay attention, follow along, and decipher for themselves without falling in to the usual Hollywood conventions. Brad Anderson instills a lot of atmosphere and slow paced tension here for the audience, creating such a brilliant Lynch-esque labyrinth of a murder mystery.
If I was to explain this movie to someone in one sentence it would be this: “George Orwell meets John Woo”. I thought about Orwell he’d probably approve of this film. The center for which all the soldiers come from is called “Equilibrium” or balance as it is layman’s terms; they’re all injected with an opium drug that they carry that numbs their emotions and sense of guilt while they’re controlled by the heavily armed heavily secure government facility. Paired with incredible direction and writing by Kurt Wimmer and sleek stylish cinematography by Dion Beebe, we’re given a glimpse into a world that’s still imperfect despite it being under control.
Director Rob Bowman gives us a very sleek and highly visual world of dragons and war. We get to see the cool looking dragons as they take over the world. Possibly, the best part of the movie, if any, is when the remaining survivors take on the King Dragon. A tried effort. I was looking forward to this when I first saw the trailer in the theatres; unfortunately, I was very disappointed. The movie gives us a promise we’ll enjoy this with a unique apocalyptic world, but it’s a big let down.