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Posts Tagged ‘dark knight’

district-9-movie

District 9: Aliens have been at the rear end of the deal with cinema. Films with aliens in them fall prey to either predictability or patriotism, both of which have been known to cause unparalleled damage to its kind. Steven Spielberg’s ET made me want to eat my face inside out. I wanted to chew through my cheekbones and pull my eye sockets out through my nostrils every time the camera zoomed in on the ghastly bugger and everyone else in the room went, “awwwwww so cute”. Independence Day was big dumb mediocre fun, but it had its share of unforgivable crimes – especially, the ‘let’s hug it out, you earthling…you’ climax.

Neil Bloomkamp’s District 9 side-steps such irksome details and then some to deliver a kickass film. The coolest part of District 9 is that it never takes itself too seriously; even in the false finishes that threaten to pull the curtains when you least expect it to. It even avoids the shock shtick that such ambitious directors have been known to fawn over. For instance, like Ebert mentions, despite making it clear that Nigerian prostitutes were doing it with the aliens, director Blomkamp merely makes an awkward joke about it and never bothers grossing us out with unnecessarily graphic imagery.

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So the deal is that aliens have landed on Earth two decades earlier and after much diplomacy and brain cells-racking, the government of South Africa has decided to put them all in a “militarized ghetto” – where the only rule is that there are no rules…wait, there are a few rules like the aliens can’t purchase cat food without paying for it and kleptomania is generally frowned upon, but you get the picture. Pretty soon the lack of a civil and a maintainable social order in the ghetto drives the government to forcibly evict all the aliens.

Enter Wikus Van D Merwe (Sharlto Copley). A key player and bootlicker unparalleled in a premier ammunitions corporation – Multi-National United – who has been put in charge of the eviction formalities by his father-in-law. From then on, Wikus’ life becomes spectacularly worse than ever before, with aliens and humans conspiring to either kill him or dash his hopes of getting out of this mess, alive, well and almost human.

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With an engrossing storyline, a suitable cast (Sharlto is awesome) and tremendous CGI effects, District 9 gets my vote for the ‘flick of the year’. It can’t get any bigger or funner (yes funner) and god bless Nick Blomkamp for that. The only thing dumb about District 9 is that some movie executive in Los Angeles is probably jerking off to the thought of casting Steve Carell in the Hollywood remake. Please fucking don’t.

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Public Enemies: Two years ago, the sheer prospect of Christian Bale and Johnny Depp sharing screen space in a gangster film would have had me stalking YouTube and Daily Motion for every user-made promo video. Lately I have turned sour towards both of them. When the initial euphoria of Dark Knight faded away, I became increasingly cynical of it and especially of Bale’s performance. Much like Gerald Butler’s in 300, Bale’s overdubbed voice as Batman really really pissed me off. It sounded like he burped out Clint Eastwood after seven shots of single malt whiskey. In Public Enemies too, he sounds odd. So very odd that you almost forget that Bale is one of the top five method actors in his country; insert Dustin Hoffman quote (if there’s a method, where’s the acting?). As for Johnny Depp, well…part two and three of the Pirate series have made me rethink the whole ‘who’s my favourite American actor” business. If anything, it was a sign of an actor coming to terms with his own celebrity status.

Back to the film…I felt that Public Enemies showcased these two blokes quite poorly. It wasn’t as bad as Pirates III or Terminator IV, but it still was a pretty terrible way of utilizing them; especially considering how good director Michael Mann can be (Collateral).

Unless you have been living under a rock, you’d probably know the storyline by now…so I’ll close with something you might not know. Elliot Goldenthal’s original music for the film is brilliant and I really think you should go out of the way and buy the soundtrack. Matter of fact, it almost takes away the uneasy feeling that you have watched something mediocre by the time the end credits hit the screen.

bronson

Bronson: Director Nicolas Winding Refn has gone ahead and carved a nice little niche for himself in European pop cinema. His grim debut Bleeder and the Pusher trilogy have given him enough street credo and maturity to craft something as exquisitely brutal as Bronson. As for actor Tom Hardy, I have only seen him in the recent film adaption of Wuthering Heights, in which he plays Heathcliff. In this film, he plays the awesomely moustached and tough-as-nails – Charles Bronson– England’s most infamous prisoner and general pyschopath extraordinaire.

To call this a tribute to the real-life title character would be a bit short sighted since one gets the impression that it was more of a tribute to pulp cinema. The scenes in which Bronson addresses the crowd, dressed as a clown and drenched in existential ennui, are indicative of the theatrics that daftly help the film avoid genre classifications. The ending however made me feel a bit queasy with the melodrama and all, but as a whole – the film worked very nicely.

However once again, folks, life has asked art to sit the fuck down and observe. In 1994, the real Charles “Charlie” Bronson, whilst holding a guard hostage at Woodhill Prison, Milton Keynes, demanded an inflatable doll, a helicopter and a cup of tea as ransom. In 1998, he asked one of the Iraqis he had held hostage to hit him “very hard” over the head with a metal tray; when he refused, Bronson slashed his own shoulder six times with a razor blade.

EdWood

Ed Wood: There is something very strangely beautiful about this one. Why, you ask? Johnny Depp stars as the worst film director ever in the history of moving pictures and halfway through decides to start impersonating the bastard child of Michael Jackson and Willy Wonka. Martin Landau plays Bela Lugosi – the actor who was the original Dracula – but with more self-loathing decay. Bill Murray is Bunny Breckinridge – the soon-to-be transvestite perennially getting screwed over by bad luck and worse makeup. Jeffrey Jones is Criswell, the man who can see into the future as long as the TV ratings go up. So that takes care of the strangeness.

As for the beauty, tiny moments of awkward sadness make Tim Burton’s Ed Wood prettier than I had expected it to be. When the character Ed Wood watches Bela Lugosi for the last time, a gloomy ethereal note pierces the scene and threatens to make us feel bad for laughing about them earlier.

Funny thing is in 1980 when this gentle and eccentric man was voted as the worst director of all time, the Carroll Ballard’s tortorously dramatic The Black Stallion won a friggin Special Achievement Award. Probably for making a shitty movie without even an ounce of the dedication that Ed Wood had for his films.

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poster-of-the-dark-knight1From The Sun

Bruce Wayne – who by night is Batman – gets murdered by a man claiming to be the father he thought was dead.

In a highly controversial new storyline Bruce, who first appeared in 1939, is killed by Simon Hurt – the leader of the shady Black Glove organisation. Writer Grant Morrison said, “I like to keep the story twisting and turning. So what I am doing is a fate worse than death.

“This is the end of Bruce Wayne as Batman. He goes on to say that Batman will live through another person.”

If it’s Nightwing, I swear I’m going to riot.

If it’s Tim Drake, I’m going to kill myself.

Please bring back Azrael and ignite a year-long feud with The Joker.

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800px-batman_turkeyExcerpts from an article that appeared in the MSNBC website…

The mayor of the real city of Batman — an oil-producing city in southeast Turkey — is reportedly suing “Dark Knight” director Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros.

“There is only one Batman in the world,” Kalkan said. “The American producers used the name of our city without informing us.” Kalkan claims he has evidence, which will show the city of Batman was founded before the 1939 debut of Bob Kane’s DC Comics superhero by the same name.

Excerpts from my mind…

What the fuck?

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71291563Hills Have Eyes II

As a rule, most sequels suck. Rare are cases in which the quality of the sequel surpasses the original. In fact I can only think of two instances…Hellboy II and The Dark Knight. The first edition of Hills Have Eyes was a tribute to the great gore films of the past three decades. It had all the right ingredients –bloodthirsty mutants, unlikely heroes, a terrified family of five and a plausible storyline. Hills Have Eyes II sort of pales in comparison; reason being that an American military squad has replaced the archetypal Caucasian family. They are neither the underdogs nor are they terrified, at least not for the first one-hour. We even get to hear the obligatory “Come and get me motherfuckers, I’m right here” braggadocio every now and then from the soldiers and to make matters worse, one mutant even wants to help them out for no reason whatsoever. Thankfully, the mutants are demented enough to keep your fingers off the eject button. And Mr Director, I beg of you, no more scenes of mutilated women giving birth to even more mutilated babies during the first five minutes of the film…some of us hit the play button during supper.

gendatirGeneral’s Daughter

This is pretty messed up for a John Travalto film. And I must say, Travalto is not half as bad as people think he is. He tends to impress when paired with seasoned performers. Alongside William Macy and Robert Duvall in Civil Action, and with Dustin Hoffman in Mad City, he has proven his versatility as an actor. In General’s Daughter, he meshes quite well with veterans James Cromwell (brilliant, as usual) and James Woods. As for the story, it is a military thriller directed by Simon West, with Travalto playing Paul Brenner – a tough-as-nails Warrant Officer who has enough street credo to start rapping or selling crack. Along with fellow officer Sara Sunhill (Madeline Stowe), he investigates the brutal murder of Captain Elizabeth Campbell – the tormented daughter of General Joseph Campbell. The premise of the film is rather twisted, as are the secrets uncovered during the course of the investigation. However, the standout is the theme music orchestrated by Carter Burwell. The most disturbing scenes in the film are accompanied by the haunting sound of strings swimming through a sea of violins. Quite beautiful. And as for the film itself…well it’s no Jarhead, but not quite the bird-brained tripe that American military-centric movies are generally known for.

thillumulluThillu Mullu

Watching K Balachander’s 1981-comedy caper is like getting hit by a tornado of laughs. The jokes come in at breakneck speed with the audience getting barely enough time to breathe before the one-liners explode on their faces. The story revolves around Chandran (Rajnikanth), a devil-may-care youngster on the look out for a job. And he does pouch one in a company owned by the orthodox Sri Ramachandramoorthy (‘Thengai’ Srinivasan). But there’s a catch. In order to get the job, Chandran had to fake interest in a lot of things; religion, civil obedience, patriotism and so on. He even had to shave his moustache off! The rest of the film chronicles the extent to which Chandran would go to conceal his real identity and how Mr Ramachandramoorthy eventually uncovers the façade. ‘Thengai’ Srinivasan is freakin’ hilarious, as is dame Sowcar Janaki. There is a scene involving these two, which quite easily contains some of funniest dialogues I have heard in Indian films. Also, watch out for a cameo by Kamal Hassan; it will have you shitting giggles. As for Rajni, well…Balachander proves once again that only he can bring out the best in the actor. Somewhere down the line, this actor sold his soul to appease all the minions but still, watching Thillu Mullu gives me hope…. a fleeting ray of optimism that maybe someday the Superstar will retire, not in superficial style but rather in graceful charm.

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The Killing Joke is probably Joker’s most terrifying performance on graphic print. His insanity shone dimly like a broken ray of hope through dark corridors almost threatening to reveal the truth that mommy and daddy have tried for so long, and hard to keep away from you.

The way he dissects Inspector Gordon’s mind is a thing of beauty. He slices and dices through every shred of pattern in Gordon’s life and haphazardly discards them on a larger canvas to make a point.

His point being, in a world gone insane, man should do all but remain sane.

Yesterday, I watched The Dark Knight for the fifth time and I am yet to be bored by Heath Ledger’s performance. In fact every each time I listen to Joker recite chilling anecdotes behind his scars…I cringe in delight.

So obsessed I am about Heath Ledger’s portrayal of Joker’s shenanigans that I have started to question my interest in all future endeavors of Christopher Nolan’s tremendous take on Gotham’s darkest saviour.

In fact I didn’t think too much of Christian Bale’s character. The blood lust that the Dark Knight mustered under his breath in epics such as Crimson Mist and Knightfall seemed missing in Nolan’s latest. Anyone who has read the visceral episodes of Dark Knight battling Azrael, Bane or even the Mutants in Dark Knight Returns series, will feel a pinch of disappointment witnessing Bale’s character abiding by moral laws to serve justice.

I want to see a more vicious Batman, one who is capable of soaring over ethical grounds and laying his enemies to rest in a bloody pool of poetic justice. One should know that more than anything else, The Dark Knight is a saner and in ways weirder than most can fathom a less heroic reflection of Joker.

Ask Alfred, he’ll tell you.

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The sequel for the Dark Knight is set to burn through the silver screen by next year. And I’m sure as hell hoping that the rumour mills are spinning out the truth.

Apparently, Johnny Depp is being tipped to play The Riddler. This has potential to be the best casting decision since John Papsidera decided to pick Heath Ledger for the part of Joker.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, one of best actors of this era, is touted to be The Penguin. As much as I don’t like the character, I’m sure he would be able to salvage what remains of the grotesquely evil feathered feign after being torturously portrayed by Danny Devito in Batman Returns.

Despite both Penguin and Riddler being semi-comical villains, I do trust Nolan to bring out their darker sides.

Now all they need to do is introduce Bane and Azrael. I’m thinking…Michael Clark Duncan and Daniel Craig on stilts.

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A dark, dark knight

Proof there’s God: I got a pass to watch the premiere of Batman: The Dark Knight. Proof he’s evil: I had to attend the premiere show at Sathyam Theatre.

Despite being subject to the annoying clamour of socialites and film actors at the theatre, I experienced pure bliss at the end of the film. Suffice to say that I was a bit irritated with those photographers at Sathyam and their goddam cameras clicking photos of Namitha, Simbu, Arya and a few others who rightfully should be locked up with the Joker for the sake of their own redemption.

But screw that. Everything paled in comparison to scenes where a siren accompanies Joker’s haunting verbose. And may angels kiss Maggie Gyllenhal for being graceful, charming, courageous and undoing the damage caused by Kate Moss.

Language still eludes me, as I am still unsure how to describe The Dark Knight. Matter of fact, I won’t.

Let’s try something else.

Watch it and if you don’t think Heath Ledger has had one of the most memorable exits from modern cinema, fuck off.

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