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Rating History

The Dark Knight
9 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

[font=Helvetica][/font] [font=Helvetica] First of all, let me start off by saying this is not Batman Begins. The story naturally and unforgivably progresses without any hesitations. You are immediately pulled back into the world of Gotham City as if it had always existed. [/font]

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[font=Helvetica] One of the most notable differences in the film is how they chose to showcase the character of Batman as more of a human being this time around and less of the mythological creature he was set up to be in the previous installment. We get to see more of how he operates behind the scenes rather than a glorified symbol of obscurity through the criminal perspective. [/font]

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[font=Helvetica] The Dark Knight also separates itself from the focused origin story found in Batman Begins in that it deals with the overall struggles of an ensemble cast. Each character is evenly distributed while given their fair amount of screen time and playing equally important roles in the story. Batman is no longer the only significant protagonist within the corrupt city of Gotham. Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) and Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) become just as vital in commandeering the war on crime and cleaning up the streets littered with the mob. Since Batman is presented as more of a human being learning how to deal with his vigilant mantle, it becomes appropriate in bringing moments of vulnerability to the forefront. In turn, he must rely on these other characters to get himself out of certain situations as much as they must rely on him. This allows for each of them to have their limits tested while granting them an opportunity to share the spotlight. However, by the end of the movie we are still reminded who the real hero is within a beautiful narrative provided by Commissioner Gordon in which he describes Batman as being ?the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now.?[/font]

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[font=Helvetica] ??And so we?ll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he?s not a hero. He?s a silent guardian, our watchful protector? The Dark Knight.?[/font]

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[center][b][font=Helvetica]Story[/font][/b]
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[font=Helvetica] Director Christopher Nolan proves once again he is a masterful storyteller and it is not only evident in his earlier body of work, but made even more obvious in how he orchestrates his craft within The Dark Knight. He never settles for any lame excuses or unjustifiable motives for how these characters came to be. There is always a good amount of substantial reasoning behind the way they interact with each other throughout the film. Nolan creates a much more believable environment to immerse yourself into that goes beyond the efforts of your average movie. The multiple stories told in The Dark Knight begin to weave in and out of themselves in a complex morally challenging devotion to cinematic perfection as everything comes full circle once you reach the end credits. So you are actually rewarded for paying attention to all the careful planning that went into stitching the film together. This is the kind of movie that will most likely affect you emotionally as well as intellectually and leave you pondering about it afterwards. It deals with some very adult themes in an epic nature, delving into that sensitive grey area without crossing the line.[/font]

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[font=Helvetica] Nolan rushes the story along by only showing you the key scenes in the movie that are meant to progress the story. As if to say this is how it actually happened (or would happen) and this is all you need to know, everything else can be left up to your imagination. By using this technique, Nolan also creates a much more believable world in the movie because you actually believe these characters are filling in the blanks.[/font]

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[font=Helvetica] There is a magnificent dynamic between the Joker and Batman while the transformation from Harvey Dent into Two Face, being the backbone of the story, provides a transcendental paradox blending the palette. Harvey Dent as Two Face becomes a representation of the duality between Batman and Joker. He is just as much a result of both of them as Joker was a result of Batman through escalation. So it only made sense for Harvey Dent to be the backbone of the entire story.[/font]

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[font=Helvetica] The dialogue was a smart and sophisticated yet poetically earnest set of words. It could be a little too in your face at times with all of the philosophical subtexts, but still proves to be a powerful glimpse into the mindset of each character. This is definitely one of those movies you have to see more than once in order to fully absorb all of the intricate details within it. Nolan always manages to juggle many components of a story into a psychological conundrum of profound depth.[/font]

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[font=Helvetica] There is nothing but substance in this movie. The style comes second and is in most cases sacrificed for the overall quality of substance. But don?t let that fool you, in my opinion, this is pure artistry dressed in a realistic fashion. Nolan and co. have managed to find the perfect balance between what makes a great comic book movie and what makes a convincingly realistic crime drama. It is a true testament on how to blend proper old school film making techniques with great acting.[/font]

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[center][b][font=Helvetica]The Joker[/font][/b]
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[font=Helvetica] Heath Ledger. Not only did he mark his territory on this entire movie, but his performance was simply amazing to watch. The direction they took with the Joker was pure genius. When he first introduces himself to the mob with a long drawn out episode of psychotic laughter it nearly gave me chills. He is incredible to watch on screen. You will linger on his every movement in a weird combination of suspense, humor, and an odd sense of charisma. Heath Ledger actually manages to make a deranged psychopathic mass murdering clown seem... cool. But really Ledger is non existent in this movie and you feel like you are seeing the real Joker: A manifestation of pure anarchic desire.[/font]

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[font=Helvetica] Let's just say the movie is worth seeing for what Heath Ledger does with this character alone. He not only delivers a perfect Joker, but you can almost imagine this being a real guy. Ledger plays an authentic madman with schizophrenic mannerisms personified as the Joker we all know from the comic book world. [/font]

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[font=Helvetica] His acting ability really speaks for itself. It?s not even uncomfortable to watch him on screen knowing he just recently passed away because you barely recognize Heath Ledger in the role. You only see how great he was as the Joker and then realize how much of a tragic loss it was to lose such a talent so early. He was acting from his head to his toes with facial ticks, flicking the tongue, hand gestures, hunched posture, awkward walk, the laugh, and the most startling transition? his voice. Ledger must?ve have given the role at least 110% as he completely transformed himself.[/font]

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[font=Helvetica] The way Joker carries out his "plans" and comprises all of these moral dilemmas for each main character is brilliant. Joker always appears to have the upper hand in each and every scene. And just when you think you have him cornered he completely pulls the rug out from underneath you. The tension building music helps to cue this creepy effect.[/font]

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[center][b][font=Helvetica]Criticisms[/font][/b]
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[font=Helvetica] I will admit this film was not without its flaws and hopefully this will give the rest of my review some more credibility. However most of these are only minor complaints:[/font]

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[font=Helvetica] As soon as the movie starts off you are thrust into the world of Gotham at full throttle and the pacing doesn?t seem to let up from there. It is so quick and the story is so compacted that it felt a bit rushed by the end. However, there is so much to distract you and keep you involved in it that you barely even notice until it is finally over. For instance when Rachael dies, while it was startling, it almost seems like they just got rid of her because there wasn't much time to mourn her loss afterwards. However, the effects of her death are very well integrated into the story so this is not much of a complaint. If anything the quick pacing of the movie only warrants more viewings in order to fully absorb the story.[/font]

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[font=Helvetica] Batman's voice is slightly contrived in certain moments and I would've liked to have heard some more of Bruce Wayne emerge from underneath the cowl to highlight the emotional stress that would add to the drama.[/font]

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[font=Helvetica] In Batman Begins the whole movie revolved around his origin and easing you into his journey of becoming more than just a man. The content within the movie took itself seriously enough that you allowed yourself to believe it. Now here we are given a much more human version of Batman like I said before, so apply that with the natural realistic environment his character lives in, along with the fact that Joker is practically mocking him the entire time, and it is even harder for you to take Batman seriously here. Sometimes it almost puts an emphasis on how silly a guy dressed up in a bat suit really is in contrast to the stark realism he is surrounded by because he almost seems out of place and a bit awkward at times.[/font]

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[font=Helvetica] I also would have liked to have seen Batman having to resort to using more of his nifty gadgets when fighting off the criminals and not just hand to hand combat. Which was less convincing in some aspects then if he would have been throwing batarangs and using smoke bombs in a more desperate attempt to defend himself strategically.[/font]

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[font=Helvetica] Honestly, I think this would have been even more effective if it had been rated R. I love how they were able to leave everything up to the imagination with the PG-13 rating, that is not my complaint, but I felt there were moments that were a bit hindered by the restrictions. I would have liked to have seen at least a little more bloodshed and this is only because the Joker is in the movie so you are already expecting more of that. I'm not saying that they needed to boast every moment of gore with gratuitous carelessness, I'm saying it might have actually been more effective story wise to show a little more of the raw grittiness with the violence rather than quick glances which left you with less of an impact.[/font]

Doom
Doom (2005)
9 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

i wish i could actually enjoy tearing this film to pieces, but sadly i am only reminded by how much potential it had and how great it could have been. it ends up feeling more like you are watching a rip-off of the video-game instead of a worthy homage. very disappointing indeed.

first of all, they changed one of the pinnacle characteristics that makes doom what it is today. instead of the creatures being literally from hell they are just some kind of hybrid alien from outer space. so instead of having an angry imp creature hurling fireballs you get an impartial rip off of aliens.

did it ever occur to them that that's what made the game so great in the first place? the testosterone charged "one man against an army of demons" plot somehow escaped them. sure that would have been just as over the top, but could've been much more satisfying to watch if done right.

the first person perspective scene is fucking pointless. i mean if you want to experience something like that.. just play the fucking game! i swear the best and only good thing about this movie was when dwayne "the rock" johnson fires the BFG gun, but it is only used to that effect in one scene. come on i had to say something positive about it.

in my opinion, all they had to do was translate what the game does best onto the screen, but they really failed to do so. when you play doom (mostly doom 3) it already feels like you're in a horror movie. the game does a great job of building tension and atmosphere. the movie does not. i would have liked to have seen no reference to the creatures at all until they are suddenly revealed to you like they were in the game (ala from dusk til dawn). there could have been plenty of opportunities to foreshadow this in a horrific way. just like the game does by having you listen to recordings and reports of people going mad and witnessing paranormal activity. the movie could have really used this to build suspense, but there is utterly none at all. most of the references to the video-game they chose to use were cheesy and stupid.

doom. great game, bad movie.

The Mist
The Mist (2007)
9 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

this is arguably one of the better horror films in recent years. its one of those movies that, if u allow yourself to, you can completely disappear into. very absorbing and thought provoking. the dialogue and acting is evenly well executed and the reactions of everybody to the creatures in the mist feel very real and authentic. there were moments in this movie that actually gave me chills and that is not an easy thing to accomplish from an audience member. when the sirens started going off in the town and the mist begins to take over, you see one of the residents running away from something in total fear. he is covered in blood and as soon as he makes his way into the crowded convenience store delivers the line "there's something in mist!" to me that was just one of those chilling moments. there were also plenty of "holy shit!" and "what the fuck?" moments to keep you involved in the story and the creatures were beautifully designed. they reminded me of something from a guillermo del toro movie as they are interesting to look at and seem to function all on their own.

while this remains to be not just another one of those dismissable horror movies, the ending is probably what gave it the most mixed reactions when it came to reviews. i'm not exactly sure how i feel about it either, but i know when i watched it happening it recieved nothing less than my full attention. (spoilers) its one of those events in a movie where u know it is going there, but you really keep questioning whether or not it will actually happen because a father being reduced to shooting his own child isn't exactly easy to swallow.

now i will admit that watching it made my jaw drop a little, but when the credits started rolling i began to feel somewhat discontent about the whole thing. it definitely manages to leave a bitter taste in your mouth afterwards. however i felt that it was slightly contrived in trying so hard to be an original ending and making you spellbound. the way the mist just suddenly disappears once the main character shoots everybody else sort of makes u wonder about how convenient that was to the plot. on the other hand, it [I]was[/I] original and did have some balls to it which is hard to come by in hollywood. so its definitely something you have to see for yourself before making a decision on. i would have liked to have seen the main character even more influenced to be forced into shooting his own kid as it didn't really seem like that much of a last resort yet, but some people might disagree with me about that.

all in all, the mist is a very welcome addition to the horror genre and i can't help but appreciate what strengths it does have when compared to its weaknesses.