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Rating History

The Campaign
The Campaign (2012)
5 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Movies like this make me lose faith in critics. How The Campaign has a fresh consensus is beyond me.

Will Ferrel and Zach Galifianakis go back and forth nearly the entire movie with the breaks in-between involving their families and political advisers. The problem with that is these "breaks" take up so much of the movie we get down-right bored. This length of the film is only 90 minutes. I could have edited it down to 45 and made the movie better.

There are some sub-plots with the family of Galifianakis's character and something about outsourcing Carolina to China in some ridiculously impossible, unfunny scenario if the bad guy wins the election. The bad guy flips back and forth, and that is all the plot you need to know.

The comedy is pretty bad, which is a shame. The comedic talent in this picture is terribly utilized. Jason Sudeikis doesn't add anything. Will Ferrell gets in a couple of good ones as he usually does, but it wasn't enough. Zach Galifianakis is just horribly unfunny here though. It may be that Zach in the lead role is just not his thing, he needs to play off of another actor to be effective. He should stick with the awkward creepy guy in the supporting role.

The one-note joke is that Galifianakis's character is a weirdo with a southern drawl that will make a baby cry. Of course from the previews we know Will Ferrel does that damage with his fist. Let me be honest with you and say this is the HIGH point of the movie. I can't believe it either. If you saw the preview, you can skip this one and hope Will Ferrell steps up his game in his next appearance.

The Dark Knight Rises
5 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

This movie never should have been made. The Dark Knight was so good and never could have been outdone. Nolan himself stated that he would not make a sequel if he could not top the previous installment. So why was this movie made?

This is not going to be a standard review. This is more of a rant. The Dark Knight and Batman Begins were two of my favorite movies from the 2000's. Not only did the Dark Knight Rise, he somehow managed to completely crap on the previous two installments.
I should mention there will be spoilers up ahead, but really who reads reviews (or rants) without expecting a plot thread to be exposed? Run away if you are one of those people.

1. When did Gotham become New York City? One part of the plot has Bane attacking the "stock exchange". Many of us know that the previous films were filmed in Chicago in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, so why change it up all of a sudden? The lack of continuity was just confusing and seemed to only work to further the plot.

2. Alfred leaving made no sense. He didn't want Bruce to become Batman and get himself killed. That was the misguided premise. Apparently he didn't think that through for the last couple movies. This was a plot thread to give Bruce more desperation and it just didn't make sense. Not only didn't it work for Alfred, by doing this he helped enable the villain to get the upper hand later in the film.

3. The technology in this movie completely destroyed the realism that was portrayed and applauded in the first two movies. That stupid bat-copter was totally overpowered. The nuclear reactor was just a plot device to make Batman responsible for the possible destruction of gotham. I highly doubt it was in Bruce Wayne's character to keep a possibly unstable neutron bomb underneath Gotham. Then Nolan had the nerve to have Bruce give the bomb away to someone else. Nolan basically made Bruce a complete moron in that moment. Also, in an effort to make TDKR "bigger and better" Many Tumblers were thrown out onto the streets to give the climax a more "epic" feel, completely cheapening the Tumbler and the inventions used in the previous movies.

4. Is Bruce Wayne Batman or Bruce Wayne at the end? They show Gordon with a new Bat-signal. They show Bruce Wayne settled with Catwoman in Italy. Then they show Robin discovering the Batcave. Well which is it? Is he settling down like Alfred begged him to or is he going to return as Batman?

5. Did anyone believe for a moment that Nolan killed off Batman at the end of the film? No? Me neither. The thought of this had me roll my eyes in the theater. Come on, just like Harry Potter at the end of the Deathly Hollows, the entire audience knows that killing off of the main character is just not going to happen and seems to be a complete waste of time. Everyone would be pissed off and for a self sacrifice for a character like Batman is just ridiculous. That would equate to Jason Voorhees being "killed off" at the end of a Friday the 13th film.

6. The "battle" climax was forced. I felt like I was watching a movie try to be an epic conclusion rather than actually being an epic conclusion. The cops rushing town hall against Bane's henchmen seemed like a completely useless plot element. Why are they rushing? Where are their guns? It just didn't make any sense.

7. The Dark Knight Rises crapped all over The Dark Knight. The Dark Knight was one of my favorite movies and this is the most egregious offense to me. The only mention that the entire plot of The Dark Knight even happened was through the "Dent Act" which gave the cops more "teeth" to fight organized crime in Gotham. Nolan never explained the act or mentioned what the "teeth" were. You were just supposed to know that crime was gone and it was because of the lie that Harvey Dent was a great person and the Dent Act. What a load of bullshit. First, Nolan had to give more respect to his best movie than this. Second, both BANE and ROBIN later use the "Harvey Dent lie" against both Batman and Gordon for all the good they did for the city. Robin said the commissioner was WRONG and that crapped all over the entire ending narrative in The Dark Knight (by batman himself) that explained why it was necessary people's faith is rewarded. Then they had Bane use the "Harvey Dent lie" as an excuse to condemn Batman and Gordon, rile the people up, and then release all the prisoners. Way to render TDK useless Nolan.

But more importantly than the previous problem, WHERE THE HELL IS THE JOKER? Yes I do not mean literally. We all know Heath Ledger is dead. But NOBODY MENTIONS HIM IN THE ENTIRE MOVIE. That's right, one of the most iconic villains of all time is not mentioned in the conclusion to the trilogy that he helped set up. There were many ways Nolan could have gone. Nolan chose none. He decided to make it seem like the Joker never happened. Why not have a news anchor on TV talk about what happened to him in the past? Why not have a bit of dialog bringing up all the chaos he caused? Why not have Bane cite the joker as a reason for why Gotham must be destroyed? Is he alive? What did they do with him? Nolan really fucked up here. The best example I can think of is not mentioning Saruman in The Return of the King. It would be a complete slap in the face to the Two Towers and the entire trilogy as a whole.

8. This movie tried so hard to be the epic, perfect end to the trilogy that it lacked its own personality. Bane was excommunicated from the league of shadows. Talia al ghul is getting revenge on Bruce for her father and also completing the final mission of the league of shadows. So... this is a sequel with not much to offer except action. We have seen this all before. It seemed more like a continuation to Batman Begins that its own movie. Hell, even Dr. Crane (scarecrow) is back.

9. The "twist" ending was awful, awful, and awful. We don't care at all about Talia before she is revealed. That would be fine, except that happens in the last 15 minutes of the movie. So we don't care about this "main" character for almost the entire movie. The problem with this "twist" is that everyone and their brothers that know the batman universe knew that Bane was not Ras al ghul's son. We knew only Talia. What we didn't know is whether Nolan lost his mind or something like this would happen. Not only was this "twist" ending a lame attempt to tie in with Batman Begins, it completely crapped all over the showdown between Bane and Batman that the entire movie had been building towards. This deserves its own paragraph.

10. Bane was defeated in the most disappointing or angering (depending on how you look at it) way imaginable. After the big "reveal" that Talia was Al Ghul's daughter, Catwoman comes in with the Bat Bike and shoots Bane and says a witty quip (which is not witty) and that is the end of Bane. REALLY!? That was the payoff!? ARGH!!!!!!!!!

I wanted to throw in the geeky nitpicks in this section. While these annoyed me, these were no where near as agitating as the points above.

1. The military either would have shot Robin dead immediately or blown the bridge earlier. Nolan tried to humanize the soldiers too much for a heartfelt moment of betrayal.

2. The "spirit rising" in the hole was a joke. Another attempt to tie this movie to batman begins, Bruce needed his fear of Bats to get out. I can't believe I typed that.

3. Some people would obviously be cowards and try to flee the city. So Talia would have blown the bomb much sooner or some people would have been killed by the military, making point 1 more true.

4. Nobody in eight years noticed a growing crime syndicate underneath gotham city? Let alone a crime syndicate full of people willing to sacrifice themselves for Bane? That guy who stayed behind on the plane in the beginning willingly was hard to believe. But a city of cops and detectives with less and less to do due to the fact crime is way down are not noticing the syndicate is much more unlikely.

5. Blake was a character in the Batman universe that surely wasn't Robin. Nolan tricked us again!

6. Bane's voice sounded like a guy talking into a microphone. I couldn't tell if the voice was coming from the character on the screen or if it was just dubbed over in post-production.

I should mention some of the few things I liked about this movie to be fair. I thought Anne Hatheway did a good job as Catwoman. I never liked Catwoman the character, but Hatheway made her seem human and grounded her enough to make us like and cheer for her. The action scenes were very intense and well done. I thought Joseph Gordon-Levitt did a great job convincing me Gotham deserved to be saved. Blake was a likeable and easy character to root for. Gordon played an intricate part in the plot which I was afraid might not happen. I also laughed when I saw Hines Ward in the football sequence.

This movie betrayed us. Nolan betrayed us. This movie never should have been made. We know it wasn't a money grab because Nolan doesn't care about that. This movie is all on him and is by far the worst movie he has made so far.