The Dark Knight — the review’s up!


My review of The Dark Knight is now up at BC Christian News.

And believe me, there is a lot, lot, lot more I could say about this film, but time and word limits got in the way. Plus I think I’d need to see the film a second time to really process it properly.

In the meantime, a few coincidences for your reading pleasure:

Heath Ledger got frisky with Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain (2005). Now, as one critic put it, he “comes on” to Jake’s sister Maggie in The Dark Knight — and thus becomes probably the only actor to have “come on” to both siblings onscreen.

Harvey Dent is played in this film by Aaron Eckhart, and he is dating Rachel Dawes, who is played by Maggie Gyllenhaal. However, in the previous film, Batman Begins (2005), Rachel was played by Katie Holmes … who slept with Aaron Eckhart in Thank You for Smoking (2005). If they hadn’t re-cast the part of Rachel Dawes, those two actors could have had a reunion here!

Finally, I am getting tired of the critics who complain that Two-Face and his coin-tossing are a “pale echo” of Anton Chigurh’s coin-tossing in No Country for Old Men (2007). Have they forgotten that Two-Face was doing this in the comics for years — nay, decades — before anyone had even dreamt of Chigurh? Have they forgotten that Two-Face had already done this on the big screen years ago, when he was played by No Country for Old Men co-star Tommy Lee Jones in Batman Forever (1995)?

Oh, one last semi-related item: As the MTV Movies Blog noted the other day, there is an awesome trailer for the Watchmen movie playing before The Dark Knight, and it features a song by the Smashing Pumpkins … a version of which first appeared on the soundtrack for Batman & Robin (1997). Quelle coincidence!

Space Chimps — the review’s up!

My review of Space Chimps is now up at CT Movies.

Build your own WALL•E out of paper!


Whatever I might think of the film, I have always thought that the character WALL•E was as cute and charming as they come. And if my kids were just a little older, I’m sure we’d have fun putting this paper model of him together. Ah well, I’ll just have to do it for them, I guess, and hog all the fun to myself. You can download the necessary graphics here. Hat tip to the Upcoming Pixar blog.

Indiana Jones, between movies.

I have mentioned it here before, but until tonight I had never seen Harrison Ford’s fourth appearance as Indiana Jones, in the bookends to the ‘Mystery of the Blues’ episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992-1993).

Although it was filmed only a few years after his third appearance as Indy, in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), this fourth appearance takes place quite a bit later in the official Indy chronology; the first three films all take place between 1935 and 1938, while this section of the TV episode takes place in 1950.

Ford’s fifth appearance as Indy, in this year’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, was filmed a decade and a half after this TV episode but takes place just a few years later, in 1957.

Anyway, here is the opening bookends sequence:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzoKDo4R2a8]
Click here if the video file above doesn’t play properly.

And here is the closing bookends sequence:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sE8ZYcxWw74]
Click here if the video file above doesn’t play properly.

Review: The Dark Knight (dir. Christopher Nolan, 2008)

FOR YEARS, the people who write the Batman comics and movies have been drawn to the theme of insanity. The Joker is wild, of course, and so are many of the other villains; and it is often suggested that a billionaire like Bruce Wayne must be crazy on some level too, if he feels compelled to wear a bat-shaped costume every night just so he can prowl the streets looking for criminals to terrorize.

Thankfully, the two Batman films directed by Christopher Nolan have so far avoided this cliché. Instead of dwelling on the inner psychology of Batman, they have explored the social implications of the character, using him as a lens through which to raise profound questions about the nature of authority, the value of myths and the lengths to which any civilization should go in protecting itself from evil.

[Read more…]

Terminator 4 — the first trailer is now online!


The teaser for Terminator Salvation went online today, and while it doesn’t give you a chance to look at anything very clearly or for very long, the QuickTime format thankfully allows you to go through it almost frame-by-frame, if you so choose.

So, first of all, the teaser gives us our first good look at Christian Bale as John Connor — and for what it’s worth, I have added the image above to my John Connor gallery so that Bale can take his place alongside Dalton Abbott, John DeVito, Edward Furlong, Thomas Dekker, Nick Stahl and Michael Edwards, all of whom have played Connor at some point in his life or other.

Second, I have isolated some of the brief glimpses that this teaser gives us of the machines against which our heroes will do battle. These apparently include a giant claw that punches through a wall so that it can pick someone up off the ground …

… and a somewhat ungainly robot that looks rather like the big wheeled things that attacked our heroes in the third movie …

… and, of course, at least one red-eyed biped:

I do appreciate the fact that Connor, in the voice-over that begins the teaser, acknowledges the fact that the war he is now fighting is not the war that his mother warned him about. This is a whole different future, thanks to the choices that were made during the second film — choices that sent the timeline going in a whole different direction.

So with any luck, the filmmakers will explore the fact that Connor really doesn’t have a destiny any more — his destiny was on that other timeline that no longer exists — and he therefore ought to be asking himself some serious questions in the new films. Does he need to do this? Is he necessarily the best man for the job any more? And so on, and so on.


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