Tag Archives: Christopher Nolan

The Prestige is an underrated film

14 Sep

THE-PRESTIGE

Christopher Nolan has been known to trick and challenge his audiences to think, but he explores new ground in the underrated film, The Prestige. Two magicians Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) have turned a friendly competition into a bitter rivalry that consumes each of them with obsession and jealousy. Both actors give convincing performances. Their preparation for the roles of magicians are obvious and not lost on the audience.

Magicians are not supposed to reveal their secrets and Nolan continues to amaze audiences with his ability to direct or should I say misdirect the obvious from the mind and eye. Wally Pfister’s camera work and use of dark-lighting sets the tone for Nolan and his brother Jonathan to adapt a story that is full of mystery from start to finish. Every great magic trick consists of three acts. The Prestige has all three parts and has audiences leaving the theater asking, “How did he do that?”

WORD COUNT: 160

Adam’s Grade: A

Chuck’s Grade: B

The Dark Knight Rises, but only so high

30 Aug

THE-DARK-KNIGHT-RISES
Everything comes to an end in Christopher Nolan’s ambitious conclusion to his Batman Trilogy. Set eight years after The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has become a guilt-ridden recluse content with his tarnished reputation. A powerful, new villain, Bane (Tom Hardy) has a complex plan to destroy Gotham.

The Dark Knight Rises is a good film, but not a great film. Nolan tries to do too much with Bane. A “revolution” of convicts running around didn’t work well in the first film and it doesn’t work in this one either. Anne Hathaway as Catwoman was brilliantly played, but she became one of Nolan’s unnecessary moving parts, although she contribute in the end; she serves as Batman’s deus ex machina rather than something she can stick her claws in.  The expectations were unreasonably high for the third film, but it cannot be used as an excuse for some basic story problems. The Dark Knight Rises, but only so high.

WORD COUNT: 159

Adam’s Grade: B+

Chuck’s Grade for IMAX: B+
Chuck’s Grade for Standard Screen: B-

The Dark Knight is a diabolical masterpiece

29 Aug

THE-DARK-KNIGHT

Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight raises the bar and turns the sequel to Batman Begins into one of the most memorable action films of all time. It exceeded most audience’s expectations because of its complexity, rich story, exhilarating action, and Heath Ledger’s legendary performance as The Joker. No one should ever put on the white make-up again after Ledger’s diabolical performance. Gotham will never be the same and Batman (Christian Bale) had to use everything at his disposal to combat his arch-nemesis.

Even at a running time of over two and a half hours the story and characters have no problem holding audiences’ attention. The visual effects combined with adept sound design/editing elevate the film and become an integral part of the unforgettable masterpiece. The Dark Knight is not only the best superhero film, but one of the most entertaining and satisfying films of all time.

WORD COUNT: 146

Adam’s Grade: A

Chuck’s Grade: A+

Batman Begins an amazing franchise of films

28 Aug

BATMAN-BEGINS

Christopher Nolan’s interpretation of the Batman character has replaced most audiences’ perception of the caped crusader. Thank goodness because I am tired of campy television references and Tim Burton’s expressionist take on the masked vigilante. Nolan’s first installment provides the origin of Batman and Bruce Wayne’s reluctant journey back to Gotham City. Christian Bale is ideal for the part and the film’s antagonists Cillian Murphy (Scarecrow) and Liam Neeson (Henri Ducard) are equally up to the task. The Scarecrow scares audiences with his ghoulish demeanor while Ducard’s cold-blooded crusade are formidable tactics that keep the film from falling into a one-note action flick. Batman is known for his utility belt and Batmobile. Lucious Fox (Morgan Freeman) provides the eye-catching vehicles and gadgets that raise the level of action to new heights for a comic-book film. Nolan creates a realistic superhero with human flaws and weaknesses that audiences can’t get enough of. Batman Begins an amazing franchise of films.

WORD COUNT: 158

Chuck’s Grade: A

Adam’s Grade: A-

Inception questions our understanding of reality

28 Jun

inception

With Inception, Christopher Nolan has established himself as one of the best writer/directors in Hollywood. His multi-layered plot filled with jaw-dropping visuals, adept acting from an ensemble cast, and well-paced action is like no other blockbuster to date. Nolan challenges his audience to think, as opposed to simply enduring one explosion after another. This has led to a love it or leave it response to this film.

Leonardo DiCaprio takes on one of his most complex roles as Cobb, a professional thief hired to commit corporate espionage by infiltrating the minds of his targets and leaving an idea that would benefit Cobb’s employer. Inception is an original film that successfully makes the “familiar strange and the strange familiar” by blurring the borders of the conscious mind with the subconscious dream world to the point audiences are questioning their own reality as they leave the cinema. We love it and hope to see Cobb again in our theater of dreams.

WORD COUNT: 159

Adam’s Grade: A

Chuck’s Grade: A+

Doodlebug turns on itself

23 Mar

doodlebug

Christopher Nolan has become one of the most popular directors in the world with his Batman trilogy and success of his thriller, Inception, but audiences can trace his affinity for complex mind-bending material back to his black and white short film, Doodlebug. A man is tormented in his apartment by a mysterious pest. He attempts to flatten this pesky rodent with the heal of his shoe. The title reveals more to audiences than is first expected because the idea of a doodle continuing to move outward and growing with every turn is a powerful metaphor that Nolan cleverly explores. Doodlebug turns on itself and leaves audiences looking over their shoulders for their own doodlebugs.

WORD COUNT: 114

Chuck’s Grade: A

Adam’s Grade: A

Memento is a memorable revenge story

6 Feb

Picture 39

Christopher Nolan assembles a psychological thriller that is unlike most films. Based on a short story by his brother Jonathan, Momento uses non-linear editing style along with two timelines, one in black-and-white and the other in color. The black-and-white scenes are in chronological order while the color sequences are in reverse. At first, it is confusing, but once the structural device is understood, the film reveals its unique story of revenge.

Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce), is looking for his wife’s killer, but he has anterograde amnesia, which doesn’t let him store new memories. He has developed a system of recollection using hand-written notes, tattoos, and Polaroid photos. Audiences are drawn to Leonard’s character because he is heroic and tragic at the same time. Nolan puts the viewer into Leonard’s shoes and you cannot help but feel his frustration. The cast gives everything they got to produce one of the most “memorable” films of all time.

WORD COUNT: 155

Adam’s Grade: A

Chuck’s Grade: A