Tag Archives: Tom Hardy

The Dark Knight Rises, but only so high

30 Aug

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.


Adam’s Grade: B+

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

Inception questions our understanding of reality

28 Jun


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.


Adam’s Grade: A

Chuck’s Grade: A+

LAWLESS delivers the goods

23 Sep

Most gangster films show the finished “product” of the infamous Prohibition era criminals: Capone, Schultz, etc…but audiences forget about where the illegal alcohol came from in the first place. Lawless takes place in the hills of Virginia where moonshiners make their valued product. It follows the “true” lives of the Bondurant brothers (Shia LaBoeuf, Tom Hardy, Jason Clarke) refusal to succumb to the  demands of a corrupt District Attorney and his Special Deputy (Guy Pearce).  Each brother has a different talent that makes them successful moonshiners and interesting characters to watch.

The film moves along methodically only to be interrupted by scenes of brutal violence that reminds audiences that this is a life or death business. I thought the actor’s did a good job with the material, but it was hard for me to imagine LeBoeuf as a backwoods bootlegger.  Ironically, this interesting part of American history is played by three Englishmen and one Australian actor. Lawless delivers the goods.


Chuck’s Grade: A-

Adam’s Grade: N/A

Warrior: What Do You Fight For?

18 Aug

I received an advanced screening  to ‘Warrior’ last August not knowing what to expect from the film. This is a powerful and moving domestic drama about an alcoholic father, Paddy (Nick Nolte) who just passed one thousand days of sobriety and his two estranged sons Tommy (Tom Hardy) and Brendan (Joel Edgerton) The three of them haven’t spoken to each other in years. Tom Hardy follows up his Bronson role with this troubled Iraq vet searching for redemption. His brother, Brendan is fighting to keep his home and family. And Paddy is fighting for a second chance.

The film has some forgivable flaws because the acting and story are so strong.  Audiences will connect with these broken relationships and root for someone to be champion in the end. Everyone that takes the time to see this film will feel like a winner when it is over.


Adam’s Grade: B

Chuck’s Grade: A-