Posts tagged ‘Anne Hathaway’

July 30, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (2012 – Cinema)

“Theatricality and deception, powerful agents for the uninitiated. But we are initiated, aren’t we Bruce?”

I saw ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ a week ago but I thought I had to give it a week and a second viewing to form an opinion. I felt that I had so many expectations that I couldn’t enjoy it properly. I was over analysing every scene which was unfortunate as I found it lacking in several areas.  Christopher Nolan has woven many sleight of hand twists of character and plot into the film but I found I could see all of them coming from at least 30 minutes away. This started in the first 5 minutes when he uses exactly the same reveal-gag as in ‘The Dark Knight’ (Note the irony of my quote from the film above). Perhaps he thought that the plot was sufficiently convoluted that these would escape our notice. In fact in at least 3 or 4 points the characters pause for whole scenes to explain the plot and the character motivations, which is always unpleasant.

The characters themselves seemed lost despite the film’s 2 3/4 hr running time with Batman barely featuring (To the point where the audience I was with cheered when he finally showed up!). Alfred is relegated to a few brief scenes often simply to deliver information to camera. Gary Oldman’s magnificent portrayal of Jim Gordon also felt underused (But that’s probably because I could go for a whole trilogy devoted just to him). Anne Hathaway’s cat woman was pretty good but she only gets one decent one liner. Plus (After her seductively dangerous appearance in Nolan’s own ‘Inception’) I’d already cast co-star Marion Cotillard as Selina Kyle in my head, so to me Hathaway looked like a wrong choice in comparison.

So I left the first screening a little deflated but with a sneaking suspicion I was being over critical. Indeed on the second viewing last night much of the irritations I ‘ve expressed faded into the background (Although they were still there). I found I could enjoy the many good things about ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ with fresh eyes. Chiefly Tom Hardy’s take on Bane, which is predictably outstanding. He’s come up with a distinctive evil voice that’s part John Merrick, part Dr Evil and part Darth Vader. Imagine Hardy’s Bane saying the line “I am not an animal Mr Powers, I am your father” and you’ll get what I mean.  Also the opening set piece is astounding to behold, especially as you know that Nolan will have done it for real, eschewing CGI shortcuts. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a welcome addition to the cast as grim-faced rookie Cop Blake and I suspect an action hero film career beckons.  In the end the underlining strength of the dark vision Nolan has built across the first two movies means that the faults never overwhelm the movie.  In fact I enjoyed this second viewing much more and might even give ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ a third go when IMAX tickets become available.

June 23, 2012

Get Smart (2008 – DVD)

“How about Chuck Norris with a BB gun?”

The promise of a sequel to the legendarily funny ‘Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy’ had me searching around for a hit of the same surreal goofery.  I plumed for 2008’s ‘Get Smart’, a spy spoof based on Mel Brook’s 1960s TV comedy of the same name.  It stars Steve Carell (From ‘Anchorman’) as frustrated desk-bound Intelligence-Analyst Max Smart who gets a chance to fulfill his dream of becoming a field agent accompanied by the beautiful and deadly Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway).

As with most modern Hollywood remakes of fondly remembered cult TV shows, sadly ‘Get Smart’ is louder, more action orientated and brasher than a light spoof of this kind really should be.  The fact that the Smart character is a genuinely intelligent, witty, deadly and often suave secret agent, yet somehow keeps on making Clouseau-esque mistakes is a bit of an odd mix (Director Peter Segal obviously isn’t over familiar with the “Cake and eat it” phrase).  Indeed the choreographed fight scenes are visceral enough to fit into any hard edged action flick. The creative team should have devoted more screen time to the gags which are actually very funny fueled by Carell and Hathaway’s cracking chemistry and comedy timing.  ‘Get Smart ‘ is a fun couple of hours, I just wish it had been more fun!

Here’s the first episode of the original TV series: