Posts tagged ‘Gary Oldman’

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.

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February 14, 2012

TMTYC’s BAFTAs reaction

“I just want to thank The Artist for not being adapted from a book!”

The 2012 BAFTAs got it nearly right this year with seven awards going to my (And surely any other sane persons) favourite film, Michel Hazanavicius’ ‘The Artist’. It won for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Original Music, Cinematography, Costume Design and Original Screenplay.  Ludovic Bource’s Music was sublime, Guillaume Schiffman’s Cinematography was gorgeous and it was the overall greatest film of the year.

However, while Jean Dujardin’s charming lead performance was nothing short of stunning, he wouldn’t have been my choice.  Gary Oldman’s portrayal of quiet spy George Smiley in ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ was on a whole other plain of subtle minimalist acting.  Also Tomas Alfredson’s direction of that same film was similarly masterful and he should have walked away with Best Director. But I’m glad that a film as bold, beautiful and brave as ‘The Artist’ has been recognised by critics, industry and public alike.

I think the Academy made one grievous error by giving the Best Documentary to ‘Senna’.  It was good film but the past year was overspilling with great documentaries, most of which weren’t even nominated.  My pick would’ve been ‘Project Nim’ but ‘TT3D: Closer to the Edge’, ‘Tabloid’ and ‘Bobby Fischer Against The World’ are just a few other delights

Lastly, of course the Best Actress award went to Meryl Streep for ‘The Iron Lady’ (Any other result would’ve been ludicrous!). Now lets see if the Oscars in two weeks time can score a such a terrific ratio of hits to misses.

The ceremony is available to watch on BBC iPlayer for the next week by clicking here.