Artist: Anthony Hamilton featuring Elayna Boynton
Album: Django Unchained
Music: Anthony Hamilton
Lyrics: Anthony Hamilton
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director: Christopher “Don’t Ever Question Me Again” Nolan
starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Matthew Modine
I’m a sucker and Christopher Nolan is smarter than me. First impressions of anything can be important and can often be right on the money, but they’re also dangerous, susceptible to myriad external factors like one’s state of mind, their environment and their preconceptions going into a given situation. Such is the case for me with Rises, a movie I was angrily disappointed with after an initial viewing in a small theater with merely adequate sound fidelity on a Thursday evening after a long workday. This revisionist review is not meant to excuse the flaws that still exist, but a second viewing did much to minimize them, to the point I’m now pleased enough to give it an A-.
director: Christopher Nolan
starring: Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
I’ve never been more disappointed about being disappointed about a movie. The Dark Knight Rises is a disappointment on nearly all levels of filmmaking. A lazy, self-indulgent, sloppy mess of a plot punctuated by action sequences that are more spectacular in intent than execution. I’m reserving final judgment until I see the flick again on IMAX, but I’m sad to say Rises is likely not the crowning achievement and fulfillment of the promise the first two Nolan Bat-movies set the table for.
Where to begin? Let’s start with the titular character. Batman Begins was remarkable in its ability to drive the plot forward despite the fact Batman doesn’t even show up until halfway through the movie. Bruce Wayne’s sojourn abroad was just as interesting as the moments he finally dons the cowl and lays waste to Gotham’s enemies. Nolan found the right balance between character-driven plot and comic book action beats, and carried this through to what might be his finest hour in The Dark Knight, counterbalancing and exceeding any lack of Batman with Heath Ledger’s incredible portrayal of the Joker. That balance is nowhere to be found in Rises, as the film grounds to a halt anytime the caped crusader is absent.
director: Ridley Scott
starring: Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, Charlize Theron
My lack of movie review authoring over the last year is due partly to the “reality” commitments of a career, significant other and various other familial obligations, but mainly due to the lack of real thought-provoking cinema that stirs something in me to write about it. Enter the much-anticipated, much-hyped “Prometheus,” marking Ridley Scott’s return to the universe he helped create in 1979′s seminal “Alien.” I hold the latter and its James Cameron-helmed sequel in high regard, and so the moment I heard whisperings of a potential Scott-helmed prequel, the fanboy geek in me began to get giddy. They hype has been building over the last six months, rising to a fever pitch with an onslaught of trailers, viral videos and interviews. So, does “Prometheus” live up to the hype? I’ll attempt to answer but will delve into spoiler territory to do so. If you haven’t seen the flick, I’ll only suggest that it’s a must-see film, albeit not one without flaws. Check it out, then come back here for the rest. Oh, and do yourself a favor and see this on IMAX while you can — consider it mandatory.
It’s the annual tradition that’s not so annual: The Wayward Cynic’s Running Diary of the Academy Awards! I’ll get right to the action as we join our telecast on the red carpet.
8:22pm: Sacha Baron Cohen shows up as the dictator from his new, similarly-named movie and spreads Kim Jong Il’s ashes on the carpet before promptly being detained and escorted off the premises by security.
8:30pm: We’re underway as Billy Crystal and his synthetic face run through a musical number recounting the year’s most notable film hits.
8:31pm: I’m bored and just turned the channel to “Worst Cooks in America.” Some guy just dropped his pizza on the ground! Oh no!
Thanks to all for joining me for another fun-filled year of recapping the Oscars; see you next year and hooray for Hollywood!