Alright, since so many people are asking, I thought I’d dust off my Tumblr here to yap about the finale to the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy. That being said, this post has LOTS OF FREAKING SPOILERS. So, don’t read it if you haven’t seen the movie. Ok?
Ok. It seems this movie has caused a bit of controversy. There are some people out there who have say they hated it. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but my guess is these people are way to involved in being a comic book nerd. This is coming from me, an admitted comic book nerd and HUGE Batman fan. So, let’s talk about what seems to be causing the most controversy.
Tom hardy’s performance as Bane: Apparently, Nolan makes such great films that the only thing people can figure out to complain about is actors’ voices in said films. Seriously. That’s the complaint I hear about the Batman movies. If people aren’t complaining about Bale’s “Batman” voice, they’re now complaining about Bane’s. Admittedly, at times, he was hard to understand. But looking back at the other two movies, there were lines I didn’t catch from every other actor including Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, and Liam Neeson. On top of that, in probably almost any movie I’ve ever seen there’s at least one line I don’t quite catch. Keep this in mind; the people making these movies know what the line is, so they are not going to notice it being unintelligible. I’m a musician, and I write and sing songs. I know what I’m saying on my record, so I think that it sounds totally audible and easy to understand, but quite often, people don’t. Anyway, I’ve seen TDKR twice now, and I don’t think there was a line I didn’t understand the 2nd viewing. As far as Hardy’s performance, some are complaining it wasn’t as good as Ledger’s as Joker. You can’t compare his performance to Ledger’s any more than you can try to compare it to Michael Cain’s as Alfred. They’re completely different characters. I, for one, thought he did a great job at always talking calmly, but being completely terrifying.
Catwoman: No one thought Anne would do a good job in this movie, but I think she was great. As far as people thinking the character was pointless, I disagree. She does, after all, lead Batman right into the trap that ends him in a pit. And then saves his ass at the end. Now, you could say you’d rather have seen Bane and Batman fight a little more there at the end, but Catwoman officially coming back to save Batman instead of her own tail was a great character development, and one true to the Hush storyline in the comics.
The “Robin” Thing: First of all, I’ll happily admit that I have a bit of a man-crush on Joseph Gordon-Levitt due to his nearly constant fantastic choice in roles he chooses. If you haven’t seen Brick, The Lookout, 50/50, and 500 Days of Summer, you should. I thought his John Blake character was very well written. It seems the problem people have with it was that his name wasn’t Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, or even Jason Todd. Now, I may have just lost a bunch of you if you don’t pay attention to the comics, but those are (until just recently) the 3 characters that have been Robin in the comics. See, the thing about a certain percentage of comic book nerds, just like any other kind of nerd, is they feel you have to be 100% true to the “source material”. Apparently, they were able to overlook things as untrue as Bruce’s parents murder being caught in Begins, but not this. The thing these people fail to understand is often the comics themselves are not “true to the source material”. It’s a 70 year old character and world! Things change, people have different interpretations. For me, personally, I thought it was a cool nod. The things that bother me, as a fan of the Batman character, are him using guns and killing people in the Tim Burton movies. Those things are (past the first year or so of Batman being created) essential to the character that is Bruce Wayne and Batman. And Nolan did such a fantastic job in the first movie explaining why Bruce won’t use guns. Even though the comic nerd in me didn’t like the thought of Nolan letting Bruce confront his parents’ killer in the movie, he went against the source material to better explain the character of Bruce Wayne and why he became Batman.
Miranda Tate/Talia: This, admittedly, I saw coming myself. But, that’s the comic nerd. It is the one problem I had with the movie. It’s not that I felt she shouldn’t have been in the movie, I just feel that the character wasn’t developed enough. I loved the tie in to Begins the character had, but had we as an audience, and Bruce, been more emotionally invested in her, the end would’ve hurt much much worse.
The Ending: Some critics feel its cheap to trick the audience into thinking the hero is dead. While I agree sometimes, I think this is different because the hero faked his death himself to escape. It’s not as if he showed up in the final scene to save the day after we thought him dead. And if we’re talking source material, take a look at The Dark Knight Returns. Remember earlier in the film, Bruce says to Blake “Batman could be anybody”. I don’t think the idea at the end is that he’ll really be Robin, but the next Batman. Which, by the way other people have worn the cape and cowl other than Bruce, just not permanently, in the comics. Also, who didn’t get emotional in the theater during Alfred’s graveside speech or Gordan’s boy-like excitement at seeing the Bat Signal back in working order? Those moments alone were worth the ending.
The biggest reason I like the ending is that it made it Nolan’s trilogy. WB can’t just hire some new director to attempt to continue the story in the Batman universe Nolan created, and I think that’s how it should be. There will be a reboot, and that’s exactly what it should be. It should be a Batman movie unrelated to these three entirely, just how Nolan’s had no continuity with the 4 films made from 89-97. There are rumors now, of course, that the next movie will have Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Batman or Robin or Nightwing, but I don’t think so. First of all, Robin and Nightwing aren’t Batman, and don’t make box office money like Batman, so WB won’t let that happen. As for him being Batman, I say no way. That would imply continuity with Nolan’s films, something Nolan doesn’t want for sure. I don’t believe in a selfish way, either. I just think he wants the next director to have his own chance to interpret the characters, just like he got to. That’s also why, contrary to popular rumors, he’s not producing the next Batman movies either like he has with the new Man Of Steel movie coming out next summer. And if you think someone like Joseph Gordon-Levitt is going to give up being in Nolan movies to be Batman, keep dreaming.
In closing, I think The Dark Knight Rises was a near perfect ending to an amazing trilogy. I’m not a fan of people trying to compare and rank the three films in some sort of best-of order, because they work so well together. A truly great story needs a beginning, a middle, and an end. And I don’t care who you are, you can’t argue that Batman Begins isn’t a great origin story, The Dark Knight isn’t a great coming of age middle, and The Dark Knight Rises doesn’t have finality to it. I don’t think anyone other than Christopher Nolan could have made these movies so well after the franchise killing Batman and Robin in 1997. My prediction is anyone claiming to hate this movie will be longing for Nolan Batman movies when the next WB Batman movie happens. I hope I’m wrong, but I doubt I will be.
(Source: n1mz, via laurenmoran)
Every year, as December winds down, I try to make a list of my favorite movies and albums from the year. While compiling that list this year, I ended up with 7 of each I really liked, which seemed like a good place to stop. Who says you have to have a nice even number like 10? 7 of 2011 sounds cool, too. By the way, these are in no particular order whatsoever. You can’t really compare “The Muppets” and “Drive”, can you?
I was pretty pumped when I heard this movie was happening. I tried not to get my hopes up too high, but it was hard not to. I knew that A) the Muppets are very near and dear to Jason Segal’s heart, and he was the one who got the whole ball rolling on this movie being made, B) It was being directed by the guy responsible for Flight Of The Conchords, and C) the music was being written by Bret from Flight Of The Conchords. Oh, also, the movie would have Muppets in it. My expectations were exceeded, though. I laughed more in this movie than any other movie I’ve seen in theaters in probably two years. Proving you don’t have to do penis jokes to get a laugh.
Though written and directed by J.J. Abrams, this is most definitely a Spielberg film (he did produce it). It reminded me of how I felt watching E.T. as a kid. The actors were great and the story was fun.
I admittedly have somewhat of a man-crush on Joseph Gordon-Levitt, mainly due to his choice in movies. This one is obviously slightly relatable for me, though I most certainly didn’t have to endure any of the less optimistic diagnosis stuff with the cancer I had several years ago. Best bro-mance of the year.
I’m not even going to attempt to explain what happens in this movie. If you’re a nerd, like me, you’ll like it. If you’re a girl, and not as nerdy, it has Jake Gyllenhall in it! Best trippy movie of the year.
Paul Giamatti is one of my favorite actors. He’s definitely my favorite “uncool” actor. And the kid in the movie is perfect. Best movie of the year you never heard of.
Crazy Stupid Love
Most likely due to Sarah-Jessica Parker still getting work, I basically go into romantic comedies with super low expectations. They’re absolutely terrible 90% of the time and bearable maybe 8% of the time. I could do some more math and get you some real percentages, but I don’t want to relive seeing most of the rom-coms I’ve endured in my lifetime. I only went into this movie with a glimmer of hope because I’d heard some good things. It’s in the 2% of films not mentioned above, for sure. Great script, great actors (Ryan Gosling is another actor that just seems to only pick great movies), funny, heartfelt…it has it all, without trying to “have it all”. Definitely the best romantic comedy in a while.
I know I said I had somewhat of a man-crush on JGL (possibly further proven by me just now using his initials like some teenage girl), but maybe me having two Ryan Gosling movies in this list proves otherwise. Anyway, I really knew nothing about the movie going into it, which I like to do sometimes. It was surprisingly violent (a plus for the guys), and had awesome 80s music and graphics to match. I know that sounds weird, but it was good.
Now, to be fair, I’ve yet too see any of the following movies and am assuming I will enjoy them quite a bit when I finally get around to it:
The Ides Of March, Moneyball, Descendants, Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
As for the ALBUMS I enjoyed in 2011 (with song suggestions to check out if you don’t trust me)…
Blink-182 - “Neighborhoods”
I was overly excited about Blink ending their “indefinite hiatus”, but thought the album took too long to record. I set my expectations on ‘low’, but wasn’t disappointed at all! This is a great album. The three of those guys make better music together than they do apart. Check out “Snake Charmer”
The Damnwells - “No One Listens to the Band Anymore”
The Damnwells are one of my favorite bands hardly anyone has ever heard of. It’s a shame, though, because their albums are fantastic. Check out “Warewolves”.
Foo Fighters - “Wasting Light”
Dave Grohl decided they should make a record on tape in his garage. To be fair, they seriously pimped out said garage with all sorts of amazing audio equipment, but the tape part is impressive. Allegedly, the entire record never touched anything digital until it was pressed on CDs. For those of you out there who aren’t musicians or have no idea how people are making records using digital crutches like time correction (myself included), this might not seem very impressive. But it is. I promise. On top of all that nerdy stuff, this album freaking rocks. My favorite of theirs since “There Is Nothing Left To Lose”. Check out “Dear Rosemary”.
Matt Kearney - “Young Love”
I don’t have some long explanation of why I like this record. It’s just got great songs. Specifically, check out “Count On Me”. Lyrically, I’m a total geek for the theme.
Coldplay - “Mylo Xyloto”
Coldplay is everyone’s favorite band to hate on. Say what you will, but they continue to make good albums. While this one doesn’t have any songs as ridiculously anthematic as “Fix You” or “The Scientist”, it’s got some great tunes. And one thing Coldplay has done better for the last two albums than anyone else I’m aware of is making something that feels like a whole record, not just a collection of songs. It’s almost as though you can’t listen to individual songs. You need to listen to the whole thing, front to back. But, if you insist on one song, check out “Charlie Brown”.
Switchfoot - “Vice Verses”
This album can be summed up with one word. Fuzz. Never has so much fuzzy distortion been used on a record. And it sounds great. Check out “Selling the News” for sure.
Ryan Adams - “Ashes and Fire”
Ryan Adams has never pigeon holed himself into one specific sound, in my opinion. Most people site “Heartbreaker” as his best album (though, I prefer “Gold”, but that’s just me), and this is probably the most similar to that album. It’s all very chill. I like chill. Check out “Lucky Now”.
It happens way to often. Someone calls me telling me their iPhone was stolen/lost and asks me if there’s anything they can do to find it. No offense to the victims of the crime, but there was something you could do…for free…but you didn’t. So, now your phone is lost. That being said, there is absolutely zero excuse for you not to have the Find My iPhone feature set up and activated on your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch). And here’s how you do it.
If you’re running the new iOS 5, go to Settings>iCloud. You can use your Apple ID (what you use to buy stuff from iTunes) for your iCloud account, or you can sign up for a free account. You should also use this iCloud feature to sync your contacts, calendars, pictures, and settings, but that’s for another post. Sign in with an Apple ID here, either way.
On the next page, make sure the switch for “find my iPhone” is on.
I also suggest having a passcode set on your device. You can set it so you don’t have to type it in every time your screen locks. I have my set to lock me out after 5 minutes of inactivity. If you don’t have this, and the thief is smart (a long shot, I know), they can simply go into your settings and turn the “Find my iPhone” switch off.
Now, if your phone goes missing, you just go to www.icloud.com and sign in. You can also download a free Find My iPhone app from the app store on anyone else’s device, and log into your account. It will show your phone on a map and then you can lock the phone down, display a message (something like “Lost phone. Contact ______. Reward if found”, for example), or make the phone make a sound even if it’s on silent. This is extremely helpful when you just can’t remember where you put your phone in the house. Believe it or not, I once accidentally threw my wife’s phone away in the garage trash can, and we had to use this function to find it.
The other thing you can do with the app or on iCloud.com is remotely wipe all the contents of your phone. Think you don’t have anything sensitive enough on your iPhone to warrant being so paranoid? Think again. Chances are the person with your phone can now find out your home address, your work schedule, your closest friends, has access to your Facebook account, etc. They can simply show up to your home when they know you’re somewhere else and steal the rest of your stuff. Keep in mind, though, once you do this, you can no longer track the phone. But if the Find My iPhone finds your iPhone in a sketchy part of town, maybe it’s time to just let go anyway.
It’s hard to believe 9/11 was a decade ago. I remember a whole lot about that specific day and year, but naturally I think of the music that meant a lot to me (and a lot of others, I think). First, Ryan Adams happened to film a video in front of the twin towers 4 days before they were attacked called “New York, New York”. Totally applicable, and coincidental. The second, U2’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind was already released, but may have been the perfect album for that fall. It was just the right blend of somber and hopeful optimism. “Walk On”, specifically, seemed like it became some sort of runner up American national anthem in 2001. Both Gold and All That You Can’t Leave Behind” are still two of my favorite records ever. I don’t know if the connection to 9/11 has something to do with it or not, but I thought it necessary to share a decade later.