Not so much a review, as just my thoughts on this movie (because everyone has already done a review). This movie exists in the crime drama genre, and I’d argue that it actually settles into the film noir sub-genre. Why the sudden fascination with film noir in our society? So many movies, books, comics…all based on Film Noir. Not that I’m complaining. As long as they’re done well, for me, it’s the most compelling, and interesting genre.
Christopher Nolan has created a perfect crime drama. So perfect, you could actually compare it (gasp) to No Country for Old Men. Hear me out. Both movies, have a low-grade tension running throughout. What violence will come next? The Joker, while thankfully blood-free, is a force of chaos, much like Chigurh in No Country. There is no good, only differing shades of grey. The world is going to hell…and the main characters are trying to slow that descent.
Just because this is a ‘comic-book movie’ doesn’t mean that it isn’t well made. Nolan has used symbolism throughout (can’t explain it without giving anything away — mind you, with it already earning $300 mil, everyone has probably already seen it). The Joker joy riding down main street in a cop car, reveling in the chaos that has descended upon Gotham — police cars in pursuit, and we know it is all for naught. He is chaos, and he cannot be captured so easily.
Also notice the discordant music (if music is what it can be called) whenever the Joker is about to appear. While this ‘music’ won’t go down as famously as the psycho music, or the jaws music, it is just as effective, perhaps moreso. Does the audience even notice the off key noise? A bleeding of chaos. The joker isn’t just evil — he is chaos.
Of course, chaos that can predict everything that will happen.
While the Ledger’s Joker dies with him, for the sake of the Joker (and thereby Ledger’s joker) that is a good thing. Once you’d hit Batman 3, Batman 4, he’d become a cheap rip-off of himself…much like Hannibal Lector, Michael Myers, Leatherface…
With Ledger gone, the Joker will now live forever. Crazy. Chaotic. Perfect.
You know how you sometimes leave those movies and it takes you a few days just to appreciate how good it was? Sometimes you’re left sitting in your seat, blinking at the rolling credits, saying aloud ‘WTF did I just watch’? Some movies that come to mind are Fargo (I literally stared at the screen until all the credits were over, then turned off the TV and stared at the blank screen), American Beauty, Dead Man Walking, the English Patient.
Indiana Jones and the Last Gasp of the Baby-Boomers is the opposite. I left the theater wondering what form of Shyst I had just watched. But as it festered, rotted, and otherwise decomposed in my memories, it got much, much worse.
For the life of me, I haven’t been able to figure out why critics liked it. My theory, of course, is that the critics are Baby Boomers and this movie appealed to them. They liked seeing a 63 year old man acting like he was 35, beating up an endless supply of CCCP soldiers in front of a green screen with terrible special effects. It made them feel young again. Even the crap script couldn’t seem to put a damper on their blast from the past.
But fanboys have united (am I fanboy? I didn’t think I was…but this movie REALLY annoyed me). Remember when the Fonz was dared to ‘Jump the Shark’ and an entire phrase was born?
Looks like Lucas has brought us something just as endearing. Nuked the Fridge. Simple translation: a show veers into the ludicrous, destroying continuity, believability, and is usually a signal that the end is near (editors note: the producers of Indy should’ve noted that the end was near with the series WHEN HE RODE OFF INTO THE SUNSET 18 years ago).
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This summer season has, for the most part, been terrible. Indiana Jones and the Last Gasp of the Baby Boomers. Narnia and the Prince of something-or-other. The Incredible Bore. Iron Man was the exception. And the Dark Knight looks pretty damned amazing. But I think the movie of the summer (and perhaps the year) will be a Pixar movie. Wall-E.
The goal of screenwriting was to always use the pictures to tell the story — to have the dialogue secondary. How much of the character can we gain not by what they tell us, but what they show us? Do they re-use those day-old coffee grounds? What hidden hobbies show us their inner demons?
Wall-E cannot talk. So the first hour, there is NO speaking.
Wall-E is lone robot left to clean up our dead planet. He has no need for food, water, air, or other physical sustenance (he does need to charge his battery cells with solar power).
And I think this is why Wall-E is so successful. Take away our physical cravings, and what’s left? What’s the most basic emotional need? Comfort. Understanding. A sense of belonging. In other words — it is Wall-Es whole motivation: for someone to hold your hand.
That concept can be understood by everyone. All ages. All cultures.
Wall-E is a classic of film making. I’ll go and say that it is the year’s BEST movie, and I think it will go down as a classic. As the Boomers talk about Snow White, so will our generation (and our kid’s generation) talk about Wall-E. It’s THAT good.
Now it loses steam in the second hour, which is, ironically, when the people make their first appearance. When the plot about recolonization takes some of the focus away from the Eve and Wall-E.
But there where times when I just kept shaking my head — it was so simple, yet so effective. No dialogue. Just moving pictures. There weren’t even any villains (well, again, not until the people got involved).
As for the kiddies — it had some scary moments (intensified by the big screen, I’d say, because they weren’t actually scary, just noisy). And it ran a little long (my guess, about 1 3/4 hours) so that’s a long time to sit. But Paige proclaimed it her favourite movie. And it would be right up in my favs list too (until we buy it on DVD and Paige watches it 3000 times).