I'm not a big fan of super hero movies, but I have to admit that THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is a good one.
This final chapter in the Batman trilogy from director Christopher Nolan offers strong emotions, good acting, and a truly satisfying ending.
The film is drawing big crowds despite the tragic massacre that occurred during the screening early Friday morning in Colorado. In light of that, I find it both ironic and significant that the Batman character hates firearms and never uses a gun.
THE DARK NIGHT RISES is not without flaws. It's too long (2 hours and 45 minutes). Plus, its plot is overly complicated and the dialogue isn't always clear. Still overall, this is a cut above the typical super hero movie.
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The director of MOONRISE KINGDOM is Wes Anderson, an eccentric filmmaker whose works include THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS and RUSHMORE. Anderson's characters are odd ducks, his humor is very dry, and his stories are a strange mix of comedy and drama that take place in a world I don't recognize.
The main characters in MOONRISE KINGDOM, Suzy and Sam, are precocious 12 year olds who run away together on a small island off the coast of New England.
Sam: I feel we should go halfway today and half way tomorrow since you're an less experienced hiker and you're wearing Sunday School shoes.
Suzie: They're not really Sunday School shoes.
Meanwhile Sam's scoutmaster (Edward Norton) searches the boy's empty tent.
Scoutmaster: Jiminy Cricket; he flew the coop!
And Suzie's mother (Frances McDormand) uses a megaphone to talk to her family.
Frances through megaphone: Walt, where the hell are you?
Bill Murray's voice upstairs: Right here.
Frances: Does it concern you that your daughter's just run away from home?
Bill: That's a loaded question.
To me these quirky characters are weird, even ludicrous, and it's only mildly amusing to watch famous actors act like fools.
I know that lots of people find this odd comic-drama charming, but I find it more off-putting than entertaining.
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Oscar winner Juliette Binoche stars in ELLES, a NC-17 rated French drama about a journalist who's writing an article on two young women who work as prostitutes to pay their way through college.
It's a titillating setup that tries to be both provocative and somewhat realistic.
Many of the individual scenes are powerfully acted but as a whole the film doesn't really go anywhere. the main idea seems to be a simple minded notion that all women are prostitutes and all men are johns.