Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Dark Knight

Directed By: Christopher Nolan
Written By: Jonathan Nolan & Christopher Nolan
Staring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman & Morgan Freeman

Before I start my review for The Dark Knight, I just want to let you people know how dedicated I was to see this movie. I got to my local REGAL theater at 9:30pm to wait in line. I got lucky that they were already seating for the film. By Midnight, the theater was packed and the atmosphere was incredible! People were dressed up as all of the characters and everyone was excited to see the biggest movie of the year. Well, then it started to go down hill. When the movie didn't start by 12:15am people started to get restless, by 12:45am when the movie still hadn't started, people started to get pissed! Finally, a "manager" came in to let us know that they were having problems with the film and that they were doing their best to work out the problem. Let me just remind you, I have litterally been sitting in the theater for 3 and a half hours by this point. So at around 1:20am, the screen comes to life and the lights go down and people start to go nuts. Not even 2 minutes into the first trailer the screen shuts off!!! I will let you fill in the black for what the crowd did. We sat in the dark for about ten minutes before the lights finally came back on. By this time it was 1:35am. So we sat there, we waited. Not a single worker came in to tell us what was happening. At this point, I would say about 20-25 people left and got their money back. Finally, at 2am, the film started...WITH NO SOUND! We sat thru two trailers before they finally got everything in working order. You would think that after starting a movie TWO hours late that all the problems were behind us, well you are wrong. Halfway thru the movie the sound cuts out again for about 5 minutes. To say that the crowd was pissed off when they left that night is a understatement. Of course, we were all happy to see the film, but the theater and the management totally mishandled the situation and guess what they gave us for our trouble. Two free passes. What a crock! I am just saying this to you now, if you have a choice between going to a Regal Movie Theater or another companies theater, please go to the other one because I will only be going back to the Regal theater two more times and that is to use my two free passes.

Now that you have the back story, let me get to the real reason I am posting. THE DARK KNIGHT!!!

I don't know if I can really say anything more which hasn't been already said about the film, but I am going to try. The Dark Knight is one of the best films I have ever seen that has come out of
this Genre. I will even go as far as saying that it is probably in my Top 10 of my favorite movies that I have seen. I know that is saying alot, but in my eyes this film is ALMOST perfect.

The moment the film starts, you don't see it as a comic book, but more of a gritty crime drama. It is raw and although you will laugh at certain points, you know that this isn't your typical popcorn flick.

Christian Bale is probably the best Batman out of all the films. I think that his casting is probably one of the smartest things that the creators did. That doesn't mean that I don't have some problems with him as the caped crusader. I know that I am not the only one to mention this, but the voice that Bale uses when he is Batman is hard to understand and is very monotoned. It gets kind of annoying, but thankfully most of the time he is fighting and not really talking. As Bruce Wayne, Bale is charming and sexy.

Aaron Eckhart is perfectly cast as Harvey Dent/Two-Face. His passion as Dent is amazing, and he is charming. His connection with Maggie Gyllenhaal was there, you never doubted that his character loved this woman. When he tranforms into Two-Face it is a complete 180. He is raw, driven by emotion and Eckhart hits all the right notes. He could have totally missed the mark by taking the character to far over the top, but he is a good enough actor to know how to bring it down and take it to the right level. I hope for the sake of the series, that he wasn't dead at the end of the film, but just KOed. I think it would be a huge mistake to not capitalize on the character that Eckhart was able to create as the secondary villain of the film.

Maggie Gyllenhaal is a breath of fresh air after the horrible miscasting of Katie Holmes. Katie is not a bad actress, but she just didn't fit into the character or the film at all. On the other hand, Maggie is just perfect, she has that hard edge that Rachel needs and that soft sensual side that we need to see with her when dealing with the emotions of knowing Bruce's huge secret. The moment she realizes that Harvey is saved and that she is going to die is just heartbreaking, because Maggie was able to play it so well. She almost made you feel okay with her death knowing that the man that she loved was "okay." It's a shame that Gyllenhaal wasn't cast in the first film because she made the character of Rachel a human being, something that Holmes never did. It is sad that the character had to die, but in the end it was needed to push the storyline along.

Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine were all great in their roles. There isn't much you can say about Freeman & Caine, I mean their roles are important to the film, but I don't think that either one of them took the roles to be the main attraction. I just think that they are in these roles to have fun. Oldman was very very good, throughout the film, with all its twists and turns you knew that Oldman was having an amazing time. I found it shocking that the audience was shocked when he was alive, I mean how do you not know that he is going to be alive so that he can become the commish...

And now I come to the part of the review that I have looked so forward to, Heath Ledger as The Joker. Before I start, there is a certain bittersweetness about this film. as a huge Ledger fan, I was shocked and saddened by his death. It is still very jarring to me that this incredible actor is no longer with us, but walking into the theater, you had to take a pause to realize that you were about to see the final, full performance of this generations James Dean. As hard as it is to deal with his passing, I think that all of his fans can say that he went out with a bang. Heath didn't play the part of The Joker, he was The Joker. I don't think that you can honestly watch that film and not see that this man completely stripped himself as a person and as a performer and made himself this character. From the moment you see him on the screen, you knew that you were seeing the performance of his career. Heath's performance is raw. I don't think there is another word I could use, it is very raw. He is creepy, but yet at the same time tragically funny. I didn't think that I would laugh at all in this film, but to see Heath in full Joker makeup wearing a nurses outfit was hilarious. The little dance he does and the brief moment he almost loses it when the bomb doesn't go off. Its brilliant. I am not going to start talking about Oscar chances right now, I am going to do a full post on that later. I will say this Heath's performance as The Joker should be consider on a list with some of the greatest movie Villains of all time. I don't think that anyone can deny him of that. I just wish that he was here to see it.

Overall, The Dark Knight is one of the best movies I have seen, I know people are saying that they prefer Batman Begins, but I think that Christopher Nolan gave us a much better film with The Dark Knight. The storyline has you guessing, the transitions were incredible. The script was just perfect.

I just have one thing to say... WHY SO SERIOUS? =)

The Dark Knight - A

Mamma Mia! Mamma NO!

Directed By: Phyllida Lloyd
Written By: Catherine Johnson
Staring: Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, Julie Walters, Christine Baranski, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard & Dominic Cooper

I went into this film wanting so much to love it, but I can't. Let me start off by saying that the film is okay. Not great, not horrible, just okay.
I will start with the good. MERYL STREEP is a god! I mean can this woman do anything wrong? She took what she was given with this role and she had a great time. There is never a point in the film when it doesn't look like Meryl is having the time of her life. Even when the director has let her down in every way possible, Ms. Streep is having a great time. Amanda Seyfried does a good job in her role, I think that she would have been fantastic in the hands of a better director.
Now for the bad, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, and Pierce Brosnan are so miscast it is horrible. HELLO casting directors, it is a musical! Sure, they can carry a tune, but it is does not mean that they should be making musicals! Dominic Cooper is great, but he was so underused that it was pointless in casting him. He did have some nice moments with Amanda, but other than that he was only cast for his good looks, and not for his acting, which is a shame.
As for Julie Walters & Christine Baranski, I loved them in these roles, even tho I felt that the screenplay really hurt them. Seeing them together with Streep was awesome, they looked so comfortable together. It was one of the high-points of the film.
Here is what it comes down to, the writers made a huge mistake by not filling in some of the gaps of the original stage show. They could have cleaned up the large chunks that the audience missed and still made a fun, well made musical. They chose not to and in the end it really really hurt the film. As for the director, I know that the producers wanted to keep the original director attached to the project, but the should have let her go. It was her first major film, and as much as she loved the material, her lack of experience showed. ALOT!
Overall, like I said I liked the movie, I had fun watch most of the musical numbers and it was fun to see Meryl perform in a full movie musical. I just wish that she would have been cast as Ms. Lovett in Sweeney Todd instead...

Mamma Mia! - C

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Katherine Heigl + Emmy + Grey’s Anatomy = Murder?

There are reports coming in that claim that Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes is thinking about killing off Heigl’s on screen character Izzie Stevens because Heigl complained about the writing of her character when she was asked why she didn’t submit her name this year. So because the woman didn’t lie and cover for Rhimes when she was asked about the “Emmys snub” she is going to get killed off? I am sorry, but that is just plain bullshit! So what’s next, are they going to bring back the gay basher and say that everything is great over in Grey’s land? Hey Shonda Rhimes, I have a great idea for you, why not just start producing some better scripts and then maybe you wouldn’t have actors speaking out against you. Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t Katherine Heigl out supporting the writers during the strike? This is exactly what Heigl said to the press about not submitting her name, Heigl said, "I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination and in an effort to maintain the integrity of the academy organization, I withdrew my name from contention. In addition, I did not want to potentially take away an opportunity from an actress who was given such materials." In my eyes, I think that she did the right thing. She didn’t come out and say that the writing was terrible this season for her character and that she felt that the writers dropped the ball. She was very polite about the situation and I think that Rhimes needs to get off her ass and start writing the show that was so good when it premiered instead of trying to win awards with stunt episodes aimed at getting Emmys. Now, my rant is over. Thank you.

In Bruges

Written & Directed by: Martin McDonagh
Starring: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson & Ralph Fiennes

I have wanted to see this film since it came out, but unfortunately I was stuck in Florida and it didn’t come out anywhere near me. Well, I had the great pleasure of viewing this film tonight and I loved it. Written and Directed by Academy Award Winner (78th Annual Best Short Film, Live Action) and four time Tony Award Nominee (The Beauty Queen of Leenane, The Lonesome West, The Pillowman, The Lieutenant of Inishmore) Martin McDonagh comes a film about two hit men, Ray (Farrell) and Ken (Gleeson) who have been sent to Bruges, the medieval city in Belgium, by their London boss Harry. The reason they have been sent to Bruges is because Ray has botched the job (or so we think, you have to watch the movie to see that, don’t want to spoil anything.) Basically, Ray and Ken have to wait around until they get a call from Harry (Fiennes) to find out what the next move is. Ray is dealing with messing up the job, Ken is dealing with the orders that have been handed down to him, and Harry just wants everything done. The movie is funny, sad and thrilling all at the same time. Ralph Fiennes gives a great performance in a true supporting role and Brendan Gleeson plays so well against both Fiennes and Farrell, but the true star of this film is Colin Farrell. Say what you will about his film choices in the past, (everyone remembers Alexander and Miami Vice), but Farrell is just plain awesome in this film. When you look at Farrell you don’t expect him to be great at Comedy, but he is. He nails every joke and he has these awesome facial expressions that really make his character come alive. With a very strong script and good direction from first time full length director Martin McDonagh, I tell everyone to go out and rent this film. Its too bad that the Academy will probably look it over in the Lead Actor and Original screenplay categories.

In Bruges - A

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Welcome to Awardshq: THE BLOG! I am very happy to be opening this site up. If you don't know this Blog is the companion website to Awardshq, which you can view HERE. Please enjoy the site that I have worked so hard on. I will be updating the Blog with entries discussing nominees and winners of all the major award shows. At the same time, I will be adding the nominees and winners on the main site. The first major event coming up next will be the 60th Annual Primetime Emmy Award Nominations on July 17th. I will be posting my predictions of the nominees in the next fews days, until then please look around and ENJOY!

P.S. If you guys happen to catch any mistakes on any part of the site please let me know. It is very hard to double check everything. Thanks again!