- Vancouver, British Columbia - Batman is one of the most legendary comic book characters, not powered by radiation or alien powers, but just a detective's mind and a fat wallet. Batman movies have been a cinema staple for many years and have seen many incarnations. There has been Adam West prancing around with a cartoon bomb in tow, there has been a gritty version based around the animated series of the early 1990s, and starting in the late 1980s a couple of film makers made very visual cinematic versions of the character. Most of these movies started before comic book movies were the blockbuster powerhouses they are now. Of course, it started with Tim Burton directing Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne and Batman. I enjoy his two movies, Batman and Batman Returns, to varying degrees and appreciate what they were at the time they came out. Then afterwards, Joel Schumacher made 1995's Batman Forever, which wasn't as well liked, but still a fairly big hit. Then his follow up movie, Batman and Robin was such a big critical and commercial flop that it pretty much killed Batman's big screen viability for years and probably put comic book movies on hold for years until X-Men came in and sparked interest again. I was flirting with the idea of reviewing all of these Batman movies, but maybe I'll get to that another time. For now I wish to focus on Christopher Nolan's trilogy.
Film Reviews and Commentary
Entries in Liam Neeson (5)
- Vancouver, British Columbia - I don't know if there was anybody who, when they first heard that they were making a movie based off of the board game Battleship, thought, "Wow, that's an amazing idea! I can't wait!" Every single person I know has met it with a groan, and I was one of them. I loved playing Battleship growing up; it was a lot of fun, providing that you had an honest opponent who wasn't a cheat (you know who you are!). Nevertheless, I saw the trailers when they first came out and honestly, it looked a really lame knock-off of Transformers, which is really saying something since I have not been a fan of any of the Transformers movies. But maybe this shouldn't be surprising since Hasbro is behind Transformers and Battleship as well. So with this great prejudice in mind, I decided to screen the film.
- Vancouver, British Columbia - You may have heard of a film that came out about two years ago, Clash of the Titans. The film is probably most famous for being the poster child example of why it can be a terrible mistake to convert a standard release film into 3D release so close to its original release date. The visuals were absolutely brutal and really detracted from the story, which admittedly wasn't that great to begin with, but it was made worse by distractingly sloppy 3D effects. And despite being a film that was disparaged mercilessly by the critics, the film accumulated a significant amount of box office success, leading it to share a dubious place in film history with the Transformers franchise, as being terrible films that still somehow managed to deceive the masses that they were somehow worth seeing. As a result of that financial success, a sequel was advanced, Wrath of the Titans and apparently we can also expect the Revenge of the Titans in the coming years as well. The ironic element to this franchise is that it is actually quite light on the presence of Titans. They show up a little more in the Wrath of the Titans, but even then, it is somewhat minimal. However, I digress.
- Vancouver, British Columbia - Survival stories are hardly anything new, as they have served as the foundation for many tales of man's conquering over the elements and the beasts. The Grey is a film that presents us yet another modern re-telling of such story. Survivalist stories tend to have two ways that they go, the route of the thriller where we simply do not know if who will still be alive in the end, or of the horror, where we watch as our heroes are slowly, but methodically killed off one by one. I'll leave you in suspense as to which one The Grey is, because quite honestly, it is a film that we never really know which it is throughout, and oddly enough, it works to its benefit.
- Vancouver, British Columbia - In 2008, Liam Neeson played an angry father/former CIA operative, who methodically and violent hunts down the kidnappers of his teenage daughter in Taken. After the runaway success of that film, Liam Neeson had re-invented himself as a viable action star, despite nearing his 60th birthday. In Unknown he demonstrates the same skills that led him to success in Taken, but unfortunately, as a film, we are not given the same finished product in Unknown.