30 August 2012
The Dark Knight Rises
There is no shortage of ways in which the conclusion to Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, sucks. For starters, despite its disguise as a loud Hollywood action film, it's pretty boring, which is, I guess, how you can tell they were making a "serious film." This can easily be blamed on Nolan's notoriously exhausting spouts of exposition, which reached a comical level in Inception, the film he made in between The Dark Knight and his rousing. While I tend to be a bit more forgiving of the absurdity in Inception, the exposition in The Dark Knight Rises isn't used to explain complex, made-up ideas and rules that govern its film universe; it is instead used to pander to stupidity of its audience, which – judging by the lengths the screenplay requires the characters to ridiculously expel Wikipedia entries about the background of the film's villain or, worse, verbally explain the subtext of what is unfolding before them – Nolan presumes is bountiful. This however is more telling of Nolan than his audience. One could grumble about the jumbled action sequences, the over-editing, or downright silliness of most of the hand-to-hand combat, but in Nolan's defense, he's come along way since Batman Begins in that regard. But where The Dark Knight Rises, and really the entire trilogy, is most reprehensible is in its depiction of women (and lack thereof).
With: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Alon Aboutboul, Ben Mendelsohn, Cillian Murphy, Nestor Carbonell, Tom Conti, Matthew Modine, Juno Temple, Daniel Sunjata, Aidan Gillen, Thomas Lennon, Robert Wisdom, William Devane, Brett Cullen, Josh Pence, Burn Gorman
24 August 2012
So if you're wondering where I disappeared to, there's one answer. I've appreciated the e-mails some of you have sent during my absence. But what took so long? I rather fool-heartedly assumed that I would return when the "time was right," when the desire to write would be so consuming I wouldn't be able to stop my fingers from running wild across my keyboard. Of course that never happened. It wasn't that I didn't wish to write any longer; I've done plenty of writing in my free time. It was that, among other things, I wasn't sure what I was doing with the blog any more. Although, truthfully, I just didn't like what I was doing with it. In the same way my fingers didn't start writing on their own, a clear idea of what I did want to do with the blog never came either, and its absence just gave me another excuse to delay making a decision about whether to return to the blog or bid it a fond farewell. I'm not sure what finally got me to realize that, if the universe had anything to say on the matter, it probably wasn't going to tell me in the ways I had been waiting for. So I stopped anticipating, and started to listen to the encouragement I'd been given by my friends, and now here I am.
As I mentioned earlier, I still don't have a vivid image of what direction I want to take the blog. My interests and attention have shifted over the past couple years, away from DVD and Blu-ray release dates and studio acquisitions. There are plenty of resources out there for those things. I've also lost the desire to try to see as many films in a given year as possible (particularly with regard to the Academy Awards and my prior attempts to see all of the nominated films... what a colossal waste of time that was). Somewhere along the line, I started to understand the value of time (with regard to watching films, that is; I still have plenty of other ways to carelessly waste it) and the rising number of films I'd seen over the years whose existence has nearly (or completely) vanished from my memory.