Total Recall- No thanks, I Prefer Forgetting

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What’s in a name? Apparently nothing because after seeing the Len Wiseman remake of Total Recall, it is clear he and his producers gave no thought to how to make this film great. It seems this day in age, that with competent actors and more than lovely CGI/digital effects, that all that’s left to do is write a story filled with depth and passion- unfortunately this is something that Total Recall lacks.

After viewing this two hour Kate Beckinsale acting reel (seriously, why was there so much of her face?!?!), it didn’t even seem worth the effort to review an obvious B movie that Hollywood haphazardly mashed together. However, after a long walk home it was decided that, while unpleasant to do, it is necessary to express ones growing disappointment in the dressed up schlock “directors” insist on pumping out year after year.

I am disappointed. I assume Philip K. Dick would be as well, although being the paranoid man he was… he probably saw this coming.

Dark Knight Rises- A Pretty Building With No Foundation

ImageLike the foolish man who builds his house upon the sand, Christopher Nolan attempts to fool his audience into believing the great illusion of Hollywood- That talented and attractive actors set against a beautifully crafted aesthetic, make up for a lack of story telling wrought with transparent dialogue and shoddy editing.

Dark Knight Rises misses its mark by fatally investing three things: past success drowned in hype, monologues, and flashbacks. All are used to insult the audience by reminding them of what they have enjoyed about the Batman series in the past. Nolan literally grabs aspects directly from Batman Begins (i.e. Bruce Wayne becoming re-born again after a stint of isolation and captivity and the actual ghost of Ra’s Al Ghul) and tries to re-purpose them to mask the holes within his “story”.

As remarked upon before, it is undeniable that Wally Pfister (DOP) is a man of his craft and that the actors in this film were cast ingeniously. The solid performances of Michael Caine and Gary Oldman are quite comforting like mom’s chicken noodle soup. But the most pleasant surprise of all is the superb portrayal of Selena Kyle from the talented Anne Hathaway- her natural delivery attempts to add to the much lacking depth. However, it is worth mentioning the disappointment of seeing Bane, the man who broke the bat, reduced to a love sick puppy with asthma and Boy Wonder “Robin” foreshadowed as not Dick Grayson but a nameless John Blake.

So while I calmly remove Mr Nolan’s hand from my wallet, I quietly celebrate that this hopefully will be the final chapter for the caped crusader but I have no plans to hold my breath.

Drive (2011)

Drive

Ryan Gosling in Drive

It’s not often you can sit in front of a screen for two hours and listen to about 1/2 the normal amount of dialogue in a film… and yet still be immensely captivated by the images and story portrayed. Drive, starring Ryan Gosling, presents a gripping yet simplistic tale about a lonely stunt man by day, get-away driver by night who befriends his beautiful neighbor (played by Carey Mulligan) and her son. At first, Drive begins with sweeping slow motion and brooding silence from Ryan’s character but then unravels into a dark, violent, and borderline exploitative film- in an incredibly gripping way. From beginning to end, the film takes over and brings you on a amazing journey.

Four stars! * * * *

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