Hello, reader…as I’m sure there will only be one of you. I hope your February was a ripping good time. As far as I remember, mine was unsurprisingly lackluster, much like every other month I’ve had since then. However, it’s been a fun couple months as far as movies go, and this is the first time in recent memory that I’ve been excited enough to see more than one in theatres in a calendar year.
The Avengers was the first the first of the three. It was much more of an action-comedy than your friendly neighbourhood comic book adaptation. I was originally skeptical of this movie’s potential, in fact, I had absolutely no clue that Joss Whedon was even involved with the project prior to two weeks before its premier. Being the Firefly/Dollhouse (never really took to Buffy, though I’m not against eventually watching it) fan that I am, seeing Avengers became my entertainment priority. A couple days following its release, my friend Dan and I went to the theatre…there had never been a kick off to the summer movie season with such mass appeal. Aside from a few plot potholes—Thor reappearing and…at this point that’s all I remember—and the complete absence of Natalie Portman, there isn’t much else to bitch about. That’s a win. I’m not big fan of rating things on a scale of blank out of blank, so I’m gonna go ahead and say The Avengers is an overall fantastic movie.
At the risk of sounding like a terrible, hackneyed movie critic, I’m going to say that The Amazing Spider-Man swung into movie theatres early last month and strung my doubts about a Spidey reboot from a streetlight. Andrew Garfield plays a different kind of Peter Parker than I expected. Sure, he’s still geeky, but it’s a different kind of outcast than we see in Raimi’s 2002 original. Instead of being ridiculed for being a timid, scrawny weakling, this Pete’s a skateboarding, smartass, brooding protagonist. It works. For the first time in franchise, the story addresses what may have happened to Parker’s parents, and also has a three-dimensional love interest in Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy. It will be fantastic to finally care when Spider-Man’s leading lady is in peril, and even more so when her neck snaps later on in what will probably be the second of three movies. One thing that I like about the Spider-Man film franchise is that the best characters seem to be the ones who undermine and slander (in print it’s libel) Spidey. Dennis Leary is this reboot’s J.K. Simmons. Though Simmons’ performance was much clearly meant to be comedic, Leary’s role as police captain George Stacy steals each scene he’s in. Leary likes to drive slow in the ultra fast lane, but he’s an asshole with a purpose in The Amazing Spider-Man.
And finally, The Dark Knight Rises debuted on July 20, and some schmuck ruined what should have been one of the most celebrated moments in cinematic history. That’s all I have to say about that.
Bane. From Poison Ivy’s bitch to League of Shadows tool of destruction. From arguably the worst super hero movie of all time to arguably the best. From being portrayed by a professional wrestler to being portrayed by a jacked up Briton, Bane is probably the only villain choice that could have followed up Heath Ledger’s The Joker. At least it seems that way…actually Chris Nolan is a filmmaking genius; he probably could have made Clayface work if he wanted. But Tom Hardy as Bane is just splendid. I’ve read people say that this Bane is without humour when compared with The Dark Knight’s Joker, and to that I have to say bullshit. Off the top of my head, almost every scene Bane was in made my smile, and a select few made me chuckle. Once you get passed the context of what he’s saying and doing, you can appreciate the performance. He’s also Vader-esque in the treatment of his cohorts and as unrelenting as Ivan Drago in Rocky IV. There are so many different elements that came to together to make Bane work as a plausible, real-world villain to fit the reality-based world Nolan began with Batman Begins. I’m not gonna ruin the movie, so I’ll leave it off with this: it’s the motion picture event of this generation. Some people had Star Wars, others had Titanic, and I have The Dark Knight Rises.
That’s it. Happy August.