Friday, July 25, 2008

Batman the Dark Knight and WALL-E review


I saw two movies recently: Batman the Dark Knight and WALL-E.

WALL-E is the first Pixar movie I've seen in a long while. The last one was, hmm, can't remember. It was a very long time ago. The reason I watch WALL-E is actually the review that says something like "most of the movies features little dialogue." This sparks my interest. I think movies are getting too wordy recently. The exception to that is Harry Potter series. So, I really want to SEE movies, not audio books. And I wasn't disappointed.

There are quite a bit logic holes in the movie: A green thriving plant inside a closed refrigerator? Nonsense! No photosynthesis means no green leaf! Cockroach survives a rolled on? Ridiculous! Hologram being projected onto thin air? Hah! And so on...

But you know, if you look at the movie from artistic point of view, it works great. Lighting does not strike twice at the same spot, but it's poignant, funny, and relevant. Robots do not misbehave, but this isn't a robot story. It's a love story set in a robot environment. I kept waiting for the line "I'm sorry Captain. I'm afraid I can't do that." Homage to 2001 Space Odyssey.

In short, WALL-E is funny, engaging, relevant, and has all the marking of a timeless classic. Go watch it!

Batman: The Dark Knight

The visual effect is excellent. The imageries are vivid. Of course, Heath Ledger's performance is rumored to be excellent. In the beginning, I didn't think so, but somewhere in the middle of the movie, I saw several of his scenes that I can only describe as "inspired". It really does feel like Heath Ledger wasn't acting and it is the best Joker performance I've seen bar none. A real spooky feeling enveloped the theater...

Action sequences are top notch, worthy of being a summer movie blockbuster. With production qualities that is over the top, however, I'm not as satisfied as can be. Don't get me wrong. The Dark Knight is a great movie, and I didn't regret sitting in it. Great acting, tight plot, twists and turns abound. Really high quality movie.

Except that the script felt half baked. It certainly wasn't a good as the first one. In the first movie, Rachel's got the best lines. In the second, the lines are uninspired, standard action fare. A lot of time, it feels like the action decides what the character is going to say. For example, when Batman told Commisioner Gordon he needs 5 minutes, Gordon refused and gave Batman only 2 minutes. This takes away their comradeship, but it does allow a very fast-paced, highly energetic action sequences that ends with the Joker hanging upside down. Action drive the story, not the other way around.

Another great acting by old veterans Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine. Scenes are simply done, yet with great depth. I'm still trying to figure that out. Still, the materials could be better. What was there is great, but missing that little something that inspire. The script is designed to move scenes along, twisting and surprises the audience along the way, but no great inspiration like the first.

In short, if you're the kind of people who like action in your movies, and not wanting to think too much, then this is your kind of movie. Watch it for the special effect and action sequences.

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