Only One Thing Worse Than A Dragon; Americans! – Reign Of Fire

7 12 2016

reign-of-fire (Spyglass Entertainment and Touchstone Pictures - 2002)

For what must be decades now, Movie Directors and Producers have been trying to come up with imaginative new ways to bring about the end of the world. Disaster and Post-Apocalyptic movies as they are known don’t really have much of a definitive start, I mean on the one hand you can consider Planet of the Apes to be a post-apocalyptic film, but ever since the ascension of Computer Generated Imagery, more imaginative films that really depict a sense of the End of the World have come to light. If you were to start from what I consider to be the ultimate disaster movie: Independence Day, the world has been invaded by aliens, had asteroids and meteors thrown at it, had the weather engulf it, had nature attempt to reclaim it, had hordes of zombies march across it and even had Monsters just wanting to smash it. Despite all the different forms of ending the world however, it is somewhat surprising that only one Director has thought about using Dragons.

Reign of Fire Dragon

Released in 2002 by Spyglass Entertainment and Touchstone Pictures Directed by Rob Bowman and produced by Richard D. Zanuck; Reign of Fire is a Post-Apocalyptic Disaster film set in a future England (four years from now) where Dragons have re-awoken and claimed Earth as their own. It’s up to a few survivors (including a bald Matthew McConaughey) to try and reset the balance of the Food Chain.

r1

In London during the early 2000’s; a young boy called Quinn (Ben Thornton) goes to see his mother Karen (Alice Krige) who is working on a London Underground construction site. While having a quick look into a supposed ‘void’, Quinn awakens a Dragon sleeping in the tunnels. He and his mother try to escape, but his Mother is killed just as the Dragon escapes the tunnels. Through a series of Newspaper clippings, a narrator divulges that soon more dragons appear and are the species responsible for killing the Dinosaurs. It is speculated that the creatures were in hibernation, waiting for the world to replenish itself with food for them to eat. The military responds to the threat, but only help the creatures destroy the earth, and humanity is brought to the edge of Extinction.

r10

In 2020, the now grown up Quinn (Christian Bale) is leader of a community of survivors in a Northumberland Castle. Although most trust Quinn’s leadership, others are defiant, and a small group of survivors led by Eddie (David Kennedy) want to pick some tomatoes as they are starving, and steal a pickup truck, they are attacked by a Dragon however which leads to the death of two members of Eddie’s family. Quinn with the help of his young ward Jared (Scott Moutter) and good friend Creedy (Gerard Butler) rescue Eddie and the rest of his family as the Dragon sets about reclaiming the ash off the burned field. The following day, community communicator Ajay (Alexander Siddig) and Falconer Barlow (Ned Dennehy) discover that a group of American Marauders are on their way to the castle. The community prepares to defend itself, and Quinn is introduced to the Marauder leader Denton Van Zan (Matthew McConaughey) who claims to be some kind of Dragon Slayer; he also happens to drive a Chieftain Tank. Quinn decides to let them in cautiously and is impressed that they have access to an AgustaWestland AW109 Helicopter piloted by Alex Jensen (Izabella Scorupco). True to his word, Denton Van Zan goes after the Dragon that attacked the castle’s tomato plantation, and with the help of Quinn manages to kill the creature, at a loss of three of his own men.

r3

Back at the castle, Quinn still has issues as to why a platoon of American soldiers is in Britain. Van Zan and Alex say that all the dragons they have killed are female, and believe there is only one male and that they are going to London to kill it, believing killing it will kill the entire species. They try to enlist Quinn’s help, but he does not want to go back, knowing that his mother was killed there by the Male. Van Zan tries to enlist Quinn’s community by force, but Quinn believes that if they find the male, it will trace them back to the castle. The two of them fight with Van Zan nearly killing Quinn until they are split up. Van Zan and his men head for London, but when they are still 66 miles from there, they are attacked by the male who kills most of Van Zan’s team in mere seconds. Van Zan and Alex survive, but true to Quinn’s word, the Male arrives at the castle and sets it ablaze. Some of the community hides in the basement with the children and Quinn, but as he goes to rescue the others; Creedy is incinerated by another attack from the Male.

r2

The following morning, Van Zan, Alex and the remainder of his team return to the castle and dig out Quinn and his survivors. Quinn comes up with a plan; to go to London just him, Alex and Van Zan in Alex’s chopper. Remembering what Van Zan said about Magic Hour, the point in which the Dragon’s eyesight is at their weakest, they go in to take out the Male. They arrive into London via the Thames, and find lots of smaller dragons being cannibalized by a much larger starving male. They enter into the underground construction site, where Quinn finds the cage his mother died in, and come out onto the surface, where they launch one final attack on the male. Their plan involves using crossbow heads which carry an explosive head, hoping that if they fire it at the right time, the dragon will detonate it and kill itself. Van Zan attempts this at the top of an old chimney, but the attempt fails, and he is eaten by the dragon as he attempts to go at it with his axe. Quinn and Alex lure the Dragon down to the ground, and after a lengthy staring contest, Quinn fires just at the right time. The arrow flies into the Dragons throat, explodes, breaking the creature’s head clearly off its neck. Sometime later, Quinn and the rest of his community build a radio tower, and receive a signal from France. There has been no dragon sighting for three months, and Quinn makes Jared the new community leader, while he and Alex dedicate themselves to rebuilding.

I really like this film. I remember seeing posters for this film when it first came out, the vivid image of the Houses of Parliament ablaze and a mighty dragon as big as the building high above. Unfortunately I did not get to see it until a VHS release the following year, but ever since seeing it, Reign of Fire has remained one of my most enduring films. I easily count it among my favourites, and even if it’s no longer on any of my Top 10’s, it’s a film I refuse to regret, nor never watch again, as one way or another I will always find a time to watch it again. But why exactly do I like it; well that is a question that is actually very hard to answer as I don’t have much of a definitive reason. You don’t necessarily need a reason to like something, if you come away with a positive and enjoyable feeling that should be fine, but to analyse and review a film, I still need to answer the question as to why I like it.

chieftan-tank

Reign of Fire is pretty unique, I mean how many films are there that involve Dragons taking over the world? Well thinking about it, there are 2: this and Dragon Wars, however the latter does not hold much in comparison to this as that was more an adventure based film (and only actually has one dragon in it), this is more of an action orientated disaster movie. The unique selling point of this film is of course the dragons, but simply putting a Dragon in something doesn’t make it gold. In a recent video, Alan Partridge debated the use of Dragons in Game of Thrones, stating that the beasts were “used to advertise mouthwash in the 80’s”. Simply using dragons in something is not enough. Like all good Movie Monsters, they need to have a purpose, a reason for existence. Now if this was a fantasy adventure movie, they would be like a beast/tyrant that needed defeating. Reign of Fire is a completely different story as it’s not an adventure, nor is it set in the decadent past. The purpose of this movie is to take the world we live in, and bring us down from off our high chairs and to below down on our knees. To do this, we as a race needed humbling, we needed threatening, and in a big way. Yes it could be aliens, it could be weather, but what is more terrifying than not just one giant fire breathing monster, but lots of them. We needed something that was primitive yet deadly, something that could take it all away from us, and in one sweep moving action. Dragons are a perfect fit, as Dragons by folklore accounts are fast flying creatures that can breathe fire. Not only are they hungry beasties, but volatile ones too. So instead of a Tornado laced with Sharks, we got flying fire breathing monsters who want to do nothing more than eat us. Not take over us, enslave us or anything else: just eat us. It’s a simple idea, one that doesn’t require much thought but in turn can still create a lot of depth.

r9

But this film is called Reign of Fire, not Reign of the Ravenous Flying teeth; so there needs to be devastation, one that works on 2 counts. The first is that these Dragons can breathe fire and set about threatening the human race while also using their breath to set fire to as much as possible. The dragons themselves have been given a very unique biology, and though while they could be seen as being like European Dragons, these have been branded and created as to be the most dangerous, devastating creatures imaginable and come with a back story to boot. They killed off the dinosaurs, and had brought the world to extinction once before, the other key ingredient though is that their breath is not just fire, but Napalm. In turn we have a pretty devastating species on our hand, but as to the rest of the planets devastation, the Dragons did not need to do that on their own. Humanity gave them a hand. It’s the double-edged sword philosophy that while we do have an almighty arsenal at our hands, they are destructive pieces of equipment also and though while could be very useful, we do need to take care as to how and when we use them. So equally the Dragons did bring an end to the world, but with a little help from our great Nuclear Weaponry. Into this we are left with a damaged world. A world crippled under the true devastation of nature’s great secret, and along with this we get further vivid imagery to boot. The film’s setting for the most part is taken in the area of Northumberland where the landscape and skies are nearly completely black. Everywhere is just grey and miserable, no light to awaken the heart, no real sky to inspire, just a depressing reminder of the world the survivors have been left with. But if Northumberland was bad, that’s nothing compared to the state of London (“TAKE THAT SOUTHERNERS”). London is a ruin, it looks melted. You look at the buildings, close up and afar, you see vehicles, the water’s edge, the tunnels, the distance, even iconic buildings, and it all looks Melted black. Some form remains, but not much are left, the world has quite literally burned during the reign of the fire beasts (ha ha).

r5

It is in this world we have our plucky band of survivalists. Reign of Fire’s cast is a nice pool of talent ranging from some of Hollywood’s most experienced and well known talent, to people you have more than likely not heard or seen of but still deliver fun roles. This film does a good thing of making interesting tertiary as well as somewhat extra cast who create some fun and interesting moments that are while maybe not pivotal to the film’s being, still are quite fun. These range from some of the films more diverse female cast who hardly speak a word. People like Eddie’s family member’s girlfriend, the day care staff to one woman who does not speak at all but is always brandishing a rifle. From there we get the defiant and annoying Eddie who is more of a hindrance than a challenge, who tries to act as someone who is more trying to speak the truth rather than be a villain, to people like Gideon (Terence Maynard) the Archangel who has some great vocal moments, to people like Ajay, Jerry (Gerry O’Brien) and Barlow who do real jobs within the community to help work and service the community, but in general provide some enjoyable if not completely in-depth roles. The same could be said of Alice Krige’s character and Jason (Dessie Gallagher), who while don’t survive act as a good feeder for important plot points, and in the case of Jason, some early comic relief.

r4

Which brings us neatly round to the film’s main batch of cast. Jared as a character I feel is not implied strongly enough for him to take much of an effect, but it does give Quinn a sense of hope and someone to include, if not executed perfectly. I really do enjoy Gerrard Butler in this film. It was the first time I got to see him in a role of any kind and thought he was a strong personality and also played out the part of being a good friend as well as the sense of reason for Quinn to work with: someone who tries to talk sense into Quinn and acts like a second in command. He is genuinely funny when he wants to, but equally dead serious too and has some brilliant one liners ranging from the funny, to the dead serious. It just feels like a shame that he was not given a much bigger role as he genuinely deserves it and I want to see more of him and Quinn, and only those two. Equally I don’t think Alex was given much of a part neither. She acts like the love interest, but a practical one at that, and who skills impress, but she spends most of the time being very dreary. She is rather glum in every situation and at times can appear to be rather clueless if not in the way and just added for effect. Her pilot skills make her an important part of the film, but from the moment you see her, you want to jump in and tell her to lighten up. It doesn’t make sense about the love interest as it is more or less added before the credits and suggested everywhere else.

Izabella Scorupco

It is pretty weird to see Matthew McConaughey without any hair, and with Muscles, and Tattoos. You see him in films like A Time To Kill or Interstellar and see this blond-haired thin man, not necessarily a muscled, tattooed bald-headed soldier. Matthew McConaughey’s role in this film I find is similar in essence (if not in execution) to that of Robert Shaw in Jaws. He is a man with a history, one who is knowledgeable about killing Dragons and believes in military discipline. He acts like a ‘rogue marine’ and shows off power by driving a tank. He is filled with volatile aggression and feels that force is the only option. On the other hand though he has a lot of compassion, he feels greatly for the loss of his men and does work to try and redeem himself for his actions, even if not completely. When he shows compassion, it’s hard for him to stop that whispered panting he does, as though when he shouts he shows his true self. It’s a hard character to really pin down. It kind of filters into this thing of America believing how good they are. America, believing they are the centre of the world, that they are in charge, and only they are in charge. So speaking as a UK-man it is rather pleasing to see them and Van Zan get their comeuppance in this film, America’s last general believing he is unstoppable only for him to be defeated. McConaughey’s last few moments in this film are pretty good though, as we see him try hard to redeem himself, and see not the soldier, but the true warrior, and who he really was.

Matthew McConaughey Reign of Fire

Christian Bale on the other hand is less can do attitude, more about knowing how to survive. He has a dark past as it was him who unwittingly released the Dragons and whose mother died minutes later. This carries heavy on his conscience and knows he has to work hard to keep others alive, and does this with a passion, even if he comes across as a tyrant. He is the opposite of Van Zan, and has knowledge of the Dragons and what they are capable of. He is looking for hope, but is cautious of false heroes and prophets. He works hard for his community, even going as far as to put on amateur dramatics of the Empire Strikes Back. He has good friendships, and people to rely on, but is brought to logger heads as Van Zan arrives. While Dragons are the main enemy, Van Zan’s arrival stirs up the community in a bad way and has to deal with that. Quinn though is not entirely cautious and will fight his corner.  I do however think a golden opportunity is missed when after the Male attacks, that Quinn does not threaten Van Zan with an Execution. Importantly however it is up to Quinn to save the day. Spurred into action by the death of both his mother and the loss of Creedy by the same creature, Quinn goes to London to carry out the Execution of the male. Christian Bale is an amazing actor, and here plays a character that while is a leader, is still just like you or me, and plays a character that is a representation of what it would be like if you or I were in the same position.

christian bale reign of fire

Reign of Fire of course requires a large depth of special effects. These range from practical effects like fire and vehicle usage, to more computer orientated effects as well as clever set dresses. The main effect is of course the dragons, which are just fabulous. The designs for the dragons look amazing, possibly the best movie dragons in cinema history. The close up points of them eating people looks realistic but also terrifying, and the final scenes when faced with the monolithic male are just impressive, ranging from them staring Quinn in the face to the point of even the creature’s head rolling and rocking off its own neck. But Special Effects aren’t and don’t have to be everything as Reign of Fire is supported by a brilliant soundtrack (composed by Ed Shearmur). The soundtrack is very tense in its nature and the tension really does not disappear from any of its pieces. The theme of the arriving Marauders for instance is of course very tense and does sound very military in its style, but it’s also rather crazy and jumpy, trying to showcase a level of new fear and a lack of understanding in an increasing threatening nature.

This military theme does continue as the army enters the castle compound, showcasing a theme of might and strength, looking like military heroes coming to save the day (even if it’s a little confusing as to why they are here in the first place). Then as the film continues it returns to the silent tension, such as when the convey heads for London, to stark scary moments as the male dragon attacks the castle, back to more action orientated scenes as the helicopter and the trio walk into London, to of course the final preparations before the big battle moments of battle, all drawn together with a nice, gentle but still pretty rocky credits theme: Burn by Mad at Gravity.

While it does have its moments where it could have explored further, and moments where execution lacked: I really like this film. It’s idea, it’s themes, it’s characters, it’s Dragons, it’s effects, it’s music, all of which come together to create a near completely unique experience. Some cast members could have more and less in places, and other bit and bobs could be a tiny bit clearer, but through its ideas of a world dominated by dragons, and humanity brought to the edge of extinction by myth, when brought together create an exceptionally enjoyable film, and one I still love to this day. Its effects and setting are beautiful, its music but more importantly its design are magnificent. It’s not just a Dragon Movie, it is so much more, and does a lot more than most.: it shows the raw destructive power of these creatures and also shows that there could be a lot more truth to myth than the Bayeux Tapestry is letting on. A real classic of its generation that is really worth a watch while at the same time teaches an important lesson which is that: if you are using the London Underground, don’t shine a torch in a ‘Void’.

GENEPOOL





Top 5 Weapons I Would Choose In The Hunger Games

18 05 2016

Katniss Everdeen

I love The Hunger Games, by that I of course mean the combination of the Film and the Book, not necessarily the setting of jumping into an arena and having to kill people. A few years ago, after the release of the first one, I remember an interview that was conducted on some of the cast members who were asked how they would act inside the arena. Now for me, I would more than likely just hide in the corner, and cry my eyes out until I was either dead, or just go mad and become some kind of psychopath. In my head though, it’s a completely different story as I would see myself being like Blade and just be invincible going round killing everyone, but that is very unlikely. Anyway I thought I would do a post on what my ideal weapon choices would be in the arena.

M110A2 Self-Propelled Howitzer

Now I decided to sort of be semi-realistic in my choices. For one, I know I cannot bring anything in to the ring, so it prevents my 3 main options: Godzilla, a M110A2 Self-Propelled Howitzer and Lisbeth Salander; although fair point, Lisbeth Salander would receive double points for having access to a cool leather jacket.

Lisbeth Salander

It’s certainly better than wearing those swimming outfits in Catching fire. I mean, what would you prefer; the swimming costumes from Catching Fire, or a Cool Leather Jacket?

Anyway, under the point that I can’t necessarily take anything in, this list is made up of choices I would choose if they became available in the arena themselves. Now, I do realise that this list may seem a little bit rushed. I have had these dreams for a while of what I would choose, but have only just decided to do this as a post, and in the end, I don’t think I have used my imagination all that much, and this list is made up of more practical stuff mixed with things from Movies, and so I may eventually regret my choices (apart from the leather jacket), and do another one of these in the future with either some additional thought, a selection of weapons from the films/books, things I just made up. Anyway, here are my choices of what I was able to simple cobble together.

Mortis

5. Mortis – What could be better than if one of the choices was the robot Mortis from Robot Wars? What could be better than Mortis, the best robot in all of Robot Wars? Now he would be ranked higher if it wasn’t for the case of a remote-controlled robot being relatively impractical as you would spend most of your time behind the robot directing it rather than looking out for the girl from district 6 creeping up on you. But forgetting that bit, its axe would be so deadly an attack, you don’t necessarily need to kill anybody, just puncture them and let them bleed out. It’s a grim idea, but it might be easier on your conscience.

M4A1

4. M4A1 Assault Rifle – Ok, this one is mostly based on what fun I could get out of MW2 Multiplayer, but yeah. Why not choose a Gun? It makes complete and total sense; you can get it over with good and quick as long as your aim is good and true. Why not add the attachable grenade launcher, then that way you can set fire to any forestry around you and force people out before shooting them. Ok, it relies on you not wasting ammo; but why on earth would the Capitol only give you one clip?

Crossbow

3. CrossbowKatniss Everdeen had her bow and arrows; I would have my Crossbow (even though I should point out this is all hypothetical and I don’t actually own one). It’s similar to the above mentioned Gun, but this time it’s a bit more quiet and lethal. Yes, I can see a Crossbow coming quite handy in the Hunger Games, and I don’t mean just some old relic of a device, no! I mean a proper modern beast of a weapon, similar to the one used in Brainiac: Science Abuse for testing armour in a modern civil war, or like at the end of Reign of Fire when Christian Bale’s character kills the Big Dragon.

Quarriors

2. Quarriors Dice – If you have no idea what those 2 words mixed together mean, it’s obvious you have not played my Favourite Board Game. In Quarriors (using a similar sort of game play to Dominion, if you know what that is), you roll and collect dice to attack other people. Dice can be used to summon spells, and summon monsters. Just imagine it, you roll the dice, and in a similar vein to Yu-Gi-Oh, Monsters and Spells come out of the dice to attack your enemies.

Heimdall

1. Equipment from Thor – When I think about me being in The Hunger Games, one thing that always comes to mind is the film Thor, quite possibly because the night on the day that I first saw The Hunger Games, I went home and watched some scenes from Thor. Anyway, I have decided to call this bit Equipment of Thor (I know it does not sound all that exciting), because there are 3 things I can think of that would be quite useful to have in The Hunger Games. As to how you would get them is relatively obvious, basically you will be covered in lightning like Thor and receive the equipment as it is bonded to your body. Anyway, the items in question; Heimdall’s Armour, Heimdall’s Sword, and Thor’s Hammer. It’s all you really need isn’t it, just the basics, and the hammer could prove to be a useful escape route as you could just plough through a wall or the roof, or better yet, send the hammer flying and destroy the Capitol, end of The Hunger Games, everyone is free, let’s go home. Basically, all this time, I just see myself becoming Thor while also receiving some equipment from the mighty Heimdall too.

GENEPOOL





Batman Begins – A Bite Size Film Review

5 02 2015

Batman Begins (Legendary Pictures - 2005)

Director: Christopher Nolan

Writer: Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer (Batman and characters created by Bob Kane).

Cast: Christian Bale, Katie Holmes, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary OldmanCillian Murphy, with Ken Watanabe and Liam Neeson.

Composer: James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer

Cinematography: Wally Pfister

Studio: Legendary Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, and Syncopy Inc.

Best Line: “It’s Not Who I Am Underneath, But What I Do That Defines Me.”

BB1

After suffering the loss of his parents during his youth; Bruce Wayne dons the cape and mask to become the legendary caped crusader Batman, as he attempts to save Gotham City from the criminal underworld it is built on, as well as those around him. Set in a realistic setting other than a comic book world, Batman Begins is an interesting film as it becomes more of a crime/action film than a Superhero film. The film is beautifully produced. Gotham City looks gives the impression of a dying criminal city with very few things to appreciate in it. The action scenes, particularly the end train chase and mid car chase are spectacularly done and impressive to watch.

BB2

The films cast are a brilliant selection and easily dive into their specified roles and are very believable but also easy to connect with. The emotional devices of Wayne’s love for Rachel, as well as the emotion he feels after his parent’s death and how this changes them can be felt on a high level even if it is more an action film than a drama. The film’s soundtrack is one of its most standout features. A nice mix of emotional pieces and action pieces, particularly the train chase at the end are used to raise tension to great effect. The film’s main theme is the main attraction as it is easily recognisable but also surprisingly catchy. Altogether Batman Begins is an enjoyable film and a definite must see.

GENEPOOL





It’s Not Who I Am Underneath, But What I Do That Defines Me – Batman Begins

27 07 2011

Batman Begins (Warner Bros. - 2005)

Christopher Nolan is back, the ace director who created the mind bending world of Inception and directed the Highly Successful The Dark Knight returns as we travel back in time. You may remember that the first 2 reviews I did were Inception and The Dark Knight well this month it is time to go back in time and see what came before The Dark Knight. I have an interesting story about Batman Begins. It was about a year ago and I was watching Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Straight after that was Batman Begins on ITV. I missed the first 40 minutes and after watching Batman Begins I could clearly see that Batman Begins is better than Lord of the Rings (all 3 Lord of the Rings films).

Batman Begins takes a different look at the Caped Crusader by putting the character in a more realistic world than the world of a Super Hero; it makes the film more like a Crime Thriller than a Super Hero Film. This also adds to the characters with them being realistic and not having any supernatural powers. It is also an origins story explaining how Bruce Wayne went from having his parents killed to becoming the Caped Crusader. The story was written by David S. Goyer with Music provided by Hans Zimmer. The film was the first film to be produced by Legendary Pictures.

Christian Bale stars as Bruce Wayne and his alter ego Batman. He is joined by a marvellous cast which includes Michael Caine as Alfred (Bruce Wayne’s Butler), Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox (The man who supplies Bruce Wayne with all the Technology needed to be Batman), Gary Oldman as Sgt James Gordon (one of only a few uncorrupted police in the city), Liam Neeson as Henri Ducard (the man who trains Bruce Wayne in martial arts and to fight injustice) and Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes (a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne and a Gotham City District Attorney).

The film starts out with a boy called Bruce Wayne who is playing with a friend of his called Rachel Dawes and he falls down a well and is attacked by Bats. Then the narrative changes to an adult Bruce who is in a prison in Bhutan. He is approached by a man called Henri Ducard who invites Bruce to train with an elite group of warriors called The League of Shadows which is run by a man named Ra’s Al Ghul. The narrative returns to Bruce as a child and he goes to the theatre one night with his parents. His parents get shot and die, the man is then captured and Bruce is raised by the Family Butler Alfred. Many years later Bruce returns to Gotham from University to attend the court appearance of the man, who killed his parents, he is to be set free so he can testify against a major crime boss. Bruce intends to kill him but one of crime bosses assistants gets to him first. Rachel discovers what Bruce was going to do and tells Bruce that his father would be ashamed of him. That night Bruce goes to see the Crime Boss named Falcone. Falcone tells Bruce that Bruce would not understand. Bruce then decides to travel the world and get into the mind of a criminal and eventually gets put in prison for stealing from his father’s company.

The Narrative returns to the Present where Bruce is trained by Henri Ducard and once fully trained the truth is revealed. Ra’s Al Ghul wants Bruce Wayne to lead the League of Shadows and destroy Gotham City which Ra’s Al Ghul believes has become so uncorrupted that it must be destroyed. Wayne refuses and destroys the palace of the League of Shadows and saves Ducard’s life in the process. Bruce then decides to return to Gotham City.  

On the journey back to Gotham Bruce learns that he is technically dead because the CEO of Wayne Enterprises wanted to take the company public. Bruce explains to Alfred of his plan to turn himself into a symbol to scare criminals. Bruce discovers a cave underneath Wayne Manor where bats are living and then chooses his image. He visits Wayne Enterprises and discovers a science division and meets a man named Lucius Fox who allows Bruce to use some of the equipment that has been created there. Bruce enlists Gordon’s help in disguise and then begins prepare his equipment; he also gains access to an armoured car.

Batman then stops a Drug Shipment, Captures Falcone and gives Rachel the evidence needed to convict him. Batman also uses Falcone’s body on a big light and uses it as a signal for the police to follow (creating the Bat Signal). Falcone is sent to Arkham Asylum with help from its corrupt administrator Dr. Crane.  Crane has been paying off Falcone to ship a toxic Hallucinogen into the City. When Falcone wants a bigger share Crane uses the Hallucinogen on Falcone making him go Insane. Batman later finds Crane and the toxin is used on Batman. Alfred finds him and takes him home. A few days later Bruce wakes up on the day of his birthday and is given a cure for the toxin by Lucius. Rachel then visits Crane and Crane shows her that he is pouring his toxin into the water supply, he then sprays her some of his toxin. Batman arrives and rescues Rachel and then evades the cops in his Black Armoured Car. He takes Rachel to his cave and injects her with the cure. He then gives her 2 vials of the cure and puts her to sleep, Alfred then takes her home. At his birthday party Bruce finds out from Lucius that the toxin can only be used when it is in a vaporised state, he also finds out that Wayne Enterprises has lost a device which turns water into a vaporised state.

While at the party a woman introduces Bruce to a man named Ra’s Al Ghul. Then he sees Henri Ducard who reveals to Bruce his real Identity as Ra’s Al Ghul. Bruce pretends to be drunk to get his guests to leave. Ra’s then tells Bruce about how the League of shadows has worked for years. They destroy a civilization when it’s reached its pinnacle and becomes a home of corruption, they previously caused the Black Death and set London on Fire. They have previously attacked Gotham before and failed. They have been working with Crane to poison the city with Insanity and are now about to cause the whole city to lose its mind. The League then traps Bruce in Wayne Manor as they set it on fire. Alfred returns and saves Bruce.

The League then release all the convicts from Arkham Asylum causing all the inmates to escape. All the cops in Gotham turn up as well as Gordon and Rachel. They are then trapped on the island as Ra’s Al Ghul turns on a machine designed to vaporise water causing everyone in the area to go mad. Gordon uses one of the Vials of the cure from Rachel and meets Batman. Batman tells him what is going to happen and gives Gordon the Batmobile. Batman then saves Rachel and a small boy and reveals to Rachel his true Identity – “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me”. Batman then fights Ra’s Al Ghul on a train which is heading to Wayne Tower which is also the central hub of the whole water supply in the city. Gordon uses the Batmobile to destroy the train tracks stopping the train from reaching the water supply and Batman leaves Ra’s Al Ghul on the train just before it crashes.

The next day Bruce takes control of Wayne Enterprises and put Lucius in charge as CEO. At the burned down remains of Wayne Manor Rachel meets up with Bruce who says to him that Batman is who Bruce really is. Batman then meets up with Lieutenant Gordon who tells him that they have a long road ahead and also tells Batman of another criminal who leaves a playing card at the scenes of his crimes. Batman says he will look into it and then leaves.

Batman Begins is a Brilliant film with many enjoyable pieces. The new direction created by Nolan and Goyer makes this an incredibly enjoyable film for everyone. The story is well written and the cast play their parts well. Katie Holmes in particular is very good as Rachel Dawes and is a lot better than Maggie Gyllenhaal who plays the role in The Dark Knight.

The Dark Knight is a lot better than Batman Begins but there are some pieces in Batman Begins which should be in The Dark Knight. The fight between Batman and Ra’s Al Ghul is brilliant whereas the Fight between the Joker and Batman could have been better. Also Begins has a lot of appearances from the Batmobile which gets destroyed in The Dark Knight.

Hans Zimmer has created some amazing pieces of music in films in recent years but his work in the Batman Films is probably his best with a brilliant theme for the lead character which is also heard in The Dark Knight, it is truly an iconic piece of Music. Batman Begins is a very enjoyable film and one of the Best Super Hero films around. Nolan and Goyer have made something excellent and it continues with The Dark Knight and the upcoming Dark Knight Rises. Batman Begins is Excellent from start to finish and an extremely enjoyable for everyone.

GENEPOOL





Film Review: The Dark Knight

5 09 2010

The Dark Knight in my opinion is one of the best films of the last decade. It is a must see film, not just because someone is saying it but actually being a must see. Its like the Star Wars and James Bond. The film is from Christopher Nolan; the man behind Batman Begins and more recently INCEPTION.

The film is about Batman. Now when you think of Batman you might think about the Comics or the Camp 1960’s – 1970’s TV Series or the Cartoons or the Burton/Schumacher films. Now there is not really anything wrong with the Burton/Schumacher series. Batman (1989) is a very good film, Batman Returns is not so good, Batman Forever is probably the best in the series and Batman and Robin was quite good. What Christopher Nolan has done is quite good in the way that he has made it not as a Super Hero film but more as a crime drama. That’s what makes it so good, it works, and it absolutely works. In a way this is how Batman Should be.

You have Christian Bale starring as Bruce Wayne/Batman. This is Bale’s best role to date. The only other good roles I can think of include Quinn from Reign of Fire (Watch It) and John Connor in Terminator 4. Then there is Gary Oldman playing Commissioner Gordon. Gary Oldman is a bit of a Trojan Horse in the way that you don’t notice him in films but he gives a brilliant performance just like he did with Sirius Black in the Harry Potter Films. Michael Caine stars as Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred Pennyworth. Michael Caine’s performance is almost as good as Michael Gough’s performance in the Burton/Schumacher films. To me Michael Caine’s best performance is in the film ZULU. Morgan Freeman plays the role of Lucius Fox, CEO of Wayne Enterprises and the man who supplies Batman With all his Equipment. It was almost inevitable for Caine and Freeman to star in a film together. Aaron Eckhart stars as Harvey Dent and another character who appears later on in the film who will be revealed later (not unless you have seen the film or know the plot). Maggie Gylenhall plays the role of Rachel Dawes. Katie Holmes played the role in Batman Begins, It is a shame she didn’t return for The Dark Knight. This time around Rachel Dawes doesn’t smile so much and can be a bit moody. Heath Ledger (who sadly died shortly after filming of The Dark Knight was finished) plays the role of The Joker. Batman’s Number 1 Nemesis. Almost every Joker scene is Incredible. The role of the Joker is played well in this film.

The Film starts out with the Joker robbing a Mob Bank. OK it’s going to take me a long time to explain the plot; so here it is very briefly: Joker Robs Bank, Batman deals with Mobsters and Batman Copycats, Mobsters have meeting which is interrupted by the Joker, Batman goes to Hong Kong to get Mobster, Mobsters hire the Joker who threatens to kill Batman, Joker kills people, Harvey Dent claims to be Batman, After long car chase the Joker gets arrested, Battle of wits take place between the Joker and Batman, Harvey dent has one side of his face burnt (spoiler) turning him into Two Face, Rachel Dies, Joker make Dent go bad, Joker blows up hospital, Harvey Dent goes on a killing spree, Joker threatens to blow up ferries, Due to clever plan Batman has to fight both SWAT Teams and the Jokers Henchmen to save hostages, Batman fights Joker, Ferries don’t blow up, Joker understands that Batman is Incorruptible and won’t kill him, Joker tells Batman what he did to Harvey, Harvey and Gordon and Batman standoff, Harvey Dies, Batman takes the punishment so Harvey’s reputation stays intact, Batman goes on the run, Gordon Summarises up what Batman really is, A Silent Guardian, A Watchful Protector, A Dark Knight, Credits Roll.

There is a lot more to the story but you are going to have to see the film for yourself.

On the whole the Film is Amazing, There are very few downsides. The biggest of them is the Lack of Batmobile in this film, Overall the Tumbler is only seen 2 maybe 3 times in the whole film, the rest of the film has Batman’s Bike instead. One of the best scenes in the film has A BIG RIG flipping 180 Degrees from the front, an effect that works and looks good as well.

So much Detail has gone into this and it has paid off, the cast are brilliant with particular mention going to Gary Oldman and Heath Ledger. This film can’t be expressed much in words; you really have to see it. I can’t get bored of seeing it, it’s that good.

The Dark Knight is one of the Best (NON GODZILLA) films of all time. A sequel is currently in Pre-Production with a 2012 Release Date (the same year as the upcoming Legendary Pictures GODZILLA Film). The film is going to be the Final film in the series with a conclusion to the story. It is going to take a lot to beat The Dark Knight.

On the whole THE DARK KNIGHT is a must see film, Not just because I am saying it, but because it is.

GENEPOOL








%d bloggers like this: