Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Dark Knight / **** (2008)

“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

The crazed, almost hypnotic dance of wits that is shared between Batman and the Joker is the most memorable of the public rivalries exhibited in the comic books about the caped crusader, a savagely perceptive conflict in which good and evil forces meet and clash with dizzying arrays of results ranging from the exciting to the profound. They also share a chemistry that is often imitated but never fully replicated, and despite a broad arsenal of enemies that have been thrown into the midst of the dark knight’s presence, none of them come close to matching. That’s because the Joker is, for better or worse, the only antagonist in the original stories that seems to understand enough about the Batman identity to dissect it; much like the hero, here is a villain whose own “trauma” in life has essentially made him the spiritual opposite of Gotham’s biggest crime fighter, and the two engage in elaborate plots against one another as if they are brothers of war destined to counter-balance one another’s existence in the scheme of life. Theirs is a tumultuous love affair that is almost endearing as it is wicked.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull / *** (2008)

10 things that come to mind when watching the new "Indy" flick

1. It has been nearly 20 years since the last installment into the George Lucas/Steven Spielberg franchise that solidified Harrison Ford as a Hollywood action star. For those that express concern and/or confusion over the prospect of a movie hero being dusted off and revived so long after the fact, we should remind you that the resurgence of the aged action star is but a new hot commodity in Hollywood. Otherwise, how does one explain the rousing success of recent return ventures into film franchises like "Rocky," "Rambo" and "Die Hard?"