By Marty Mulrooney
The Dark Knight Rises is the third and final instalment of director Christopher Nolan’s epic Batman film trilogy, following on from Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008). Christian Bale once again reprises his role as Batman, this time opposite Tom Hardy as the villain Bane, a terrorist hell-bent on destroying Gotham City. Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman also return, alongside newcomers Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anne Hathaway.
By Joseph Viney
Once every so often a film hits cinemas and changes the landscape forever. Whether it is through the use of special effects, star power, scripting or acting, some films are immediately lifted to the pantheon of greats and set a new precedent. The Matrix set the tone for post-millennial Hollywood with its dizzying mix of computer graphics, story and mythology building – at least until those two awful sequels surfaced. This past year may have witnessed two such landmark events. December 2009 saw the release of Avatar, the special effects spectacle that broke box-office records. Summer 2010 has Inception.
By Marty Mulrooney
I knew from the trailers for Harry Brown that it could end up being amazing, a British Gran Torino, Michael Caine’s swansong, a sharp commentary on British society and gang culture. I also knew that it could potentially be a complete disaster… not everything Caine touches turns to gold and this is director Daniel Barber’s first feature film after all.
To be honest, first impressions were not so good. Shaky camerawork shows a gang of thugs in an underpass, darkly lit, showing off guns and doing drugs. I HATE shaky cams and I was nearly ready to zone out, when I suddenly realised this was actually being recorded from the point of view of an unseen member of the gang on his mobile phone.
We then cut to what has to be one of the most shocking opening scenes I have seen in years, as said thug videos a high speed bike ride from behind one of his friends, before doing something completely chilling to a young, terrified mother in a public park. Once we cut to regular celluloid, Harry Brown has arrived. I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty. But I now had hope that it could actually turn out to be a decent little flick.