Dressed to Kill. This was excellent. Love the wordless moments, just guided by soundtrack to clue you in and shape the emotion. That museum scene! The tension! De Palman surveillance and paranoia in full force. And something about all those clocks? Nancy Allen is a hoot. And Dennis Franz! Perspectives on psychosis and the trans community haven’t aged well. It is of its time. Filed under: Brian De Palma.
Harry Brown. Grumpy old man vengeance like Gran Torino, but much much more dark and grim and cynical. Too much so for me.
The Dark Knight. Second viewing. (The first). It’s not good enough to carry its thematic weight. But Ledger is brilliant. That scene meeting with the mob… (“You’re crazy.” / “I’m not. No. I’m not.”) …chills.
Interstellar. As much as I whine about Christopher Nolan films, he’s got some gifts. My experience the second time around was almost the reverse of my first viewing: I was feeling the family story, and the epic space adventure had me twiddling my thumbs. I need an alternate cut of this movie that removes the “let’s explain the science” interludes. Just gimme the melodrama. The heightened emo stuff just wrecked me.
The Dark Knight. Re-watched to re-evaluate. Individual performances are great but as a whole it’s just… ¯(ツ)/¯
Interstellar. First time I’d seen anything on IMAX. Lives up to the format. It’s one of the best Nolan films since The Dark Knight, probably. But it’s very Nolan: he can direct the crap out of some spectacular action/space sequences, but it rarely moves me. (The truck/rocket scene above in the above screencap is a glorious exception). And it could use some trimming. I have to give him credit for directing original material though, and working with smart ideas. No one is doing crazy stuff at that level like he is. Maybe my second favorite after Memento? I need to re-visit The Dark Knight and The Prestige to see where it fits in.
The Dark Knight Rises. I enjoyed it this time around more than the first time I watched it. Still uneven and exasperating at times.
The Dark Knight Rises. Don’t get me started. Updated Christopher Nolan rankings:
- Memento (12 years and still going strong…)
- Batman Begins (It’s been a while, though. I may need to review this ranking.)
- The Prestige
- The Dark Knight
- The Dark Knight Rises
The Prestige. Themes: obsession, sacrifice, craft, identity, showmanship, revenge, deceit, science as magic, etc. It’s a little mechanical and maybe overstuffed, but always interesting. Hugh Jackman is excellent. I expect viewers would either love or hate the ending, in which the inevitable is delayed while the story is re-told and all is explained. I kinda hate that, but I should have expected as much. I guess that’s Nolan’s own prestige moment? I get really annoyed when you watch a movie and then, near the end, the movie tells you about the story that happened that you didn’t know about. (Yeah, I know I complained about this recently.) Good twists are fine, but they always make me wonder how you could tell the same story in an engaging way while sharing more details with the audience up front. Isn’t it also fun when we know something the other characters don’t?
I’ve now seen all of Christopher Nolan’s feature-length movies. Here’s how they stack up for me right now:
- Memento (with a commanding lead)
- Batman Begins (I’d like to re-watch this soon)
- The Prestige
- Following (tied for third?)
- The Dark Knight