Tag Archives: Christopher Nolan

Full-length ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ trailer hits the web

20 Dec

By Chris Engelhardt

'The Dark Knight Rises' official poster. Credit: http://www.thedarkknightrises.com/

It’s finally here. The full-length trailer for “The Dark Knight Rises” officially hit the web today.

The film is director Christopher Nolan’s final installment in his Batman trilogy, and the new trailer suggests the series will end with a bang. The Dark Knight (Christian Bale) and new villain Bane (Tom Hardy) — best known in the DC Comics universe for breaking Batman’s back — go head-to-head. Gotham City is in complete chaos. Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) mesmerizes, though not in perfect Catwoman attire. And we get glimpses of Alfred (Michael Caine), John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard).

“The Dark Knight Rises” hits theaters July 20, 2012.

Check out the trailer below:

Movie Review: Inception

17 Sep

By Chris Engelhardt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, center, stars in Inception, a sublime piece of filmmaking. Credit: Pentadact, via Flickr

Visionary Christopher Nolan has crafted some of today’s smartest and darkest films, including The Dark Knight. Inception, however, is his first masterpiece.

Inception is a film of the highest caliber, a colossal cinematic achievement unlike any other. A dream world you won’t want to wake up from, Inception is a rare, monumental work of art that will go down as one of the best pictures of the decade.

The film is set in a highly-advanced technological world where “extractors” can enter and steal information from the minds of humans. To rob people of their ideas, a dream world must be created, a subject must enter that world, and that subject must fill that world with his/her secrets. Only then can extractors take what they need from the subject’s subconscious.

Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is the best extractor there is. But when a powerful, wealthy businessman named Saito (Ken Watanabe) presents him with a questionable job offer he can’t refuse—an offer Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Cobb’s trusty right hand man, thinks should be turned down—Cobb forms a team of professionals. The team includes Arthur, Eames (Tom Hardy), a master of deception, Yusuf (Dileep Rao), a savvy chemist, and Ariadne (Ellen Page), an architect in charge of designing the dreams. Their job is to perform an “inception”—the act of implanting an idea into the subconscious of an individual to make him believe the idea is his own

Inception is a marvelous and mesmerizing mind-bender that solidifies Nolan’s place as one of this generation’s best directors. The film, which took nearly eight years to write, radiates Nolan’s dedication, thoroughness and precision as a writer. Though not always the most lucid, this is nevertheless a multi-layered narrative that neatly encompasses numerous genres and rewards its viewers through storytelling at its deepest and grandest.

What’s most impressive about Inception is that it relies as much on its story as it does its imagery, and neither is overdone. At times, the film’s unbelievably exceptional visual effects and exhilarating, suspenseful action sequences take center stage. There’s a breathtaking scene involving a massive, unprecedented freight train smashing through a street full of cars. However, the most impressively shot and stylized sequence is Arthur’s epic anti-gravity hallway battle. It’s a thrilling unit of action that will be remembered as one of the best of the decade and of this century.

At other times, Nolan’s story telling prevails. This is especially seen through the interwoven romance between Cobb and his wife Mal (Marion Cotillard). The reason the story shines is due to a great ensemble cast who all render fantastic performances, whether major or minor, and bring their characters to life. The biggest surprise performance is given by Page, who is finally shedding her Juno image. Page is remarkable as the logical Ariadne, a character who will help viewers remain attuned to the film’s material.

Come Oscar time, though, the academy should especially take note of DiCaprio and Gordon-Levitt, whose performances deserve consideration. DiCaprio, who was also outstanding in this year’s suspense/thriller Shutter Island, delivers another powerhouse performance as the focal character Cobb, a tortured soul seeking to end his emptiness by reuniting with his family. As one of today’s most consistent and compelling actors, DiCaprio should garner consideration for both performances.

And Gordon-Levitt? He shines in absolutely every scene. Gordon-Levitt uncannily captivates, almost effortlessly, throughout the entire film, communicating his character ingeniously through subtleties. Levitt is in great form here, and is truly one of the most underrated young actors of his time.

Inception warrants Oscar nominations for every category imaginable. From its groundbreaking visuals, to its perfect ensemble cast, to its masterful direction and writing—all set to Hans Zimmer’s booming, haunting original score—Inception doesn’t strike a single false note. Get ready to dream big: Inception will blow your mind.

Grade: A

This article was originally published on Suite101.com: http://www.suite101.com/content/inception-movie-review-a263006