THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (Nolan) | ★★★
Perhaps expectations were simply too high for the finale to Christopher Nolan’s Batman series. TDKR cannot live up to TDK (or even Batman Begins), but, as the third act of a multi-film narrative, it works. The picture overcomes plot conveniences, unnecessary bloat, and scope problems on the strength of its cast, the conviction of its director, and an undeniable sense of awe.
MAN OF STEEL
The Dark Knight Rises could very well be the last collaboration between Christopher Nolan and his longtime director of photography, Wally Pfister, who has been behind the camera on every Nolan film since and including Memento.
Pfister is taking his first turn sitting in a director’s chair this year, and in a story earlier this spring that talks about that project, the UK magazine Empire first reported that, “Wally Pfister … is retiring as a DP and moving on to his directing debut.” This past Friday on BBC Radio, Nolan confirmed, with a definite note of regret, that he’d be looking for a new cinematographer for his next film. That could mean that the next phase of Nolan’s directorial career could look very different indeed.
Read the entire article here.
On this day, what would have been Stanley Kubrick’s 84th birthday, we remember him with an excerpt from his 1968 Playboy interview:
The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning. The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death — however mutable man may be able to make them — our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.
Read the rest of the interview here.
KILLER JOE (Friedkin) | ★★★
Though we’re still waiting for William Friedkin to return to the masterful filmmaking he displayed in the 1970s, his film adaptation of Tracy Letts’ play, Killer Joe, passes the time quite nicely.
This is a nasty little crime thriller that evokes the work of other renowned filmmakers. There’s a Lynchian quality to its sleaze and brutality (think Blue Velvet or Wild at Heart) and a Coenesque feel to its pitch-black humor (think Fargo or Blood Simple). Yet it remains wholly Friedkin in its no-holds-barred matter-of-factness. This is some bold filmmaking.
Killer Joe is a ferociously wild ride that flirts with absurdity and brandishes its gallows humor. And it may make you think twice the next time you have a taste for KFC.