Batman Fan Theory: The Riddler Was in The Dark Knight

31 07 2017


Was Coleman Reese actually Nolan’s grounded version of The Riddler? I analyze this theory for in this article, right here!


Dunkirk- Review

26 07 2017


After such movies as The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, and Interstellar, it’s fair to say Christopher Nolan sets a high bar for cinema, one that would set an almost crushing weight of expectation from fans with each new movie onto most directors. Luckily, Nolan is not like some directors, and made a bold move by tackling a project- World War II- that marked a strong departure from the “sci-fi and comic book” movies that had become his defining brand. In my (and most actual critics’) opinion, this endeavor pays off by producing a visually and technically stunning film, with images and moments that will not be soon forgotten.


The Continued Adventures of Scarecrow.

Like the majority of the audience, I was unfamiliar with the events of Dunkirk before I heard about the movie. It’s not a story of a major victory like D-Day, but rather a desperate retreat by the French, British, and Belgium forces after a military disaster, where “survival is victory.” With German fighter planes and bombers picking off the Allied ships, British citizens with boats came to help evacuate the 400,000 stranded troops.

Fans of Nolan may recognize that the above summary of the events is a remarkably straightforward and simple plot for him to tell. There’s no multiple dream levels or time travel tomfoolery here, just us following groups of people in the air, sea, and beaches. Even the soundtrack from Hans Zimmer is noticeably ambient compared to other works such as Inception or The Dark Knight trilogy. However, Nolan did choose to go a nonlinear route with the storytelling, based on how long each counterpart group was actually involved in the historic event. So, while we only see the hour of time that was the plane mission, it’s told alongside a week’s worth of content from the beached troops, and the day that the civilian boats came to help. This device subtly added more tension, as we knew a bit of details about the future, but not the specifics of what happened to the characters. However, the big payoff came when all three timelines finally intersected in the third act, and everything ran in real time.


His name is Bane, here to crash your plane.

One other notable departure from classic Nolan films was the light character details (Cillian Murphy is only listed as “Shivering Soldier,” and he was one of the few people who actually talked). According to Nolan in an interview with NPR, they were intentionally light on character depth, because he wanted the audience to “care about a character simply by virtue of what it is they’re trying to achieve onscreen in a physical sense, a task they’re trying to achieve. We very immediately, as audience members, we…find ourselves in their shoes very quickly, and I wanted to make a film that really snuck up on the emotions.”


Can you have English subtitles on an English movie?

With the caliber of Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, and Cillian Murphy, who are so capable of portraying relatable characters, we didn’t need a ton of background or character-driven dialogue, but at the same time, it would still have been nice to hear them interact more (although it was nice to hear Michael Caine’s cameo on the radio). However, in retrospect, these relatively unknown characters actually helped provide more immersion in the actual events. It was less like, “I wonder if Commander Bolton is thinking about his wife and children back in their little cabin,” and more like, “OMG THIS SHIP IS ON FIRE AND SINKING.” Also, since veterans of the battle were interviewed beforehand, this is probably the closest to the feeling we’ll ever experience (for example, the soldier walking into the ocean to swim to his death was based on a firsthand account).

The movie is absolutely beautiful in IMAX, especially the breathtaking aerial dogfights over the water. This is because the the bulk of the film was shot in IMAX, with giant IMAX cameras strapped to plane replicas as they flew after each other, or were free-handed over the water in boats. The majority of the shots and effects were practical (with around 1,500 extras and battleships physically built), displaying an insane commitment to detail and authenticity that holds up better than the usual CGI-animated summer blockbuster.


“Needs more extras!” – Chris Nolan, probably.

In summary, Dunkirk is a simple story with simple characters, but it’s told in spectacular fashion. It won’t be displacing my top few Nolan movies, but is still a solid and surprisingly moving film that should be watched in theaters. It’s hard to imagine a more fitting tribute to the troops and civilians who endured on those beaches.

4 Things Movie Fans Should Know About Dunkirk Director Christoper Nolan

19 07 2017


Hey everyone, I’m also writing on to gain more experience/motivation. I’ll still be writing here too, but thought I’d provide an easy way for you to read more of my random thoughts.

That said, check out my second post here! It’s a great, great link.

Spider-Man: Homecoming Review

12 07 2017


It’s weird to say that the sixth Spider-Man movie (that kicks off the third reboot) is not only a good idea, but exactly what we needed, but here we are. After the disastrous Amazing Spider-Man movies, with their overly brooding tone yet cheesy villains, Spider-Man: Homecoming is a breath of fresh air. It’s not free of problems, and hasn’t replaced Spider-Man 2 as my favorite spidey movie, but it fits neatly into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while also feeling like a standalone film.


When Tony realizes his chances with Aunt May are gone.

Tom Holland makes an excellent Peter Parker, depicting the best high-school era version we’ve gotten (sorry,  Andrew Garfield was a terrible “nerdy” high school student). He seems like a normal teen blessed with powers who got to join an epic event (remember when he stole Captain America’s shield?), and then gets antsy and frustrated when it all seems to have ended. His Peter Parker was relatable, quippy and sufficiently awkward, just as it should be. His friends were also awkward but effective, particularly his hilarious best friend Ned (AKA The Guy in the Chair).

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man acted the benefactor/mentor character quite well in his own trademark style (his opening banter with Peter in the car was especially entertaining). However, he was appropriately off to the side- this needed to be focused on Peter Parker, not Tony Stark. I appreciated how they realistically explained why he wasn’t around more, and showed that he wasn’t completely leaving Peter unsupervised, thanks to the (invasive) surveillance and “training wheel” protocols (Happy still could have been a little more accommodating with the whole “liaison” thing though).


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

I really enjoyed watching Vulture as the villain. Michael Keaton was a thousand times better as an antagonist than any garbage bad guys the two Amazing Spider-Man movies tried to offer (remember how terrible those villains were?!). Vulture actually had some motivation, with helping his family and workers, and that blue-collar-everyman status earned him sympathy from the audience (at least until we saw his swanky house). His portrayal of the Vulture brought back warm fuzzy memories of Molina’s Doctor Octopus from Spider-Man 2. He was also more menacing than expected, with palpable tension present in the car scene.

I’m also glad Vulture didn’t die. It would have just been another tragic friend/girlfriend’s parental figure who died indirectly because of Spider-Man, who would then beat himself up over again. That story-line has been used so many times already in previous Spider-Man films, it’s become its own trope.


Forget the Washington Monument- it’ll take weeks to rebuild that Lego Death Star,

Besides the epic new version of the old Spider-Man theme song we got in the beginning, the score wasn’t too memorable. However that does seem to be par for the course with Marvel Avengers movies, or maybe Hans Zimmerman spoiled me with the Dark Knight trilogy. There was also plenty of CGI, but nothing too obvious or glaring- this is about a guy swinging on a web fighting a mechanical bird man, after all.

I enjoyed the “street level” feel of the movie- no alien invasion or giant warships here, just a gang selling weapons with modified alien tech from the Avengers New York fight. It was also nice to have a Spider-Man movie where he doesn’t go through 10 levels of drama fawning after a girl; this was more like a high school crush. I’m still not down with this version of Aunt May, and don’t even get me STARTED with “MJ,” who’s completely different in appearance and personality than any other version of Mary Jane. I understand wanting to make things different, but those two character interpretations are so out of left field it’s distracting. And yes, I’m aware that they stated later she’s actually not Mary Jane, but that just makes her line a big, dumb Easter egg that’s not even a real Easter egg. Zendaya’s character was perfect without confusing everyone with a cheap twist.

All in all though, I really enjoyed this movie. It was colorful, humorous, and entertaining, unlike the last three Spider-Man movies (did I mention I hated those?). I’m excited to see where they take this, and how Peter’s world might change after the next two Avengers films.


My face, when she called herself “MJ.”



Why Movies Based on Video Games Are Always Terrible

8 07 2017

Hey everyone, I’m also now writing on to gain more experience/motivation. I’ll still be writing here too, but thought I’d provide an easy way for you to read more of my random thoughts.

That said, check out my first post here! I promise that link is fantastic!