Posts Tagged ‘tom hardy

14
Aug
12

Lawless (dir. John Hillcoat)

Synopsis: Set during the Prohibition-era, three brothers who run a bootlegging business are threatened by authorities, who want in on their profits.

Starring: Tom Hardy,
 Shia LaBeouf, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska

Release Date: August 31st

Set during the backdrop of America’s most notorious crime wave, Lawless is a Gangster/Western blend that is based on a true story. Combined with an array of acting talent (..ranging from new generation actors, to veteran actors), it seems like this could be one of the more interesting gangster films to look out for this year.

One of the many reasons why I like these type of films is because as a period drama,  they serve the duel purpose of being entertaining and historically educating. In this case, we’re looking at the Prohibition era- A time in American history that dealt with economic issues (the great depression) environmental problems (constant dust storms),  and a growing imbalance between the rich and the poor. Within the mix of these problems comes the Bonudrant Brothers – Bootlegging siblings who redefined the American dream by selling unlicensed alcohol.  What’s interesting about the Bonudrant Brothers is that they aren’t the higher class, Al Capone, Jon Dillinger type gangsters who were living wealthy lives. They’re lower-end gangsters, who remain in the backwoods, away from society. Falling into the poorer category of society, these are the type of men who are ultimately willing to suffer the consequences of violence in order to become successful.

What makes this stand out to me is that most gangster films these days tend to be action-driven. Lawless will place a stronger focus on the characters, who have been described as being richly defined and therefore, more  engaging with the audience. To break it down briefly, Tom Hardy is playing Forrest Bondurant, the quintessential “quiet leader” who has taken on the patriarchal responsibilities of the family. Hardy is definitely a good choice, as he shows a lot of range as an actor. According to the director, John Hillcoat, Hardy wanted to explore the softer side of Forrest’s character, allowing for more emotional depth. Shia LaBeouf plays Jack Bondurant, the youngest of the brother and also the more wilder one of the three. As stated by Hillcoat, Jack is described as someone “who experiences every single emotion, from rage and despair to total joy and happiness”. Although I find Shia annoying at times, he shows a lot of energy as an actor and thats the type of presence  needed for the younger and more naive of the siblings. (Below, I’ll provide an info chart that I found, which describes the character’s more in detail).

I think the film’s title goes beyond the Bonudrant Brothers being lawless criminals. We’ll also see how the authority figures during that time period were also corrupt and willing to bend the rules in order to find the American dream (…err, their own version of it).

Sidenote:

If your interested, check out the director of the film, John Hillcoat. His last two films (The Proposition and The Road) are awesome and I would highly suggest them! If you want to find out more about him here’s his IMDB link.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0384825/

…Here’s some information regarding the characters.

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14
Jul
12

The Dark Knight Rises (dir. Christopher Nolan)




Synopsis: Eight years after Batman took the blame for Harvey Dent’s crimes, a new terrorist leader named Bane overwhelms Gotham City. As a result,  the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy.

Director: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Marion Cotillard and my homie, Morgan Freeman

Release: July 20th

Where to begin, well how about, holy crap, it’s about time. Christopher Nolan returns with the third entry (…and conclusion) to his Batman trilogy. To recap the series in a brief manner, Batman Begins  helped revamp the cinematic Batman experience by introducing a darker and more realistic perspective on the Batman story. Not only that, but it brought a more thorough understanding to the origins of Batman and how the caped crusader came to be. Next in line was The Dark Knight. Now that Batman had become an established hero amongst Gotham City, he was given the task of facing the Joker, while trying to fight off the police (..who labelled him as a masked vigilante).  Which much anticipation, the third entry to Nolan’s Batman series is sure to be a grandiose cinematic experience. Here’s what I think about it…

The hype behind this film is pretty intense. I mean, after seeing Heath Ledger take on a fresh, gritty portrayal of the Joker and being blown away by amazingly
choreographed action scenes, one would have to wonder how Christopher Nolan would be able to top his second entry in the series.  From what we’ve seen in the trailers, the snippets of action scenes seem like they’ll be on par with the The Dark Knight. Then again, that’s just the trailer so I can’t be absolutely certain. It almost looks like Nolan’s trying to go above and beyond…I.e, having a bomb detonate beneath a football field, forcing the whole foundation to cave in.  In terms of new characters, Nolan has introduced a new villain (Bane) who will not only test Batman’s wits mentally, but physically as well.  This is something that we haven’t seen in the previous entries, as the Joker was undoubtably a criminal mastermind but probably couldn’t bench 140 pounds if his life depended on it (weird image of that just popped in my head).

Story Line

I’m hoping the story is just as good as The Dark Knight. It’s been eight years since Batman’s disappearance, so there’s probably been a gradual increase in crime once again. The story will probably have a strong focus on how Bruce Wayne redeems his falsely accused image as the caped crusader by saving the city from Bane’s attempt to bring urban warfare amongst the city. There will also probably be some interesting subplots which will help establish the origins of new characters, such as Bane and Catwoman (Selina Kyle). Overall, I’m confident that people will walk out the theatre satisfied.

Brief Character Breakdown

Bane

As stated above, Bane is different because he is physically superior to Batman so theres no doubt that Batman’s gonna get pummelled in.  The last cinematic portrayal of Bane was weak…really weak and really inaccurate as well. He was dumb as nails, green and lacked vocabulary, only saying his name “BAANEEE!!” and flexing his muscles until his purple veins popped out of his biceps.  Nolan’s going to fix the true image of Bane. He is a criminal mastermind who is mentally and physically capable of taking on Batman. Although his background is rather mysterious, we’ll get the chance to learn about his past life (..where he came from, why he has the breathing apparatus) and what actually drives his motivation to bring destruction amongst Gotham City.  In terms of his physical looks, I think he looks awesome. Nolan’s made him look as realistic as possible. His military look compliments that factor nicely. Although people seem annoyed at his voice, I like it. It makes him sound more menacing and evil. 

Catwoman (Selina Kyle)

The last cinematic portrayal of Catwoman was also poorly done. It was basically
Halle Berry running around half naked jumping on walls, hissing at cats and meowing. In this new portrayal, Catwoman is described as an associate of  Bane. She abides by her own code of ethics   and in that sense, she does anything she needs to survive. When she’s not in costume form, she comes off as your classic femme fatale, adding a level of mysteriousness to her character.  In terms of her looks, Nolan’s strayed away from her costume having a cat design (..Nothing against the classic design, but this is a fresh perspective on it) and more towards her looking like an actual burglar. What intrigued me most at first was seeing her use the Batpod, a vehicle in which Batman used in the last half of The Dark Knight. I’m interested to see how her association with Bane and Batman all ties together.

Batman

Whereas in The Dark Knight, Batman had become an estbalished hero (..But a vigilante to the police), we’re going to be seeing a torn up Bruce Wayne who’s become older and doesn’t have the same playboy image he had in the previous Batman films. Christian bale described it best in a recent interview, “He’s filled with remorse, he’s become a recluse, he’s given up and completely quit” (http://www.nme.com/filmandtv/news/christian-bale-on-the-dark-knight-rises-batman/275326). What this means is that Bruce Wayne will be internally battling his alter ego, Batman while Batman is battling Bane. Once he makes the transition back into Batman, he’ll have to re-establish his name and become the hero he once was.

New Gear

Similar to The Dark Knight , we’ll get to see some new technology, as provided by Lucious Fox (Morgan Freeman). As seen from the trailer, this film will introduce us to the “Batplane” (…or also known as “The Bat”) which is a sleek black,  military inspired plane. We’ll also be able to see a revamped bat cave (…Last seen in Batman Begins), which has been described as an underground, desolate labyrinth. I’ve read that the cave will be flooded with water and when activated, a supercomputer and all of his equipment will rise from the water. Sounds pretty cool to me. We’ll probably be seeing a lot of new gadgets as the movie progresses (I.e, look to the image on the right).

Here’s a small clip of when we will first see “The Bat”

With every great origin story has to come an ending which was just as good as the introduction. As proven previously, it’s tough to pull of a good third entry in a trilogy but in this case, I’m confident it can be done.

…Okay I’m done jabbering my jaw now.