Memphis Movie Reviews

The Dark Knight Rises

Marxists in the United States don't like this movie. They are trying to claim that  it is going to be pulled from theaters at any moment, even as it continues to sell more tickets than all others. So you know it must be good.

Batman is retired. Bruce Wayne has never recovered from losing the love of his life who died in the previous movie. He is a recluse now. Wayne Enterprises has declined due to Bruce Wayne's neglect of it. At a charity function in Wayne Manor the guests openly talk about what a weirdo Bruce Wayne has turned into, never coming out of his house, never making public appearances. No one has seen him in years. Except Jarvis, his butler.  And Selena Kyle, a catburglar hired to rob him during the charity event. She does rob him, but not without being confronted by him directly. Their meeting intrigues him enough to make him get out for the first time in years. He tracks her down, trying to determine why she took what she took from him.

In the meantime, Gothan is a city falling into decline. Crime is getting steadily worse, while the police and politicians get steadily more crooked and ineffective. Batman is still blamed for the murder of city hero Harvey Dent and a hated figure.

While tracking down Selena Kyle, aka Catwoman, Batman gets wind of a plot to destroy the entire city. He learns that the man behind the plot is a former member of the same League of Shadows that Bruce Wayne was a member of and fought against in the first movie. And from here, things start to get rough.

That's all I'm going to give away about the story.

Anne Hathaway makes a good Catwoman. She's sexy enough and does her fight scenes well. She was believable as an ass-kicker in tight black latex that Batman wants to have sex with. 

I can't recall if the actor playing Bain is Tom Hardy. I think that's right. He was a mean and nasty villain. You already know before he and Batman meet for the first time that he's gonna beat the shit out of Batman. And he does. And then some.

Everyone in this movie is good in their role. The story is interesting to me because the ideas are taken from real events throughout history. The speech Bain makes after blowing up the football field and charging in with armed soldiers is a speech that has been made before, and by real world villains taking entire nations hostage. This is a movie about a man willing to give everything to be the hero that the city of Gotham doesn't deserve, but desperately needs.

I give it 4 stars. And I recommend you see it in theaters while you still can. It's a big-screen kind of movie.

Astro Boy

I think this movie came out in 2009. I just saw it for the first time last week. I was impressed by the cast. I'm a fan of Kristen Bell so since she was a voice in it I gave it a chance.

Yeah, it was lousy. The people who wrote this thing are apparently Marxists or Maoists or Democrats or something. The standard Marxist disregard for life, liberty and happiness was evident in the story right from the start. The boy is a robot, but his 'father' doesn't care for him, so the boy is simply rejected and left to go and make his own way in the world. He winds up meeting a group of robot communist revolutionaries who are portrayed as humorous and good-hearted, but non-threatening (yeah, seriously.) After the communist robots, he meets a rag-tag group of kids and the man they live with, a robotics engineer who repairs robots and then throws them into a fighting arena where he gambles on the fights while the robots are torn to pieces. So awesome for the kids.

The villain in the film is a militant leftist's caricature of what they think a conservative is. He's the President of the flying city and he makes statements that Democrats running for political office repeatedly attribute to their Republican opponents, but which the Republicans never said or did. And despite the villain's cold-heartedness, he isn't as cold as the writers of the film or the story in general, or Astro Boy's creator, whom he refers to as his father.

The film is filled with robots, which are all given very human characteristics and personalities, and so it is revealing how these humanized robots are treated in the story. They're treated badly. And their abuse is intended as comedy relief more than as a testament to the cruelty of the society in which they exist.

I like the people providing the voices for this film, but I do not like this film. I give it 2 stars. If you're with friends and drinking heavily, this movie could be entertaining as something to make fun of. Alternatively, if you're babysitting someone else's kids and you don't care if they grow up to be douchebags, this film will help get them to sleep. Kids probably won't get what's wrong with this film and like it just fine.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I had heard over and over about this great book written by some Scandinavian author, some story that took place in Sweden or thereabouts. I had never read it. It was generally said to be a 'chick book' and not something I'd read. And then some famous director over there made it into a movie. I heard the movie was good, but I didn't see it. And then someone else made a new version starring Daniel Craig and an actress that I had never heard of before. I paid no attention to it.

Then one night the movie came on one of the movie channels that I pay for each month. It was almost midnight, but it was a Friday night and I was home. So I stayed up and watched it. I was surprised. I don't know anything about the previous movie or the book, but version starring Daniel Craig was impressive.

Daniel Craig is a reporter who wrote a story exposing a criminal who made $2 billion in organized crime. But for various reasons Craig's character couldn't prove his allegations, and the mobster was suing him and the paper for everything they had. Somehow the mobster had obtained information on Craig's character that no one could possibly know and was using it against him. So he removed himself from the paper and went into hiding as the news reports hounded him about his story and how he was being sued over it. And then one day he is asked by a wealthy Swedish man to help him find out what happened to the man's niece many years ago. She disappeared and was presumed dead, but no one knew what really happened. The man says to Craig's character the he will have to deal with some of the most despicable, perverse, disgusting scum ever to walk the earth ... "my family." 

Craig begins digging for clues. The girl's body wasn't found. No one knew exactly where she disappeared. She was last seen in the family home during a large gathering. She had asked her uncle to speak privately with her just prior to her disappearance. He had been in the middle of something and told her "later." Then she was gone. The uncle was wracked with guilt wondering what she had needed to talk to him about and if he might have saved her somehow. Beyond this, Craig's character couldn't find much. He discovers, though, how the mobster gained so much information on him. The mobster had hired a girl who is mentally unstable, but a genius hacker who can find anything on anyone. Craig has nothing to lose, so he tracks the girl down, confronts her about what she has done to him, and then asks her to work with him on a case that involves finding "a killer of women."

There is a lot to the story that I'm not going to go into. They find their killer of women, but not who killed the girl they are looking for or what exactly happened to her. The killer of women was presumed to have killed the missing girl, but in a final confrontation with the killer, when the subject of the girl comes up, the killer clearly has no idea where she is and why she disappeared.

I'm not going to tell you what happens next. You have to watch it or read the book to find out. I'm giving it 4 stars. It's worth your time. It's good. But don't show it to the kids. It's no family film.


If you've never heard of this  movie you are not alone. I stumbled across it by accident. It is a totally unique kind of movie. I don't know if this was an independent film or not, but it plays like one. It's not predictable at all. It doesn't have an expensive musical score or big sound-effects. Nothing is CGI. The story is everything. It has Robert DeNiro, Edward Norton and Milla Jovovich in starring roles, so you know it is serious.

Stone is a man in prison. In the beginning we don't know why exactly he's in there. We only know the history of DeNiro's character, Jack Mabry. He's a cold man whose wife wants to leave him, but he keeps her from going through fear and threats. He's not a nice person. Then we move forward to the modern day. Ed Norton's character, Stone, in the prison where Jack Mabry works, meets with him periodically to talk about his parole chances. Stone's wife, Lucetta, comes to visit periodically. She is played by Milla Jovovich, so of course she's smokin' hot. Lucetta and Stone discuss some plan to use her to convince Jack Mabry to let Stone out on parole. Her method of convincing him is to seduce him and screw his brains out until he recommends Stone for parole. She goes after Jack like James Bond on a mission to save the Queen.

While Lucetta is steadily pulling Jack away from his wife and turning his cold,  bitter world upside down, we see Stone's world in prison undergoing a bit of a religious transformation. In fact, we see everyone's world undergo a religious transformation. And that's the real theme of this movie, the search for God and our role in God's world.

In order to truly appreciate this movie you have to watch it without expectations. Just relax and let it play. And pay attention. It's a quiet movie, but a lot is going on, especially at the end. I give it 3 1/2 stars. It's good, but if you're in the wrong fame of mind you won't get it. Oh, and Milla Jovovich has a nude scene in the film, too. If I were to be consistent I'd give it another star for her alone, plus that scene. That'd be 4 1/2 stars, which I think is more than I've ever given any movie, so I'll hold off on that. Just remember that its a good, deep movie well worth your time, but if you're not in the mood for it you won't get it.

You have read this article Anne Hathaway / Astro Boy / Christian Bale / Daniel Craig / Joely Richardson / Milla Jovovich / movie reviews / Robert DeNiro / Robin Wright / Rooney Mara / Stone / The Dark Knight Rises / The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo with the title Memphis Movie Reviews. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!
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