In the year 1989, the very first Batman movie was released. Directed by Tim Burton, this memorable portrayal of Bruce Wayne/Batman by Michael Keaton shows the Dark Knight’s battle against the corruption of Gotham City, and the clown prince of crime himself, The Joker (Jack Nicholson). Jack Napier, a small-time crook, falls into a vat of chemical acid, and ultimately end up becoming the feared Joker.
Later on in the movie, Batman soon finds out that the man who killed his parents was indeed the Joker, before he became the Joker – Jack Napier. In the end, the Joker attempts to flee the Batman, but the Joker falls to his death from the top of a building, becoming loose from Batman’s grapple which he shot at the Joker to stop his escape.
This movie is the first proper cinematic adaptation of the Batman, apart from the 1960′s movie featuring Adam West. It’s a great portrayal of the comics, and although comical in many ways, such as the portrayal of the Joker seeming to be quite a humourous one, the general feel of the movie still feels quite dark, in the portrayal of Batman, and generally throughout the movie. I think this is definitely a good thing, as Batman was always meant to be a dark and secretive character, unlike the portrayals in the follow of movies, Batman Forever, and Batman & Robin.
I also think the Batman costume and Batmobile were definitely one of the better ones out of the movies, with their cool, sleek, and dark style, representing the character of Batman well. Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of the Joker was also a great one, mimicking that of the comics to a great degree. Both characters appeared to be portrayed very suitably, helping with the general atmosphere of the movie, making it as successful as it was. The action scenes in the movie were also great, as were the dialogue scenes, unlike those seen in the later Batman movies (particularly Batman & Robin), which were just awful.
Overall, this movie is an iconic one, highlighting the official cinematic birth of Batman onto the big screens, and it does it in a very cool and fashionable way, with the great performances, particularly from Jack Nicholson, being one of the main selling points of the movie, along with the combination of other great aspects.
By Manpreet Singh
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Last year, The Deathly Hallows Part 1, the first half of the final chapter of the Harry Potter saga was released. This year, the massively long-awaited conclusion returns: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 continues from the events at the end of part 1, and brings the whole story to a suspense-filled close. The daring trio, Harry, Ron & Hermione (Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint & Emma Watson) return, to find Voldermort’s remaining Horcruxes, in a race against time, whilst at the same time the whole of Hogwarts is in an all-out battle against Voldermort and his army.
Above all this however, is the final showdown between two of the most powerful wizards of all time: Harry Potter & Voldermort, in a concluding battle to end all, and only one can survive…
I’m pretty sure a lot of you have read the books and already know what happens, but for the sake of those of us who have not, please keep your mouth zipped as to the juicy spoilers which are heading our way. Here is the brand new trailer for the upcoming big-screen finale, which is set to be the movie of 2011:
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 is set to hit cinemas world-wide on July 15th. This will most definitely be a movie to watch.
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Taking the place for 1988 in Monumental Movies, is Rain Man, which follows the story of arrogant car dealer, Charlie Babbit (Tom Cruise), and his unexpected, severely autistic, yet savant brother, Raymond (Dustin Hoffman). Charlie’s life seems to be going swimmingly, until his father dies, and he learns that a sum of $3,000,000 will not be left to him, but his brother of which he was unaware he had, Raymond. Extremely pissed off Charlie, having learnt of his brother, goes to visit him, and attempts to take Raymond away from his sheltered institute to L.A., in the hope that he will be able to obtain this massive inheritance.
However, things don’t go as planned, as Raymond is harder to handle than expected, causing nothing but trouble for Charlie. However, as time goes on and the frustrations die down, Charlie soon becomes used to looking after Raymond, and eventually realises that Raymond was infact his ‘imaginary’ childhood friend who used to sing to him, whom he called Rain Man, and this is probably the main turning point of the movie, at which the emotional, brotherly bond between the two significantly strengthens.
Throughout the journey Charlie and Raymond embark on, Charlie soon comes to realise that Raymond, although severely mentally disabled, has a unique, rare, and extremely ingenious talent; an incredible mental capacity for numbers and mathematical calculations. Charlie also soon learns that his car company will go bust if he does not acquire a sum of $80,000. Charlie sees Raymond as a beautiful opportunity to use Raymond’s amazing capabilities at a Vegas casino, winning the money. Along the way, Charlie allows Raymond to experience a range of human experiences that he would not have otherwise been able to experience, such as dancing, and being kissed (I don’t mean Hoffman and Cruise kissing, fortunately), helping Raymond to experience a ‘normal’ life.
The movie ends with the battle over whether Charlie is allowed to keep custody of Raymond, or whether he goes back to the institute. Charlie loses the custody, although it’s now clear that he doesn’t care about receiving the money, but was just angry about the about idea of his brother being kept a secret from him. Although Raymond can’t live with Charlie, he assures Raymond that he will visit him regularly.
Rain Man, was one of the, if not the most successful movie of 1988, and once you watch this movie, you can see why. The character of Rain Man is based on a real-life person, and Hoffman portrays this role to an excellent degree, giving the impression that he actually is an autistic savant throughout the whole movie in such a convincing manner, giving the movie a genuine atmosphere. It truly is one of those movies which you forget is actually just a movie whilst watching; it captures you in its great and convincing, realistic atmosphere, with the great acting. Cruise, as usual, also displays great acting skills, beginning as an arrogant, egotistical, to put nicely, prick, who by the end of the movie, shows a great understanding and acceptance of his brother’s disability, with a great emotional connection between the two characters – yep, it’s one of those movies which gives you a happy feeling at the end of it, even though it isn’t really a ‘happy ending’.
Arguably one of Hoffman’s best performances I’ve seen, and with a good storyline and interesting scenes showing the life of ‘Rain Man’, this is definitely one to watch. So watch it.
By Manpreet Singh
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