1989: Batman

Michael Keaton as Batman Batman (Michael Keaton)

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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


Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2: Preview and New Trailer.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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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.

1988: Rain Man

You're my brother

Image by kairin via Flickr

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

1987: RoboCop

Cover of "Robocop"

Cover of Robocop

In 1987, the classic, RoboCop was released. Set in a criminally-destroyed and corrupt Detroit city, a police officer on the brink of death is brought back, in the form of a cyborg. Peter Weller plays almost-dead officer, Alex Murphy, brought back as RoboCop, a half-man, half-machine police officer with a love for upholding the law. Set in the future, Murphy is brutally murdered by head of a vicious street gang, Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith), and is brought back through body reconstruction, with the addition of a steel outer shell.

Head company who runs the city of Detroit, Omni Consumer Products (OCP) have used the reconstruction of Alex Murphy as a means of getting on good terms with the public, as they had recently created a crime-fighting robot with a deadly glitch in its system. Dick Jones, an employee of OCP, created robot, ED-209, whom RoboCop must destroy, once ED-209’s glitch comes into effect. However, Alex Murphy’s past memories are rediscovered whilst he in the form of RoboCop, and he remembers Clarence Boddicker, and realises he must find and arrest him, whilst finding and bringing down Dick Jones, who Boddicker is working for.

The movie ends with Dick Jones revealing that he had Bob Morton, the OCP employee who created RoboCop, killed, at which point Jones orders ED-209 to kill RoboCop. RoboCop manages an escape, before he kills Boddicker. RoboCop then returns to OCP headquarters, where he confronts Jones in front of everyone, showing evidence to prove Jones is guilty. Jones then attempts to kill The Old Man, the boss of OCP, before  The Old Man voids RoboCop’s Fourth Directive, which initially stopped RoboCop from taking action towards any OCP employees. RoboCop then shoots Jones several times, before he falls out of the skyscraper window.

Now, as corny as this movie sounds, it is great. RoboCop is a classic, and I can’t think of any other movie like it. It’s the actual cheesiness of the movie, mixed with it’s crazy violence and cheesy humour, which makes it so good. Ridiculous one-liners, mixed with violence, it’s brilliant. The storyline isn’t the best, but it’s suffcient, and keeps the movie going. The action scenes are great, and although it doesn’t have the best storyline, the sub-plots based on RoboCop and his life as Alex Murphy are interesting, and follow on into the sequel movie.

The special effects aren’t the best either, but this movie was made over 20 years ago, and were good for its time. Overall, the movie is great, and thoroughly enjoyable. It has a dangerous, brutal, and rugged feeling about it, and the fact that they make this cheesy idea of a RoboCop seem so cool is even better. If you haven’t seen this movie, I highyl recommend you watch it. A 4th installment is also currently in the works. So watch this one in preparation.

By Manpreet Singh

Super 8: Preview and Trailer

J.J. Abrams at Time 100 Gala

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Super 8, is the next upcoming movie from phenomenal writer and director, J.J. Abrams (Star Trek (2009), Lost, Fringe), which will be produced by Steven Spielberg. Super 8 is a mysterious sci-fi flick, set in 1979, based around a group of friends who, whilst using a Super 8 camera to film their own movie in Ohio, come across a train wreck, witnessing the derailment of the train. However, this isn’t the shocking part, as weird and disastrous events soon follow, leading to something worse  than anyone could have imagined.

Now, although there aren’t really any massively famous actors in this production, with the amazing imagination of J.J. Abrams, and the brilliant production skills of Spielberg, this movie is set to be a more than promising one. The trailer doesn’t show too much, but I’ve got a good feeling this is because they don’t want to ruin what may be a brilliant movie. Check the trailer out:

Now I don’t know about you guys, but I definitely want to know what the hell is in that container. Super 8 is set to hit cinemas across UK on August 19th, so here’s a heads-up to watch out for it.

127 Hours Review

The classic view of Canyonlands National Park ...

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127 Hours  was released world wide in cinemas in January, 2011, after it became popular in film festivals late 2010, and was shown in limited cinemas in America. It’s a real life story about a man called Aaron Ralston, whom in April, 2003, was canyoneering in Canyonlands in National Park in Utah. In his canyoneering he fell down a gap, and moving a rock in doing so, which fell down the gap with him, trapping his arm, leaving him unable to move as a result. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t tell anyone where he had gone that day.
The film follows the same story that was told by the man himself, and shows how he eventually let himself free from the rock in 127 hours, and what he went through mentally, as well as physically.

Aaron, is played by James Franco, and he plays the role rather well. He manages to display acting of such desperation that as a viewer, you feel real sympathy for him. The Aaron in real life claims that the film is so accurate apart from one scene, that it is a real biography.

My only criticism of the film would be the fact that there is not much to show in a feature-length film about a man’s arm being trapped under a rock with no company whatsoever. They do include flashbacks of Aaron’s personal life, but you do feel mid-way through the film that you just want it to get to the scene when he has finally managed to get out of being trapped.

The film is good however, and it did keep me interested; and because it’s a true story you feel like you’re watching a real life event. The man in real life who was actually trapped under the rock in the film is now pretty famous in America, and has become a popular motivational speaker, leading a range of hiking projects around the world. So make sure you watch this film.

iHartMovies rating: 3.9/5

By Daniel Hart

Here is the trailer.

Scream 4: Trailer and Preview

Scream (film series)

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With  Scream 3 being released in 2000, a huge 11 years ago, it makes Scream 4 have a lot of living up to do for this final installment. The film follows the events several years after the original murders, where a past victim, Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell) decides to go back to her home town to promote her own self-help book during the 15th anniversary of the first Woodsboro murders. From viewing  the trailers, the film looks like it’s sticking to the the slasher/horror genre, whilst also adding parodies and humour in the mix. Below is the trailer, so let us know what you think. Do you think it will top the previous Screams? Or is it an unnecessary addition to turn the trilogy into a pointless saga? Scream 4 comes out in cinemas this Friday.
Watch the trailer below.