In The Picture: Movie Reviews – by Nadine

This week’s reviews: The Amazing Spider Man, Ice Age 4, Batman: The Dark Knight Rises

THE AMAZING SPIDER MAN

As things change in time – I assume Spiderman will – also, always – change with current trends in technology. Even though I missed the previous Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) and Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) I can’t deny that Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone where worthy replacements.

In this 3D film Peter Parker goes a bit behind the scenes of what we have gotten to know to date. The movie starts off showing us the background to what we know of Peter Parker. We get the opportunity to meet his parents and understand how he landed being raised by his aunt. The rest of the story is still pretty much the same with a different enemy coming to the forefront. As usual Peter Parker needs to set his hopes and dreams aside in the likes of Gwen Stacy.

The plot of his past is intriguingly combined with the present as movie lovers will understand how his past (and that of his parents) is connected with his future. In an effort to understand what his parents had sacrificed he meets up with Dr. Curt Connors – his dad’s former partner.

Connor is only interested in finding a cure that could benefit him ultimately. His self-indulgent alter ego puts Peter in a situation where he needs to make life-altering choices that ultimately help in shaping his destiny.

As usual the film was super adventurous. It was layered with action, animation, fast flitting humor and drama. Together it made up two hours and seventeen minutes of family fun. (If you are interested in stuff like that.)

ICE AGE 4

I’ve never gotten how grown up reviewers could ever write that “this is a movie kids would love.” I mean, how can someone in their mid-30’s or 40’s actually say that? Surely the best way to get a proper review would be to get someone from that age to write one? So, here goes the review of a so-called kid’s movie from an older person’s perception.

While I admittedly love Scrat myself, as he and his cursed acorn have continuously been the bearer of world-changing consequences I didn’t really feel the story in this one. It wasn’t as if the animation, storyline, characters where poor, I just felt as if I had seen them all before.

Don’t get me wrong, I love all of them with their quirky sense of humours and sense of adventure (my favourite being Diego), but this time around I just felt like I could boldly state something dorky like “been there, done that – worn the T-shirt.”

In this instalment of the animated series we are re-introduced to our mammoth Manny who is growing into more of an over protective dad. The plot is pretty much explained in the sense that it holds a parental lesson when it comes to kid’s coming-of-age.

The film starts off with Scrat continuing his nutty pursuit of the cursed acorn. As usual the acorn lands in un-trotted territory, he tries to retrieve it an ends of changing the world. This change just so happens to occur at the same time as Manny and his family are having a deliberation about his daughters’ whereabouts. The separation insures that Manny, Diego and Sid embark on another adventure with an iceberg as a ship.

The whole ship – pirate scene actually reminded me a lot of Jack Sparrow in a way – and it might ultimately have been my personal – psychological deal breaker. I kept on wandering where to from here?

Having said that my 4-year old daughter loved it and my son of 11 managed an “okay” which is great since you don’t get a lot of reaction from them at that age. So I guess the bold statement spoken by many reviewers might be sufficient … provided they are referring to the ages of 3 to 10.

BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

High-minded and crowd pleasing is an epic, let down only in attempting to explain the efforts that I think have gone into this film, which has not only equaled the 2008 release of The Dark Knight but – for me, in many ways – reached its much anticipated grand finale.

The end of this revolutionised masterfully crafted plot was met with great applause in theaters around the globe and even people like me (who’s not really into Batman) was won over. If I had to choose between the 2012 release of Spiderman and Batman – the latter would have walked away with many a prize. The only thing I could find critique on (Spoiler Alert) was the fact that I really missed Katy. Having said that, Anne Hathaway cast as Selina did well in her role and in the end I think the plot had definitely run full circle.

In this story Christopher Nolan dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s. There were flashbacks to the past that marvellously joined the past with the present. New characters filled their shoes with splendour and off course the High Tech made me want to invest in something sporty. Nolan dug deep in portraying his characters complicated and conflicting motivations. He succeeded in showing the eagerness to achieve greatness and redemption in society and craftily combined the sorrow, sense of detachment and futility of Gotham which remained on the brink of collapse without a saviour.

The Plot: 8 years have passed since Batman vanished and became a fugitive instead of a hero. Accepting the blame for the death of DA Harvey Dent, Bruce Wayne sacrificed everything he and the commissioner thought would be for the greater good. Their hopes were met for a period as the criminal community was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act.

Things change when Bane, a masked terrorist enters the streets of Gotham and forces Wayne from exile. Bruce’s decision to rise up creates various conflicts within the already troubled character’s life. He is however met, and supported by various new characters. Throughout the plot, one can’t help but to constantly wonder whether The Batman is actually a match for Bane or whether fate will run its course.

My final verdict: Marvellously written, splendidly crafted – I hope to see more (because there can definitely be more) in the years to come.

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About Octarine Valur

Octarine Valur - Founder: House Valur, South African Vampyre Community, South African Vampi(y)re Alliance (SAVA), SA Vampyre news (SAVN). View all posts by Octarine Valur

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