Movie Reviews. From the Hip.


"What should we see this weekend?"

"Will that be any good?"

"What would DORIEN SAY?"

... Here's what DORIEN SEZ.

Welcome to the premiere movie reviewer that JUDGES FILMS BEFORE THEY COME OUT! Armed only with a few previews and a crack-shot snap judgment, I bring you the most succinct, accurate, and cocksure film reviews this side of the River Wild... which sucked!


Monday, January 9, 2012


We already knew it would be a tall order to top The Dark Knight.  That was some kind of movie: a two-and-a-half hour plate of fine grilled chicken, with all of the things that you can fix it with.  It was extremely entertaining, smart, way dark, and its dramatic tension made like the dad from Growing Pains: it was Thicke!  The bar was set high for a sequel.  Then, when we lost Heath, the thought of a sequel seemed like a shithead move.  A) Batman's nemesis is the Joker, plain and simple; B) that performance was riveting, and another actor as another villain would seem a step down; and C) I don't want to see Batman solving puzzles and mirror messages left by some Dickler -- I just wanted more Heath!  Never, I vowed, could Christopher Nolan's third installment possibly match its predecessor.

Well, someone call the waiter over, because I need some shaved parmesan to go with those words!  The Dark Knight Rises is a beast of a film.  It's set eight years after the last movie, and Batman has gone ghost protocol: he took the rap for "killing" Harvey Dent, and now he's public enemy number one.  But while he's off soul searching, or what have you, Gotham is in danger of falling to the hands of the terrorist, Bane.  So, ready or not, B-man must suit back up and face the fire.  He's hounded by the coppers, his head isn't right, and this new foe may just break him for goodsies.  Bane has spent his entire life in prisons.  He's brilliant, strong like a mammoth, and lives on a life support system that looks like a terrifying facejock.  As Bane, Tom Hardy delivers.  He's as imposing as he was in Bronson, less hilarious, plus he's a shade away from pigshit insane.  If the Joker lit the torch for panic-induced anarchy, it has passed to Bane, who intends to destroy Batman and murder Gotham City.  Hardy is great.

Also thrown into the pot is Catwoman, as played by Annie Hathaway.  Here's another nutto with a score to settle.  Like Bruce Wayne, Selena Kyle has status and funds, but by night she lets her id loose, dresses up in an animal costume, and assaults those who stand in her way.  A. Hathaway is a beauty and talented, and when she's in action, leathered up, kicking cops in face, she makes a very good Catwoman.  Other players include Oldman, reliable and dope; Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, who invents gadgets and makes cheeky comments; tail gunner Michael Caine, whose cockney accent seems to thicken with heightened emotion ("yo' muvah an' yo' favah ahst mey to loo' ahftah you..."); and Nolan's new favorite son, Joseph Gordon-Why-Do-I-Carevitt.

And in uniform for the last time is Christian Bale.  Christ' has proven himself a fine all-around Batman.  Lord knows he put his body in prime physical condition to play the part, and in his journey as Bruce Wayne, from training in the Himalayas, to grabassing with Alfred, to losing both Rachels, Bale's performance has been tough, sympathetic, and honest.  It's when he's actually in costume as Batman that things can go funny, and yes, it's the god damn voice.  Keaton's Batman voice was somewhere between a murmur and a growl, and while it would probably be difficult to hear him out-of-doors, it was awesome, and it worked for the film.  It stands to reason that Bale's psychologically darker, pumped-up, avenger-Batman would have a menacing voice, but fuckles!  Did anyone not squirm a bit during Dark Knight when Batman sounded like Stone Cold Steve Austin talking smack about his coming match?  "YOU KNOW.... TRIPLE H..... THE PEOPLLE......  HUVV GOTHAMMM...... HAVE CHOSUNNN..."  Still, while Bale could have pulled a Halle Berry and dialed the vocal choice way down in the sequel after a poor reception in the original (her Storm went from Egyptian to regular in X2), I respect his choice to keep it husky.  It's Bale's final installment in the first great Batman trilogy, and he's going to go out his own way.  Even if he reminds you of John Cena.

All hats must be off to Christopher Nolan for swooping in, like a gentleman, and reimagining the epic story of the greatest superhero.  Let's hope we have a few good years to digest this trilogy before some jerk decides to relaunch the franchise, poorly.  The Dark Knight Rises is operatic in size, and is more pertinent to our times than one would think.  Hathaway warns Wayne that the ultra-rich will soon have an uprising on their hands, while Bane, a true monster created by the system, becomes the leader of a violent revolution.  Let's hope it doesn't come to all that.  But what is Batman to do, a figure rejected by the society he was trying to protect?  He knows that the system is fixed, and that there could be some benefits to a little purging, but innocent people need help, and that, in the end, is his job.  Batman puts his life on the line to protect strangers, and he don't never give up, even if it kills him.

"It's not who I am inside, but what I do that defines me."  You said it, Batman.  May we all remember your ways and your words.  But let us remember them as spoken by Keaton.

Dorien Sez: A
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