Rapid Review: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The Dark Knight Rises poster

Oh, you think darkness is your ally. But you merely adopted the dark; I was born in it, moulded by it. I didn’t see the light until I was already a man; by then it was nothing to me but blinding!”
– Bane

dark knight rises bane plane

GRADE 8.5This was a brilliant way to conclude a brilliant trilogy! I know that Luke and I don’t necessarily see completely eye to eye on this one, but I still think it is really good. At least we can agree that this trilogy is a stroke of utter genius. Plus, Tom Hardy as Bane. I mean come on, like that wasn’t going to go down phenomenally. Tom Hardy was just an amazing Bane, and his role was simply flawless. Nolan again nailed that perfect mix in the villain, where you wanted to know more about him and see what he was going to do, but still held out that Batman would save the day. Christian Bale is, again, just the most perfect Bruce Wayne/Batman. Seriously. The way he embodies both the billionaire playboy and the Dark Knight? It’s awesome. However, as much as this movie got right, I am not going to pretend there weren’t flaws. The pacing was a little uneven, and there was some incredibly flawed logic thrown in here. For instance, I get that John Blake is intuitive and all, but just guessing Batman’s identity right off the bat was just too much for me, and there is also the issue with Bane knowing exactly where Applied Sciences was, though it is apparently “not on the books” anywhere, and not public knowledge. Also, I am not a fan of Anne Hathaway, and her Catwoman/Selina Kyle is someone that grows on you after multiple viewings, but is still not a character I enjoy a lot at all. Yeah, there were a few niggles, but so what? This movie is ridiculously quotable. My fiancé just doesn’t even know what to do with me… walking up staircases and he doesn’t turn on lights? “Ah, you think darkness is your ally.” Threatening someone? No sweat! “It would be extremely painful… for you.” My one colleague and I communicate a lot in Bane quotes (well, any movie quotes). It’s a problem, we know, yet we have absolutely no plans to change that. But truly now, Bane is awesome on so many levels (and so hot here – the ladies will understand this, though it was unexpected)! And there are so many quotes in this movie that beg to be used. One of my favourite things in this movie was the return of the Scarecrow. I adore Cillian Murphy and I am a big fan of his Dr Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow. I was thrilled to see him given more screentime this time around as opposed to The Dark Knight. Anyway, The Dark Knight Rises is another solid outing from Nolan, is really fun even though it is flawed, and closes one of the greatest trilogies of all time off properly. Go watch these all again immediately. Go on.

PS: I just remembered now – this movie was totally worth every second of my two week self-enforced internet ban prior to its release (I hate getting things late in SA)! It still remains a running joke, and Natasha still can’t believe I underwent something like that for a movie.

Top Ten Actresses I Would Watch In Almost Anything

So when Abbi over at Where The Wild Things Are did her top ten list of actresses she would see in pretty much anything, that sparked a whole new thing on the blogosphere. Now, I am embarrassed to admit that I started this list soon after she did hers, and I just never got around to going back to it and finishing it up. I realised recently that now is the time to do that! Without further ado, I present to you my top ten actresses I would see in pretty much anything.

Emma Stone

emma stone

Where is the love: She is cute, she is smart, fun, and sexy and so normal, you cannot help but love the girl. She is down to earth, and not afraid of making a fool out of herself, and that is always cool.
Best role: Wichita in Zombieland (2009)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: The House Bunny (2008)

Angelina Jolie

angelina jolie

Where is the love: So many people complain about Angelina Jolie and I’ve never been able to understand it. She is exceptionally talented and wicked sexy, and works hard. She’s a (big) family woman, which is cool, yet she’s still grounded and out there. Plus she and Brad Pitt are just like the most gorgeous couple ever.
Best role: Uhm… this isn’t easy. I am going to go with Jane Smith in Mr & Mrs Smith (2005)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

Marion Cotillard

marion cotillard

Where is the love: That voice, the way she carries herself, the distinct regal air, Marion Cotillard was destined to impress me. Not only that, she can handle herself in just about any role, but I must say that she excels at playing the slightly psychologically unstable.
Best role: Mallorie “Mal” Cobb in Inception (2010)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Taxi 2 (2000)

Eva Green

eva green2

Where is the love: Talented and beautiful, Eva Green brings it all to the table. Oozing style and sophistication, she is captivating on screen, always bringing that extra little something to a character, and she isn’t afraid to go wherever the character may take her, even when that is Ugliesville.
Best role: Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale (2006)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: The Dreamers (2003)

Jessica Lange

jessica lange1

Where is the love: Jessica Lange is just awesome. I really like her stuff, and I think she is mesmerising and she’s still got it going, even for her age. She dominates the screen whenever she is on, and can play anything from timid and quiet to in-your-face vixen.
Best role: Fiona Goode in American Horror Story: Coven
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Far North (1988)

Judi Dench

judi dench

Where is the love: Let’s be serious… Judi Dench is just so British, and she embraces it wholeheartedly. Tea and biscuits British, and above all else, she is a solid and entertaining actress. She can play a variety of roles across the board, ranging from comedy to hard-hitting, take-no-nonsense powerhouse performances such as M, she never fails to impress me.
Best role: M in any Bond film, but also Evelyn Greenslade in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: The Importance of Being Earnest (2002)

Carey Mulligan

carey mulligan

Where is the love: She is so cute and quiet, but can always deliver an understated but powerful portrayal of a character, and I like that talent.
Best role: Irene in Drive (2011)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: And When Did You Last See Your Father? (2007)

Helena Bonham Carter

helena bonham carter

Where is the love: Ditzy, crazy, talented, striking? What’s not to love about Helena Bonham Carter? She embraces all her roles and lends them some of her quirkiness, and she is always just absolutely astounding to watch, no matter what role she is in. Something about her is just so inherently different.
Best role: Marla Singer in Fight Club (1997)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Dancing Queen (1993)

Mia Wasikowska

mia wasikowska

Where is the love: Mia Wasikowska won me over with her portrayal of Bertha Minnix in Lawless (2012). After that, I kept my eyes open for her films because she is gifted and different, and brought something fresh and new to the screen (in my opinion). She has continued to churn out some consistently impressive work, and she has this air of innocence about her she can use to either define a character, or manipulate the audience with.
Best role: India Stoker in Stoker (2013)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Lens Love Story (2007)

Honourable Mentions:

Julianne Moore

julianne moore

Where is the love: I love Moore for her consistency, and how much effort she puts into her roles. I like the way she has played such a variety of characters, and she has given each and every role her best.
Best role: Clarice Starling in Hannibal (2001)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Nine Months (1995)

Cate Blanchett

cate blanchett

Where is the love: Blanchett is so refreshing in her sense of uniqueness, and brings that to life on the screen with every role that she takes. She draws you in no matter what her role, and can play anything from elvish queens to folk rock stars.
Best role: Jade Quinn (Bob Dylan) in I’m Not There (2007)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Ponyo (2009)

Katharine Isabelle

katharine isabelle

Where is the love: Katharine Isabelle is undoubtedly the horror queen (for me) and she dominates that role. Husky voice and those big green eyes, she was destined to rock any role thrown her way. She is a solid actress, never over the top, delivering just the right amount required for her performances, able to play weak or bitchy or in your face, Isabelle is very talented.
Best role: Mary Mason in American Mary (2012)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Cousins (1989) 

Mélanie Laurent

melanie laurent

Where is the love: French and proud about it, Laurent always manages to play a brooding yet strong woman, slightly different, always impressive.
Best role: Shosanna Dreyfus in Inglourious Basterds (2009)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Rice Rhapsody (2004)

Vera Farmiga

vera farmiga

Where is the love: I think that Vera Farmiga is pretty underrated, and I like her. Very subtle, but she can totally rock her roles. I must say, she can get pretty creepy sometimes cause she can play cooked a little too well.
Best role: Norma Louise Bates in Bates Motel. Because really – she nails that performance each and every time. Slightly too realistic sometimes.
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Breaking and Entering (2006)

Amanda Seyfried

amanda seyfried1

Where is the love: What I enjoy about Amanda Seyfried is that she’s a little different. I don’t know why she would appeal to me as an actress, but she does. I have enjoyed watching her play the super special and slow Karen in Mean Girls, and her general progression on to other roles, bigger, better, meatier, is something I have liked. She always does the best with what she has, and even when she is in a crappy movie, she always stands out.
Best role: Karen Smith in Mean Girls (2004)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: The Big Wedding (2013)

Six Degrees of Separation Blogathon – Double Entry

six degrees

So the delightful Abbi over at Where The Wild Things Are tagged me for this after she linked Marion Cotillard with Top Gun (1986), and then passed the torch along to me. First off, let me just inform you as to what the Six Degree of Separation Blogathon is!

Taken directly from Abbi’s site:

The idea
There is a theory that in only six steps you can link anyone to any other person in the world. This blogathon is based on this theory.

So how does this blogathon work?
In Nostra’s words:

“As you know I have done several relay races in the past and have heard from several bloggers that they wished they would get a chance to participate as well, but since there was only one baton the chances would be small to get it assigned. So to go with the theme of this blogathon I decided to increase those chances sixfold and assign this blogathon to six bloggers who can then each hand over the baton to another blogger… at the end of your post you’ll have to assign it to that blogger and set the endgoal for him/her, who will start with the movie/actor/director the previous blogger ended with and make the connection to the assigned end goal in six or less steps.”



Abbi called it with the intent that I link Marion Cotillard with Sherlock Holmes (2009). Initially it was just two steps for me, but then I decided to dig a little more to give it some body.

1. Marion Cotillard played Albert Finney’s daughter-in-law in Big Fish (2003).

marion cotillard albert finney

2. Albert Finney acted in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), in which Matt Damon plays the titular Jason Bourne.


3. Matt Damon starred opposite Jude Law in The Talented Mr Ripley (1999).

talented mr ripley

4. Both Marion Cotillard and Jude Law appeared in Contagion (2011).

contagion cover

5. Jude Law starred opposite Robert Downey Jr in Sherlock Holmes (2009).

sherlock holmes 2009

Anyhow folks, there we have it. I have successfully linked Marion Cotillard to Sherlock Holmes (2009). This is definitely a very fun blogathon.



AH! It is not yet over! The wonderful Cara thought that she, too, would pass the baton to me and have me link up Max von Sydow with Wall-E after she linked up Max von Sydow with my favourite Dane DeHaan. I won’t be rehashing what this is all about, because you already know, but I am going to jump right on in with the linking theory!

1. Max von Sydow appeared in episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles as Sigmund Freud.


2. Disney bought the Indiana Jones  and Star Wars franchises, both which Harrison Ford had a prominent part in.


3. Harrison Ford worked alongside Ridley Scott for Blade Runner (1982).


4. Ridley Scott directed Alien (1979), in which Sigourney Weaver played Ripley. 

weaver scott

5. Sigourney Weaver starred in Ghostbusters II (1989), and Wilhelm von Homburg may have played Vigo, but Max von Sydow dubbed all his lines. 


6. Sigourney Weaver voiced the Axiom’s computer in WALL-E (2008).


Now, I would love to nominate my best friend Natasha of Life Of This City Girl to link Robert Downey Jr and The Green Mile (1999).

Also, Mel of Vampire Placebo, if you have the time and would like to, would you link WALL-E up to Colin Farrell? Yep, picking him as we discussed a lot of things on your Fright Night post the other day, and this will give you a fleshier post 😛 Let me know!

Review: Contagion (2011)

contagion cover

“So we have a virus with no treatment protocol, and no vaccine at this time.”
 – Dr Ellis Cheever

A disease seems to be spreading, and it appears to be nothing too major. A flu, some illness, simple stuff. Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns to Minneapolis to her husband Mitch (Matt Damon) and son Clark (Griffin Kane). She seems ill, and as such stays home from work. Soon, though, Mitch is called to his son’s school to collect him seeing as he is ill. Blogger/reporter Alan Krumwiede (Jude Law) has stumbled upon the story and wants to make it known to the world, but is told that there is no reason to cause a panic, and is turned away. Soon after, the death toll begins, and it makes the news eventually. People are starting to panic; it seems to be spreading rapidly.

contagion matt damon
“It’s figuring us out faster than we’re figuring it out.” – Dr Ally Hextall

Mitch is placed in isolation after his wife and son die, and his daughter Jory (Anna Jacoby-Heron) soon joins him to check up on him, not having been home when the contagion spread. He seems to be immune to the disease. In an attempt to leave the city, he learns that there is a quarantine in place for everyone, and that nobody is allowed to leave. Dr Ellis Cheever (Laurence Fishburne) of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention meets with people from the Department of Homeland Security, and they want a game plan. The disease is suspected to be a bioweapon, and Cheever puts Dr Erin Mears (Kate Winslet), an Epidemic Intelligence Service, on the case, and wants her to investigate the disease and its origins, how it spreads, etc. The disease is spreading around rapidly now, and Dr Mears is having an issue getting local bureaucrats to put money into the project.

“Don’t talk to anyone! Don’t touch anyone!” – Dr Erin Mears

Dr Ally Hextall (Jennifer Ehle) at the CDC isolates the virus base, seeing that it is a mix of material from pig and bat viruses. However, now that she knows what the issue is, there is still the problem of finding a way to create an antivirus, and soon. The world’s population is rapidly diminishing. Fear runs rampant throughout the globe, and soon the societies fall into disarray. Mitch puts him and his daughter under lockdown and refuse to see anyone in fear of her getting infected, and is trying to deal with the fact that his wife and son are dead and that she cheated on him prior to dying. Dr Cheever is fending off everyone that is harassing him for answers. Meanwhile, things are getting so crazy out there that doctors are being kidnapped and held ransom for antiviruses, wanting them first. Among them is World Health Organization epidemiologist Dr Leonora Orantes (Marion Cottilard), who is taken to a little village and instructed to teach the children while they wait. Krumwiede is causing stirs when he is scaring the population with his conspiracy theories and personal opinions, taking many people for a ride now that he has the power to do so.

contagion marion cottillard kidnap
“Right now our best defence has been social distancing.” – Dr Ellis Cheever

Will anyone be able to isolate the strains of the virus that are so deadly and create a vaccine? Will the world be able to recover from the epidemic that they are suffering? Will societies be able to rebuild after human nature snaps out of its social norms and runs rampant?

GRADE 6.5The concept was alright – unknown disease spreading rapidly, hopping continents even and working fast to knock the human population on its ass – well done. It is not something anyone wants to contemplate. How do you escape it? How do you stay safe? What if you become infected? The implementation was alright, though there were so many things left unanswered, so many leaps and bounds with no explanation and a lot of moments of lull. It was interesting, just failed to hold you from the beginning to the end, but it kept you watching, just not always so much on the edge of your seat. The cast was very good though, and managed to keep you interested from the off, each of them playing their roles incredibly well. There was a lot going on, and being able to see the entire story from a lot of different points of view was worth it – you understand what they are going through, their action and how they are struggling through things, so from the average person to the businessman to the person that is working to fight the disease, everyone is together on it. Also watching how people react to the unknown and how easy it is for the world to fall into disruption and chaos due to fear and the unfamiliar is insane. Jude Law’s character started off with a purpose, but that soon dissipated, and his role soon became an annoyance and a bit of a mystery (and no, not the good kind, either). Worth checking it, it was a decent film in its own right, though drastically flawed and filled with lull.