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Heath Ledger

The Dark Knight (2008)

DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan

CAST:

Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Eric Roberts

REVIEW:

WARNING: THIS REVIEW WILL MENTION SPECIFIC ASPECTS OF THE FILM’S PLOT

With Batman Begins, his 2005 reboot of the Batman film franchise, hailed as bringing the Caped Crusader back to the screen better than ever, Christopher Nolan had the green light to proceed with the highly-anticipated sequel that came to be called The Dark Knight. For most fans, Nolan’s return to Gotham City was worth the three year wait. Batman Begins returned Batman to respectability; The Dark Knight takes this capital and runs with it, crafting what is easily the most ambitious and adult-oriented comic book superhero movie ever made. As entertaining as the likes of X-Men and Spider-Man might be, The Dark Knight is on a whole other level. Continue reading

Brokeback Mountain (2005)


DIRECTOR: 
Ang Lee

CAST: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway, Randy Quaid

REVIEW:

While the comparison might not occur to everyone, Brokeback Mountain (adapted from a 1997 short story of the same name by Annie Proulx, with the movie screenplay written by Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry) is a spiritual cousin to such films as Witness, Bridges of Madison County, and The Remains of the Day.  All four films, while depicting characters living very different lives in different times and places, are at their core about the longing between two people who are unable or unwilling to bridge the gulf that separates them.  Obviously, the distinguishing factor setting Brokeback Mountain apart is that its forbidden love affair, unlike the above films, is between two men, and while the homosexual aspect will make some viewers uncomfortable, to pigeonhole it as a “gay cowboy movie”, as some have dismissively done, is a disservice and an oversimplification.  The complexity of the characters’ dynamics defy such easy labels. Continue reading

The Patriot (2000)

patriotDIRECTOR: Roland Emmerich

CAST: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Jason Isaacs, Joely Richardson, Tcheky Karyo, Chris Cooper, Tom Wilkinson, Lisa Brenner, Rene Auberjonois, Adam Baldwin, Gregory Smith

REVIEW:

With The Patriot, one gets the feeling screenwriter Robert Rodat was trying to do for the American Revolution what he previously did for WWII with Saving Private Ryan.  To an extent, he deserves credit, as The Patriot is virtually the only big-budget Hollywood film portraying the Revolutionary War.  Alas, the man in the director’s chair here is not Steven Spielberg, but Roland Emmerich, he who leaves no cliche unused.  The Patriot is a marked improvement over its immediate predecessor on Emmerich’s filmography, 1998’s Godzilla bastardization, but features too many “a film by Roland Emmerich” hallmarks to be the true great war epic it clearly fancies itself. Continue reading

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

DIRECTOR: Gil Junger

CAST: Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik, David Krumholtz, Andrew Keegan, Gabrielle Union, Larry Miller, Allison Janney

REVIEW:

That 10 Things I Hate About You possesses a little more wit and intelligence than your average high school romantic comedy might be less surprising when one realizes it’s a loose adaptation of William Shakespeare’s romantic comedy The Taming of the Shrew.  A “hip” script featuring some snappy one-liners and a likable and charismatic cast help enliven this into both one of the more enjoyable high school comedies, romantic comedies, and modernized Shakespeare adaptations floating around out there. Continue reading

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