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Michael Caine

Now You See Me (2013)

Now-You-See-Me-2013-DIRECTOR: Louis Letterier

CAST: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Melanie Laurent, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Common

REVIEW:

Now You See Me is a fast-paced, whizz-bang caper that, like its magician characters, misdirects from some flimsy plot holes with quick-moving panache.  It’s not terribly deep or substantial, but it serves up two hours of compulsive entertainment and a few twists and turns along the way. Fans of the likes of Ocean’s Eleven might find Now You See Me to their liking. Continue reading

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan

CAST:

Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman

REVIEW:

WARNING: WHILE I HAVE ASPIRED TO AVOID OUTRIGHT “SPOILERS”, THIS REVIEW WILL MENTION SPECIFIC ASPECTS OF THE FILM’S PLOT

Along with Joss Whedon’s The Avengers earlier this summer, Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy has redefined the possibilities of what to expect from a “comic book superhero movie” and raised the bar to a level that future entries in the genre will be hard-pressed to equal, let alone surpass.  While The Avengers served up grand spectacle on an unprecedented scale, Nolan’s Batman films went the more thoughtful, introspective, and in many ways, more groundbreaking approach, defying the expectations and supposed constraints of the genre, approaching the material as deep, dark, serious drama, and making the likes of Spider-Man look fluffy and insubstantial in comparison.  Batman Begins was a respectable launching pad.  The Dark Knight soared above and beyond, seizing the title of, for my money and the money of many others, the most dark, ambitious, and adult-oriented comic book superhero movie ever made, and now Nolan has chosen to cap off his series with a climactic chapter, perhaps the first time a director in a superhero series has chosen of his own accord to conclude his story (as opposed to Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man and Bryan Singer and Brett Ratner’s X-Men, who were robbed of intended fourth installments by the disappointing receptions of their third entries).  While in my opinion The Dark Knight remains unseated as the most impressive of Nolan’s Batman films, The Dark Knight Rises brings this solid trilogy to a respectable conclusion. Continue reading

Inception (2010)

DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan

CAST: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ken Watanabe, Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Tom Berenger, Lukas Haas, Michael Caine, Pete Postlethwaite

REVIEW:

Christopher Nolan (Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Prestige) reportedly spent ten years writing his screenplay for Inception. Watching the film, one can see how it might have taken so long. Some will no doubt find Inception confusing. It definitely is not a movie where you can take a trip to the restroom, and requires a commitment of close attention and concentration, but I don’t see that as a bad thing. Continue reading

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

The Prestige (2006)

DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan

CAST:

Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Scarlett Johansson, Michael Caine, Rebecca Hall, David Bowie, Andy Serkis, Piper Perabo

REVIEW:

Director Christopher Nolan and his brother, screenwriter Jonathan Nolan, share not only obvious intelligence, but a fondness for complex plotlines. Continue reading

Batman Begins (2005)

DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan

CAST:

Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer, Ken Watanabe

REVIEW:

Batman is both one of DC Comics’ most recognizable and popular characters and one of the most cinematically ill-used. Originally conceived as a brooding figure on the line between hero and vigilante, the original seriousness was completely abandoned first by the campy 1960s television series starring Adam West, and then by Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher’s series of feature films in the late ’80s and ’90s. These movies started out over-the-top and ended up downright cartoonish. The entire original conception of the character had virtually been abandoned, and as the films grew ever more patently ridiculous, even fans had had enough. Batman looked dead in the water. Then British director Christopher Nolan, coming off the thrillers Memento and Insomnia, and screenwriter David S. Goyer took on the task of resurrecting Batman, not as a continuation of the previous lackluster film series, but as a totally new narrative showing us something we’d never seen detailed onscreen before- the origins of the superhero.  While remaining faithful to the broad strokes of established Batman background, Nolan and Goyer put their distinctive spin on the familiar story. Most importantly, they were faithful to the substantially darker and more serious original conception of the character. The result was by far the best Batman film yet made, and solid enough to appeal even to non-Batman aficionados.  A Batman movie has finally been made right. Continue reading

The Cider House Rules (1999)

DIRECTOR: Lasse Hallström

CAST:

Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron, Michael Caine, Delroy Lindo, Paul Rudd, Erykah Badu, Jane Alexander, Kathy Baker, Kate Nelligan, Kieran Culkin, Heavy D, J.K. Simmons

REVIEW:

The Cider House Rules, based on the same-named novel by John Irving, is a low-key subdued film but one with grace and emotional depth. Labeling it an ‘abortion movie’, as some have, is an unfair oversimplification in the same way that Brokeback Mountain, another slowly-unfolding, quietly powerful drama, is pigeonholed as a ‘gay cowboy movie’. Continue reading

The Eagle Has Landed (1976)

DIRECTOR: John Sturges

CAST:

Michael Caine,  Donald Sutherland, Robert Duvall, Jenny Agutter, Donald Pleasence, Larry Hagman, Treat Williams, Jean Marsh, Anthony Quayle, John Standing, Sven Bertil-Taube, Siegfried Rauch, Michael Byrne, Joachim Hansen, Maurice Roeves, Wolf Kahler

REVIEW:

The Eagle Has Landed is not your typical war movie. Those looking for something along the lines of Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers should look elsewhere. Based on the book by espionage and international intrigue writer Jack Higgins, The Eagle Has Landed is intended as action-thriller escapism, but, while entertaining in a goofy sort of way and with some bright spots, isn’t quite the suspenseful twisty-turny potboiler it aspires to be. Continue reading

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