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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

July Film Club

Thank you to everyone who made it out to the first two films of our Christopher Nolan Summer Film Series.

Our next two films for the month of July are Batman Begins and the sequel, The Dark Knight.

Batman Begins will be showing Tuesday, July 5th at 6:00pm (please note: It is a Tuesday, not Thursday, and will begin 15 minutes early to accommodate the longer running time)

Batman Begins is a 2005 American superhero film based on the DC Comics character Batman, co-written and directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer, Ken Watanabe, and Morgan Freeman.  The film reboots the Batman film series, telling the origin story of the title character (Bale), from his alter ego Bruce Wayne’s initial fear of bats, the death of his parents, his journey to become Batman, and his fight to stop the villains of the film from plunging Gotham City into chaos.

The film holds an 85% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 267 reviews.  Roger Ebert awarded the film 4/4 stars saying this of the film in his review, “Batman Begins at last penetrates to the dark and troubled depths of the Batman legend, creating a superhero who, if not plausible, is at least persuasive as a man driven to dress like a bat and become a vigilante.  The movie doesn’t simply supply Batman’s beginnings in the tradition of a comic book origin story, but explores the tortured path that led Bruce Wayne from a parentless childhood to a friendless adult existence.  The movie is not realistic, because how could it be, but it acts as if it is.  I said this is the Batman movie I’ve been waiting for; more correctly, this is the movie I did not realize I was waiting for, because I didn’t realize that more emphasis on story and character and less emphasis on high-tech action was just what was needed.  The movie works dramatically in addition to being an entertainment.  There’s something to it.”

Here's the trailer:

The Dark Knight will be showing Tuesday, July 26th at 6:00pm (please note: It is a Tuesday, not Thursday, and will begin 15 minutes early to accommodate the longer running time)

The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, produced, and co-written by Christopher Nolan, the film is the second part of Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy and a sequel to 2005’s Batman Begins, starring an ensemble cast including Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Morgan Freeman.  In the film, Bruce Wayne/Batman (Bale), James Gordon (Oldman) and Harvey Dent (Eckhart) form an alliance to dismantle organized crime in Gotham City, but are menaced by a criminal mastermind known as the Joker who seeks to undermine Batman’s influence and create chaos.  Nolan’s inspiration for the film was the Joker’s comic book debut in 1940, the 1988 graphic novel The Killing Joke and the 1996 series The Long Halloween.

The film holds a 94% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 314 reviews.  Roger Ebert awarded the film 4/4 stars saying this in his review, “Batman isn’t a comic book anymore.  Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight is a haunted film that leaps beyond its origins and becomes an engrossing tragedy.  It creates characters we come to care about.  That’s because of the performances, because of the direction, because of the writing, and because of the superlative technical quality of the entire production.  The Dark Knight is not a simplistic tale of good and evil.  Batman is good, yes, The Joker is evil, yes.  But Batman poses a more complex puzzle than usual: The citizens of Gotham City are in an uproar, calling him a vigilante and blaming him for the deaths of policemen and others.  And The Joker is more than a villain.  He’s a Mephistopheles whose actions are fiendishly designed to pose moral dilemmas for his enemies.”

Here's the trailer:

Thursday, June 2, 2016

June Film Club

Look out everyone, summer is here!

Our first two features for our series will be Insomnia and The Prestige.

 Insomnia will be showing Thursday, June 9th at 6:15pm

Insomnia is a 2002 American psychological thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan, and starring Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hilary Swank.  It tells the story of two Los Angeles homicide detectives investigating a murder in an Alaskan town.  A remake of the 1997 Norwegian film of the same name, Insomnia was released on May 24, 2002, to critical acclaim and commercial success, grossing $113 million worldwide.  To date, this is the only film that Nolan has directed without receiving at least a share of one of the writing credits, even though he wrote the final draft of the script.

The film currently holds a 92% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 190 critical reviews.  Roger Ebert awarded the film 3 ½/4 stars and said this of the film in his review, “Unlike most remakes, the Nolan “Insomnia” is not a pale retread, but a re-examination of the material, like a new production of a good play.  “Insomnia” is a film with a lot of room for the director, who establishes a distinctive far-north location, a world where the complexities of the big city are smoothed out into clear choices.  The fact that it is always daylight is important:  The dilemma of this cop is that he feels people are always looking at him, and he has nowhere to hide, not even in his nightmares.”

Here's the trailer:

The Prestige will be showing Thursday, June 16th at 6:15pm

The Prestige is a 2006 mystery thriller drama film directed by Christopher Nolan, from a screenplay adapted by Nolan and his brother Jonathan from Christopher Priest’s 1995 World Fantasy Award-winning novel of the same name.  The story follows Robert Angier and Alfred Borden, rival stage magicians in London at the end of the 19th century.  Obsessed with creating the best stage illusion, they engage in competitive one-upmanship with tragic results.  The American-British co-production features Hugh Jackman as Robert Angier, Christian Bale as Alfred Borden, and David Bowie as Nikola Tesla.  It also stars Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, Piper Perabo, Andy Serkis, and Rebecca Hall.  The film reunites Nolan with actors Bale and Caine from Batman Begins, and returning cinematographer Wally Pfister.

The film has a 76% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 179 critical reviews.  Richard Roeper and guest reviewer A.O. Scott gave the film two thumbs up.  Scott, a reviewer for The New York Times said this in his review, “Set in a stylized late-Victorian world of dueling music-hall magicians and diabolically clever inventors, it has a satisfyingly puzzle-like structure, zipping around in time and scattering clues throughout its busy scenes and frames.  Like, Memento, The Prestige is a triumph of gimmickry, a movie generous enough with its showmanship and sleight of hand to quiet the temptation to grumble about its lack of substance.  The point of a magic trick, after all, is not the content, whatever that might be, but the ingenuity of its conceit and the skill of its execution.  And The Prestige-the title is a magician’s term of art referring to the climactic surprise that seals a successful magic trick-manifests an enthusiasm for the nuts and bolts of illusionism that is pretty much irresistible.”

Here's the trailer: