fredag 27. juli 2012

Review: The Dark Knight Rises

This review is written in English to accommodate my vast international readership (and the film is American, so I find it easier to write the review in the film's original language).

I just got back from the cinema after having seen the latest Batman film in Christopher Nolan's modern take on the Batman franchise; The Dark Knight Rises (DKR). I'll try and break my review of this approximately 3 hour long film into what I find to be the film's pros and cons.

Being a nice guy, I'll start with the fluff.
  • DKR wraps up the Batman mythos
I'll not post any spoilers here, but I will say that unlike the gushing rivers of broken vaginas we have seen so far in 2012 (especially Prometheus); the audience mostly get the answers they want and the film actually fucking ends. Also, plotlines not completely sorted out in the previous two films are wrapped up in a nice, coherent bow-tie of no gaping plotholes the size of Kim Kardashian's battered and chapped pussy (and thus differs massively from "films" such as Prometheus).
  • DKR introduces us to a cool Catwoman
None of the many (many) Batman films made over the last 40 years have ever managed to create a believable, entertaining and cool Catwoman. Michelle Pfeiffer did the best she could in Batman Returns, but with shit-stained quotes like "I am Catwoman. Hear me roar" and "Meow"; the BR- Catwoman is still pathetic and laughable. In DKR, however, Anne Hathaway does a decent job portraying the dexterous and desperate catburglar that Catwoman always was meant to be. Yes, she has silly little cat- ears on her costume (and evening wear); but you get the feeling she puts them there as a joke; not in all seriousness. That being said, it is not a fantastic Catwoman we're introduced to; but she's pretty cool. And I guess you really can't expect more from, let's face it, a ridiculous idea to begin with.
  • Bane is the second coolest villain ever
Only the Joker, portrayed by Heath Ledger in the masterpiece The Dark Knight, is a cooler Batman- villain than Bane. Bane is actually the best character in the whole of DKR, certainly better than Batman himself. The largely unknown actor Tom Hardy (yes, I know he played a role in Inception) does a masterful job of portraying a villain who is both thuggish and (extremely) brutal while at the same time appearing educated and Dr No-ish (yes, the 007 villain). You believe the story behind Bane and, as all good villains should do, you quickly end up rooting for the guy (well, at least I tend to root for mass murdering serial killer terrorists if they do their deeds in a spectacular and cool manner).
  • DKR is an entertaining film
I know this could be seen as a rather weak point, but it is one of the most important pros of this film. The film is long, ca 3 hours, but I wasn't bored once (except during one of the "obligatory" love scenes). The script is tight and you get the the classic action-flick rollercoaster feeling watching this film. A lot of productions the last couple of years (such as Prometheus) doesn't have any cohesion in their script and a lot of time is often wasted away on messy and pointless dialogue, extended transport- and/or chase-scenes and a general feeling that the film isn't going anywhere. Not so with DKR.

Okay, that was the fluff. On to the fun bits. The cons. 
  • Batman is boring
Even though the film as a whole isn't boring, the main character and the reason people actually go to see these fucking things (i.e. the Batman franchise) certainly is. Christian Bale does a decent enough job with what he is given, but I couldn't shake the feeling that he was somewhat bored doing the same role for the third time. That being said, Bale wasn't the main problem; the script was. Without revealing any spoilers I think it is safe to say that Batman gets to play second- violin in this film. All the side- kicks and villains are given way too much screen time and when Batman actually shows up you never get the "holy fucktard, this guy is so goddamn badass I just pissed myself" feeling you got from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.  It may be that I am weird, but when I go to a Batman film, I want to see Batman being awesome. You know, being a fucking superhero and whatnot. Ah well.
  • Pointless fucking love story (minor spoiler- alert!)
Okay, this section has a little bit of a spoiler in it; so skip to the next if the love story plot is what gets you to go see a fucking Batman film.

As we all know the brilliant The Dark Knight ended with Bruce Wayne's love interest Rachel Dawes being murdered. DKR starts with Bruce Wayne having gone all Howard Hughes on everybody living as a recluse and not seeing the point of life anymore as his one true love is all dead and shit. Which is fine, but then Bruce ends up making out with a totally new woman (some chick he barely gets to know via her business connection to Wayne Enterprises) and does so after a pretty short time into the film. But that is not all, he naturally has to fall in love with Catwoman as well; about 30 minutes after he's fucked his businesswoman chick in front of his fireplace for several hours. Any of this making any sense? Remember; Bruce has a stated death wish due to Rachel being dead. Does it then make sense that he starts fucking around with every single female character he meets as soon as he emerges from his isolation? No, internet, it does not.
  • Poorly veiled political propaganda
DKR is the last instalment in a trilogy and neither Batman Begins nor The Dark Knight had overly political agendas; but for some (I guess money- making) reason DKR does. In abundance. One thing I really didn't want going into the cinema to watch this film was for the director to try and impose his personal beliefs onto me (you know, like Ridley Scott did in Prometheus). But lo and behold, not only are we introduced to the perils of global warming and the world's energy crisis; but apparently Mr Nolan has a huge hard-on for financial institutions as well. That doesn't stop him from warning the audience of the increasing gap between the rich and the poor in America though, which makes me think Nolan really haven't put too much thought into his political proselytizing. 
  • Senseless criminals
While Bane's persona is awesome, his evil plans doesn't seem to make any fucking sense. I hate that. Evildoers should always have a proper motive, not just do evil because evil is so devilishly delightful. Lex Luthor hates Superman and his greed fuels his evil plans. The Joker is an anarchist who wants to create chaos. Voldemort wants to live forever and turn muggles into the wizard's slaves. And so on. But Bane doesn't seem to have a proper motive. Even when we find out why he does what he does towards the end, it really doesn't make any sense (not going to spoil the film by telling what it is). I guess apologists could blabber about "creating balance" and whatnot, but I don't buy it. It's mushy and it shouldn't have been. Also, Bane's small army of followers doesn't make any fucking sense either. They are willing to die for the guy, but all we see him do is treat them all like utter garbage. Why follow such an asshole? And if you follow him because you see how awesomely badass he is; it certainly doesn't justify being willing to die in agony for the guy.

The Dark Knight Rises is, in short, an entertaining film worth the ticket price; but unfortunately little more. On a scale from 1 to 10, I give it a solid 6.

søndag 8. juli 2012

Konsert, fyll og bilder

Min gode venninde Heidi (sjekk ut hennes blogg her: var på besøk denne uken i anledning Children of Bodom og Ministry konsertene. Dessverre ble en av bandmedlemmene i Children of Bodom akutt syk, så det var kun Ministry konserten det ble noe av. Men til gjengjeld var konserten episk. Det norske metal-bandet Djerv varmet opp og jeg syntes de gjorde en jævlig god jobb. Den kvinnelige vokalisten sparket godt fra seg og låtene satt godt, selv om et par kanskje lignet litt vel meget på hverandre. Ca litt over 22:00 kom Al Jourgensen (vokalist) på scenen og rocket assen av det meste og det i en alder av 53 år. Det synes forøvrig godt på utseendet hans; årevis med heavy narkotika- og alkohol(mis?)bruk har satt sine spor. Ministry spilte ikke noe særlig fra sine gamle album, men mest fra de fire siste: Rio Grande Blood, Houses Of The Mole, The Last Sucker og Relapse. Gamle favoritter kom først ved ekstranumre: Psalm 69, Just One Fix, N.W.O., Thieves og So What. Al Jourgensen kom midt under konserten ned fra scenen for å håndhilse på fansen, noe jeg syntes var fett. Er ikke hver dag jeg kan si at jeg har håndhilset med vokalisten i en av verdens beste metal-band. Forøvrig var det ustyrtelig morsomt når Al over lengre tid forsøkte å signalisere til publikum at han ville ha en joint med hasj/pot; men det eneste publikum kastet opp på scenen var vanlige sigaretter. Sånn er det når man besøker Norge, Al.

Ellers har denne uken vært svært hyggelig med gjentatte fyllebesøk til Oslos rockebule numero uno, Rock In og jeg fikk faen meg skviset inn halvannen fridag også slik at jeg kunne sove til langt utpå ettermiddagen og spist frokost klokken fire. Heidi har introdusert meg til masse god veggismat, noe jeg setter pris på. Jeg jobber hele tiden med å forbedre kostholdet mitt og litt mer grønt inn i kostholdet er nok gudd njus for mavemålet. Vi rakk også å dra på sightseeing i Oslo og fikk tatt litt bilder i Vigelandsparken, Holmenkollanlegget og Operahuset. Her er noen av mine bilder:

Skummel, skummel mann:

Vigelandsparken - Man


Vigelandsparken - Old Man


Vigelandsparken - Utsikt


Vigelandsparken - Monolitten

Nok en skummel mann:

Vigelandsparken - Kick the Baby

Giddyup, Bitch!

Vigelandsparken - Giddyup!

Sinnataggen liker ikke å bli pillet på nesen av Heidi!

Heidi og Sinnataggen

Damien lever, i Vigelandsparken!

Vigelandsparken - Angry Kid

Ingen slipper unna Heidis nesepilling, selv ikke Holmenkolltrollet!

Heidi og Holmenkolltrollet

Jeg liker det nye Holmenkollanlegget:


søndag 1. juli 2012


Årets sommerferie tok meg til Barcelona, hovedstaden i Catalonia og Spanias nest største by. Jeg var der i 8 netter og det var deilig å oppleve hvordan sommer skal føles ut i hvert fall én uke av årets 52. Barcelona er en veldig vakker by og hadde det ikke vært for at jeg brukte såpass lang tid som jeg gjorde på Barcelonas ekstremt lange og fine sandstrand hadde jeg nok hatt flere bilder å vise til fra all den flotte arkitekturen som finnes der. Hotellet mitt var lokalisert i en sidegate til Barcelonas paradegate, La Ramblas, midt i en del av byen kalt El Raval. Tidligere har El Raval hatt et dårlig rykte som et sted med mye kriminalitet og fattigdom, men i dag er området revitalisert og har mye av det flotteste Barcelona har å by på (MACBA- museet for samtidskunst, drøss med restauranter, barer og butikker). Hvis jeg skal ha noe å utsette på med Barcelona, så er det prisnivået. Det var mye dyrere enn jeg trodde der; både det å bo, spise og drikke har et prisnivå ikke så langt unna Norge. Noen eksempler: En whisky på nattklubb (merk; ikke bar) koster 80-90kr, en øl på uterestaurant koster 30kr, en hovedrett på en gjennomsnittlig restaurant koster mellom 120 og 200kr. Alkohol i butikken koster heldigvis langt mindre (en helflaske champagne kostet ca 50kr, øl koster 6kr flasken), så jeg kjøpte gjerne med meg drikkevarer til å ha på stranden. Jeg var i Barcelona fra onsdag til torsdag, og på lørdagen tok jeg meg en dagstur til den nydelige lille landsbyen Sitges rett syd for Barcelona. Dette anbefaler jeg på det sterkeste ettersom det er svært billig å komme seg dit (direktetog som tar ca 20 minutter koster 25 kr) og Sitges er en veldig vakker middelhavsby med krystallklart vann.

Her er noen bilder fra turen min:


Sagrada família, den mest kjente bygningen av arkitekten Gaudí:
Sagrada Família


Jeg var på vandretur i Raval en dag og så to gutter som vandret gatelangs på den andre siden av veien. Rent på impuls tok jeg frem kameraet og akkurat i det jeg knipset hoppet den ene gutten opp mot en blomstergren. Jeg synes bildet ble vakkert.
Jumping boy

Casa Míla, Gaudís andre berømte bygning. I dag huser bygningen et museum og flere leiligheter.
Casa Míla (Gaudi)

Jeg benyttet anledningen en dag til å ta en busstur rundt hele Barcelona etter mørkets frembrudd (sånn turistbussak) og vi passerte et veldig øde område som jeg syntes hadde en fin stemning ved seg. Særlig denne tomme, belyste parkplassen under en av motorveiene var vakker på en litt særegen måte:
Barcelona- Under the bridge

Barcelona er en veldig gammel by, og for arkitekturgeeks som meg er det små skatter å finne overalt:
Barcelona- Street detail

Midt i byen er det sjelden at det er folketomt, men etter min nattlige bussutflukt befant jeg meg plutselig i et område som var ganske forlatt (du kan se en skyggeaktig skikkelse helt i enden av gaten). Slikt må dokumenteres:
Barcelona street by night

Det er en fontene rett utenfor det største museet i byen og hver natt blir denne opplyst akkompagnert av klassisk musikk:
Barcelona by night

En av de mest kontroversielle bygningene i Barcelona er energiverkets hovedkvarter. Denne ser ut som en diger fallusfigur, dog opplyst av et vakkert lysshow hver natt:
Barcelona at night

Jeg liker å vandre gatelangs i europeiske byer, særlig innimellom små smug med dusinvis av små verandaer oppover på hver side:
Barcelona apartments

Barcelona alley