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Ranks: Christopher Nolan

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7. Following (1998)

Following “follows” a man who does just that, follows complete strangers around town. This was Nolan’s first feature length film, and to me was just shaky enough to land last on the list. The first hour or so is completely forgetable, but don’t glaze over it. The last 20 minutes makes the whole boring parts of the movie (AKA the entire beginning) worth it. It is a whirlwind of “WHAT!?!?” plot twists are revealings that will make you want to rewatch. A crazy directorial debut.

6. Insomnia (2002)

Robin Williams as a bad guy? Um, okay? Al Pacino as a sleep deprived cop? Yeah, that sounds better. Nolan’s films often go into the brain’s of his characters. What are they thinking? What are their motivations? And here we have “am I going crazy?”. You’ll find yourself questioning what you saw and who’s who in this one. Very unknown film, but shouldn’t be.

5. The Prestige (2006)

Nolan once again, doesn’t show what happens 1,2,3, but more like 3, 1 1/2, 2, 3. Christian Bale and Michael Caine return from Batman and join forces with Hugh Jackman and Scarlett Johannson to give us the most interesting and intense movies about magicians ever. It’s tagline could be applied to any one of these Nolan films: “Are you watching closely?”

4. Batman Begins (2005)

To be completely honest, I almost put this one at number 2. It’s true, that this is my personal favorite superhero/comic book movie ever. When it was first released, no one had ever done it quite like Nolan. It does a excellent job at showing the back story behind Bruce Wayne, along with setting up for future features. Not to mention Cillian Murphy makes an excellent, if not underrated villain.

3. Memento (2000)

This is the one that put Christopher Nolan on the map. The plot is original, to say the least. A man who suffers from short term memory loss trying to find the murderer of his wife. He doesn’t know who to trust, only that his body, covered with tattoos holds the clues to finding the killer. The reversed timeline may take some getting used to, but you won’t regret it.

2. The Dark Knight (2008)

Audiences worldwide probably were only able to utter one word after seeing the second Batman film from Nolan: Wow. Can you blame them? Not only was it as good as Batman Begins, but the incredible performance by Heath Ledger as the Joker made it, in most peoples minds, ten times better. Makes you wonder if Dark Knight Rises will be able to top it.

1. Inception (2010)

What can I say? I came out of the theater, my mind basically swimming in the complexity of Inception. I’ve never had this experience before, and the next few days it continued popping into my head.  That is why Inception, in my head, is Christopher Nolan’s best work. Inception grabs onto you and never lets you go. The entire cast is gold, including DiCaprio, Page, and Hardy. Inception made my next movie feel like a huge letdown, which asks the question, can Nolan do it again?

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Review: Memento (2000)

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You truly have something special when a film can make you experience exactly what a character is feeling, whether it is in the script or how scenes are shot, if you can imagine what he or she is going through you are witnessing what most directors are trying to get across. Memento, quite possibly, has done this the most creatively. The main protagonist, Leonard, suffers from short-term memory loss (he cannot make new memories). Because the movie is in reverse, each new scene is a new experience for us. Like Leonard, we do not know how we got where we are and what we are doing there. Over the course of the plot we find that his wife was murdered the night he lost his ability to make new memories. Ever since then, he’s been trying to find and kill the person responsible.

Be forewarned, this isn’t a “lean back and enjoy the show” type of movie. This is a “lean forward and rack your brain for 2 hours” film. It may not be for everyone, but everyone should at least give it a shot. Guy Pearce is brilliant, and we all know about my feelings toward Christopher Nolan. Completely unforgettable movie that should be seen by everyone.

My Rating: A+

 

Review: The King’s Speech (2010)

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Another day, another highly acclaimed movie to watch. With The King’s Speech, I was watching 4 Oscars. I just keep waiting and waiting for the great movie to not meet expectations and fail miserably. Alas, that day will have to wait, because The King’s Speech did not disappoint.

The film is based on the historical story of King George VI (Colin Firth), and his speech impediment which leads him to speech trainer, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). The story is not only that of his overcoming of his stuttering problem, but also his relationship to his brother (Guy Pearce), his relationship with his wife (Helana Bonham Carter), his unlikely rise to the throne, and the emergence of Hitler and Germany.

I’ve read that this is a very boring film. It has no sex, humor, or action, some reviewers say. They are, partially right. There are barely any outdoor scenes, let alone “action scenes”, there is no sex, but humor is present in the film. Surprisingly, the movie was very entertaining, and at no point in the two-hour period did I want the movie to just end.

In my mind, the best part of the film, was not the fantastic acting done by the all-star cast, but the way the film was shot. There is a sense of being closed in during the movie. Firth’s speeches are filled with tight shots, as if you can feel the walls closing in, and the air being sucked out of the room. The loud throat noises, and the look of being unable to breathe really makes you feel for his character and being unable to express himself through words.

My Rating: A