Josh Olson

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Batman: Gotham Knight Review


OK
Admit it: You love to see Batman bleed. It's his vulnerability that makes him so much more interesting than the Man of Steel. But we don't see quite enough blood in the Batman movies or kiddy cartoons. Thanks to Japanese anime, we finally get to watch the masked vigilante bleed profusely from gunshots and stab wounds (about as much as you'd expect from a man with no super powers).

This would've been bloody marvelous had two-thirds of the animated anthology Batman: Gotham Knight not stunk. Made to promote the summer's most hotly anticipated film The Dark Knight, the anime-style anthology isn't so much a segue between Christopher Nolan's first and second Batman films as it is a PG-13 revamp of the old animated series. Gotham Knight consists of six 15-minute short films -- each by a different director, writer, and illustrator. But as intriguing as it sounds to have so many brains devoted to this project, only two of the directors do justice to the Batman legend.

Continue reading: Batman: Gotham Knight Review

A History Of Violence Review


Excellent
Those well schooled in the history of cinema (or who've just seen a movie or two in their time) cannot help but look at the scenes of idyllic content occupying most of the beginning of A History of Violence without knowing that something bad is coming to bust up this happy family unit. Of course, they're helped along by the fact that the film opens on a chillingly calm scene - composed almost entirely of one tracking shot - in which a pair of laconic crooks on the lam execute a number of people in a small motel with about as much emotion as they'd use to pick up their dry cleaning. While the killers and the happy family are obviously on a collision course, it's not the violent impact that matters so much as the almost more shocking aftermath, and the secrets it may uncover.

Viggo Mortensen (in a welcome return to acting after too much time barking orders in elvish and swinging a broadsword from horseback) plays Tom Stall, a family man who runs a diner in a small Indiana town. He's not originally from the town, but he's been there long enough that everyone has long ago accepted him as one of their own. It's a normal life, Tom's young daughter has nightmares and his geeky teenage son Jack gets picked on at school, but other than that, things are good. Then the killers come into the diner right before closing, and just as they're about to execute a waitress, Tom springs into action, gunning them both down in spectacular fashion. Tom becomes a local celebrity but seems traumatized by the whole affair, wishing it could just be put behind him.

Continue reading: A History Of Violence Review

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Josh Olson Movies

Batman: Gotham Knight Movie Review

Batman: Gotham Knight Movie Review

Admit it: You love to see Batman bleed. It's his vulnerability that makes him so...

A History Of Violence Movie Review

A History Of Violence Movie Review

Those well schooled in the history of cinema (or who've just seen a movie or...

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