Author: Matt Click

The Dark Knight (2008)

  With Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, we were treated to a new Batman. This was a gripping, dark, and realistic take on the caped crusader, more akin to Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One than anything Tim Burton or Joel “Rubber Nipples” Schumacher ever produced. And now, with its sequel, The Dark Knight, we have not only the best film of the summer, but of the year. This is, hands-down, the greatest comic-to-movie adaptation of all time, edging out the recent Iron Man. Gotham is certainly safer with Batman (Christian Bale) around, but criminals still run rampant – and they’re getting desperate. As Batman, police lieutenant Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman), and district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) tighten the vice on the mob, the denizens of the criminal underworld turn to the sadistic Joker (Heath Ledger), a psychopathic serial-killer with a flair for the theatrical. Plans to arrest and prosecute hundreds of criminals are foiled by Joker, who develops a personal interest in the trio of Batman, Gordon, and Dent, and goes out of his way to wreak havoc within the city and their lives. The Dark Knight follows much of the same tone as Batman Begins, but the stakes here are set much higher. We are feeling for these characters as we never have in a superhero movie. These are believable people, presented by...

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Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

Forget Agent Myers. This time around, it’s all about the freaks. With Hellboy II: The Golden Army, visual genius Guillermo Del Toro has crafted a veritable feast for the senses. The film sports a fistful of vivid action set pieces, a dozen or more monstrous creatures, and memorable moments by the barrel. It’s bursting at the seams with brilliant characters, each of them developed far beyond what was offered in 2004’s Hellboy. Hellboy (Ron Perlman) is back, called to action after an exiled elf prince named Nuada (Luke Goss) vows to reignite a centuries-old conflict between the human and the mythical worlds using the fabled Golden Army. Aiding Hellboy in his mission are his fellow agents at the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense: Liz Sherman (Selma Blair), pyrokinentic; Abe Sabien (Doug Jones), amphibious psychic; and Johann Krauss (Seth MacFarlane), ectoplasmic being. Whereas Hellboy served as an introduction to the B.P.R.D. and its strange employees, its sequel forgoes the pleasantries and plunges the audience immediately into a weird and intriguing world. Hellboy II just has a different feel to it, a fantastic whimsy paired nicely with the gritty detective edge of its characters. The fairy tale-esque tone of Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth is apparent and welcome. As mentioned, Rupert Evans does not reprise his role as John Myers. And though Evans did a bang-up job as the befuddled F.B.I....

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