THE MAIN VILLAIN
I’ve been rewatching some scenes from TDK this past week, and although I’ve already seen it at least a dozen times, it always strikes me how great a villain the Joker is, and how Heath Ledger’s portrayal raised it to a completely different level. Unfortunately, Bane never approaches those heights in TDKR. This is not an indictment on Tom Hardy. In fact, I rather enjoyed his performance (and put me squarely into the ‘pro’ camp when it comes to Bane’s voice), but anyone going up against Ledger’s Joker is going to have a tough time measuring up.
To be fair, the script could have done more to elevate Bane from a menacing villain to a great one. The reason why the Joker is so intriguing is because he is not a ‘regular’ villain, but that he the very anti-thesis of what Batman stands for.
The Dark Knight (TDK) is one of my favourite movies of all time, so I had high expectations for The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR), but I’m sorry to say that the TDKR is nowhere near TDK. Now, I’m not one of those persons who gets disappointed easily because of high expectations. In fact, I have the opposite problem. Once I’d decided I want to like a movie before I even watched it, I have trouble adjusting my opinion. So my first reaction after watching TDKR was that it was a fantastic movie, but not as good as TDK, so I decided to give it a 9 (out of 10), but after pondering over the matter for a couple of more days I realized that I didn’t think the movie deserved such a high score, so it was with great reluctance that I downgraded the score to an 8. I still enjoyed the movie, but I think it is vastly inferior to TDK, and there are a couple of main reasons why.
Let me clarify first that I admire Christopher Nolan and his credentials as a writer. TDK, The Prestige and Memento (and possibly Inception, although less for its actual story than for its inherent coolness) all rank within my personal top 20 movies of all time.
But… a nuclear bomb?? A freakin’ NUCLEAR BOMB in a BATMAN movie?? Continue reading
How far should a man go to stand up for his ideas in the face of conventional standards? To hold onto his vision despite the many societal norms? To preserve his integrity and his ‘selfness’ at all cost? Well, if you ascribe to Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism, then there should be no doubt. According to Rand, it is the self which is the highest goal every single person should strive for, and everything else simply does not matter.
This basic idea form the foundation for the Fountainhead. It tells the story of Howard Roark, a young brilliant architect who is far ahead of his time. Roark is the epitome of what Rand depicts as ‘the ideal man,’* a man who stays true to himself despite all the obstacles society throws upon him. I actually hated Roark’s guts when I first started reading the book. Here is a man whose will is so unbending, who is so unwilling or, more accurately, unable to consider other people’s viewpoints and opinions, that it is hard to muster up a single gram of sympathy for him. But that is the whole point, right? Rand teaches us that Roark is not a man who seeks sympathy. And as I read further I started to gain, if not exactly sympathy, a great deal of respect and even admiration for him. You see, despite my own anxieties, despite my own tendency to care deeply about what others think, I am a staunch believer of Rand’s basic premise. Roark, in some crucial ways, represents the man who I would like to become.