Tri-Movie Marathon: Nolan Edition

BY RICARDO LUJAN

Christopher Nolan is one of the most influential directors of the past two decades. Nolan has been nominated for many awards – including the Oscars and Golden Globes – for the various films he has worked on. The following three movies are recognized as some of the best examples of his work. 

Insomnia is an older movie by Nolan, but it stands up to the test of time to still be an intriguing watch. This movie is focused on the plot rather than being action-focused. If I had to describe this movie in one word, it would a slow-burn. 

The plot is constantly moving and does give enough to the viewers to keep them enthralled during the entire runtime. The setting of the movie is also very unique as I have never seen this set in other movies in that it takes place up north where the sun is out twenty-four hours. 

The setting does actually factor into the plot rather than just being a place where everything takes place. The cinematography was good throughout and the movie was well lit as well for being an early 2000s movie. In my experience, most movies from this time period have a problem with being too dark and it being hard to tell what is happening. Since this movie is much more focused on the story, the action scenes aren’t the best in the world as most of the action sequences suffer from weirdly placed jump cuts. 

I did enjoy the movie despite these issues. Critic reviews for Insomnia are positive with most agreeing that Insomnia has more good moments than it does bad. Audience reception was less positive than the critics, but for the most part, most still thought it was a good movie.  You can find Insomnia on HBO Max and buy or rent it on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube, and the Google Play store.

Coming in at number two is The Dark Knight. The Dark Knight is the second movie in the Dark Knight Trilogy, but it works perfectly as a stand-alone movie. Right off the bat, the best thing about this movie would be the acting performances that Christian Bale and Heath Ledger deliver as Batman and Joker respectively. 

Heath Ledger in particular gives a performance for the ages. His Joker is truly the embodiment of the Clown Prince of Crime from the comic books brought to the big screen. Anytime the Joker appears on the screen, there is a sense of suspension as you wait to see what his next move will be along with an uneasy feeling due to how creepy he is. 

Bale does a great job of playing off him thus bringing the legendary rivalry justice on the big screen. The plot of the movie as a whole is what you would expect from a modern superhero film which is enjoyable and has twists that keep you watching to find out how they will affect the story. The action is done quite well and the set-pieces are full of action that will get you on the edge of your seat. 

The score of the movie which is done by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard is spectacular as well and really helps nails the atmosphere that each scene is going for. Critic reviews for The Dark Knight were positive as most praise Nolan for permanently lifting the bar on what a superhero movie can be. 

The audience reception to the movie was phenomenal with many still calling it to this day the best comic book movie released. The Dark Knight will forever be a piece of cinema that we look back on for changing the landscape and expectations of superhero movies. The Dark Knight is currently available on the FHSU movie channel for students to watch and can also be found on HBO Max. The movie can also be purchased or rented on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube, and the Google Play store.

Christopher Nolan’s work on Inception is known by many to be one of the best he has ever done. This movie is an intriguing watch all the way through. The opening of the movie is done quite well as it gives us, the viewer, a chance to be immediately sucked into the movie as it opens directly into a mission being conducted by Cobb (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) and Arthur (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) thus allowing us to see how the main device of the story operates. 

Satio ( played by Ken Watanabe) and Mal (played by Marion Cotillard) are introduced in this part as they play an important part in the overall story. The whole point of an opening to a movie is to hook you right away and Inception does it perfectly. The plot itself stays solid as the movie progresses as there is never really a slow point. The flow continues rather well to the end. 

There are some points where the plot can be complicated due to heavy exposition being dop all at once.  The cinematography is impressive throughout the movie. There are truly some spectacular shots with CGI being used to its full effect to supplement the setting. The sound design is good, but nothing rememberable or extraordinary. It gets the job done. 

The action in the movie is quite remarkable especially in some of the set pieces. I highly recommend watching some of the behind-the-scenes videos for Inception after watching it. The critical reception for Inception was quite good. The movie was well-received for being a great piece of work that uses all of Nolan’s great skill as a director. 

Audience reception was great with the only critique being that it can get a bit overcomplicated. Inception is the best way to close out this Nolan-movie marathon. Inception is currently available to watch on Netflix and can be purchased or rented to watch on a majority of storefronts including Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube, and the Google Play store.

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