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Thursday, 19th July, 2012, 08:40 PM #1
Gallant (Lvl 3)
Dark Knight Rises (review and discussion) [major spoilers from second post onwards]
I was able to attend the Canadian premiere of Dark Knight Rises last night, and saw the movie in all of it's IMAX glory. Definitely the way to see it - the movie is huge in scope, with lots of GIANT CITY shots.
I'll be pretty much spoiler-free and quick. Any spoilers will be the same as if you've seen the trailer or know the cast.
I liked it. I didn't come out in love with it, like I did with The Dark Knight.
This is not a sequel to The Dark Knight. This is a sequel to Batman Begins, set after the events of The Dark Knight (nuance!). It's a comic book movie, but not a super hero movie.
I don't think it'll make more than The Avengers. It's not a "fun" film, and I honestly don't know what my kids (10 & 12) will think. Pretty sure they won't want to watch it again.
Tom Hardy as Bane is great. The way that Heath Ledger inhabited the Joker's chaotic charisma and psychosis, Tom Hardy captures Bane's physical presence. He's a tank, and he just moves with confidence and potential destruction at all times. My favourite scene is something small - a scene where he confronts someone in authority, and he simply rests his hand on the guy's shoulder. It's calm and casual, but just the way he does it is so intimidating and threatening.
Anne Hathaway is great as Selina Kyle. She's tough, and brash, and smart, and inhabits that moral grey area. Batman senses decency in her, I guess because she's cute, and he's just hoping to get lucky.
It's more comic booky than The Dark Knight. There are some story nitpicks that can (and will) be made, but it has been made with such confidence that you let it carry you through them and only think about them after. It's the same little things like in The Dark Knight (what happened with the Joker at Bruce Wayne's apartment after Batman jumped out the window?) kind of things - you can come to your own conclusions that aren't explicit in the film. (How did Batman get from point A to point B? He's Batman, that's all you need to know!)
Due to its size and scope, I found it a bit more difficult to connect with on a personal level than The Dark Knight. You don't necessarily get the point of view of the "man on the street" with this one. I'm going to need to see it again to really digest all that happened.
All in all, a decent conclusion to Nolan's Batman trilogy, wrapping up the storyline begun in Batman Begins.
Friday, 20th July, 2012, 10:58 AM #2
Scout (Lvl 6)
*WARNING: This post contains Spoilers.*
*But you should know that considering this is a REVIEW AND DISCUSSION thread*
Just got home from the midnight release in Saskatoon, and I must say it was an absolutely fantastic movie as far as I'm concerned.
Definitely not as fun as the Avengers - And before anybody tries to say it's not competing or not to compare then, etc, etc, Just face it: There was never any chance that the two weren't going to be compared. DC flag vs Marvel Flag coming out so close together in the same summer, Both having grand movie arc setups, both the culmination of several years of planning and multiple movies. Both EXCELLENT Movies. No way they weren't going to be compared, so lets just do it and move on.
Anyways, that out of the way.. where was I?
Oh yes, not as much fun as the Avengers, but it was Epic in its own right - On a city-wide scale, more up close kind of Epic than the 'Norse God led alien invasion' type of Epic that Avengers had. Less Humour, but I think a bit more depth.
It's kind of Ironic that I'm finally getting used to Bale's gravelly forced deep Batman voice on his final film in the role, but it didn't sound as forced this time around. His Batman's about as good as it was in the others. There's less Bruce Wayne fun bits, but they had a lot of story to tell, so that's to be expected.. Mildly unfortunate, I always thought he was better at Bruce than Bats, but he got the job done, and he actually had a bit of chemistry going with the cat.
I was very impressed by Anne Hathaway's Selena Kyle, and I would definitely not mind getting to see more of her.
.. er.. as Catwoman..
... I mean in a movie you gutter minds!
And not that kind!
(Well, ok that kind too...)
*Ahem* Moving on..
Bane was an impressive powerhouse, but I had trouble understanding some of his speech, and though I understood most of it, It felt kind of lacking. Sure he had this big grandiose plan, but his speeches and proclamations and quips didn't measure up to previous villains - Joker, Two face, or Ra's al Ghul.
Also the fact that he was basically just following Ra's's.. Ra's'.. Following Al Ghul's footsteps diminished him somewhat. The cause wasn't really his own.
I was dissapointed at how little Alfred and Fox there was, but that's a minor gripe.
The 'new cop' *cough* Blake, was a great character, and I was looking forward the whole movie to his payoff, though I expected it to happen sooner..
As far as twists - I'm sure most of us saw Talia coming, and I'm not so sure that character was required, didn't serve much of a purpose other than to 'be there' and be a twist...(ing knife).
And finally the ending - I *ALMOST* bought it, and the fallout and reactions of the various characters was very solid and well portrayed.
Also, final note - That bit at the beginning, before the movie even started, when the entire theater spent a solid minute or two booing the Twilight preview.. Priceless.
Spoiling the pit chant
Last edited by Jemal; Friday, 20th July, 2012 at 11:02 AM.
Friday, 20th July, 2012, 02:15 PM #3
Defender (Lvl 8)
I was entirely engrossed throughout the length of the film. I choked up as I realized Bruce was going to sacrifice himself. And then you have these happily ever after scenes. It ruins the perceived sacrifice of Batman. The whole movie was about sacrifice and finding something to fight, live and need be, die for. But then, you get this cop out. That whole sequence where he's decided he's going to take it out over the bay and flies off in the distance seems completely pointless. Because there was no sacrifice in the end.
It really felt like someone going: "And then Batman dies. Not. Haha"
As much as I love the Batman series I have to say that Nolan is terrible at directing large action sequences. It's all too regulated, it feels like it's behind the scenes documentary footage for the dvd.
Sound in this movie is awesome. From the gunshots to the quiet moments to the singing-the-star-spangled-banner-when-other-sounds-are-muted-so-you-know-sh*t's-about-to-get-real. It was all very well done.
Bane is cool. I love his little quips, the way he can exude power with words and minor gestures.
The humor, while sparse, is pretty clever. I especially liked the scene where Batman talks to Catwoman and he turns around while talking. He then turns back to find her gone and says to himself: "So, that's what it feels like".
And finally with regards to Talia: Worst. Death scene. Ever.
Friday, 20th July, 2012, 06:04 PM #4
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
It wasn't The Dark Knight.
At no point was it as gripping, as real, or as important as it predecessor. It many ways it regresses back to the feel of Batman Begins, albeit with a lot more stuff jammed in there and a lot of money spent on it. However, BB was a good movie, and I can't really say that TDKR is bad so much as it was disappointing. Better than Avengers? Yes. Okay with it as an end to Batman's story? Yes. An enjoyable movie? Yes.
I think it suffers from trying to cram too many things in. Bane, Selina Kyle, and Tate are all excellent; Blake didn't really grab me as much but still wasn't bad. But I don't think any of them was established well enough. I need more time to see Bane as a threat, more understanding of the Catwoman backstory and character, and a lot more time to explicate the state of Gotham during the revolution. These were all interesting elements, but the film didn't take enough time to sell them, for lack of having enough time in one movie.
Most audiences will forgive a few things, but I was not a fan of the nonsensical tunnels that go everywhere whenever needed, or Bruce Wayne teleporting across the world with no explanation (his movements are rather well documented in the previous film), or the nuclear macguffin, which never made sense to me (Only one person can shut it off? It's about to blow but a car crash doesn't do anything to it? Only one person can set it off?). No movie is free of these things, but there was enough to take me out of it.
I was rather pleased to see the Scarecrow back, though the major female characters were good in their roles, and thought there were some good dialog scenes, decent gags, and fun action. I thought the end for the character was a good one, though the scene in the cafe hit the nail on the head a bit too hard.
Originally Posted by Joker
I thought that gag was kind of cheap; this movie felt comic book-y more than the first two because of this and similar things. And I agree that I did want there to be a true sacrifice. OTOH, I also was sold on this idea by Alfred. I wanted to see him have a life after Batman. I'm kind of torn on it, really.
Friday, 20th July, 2012, 07:44 PM #5
Scout (Lvl 6)
I took the final scene, so to speak, as something similar to the final bit from Pan's Labyrinth. One the sad fantasy of a dying girl. The other the sad fantasy of a lonely old man. But still a pair of fantasies and thus hollow and self indulgent.
Friday, 20th July, 2012, 08:38 PM #6
The Great Druid (Lvl 17)
It was good. I figured out who was Talia a little quicker then I would have liked. I was hoping to see someone else take up the Batman suit since Wayne seemed to be stressing so often that Batman could be anyone. I liked the heavy influences from No Man's Land and Knightfall.
Friday, 20th July, 2012, 08:49 PM #7
The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)
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I enjoyed it and didn't see the ending twists coming.
Friday, 20th July, 2012, 09:31 PM #8
Gallant (Lvl 3)
Now that the film is released, and we're getting into spoiler territory, I thought the movie was an A-, but could have been an A+ with some tightening of the screenplay. Here are a few thoughts:
Selena Kyle’s story: She’s after the mythical “Clean Slate” program – a software virus that has the ability to remove your identity and history from the world-wide record. Batman needs to find out midway through the movie that Selena is after this to save her friend Holly, who is the last surviving witness that can end some criminal empire, or possibly take down some corrupt politician or big business honcho.
This is why Batman believes she’ll fight for Gotham – she’s been doing these jobs to save her friend, not herself. Selena betrays Batman to Bane because Bane’s informed her that HE has the Clean Slate program and has promised to remove Holly from the grid. After Bane and Batman fight, Selena finds that Holly has been murdered by Bane’s people, which is, of course, his Clean Slate program – permanent removal.
When Batman later returns with the thumbdrive and the software as payment for Selena helping him, she informs him that it’s too late and Holly is dead. BUT – she helps him out in the end anyway, not because she wants the reward, but because it’s in her true nature to help the unfortunate and stand against oppressors. After the climax, we see that Bruce and Selena use the Clean Slate virus to remove their identities and escape to a new life.
Bane’s Story: When in the prison, Batman is told that he’ll never beat Bane because it’s clear that Batman doesn’t fear death. The absence of fear is not what gives Bane his power – it’s his ability to overcome his fear. Bane uses extreme fear to keep himself honed to perfection at all times. The device built into his mask not only keeps the terrible pain from the doctor’s botched surgery under control, but it also CONSTANTLY feeds Bane the fear gas that the Scarecrow used in Batman Begins. Remember, the plant extracts that the Scarecrow used to create the toxin were grown and harvested by the League of Shadows, the very people that trained Bane.
Bane has mastered his fear to the point that he exposes himself to the toxin constantly and instead of being afraid, is supremely in control and capable of terrible actions. It’s not Venom, as it is in the comic, but it’s something that gives him an edge and makes him more than human. When Batman confronts Bane at the end and begins smashing his mask, the fear gas begins to dissipate, and Batman gains the upper hand as Bane loses his edge.
Gotham’s Story: The movie was long, but I could use some extra scenes showing how the citizens of Gotham react to all that’s going on. I would love to see snippets of Gotham under Bane’s rule. Is everyone happy that the “revolution” has hit and the 99% have risen up? Who joins the criminals in the looting, and who tries to retain some order in the chaos?
I want to see desperate people trying to confronting the military at the bridge, begging to escape, and have it clear that it’s a daily ritual. And maybe the soldiers have seemed willing to let them cross, only to have Bane’s people pop up and remind them of the terrible threat. I know we saw some community gatherings, but I’d like to see citizens sharing food and finding ways to create new infrastructure. It certainly looked like they’d kept garbage collection running – maybe showing people carting off waste and having some areas working together to maintain living conditions.
I’d like to check in with the trapped police a few times, and see how they managed to survive underground for three months (and keep their uniforms so tidy). I’d like to see Joseph Gordon Levitt working at night, patrolling the streets and keeping the decent citizens of Gotham from coming to harm at the hands of Bane’s thugs and criminals (and foreshadowing his new role in the end).
I think those are the three main tweaks that could have been made to bump the movie up a grade point or two for my taste.
The Selena stuff just helps us understand her character, and gives Holly a reason to exist other than just being in the background of those scenes… and then disappearing from the film.
The Bane stuff isn’t necessary, but ties his mask into his abilities and back into the League of Shadows (“Why does he wear the mask?” seemed like an important question to shout in the first minutes of the movie… finding out that it’s just the result of bad surgery is a bit of a let down.)
Checking in with the citizens of Gotham could have showed the decency that has come to exist in some quarters and is worth fighting for, and the darker criminal element a new Batman would have to work against. It would show the fear that the people are living with, and then how brave they’d have to be at the end (when Matthew Modine puts his uniform back on). You’d get a sense of what Bane had wrought.
Friday, 20th July, 2012, 09:34 PM #9
Gallant (Lvl 3)
When they implied that Bane was the child, the son of Ras Al Ghul, I was like, "uhhh, ok. I'll go with that. It's different, but I'll accept it." But, ha! joke's on me.
Nolan just directs the movie so confidently, I just accept what I'm watching and don't think about it until after. He's a magician.
Friday, 20th July, 2012, 09:36 PM #10
Gallant (Lvl 3)
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