Dark Knight Rises (review and discussion) [major spoilers from second post onwards]

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  1. #1
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    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.
    James Bell
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    *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.

    Speaking of...

    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

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    Last edited by Jemal; Friday, 20th July, 2012 at 11:02 AM.
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    *Spoilers also*

    *Massive Spoilers*

    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.
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  4. #4
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joker
    It really felt like someone going: "And then Batman dies. Not. Haha"
    Oddly, this is essentially the same thing as happened recently in the series finale of House.

    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.
    "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose"

  5. #5
    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.

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    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?)
    Nukes aren't particularly unstable. They're complicated devices which can survive falls from planes. Usually if a nuke is damaged it will be disabled, i.e. it won't blow up.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Joker View Post
    Nukes aren't particularly unstable. They're complicated devices which can survive falls from planes. Usually if a nuke is damaged it will be disabled, i.e. it won't blow up.
    Even if it's a minute from detonating? To be fair, I don't really understand how these things work, and it may very well be scientifically accurate, it just bothered me watching it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiery James
    It's funny, because Marion Cotillard was rumored to be playing Talia right from the point she was cast, but Nolan's camp denied it. And I knew that a young girl had been hired to play young Talia... but somehow, I forgot all of that when the movie was on and let it deliver the twist.
    I thought it a fine piece of acting; despite having every reason to suspect her as being the bad guy, she sold a lot of us on the contrary.
    Last edited by Ahnehnois; Saturday, 21st July, 2012 at 03:36 PM.
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