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deadseascrolls
07-22-2012, 02:05 AM
Just got home from seeing it! It's SPECTACULAR! Lots of unforseen connections with the characters that die-hard Batman lovers will pick up on and go "ohhhh!" and "awwww!" over. As such, Anne Hathaway in that skin tight catwoman outfit has NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD! (note her on the cycle - WOW! :p)

For the story-line, I'll admit that I've never read the Batman comics but have heard that in the comics Batman suffers a physical incurrment at the hands of Bane that is followed to a T, but which I cannot mention to avoid a spoiler for those that have not seen it yet. All I can say is that from my readings of people who HAVE read the comics and storylines, this trilogy follows the comics very closely and will make those die-hard comic lovers very happy as well.

All in all, I left the theater very sad - simply because Christopher Nolan is done with this trilogy. It's been a unique experience to see Batman in a different light other than the chinsy look of the earlier Batmans (Batman Forever/Batman and Robin) and the "Burtonesque" look of the first two original films with Michael Keaton which, until this trilogy, were the best Batman movies in my opinion.

It would be very nice to have Nolan continue on with the franchise and paint a new light on the various Batman villains/villainesses but the surprise ending paints a picture that can possibly go either way. I won't tell you anymore on that either - you'll just have to see the film for yourself! >:D ;)

Overall, this film has met the 4 year expectation I had of it from the point afterward of seeing "The Dark Knight".

On a side note - I saw the featurette of the new "Superman" coming out. Looks interesting but I think they should've spawned off on that franchise with the actor they used in "Superman Returns". And also to have used Courtney Cox as Lois Lane - she looks like a reincarnation of the Lois of the original films in my opinion (in a good way of course! )

That concludes my review. Let me know what you think.

Gunslinger
07-22-2012, 01:00 PM
Here's where I'm in the minority with the last movie - it was just overrated. I like Nolan, and liked Batman Begins, but I found TDK to be quite "uncooked". It felt like they had filmed a draft of the script that hadn't been distilled down to any real focus. All I remember of that movie experience was that I kept asking what the point was. Then I reached the end and still had no answer. Yet all the reviews were glowing.

Is there anyone here that felt that way about the second film that has seen the third? Is it better or worse? Getting to the movies is tougher for me these days so I'd rather know how much of a chance I'm taking going in.

whipitgood
07-22-2012, 05:33 PM
I saw this last night and absolutley loved it. Nolan knows how to make a super hero film better than anyone these days. He shows restraint when it comes to scenes that other directors would turn into CGI effect driven spectacle. Strong character arcs and themes, such an amazing job. My only issue with it was from a technical stand-point. Nolan goes crazy with the sound mix. The film becomes terribly loud at times, with music and sound effects. Ultimatley it all just sounds like noise. Even Bane's dialogue is quite muffled to the point of being unintelligible. I wish I could of understood more of it, because Tom Hardy's performance blew me away for being behind a mask practically the entire movie. Does anyone else think Bane sounds a bit like Sean Connery? I'm glad Nolan decided to call it quits after this film as one should always leave on a high note.

whipitgood
07-22-2012, 05:48 PM
On a side note - I saw the featurette of the new "Superman" coming out. Looks interesting but I think they should've spawned off on that franchise with the actor they used in "Superman Returns". And also to have used Courtney Cox as Lois Lane - she looks like a reincarnation of the Lois of the original films in my opinion (in a good way of course! )



They are trying to do a whole new series. According to the producers, there won't be any connection to any of the previous film versions, not even the classic Superman theme. I think this is a wise decision, as we need something fresh to breathe life into a potentially huge franchise. Brandon Routh was just wrong for the role. That's the problem when people start casting solely based on how much they resemble the charater or an actor who previously played the role. I'm expecting great things for The Man of Steel, especially with Nolan producing and co-writing. I hope that Zack Snyder doesn't screw it up. The man showed great talent with his Dawn of the Dead re-make, but I haven't been a fan of his other work. I absolutely hate his use of slo-mo when it comes to action sequences.

Mac
07-22-2012, 08:08 PM
Nolan’s a brilliant filmmaker and I admire his work, though I’m not sure if the whole of DKR equals the sum of its parts. I enjoyed the movie and found it a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, but I can’t help wishing that the pacing and action had been better. I felt the acting, with the exception of Cotillard, and character arcs were quite good.

I enjoyed Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, but for different reasons and in different ways. The first was an action romp that updated the hero, explored his decision to engage in vigilantism, and faced off against stock comic book ‘out-to-destroy-society’ villains in a world beset by corruption, rampant crime and stark economic inequality, all portrayed in a more gritty and realistic fashion than previous incarnations.

The second was darker and more disturbing, and alluded to more contemporary dilemmas, such as the justification for/usefulness of torture, and the limits of the justice system in dealing with criminals (or terrorists) whose methods put them beyond the reach of extant law enforcement and whose motives are seemingly outside of our comprehension. The second movie upped the ante for tension (the accompanying score is brilliant), shock value and twists, but left lighthearted yet semi-realistic action romp by the wayside.

Both, though, were crafted with high production values, good script, dialog and acting, with an emphasis on character development that enhanced the action rather than detracted from it. To me the second had some problems (Gotham General, the main hospital in a city of 12 million, is only four stories high? Two ferries, one loaded with civilians and the other with convicts, must make a Sophie’s choice? WTF and yawn,) but the villain was extraordinary and the movie was a quite a roller coaster ride.

The Dark Knight Rises is chocked full of references to current dilemmas and political subtext:

- Class warfare? Check.
- Occupy Wall Street? Check.
- Patriot Act? Check.
- World made safe by galvanizing the public behind a terrible tragedy, though the story presented to the public is based on a falsehood? Check.
- Elusive Clean Energy? Check.
- Billions blown on bad stock market trades? Check.
- Unscrupulous rich guy manipulates the market/destroys lives for personal gain? Check.
- Philanthropists’ ability to actually help society predicated on having a viable for-profit business? Check.
- Slimy politicians who are imminently corruptible/sexually scandalous? Check. (Ok, this one is a universal constant rather than a modern dilemma.)
- The internet (social networking/open, readily accessible pubic records) has made the ability to distance oneself from youthful mistakes and make a fresh start impossible? Check.
- Twisted and delusional idealist warrior ruthlessly attempts to force a revolution/destroy a society he hates and replace it with an ummah based on his own vision/preferences? Check.
- Aforementioned antagonist astonished his enemy not only survived his assault but comes back stronger to defeat him? Check.

Like any good artist, Nolan raises the issue but offers no solutions and the director really doesn’t take sides (other than the fact that his hero is a vigilante who continually breaks the law in order to protect innocents from senseless evil when the law fails to – though he pays a high price). When looking for political subtext, the political prism through which one views the film colors your interpretation. For example, regarding the last two on the list, in the real world who would the villain represent? The answer may vary.

I enjoyed DKR and will certainly buy it when it arrives on Blu-ray. I can’t wait to watch it with the captions on so I can find out what the hell Bane was saying.

Gunslinger
07-22-2012, 09:33 PM
Mac, I love your list - kind of funny, actually. Sounds like more of the same, then. And I guess this is my point with the second one. I felt that Nolan was trying to tackle some "Very Big Important Issues" in an "I am a Very Serious Film Maker" way, but ultimately the pretensions fell flat because he couldn't pull them together into a cohesive whole that worked. This is something that plenty of filmmakers have been able to manage over the years but it seems Nolan gets a pass because he's turning a superhero movie into something dark and disjointed which of course must = High Art.

To succeed, good drama must have either have some sort of journey the hero goes on, or some form of character arc at least, that eventuates due to antagonistic forces. Those forces must tie with forces internal to the hero, and he stands to win or lose just as much on whether he makes the right choices under pressure. Im not trying to sound like a tosser here; it's just screenwriting 101. The problem with TDK is that Nolan and his brother couldn't seem to decide on what the arc was or who would be the key agents of that change. If they could, there wouldn't have been so many pointless scenes you could cut out, way too many redundant baddies, plot lines crossing the world for no real reason, etc. etc. Presumably they weren't trying to make Last Year at Marienbad. Yet instead, what we see is something that may have been truly great after a couple of script revisions. What the shooting script really needed was a LOT of red pen. What is the theme? What serves the theme? What is redundant? What's unnecessary?

I guess I only hold Nolan to a high standard because he's often put on the same pedestal as a lot of "auteurs". He definitely made an excellent, clever, focuussed and nuanced film with Memento, but with Batman, he's fallen short on focus in the same way that he fell short of heart with Inception. Which is a shame, because I really like Batman and was hoping for something a little better.

KidHuevos
07-23-2012, 02:25 AM
Here's where I'm in the minority with the last movie - it was just overrated. I like Nolan, and liked Batman Begins, but I found TDK to be quite "uncooked". It felt like they had filmed a draft of the script that hadn't been distilled down to any real focus. All I remember of that movie experience was that I kept asking what the point was. Then I reached the end and still had no answer. Yet all the reviews were glowing.

Is there anyone here that felt that way about the second film that has seen the third? Is it better or worse? Getting to the movies is tougher for me these days so I'd rather know how much of a chance I'm taking going in.

I haven't seen the third one yet, but I'm glad I'm not the only one who prefers Batman Begins to Dark Knight. Although I respect the film, it was not a fun experience. "Begins" was an exhilarating thrill ride, but "Dark Knight" was just sheer drudgery to get through.

I'm going to wait for the Blu-Ray to see the third installment.

deadseascrolls
07-24-2012, 12:28 AM
Mac, I love your list

A very liberalized list that Mac copied verbatum from an NPR (National Public Radio) movie critique that was on the radio late last week. I just happened to catch it at the right time flipping through the stations (I won't listen to that pinko-commy garbage) but decided I'd listen to the critique just to see what they have to say.

While I thought the movie was good, I was NOT impressed with the blatant political statement it was trying to make (financial unequality, social stratus gaps, etc etc). While I love a good Batman movie, reading all of the critiques posted here so far has made me really realize that it was more of a propaganda film rather than a good 'ol Batman movie.

A real shame as I think most people would rather have a neutral movie with a great story line and lots of action rather than a movie saturated with a belief system. Still, I was glad to see that Anne Hathaway's character switched views and beliefs and the movie did steer into a better direction, but a little too late in the film for my taste.

Gunslinger
07-24-2012, 03:24 AM
I actually don't care if a movie makes a bunch of political points, as long as it does it well within the framework that it's set up. eg Lost was excellent as a sci-fi / character driven show, until the final year when the characters and plot didn't make any sense given what had been set up. In the end it was a ripoff. I think a Batman movie would actually be a perfect context to place a bunch of those themes Mac quoted into. How well it carries it off, of course, is another thing.

Mac
07-24-2012, 07:41 AM
A very liberalized list that Mac copied verbatum from an NPR (National Public Radio) movie critique that was on the radio late last week.

No, sorry, I didn’t catch any review on NPR. The list is off the top of my head after seeing the movie.

The only review I read before seeing the film was in the New York Times, which essentially dismissed it as right wing fantasy. The reviews I’ve read since that allude to politics seem to be evenly divided; one half claiming it’s leftist propaganda and the other claiming that it’s right wing!

Nolan peppers the film with timely and divisive topics that are reflections of modern controversies so that it’s (presumably) relatable to, and resonates with, audiences. Like his other films, he leaves some level of ambiguity, and one can interpret them in different ways and on multiple levels.

Nolan raises controversial and topical issues, but doesn’t really take a side. He doesn’t frame the issues in such a way that you’re coerced to adopt some specific moral position that he’s advocating (like much of Hollywood does these days), but he also tends to portray the consequences that accrue from various choices. As I said before, whether you view the choice and the corresponding consequence as right or wrong, or good or bad, depends largely on your political persuasion.

At the heart of it, Batman is a mega rich corporate philanthropist, who uses his money and free time to help ordinary people, fight crime and battle terrorist organizations, and he does it outside of the framework of a corrupt, useless government.

Gunslinger
07-24-2012, 09:26 AM
Ok, NOW I'm intrigued. I've always loved the idea of filmic pluralism - to the point that I started a PhD on it. Any movie that can both challenge and confirm each side of politics has my attention.

whipitgood
07-24-2012, 02:57 PM
Here Nolan addresses the issue of politics in TDKR.

http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/christopher-nolan-dark-knight-rises-isn-t-political-20120720

steambot
07-27-2012, 01:32 PM
That makes total sense to me. I've seen a whole lot of reviews saying that Bane and his army are supposed to represent the Occupy movement. Honestly, having watched the movie, I never in a million years would have drawn any parallel between the two. I mean, the movie shows Bane's army/followers: a group of troubled, confused young people who don't belong anywhere, who latch on to a powerful, charismatic leader and come to worship him to the point that they're willing and ready to die for him, and they live in what is essentially a reinforced underground bunker... the movie makes it extremely clear, time and time again, that this is a cult. I know, in our hyper-polarized world, people like to latch on to negative representations and say "That's totally the group that disagrees with me!" but saying this cult represents a broad political movement is kind of taking it to a whole new level of head-scratching "WTF?", at least to me - particularly as the movie never really shows what the "average Gotham citizen" makes of Bane and his group.

Now, on the other hand, I could see a parallel drawn with Selena Kyle, as she makes some vague statements about haves vs. have-nots, etc. But, watching the movie, I never really got a feeling it was trying to make any political points, other than the occasional broadly-drawn parallel with current events.

But anyway. Politics - real or imagined - aside, I liked the movie. I didn't think it was as strong as the first two (and yes, I'm one of those that loved the second one), but it was, in my opinion, a perfect conclusion to the story that had been built in the prior installments.

And - I was a comic book fan for a while, always a DC guy, and mostly just a buyer/reader back in the 90s, which largely revolved around these "extreme money-grubbing shock storylines" DC pumped out (death of Superman, Knightfall, Green Lantern flipping out and murdering all the other Green Lanterns, etc). As such I've always thought it would be cool, but unrealistic, to get a good Death of Superman or Knightfall movie, but... man. TDKR stays remarkably true to the spirit of the Knightfall storyline, even while necessarily changing most of the details. So, I'm pretty happy on that score, too.

I do, however, have to agree about the sound. Bane? I could understand most of his dialogue. But, there were times where I couldn't understand him... or anyone else, for that matter. The music was just waaaaay too loud and aggressive.