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The Dark Knight Rises (spoilers)

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Bob Morris

Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2895
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:55 pm    Post subject: The Dark Knight Rises (spoilers) Reply with quote

Caught Dark Knight Rises this evening. Quite the ending to Nolan's Batman trilogy and it manages to deliver pretty well.

While there isn't a character in the film who is able to deliver as Heath Ledger did with the Joker (Gary Oldman isn't featured as much as he was in TDK), I thought the new characters introduced work pretty well.

Tom Hardy pulls off Bane pretty well as a villain who presents a tougher challenge for Batman from a physical standpoint but can still do enough to get inside Batman's head, given that Bane is with the League of Shadows. So, yes, Nolan found a way to take a lesser-known villain from the Batman series and make him one that the audience doesn't need a lot of explanation to understand why he's a threat to Batman and why he wants to destroy Gotham.

I thought Anne Hathaway was good as Selena Kyle, although I would probably have to watch the film again to get more of a feel for her character -- but she's initially presented as somebody who resents the wealthy and that they don't care, only to become more sympathetic toward Bruce/Batman as things progress. Hathaway is good in the role, it's just a role I think I would have to watch again to appreciate it more.

Alfred was at his best in this film, but he's mostly featured in the first half of the film and barely featured in the second half -- that's the one disappointment I felt the film presented as, given how good Michael Caine is with the material, I wish he had been featured more.

John Blake is an interesting character and I'll admit that I didn't see the reveal coming about who his character was really a nod to, but the reveal was logical and you do get a couple of hints leading to it early in the film. I'll say more in a major spoiler later in the week.

Miranda Tate is one of those characters in which they lead you in one direction regarding what they intend her role to be, only to turn around and surprise you -- but, again, it's a logical build and helps to explain the plot involving Bane and Bruce. Again, that's a major spoiler I'll reveal later on -- just want John and Steve to have a chance to see the film before I give too much away. ;)

And, hey, we get another Jonathan Crane appearance, plus the Gotham Rogues are really the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As far as Batman/Bruce goes, Christian Bale remains good in the role and I don't mind him going to the gruff, raspy voice as Batman as I've always believed that is what is supposed to be the darker, rougher side of Bruce, whereas Bruce not in the Batman costume is supposed to be a somewhat softer character.

And without getting into major spoilers -- yes, it's pretty clear Nolan won't be doing another Batman film, so any more to come will either be a Batman relaunch -- or using another character. I'll say no more than that.

As for how strong its legs will be at the box office, that is all going to depend on how much viewers dig the League of Shadows coming back to avenge Ra's al Ghul as the way to wrap up the series. I personally enjoyed it, but while the film is very good, there isn't a "Heath Ledger as The Joker" performance to really start drawing people in and Oldman's reduced role might disappoint some movie goers.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the sort of movie that, were it not for the swerve I kinda-sorta saw coming in the last 20 minutes, I would say was good but disappointed me anyway. Instead, that last little stretch saved it a bit.

The acting, as Bob said, was solid; if anything, Hathaway was the star of the show here, hitting on the different facets of the Kyle character in ways that have only shown up in the comics -- namely the tug-of-war between her roots and resentment and the points she wants to make, and her clear attraction to Bruce Wayne/Batman for all the usual reasons that aren't his money. I also liked Caine, but I hated the way the movie dragged in his scenes. "Oh, here is another point where Alfred and Batman have to argue bitterly about the suicide mission he's on, so let's grind the pace down for some exposition that won't really change anyone's mind." There are a few of these moments early and I think they all drove me nuts. Hardy and Gordon-Leavitt are nice, though I knew who he was from the beginning and he still doesn't feel right.

I think my biggest reservation was that this had all of the convolution of the previous film with very little of the nuance. There are bits of it that fall into place towards the end with the way the League gets its revenge, but I don't think it's quite enough to push this from "nice comic book movie" to "excellent film" the way the last one got pushed by its dynamics (speaking of dynamic, see Adam Randis' post about TDK for a near-verbatim explanation of how I felt about it). I'm not sure this even had the nuance of, say, X-Men 2, and if I continue to be the only person who bangs the drum about that movie being better than nearly all the comic-book films that aren't TDK, then so be it.

On the other hand, I also agree with Bob's sentiment that this requires another viewing. I may feel quite differently about it if I have the time to go over it more thoroughly, but I felt less confused watching Inception, which was a far denser concept and yet more masterfully executed.

The one thing that makes me think I won't feel differently is the ending, though. Grrrrrrr.
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Steve Yohe

Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 3278
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Bunch of SPOILERS in this!!)

I saw all three Batman films on Thursday, & I have the first two on DVD.

So I was in the theatre from 6:00 until 3:00 in the AM. At some point in the Joker movie I started feeling sick & it hasn't left me it wasn't the movies that did it to me.

My feeling are that #2 with the Joker, was a much better film. It seemed to me that Nolan was stretched into trying to top #2 & dragged the film out. It seemed to me that about 2 hrs into the movie, it changed into a statement about revolution & class warfare. When they say the bomb was going off in 5 months, my head really started hurting.

From watching #1 again & reading the billing it turns out that Ra's Al Ghul was always Liam Neeson & Ken Watanabe was a decoy in the first story.

Funny that Hathaway is never called Catwomen. At least I don't remember the name being used & she didn't look like a cat to me. I thought Hathaway did good but there are a ton of actresses that could have played the part.

Bane was Ok but not a lot of fun. You couldn't even tell it was Tom Hardy with the voice, makeup, mask, & steroids. They could have used a stuntman & got the same effect.

I didn't like the Batman/Bane fights much. Ok...I'm going to fight Bane...I look at him & see a respirator mask on his face....that's the first think I go for. There was too much going on during the 2nd fight. They should have set it up like Bond & Odjob (Togo) in GOLDFINGER....and had Batman avoid the mess out front of the building and just ran into Bane inside. Isolate the action.

I figured out the ending before it happened. Probably shouldn't talk about it. Funny, David Letterman has been going on for a week telling everyone Batman dies.

I liked the court room scene with Dr Jonathan Crane as the judge. It was set up like the old movies about the French revolution. The Scarecrow being in the special prison, brings up the idea that the Joker must have been kept there too. I would have put in something about Bane refusing to release the Joker because he isn't bad, he is crazy....and couldn't be controllable. Then just leave him in his cell without showing him. The joker is part of the Batman stories &, at some point, people are going to have to get used to the idea of someone else playing the part.

I liked the Caine stuff & the letter stuff. The rest of the movie missed him.

Movies today are edited in short commercials. Young movie goers don't like it when the camera just films the actors talking. I was watching THE PROFESSIONAL last night & comments were that Burt Lancaster & Lee Marvin were great at doing nothing for long periods. The timing of scenes were great & the film was great because of it. Today's movie are rushed & it sucks.

My feelings are it was ***1/2, but I need to watch it again when I feel better. #2 was a much better movie.

I think it's a good idea for Nolan to move on to other things than Batman, but Christian Bale should never leave the part of the Dark Knight. A cashcow like Batman will support a lot of art films & back you up when the flops happen. A role like that is a big plus in a career. I think he's so good that he can't be replaced. I would just going on with the same can't go back to the idea of a robot suit again.

I read that it made 162 mil without 3D. I think the shooting help with the PR rather than hurt it.--Steve Yohe
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Bob Morris

Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2895
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, since I'm assuming everyone here who wanted to see it has done so by now...

The revelation of Miranda Tate as Ra's al Guhl's daughter certainly came out of nowhere, but it did make sense given how Bane and company often seemed to be two steps ahead of Bruce Wayne/Batman. How else would Bane have known where to find that fusion generator or where to strike Wayne Enterprises? Answer: Tate was his source.

The idea that John Blake is going to take over as Gotham's protector is interesting, especially with them suggesting he'll be Robin -- or perhaps Nightwing. I suppose one could try to build a movie around Nightwing, which might be interesting, although I suspect Christopher Nolan wouldn't be interested in directing. Sounds like he simply wants to end his involvement with anything Batman related.

I do agree that the fight scene between Batman and Bane came off as anti-climatic. The final confrontation between Bruce and Ra's al Guhl was a good cat-and-mouse scenario and it made perfect sense for the final confrontation between Batman and Joker to come off as it did, with Batman on the move to find Joker and having to ensure the safety of the hostages before he can catch up to Joker -- and then having exactly the type of confrontation needed between Batman and Dent. But now we get Batman and Bane just brawling, Batman acting gruff, getting stabbed in the back by Tate, then along comes Catwoman and, just like that, Bane is dead? Kind of disappointing, even if Tate comes out as the main antagonist.

I still really enjoyed the film -- it's a very good film but it's not like The Dark Knight in which it's truly a great film overall and a theme that just works so well. I thought they generally hit the right notes on the TDKR theme, but not as well as was done in TDK.

Still, this is one of those trilogies in which all three movies are done quite well, so it's hard to complain about any downside in the films. As far as trilogies goes, Nolan's Batman trilogy ranks as one of the best.
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Jeremy Billones

Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 523
Location: Alexandria, VA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I continue to be flabbergasted at people who were surprised that Miranda
Tate was a villain. It's as if everyone watching TDKR had completely
forgotten they'd ever seen a movie before.

I was underwhelmed. It felt a lot like Nolan didn't really have anything
to say in a third Batman film, but Warner Brothers backed up the Brinks
truck *and* agreed to let him make Inception first, so he agreed. The
end of Bane (both 'break the respirator' and 'why don't you just shoot
him') was needlessly abrupt and jarring. I thought Gordon came off very
poorly (always a pet peeve of mine in Batman adaptations). And while
class warfare issues were raised in the film, they weren't actually dealt
with the way the issues of society and trust were in TDK. Also, there
were too many attempted callbacks that felt more like recycling than
actual callbacks.
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: LI

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for bumping this thread, but I finally got around to seeing it, and it was a decent movie at times, though it was nothing compared to Dark Knight.

I would've enjoyed Anne Hathaway as Catwoman more, if she was more snarky, and not someone who did an immedidate face turn.

And Bane was nothing compared to the Joker. His impact in the movie really lessened as it went on. A disappointment.

I really couldnt get into the "Occupy Wall Street" angle that happens during the movie. That was a weaker version of the hidden themes of Dark Knight (Post 9/11 chaos)

I also couldnt get into Bruce recovering from the Bane attack. It dragged way too long.

I did enjoy the brief Scarecrow cameo, but the Ra Al Ghul cameo was lame.

It is kind of sad though, that that's the end of the Nolan version of the Gotham City Universe. Im sure a 4th Nolan movie would've improved on Dark Knight Rises. Even if it was a Robin or Catwoman movie.
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