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Old 2012-07-25, 09:29 AM   #1
Summerhayes
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Default The Dark Knight Rises

So, I caught TDKR on Saturday. Bleddy excellent it was, too. I'll avoid spoilers for the time being, and I won't dwell on the real world deaths.
It didn't have that feel that Dark Knight had, of being a serious crime drama that Batman and Joker both interrupt. It felt much more like a straight superhero film, albeit a great one. Bane was a superb villain, especially considering the Joker's been done to death. And it was one of the first Batman films to make me care about Batman himself.
This might be a minor spoiler, but it also actually had an ending- a satisfying one too. Which is rare these days, especially in Superhero films. Which of course means we now have a nice new set of reboots to look forward to, once and for all proving business takes precedent over art.
So... thoughts?
 

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Old 2012-07-25, 05:52 PM   #2
the_escaflowne_2k
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yeah spoilers & stuff:

SPOILER! (select to read)
Very much like Begins for me, excellent film but thinking back only small sections stand out. Will say, I'm no fraud expert but I'm pretty sure the fact that no cameras saw Bruce entering the stock exchange, there was a terrorist incident and many witness showing that they did something to the stock market would give him some quick resolution to his dealings.

Otherwise it had an excellent ending, then tacked on an extra hit "hit you over the head with a happy hammer" ending after that. I'm surprised it didn't just end with Alfred smiling and aluding to his earlier wish rather than having the camera switch round.


Overall, behind Avengers and Moonrise Kingdom in my 2012 list.
 


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Old 2012-07-25, 06:47 PM   #3
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I thought it was a good movie, from a technical and artistic standpoint. As a piece of entertainment, though...it left a lot to be desired.

Bane simply didn't bring any of the charisma that the Joker and the Scarecrow brought to the previous two films. Those two were evil and scary, sure, but they were also funny and even likeable in a way that Bane simply isn't. Scarecrow showed up in this movie for, what, a combined total of three or four minutes, max? But you know what? Those three or four minutes were more memorable than the hour or more than Bane was on-screen.

The film took itself completely, 100% seriously. The previous two did as well, but they had villians who could break the tension and make you smile or laugh or even cheer for them them even as they did something completely horrible -- and that made them much better, much more balanced movies. This one was nearly three hours of unbroken bleak, grimdark seriousness, to the point where it almost crossed over into self-parody territory for me more than once. If I took one thing away from the movie, it's that a Batman series that wants to be this relentlessly serious is very dependent on the bad guy giving it room to breathe. In that light casting Bane, one of Batman's least-colourful foes, as the main enemy probably wasn't the best call.

There were a lot of good points to the movie, though.

Batman Begins felt like an ensemble piece to me and The Dark Knight was all about the Joker and Harvey Dent. This, on the other hand, was a movie that was undeniably about Batman. The Rogues Gallery and the supporting cast of the Bat-universe are so beloved that it's very easy for the title character to get pushed to the background. I don't think we've ever seen a Batman movie that focussed on the main character this strongly, so it was a nice change of pace.

Anne Hathaway had a good turn as Catwoman, too. I don't think she got quite as much screen time or development as Michelle Pfeiffer's version did back in the day, but her performance was much more grounded and less crazy than what I've come to expect from a live-action Catwoman and I liked it.

I found the story a bit predictable, too. I won't go into details, but there were two or three major "plot twists" that the film itself telegraphed from a mile away and two or three more that should be blindingly obvious to anyone with more than a passing familiarity with the Batman mythos. The ending was a tad predictable too, every bit of it, but it came together so well that I found myself enjoying it anyway.
 
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Old 2012-07-25, 06:50 PM   #4
inflatable dalek
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It managed to do what The Matrix and Pirates film failed to achieve, the Back to the Future style making a proper trilogy (as opposed to a series of stand alone film sequels) that works.

I think I need to see it again (and hey, the fact I'm thinking of going to the cinema again to watch it despite the ads and trailers turning it into a six hour film) before I decide how well it works overall, but generally a very, very good film.

And someone needs to let Nolan direct a Bond film, we get an elaborate Licence To Kill homage in the opening stunt and the SURPRISE VILLAIN is right from


SPOILER! (select to read)
The World Is Not Enough.


I liked the bluff over Bruce already limping at the start, making me wonder if they were going to skip the back breaking bit and just have him in a bad way right off the bat (ho ho).

The unexpected plot change from doing Knightfall to doing No Mans Land instead was great as well. And made the final nicely epic.


I'm not sure why so many people seem to be confused by Bane's plan. He explains it in his one on one chat with Batman, including the fact he's going to be lying to everyone else about what he's really up to. So why are so many people taking his "Power to the people!" speeches at face value and then becoming confused at the seeming hypocrisy when he's already said that's a lie?

SPOILER! (select to read)
The ending featured the least effective nuclear explosion in all of fiction as well. Though it was nice that even in this dark Batman world there are still days where you can't get rid of a bomb.

I guessed from the moment Alfred gave his little speech what the last scene would be, though I wasn't expecting them to be so overt Bruce was still alive. Just that they'd end on him smiling.

Liked Tommy as "Robin" (though presumably he's going to be the new Batman as using your real name would be the worst superhero alias ever. Plus all the Batcave equipment he just inherited is very Bat-themed so it'd be hard to make it work with any other identity).

The silliest bit was Alfred suddenly being able to give a five minute lecture on Bane and his origins five seconds after hearing the name. So much for the League being a secret organisation. It felt like it was trying too hard to recapture the "Some men want to see the world burn" speech as well.

 
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Old 2012-07-25, 07:11 PM   #5
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It is weird how they keep getting on the front page of newspapers through people dying in connection to the things, though.

Still Nolan free, apart from 30-odd seconds of "Hey, this forgettable surfer guy died, so YOU MUST LOVE THIS FILM" which was comfortably amongst the worst things I've ever seen (and I've seen Diabolique). If I want to enjoy a good Batman story I'll read a comic.
 
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Old 2012-07-25, 07:24 PM   #6
inflatable dalek
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There's going to be some guff about a curse of Batman style thing now isn't there? [Assuming it hasn't started already].

Apparently the four orphans Tommy sent to knock on peoples doors were called (and I'm not sure if this made it in the film or is just from the end credits):


SPOILER! (select to read)
Dick, Jason, Tim and Damien. Which was a nice touch.

Though I'm surprised that a film that seems to be trying to assume the inteligence of the audience didn't just have him go "My birth name was Dick Grayson" at the end. Having his actual real life name be Robin was a bit on the nose.

 
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Old 2012-07-25, 11:11 PM   #7
Summerhayes
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@Warcry I loved Bane! That oddly jovial voice coming from a big, masked Terminator. If anything I found Scarecrow pretty forgettable. And as for Joker, it was the best version of the character but he's been done to death already
@Cliffy I used to Joke that Bale offed Ledger to help the film, and then we get this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_escaflowne_2k View Post
SPOILER! (select to read)
oI'm surprised it didn't just end with Alfred smiling and aluding to his earlier wish rather than having the camera switch round.
I genuinely thought thats what we'd get when I was sat in the cinema. It would have been very Nolan. But I suppose it is Batman at the end of the day.
 

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Old 2012-07-26, 01:27 AM   #8
relak
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believe it or not, i enjoyed this more than Avengers.

This makes avengers looks like a childish kid's cartoon.

I wish more superhero movies would take themselves seriously rather than peppering every minute with jokes.
 
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Old 2012-07-26, 03:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relak View Post
I wish more superhero movies would take themselves seriously rather than peppering every minute with jokes.
You do know that Grimdark is actually less realistic than the typical action-adventure, right? People naturally use humor to deal with their stress... it's actually not human nature to revel in the Grimdark that so many emo-fans try to do these days.
 
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Old 2012-07-26, 05:59 AM   #10
inflatable dalek
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Plus there is a lot of humour in the Nolan films, it tends to be a dry sardonic humour (though not always, the comedy cops taking part in the Batmobile in Begins chase are right out of A View To A Kill) rather than the "Vat killed ze dinosaurs!!!! Ze ICE AGE!!!" variety but these are not endlessly bleak and sad characters. Catwoman in particular couldn't seem to stop quipping during the scenes where she remembered she wasn't Han Solo.
 
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Old 2012-07-26, 06:17 AM   #11
Clay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
The film took itself completely, 100% seriously
I'd say about 97%. It has a few jokes/funny bits of dialogue sprinkled throughout, but some felt like they could be taken about the film/genre itself. Batman's comment saying, "so that's what that feels like" after Hathaway disappears had a touch of dramatic irony to it. Bale's meeting with Morgan Freeman that includes Freeman saying, "what, only a meeting about motivation and no request to see the new toys? Come on, I'll show you anyway" felt... slyly self-referencing. That one could've fallen flat, but that's why they have Morgan Freeman I suppose.

Anyway, what I liked about this movie was how very connected it was to the plot threads of the previous two. It wasn't simply "Movie 3", but felt like a real conclusion to a defined story, instead of more episodic movie series. The word trilogy gets thrown around to the point of meaninglessness now, but the Nolan Batman movies come across as a real attempt toward that end.
 
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Old 2012-07-26, 10:21 AM   #12
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What most of you guys had said.

It's a good movie, a little too serious perhaps compared to the massively hammy and colourful Avengers or Spider-Man movie, but a great finish to the Nolan trilogy... and for once, it's a set of three movies that actually deserve the label 'trilogy' because they are, you know, interconnected.

Bane... I'm on the fence about him. I dislike how un-fun and unhammy Bane is compared to Joker or Scarecrow, and I dislike how he's eventually taken out. Also, that 'breathing apparatus that cause pain if removed' thing seemed just like a gimmick.

What I do like about Bane is how seriously he's taken, using the comic's "highly intelligent mastermind who just happens to have trained his body" instead of 'oh, that guy who can instantly become a giant ball of muscle if he presses a button, but all Batman needs to do is to batarang the Venom lines leading to his head'. Also, I like how effective Bane's plan is, albeit if it's a little overdramatic (leaving Batman to have his mind broken, thus leaving him able to do the return-with-a-vengeance thing). I suppose it's similar to my earlier complaint about how he's un-fun... unlike Joker who spends time to joke around with random acts of murder, or Scarecrow who's too busy being a big ham with his fear gas and his horse, Bane takes himself very seriously, with jokes that are more ironic than funny... I suppose it adds to the effectiveness of his plan, but it's also not very fun to watch.

Catwoman... I'm not exactly leaping with joy at her, because I feel she's more a distraction than anything. I mean, she's handled well and stuff, but I feel she's a distraction. Then again, reportedly the copy of TDKR that my region received got twenty to thirty minutes shaved off, which I suspect contained some Batman-Catwoman talky stuff.
 
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Old 2012-07-27, 01:50 PM   #13
relak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TFVanguard View Post
You do know that Grimdark is actually less realistic than the typical action-adventure, right? People naturally use humor to deal with their stress... it's actually not human nature to revel in the Grimdark that so many emo-fans try to do these days.
But not to the point of the Avengers where there's a new joke or funny comment every 5 minutes.

The darn thing is a parody of all superhero comics. It's a comedy primarily.
Doesnt take the genre seriously and with respect.

Dark Knight has humor yes, but its done naturally and not forced every other minute like Avengers.
 
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Old 2012-07-29, 03:05 PM   #14
Summerhayes
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In its defence, at least Avengers was really funny. I enjoyed it but I was hardly gripped by the intense drama. It was a Saturday morning cartoon writ large.
 

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Old 2012-07-31, 04:59 PM   #15
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Saw it last night, have been reading about it for most of today. Enjoyed it, but it sure did have a lot of problems. There's little stuff like his poorly knee, pacing stuff like all the time spent in the self-help prison and then the persistent nag of things like, "What exactly is this movie about?" And then unfortunate bubble-bursters like the Policeman Somme and the fact that Batman's mask and eyeliner looks very goofy in the daylight.

The class-warfare angle was also too provocative for its own good, seeing as it went nowhere.

But still, liked Hathaway and Oldman and Gorden-Levitt and Homeless Dad very much.
 
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Old 2012-08-01, 03:46 PM   #16
inflatable dalek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terome View Post
There's little stuff like his poorly knee,
I think they'd have been better off going with his knee problem being psychosomatic, having a doctor actually examine him and go "Whoa, you're ****ed!" made its sudden disaperance a bit odd (even if his overall state of health did explain why he'd walk away at the end even though Gotham arguably needs him more than ever as it recovers from Bane. He knows this was his last great push and has groomed a younger successor and passed on the keys).

The film seemed to be very much concerned with the idea of strength of will being the most important thing to a super hero rather than being able to walk in a straight line.

From what I've been told, whilst his fall at the end of the second one could well have ****ed him up it wouldn't have caused the cartlidge damage the doctor talked about. So I like to think he had a comedy prattfall down the stairs at Wayne Manor at some point.

Quote:
"What exactly is this movie about?"
I'd say the whole trilogy is about the importance of symbols and the need for something to believe in and how the man isn't as important as the legend. Perhaps slightly pretentious stuff but I'd say there's a firm throughline there.

Quote:
And then unfortunate bubble-bursters like the Policeman Somme
They were very clean after five months weren't they? Unless they all went home for fresh uniforms.

I didn't realise it until I was rereading the first of the new big chunky collections but the "Lure the police to one spot and then blow it up to ensure the freed criminals can bring Gotham down" thing is actually from Knightfall, only there the Joker and Scarecrow are a lot more lethal about it (even if, perhaps more sensibly, only 30 cops actually go into the rigged fun fair).

Come to that, one of Jean Paul's first missions as Batman is to stop Scarecrow poisoning the water supply with his fear gas so I guess Nolan really liked that storyline. I wonder if he was a fan of Radio One version?


Quote:
and the fact that Batman's mask and eyeliner looks very goofy in the daylight.
How does that eyeliner work (in fiction) anyway? It's never there when he whips the mask off.

Whilst things have improved (and was this the first sequel where they used the same costume from the end of the previous film all the way through?) I do think a good idea might be for the reboot to go for a more fabricey look, something Batman can actually move, fight and- most importantly- act in. It's slightly silly these films have made him a ninja when all he can really do is punch and kick in a very stiff up and down movement.

Quote:
The class-warfare angle was also too provocative for its own good, seeing as it went nowhere.
Yeah, but Bane's public plan was just a front, and a fairly smart one. It got the crooks in Gotham on his side; had the ordinary people batter down their hatches and go along with it in the hope that in time the outside world would solve the problem; kept the mercenaries working for him on the assumption that eventually there'd be some sort of big pay off from either what they loot or what the government paid to get the city back.

The fact that Bane and Talia's plan wasn't just to carry out Ra's work (and considering he was keen on a clean surgical strike in the first film the dragging out of things would likely have appalled him) but to deliberately make it take five months for no other reason than to **** with Bruce's mind is one of the more bastardey things any film villain has ever done.

EDIT: The resemblance to Occupy Wall Street and the London riots has got to be a coincidence as well surely? They must have been filming when all that was going on (and the fall of Gotham is taken from a comic published a decade ago). It's wound up with some unfortunate implications as a result of more recent events that can't possibly have been intended.

It's amazing that the natural decay of a reactor can be timed to the very second though.
 

Last edited by inflatable dalek; 2012-08-01 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 2012-08-03, 08:34 AM   #17
Summerhayes
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I've been working through a big crate of comics from around the start of Knightfall up to more recently and I have to say, it amazes me how much of these films was actually taken straight from the books. Even Alfred walking out because he thinks Bruce has a deathwish. So yeah, the Occupy thing is just a coincidence, just as I'm sure everyone who said TDK had Bush parellels was talking out of their arse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
It's amazing that the natural decay of a reactor can be timed to the very second though.
Ah, yes, but this is FUSION
Its just vague and fictional enough that it can do whatever the script says it does.
 

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Old 2012-08-03, 02:56 PM   #18
angloconvoy
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Finally saw it and I was fairly impressed with it as an end to the series.
I disagree with Warcry's opinion that it really focussed on Batman though, to me it really felt like he was a guest star in his own movie, much more so than the previous two. There was really heavy focus on Bane and Gotham PD. The ending was fine by me, a few concessions were obviously made for the more casual observers, but I didn't feel it hurt the quality of the film all that much. I also liked that the thing that I wrote off as a continuity error was actually a hint at the twist.
The knee thing, as everyone else mentioned, bugged the crap out of me If you want my suspension of disbelief please don't lay down rules in the first 20 miutes explaining that what I'm about to watch from here on in is impossible within the rules of your world.
I enjoyed Bane a lot though. He was convincing as the extremely smart and commited fanatic, and though it lacked the humour from that perspective, it fit the trilogy's tone perfectly. These are real people (except for their knees), and this is the point where it's really setting in that it's not a game.

Oh, and as for anyone familiar with the Batman mythos knowing what was coming, I felt like there was enough deviation already that I wasn't sure exactly what to expect.
 

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