TODAY'S FEATURE IS BLOG #3683 - Well... We are back from catching a late morning showing of 'The Dark Knight Rises'! Here is 'Our Take' on the film in this 'Weekend Edition' of my Blog:
Tina: Walking into the theater for The Dark Knight Rises reminded me of boarding a plane a few weeks after the attacks on September 11. People were quiet, subdued and ultra-polite. But thankfully, most of the seats were filled. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the fans killed in Aurora. I suspect we were not alone in saying a quiet prayer for them before the movie began.
The Dark Knight Rises is a fitting finale to Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. The movie builds on events of the second film and harkens back beautiful to the storyline and mood of the origin. If you've read my reviews before, you know I'm a sucker for an origin story; they just can't be beat for building character and an emotional reaction to the action. And, hey, a hot, young Christian Bale doesn't hurt!
This movie opens like a James Bond film with evil Bane stealing a nuclear scientist off a CIA plane and making a mid-air escape. Now that the villian's plans are in motion, it's time to catch up with a battered and beaten Bruce Wayne hiding out in Wayne Manor...and to meet the lovely Catwoman delightfully played by a kick-ass, smart-mouthed Anne Hathaway. We're quickly brought up to date on the past 8 years: Harvey Dent is championed for inspiring the cleaning up of Gotham (1,000 criminals have been imprisoned under the Dent Act) and Batman vilified for killing him. Commissioner Gordon is living a lie, Wayne Enterprises is near bankrupt, and Alfred is worried sick over Master Wayne.
As Bane's diabolical plan unfolds, and Commissioner Gordon is shot, Batman must come out of hiding to battle him. There's only one lone cop played by the terrific Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Who I know you'll be shocked to remember as the kid in Third Rock from the Sun!)
Who else can save Gotham? Unfortunately, this Batman never watched the 1960s tv series and is betrayed by Catwoman. Bane kicks his ass, breaks his back and drops him into a hell-hole of a prison from which no one, save a child, has ever escaped. With Gotham's police force killed or caught in the caved-in sewers, Bane and his army rule Gotham.
Here's where all the Occupy Wall Street references you've been hearing about come in. But if you think that's what this movie is referencing, you need to go back and read your history. (Or, perhaps Nolan is saying Occupiers are just as deceived and manipulated as the French mobs?) Bane and his men 'liberate' the 1,000 prisoners in Gotham's prison. The mob storms the homes and businesses of the rich and hauls them in front of mock courts - look for Dr. Crane/The Scarecrow presiding in a fun cameo. In case you still don't get it, Alfred reads the last page of The Tale of Two Cities. If you're still lost, google "french revolution."
I'm not going to spoil the movie or the ending for you by revealing any more. All I'll say is never trust anyone with an accent in a Batman movie - unless it's Alfred, who had me near tears at one point. In a couple key scenes, Michael Caine finally gets to show the Batman fans why he's considered such a great actor.
I loved Batman Begins, but found The Scarecrow (while very creepy) a little comic-booky.
The Dark Knight grabbed me and never let go, but dark and psychotic, it made for tough going. The Dark Knight Rises pits the Batman against a human foe - no evil powers - just a really mean right hook and a muzzle. Fans can enjoy a new Batman toy - the Bat, a flying fighting machine that looks like a lobster claw - and Catwoman in full leathers riding the Pod or Batmobile - awesome! There's less Batman screen-time and one-liners, those go to Catwoman. But, in The Dark Knight Rises, Nolan pays lovely tribute to the previous films and wraps the trilogy with heart and style. No fan will be disappointed.
My Comic Book Grade: Very Fine / Near Mint (VF/NM) 9.0 out of a possible 10.0 comic book grade!
Michael: Okay, just a reminder that Christian Bale is not exactly my image as Batman... So I wasn't all that thrilled about attending this third of the Batman Trilogy.
Especially after seeing it was going to be 2 hours & 45 minutes long... With previews in front of the film, I thought that the 3 hours total would be quite long...
Man, was I wrong!
This third film of the trilogy was the 'Best', IMO!
It could be that Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle / Catwoman / The Cat did a spectacular job! It could also be that 'Bane', (Tom Hardy), wasn't all that bad as a villain!
The storyline at the beginning was not like a superhero comic book movie, but like Tina and I discussed on the way home... Batman is not a true superhero. He is a regular guy, without super powers!
The storyline picked up as the film moved along... Batman was not shown for quite a while! But the minutes before that weren't wasted. A lot of info was presented, and I could see why this film was 2 hours & 45 minutes long to squeeze it all in, for the final film of the trilogy!
Here's my thoughts on the actors:
Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne: Still not my choice for this character, but an okay job.
Christian Bale as Batman: Definitely hit 'The Batman' on all cylinders in this film!
Tom Hardy as Bane: Actually, Tom pulled this portrayal off very well!
Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle / Catwoman: Anne really shone in these roles! Loved her portrayals of both characters!
Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth: Really hung there in this role. Good job!
Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon: His role was expanded in this film, and I for one enjoyed seeing more of him.
Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox: Dependable actor in this role!
Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate: Surprising role!
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake: I enjoyed Joseph's role... and the ending of the film with him in the final scene. watch for this!
Nestor Carbonell as Mayor Anthony Garcia: Enjoyed seeing Nestor in this role!
Juno Temple as Holly Robinson: Seems I kept seeing her in the film with Selina Kyle...
Tom Conti as a prisoner: Good role playing when helping Bruce Wayne escape from prison.
I found this film to be very worthwhile watching... All 2 hours & 45 minutes of it!
My comic book grade for this film is a Near Mint (NM) 9.4 out of a possible 10.0 comic book grading scale.
Do not let the incident that took place in Aurora, Colorado Friday early morning marr your attending this film. I was surprised at the 'lack of violence' in this film, quite honestly...
Here is 'My Take' on the 2nd film of the Trilogy, 'The Dark Knight'.
Here is Tina's 'Take' on the same film, 'The Dark Knight'.
There wasn't a review blog for the first film of this trilogy, as it was shown in 2005, before this blog was started...
If you don't mind spoilers... This is the Wikipedia entry for The Dark Knight Rises!
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