Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Thoughts on The Dark Knight Rises

I tried dry brush this time.
I think The Dark Knight Rises is a big enough movie that most people have already seen it, or are planning to see it, or have made up their mind whether or not to see it.  If you haven't, It's pretty great.   It's fun, enjoyable, exciting, thrilling, had great acting and action and was a better ending to the series than I was expecting.  But saying all that, it still has some problems and it doesn't feel as whole and complete as The Dark Knight which, to me, is perfect. And really trying to live up to that is tough, and this is still a great film, but yeah, not as great as the previous two.  Still fun, still great, but not amazing. $$$$$

Anyways, I thought I'd take the rest of the time instead to just talk about some things I really liked and others I didn't.  Spoilers from here on out.

The voices-Bane's voice sounds like Sean Connery playing an old-timey prospector. It was funny sometimes and hard to hear at others. Batman's voice is still just as ridiculous, even moreso now since we've seen 101 parodies of it and the moive's done absolutely nothing to alleviate it's ridiculousness. Also, why can't Batman close his damn mouth? Who does he think he is, Meagan Fox? There were a number of characters who had unintelligible dialogue at times.  Why can't we just hear what they're saying?

I thought everyone was well acted, except for that one CIA guy in the beginning, but I didn't feel the dialogue was as quippy or good as The Dark Knight. This was a movie of monologues. EVERYONE had a monologue. It's like everyone's in acting class waiting for their turn to show off. I mean they're good well acted monologues, but monologues, exposition filled monologues, nonetheless.

This probably has the best action of the three. Lots more fighting, lots more splosions, more of the bat-pod and the new inclusion of the bat.  The fighting with Bane was viscerally brutal.  There were a lot more action pieces, but somehow it didn't live up to seeing the tumblr in Begins or the batpod and the truck flipping scene in Dark Knight.  But it's all still good, and there's a lot of it.

I LOVED catwoman.  This was the perfect version of catwoman as a direct translation from the comics. Anne Hathaway pulled it off and managed to be the very best part of the movie. I couldn't get enough of her. And she wasn't over the top or over-sexualized, she was damn perfect. No, dare I say, purrrfect.  We can see how smart she is and how capable a fighter she is, and she has that razor-edge cutting dialogue  while still having a tinge of vulnerability.  And it's amazing to me they kept her origin from Batman: Year One.

I saw this movie twice, and the second time I fell asleep throguh the entire Bruce in Prison part, and I'm not at all ashamed of that.  We already see him rise once, and here he rises again but with the magic healing power of believing in yourself and push-ups.  I can sort of see how his first rising was a false start and this is him really rising, but it still felt like they redid half the movie. 

This movie made me really happy on many occasions.  So many shots were taken from the comics and animated show that made me squee with delight.  It's not a perfect movie, but I think it's the perfect ending to the Nolan-saga.

Nolan is great with the visual metaphors. When he says the Dark Knight rises, you can bet the movie is all about rising. From it's first to it's last shot, there's so much rising imagery.  And I love his style of putting the title at the very end as we've seen with the previous two movies, as if the entire movie has been moving up to this one moment.  It just works so well as a narrative device.

I need a robin/red robin/nightwing/azreal movie staring Joseph Gordon Levitt NOW.

There are a lot of plotholes, inconsistencies, and things that just don't make sense, more so than the other two. I feel like as with many ending sagas, he's sacrificed little bits of logic(or huge bits) here and there to get where he wanted to in the end. And some of this I can accept with logic of "Because he's Batman".  How did he get back to Gotham with no ID or money and it's walled off by thugs at every point? Uh, hello, he's Batman.  He probably had a Bat-canoe waiting offshore. But some things don't make sense and I can't let slide. You send EVERY single cop down into the sewers? Really? Bane robs the stock trade and suddenly Bruce Wayne buys a bunch of bad stock and no one thinks this is suspect? Really? 

A lot of people are saying this connects to Batman Begins more than The Dark Knight. I feel that's becuase Nolan made it a point that he wouldn't reference the Joker at all in this movie becuase of Heath Ledger's death, and that's like 70% of The Dark Knight.  So they basically can't talk about anything from the previous movie.  I can't help feeling this would be a radically different movie if Ledger were alive and reprising his role and that gives me a sad.

I liked Crane's little role as judge of the rich trials, and by now he's become a kind of running gag that he has to be in every batman movie, but I can't help feeling that that role was made for the joker, and that it would have been the joker there if Heath Ledger hadn't died, and then I get another sad.

The score is incredible, just like all of Hans Zimmer's pieces. It's just great, and it will easily be on my top ten soundtracks of the year.  I really like how it changes here with Bane's "rise" chanting as he changed it with Joker's note in The Dark Knight.

Nolan really knows how to work tension, especially in the third act.  Obviously this is a superhero movie, and even if it's a Nolan directed superhero movie, you know the good guys have to win in the end and they won't nuke Gotham. But still, every concievable thing that can go wrong does, and it's so great to feel that "Oh come on! AHHH!" suspense really get to you.

The big reveal at the end got me. I've read that a lot of people saw it coming months ahead of time, but for me he got me just as good as in The dark Knight with Gordon's "death".

Bruce wayne finally gets intimate here(is this the first nolan movie with sex?!) and it's kind of awkward and forced.  The first time I watched the movie it felt out of nowhere, but the second time around I could kinda sorta seeing it make sense.  I mean, with Miranda Tate, she kisses him(and she secretly wants to manipulate him), and everyone's been trying to hook him up with her, and he's just lost everything, his riches, his company, Alfred, even the girl he's loved he's lost from beyond the grave, so I'm sure he was just like, "Yeah, ok fuck it, let's do this. I'm batman."

With Selina kisses him, again not him initiating it. And that's kind of the point. This is probably the first man who actually gave a damn about her and wanted to help her instead of just using her for her body or skills. So hey, he's a decent guy, trying to save her and the world, and also he's Batman.  And it makes sense to me, becuase he doesn't show any real emotion or passion in either case. Hell, we don't even get to see the sex scene. With him, it's just sort of, hey I guess this is how humans show affection or whatever. So I can totally beleive he's trying to movie on, but really his Batman instincts are going, "Sorry ladies, I'm married to justice."

This isn't just a sequel that's a completly new movie with new ideas and a villain out of nowhere, this is a sequel that directly deals with the problems created by the second and even first movies.  That's really cool to see how much it makes sense how things would progress in their logical fashion.  It doesn't feel random.

Overall I really enjoyed it.  I don't think it stands on it's own as much as the previous two, but it's an end to Batman, and a great one at that.

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