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The Dark Knight Rises

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Adam Lenhardt, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Lead Actor

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    Yeah. I'm not sure what The Avengers thing is about. He gave it three out of four stars in his review, so obviously he enjoyed it. Avnegers is the ultimate Marvel comic book movie in my opinion. Watching the film felt like turning the pages of one of the better storylines of the comic series. If he wants to see the characters fleshed out a bit....well that may happen in the next one.
    The Dark Knight Rises felt like the ultimate Batman graphic novel. It had elements of The Dark Knight Returns(1986) and the Bane story arc of the early 90's in which BAtman gets his back broken. Add to that the lonliness and troubled life of Bruce Wayne (he knows how to wallow in misery better than any super hero). I absoultely loved the first act of the film, great action in the middle and last act and a perfect ending. Without a doubt my favorite film of 2012.
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    So do I as it's my opinion that both characters needed to be shown that they made it and have found happiness with each other.
     
  3. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    I don't understand the praise heaped on the film as well. Maybe the hype was so crushing that people are still riding the high, but the film was just a mess.
    Worst of all were character motivations. First and foremost, Selina Kyle was given one note to play, i.e. wanting a fresh start. But a fresh start from what, and for what? She wanted her criminal record wiped out, but why? So she could get a regular job? She didn't seem the type. She was portrayed as so good at what she did, she could have escaped Gotham long before Bain showed up and worked her way through Europe. It just didn't make sense.
    Bain wasn't much better. He wanted to destroy Gotham to impress Talia, but why? Why was he willing to die? Ras al Ghul wasn't planning to die. He wore a mask to protect himself from the gas, I'm pretty sure he planned on living. So why was Bain a true believer? Or Talia for that matter? Why was she willing to die when she didn't have to. The bomb was going to blow up regardless, or she could have blown it from ouside the blast zone. There was no reason for her to die, nor was there a motivation to. The idea of "hope" being a cruelty was a method, not a motive. So he wasn't developed at all.
    What was Gordon's arc in this one? He seemed remorseful about the lie around Harvey Dent, but that never really went anywhere. He spent half the movie in a hospital bed, and the second half standing around in back rooms. He was positively inert.
    Bruce, being the focus of the story was equally messy. I just never bought that he would quit twice. Characters are best illuminated by what other say about them, not what they say. It's explicitly stated by Rachel in TDK that there would never be a time when he didn't need Batman. I believe that was true, so I never felt like him quitting was true to character. The most intersting aspect of his character is which person is the mask, and which is the man? I've always thought Batman was closer to the man, so it's not like Bruce would just quit him. And like Selina, what was he escaping to?
    I thought I'd at least be able to enjoy the action, but it was poorly done. The motorcycle chase started out well, and I got a huge smile when Batman showed back up, but it just stopped instead of ended. It didn't feel as designed as the other films' action. Bain and Batman's first fight had no sense of tension because it just starts, and a few hits into it Bain has the upper hand and never lets it go. It had no peaks and valleys to it. And the Bat was overused, so by the time the final setpiece rolled around, I'd seen all it could do and there were no surprises.
    I saw it in IMAX, and even thought the choices to use it were random and similarly less designed than TDK was. One shot of Bruce waking up in bed was in IMAX. It was overused, which diminished its impact for bigger scenes.
    The film as a whole seemed lazy to me, and felt like Nolan's heart wasn't in it. I think he had said all he wanted to about these characters by the end of the second one, and returned simply out of obligation, not because there was a burning desire to tell this story. I was profoundly disappointed in it.
     
  4. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    I'm not sure I agree with his premise that, because the studios spend hundreds of millions of dollars on these movies, the movies must take themselves seriously. "The Avengers" was a very expensive piece of spectacle, but it didn't take itself too seriously. I didn't feel insulted by that levity, I considered it part of the entertainment. "The Dark Knight Rises" is definitely more ambitious storytelling, and it definitely takes itself deadly serious, but it's not nearly as fun as "The Avengers." I will rewatch "The Avengers" far more times than I'll rewatch "The Dark Knight Rises." I don't see why admiring the one school of thought on the genre means having to slag the other school of thought. The two movies were made toward different ends with different objectives. Both succeed at what they set out to accomplish. I don't need every movie I see to be a deep work of extraordinary meaning. Sometimes I just want to have a fun night out at the movies, and on that score "The Avengers" is an extraordinary success.
     
  5. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Lead Actor

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    I think Bruce, and Selina a two very troubled people. What they are trying to escape from is vague, but my guess would be obsessive, self destructive lifestyles. Bruce, fighting crime
    Selina, a gifted thief. We know Bruce is consumed by his passion, and I have a hunch Selina is in the same boat. Kindered spirits. They both want to be happy, something that is impossible staying true to their other selves.
    I think their complexity of character is what makes the film great.
     
  6. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I saw it again tonight with friends, which tends to change the dynamic a little.
    The trailers got changed a bit from last time. "Taken 2" was an addition, which turned out to be not the best choice. When the movie flashed back to DuCard saying his wife was "...taken from me" we couldn't help snickering a little due to the keyword being planted earlier.

    My friends also weren't very impressed with Cotillard's death scene, and on the second viewing I could see their point. It was kind of a golden age of Hollywood "last gasp" performance.
     
  7. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    I think it would have been more effective if she'd held on long enough to see the nuke detonate miles away over the ocean, and die with the sudden realization that she'd failed.
     
  8. WinstonCely

    WinstonCely Stunt Coordinator

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    Having only seen it once in IMAX (the audio mix is horrible - I really hope they fix that for the BD release) I don't feel comfortable saying why I liked it so much. To me, there's so much happening with each character, that with one viewing it's nearly impossible to gage completely why each character acts/reacts the way they do. Each character seems to be motivated by a multitude of forces, so one viewing just isn't enough for me to say if it was well done or not. I will say that as a whole, it was entertaining enough for me to enjoy it to the point of saying I had a blast watching it, I want to see it again, and can't wait to get the entire series on Blu-ray.
    Just a few sides notes for me: I found the lack of realistic blood shed strange, almost to the point of distraction. We see many bullet hits, but never any blood. Even the big fight between Bane and Batman, I felt like there should have been a lot more bloodshed. I'm guessing this was to keep it at PG-13. Not really bad per-se, but I personally don't like showing violence in an unrealistic way; i.e. no bloodshed. It gives the impression of little to no consequences.
    Also, the fight between Bane and Bruce in the Knightfall comic I think did a better job of making it believable that Bane would have the upper hand the entire time with little danger of Batman getting any decent hits in. The movie changes it from Batman fighting one Rouge's Gallery criminal after another, to him being out of practice and in poor physical condition. I still think the fight works in the film, because I knew the background of Bane and totally expected him to completely control the fight - really didn't think Batman was going to be any match or get any hits in on Bane that would have given it a peak and valley type fight scene, but I can see how if you didn't or hadn't bought into Batman's poor physical condition in the movie, you'd think the fight was less than spectacular.
    I am kinda looking forward to where a reboot might take ol' Bats. Maybe bring in more of his detective skills and less gadgetry... Maybe make him more of a cross between the BBC's current Sherlock Holmes and an Olympic gymnast, with only a splash of tech.
     
  9. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    My impression was that it was not so much his physical condition but his spirit that was the issue. Even when he came back he had struggles physically. The times when Bane would catch Batman's fist and hold it basically showed that Batman is no match for Bane in pure strength, regardless of whether he's lapsed or at his peak. The difference the second time was Batman's fighting spirit, though the damaging of Bain's mask seemed in some ways like a lucky break more than something strategic.


     
  10. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    But do you think either would be happy NOT doing what they do? They're broken people, yes (although we never know what broke Selina) which is why the happy ending is so false. They wern't the way they were because of choice (maybe Selina was, again, we're never told what sh'es running from). They're tragic characters who would never be happy in the traditional way we're shown at the end because of their past, because of their pain.
    Like I said before, characters themselves are the least reliable judges of their true selves. Rachel hits it on the head when she says he can't quit Batman. His desire to be happy motivates him to keep trying to finish the job, but it's a goal he'd never reach.
    Selina's goal only fed into Bruce's desire to quit Batman, but it didn't realistically feed why he needed to quit being Bruce. The ending wasn't earned at all.
     
  11. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I see one of the subplots of the Nolan trilogy as how Bruce becomes and ultimately sheds being Batman. Even broken people can change over time, given the right circumstances, and I think Nolan explained quite well for Bruce how that came to be: the death of his parents, running with criminals around the world, training and stopping LoS, facing down the Joker, losing Rachel under one set of circumstances (thinking that she'd ultimately chosen him), thinking he found a successor in Dent only to be let down, finding out Rachel really chose Dent, letting go of his one true ally (Alfred), learning to want to live while in the prison, finally finding someone worthy to pass the torch to, and then finding Kyle as a sort of kindred spirit, and then reconciling with Alfred.
    I now have no problem with the ending, and I was one who wanted it to be cut Inception style (see my previous post) initially.
     
  12. WinstonCely

    WinstonCely Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with this. I think it was set up quite well over the course of the three films
    that Bruce would stop being Batman
    .
     
  13. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    The monkey in that wrench is Miranda Tate. Alfred is the one that tells Bruce he has a dream of him "escaping", and that he may do it again with Miranda. Bruce tries that after Alfred leaves and sleeps with Miranda who literally stabs him. He's literally betrayed by Alfred's dream for him.
    I'm not saying that Bruce didn't want to escape being Batman, but that doesn't mean that he could escape it. It's a curse, not a choice. That was the entire point of TDK. As much as he wanted to escape being Batman, and even thought Dent could be a vehicle for doing that, he had to shoulder the burden. And even then, there's no indication that he wanted to escape being Bruce.
    It's just sloppy storytelling.
     
  14. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I'll agree to disagree. I don't see Tate as a fly in the ointment at all. If anything, she's proof positive that if you choose to don the cowl, there's always "one more villain around the corner" and that it will never end. Batman isn't one man, a man can be killed. Bruce says as much in the film. Batman's an ideal. And at the end, in order to inspire, sometimes you need to actually walk away from it. Now Batman will be immortal, long after Bruce is gone. And it was well set up that even though Bruce got it together for one last fight, his shelf life as Batman was not for very much longer, given his doctor's prognosis at the beginning of TDKR.
    I don't see Bruce trying to escape being Batman. It's Bruce trying to make sure the Batman ideal outlives him, and it clearly has.
     
  15. Sean Bryan

    Sean Bryan Sean Bryan

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    The third weekend estimate is $36.4 million, which is just a 41% drop from last weekend.
     
  16. DavidJ

    DavidJ Producer

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    Thanks for writing this so I didn't have to. It saved me some time. :)
    As for the audio mix, our viewing didn't seem to have any of the problems that many are referencing here.
    I still want to see it a second time before deciding how I feel about it as movie.
     
  17. Seppo

    Seppo Stunt Coordinator

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  18. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Nice writeup Seppo. I agree with a lot of what you wrote.
     
  19. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

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    Well written Seppo. Ditto on most of it. "Rises" is my favorite of the series for some of the reasons you listed. It's also in my favorite top 2-3 films of all time.
     
  20. Howard Tom

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