During the first minute of July 20, 2012, I was sitting in an incredible movie theater that I had not been too before. My seat laid all the way back, they gave me a blanket and a giant glass of ice water with a straw. The only people that I could see from my seat were my wife, a couple in front of us, and the faint view that there could be people in front of us beyond the wall. There were. The theater was absolutely full, but from our awesome reserved vip seats we couldn’t see the rest of the people.
Three hours later the movie would be over and I would learn about what happened in Aurora. Part of me considered making this a commentary about only that element of the movie’s history, but for this site that doesn’t seem right. I do want to say that I still follow the court case very closely. It still makes me very sad that people were hurt and killed seeing Batman because of how much Batman means to me.
For Follow Networks, The Dark Knight Rises was the start of branching out and becoming a “company.” The ideas that we had been discussing and thinking about came together as the movie was being released. From TDKR we were able to flesh out and develop the concept for Instant Film Review, which we have tweaked and changed 100 times, but we launched specifically for TDKR. We were so excited to see the movie, so excited to talk about, and so excited to share the experience with as many people as possible. That is still the goal of our company.
Looking at the Review, One Year Later
Critics and friends all had issues with the movie from the minute it was released. The first time I saw the flick, I was so overwhelmed by what I was watching that the issues didn’t seem to bother me. I loved to movie. The look was incredible, the scale was over-the-top, they made a villain who had appeared as a cartoon distraction in a previous Batman movie become almost the perfect Batman movie baddie (almost, let’s face it, Heath’s Joker ruined Batman villains in movies for the rest of time). The story of Tom Hardy’s Bane will always be the voice. The voice became a topic of conversation from the moment it was first heard in the extended trailer (I guess just the first look, as it was the entire opening sequence) that premiered in front of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. The voice was impossible to understand. We got the first idea that there were things about this movie that might be concerning when the first TV trailer and Bane’s voice was completely different. Clearer and unique. It had an elegance to it that was unexpected. I’ve heard from a number of people who claim they like Hardy’s Bane as much or more than they like Ledger’s Joker. I won’t go that far. Not any day of the week. But Tom Hardy did some things that were incredible. He tells an entire story with just his eyes and some ADR voice-over. Just as many people have told me that he was lifeless and did nothing for the movie. It’s an interesting battle.
Then there was Catwoman. Or The Cat. Or simply Selina Kyle. We only get one glimpse of her being referred to as The Cat in a newspaper article, but we all know who she was, right? With every subsequent viewing of this movie, two things have remained remarkably clear. First, Anne Hathaway was perfect in this role and I never tire of her performance. Second, Anne Hathaway is incredibly good looking and the costuming in this movie was ridiculous for her. She looked amazing, and was a big part of the believability of the character. At the end of the day she is a fantasy cat burglar, and this was a great representation of that. The inclusion of the character in this movie did little more than help Chris Nolan sell his story and add some intrigue to the ending, but that still works for me. The Catwoman concept, throughout the entire Batman history, has always been a connundrum. Good vs Evil, Right Vs Wrong contained in one always-super-attractive woman. Julie Newmar, Michelle Pfeiffer, Anne Hathaway. All beauties of their time…..I hear you out there. “You left out Halle Berry.” Yes I did. Let’s move on.
Much like Iron Man 3, the “actual” bad-guy in the movie is not advertised, and doesn’t hardly show up in the film until it counts. This must have been a trend discussed at the writers get-together every other Thursday night at the IHOP? Still, I enjoyed the inclusion of Talia.
The Plot Holes
This is the point where everyone jumps off a cliff with this flick. At first viewing, the story made sense to me. There wasn’t much about that stood out as being off. There were a couple head-scratching moments at best, but both seemed to be nice nods to the fanboys in the crowd. After seeing the movie closer to 10 times, the plot holes are very evident and, depending on the viewing, can either take me out of the plot of not bother me. Batman went away for 8 years, so did Bruce Wayne, and no one put 2 and 2 together? Ok, sure, he’s an elusive billionaire and has enough mojo to keep people distracted. We’ve read enough of the comics to believe that. He escaped from a middle-eastern Hell-Prison, got back to the Gotham city limits, and was able to quietly enter the city while no one else has been able to? That one gets me sometimes. Part of me believes that he entered the city with the secret military people or in the back of a semi of food? This is the same guy that escaped Hong-Kong using a CIA exit technology consisting of a balloon, a grapple and a fucking airplane! He could do anything!
People seem to comment a lot about the plot holes ruining the movie, but I’m just not sure there is enough to ruin anything. Joe-Gordon Levitt’s cop-turned-Robin is a nice nod to the fanboys and somewhat easy way for Chris Nolan to make his mark on the Batman Universe, but doesn’t make the movie bad. Quite the opposite. JoGoLe is at the top of my list of “I want to be like you so much” people. Mainly because, beside being an awesome actor and director, he runs a bad-ass online media community/company that is paying people to make art. Maybe I’m smitten?
The Final Thoughts
Batman still rocks my world people. The Dark Knight is and will always be one of the greatest, darkest, most surreal superhero movies of all time. The Dark Knight Rises does a great job of following it. This time a year ago I was profession my love for the flick, and even now I’m willing to do the same thing. Has the movie tarnished a little with time? A tiny tiny bit. I see now some things that people don’t like where before I didn’t see them. That presents a tiny problem, but I can get past it.
Knowing what we know now that Chris Nolan will not be doing the next standalone Batman flick, and that Chris Nolan won’t be Batman again, and that the next time we will see Batman will be in Superman Vs. Batman, the sequel to Man Of Steel, I think that I can honestly say that, with all my heart, the trilogy that Nolan was able to achieve is nothing short of amazing. Is it perfect? No. Could it have been. No.
As I write this, TDKR still comes in at around Three and Half to Four stars, depending on the viewing. I’d love to know, after a year, what you think about it now. Tell me in the comments below your thoughts and view and stars!
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