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The Dark Knight Rises – The End of a Satisfying Trilogy

06 Jan

Note: I don’t think I have to remind any of my viewers/readers that my posts may  contain spoilers, so consider yourselves warned, but I will try to keep them mild.

Yes folks, I am back.  After a year long hiatus, I have made a resolution to give you, my readers, at least one review a week.  I hope to maintain the resolution and to give you some insight into a number of movies.  Let’s begin this journey into 2013!

In the past decade or so, there have been a number of trilogies; some great, some that make you wonder just much the industry is trying to drain your pockets and your minds.  One of the great ones to me, The Lord of the Rings, versus The Matrix, which while the first movie left it open for a sequel, the whole saga did not feel cohesive.   But enough about the past, let us look at the present, and the future of what I feel, was an end to a great trilogy.

Christopher Nolan’s look into the world of Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises brought a more realistic approach to a fantastic world bound by comic book pages.  When I say bound, I mean that the limitations/ability to stretch the realms of imagination are great, and we have several movies that explored that same universe on film, but originally were only in printed form and our ventures with Adam West.  Again, we had great, Batman and Batman Returns, and then not so great, Batman and Robin and Batman Forever (however, I will admit that I liked Batman Forever for the most part, just wasn’t as solid as its predecessors).

When I first heard that Bane was the primary villain in TDKR, I got really excited.  Not just because we wanted to see a Bane that was awesome compared to the monstrosity we had in Batman and Robin, but because I knew that Christopher Nolan had the ability and daring to use Bane to what he does in the comics: the one who breaks Batman’s back.  Originally I thought the movie would have that as either the ending, with the denouement being the aftermath and those who follow to help Gotham after the tragedy.  I will say I was very pleasantly surprised at the journey of Bruce Wayne and Batman’s fall and rise again after the events of The Dark Knight rocked Gotham, but also with a fall and rise through this movie with his encounters with Bane and other dark forces.

Christopher Nolan again sweeps the audience into his vision and makes sure that once you’re on the ride, you’re not let go until the very end.  The development of the characters, the effects/technologies present, and the score all bring a complete experience that brings a satisfying end to fans that have been taken over a several year journey with this cast and crew.   You really have a sense of the grandiose and epic challenges facing the citizens of Gotham as Bruce Wayne/Batman face Bane in each and every scene.  And again, it was all believable.  I did not have to suspend disbelief in the ability for any of these events to really occur.  Bruce Wayne is a man with nearly unlimited resources and a network of bright minds to bring things together, Bane is a man who, while being incredibly strong and sinister, has his frailties.

Many probably are wondering when I was going to bring up Catwoman/Selina Kyle.  Yes, while many a man drooled and continue to drool over Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns, I think that Anne Hathaway brought the alluring face that we wanted, along with the acting chops to bring to life the conflicted character with some personal demons of her own.   I have heard a number of people say she wasn’t as great as Michelle, which I say that you cannot truly compare the two, as both movies were very different versions of the Batman story, and so the characters will be represented differently.

Now my only complaint/frustration with the film was the sound and score.  When I first saw the movie at midnight, Bane’s voice was hard to understand and the score seemed as much of a character as anyone else on the screen.  When I saw it in IMAX, Bane’s voice came through a lot clearer, but the score was so loud, you couldn’t hear the rest of the cast in a number of scenes, and my wife and I had headaches afterwards because the sound was so uncomfortable.  I later found out that a number of IMAX theaters had been given the wrong sound information for syncing and as a result I was given tickets for a later IMAX movie, Skyfall, of which I really enjoyed, but that’s another review folks.  By the Blu Ray release, the issues with sound seemed to be fixed, and the jumps between IMAX and widescreen, while still noticeable, weren’t as difficult to watch as in on the big screen.

Christopher Nolan wrapped up the series for us in a neat little package that keeps fans satisfied, and opens up a new world to be explored.  Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan won’t be doing any other movies, but that doesn’t mean other characters won’t have the opportunity to shine, if the studios, writers and actors find the right ground to cross.

If you haven’t seen these movies, take the time to watch each and every one and see a truly awesome trilogy that I will be watching again and again.

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