Monday, July 23, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

“ If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal... you become something else entirely. A legend, Mr. Wayne, a legend!” 

            Ever since my brother Anthony was little he has been obsessed with Batman. I can remember him playing with his Batman action figures and he used to carry around a stuffed Batman (and Superman) from Great Adventure all the time. I am six years older than my brother so every day I would come home and see either the live action Batman movies on the TV as soon as I walked in the door from school or the amazing cartoons (if you have seen Batman: Mask of the Phantasm you cannot deny that it is one of the greatest animated movies ever the story is awesome). I can remember watching Batman and Robin until I was blue in the face. Anthony passed the Batman and super hero loving torch to our youngest brother Christian. I am eleven and a half years older than Christian so I had to go through the same thing with him watching Batman and all the super heroes. He even plays/ed with the toys like Anthony used to as well. Last week when The Dark Knight Rises came out Anthony was like a three year little boy again. Never I have seen him genuinely so excited for a movie. If you could have seen his face and his excitement you would know that he has been a Batman fan since before he could remember. He went see the movie in IMAX wearing a Batman t-shirt.
            I saw the Dark Knight Rises with my whole family on Sunday. I have never sat through Batman Begins and I saw The Dark Knight at the midnight showing with friends and I was unimpressed (forgive me this is before I knew what good movies were). But I had to give The Dark Knight Rises a chance it looked too good to be missed. I thought the movie was phenomenal. Christopher Nolan is an incredible director and writer. With his films he really brings you into the world and the mind set of his characters. I like how this film is not just a pure action movie it is also a psychological drama as well. I like how this film is not just a pure action movie it is also a psychological drama as well. Nolan also plays a psychological game with the audience: he makes you feel for the bad characters. We have been taught that people who do wrong things are not good people we are taught to root against them. But Nolan gives his “bad guys” emotional depth leaving you feeling bad for them and their horrible actions. I almost wanted to see Gotham destroyed but knew that could not happen the good guys always win in the end which I guess you could say is right. Nolan created what I consider one of the best psychological thrillers of all time, Inception (if you do not like this movie we need to talk). Not only does Nolan bring great direction and action to his films he creates some of the most original and incredible stories. I am assuming everyone had a normal childhood and watched Batman in some form when they were young so everyone knows the story of Bruce Wayne how he became Batman and the several villains he has had to fight. The stories have been told over and over again. Nolan made these cartoon characters and stories darker and heavier but added depth and interest. He made the stories more grown up but not so grown up that younger kids can enjoy them as well.
            The cast of this movie is awesome. The best was Anne Hathaway as Cat Woman. I cannot properly describe how awesome she was. To me Hathaway will always be Mia from Princess Diaries but after seeing how amazing she was as this sexy, sneaky Batman villain, I no longer only see her as this frizzy haired teenager. Hathaway is not gorgeous or pretty in the traditional sense but good lord was she sexy and incredibly god looking in all her outfits in the movie! She plays Selina Kyle as a woman you root for she is the bad guy- or girl in this situation- that you want to get away you want to see her kick ass another day. I would certainly love to see her play Cat Woman in a spin-off but I highly doubt that will happen. I have a lot more respect for Hathaway as an actress after seeing her in this because I saw the depth of her acting. I would absolutely see her in a movie if she played a villain again, I would be the first on line to see that! The main reason I wanted to see this movie was because of Marion Cotillard. I love this woman as an actress. Ever since I saw her in La Vie En Rose a few years ago I have been such a fan of hers. She did not do any ass kicking nor was she really in the movie as much as everyone else but she was amazing in her scenes. I think the woman could act out the phone book and I would just watch her I like her so much. Joseph- Gordon Levitt was great he played such a good character. Tom Hardy as Bane blew the movie away. You cannot see his mouth so he had to do a lot of expressing through his eyes and body movements. Hardy is brilliant along with Anne Hathaway’s Cat Woman they both steal the show. I am little afraid to give my opinion on Christian Bale in the main role. Anthony and Christian love him in role but I am not too crazy about him. I will just leave my opinion at that I am not about to start chaos.
            Over the course of two years I have written over four hundred posts. I should know how to properly write a paper or a review but I still feel my reviews are not that great (I do thank the few followers I have). Since Anthony is a Batman fanatic and is currently an English major and writes some of the most awesome papers and reviews ever I am going to hand over a complete (and coherent) view of The Dark Knight over to him:

            “I believed in Harvey Dent.”

Commissioner Jim Gordon (the always-perfect Gary Oldman) hauntingly commences the final chapter of arguably the greatest and most important film trilogy of our time with these solemn words.  Eight years have passed since the Caped Crusader’s last appearance, as chronicled in Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece The Dark Knight, yet the events of that film have left fierce emotional repercussions in Nolan’s Batman universe. 
Bruce Wayne (played to perfection by Christian Bale) and Commissioner Gordon have moved on with their lives after creating the myth (for the betterment of Gotham) that the Batman killed Harvey Dent.  After making a martyr of Dent, these two men have seemingly ended corruption in Gotham City.  Unfortunately for Gotham (fortunately for us), after eight years of peacetime, it is time for the Dark Knight to rise once more.
Gotham is finally free from the corruption that plagued its streets for years, but, of course, the evil mercenary Bane (terrifyingly portrayed by a barely recognizable Tom Hardy) sets his sights on Gotham.  Why is it that every wacked out lunatic wants to go after Gotham?  Bane has his reasons, and where other franchises fail in villain motive, Nolan once again proves his villains’ worth.  I don’t want to say too much on this matter so as to avoid any spoilers, but Bane certainly makes his formidable presence known throughout the film.  The Dark Knight Rises gives Batman a worthy opponent, both in brains and especially in brawn.  This villain has a few tricks up his sleeve, tricks that neither Bruce nor the audience might ever expect.
Many new characters are introduced, such as the rival business magnate Daggett (Ben Mendelsohn), a fellow business investor and potential ally to Bruce, Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard), sympathetic and determined do-gooder cop John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), and the most interesting addition to the Dark Knight universe, Selina Kyle, AKA Catwoman.  Anne Hathaway shatters all expectations as Catwoman, she plays the part as perfectly as any fan could hope; she is sexy, smart, and a refreshingly real character who garners mostly respect and admiration for her actions, good or bad.
Though there is a slew of new characters, the regulars are back and perhaps better than ever, with incredible and moving performances by Michael Caine as Alfred, Morgan Freeman as Batman’s “Q” Lucius Fox, and the aforementioned Oldman and Bale.  Bale, in particular, gives one of his best performances ever as the broken Bruce Wayne who cannot move on after the death of his one true love.  His life holds no purpose, he does not fear death; apathy is his only way of life.  He holds the psychology of Howard Hughes in his later (crazy) years.
Bane gives purpose to Bruce once more, and therein sparks the bitter rivalry between Batman and Bane.  Christopher Nolan has stated that the theme of this film is pain (the themes of the former entries being “fear” for Batman Begins and “chaos” for The Dark Knight), and the director certainly pushes this idea to the very limits that a superhero could possibly endure.  It is a very dark film (darker, perhaps, than its predecessors).
The themes in this film may be evident in works of literature throughout history, yet there may have never been a more relevant time to display them than right now.  The fundamental problems caused by social stratification and the disparities it can create (think Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities) are at the heart of the film’s conflicts.  Middle class citizens (Selina Kyle included) struggle to make ends meet while the cream of the crop (Wayne included) live the good life.  It is seen again and again, especially in today’s economy, but it does not make the idea any less significant.
Bane terrorizing the Gotham Stock Exchange permits one to think of the recent “Occupy Wall Street” incidents.  Another terrorist plot by Bane involves the savage destruction of a football game (the Gotham Rogues look strikingly similar to the Steelers, coincidence?).  Sports are dear to Americans, especially football; such a visual is shocking to behold, but it comments on the importance of sports on such a material society.  For some viewers, this just might be the most grotesque scheme in Bane’s plans (a sad fact).
Nolan and his brother, Jonathan, create a masterful script that has incredible humanistic values and comments on the time as we know it.  Nolan is undoubtedly one of the best working directors, a fact that he single-handedly proved by giving depth, raw emotion, and significance to three outstanding films in the superhero genre.  Where ever could you find such human ideas in a comic book movie?  In the Dark Knight trilogy, that’s where.
The Dark Knight Rises may possess the darkest tone of the three films, yet it works satisfactorily and is fittingly the end to the incredible beginning (Batman Begins) and the perfect middle (The Dark Knight).  This is now a complete story, the conclusion leaves everyone wanting more (only the best films do so); Christopher Nolan’s Batman will be missed.

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