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THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
With The Dark Knight Rises now on Blu-Ray, we thought that this would be a perfect time to revisit it with a Mini-Review. The scope here was great and that was my favorite part of it. The cast was amazing, the writing top notch, and the directing was great. I liked this more than The Avengers which I felt became too cluttered as it went along. Lots of recognizable faces in this one. Definitely better then Batman Begins, but just a step down from The Dark Knight.

Overall, this is a great way to end one of the greatest trilogies in film history. Nolan did with superhero films what Coppola did with mob movies. He reached and got to a bar higher than what anybody would ever expect from a film like this. It was definitely worth seeing in theaters (twice) and you should own it on Blu-Ray. I hope Warner Brothers sees what Nolan did and allows for that spin-off to happen, if you know what I mean (and those who have seen it will know what I’m talking about).

If you haven’t seen this one yet, make it the next movie on your list.

****½


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Release Date: July 20, 2012
Studio: Warner Brothers
Director: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, and Michael Caine.
Plot: Eight years after Batman took the fall for Two Face’s crimes, a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham’s finest, and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy. (via IMDB)

Thoughts: Well the end is in sight for a journey that began eight years ago and is arguably one of the greatest cinematic trilogies of all time. Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise took comic book movies to a new level. Placing the character in the real world and giving the characters and story that sense of realism that could make you believe that this could actually happen. The Dark Knight Rises is shaping up to be THE movie of 2012.

The Dark Knight Rises, like it predecessors, boast an impressive cast. Joining the returning Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine are Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I think out of three films, this cast seems to be the best by far. Nolan has said that he didn’t want to save anything from this movie and this looks like it. While not a lot is known officially about the story, that hasn’t stopped the fanboys and internet writers from speculating.

From the trailers and other footage that’s been released, It seems like Nolan is sticking true to his word. There’s already a sense of epicness to this and a feeling that this will easily top anything that’s been done in the two previous films. Hardy and Hathaway look impressive as Bane and Selena Kyle/Catwoman. I like the fact that the film is set quite a while after the events of The Dark Knight. (8 years is official figure I keep hearing). Not only is this a great story setting but this could be a great move for Warner Brothers. With Nolan definitively stating this is the last Batman film he is directing. It’s been rumoured that he will be on the reboot as a producer much like his role on next years Superman Reboot “Man Of Steel”.

If that is the case, this reboot or next series of films could take place in those eight years. Bale has recently said he would up for a fourth film if the story is right- but we’ll have to wait and see. The Dark Knight Rises will be giving an epic conclusion to this wonderful journey and I think it will be the best movie of the summer. I’ve seen The Avengers and loved it, but I just think that TDKR will be better. Nolan hasn’t let us down yet and I think he will be able to top everything else we’ve seen. Either way, July 20th can’t come quick enough for this Bat-Fan.

I recently watched the trailer for Christopher Nolan’s new sci-fi thriller Inception, and I honestly have no idea what it is about. Dream invasion and manipulation? Mind-f#&$ing? Visually it looks amazing, and it is Nolan, so I’m there. A few new character posters have been released. This first one features Leonardo DiCaprio…

Inception

And this next one is of Joseph Gordon-Levitt…

Inception, Christopher Nolan

The rest of the film’s stellar cast includes Ken Watanabe, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Sir Michael Caine.  What do you think about the posters? Excited about Nolan’s next flick?

Like most of the country, I saw this film on opening weekend. But unlike most of the country, I didn’t think it was going to be the best film of the year. I didn’t love Batman Begins the way most people did and therefore went into this film with lower expectations than everyone else.

Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman in The Dark Knight

Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is back as Batman and teaming up with Lieutenant Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and new district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) to take down the mob once and for all. In doing so, the mob turns to a maniacal criminal mastermind, The Joker (Heath Ledger), who unleashes chaos into Gotham. Seeing the film in theaters, I really enjoyed it, but didn’t fully love it. Upon repeat viewings, though, I began to realize that it truly is a fantastic, well made film, and easily one of the best movies I’ve seen this year. There’s not a whole lot I can say about this film that someone else hasn’t said before, so let’s just get right to it.

Nominations:

Best Supporting Actor – Heath Ledger
Ledger is probably the biggest shoe-in in the awards this year and it’s impossible for us to know if things would be different if he hadn’t had such an untimely death before the film came out. Still, it’s one hell of a swan song and I’m looking forward to seeing who will accept the award for him at the ceremony.

Best Cinematography
This film has got some beautifully filmed action sequences, but it’s also got stiff competition with Benjamin Button, Changeling, and eight time nominee Roger Deakins for The Reader. The first film didn’t take home the gold back in 2006 and I don’t think this one will make the cut either.

Best Editing
This is a great nominee here; even though the run time is nearly 3 hours, the story never loses its pace. It’s like watching a comic book with all of its different arcs and stories that weave together to make the whole of the film. I think it’s a strong contender here, but the award could go to something a tad more concise such as this year’s award show darling Slumdog.

Best Art Direction
The dark, gritty look of Gotham is striking, but also old news. The first film wasn’t even nominated here and while there’s more Gotham this time, I think it’s more likely to go to film with more practical sets such as Revolutionary Road or Benjamin Button.

Best Makeup
This is a very diverse category this year and I don’t yet know which way it will swing. The Joker’s streaky, eerie face paint is perfect for the villain, but the nomination belongs to the special effects make up on a certain burn victim. His brief face time (no pun intended) after said burns may not be enough for a win here.

Best Sound
This is a serious contender here, as this category tends to go to big, booming action films, but it’s got company with another comic book adaptation- Wanted. I’d like to give The Dark Knight the edge here, though, as it’s a far more popular film with a larger audience. Plus with all its nominations this year versus Wanted’s one, I’m sure more Academy members have seen it as well.

Best Sound Editing
In a normal year I’d give this category to the same film I’d give Sound to, but this year is different.

Best Visual Effects
This is a tough category as The Dark Knight’s super hero is a guy in a cape and the villains are some Italian guys and a maniac covered in grease paint. When put next to a guy that ages backwards and an iron suit that can fly, it kind of pales in comparison.

Snubbed?
First there are the obvious categories that most were pulling for: Best Picture and Best Director, which would have been really refreshing to see. But my biggest beef with the Academy is failing once again to recognize Gary Oldman’s amazing performance as Jim Gordon. His material in this film was even better than it was in Batman Begins, but he has been completely overshadowed by Ledger and therefore has failed to get the recognition he deserves. Yet Amy Adams and Viola Davis are recognized for the same film. Dear Academy- you’re not as progressive as you think you are.

****½