Amph THE DARK KNIGHT RISES(now also general Batman discussion)

Discussion in 'Community' started by Import_Jedi, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. tom Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2004
    star 6
    people paid to see tpm in 3d?
  2. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
  3. Darth_Invidious Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 1999
    star 5
    You couldn't pay me enough money to sit down for two or so hours and see any part of the PT in 3D. One, I hate 3D. Two, I hate the PT even more. Really a no-brainer. :p

    No, no, I did say elsewhere it was neither the movie we deserved or needed, but it does have some moments, few and spread far within as they are.
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  4. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    Time for another epic essay. And I didn't buy TDKR on blu-ray or dvd or any such thing. Nor did I pay to see TPM in 3d.


    We Didn’t Start the Fire, or Tom Hardy Betrayed

    *muffled*I’m Christopher Nolan’s Reckoning*muffled*

    So, you may remember that, in my very first post here, I talked about some things I really liked about The Dark Knight Rises. Tom Hardy’s performance was, to my mind, the best thing in the movie. It was a legitimate performance, not just a stereotypical villain and he was fantastic. Unfortunately, the part as written was not so fantastic. In other words, Hardy’s performance was great, but the script ultimately let him down somewhat in that it did its dead level best to not give him time to really develop the character. That he managed to turn in as great a performance as he did is kind of miraculous, given the scripting of Bane.

    In particular, I feel that the movie initially sets up a Bane that it doesn’t give us, which is unfortunate. The easiest way to make clear what I mean by this is to talk about that brilliant opening sequence. Hardy’s Bane feels like a force of nature in that sequence, like a true unstoppable force, but the moment that absolutely knocked me out, watching that sequence on the big screen (and I should note that I hadn’t seen the sequence when it was teased out to various IMAX theaters a few months ago now) comes very late in the action of that scene.

    As Bane and company prepare to depart with Dr. Pavel, one of Bane’s henchmen is engaged in getting ready to go when Bane stops him: “Brother, they will expect one of us in the wreckage.” The henchman pauses and then agrees and the moment is absolutely chilling. The henchman is transfigured; the look on his face is pure ecstasy. “Have we started the fire?” he asks and Bane replies, “Yes, the fire rises.” The henchman subsides, relaxing into his death, prepared to die for Bane and for his cause. Not only prepared, however; this man is honored.

    Much is always made of whatever kind of political subtext that Nolan works into these movies and, while I often feel that these political analyses miss the larger artistic points Nolan is trying to make, it is simply undeniable that a scene like this is terrifying, easily the most frightening thing in the movie, because we live in a world in which zealots are quite willing to perish for their leaders, for the privilege of starting a fire.

    It is, in short, inconceivable that a moment like this cannot have a profound weight with it. It’s a moment of profound horror and a moment that pulses with spirituality. It is a religious moment, not to put too fine a point on it. And I quite literally sat up in my chair and leaned forward at that moment, absolutely shocked by it and put on notice: this movie is not going to play around. For those who might be thinking I went into this movie with some kind of agenda, allow me to just make this point. At the end of that bravura opening sequence, I was on the movie’s side absolutely; I was thrilled and excited about the movie I was going to be getting to see unfold and I was ready for Nolan to blow my mind again. It was only repeated missteps, disappointments and stupidities that ultimately pulled me out of that receptive mood. I had no agenda and I gave The Dark Knight Rises the best shot I could give any movie to blow me away. It wasn’t my fault the movie failed; it was the movie’s fault. Any movie that could overcome the receptive and elated mood I was in as that plane dropped out from under Bane and make me disappointed in it . . . that movie has some serious problems. It takes a bad movie to overcome the level of goodwill I had after that opening.

    But back to Bane, the prologue set up that in Bane, we are going to have a character who embodies the fanatic, the zealot. He is going to be a true believer, a charismatic figure who can create in his followers a moral outrage and a religious devotion that will lead them to sacrifice their lives for him. Later in the film, when Alfred sees Bane on security camera footage, he speaks of him fighting in these terms, with the ferocity of a fanatic. Later, when Daggett is told that some of Bane’s henchmen have been captured, but will die before they reveal anything, he’s puzzled: “Where does he find these people?” he wonders.

    Unfortunately, when the movie ends, I still didn’t know. Okay, fine, so it’s the League of Shadows. Whatever. There is still no real sense of Bane as a charismatic, fanatical leader and we don’t even really know what exactly Bane does believe. How much of the agenda is personal, revenge against Bruce Wayne because that’s what Talia wants? And how much really is a sense of moral outrage about the excesses of Gotham City? Bane speaks some lines about allowing Gothamites to restore justice to their world and foments outrage about the 1%, as it were, but isn’t that all so much smoke if he intends to simply destroy the city at the end of five months? Does he even believe any of his rhetoric, of which there isn’t much? What are we supposed to think when he openly mocks Talia’s extreme beliefs in his final moments of life in order to take a personal revenge on Batman? Nolan seems to be trying to evoke a manic street preacher in the scene where Bane climbs atop a car to rail about the lies told by Commissioner Gordon, but, for reasons I’ll talk about elsewhere, this scene falls utterly flat and there’s no genuine sense of outrage (probably because there’s nothing genuine to be outraged about).

    I see Tom Hardy stretching to create this character. Hardy brings his natural charisma to the role and the very way he walks and moves and, of course, speaks does carry with it some weight. But it isn’t enough for a person to die for him. It isn’t enough for the script to simply say that it’s because, you know, The League of Shadows are into causes and dying for them (and the movie, frankly, doesn’t even really ever go even that far to explain the loyalty of Bane’s henchmen). The script betrays Tom Hardy; it sets him up the same way it set me up: it sets me up to believe that Bane is going to be a fascinating, gripping character, a figure of spiritual intensity, a man who can speak to people’s souls and claim them as his own. Bane is supposed to be starting a fire; unfortunately, as the movie stands, we just have to imagine the flames.
  5. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    I agree, Rogue. I did buy it on Blu-Ray but at the same time I bought the Dark Knight Returns Part I and got the Miller Batman figure so I forgive myself. I rewatched it and Bane's still the main attraction. Whilst the comic fan in me is glad to see Talia on screen, though she was utterly wasted there (her, torn between Bruce and her father, would have been much more interest a dynamic than the one they threw together at the last minute and topped off with a laughably bad death scene), it was Bane who you watched. I think part of what works in Bane/Hardy's favour is the opening scene is so powerful in establishing Bane as this leader, this presence, that it sticks with you so you don't ask those questions you raised above.
    This has in fact been my enduring criticism of the film. Dark Knight is amazing and if you probe at it's logic and events it stands up. The Joker's plan is complex and gives the impression he's spent some time studying Gordon, Batman, and Harvey Dent and that he's only acted when ready. And I take from it that he was doing this before his calling card was picked up in Batman Begins; it's hard to believe Bruce would have endured the cumbersome cowl and "too much weight" in the suit for so long before going to Fox. So before the League's plan started in Gotham, the Joker was planning it out and recruiting his gang and funding it through the opening bank heist.

    Rises, however, doesn't create the impression of depth in that way. If you consider Batman Begins is between, say, 9 and 10 years prior to Rises, and the Ra's died then, then the events with Bane and Talia in terms of the prison rescue and Bane's excommunication, would have had to have taken place prior to Begins. Are we to infer Bruce was, in Ra's eyes, a replacement for Bane/Talia as his heir apparent?

    It's never clear. Nor is it clear how they could be the League when the League's purpose was to destroy a city when it became too decadent, to restore balance. There's no intent for that balance in Bane/Talia's plan; they're just in it for the anarchic lulz.

    So, they're not the League, really. Are they?

    I like when a film raises questions, like Inception, and when the film is open to interpretation (i.e. I think the plot and events of Inception are a dream). But when the film raises questions that should be answerable and aren't (or the best answer is "bad writing"), it can't be a good thing.

    The only film I felt more let down by was Prometheus.
  6. I Are The Internets Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 7
    What if the years between TDK and TDKR were changed from 8 years to 2 years? Would that change the movie as far as quaility goes?
  7. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Yeah, it's not like they were trying to destroy a city and Talia spoke of bringing balance and how the term innocent didn't apply to Gotham, or anything. Nor have I heard of the concept of nepotism.

    Imagine that the film had one extra line of dialogue: "You were in Ra's's eyes an heir apparent." Or something like that. How much does this add to the overall quality of the film? Why must everything be spelled out to the nth degree, and why is a film alleged to be at fault when it does not do this?
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Dec 26, 2012
  8. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Not really, no.

    Part of the issue is that the plot just doesn't feel as polished as the first two films. Part of it is that they didn't use other villains properly (Wocky has elaborated on why Talia was wasted so I won't reinvent the wheel). Part is what Rogue said about Bane.

    I would have loved to have seen Talia done properly, instead of as a 5th rate version of her father from the first film.
  9. I Are The Internets Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 7
    I honestly had no idea what Talia was saying when she was dying. Something about being happy about winning an Oscar or something along those lines. Batman's facial expressions during that whole scene were funny.
  10. AAAAAH Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    they should have made the period between tdk and tdkr 20 years, so that master wain's legs would be completely gone (fallen off long ago), and he would have to drag himself along the ground. then morgan freamans would need to build him fully mechanical legs (none of this half-assed biomechanical enhancement stuff). he would make them very thick and powerful and long, so that batman would stand much, much taller and project menace more effectively. and master wain could try them out by kicking one of the non-black batmobiles and it would go FLYING across the warehouse. maybe even have it hit alfred as he walked in. "i'm alright, mastah wain, i'm alright. just so long as you yourself are not injured!"
  11. I Are The Internets Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 7
    I wanted Bane to throw a car at Mathew Modine. Why couldn't Bane throw a car at Mathew Modine?!
    It's not fair! :_|
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  12. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    This is still the best post in this thread. By far.
  13. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
  14. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
  15. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    And all correct.

    I loved "Bane tickled a guy to death offscreen"
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  16. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Judging by X-Men: The Last Stand, the sound of a neck breaking is considered R territory by the Jack Valenti crowd. So instead we get the sound of someone moving their fingers around in a bowl of mashed potatoes. Yay for PG-13 and studio profits. [face_frustrated]
    Order66Survivor likes this.
  17. Darth_Invidious Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 1999
    star 5
    I concur with all points, unfortunately. :(

    *feels guilty all of a sudden for owning the DVD...will get over it soon, hopefully*
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  18. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Even the ones that are explained in the film?

    Even the ones that are just the usual WAAAAAAH the movie didn't hold my hand and spell out every last detail?

    Even the ones that are flat out wrong?
  19. Aytee-Aytee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2008
    star 5
    ******* suspended disbelief. How does that work?
  20. AAAAAH Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    i would like to hold robin's hand and, in that one moment, become all-seeing, all-knowing like him.
    Darth_Invidious and Ender_Sai like this.
  21. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    I'd just like to point out that that video did indeed reveal that I am not the only person who thought Catwoman was a lesbian.
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  22. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    Q: If Tim Burton's iteration is somehow derided for being "silly," what am I to make of a realistic treatment wherein Bruce Wayne is de-paralyzed by a rope and a few swift punches to his dislodged vertabrae?
  23. AAAAAH Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    we are deriding NOLEN's batman for being "silly" right now in this thread. have a look around! go on, don't be shy!
  24. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    I'd take Burton's Batman and Batman Returns over The Dark Knight Rises any damn day of the week.
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  25. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    As apprehensive as I am about Batman Returns, it easily trounces Rises for having boasting (1) clearly defined character arcs, (2) indelible chemistry between Keaton and Pfeiffer, and (3) a luscious, operatic musical score.
    Ender_Sai likes this.