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Dark Knight Rises Spoiler Thread

Korashk
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7/20/2012 4:32:03 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Just got back from seeing this movie, and I must say I don't think that I enjoyed this movie as much as tv did, and it was far from perfect as he claims.

For one he claims that the pacing is perfect. I disagree. I will concede that the pacing of the last two acts is nigh perfect. However, the first is very slow due to its role in setting up the dynamic of the film.

He also neglects to mention the one new character whose actor may have given a great performance, but whose character was misused. This character was Talia al Ghul. Her betraying Bruce may have been hinted at in the film before the reveal, but her character (as Talia) didn't add much of anything to the film except to tie the series together with the League of Shadows, which was just unnecessary. It would have been fine if Bane had taken over the League and made it his own, and I personally think it would have been better because the time spent on her could have been utilized elsewhere, or taken out of the film almost entirely to streamline the film.

As for the performances as a whole, they were well done by the actors. Just well done. I feel that every returning actor gave a better performance in The Dark Knight, than in The Dark Knight Rises. Bale's Bruce and Batman were better; Oldman's Commissioner Gordon was better; and Caine's Alfred was better. I think Bale's performance suffered because he had to act old and frail, and he wasn't particularly great at it. Oldman's performance suffered because he just didn't seem to be as into the role as he was before. In DK Oldman felt like he was playing Commissioner Gordon, whereas in DKR it was Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon, if that makes sense. Caine's performance is understandable since he's only in like three scenes and his character was kind-of wasted, but I'll get to that later.

My problems in the film in the order I noticed them:
- Bane's voice was too high pitched. When he and Batman fight in the sewers he slips up and goes deeper and that's the voice he should have used throughout the film.
- Why is Bruce a cripple all of a sudden? He wasn't at the end of The Dark Knight, and he hadn't done anything since then. It added nothing to the film except for Lucius had to magic up a leg fixer brace out of nowhere that never gets mentioned after he puts it on. Just make him older and out of shape.
- Literally nothing about Selina Kyle is explained except that she has a past that she wants to run away from. Hathaway gives a fine performance, but the character is flat.
- The police act really dumb throughout the movie. From focusing all their power on Batman while he's trying to help them catch Bane and save hostages, to sending almost all of the cops into the sewers and leaving the city virtually patrolled, and finishing with the mosh pit of death which was basically an attack on the trapped citizens of Gotham that got a lot of them needlessly killed.
- The issue of Harvey Dent is brought up in a very public fashion and never mentioned again.
- The fact that Bruce was obviously developing feelings for Talia, yet basically forgets her once the twist happens. She should have stayed Miranda and been Bruce's girl at the end.
- Two minutes wasn't long enough to get the bomb away, plus they have to deal with the fallout. They're on a bay, so even if the explosion didn't harm anyone lake effect winds force the fallout back to Gotham.
- Bruce getting together with Selina may have felt nice to the audience, but it makes absolutely no sense since throughout the film her character pretty much did nothing but screw him over for no reasonable reason
- Seriously, John Blake's real name is Robin? That's just corny for no reason. It would have been better if he would have said his name was Richard, Jason, Tim, or Damian. Comic fans would have gotten it, and the general movie audience wouldn't have let out a collective groan.

Overall, this was a great movie, even with my criticisms. However, its my criticisms that lessen its greatness and keep it from being as good as its predecessor.
When large numbers of otherwise-law abiding people break specific laws en masse, it's usually a fault that lies with the law. - Unknown
tvellalott
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7/20/2012 9:06:36 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I'll write a longer review tomorrow after I see it again tonight.
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Maikuru
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7/21/2012 1:28:27 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I love nitpicking. It's kind of my thing. That said, I can't get behind much of what you said. I completely agree that the first act is very slow, though I found very little of it unnecessary. As for the rest of your observations, I'd say that are largely accurate but irrelevant to the general enjoyment and appreciation of the film. I'd still label it a masterpiece and superior to its predecessor in terms of acting, story line, and resolution.

I'd go point by point but tv is usually better at that. I will point out, though, that everyone cheered and applauded when they did the Robin reveal. As a comic fan, my first reaction was obviously "Robin's name isn't Robin!!!11!" but if the alternative is everyone turning to their neighbor and whispering "Who the hell is Jason Todd," I don't really mind it lol.
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Maikuru
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7/21/2012 1:58:55 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Can I also say that I appreciate that you made a separate thread for spoilers? I've known the bitter taste of spoilers before. Lost a lot of good friends that way.
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tvellalott
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7/21/2012 7:57:02 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
So I'm on my phone right now but I want to say this; I'm very familiar with the source material (Dark Knight Returns, No Mans Land, Knightfall) so it would be really easy for me to just poo poo this movie as being inferior to that material. Also, considering my anticipation, it would have been easy to have had a bloated expectation of what this movie could have been, IF they had made it exclusively for comic boOk fans.

But I just can't. We've seen what a bad Batman movie can be. I mean, my missus was a bit let down by this movie too, because despite my warning, she expected another Dark Knight. This is a conclusion and it's hard as fvck to conclude a storyline about a character who hasn't never and will never be concluded.

I have a looooooot to say, but I need a keyboard or it will take hours.
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tvellalott
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7/22/2012 8:53:37 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I'm going to comment on few issues in this movie and just see where my rant goes... I'll keep it in point form so it makes some sense.

Robin John Blake: OK, so when John Blake came into the house and told Bruce about how he worked out he was Batman because he recognised the hidden anger, I thought to myself "He would make a good Robin, heh heh heh". As the movie concluded and the villains were defeated and we discovered his first name is actually Robin, I groaned on the inside. This is an example of something I always say about Hollywood movies. They think the audience are morons. If they had left out that scene and you still saw him go to the Batcave, nothing would have been lost. But, it's really not a big deal. They're trying to appeal to a wider audience and it didn't really hurt the movie overall. Maybe Nolan wanted it to be clear he wasn't going to be Batman, he was going to be Robin. *shrug* Not a big deal.

The Bane/Talia Al Ghul thing: Now I see Korashks point about this, though I'm assuming because he didn't go into detail. It was far from perfect. Making it fit though, with Batman Begins, was very well done. Bane infers multiple times that he was born in the Lazarus Pit and had been in for the many of the first years of his life. I've seen it twice now and I suppose both he AND Talia could have been born there. It doesn't explicitly say that Talia was the only baby born there... Still, I thought it was all put together from open-ended things in Batman Begins tying into these new, previously unmentioned characters. Bane was obviously trying to hide the existence of Talia from Batman to the nth degree, unsure what he knew.

The Ending: It was a happy, open ending to a movie which I strongly believe should have no further sequels under any circumstances. Bruce and Salina were happy. Alfred was happy. John Blake was angry, but also happy. Lucius Fox was happy. Everyone was happy. Batman was a legend, appreciated by Gotham. Bruce Wayne is thought dead, his house is occupied by orphans and his Batcave is controlled by John Blake. How elses could they have ended it? Batman doesn't DIE!!! Of course, multiple times through the movie they mentioned the auto-pilot but I didn't pick up on it. Maybe I'm dumb, I don't know. When Lucius Fox discovers the truth; that it was fixed, my uncertainty was instantly gone. But those moments of uncertainty add emotional sh!t, which is an important aspect of Hollywood movies. The nuclear bomb was handled badly though. I worked it out; the Bat fly-ie thing would have to go like 600mph to get far enough away and how did Batman get out of range in time himself, even with the auto-pilot. He seems resolute about dying and, correct me if I'm wrong, but he's seen in the Bat when it's quite aways out into the ocean? In the comics, that shiz gets explained (albeit often unrealistically). HOWEVER, in the comics, sure enough, Batman DOES get out of it. He's mother-fcuking for God's sake!

Selina Kyle: I thought she did a kick-arse job. I liked that throughout the movie, she is never actually called Catwoman, only referred to in the paper as "the Cat". It was cool. Giving up Batman, not realising it was Bruce Wayne and feeling guilty as hell was classic yin-yan Catwoman. And of course, she redeemed herself in the end and helped him save the day. I liked her goggles. They were a bit flash, eh?
Lol.

Talia Al Ghul (again): Her revenge was excellently planned and I can't really see any faults in it. It all came full circle, as we were promised. Obviously she was not the Talia Al Ghul of the comics, but her character made sense in Nolan's universe. I'd really like to see someone with a more unbiased opinion than me comment extensively on it.

Bane (again): I thought he was awesome, despite the burden he had to do Heath Ledger justice and keep the villains authentic, but realistic. Obviously he was not the Bane of the comics and because of his much longer screen time to Talia, I suppose big fans of Knightfall might be disappointed. For those who don't know, in Knightfall, the first appearance of Bane, we see this huge, drug fueled maniac genius, but at the same time a polar opposite to Joker. He is a major physical threat to a well conditioned Batman on the best of days, but he still makes Bats face off against a bunch of his biggest enemies in a row to tire him out. He then breaks his spine. Then, lots of stuff happens. Bats eventually get his spine healed in the magical Lazarus Pit, and comes back and beats Bane. Then you have Dark Knight Returns, where an old Batman comes out of retirement because sh!t's out of control. Then you have No Man's Land where gangs take over the city after earthquakes and plague and shiz. This movie had enough elements of all these great comics to keep me happy as a Batman fan. It did it's own thing and Bane was a very cool part of it all. Props to Tom Hardy, who had to show emotion through mime and stance. When he was holding his jacket, that meant he was gonna beat someones arse and I loved it. The mask was great, his voice was cool but the Darth Vader cross Sean Connery thing made some words (like when he said "Gotham") hard to understand. Overall, loved Bane. He's no Joker but that was always gonna be the case.

Overall, I'm calling it a masterpiece for a fairly simple reason. Nolan took my absolute favourite super-hero of all time and made the best Hollywood movies about him that I really think is possible. I'm looking at these movies as a package. The constraints are that they have to appeal to a wide-market, not just comic book fans, but layman too. They have to be under a certain length. He's encapsulated the whole Batman package, origin, greatest adversaries, best and worst years, major, authentic character building moments, and the ultimate happy ending.

Anyone who thinks otherwise is entitled to do so. I take back when I said it was perfect. It obviously wasn't. But it was as good as I think it gets.

I think I've ranted on enough. If I think of anything else, I'll be sure to let ya'll know.
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Chrysippus
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7/24/2012 12:17:55 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
First off, as a life-long Batman reader, it is my sincere hope that no more Batman films ever get made. Nolan has done a fairly decent job, and we finally have three watchable Batman movies - something we haven't been able to say up to now.

Between Buster Keaton's splendid impression of a dead flounder and Joel Schumacher being told "Make a family-friendly Batman; you know, less dark..." and thinking, "Hmm, perhaps with more Bat-nipples..." we simply haven't had batman movies worth watching up to now. "Batman Begins" was a welcome breath of fresh air.

Time to stop, before someone else gets the bright idea to cash in on this run's popularity and make another "Batman Forever." I can see it now: M. Night Shamalayan presents "Terror of the Night," based on the Batman mythos with all-new plot twists, wooden acting, and re-enforced plot holes; Arnold Schwarzenegger starring.

Please, no.

DKR was enjoyable while I was in the theater, but it's not very satisfactory to think about afterwards. It's disorderly, to the point of being incoherent at times. There are times that it feels like two unrelated movies playing at the same time, with rapid cuts back and forth between films with rather different moods and aims. Threads are introduced, developed, and forgotten about with a carelessness surprising from Nolan.

Case in point: Bruce is caught off guard by Kyle; but within 24 hours he knows everything there is to know about her. We see him stepping back into his detective persona, and that shows him growing back into his role as Batman rather than reclusive millionaire.

Bane sends the broken Batman into a hellish prison, where he forces himself to become strong enough and fast enough to take Bane on again and win.

At the end of the movie, though, after demonstrating he has everything it takes to win, a villain reveal by someone very close to Wayne Enterprises takes him off guard, and he just sits there and lets her stab him? What happened to those fighting reflexes, his ability to keep fighting, his drive to save Gotham, his paranoiac drive to know everything about everyone he works with?

That wasn't in character at all. Never mind the fact that the Talia reveal ruined all the previous character development for Bane, and turned him into little more than hired muscle, replacing him with a last-minute mysterious woman we know nothing and care little about - that just isn't the way Batman reacts to sudden betrayals, and isn't in his character from the rest of this film, let alone the other two.

Before this review gets completely out of hand, let me impose a little order. My issues with the story, in no particular order of importance:

1. Bruce seems to have no real reason to trust Kyle or to like her, but he seems to be deliberately courting her; ironically, while she doesn't seem to be all that impressed.

The entire Batman/Catwoman motif from this film in a nutshell:
Batman: "Hey, I noticed you stealing my mother's pearls, and I know you have a terrible rap sheet; so, you know, we could be friends and all, right? Wanna drive my Bat-Pod?"
Kyle: "I hate you rich people, and I'm going to steal your car."

2. Bane was an enjoyable villain, far more complex than the usual "HULK SMASH!!" way he is portrayed. It felt like he tied the first movie in reasonably well, being the successor to Ras; and having both the intelligence and strength to counter Batman, it felt like he finally had a worthy opponent.

Then it turns out he was nothing more than a mouthpiece for the real intelligence behind the plot, used by Talia to distract everyone while she played the innocent hostage, and his only reaction to being dumped and left holding the bat while Talia attempts to escape is to stand there in tears.

I really felt sorry for him; but I couldn't feel anything for Talia since we never got to learn anything about her. She hardly shows up at all until that point, and then always as "pointless background element #3." We lost a complex and mostly-buyable character in Bane, and gained an enigmatic woman of no substance whatsoever. The chance to drop one more name from the canon into the film wasn't worth it.

3. Along the same lines, the Robin bit was cheesy.

4. Guided missiles do not act that way. They don't have the fuel capacity to maneuver like that, and they travel exponentially faster. Those were traveling at RC airplane speeds, not rocket speeds; anyone who has ever set off a model rocket can tell the difference.

5. The League of Shadows has wanted to destroy Gotham, mostly to set an example to the rest of Western Civilization, but specifically Gotham because it is so corrupt. Now, though, a big deal has been made about how much more honest the town has become. Where's the motivation now?

6. Other than a sadistic pleasure in watching rich people get slaughtered in their own homes, did Talia have any reason not to have set off the bomb considerably earlier, and ensure Gotham's destruction? Did she have any reasons at all? I haven't the foggiest idea, because someone's idea of a plot twist stole any chance of our learning who she was and why she still wants to carry out her dad's insane obsession - to the point of ABANDONING HER LOVER TO BE KILLED IN A NUCLEAR EXPLOSION.

Does not make any sense. At all.

7. Annoying cuts in the beginning party from people talking with music in the background, suddenly to Kyle as she pointlessly probes possessions, back, forth, back, forth ARROW.

Headline in alternate future: "Eccentric Billionaire Murders Maid With Arrow! "Just Trying to Scare Her," He Claims!"

And then they don't mention it. Apparently she's fairly OK with being nearly murdered in the morning, because she doesn't make a deal out of it - despite having it in for Bruce on any other occasion, this time she passes the opportunity up. Why?

8. Nuclear bombs do not work that way. Also, math.

Now, I watched the movie with a friend, and we did the math on the drive home. That bat-helicopter on a good day shouldn't be able to top 100mph, and on this occasion it had probably a ton in tow dangling behind (which poses other issues of weight distribution and maximum loads, but I lack the specs to give any sort of meaningful math on that. It just stretches the bounds of plausibility that it could lift that thing without tearing itself apart, let alone fly with it); so Bruce would be lucky if he could make 40mph on his way out. He's obviously going faster than that, and I'm not prepared to forgive that, but let's swing with it for the moment.

Say he hit 200mph with the bomb in tow. He had roughly 30 seconds on the timer as he swung out over the bay. Simple math says he made it out about 1.6 miles before the bomb went off, and everyone in Gotham died. He might possibly have saved Bludhaven, but it will have to be evacuated anyway because of the fallout.

Additionally, now he is out over the water, and the blast will kick up a powerful tidal surge into all the surrounding cities on the northeastern coast. DC is probably safe, but Bridgeport and New Haven are going to get soggy.

It gets worse if he had more time and managed to get out over the open ocean. Out there, that same bomb could potentially spawn a tsunami-force wave that would wash inland as far as the Appalachians. He would have killed fewer people if he'd left it in Gotham or carried it inland over the farms.
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Chrysippus
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7/24/2012 12:23:13 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
One more thing.

A the end, when we see Bruce alive after all, what proof do we have that it's real? We're seeing from Alfred's viewpoint, a broken and grieving old man who has fantasized about this exact scenario, and wants more than anything to see him just sitting there.

Assuming that the writers really didn't do the math, and that the ending from the blast onwards isn't some "Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" moment for everyone in Gotham, it's fairly likely hat Bruce really is dead, after all.

Just a thought.
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Korashk
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7/24/2012 3:14:30 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/24/2012 12:17:55 AM, Chrysippus wrote:
First off, as a life-long Batman reader, it is my sincere hope that no more Batman films ever get made. Nolan has done a fairly decent job, and we finally have three watchable Batman movies - something we haven't been able to say up to now.

Between Buster Keaton's splendid impression of a dead flounder and Joel Schumacher being told "Make a family-friendly Batman; you know, less dark..." and thinking, "Hmm, perhaps with more Bat-nipples..." we simply haven't had batman movies worth watching up to now. "Batman Begins" was a welcome breath of fresh air.

Warner was planning a reboot before this one even hit theaters. Sad, but true.

I also think you give past Batman films too little credit. Adam West's Batman movie captured the silly essence of Golden Age Batman; Tim Burton's two films were both great with Batman being a contender for best Batman film; Bruce Timm's Mask of the Phantasm and Subzero are great films, and the DCAU has been releasing solid Batman material for a while. My personal rankings go:

The Dark Knight
SubZero
Under the Red Hood
Mask of the Phantasm
The Dark Knight Rises
Batman 1966
Batman 1989
Begins
Returns
Gotham Knight
Year One
Forever
Batman & Robin

None of them are bad films until Year One. Now I'm going to counter some of your criticisms. Many of which stem from "Not my Batman" syndrome. Nolanverse Batman isn't comics Batman, he's Nolan's Batman and Nolan's Batman is a more human character than comics Batman.

At the end of the movie, though, after demonstrating he has everything it takes to win, a villain reveal by someone very close to Wayne Enterprises takes him off guard, and he just sits there and lets her stab him? What happened to those fighting reflexes, his ability to keep fighting, his drive to save Gotham, his paranoiac drive to know everything about everyone he works with?

His reflexes weren't all that great by this time. This is evidenced throughout the film. In every fight he seems like he' brawling rather than using martial arts. This is because he's old. Plus he was probably in shock being that he just found out that the reason that all of this is happening to Gotham is because essentially gave her the keys. It wasn't about the betrayal, it was about the realization that he damned his city.

5. The League of Shadows has wanted to destroy Gotham, mostly to set an example to the rest of Western Civilization, but specifically Gotham because it is so corrupt. Now, though, a big deal has been made about how much more honest the town has become. Where's the motivation now?

The motivation is the same because the corruption is still there. The entire reason that Gotham is a better place is because of a lie. A lie that spawned a powerful law. Instead of the criminals making Gotham a terrible place, it's the people that run the city that are doing it. They're just doing it in a less visible manner.

6. Other than a sadistic pleasure in watching rich people get slaughtered in their own homes, did Talia have any reason not to have set off the bomb considerably earlier, and ensure Gotham's destruction? Did she have any reasons at all? I haven't the foggiest idea, because someone's idea of a plot twist stole any chance of our learning who she was and why she still wants to carry out her dad's insane obsession - to the point of ABANDONING HER LOVER TO BE KILLED IN A NUCLEAR EXPLOSION.

Did you miss Bane's speech about how true despair is generated by loss of hope? The entire point of isolating the city was to give the people of Gotham and Batman hope that the city could be saved before destroying them. I wouldn't call Bane her lover, and she didn't abandon him. They were both leaders of The League of Shadows and both wanted Ras's vision to be achieved.

8. Nuclear bombs do not work that way. Also, math.

I agree with this one. There shouldn't have been a timer that specific so that him getting far from the city before the explosion wouldn't have been so unbelievable.

At 7/24/2012 12:23:13 AM, Chrysippus wrote:
One more thing.

A the end, when we see Bruce alive after all, what proof do we have that it's real? We're seeing from Alfred's viewpoint, a broken and grieving old man who has fantasized about this exact scenario, and wants more than anything to see him just sitting there.

Assuming that the writers really didn't do the math, and that the ending from the blast onwards isn't some "Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" moment for everyone in Gotham, it's fairly likely hat Bruce really is dead, after all.

Just a thought.

No, the ending is not ambiguous at all and I don't understand why you and thousands of others think it is. It's very explicitly stayed that Bruce patched in an autopilot program to The Bat and Alfred wouldn't have known about Selina Kyle wearing the pearls or even having a real relationship with Bruce to the point where he would hallucinate them together.
When large numbers of otherwise-law abiding people break specific laws en masse, it's usually a fault that lies with the law. - Unknown
tvellalott
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7/24/2012 6:59:11 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Crys, I could probably do a point by point explanation about why I think most of your points are wrong, but that would be obnoxious, given the subjective nature of such things. I mostly agree with Korashk, though I thought he would agree with you. :P I think this movie is so dense that it will take me quite a few viewings to decide how much I really like it. I've watched both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight dozens of times and they stand up to multiple viewings... Unlike Batman Forever, which I could hardly sit through.
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