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« Shallow Grave (1995) [The Criterion Collection] - Blu-ray Disc | Main | The Big Heat (1953) - Blu-ray Disc »

December 3, 2012

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Slick McFavorite

so, what, we're only allowed on here to kiss his ass?

orangefiftysix

If so many of you hate Walter, why do you keep trolling the site? I mean, I hate soiled diapers but I don't keep them around to continually tell them how much I hate them.

Bill C

Heard you the first time.

I Hate Chaw

FFC - the only site in the world who deletes its entire archives on redesign

FIRE YOUR DEVELOPER

Sakshaz

Muddled, totally confused - not just about it's politics but also about what it wants to be, overly-ambitious, jingoistic nonsense. I don't want my nose rubbed in the notion that Gotham is, in fact, America where illegal foreign immigrants from 'deserty' countries come and wreck havoc. Making Occupy Movement a direct result of a terrorist's instigation shows where Mr. Nolan's shares lie. Then you have the whole thing about lying to people to 'save'them bullshit. There is nothing on screen which even remotely suggests anything satirical about these issues. Not a single word against the authority or the government?

James

Having just rewatched the first two Nolan Batmans in preparation for this, I'm struck again by their grim grandeur and agreeable pretentiousness, but also by how on-the-nose the dialogue can be, as well as the inelegance of the direction and editing, and how many inexplicable writing shortcuts the Nolans take, most egregiously in The Dark Knight. There sequences in that film that just completely fall apart if you think about them logically. And yet the films work exceedingly well in spite of all this, but I do wish Walter at least acknowledged some of this, when he savagely rips films that commit similar offenses all the time.

Dan

Wow... I must have seen the wrong three Batman movies, but *especially* this last one. Not that anyone cares, but here are several adjectives I'd use if I had the inclination to write a review (and no knock on yours, Walter. It was far better than the movie):

Clunky
Noisy
On-the-nose
Inelegant
Dreary
Leaden
Tedious
Obvious
(see also: Confusing)
Pointlessly talky
Poorly acted
Badly paced
Obtusely photographed
Muddy
Predictable
Dour
Humorless
Verbose
Riddled with Plot holes
Way too fucking long
Virtually every character acting without thinking
Almost every single character contradicting actions and behavior in the previous films (which barely made sense then. And yes, I know I've fallen off the "adjective" wagon and onto the "synonym" train at this point).

And the most egregious sin - Boring as all Hell.

Blending action with smart, pretentious social commentary can work beautifully - if it makes even a lick of sense, and doesn't drone us into a coma in the process. And not that it's any validation, but all of my friends - a couple of us cinephiles, a couple your standard moviegoer - felt exactly the same. For possibly the biggest tentpole movie of all time to be this bad is utterly stupefying.

Sam Goldwyn's "If you want to send a message, call Western Union" line hasn't applied better to any other film I've seen in recent years. Particularly because the message was incomprehensible - possibly due to delivery, probably because there was simply no clear message to begin with, no matter how badly Nolan and company wanted and worked for there to be one.

Darryl

It seems to me that there is a difference between making reference to things and "taking on" things. I agree that it is a good, necessary idea to place a film in context and that is clearly happening here with the stock exchange, occupy, and even football. Cool, thumbs up.

But how does what happens in this film qualify as "taking on" these issues? Bane suggests that the traders are criminals too... fascinating. And what are we to learn about football? That we enjoy mixing innocence and violence into a big bowl and paying $70 to watch it for a few hours?... stunning insight.

At best I would say this movie is relevant. It is aware of the issues of the day and lets the action play out in those surroundings, which is no doubt an achievement -- ambitious beyond most comic book movies. But relevance alone is not "smart", nor is it thoughtful or insightful. Being aware of the world that surrounds it seems like a minimum requirement for a movie "for grown-ups," not something that makes it worth a rave review.

Oscar

Sincerest condolences from Australia for the shooting in your home state. That the film comments on the same anarchic despair that must have driven the gunman only makes his actions more tragic. If its not too painful or at all inappropriate, Walter's insight might salve the dashed hope that "their nihilism and hopelessness are misplaced".

Simon Fallaha

Good job, Walter. I agree that the Christ references are a little too overt (sure, at one point Bale quotes directly from Bruce Almighty to Morgan Freeman!), but I would also argue that TDKR is less open to attacks of pretense than its immediate predecessor - it has a more linear structure, one that's closer in spirit to Batman Begins, but not to the point where it's a retread, i.e. Batman Begins Again. It can also be said, of course, that the series could have ended at TDK, that TDKR didn't need to be made (especially with the curse of the "rule of thirds" in mind) but on the whole it was a good story, and I'm glad Nolan told it.

Abhi

Great review. But someone else needs to start captioning the photographs.

corym

Just got back from seeing it and, wow, great ending to the series. I think it's fair to say that this is the most consistent trilogy ever made. I'll be brave and say it's the best--or at least my favorite. I don't think any other films have really dug into the last decade of the US like these have.

I really do have to hand it to Tom Hardy. Bane was sort of a thankless role. It was inevitable that the character would never live up to The Joker, but Hardy gave him a...weirdness...that I can't quite put my finger on.

Now let's watch DC and Warner Bros sweep this series under the rug and make every mistake that they didn't make this time around while they build up to Justice League.

chet

this review is on-point. good job, Mr. Chaw.

Pol Pot Plant

Thought the ending paid off beautifully. It's like the epilogue of 'The Dark Knight Returns' (the last part of which the film seems heavily influenced by), only without Frank Miller's latent fascism to spoil the afterglow.

Thought Anne Hathaway nailed it. Nary a whiff of cheesecake here.

Brent

Martin S - Anne Hathaway (in my opinion, as that's all I have to base it on) is actually a fine actress and holds her own in this film.

Walter - I enjoyed reading your review, as always, and I agree with your points. However, what of the saccharine ending that comes close to unfolding every single thing you claim made the film great? My main critique on Nolan is his inability to remain steadfast when sending mainstream audiences down gruesome alleys.

It's almost as if he says, "OK, I showed you something new and unsettling. Now, instead of cementing it, I'll knock it all down with an ending you all prefer so you can stay comfortable." It's a good way to sell tickets, but ultimately frustrated me when the credits rolled.

Paul

Well some of us don't have the option of seeing it in anything but 35mm. So for us, yeah, it's worth seeing it in 35mm.

Martin S

I am definitely looking forward to seeing Mr. Nolan's newest {and supposedly LAST, I hope!} entry in this topical, cerebral and thought-provoking, Wholly entertaining "superhero" trilogy! Thanks, again,Walter, for you're concise, informative and supportive review, "academic" superimpositions and all!
I have doubts, however, as to the wisdom of casting Anne Hathaway as the non-referenced "catwoman": To be fair, I haven't seen this particular actress in any recent movies I can recall and , therefore; wonder is she just one of those lazy casts for total "eye-candy" and therefore disposable? Or does she actually augment the plot and/or represent some sexual archetype {stereotype??}. I do want to see this movie in the IMAX format, and would appreciate your views on AH, Mr. Chaw and/or IS the latter-mentioned format BETTER to hear the DIALOGUE?? { what is it with Christian Bales; raspy, sometimes unintellible tone??? My one peev, ONLY, "criticism" of Mr. Nolan's "batman" films thus far.} Have a nice weekend, everyone on this Board and I hope to see this film , well, on a "Day off" when I have no DISTRACTIONS, LOL.

Stephanie

Yeah, I knew you'd love it, Walter. Despite the fact that Batman is not really Batman. But is Batman ever really Batman now? Oooh, so post-modern. Topical, even.

Nolan pushed it with DK, but it turns out he understands the power of superheroes at myth making, it's just that he's totally not really interested in telling their stories, but rather using it to dupe people into listening to his own pontifications on current events! Shazam.

Patrick

I had an idea when reading this: is it possible that I had a more lukewarm feeling towards TDK because I'm German? Our political system is not perfect, but comparatively all right. We only had one extradited (supposed) Al Qaida member. We don't have the death penalty, there is no discussion about torture, the police are, overall, trustworthy. We don't argue that our chancellor should be able to kill people without due process - at most we argue the PotUS should be able to do so, and then only in the context of Bin Laden. We do have problems, even severe ones, but the climate TDK (and TDKR?) speaks to is not particularly representative for us. At most, via blogs and such, I have a view from a distance.

So perhaps the problems in the films seem more academic to me? they don't speak to me on a personal level. Hence I take more note of muddiness?

Anyway, looking forward to TDKR.

Walter Chaw

My first inclination is to say "no". If you do see it in 35mm, don't do it like we did it, in an ancient theater with an ancient projection and sound system. It's hard enough to hear Bane as it is without reverb and distortion.

I love the Bane character and character design. Tom Hardy is a fave. I found my enjoyment of the film greatly-improved by being able to hear his dialogue. Also, the clarity is astonishing. The theater that projected it in 70mm reinstalled their 70mm projector just for this film. (It had been removed to accommodate digital.) A large financial investment, but I feel lucky to have been able to see it as intended.

D. Ray

Is it even worth seeing the movie in 35mm?

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