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The Dark Knight Trilogy

post #1 of 1251
Thread Starter 
For the purpose of keeping the TDKR thread focused and to get it all out...
post #2 of 1251

Watched DKR last night and I can now say that for my money it is if not the best, one of the best film trilogies of all time.

post #3 of 1251

How can it be the best when the first one is kind of dull and has Katie Holmes in it?

post #4 of 1251

I scoped the first movie again today.  It's not dull.  The first hour is the closest a comic book movie had come to Oscar worthy material until Heath's performance.

post #5 of 1251

It took two viewings of Rises, but this is easily one of the greatest trilogies of all time. The question is, how far up is it on the list?  For me, it's gotta be in the top five.

post #6 of 1251

It's a bit ahead of OT Star Wars, due mostly to the fact that, while I've got my problems with it, Rises isn't nearly as retarded as Jedi.

post #7 of 1251

Surprisingly, Rises fares better when watched right after the other two. The over-complexity of Bane's plot is so much easier to roll with the idea that the League is being lead by a pair with a fanatical desire for vengeance, and that everything is ultimately focused on torturing Bruce. All of which is nicely seeded in Begins by that quiet conversation with Ras in which he plainly states that it was vengeance that saved him from his grief, and thus it is the most integral MO of the League.

post #8 of 1251

Right there with you, Freeman. Begins is the single best comic-book based movie I've seen yet. DK is a lot of fun - thanks mostly to Ledger - and DKR has it's moments but neither comes close to the fantastic emotional and plot focus of the first one. I've enjoyed the whole series but I'll sit for BB anytime, any day whereas I'd just prefer select moments from the other two. Still one of the most accomplished trilogies overall.

post #9 of 1251

For me, I think Begins is my favorite.  It's the most rewatachable for me. The film is great until Falcone is captured, then it kind of gets muddled with the entire plot of the water vaporizer.  It's still good, just not as good as the first 90 minutes. 

 

I rewatched most of TDK the other day, I for me, the film is nearly perfect, until the Joker gets out of jail.  It just seems to want to keep tossing more and more at you.  The entire fairy subplot drives me nuts, it's just too much for me.  Such a strong first half, but the rest doesn't work for me as well.

 

Then Rises, which is the exact opposite.  I find the first 90 minutes to be okay.  Lot's of strange editing, and too many things going on.  But after Bane takes control of the city, the rest of the film is near perfect.  I just LOVE his montage in front of the prison, inter-cut with Gotham literally being burned to the ground. 

 

my ranks go: Begins, Rises, and TDK. 

post #10 of 1251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renn Brown View Post

Surprisingly, Rises fares better when watched right after the other two. The over-complexity of Bane's plot is so much easier to roll with the idea that the League is being lead by a pair with a fanatical desire for vengeance, and that everything is ultimately focused on torturing Bruce. All of which is nicely seeded in Begins by that quiet conversation with Ras in which he plainly states that it was vengeance that saved him from his grief, and thus it is the most integral MO of the League.

This. 100%.
post #11 of 1251

Three films that simply do nothing for me.  They're not poorly made, even with some inconsistencies and flaws.  They just leave me completely cold.

post #12 of 1251
For my money, the best trilogy in my lifetime has been Toy Story.

After two viewings, I think Rises is more flawed than the predecessors, but still of a kind with the previous two films. Which are both exceptional films in my book. I absolutely love this trilogy, because it has vision and passion. Consistency through Bale's performance is what makes the final third of Rises really work. A great trilogy that has changed summer filmmaking, in my opinion. We can argue as to whether it is a good thing, but probably not that it has happened.
post #13 of 1251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post

Three films that simply do nothing for me.  They're not poorly made, even with some inconsistencies and flaws.  They just leave me completely cold.

Holy Shit, I don't know if you're kidding or not. If you're not I'm going to assume that you prefer Marvel over D.C. I say this because how you feel is exactly how I feel about every Spiderman and Iron Man movie, because I don't care for Marvel or their cartoonish characters in the least. The exception being the X-Men films.

post #14 of 1251

I'm not trying to turn this into a MARVEL vs DC discussion, but like History Buff, I am also not a fan of Marvel's recent efforts, especially the Phase One movies. I think one of the things that really bothers me is the self-aware approach to the material, which is most prevalent in Avengers ( Probably due to the combination of  Joss Whedon and Robert Downey Jr.), I hate when characters point out the film's silly nature ("OMG THOR! What are you wearing?") for the sake of it.  It's more insulting than random exposition dumps. You don't need to tell the audience the film is silly, we get it, that's why we like it. Honestly, I think The Dark Knight Rises found a nice groove in its tone. It's fairly light, and only goes grim when the stakes are raised.

 

Which brings me to another point, because of the self-awareness, the stakes never seem real. Bane's siege of Gotham had me at the edge of my seat, while the invasion of New York in the Avengers seemed like a level of a video game. I have a lot of other problems with the Marvel films (Their "junk-food" mentality, lack of iconography, that terrible scene where the holocaust victim stands up to Loki etc.)

 

With that said, I'm really looking forward to Ant-Man, however I'm sure Shane Black will make Iron Man 3 even more unbearable than the last two.

post #15 of 1251
If I had to rank it with trilogies, it'd be...

1. The Indiana Jones Trilogy
2. The Bourne Trilogy
3. The Dark Knight Trilogy
4. The Star Wars Trilogy
5. The Back To The Future Trilogy
post #16 of 1251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post

Three films that simply do nothing for me.  They're not poorly made, even with some inconsistencies and flaws.  They just leave me completely cold.

 

*shrugs* And that's totally fine.

 

Anyway, I'm doing a rewatch of the first two films before seeing Rises later this week. Finished a rewatch of BEGINS, and my God it holds up even better than I remembered. Honestly, I'd almost put its strengths as equal to the ones in TDK. Laundry list!:

 

-I had forgotten that these have NEVER been "small" movies. Everyone talks in very elegant, stylized dialogue you'd find in the better Batman comics stories; Gotham feels like The City as an archetype as opposed to just "a" city; Nolan is unafraid of confronting the larger themes at play; and Batman feels like a truly mythic figure onscreen. Zimmer and Newton Howard's score may not be as instantly iconic as Elfman, but it certainly massages the "BIG" feeling of the movie.

 

-Speaking of mythic, Wally Pfister shoots the shit out of it. The 'round-the-world scenes look absolutely stunning, especially scenes like Bruce and Ducard fighting on the ice. Meanwhile, Gotham looks the best it ever has in live-action. Burton and Schumacher's films have their charms, but they honestly feel ugly and small compared to Nolan's version.

 

-The only real problematic action scene for me is the final hand-to-hand fight between Batman and Ra's; there are a few moments there where I feel like it does cut too quickly or focus too tightly. Otherwise, though? I love the action here, whether it's a neat swordfight in an exploding mountaintop hideaway, the Tumbler chase, or the absolutely iconic warehouse/docks entrance of Batman in full.

 

-Aside from Mask of the Phantasm's unique romance-tinged take, this is my favorite version of Batman's origin ever. For one thing, it points out that Bruce's tragedy is not the end-all be-all; there is much more suffering in Gotham than his own pain, and I love that part of his character development is coming to realize that. By the end, his drive for true justice has overpowered his anger and guilt at his parents' deaths, and it's honestly inspiring to watch him re-take the city he once abandoned. Also, it ties in one of Batman's great villains, Ra's Al Ghul, in a way so obviously brilliant you wonder why no one had ever tried it before.

 

-I also like that this take on Alfred is slightly different. You absolutely feel the love and care between these two men (that scene where he comforts young Bruce is gut-wrenching), but Alfred openly questions Bruce's mission despite helping him. Another difference is that I never really get the sense Bruce wants to do this for the rest of his life, a conflict that will come to play even more in TDK.

 

-People gripe about the third act, but I love it; the screenplay brings all its loose threads together, and we get a truly exciting climax. It may seem strange of me to emphasize that word, but think about it. A lot of superhero movies, even good ones, have a final fight or big action sequence just because there's kind of supposed to be one. But Nolan and Goyer keep track of all the storylines, and I was surprised at how involved I got once again as everything and everyone converged on the story. Yeah, Gordon has a couple dumb "blockbuster" moments, and Shane Rimmer's water-main exposition gets a little goofy by the third time, but I enjoyed the way Oldman delivered them.

 

-What a fucking great cast. The only real weak link is Holmes, and even she's not bad. Hell, it's probably the best work she's ever done. The problem is that she makes some of Dawes' "moral compass" moments come across as naggy or bitchy when they should be inspiring. I do like the quiet way she plays the last scene between her and Bruce. Otherwise, the cast, even small players like Rutger Hauer or Mark Boone, Jr., is excellent across the board. Honestly, as much as I love Michael Keaton, Bale kicks his ass in the live-action Batman department (Kevin Conroy is still the best overall Batman ever). Granted, this is partially because Bale gets to play a much more fully-realized character, and so does everyone else. Gary Oldman and Liam Neeson play particularly well against their usual types, and Michael Caine makes for a beautiful, funny Alfred.

 

-Batman's interrogation of Flass still has the best use of the Bat-voice, which I've said before has never really bothered me. But c'mon, "SWEAR TO ME!" works like gangbusters.

 

Tomorrow: The Dark Knight rewatch!

post #17 of 1251
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMcLargeHuge View Post

I'm not trying to turn this into a MARVEL vs DC discussion, but like History Buff, I am also not a fan of Marvel's recent efforts, especially the Phase One movies. I think one of the things that really bothers me is the self-aware approach to the material, which is most prevalent in Avengers ( Probably due to the combination of  Joss Whedon and Robert Downey Jr.), I hate when characters point out the film's silly nature ("OMG THOR! What are you wearing?") for the sake of it.  It's more insulting than random exposition dumps. You don't need to tell the audience the film is silly, we get it, that's why we like it.

 

I don't think The Avengers ever crosses into that territory at all.  That's one of the strengths of the film.  That moment you mention is Tony Stark being Tony Stark, not Downey winking at us saying "Get a load of that costume!"

 

And yes, I've always preferred Marvel to DC, because their characters felt more relatable.  But I don't blanketly dismiss DC either.  I love the first two Superman films, as well as the animated Batman and Superman series.

post #18 of 1251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post

Three films that simply do nothing for me.  They're not poorly made, even with some inconsistencies and flaws.  They just leave me completely cold.

 

I think that - while I wouldn't go quite that far - I'm a lot closer to you on this than I am to the rest of the board. I appreciate the craftmanship on display, I really appreciated Begins for distancing us from Schumacher kiddified approach, but I would have much rather had an approach closer to the Marvel movies, which I vastly prefer.

 

There's a few things I really like - especially in Dark Knight, where I really liked Ledger and Eckhart and the approach to both of their characters. But neither film is one I particularly want to revisit. I haven't seen Rises yet, and won't for a while (I suspect it'll be something like the second week it hits Imax here or thereabouts) but from the sound of things (My apathy towards the film has been such that I've actively sought out spoilers) it does exactly what I was afraid it would do and take my least favorite aspects of the first two and emphasize them.

 

I'm actively relieved Nolan is done, and I eagerly await the inevitable reboot. Warner's ambition towards a JLA project makes me hope we get a Batman that fits in with the other superheros, and maybe even would allow us to get Man-bat or Clayface in a film. Not that I have a particular attachment to either, but I"d like to see something that was outside the range of Nolan's universe. I'm also really looking forward to the next interpretation of the Joker and the rest of the critical villains.

 

Alternately, we could get this Batman:

400

(Actually, I just wanted to post a picture of my new Batman figure)

post #19 of 1251

It's really weird how people are getting accused of being Marvel fanboys or "not liking Batman" if they state a preference for The Avengers over TDKR. I've noticed it in other places before here.

post #20 of 1251

Thing is, I think you can tell stories every bit as deep and thematically rich as what Nolan attempted using the character right off the page.  Hell, the animated series did it.

post #21 of 1251

Yeah, but a full animated television series is way different from three films totaling about 8 hours. There's also the fact that Conroy and his Batman continued to develop on further animated series such as Beyond and Justice League.

post #22 of 1251

There's also the fact that nearly half of the Animated Series episodes are ripped verbatim off issues from the comics. They aren't even trying nowadays with the DTV trash.

post #23 of 1251

Whoa now, most of the DTV stuff is pretty good, methinks. Even if you don't like the storytelling, the animation and acting is a hell of a lot better than "trash".

post #24 of 1251

It's like a novelization of The Dark Knight Rises. No matter how good it is, it's in no way its own beast. Essentially Lifeless.

post #25 of 1251

Well, unless it's like Red Hood, where the movie arguably MASSIVELY trumps the source material; even Judd Winick is convinced of this, and he wrote the damn thing!

 

Anyway, back to Nolan: I love the trippy fear gas cinematography he and Pfister use in Begins. It really manages to disorient both the characters and the audience; I think my favorite use of it is when Crane sees Batman's face as scarred and monstrous, black bile oozing out of his mouth.

post #26 of 1251

I watched the first two on Wednesday, then saw the third one on Friday. The overall feeling I got watching "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight" again (probably my third or fourth time watching each) was that their plots have a lot of extraneous material that I find tiresome, but the performances and big set pieces pull the viewer through. The same can be said for "The Dark Knight Rises", but I agree with the person who said that its plot is so messy that it makes the plot of "The Dark Knight" look streamlined. I've always thought that movie's plot was quite cumbersome, but "The Dark Knight Rises" made me long for a return to its comparative simplicity.

 

Basically, I think all three movies have terrific performances and moments, but they're also all a case of parts being better than the whole. That's why it's hard to pick a favourite. My feeling after "The Dark Knight Rises" was that it's better than "Batman Begins", but I might change my mind about that, because I like them in pretty similar ways. I like the Scarecrow, Ra's Al Ghul, Falcone, Blake, Catwoman, and Bane characters and how they're played and written.

 

In all three movies, though, a lot of the plot stuff bored me. Again excellent supporting cast dialog and performances helpfully distract from the weaknesses of the storytelling (and Oldman, Freeman, and Caine rule in all three). I especially felt let down by plot while enthralled with character during my last viewing of "The Dark Knight". I just kept getting antsy every time The Joker wasn't on screen, waiting for him to come back and perk things up again.

post #27 of 1251

More assorted thoughts on Begins (my TDK laundry list will be up later today):

 

-I had forgotten that Bruce says "As long as it takes" when Alfred asks him how long he'll be back in Gotham. Already it is clear Bruce does not plan to be Batman for the rest of his life. It's not a matter of selfishness, but pragmatism.

 

-Some people object to Batman pancaking the cop car, but remember that those two cops are immediately shown to be more or less OK; the younger one calls in the "black... tank!" description.

 

-In terms of "revealing" Batman, I think Nolan's fantastic horror/action scene at the dock warehouse is even better than Burton's '89 reveal. Bale's "I'm Batman!" is just as good as Keaton's, arguably. And I still get a huge kick out of him using Falcone to make the first Bat-Signal.

 

-Scarecrow's string of puns as he dispatches Batman is stupid, but thankfully it's the only time that sort of thing happens in the film. Plus, the imagery and sound in that scene manages to overcome the goofy lines.

 

-Another "why didn't they think of this before?" story decision: tying in Bruce's decision to use bats as his symbol to a childhood fear of bats, as well as his parents' death. The only time I can remember this happening in the comics is a scene similar to this film's opening in The Dark Knight Returns, and even that's mostly used as a cool flashback/nightmare rather than a psychological underpinning of the character.

 

-Linus Roache doesn't have much screen time, but he makes every second count in making Thomas Wayne a truly good man; as a result, his death in particular haunts us just as much as Bruce. Usually, the death of Batman's parents is just kind of thrown out as the explanation, but I love that Nolan explores just how thoroughly it impacts Bruce, and how he comes to see that his anger and guilt can be used to serve a higher purpose. The murder scene itself is shockingly brutal, even on a PG-13 level. Nolan heightens the tension for a bit, then BANG! It's so sudden and abrupt that I can't help but still be shocked.

 

-The shot of a nervous Joe Chill on the stand as an out-of-focus Bruce walks out is fantastic. I can't describe quite why I love it, but I do.

 

-I don't dislike the Burton costume, but I never thought the fake muscles were entirely necessary. The Nolan Batsuit, in both incarnations, does away with this and honestly looks more flat-out cool to me. Letting Bale move around a lot more helps the physicality, and avoids the stiffer fight scenes in earlier films (search your feelings, you know it to be true). This Batman is as swift and agile in combat as he frankly should be.

post #28 of 1251

The Dark Knight Rewatch:

 

-OK, there are a couple holes here in the plot. I'm still not sure who Gordon's talking about when he says five people are dead, two of them cops. By my count, Harvey killed Wuertz, Maroni's driver, presumably Maroni perished in the crash, and then Harvey himself died. He explicitly let Ramirez live; was his pimp hand so strong? And Joker managing to rig both ferries so quickly is weird, although I wouldn't put it entirely past him. How much does this affect my enjoyment of the film? Pretty much not at all. Great films don't have to be absolutely perfect.

 

-There are also a few points where Bale's Bat-voice sounds a little goofy, almost as if he's forcing it on more. But there are just as many moments where it works, such as when he's interacting with Joker or Harvey at the end.

 

-The occasional hammy extras are not nearly as wince-inducing as the ones in Raimi's Spider-Man films. And many of the extras/bit roles are pretty good. I like how the guy on the "normal" ferry quietly plays the scene where he almost activates the detonator.... and finds that for all his previous bravado, he just can't. It's too big a decision.

 

-There is literally nothing I can say about Ledger's performance that hasn't been said before. It is one of the great villains in live-action cinema. Mark Hamill will always be my favorite Joker overall, but Ledger provides a brilliant, terrifying and unique take on the character.

 

-One person who I don't think gets nearly enough praise is Aaron Eckhart. When you think about it, he easily has the hardest role in the film. He has to convince the audience of Harvey Dent's pure, true decency, heroism, dedication to the law... and then systematically break that down over the running time. Eckhart absolutely nails it in every way. His homicidal despair in the last half-hour of the film is both terrifying and heartbreaking: "It's not about what I want, it's about what's FAIR!"

 

-Jim Emerson can fuck right off; the Lower 5th chase is an absolute marvel of action filmmaking and storytelling. Really, as solid as I felt the action in Begins was, this is a big step up, especially that chase and the opening bank heist. Nolan also seems a lot more comfortable with the hand-to-hand fighting; it seems a lot more Bourne than Bay. And again, I still liked the marital arts stuff in the previous film, but this is even better.

 

-Other people who can fuck off: the gibbering idiots who think Maggie Gyllenhall is ugly. She's miles better than Holmes here, and her good work makes Rachel's death hit all the harder.

 

-I think my two favorite non-action scenes are Batman's interrogation of Joker (well, technically it is), as well as Bruce and Alfred's sunrise conversation after Rachel dies (Bale's delivery of "She was going to wait for me, Alfred" and Caine's reaction destroy me). The interrogation is one of the best scenes in the film on every standpoint, from writing to acting to direction and editing. And that subsequent conversation ends on a total chills-down-spine moment: "We burned the forest down".

 

-"What were you trying to prove? That deep down, everyone's as ugly as you? You're alone!" I think those are the perfect words to say to July 20th's shooter.

 

-When you give it some thought, the Joker lies about nearly everything throughout the movie. The one moment where I believe he's truly honest is when he goes, "What would I do without you? Go back to ripping off mob dealers? No, no. No! No, you complete me." He never wants to go back to being a nobody; it's the only thing that truly frightens him, methinks.

 

In the end, this is still my favorite live-action Batman movie, and my anticipation for Rises is back at top levels. Even if it's not perfect, I know I'll be in for at least a hell of a ride.

post #29 of 1251

I'd keep those expectations for RISES in check.  You'll have a better time.

post #30 of 1251

*shrugs* Like I said, I'm not going to lie about being excited to see it. It has a crapload of my favorite actors in it, Nolan is one of my favorite directors, etc. Maybe I'll love it.

 

I know you mean well, dude, but comments like this tend to annoy me. Just because you think it was ultimately just "good" doesn't mean someone else can't love it.

post #31 of 1251

I've to say that Holmes and Gyllenhall just pale when in comparison to Hathaway. Her Selina really echos the one in the comics.

post #32 of 1251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Spider View Post

-OK, there are a couple holes here in the plot. I'm still not sure who Gordon's talking about when he says five people are dead, two of them cops. By my count, Harvey killed Wuertz, Maroni's driver, presumably Maroni perished in the crash, and then Harvey himself died. He explicitly let Ramirez live; was his pimp hand so strong? And Joker managing to rig both ferries so quickly is weird, although I wouldn't put it entirely past him. How much does this affect my enjoyment of the film? Pretty much not at all. Great films don't have to be absolutely perfect.

 

There's also that one cop that gets shotgunned in the face by The Joker right before the SWAT convoy-assault (outside the semi-truck) -- betting that's likely the other dead officer Gordon's referring to, there.

post #33 of 1251

I don't even think it was just 'good.'

 

Really, this is coming from someone who outright LOVES TDK (flaws be damned).

 

Also, I must break your shoulders.

 

I'll bet that you love it though.  And when you do, make sure to help MichaelM out in the post-release thread.  He's fighting the good fight!

post #34 of 1251

Him, Jackknife and Sebastian. Hell, Renn and Tim liked it a lot without totally loving it, so that counts for something.

post #35 of 1251

What am I, chopped liver?
 

post #36 of 1251

I think Rises has some highs that more than offset the flaws.  It is a bit more disjointed than the previous two films, it relies on those two films far more than it probably should, but when it delivers, it is absolutely of a piece with BB and TDK.  Being more flawed than BB and TDK is hardly a dealbreaker.

 

But the sequences that work (and they are mostly the load-bearing sequences), really work.  The cast is uniformly great, the action superior to the first two, and the four new characters are all effective.  And just as Nolan can abolsutely end his films, he can also end his trilogy.

post #37 of 1251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post

What am I, chopped liver?
 

 

My apologies, monsieur.

post #38 of 1251
Quote:
Originally Posted by First Class 782 View Post

I think Rises has some highs that more than offset the flaws.  It is a bit more disjointed than the previous two films, it relies on those two films far more than it probably should, but when it delivers, it is absolutely of a piece with BB and TDK.  Being more flawed than BB and TDK is hardly a dealbreaker.

 

But the sequences that work (and they are mostly the load-bearing sequences), really work.  The cast is uniformly great, the action superior to the first two, and the four new characters are all effective.  And just as Nolan can abolsutely end his films, he can also end his trilogy.

 

The new film has plenty of flaws, but is still a damn fine blockbuster. Hell if all in production Superhero films are 'only' as good as TDKR then we've in for a fine next decade. THou I would argue that Talia is under used by the film.

 

I won't call the trilogy the greatest of all time but it's easily the greatest Superhero trilogy. And will probably remain so for years to come unless Joss has two more home runs in him.

post #39 of 1251

Interesting and funny article from cracked.com about the sad reality we must face now that Nolan has completed his Batman trilogy:

 

http://www.cracked.com/blog/3-things-we-have-to-accept-about-life-after-nolans-batman/

post #40 of 1251
Quote:
Originally Posted by History Buff View Post

Interesting and funny article from cracked.com about the sad reality we must face now that Nolan has completed his Batman trilogy:

 

http://www.cracked.com/blog/3-things-we-have-to-accept-about-life-after-nolans-batman/

 

 

Quote:
#3. Say Goodbye to Great Superhero Movies

 

Aaaaand out.

post #41 of 1251

Not surprised you feel this way Richard. But the key word there is, "great" not "good"....I wouldn't consider anything that Marvel has released in the last few years as Great. And the only films I'd say are even good would be the X-men movies (NOT the Last Stand) and The Avengers. I can do without all the others!

 

I, however, tend to agree with the author especially if Nolan is indeed done with Batman.

post #42 of 1251

Someone asked in the other thread why I think Dent was miscast. The problem for me is twofold, the writing and Eckhart. The overall handling of Two-Face is my only major nitpick in the whole trilogy.

 

I've always disliked the final confrontation in Dark Knight, since my first viewing. Primarily, I'm sick to death of "24"-style family hostages at gunpoint scenes. It was a massive letdown after the rest of the movie. I simply can't buy that Dent was far gone enough to want to kill Gordon's son, or that any amount of tragedy would get him to that point. Even killing Gordon's wife, as an eye for an eye thing, would be stretching it. I'd have an easier time buying that, though. Up til' that point, he's flipping the coin on people DIRECTLY responsible for what happened, not going after innocent loved ones. 

 

After that, we get into things I only started thinking after my 3rd time watching the movie, several years later. The first few times, Eckhart's natural presence was solid enough to carry things, and the excellent face FX kept me distracted. But now, I can't help but think Eckhart is much better as the smarmy DA than the anguished murderer. He tries, certainly. He gives good anguished scream, sure. But not good enough. All I can think is that he was cast primarily for how he looked/acted as Dent in the first half of the story, and it didn't matter as much that he was merely pretty good in anguish mode. I'm not going to go off on a fantasy recasting tangent, but with all the great actors Nolan knows, I'm certain there was a better choice out there. Someone who could charm you, and then turn around and believably scare the shit out of you, CG or no CG. It's the Joker's movie, though, so I can't blame them for not scouring the earth for that perfect Two-Face.

 

The second aspect is the writing. This is the only time for me outside media trumps Nolan's approach. In the Two-Face origin two parter of Batman: The Animated Series, Harvey Dent has a history of repressed anger going back to childhood. His inner Big Bad Harv popped up when a criminal insulted (or spit on...or splashed mud...cant remember, not important) Harvey while being hauled to the police wagon, and Dent starts beating on him. The voice actor also sells the shit out of the two personalities during a psychiatrist scene. In Dark Knight, a criminal pulls a gun on Harvey in court and he...plays it cool? He disarms the guy, and then wants to keep questioning him, without breaking a sweat? Sure, the scene works in the moment, but what does that do to help establish Two-Face, or plant the seeds for his transformation? It seems to indicate the opposite. A Two-Face that sometimes plays it cool whilst exacting revenge (like in Falcone's limo), and then sometimes gets all anguished and wants to kill unrelated kids just doesn't add up to anything compelling for me. It makes for 3rd act window dressing.
 

post #43 of 1251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post

 

 

 

Aaaaand out.

 

Yeah, that was seriously hyperbolic crap.   

post #44 of 1251

It's Cracked. With the exception of writer John Cheese, their attempts at insight tend to be outdone by their legitimately funny comedy writing.

post #45 of 1251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Spider View Post

-Jim Emerson can fuck right off; the Lower 5th chase is an absolute marvel of action filmmaking and storytelling. Really, as solid as I felt the action in Begins was, this is a big step up, especially that chase and the opening bank heist. Nolan also seems a lot more comfortable with the hand-to-hand fighting; it seems a lot more Bourne than Bay. And again, I still liked the marital arts stuff in the previous film, but this is even better.

 

Thinking back on it, there's no moment in TDKR that comes anywhere close to the semi flipping in TDK. That whole sequence is fantastic, and then that crazy moment of the truck going head over heels and the Batpod flipping off the wall. I remember that moment nearly made me jump out of seat when I first saw it, and there's nothing that comes anywhere close to it in this film.

post #46 of 1251

I agree that nothing tops the semi flipping in Dark Knight, but I loved two shots: The shot of the batcycle hitting the 90 degree angle and zooming into the alley, and the shot of Bane unleashing a 5-punch combination on Batman after his mask was damaged. I think this film has more action, but the flipping semi is the iconic action image of the trilogy.

post #47 of 1251

The whole plane heist at the beginning was pretty incredible if you ask me. Right up there with the semi flip.

post #48 of 1251

I really loved the Batpod doing an Evel Knievel onto the upper highway in this one. Especially since it appears to be a real stunt.

post #49 of 1251

Agreed. While I'm at it, the close-up of Bane punching Batman's mask in was brutal and terrific.

post #50 of 1251
To be honest I think that even if the first film was the worst film EVER the second would cancel it out, being, I think we can all agree, the best film ever.
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