Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises: My Thoughts...

Initially, I was not going to share my thoughts on Batman 'The Dark Night Rises' but since speaking with other movie goers I am feeling a bit more brave.

I went to see the film this past Saturday evening.  It's no secret that I am not a fan of Christian Bale nor am I a die hard Batman fan.  I do think Bale is a great actor, but I do not care for him as Batman.  I do not read Batman.  I can not compare this film to the books.  However, prior to Batman Begins, I was a Batman film fan.  My favorite is Batman Returns because I loved Catwoman.  I even like Batman Forever.  Batman and Robin can just disappear from existence.  That movie was a train wreak.  They had great talent I don't think Clooney would have been my pick for Batman, but he is still a great actor.  I like my 90's Batman.  Yup.

The new films are darker and they should be but watching 'The Dark Night Rises' practically put me to sleep and my movie buddy did accidentally take a nap in the middle of the movie.

I feel like a great movie is one that the viewer gets lost in.  It's where I am pulled out of my world and put into the films and anything going on around me is mute and non existent.  This was not the case at TDKR.  Not only was I completely bored and sleepy, but the entire movie was predictable.  I read a piece on the Huffington Post about just how predictable TDKR is because its almost the same story as Batman Begins.  The writer made quite a few comparisons.  A friend of mine who is a HUGE fanboy of Batman explained to me this was intentional and it's the story coming full circle.  This may be so, but it's hard to swallow paying to see a film I have already seen.  Of course I didn't realize the similarities until well after seeing the movie.  Thankfully, I did not watch BB and TDK days before seeing TDKR or I might have realized it mid film.

On the flip side, I was surprised by Anne Hathaway's performance.  We have all been complaining about Anne being cast as Catwoman since it was announced.  I could not picture her as Catwoman.  I have a hard time picturing Anne in anything beyond comedy, but she is a good actress.  I think her facial features are so striking it's hard to see her fitting into new roles.  I did not mind her as Catwoman.  Initially I hated her ear headband or lack of ears, but when watching the film I thought the costume design with the goggles flipping up and resembling ears to be quite interesting and pretty darn innovative.  They could have given her a whip though even if it was just a piece of the costume and not used.  Even though I enjoyed Anne as Catwoman I do not think she was memorable.

I enjoyed Tom Hardy as Bane.  Since I do not read Batman and my knowledge of Batman's villains are through the films, Bane was a completely new villain to me.  However, I wish they had subtitled his speaking parts as he was hard to understand often.  I don't expect a character with a mask such as his to be easily understood that would be unrealistic.  Subtitles would have been a huge help.

My favorite standout character of the film was Blake.  I kept looking at the actor thinking he looked very familiar but I could not figure out who the actor was until I checked IMDB later in the evening.  Joesph Gordon-Levitt from 3rd Rock from the Sun.  I thought he blended right into that character perfectly.  Although Blake's presence added to the predictability of the movie.  As the movie progressed I couldn't not think to myself he would be a great Robin, but Robin's name was never Blake nor was he a cop.  As far as I know he was never a cop and my quick research comes up with no Blake's as Robin.  The foreshadowing is ridiculously obvious.  Batman tells him to wear a mask, Blake is obviously helping Batman out throughout the film, and he happens to be an orphan.

This is the end of the trilogy, but I am curious as to why they left off the way they did with Robin.  On another quick search I do not see any posts about future Batman films.  My thought was maybe this was a way of introducing a new character and tying the trilogy into the next Batman reboot I heard rumors of.  However, at the moment I am not reading any reboot rumors.  But DC did announce a Justice League film and Robin is not a character in the Justice League, but movies are known for changing the team roster.  The original Avengers did not have Black Widow.  The first female Avenger was the Wasp, but she was not part of the first team.  So who knows.  I do hope they do something with him, because I think Blake was the only character that really held my attention through the film.
End of Spoiler

Overall, it's a good movie but it's not a great movie.  I think that's pretty fair, right?

By now, unless you have been living some where completely disconnected from the media (or people) you have heard of the Aurora, CO shooting.  I don't really want to talk about the actual shootings.  I think the media has done enough damage discussing it to no end.  Whenever I hear about tragedies such as this repeatedly through both media and friends I can't not think of the emotional damage similar coverage accomplished in the aftermath of 9/11.  Something about it makes me very uneasy.

Knowledge and information is one thing, but an over abundance is completely different.  Between hearing the constant detailing from the media and the comments from friends both in person and online I had to refrain from reading facebook for a few days.  If you took a look at my news feed almost every thing was about Aurora news posts, homemade Batman RIP images, pop up charity donations, etc.  Not that anyone is wrong for posting any of this.  I posted a Batman image myself.  However, when it comes to donations and charity I think true philanthropy is done namelessly.  Not that someone can't start a donation process and be a true philanthropist because they can.  It's just a peeve of mine.  When I hear about someone starting a donation under their name publicly I can't not wonder if they are doing it for the charity alone or also themselves because being very vocal about starting a donation can change someones personal image.  I know it sounds insensitive and please do not be offended but think about it when you see donations pop up or if you plan to start one yourself make sure you know exactly why you are doing it, that is all I ask.  No this was not set off by any individual, I just happened to see a ton of different donation centers pop up.  In the meantime here is the link to the official relief fund. Aurora Victim Relief Fund

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