Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (Rhoades)

“Dark Knight” Marathon
Introduces “Dark Knight Rises”

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Any fanboy worthy of living in his mom’s basement will want to be on hand for “The Dark Knight Rises.” You can catch a reprisal of this third film in the rebooted Batman franchise this week at the Tropic Cinema.
If you’ve taken the time to look up from your latest issue of Detective Comics, you’d know Christopher Nolan resuscitated the Batman movies in 2005 with his grim-and-gritty “Batman Begins.” And that was followed by “The Dark Knight.” The Cape Crusader had all but been done in by Joel Schumacher’s 1997 “Batman and Robin,” the much vilified film which featured George Clooney in a batsuit with rubber nipples.
Clooney reportedly offered to give moviegoers their money back.
For a new take on the familiar theme, Chris Nolan drew on the old Frank Miller comic books and retold the story with a nihilistic panache. What’s more, his inspired casting gave us Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman. And Michael Caine as Alfred, the butler who keeps the Batmobile polished and ready for action.
Those first two Dark Knight outings provided plenty of slam-bam action. And you can count of “The Dark Knight Rises” to deliver the goods again.
No need to recount the plots of those first two movies – fanboys have them memorized and can probably quote the dialogue along with the actors on screen.
However, “Dark Knight Rises” is another matter. Acknowledged to be the last film in Nolan’s Batman trilogy, it’s a must-see.
Taking place eight years after the last installment, we find that Batman (Bale) had been driven into exile because he was credited with District Attorney Harvey Dent’s crimes. But the appearance of Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) forces him out of retirement in a faceoff with a muscled supervillain known as Bane (Tom Hardy).
The action required plenty of physicality. Bale studied a mixed martial arts discipline called Keysi. Anne Hathaway says she “had to redouble her efforts in the gym to keep up with the demands.” And Tom Hardy gained 30 pounds of muscle for the role, increasing his weight to 198 pounds.
Familiar faces include Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth; Morgan Freeman as the CEO of Wayne Enterprises; Gary Oldman as Police Commissioner Gordon; and Liam Neeson in a cameo as Batman’s mentor from “Batman Begins.”
You’ll also meet Marion Cotillard as a board member of Wayne Enterprises; Joseph Gordon-Levitt as an idealistic young policeman; Matthew Modine as a deputy commissioner; and various members of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Christopher Nolan only agreed to do a third film if a worthwhile story could be found. “I have to ask the question,” Nolan said, “how many good third movies in a franchise can people name?” He solved the problem by developing a script with his brother Jonathan based on a story by David S. Goyer, a comic-book go-to guy (“Batman Begins,” “Ghost Rider,” “Doctor Strange,” “The Flash,” “Blade,” and the upcoming Superman movie, “Man of Steel”).
Batman is considered one of the Top Seven Comic Book Superheroes (although he has no super powers). Created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, the Caped Crusader first appeared in Detective Comics #27 in 1939. Detective Comics was eventually shorted to DC and became the name of the comic book company that’s owned by TimeWarner. 

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