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Tue, Jul 22, 2014

PICKIN' ON FILM: Batman sees perfect end to trilogy


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Last week I wrote about the amount of time I waited to see Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises,” and about how I avoid going to the actual movie theaters like the plague.

This week I wanted to tell you what I thought of the film. It was amazing.

Nolan is the first director to film three Batman movies, and he ended the Dark Knight trilogy in fine fashion. Christian Bale, who plays both Bruce Wayne and his alter ego represents another first in the Caped Crusader’s world, is the first actor to portray the character in three films.

The effect that these firsts have on the trilogy is that they provide a seamless transition from “Batman Begins,” to “The Dark Knight,” and finally “The Dark Knight Rises.”

In these three films, we learn how Bruce Wayne came to be the hero of Gotham City and then eventually a criminal, and the last film Batman must be reborn into the figure he once was.

Nolan’s choice of characters came out of what I would call his frustrations with how the first four Batman films were made from the late 1980s and into the 1990s.

Tim Burton, who directed 1989’s “Batman” and 1992’s “Batman Returns” paved the way for Nolan’s films. Burton showed Batman much the way Nolan does, as a brooding hero whose actions are born out of the fact that Bruce Wayne lost his parents to Gotham’s criminal underworld.

The difference is that after Burton left the franchise and Joel Schumacher stepped in to helm “Batman Forever” and “Batman and Robin,” the film series had lost its way along with the actor that played Batman.  

Michael Keaton received very good reviews as the hero, but then two films later we saw Val Kilmer as the hero of “Batman Forever” and then George Clooney paying him in “Batman and Robin.”

Bale plays the role very well but Nolan’s decisions about who his opponents are is what really steals the show.

Jack Nicholson played the Joker in “Batman” to rave reviews, but Heath Ledger was awarded a posthumous Oscar for his work on the character.

If you watch the two side by side, their portrayals are completely different. Nicholson was playing more of a funny, evil psychopath. Ledger was playing more of a dark sociopath who has no respect for anything but mayhem.

When Joel Schumacher took over Burton’s franchise, he picked up The Riddler, Two-Face, and Catwoman. These characters were more troublemakers than anything, and Batman could easily handle them.

In Nolan’s films, the Joker, Two-Face, and Bane are criminals that pose a serious threat to Batman; we as viewers have no clue if Batman can conquer them or not.

Nolan also chose to bring Catwoman into Batman’s world but instead of making her a cheesy depiction of a “Cat Lady” like Michelle Pfeiffer did, we get Anne Hathaway’s ridiculously good-looking and smart portrayal of Catwoman as a master thief.

Further, in “TDKR” both Wayne and the audience are continually confused about what is really going on and how it will all turn out.

I’ll give you a little hint and tell you Batman comes back to save Gotham but his fate is sealed and cannot be changed. He has to save Gotham while giving the city everything he has to give.

With great story lines, incredible acting, and more awesome bat-gadgets from Lucius Fox, “The Dark Knight Rises” is an epic conclusion to two previous amazing films.

They’re dark, immensely enjoyable, and they all end with mind-blowing conclusion.

It’s my guess that no one will make another Batman film for decades since Nolan made three perfect ones.
 
 
 
Tagged under  Batman, Entertainment, Movie, Pickin on Film, The Dark Knight Rises



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