Author Archives: CaptainDamaged

The Dark Knight Rises – My Thoughts

My noble brethren have already shared their thoughts on Christopher Nolan’s third and final BATMAN film. Beard Man’s here and Deadgeek’s here. Yes I know it was 3 years ago, but better late than never, right?

Dark Knight Rises posterSoooo… I had never seen 2012’s Dark Knight Rises until tonight. I’d only seen the previous two a grand total of once, so I wasn’t exactly well versed with the material. On a whim, I decided to watch all three in a row. It was a cinematic treat and make no mistake

So there wasn’t a whole lot of Batman in this Batman film as Beard Man correctly pointed out. I think it sort of worked out for the better for me. The Nerd Arena gang are well aware that in recent years I will cry at just about anything. Especially in the cinema. ‘The magic of the theatre’ you mock me and my tears with. The experience of just being out of the house and watching something loudly on a big screen, and they’re not much wrong. Off the the top of my head I cried three times in Star Trek – Into Darkness, a mediocre film at best; three times during Captain America – Winter Soldier, a much much better film; twice during Ant-Man. The list goes on. But I now cry at home too! And strong, manly tears at that! I embrace it now, as it’s meant I can’t help but get emotionally invested in the films I watch. It’s the human element of Dark Knight Rises that gets to me the most.

Christian Bale is a fantastic actor, and it felt like this was the first Batman film that he got a chance to do any. His performances were great in the previous two, but Batman by his very nature isn’t exactly overwhelming in the expression department. Bale as a broken Bruce Wayne had my feels truly hooked. Watching him and his exchange with the amazing Selina Kyle, cane and all was great. He was everything we don’t expect of Batman. Frail and lost. I’d argue that as much as he didn’t wear the suit much in this one, that we actually see a lot of Batman through Christian Bale. As in even when he’s out of the suit and going through some hard moments like escaping the Pit, we’re watching Batman and not Bruce Wayne. Bruce Wayne is the disguise this time. Does that make sense? I don’t know how coherent this is right now.

Who would have expected Anne Hathaway to be so good in this role? I’ve enjoyed her in many films, but Catwoman? She is full of sass, and the scene where Bruce confronts her about the pearls and she gives up her innocent act was one she stole. Any time she appears on the screen she makes the scene better. She is a villain with a heart of gold and plays the duality very well.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a pretty big name nowadays, so it wouldn’t be much of a shock to me that he was great in this film. But he was really really great. Again, any time he is on camera he makes the film better. Yes it could be seen as weird that he walks up to Wayne and they just become buddies. But he does a pretty good job of explaining it, with the orphanage story, and the anger and the wearing of a mask. Why would Batman trust him? Maybe he’s a broken man with nothing to fight for any more. The relationship between the two was everything I would ask for in Batman and Robin. There’s a father/son, big brother/little brother thing they do so well. Blake is smart and tenacious, and just generally awesome. Figuring out what’s what, getting Gordon out of the sewer, figuring out the tunnel explosives, and generally being a nuisance for the bad guys. He was brilliant fun to watch.

Talia was a great addition. I’d unfortunately had her identity spoiled, so it did a bit of the sting out of Batman’s stabbing with the ‘slow blade’. But nevertheless her plot I felt was pretty well done. Finishing her father’s work and getting close to Bruce, who as Deadgeek pointed out was well known to the League of Shadows. I’d pretty much thought Bane was the man in charge the whole time, and that he was the child who escaped the Pit. Good swerve. The overall plot was pretty involved, it was a long film to be fair, but I didn’t find it too much. The way Bane’s operation escalated with the stock market raid and its forcing Bruce to reach out to Talia and put her in the position of power I felt was pretty original given the usual plot in superhero and comic type films. The human core of the film wasn’t overwhelmed by the different plot points.

As noted by my colleagues, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Gary Oldman just hugely improve any scene they’re in, but I feel this can’t be overstated. These three chaps in all three films really are some of the best parts. Gordon put his coat around young Bruce Wayne’s shoulders and failing at trying to be reassuring had my crying my eyes out this week. I never really “got over” that, and so I was helplessly emotionally invested in his relationship with Bruce and Batman. Gordon had me crying twice in Dark Knight, first when the officers turn up to tell his wife and they don’t even need to say anything, and again when he turns up alive and she slaps him. There was so much human emotion to those scenes. Again Michael Caine also had my bawling too, particularly in Batman Begins.

I spotted the foreshadowing of Alfred telling Bruce about his fantasy, and didn’t find the closing scene to be as bad as Beard Man does. It made sense for the Batman to die. Bruce Wayne could not live and be the Batman forever, and while at the start of the film he was Batman and nothing, by the end with no Batman he could finally be someone. It’s not a great Batman ending, but for this long-haired girly-man sat here writing this, it was a perfect ending for Bruce Wayne the man. Batman lives on as a symbol, while Bruce gets to finally live. One issue I have with comics is the never-ending nature of their tragedy after tragedy. There’s only so much that can happen to one person, and Spider-Man is much the same in this regard. After decades and decades of tragedy, it gets a bit hard to swallow. Some of the best comics are those with a definite ending, eg. PREACHER, WATCHMEN and many more. What I found satisfying about this films as a contained trilogy was that Batman got to have a happy ending that he would never find in the comics. In comics the characters just keep going and going in perpetual youth, the occasional retcon and seasonal reboot. Christian Bale would never have been able to play Batman forever. As an adaptation of a literary character, I felt the three films told a good story about a man wanting to make a difference.

So now we need to talk about Bane. One of the coolest movie villains played by such a great actor. But he was a bit wank, wasn’t he? I totally did not dig his voice. I picture him in a top hat for some reason. It would have been really weird if he did the gravely voice as well, but still… it was just… wrong. Which is a big shame as Hardy is terrific. It didn’t really hamper me from enjoying him though. Any time Bane comes on screen, something great happens.

While I’m on the subject, I once wrote a not very nice piece on Heath Ledger’s Joker. I should take this opportunity to say after rewatching the Dark Knight, I take it all back. Ledger totally steals the film, and gave such a nuanced performance. These are actors pretending to be something else in front of a camera, but you really feel that Ledger was way more than that. There’s so no such performance in Dark Knight Rises to make it transcend it’s anguished big brother, but it strikes a more hopeful emotional chord. The cops marching on the tanks, the orphans on the bus, it all had my feels invested.

Beard Man had some great examples of where the script wasn’t up to much. One moment that got my choked up was between Batman and Catwoman near the end. She pleads with him just to come with her, “You’ve given them everything!”. “No” he says, “not everything”. That really got me. After learning to not be afraid of death, and then rediscovering it in the Pit and basically saying that Batman was not going to survive, those words gave me chills. So the ending is a bit cheesy, I was glad for it after how bloody grim everything was. After so many hours of The Walking Dead, it’s nice to see a happy ending once in a while.

I give it 7 out of 10

Comics Review – The Boys by Garth Ennis

image

Writer: Garth Ennis
Artists: Darick Robertson, Russ Braun, Peter Snejbjerb
Issues: #1 – #72, Herogasm #1 – #6, Highland Laddie #1 – #6, Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker #1 – #6
Books: The Name of the Game; Get Some; Good for the Soul; We Gotta Go Now; Herogasm; The Self-Preservation Society; The Innocents; Highland Laddie; The Big Ride; Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker; Over the Hill the Swords of a Thousand Men; The Bloody Doors Off

 

Woah.. It’s hard to put into words a series like THE BOYS. There’d be lots of swear words, and body parts. The words ‘Mature Content’ doesn’t begin to describe what lies within its pages. I hereby advice all those who may be upset or offended by extreme violence and adult themes to turn away now, and lose out on one of the most original superhero titles of a generation.

 

Read the rest of this entry

Avengers: Age of Ultron first look at Scarlet Witch

image

New photos have been released from the next Avengers movie titled AGE OF ULTRON, based on the okay….. comic series of the same name by Brian Bendis and Bryan Hitch. There’s sneak peeks at Iron Man and Quicksilver, as well as some Hawkeye and pre-CG Ultron, but what’s gotten me excited is Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch.
 

Read the rest of this entry

Tarantino shelves THE HATEFUL EIGHT after script leak

image

It’s been reported that after giving the script to just 6 people, it has ended up online which Tarantino sees as a betrayal. “I’m very, very depressed” he said.

Read the rest of this entry

CONSTANTINE coming to NBC?

image

NBC have ordered a pilot for a TV series based on the DC Vertigo title HELLBLAZER starring John Constantine. We’ve already seen Keanu on screen as Constantine in the film (ironically in the Alanis Morissette way) called CONSTANTINE, and NBC have creatively chosen the same name for their series. I’m guessing a series with the word ‘Hell’ in it would be too controversial? Who knows.

 

Read the rest of this entry

Paul Rudd is Ant-Man

image

It’s been officially announced at Marvel.com that comedian Paul Rudd has been cast in the upcoming Ant-Man film written by the British duo Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish of Shaun of the Dead/Hot Fuzz/World’s End and Attack the Block fame respectively.

Read the rest of this entry

Series Spotlight – Sandman

image

The rumour mill is going wild with talk that MAN OF STEEL writer David S Goyer has proposed a SANDMAN movie starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
 
Neil Gaiman’s SANDMAN is one of the most critically acclaimed comics of all time, and one of the few graphic novels to make it onto the New York Times Bestsellers list (other titles include MAUS, THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and WATCHMEN). It tells the story of Dream, of the Endless, the Lord of Dream and his home dimension called the Dreaming.
 

Read the rest of this entry

Character Spotlight – Iron Fist

image

You should hopefully be aware that Marvel and Netflix have announced four shows starring Daredevil, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. The fourth hero is the mystical martial artist – Iron Fist.

Read the rest of this entry

Character Spotlight – Luke Cage

image

As previously announced, Marvel and Netflix are beginning development of 4 new TV properties. I’ve given some background on Daredevil and Jessica Jones, now it’s time for Jessica’s husband – Luke F’N Cage.

Read the rest of this entry

Series Spotlight – Preacher by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon

image

AMC recently announced that with the mighty shoes of Breaking Bad and Mad Men to be filled, they are about to begin development of the sacrilicious DC Vertigo title PREACHER. Preacher is a much revered title, and at the time it and Sandman (also by Vertigo) were among the highest grossing comics worldwide at the time. It centres around Jesse Custer, a Texan minister who is hating the church and hating his congregation, when out of nowhere a celestial being named Genesis needing a host body comes crashing into his church and bonds with him, incinerating the church and all inside. Jesse awakes unharmed, and with a brain full of knowledge about Heaven, and that the Lord has abandoned His children. Jesse vows to track down the Lord Almighty and hold him accountable for the failure of His creation.

Read the rest of this entry

%d bloggers like this: