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Wayhomer Review #127: The Dark Knight Rises

By Widge - posted 07.21.12 @ 1:32 pm

Tom Hardy as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises

Episode #127 for The Dark Knight Rises, in which our protagonist shies away from comparing this film to the last one, has IMAX problems and also wants to remind everyone of Michael Caine's amazing range. Also, Joseph Gordon-Levitt rocks balls.

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Special thanks to PhantomV48 for the closing animation.

Previous episode here.

Read More About:

Widgett Walls is Need Coffee's Chief Cook and Bottle Washer. He is the author of the novel Mystics on the Road to Vanishing Point, and two collections of short stories, Magnificent Desolation and Something Else: The Complete First Season. He is also co-author of the children's book There's a Zombie in My Treehouse! All of those books are available in paperback or for the Kindle from Amazon. He is also the narrator and publisher of the first unabridged recording of Seneca's letters, available here. He is active on both Twitter and Facebook. (If you befriend him on Facebook, do say you came via Need Coffee.) He lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. He hardly ever sleeps.

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A Mob Numbering 27
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    1. 

    Sound balance seems to be an issue for all prints of the film, not just Imax, unfortunately.

    Comment by Evil — July 21, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

    2. 

    Evil: That is unfortunate.

    Comment by Widge — July 21, 2012 @ 2:51 pm

    3. 

    Whoa...

    I actually hated this film utterly and completely. I didn't find anything redeemable in this. It was very amateurish and J.G.L. was absolutely terrible.

    Ugh.

    The ending made no sense either.

    Comment by c13old — July 21, 2012 @ 3:39 pm

    4. 

    Masterpiece Theatre could only hope to create a rendition of A Tale of Two Cities that rivals Nolan's Dark Knight Rises.

    Comment by Rox of Spazhouse — July 21, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

    5. 

    Agreed with 99% of what you said here, I'd just like to add that we saw it in a regular theater last night and I didn't notice any sound balance issues. I'd add that of any trilogy I've seen I can't think of one that had three films of such different pacing and casting that fit together as well as these did. Absolutely brilliant.

    Comment by Ripp — July 21, 2012 @ 10:06 pm

    6. 

    Ripp: Well, that's good. And yes, I would agree. The only trilogy I can think of that at least ended with such a level of satisfaction is the original Star Wars. And I think Nolan's Batman is a better *trilogy*, to be clear, before the hate mail swarms in. But then again, I do believe that Nolan engineered his trilogy a lot better than Lucas did.

    Rox: I haven't read that in freaking forever--would love to hear you expand on that in WEJ.

    C13: Sorry you didn't care for it, chief.

    Comment by Widge — July 22, 2012 @ 2:02 am

    7. 

    Got to love that body wax sign at ~ 10:04 pointing at the Widge-stache.

    Comment by GuildSteersman — July 22, 2012 @ 9:14 am

    8. 

    Holy crap. That is funny as hell right there. Nice catch, GS.

    Comment by Widge — July 22, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    9. 

    Taking a screen capture of that one...

    Comment by c13old — July 22, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

    10. 

    I felt overrwhelmed by it. I need to watch it again, before I say anthing else. I'll let you know. I loved the review Widge, especially the way you closed it.

    Bruce

    Comment by Bruce Pullen — July 22, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

    11. 

    Saw it in England, with no sound problems what-so-ever. Most reviewers seemed to have problems understanding Bane, but I didn't find that at all. Sure, he sounds like Sean Connery trying a Russian accent (again), but I got used to it pretty quickly. Plus "What a lovely, lovely voice." was probably the funniest line in the film. Shame if people missed it. Nice review, though, I pretty much agree with you!

    Comment by Ojotango — July 22, 2012 @ 7:22 pm

    12. 

    Did sound like you said "wang on everybody" bro lmao. What was even funnier was your reaction to your friends snickering hahaha. Dude, you need to find a closer movie theatre to you.

    Comment by DG — July 23, 2012 @ 12:09 am

    13. 

    DG: There's no IMAX cinema close to where I live, I fear. Not sure how familiar you are with the Atlanta area, but there's one up 75 North a ways and then there's one in the midtown area, neither of which are a stone's throw from my house. And as for the full-blown uberIMAX, that's literally an hour away. The Atlanta metro area is roughly the size of the state of New Hampshire, so I've been told.

    And it is sad that even when I'm not driving I don't have enough brain power to talk properly. :-)

    Ojotango: Sorry if I wasn't clear--in the first trailers, Bane was hard to understand. In the IMAX mix, though, it was hard NOT to understand Bane, as his voice was amplified and seemed to boom from everywhere. Which, frankly, was pretty badass. "Do you feel in control?" Quite possibly my favorite line of the film. The sound problems I had were with "normal" people speaking lines softly with all the underscore and sound FX happening. And yeah, they had been having sound problems at that cinema for a few days, so they told me.

    Thanks to everybody for the comments.

    Comment by Widge — July 23, 2012 @ 12:18 am

    14. 

    Widge,

    Just saw it a second time. Loved it, loved it, loved it. The film is masterful in all regards and is meticulously constructed (per usual for Nolan). The picture has its own identity and structure. As with Dark Knight (2008), the film was so consumed with so many cascading details that I could not enjoy it till the second viewing.

    The second time gave me the tone as well as the detail, and what came off false before now hits home. It’s hard to believe, but Nolan has done it again. A film that can be rigorously dissected and critiqued till the end of time-- with fabulous style and grace to go with it. And the performances are stellar.

    If I’d fault anything about your review Widge, it is giving this the same score as The Amazing Spider-Man (2011). This is the better film. Maybe not a five (though more viewings might get it there), but a more complete and less wobbly film than Amazing Spider-Man.

    Please don’t misunderstand, I loved the new Spiderman. But subsequent viewings of both reveal which is better. And this is not on par with Amazing Spider-Man. Maybe you need introduce 4 ¾ cups,

    Oh well, good news is I love both films. And the new Batman finished the Nolan Trilogy where few trilogies have gone before. On top.

    Thanks.

    Note: As for Michael Caine, his full range is on full display. But only in pregnant glances that get done in 5 seconds what it takes mere mortals 40 seconds to convey. You see the angry protective side of Alfred has he observes Bale getting back in fighting shape.

    He also (simultaneously) echoes earlier remarks and gestures from the prior films (especially Begins) while giving it a worn wavering edge which is befitting a man who’s watched a loved one wither and die before his eyes. His range is captured in looks and interior horror that gain license at key points and exchanges in the film’s first third. I believe further views of The Dark Knight Rises will make that plain. And again, thanks.

    Comment by Bruce Pullen — July 23, 2012 @ 3:25 am

    15. 

    Bruce: Thanks for the response. And I agree, it needs a second viewing. But two things about my reviewing process, not being defensive, but just so you're clear on how my process works:

    1) I never rate movies against each other. The one exception to this is when I did my Top 5 Movies Wayhomer a couple years back and even then it wasn't as simple as 4.5 = 4.5. I--and this is hard for me to explain and I admit that--grade a movie against itself. Or its potential. So a 4.5 cup rating for ASM isn't the same as a 4.5 cup rating for DKR and not even the same as my 4.5 cup rating for DK. I do this because there are some critics who would try to rank AVENGERS on the same scale as, say, REMAINS OF THE DAY. And that just doesn't work for me. So fear not, I'm not saying they're equal in quality--when compared to each other. And again, ASM is a comic book movie. DKR is most definitely NOT. So I think most comparisons between the two fall apart.

    2) Don't get me wrong about Michael Caine. Michael Caine is an A-effing-1 badass. And I'm sure I'll appreciate the performance more on second viewing, but as you say, the review is always my initial reaction. I wished a lot of people could have had more to do--esp. say Oldman--but they were supporting characters with the city being a bigger character than most everybody IMO. And also, a process point: even if I see a movie again and change my opinion, I don't revise my initial review, even when it's embarrassing later. I should have, for example, been much harsher on Phantom Menace, but I can defend even that position because I remember my reaction At The Time.

    Oh, and one last note: I am very strict about five cup ratings. Because I see so many critics give 100% scores to so many films that I feel it waters it down. I think the most I've given out in a single year was 3 5-cup ratings. And I relented and gave AVENGERS five because I can't remember the last time I felt so over the top elated about seeing a film come to fruition. I felt some of that elation towards the very end of DKR, seeing it end As It Needed To And Had To, but there were some wrinkles that I felt could have been ironed out. But there are always wrinkles in a film of this scope. And the flaws almost make it more interesting and more fun to dissect. But yes, this quite possibly and arguably one of the best trilogies of all time, if not the best. Hands down.

    Anyway, all of that to say I think we're in violent agreement. And thanks again for the comment. :-)

    Comment by Widge — July 23, 2012 @ 10:50 am

    16. 

    dear Ojotango,that was no Russian accent Tom Hardy was doing. It was an imitation of the King of the fucking Gypsies with a twist of the Caribbean!!!! Bartley Gorman, bare knuckle boxer. Good choice. And yes of course I would know that.

    Comment by rox of Spazhouse — July 23, 2012 @ 8:12 pm

    17. 

    Rox: The question of the hour is thus: at what point in his first line did you recognize his accent?

    Comment by Widge — July 24, 2012 @ 10:09 am

    18. 

    I saw it double-header style. In one theater, out, and into another for a second viewing. Even better the second time I saw it, though I did notice the sound balance issues. There were times I couldn't understand what the hell some of the characters were saying, and I'm not sure if that's due to how the theater set things up, or Hans Zimmer's sledgehammer score.

    Comment by B.Smith — July 24, 2012 @ 10:54 am

    19. 

    The minute he was on the plane. Certain words were not quite Irish but more Caribbean but very subtle. He spoke like someone who would be a story teller of some sort.

    Comment by rox of Spazhouse — July 24, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

    20. 

    One thing I loved about this film, is it is the first time Nolan leaned on "Batman" as a plot device. Every time I had a question as to why something illogical happened, you could easily answer with "because Batman". It fixes everything.

    Comment by JJ Hawkins — July 25, 2012 @ 11:40 pm

    21. 

    "Because Batman" sounds like the "Love Theme from Dark Knight Rises."

    Comment by Widge — July 26, 2012 @ 1:05 am

    22. 

    Widge, yes, loved (LOVED) the "goggles on top of head" part. Giggled like hell the fist time and then just continued to enjoy.

    I do have a Selena question for WEJ this week so please remind me. Cause I'm old and will forget I have one. :D

    Comment by LeighBC — August 6, 2012 @ 9:29 am

    23. 

    If you are counting on me to remember anything then we are FUCT. (Actual acronym.)

    Comment by Widge — August 6, 2012 @ 10:17 am

    24. 

    Incase you've missed everything in the trilogy up to this point, you can see a slight rundown at [[Link Removed]]

    Comment by r.p.m. — September 6, 2012 @ 4:15 pm

    25. 

    RPM: Because the trilogy's so very obscure, right? At least be aware of the sort of site you're trying to spam on. I mean seriously.

    Comment by Widge — September 7, 2012 @ 3:06 am

    26. 

    Is FUCT an acronym for Fried Under Clothes Theory?

    Comment by Big Dub — September 7, 2012 @ 8:37 pm

    27. 

    Failed Under Continuous Testing. An actual acronym in my day job's acronym database.

    Comment by Widge — September 8, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

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