Skip to comments.The Dark Knight Rises might be spectacular to look at... but it's humourless and too long
Posted on 07/16/2012 12:29:24 PM PDT by C19fan
Director Christopher Nolan has done an intelligent job of assembling a blockbuster finale that brings back a few previous supervillains and makes a neat, emotionally satisfying conclusion to the trilogy of Batman films he has directed. He also has the courage to grapple, however superficially, with two big themes - the fear of terrorism and economic collapse. .......................................................
The bad news is that it lasts two hours 45 minutes, which is astonishingly bloated and unforgivable in a film that spends a long, ponderous hour getting started.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
I like the Nolan Batman movies. I don’t know if they’re “important” or “serious” but they revolve around the aspect of Batman I’ve always found most interesting, the fact that he’s stark raving mad. All the best Batman stories in the comics have always had that as their focus, but nobody really tried it in the movies until Nolan came along.
I knew that about Batman going in...read The Dark Knight graphic novel when it came out. I just don’t think Nolan is a very good writer and doesn’t film action scenes very well. Inception was very difficult to sit through (especially that endless sub-James Bond ‘assault on the fortress’ sequence at the end).
It’s not about knowing that, it’s about building the story around it. Previous Batman movies at most acknowledge that he’s not terribly sane, but that’s the source of the dramatic tension in the Nolan movies, just like it is in Dark Night and Killing Joke. I like Nolan in general, I like the structure of his movies, they’re abnormal and interesting, I like the fact that he doesn’t over explain, and sometimes doesn’t explain at all, just trusts us to figure it out. I didn’t have any problem with Inception, and I like the way the fortress assault went.
Doesn’t explain? Inception was filled with dull exposition regarding Nolan’s constantly changing ‘rules’. The assault on the fortress wasn’t anything we hadn’t seen in many other films. ‘The Prestige’ is the one Nolan film I sort of like.
The assault on the fortress wasn’t supposed to be new, it was supposed to build off a person’s natural expectations, which for most folks in this day and age for something like that come from Bond movies. I didn’t hear any dull exposition, that was in your head, for the rest of us it was laying out a basic and wide open landscape to be worked in, and laying the seeds that the whole thing could already be in one of those landscapes. Prestige is my second favorite of his, Memento is my favorite. Prestige though is an important one to watch to understand his movies, because he has Michael Caine actually explain his theory of story telling.
Inception was terrible. One dimensional ciphers posing as characters mouthing flat, colorless dialogue that served only to deliver plot points (a plot that delivers on no siginificant issues or themes - DiCaprio mourning his wife was ‘backstory’ at its most rudimentary). The scenes between Leo and his wife are genuinely awful - utter camp.
‘The Dark Knight’ with its predictably broad and cliched themes of the ‘thin line between Law and Chaos’ and the ‘Flawed Hero’ is also decked out with cardboard characters who have nothing interesting to say or do. Ledger’s Joker was more of a showboating conceit than a character. In other news, Nolan doesn’t stage action scenes very well.
Otherwise I have no issues with the man.
Inception was awesome. An interesting concept done well. Sorry you couldn’t handle it, but that’s a viewer problem, not a story problem.
As for the Donald Duck cartoon, I refer to one of the best South Park’s ever, everything has been done before.
The real news here is that Nolan gets (and deserves) more praise than Spielberg because his movies are more entertaining and don’t all have to have a pathetic happy ending glued on them. And that bugs you because you slurp Spielberg too much. And it’s probably a big part of why I like Nolan. None of what annoys me about Spielberg shows up in Nolan films, he’s not hackneyed, he’s not addicted to inappropriate happy endings, and he doesn’t talk down to the audience.
Inception was one of the most miserable experiences I’ve had in a movie theater in recent years. I couldn’t wait for it to end. Did you really think the scenes with Leo and his wife were anything but utter sentimental rubbish? Just like the interpolated black and white scenes in Memento which were much more sentimental than anything in most Spielberg films. And again that final siege sequence was the most generic action movie schlock imaginable (just like the Chop-Socky stuff in ‘Batman Begins’). Spielberg and Cameron know how to film action sequences...Nolan doesn’t.
That’s too bad for you. For me it was one of the most interesting movies I’ve seen in the regular/ non-arthouse theater. The scenes with Leo and his wife were building the possibility that the entire movie was happening in dream land. The black and white scenes in Memento weren’t about sentimentality, they were establishing the possibility that Leonard might actually be the guy he’s talking about. Yes the final siege was generic action movie, which is exactly what you would do if you were constructing people’s dreams and needed to give them an assault on the modern fortress guess what it would look like, there’s a reason that ides shows up in every 3rd spy movie, it’s kind of exciting and it works.
Nolan’s not an action movie director. Which is fine, he’s a story teller that sometimes needs a bit of action it happens. In the long run though I prefer story directors that are so-so at action to action directors failing miserably to tell stories like John Woo.
The Leo and his wife scenes didn’t work on any level other than Camp regardless of what they were trying to convey. That point in Memento was obvious from the start and was belabored with those heart string pulling scenes of the poor schlub losing his memories. Again just saying that it’s all part of someone’s dreams doesn’t excuse how sloppy and irrelevant Inception was. It left me with a ‘well then who gives a damn’ aftertaste.
John Woo’s ‘Face Off’ (not to mention his early Asian films) was a much better piece of storytelling than anything Nolan has done - and it had a sense of humor to boot. Nolan’s films are totally humorless. Did you enjoy Maggie Gyllenhall’s ‘Damsel in Distress’ schtick in ‘The Dark Knight’? Or Nolan’s lack of facility with actors (Christian Bale is awful in the Batman films) the completely flat dialogue Nolan writes? His bloated films are engineered to make the 15 year old fanboys think they are watching something important. It’s not enough to think big you have to actually fill the general ideas with content. I haven’t seen Insomnia so maybe that’s different...
Maybe it didn’t work for you, most other viewers disagree. Same with Memento.
John Woo’s action scenes are amazing. The minute people in his movies stop trying to kill each other he basically becomes Kevin Smith.
Gyllenhall was more than a damsel in distress, Bale isn’t awful, and the dialog isn’t flat. That’s all just you being whiney. Get over it, he’s a good director that you’ve decided to hate to cop a position. Hell I might even go see his Superman movie and I don’t even like Superman. He IS filling the general idea with content, you just apparently don’t like the content, which again is a problem with the VIEWER not the movie. Insomnia isn’t written by him and is his weakest movie, still pretty good, of course you’ll hate it because that’s the position you’ve decided to take.
‘Face Off’ has funny dialogue. It’s one of the best ‘blockbuster’ type films of the 1990s. I got my position by seeing Nolan’s films. Gyllenhall being tied to a chair while Batman decides whether to save his girl or the greater good is a hoary cliche. You could find that scenario in old comic books and Nolan doesn’t treat it ironically. Bale’s gruff Batman voice was just embarrassing. Tim Burton’s ‘Batman Returns’ has a lot more verve and personality than Nolan’s work. I frankly can’t recall much about ‘The Dark Knight’ at all except Heath Ledger’s showboating. For that matter, I liked Kevin Smith’s ‘Dogma’ more than any of Nolan’s films.
There’s a lot of great stuff in Face Off, but as far as the actual directing of the non-action scenes there basically isn’t any. When there’s nobody trying to kill each other it’s all pretty standard TV, establishing 2 shot, cut to the talker, and out directing.
You got your position by DECIDING what you saw in the film. Gyllenhall had important stuff before she got tied up. She’s the person who knows he’s Batman and is sad about it. The gruff voice is actually straight out of the comics, it’s mentioned frequently, especially during the Bane story cycle. Burton’s Batman is like all the other Burtons, lots of verve, and fun if you don’t actually like the source material, but if you like the source it’s irritating.
Ledger was the Joker. That’s the Joker. Very showy.
I like Kevin Smith movies a lot. But he’s the first one to tell you he’s a plain jane vanilla director who doesn’t even understand the technology he’s working with.
Ever see The Killer or Hard Boiled? Woo takes great care with every shot. His films are beautiful to look at. The films have to stand on tbheir own without referencing the source material. In Superman II, Lois Lane knew who Superman was and was sad about it so it’s a standard trope. SII gets my vote for the best superhero film ever made. I know Smith is not technically adroit but just saying that I enjoyed Dogma more than the Nolan Batman films which I have found dull.
His action sequences are beautiful to look at. His talking sequences are pretty bland.
Films have to stand on their own, but that doesn’t mean they can’t USE the source material. Which is what I was pointing out, the funky voice thing is a standard trope in the Batman comics that previous film makers have chosen to ignore, and Nolan chose to use. The idea stands on its own, but it’s useful to understand where it came from.
I’ve never liked Superman, in my book all Superman movies are unwatchable, I will probably be skipping the Nolan/ Snyder one even though I like them because Sups makes me want to puke.
I dont care about Superman either but I am a big Richard Lester fan and S2 is something of a masterpiece falling in with the themes of his other films (Petulia, Robin & Marian even A Hard Day’s Night).
I found Bane to be very difficult to understand at times. The music and effects were sometimes WAY too loud and much of the dialougue was drowned out as a result. I find the same thing even on some DVDs, and I find it quite annoying. I often have to turn down the tv when a heavy effects or action scene is going on. Turn it up again for dialogue. Does anyone know how to mix for film anymore?
Otherwise, I did like the movie quite a bit.
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