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Old December 17 2012, 09:16 PM   #1041
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Re: "The Dark Knight Rises" Review and Discussion Thread (spoilers)

Sci wrote: View Post
I do not understand how you could possibly argue that The Mask of Zorro is in any respect superior to The Dark Knight Rises.
Didn't have time to reply to this over the weekend, hence my brief reply Friday, but, shall I count the ways?
1. The hero: Banderas' Alejandro is a wittier, more active and more engaging hero. Unlike Bale's Wayne, he has more than one expresssion and tone of voice.

2. The heroine: ditto the above for Zeta-Jones vice Cotillard or Hathaway's paper-thin, dubiously motivated ciphers.

3. The villain: Rafael Montero is trying to steal California from General Santa Anna by buying it from him with money that ought to be his. As such, he's an underdog in his own right, which I find a lot more interesting than the League of Shadows' totally unexplained fixation with annihilating Gotham. (They don't like it because it's corrupt? More so than every other city in the world? How so?) Montero also shows signs of guilt over his actions on several occasions. He's a richer character than anyone in TDKR.

4. The script: Mask's is much more focused, funnier, and internally coherent. It's also better-paced, shorter, and doesn't go off on useless tangents (like the Gotham infiltrators who are introduced only to be wiped out) nor make its heroes look like idiots (Gordon still not realizing who Batman is).

5. The action: from the magical opening sequence to the thrilling horseback chase to the delightful map theft and the awesome showdown, the action sequences in Mask are more exciting, better-made, more original and more emotionally engaging than Nolan's.

6. The dances: Mask's is better. No contest.

7. The burning symbol: it may strain credulity in both films, but the one in Mask isn't done by a time-wasting main protagonist, and serves a specific function as both a taunt and a distraction to the villains.

8. Overall quality: Mask offers more fun in a shorter runtime, and didn't bore me or insult my intelligence (a bomb that degrades over a period of months has an accurate-to-the-second timer countdown? A USB stick contains a program that will give a known criminal anonymity, despite the existence of paper records and the fact that she's a super hottie, the sort of face people would remember? A little girl can make a jump grown men can't, no matter what mumbo-jumbo theme purpose that concept serves)?
I acknowledge my opinion to be a likely minority one, and personal preference definitely factors in, but I nevertheless hope you can "imagine" it now.

Sci wrote: View Post
Yes, and there was never any such thing as a "letter of transit." How dare anyone suggest Casablanca is a wonderful film when it has such an inaccurate depiction of international wartime travel!

Certainly there's suspension of disbelief; this is inherent to the superheroic genre. This is not mean that it can't have quite a bit of depth and sophistication.
Ah, but the "letter of transit" felt consistent with the movie's world, much like Bruce's mechanized leg brace speeding his recuperation or a harsh sentencing law cleaning up much of the city's crime. The magic back-fixing, on the other hand, came out of nowhere, as did the physical feat a little girl could perform but grown men couldn't.

More to the point, however, I don't think many would argue that Casablanca's depth resides in its admittedly melodramatic plot, but rather in the dilemma Rick faces, and the slow, unlikely emergence of Captain Renault's bravery. Where, in your opinion, does TDKR's depths lie?
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