I just watched the trilogy over the course of 3 nights. There's a lot to absorb and digest. I picked up things I didn't before, but I still didn't get everything. They're complex movies that require good observational skills and some thought. I initially thought that 4 or 5 movies would have been better in order to get more of Batman's crusade and include more of the rogues gallery, but right now, I'm not missing any of that as much as I did before. It feels like a complete story was told and that's something I didn't see when I saw one movie at a time over the course of 7 years.
Nolan's trilogy works as a complete Batman saga.
is a solid introduction to Bruce's crusade and The Dark Knight
really captures the spirit of that crusade. Everything needed to tell a full Batman story was right there. Finally, The Dark Knight Rises
touched on some of the trilogy's and Batman in general's biggest ideas and gave the story what I thought was a gripping and heart-felt conclusion. It did however seem more flawed than the other two, with elements that either didn't make total sense (Bane's mission and the citizens' behavior for example) or were glossed over (the commentary on the rich as well as Bruce and Selina's relationship for starters). The 8-year gap did fit the narrative better than I thought though. It felt like it was needed after the fallout from the Harvey Dent fiasco and Bruce realizing that maybe all this Batman stuff had gone far enough and accomplished what it was intended to do anyway, which was to round up the organized crime bosses.
Nolan's trilogy also works as a beginning for the Batman saga.
Around the time of the first two movies, a lot of us thought that we'd get a trilogy that sets up future Batman adventures, and it does. One of the messages we got was that Batman was a symbol and that he could be anyone. The trilogy told the story of Bruce Wayne, but no doubt, the crusade will continue, so those mentions of Batman having to take down the colorful rogues gallery that escaped from Arkham or Bats and the Joker going at it forever weren't said in vain.
I look forward to watching the trilogy again to see what more I can take away because there's a lot there. Blink or get distracted and you'll definitely miss something. Fail to think or connect a few dots and you'll miss even more.
I also have to say that the switch in the aspect ratio that I've been complaining about is hardly noticeable when you're engrossed in the movies. I still prefer a consistent picture, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Guess I don't have to buy the DVD versions afterall.