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View Poll Results: How do you rate "The Dark Knight Rises"?
Excellent 147 58.33%
Good 61 24.21%
Fair 26 10.32%
Poor 12 4.76%
Terrible 6 2.38%
Voters: 252. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 14 2012, 11:18 PM   #1036
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Re: "The Dark Knight Rises" Review and Discussion Thread (spoilers)

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
Since when is anarchy tyrannical?
When it leads to people's rights being violated, obviously. If you get shot walking down the street because there's no government to stop it, that's tyrannical.

Anarchy can be just as tyrannical as totalitarianism. A lack of governance is just as big a threat to freedom as too much government.
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Old December 14 2012, 11:48 PM   #1037
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Re: "The Dark Knight Rises" Review and Discussion Thread (spoilers)

well, I agree with that.

But anarchy is still not tyrannical. It's simply bad word choice


The film can have whatever themes it wants...it's all about execution, and having the theme evolve naturally from the story... or have them work together in concert.

That's not what has happened here. Nolan constructed a complex narrative, but the story underneath it all is paper thin. And the themes of economy were not well-realized. If he really wanted to tackle the inequality issue, he would have had Bruce Wayne be the villain, and would have had people rise up against people like him. Imagine that. Bruce Wayne is the villain and the hero. But, he took the easy was, tip-toeing on these themes rather than confronting them.

That
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Old December 15 2012, 12:05 AM   #1038
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Re: "The Dark Knight Rises" Review and Discussion Thread (spoilers)

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
And the themes of economy were not well-realized. If he really wanted to tackle the inequality issue, he would have had Bruce Wayne be the villain, and would have had people rise up against people like him. Imagine that. Bruce Wayne is the villain and the hero. But, he took the easy was, tip-toeing on these themes rather than confronting them.
He wasn't "tackling" the issues, just using them as a backdrop without really taking sides in the political controversy. The film condemns both sides: those who "live so large and leave so little for the rest of us," and also the mob of class warriors who do the Cultural Revolution thing of "exiling" the wealthy for the crime of being wealthy.
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Old December 15 2012, 02:31 AM   #1039
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Re: "The Dark Knight Rises" Review and Discussion Thread (spoilers)

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
well, I agree with that.

But anarchy is still not tyrannical.
Yes, it is. "Tyranny" does not refer exclusively to governmental overreach. It refers to any situation in which a person's rights are being violated.

The film can have whatever themes it wants...it's all about execution, and having the theme evolve naturally from the story... or have them work together in concert.

That's not what has happened here. Nolan constructed a complex narrative, but the story underneath it all is paper thin.
You keep repeating this, but you never explain what it means.

And the themes of economy were not well-realized. If he really wanted to tackle the inequality issue, he would have had Bruce Wayne be the villain, and would have had people rise up against people like him. Imagine that. Bruce Wayne is the villain and the hero.
That's one way of dealing with the issue, sure. But that's not the only way of doing it that's creatively valid.

Magus on a Star Trek wrote: View Post
He wasn't "tackling" the issues, just using them as a backdrop without really taking sides in the political controversy.
I think it's silly to pretend there are only two sides you can take.
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Old December 15 2012, 03:03 AM   #1040
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Re: "The Dark Knight Rises" Review and Discussion Thread (spoilers)

You keep repeating this, but you never explain what it means.
All you had to do was ask.

First, let's cut to the ends of the three films, and in each case there's a bit of dialogue that occurs when the philosophical differences between the hero reach an impass. In the first film, Ra's Al Ghul states that if anyone stands in the way of true justice, you simply walk up behind them and stab them in the back, while Bruce says that the people in the city are still worht saving. This is where the divide happens. In the second film, Joker says that everyone is or can be just as cruel and nasty as he is, if they are just given a push, while Bruce says that the city proved otherwise. In the last film, Bane says (cue awful Bane voice): "So you've come to die with your city???!!" To which, Batman responds: "Noooo.... I came to stop you!!!"

But let's go deeper. None of the films are perfect. However, the first film dealt with quite a few complicated themes such as the nature of fear, and whether vengeance is the same as justice. It had a teacher and student who agree on many things save for their way of going about it. The action might encompass an entire city, but the real battle was something that was very personal, and came down to a philosophical difference.


The second film dealt with the idea that things in the city were going to get worse before they got better. The film had many more stories and a complex narrative of events - but these things never eclipsed and actually enhanced a sense of paranoia that everyone felt through the whole film: everyone from the characters to the audience. It ran much deeper, stringing together what was at times a complex and what could be called a convoluted narrative. That much of what happened was unlikely in hindsight, this sense of a paranoia was heightened with every scene as the film went on, and the audience hadn't much like it before.

The narrative, meaning that all these stories and characters and interactions, was just as complex in the third film, but the story - the very basic foundation upon which they were built on - was very simple. There was no sense of paranoia that was felt equally by the audience and the characters. Instead, there's a lot of new characters, and a lot of chance meetings and contrivances so only the main characters meet up with other main characters so that plot points could all connect and resolve, and the viewer (when he or she is trying not to figure out what Bane is saying or what his motivations are) is wondering why everything is so needlessly convoluted.
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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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Old December 17 2012, 09:43 PM   #1042
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Re: "The Dark Knight Rises" Review and Discussion Thread (spoilers)

Gaith wrote: View Post
I acknowledge my opinion to be a likely minority one...
Nope. +1
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Old December 17 2012, 10:15 PM   #1043
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Re: "The Dark Knight Rises" Review and Discussion Thread (spoilers)

jinglebellrok wrote: View Post
Gaith wrote: View Post
I acknowledge my opinion to be a likely minority one...
Nope. +1
Maybe it is a minority opinion, but I'm right there with you. +2
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Old December 17 2012, 11:42 PM   #1044
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Re: "The Dark Knight Rises" Review and Discussion Thread (spoilers)

Gaith wrote: View Post
dubiously motivated
Somewhere there's a post complaining about the believability of her very clear motivation. Imagine if it were the same post. Hah! That would never happen.

Gaith wrote: View Post
Montero also shows signs of guilt over his actions on several occasions. He's a richer character than anyone in TDKR.
Nope, no characters showing guilt to see here. Move along...
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Old December 18 2012, 01:03 AM   #1045
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Re: "The Dark Knight Rises" Review and Discussion Thread (spoilers)

Set Harth wrote: View Post
Gaith wrote: View Post
dubiously motivated
Somewhere there's a post complaining about the believability of her very clear motivation. Imagine if it were the same post. Hah! That would never happen.
I thought I was clear in meaning that the the League's motivations were dubious because they made little to no sense even by their own standards, not that they weren't clear.

Take the Joker. He wants to bring out the barbarian in everyone, to reduce society to heartless chaos. A one-dimensional goal, but an honest one for a madman. The League, on the other hand, wants to annihilate Gotham because they're "corrupt", i.e., unjust. Their belief system rests on a moral code, but why they consider mass murder to uphold morality to be virtuous is never explained - hence the dubiousness.



Set Harth wrote: View Post
Gaith wrote: View Post
Montero also shows signs of guilt over his actions on several occasions. He's a richer character than anyone in TDKR.
Nope, no characters showing guilt to see here. Move along...
Not from the villains, there ain't - and guilt is far more interesting and rarer in villains than in heroes, where it's pretty much ubiquitous (hell, even Luke Skywalker felt bad about his aunt and uncle getting murdered). But Ducard, Joker, Crane, and Bane/Talia display no guilt or humanity whatsoever. Magneto showed more compassion in X2, and he tried to kill almost everyone on Earth.
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Old December 18 2012, 01:40 AM   #1046
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Re: "The Dark Knight Rises" Review and Discussion Thread (spoilers)

Gaith wrote: View Post
Take the Joker. He wants to bring out the barbarian in everyone, to reduce society to heartless chaos. A one-dimensional goal, but an honest one for a madman. The League, on the other hand, wants to annihilate Gotham because they're "corrupt", i.e., unjust.
What's the difference? The Joker is LOS in all but name. Wanting to watch the world ( but specifically Gotham ) burn isn't fundamentally different from wanting to destroy Gotham. Bane's methods, pitting one group of Gothamites against another, are not so different from when the Joker does the same thing. Only the outcome is somewhat different.

Gaith wrote: View Post
Not from the villains, there ain't
There is from Selina, who starts as a kind of "villain" only to become a hero later on.

Gaith wrote: View Post
and guilt is far more interesting and rarer in villains than in heroes, where it's pretty much ubiquitous
Guilt is appropriate if you're talking about the kind of character who starts good and turns to the dark side. It's appropriate for conflicted characters. For Palpatine types, not so much. You may like the idea of conflicted, guilt-ridden villains, but not every villain has to be conflicted and guilt-ridden. And if all villains were that way, it wouldn't be "interesting" anymore.

Gaith wrote: View Post
But Ducard, Joker, Crane, and Bane/Talia display no guilt or humanity whatsoever.
It's already come up that you forgot all about "Ducard"'s backstory as described in BB. And from a general perspective transcending the Nolanverse, I don't know what your "guilty Joker" character would even be. It certainly wouldn't be the Joker.

Gaith wrote: View Post
Magneto showed more compassion in X2, and he tried to kill almost everyone on Earth.
Now read that sentence again and tell me what part of it makes sense. Magneto shows no guilt, and doesn't display genuine compassion, other than in his familiarity with Mystique - he only appears compassionate toward another mutant who he hopes to recruit into his ranks.
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Old December 18 2012, 02:24 AM   #1047
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Re: "The Dark Knight Rises" Review and Discussion Thread (spoilers)

Set Harth wrote: View Post
Gaith wrote: View Post
Take the Joker. He wants to bring out the barbarian in everyone, to reduce society to heartless chaos. A one-dimensional goal, but an honest one for a madman. The League, on the other hand, wants to annihilate Gotham because they're "corrupt", i.e., unjust.
What's the difference? The Joker is LOS in all but name. Wanting to watch the world ( but specifically Gotham ) burn isn't fundamentally different from wanting to destroy Gotham. Bane's methods, pitting one group of Gothamites against another, are not so different from when the Joker does the same thing. Only the outcome is somewhat different.
It's not the actions. It's the motivations behind the actions. The Joker wants to watch Gotham burn because, well, he's fucked in the head and likes watching things go crazy. Chaos is his motivation. What is the League's motivation? They want to cleanse Gotham of its corruption and immorality. The problem is that in order to do that they have to become giant hypocrites. Their actions render their motivation meaningless.
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Old December 18 2012, 02:36 AM   #1048
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Re: "The Dark Knight Rises" Review and Discussion Thread (spoilers)

Set Harth wrote: View Post
The Joker is LOS in all but name. Wanting to watch the world ( but specifically Gotham ) burn isn't fundamentally different from wanting to destroy Gotham.
Maybe not, but what about the planet's other cities? Joker would like to see the whole world burn, but I never got the sense that the LOS was intent on destroying, say Honolulu. Kinda makes a huge lot of difference if you happen to live in Honolulu.



Set Harth wrote: View Post
There is from Selina, who starts as a kind of "villain" only to become a hero later on.
Yeah, not really. A mischief-maker, sure, but hardly a "big bad"-level villain. Especially when it's revealed that she's more afraid of other criminals than she hungers for power for its own sake.


Set Harth wrote: View Post
You may like the idea of conflicted, guilt-ridden villains, but not every villain has to be conflicted and guilt-ridden. And if all villains were that way, it wouldn't be "interesting" anymore.
Agreed, but a movie with one-dimensional villains is rarely "deep" or "sophisticated". Palpatine is not a complex character, nor is Bane. I don't consider ROTJ deep or sophisticated, either. TDKR, like Star Wars, is fable-level storytelling. Nothing wrong with that, but call a spade a spade.


Set Harth wrote: View Post
It's already come up that you forgot all about "Ducard"'s backstory as described in BB.
I forgot about it because it wasn't important. What does "losing his one great love" have to do with justifying mass murder in a foreign country based on an unexplained system of morality? If I've missed something important, please point it out, but I think you're dealing in trivia here.


Set Harth wrote: View Post
Magneto shows no guilt, and doesn't display genuine compassion, other than in his familiarity with Mystique - he only appears compassionate toward another mutant who he hopes to recruit into his ranks.
Exactly. He proves to be a total monster, yet still comes across as more sympathetic than any of Nolan's big baddies, because, as monstrous as he may be, he at least believes in something - a world free of human-on-mutant oppression. I agree that adding dimension to the Joker would have diminished that character, but the fact remains that Mask's Montero is a deeper and more "sophisticated" character than Talia/Bane. And I do think, for that matter, that Mask is thus deeper and more sophisticated than TDKR. (And Casablanca more so than both.)


But again, if I've missed some profound themes here, I'd genuinely like to hear about 'em.
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Old December 19 2012, 01:54 AM   #1049
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Re: "The Dark Knight Rises" Review and Discussion Thread (spoilers)

Just saw this and had to post it...

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Old December 19 2012, 02:27 AM   #1050
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Re: "The Dark Knight Rises" Review and Discussion Thread (spoilers)

Gaith wrote: View Post
Ah, but the "letter of transit" felt consistent with the movie's world,
Among other problems, the letters of transit are described as cosigned by General de Gaulle. And one can't treat the reality of Casablanca as quite as arbitrary as a genre film. They are a nonsense plot device, pure and simple, and the film works in spite of them being nonsense.

Guilt certainly is not necessary for believable, interesting villains - my mind turns instantly to Akira Kurosawa's modern day adaption of Hamlet, The Bad Sleep Well. Even if one hasn't seen it the title elucidates the point perfectly - some people really are not bothered by the ethical implications of their actions, and that lack of concern is part of what makes them a villain.

As far as belief goes, it's manifestly obvious that Ra's al Ghul believes that what he's doing is for the good of humanity, that corruption and decadence is a sin that needs to be purged. He's the most uncomplicatedly principled of the antagonists in the Nolan Batman films, which probably makes his role as an unsubtle terrorist stand-in all the clearer.
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