Double Geek Feature

It was great drive-in weather Saturday evening, so we headed out to see Total Recall followed by The Dark Knight Rises.  We also got to see the trailer for next year’s Man of Steel, which I guess looked fine but I can’t be sure because I was distracted by the Fellowship of the Ring music they chose for it.  ???

I had the interesting opportunity to see both versions of Total Recall as well as read the short story on which it’s based all for the first time in the same weekend.  More later on comparisons between the three.  As for the new movie, it is long on style but short on substance.  It adds great effects but nothing intellectually to the source material.  A fun summer scifi movie, but I’m not sure why they wanted to remake it?

I came into DKR hesitant despite the good reviews.  I know more about Batman than pretty much any other superhero thanks to the excellent TV cartoon series in the 90s which I watched every day after school (yeah, the one with Mark Hamill voicing the Joker).  I was so disappointed when they announced Bane as the main villain.  Lame.  And Anne Hathaway as Catwoman?  These are not choices that make me confident in a film that has a horrible title to begin with.

But here it is: the movie was great.  Not perfect.  But really, I’d love to go see it again.  Right now.

DKR’s Bane hardly resembles the Bane I know in either appearance or backstory.  But maybe that’s ok, because I never really liked that Bane to begin with.  Tom Hardy did a marvelous job of creating a compelling character on screen.  And I can appreciate the choice of the franchise’s most physical villain to contrast the “aging” Bruce Wayne and the fading star of his Batman.

Hathaway’s Selina Kyle might have been my favorite part of the movie.  A kind of Robin Hood femme fatale, her smooth sexiness and snark breathed some life into the movie the way Rachel Dawes (by either actress) never did.

SPOILER
But the clincher was the revelation of Talia al Ghul and her machinations.  Everything just fell into place. Good thing we were at a drive-in, because I definitely freaked out a little.  I CAN’T BELIEVE I DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING.
/SPOILER

It started to rain during the last hour of the movie, and the lightning was flashing in long purple strands as the battle for Gotham commenced.  It fit the mood.  I liked that this final installment was sufficiently dark without going quite to the chaotic depths of The Dark Knight, and the ending was hopeful and meaningful without being saccharine.

Thematically, it was a great movie.  Visually, it was a great movie.  Performance-wise, it was a great movie.  In terms of comic book canon, it was an above average movie.  The plot was hardly even confusing for a Nolan movie.  I really couldn’t ask for much more.  Except maybe for John Blake to actually be named Tim Drake.  But I guess I can compromise.

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