Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Phil sees THE DARK KNIGHT RISES at the Camera 12-July 20, 2012

With the release of THE DARK KNIGHT in 2008, director Christopher Nolan set the bar pretty damn high not only for himself, but for comic book movies all together. While Joss Whedon's THE AVENGERS was, without question, a mega blockbuster hit this summer (and one that comic book fans had been waiting for the four years), many were wondering during that time frame if Nolan could top the last Batman film. Well, to put all your minds at ease, he did! As a result, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES captures the gritty feel of the comic while simultaneously closes out the Batman trilogy in a nice, neat bow.

So for this review, I'm gonna go light as to the plot of the film, due to that fact that I don't want to reveal any "spoilers" for those out there who have not seen the film yet. This is what I can tell you about the film: It's been eight years since the death of Harvey Dent, and Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has been hiding out in Wayne Manor with his trusted butler Alfred (Michael Caine). However when a deadly terrorist named Bane (Tom Hardy) shows up to destroy Gotham City, Bruce comes out of retirement to help his friend Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) and his new right hand man, special duty officer John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) to help stop Bane from carrying out his destructive plan. Making things more complicated is his romantic ties with a cat burglar named Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), who never reveals which side she is on. Returning for this grand finale is Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox and Cillian Murphy reprises his role as Dr. Jonathan Crane (Scarecrow), while making her Batman debut is Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate. Also look for Matthew Modine as Deputy Commissioner Peter Foley, Nestor Carbonell reprising his role as Mayor Anthony Garcia, and a special cameo from Liam Neeson.

Christopher, along with his brother Jonathon, wrote such a grand and clever script that is just ingenious! Weaving such real world issues such as terrorism, economic collapse, social structure, class warfare, political injustice and anarchy, the film firmly takes place in the here and now. Nolan has really made the film very accessible to all of us who are just overwhelmed with the plight of today's events. Very rarely do we see this in a big budget Hollywood movie, where escapism is the norm and intelligence is left outside by the popcorn maker. Just like his last move INCEPTION, Nolan has crafted a highly entertaining, thought provoking film that requires multiple viewings to catch all the details that he puts into it.

Of course, having a great cast also helps as well. Kudos to the entire cast who have made this trilogy so rewarding to watch. Bale is once again great as both Bruce Wayne and the Caped Crusader, who again pushes himself and his body to the breaking point in his roles. Caine and Freeman bring perfection to their respective roles, and Oldman is just terrific as Gordon. Hathaway is smart, cunning, and sexy as Selina Kyle (and I love the fact that throughout the film, she is never referred to as Catwoman) while Hardy does an incredible job of transforming himself into his role as the villan Bane. Apathetic, unmerciful, and just flat out evil, Hardy's performance lives up to the late Heath Ledger's performance of the Joker from the previous installment!

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is one of my favorite films of 2012!! With this final installment, Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy has come to its epic conclusion, and we the fans of this series can walk away knowing that we have seen a magnificent film! 5 out of 5 stars! Highly recommended!!

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is now playing in regular and IMAX theaters nationwide, including at the Camera Cinemas here in Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at www.cameracinemas.com.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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