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The Dark Knight

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People who compare the dark knight to the dark knight rises don't get it. The dark knight trilogy is itself one work of art; much like the lord of the rings. While you may have a favorite part or book or section or battle, it is the same work -- none stands on its own. The whole is greater than the sum of all parts. 

Take batman begins. In the part with raas al ghul Bruce is about to take the brand to mark he is a member of the league of shadows. That mark appears in the third movie.

Are you watching closely?

I'm starting to think Nolan's entire body of work carry the same themes, transient from one film to the other, like prestige and how it shows not the art of magic, but the art of storytelling -- as told by Christopher nd Jonathan Nolan. The music and motifs, the characters and their tragic flaws, the plots and the resolutions.

Nolan is weaving one great magic trick, and we are all wanting to be fooled.

It was the look on their faces....

There are a bunch of details in the first two movies that are relevant to the third movie.

The writers have thought the trilogy through carefully.

My problem is that I saw the other two movies years ago.

I need a refresher. Any suggestions or should I just Wikipedia it?

Hmm. I watched batman begins but not the dark knight (disc had too many scratches) before seeing TDKR.

I'd suggest watching batman begins and skipping the dark knight as there are enough conversation-pieces and flashbacks to cover the 2nd.

The dialogue is a key, though. Certain words and phrases; honestly just watch the first 1/2 of batman begins and it'd be a great refresher. :)

But if you don't have time for either, Wikipedia should work well. You may not catch the signs, though, but the story will be more satisfying.

Respectfully disagree. Individual movies in a trilogy also need to stand on their own.

I like my Batman movies to have more Batman.

I want a Batman movie to be *about* Batman.

Deep themes are great but if you don't have a certain amount of "Batman kicking ass scenes" you have gone off the reservation and forgotten what you're making.

I didn't want to see an epic sprawling drama that would have been better titled "The Siege of Gotham." I wanted a story about Batman, starring Batman, with numerous impressive scenes of Batman kicking ass.

I dare say, this is not too much to ask in a film inspired by a comic book character.

Many directors who feel tempted toward the dark land of pretentiousness should be humbled by this deceptively profound review of IRON MAN 2:

What attracts people, in my opinion, to batman is his humanity, not his hero-nature. Or better said, it is the hero arc they enjoy more than the hero himself.

But I certainly understand your perspective.

I believe the dark knight rises film was the best in the trilogy. Did you watch it twice?

All Christopher Nolan movies have extra details that reward a second or third watch: Memento, Insomnia, Prestige, and Inception all have this in common.

Most great trilogies usually have the best movie in the first one (The Matrix, Indiana Jones) or the second one (Empire Strikes Back, Aliens, Godfather II). Only Lord of the Rings and Toy Story peaked in the third movie.

The humanity vs hero nature distinction is an interesting one.

Avengers and Spiderman we go for the action.

Batman we go for the story.

I think the dark knight rises also shows Nolan's natural progression.

Memento (2002), Batman Begins (2005), The Prestige (2006) play very much with a non-traditional sense of storytelling.

Backwards forwards, forwards backwards. Memento's retrograde amnesia affect is now famous. In batman begins we start in the past, go further back to the distant past 20 years prior, and then move forward to the future. In the prestige it starts in the present, and goes from one mans diary retelling the future to the other mans diary retelling the past. We hardly ever have a sense of a narrators view -- until near the end of the movie.

The dark knight probably stands alone, given the depth and surreal events surrounding Heath ledgers performance and life events.

Then inception and the dark knight rises, I believe, are actually more closely linked in terms of style and substance than the dark knight and the dark knight rises. Settings. Actors. Characters. Scenes. Emotions.

Needless to say, inception was one of my favorite all-time movies and so for me in particular, I appreciate the dark knight rises because I think Nolan the eldest is getting better as a director, his wife as a producer, and his brother and David goyer as writers. I mean Nolan brothers + wife + Christian bale + Michael Caine have worked on a slew of movies together. It's only natural in my opinion they get better over time.

Adam, you make great points.

Also, I'm just glad Batman no longer has rubber nipples:

That was a sad moment in the franchise.

Atif, you are so right.

And David, it's true that the best get better with time.

The more they learn, the better they get.

Of course you realize that these 3 films were part of a stand-alone graphic novel set in the late 80s/early 90s, right?

Looks like Batman Begins drew from several sources including the one you mentioned:

Sure, 'Dark Knight Returns' provided inspiration to everything that came after (including the Keaton/Nicholson Batman)... but the BB/TDK/TDKR trilogy is so very different in story that it's wrong to say these films were an adaptation of that graphic novel.

Only 1 detail was missing (and I realize Heath Ledger was unavailable to make a cameo): when Bane released all the prisoners, shouldn't the Joker have been 1 of those released (like the Scarecrow?)

Probably limited because of respect for Heath.

Adam, rewatch the movies...worth it for Prometheus and likely worth it for Batman.

Nolan is on record saying it was out of respect for Heath even though that inconsistency bothers him too.

Re-reading Batman Begins on Wikipedia it's clear I definitely need to rewatch it:

Also, The Dark Knight is 2-d only?

Yes. Nolan rightfully recognizes that 3D films, with the exception of avatar, are sub-par experiences.

I sincerely believe half of the people who watch movies in 3D only do so because the 2-D/cheaper ticket is sold out. Stereoscopic imaging is annoying at best, and inhibiting of both color and experience at worst. I watched avengers 3x in theatres; twice I had to purchase 3D tickets because 2D was sold out.

But hey, avengers was the #1 weekend release of all time. I guess that pricing strategy is working out for them.

That being said apparently he shot more IMAX film than any major film in history.

Also, I think this one has more "batman being batman" than any other movie. His fights with bane last what 5-7 minutes of just them fighting? I'd rather see batman fight the villain then spend 20 minutes dashing around fighting "street thugs." He didn't really fight with joker, scarecrow, or Harvey dent. Ra'as al ghul yes, but mostly in training and limited in the subway scene.

The batman v. Bane fights will go down as some of the most epic fighting in any super-hero movie.

So, well worth seeing in IMAX is what I'm hearing.

Sweet ninja moves and all.

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