As a Symbol, I Can Be Incorruptible. I Can Be Everlasting Or, I Am Entirely Too Stoked About The Dark Knight Rises

Dinner and a movie.

It’s a standard and at this point, probably a little staid. However, it’s a date that I would never turn down.

Because this guy right here?

Best guy in the world to watch movies with. He gets there early, he finds the perfect seats and he stays until the houselights come up. Oh and he shares his popcorn (even though I hate movie theater popcorn. It’s awful. It has that terrible chemical aftertaste and the consistency is like styrofoam. Stove-popped or bust, dudes. With brown sugar, salt and cayenne pepper)

After the holidays, we’re planning to see see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.

I’m looking forward to the movie – the Mission Impossible franchise is an entertaining way to spend two hours and you know, Sawyer BUT more than that — I’m really excited to see the eight minute prologue to The Dark Knight Rises.

Augs is telling me to keep my expectations in check, but I’ve been looking forward to this movie since the last shot of The Dark Knight.

Before Nolan came along, screen adaptations of Batman were essentially a joke (of course, we’re discounting Batman: The Animated Series which is just excellent) .

The 1966 television series was campier than the annual Boy Scout Jambaroo and subsequent iterations of the movie were just….no (Look, I’m not denying Nicholson and Pfieffer were amazing as The Joker and Catwoman but there’s no way you can say Burton’s movies were better than Nolan’s. They have their place but they’re not better. Also, Batman Forever and Batman and Robin never happened).

Batman Begins changed all that – Batman’s genesis was fully fleshed out. A skittish little boy witnesses his parents murdered in cold blood and something inside of him snaps. He embraces the dark in hopes of preserving the light.

Then a couple of years later, Nolan follows up a truly excellent character study with a gritty, dark and intense crime drama disguised as a comic book movie – The Dark Knight.

It’s a movie of countless perfect moments but my five favorite things about it (I’m from the Championship Vinyl school and live my life in lists)

– The IMAX sequences. They speak for themselves and if you haven’t seen the film in IMAX the way God and Nolan intended, well — I pity you.
– Ledger’s sublime performance as The Joker. It’s the second best Joker of all time behind Mark Hamill.
– The practical effect that features the upending of a full-sized truck. We live in a world where directors seem to be increasingly reliant on computer wizardry to make movie magic. The fact that Nolan and cinematographer Wally Pfister kicked it old school and actually flipped this big bastard? Highly impressive.
– It features a cameo by Senator Patrick Leahy (let me crack an egg of knowledge about Senator Leahy — if he ran for President, I would gladly volunteer for the campaign. The man shares a lot of the same ideologies that I do and he’s kind of a bad-ass. In addition to a cameo role in The Dark Knight, Senator Leahy did voice work for Batman: The Animated Series, wrote the foreword to The Dark Knight Archives and once, Dick Cheney told Senator Leahy to fuck himself)
– The score. Hans Zimmer is responsible for some of my favorite music ever created (Beach Song – True Romance) and in The Dark Knight, he winds nickel strings tighter and tighter until your nerves ache. Perfect mood music.

Watching The Dark Knight made me a little nervous.

“This is a good movie. This is a really good movie. I don’t understand how Nolan is going to top this.”

And then, I saw Inception and decided that from now on, I should just keep calm and have faith in Christopher Nolan.

I have this theory (now’s a good time to pop a beta blocker, nerds) about The Dark Knight Rises. If you’re not familiar with Batman canon, this might be construed as a spoiler, so heads up.

Bane’s biggest claim to fame is that he’s the dude who broke the bat, right? As in took Batman, lifted him high, broke his back and left our hero a paraplegic.

Batman may be a bad-ass but you can’t really fight crime in Gotham when you’re confined to a wheelchair, so the world needed a new Dark Knight. Cue Azarael – a man hand-picked by our boy Bats to replace him as the Caped Crusader.

No, Not him.

Him.

(Straight ladies and gay men – I know. I KNOW)

You get a great actor like Joseph Gordon Levitt and you pop him in a seemingly inconsequential role as Commissioner’s Gordon’s underling. Yeah, no. Something’s rotten in Gotham.

So, here’s what I’m thinking — the movie ends with Bane breaking the Bat and Gotham getting the hero it deserves. A silent guardian. A watchful protector. A new Dark Knight.

Now, I open the floor for mockery, threats and general displeasure from the nerd community.

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