Posts tagged "The Dark Knight Rises"

Box Office: ‘The Dark Knight’ is still rising

The Dark Knight Rises

  • Yes, yes, I know: The Dark Knight Rises wasn’t quite as awesome as The Dark Knight, so therefore that tiny margin of less awesome makes the entire thing a failure. That makes total sense. But naysayers be damned, it still managed to bring in another $36.4 Million over the weekend, which is nothing to sneeze at, especially when compared to …
  • Total Recall … oh, in another lifetime, maybe you would have been a more successful movie. I mean, you weren’t terrible, but you weren’t all that great either. Plus, you were kind of following a summer of major blockbusters, so you never really stood a chance, only taking in $26 Million on your opening weekend. Oh well, you can make it up in DVD sales.
  • Fun fact! I honestly had no idea that Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days was even a movie until I read about how it landed in third place at the box office with $14.7 Million. For all I know, this could just be a clever satire on how kids movies are routinely pushed away from the limelight yet somehow always manage to turn in a decent revenue because they’re cheap to make and kids don’t understand how quality works. But nope. This is real. They made three Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies.
  • Speaking of kids movies that somehow managed to make it to numerous installments, Ice Age: Continental Drift earned $8.4 Million at the box office, which isn’t bad when you consider that it’s a movie about Ray Romano voicing a woolly mammoth. And his daughter is Nicki Minaj. HOW?
  • The Watch, which had to contend with some of the worst timing ever, is still struggling to hold on, scraping together another $6.3 Million. But in brighter news, Celeste and Jesse Forever is doing some crazy good numbers, premiering in four theaters and earning an average of $28,000 per screen. To put that in perspective: That’s three times what The Dark Knight Rises did.

Box Office: ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ a little more

Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway in 'The Dark Knight Rises'

  • After movie studios last week had the decency to not post box office estimates in the wake of the Aurora Shooting, we’re now back to gauging how good a movie is not by actual artistic merit and content, but by how many people bought a ticket to see it. And for a second week in a row, The Dark Knight Rises topped the box office with $62.8 Million, which puts its total at $287.8 Million. But despite already earning back more than its budget, it hasn’t earned more than The Avengers so it’s a complete failure. Now let’s all go on Facebook and talk about how much it sucked, because disliking popular, well-made, critically-acclaimed movies makes you cool or something.
  • Ice Age: Continental Drift is still holding in pretty well, which I guess means it actually happened and the whole movie isn’t just some sort of fever dream like I originally thought. I know, weird. Anyway, it earned $13.3 Million, which just barely put it above …
  • The Watch. Yes, the comedic pairing of Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn probably would have done some insane numbers if this were still 2006, but Ben’s put-upon everyman shtick combined with Vince’s “I’m constantly fed-up with everything” just doesn’t hold up like it used to. That and the movie came out after the Trayvon Martin case (hence the name change), which is … yikes. Anyway, it earned $13 Million, which is just a teensy bit less than Ice Age, but just enough that it only cracked third place.
  • Did you know Step Up is an actual franchise now? Like, with multiple installments and everything? Seriously. I think one was enough, two was pushing it, and four is just irritating. But they made Step Up Revolution anyway, because dancers are an oppressed minority or something, and it earned $11.8 Million. But here’s where the math comes in: despite coming in fourth, Step Up actually earned more per theatre than Ice Age and The Watch. So when you take it all into consideration, all three movies did roughly the same numbers.
  • And now for a movie that didn’t underperform, Ted! Look, I know that Seth MacFarlane has a certain bro charm to him, but wow, I did not expect a movie about talking, foul-mouthed teddy bears to do this well. Ted earned another $7.3 Million this weekend, and has earned almost four times its revenue back.

Review: The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises

Batman’s Back, Alright!

The third film in a trilogy is by far the hardest to do right. You have to conclude the arc you’ve set up in the first two films, introduce new characters, and find some way to live up to the obsessive fanboy hype. Few franchises ever succeed at making it work perfectly (only Toy Story immediately comes to mind). And although The Dark Knight Rises comes super close, it is far from a perfect ending.

The major problem comes with our central plot – a story so convoluted from the outset, it took about an hour of intense post-show discussion to really wrap my head around what the hell was going on. There’s a ton of stuff about clean energy, and nuclear reactors, and company acquisitions, and weapons sectors, and political gain, and economic separation. And truthfully, it’s all just too much. The first half of the movie, you’re circling around wondering where to place your focus. And once the central plot starts – pardon the pun – rising to the surface, the payoff isn’t as satisfying as you’d like it to be.

It’s surprising since the story was written by director Christopher Nolan and his brother Jonathan – who between the two of them, have written excellent movies with incredibly intricate plots (see: Inception, The Prestige, and Memento). But for some reason, the duo gets caught up in the details, making it challenging for the audience to know where to place focus.

That also could be because there are 100 characters to follow. Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle mysteriously traipse in and out of the picture, walking the line of friend or foe each time.  Commissioner Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman), Commissioner Foley (Matthew Modine), and newcomer John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) are all given substantial plotlines adding up to considerable screen-time –almost as much as much as Christian Bale’s Batman himself. Alfred (Michael Caine) has a lot to do in the film early on.  Wayne Enterprise CEO Lucious Fox (Morgan Freeman) and newbie Philanthropist Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard) both are crucial pieces to the film’s sophisticated puzzle. Then there’s Dr. Leonid Pavel (Alon Abutbul), Roland Daggett (Ben Mendelsohn), and his associate, played by Burn Gorman; three characters who have an awful lot to do considering they’re barely even mentioned on the film’s IMDB page.

All that and we haven’t even gotten to our main antagonist: Tom Hardy’s Bane – who, as those who saw the first 6-minutes of the film that aired before Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol will know, opens our story. Bane, like Scarecrow in Batman Begins and the Joker in The Dark Knight before him, is desperate to see chaos run amuck in Gotham City. For Bane, it’s an attempt to return Gotham to the people – a “haves vs. have-nots” battle that echoes the “we are the 99%” battle cries of today’s Occupy movement. Bruce Wayne must decide whether he steps in as Batman to save Gotham, or watch it destroy itself, just as he has always predicted it would.

I’ll let you guess what he decides.

It’s funny. Both Spider-Man 3 and Batman and Robin were considered franchise killers because of their fragmented plots and overabundance of characters. In many ways The Dark Knight Rises suffers from the same woes, but pulls out brilliant performances and a strong second/third act – both of which redeem 90% of the film’s troubles.

See, once you get past the initial plot hump and the action starts to pick up, The Dark Knight Rises becomes an incredibly fun move to watch. The action sequences are the best we’ve seen yet, and the “Bat toys” (planes, motorcycles, cars, etc) will have your inner kid jumping for joy. Christopher Nolan’s direction has never looked better, aided beautifully by cinematographer Wally Pfister. There are some shots in the film that will simply take your breath away. And Hans Zimmer has crafted a suspenseful score that keeps your heart beating out of your chest for nearly three hours.

The performances are stellar as always. Christian Bale continues his compelling portrayal of the caped crusader. His Batman-voice is still strange as all hell, but Bale makes it work by grounding Wayne in such emotional complexities. Oldman’s character takes on a particularly unexpected turn, as the troubles of the last film weigh heavily on our commissioner’s soul. It’s a change in Gordon that Oldman depicts perfectly.  And Joseph Gordon-Levitt reveals wide-eyed optimism, moral humanity, and the overall enthusiasm needed to bring some light to the dark story.

The biggest surprise is Anne Hathaway, who does wonders with Selina Kyle. Hathaway is an actress who is sometimes great and other times… One Day. But here, Hathaway is smart, sultry, and fun as hell. Never campy like those who’ve played the part in the past, she’s by far the best addition to the cast, and makes Selina Kyle a representative of the 99% we can all relate to.

Oh. And then there’s Tom Hardy’s Bane. The good news is that Bane’s nowhere as terrible here as he was in Batman and Robin. The bad news?  Bane’s nowhere as memorable a Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight. (Then again, how could he be?). Hardy’s a compelling actor, and many of the choices he makes here are good ones. Still no matter how many post-production edits they made to his voice, he’s still often hard to understand. And the mystery surrounding his “there can be no true despair without hope” message makes him a pretty lackluster villain.

You know, both Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale have been very vocal about the fact that this will be their last Batman film together. Whether Warner Bros carries the franchise through, of course, is another thing. There are clearly places they can take the story. God knows the studio is desperate for a successful franchise. And in the candy-coded world of superhero films The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man provide, I think we need a darker hero like Batman all the same. Still, I hope The Dark Knight Rises closes the chapter on this franchise for just a little while. Although the last chapter has flaws, Nolan has crafted a beautiful trilogy. In this case, the whole is greater than its parts.

The Dark Knight Rises

Drama over early reviews of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

The Dark Knight Rises is coming out in just a scant few days, and it’s kind of hard to miss the frothy, rabid fandom it’s been stirring up all over the web. So much so that when poor hapless critic, Marshall Fine, had the outright gall to personally not like something, the net basically exploded all over him like a grenade of blind, self-righteous fury. Because how dare he have an opinion that doesn’t match up to your own! Rotten Tomatoes reports:

Since the referral traffic seems to have crashed his server, we’ve temporarily removed the review link at Fine’s request, so his site can go back up. But the score will not be affected. His Rotten review still applies to the score, even if the link isn’t active at the moment.

Update:
A second negative review came in, and we’ll be policing those comments, too.

Second Update:
We have disabled comments on The Dark Knight Rises reviews for a few days.

As expected, we saw a mountain of comments come in about his review, and we’re policing them to make sure they’re in line with our TOS. Broadly speaking, threats and hate speech will get your commenting privileges revoked. But Marshall has the right to not like the movie, and people have the right to express their disagreement with him (although if you haven’t seen the movie, your arguments may be on shaky ground). And we have the right to pull your comment down and ban you if we think you’re acting inappropriately.

And normally, that would hopefully be the end of the this, because reminding nerds that they can’t try and murder a guy for not liking the same movies as them is an exercise in stupid futility. Except then Eric D. Snider, a normally astute and respected critic, went ahead and posted a fake negative review on the site and the fan ate a second helping of shit.

Which leads me to Eric D. Snider. He thought it would be funny to post a negative review link on Rotten Tomatoes that links to his own site. He misrepresented his review link. (In case you didn’t know, some critics post their own reviews, and my staff posts some — it’s about 50/50). By attributing the link to Film.com, he misrepresented that organization. This is not the first time he’s done this, nor is it the first time his journalistic ethics have been brought into question. In our opinion, by knowingly posting a link that isn’t a review (and he hadn’t seen the movie), Snider has abused our trust, and therefore, his reviews will no longer apply to the Tomatometer.

Look, admittedly I don’t agree with what Snider did — I’m not overly fond of talented writers resorting to cheap publicity stunts for the sake of page views — but straight-up removing his voice from Rotten Tomatoes over a joke is a bit of an over-step in my opinion. Yes, using someone else’s website for the sake of grabbing some attention is a bit tasteless, but still, it’s just a harmless joke, and Snider is usually a reasonable and intelligent writer and his review are spot-on most of the time. All I’m saying is, this got really stupid really fast, and removing intelligent voices from the discussion isn’t going to make things any less dumb.

Please Note: Late Thursday evening, PopBytes will be posting a review of The Dark Knight Rises from our guy NineDaves!

The Dark Knight Rises

Pee-Wee Herman + ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ = LOL

I’m going to try not to divulge too much here because this is pretty damn hilarious, check out this clip from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, in which Pee-Wee Herman dubs his voice over a trailer for The Dark Knight Rises and … oh my gosh. I can’t even - just please watch it, okay? It made me shoot a java chip frappuccino out of my nose, it’s that good.

Pee-Wee Herman

Teaser Trailer: The Dark Knight Rises

Although we all need to wait until next summer to see The Dark Knight Rises, the third (and apparently final) Batman flick from visionary director Christopher Nolan, here’s the just released teaser trailer! I’m dying to see actress Anne Hathaway take on the role of Catwoman, it’s going to be super hard to compete with the likes of Michelle Pfeiffer (I live for her in 1992’s Batman Returns), Eartha Kitt, and Julie Newmar! I left out Halle Berry on purpose and for a good reason, that 2004 film totally sucked!

The Dark Knight Rises

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