The Dark Knight Rises: A Brief Review
Box office totals for The Dark Knight Rises have slowed down considerably and most people are chalking it up to the James Holmes shootings in Colorado. A more likely explanation would be that it’s the weakest movie in the Batman trilogy by far.
First and foremost, it starts slow and at 165 minutes, it’s way too long. Thirty minutes could have easily been cut out of the movie and it wouldn’t have hurt it a bit. Additionally, even though Batman is a grim series, this seemed to have an unnecessarily sad feel to it. It was like Rocky 5 meets Batman. On top of that, even for a superhero movie, the film had several enormous plot holes in it.
I don’t want to blow the movie for you if you haven’t seen it; so I’ll be careful with the phrasing here, but here are some issues that are so glaring that they jumped out at me while the movie was still ongoing.
* Bane and Company very publicly tapped into the computer system of a stock exchange and that very night, an extremely implausible plot twist happens based on what they did. What are the chances that those stock moves would sail through unchallenged when EVERYONE KNOWS they were tampered with?
* The reactor that turns out to be such a centerpiece of the movie essentially already exists. The French already have nuclear power plants that produce plutonium.
* Then there’s the way Bane, who was a farsighted and ruthless killer, handled the police, the way Bruce’s initial love interest behaved at his mansion given what we find out near the end, and, of course, the ending.
That being said, it wasn’t all bad. Bane was a fun villain even without the drugs from the comics pumping into his system, the premise of his taking over the city was fun, and the movie had lots of great action. Moreover, if we’re grading on the curve here, this movie was one hell of a lot better than the third effort in the Matrix or Pirates of the Caribbean series.
So, 2 1/2 out of 5 stars. If you REALLY want to go see it, have a good time, but you probably won’t miss much by waiting to catch it on video.
People don’t like to talk about America’s culture for the same reason that a man who just had a heart attack doesn’t want to discuss the double bacon cheeseburger he’s...Read More
I have a lengthy (and spoiler-packed, for better or worse) review of the third season of Mad Men (now out on DVD) over on the Pajamasâ€™ main page. Topics discussed include the showâ€™s slightly skewed politics and history of the Kennedy-era 1960s, amongst other things.
Watching The Baader Meinhof Complexâ€™s titular Teutonic terrorist gang in action on the small screen, I was struck by dÃ©jÃ vu of it all. A small but growing band of radicals with a penchant for street theater, wishing to smash capitalism and destroy the system from within, led by a fanatical, brawling leader, with at least one articulate well-bred intellectual within the inner circle. Starting off by blowing up small, bourgeois shops. Eventually hooking up with sympathetic allies in the Middle East. Then killing American soldiers. And when finally cornered, going out in a Gotterdammerung of mass suicide rather than face punishment from their captors. Thatâ€™s never happened in Germany before
In a way, Helvetica is the font of liberal fascism; itâ€™s certainly the font of corporatism. To borrow from one of the concluding memes of Jonah Goldbergâ€™s Liberal Fascism, itâ€™s the softer authoritarian nanny state of Brave New World, not the oppressiveness militarism of 1984.