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Ben Affleck as Batman

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In 2013 Ben Affleck was cast as Batman/Bruce Wayne in the movie “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” As the internet experienced a meltdown and some misguided fans even signed petitions to have Affleck removed from the project, I was always on board with him being cast as the iconic capped crusader. View my old blog post in the link below.

MY Thoughts: Ben Affleck as Batman

I wanted to follow up my recent review of “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” with my thoughts on how Ben Affleck actually played this iconic dual role. I will begin by posting this quote:

Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times remarked: “All the Internet resistance to Affleck being cast as Batman seems silly when you see him … There’s not a moment when we don’t believe Affleck as Bruce Wayne or as Batman.”

I agree with this completely. It is kind of funny that even though many Batman and superhero fans had a public meltdown over Ben being cast, there is nary a hater to be found these days. Another point I want to make is, although I supported Ben 100% in this role and could see him doing well, even I underestimated exactly how good he ended up being in the role. Ben Affleck disappeared completely into both Characters! While watching the movie I completely forgot I was watching Ben Affleck! He is just that damned good!

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Comparisons are inevitable and I hate to use the word “better” in my comparisons (I can enjoy many things equal without making such judgments) I will add that Ben has come to personify the role for me. I do in fact enjoy all live incarnations of the character. Believe it or not but as of this writing “Batman Forever” is my favorite solo Batman movie, but Ben is my favorite portrayal of the character. I do like Nolan’s Batman Trilogy even though I have issues with it, however, I never really had a problem with Christian Bale’s portrayal of the Dark Knight. After watching Ben play both roles I have come to see his performance as the one I have been waiting for, for decades. Finally Bruce Wayne and his alter ego “The Batman” are portrayed the way they have been portrayed in the comics for a long, long time. I look forward with great anticipation to the Justice League movies and the solo Batman movies where Ben will once again don the cape and cowl to strike fear into the heart of darkness.

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Who played Batman the Best: Part IV.

With my interaction with fans on the internet I have come to see that Christian Bale’s performance as Batman is by far the favorite. There are many who also prefer Michael Keaton as Batman but Bale does seem the big favorite. I have written in the past about my love-hate relationship with the Dark Knight trilogy but that is another topic. I want to stick to his performance only.

I recently read a negative review of Batman Begins and one of the things the author said was that Batman was not depicted as a detective which is a big part of his persona. I disagree. I think that aspect is in the Nolan trilogy, yet I don’t think it is a big part of what he does in any movie. I think Adam West and the campy TV series has been the best in portraying Batman as a detective! Bale’s Batman is the most intimidating I would have to say. He has come out of the darkness to grab and harass criminals and informants. Some have complained about the voice Bale does as Batman. It is very gravely and gruff. I personally have no problem with the voice he did and there are a few times when that is what made him intimidating. I like the part when he has an informant hanging over the street high up in the air and the informant yes ”I swear to God” and Batman growls “swear to me!” Great scene and this is the Batman many wanted to see. Overall an excellent performance as Batman despite my problems with the movies themselves.

I cannot end this without mentioning Ben Affleck as Batman in the upcoming film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Of course I cannot really comment on his performance since we have not seen the film yet. We have seen the suit and while I like it for the most part, what I don’t like is the size of the Bat-symbol on his chest. I don’t mind the smaller ears on the cowl either. I have written before that I was surprised he was cast only because he wasn’t even on anyone’s radar. After the momentary shock wore off I was 100% behind this casting and I could really see Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne and Batman. I am really looking forward to his performance and the movie.

Well, I think my two favorite Batman portrayals are Michael Keaton and Christian Bale. They are a virtual tie with Val Kilmer coming close behind those two.

Next week I will finally review the new Godzilla movie!!

Ben Affleck as Batman: My Thoughts.

It is a nice warm and sunny Friday morning as I write this. Late last night it was announced that Ben Affleck had been cast as Batman for the upcoming sequel to the Man of Steel movie. My first reaction was one of disbelief and shock. He wasn’t even on the radar. He wasn’t even mentioned as being in the running for the role. I also honestly thought that they would select a relative unknown and not a big name such as Ben Affleck. I think that is why I am so shocked.  But the more I think about it the more I do like the idea. I think he can really pull it off. Today as I write this I am watching the majority of my fellow nerdlings have a meltdown as the interweb explodes with the fallout from this news.

I actually like the guy and his work. Like most of us, I was introduced to Ben Affleck when I saw the movie, Good Will Hunting. An excellent film. He and his friend, Matt Damon, crafted a great story and both acted superbly in that movie. Sadly, Affleck’s acting career had some misses as well as hits while Damon’s acting career really took off. I am also a fan of Kevin Smith’s movies and Ben has acted in several of them, my favorite is when he teamed up with Damon once again for the movie Dogma. Ben also had a highly publicized romance with Jennifer Lopez. Ben also was the star of Marvel’s superhero movie, Daredevil, which was not well received. All of this creates too much baggage in the minds of many fans of superhero movies.

But that is not the whole story. He starred in and directed in last years Academy Award winning film Argo. He also starred and directed the critically acclaimed film The Town. He played George Reeves in the well acclaimed film Hollywoodland. Ben Affleck does have  awide range as an actor. He can do comedy as well as serious drama. Not every actor can do that.

I do understand that the last Batman, played by Christian Bale, is the most popular actor to don the Batcowl. So Ben does have some awfully big shoes to fill and hopefully he will not be in Bale’s shadow during his portrayal of the character.

Another point I want to make as my fellow nerds are all upset this morning is that back in the late 80s there was a similar outcry when Tim Burton cast Michael Keaton as Batman. Even I thought that was pretty certain back then that Keaton was wrong for the part he proved all of the nay sayers wrong and did two great performances as Bruce Wayne/Batman. The other thing I find fascinating about the nerd meltdown is that they have a problem with long-term memory. When Heath Ledger was cast as The Joker for the movie, The Dark Night, many fans were all up-in-arms and outraged about that! Today he is, and for a long time will be, the standard by which any portrayal of the Joker will be measured.

I am “borrowing” some points by a blogger   and they are all points that I completely agree with.

Let us go back through the history of movie casting:

  • When Robert Downey Jr. was cast as Iron Man, people thought he would be TERRIBLE because of his past. This actually helped his character and made him the face of Iron Man.
  • When Christian Bale was cast, people still thought of him as a small actor who would be terrible.
  • Heath Ledger was BASHED up and down the street because of his pretty face when he signed on to play the Joker. Now most people now consider him the greatest Joker ever portrayed.
  • Daniel Craig as James Bond… people did go crazy about it which most of you should remember, since it was just a few years ago.
  • Chris Evans was the Human Torch and was thought of as a terrible actor. Uhh, have you seen London? And now he IS Captain America.
  • Chris Hemsworth looks like an Abercrombie and Fitch model and he was in Star Trek, but now he IS Thor.
  • Hugh Jackman was a broadway star. How in the hell is he going to be the ferocious Wolverine? Go remove your foot from your mouth now.

Read more at http://nerdreactor.com/2013/08/23/ben-affleck-batman-awesome-news/#P1HWDMlZFBvU2FXI.99

As I said, Ben Affleck was not even on the radar as being in the running to play Batman. Many sites on the internet listed whom they believed would be a worthy successor to Christian Bale to play Batman. The favorites were: Matt Bomer (my personal choice), Richard Armitage, Josh Brolin, Armie Hammer, Ryan Gosling and others. I think Affleck as a better choice than Brolin. I just don’t think he has the looks. I now am wondering if these were true rumors, that the studio was looking at these actors, or were they just the dreams of fan boys?

I am more than willing to give Ben Affleck a chance in the role and I think he will do just fine. There are more important things to consider such as the script and the tone of the film. I am more concerned about the script than who they cast as Batman. Look at Clooney in Batman and Robin. While I may enjoy the movie as an homage to the campy 60s show, Clooney did not do a bad job acting as either Wayne or Batman. The problem was people did not want a campy Batman movie, or at least the level of camp that was in that movie. So if Clooney had been Batman in a less campy movie I think people would not be putting the blame for that movie on his shoulders.  If they set the tone of this movie like they did with Iron Man then I think Afflack will do just fine.

I am sure the tone of the film will be similar or exactly like the one established in Man of Steel. If that is the case then I really have no worries about Ben Affleck being able to play Bruce Wayne and Batman. I just hope they have a good story to tell and that the script is well written.

Comic Con 2013 recap. Part I

I didn’t go to Comic-Con but this is some of the big news that was reported this past weekend in San Diego.

1. The sequel to the Man of Steel looks to be a Superman & Batman movie. The movie is set for 2015 which pushes a Justice league movie back to 2017 and in 2016 we will finally get a long waited The Flash movie!!!!!! What I know so far is that  Zack Snyder will direct, David S. Goyer will write the screenplay, Henry Cavill will return as Superman, and Christian Bale is unlikely to return as Batman. I am a bit disappointed that they are not doing another solo Superman movie before they team him up with Batman. Man of Steel just established Superman, or reestablished him, I should say, and I would like at least one more outing with him on his own. But I am open to a Superman and Batman movie, I just hope they cast someone good in the role of Batman.

2. As I type this I am a bit disappointed that the Godzilla panel was a bit of a let down. The design for the new Godzilla was not revealed and they did show a new teaser trailer. In an interview with director Garret Edwards from Friday evening we learned that Godzilla will be the tallest ever seen and he will have the atomic breath. Edwards also reported that the story is very emotional and some scenes left many in tears while it was being filmed.

Here is a description of the teaser trailer:

Godzilla trailer description!

This is from Quint at AICN:

There was the typical sizzle reel thing of having a lot of out of context images flashing at you… Bryan Cranston in some kind of radioactive suit and looking worried, Aaron Taylor-Johnson in full soldier gear pointing his rifle at something, a soldier running down a fiery street, Ken Watanabe looking on in awe of something, a quick reunion shot in a Katrina-esque stadium refugee zone with a kid and Elizabeth Olsen, people running around in a government installation… that kind of thing. Chaos.

Then it cuts to black for a bit, just to draw out the tension, then we see our first glimpse of a monster. Notice I said “a monster” not “the monster.” We get a tall Kaiju that looks a bit like the Cloverfield monster in terms of it kind of having thin appendages and flat-ish face. It’s destroying shit and we see it prominently featured at an airport. It towers over parked planes as jets and attack choppers shoot mercilessly at the beast.

One chopper gets too close and is swatted down. All that follows is shown in one shot through the large plate glass windows from inside the airport as if a POV shot of a witness… The chopper is hit and it spins as it crashes to the ground near a parked plane. Upon impact the chopper explodes which starts off a chain reaction as one plane after another gets caught up in the rolling fireball that gets bigger and bigger with each successive explosion.

The camera pans, following the destruction and as the final plane explodes, Godzilla’s massive thick tree trunk of a foot comes down right in the middle of the fireball of the last exploding plane. Cut to black again as the audience cheers like mad.

Then an image fades up of the other Kaiju aggressively moving with in the smoke and wreckage of the airport, not seeing Godzilla raise up behind it. As big as the first monster looked when destroying everything you realize that it barely comes up to Godzilla’s midriff as the King of Monsters stands straight up behind it. Godzilla roars and that’s it.

3.  Another movie by Legendary pictures was also revealed on Saturday. There is going to be a World of Warcraft movie. I do not play the game but I have seen some people play that game and others similar to it. It looks like it could be a lot of fun.

I will gather up more info and recap Comic-Con 2013 on Wed and Friday! Stay tuned!

Bale will not play Batman Again: My thoughts

Last week it was announced that Christian Bales said that he would not play Batman in a Justice League movie. Many fans, myself included, are a bit disappointed. I really thought that Bale’s Batman would fit in the same universe as Superman, given the fact that the tone of both the Dark Knight Trilogy and the new Man of Steel movie work very well together. Many on the internet feel that if WB threw enough money at Bale he would don the Bat Cowl once more. I tend to agree with that.

I recently re-wathed the entire trilogy and while I always have liked it, and think Batman Begins is the best of the bunch, I have a better appreciation for the Nolan’s trilogy.

Although I am disappointed that Christian Bale will not be Batman for the Justice league movie that means the Batman movies will need to be rebooted. But is it too soon and who would play the caped crusader?

Last year’s Spider-Man reboot, just a few years after Spider-Man 3, was aid to be too soon also. However, I really enjoy that movie and over all the responses for that film have been positive and many fans are looking for the next installment.  If they do the Justice League movie first, with Batman, and then reboot the Batman franchise after that movie…we still can be looking at another 5 years before we see a Batman movie. I think fans will come to the theater and I do not think that would be too soon.

I want to recommend an actor to play Batman. His name is Matt Bomer (you’ll have to google him, I am having trouble with posting pictures on this site). He plays the lead in As the lead in USA Networks’ White Collar and was also in the movie Magic Mike (2012) a movie I DID NOT SEE! DC and Warner Bros. have also noticed Bomer’s range, signing him to voice Superman in their next animated feature, Superman: Unbound (2013). He resembles Henry Cavill, Superman, and the two could be brothers.

I do not think that would be a deterrent because they both have those chiseled features and square jaws one expects in these two superheroes. Since Bomer is not a house hold name it will not seem strange seeing him as Batman. Ever since George Clooney played Batman (in a movie I do happen to enjoy in a strange way) I do think these superhero movies do need to cast unknowns for the most part. Of course there are always exceptions. I recently saw another list of possible actors to play Batman and one of them was a black man and I thought that would be a great idea.

It will be interesting to see what unfolds in the future for Batman!!

What is the future of Batman in the movies?

With Warner Bros actively working on a Justice League movie the internet is a buzz with so many rumors about the future of Batman on the silver screen. Often it is difficult to keep track of these rumors! So in today’s post I will see if I can keep track of the rumors.

1. One rumor I have heard is that WB is writing the script around the return of Christian Bale as the Dark Knight. I have repeatedly read where Bale said he is done with the Character and not open to playing him again unless Christopher Nolan is involved. Christopher Nolan is involved with the JL movie but Nolan has stated that his Batman trilogy was a stand alone franchise where other Superheroes do not exist.

2. Another rumor is that Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who was hinted at becoming the new Batman at the end of the Dark Knight Rises, will have a cameo at the end of the new Man of Steel l movie as Batman. I think this is just wishful thinking on the part of fans. Marvel followed this tactic in their individual movies leading up to last years’ Avenger’s film. I really have not heard anything official from WB that they are going the same route that the Marvel Studios have done.

3. Another rumor is that Batman will be a complete reboot with another actor in the role and it will be completely unrelated to the Nolan trilogy. Plus this new Batman movie will not come out until after 2015 and the release of the Justice League movie. It seems that the new Superman movie, Man of Steel, will be the first and only movie leading up to the Justice League movie and it will set the tone for all the subsequent superhero movies. Henry Cavill is slated to reprise his role as Superman in the Justice League movie.

I think this third rumor is the most plausible and likely scenario. Those who follow my blog know I have a bit of love/hate thing going on with the Nolan Batman trilogy. While I like Batman Begins the tone of this trilogy is a bit too serious (Why so serious?) and takes some of the fun out of the movies. I think the Marvel movies have struck the right tone for Superhero movies. Man of Steel, even though it is produced by Nolan, seems to follow the tone that Marvel has set. While grounded in realism it also seems more of a fun action adventure movie.

I wouldn’t mind Christian Bale returning as Batman/Bruce Wayne but I really do not feel it is essential. There are other actors who could pull off this iconic dual role. Armie Hammer is playing the Lone Ranger this summer and I could also easily see him playing the part of Batman/Wayne. I am also open to another unknown playing the role. If a new series of Batman movies does come out after the Justice League movie it will have big shoes to fill. I think it can be done and I would like to see some Batman movies more in line with the tone of the Marvel universe.

Random Meanderings…

Here are just some thoughts running through my brain today…Godzilla starts shooting in two days. Yesterday actor David Strathairn signed on. He will join Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Olsen in the cast. Academy Award Winning actress Julitte Binoche is rumored to have joined the cast but has not been confirmed yet. This is a movie I will really struggle to stay spoiler free. I am such a huge fan of the genre that I have a desire to know almost everything! I hope that the design of the monster gets either officially released of leaked somehow. But I am not holding my breath waiting for it. Sometimes scripts get leaked but if Godzilla’s script gets leaked I won’t read it. I don’t mind certain spoilers but I wouldn’t want the entire movie spoiled for me! I am sure at some point soon photos from the set will leak out. Those I am eager to see. I am following some of the stars and crew on Twitter and Facebook so I am sure some news will break.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson played the lead actor in Kick-Ass and its coming sequel.
Bryan Cranston was in Argo and is also in the show Breaking Bad. Elizabeth Olsen
is the younger sister of the famous Olsen twins and recieved rave reviews for
the movie Martha Marcy May Marlene. Juliette Binoche won an Academy Award
for best supporting acrtress for the 1996 movie The English Patient.

In a few day, March 19th to be exact, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray. I have heard so many mixed reviews on this film. I think I have read an equal amount from people who loved the film, hated it and were ambivalent. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy was certainly darker in theme than the Hobbit and from my readings this movie was more whimsical that the Rings Trilogy. I am alright with that I know at the heart of the story it is a children’s book, a magical adventure. The Rings trilogy is a darker story so I am not expecting the Hobbit to be dark. Darkness had not crept into Middle Earth at this time. I have faith that the time all three movies are done the Hobbit trilogy will weave nicely into the Lord of the Rings. I will give my review as soon as I see it!

The Blog/Message board and internet world is still full of rumors for the 2015 Justice League movie. Several sites have stated that Christopher Nolan will be producing all the future DC related Superhero movies for WB and that the Justice league movie is being tailored for Christian Bale’s return as Batman. You know what? I am not buying any of that. I do think the Justice League movie is struggling but I do not think these rumors about Christopher Nolan & Christian Bale are true. My understanding is that they want to move on to other projects. If the rumors turn out to be true, I will be the first to admit it!

May will be here before you know it and next month will be my one year anniversary of this Blog. So right now I am gathering up a list of the big summer movies due out this year.  So stay tuned to this channel!

Chrisopher Nolan’s Batman Franchise.

I recently reviewed the third movie in this series, The Dark Knight Rises, and I wanted to write my thoughts and opinions about the franchise as a whole. As with many movies and franchises I often have mixed feelings that are neither completely positive or negative. Such is the case with Christopher Nolan’s Batman Franchise.

I remember all the positive reviews that Batman Begins received and I learned that this movie was going to be grounded in reality with the premise being “what if Batman really existed in the real world?” I actually liked that idea and was eager to see how it was played out. Upon finally seeing Batman Begins I felt that someone finally got Batman right and I was very pleased. To this day Batman Begins remains one of my all time favorite Batman movies. I think it has drama and excitement and a well crafted story. It is a tight story, meaning not a real complex plot with too many events and characters to keep track of.

However, that was to change with the Dark Knight. I did, and do enjoy the story, yet the plot is a little more complex and over crowded. Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker is brilliant and he did deserve the Academy Award for his portrayal. The movie goes on a bit long and there are times I am confused to what is going on. Does that say more about my ability to comprehend or was it the director’s inability to keep things clear? I actually fault Christopher Nolan. He does have a reputation for making films that have very complex plots. I also enjoyed the Harvey Dent/Two Face character and the make-up special effects for him were great. The ending was also intriguing as Batman was on the run and being viewed as a true outlaw.

I was disappointed that the “Batman as an outlaw” angle was played down in the Dark Knight Rises. Bruce Wayne hung up his cape and cowl and became a recluse. Yes, by the end of the movie Batman is redeemed and seen for the hero of Gotham that he was/is. I just thought they would have played up more on the Batman as an outlaw angle. I will not rehash my review here I will just restate that I liked the movie a great deal and it follows right behind Batman Begins as my favorite of the trilogy.

There is something wrong though. I really like these movies and I will watch them again but there is something gnawing at my stomach about these movies and I could not figure it out at first. After watching the Dark Knight Rises I did figure out what was gnawing at me. What bothers me is the original premises: “what if Batman really existed in the real world?” In the end, after all the three movies are over, I still have a feeling that at some leve these were not Batman movies. These movies are supposed to be comic book movies and I think having some element in the movie that reminds us that this is a fantasy makes these movies more light and fun. While Batman is a darker character than most superheroes there still is a fantasy element to him and that was missing from the trilogy.

I think the 1989 Batman movie by Tim Burton kept Batman in his comic book world. While his sequel, Batman Returns, is a bit too dark for my tastes they are rooted in being a comic book movie. I must say the more recent Marvel comic book movies have actually achieved the best tone for these types of movies.

I am a bit Leary about the next Superman movie. Superman is by far my favorite Superhero and I think he is more of a big boy scout than a Dark Knight like Batman and he needs a lighter touch. While I am very encouraged by the Man of Steel trailers I have seen I hope Nolan and Snyder didn’t forget to put some of the fun back into the movie.

The future of Batman  on the big screen? I am not sure. I wouldn’t complain if Christian Bale joined the Justice League movie now in pre-production. Then again I won’t complain if he doesn’t either. If Warner Brothers wants to connect the Nolan Trilogy to the Justice League movie that is alright and if they want to go in a new direction with Batman I am alright with that too. The movies and his performance was good and I wouldn’t mind seeing him return as Batman.

2012 in Review

I am back posting! I have had some computer problems so I was unable to post. I hope all my readers had a happy holiday season and is looking forward to the new year.

Before I look forward to the new year I want to look back at the best and worst science-fiction and fantasy movies of 2012. According to Box Office Mojo the  2012 domestic box office came in at a record $10.83 billion. this is a six-and-a-half percent increase from 2011 and is up a full 2% from 2009, which previously held the record with $10.596 billion. Good news for the studios because they will continue to make the movies we all enjoy.

In Today’s post I will concentrate on the best movies and on Wednesday I will examine the worst and on Friday I will look at what is coming in the new year.

Superhero movies topped the box office. The top two were The Avengers and The Dark Night Rises. The Avengers is actually the third highest grossing movie world wide! It is also the highest grossing movie not made by James Cameron who holds the number 1 and 2 spots respectively with Avatar and Titanic. I have seen both movies and enjoy them a great deal. I have to say that I enjoy the tone of the Avengers movie much more than the Dark Night Rises. I won’t go into too much detail because I have an article written which I will post next week that analyzes Nolan’s Batman trilogy.

The Amazing Spider-Man also did very well both at the box office and with critics. This proved to nay sayers, like myself, that it was not too early to reboot the franchise. I really enjoyed this movie a great deal. I really cannot say I like it better than the original Sam Rami trilogy but I can say I like it equally. Both movies offer a creative and enjoyable take on the web slinger. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the next installment will be just as good.

Hunger Games also did well. I did see it and I really liked it. I will eventually pick up this movie on DVD. But I still have uneasy feelings about the premise: teenagers killing one another. I felt uneasy before viewing the movies but felt the director,  Gary Ross, handled the violence without being too gratuitous. Yet, in the light of the Newtown shootings, I am once again uneasy with the premise. The sequel, Hunger Games: Catching Fire, is in production so hopefully the movie will once again assuage my uneasy feelings.

Ted, the foul-mouthed Teddy Bear from Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane really hit one out of the ol’ proverbial ball park. I am a big fan of Family Guy and its type of humor and satire so I hope that we get a sequel to this movie. Mila Kunis and Mark Wahlberg gave great performances as the couple who have to deal with Ted’s shenanigans. Seth McFarlane also reached genius levels with his performance as usual.

I am not the biggest fan of the Alien franchise, which tends to mix science-fiction with horror, but the premise of Prometheus, a prequel to the first Alien movie (1979), really had me intrigued. Many fans complained that the movie was a stand alone project and didn’t tie everything up in a tidy bow, connecting it to the first movie. But those are the very things I liked about it. You really didn’t have to be familiar with the Alien mythology to enjoy this film. And yes, this movie does leave you with questions unanswered but in  a fun way. It is like a mystery movie that keeps you wanting more. Better yet, it is like life itself where all of our questions are not always answered.

Before I leave you a list of my Top Favorite Movies, I must confess that I have not seen some of the movies that people are talking about. I have not seen Brave, Pixar’s offering for the year, nor have I seen The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. As I view these movies I will continue to review them here.

My Top Movies of 2012

1. Marvel’s The Avengers

2. The Dark Night Rises

3. The Amazing Spider-Man

4. Ted

5. Prometheus

6. Men in Black 3

7. Battleship*

8. John Carter*

9. Wrath of the Titans*

10. The Hunger Games

* = these three movies did not do well at the box office and despite the fact that I really enjoyed them I will discuss them on Wednesday when I look at the worst movies of 2012.

The Dark Knight Rises: My Review

Thanks to my lovely daughter sending me my Christmas present early, I finally saw The Dark Knight Rises. After Superman, Batman is my second favorite superhero. I will stick to the review of the movie and at a later date, sometime next week, I will examine the entire franchise. This movie does end the trilogy that began with 2005’s Batman Begins. Christopher Nolan has gone on record to say that there will not be a fourth installment of the Batman series in what fans call the Nolan Universe. I have heard mixed reports of whether or not Christian Bale would ever play Batman again.

Here is my synopsis of the movie: The movie takes place eight years after the events in The Dark Knight. Gotham has Harvey Dent Day on the anniversary of his death and has also passed the Dent Act which has rid Gotham of organized crime. Bruce Wayne has become a recluse and walks with a cane as his body has taken too many beatings as Batman. But a storm is coming to Gotham in the name of Bane, a masked hulk of a man who is coming to finish the job the League of Shadows was trying to accomplish in the first movie. Helping Bane at first is Slena Kyle a cat burgler who steals Bruce Wayne’s finger prints and tries to sell them off in exchange for a computer device that will wipe out her criminal record.

There is also a cop, a former orphan, Tim Drake, that has figured out Batman’s secret identity and tries to enlist Batman to return to Gotham. Soon Bane strikes and takes hostages from the Gotham Stock Exchange where Wayne’s stolen finger prints are used to steal money. This forces Batman to come out of retierment and he helps Selena Kyle get away from the criminals who are now turning on her. In exchange for the “clean slate” device Batman convinces Selena to bring him to Bane. When Selena brings Batman to Bane we discover that Bane knows who Batman is and begins to brutally beat up Batman in front of Selena. Bane breaks Batman’s back and dumps him in a hellish prison somewhere in the world. Meanwhile, as the police have discovered his location in the sewers, over 3,000 police officers come to capture him. This is all part of Bane’s plan as he explodes bombs all round the city and beneath the football stadium, trapping the police beneath the surface. Also, Bane has destroyed all but one bridge leading into the city and releases all prisoners and therefore holds the entire city hostage.

There is also a side story of Bruce Wayne and Miranda Tate. She becomes a love interest of Wayne and then a board member of Wayne Enterpise and encourages Bruce to get back into life. Alfred, disagrees with Bruce returning as Batman and feels that it will lead to his death and quits his service and leaves.

The Prison Bruce Wayne is dumped in is at the bottom of a giant Well-like structure and the only means of escape is to walk the narrow walk way on the sides. The problem is that there is a large gap in the walk way and no one has been successful in leaping across the gap to freedom. The only person to make the jump successfully was a small child born into the prison. Bruce Wayne is lead to believe this was Bane. His back is fixed by a prison doctor and with Bane feeding the Prison with the TV images of what is happening in Gotham, this motivates Bruce who begins to train to get himself back in physical shape. Within 5 months he makes the successful jump to get out of prison.

Bane captures a fusion reactor build by the Wayne foundation to give the city clean renewable energy and he has turned it into a nuclear bomb. In a massive show down Batman defeats Bane and with the help of Selena Kyle and Comissioner Gordon, Batman finds the bomb in the nick of time and carriesd it out to sea for detonation.

I hope that synopsis wasn’t too long winded! The movie it just under three hours and I did leave some elements out. I don’t want to spoil it yet for some friends I know who have not watched the movie. I want to still leave some surprises.

I have said in the past that I had mixed feeling about the Dark Knight and felt that it wasn’t as good as Batman Begins. Well, this movie had many references to the first movie and in many ways had a similar tone to that film and for that reason I did like it a great deal. I was on the edge of my couch and filled with excitment and anticipation while watching the events of this film unfold. This was a very thrilling movie. It was also not as dark as the Dark Knight. While the movie is serious in tone there are a few lighter moments in the film. It did bring back some fun into the franchise.

When Anne Hathaway was cast as Selena Kyle many fans though that this was a fatal flaw, a fatal mistake. I too, questioned this choice. Up until then Hathaway had only been known for playing sweet and more innocent characters. Wow!! How wrong I was to doubt the choice! Hathaway was excellent as Selena Kile. She exhibits quite a range from innoncence, grief to cold indifference. Although technically a villain, Selena is also supposed to be a sympathetic character, which can be a fine line for an actor to walk and Hathaway accomplishes this task with skill and finess. Although she is never called catwoman in the movie she is reffered to as a cat burglar a couple of times. However, make no mistake about it she IS Catwoman and when she is dressed up in her cat burglar outfit there is no doubt who she is. I have to say of all the women to have played the role she is by far the best.

Tom Hardy does an excellent job as Bane. He is not as leathal or as crazy as the Joker but he a formidable opponent. His physical presence and brute force make him greatly intimidating. His mask doesn’t make it too difficult to unsderstand him. There are times in the movie, and this has been my problem throughout the series, when it is difficult to understand what a charcter has said and although is is better in this movie that has been a complaint of mind for the entire series.

I will close this review by stating that Batman Begins is my favorite of the series followed cloesly by the Dark Knight Rises. In a week I will explain why. 🙂 Here are some simple pros and cons.

Pros: It is an exciting action adventure movie. The sets and costumes are done very well and the acting is excellent all around. The story is gripping and suspenseful. The length of the movie, 2 hours and 46 minutes, did not bother me. The movie is nicely paced an movies along with no lagging parts.

Cons: Nolan’s movies sometimes are complex and confusing with the plot. There are times when I am not clear who is who and what is happening and why. For example, after stealing Bruce Wayne’s finger prints (and pearl necklace) Selena disappears with a Congressman after the party. But it really isn’t clear where they are going, why the Congressman has disappeared and just who is it she is selling the finger prints to? Some of these issues are made more clear as the movie progresses, but there are some threads of the film that seem to just dangle in the wind.

I left out the ending and the controversy that surrounds it and will leave it to my review of the entire franchise. All in all I really liked the movie a great deal and I am very happy with it.