Monday, September 10, 2012

The Dark Knight Emerges

Almost two months in and we get word of how The Dark Knight Rises fared against The Dark Knight:

I suppose it's fair to say that this movie wasn't a flop, with concerns (prior to its release) merely mounting due to The Avengers' incredible box office success.

*Image from

So while we witness the porting of timeless heroes from print media to live action films, it's truly a relief to know that heroism, values, and principles aren't misinterpreted and diluted through the process. The best of the fanboys have grown-up to work for Hollywood after all, after the dreaded attempts to do the same in the 80's and 90's (ex- Tim Burton's Bat flicks of course, and maybe Blade). Now, we're assured that younger generations get a better sense of what these characters are about.

*Image from

I just can't believe Howard the Duck would get so much ridicule on the Internet, I've watched it a few times when I was younger and it was okay. I really don't know if my opinion is doomed to change if I watched it again after witnessing how comic book movies have evolved for almost three decades. Amazon reviewers seem to be okay with it:

Well...not everyone, I just had to LMAO at this review:

1.0 out of 5 stars Maybe the worst film ever, July 6, 2012
Christopher "chris c" (Dumont, NJ, United States) - See all my reviews 

This review is from: Howard the Duck
Just dredful, start to finish, not one redeaming quality. Sickening actu Ignore warning ally. Don't watch, don't let loved ones, old people or children watch. Maybe fit for death row inmates if the crime was particularly heinous.

Anyway, as far as I'm concerned, The Dark Knight Rises has a handicap against the Avengers if we talk about income generation. Nolan didn't want this on 3-D (bloated ticket prices) and the US opening was tainted with the Colorado movie house shooting that discouraged moviegoers to watch it at the soonest.

Even as Marvel pulled out all the stops, I think that the dark theme Batman has been bringing to the table has deserved all the attention it's gotten. It's gritty, mature, and real. Batman, as a hero, after all represents the pinnacle of human potential and resourcefulness. He doesn't have powers, which makes him basically one of us, but the mythos has always shown him keeping in step with the super-powered people of the DC Universe.

On a deeper level, however, we are shown a complex psyche that we also want to understand and relate to. His motives and methods aren't always clear cut, but he's always had something in mind for the bigger picture. It's fantasy and fiction, but it's pretty admirable, especially if you've got billions of dollars at your disposal. =\ And you've got to wonder how Bob Kane could have ever imagined his character evolving into someone so complex through the decades.

Selina Kyle: You don't owe this people anymore. You've given them everything.
Bruce Wayne/Batman: Not everything, not yet.

While it's pretty obvious that most if not all superhero characters would have the same mindset, there's something about his "powerlessness" and vulnerabilities that makes everything all the more dramatic to witness and try to comprehend.

As for the ending of TDKR (in view of how Nolan didn't really give too much adherence to the comic book mythos), my take on it is that it was designed to be open-ended, the principles, psyche, motivation, and philosophy of Nolan's Batman were peppered on the plot across 3 films and we were left to imagine for ourselves what comes after Wayne's founding of Batman. Batman was a symbol for hope and liberation from fear. It didn't and doesn't end with Bruce Wayne. The children on the bus were witnesses to that belief in what Batman stood for, even as the disillusioned and pessimistic outlook of adults in Gotham overwhelmed their society with apathy or stoicism to the corruption of their times. Heroes emerge and there is goodness in people, if you look hard enough through the dirt and distractions of society.

 *Image from

It's also worth noting that Christopher Nolan is going to release a Director's Cut of TDKR on Bluray, hey it's not like anyone's going to pass up the chance of buying his Bluray copy of this masterpiece anyway.

**Updates 11/29/12* Christopher Nolan was recently interviewed on his take of how he envisioned his Batman:


CHRISTOPHER NOLAN: The term “realism” is often confusing and used sort of arbitrarily. I suppose “relatable” is the word I would use. I wanted a world that was realistically portrayed, in that even though outlandish events may be taking place, and this extraordinary figure may be walking around these streets, the streets would have the same weight and validity of the streets in any other action movie. So they’d be relatable in that way.

Perhaps the most controversial part in Nolan's Batman trilogy is the very ending of The Dark Knight Rises. Which left many fans divided as it is eluded to Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character, John "Robin" Blake, is going to replace Bruce Wayne as Gotham's Batman.

CHRISTOPHER NOLAN: For me, The Dark Knight Rises is specifically and definitely the end of the Batman story as I wanted to tell it, and the open-ended nature of the film is simply a very important thematic idea that we wanted to get into the movie, which is that Batman is a symbol. He can be anybody, and that was very important to us. Not every Batman fan will necessarily agree with that interpretation of the philosophy of the character, but for me it all comes back to the scene between Bruce Wayne and Alfred in the private jet in Batman Begins, where the only way that I could find to make a credible characterization of a guy transforming himself into Batman is if it was as a necessary symbol, and he saw himself as a catalyst for change and therefore it was a temporary process, maybe a five-year plan that would be enforced for symbolically encouraging the good of Gotham to take back their city. To me, for that mission to succeed, it has to end, so this is the ending for me, and as I say, the open-ended elements are all to do with the thematic idea that Batman was not important as a man, he’s more than that. He’s a symbol, and the symbol lives on.

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2012. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.