June 8th and July 20th cannot arrive soon enough. Ridley Scott returns to the genre that he re-revolutionized in 1979 and 1982, and Christopher Nolan ends his extraordinary Batman series. The Avengers is holding at 92% on rottentomatoes.com, and I expect similar numerical values for Prometheus and The Dark Knight Rises.
The Dark Knight Rises
The typical summer blockbuster film contains about 2,500 visual effects (CGI) shots. “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight” contained 1200 and 750 visual effects shots respectively. Christopher Nolan is a firm believer in practical effects, traditional stunt work, and shooting on film stock. Nolan learned the sweet science and art of filmmaking by spending hours of time in The University College London’s film labs. This dedication is slowly returning movies to real locations and extravagant sets that defined the worlds of 2001: A Space Odyssey (a beautiful but pretentious film) and Blade Runner. Warner Bros. unveiled new footage of “The Dark Knight Rises” at CinemaCon on April 25th, 2012, and the third trailer was released to the general public on April 29th 2012. In the third trailer a spectacular shot of three bridges are shown collapsing in photorealistic fashion. This is probably one of the few CGI shots in the entire movie, and when viewed in full 1080p the effect is literally and metaphorically jaw dropping. I suggest (as I always do if you have the means) downloading the trailer in ITunes and HDMI your computer to a HD television and enjoying this 2 minute 19 second marvel in the highest resolution possible. Until I did this I did not notice the third bridge in the background collapsing.
The trailer has Catwoman… lots of Catwoman. Selina Kyle can be seen walking out of a train station and looking over her shoulder while passing a police officer. Her costume is firm fitting yet very tactical and suitable for burglary and intense hand to hand combat. Her voice is seductive without sounding forced like a temptress on a CBS or ABC daytime soap opera. Anne Hathaway has said that she modeled her voice after Austrian-American actress Hedy Lamarr, and results are seemingly positive. Catwoman/Selina Kyle apparently is a protagonist, despite considering the Entertainment Weekly photo that shows her cracking open a safe.
The daytime shots are beautiful and Wally Pfister may earn a second Oscar for cinematography. Pittsburgh and New York City will pose as Gotham City in “The Dark Knight Rises”, and considering that the film takes place 8 years after the 2008 film, the change is justified. The vast majority of the shots in the trailer are of New York City, yet the daytime shots are of Pittsburgh. Bringing Batman out of his nocturnal setting is a first (with the exception of the extremely campy 1960s television series) in the history of Detective Comic’s television and cinematic portrayal of the late Bob Kane’s creation.
Bane is the bane of Batman and Gotham’s existence, and this can now be CLEARLY heard through Tom Hardy’s mask/respirator. Everything so far that people have complained about The Dark Knight Rises has now been answered.
- · Catwoman’s ears are not cheesy, they are flipped up night vision goggles
- · Bane is totally intelligible.
- · Tom Hardy’s size does not matter, it seems that Nolan is attempting to show a highly intelligent and patient Bane. And as far as his physicality goes, he is more agile than Batman and has a swagger that exerts tremendous confidence.
Seeing “The Bat” in-flight down the streets of Pittsburg looks more coordinated and swift than in the second trailer, although it is the same take from the 2nd trailer. The end flight sequence is exhilarating and I cannot wait to watch the Blu-Ray special features to see how this was accomplished.
The second trailer for “Prometheus” has been released over a month but last week 20th Century Fox unveiled the 2nd international trailer. The situation looks incredibly dire for the crew of “The Prometheus”, with one crewmember being bitten by a snake-like creature that appears to be an early ancestor of the face-hugger from the 1979 original.
I will not say much about this trailer other than this is Ridley Scott’s year; it is an incredible stretch to judge a movie off of a 2 minute 45 second trailer, but I stand by saying “This will be a 21st century classic”.
Christopher Nolan and Ridley Scott are modern film representations of Plato and Aristotle respectively. Although Nolan was not trained directly by anyone, he viewed Scott’s “Alien” and “Blade Runner” numerous times and has been greatly influence by these films. I believe (just like in the case of the previously mentioned philosophers), that the student will surpass the teacher. But this year Ridley Scott’s sci-fi horror film will be the cinematic event of the year.