Friday, July 20, 2012


"The Dark Knight Rises" earned over $30 million from its midnight screening.  I'm not sure how many tens of thousands saw this movie at 12:01 am on July 20th, but my daughter was one of them.  Thankfully, she was not one of the viewers who entered a movie theater in Aurora, CO to enjoy a super hero movie, but instead died or experienced one of the most traumatic experiences they will ever have.  I cannot imagine the pain of the families and the community.  I know as a nation, we couldn't be any more saddened when a life is senselessly taken.  My heart and prayers go out to those families and friends.  I am so sorry for your losses.

I drove 45 minutes north to view "The Dark Knight Rises" this morning to see a 9 am showing.  I entered the theater with trepidation.  I couldn't help but wonder if there were any more psychologically unstable people who might be out there who want to imitate the Colorado incident.  Even as the movie began, my mind was consumed by what had happened.  I wanted and tried to watch the movie without a skewed viewpoint, but as scenes came up, I saw a resemblance to what had occurred less than 12 hours prior to that.  This will not be your typical Reel Honest Reviews.  It's not possible.  I am going to tell you my thoughts at the beginning of this review about how I felt at the end.  I left the theater not loving the movie.  My thoughts went directly to writing a review and I will always tell you the truth about my thoughts on a movie.  I then became a bit frightened as I know that there are other reviewers who received threats after not giving a favorable review.  That's intimidation.  My father, who is no longer with us, always stood by what he said and told the truth.  Although we are only talking about a movie here, I will also tell you my honest opinion.  Remember, it's just a movie, for goodness sake.   I didn't like it.  It's not my cup of tea.  I'm not a super hero movie fan.  I'm a 40-something mother of 2 who wouldn't have gone to see this movie but for the fact that I review movies.  Superhero-wise, I liked Thor and Spider Man and tolerated The Green Lantern.  That being said, I am going to try to convey an honest opinion (and that's all it is!) about "The Dark Knight Rises, afterall, this is Reel Honest Reviews from my perspective.

OK.  Here it goes.  I'm blocking out the reality of today's earlier events (or trying to) and focusing on reviewing the movie and my experience of the here and now.  It's 9 am.  The theater is full of all ages, genders, and types of people from 7 year olds to 50 year olds.  It's 9 am and people are eating popcorn, candy, nachos with cheese, and huge drinks of pop/soda. (I have to include soda for my East Coast readers.)  Can I ask why?  and how???  22 minutes of trailers later, the 165 minute movie begins with an overpowering amount of violence.  Was I super sensitive to this because of today's events?  I don't know.  It was extremely intense and violent.  I continued to watch.  I was barraged with constant noise from the screen.  It was overwhelmingly loud and visually stimulating to the point of uneasiness.  It truly developed the feeling of "darkness."  The character of Bane was reminiscent of Darth Vader and Hannibal Lecter combined.  His physical presence and mask was intimidating and frightening.  He was pure evil.

Christian Bale who played Bruce Wayne/Batman did a fine job although he struggled with talking with the mask on.  Couldn't they have made the nose piece more comfortable so he didn't sound nasal?  The script wasn't tight and his character was rather blah, in my opinion, but given what he had to work with, he was fine.  Cat Woman/Selina was played by the beautiful Anne Hathaway.  She nailed the part, but the interaction between the characters lacked believability.  Michael Caine played the British butler Alfred with ease, although the joke of not always being able to understand what he was saying definitely was portrayed!  To me, Joseph Gordon-Levitt was the highlight of the movie.  He was good.  After the stilted NY accent was toned down, I paid attention to his acting and the character he portrayed.  Thank you Joseph for your refreshing style in this movie.

I must also say that the story developed utilizing characters who gave long-winded narratives about the background of other characters and incidents which, I must admit to you, I spaced off during this.  (You probably spaced off with that run-on sentence!)  I started hearing, "Blah, blah, blah."  If you have to explain that much, something is wrong with the story.  I have seen the other Batman movies (I almost said Batmen!), and to be honest (it's Reel HONEST Reviews!), I think I fell asleep.  I have very little recollection of them.  This was a movie of stunts, explosions, non-stop violence and high decibel bombardment.  The story took forever to unfold.  It really wasn't much of a story.  It was WATCH THIS BLOW UP!  WATCH THE BAD GUY KILL PEOPLE!  WATCH THE BAD GUY KILL MORE PEOPLE!

I'm guessing that I have probably offended many comic book fans.  I don't mean to offend, I mean to convey my opinion.  Was my opinion distorted or altered because of today's events?  Probably.  I am sure that anyone who is a Batman fan will see this movie.  If you are a woman or anyone who is not a   fan of Batman and Superhero movies, my advice is to skip it.  I was a fan of the 1960's Batman that went BAM!  POW! when they fought.  No guns, no blood.  Holy Back In The Day!   That was a good thing.

2 REELS (Just because I know there are Super Hero/Batman fans out there.)

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