The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight Interrogation Scene

  So far this week, we’ve covered a lot of ground. Looking back at the contemporary films featuring the one and only Batman, we’ve thus far uncovered three of the Scenes We Love most. This includes seeing Bruce Wayne turn into Batman in Batman Returns, witnessing Gotham’s first meeting with the Tumbler in Batman Begins and seeing 1989 Batman toss 1989 The Joker off of a very tall church. And now we’re down to the last two slots on our list. Number two comes from The Dark Knight and is the last scene on our list to actually involve Batman himself. You’ll see what I’m talking about tomorrow, of course. And boy, does it involve Batman. Somewhere inside the 152-minute runtime of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight exists a single scene that acts as a microcosm of every theme that exists in the story he’s trying to tell. The balance between order and chaos, the city-wide war game between Batman (Christian Bale) and The Joker (Heath Ledger). It all comes to a head when they meet face to face (or more appropriately, face-to-table) in an interrogation room. This is one of many moments where Heath Ledger earned his Oscar, and is perhaps one of the great square-offs between hero and villain that has ever been committed to film.

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Christopher Nolan

Born in July of 1970, Christopher Nolan was always sort of made for Summer. As an adult, that promise has been fulfilled with blockbuster spectacles in the hot months, but it all started when he was a child. It was then that he picked up the drug that became an obsession for the rest of his life: a Super 8 camera. The result of those early ambitions and the study of storytelling in college led him to create shorts, build a feature in Memento that drew acclaim, and to embark on a studio career that has blended intelligence with popular culture. He’s invaded our dreams, altered a genre and made magic. So here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from a man who is waiting for a train…

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Over Under - Large

Ever since names like Spielberg and Lucas brought us the first summer blockbusters back in the 70s, film fans have slowly morphed into film fanatics. And perhaps the pinnacle of this phenomenon is the cult of personality that has developed around Christopher Nolan since he gave us his wildly successful interpretation of the Batman universe, The Dark Knight. Whether it was because of Heath Ledger’s electric performance as the Joker, Nolan’s realist approach to the material, or the sheer scope of the action, something about this Batman movie captured the attention and adoration of hordes of fans in a way that no other adaptation of the character’s story has before; and Batman has been one of the most popular fictional characters in our shared culture for at least half a century now. But one thing about The Dark Knight that I don’t hear mentioned all that much anymore is that it wasn’t Nolan’s first go-around with the character. Everything that was paid off in that film was set up, three years earlier, in the director’s first attempt at tackling a superhero story, Batman Begins. Not only was this movie successful enough at the box office to spawn a very well funded sequel, but it’s the film that’s actually responsible for bringing us Nolan’s grounded and relatable vision of the character. This was the film that revitalized a property whose big screen potential had been tarnished, and it gets treated like it doesn’t even exist when fans gush over their love […]

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Culture Warrior

Part of the appeal of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films is that the basic conceit informing their aesthetic seems so natural. Batman is one of few major superheroes that isn’t actually a super-hero. Batman mythology, then, lends itself to a degree of plausibility more than, say, Superman or Spider-Man, so why not manifest a vision of Batman that embraces this particular aspect that distinguishes this character from most superhero mythologies? But realism has not been a characteristic that unifies Batman’s many representations in the moving image. Through the eyes of Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher, the Batman of tentpole studio filmmaking has occupied either a world of gothic architecture and shadowy noir, or one of schizophrenic camp. From 1989 to 1997, Batman was interpreted by visionary directors with potent aesthetic approaches, but approaches that did not necessarily aim to root the character within a landscape of exhaustive Nolanesque plausibility.

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Boiling Point

The long awaited climax to director Chris Nolan’s Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, is finally coming to theaters this week. While we’ll all have answers soon enough, the question on everyone’s minds during the advertising campaign has been “Does Batman die?”. It’s not so insane a question as it once was. I mean, the hero dying in the film? An icon falling? Certainly comic books have done this (and gone back on it almost immediately…) and movies have a long history of “killing” villains only to bring them back. But this is Batman! You can’t kill Batman! Yet, the advertising and the general darkness of the films lead a lot of credence to the idea that the legend might actually end. In the trailer, Selina Kyle says that Batman has given Gotham everything, to which he morbidly responds “Not everything.” Will Batman die? I don’t know. But I know he shouldn’t, and here’s why.

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Part of the magic of Comic-Con is how you arrive with hundreds of dollars in your pocket and after walking around the floor, that pile of money has disappeared but you’ve collected several over-sized bags full of stuff you never even knew you wanted. I managed to exchange quite a bit of leafy green stuff into more tangible objects, obtaining a wide variety of cool stuff from tiny little Thors to to tiny little Batmen to the giant, potentially coolest thing at Comic-Con this year.

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The Mayans, the wise race of ancients who created hot cocoa, set December 21st, 2012 as the end date of their Calendar, which the intelligent and logical amongst us know signifies the day the world will end, presumably at 12:21:12am, Mountain Time. From now until zero date, we will explore the 50 films you need to watch before the entire world perishes. We don’t have much time, so be content, be prepared, be entertained. The Film: Memento (2000) The Plot: Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) is a man with some problems. Foremost, he has an inability to formulate new memories, which means his entire life is dictated by his note taking abilities and his tattoo reminders. A close second is the fact that he’s hunting the man who murdered his wife.

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Just as the fears of global cataclysm at the end of the last century fueled films like Deep Impact and Armageddon, the ticking clock to December 21, 2012 has led to more end-of-the-world movies that rely on something larger than a zombie outbreak or a deadly contagion (although those have been recently popular as well). The latest entry into Hollywood’s obsession with the Earth’s last days is the apocalyptic rom-com Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, and if the Mayans were right, that might very well be the last one made. Film School Rejects responds to your concerns about the end of the world, as evidenced by the Apocalypse Soon feature currently running on this site. While you’re catching up on these films to see before the end of the world, we wondered who would be the best people to spend that time with. Steve Carell’s character gets to spend the end of the world with Keira Knightley, and here are some cinematic characters with whom we’d like to spend our last days.

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Over at SuperHeroHype, they’ve unearthed a nifty little bit of viral fun for Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight Rises at the recently-launched DewGothamCity site (and we thought this promotional tie-in was only going to give us sad Batman soda displays) – a press release announcing the signing of the so-called Dent Act (in honor of the memory of the dearly departed Harvey Dent). While the one-pager doesn’t contain the full text of the act itself (politics, ugh, boring), it does lay out some of the aims of the Act. And, man, is Gotham done with organized crime. The major points of the Act (and those mentioned in this release) include: “stricter penalties,” “denial of parole, for those who commit any crime deemed as part or function of a larger criminal enterprise,” the closing of a loophole” in the previous laws that hampered the city’s ability to stamp out organized crime,” a mention that some people think this might turn Gotham into a police state, and the first word on the creation of Harvey Dent Day. What does this all mean for The Dark Knight Rises and its plot, characters, and overall tone? Just that a lot of crime types are going to be buckwild mad, that prisoners are going to be pissed, that Gotham has crafted a holiday that seems like the perfect day for insanity to break out, and that even regular citizens are freaked out. And, yup, that sounds about right. Check out the full release after the break, and on […]

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Ever since James Cameron’s Avatar made an unheard of amount of money and wowed audiences with its visuals by shooting natively in the 3D format, nearly every big release we’ve seen since has tried to cash in on the craze by offering up a 3D version of itself. This has been going on for a few years though, and in showbiz time that might as well be a century. By all accounts the 3D craze is getting a bit long in the tooth, and it’s probably time for the next big trend to come along and replace it. What will that trend be? If a couple of reports that came out today are any indication, it’s going to be filming portions of your movie with IMAX cameras. The idea of filming select sequences of a film with IMAX cameras and charging customers a premium to experience the scope and clarity of the images on IMAX screens isn’t exactly a new one. Already Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight and Brad Bird’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol have used the technique to create unique visuals and score some impressive box office dollars. But, with dueling announcements that two new gigantic franchise films also intend to use this strategy, we might be seeing the birth of a full-on trend.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly entertainment news column that keeps it brief, kicks it into high gear without mercy and delivers all the news that you may or may not have seen elsewhere, depending upon how hard you’ve been looking. We begin this evening with Zombie Spock. No, there’s not much of a good reason for it. It was found via /Film and can be purchased on a t-shirt, which you can then wear around and show off to your friends. Don’t ever say that we don’t provide valuable public service announcements.

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Avengers Concept Art

Three is the magic number for The Avengers this week. Not only is it third on the weekend Box Office (behind Snow White and the Huntsman and Men in Black 3), it’s also the third highest grossing movie in the world, and the third highest grossing on the all-time domestic charts. With a continued strong showing, it surpassed The Dark Knight ($533m) to take the spot with $552m. It’s worldwide gross is over $1.3b. In order to take the #2 domestic spot, the Joss Whedon flick would have to take down another $106m to best Titanic – a task that seems equally possible and unlikely. So, it turns out people like this thing. However, Batman will have a chance to answer later this summer with The Dark Knight Rises. Will it be even bigger? [Box Office Mojo]

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There’s certainly no better way to gear up for the highly anticipated final film of a wildly popular franchise than with a massive movie marathon that will likely test the limits of media consumption, so of course AMC Theatres is following up on their Ultimate Marvel Marathon with a Dark Knight Marathon on July 19th. Select theaters will show all three of Christopher Nolan‘s Batman franchise for a special marathon, kicking off with Batman Begins, leading into The Dark Knight, and likely finishing up with The Dark Knight Rises‘s midnight premiere. This announcement comes on the heels of the news (via ComingSoon) that TDKR will run 165 minutes (yes, that’s 2 hours and 45 minutes), making it the longest of Nolan’s Batman films and meaning that the full trilogy will clock in at 457 minutes (with Batman Begins running 140 minutes and The Dark Knight clocking in at 152 minutes, respectively). That’s over seven hours, guys. Bring snacks and comfy pants.

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Culture Warrior

“If Michael Bay directed Raiders, the Ark would be opened in the first act, and people’s heads would explode through the rest of the film.” I don’t typically seek out wisdom from Twitter, but this below-140-character observation (made by @krishnasjenoi and retweeted by @ebertchicago) struck very close to something that’s been occupying my mind as we enter the fifth week of the summer movie season. Though the statement works better as a fun hypothetical critique than a contestable thesis (in other words, there’s no way we’ll ever really know, thank goodness), the sentiment feels relevant. Though the modern Hollywood blockbuster has been a staple of studios’ summer scheduling for almost forty years, the films that become blockbusters don’t look or feel very similar to the films of the 70s and 80s that somehow paradoxically led to today’s cavalcade of sequels, franchises, adaptations and remakes. Criticizing Hollywood’s creative crisis is nothing new. But with the mega-success of The Avengers and the continuing narrative of failure and disappointment that has thus far characterizes every major release since, it seems that this crisis has been put under a microscope. The moment where unprecedented success is the only kind of achievement Hollywood can afford and the well of decade-old franchises and toy companies become desperately mined for material is something we were warned about. But Hollywood’s creativity-crippling reliance on existing properties is not the only, or even the primary, problem faced by mass market filmmaking’s present moment. The bloated numbers sought after each and […]

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Two TV spots, new pictures, and banners from The Dark Knight Rises? What else could you ask for in about a day’s time? To make that month and a half wait we have left until the film finally opens a little more tolerable, there’s plenty to chew on and savor here. In usual Christopher Nolan cult fan fashion, it’ll be interesting to see how the fandom dissects the meaning of Joseph Gordon-Levitt “kneeling,” what secret Bruce Wayne and Miranda Tate are “talking” about, or what Selina Kyle is really looking at. These new pictures and posters (courtesy of Empire) don’t give us the answers we need, but some message boards out there will most likely come up with countless theories over the matter. First up, here’s a slew of gritty pics, all featuring nothing but gumdrop smiles and a much needed reminder of Nolan’s undying love for “happy” characters:

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UPDATED: The Tumbler Tour’s official page has now listed its full list of stops and, in many cases, precise locations! Head over to the Tumbler Tour page and click on “Tour Dates” in the upper right hand corner. If you’re eagerly anticipating Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight Rises as much as most people (in Reject terms, we’re second-best anticipating it) and its release date of July 20th is just too damn far away for you to handle, Warner Bros. is rolling out a special tour of two essential items in the Batman franchise that might fit you like a glove (skintight Batman suit?). Warner and Legendary Pictures have just unveiled a multi-state “Tumbler Tour” for Batman’s Tumbler and Bat-Pod, both of which are trucking it across the country over the next three months. Mountain Dew and IMAX are sponsoring the tour, which is currently set to hit over twenty different towns and cities, so not only can you rest your eyeballs on two of the Bat’s favorite modes of transportation, we’re betting you can refresh your tastebuds with everyone’s favorite green soda. Hey, it’s something to do! Details are otherwise slim, including precise event locations, if we can expect any special guests to show up, and pretty much anything else (will you be able to touch the Tumbler? The world needs to know!), but it should prove to be an interesting way to satiate fans until The Dark Knight Rises explodes everyone’s minds later this summer. After the break, check […]

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Along with Cole Abaius, I was quite taken with pure popcorn joy of The Avengers. Walking out of the theater one cannot imagine any blockbuster delivering a level of fun at that caliber. Plenty of moviegoers will come away this weekend thinking that exact sentiment, but then they’ll recall this fantastic final trailer for The Dark Knight Rises that will play before Joss Whedon‘s Marvel pic, and they’ll realize we still have one more superhero epic coming our way. If this eerie and evocative trailer is any indication, it’ll be the epic finale this series and the summer deserves. Take a look at Bruce Wayne “rising” with a far less laughable voice this time around:

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After two years of operation, Flickchart has gathered an incredible amount of information supplied by movie fans on what their favorite movies are. On the cusp of finding out what “the best movie of the year is” from a bunch of people in tuxedos, the popular ranking website’s co-founder, Nathan Chase, joins me to discuss what makes us tick, the illusion of objectivity, and the mathematical search for greatness. Download This Episode

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Merch Hunter - Large

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so you might have expected something here dedicated to the merchandise of romantic films. But until you can get an official When Harry Met Sally orgasm sandwich, there’s very little overlap in terms of those films and the collectible world. Unless we’re talking Twilight. And I can assure you right now, we bloody well aren’t talking Twilight. So instead, this week’s column is once again dedicated to the finest things in collecting life, including a further addition to the Mr. Potato Head film co-licensed products. You can’t see it, but I can assure you that the excitement radiating from my every orifice is tangible. There’s also even more Lego – almost a weekly addition to this column you’ll note, but a wholly justified one in this case – and a book that would make Crime & Punishment blush for being so rubbish. It might also be the most expensive book I have ever recommended people buy, but who cares really – the only way out of recession is through frivolous, short-sighted spending. Probably.

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Paul Thomas Anderson

I didn’t think it was possible for me to be any more excited about P.T. Anderson’s upcoming religious drama that was at one point called The Master. First off, Anderson is one of my very favorite directors, so anything he does is going to excite me. Secondly, Philip Seymour Hoffman is starring as the L. Ron Hubbard stand-in who serves as the main character, and he’s about the best actor on the planet. And third, much like Anderson’s last film, There Will Be Blood, this one is going to feature a score by Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood. Last time around that equaled aural awesomeness. But now there’s a new rumor swirling around the project that is almost too cool to believe, and coming from these sources, I’d say it’s pretty dang reliable. Cinema Blend was peeping in on a Twitter conversation between two directors from the Pixar stable, Brad Bird and Andrew Stanton, about movies being shot in 65mm, and they uncovered the tidbit that Anderson is going to be the next director to utilize the format. Somewhere in the thread of the conversation Bird said to Stanton, “ … Nolan shot a lot of Dark Knight Rises in IMAX. I think PT Anderson’s next is 65 too.” To which Stanton replied, “The Master is indeed in 65. They nearly lost a camera shooting in the Bay.”

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.19.2014
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