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Dark Knight Rises: A Review in List From

WARNING: Spoiler Alert! Blah, blah, know you've seen it already.

Here is a review of the final installment of the Dark Knight trilogy, in a series of witty, trenchant observations by yours truly...

1.) First off, it's worth the money. But I'd still have to rank this third place against the other three films.

2.) What is this? A comic book movie, or just a movie? Last film had the Joker, it had Scarecrow...both pretty comic-booky villians. The only thing comic-booky in this was Bane's weirdo gas mask. Cat woman wasn't even very "catty." And throwing-in the whole "Robin" thing at the end? Please. I'd be happy either way. But it's like, either do it up comic book style, or don't.

3.) I got goosebumps every time Batman did something good and they play that one big violin note. That's worth the price of admission right there. 

4.) My eyes glossed over during the final action scene. "WHAT?" you may ask. I don't know...I mean, you've seen one choppy, computer-graphic action scene with bulldozers tumbling through the air, smashing into

5.) In any movie of this type, you simply must have the "Fall and Redemption" sequence, in which the hero gets defeated and goes into hiding -- or is forced into hiding -- and there, in isolation, rediscovers his inner courage and returns to the world to defeat the villain. And, I must say, the Dark Knight Rises nails it when Bruce Wayne escapes from the weird Afghani prison. Good work.

6.) Too many weepy speeches by Michael Caine. Too much waterworks. When I think of Michael Caine I think of a macho, classy old Brit with a big attitude and a cool accent. But, gahd, he's weeping and whining so much in this movie I half expected him to don a baby bonnet and a pacifier. There are better ways for a guy as tough as Caine to show emotion on screen. How about the old Marlon Brando school of thought: do nothing? Would've been better than watching one of my favorite screen icons turn into a blubbering, soggy mess...twice.

7.) I don't know where I stand on this film's whole Populist "Occupy Wall Street" message...and I don't even think the director knows where he stands on it. But overall, I think it was a pretty good and pretty timely undercarriage for this film. I loved the surreal "court room" set up in city hall with Cillian Murphy perched high atop a mountain of desks, doling out sentences of "Death" or "Exile" which are basically the same thing. Very French Revolution, and I'm sure it made more than a few people squirm in their seats.

8.) What's with Bane's accent? He sounded like a cross between Skeletor, Darth Vader, and Richard Burton. But, have to make him sound like something, right?

9.) Oh and the central "threat" of the film is....a bomb. WooooOOOOooooo!!! Scary. Never EVER seen that one before in an action/comicbook film. Seriously, we can't think of ANY other bizarro threat that could hover over the people of gotham? Why not push the whole Populism thing? See how far you could take that? See what REALLY happens when people have to govern themselves. Give all those so-called "Libertarians" out there a kick in the nuts. But...a bomb? Yawn.


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