Skip to main content

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.


Popular posts from this blog

New Yorker Fiction Review #146: "Three Short Moments in a Long Life" by John L'Heureux

Issue: May 9, 2016

Story: "Three Short Moments in a Long Life" by John L'Heureux

Rating: $

Review: I feel like this is a somewhat tired technique, straight out of Creative Writing 101: write a story consisting of three or four different snapshots or snippets out of a character's life at different ages, sort of like a series of written photographs. Fun perhaps, but strikes me as a bit amateurish. However, I also think L'Heureux succeeds here by pushing it a bit further, playing with the character's tentative attempts at something close to faith -- in childish, adult, and mature adult ways -- and tying all three "Short Moments" together in a subtle and readily decipherable way.

L'Heureux's prose and his frank humor and his ability to glorify and find the meaning in the mundane events and thoughts of every day life, and thereby turn the life of an ordinary person into a drama with meaning and significance puts me in mind of John Irving. As well a…

New Yorker Fiction Review #151: "The Bog Girl" by Karen Russell

From the June 20 issue...

My loyal readers (if there are still any, which I doubt) will know I'm usually not a fan of Magical Realism, which, as you may also know, is Karen Russell's stock in trade. That said, there's nothing I love more than having my antipathy for magical realism shattered by an awesome story like "The Bog Girl."

Briefly, an Irish teenager discovers the body of a young woman who as been buried in a bog for over 2,000 years and begins to date her. What more do you need, right? If I'd read that one-line description somewhere else, and wasn't on a mission to review every New Yorker short story, I doubt I'd have read "The Bog Girl." But maybe I should start doing a George Costanza and do the opposite of everything I think I should do.

Where Russell succeeds here is in two main areas: 1.) Making us really love Cillian, the teenager who falls in love with the bog girl, and 2.) pulling the unbelievable trick making the characters…

Water Review: San Pellegrino 250ml Bottle

Damn you, tiny little bottle of San Pellegrino. So little. So cute. But what are you really good for other than to make me wish I had a full bottle of Pellegrino? 
Good as a palate cleanser after a nice double espresso, I will give it that. But little else. The suave yet chaotic burst of Pellegrino bubbliness is still there, but with each sip you feel the tragedy of being that much closer to the end of the bottle, that much faster.

This is a bottle of water made specifically for the frustrated, for the meticulous, for the measurers among us with a penchant for the dainty. This water does not love you in the wild, on a sunny porch or with the raucous laughter of friends. No...much the opposite. Whatever that may be.

Best drunk in tiny, tiny sips, while forcing oneself through an unreadable and depressing Russian novel one does not want to read but feels one should, on a cold, wet day in December that promises four months of gloom and depression...or in pairs or threes and poured over …