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July 20th, 2012

Movie Review - Dark Knight Rises

Dark Knight Rises

Starring: Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Matthew Modine, Ben Mendelsohn, Burn Goreman, and more.

Directed by: Christopher Nolan Screenplay by: Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan Story by: Christopher Nolan and David S Goyer Based on the characters created by: Bob Kane Cinematography by: Wally Pfister Original Music by: Hans Zimmer

Premise: After an eight year retirement due to injuries received both physically and spiritually at the end of "The Dark Knight", Bruce Wayne finds himself paying attention to the outside world after Selina Kyle sneaks into the mansion during a benefit, and steals more than just his mother's pearl necklace. This incident is but one in a chain of events, prompted by the new villain Bane, that will bring Gotham down a road that might end in its utter destruction. (Rated PG-13)


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Great work from all the actors involved. Christian Bale showed many sides of Bruce Wayne and Batman that we don't normally see as he is tested unlike ever before. Michael Caine rose to his usual standards and even got more play than usual as Alfred tries to deal with Bruce getting back into the game and other problems. Anne Hathaway was a super fun Selina Kyle. She had several great one liners, which were delivered perfectly. 

2) Special Effects - Thumbs Up: Some old and new vehicles make an appearance - The Bat was funky looking, but served very well. Several new gadgets also showed up used to good effect. The roaming EMP field made for a very cool scene in the car tunnel. 

The Bane here is not the Bane from the DC Comic's story line when he was introduced into the DC universe about ten years ago, so no real special effects were used on him. However, the beginning action sequence and the major one when Bane announces his presence officially in Gotham were visually awesome. 

3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: I was very heavy into comic books many years ago and was there when the Bane was first introduced into Batman's world. If you were as well, just forget everything you know before you go see this film. While some major bits were kept, much was either placed in a different position or changed heavily. Venom, for example, which was the main reason for Bane's odd getup and strength/speed, is not used at all - rather Bane is as bad as he is because he had similar training to Batman's.

One nice bit was how this film tied back to matters which occurred in the first and second films creating continuity. That being said, again if you've read the comics from way back, you'll need to forget what you know about people I won't mention so as not to give things away. 

I did enjoy the handling of Selina Kyle and it stayed true in most respects. Though I found it funny that not once was she ever called Cat Woman. And while the lower part of her suit was very reminiscent of several incarnations of the character, they did a real cute thing for her head. She had a mask, but also had working glasses with special lenses. When she was working they'd be down. If not, they'd be up, and sitting on her head they looked like cat ears. So Cat Woman is implied if not actually said. 

There were also several story lines running at once. The overall story of Bane and Gotham City, then smaller ones for Bruce, Selina, Commissioner Gordon, Alfred, Blake, and even Foley. It somewhat opened the scope of what was going on to include more than just the caped crusader and his trials. This also helped explain the reason the film is 164 minutes long. There is much to tell. Unfortunately, this may have made it drag a little in places, but not overtly so, so worth it. Lots of figurative 'guns' and 'hints' to keep track of too, if you want to figure somethings out before they're revealed. What may appear as inconsistencies in several places actually aren't, they played the 'red herring' card very well. 

At the end, some short cuts were taken with regards to nuclear fallout. But then waves of nuclear radiation would have kind of soured things. 

But the three concurrent bits at the end really made things pop, making up for it, and gave great closure to the film. (And no, no extra scenes once the credits roll.)

4) Stunts - Thumbs Up: Very nice work with the physical stunts. There are plenty of them and some involved a ton of people. Plenty of car/motorcycle/airplane chases, explosions, collapsing walls, guns, canons, and hand to hand combat to watch. Nothing matched the awesome precision and caliber of the first scene though. Made most of the rest look pale in comparison.

5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: The cinematography folks took some great shots which when put together with some of the special effects made for a real treat. The stadium scene and pull back to the full city scene were very well done. It was very eerie seeing those bridges blow. 

The angles for the pit worked very well and I loved the city in the background outside it. The fact they threw in bats for two different scenes to act as subtext were nicely done as well. 

Conclusion: As long as you forget everything you know from the comics, it's a good third installment in this latest of the DC Batman franchises. Some good Gotham caped crusader fun! (Seeing it in IMAX or XD won't add much to the experience - so if you need to save your pennies, do.)

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission.)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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