Sunday, December 18, 2011

Happy Trails: "The Dark Knight Rises"

I've spoken about movie trailers in relation to the final films in my posts before.  In this new series, I will be talking about new trailers for upcoming movies. Trailers give us a glimpse into a film, sometimes accurately, sometimes not, to help us decide whether we want to see it.

There are two previews out now for Christopher Nolan's hightly-anticipated "The Dark Knight Rises," sequel to "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight."  Firstly, there is a theatrical trailer attached to prints of "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows."  Secondly, there is a six-minute opening sequence playing before IMAX showings of "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol."

Both of these things are awesome.

Firstly, "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight" are both excellent flicks.  They have some flaws, to be sure, but the joy I've experienced watching both over and over has never begun to wane.  So to say that I'm excited for "The Dark Knight Rises" is a bit like saying that the opening of "Saving Private Ryan" depicts a minor skirmish in a limited conflict.

The theatrical trailer for "Rises" doesn't feature a whole lot of Batman (Christian Bale).  In fact, both of these previews focus more on Bane (Tom Hardy).  The trailer features an appropriate amount of dread building; the idea, apparently, is that Gotham has been fairly peaceful for some time, but the arrival of Bane will throw it into chaos.  We see glimpses of Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), and of Alfred (Michael Caine) telling Bruce that he's failed to protect him.  Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) tells Bruce that a storm is coming, and warns him that it is going to be very, very bad.  Interspersed with all this are shots of chaos surrounding Bane's terrorist acts as the music rises to crescendo.

It's all very epic, but limited.  The movie still has six months of post-production ahead of it, so it's not surprising that what we see here isn't exactly loaded with money shots.  This is a teaser that shows you just enough, and tries to get you into a certain mood.  Could I use something a bit more exciting?  Sure.  I wanna see Batman wailing on bad guys, gliding through the air and doing all kinds of cool things.  But for right now, just seeing anything from this movie gets me excited.

And seeing the opening six minutes in front of "Mission: Impossible" was totally exciting.  I'll admit, I had some trouble understanding Bane's dialogue in the IMAX theater.  I think that was a product of the theatre itself, though, since when I watched it again on YouTube, I had no problem understanding him at all.

The prologue opens with a Dr. Pavel being brought aboard a plane by a CIA agent.  The agent also takes on three hooded prisoners, and then begins to execute them one by one if they don't tell him what he wants to know about Bane.  Of course, the third prisoner is Bane, who got himself captured on purpose to be brought on board the plane to learn what Pavel has told the CIA.  Moments later, a second plane appears, and commandos drop out of it, attach themselves to the CIA plane, and blow it open!  The whole thing is excellently shot and staged, and the final stunt is simple, but impressive.  It looked fantastic on the IMAX screen, and that's definitely how I intend to see the film once it arrives next summer.