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Date with The Dark Knight Rises – Review

A lot has been written about the Dark Knight Rises online till date; we thought we would come up with a review that works for both the casual movie watcher and geeks (love the way we categorise people nowadays). We have tried very hard to keep the review spoiler free, but a few are mentioned so I suggest you read the same at your own risk. Before we get into the review, it is important to know that Christopher Nolan was hesitant about returning to the series for a third time, but agreed to come back after developing a story with his brother Jonathan and David S. Goyer. Thank God he did because it is a fitting end to the trilogy.

The Mrs and I decided to go for the Dark Knight Rises on Saturday; unfortunately all theatres we looked at were packed to capacity. Finally, the Mrs. found the Ebony Lounge at Metro where 2 tickets were available. We both had never been to the lounge so decided to give it a try. The show was an early morning show at 9:45 am the very next day; as with most Saturdays, we slept in and then there was a mad rush to reach the movies. Cutting to the chase, we made it in time watched the Superman trailer and got into our very comfortable recliners 🙂 for all those who missed it check the trailer below

The movie starts off with a bang, introducing Bane as one of the major characters in the scheme of things to come. As you have heard by now the events of the movie take place 8 years after the events of the Dark Knight. Batman has retired and Gotham believes he is the reason that they lost their beloved son, Harvey Dent. The good part is Nolan has kept the story around events in Gotham rather than just Batman, this enable him to introduce and build certain characters at the start of the movie. Catwoman and Miranda Tayte are the most notable characters introduced at the start of the movie, played by the gorgeous Anne Hathaway and Marion Cottilard. Both the leading ladies look stunning and will have you asking for more throughout the movie. The action scene where Catwoman fights goons while Gotham PD breaks in and she switches characters to play the victim is crazy, similarly Cottilard has an aura around her which a few will immediately recognise; suffice to say she breezes through her scenes with the ease of a knife through butter. Moving on, the plot also moves at a crazy pace, one incident leads to another and Batman is forced out of retirement – this basis Bane trying to steal data from the Gotham Stock exchange. The Batpod is his vehicle of choice and the sequence where the cops eventually start chasing the Batman instead of Bane is crazy; Nolan known for not using CGI has shot over 100 cars driving across the streets of Gotham. Batman escapes the Gotham PD and also introduces viewers to the Bat (Batwing). Of course Alfred, Batman’s trusted butler, unable to see Batman go up against a Nemisis like Bane, decides to retire (Don’t know why Michael Cane was let off so early in the movie).

The movie’s biggest advantage is the fact that it is driven forward not by Batman but by Bane, something you don’t see nowadays. The character is brutal and almost demigod like, much like in the comics; the script masterfully builds his character to match Batman who already has 2 movies under his belt, his plan through the movie will keep you guessing and his voice will terrorize you whenever you hear it, be it on the iconic football field shot featuring Hines Ward, wherein the entire ground collapses and Bane introduces himself to Gotham, or in his first hand to hand encounter with Batman, in which, I must say, he dominates. “So you think the dark is your ally? I was born in it. Moulded by it. The first time I saw the light I was already a man. And it was nothing but bright. The shadows betray you. Because they belong to me!” writing like this will keep you glued to your seats. The movie then takes on the task of back-stories and the faith of Gotham, I do believe Nolan has been inspired by Bane’s origin – “Bane spends his childhood in the hellish prison of Pena Duro on the corrupt South American island nation of Santa Prisca. He develops superhuman strength through a forced experiment involving the drug Venom”. Taking from here, Nolan puts up the spectacular prison sequence shot in India and takes you through Batman’s resurgence (This after Bane breaks his back) as well as key plots towards the end of the movie. I really wished they had shown more of the prison, it is truly spectacular. A special mention goes to the character of the blind prisoner (or who appears to be blind) played by Uri Gavriel.

The end of the movie is where the Darkness and Chaos really shine bringing Gotham to life like fans of the comic know it; hell breaks loose and here is where the supporting crew also work their magic, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt share substantial screen time in Batman’s absence and give you a view of the madness that Gotham has become. I especially liked the makeshift courtroom which is judged by Scarecrow, Gordon Levitt stands out in his performance as the detective trying to do right – he is portrayed as being intelligent enough to deduce Batman’s identity, and near the end of the film, Blake reveals his legal name is Robin John Blake (Hint). Again the sequence where Gotham PD take on Bane is spectacular. What surprised me towards the end was the tag team that Batman formed with Catwoman, we always know there was something there but fighting together was a bit farfetched.

Before we call it wraps – the music of the movie – it matches each and every scene. Hans Zimmer has done an outstanding job of providing a top notch score for both the smallest of small scenes and epic battles. What you will remember once you finish the movie is “The chant” – the chant that the prisoners shout in unison when someone is trying to climb out of the dreaded prison – Zimmer mentions, “The Chant became a very complicated thing because I wanted hundreds of thousands of voices, and it’s not so easy to get hundreds of thousands of voices. So, we Tweeted and we posted on the internet, for people who wanted to be part of it.” It seemed like an interesting thing. The two worded chant, “deshi basara” translates to “he rises” in Moroccan, exhibiting Ra’s al Ghul’s (Hint) Arabian nationality, as well as coinciding with the title of the film, The Dark Knight Rises.

To conclude, the movie finishes like it starts….. with a bang. I stood up and clapped as the credits rolled. Purists may argue this movie is not like Nolan, he has gone the commercial way and all that crap. I don’t think so; Nolan has taken the best from comic books, interpreted it into his world and portrayed Batman as close to his comic book avatar as possible. This movie is an absolute must watch especially for Tom Hardy’s portrayal of Bane. Don’t miss highlights of the world premiere in the video below.

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Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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The Dark Knight Rises : History of The Bat Bikes

It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. …..That’s how the press note from Warner Brother reads – It’s no rocket science that the new movie will open to record breaking box office numbers, but if early reviews are to be believed, the movie is getting a mixed bag where critics are concerned.

We, at Badbikegang, are not debating whether the movie is good or not, but have chosen to focus on the Bikes that the movie has inspired and also give our readers some interesting facts about Chris Nolan’s Magnum Opus (What the hell? We’ll put in a few spoilers for good measure also). Let’s focus on Bikes as that is the whole agenda of this blog is…..Bikes (Duhhhh!).

Please note, we will only focus on Batman’s Bikes not Robin’s; he may get a mention here and there, though. The first time a Batcycle was glimpsed in the cartoon was when Catwoman stole Batman’s utility belt and unwittingly pressed the button activating the Batcycle’s autopilot in the Batcave. From then on, the Motorcycle has been a regular part of Batman’s arsenal. With regards to broadcast, the Bat Bike featured extensively in the 1960s American television series starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. The bike was built by Dan “Magiera” Dempski, who used a donated Yamaha 250cc. The bike was customized with a front steering assembly (the part with scallops on it). The windshield was made out of plexiglass which had to be specially molded and custom blown. The sidecar was also a go-cart that would break away from the cycle itself – note Batgirl who also featured on the show had her very own bike (check the amazing retro shots). The next round of swanky bikes came featured in “Batman & Robin”, it was Batgirl’s vehicle when heading to the Gotham Observatory at the film’s climax. Robin also has a motorcycle (Applause Robin has been mentioned) that looks like that of Batgirl’s, unfortunately it is technologically inferior to the one Batgirl rides, I do remember the bike being called the “Bat Blade”…. (don’t know which idiot thought of that).

In the last 2 decades there have been many Batman motorcycle sightings with regards to movies, animes and games but none as memorable as featured in Nolan’s depiction of the caped crusader – The Dark Knight. The movie featured one of the coolest bikes I have ever seen and even better bike sequence – check the video below, The Batpod definitely kicks some serious ass!!

Like he took the character to the next level, Nolan also took his gadgets and vehicles to the absolute next level, the Batpod is a mean looking machine; it looks like a beast ready to charge at full stride. Interestingly, only stunt driver Jean-Pierre Goy has ever piloted the intimidating Batpod — the giant tires, crude suspension, and prone riding position make it more dangerous to ride than almost anything on wheels — Few people know that Christopher Nolan was actually very hands on in building the Batpod, production designer Nathan Crowley and he took a month to assemble a foam-and-plastic model for Batman’s new ride. This was then made into a fully functional bike later.

You have to understand a few things to actually appreciate this juggernaut of a bike. In order to give Batman the ability to manoeuvre under low clearances, the Batpod can physically lower and elongate itself. On set, the front forks extended and the chassis hugged the ground, positioning Goy parallel to the ground–and that’s before pulling a 360 (That’s just whack!). The saddle is free to rotate; it allows you to do all kinds of odd movement within the frame of the bike. Another cool design element – those footrests which are actually the bike’s radiator. But like the exhaust, the normal components had to be hidden to keep the bike’s profile true to the original concept. The engines are actually built into the tires so the bike has an unreal aerodynamic look. To top all this, the bike features .50-cal. machine guns and 40 mm cannons built directly into its frame. Then the bike one-ups them with its iconic grappling hooks, which flip an 18-wheeler over in one key shootout. It would not be fair if we did not showcase a video at this point in time featuring the technology of the Batpod, so here you go….

Now onto the current film, Dark Knight Rises – we debated putting an early review, but that would spoil a lot for people reading this post, instead here is a guide of things you must know before you watch the movie, it will definitely enhance the movie watching experience.

The Dark Knight Rises takes on from The Dark Knight, only 8 years later…

Anne Hathaway plays Selina Kyle, better known as Catwoman; she will be seen riding the Batpod, Batman’s bike in the film.

Christopher Nolan reportedly chose Bane, played by Tom Hardy, in The Dark Knight Rises. Nolan wanted Batman to go up against his strongest advisory yet, both physically and intellectually.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy and Marion Cotillard who play significant characters in the film were all seen together in the 2010 film Inception which was also directed by Christopher Nolan.

The very first words spoken in The Dark Knight Rises are in voiceover from Commissioner Gordon, who kicks things off by saying, “I knew Harvey Dent…”

If you are a comic book fan here are 5 comics that will prepare you for The Dark Knight Rises: Batman Legacy, Batman Incorporated Season 2, Catwoman: Selina’s Big Score, Batman: No Man’s Land and Batman Knightfall. On the Spoilers bit, I don’t have the heart to put them up just yet, suggest you go and watch the movie it will definitely answer all your questions; if it does not, come back to the blog next week for some in-depth analysis and spoilers. Keep an eye out for the Batpod in the movie; the very hot Catwoman also rides one this time around…..Do check the gallery below for some crazy fan art inspired by The Dark Knight Rises. As usual, do share any interesting basis the movie or bikes in comments….

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Note: Badbikegang does not own or claim to ownany of the images featured in this article

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2012 in Helmets & More

 

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