10 Things That Stood Out Watching The Dark Knight Rises A Second Time

September 21, 2012 at 7:29 am

10 Things That Stood Out Watching The Dark Knight Rises A Second Time | Review


I loved The Dark Knight Rises.  Many did.  I thought it was a worthy conclusion to The Dark Knight trilogy.  Coming out of the theater I felt like the third installment came close but ultimately did not surpass 2008’s The Dark Knight.  However, I saw that film three times on opening day.  It took a little while to finally see Bane torment Gotham again but I’m happy I did.  It’s an incredibly ambitious tale.  It has it’s flaws but it was so much fun to watch and that’s what summer blockbusters are all about.

XTRA | Over 20 posts on The Dark Knight

I decided to compile a list of 10 things that stood out watching the film a second time.

Honorable Mention: I want to play through Arkham City again.

10. “So that’s what that feels like.”

A lot of people raved about Anne Hathaway’s performance as Catwoman.  I’m one of them.  I think this is by far the best Catwoman we’ve ever seen on screen.  I laughed when she disappeared on Batman leaving him to ponder how people feel when he disappears on them.  Catwoman added a completely different energy to the series that worked.  I wasn’t a big fan of her up beat music though.  I didn’t think it fit with the rest of Hans Zimmer’s brilliant score.

10 Things That Stood Out Watching The Dark Knight Rises A Second Time | Review

9.  A subtle mention of The Joker would have been nice.

There is a novelization out there that claims that The Joker is the sole inmate in Arkham during the events of The Dark Knight Rises.  It also hints that he may have escaped.  Either way it would have been nice to reference where the legendary villain was after The Dark Knight’s credits rolled.

10 Things That Stood Out Watching The Dark Knight Rises A Second Time | Review

8. “No one cared who I was until I put on the mask.”

Bane vs The Joker.  Who had the better introduction?  Overall, I think The Joker’s intro was better but Bane wins for sheer brutality.  Tom Hardy’s performance is tremendous as his eyes tell the story of a violent and ruthless man.  I’m so happy they fixed his voice.

10 Things That Stood Out Watching The Dark Knight Rises A Second Time | Review

7. I wish Alfred was in it more.

I understand why he doesn’t play a larger role in this film but Michael Caine was brilliant as Alfred throughout the series.  It would have been nice to see him in a couple more scenes.

10 Things That Stood Out Watching The Dark Knight Rises A Second Time | Review

6. Bane is ruthless and it’s awesome.

“Search him.  Then I will kill you.”

I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be that nameless henchmen who knows there is nothing he can do to escape Bane.  It’s not like he can sulk and apologize to the man.  It’s a terrifying thing to tell someone and that’s what makes Bane a fantastic villain.  Tom Hardy’s delivery here is awesome.  He’s so calm about it.  I loved that scene.

10 Things That Stood Out Watching The Dark Knight Rises A Second Time | Review

5. Gordon looks hilarious climbing in and around that truck.

Come on.  Tell me you didn’t find it a bit humorous watching Gordon climbing around that armored truck as it speeds down the road?

10 Things That Stood Out Watching The Dark Knight Rises A Second Time | Review

4. They really never found the Bat parked on that roof?

I wish Batman hid The Bat somewhere else.  I just can’t see people missing it.  I suppose we were just meant to go with it.  Much like Batman suddenly appearing in Gotham after climbing out of The Pit.  If it’s so difficult to get out of the city how is it any easier to get in?  And when did he find time to make an elaborate fiery design of the bat symbol on that bridge.  Again, it’s just a movie, so I went with it.

10 Things That Stood Out Watching The Dark Knight Rises A Second Time | Review

3. Bane’s death was WAY to abrupt.

A villain is only as good as his final moments.  The Joker’s final moment was incredible with his maniacal laughter echoing as he dangled above the city he tried so hard to corrupt.  Ra’s Al Ghul’s final moment with his eyes closed was fantastic as well.  Here we don’t even get to see Bane go down at the hands of Batman and it came out of no where.  It’s a shame.  I don’t know if there is a better way for him to go down without hurting the story but I was disappointed.

10 Things That Stood Out Watching The Dark Knight Rises A Second Time | Review

2. “The shadows betray you because they belong to me.”

Bane vs Batman was incredible.  Their first encounter will go down as one of my favorite fight scenes in any movie.  Period.  The reason is because of Bane’s constant taunting.  Exposition has never been so much fun.

“Let’s not stand on ceremony here.  Mr. Wayne.”

10 Things That Stood Out Watching The Dark Knight Rises A Second Time | Review

I remember back when Batman Begins was released and people were complaining about the fights being to frantic and shot with too many closeups.  I didn’t have a problem with them but this fight was so different.

“I am The League of Shadows.”

10 Things That Stood Out Watching The Dark Knight Rises A Second Time | Review

It all leads up to an iconic moment from the comic books in which Bane breaks Batman’s back.  Expertly choreographed fights can only take you so far on the big screen.  Add in incredible characters and you raise the stakes to amazing heights.  Watching Batman fight Bane was worth the wait.

1. Is this the last great Batman movie?

One of the greatest trilogies we’ve ever seen is over now.  This is the last time we will visit Nolan’s remarkable vision of Gotham City and the Caped Crusader.  I loved that the third film was so closely connected to the first.  Everything came full circle.  Batman was meant to inspire others.  Anyone could be Batman.

We will never get a Robin movie staring Joseph Gordon-Levitt but it doesn’t matter.  The Dark Knight’s legend lives on in Gotham.  (How bad ass was that statue by the way? I’ll bet that thing is in Christopher Nolan’s basement right now.)  Even though the ending felt rushed, (which is a compliment considering the film’s epic length.) it was a fitting end to the story.

So the question remains…  Is this the last great Batman movie?

10 Things That Stood Out Watching The Dark Knight Rises A Second Time | Review

Who will rise up and take over the franchise when it inevitably reboots in a few years.  Will we respond to a different set of rules?  What kind of Batman will we see next.  People will line up regardless.  I know I will but it remains to be seen if they will reach and exceed expectations like Nolan’s trilogy has.

Time will tell.  Thankfully, we will have Batman Begins, The Dark Knight & The Dark Knight Rises forever.

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Batman Begins A Screenwriting Rewrite

July 17, 2012 at 7:43 am

Batman Begins A Screenwriting Rewrite | Screenwriting Blog

I was channel surfing the other day and I stopped the second I spotted The Dark Knight. One of my favorite movies of all time.

With The Dark Knight Rises officially released, I was definitely in the mood for Christopher Nolan’s version of The Caped Crusader. Then it occurred to me that I hadn’t watched Batman Begins in a while and so I crawled into bed and put on the DVD.

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I was instantly reminded of two things. First, Christopher Nolan’s brilliant film is still on of the best comic book movies ever made.  Second, it reminded me of a page one rewrite the film inspired way back when it first debuted in theaters.


Batman Begins A Screenwriting Rewrite | Screenwriting Blog

I was in in college studying Broadcasting and an unfinished feature length screenplay was weighing heavily on me.  I started it in high school and it was painfully obvious when I saw all the rookie mistakes.  The characters came across as immature and there was a glaring plot hole in my story.  Yet, I wouldn’t allow myself to write anything new until I finished it.  This caused a problem because I couldn’t find the motivation to work on it.  In those days, it was easier to just go out and have fun then stay home and write.  Procrastination can be a dangerous habit to break.

The story was called Behind Max and it was about a high school basketball star desperate to find the support he needed to go for his dreams.  When I finished the first draft I really rushed to the end and this resulted in a very weak final act.  But really, the entire screenplay needed work.  What I needed was a spark.

That spark was Batman Begins.

Christopher Nolan’s incredible interpretation of Batman taught me a very important lesson. It taught me to step back and look at my own films in different ways.  To open my eyes to new approaches and different directions to take my screenplays.

I distinctly remember humming that unbelievable theme all the way home.  That night, I stayed in, printed out my script and read it start to finish.  I find you resist stopping to rewrite and tweak your script when it’s on paper.

Once I was finished reading the screenplay, I got out my notebook and got to work

What is my story about?  What am I trying to say?  What have I said already?  How can I say it better?

By the end of that night, I had outlined a much better approach to Behind Max and I felt alive.  Things changed for me that day.  Making the choice to go out to the bars was more difficult given the work I desperately wanted to finish at home.

Batman Begins A Screenwriting Rewrite | Screenwriting Blog

Two days after that magical night, I went and saw Batman Begins again and it had the same effect on me.  It was such a unique and realistic take on Batman.  Who knew you didn’t have to have incorporate a high level of cheese just because it’s based on a comic book. What Nolan did was treat the material as if it could be real.  A different approach and one that certainly entertained and inspired me.

After I saw the film a second time, I sat down with my outline and my old script and started from scratch.  It took two weeks to finish the screenplay and I haven’t touched it since.  It was exactly the story I wanted to tell.  It’s still a story I began in high school and thus, suffered from a lack of maturity but I was proud of what I had accomplished.  Proud to be a screenwriter.

Finally, it was time to move onto new projects.  I have Batman Begins to thank for that.

Years later, when the DVD ended, I dug up Behind Max and read it again.  Holding that screenplay always gives me chills.  As I read it, I actually found a couple typos but it doesn’t matter.  Writing that screenplay taught me how much I loved to write.  I’ve faced many challenges since then.  After a few down years, I’m finally writing features again.  It’s fitting that a new Batman movie came along.

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The Athletic Nerd On The Dark Knight

July 13, 2012 at 9:16 am

The Athletic Nerd On The Dark Knight | Over 20 posts about Christopher Nolans Batman Trilogy


I decided to go back and check out some of the many times I’ve written about Batman on this blog.  It turns out, I enjoy Batman!

Batman Begins

Batman Begins A Screenwriting Rewrite

All Time Best: Meaningful Movie Quote

The Dark Knight

Movies That Changed Everything: The Dark Knight

Blockbuster Repeat Viewings

10 Flicks: Best Film Editing Oscar Losers

10 Flicks: Unanswered Movie Questions

10 Flicks: Awesome Looking Movie Villains

10 Flicks: Great Action.  Great Stories

10 Flicks: Movies With Awesome Opening Scenes

10 Flicks: Box Office Favorites

10 Flicks: If I Could Only Own 10 Movies

10 Flicks: Movies I’ve Seen In Theaters More Than Once

All Time Best Movie Villain

Movie Power Rankings: #15-1

The Dark Knight Rises

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Why The Last Shot Of The Dark Knight Rises Teaser Kicks Ass

Top 5 Moments From The Dark Knight Rises Trailer 3

The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers & The Amazing Spider-Man Battle Of The Teaser Trailers

The Dark Knight Rises Advertising Campaign Begins

Gotham Falls, The Dark Knight Rises


Christopher Nolan

Director Wars: Christopher Nolan vs M. Night Shyamalan 2

The Art Of Title Design & Christopher Nolan Talks Directing

The Athletic Nerd On The Dark Knight | Over 20 posts about Christopher Nolans Batman Trilogy

The Dark knight rises is only a few days away so if you would like to build on the excitement even more then why not watch first and second installments of the Nolan franchise. If you join the LOVEFiLM trial then you can watch free movies online which include both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

All Time Best: Meaningful Movie Quote

June 28, 2011 at 8:05 am

All Time Best: Meaningful Movie Quote | Best Movie Quotes | The Dark Knight "Why Do We Fall"


Many people who quote movies regularly usually turn to comedies or inside jokes for their material.  We quote from movies like Dumb & Dumber or recite lines from the King of quotes himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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What about the quotes that stick with you because of their meaning.  For me there have been so many lines that made me sit back and think about the big picture.  Tiny lines of dialogue that have an enormous impact on the way I see the world.  Spoken words that influence the way I see myself.  It sounds a little dramatic but that’s the point.  It’s a big reason why I love movies.  Sometimes, a writer comes up with a line that sticks with you.  Sometimes, it’s only you.  A private inside joke that you turn to when you face a difficult challenge or even  your worst fear.

Meaningful movie quotes can appear in pretty much any type of movie.  You never know when one will hit home but it’s inspiring every single time.

  • “Find a truly original idea. It is the only way I will ever distinguish myself. It is the only way I will ever matter.”
  • “Mama always said life was like a box a chocolates, never know what you’re gonna get.”
  • “Behind this mask is an idea… and ideas are bulletproof.”
  • “Find a job you love, never work a day in your life.”
  • “It is not who you are underneath…but it is what you do that defines you.”

You probably recognized a few of those quotes.  If you figured out the last one you’ll definitely see why my favorite meaningful movie quote comes from:


“Why do we fall?  So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.”

What a fantastic quote and a perfect way to think about our low points in a new way.  I like to think about Christopher Nolan typing away not knowing how much that line would impact my life.

But it does and I’m extremely thankful for that.  Not to mention the film itself is incredible.

Have a favorite?  Comment below.

All Time Best: Meaningful Movie Quote | Best Movie Quotes | The Dark Knight "Why Do We Fall"

Movies That Changed Everything: The Dark Knight

October 14, 2010 at 8:00 am

Movies That Changed Everything: The Dark Knight

I’m an aspiring filmmaker.  Like every filmmaker out there, I have a lengthy list of films that have inspired me along the way.  This series will examine twelve of the films that changed the way I looked at movies forever.  Films that have greatly influenced the filmmaker I hope to become someday…

The Dark Knight

Movies That Changed Everything: The Dark Knight.  Best comic book movie

Before I get into the greatest comic book movie of all time, let me first explain how much I respect Christopher Nolan and his talented approach to filmmaking.

I suppose my opening statement pretty much sums up my feelings on the director but when you create The Dark Knight and Inception back to back in addition to movies like Memento and Batman Begins, you’re on a roll.

I still get chills when I see that trailer. I had never been so excited to see a movie in my entire life.  For over a year, my friends and I searched the web for any and all news regarding the Caped Crusaders next adventure.

I got to the theater at nine o’clock to catch the first showing at midnight on opening day.  My friends and I waited in line for 3 hours.  The entire time, I couldn’t believe that I was finally going to see it.  The amount of hype The Dark Knight generated was truly incredible.  It helps that Christopher Nolan and company created one of the best viral marketing campaigns of all time.  Inception is another example of their talent for promotion.)

Could this be a defining moment in film history?

Pretty lofty expectations to put on a film I’d never seen.

Not only did The Dark Knight live up to the hype, it dominated my brain for more than two hours and left me speechless.

  • Did I just see that?
  • How good was that movie!
  • I can’t wait to see it again!

So I went the following afternoon with another friend of mine to see it again.  I simply couldn’t wait. I literally got home around 3 am, took a nap, woke up, ate a meal and went back to the movies.


The Dark Knight is THE reason why I’m obsessed with movies in the first place. It’s the magic of anticipating something you’ve never seen before.  There really is nothing like sitting in a crowded theater and being blown away by an amazing story.

It’s the reason I want to become a filmmaker. What I wouldn’t give to be able to tell a story like that.  A story that leaves you wide eyed and ready to tell everyone you know that they absolutely HAVE to see it.

The Dark Knight is a perfect example of what summer blockbusters should be.  Not only is it the best superhero movie of all time but many people rank it high on the list of gangster films as well.

Christopher Nolan’s follow up changed the superhero genre as a result. If you read movie news regularly you’ve already seen a new trend emerging.

There are tons of studio heads and producers demanding gritty movies like The Dark Knight.  Movies need to be darker and grounded in reality.

It’s a style that isn’t easily emulated but I’m willing to play along.

The bar has been raised high enough now that every comic book adaptation will be compared to the quality of The Dark Knight.

It’s that good!

The Dark Knight Joker Movies That Changed Everything

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I have a theory that is especially true in the case of aspiring filmmakers:

You can learn a lot about someone just by asking them what their favorite movies are.

  • What kind of sense of humor they have.
  • Their favorite color.
  • What frightens them them.

The Dark Knight is easily one of my favorite movies of all time.  Since I saw it, it has influenced nearly every choice I’ve made in my own screenwriting.  I keep thinking about how I HAVE to work harder and evolve.  I have to practice and get better at my craft.

Kick ass filmmakers: Christopher Nolan The Dark Knight

The art of storytelling is easy to accomplish but difficult to master.  I consider myself lucky to have heroes like Christopher Nolan and his remarkable ability to tell entertaining and thought provoking stories that are just… Cool.

That’s the magic of going to the movies.  I love being excited in theaters.  I’ll see anything once but it’s EVENTS like The Dark Knight that I look forward to the most.

Sitting in that theater was one of the most inspiring moments of my life.

Sounds like a pretty intense statement to make but it was.  I set some pretty high goals for myself that night.  I will not state that someday I’ll write something like The Dark Knight.  (How arrogant is that?)

I’m simply stating that I’ll never stop trying.

In the mean time, I’ll always be on the lookout for another inspirational film like The Dark Knight.