December 16, 2011

THE BIJOU: “The Dark Knight Rises” (Briefly)

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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Tonight at 43 real Imax theatres (the ones with the huge squarish screens), Warner Bros debuted an extended trailer for next summer’s THE DARK KNIGHT RISES shot in the full Imax format, consisting of the opening sequence and an extra minute or so of quick clips from the rest of the movie.  Apart from providing a nice boost to Paramount’s MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL, which is the regular attraction at these theatres, what did the trailer tell us?  The main sequence involved a CIA plane transporting a witness they hoped would provide them information on the master criminal Bane, who is unveiled later in the sequence in a way that resembles the way The Joker was revealed in the prologue trailer for The Dark Knight.  The CIA plane is then disposed of in spectacular fashion, with what appears to be minimal use of CG. 

Although it’s far too soon to make judgments on The Dark Knight Rises based on a few minutes of uncompleted film, the Rises prologue is not, on first viewing, as impressive as Dark Knight‘s.  For one thing, Dark Knight surprised audiences by kicking off with a Michael Mann-style bank robbery sequence that made it clear Christopher Nolan was aiming for something more complicated and adult than the usual fanboy tone of superhero movies.  Even more important, it was instantly clear that The Joker as a character, and Heath Ledger’s performance, were going to be something special.  The Rises sequence is more big-budget action-movie in tone, and Bane is less instantly disturbing (he’s not helped by the fact that the mask he wears makes the dialogue delivered by Tom Hardy difficult to decipher).  
We’re just at the beginning of a promotional campaign that will run till July 2012, when the film opens, so there’s plenty of time for more informed opinions to come into play.  Stay tuned:  same Bat-time, same Bat-channel…

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."