Monday, July 23, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises: A Worthy and Satisfying Conclusion

I've seen a lot of movies based on comic books over the years, and I've learned to spot the good stuff from the crap pretty easily. There seems to be a simple rule when making a good comic book film and that is that you need not only a great director, but a fan of the genre or specifically the hero of the comic the film is going to be based on. This is important, because to do otherwise is to show a disservice to the genre, and the fans who love it.

Recently I saw the new movie the Amazing Spider-Man, a reboot of the Spider-Man movies, with new stories, new characters, and new actors. Now having seen all three Spider-Man movies made by Sam Raimi and being a huge fan, I was hoping this movie would at least live up to those movies in some way. It didn’t take too long to realize the chemistry that made the Sam Raimi films so amazing, just wasn’t there. That spark of whatever, was missing. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a terrible film, but in no way did it stack up to the Sam Raimi films.

It didn’t really make sense to me, after all, here was a genre that is pretty much laid out for you ahead of time, you merely need to pick a story and go with it. But that is really the difference between a comic book and film isn’t it. In the comics, you have a drawing depicting the look of the character, and the words to go along, but everything else, including the personalities, it all has to be imagined. The comic plays out in your head, in the voices you give the characters, talking with the accents as you hear them in your head. In film, your imagination is usually silent, as everything is taken care for you ahead of time. When you enter the theater to watch the film you just paid for you are suspending your own imagination for a couple of hours to allow the imagination of the writers and directors to come through.

In this case, first time big movie director Marc Webb was given the helm, in retrospect, clearly a mistake. Apparently, the long list of music videos and one independent film the man has made over the years has given him license to handle something as big as Spider-Man, at least that is what Marvel thought. Sorry to say, but when you hand the reins of something as great as Spider-Man over to a newbie, you get a newbie quality film, and it clearly shows here. Don’t get me wrong, it was exciting at times, and the story was ok, but the director seemed more interested in POV shots than telling a quality tale, and that comes completely through. In this case, the imagination of the director seems to suck a little. But what does this have to do with Batman, a completely different character, in a different world, and made by a different comic company. Well let me tell you, get yourself some quality writers, a quality director, quality actors, and you too can make a comic book film masterpiece.

Back in 1989 all of us were treated to a masterpiece of cinema by a master of his craft, the genius that is Tim Burton.  Tim Burton took a character that had always been limited on the screen to comedy and cheesy effects and turn it into something special. Tim Burton introduced us to a darker world, a Gotham that more matched the comic book Gotham, a strange city where the criminals reigned terror and the police seemed unequipped to stop it. This extraordinary place would give birth to one of the most iconic characters to ever come from a comic book, the dark, twisted, but likable Batman.  Batman is the story of a boy by the name of Bruce Wayne who witnesses the murder of his parents, feeling weak and powerless to stop it, he vowed to never feel that way again. When Wayne grows up, he uses his vast resources as a billionaire to create his alter ego Batman, and provide Batman with the technologies to stop criminals.

Now what is great about Burton’s vision is his remarkable ability to tell a story and to use great actors to do it. Most people believe that Michael Keaton, the actor who played Bruce Wayne in Burton’s Batman is the best actor to ever dawn the costume of the caped crusader, although I personally believe that Christian Bale may have knocked Keaton off that high perch with his portrayal in the last three movies by Christopher Nolan. Keaton would reprise his role again for 1992’s Batman Returns and Burton would again take the reins as director. The film turned out to be another masterpiece, even getting most people to believe that it was better than the first one.

In the first movie, Joker is portrayed by Jack Nicholson, one of the best portrayals of a villain ever seen. His ability to play the wildly insane is unmatched by most people, and you wonder when you see him in roles like this if Nicholson might be a little touched himself. In the sequel the character of the Penguin is played with absolute perfection by the immensely talented Danny DeVito, and the character of Catwoman is played by the lovable Michelle Pfeiffer. All of these actors portray their characters with a style that befits these epic films. In the end, this would be the last Batman film we would get from either Michael Keaton or director Tim Burton, and although many sequels were made none of them could live up to the splendor of those two films.

In the years since, we’ve been given flop after flop of trashy comic book movies, but it wasn’t until Sam Raimi best known for his work on the Evil Dead trilogy chose to take on the Spider-Man franchise that we would know great work again from this genre of films. In 2002, we would be introduced to Spider-Man as we had never seen him before. Anyone who has seen the older movies and the cheesy way in which Spider-Man had been portrayed knows how terrible they were.

Instead of telling us a story of a guy who gets bit by a spider and fights crime, we are introduced to the complex story of a troubled kid who’s destiny is chosen for him when he sees the murder of his Uncle, the man who raised him, at the hands of a man who he could have stopped, and it’s that tragic torturous thought that creates the Spider-Man. At this point, although Parker has been bitten by the radiated spider, and has all the abilities of Spider-Man, he wants nothing to do with crime fighting, he only wants to use his powers to make money, impress the girl and maybe stop the occasional bully.

It is only with the death of Uncle Ben and the words of his dying uncle to haunt him, “With great power comes great responsibility” that Parker finds the courage to do what is right. It also helps when the script is written by Stan Lee, and the main character is portrayed by a great actor like Tobey Maguire, who’s memorable work in Pleasantville, Cider House Rules, and Wonder Boys got him this role. Audiences loved the movie, and made it the biggest successful movie in this genre ever, that is until 2004 when Raimi once again takes the reins for the sequel Spider-Man 2.

At the time when it was released, with few exceptions, not many people could watch that movie and not find that it was the best superhero movie ever made. Sure there are those hardcore Batman fans who loved Burton’s film so much that nothing could ever compare, but unlike movies before it, this movie got people that never watched superhero movies to come, hand over their money, and thoroughly enjoy the next 2 hours of their lives.

The same troubled kid we see in the first film who ultimately triumphs over his tortured thoughts is back again to find a world that is just a little bit harder for him than when he was a teenager. Now ready to live in the world as an adult, Parker finds New York is not the best city to live in, people are hard, and his life as Spider-man conflicts with his life as Peter Parker. He finds the life he wants as Peter Parker cannot exist in the same universe with the life he has as Spider-man and makes the choice to sacrifice Spider-man in favor of the life he wants. Again Parker seems faced with the decision to either do what he wants or do what’s right, and we are fortunate enough to get a glimpse of the story as it unfolds.

In 2007, Raimi returns to direct the final entry in the Spider-Man saga he has created, and although the film has its flaws, I believe it stands up as a great film and certainly a wonderful entry in the genre of comic book films.

Now before I talk about The Dark Knight trilogy as I will refer to it, I want to stress that taken as a whole I believe this trilogy is ultimately stronger than the Spider-Man trilogy that Raimi gave us, and although you can make many arguments, I believe these films are also stronger than even the two films Burton gave us with Batman.

Many of us were introduced to the work of Christopher Nolan through a little movie called Memento, released in 2000. It was a tragically dark tale of a man suffering from brain damage that causes him to lose the last 24 hours of his life each time he falls asleep, a condition called Anterograde Amnesia. This condition is caused by damage to the hippocampus of the brain, the region responsible for converting short-term memory to long-term storage.

In the film, the man uses pictures, notes, and tattoos he leaves to himself as a record of the clues he finds in the search for the man he believes murdered his wife and gave him this amnesia with a blow to the head. Besides a unique tale, Nolan pushes the envelope by depicting his story in two converging lines, one tale told in the past moving forward and one told in the future moving backward. It’s truly one of the best films ever made, and a glimpse at the creative nature of Christopher Nolan.

Nolan is also responsible for such movies as the Prestige and Inception, both of which are truly amazing films if you have not seen them. What makes Nolan so great at his craft is that besides being the director he also does most of the writing himself, giving him a unique insight and creative vision that allows him to  see the film he wants to make before he even gets to make it.

Coming off directing success of Memento and 2002’s hit Insomnia, Nolan decides to take on Batman and in 2005 audiences are introduced to a new Batman, surprisingly darker than even the Tim Burton version, with Batman Begins.

In Batman Begins, a child falls down a well and is tormented by bats flying above him. So afraid is he, that he develops chiroptophobia, the fear of bats. Later, the boy, Bruce Wayne sees his parents gunned down, powerless to stop it and afraid of the man who commits the atrocity. Later as a young man Wayne attempts to overcome his fear and exact vengeance by shooting the man who killed his parents, but he is too late. Wayne tries to tell his childhood friend Rachel, the girl he loves, what he wanted to do but Rachel recoils, and Wayne flees Gotham.

Bruce travels the world looking to learn of a way to overcome his fear, and find a way to overthrow the corrupt Gotham criminal underworld. He finds a group of assassins, League of Shadows and learns their ways. He has a falling out with the group and flees back to Gotham. Now years later, Gotham is completely overrun by criminal syndicates, and a Bruce must find a way to return the city’s power to its people. He returns to Wayne Enterprises and meets Lucius Fox who shows him some technology the company has been working on; giving Bruce what he needs to fulfill his destiny.  Bruce takes the armor and the vehicle Lucius shows him and creates his alter ego Batman. He chooses the symbol of the Bat to strike fear in the criminal element that has taken over Gotham and at the same time allow himself to overcome his own fear of the bat by dawning the costume.

The story of Batman Begins is a story of overcoming fear. What took most people by surprise was that most of the movie is spent telling the story of Bruce Wayne, showing very little of Batman until he becomes his alter ego. The film is filled with references to the fear theme, one of its primary villains Scarecrow uses fear to persuade and torture, and we continue to see the theme played out in Wayne’s fear of losing Rachel and the city of Gotham to his old friend’s the League of Shadows, hell bent on destroying the city.

Ultimately Wayne overcomes his fear, saves Rachel, and takes on his old leader Ra's al Ghul. Although, Batman never kills anyone, he allows Ra’s to die, instead of saving him. Batman reveals his true identity and love for Rachel, but she is unable to love him back. She cannot love him and the Batman, and Bruce cannot choose one or the other at this point. Having saved the day, Batman becomes the hero Gotham needs, striking fear into the criminal element, and a Bat signal is created atop of the police building that can be used to signal Batman when needed.  Lieutenant Gordon who Batman becomes friends with throughout the film, shows Batman a Joker card and tells him it’s a calling card being left at various crime scenes. Batman tells Gordon he will look into it.

Nolan is able to tell an amazing story of how fear can hold a person back, but that ultimately courage wins out if you face your fears.

As I’ve said, I believe Christian Bale’s portrayal of Batman is the best anyone has done even beating out Michael  Keaton’s Batman, but I believe that it isn’t until Dark Knight, that he comes into the role and makes it superior in every way. Bale’s portrayal of Bruce Wayne is certainly better than that of Michael Keaton’s, for one Bale appears younger than Keaton in the role which helps, but he also seems more comfortable being the philanthropist playboy type the role calls for.

One problem is that Keaton’s idiosyncrasies come through in both Bruce Wayne and Batman to the point that anyone with sense who knows Bruce Wayne, could figure out who the man under the mask is. And although everyone has these kinds of problems, Bale portrays the two characters as completely separate people, even intentionally altering his voice when he speaks as Batman. Bale as Wayne, is a completely different person than Bale as Batman, and it’s that kind of diverse acting that I think puts him over the top. That’s not to say that Keaton isn’t a great Batman, because he’s fantastic, but I believe Bale makes a better Bruce Wayne, and as a whole I think Bale just does a better job with both.

The other important part of this movie and one that is continued throughout the sequels is to tell the tale not from the POV of Batman alone but to tell a tale that involved many complex characters and of course the city of Gotham, as a character as well. Of course it helps not only to have a great script, but an amazing cast of actors to fill the roles you have written, and Batman Begins certainly does that.

From Gary Oldman to Michael Caine, and Katie Holmes to Morgan Freeman, they are all amazing actors in a supporting role; it’s crazy how good they are in this movie. I think Cillian Murphy who plays Scarecrow steals most of the scenes he is in, and although he doesn’t have large parts in the sequels, Nolan loved him so much he tried to get him in each of them.

When it was released, it was both a critical and commercial success, begging for a sequel, and after the end of Batman Begins, audiences were dying to see where Nolan might go with the Joker character in 2008’s The Dark Knight.

When it was rumored that Heath Ledger would be getting the role of the Joker, many people cringed at the idea, believing there was no way Ledger could do justice a role that Nicholson had immortalized. I myself didn’t think he was going to be able to pull it off, and when the first images of Ledger wearing the makeup emerged, my doubts turned to giddiness, the kind a child has when they find out they are getting a toy or some ice cream. He looked fantastic, and twisted at the same time.

The demented first images of Ledger as Joker left little doubt of the direction Nolan would be going with the character. Although Burton’s story was a dark one from the previous light-hearted Batman versions of the past, his Joker was a twisted take of a classic comic villain who depicted Joker as the insane, villainous, murdering man with the smile he was.

Now years later, Nolan was taking on this same character, but audiences had grown to known what the Joker was suppose to be, based entirely on the character Burton created and Nicholson portrayed. It would be very hard for Nolan and Ledger to copy the character and get away with it, so they didn’t even try. Instead Nolan and Ledger would create a character that is so evil that it’s by far the best film depiction of a comic villain ever, and that is saying a lot considering what Nicholson did with the same character just 19 years before.

In the summer of 2008 audiences were treated to two and a half hours of one of the greatest films of all time, and Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker earned him, in one of his final roles, an academy award, posthumously accepted by his family.

If the theme of Batman Begins is fear, than the theme of The Dark Knight is chaos. In one of the craziest opening sequences I have ever seen on film, we are introduced to the Joker who robs a mob bank taking a large amount of money. The mob now seemingly overrunning Gotham, Batman and Gordon enlist the new District Attorney Harvey Dent, played by Aaron Eckhart, in their plan to take down the mob. Dent is dating Rachel, who is now portrayed by Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Bruce believes that Dent may be the answer to his problems.

In Batman Begins we learn that Wayne is unable to choose Rachel over Batman as long as the city of Gotham needs a hero. In the Dark Knight, Bruce’s plan to replace Batman as the hero of Gotham with Dent would allow Wayne to be with Rachel, and so Bruce has a fundraiser for Dent to try and get the city on his side. By now the Joker has busted in on a mob meeting and offered to take down Batman, solving all the mob’s problems, in exchange for half of the mob money stolen by one of the mob associates.

Joker issues an ultimatum asking that Batman reveal his identity or he would kill someone every day that he does not. Joker begins murdering city officials as promised, and at the fundraiser Wayne sets up for Dent, the joker shows up with his entourage looking for Dent. Bruce hides Dent, and returns as Batman. The two duel in a battle that results in Rachel being tossed out a window. Batman lets the Joker flee, choosing to save Rachel from falling to her death. At a funeral for the murdered commissioner, Gordon jumps in front of a bullet meant for the mayor, and Bruce decides it’s time to reveal his identity. Batman tells Dent of his plan, and Dent doesn’t like it.

He believes the city needs Batman to be the hero and Batman tells him the city already has a hero, alluding to the fact that Dent is his replacement. At the news conference Wayne stands in the back waiting to step forward as Dent talks about Batman, but just as Dent tells Batman to come forward, he then reveals he is Batman to protect the truth, a common thread. Dent is taken away in handcuffs, and as he is carted across the city, the Joker pursues him. Suddenly out of nowhere Batman appears in pursuit of the Joker and Gordon believed to be dead, appears driving a truck. There is an insane crash scene and the Joker is apprehended. However, in all the madness Rachel and Dent go missing.

When Batman confronts the Joker at the police station, it is revealed that he has taken both of them and put them far away from each other in buildings filled with explosives. The Joker tells Batman he can only save one. Batman chooses to save Dent, and tells Gordon to save Rachel. Dent and Rachel are able to communicate and Dent tells Rachel Batman will come for her and save her and she believes him. When Batman shows up to save Dent, Dent is unhappy, screaming, and Rachel accepts her fate. The buildings blow up, just as Batman gets Dent out of his and as Gordon arrives to save Rachel, but he is too late, she is killed. Afterward, the Joker uses a bomb to escape police custody.

Later at the hospital, badly burned in the explosion, Dent is confronted by the Joker who convinces him to take out his anger on the people truly responsible for Rachel’s death and Dent’s disfigurement. Dent leaves the hospital intent on killing everyone involved. After leaving the hospital the Joker places explosive on two ferries, one with regular citizens of Gotham and another filled with criminals.

He gives to each ferry a trigger that he tells them will blow up the other ferry when pressed, and one of them must press the button or both ferries will be blown up at midnight. Batman asks his friend Lucius for the use of a program he developed that uses sonar bounced off cell phone signals to track the whereabouts of the Joker. Batman uses the program to find Joker and fights through Joker’s men to get to him. The ferry passengers on both boats refused to push the button restoring faith in humanity, and Batman apprehends the Joker. Even as Joker hangs on a rope Batman ties him up with, he tells Batman that Gotham will lose their faith once they see what Dent, their new hero has done.  Batman flees the scene leaving Joker hanging there for the cops.

By now Dent has killed a few people involved in the death of Rachel, flipping a coin to decide their fate, and now he has taken Gordon and his family hostage at the site of her death. Gordon tells Dent to let his family go and punish him, because it was his fault she died, not theirs. Batman shows up and Dent decides he, Batman, and Gordon are equally guilty of her death and flips a coin to decide each of their fates. He flips the coin, sparing himself, shoots Batman and flips the coin to decide the fate of Gordon’s boy who will pay for Gordon’s crime. Just as he flips the coin Batman tackles Dent, tossing him off the roof to the ground below.

In one of the best written sequences of the movie, Batman discusses with Gordon his intention to save Harvey Dent’s reputation by letting people believe he killed those people, and he killed Dent.

Batman: You'll hunt me. You'll condemn me, set the dogs on me.  Because that's what needs to happen. Because sometimes... the truth isn't good enough. Sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded.

Gordon's Son: Batman? Batman! Why is he running, Dad?

Gordon: Because we have to chase him.

Gordon's Son: He didn't do anything wrong.

Gordon: Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So, we'll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight.

The film features many themes but its most haunting theme is the idea of sacrifice, which Bruce Wayne makes first when he decides the city of Gotham doesn’t need Batman anymore hoping to sacrifice Batman in favor of Harvey Dent as a replacement as the city’s hero. The theme continues when the Joker wants Batman to reveal his identity and Wayne appears at the news conference intent on doing this, only to have Dent sacrifice himself in favor of protecting Batman. Next Batman sacrifices the woman he loves to save the hero Gotham needs and deserves. And finally Batman again sacrifices himself to save the reputation of Harvey Dent, giving Gotham a true hero and someone they can put their faith in.

In an earlier scene we see Rachel telling Wayne that she can’t choose him over Dent if he’s Batman. Wayne tells her he will give up Batman. She writes a letter that she wants Alfred to give to Wayne just before she is killed. The letter tells Wayne that she chooses Harvey, and Alfred burns the letter to save Wayne’s fragile state, after losing the love of his life. Alfred tells him nothing. This is a pivotal scene because when Wayne decides to give up Batman in favor of saving the reputation of Harvey Dent, he believes that Rachel would have chosen him. He was fulfilling her wish as well as saving Gotham’s true hero. Fulfilling the promise of the first film, giving up Batman for her and for Gotham.

The Dark Knight is the reason why people go to the movies. It’s just one of the finest films made in the last 20 years and the best comic book film adaptation ever made. The problem with the Dark Knight for Christopher Nolan is when you make something so good; it almost makes it impossible to achieve anything better. I’ve seen people compare the Dark Knight trilogy to the original Star Wars trilogy, and I must admit there are some similarities.

For one, most people would consider Batman Begins and Star Wars on their own great films, but when compared to their sequels they are simply blown away. With the exception of a very limited bunch, most people would consider The Empire Strikes Back a masterpiece and the best in the series, and the same can be said of The Dark Knight. And much like it was back then when Return of the Jedi was released, people wondered how Lucas could ever achieve the success of Return of the Jedi that he had with The Empire Strikes Back, and people will wonder the same of The Dark Knight Rises.

Once you have created perfection there isn’t anything higher, and so the only place to go is down, and so I’ve heard many people say things like, “It was great, but it lacked the spectacle of the Dark Knight,” or “Good Film, just not as good as The Dark Knight.” And I think for one it’s not fair to compare the two movies. You don’t hear anyone comparing the Dark Knight Rises to Batman Begins, and you didn’t hear anyone comparing The Dark Knight to Batman Begins either. That is because the second was better than the first, so much so that there was no way Nolan could reproduce the success he had.

But does he have to? I don’t think so. If you take each of these films on their own, you find each one is a fantastic piece of cinema and worthy of its praises. I sat through all two hours and forty-five minutes of Dark Knight Rises and I was enthralled the entire time. Not once did I find myself displeased in any way. It’s unusual to be able to watch a movie that long and not find your attention lost at some point, and that never happened throughout the film.

Now I’m going to talk a little bit about the film, so there will be some tiny spoilers so if that bothers you, you should see this film first before you continue.

In the last installment, this film’s major theme is pain. In this film Nolan returns to the roots of Batman Begins by returning us to the character of Bruce Wayne and his struggle. It’s now been eight years since the events of The Dark Knight, Batman has vanished, and Bruce Wayne is a recluse. Wayne holds dinner parties and invites loads of people, but never shows up to the parties himself, choosing to spend his time hiding in his mansion. His body has not aged well, he sports some injuries, no doubt a result of the battle with the Joker.

Since the events of the Dark Knight, in the eight years since, new legislation has passed in Gotham called the Harvey Dent act that allowed the criminal element to be jailed indefinitely with no real cause. Because of this, all major crime has stopped, and the city has no need for heroes anymore. Gordon now much older feels guilt and believes it’s time to tell the truth about Batman and Dent. Unfortunately for Gordon, a criminal by the name of Bane, played brilliantly by Tom Hardy, has other plans and Gordon finds himself in the middle of seeing something he should not have seen.

Selina Kyle is played by Anne Hathaway, and she is fantastic, seeing her in this role I cannot imagine anyone else pulling it off, a truly amazing actress. This is a reimagined role of the Catwoman and although it’s clearly her by name, she is never referred to as the Catwoman. For my money, Julie Newmar is still my favorite Catwoman, but Anne Hathaway plays her so differently that you forget the characters are meant to be the same person.

I won’t go into too much detail about the story except to say that you will not be disappointed. It never stopped for me until the credits rolled. I was on the edge of my seat the entire film, and it kept me involved the entire time. It’s a story that is full of characters we all know and love, along with some amazing twists and turns that keep you guessing and wonder ultimately how it will all end. In my opinion this has one of the most satisfying conclusions of any film I have ever seen, and certainly probably the best of any trilogy, even Star Wars, which is certainly up there. In some films when I get to the end, I feel cheated, especially if I know there will be no more sequels, and when this film ends you feel entirely satisfied.

Pain is certainly a recurring theme throughout this film, and each character has his or her own pain to deal with. Bruce Wayne suffers physically by the events of the past, walking with a cane, but he also suffers mentally as well, unable to be happy living without the only woman he ever loved. Gordon suffers as well with the guilt of lying to the citizens of Gotham about the truth of Harvey Dent and the betrayal of Batman.

In the years since those events eight years before, his inability to cope has cost him his family who has moved away from Gotham. Alfred feels the pain of having to watch Bruce suffer, knowing that Rachel chose Harvey and Bruce sacrificed everything for her, and also knowing he can’t tell Bruce about the letter he destroyed.

Selina Kyle steals, and kills bad people but ultimately she wants to escape her life and disappear, unable to do so, for fear of retribution. She has to make choices that cause her terrible pain, because although she is often portrayed in film as lacking empathy, Hathaway’s portrayal of her, leaves her quite human and her decisions cause her terrible internal torture. Bane the main villain of the film is also revealed to be in terrible pain, and although it is only seen once, his pain is crucial to understanding the tale in its entirety.

Although pain is a major theme, I don’t believe it’s the only one, and although illustrating too much would reveal major plot lines, instead I’ll say that for me this is a story of how the lines of good and evil are about choices, and the things that define us are mostly about doing the right thing when the opportunity arises. Overcoming obstacles and rising above adversity are there as well. For me one word sums up this film: hope.


Oh and I forgot to mention one thing, when talking of pain I forgot to mention mine. Yeah that's right, although I have nothing bad to say about the film, I am disgusted and appalled by the state of movie theaters today. My friend and I who went to see this movie had to endure 20 minutes of commercials, prior to being able to see the film. And I know what you're thinking, 20 minutes of previews isn't terrible, however I didn't say previews, I said commercials. Before the film even started we had to watch 20 commercials that varied from car commercials, to ads for shit products no one will ever buy.

Commercial after commercial and finally a preview 20 minutes later, and another preview and then the movie. I'm used to three or four commercials, four or five preview trailers and then the movie, this was absolutely fucking horrendous. I felt like the movie ticket should feature a discount based on the amount of commercials I was forced to sit through or at least let people know when the movie will actually start so they can come later and skip all that shit.

Look I understand the movies are getting expensive, but you already charge people $5.00 for the equivalent of 50 cents of popcorn, and $5.00 for the equivalent of a $1.00 worth of soda. If that still doesn't do it for you, charge another dollar for the ticket and tell people why you have to do it. I'd rather pay that extra dollar than watch all those shit commercials.

When you force consumers to watch that kind of shit it gives people a reason to not want to go to the movies anymore, and instead simply download the movie they want to watch, commercial free. There is a fine line of what is tolerable and for me a few commercials and few trailers are ok, anything more is obnoxious, and for fuck sake, the movie was 2 hours and 45 minutes by itself, adding another 20 minutes and change to it with that shit made it so much worse.

Most of us grab a soda and by the end of 2 hours its time to pee, but 3 hours i feel like I want to pass out, and for a movie like The Dark Knight Rises, I wasn't going to get up and miss something, I'd rather have just pissed on the floor and left a note saying, "Next time lose the fucking commercials, and I'll be able to make it to the bathroom." I won't say which theater it was, but if you know me and know where I live, you know which theater I'm talking about, on JF Highway.

Ok done ranting for now.

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