The Dark Knight Rises
A 51-year-old man faces charges after a fight broke out Sunday during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises, sending a panicked audience at a Pittsburgh-area theater fleeing for the exits.
While police were quick to note that the incident wasn’t connected to the Friday shooting in Aurora, Colorado, that left 12 dead and dozens wounded, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports an escalating argument, jittery nerves and a shout of “Gun!” led to the mad scramble for the doors.
According to police, the incident began in the restroom, where a rude child repeatedly knocked on the door of an occupied stall. The child swore at the man, who then confronted the mother, and eventually hit her in the face. That’s when someone shouted “Gun!” and triggered a panic among theater-goers. The unidentified man will be charged with simple assault, disorderly conduct and harassment.
An uncomfortable familiarity hangs over much of The Dark Knight Rises, the final film in the Christopher Nolan-directed Batman trilogy. Some of it comes from the disquiet of watching familiar characters and settings suffer. However, some of it comes from the use of overly familiar movie tropes. For example, one of the early “Batman must come back” scenes feels lifted from a style guide. Another scene, much later, echoes Luke and Han’s join-us-no-join-me exchange just before the Death Star attack. Oh, and William Devane shows up in a very William Devane-esque role.
Accordingly, The Dark Knight Rises is not a perfect movie. It doesn’t have the intricate plotting of its predecessor (2008′s The Dark Knight, like you didn’t know). Any socially conscious message about “the 99% vs. the 1%” is lost in Bane’s repurposed sloganeering and Selina Kyle’s disillusionment. In one spot, the movie seems to skip dusk entirely, going from twilight to pitch-black night in less than eight minutes.* Furthermore, although I hate to disagree with Sean, at times Bane sounds like Darrell Hammond’s Sean Connery (and apparently — beware of spoilers past the link — I am not the only one who thinks so).
Nevertheless, its epic ambitions are mostly realized, and it exists mainly to give its principals (i.e., just about every major character still left from 2005′s Batman Begins) closure. This, I want to emphasize, it does exceptionally well. Four years ago I compared The Dark Knight to David Fincher’s serial-killer meditation Zodiac, but this time I’m going with Doctor Zhivago by way of James Bond. A macro-level exploration of Begins’ “why do we fall?”, it builds to a thrilling, triumphal, bittersweet final shot. I’m looking forward to seeing it again, and eventually to examining the trilogy as a whole.
Before a shocked country, let alone investigators, can begin to get a grasp on what led 24-year-old James Holmes to open fire during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, killing at least 12 and wounding dozens more, at least one newspaper writer is willing to take a wild guess: a comic book. Specifically, Frank Miller’s landmark 1986 miniseries The Dark Knight Returns.
Under the headline, “Was the Batman shooting movie shooting imitated from scene in 1986 comic?,” The Washington Examiner’s Sean Higgins claims the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, “bears eerie similarities” to the scene in which “a crazed, gun-toting loner walks into a movie theater and begins shooting it up, killing three in the process.”
In an effort to bolster his shaky, if not downright groundless hypothesis, Higgins points out that The Dark Knight Returns served “a key inspiration” for director Christopher Nolan’s big-screen trilogy. (Why stop there, though? Coupled with Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s “Year One,” the miniseries has influenced virtually every depiction of Batman over the past quarter-century.)
Creators | While acknowledging the agreement that names Bob Kane as the sole creator of Batman, The Washington Post’s Michael Cavna and Bill: The Boy Wonder author Marc Tyler Nobleman make the case for giving writer Bill Finger a screen credit on The Dark Knight Rises. [Comic Riffs]
Conventions | Although Comic-Con International is usually thought of as a stage for movie studios, major comics publishers and video-game developers, Mark Eades looks at the event as a showcase for small businesses, from artists to toymakers. [The Orange County Register]
Conventions | Robot 6 contributor Brigid Alverson reports on the kids’ comics scene at Comic-Con International, including news that Papercutz will produce a comic based on the viral web phenomenon “Annoying Orange.” [Publishers Weekly]
Despite all of the fallout, and guffaws, from the Great Left-Wing Bane Conspiracy, Conan O’Brien suggests we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the theory. “Now before you judge Rush Limbaugh, I’ve seen The Dark Knight Rises,” he teased on last night’s Conan. “I think Rush might have a point.”
To back up his assertion, O’Brien rolled out a trailer for the Christopher Nolan film that features Tom Hardy’s Bane growling never-before-heard dialogue like, “I’m going to torture you like a dog tied to the top of my car” and “The streets will run red with blood before I release my tax returns.”
The Dark Knight Rises, with real dialogue from
Bain Bane, arrives in theaters at midnight.
Legal | In a motion for summary judgment filed Monday in the long-running legal battle for the rights to Superman, attorneys for Warner Bros. are revisiting their 2009 argument that the estate of Joe Shuster has no grounds to reclaim the artist’s share of the copyright to the Man of Steel. They point to a 1992 agreement in which the estate relinquished all claims in exchange for “more than $600,000 and other benefits,” which included DC Comics paying Shuster’s remaining debts follow his death earlier that year, and providing his sister Jean Seavy with a $25,000 annual pension. Daniel Best has the documents, while Jeff Trexler provides context, noting that the new filing “filing wasn’t a Perry Mason-esque unveiling of surprising new facts. Rather, it was a routine motion for summary judgment.” A hearing is scheduled for Aug. 20. [20th Century Danny Boy, The Beat]
Coinciding with the Friday premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, the cable channel The Hub is airing a 10-episode marathon of Batman: The Animated Series, the beloved early-1990s cartoon that’s held up by a generation of fans as the gold standard for animated adaptations of comic books.
To promote the event, The Hub has created a teaser that recreates the trailer for the final installment of director Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy using clips from the show and the original voice cast. You can watch it below.
The marathon, dubbed “Batman: The Animated Series Rises” kicks off Friday at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT on The Hub.
When most comics fans see Bane, they think of a quintessential 1990s supervillain, the super-strong “Man Who Broke the Bat.” But when conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh sees Bane, he thinks of a left-wing conspiracy.
As Warner Bros. makes its final promotional push for The Dark Knight Rises, which features Tom Hardy as Batman’s hulking nemesis, Limbaugh launched into a screed linking the prominence of Bane in entertainment news with the prominence of Bain — that is, the venture-capital company co-founded by Mitt Romney — in the political debate. Oh, don’t act surprised.
“Do you think it is accidental that the name of the really vicious fire-breathing, four-eyed whatever-it-is villain in this movie is named Bane?” The Hollywood Reporter quotes Limbaugh as saying on today’s show. He apparently acknowledged that the development of the Christopher Nolan film predates the current line of attack by President Obama’s reelection campaign, but even the pesky tendency of time to move in a linear fashion — retroactive retirements aside — can’t get in the way of a good conspiracy theory!
Here’s one of the spoils of being lucky enough to land a ticket to Comic-Con this year–Mondo will sell this exclusive The Dark Knight Rises poster at their booth Thursday. Designed by Jock, it can only be purchases at booth #437, and to find out when excatly it’ll go on sale, you have to follow Mondo’s Twitter feed, @MondoNews.
The posters are limited in number to 375 and cost $50. No doubt they’ll be up on eBay sometime tomorrow for a lot more than that.
Mimoco has introduced adorable MIMOBOT designer USB flash drives featuring Superman, The Flash, and Batman and Bane from The Dark Knight Rises. They join the previously released Batman and Green Lantern series. However, Bane is a limited-edition Comic-Con exclusive, meaning you’ll have to trek to San Diego, or have a friend pick one up for you (or, y’know, pay a minor fortune on eBay).
Mimico is counting down to Comic-Con by revealing a new exclusive or premiere each Tuesday at midnight until the convention begins. These DC Comics drives are only the first, so there are four more sets to go. Check out the individual drives below, along with a MIMOBOT Dark Knight Rises teaser.
Four entries this time that I’ve been saving up for a not-so-rainy day …
Before we jump into 2012, I have one last bit of business to take care of: toting up my 2011 predictions, and offering a set for the new year.
1. The Green Lantern movie. Last year I predicted that GL would be “more lucrative than Captain America, not as much as Thor. It ended up making $116 million domestically ($219 million worldwide), well behind Cap’s $176 million ($368M globally) and Thor’s $181 million ($449M globally). Also, it wasn’t as good. I liked it well enough (and from what I hear I may like the Blu-Ray version more), but apparently I was in the minority.
2. Superman and Wonder Woman after JMS. I just had questions for this entry: will Roberson and Barrows stay on Superman? (No.) Will Diana keep the jacket and pants? (No jacket, pants optional.) Finally, I asked “[w]ill sales improve once ‘Grounded’ ends?” Guess that depends on how you define “ends,” because “Grounded” closed out that Superman series; and the next issue of Superman was a New-52 No. 1 which sold almost 100,000 more copies than its predecessor. We may never know what might have happened to Superman without the New 52, but probably not that.
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The filming of The Dark Knight Rises in Pittsburgh is expected to pump millions of dollars into the economy, giving a boost to hotels, restaurants, lumber yards and more. So, hey, why shouldn’t the criminal community get a little benefit?
WPXI reports that on Saturday evening, Pittsburgh police Det. Robert DiGiacomo was in an unmarked vehicle looking for the suspect in an assault. Suddenly a man matching the suspect’s description opened the car door, sat down and told the detective to get out. When the officer drew his gun and ordered 21-year-old Micah Calamosca to exit the car, the suspect reportedly responded that he was part of the cast of the Christopher Nolan film … and that stealing the vehicle was just part of the script.
As you may have guessed, DiGiacomo didn’t buy the explanation. Calamosca was subsequently arrested, and faces a charge of robbery of a motor vehicle. A police vehicle. I’d have at least gone for Batman’s Tumbler. Heck, he has three, so he may not have missed one.
Leave it to Next Media Animation, the Taiwanese studio last seen on Robot 6 explaining the history of the danger-fraught Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, to view the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises through a fractured prism that makes Grant Morrison’s wildest of storylines seem humdrum by comparison. Judging from this video, the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s movie trilogy has something to do with the bankruptcy of Wayne Enterprises, rising food prices at Wal-Mart, a lovesick Batman, and the return of Halle Berry as a whip-cracking Catwoman.