Mars Movie Reviews – The Batman Trilogy Marathon – Batman Begins – The Dark Knight – The Dark Knight Rises

Blue Room Cinebar, Paddington – 6.15pm, 18 July 2012 – The Batman Trilogy Marathon Began…..

Movie Info: The origins of the Caped Crusader of Gotham City are finally brought to the big screen in this new adaptation of the perennially popular comic-book series.  The young Bruce Wayne leads a privileged life as the son of wealthy, philanthropist parents, both of whom stress their commitment to improving the lives of the citizens of crime-ridden Gotham City.  After his mother and father are murdered by a mugger, however, Wayne grows into an impudent young man (Christian Bale), full of rage and bent on retribution until encouraged by his childhood sweetheart, Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes), to search for answers beyond his own personal vendettas. Wayne eventually finds discipline in the Far East under the tutelage of Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson), a member of the mysterious League of Shadows who guides him in the study of martial arts — and the ways in which an ordinary man can hone his senses to an almost superhuman acuity. After seven years away from Gotham, Wayne returns, determined to bring peace and safety back to the city. With the help of his faithful manservant, Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine), and Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), a scientist at his late father’s corporation, Wayne develops a secret identity as Batman, a masked fighter for justice. But when a shady psychiatrist  joins forces with the criminal underworld, Wayne realizes that putting an end to their nefarious plans will be very difficult indeed. – Warner Bros.

Mars Review:  Nolan has created a dark, realistic and believable hero who fights personal demons like the rest of us.  The attention given to the characters and the storyline brings Batman back into focus as an inventive heroic figure.  A moody and visually stimulating superhero film, Batman Begins sees the Dark Knight finally giving the treatment and respect he deserves, in what can only be described as one of the greatest re-vamps given to an enduring character.

Stars: 4 out of 5 stars

Movie Info:  Christopher Nolan steps back into the director’s chair for this sequel to Batman Begins, which finds the titular superhero coming face to face with his greatest nemesis — the dreaded Joker. Christian Bale returns to the role of Batman, Maggie Gyllenhaal takes over the role of Rachel Dawes (played by Katie Holmes in Batman Begins), and Brokeback Mountain star Heath Ledger dons the ghoulishly gleeful Joker makeup previously worn by Jack Nicholson and Cesar Romero. Just as it begins to appear as if Batman, Lt. James Gordon (Gary Oldman), and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) are making headway in their tireless battle against the criminal element, a maniacal, wisecracking fiend plunges the streets of Gotham City into complete chaos. – Warner Bros.

Mars Review:  The Dark Knight deftly accomplishes all one could hope for, and then it surpasses it, and then it continues to surprise.  The movie isn’t just a triumph, it is that rare pop-culture oddity: A masterpiece.  Even if this wasn’t Ledger’s final role before his untimely death, his Joker would still go down in cinema history as one of the most creepily unhinged big-screen bad guys of all time.  You know you’re watching a good movie when it puts a smile on your face right from the start. In the The Dark Knight it may be a twisted grimace but given the right perspective there’s enjoyment to be had in even the bleakest subject matter.

Stars: 5 out of 5 stars

Movie Info:  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. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act. But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane. – Warner Bros.

Mars Review:  A sprawling and crazily ambitious epic that builds on the achievement of the previous films instead of merely copying them and takes more genuine risks than any major film of the size and scope.   Does Nolan tie up the trilogy well? Damn right he does! He pulls great moments from the source material, gives his own spin and wraps up this trilogy with a bang.  The length feels both appropriate and symbolic: Appropriate because this is the conclusion of an epic. And symbolic because, whereas many big movies feel rushed and sloppy, this is one where they took the time to get everything right.  My only disappointment is Bane, why wasn’t a better-known Batman villain chosen? and concern over Bane’s muffled voice.

Stars: 4 out of 5 Stars

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