Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Dark Knight Rises Prologue


Director: Christopher Nolan
Writers: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer, characters from Bob Kane
Cast: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Liam Neeson, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine

SYNOPSIS: Murderous villain Bane arrives in Gotham City, bent on destroying the myth and the body of the Batman.

REVIEW: The DC Universe has only improved with the addition of Christopher Nolan's vision of the Batman and the city of Gotham. In Batman Begins, the writer and director remade the image of the Bat with a new origin of Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) as he loses his family to a mugger's bullets and the rise of the Batman as the scourge of villainy throughout the alleyways and dark corners of Gotham. Ra's Al Ghul (Liam Neeson), the Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy), and an underworld mob boss named Carmine Falcone (Tom Wilkinson). In The Dark Knight, Nolan and Bale return to find the citizens of Gotham demanding for the head of the Batman, all the while he, Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman), and the district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) look to solve the riddle of his latest and craziest adversary, the Joker (Heath Ledger). Soon in the heat of 2012, Bruce and the Batman will return with the closing entry of the trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises.

It is called Operation Early Bird. Across the country, hidden clues and 
a viral campaign led the intuitive among us to the www.operationearlybird.com website. On the site's homepage a countdown clock wound down to an inevitable conclusion. Once the last number turned into a zero, the counter gave way to a map of the country with glowing dots scattered across the nation. Upon closer inspection, each dot represented an exclusive showing of The Dark Knight Rises prologue. Servers soon crashed, and browser sessions timed out. And once the fog and bandwidth cleared, every showing across North America was sold out.

For those who hunger for vengeance in the darkness, the summary of the prologue follows below.

The Warner Bros. logo and the Legendary logo displays on a black ice background, followed by the glacial cracks forming the Batman icon. 

Commissioner Jim Gordon is heard as a voice over as the logos fade to black. The next scene fades in to show Commissioner Gordon outside at a podium touting his remembrance and belief in what Harvey Dent meant for him and stood for the city of Gotham. Pictures of Harvey Dent adorn the stage beside and behind the podium. Gordon moves away from the podium and sits down. The scene fades to black.

The next scene springs to white as we see a Lear jet on a desert mountain tarmac, a Land Rover bouncing on a dirt road toward the plane. In the back seat of the vehicle are three hooded figures in restraints. Leonid Pavel is led from the vehicle to who seems to be a CIA field agent. Another agent informs the special agent in charge that the hooded prisoners are believed to be associated with the terrorist Bane. All are led onto the plane in preparation for take off.

As the plane flies low over the rolling hills and jagged rock outcroppings, the CIA agent tells the prisoners that the flight manifest only has room for his staff, the guards, Pavel and one of the prisoners. If one of them tells him about the terrorist known as Bane, he will let that snitch stay on the plane. The other two are destined to be thrown out of the open side door into the empty air. Neither of the first two hooded prisoners say a word as they are interrogated with the threat of a jump without a parachute. The third hooded prisoner speaks up in a gravelly synthesized voice. The CIA agent pulls off the hood to reveal the prisoner is Bane himself. Talking with a mechanized voice modulator, he confronts the agent. 

As Bane does rants, a multi-prop cargo plane flies in over the Lear jet. The jet stream from the cargo plane bucks the Lear around in its wake. The rear cargo ramp opens and four black-clad soldiers repel out of the opening, into the air and descending to the Lear. They land hard on both sides of the plane over the wings and start shooting the CIA guards through the windows. Catching the agents by surprise, they attach powerful magnets or spikes to the side of the Lear's fuselage. The more powerful cargo plane, now connected to the smaller plane, pulls the Lear out of its flight path and up-ends it in mid-flight. The Lear's wings, from the cargo plane's jet stream and the air speed, shear off the craft completely. The Lear is left looking more like an up-ended missile than an airplane. Meanwhile, the agents are thrown to the front wall between the cabin and the cockpit. Eventually they are all killed. Bane's soldiers on the outside of the plane add det cord to the hull and blow out the tail of the plane.

A body bag descends from the cargo plane and into the now open hull. The bag is open to reveal a seemingly dead soldier. Bane sticks a IV feed tube in Pavel's arm to start the extract of blood from his arm to a blood bag, and possibly to the soldier in the body bag. A quick camera shot makes it look like someone is trying to perform CPR on the dead gray man. As Bane's extract team ascends their ropes back to the cargo plane, the last soldier starts to tie up for his escape. Bane tells him he is to stay behind. As he unties himself from the gear, the soldier seems to revel in the sacrifice Bane has asked him to make for the cause. Bane ties Pavel to his ascent rig. The plane suddenly falls away to earth as Bane and Pavel are pulled back to the cargo plane. The scene fades to black.

The next minute or two shows a montage of scenes of Batman, Catwoman, the Batpod, a new aerial vehicle, and more... ending with Bane walking away with a cracked Batman helmet that he tosses away nonchalantly.

The six to seven minutes of prologue blazed by more less it was three to four minutes. The action was quick and inspired. In a compressed span of film experience, Bane's reach and audacity was fully established. Batman will have his fists full if he intends on going man to man against Bane. My only complaint is that Bane's mechanized voice was difficult to decipher at times. Otherwise, that six minutes proves that Nolan is going to take us on a hell of a ride next Summer.

Audiences were given an advanced look at the film's prologue prior to its July 20th, 2012 opening next Summer. Christopher Nolan states, in a Warner Bros. Pictures news release, that "Our experience on 'The Dark Knight' shooting and projecting IMAX 15 perf 65mm/70mm film was inspiring. The immersive quality of the image goes beyond any other filmmaking tool available, and in revisiting Gotham, we were determined to shoot even more of the movie in this unique format."

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