Top Ten Dark Knight Legend Characters

The story that Christopher Nolan has told with The Dark Knight Legend (or The Dark Knight Trilogy) is the pinnacle of storytelling. It is the greatest ever told and no great story is complete without rich and vibrant characters. The Dark Knight Legend easily offers some of the most incredible characters ever realized. The agenda of this list is simple, to pay respect to the awesome characters that make up the greatest story ever told. Here are my favorites.

10. Talia Al Ghul

Upon first meeting Miranda Tate you come to realize what a kind soul she is and how fitting it is for her to be Bruce Wayne’s love interest. By the end when hope prevails and Batman triumphs over the monstrous Bane. All hope is lost when the vindictive villain, Talia, reveals herself to the now heart-broken Bruce Wayne. She is daugher to Ra’s Al Ghul and wants nothing more than her fathers legacy fulfilled and Batman to perish.

9. Alfred Pennyworth

If you’re looking for the heart and soul of this entire dark and emotive legend, look no further than Bruce Wayne’s wise butler, Alfred J. Pennyworth. For whenever Bruce Wayne’s journey seems perilous, Alfred does what he can to keep our hero on the right path. It must be difficult for Alfred to watch someone he cares for like his own child go out and sacrifice himself every night. He deals with every situation as it comes with wisdom and grace.

8. Harvey “Two Face” Dent

The Dark Knight tells a flawless tale about good and evil. The prominent backbone of this powerful story is one of a man. Harvey Dent’s journey from charming and brave “White Knight” into the vicious killer “Two Face”. By the end of this story were made to believe that this hero goes on a murderous rampage and it completely works. Dent is broken down as a man and consumed by evil. He’s given every reason to turn wicked so it only makes sense that he does.

7. Ra’s Al Ghul

I could not comprehend better renditions of these characters and the same goes for Liam Neeson’s astounding portrayal of the leader of The League of Shadows, Ra’s Al Ghul. Even though he ends up being the prime antagonist in Bruce Wayne’s journey into becoming the greatest hero the world has ever known, he is the man responsible for training man who would become Batman. Where the two men differ is in the ways the choose to dispense justice.

6. Robin “John” Blake

From the moment he walks on screen to the final shot and defining shot of the legend, Blake epitomizes the idea of a man who can take up the cape and cowl of Batman. “You should use your full name. I like that name, Robin.” From that moment on it was fully realized that Nolan had done with the character, Robin, what he had done with every character he adapted from Batman lore. He captured the essence of the character while realistically applying him to his own legend as man who could take up Batman’s mantle.

5. Catwoman

Selina Kyle is the perfect love interest for Batman and though she’s never given the nomenclature in the film but, Selina Kyle is Catwoman. A thief by necessity, Catwoman loves this dark persona she’s created for herself and the life she leads, but the ground is shrinking beneath her. She needs a way to start her life of crime over, but Bruce Wayne sees the good in her and it’s love that proofs he’s right. She tries so hard to show this mysterious darkness in her, but at the end of the day she can’t deny the undeniable fact that she’s a hero.

4. Commissioner Jim Gordon

Since long before Bruce Wayne became the now legend that is Batman, James Gordon was fighting the good fight in a war on injustice. And ever since Batman Began, Gordon has been there with him on the battlefield. He is law and order personified and we watched him grow as we watched Batman grow, in Gordon’s case from Sergeant to Commissioner. Gordon was recruited by Bruce Wayne even before the man that would become Batman put on the cape and cowl and he’s been there since the end. Gordon and Batman represent a friendship based solely on two mens need to turn fear on those who prey on the fearful.

3. Batman

In becoming the legend known only as Batman, Bruce Wayne is the greatest hero ever crafted making him one of the greatest characters in film.”Anyone could be Batman, that was the point.” Not only as Batman, is Bruce on a quest against evil. He’s also a symbol for hope in a world filled with injustice and despair. Batman is good for the sake of being good and he does the right thing because it’s the right thing do and not only that, he will do everything in his power and battle until his last breath to do just that. This entire legend is a tale of heroism and though the journey was arduous the hero at the centre of this masterpiece is a knight and legend known as Batman.

2. Bane

Bane completely envelops the idea of despair and his name is incredibly fitting as he is the Bane of Batman. While The Joker is pure evil fighting against all that is good, Bane is battling to torture and extinguish the hero of our story who fights for all that is good. He was born in darkness and by the end of a battle between our hero he is consumed by animosity towards the hero of the story even to the point of denying the dying wish of the only person he’s ever loved. “We both know I have to kill you know. You’ll just have to imagine the fire,” he says before putting a shotgun to Batman’s head. Bane is an intimidating and emotionless brute force, one the greatest villains in film and one of the greatest characters in existence.

1. The Joker

The twisted, dark and chaotic anarchist, The Joker, is like Batman in the way that he is a symbol. There is an undeniable balance between Batman and The Joker in the way the way that while both fight for something, they are polar opposites. Whereas Batman fights to his last breath for all that is good, The Joker fights for and would die for all that is evil. Batman is a symbol for good and The Joker is a symbol for evil and the continuos battle between the two is poetic and beautiful.

The Joker is the epitome of evil and the greatest villain ever created. What Christopher Nolan has done is crafted a perfect and definitive story of an icon. With Heath Ledger at the helm, what is fully realized in The Joker is the greatest character of all time.  A story is nothing without a conflict overcome and more often than not conflict is personified in one character we call a villain. Behind the quirks, charisma, entertainment that The Joker offers as the clown he is, no villain could ever be as purely evil as The Joker.

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The Dark Knight Rises Review

I have never been more excited for a movie than I was for The Dark Knight Rises. I loved every single solitary second of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. The Dark Knight Rises was the sequel to my favorite movie and the definitive end to what I could easily call my favorite series. My wild expectations were exceeded with the masterpiece that is The Dark Knight Rises, because with this epic Christopher Nolan has crafted the perfect ending for the perfect story.

The endings of both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight offered resolution, but Gotham wasn’t saved the way Bruce Wayne had set out to save it as the symbol for good, Batman. They weren’t happy endings, but they did offer hope for brighter days. Hope is a large undertone of The Dark Knight Rises mainly because all of it is dashed with the emergence of a new threat against Gotham, Bane.

Bane is an intelligent brute force and he is the most intimidating presence I’ve ever seen depicted. He’s a revolutionary tyrant (although there’s more to his agenda), he’s his own General and he’s his own greatest soldier. Bane has never been more appropriately titled than he was in The Dark Knight Rises because what Christopher Nolan and Tom Hardy have created is the bane of Batman’s existence and the good he’s meant to inspire. There is a poetic and constant battle between a symbol for good and a symbol for evil in The Dark Knight, but unlike The Joker, Bane has a plan and it involves destroying Batman and everything he cares for. However, The Dark Knight Rises isn’t just simply about Batman’s struggle against Bane, a story like that had already been told.

Batman Begins told the perfect hero’s journey, it was a tale about one man, Bruce Wayne and his journey to becoming a true hero, Batman. The Dark Knight was about good and evil and the balance the two offer, Batman and The Joker. The Dark Knight Rises, however, is about the beating heart of a city. It is a sweeping epic that utilizes every character we’ve come to know and love and manages to introduce a few more incredibly fundamental pieces to the puzzle in order to tell a story of hope, triumph and the heroism that can only be described as legendary.

The Dark Knight Rises was filled with talent on and off the screen. Tom Hardy who gave a magnificent and very physical performance as Bane wasn’t the only new cast member. There was the always brilliant Marion Cottillard, the extraordinary Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anne Hathaway who offers the flawless performance of what should be considered the greatest and definitive Catwoman. Wally Pfister, again takes to the camera (apparently for the last time) and Hans Zimmer finishes what he started in the first two and with The Dark Knight Rises, Zimmer offers in The Dark Knight Legend the greatest score in film. Every recurring actor offers easily their best performance of the series, including Christian Bale as a Batman past his prime.

The Dark Knight Rises accomplishes the monumental task of beginning flawlessly and only getting better as the film progresses. As the stakes and tension rise so to does your involvement in the story and then the ending is fully realized. The Dark Knight Rises offers nothing short of the greatest ending in film. The word epic was never fully understood until I was able to finish watching The Dark Knight Rises. With this film, you’re being thrust into so many different events and characters it’s almost hard to take it all in, but when put in the hands of a story teller of this caliber, you can’t expect anything less than a miracle.

Christopher Nolan, with the help of his cast and crew, did exactly what he set out to do. He masterfully weaved together what he had done with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight and told the ending his story deserved and needed. And that is nothing short of miraculous. The heroic character that Nolan and Bale have slaved over has gone through quite the journey and every journey has to come to an end.

The Dark Knight Rises is that end. Ever since I was able to witness The Dark Knight four years ago, I called it my favorite movie, but upon seeing The Dark Knight Rises I realized that the two are right on par with each other. Batman Begins is just as flawless, but because it is a simple origin story that absolutely needed to be told the exact way it was told it wasn’t able to touch on the complexities, themes and emotions that The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises are able to delve into. My favorite word to describe a movie that I love is, and I don’t use it lightly, masterpiece. However, that doesn’t seem like enough for this trilogy. The Dark Knight Legend is not only the greatest movie ever created, it’s the greatest story ever told.

Grade: A+

Top Ten Reasons I Can’t Wait to See The Dark Knight Rises

To preface this list, I think it would be best to explain exactly why I felt the need to make this list in the first place. The reason is pretty simple, because The Dark Knight Rises deserves it. The film easily finds its way at the top of my Top Ten Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 and to put it as bluntly as possible, I have never wanted to see a movie more than I want to see The Dark Knight Rises. I seriously doubt I ever will.

I made this list because I love movies and I’ll be watching them the rest of my life, but I sincerely doubt that I will ever have a physical need to see a movie that is as potent as my need to see The Dark Knight Rises. There are less then a hundred days left before I see my most anticipated movie of all time. These are the reasons that make even another second of waiting feel like torture. Maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but seriously I can not WAIT for July 20th.

10. The Bat

I chose “The Bat” in particular because it’s the new vehicle and just one of the many things that will allow this film to stand as a different film than Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. With this number 10 slot, though I chose and said “The Bat”, I do also mean the tools that will help Batman accomplish his goals, such as that gadget with a blue light we see Batman holding in some images and what looks to be the Bat Cave in a select number of shots.

9. The Hans Zimmer Score

Aside from possibly Ennio Morricone, Hans Zimmer may just be my favorite Film Composer. His touch on Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Legend is magnificent. He created an illustrious score for Batman Begins, upped the ante with The Dark Knight and based on what’s been heard so far, The Dark Knight Rises may be his best work yet. Ambitiously, not only has he crafted more beautiful notes and added them to a now classic score, he’s also incorporated some haunting chanting.

8. Ra’s Al Ghul

Like The Dark Knight, I’m sure The Dark Knight Rises will stand a part from its predecessors as its own film. On top of that though, it seems The Dark Knight Rises will also be able to continue a story if only due to the fact that Ra’s Al Ghul and Talia Al Ghul are playing some part in the film. There is no way of knowing exactly how The League of Shadows will play a part in this film, but its an idea that makes me very excited.

7. Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

The entire Dark Knight Legend has offered some of the greatest casting that a series has ever had to offer. Marion Cotillard and Joseph-Gordon Levitt are two of the greatest artists regularly working today and it only makes sense that they find themselves on the cast list of one of the most anticipated movies of all time. There are a lot of rumors surrounding both of their characters. Miranda Tate may just be Talia Al Ghul and a wilder rumor is that John Blake becomes Robin. We won’t know for another three months.

6. Anne Hathaway as Catwoman

Though Anne Hathaway was an awesome choice as Catwoman, when I first heard that there would be a Catwoman in the film at all, I wasn’t sold on the idea. I wasn’t sad because I knew that Christopher Nolan wouldn’t disappoint, but I was just very curious exactly how he would pull off the female anti-hero. As July 20th comes closer, it’s obviously not clear where Catwoman will play in all of this, but the idea of figuring that out is giving me goosebumps.

5. The Mystery

I said “The Mystery”, but I more so meant the aura of mystery. Of course there are select things that many people know about The Dark Knight Rises and there are things, based on what we’ve seen, that some people may be able to assume. Aside from that though, what do we really know? The Dark Knight Rises will be a long movie, most likely longer than The Dark Knight’s two and a half hour running time. There are only a few select people that know, story-wise, exactly where Nolan goes with The Dark Knight Rises like many I’d like to know where that is.

4. The Fights

Pictured above is the last image shown in first teaser trailer for The Dark Knight Rises. They could’ve shown the title and I would’ve been excited, but instead they showed a fantastic Commissioner Gordon monologue and ended it with an image of a confident Bane approaching a terrified Batman. That final image left me drooling in anticipation for not just the movie as whole, but that fight between the antagonist and the protagonist. The trailers have featured other fights since and I’m ecstatic about those as well. I still can’t help but look forward to the scene in Nolan’s Dark Knight Legend where Bane may just break the Bat.

3. The Returning Artists

The original plan was to make one of the reasons “The Returning Actors” and then another reason “Christopher Nolan in the Director’s Chair”. I decided to combine these two into this one reason. Both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight offer two of the most incredible casts in film and most of both of those casts are found in The Dark Knight Rises. All of the cast and characters you’d expect to find are all there, Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, even Liam Neeson is making a small appearance (presumably in a flashback). They will again be directed by Christopher Nolan, a director who has never even come close to letting me down with the masterpieces he’s crafted. I can’t express just how much I doubt that Nolan will let me down with The Dark Knight Rises.

2. Tom Hardy as Bane

I absolutely love a good villain. If a film calls for an antagonist, your film won’t be compelling without a compelling villain. As far as the trailers and viral-campaign have established, the main antagonist and driving force of The Dark Knight Rises is Bane played by Tom Hardy. All I’ve got to work with are some images, a single quote in the full-length trailer and the first six minutes of the film and I am completely and with out a doubt in my mind, sold.

Tom Hardy as Bane looks to be an amazing villain. With a lot less insanity it seems Hardy will bring the intensity he’s capable of portraying (as seen in Bronson), but with a little bit of charisma you’d expect from a Christopher Nolan character. There’s almost a kind of magic to the mythology between Batman and The Joker (Heath Ledger created my favorite villain in all of film) in the way one is pure evil and one is pure good. It looks like what Bane will bring to the table however, is the perfect opposition for Batman at this point in the legend.

1. The Legend Ends

This is it, this is the end. The Dark Knight Rises is the film that will conclude the Dark Knight Legend that Christopher Nolan had began crafting almost a decade ago. It is my favorite series of film and The Dark Knight is far and away my favorite movie of all time. That makes The Dark Knight Rises, not only, the sequel to my favorite movie, but the end of my favorite series of films. From the looks of the bleak and haunting posters, The Dark Knight Rises looks like it will turn out to be one epic ending.

I’ve always had a thing for endings. While I can admit the first films of the Pirates and Matrix series’ are the better films I personally garner more enjoyment out of The Matrix Revolutions and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Even Revenge of the Sith is my favorite Star Wars. And though I consider The Lord of the Rings one story, my favorite of the three chapters is The Return of the King. That’s not to say that I believe I’ll find The Dark Knight Rises to be my favorite, I’m merely showing proof that, for me, there are a lot of assurances that The Dark Knight Rises is going to be amazing.

The Dark Knight Rises is the end. Combined with the endless list of other reasons, that reason alone makes the idea of walking out of the theater after seeing The Dark Knight Rises, a bittersweet moment. All of that waiting, anticipation, and expectations will have culminated into one film viewing experience. I simply can not wait to see The Dark Knight Rises for many reasons, but most of all because it is the ending to my favorite cinematic story ever told on film and if the ending is anywhere near as good as its predecessors, the legend as a whole may just be a step above perfection.

Midnight in Paris Review

Comedies for me are very hit or miss. I, like almost everyone, do love the occasional comedy from time to time. There are a lot of comedies out there that, regardless of how much you laugh, are only focused on just that; making you laugh. These comedies don’t really care about the characters and the story their shaping. It’s always refreshing to see a movie that can be considered a comedy and be so so much more. Midnight in Paris is just that kind of movie.

Yes,Woody Allen’s latest film is funny, but Midnight in Paris can best be described as charming and sweet. In a story about a writer who finds out on his vacation to Paris that at Midnight he can travel to and experience the zest and company of the roaring 20s you get a portrait of love and the ability to start over. It’s an interesting tale and one that could’ve fell flat, but instead the concepts were taken seriously and they are fresh, appealing, and it all completely works.

The film is stacked with great performers such as Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen and even the marvelous Marion Cotillard. It was an absolute pleasure to watch Owen Wilson in a more serious role as the lovable, yet wimpish protagonist. Like the actors, practically everything from the camera work to the score just fits. It was a very meaningful, but fun watch.

It’s always nice to watch a shorter film that’s actually very good because most truly good films have to be over 2 hours to tell their stories. Midnight in Paris doesn’t tell too little or too much, it tells just the right amount. There’s only so much you can do with a story about a man who continues to travel back in time to have a good time in the 1920s and Midnight in Paris never feels boring so it obviously did its job and did it admirably. Midnight in Paris isn’t a very challenging movie and it’s not a film that will change you, it is however a well made film that will make you smile.

Grade: A-

The Dark Knight Rises Prologue Review

In the true brush stroke of brilliance, The Dark Knight Rises Prologue does exactly what a movie opening should do. If done right the beginning of a truly incredible film should introduce a bit of story  while getting you excited of the rest of the film. The Dark Knight Rises dances circles around this idea by simply teasing you a little bit and finally introducing the world to the character and voice of the mysterious Bane.

I won’t give a way every detail because this is certainly something you want to experience, but I will say that most of the scene takes place on an airplane. There has been a lot floating around regarding Bane’s voice and I won’t lie and say that I understood every word, but I absolutely loved his voice. It’s almost somewhat eloquent and it reminds me of Darth Vader, but more menacing and british. It’s so completely different from what you’d expect from such a brute, but now that I’ve heard his voice I wouldn’t have it any other way.

If the score is as good or better in the rest of the movie as it was in the first six minutes than this final film might very well have the best music in a series filled with amazing music. The music cues are awesome and correlate right along with the beautiful action and dialogue on the screen. Christopher Nolan has a habit of upping the ante when it comes to action scenes (i.e. hallway scene in Inception, truck flipping scene in The Dark Knight, etc.) and this opening scene of The Dark Knight Rises is an action sequence that you just come to expect from this masterful director.

Then after the beautiful opening six minutes a short montage of shots follow that get you pumped for the film you’ll be sitting and watching next July. We finally get a shot of Catwoman in full costume, we get to see the bat wing, more shots of Bane and then the resonating last shot of Bane discarding a broken piece of Batman’s mask. I don’t think I’ll ever be as excited for another movie as I am for The Dark Knight Rises and watching this prologue, a long with the recently released second trailer, is exactly what I needed to hold me over before next July when my favorite series of film is concluded.

Grade: A+

Inception Review

After watching Inception, I had a thought. This thought comes to me occasionally when watching a movie, but it’s actually quite rare. Its a thought you have to work towards, one you have to earn as a filmmaker. Because its a thought that I’m sure many have had after watching a movie, but it may not occur as often as you’d like so you really have to savor it. My thought was this: “Wow, now that’s a movie.”

Inception is the story of a man named Dom Cobb who is able to tap into people’s dreams so he can extract secrets, but the movie turns to masterpiece when asked to perform the seemingly impossible task of Inception. Instead of extracting an idea, Cobb and his team must instead plant one in. It’s a tale that is fascinating, memorable and some what beautiful.

On top of that, it’s cast so exceptionally well. DiCaprio, never ceases to amaze me anymore, Marion Cotillard was fantastic, and Joseph Gordan-Levitt was such a thrill to watch. He’s certainly got a career ahead of him. Honeslty though, every actor is fantastic in his or her role. Everyone just fits so perfectly, it doesn’t even seem like you’re watching a performance, you’re just watching that character and the story around them unfold.

Christopher Nolan has never let me down, I love, with a passion every single movie he’s made so far. Especially The Dark Knight and Inception. A year ago, when Inception teasers were being released, people had absolutely no clue what was going on. Neither did I. I didn’t care, I knew that in a year I’d be watching another Nolan masterpiece. Guess what happened… I was right!

I love all of his movies, but not since Memento has he ever been this original. It was inspiring really to watch such a perfect movie that wasn’t a sequel or remake or based on a book, cause so often movies are. No, Inception came from an idea of the director and was put on screen exactly the way the director saw fit, but this isn’t just any old director. This is one of the greatest directors of all time. Making Inception undoubtedly one of the greatest movies I’ve ever seen. Every single ounce of me is in love with this movie, no other word can describe it best other than, masterpiece.

Grade: A+