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Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post

I love TDK, but that subtext is absolutely there and Chris Nolan is a very conservative guy.

The problem I have with it is that I'm not sure it's as clear-cut a defense as some think. Yes, a lot of the imagery with the Joker is terrorist-slanted (especially his Bin Laden-eque videos), but while the whole wire-tapping thing manages to be successful, Batman realizes its potential for great harm, even in the name of good. That's why he lets Lucius, who objected to it earlier, destroy it at the end.

Basically, I think it's more saying, "Extreme measures like this should be done very carefully and for a valid reason."

Just because a movie has a conservative subtext doesn't mean the filmmaker is conservative.

And I can't believe anyone would deny the Bush-era subtext in The Dark Knight. It's rampant. Open your eyes.


However, while it's there, I don't believe that Nolan is defending it necessarily. His Batman is open for criticism as much as Bush is, and I don't think anyone questions him more than Nolan.

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Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post

I'm still not getting why Batman would up and quit for EIGHT YEARS.  There's so much mileage in him continuing the fight even as the city has been turned against him.  It's a sort of defeatist attitude that's totally not in character.

Except that at the end of TDK he was somewhat defeated, particularly by Dent's turn and the fact that much of the movie was about the repercussions of his initial choices. He probably comes to the conclusion that the city really would have been better off if he'd never taken up the mantle.

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Originally Posted by Parker View Post


However, while it's there, I don't believe that Nolan is defending it necessarily. His Batman is open for criticism as much as Bush is, and I don't think anyone questions him more than Nolan.

This.

Never said it did. But Nolan most definitely is.

Chris, there's more to the subtext than just the wire-tapping analogy. Bats' whole MO is doing things that are above the law to fight evil, and in the climax he allows himself to become villified by the ordinary public because he got shit done after the law-abiding likes of Harvey Dent were crushed into insanity by anarchy. The entire film is a treatise on how extreme measures are necessary when dealing with terrorism, and how brave and noble those who are willing to take responsibility for those extreme measures are. Nolan's Batman may be open for criticism, but when you have the film's voice of moral authority declaring him as an unsung hero during the film's closing lines...well, that's a fairly ringing endorsement.

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Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post

Never said it did. But Nolan most definitely is.

I'm not questioning the idea, it's certainly possible, but I'm wondering what you're basing this on. I did a few quick google searches and didn't find anything.

He's done several interviews over here praising the current conservative government. He seems to keep his idealogy fairly low-key - much like Oldman, in fact - but reading between the lines, and looking at how he conducts himself and what he places value on, I'd say it's fairly obvious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post

Never said it did. But Nolan most definitely is.

Chris, there's more to the subtext than just the wire-tapping analogy. Bats' whole MO is doing things that are above the law to fight evil, and in the climax he allows himself to become villified by the ordinary public because he got shit done after the law-abiding likes of Harvey Dent were crushed into insanity by anarchy. The entire film is a treatise on how extreme measures are necessary when dealing with terrorism, and how brave and noble those who are willing to take responsibility for those extreme measures are. Nolan's Batman may be open for criticism, but when you have the film's voice of moral authority declaring him as an unsung hero during the film's closing lines...well, that's a fairly ringing endorsement.

All true, but the whole point of Batman is that he works outside the law, and takes the extreme measures no one else can. That's always been the case. You can apply current politics to it, but I don't think there's as direct an analogue to the Bush administration as some believe. It's there, sure, but can we really draw a straight line between Bush himself and Batman in this film? Batman has more self-awareness, and his motives are comparatively selfless.

I'd imagine Bush - or at least his followers - believed his motives were selfless, too.

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Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post

I'd imagine Bush - or at least his followers - believed his motives were selfless, too.

I thought they believed selflessness was evil.

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Originally Posted by Evi View Post

Except that at the end of TDK he was somewhat defeated, particularly by Dent's turn and the fact that much of the movie was about the repercussions of his initial choices. He probably comes to the conclusion that the city really would have been better off if he'd never taken up the mantle.

The Dark Knight ends with Gordon saying "We'll hunt him, because he can take it.  Because he's not the hero.  He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector.  A dark knight."  Who promptly quits and hides for eight years?  That last line sets up the idea that Batman will still be Batman, just mistrusted by those he's protecting, having to run from the law while he pursues his mission.  Not off moping in the Batcave.

Of course, it could be established that the Dent Act or whatever works better than anyone would have thought and he thinks his work is done. Maybe we should see what the movie has to say about it.

It's not so much the how for me, but the why.  I'm not excited about the prospect of a Batman who gives up.

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Originally Posted by Chris Spider View Post

Basically, I think it's more saying, "Extreme measures like this should be done very carefully and for a valid reason."

That really doesn't hold any water, you're more or less making the case for the argument you said you disagree with.  Do you think conservatives feel that these tactics are not done for a valid reason? Don't you think they're convinced of the righteousness of their cause and beliefs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post

He's done several interviews over here praising the current conservative government. He seems to keep his ideology fairly low-key - much like Oldman, in fact - but reading between the lines, and looking at how he conducts himself and what he places value on, I'd say it's fairly obvious.

Again, not questioning the possibility, I've just tried to search for some of these sources (granted, not very hard) and have come up empty, so if you could provide any links or point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it. I'm generally curious about the whole thing because either way, I find it interesting given the content of his films.

Speaking of, you say it's "fairly obvious," but I wonder what you're basing that on; his films, or things he says in interviews, or both? Because a persons individual politics are generally more complex than what gets expressed in their art (look at John Ford, for example). And again, if you're talking about what he values and that's based on interviews, values aren't inherently political. For example,I could think it's important to keep a tight budget and spending in check (for my family or my country) but still not identify as a conservative. In short, stating that this is all fairly obvious paints anyone who questions it as a big idiot while you don't provide any evidence to your point. I don't think it's fairly obvious, and unless he's come right out and stated something that can't be argued, I think the point is arguable.

I just read devin's review.  We pretty much had the same opinion about TDK...and my opinion of that film has subsequently dropped a bit in the ensuing years.  IMO it doesn't hold up very well on repeat viewings...it's one of those films that plays very very well at a midnight screening...I'll let that speak for itself.

Anyway, I wasn't excited for Rises at all until the last couple of weeks with the newest trailer and TV spots.  I'm looking forward to it now, but with my expectations firmly in check, especially after reading devin's review, since I have a feeling I'll agree with him again.

I'm currently searching for the interviews I've read, so hopefully I can turn them up. I'm not looking to call anyone a big idiot or anything, and I probably should've phrased what I originally wrote. Having read multiple interviews with the man, heard about how he conducts his sets, and looked at his films, his personal political beliefs seem fairly obvious to me.

Then again, he could be a tree-hugging liberal who gets a kick out of being obtuse with his views.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post

I'm currently searching for the interviews I've read, so hopefully I can turn them up. I'm not looking to call anyone a big idiot or anything, and I probably should've phrased what I originally wrote. Having read multiple interviews with the man, heard about how he conducts his sets, and looked at his films, his personal political beliefs seem fairly obvious to me.

Then again, he could be a tree-hugging liberal who gets a kick out of being obtuse with his views.

Hate to send you digging, but I'd appreciate if you found anything. As a fan of Nolan, I'm really curious.

Outside of the Batman movies, what have you seen in his films that makes you think conservative? Don't take this as me trying to call you out, I'm just generally curious about this discussion in general. I think the overt political subtext in The Dark Knight (and even Begins, to a lesser extent) is really interesting. I know it turns a lot of people off (partially for how obvious it is) but I'm curious about where you (or others) see it showing up in his other movies.

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Originally Posted by Kevin Macken View Post

That really doesn't hold any water, you're more or less making the case for the argument you said you disagree with.  Do you think conservatives feel that these tactics are not done for a valid reason? Don't you think they're convinced of the righteousness of their cause and beliefs?

Some probably are. Some are probably more selfish and hiding behind a smokescreen of "righteousness". That's not what Batman is doing here.

And even considering the overt political subtext in TDK, it's never quite as clear what side Nolan falls on. On one hand many of Batman's vigilante actions seem to be regarded as necessary and the lip service paid to how wrong they are seems as hollow as someone condemning torture on an episode of 24, but on the other, the Joker's rise and much of the ensuing chaos are designated as direct repercussions.

Exactly. Alfred even brings this up explicitly within the film, both with his admonishment that Bruce should have seen consequences coming, and his bandit story of course foreshadows the potentially extreme measures Batman may have to take to stop a man like the Joker.

It's not simply "BATMAN SUPPORTS THE PATRIOT ACT!"

I'll keep on looking. It was specifically about the new Tory government's approach to the Arts, if I recall correctly.

THE DARK KNIGHT is obviously the strongest indicator of his potential conservativism, but you can definitely read it in BATMAN BEGINS as well, although that film does try to have his cake and eat it in a very Old Testament Vs. New Testament kind of way. In the abstract INCEPTION could be read as a man battling his own subconscious, his own sexual desires, trying to conquer his emotions in order to reclaim his status as a father and family man. And THE PRESTIGE fascinates me, because you can look at its climax as either as affirmation of traditional British working-class values (Borden, by the film's close, being very much the more sympathetic of the two men for his lifetime of hard graft in the face of the monied Angiers' flashy, expensive, soulless shortcuts) or a repudiation of the creeping advances of science to the detriment of hard work and traditional values, a decidedly Republican point of view. There's more, and I'll have to chew the mental fat a little and revisit these half-baked ideas.

I think Nolan leans right, and it echoes in his work, not least in the buttoned-down sexuality of almost all of his films. But I don't think he's a rah-rah rightwing cheerleader, and like you I find trying to unravel the man from his public works really quite fascinating.

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Originally Posted by Parker View Post

Outside of the Batman movies, what have you seen in his films that makes you think conservative?

Well, he did blow up part of Paris in INCEPTION.

Richard Corliss's review, for Time Magazine:

http://entertainment.time.com/2012/07/16...y-mostpop2

He mentions one very interesting line, in a non-spoilery context:

     Quote:

Another character, the offspring of one of Batman's earlier nemeses, tells him, "I could not forgive my father until you murdered him."

Miranda, unveiled as Talia, I'm guessing?

A[quote name="Leto II" url="/community/t/144220/the-dark-knight-rises-post-release-thread/50#post_3358549"]Richard Corliss's review, for Time Magazine:

http://entertainment.time.com/2012/07/16...y-mostpop2

He mentions one very interesting line, in a non-spoilery context:


[SPOILER=Warning: Spoiler!]
     Quote:
[/SPOILER]

[SPOILER=Warning: Spoiler!]
Miranda, unveiled as Talia, I'm guessing?
[/SPOILER]
[/quote]

Yeah I think it has to be. The interesting thing is that quote almost makes it seem she actually helping Wayne instead of backstabbing him. Maybe not but definitely intriguing, regardless.

[SPOILER=Warning: Spoiler!]After reading the review this definitely seems to be case a she looks like she is basically being the inverse of Ra's Al Ghul and wants Bruce Wayne to save Gotham instead of destroying it by inspiring Bruce to do stuff to inspire the people like his dad did and only reveals to be Talia as way to express he wants him to succeed in the face of everything looking bleak and maybe that photo was her and her forces joining in to try to stop Bane. Maybe not the case but very interesting.[/SPOILER]
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Originally Posted by Jacob Singer View Post

Here's a thought: how about we just ignore the frothing fanboys and stick to reasonable discussions? Who cares what the troglodytes think? That's like taking Free Republic commenters seriously.

Exactly, we can be better than that here.

It's just sometimes, some of us choose not to be.

Lets not let this be one of those times. Lets opt out of the nonsense we all know is coming.

So what's the fucking ending? I don't mean to interrupt all this political discussion but I am interested in spoiler because this is a post release thread. Gib meh teh spoilarz.

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Originally Posted by James Woods' Career View Post

So what's the fucking ending? I don't mean to interrupt all this political discussion but I am interested in spoiler because this is a post release thread. Gib meh teh spoilarz.

catwoman.jpg

The Bat taps dat Cat.

So this little nugget really grabbed me, review-wise. Maybe I'm getting old and a bit Dickson in my old age, but I can't help but agree...

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Watching this mushroom cloud of grimness where Adam West, “KA-POW” and those goofy 60′s outfits feel cultures, worlds, universes removed, I felt like somebody had stolen the comic books I most loved as a teenager, compressed them into a rock-hard brick and proceeded to bludgeon me across the face, using my tears to wash their hands afterwards.

I ... I'm not sure how to take that...

Some of the most interesting stuff I have read in these reviews is how inconsistent a character Bane is.  Interestingly, I personally felt the Joker was just as inconsistent (as well as Ghul to a degree), yet he got a pass.  It seems to me like Nolan does not understand character all that well.  He shoots a nice looking and paced flick.  He is a great technical director, but I feel like that's the extent of his skills.

Which is ultimately my big issue with Nolan.  He is a cold and calculating dude, and it shows in his final product.  I enjoy most of his stuff to a degree, but I never love it.  His movies feel cold and disconnected.  They are never inviting or warm, and I feel like I am always at arm's length.

Memento still remains my favorite Nolan flick.  The pacing is insane, the structure is interesting and the movie has rewatchability.  It is also the only movie of his that benefits from being so uninviting. (well maybe Following benefits as well)

As I mentioned, I will see DKR.  I will probably even like it enough.  In fact, I will likely even own it.  But these movies are not event films for me. 

Joker is inconsistent because he's insane.

The Joker as he’s known is.  I feel that only happens on occasion in the movie.  I just wanted a crazier Joker.  I felt this was the first chance we got to really see the Joker as he should have been.  Batman should be putting out “fires” left and right because of the Joker.  For a crazy anarchist, he was too calculating for me.  The performance was top notch and there were good moments, but dammit I should be biting my nails to nubs in a dreary Batman movie when the Joker is the villain.

He comes up with good schemes, but Joker as written in TDK is wildly indecisive and crazy about what it is he's actually looking to accomplish. He's just as nutty as any other incarnation of the character.

Yeah, I know I am in the minority here.  I know many people that adore the Joker from TDK, and I am personally disappointed with the way he was written.  I just think he could have been more.

edited to not be so prickish.