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'The Dark Knight Rises': Right-Wing Political Message vs. Occupy Wall Street? + Rabid Fans Attack Critics

The Dark Knight Rises Tom Hardy Bane'The Dark Knight Rises.'

The Dark Knight Rises right-wing politics?

July 27, '12, update: In Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, Who represents You People? (Did you read the remarks by U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's wife last week?) So, who does? Bane or Bruce Wayne?

Their names sound similar (could that be a liberal conspiracy?), but while one is a mad terrorist, the other is a billionaire-vigilante do-gooder. The Guardian's Catherine Shoard has reached her own conclusions about the matter. The title of her article says it all: “Dark Knight Rises: fancy a capitalist caped crusader as your superhero?” It's well worth checking out. Below is a snippet.

“So it should be no surprise that The Dark Knight Rises so firmly upholds the financial status quo. Christopher Nolan's film indulges in much guttural talk of the gap between the 99 percent and the 1 percent, but it is the former who are demonised, whose revolting actions require curbing and mutinous squeals muting. Your average Joe, it turns out, requires a benevolent, bad-ass billionaire to set him straight, to knock him sideways, if necessary.

The Occupy Gotham movement, as organised by gargly terrorist Bane, is populated by anarchists without a cause, whose actions are fuelled by a lust for destruction, not as a corrective to an unjust world. …

… But The Dark Knight Rises is a quite audaciously capitalist vision, radically conservative, radically vigilante, that advances a serious, stirring proposal that the wish-fulfilment of the wealthy is to be championed if they say they want to do good. Mitt Romney will be thrilled. What's strange is that quite so many of the rest of us seem to want to buy into it.

“So many of the rest of us” indeed. The Dark Knight Rises has passed the $200 million milestone at the North American box office after six days. And it should be reaching $500 million worldwide by Sunday evening.

The Dark Knight Rises cast

Directed and co-written by Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises stars Christian Bale as the billionaire-with-a-mission Bruce Wayne / Batman, Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle / Catwoman, Tom Hardy as Bane, and Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate, in addition to Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman, Matthew Modine, and Tom Conti.

Also, Josh Pence, Juno Temple, Daniel Sunjata, Nestor Carbonell, Joey King, Brett Cullen, Chris Ellis, Adam Rodriguez, Josh Stewart, Christopher Judge, and Aidan Gillen.

Jonathan Nolan co-wrote the Dark Knight Rises screenplay, which he said was inspired not by the Occupy Wall Street movement, but by Charles Dickens' classic novel of the French Revolution, A Tale of Two Cities – that was when the Occupy Bastille movement turned bloody ugly.

The Dark Knight Rises Christopher Nolan'The Dark Knight Rises.'

July 19, '12, update: The Dark Knight Rises Rotten Tomatoes fans 'defended' by Christopher Nolan. At the London premiere for The Dark Knight Rises on Wednesday, “Batman 3” director Christopher Nolan appeared to defend – or at least “understand” – the reasoning (or lack thereof) of psychotic fans who dumped on Rotten Tomatoes a barrage of comments deemed so vicious (see further below) that the site (temporarily) suspended comments on their The Dark Knight Rises review page.

“I think the fans are very passionate about these characters the way a lot of people are very passionate,” Christopher Nolan remarked. “Batman's been around for over 70 years and there's a reason for that. He has a huge appeal, so I think you know people certainly respond to the character.”

Of course, fanaticism – among other dangerous human traits – has been around for much longer than Batman. But in no way does that make it either justifiable or tolerable.

Now, whatever Nolan actually thinks of those The Dark Knight Rises / Batman fanatics, he opted to keep it to himself and act like quite the diplomat. Also, it's worth remembering that psychotic fans love you one day and hate you the next. Nolan himself must toe a fine line.

The Dark Knight Rises cast

The Dark Knight Rises cast includes Tom Hardy as Bane, Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman, Tom Conti, and Matthew Modine. The Dark Knight Rises opens at midnight Thursday, July 19/20.

Christopher Nolan quotes via eonline.com.

Director Christopher Nolan The Dark Knight Rises picture: Ron Phillips / Warner Bros.

The Dark Knight Rises Bruce Wayne billionaire Bale CaineChuck Dixon, Rush Limbaugh, and Mitt Romney as Bruce Wayne. (Image: The Dark Knight Rises Christian Bale as billionaire-hero Bruce Wayne, Michael Caine as his devoted serf Alfred.) The Dark Knight Rises a right-winger's dream. Could that be true? Forget Morgan Freeman's nonsense that for the latest Batman movie Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan “wrote a fictional story that didn't have any political thoughts in mind.” Only a total fool would buy into that sort of blatant b.s. (Jonathan Nolan himself said he and his brother were inspired by Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities.)

Freeman's remark was in reply to right-wing talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, who recently came up with the insane insinuation that The Dark Knight Rises' anarchist / terrorist Bane was meant to be a Hollywood jab at Bain Capital, the company U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney founded in the mid-'80s and that is currently mired in an ugly controversy.

Chuck Dixon: Bruce Wayne = Mitt Romney

However, Chuck Dixon, one of Bane's creators in the early '90s, says Limbaugh is wrong. And the talk-radio host is wrong for a fascinating reason: while rebuffing Limbaugh's insinuation, Dixon made sure people knew (or became aware of) his right-wing credentials.

“The idea that there's some kind of liberal agenda behind the use of Bane in the new movie is silly,” Dixon told ComicBook.com. “I refuted this within hours of the article in the Washington Examiner suggesting that Bane would be tied to Bain Capital and Mitt Romney appearing. Bane was created by me and Graham Nolan and we are lifelong conservatives and as far from left-wing mouthpieces as you are likely to find in comics.”

As per ComicBook.com, Chuck Dixon doesn't believe TDKR takes a political stance. Yet, he ventured: “As for his appearance in The Dark Knight Rises, Bane is a force for evil and the destruction of the status quo. He's far more akin to an Occupy Wall Street type if you're looking to cast him politically. And if there ever was a Bruce Wayne running for the White House it would have to be Romney.”

So, Batman's Mission in The Dark Knight Rises is to rid Gotham City of porn? So that must be the film's widely speculated secret plot development.

Chuck Dixon and DADT

Also worth mentioning is that Chuck Dixon has been called a bigot (and worse) for what seemed to be his support of DADT (“Don't Ask Don't Tell”) in the American military. For those who don't know, U.S. military gays who got “caught” would be summarily kicked out. They could only serve if they remained deep in the closet. After much pussyfooting, current U.S. president Barack Obama got rid of that regulation in late 2011, so that gays – at least in theory – can now serve openly.

About a year before the DADT repeal, the following Chuck Dixon rant was (re)posted on various online forums (below is only a snippet):

“Unintended consequences for generations to come.

This is what happens when folks who value the few over the many are in charge. And by many I mean the American citizenry who rely on our military for protection from our enemies.

… Anyone pointing out the consequence sof [sic] this vote will be shouted down as a homophobe and have their reputation attacked.

Anyone who thinks that this hasn't been, from the start, the Far Left's way of “getting back” at the military is living in Oz.

And this issue really has nothing to do with homosexuals. The whole issue of gays in the military is a Trojan Horse to allow more liberal social engineering into our armed services. They've finally broken the Marines who will have to follow this new non-policy without question or modification. That's a huge victory for the Left. But they could have done it with vegan vegetarians just as well.”

So, make sure to keep in mind the threat of both vegan vegetarians and Liberal Social Engineering while watching Bane go after Gotham City's status quo in The Dark Knight Rises.

Oh, but wait. The Dark Knight Rises is just a movie, right? No politics involved. That's stuff for comic books.

The Dark Knight Rises photo: Ron Phillips / Warner Bros.

The Dark Knight Rises Ultimate Trilogy Trailer BatmanThe Dark Knight Rises Ultimate Trilogy Trailer. (Image: Christian Bale as Batman in The Dark Knight.) Whether you'll find “The Dark Knight Rises Ultimate Trilogy Trailer” (a.k.a. “Christopher Nolan's Batman Movie Legacy”) simply phenomenal and monumental or merely overlong and silly depends on how much of a Batman fan you are. Of if you're a Batman fan at all. (Please scroll down for the “Ultimate Trilogy Trailer.”)

In fact, to refer to the video clip below – which features scenes from The Dark Knight Rises, The Dark Knight, and Batman Begins – as “The Dark Knight Rises Ultimate Trilogy Trailer” is a misnomer. It should have been called “The Dark Knight Rises Ultimate Trilogy Homage,” for that's what it is. Trailers (are supposed to) sell movies; the clip below pays tribute to Christopher Nolan's Batman movies.

The Dark Knight Rises cast

Directed and co-written by Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises cast features Christian Bale as Batman, Tom Hardy as Bane, Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman, Tom Conti, and Matthew Modine.

The Dark Knight Rises opens/has opened on Thursday/Friday, July 19/20, in various parts of the world, including Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Spain, The Netherlands, Indonesia, and Israel. A second wave of international debuts (France, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Russia/CIS, South Africa, etc.) will take place next week.

The Dark Knight (2008) featured Christian Bale, eventual Best Supporting Actor winner Heath Ledger as The Joker, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Aaron Eckhart, and the usual Batman crowd. Batman Begins (2005) featured Bale, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer, and Ken Watanabe, plus the usual Bat-cast.

“THE DARK KNIGHT RISES Ultimate Trilogy Trailer” picture (Christian Bale as Batman in The Dark Knight): Stephen Vaughan / Warner Bros.

July 18

The Dark Knight Rises Bane Tom HardyThe Dark Knight Rises trailer / TV spot 'Critics.' (Image: Tom Hardy Bane.) The latest – and apparently last – installment in the Christopher Nolan-directed Batman movie franchise opens at midnight Thursday / Friday, July 19/20. Are you tired of The Dark Knight Rises trailers, TV spots, previews, and featurettes? No? Well, scroll down for another one. Yes? Well, in that case, don't scroll down. Instead, check out the pre-1950 Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominees that are still with us and the three Oscar winners in the acting categories who are nonagenarians/centenarian (two of the former, one of the latter).

The Dark Knight Rises trailer reviews

The TDKR TV spot “Critics” doesn't have that name for nothing. The movie critics quoted throughout the spot call The Dark Knight Rises “epic,” “incredible,” and “brilliant.” Ah, also: “monumental,” “heart stopping,” and “a masterpiece.” Now, the film has also received its share of negative or unenthusiastic reviews – possibly more so than The Dark Knight and Batman Begins – but those, strangely, aren't quoted in the TV spot.

I should add that the response to those negative The Dark Knight Rises reviews has been rabid. So foaming-at-the-mouth rabid, that Rotten Tomatoes – at least temporarily – shut down comments on their TDKR page. Well, let the games begin, as Tom Hardy's Bane keeps saying in just about every The Dark Knight Rises trailer and TV spot out there.

The Dark Knight Rises cast

Following The Dark Knight (2008) and Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight Rises is the final installment in Christopher Nolan's Batman movie trilogy. The TDKR cast includes Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle / Catwoman, Tom Hardy as Bane, Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate, Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Morgan Freeman. Plus: Tom Conti, Matthew Modine, Josh Pence, Juno Temple, Daniel Sunjata, Nestor Carbonell, Joey King, Brett Cullen, Chris Ellis, Adam Rodriguez, Josh Stewart, Christopher Judge, and Aidan Gillen.

“'Critics' TV Spot: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES Trailer” Tom Hardy Bane picture: Ron Phillips / Warner Bros.

The Dark Knight Rises Christian Bale Marion CotillardThe Dark Knight Rises news: Rotten Tomatoes suspends comments. (Image: Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne and Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate, The Dark Knight Rises.) In case you were unaware that you live in a world full of psychos, one good way to have an idea of the sheer number of mentally ill, emotionally disturbed, psychotic / sociopathic people out there is to look at online comments. Of course, many online commenters, whether or not they agree with what has been published or discussed, are as “normal” as human beings are allowed to be. But way too many – almost invariably using anonymous handles – are off-kilter even when taking into account that they're mere humans and what-can-you-expect?.

Whether arguing about political, social, economic, religious, or cultural issues, or perhaps soccer teams or videogames or favorite line of underwear, the viciously deranged vitriol is found everywhere. Well, at least on every site where webmasters don't have a “sane comments policy” – or if they do, they opt not to enforce it.

The Dark Knight Rises Rotten Tomatoes user comments suspended

A couple of months ago, a Rotten Tomatoes reviewer was attacked – whether by psycho trolls or psycho Marvel fans (or both) – because she dared not to find The Avengers a masterwork. Now comes the Attack of the Rabid The Dark Knight Rises Fans (and assorted online trolls).

The comments have been so vicious, including reported threats against those who have dared to criticize the latest Batman movie – which hasn't even opened – that Rotten Tomatoes has temporarily suspended user comments on their TDKR page. That's supposed to be a first for the review aggregator site.

“The job of policing the comments became more than my staff could handle for that film, so we stopped the comments altogether,” said editor-in-chief Matt Atchity. “It just got to be too much hate based on reactions to reviews of movies that people hadn't even seen.”

“There are a lot of options on the table,” Atchity added. “We may do away with comments completely or get to a place where comments are only activated after a movie opens.” Site owners are also considering moving away from anonymous comments.

Now, there are countless psychotic The Knight Dark Rises / Batman fans out there, just like there are countless psychotic fans of every movie franchise, action hero, TV soap opera, pop singer, gods and angels, ping pong team, etc. But bear in mind that many of the deranged user comments found at Rotten Tomatoes could just as easily have been posted by online trolls, people with no life whose sole pleasure is to create disharmony. Those trolls couldn't care less whether critics love or hate The Dark Knight Rises. They just want to be as vicious as possible to incite other vicious comments and get the psycho ball rolling.

The Dark Knight Rises: solid but not stellar score

The Dark Knight Rises currently has a 79 percent approval rating and 8/10 average among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics. Among those who have a “rotten” score next to their reviews are the San Francisco Chronicle's Mick LaSalle, the Chicago Reader's J.R. Jones, the Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips, the Village Voice's Nick Pinkerton, and the Sydney Morning Herald's Paul Byrnes.

Directed by Christopher Nolan, and co-written by the filmmaker and his brother, Jonathan Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises features Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman, Tom Conti, and Matthew Modine.

Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard The Dark Knight Rises picture: Ron Phillips / Warner Bros.

Bane Batman villain Tom Hardy The Dark Knight RisesRush Limbaugh Bane / Mitt Romney's Bain Capital. (Image: Tom Hardy as Bane [B-A-N-E], The Dark Knight Rises.) Following Rotten Tomatoes' temporary ban on user comments because of vicious attacks against film critics, do you think a number of The Dark Knight Rises fans are psychotic? Try this: Far-right Republican talk-radio “commentator” Rush Limbaugh has claimed that The Dark Knight Rises' villain, Bane, is a subtly disguised attack on current Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, he of Bain Capital.

“I'm not sure how to address something that bizarre, to be honest,” Nolan remarked at the Dark Knight Rises London premiere on Wednesday. “I really don't have an answer for it, it's a very peculiar comment to make.”

Less diplomatic was Morgan Freeman, who called Limbaugh's assertion “ridiculous.” Freeman added: “Chris [and brother Jonathan Nolan] wrote a fictional story that didn't have any political thoughts in mind, so it's like art or something you know, it's all in the mind of the beholder.”

Actually, what Freeman said isn't true. Though not inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement, The Dark Knight Rises was inspired by Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens' novel is a work of art, but like most works of art worth their artfulness, it's also a political statement. And so, one hopes, is The Dark Knight Rises, whether or not Morgan Freeman and the like-minded pretend it's just “a movie.”

Rush Limbaugh Bane 'Occupy Wall Street guy'

Bane, by the way, has been a Batman character since 1993. Rush Limbaugh seems to be aware of it now: “I never said that the villain was created by the comic book character creator to be part of the 2012 campaign,” Limbaugh said earlier today. “I never said that at all. I said the Democrats were going to use it, which they are. Jon Stewart's harping on it.”

Limbaugh added: “I made the point that the rich, wealthy hero in the Batman movie is more like Romney and that the Bane guy seems more like an Occupy Wall Street guy. Batman is Romney. The good guy's Romney. This Bane character, I pointed out the spelling is different.”

As quoted in the New York Daily News, Rush Limbaugh declared the following on his radio show: “Do you know the name of the villain in this movie? Bane. The villain in The Dark Knight Rises is named Bane. B-A-N-E. What is the name of the venture capital firm that Romney ran, and around which there's now this make-believe controversy? Bain.

“The movie has been in the works for a a long time, the release date's been known, summer 2012 for a long time. Do you think that 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 Dark Knight Rises cast

The Dark Knight Rises cast includes Tom Hardy as Bane, Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman, Tom Conti, and Matthew Modine. The Dark Knight Rises opens at midnight Thursday.

Bane (Tom Hardy) The Dark Knight Rises picture: Ron Phillips / Warner Bros.

Christopher Nolan quotes via eonline.com. Rush Limbaugh Bane / Bain quotes “I never said that the villain …” via USA Today.

July 17

The Dark Knight Rises trailer BatmanThe Dark Knight Rises trailer / TV spot 'Countdown.' (Image: Christian Bale as Batman.) “You see only one end to your journey,” Michael Caine's Alfred tells Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne in “Countdown,” another The Dark Knight Rises trailer / TV spot. “But sometimes a man rises in the darkness.” The Dark Knight a.k.a. Batman will also rise like the sun in Ernest Hemingway's novel – but with Bane-fighting instead of bullfighting.

The Dark Knight Rises trailer purpose: fan frenzy

Something else rising at fever pitch is anticipation for TDKR. That's why we're getting all those The Dark Knight Rises trailers / TV spots. The Dark Knight Rises opens at midnight July 20.

Will TDKR beat Joss Whedon's Marvel superhero ensemble The Avengers at the worldwide box office? Will it beat The Dark Knight despite the absence of Heath Ledger's The Joker? Will it beat James Cameron's Avatar despite the lack of 3D, or Clark Gable / Vivien Leigh's multiple Oscar winner Gone with the Wind despite the search for Scarlett O'Hara? Who the hell knows? But rest assured that at least at the domestic box office, TDKR will beat John Carter and Battleship – combined. Perhaps on its first weekend out.

The Dark Knight Rises cast

Following The Dark Knight (2008) and Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight Rises is the final installment in Christopher Nolan's Batman movie trilogy. The TDKR cast includes Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway (as Catwoman), Tom Hardy (as Bane), Marion Cotillard (as Miranda Tate), Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Morgan Freeman. Plus: Tom Conti, Matthew Modine, Josh Pence, Juno Temple, Daniel Sunjata, Nestor Carbonell, Joey King, Brett Cullen, Chris Ellis, Adam Rodriguez, Josh Stewart, Christopher Judge, and Aidan Gillen.

Christian Bale / Batman “THE DARK KNIGHT RISES Trailer Countdown” pic: Ron Phillips / Warner Bros.

July 11

The Dark Knight Rises Batman 3
The Dark Knight Rises trailer: Christian Bale as Batman

The Dark Knight Rises trailer / TV spot 'Doctors Orders.' The Dark Knight Rises opens in eight and a half days. Warner Bros. wants this to be the movie event of 2012. There have been trailers, TV spots, media junkets, and a featurette in which director Christopher Nolan, co-screenwriter Jonathan Nolan, and TDKR's cast and crew discuss the film's various characters and motivations. But is that enough to lure as many butts into theaters as there are seats?

Warners (or perhaps someone higher up at Time Warner) apparently doesn't think so. That's why we got this new TV spot (please scroll down), which emphasizes The Dark Knight Rises' action, humor, and violence – lest the Transformers crowd think TDKR is too adult, too serious, too intelligent for their tastes.

The idiotized The Dark Knight Rises TV spot – by far the most banal I've seen so far for a movie that surely deserves much better – features doctor Thomas Lennon discussing Christian Bale / Bruce Wayne's health, or rather, lack thereof. That per se isn't bad, but the use of fighting scenes to emphasize the already obvious point is infantile. Same with the violence humor for idiots that caps the spot.

Now, after watching this flash The Dark Knight Rises trailer, what crossed my mind was: Did Christopher Nolan have any say on what went on in this latest TV spot?

The Dark Knight Rises cast

The Dark Knight Rises opens at midnight July 19/20. The sequel to Batman Begins and The Dark Knight features Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman, Tom Conti, Matthew Modine, Josh Pence, Juno Temple, Daniel Sunjata, Nestor Carbonell, Joey King, Brett Cullen, Chris Ellis, Adam Rodriguez, Josh Stewart, Christopher Judge, and Aidan Gillen.

The Dark Knight Rises Christian Bale as Batman picture: Ron Phillips / Warner Bros.

July 10

The Dark Knight Rises soundtrack Joseph Gordon-Levitt Gary Oldman
The Dark Knight Rises soundtrack online | Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman in TDKR

The Dark Knight Rises soundtrack online. Christopher Nolan's final Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, opens at midnight Thursday, July 19/20. Some of the TDKR scenes have been made available in the various trailers and a 13-minute TDKR featurette, but to watch the whole thing you'll have to wait another 9 days and a half. Having said that, you can listen to the entire The Dark Knight Rises soundtrack online right now.

Composed by Hans Zimmer, The Dark Knight Rises soundtrack is available at Empire.com. Among the various themes are “A Storm Is Coming,” “Gotham's Reckoning,” “Underground Army,” “Born in Darkness,” “The Fire Rises,” “Despair,” “Fear Will Find You,” “Necessary Evil,” and “Rise.”

Hans Zimmer Batman composer

In addition to the Dark Knight Rises score, Hans Zimmer, 55 next September, also co-composed (with James Newton Howard) the musical accompaniment for both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Zimmer has been nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning once for The Lion King.

Hans Zimmer's first Academy Award nomination was for Barry Levinson's eventual Best Picture Oscar winner Rain Man (1988), starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. Besides The Lion King, Zimmer's Oscar nods in the '90s were for the following movies: Penny Marshall's The Preacher's Wife (1996), James L. Brooks' As Good as It Gets (1997), the animated feature The Prince of Egypt (1998, shared with Stephen Schwartz), and Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line (1998).

So far this century, Zimmer has earned only three Oscar nods: for Ridley Scott's Gladiator (2000), Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Christopher Nolan's Inception (2010). Last year, the composer opted not to submit for Oscar consideration his work on Rango and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

I should add that Zimmer has another superhero movie score in the works, for Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, starring Henry Cavill and Amy Adams, and opening in 2013.

The Dark Knight Rises soundtrack will be on sale beginning July 16.

The Dark Knight Rises cast

The Dark Knight Rises features Oscar winners Christian Bale (The Fighter), Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose), Michael Caine (Hannah and Her Sisters / The Cider House Rules), and Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby); in addition to Oscar nominees Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married), Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), and Tom Conti (Reuben Reuben).

Plus Tom Hardy as the villainous Bane, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Matthew Modine, Josh Pence, Juno Temple, Daniel Sunjata, Nestor Carbonell, Joey King, Brett Cullen, Chris Ellis, Adam Rodriguez, Josh Stewart, Christopher Judge, and Aidan Gillen.

“Hans Zimmer THE DARK KNIGHT RISES Soundtrack Online” image (with Joseph Gordon-Levitt / Gary Oldman): Ron Phillips / Warner Bros.

July 9

The Dark Knight Rises Occupy Wall StreetThe Dark Knight Rises Occupy Wall Street vs. A Tale of Two Cities. Many have remarked on the similarities between the Occupy Wall Street movement and Christopher Nolan's last movie in his Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises. Nolan has denied that TDKR was inspired by the movement, for the film was conceived before Occupy Wall Street (and Occupy other locales) became global news.

At a press conference, the director's bother and co-screenwriter, Jonathan Nolan, explained that the influence for their here-and-now Gotham setting was a 19th-century English novel: Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities.

The Dark Knight Rises before Occupy Wall Street

“After the second film came out, it was before the recession and Occupy Wall Street,” Jonathan Nolan is quoted as saying in Wired.com. “Rather than being influenced by that, we looked at old books and movies, and at some point I found A Tale of Two Cities to be captivating.”

Jonathan Nolan added that “the other movies keep threatening to turn Gotham City inside out so it collapses on itself, but they never really achieved that. A Tale of Two Cities was the most harrowing portrait of a relatable, recognizable civilization falling to pieces.”

Set in the aftermath of the French Revolution, the two cities in Charles Dickens' novel are London and Paris. It was the best of times in the former; the worst of times in the latter.

“Paris, during that period – it's hard to imagine things going that terribly wrong,” added Jonathan Nolan. “That became a great inspiration for The Dark Knight Rises.”

Now, will Bruce Wayne declaim “It's a far far better thing I do than I have ever done before. A far better resting place I go to than I have ever known” while on his way to the guillotine? Don't bet on that. But it'll be interesting to see if Wayne becomes a modern Sydney Carton of sorts.

Previous incarnations of Sydney Carton, I should add, include Ronald Colman in Jack Conway's Oscar-nominated A Tale of Two Cities (1935) and Dirk Bogarde in Ralph Thomas' 1958 version of Dickens' tale.

The Dark Knight Rises Michael Caine Alfred Christian Bale
The Dark Knight Rises Michael Caine / Alfred (right), Christian Bale / Bruce Wayne

Michael Caine quotes: Too old for Batman. Also of interest, Christopher Nolan himself approached Inception actor Tom Hardy to play Bane in The Dark Knight Rises: “When I called Tom I basically said, 'I've good news and bad news. The good news: I've got a terrific character for you. The bad news: Your face is going to be covered the entire film, so you'll have to get everything across with just your eyes and voice.'"

Well, John Hurt managed to do just that in David Lynch's The Elephant Man, and received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his efforts. Don't be too surprised if Tom Hardy gets nominated as well, though probably in the Best Supporting Actor category – in which he might have a good chance of winning, much like de facto The Dark Knight co-lead Heath Ledger.

Michael Caine quotes: Too old for Batman, wrong gender for Catwoman

Now, the best The Dark Knight Rises quote came from veteran Michael Caine, who plays Bruce Wayne's butler, Alfred:

“On a Sunday morning nine years ago I hear a knock on the door and there's Chris […] standing there. I knew him from Memento and Insomnia and thought, 'Oh, he's got a lovely little thriller.' So he came in and I said, 'What's the name of the movie?'

Batman Begins.

“I thought, 'I'm too old to play Batman, I wonder who he wants me to be?' I knew it wasn't Catwoman. He said, 'The butler.' I didn't know if I wanted to be saying, 'Dinner is served. Would you like another bowl of soup?' He gave me the script and said, 'I want you to read it now.' He had a cup of tea and I read the script. I was stunned by the writing. It wasn't just a cipher character that you get in these big special effect movies. These were real characters.”

In a way, it's kinda too bad that Michael Caine didn't get to play Catwoman. Caine would easily have received his seventh Oscar nomination. Instead, Anne Hathaway will be the quite likely nominee.

The Dark Knight Rises opens July 20. In the cast: Oscar winners Christian Bale (The Fighter), Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose), Michael Caine (Hannah and Her Sisters / The Cider House Rules), and Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby); plus Oscar nominees Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married), Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), and Tom Conti (Reuben Reuben).

In addition to Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Matthew Modine, Josh Pence, Juno Temple, Daniel Sunjata, Nestor Carbonell, Joey King, Brett Cullen, Chris Ellis, Adam Rodriguez, Josh Stewart, Christopher Judge, and Aidan Gillen.

Christopher Nolan and Michael Caine quotes via Wired.com.

The Dark Knight Rises Michael Caine as Alfred / Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne picture: Ron Phillips / Warner Bros.

The Dark Knight Rises Bane picture: Warner Bros.

Tom Hardy
The Dark Knight Rises trailer / featurette: Tom Hardy / Bane

The Dark Knight Rises trailer / 13-minute featurette. Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises opens in 11 days. For those Batman fans who just can't wait for the 2-hour-44-minute-27-second (give or take a nanosecond or ten) movie, Warner Bros. has released a featurette showing numerous scenes, in addition to Nolan, Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, and others discussing the film and its characters. (Please scroll down.)

The Dark Knight Rises featurette: elemental conflicts

Nolan calls The Dark Knight Rises “a very elemental conflict between good and evil.” Bruce Wayne / Batman clearly represents what's good. The villainous Bane just as clearly represents what's evil. (I'm not sure where Catwoman fits in.)

Michael Caine doesn't talk about elemental conflicts, but he does refer to Alfred as “us” – average joes and janes in the superhero realm. Marion Cotillard remarks on how Nolan make his epic stories feel “intimate.” And Anne Hathaway says her Catwoman had to be Nolan's view of Catwoman (inspired by the femmes fatales of yore). Tom Hardy, for his part, reverted back to the time he was three years old when he saw Christian Bale in full Batman regalia.

A sequel to The Dark Knight and Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Rises opens July 20. Directed by Christopher Nolan, and co-written by Nolan and his brother Jonathan Nolan, from a story by the director and David S. Goyer, The Dark Knight Rises cast includes Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Tom Conti, and Matthew Modine.

Also: Josh Pence, Juno Temple, Daniel Sunjata, Nestor Carbonell, Joey King, Brett Cullen, Chris Ellis, Adam Rodriguez, Josh Stewart, Christopher Judge, and Aidan Gillen.

Tom Hardy / The Dark Knight Rises trailer / featurette screengrab: Warner Bros.

July 7

Christopher Nolan The Dark Knight Rises director
Christopher Nolan director The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises IMAX screening bombs. Before Batman fans start suffering seizures: it's not that the actual movie bombed with journalists and movie critics. The problem is that Batman failed to rise up earlier this evening at a Los Angeles area media screening.

Is Batman getting old? Nope. According to Deadline.com, citing a Warner Bros. representative, “the computer device that syncs the picture and sound broke about 1 hour into the screening.” Ah, technology… And The Dark Knight Rises isn't even in digital format, the bane of director Christopher Nolan's movie existence. [Somewhat ironically, the TDKR IMAX TV Spot became available earlier today.]

As for the Bane with capital “B,” he'll be back – hopefully with his sound and image all synched up – at 8 a.m. Saturday, right before a press junket that'll feature The Dark Knight Rises stars. Those present at the screening earlier this evening have been invited back as well. And they've been asked to watch the movie from the beginning.

HFPA members at the botched TDKR screening

Apparently, members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association were in attendance at the botched The Dark Knight Rises screening. Surely by the time the Golden Globe nominations are announced in December they'll have forgiven and forgotten the annoyance. Well, at least forgiven.

Anyhow, it's a good thing the sound/image glitch took place about one hour into the film. Imagine if the computer had gone down 2 hours and 35 minutes after the start. The last ten minutes would have featured Batman speaking with Catwoman's voice, Bane with Miranda Tate's, and Michael Caine sounding like Morgan Freeman.

A sequel to The Dark Knight and Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Rises opens July 20. Directed by Christopher Nolan, and co-written by Nolan and his brother Jonathan Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises cast includes Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Tom Conti, and Matthew Modine.

Also: Josh Pence, Juno Temple, Daniel Sunjata, Nestor Carbonell, Joey King, Brett Cullen, Chris Ellis, Adam Rodriguez, Josh Stewart, Christopher Judge, and Aidan Gillen.

The Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan picture: Ron Phillips / Warner Bros.

July 6

The Dark Knight Rises trailer IMAX Bane Tom Hardy
The Dark Knight Rises trailer IMAX: Bane (Tom Hardy) tickled purple

The Dark Knight Rises trailer / IMAX TV Spot. The latest The Dark Knight Rises trailer, or rather TV spot, calls attention to the film's IMAX screenings, which will make Gotham City on screen look bigger than Gotham City in life (or comic books). (Please scroll down to check out the TDKR TV spot.)

There has been a flood of The Dark Knight Rises materials released online as we approach the fateful date when Gotham City will find itself facing an enemy more dangerous than, say, the euro currency crisis or global warming: the muffled-voiced terrorist Bane. But then again, perhaps Bane and his cohorts are responsible for the world's financial and environmental crises.

Humankind won't rise up to the challenge – too busy watching the Euro Cup and the latest Spider-Man movie, and getting ready for the Olympic Games – but Batman will. One hopes. After all, when Bane says “Let the games begin!” I really don't believe he's urging people to start somersaulting or running after a ball. The Dark Knight Rises, a.k.a. “Batman Dark Knight Rises,” opens July 20.

The Dark Knight Rises cast

Directed by Christopher Nolan, and co-written by Nolan and his brother Jonathan Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises features Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne / Batman / The Dark Knight / The Caped Crusader, Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle / Catwoman, Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate, and Tom Hardy as Bane.

Plus: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Tom Conti, Matthew Modine, Josh Pence, Juno Temple, Daniel Sunjata, Nestor Carbonell, Joey King, Brett Cullen, Chris Ellis, Adam Rodriguez, Josh Stewart, Christopher Judge, and Aidan Gillen.

Bane / Tom Hardy The Dark Knight Rises trailer IMAX TV Spot: Warner Bros.

The Dark Knight Rises running time Bane
The Dark Knight Rises running time: Bane a numerologist?

The Dark Knight Rises running time confirmed. According to the British Board of Film Classification, The Dark Knight Rises has a running time of precisely 164 minutes (or 2 hours and 44 minutes) and 27 seconds. Following previous reports, I was all psyched up for 2 hours and 45 minutes of Batman. So, now I'm afraid that Christopher Nolan's third and final Batman movie may feel a little too rushed.

At Collider, Matt Goldberg points out that each of Nolan's Batman sequels ran 12 minutes longer than its immediate predecessor. Nolan's first Batman movie, Batman Begins (2005), had a running time of 140 minutes. The second entry, The Dark Knight (2008) ran 152 minutes. Goldberg doesn't believe there's any hidden meaning behind those matching 12-minute increases. We're not so sure. Perhaps Bane is a numerologist?

The Dark Knight Rises cast

The Dark Knight Rises stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle / Catwoman, and Tom Hardy as Bane / Bane, in addition to Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman, and Tom Conti.

Plus: Matthew Modine, Josh Pence, Juno Temple, Daniel Sunjata, Nestor Carbonell, Joey King, Brett Cullen, Chris Ellis, Adam Rodriguez, Josh Stewart, Christopher Judge, Aidan Gillen, and Ben Mendelsohn.

The Dark Knight Rises opens July 20.

Tom Hardy Bane The Dark Knight Rises picture: Ron Phillips / Warner Bros.

July 2

The Dark Knight Rises trailer Catwoman Anne HathawayThe Dark Knight Rises trailer: Anne Hathaway's Catwoman to steal latest Batman movie. “You don't know a thing about me,” Anne Hathaway / Selina Kyle / Catwoman tells Christian Bale / Bruce Wayne / Batman in the latest The Dark Knight Rises trailer. (Please scroll down.) Bruce Wayne may be clueless, but we do know a thing or two about Anne Hathaway, who has come a long way since her The Princess Diaries and Ella Enchanted days. Heck, Hathaway has come a long way since even her Brokeback Mountain and The Devil Wears Prada days.

Anne Hathaway's Catwoman: Film noir dame

Christian Bale's Batman whisper reminds me of Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry (and just about everything else, all the way to Million Dollar Baby and Gran Torino). That's not exactly a good thing.

Anne Hathaway's sultry speech patterns, however, remind me of Ava Gardner or Rita Hayworth or Jane Greer or some other film noir (and not-so-noir) dame of '40s Hollywood movies. Considering the noir look of Christopher Nolan's Batman movies – verify that for yourself by checking out the Dark Knight Rises trailer below – Hathaway's performance seems to be (judging by the countless TDKR trailers and TV spots) right on target. Here's wondering if Nolan had her watch Lauren Bacall in To Have and Have Not, or perhaps Veronica Lake in The Blue Dahlia.

Now, the big question: Will Anne Hathaway be nominated for an Oscar for her Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises or for her Fantine in Tom Hooper's Les Misérables? Both (Best Actress / Best Supporting Actress)? Neither? Oh, c'mon. Well, stay tuned.

The Dark Knight Rises cast

Written by Christopher Nolan and his brother Jonathan Nolan, in addition to Anne Hathaway and Christian Bale The Dark Knight Rises features Marion Cotillard, Tom Hardy as Bane, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Tom Conti.

Plus: Matthew Modine, Josh Pence, Juno Temple, Daniel Sunjata, Nestor Carbonell, Joey King, Brett Cullen, Chris Ellis, Adam Rodriguez, Josh Stewart, Christopher Judge, Aidan Gillen, and Ben Mendelsohn.

The Dark Knight Rises opens July 20.

Anne Hathaway / Catwoman / The Dark Knight Rises trailer screengrab: Warner Bros.

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17 Comments to 'The Dark Knight Rises': Right-Wing Political Message vs. Occupy Wall Street? + Rabid Fans Attack Critics

  1. Pat

    Hans Zimmer is a great composer but in the Batman movies he overdoes it sometimes.

  2. Matt

    Hans Zimmer is by far my favourite movie composer. I actually found that I preferred this soundtrack over “The Dark Knight”. The strained strings used in the Joker tracks were a little too unnerving to sit and listen to. I wrote a review of the soundtracks here:
    The Dark Knight Rises Soundtrack Review

  3. Mister

    Is this blog a conspiracy site?

    “Your average Joe, it turns out, requires a benevolent, bad-ass billionaire to set him straight, to knock him sideways, if necessary.” - When the hell did Batman ever just crush a pedestrians head against a wall for jay walking? That's a lie. Batman punishes the criminals (if you want to call the entire 99% criminals) and gives the criminals up to the cops. Keep in mind the whole “I don't kill” thing.

    “…The Dark Knight Rises is a quite audaciously capitalist vision, radically conservative, radically vigilante,” - I don't see how it is capitalist vision. Does anybody see that? Batman never fought for his company, he fought for his city. Conservative? Who the hell wrote this? Radically vigilante? NO SHIT! It's a superhero movie about Batman! A VIGILANTE! Of course it is going to be “radically” vigilante. Geez…

  4. Mori

    As someone remarked below, the politically simplistic are going to see the plot as demonization of the “99 percent”. But the truth is a lot more nuanced. In addition to the fact that Bruce Wayne is a philanthropist, remember that Bane is tricking the 99% of Gotham. He in no way wishes to actually free them from oppression; his goal is to destroy them. Why? Because the League of Shadows represents true anarchy under the guise of 'balance'. They exist only to destroy order (anyone's order) and their rule is actual mob rule and mob justice. As exhibited in Batman Begins when the League's answer to a crime is simply execution.

    In TDKR, Bane (and spoiler: his true master) represent the actual anarchist privilege of those who believe it is their simple right to control the world: they represent true chaos though they see themselves as being order. And exposing that is deadly to the real-life American right wing. The real life conservative billionaire believes in nature red in tooth and claw, in the world being complete chaos and those with power brutally oppressing and controlling the little people for their own good. They lack compassion and the ability to identify with anyone who isn't them.

    The trick to Batman is that he's always been a 'hero of the people' because he was a rich person brought down to earth by tragedy. Bruce Wayne is a foppish, fake character. The actual man has never enjoyed his wealth, never indulged in the pleasure of his status. He devotes his life to helping the small guy; note that while Batman does have a rogue's gallery of supervillians, Batman ordinarily devotes himself to helping fight street crime and assisting the police. In these movies, Nolan seems to have deeply examined Batman as a character and a symbol. In Begins, Wayne muses that Batman must be an 'incorruptible' symbol, something more than a man. That cycle comes full circle here, where Batman becomes a role, not just Bruce Wayne.

  5. Phillip Lozano

    The Guardian writer is imposing visions on the film that aren't really there; it is, at its core, simply a ripping tale that taps much more into the general American post-9/11 angst over terrorism than more recent notions of class warfare, even if that is the conceit of the moment. It's worth noting that class distinction are much sharper in the UK - while last summer saw the Occupy movement raise a ideological ruckus in the US, full-scale riots were taking place across South London. Americans seem to prefer their cathartic working-class uprisings to occur within our collective cinematic consciousness rather than in real life.

  6. tuxguys

    I'd be surprised if any Hollywood production deliberately made the point that the Bane insurrection makes, but the truth will out: Forced redistribution of wealth/capital/property results in anarchy. Selena explicates the point of view of Occupy Wall Street perfectly when she's dancing with Wayne at a charity event; she, perhaps involuntarily, shows her own disgust when the same sentiment is expressed to her, post-insurrection, by her girlfriend.

  7. Earl

    Remember that the capitalist billionaire who saves Gotham and indeed capitalism is a philanthropist who tries to save the world with fusion energy. Bain (aka Bain Capital) and his cohorts (the take over guys, once again Bain capital) who conspire to take over the reactor are in it for money and power. The movie is about the good wealthy represented by Bruce Wayne who understand that wealth is fine but the wealthy are called to to a duty greater than their own selves against the bad wealthy who just want more and more and more. Batman had to be rich but he did not have to be a Republican. The movie is a warning to the rich.

  8. Ben Sono

    Every politician and talk show host is trying to claim The Dark Knight Rises is pushing eithere a conservative or liberal agenda.

    Give it a rest people!!!!

    The movie's characters are taken from comic books and the Occupy Wall Street theme makes the movie current in it's feeling. Nothing more than that.

  9. SPOILER- Except for that capitalist billionaire loses everything, effectively becoming part of the 99%.

  10. Phifly

    Heaping scorn on a critic who gives a rotten review to a popular and otherwise well-received movie is nothing new for Rotten Tomatoes users; the same thing also applies to a critic who gives a positive review to an unpopular and otherwise poorly-received movie. My favorite such remark from a RT user responding to Michael A. Smith's positive review for Jack and Jill: “I agree-ruined THE DESERVED 0% RATING! Burn, you sick a- bag.” I noticed such behavior when I first started visiting RT four years ago and yet this is apparently the first time RT has done something about it. What took them so long?

    It's funny how the RT users who heap abuse on critics probably haven't seen the movie and more often than not it's clear they haven't actually read the whole review, just the blurb provided. The blurb is enough to earn their scorn. And what of this obsession with maintaining a 100% (or 0%) rating? Is there no room for dissenting opinions?

  11. June

    Rush is a plug:

  12. Marla Jeanne

    Christopher Nolan is feeding the cult of the DARK KNIGHT so he gets paid. I don't think he really means what he says.

  13. EKD

    “Please note: Different views and opinions are perfectly fine, but courtesy is imperative. Abusive/bigoted comments and/or remarks will be deleted, and abusive commenters may be banned.”

    In that case, please delete this entire article. If that is not possible, at least remove the word “retard” from it. To echo the other comments, it's a summer blockbuster about a billionaire dressed as a bat fighting a guy wearing an imaginary anesthetic mask. I don't know how much more you can really dumb that down.

  14. Mike

    Delete my comment will ya? Well, you may remove my comment from the bottom of your article if you like, but you cannot remove the irony from the act of using the word “retards” while complaining that a summer blockbuster's portrayal is being “dumbed down” because it shows off its action and, for the first time, its humor with a mere 30 second trailer. You are supposed to be a professional writer: grow up.

  15. Cap'n Ahab

    You are very hateful and judgmental. It's a thirty second preview that was likely assembled by Warner brothers. Get your panties out of a bunch and quit saying the word “retard” because you saw a preview you didn't like. This is the 21st century for fuck's sake!

  16. jay

    Catwoman rules

  17. jayjay

    man this is sssssssssssssooooooooooooo funnnnnyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy