The Dark Knight Rises

 photo

Watch: BaneCat - a villainous cat that torments his owner


Mar 28
// Liz Rugg
The Dark Knight Rises' evil Batman antagonist Bane has one of the most recognizable and most fun to parody voices ever. Enter: BaneCat, a short video about a villainous cat who torments his owner. It's a pretty funny little ...
 photo

Flixistentialism 03 - CrazySexyEctoCooler


Jan 04
// Andres Bolivar
Though I somehow managed to misplace the first 10 minutes of the show (it might be under a couch cushion), we still got a jam packed bro's night out of a podcast. We discuss Geoff's specific type of dyslexia, my secret desire...
 photo

I'm going to assume everyone who wanted to see The Dark Knight Rises has seen it by now, so won't be skirting around spoilers - as though the headline hadn't given everything away already. At the end of the movie, Christian B...


 photo

Get a glimpse of Tom Hardy's transformation into Bane


Spoiler alert: he gained weight
Nov 21
// Thor Latham
Tom Hardy's Bane proved to be a capable foil to Christian Bale's Batman, strange accent aside, and I don't think anyone who isn't familiar with what Hardy looks like would recognize him as the the bulky bad-guy, even if you h...
 photo

Three unused posters for The Dark Knight Rises


Nov 19
// Hubert Vigilla
With The Dark Knight Rises hitting DVD and Blu-ray on December 4th, the last thing you'd expect would be some new poster art. (Well, that and the Spanish Inquisition.) The marketing/advertising firm Trailer Park showed off th...
 photo

NYCC: Inside The Batmobile panel


Oct 15
// Hubert Vigilla
On Friday at the New York Comic Con, there was a world premiere screening of The Batmobile, an hour-long documentary about Batman's most wonderful of wonderful toys. A half-hour version of the documentary aired earlier this y...
 photo

No extended/director's cut for The Dark Knight Rises


Sep 12
// Hubert Vigilla
Those rumors about an extended cut of The Dark Knight Rises just got nuked. People close to Christopher Nolan have stated that there are no plans to release an extended cut of The Dark Knight Rises on Blu-Ray. They also state...
 photo

At 165 minutes, The Dark Knight Rises was the longest of Christopher Nolan's Batman films. There's a rumor from the site Nuke the Fridge that the movie may be getting 30 minutes longer on Blu-Ray. The reintegrated footage wou...

 photo

Congratulations to Valerie Minnich! As tends to be the case with Nolan's Batmovies, I've been listening to the soundtrack for The Dark Knight Rises a fair amount over the past month and a half. It's pretty awesome pump-m...

 photo

Batman Maybe


Aug 09
// Sean Walsh
This is brilliant. I usually hate popular song parodies, but this... This isn't the Carlie Rae Jepsen parody we need, this is the Carlie Rae Jepsen parody we deserve. Oh, and, uh, SPOILERS for the three of you who still haven't seen The Dark Knight Rises. [Via Youtube]

IMAX, 35mm, The Dark Knight Rises, and you

Aug 03 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
Now, I've already written about problems with the IMAX experience and how The Hunger Games made clear some of issues with the translation from 35mm to IMAX. It was a problem then and it's still a problem now, but I will do my best to not tread old ground. If you want to know what I think of upscaling, go there. This isn't about that. This is about things that are far more problematic. Also, I will be staying away from spoilers, so don't worry about that if you still haven't seen it (weirdo). In order to get ready for The Dark Knight Rises, I watched Batman Begins and The Dark Knight again. It was the first time I had seen either one in several years. I love both movies immensely, and that didn't change with these viewings. One thing that did change, though, was my impression of The Dark Knight's visual fidelity. I watched both films on Blu-ray, and the IMAX shots in The Dark Knight were just gorgeous. But then it would cut away from them, and I could actually see the drop in quality. But it's more than that. It's not just the drop that bothered me, it was the change in aspect ratio. Time to get a little technical. I imagine most of you know what an aspect ratio is, but you may not know how varied they can be from film to film. If you look at the back of your DVD/Blu-ray cases, it will usually tell you the aspect ratio in which the movie is presented. Films are generally shot at the Cinemascope ratio of 2.35:1 (although other 2.3x:1 ratios are not uncommon), but most consumer cameras shoot at the widescreen friendly 16:9 format, or 1.78:1. Since the so-called Ultrawidescreen TVs (which are 21:9, essentially Cinemascope ratio) are unnecessary, prohibitively expensive, and barely available, I can essentially guarantee you're using a screen with a 16:9 or 16:10 ratio, the latter of which is found on most smartphones as well as older computer monitors. Unless you're using a big old 4:3 (1.33:1) CRT, in which case what are you doing with your life? IMAX is different. IMAX cameras shoot at a ratio of approximately 1.44:1, which is far closer to that old CRT you shouldn't have anymore than it is to a regular Hollywood movie. What does this mean from a practical perspective? Well, if you're projecting both a 2.35:1 image and a 1.44:1 image on the same screen, one is obviously going to take up dramatically more vertical real estate. Since IMAX screens are designed for the 1.44:1 ratio, a regular film will be wasting a massive amount of space. Part of what makes IMAX so impressive is how completely it fills your vision, both vertically and horizontally. Obviously, any image shot in such a wide format cannot replicate that. So now we get to the problem. Here we have a film that is shot using both IMAX and 35mm cameras, and sometimes the switch between the two literally happens from shot to shot to shot. It happens right from the beginning. Jim Gordon gives a speech, and it's in Cinemascope. The next shot begins the brilliant (if somewhat bizarre) Bane abduction sequence, shot in IMAX. To say nothing of the quality (we'll get to that), the shift in aspect ratio is... jarring. Really jarring. Instead of coming across as an intentional use of the widescreen format (something which can be used to beautiful effect), it just seems like part of the image was cropped off in post. Obviously that's not what happened, but that's the apparent effect. It just looks like we're getting less than we should be. I noticed this when I was watching The Dark Knight at home, and even that bothered me. Obviously the IMAX images had to be cropped to accommodate the 16:9 format (imagine how visually distressing it would be if bars on the top and bottom became bars on the left and right of the image, especially in the cases where it goes shot to shot to shot), and they were cropped to 16:9. So it would go from 2.35:1 to 1.78:1, essentially filling in the black bars when it was IMAX and returning to them for the 35mm. A less drastic shift bothered me on my 42" TV. I went into The Dark Knight Rises worried about the impact of the shifts, and it was the thing that distracted me the most from my enjoyment of the film. It wasn't the audio mix, which seems to be the chief complaint about the film, that really got to me (although it did bother me at times), it was the shift. Watching a 35mm film blown up in IMAX has its issues, fine. Watching an IMAX movie in IMAX is amazing, cool. But if you put the two of them together and do absolutely nothing (and what could you do?) to help ease one into the other, then you have a problem. Now let's talk about the quality. A lot has been made of the whole "Digital vs. 35mm" debate, but there's no doubt that proper IMAX format destroys either of them. From a detail and quality standpoint, IMAX is head and shoulders above either. There is also 70mm (or 65mm, depending on who you ask), which is also better than current digital cameras and obviously holds more detail than a 35mm frame, but is so underutilized that it may as well not exist. Technically, an IMAX image is also referred to as 70mm image, but it means something different. [Jeff in the comments pointed out the flaws in my logic, although they do nothing to change the argument itself]. In the case of 35mm film, that is the width of the entire strip of film, not just the width of the image area. So the perforations on the side as well as the place to capture sound both take away from the width of the 35mm. But it's not true about IMAX. An IMAX frame is 70mm wide, and 48.5 mm tall, which translates to ~3 inches wide by ~2 inches tall. Comparatively, a 35mm image actually translates to 21.95mm by 18.6mm (~.85" by ~.75"). Each IMAX frame is more than eight times the size of each 35mm frame, which translates to an 8x jump in quality, because each image captures 8x more detail. For all of you digital camera lovers (of which I count myself a part), it's the difference between a 2 Megapixel camera or a 16 Megapixel camera, except it's probably closer to the difference between a 16 MP camera and a 128 MP camera. Admittedly, it's essentially impossible to properly equate an analog image, but it works as an approximation of what is going on. A 128 MP image has, shocker, 128 million pixels, versus 16 million pixels. Assuming equivalent quality of the sensors in each camera (and in this case, I think that's a fair assumption), each pixel on the 16MP sensor takes the place of 8 pixels on the 128MP sensor. That is an incredible loss in detail. Admittedly, it's not all about size, and it never has been. The Arri Alexa (which was used to shoot Drive, for example) shoots at a lower resolution than RED cameras (which are used for most movies these days), but produces an arguably superior image. But IMAX cameras allow for so much more detail and have high quality sensors, so it would be nigh impossible for any smaller camera to replicate IMAX quality on such a large scale.  So we've concluded that an IMAX image is 8x more detailed than a 35mm image, but what exactly does that mean? Well, it means that all of the little subtleties that get lost in 35mm get picked up. It's like going from 480i (SD) to 1080p (FHD) or putting a VHS tape next to a Blu-ray. Maybe that's not entirely fair, and when both of them are put together on a non-IMAX screen (or on a Blu-ray), the difference in quality is not quite as distinct. However, and this is something I focused on last time, a shrunk down version of a larger image will appear to be sharper and more detailed, and there is a clear difference on the Blu-ray of The Dark Knight from between what was shot on IMAX and what wasn't. When the native image is put up o several-story high IMAX screen against something that has been upscaled, though, it really works against the film as a whole. It doesn't look cohesive, because two vastly different technologies were used to make it happen. Comparatively, the upscaled 35mm looks blurry and far less colorful.  I have no doubt that Christopher Nolan and co. were completely aware of all of this when the film was being made, so why didn't they use their enormous budget and shoot the entire thing in IMAX? Well, because the problems with shooting IMAX don't stop at the cost. The biggest problem, at least for Nolan, is the noise. IMAX cameras are very loud, which makes recording dialogue (or anything, really) difficult at best. That's why the scenes that were shot in IMAX in The Dark Knight were primarily helicopter exteriors and action scenes. More action means less dialogue. And much of the dialogue that there was could be easily ADRed (ADR stands for Additional Dialogue Recording or Automated Dialogue Replacement), such as everything that the Joker and his team said in the awesome opening heist. They were all wearing masks, so there was nothing to match up and ADRing was easy.  If you pay attention, you'll notice that the same is true here. It's easy for anything involving Bane to be shot in IMAX because all of his dialogue is ADRed anyway (no mouth means no hassle), but ADRing a conversation between Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon would take a lot of time (and thus money) to do. Considering images of conversations don't need to have vast amounts of detail, it makes a lot of sense to not shoot IMAX for them, and the smaller image also creates a more intimate feeling, which can also be good for conversation. But it's still jarring, especially when a shot of a beautiful helicopter exterior shot in IMAX is thrown into the middle of a 35mm conversation. It is, as I said in the beginning, jarring. I've been complaining this whole time without giving any kinds of possible solutions, and I'm kind of at a loss. Aside from biting the bullet on ADR and other costs in order to shoot the entire thing in IMAX (or forego IMAX entirely), there doesn't seem to be any real solution. There isn't much of a happy medium, but there are two mediums that are a little less sad. The first involves a return to the good old days of 1.375:1 (Update: I incorrectly said 1.33:1, which was the silent standard. The sound standard is ever so slightly wider). Outside of films attempting to replicate the look of old, ugly consumer cameras and The Artist, it's just not something that gets used anymore. But it would do a lot to mitigate the issue. Although there would still be a change in the aspect ratio, a shift from 1.44:1 to 1.375:1 (which would reduce the image horizontally) would be far less dramatic than the shift to 2.35:1. It wouldn't be perfect (and the need to blow up the image further would likely widen the gap in quality between shots), but it would be less immediately jarring. The Artist proved that the use of that old aspect ratio is entirely viable (as does The Dark Knight Rises, to a lesser extent, given the aspect ratio of its IMAX shots). But in a world where screens are only getting wider, 1.375:1 wastes too much space, and it's not realistic to ask filmmakers to that or for audiences to put up with it. A more practical method would be to remove any sort of shifts from shot to shot to shot. Putting those IMAX exteriors in between 35mm interiors/conversations is a reminder that you are watching a movie. It's like a particularly glaring continuity error or audio feedback when a character shouts. These all act as distractions that remove you from the experience. The brilliance of IMAX is and always has been intended to draw you in, which is why the format has been primarily used for documentaries of gorgeous places. But transitions to and from have exactly the opposite effect. Segmenting sections as "This is 35mm, this is IMAX" would go a long way towards mitigating this issue. There would be the initial shock, but until the next transition, there'd be nothing to think about. Perhaps Christopher Nolan is the wrong director to do this, though. He loves his parallel action, so making sure to keep the IMAX shots out of the 35mm scenes becomes a bit more difficult than if everything was more linear. His non-linearity-within-linear-scenes is fantastic, and it's one of the reasons his films are so unique, but it is also not conducive to this kind of intense planning, since at least some of it comes from not necessarily having the shots planned out in advance and some of the scenes being parallel-y action-ed are likely to be more conducive to the larger format than others. But nonetheless, there is no doubt in my mind that the IMAX experience of The Dark Knight Rises is hampered by this problem. If you saw the film in a regular theater, you may have noticed a change in quality, but without the ratio switch (and with no worries about magnification) it probably didn't even register. It flowed smoothly between the two. You're lucky. I shouldn't be recommending an inferior version of a film because its (varying) quality makes it distracting. When I was watching the IMAX-shot scenes in The Dark Knight Rises on a screen that was at least five or six stories tall, I was in awe. The detail, the color, the scope, and the scale of it is just jaw-dropping. There is nothing like it. If studio executives want to keep customers going to theaters, they just need to start shooting in IMAX. Even if the tickets are ludicrously expensive, they give an experience that cannot be replicated at home. But it's a double edged sword, and The Dark Knight Rises proves that. If you have the option to see The Dark Knight Rises in IMAX, or any future film that was shot that way (including, funnily enough, the sequel to The Hunger Games), you should take it. But you have to go in understanding that it will switch (and switch frequently) from mind-blowing to mostly-eh quality. It's a sad state of affairs, and there's really no way to fix it. Maybe in 5 years (or even less) digital cameras will be able to shoot at 8K or 10K or 12K or whatever resolution it is that matches the analog equivalent of IMAX, but at that point there won't be much reason to shoot using IMAX cameras in the first place, especially since the relative silence of digital equipment means that the noise issue that plagues current shoots will disappear. But for the moment, let's give three cheers for IMAX. Proper IMAX, not that ridiculous upscaled nonsense, and three cheers to Nolan for bringing it to the mainstream. Hip hip hooray!
 photo

Four years ago I went to the local IMAX theater to see The Dark Knight. It was the first mainstream film shot partially in IMAX, and I knew I couldn't see it any other way. And it completely blew me away. I'd seen documentari...

 photo

[Note: I could not, for the life of me, find an author or outlet that claims responsibility for this header image. If you know the artist or organization that produced this image, please let me know in the comments so I can g...

 photo

Dark Knight's Gotham City officially mapped


Jul 25
// Bob Muir
Batman's hometown of Gotham City has always been a nebulous area, never really getting an official location. Originally it was basically a renamed New York City, but then it was sort of right next to New York, and now DC trea...

Thoughts on the inevitable Batman reboot

Jul 20 // Thor Latham
Let's begin by stating something that really should be unspoken, but for the sake of my position in this matter should be laid bare for all to see. Chris Nolan's Batman films are amazing. Not amazing because Batman is awesome, or because they really brought home the whole gritty comic book movie shtick, even though those are valid reasons. They're great because as films they are masterful examples of how to create entertainment that is broadly appealing without stooping to meet the lowest common denominator. They manage to be intelligent and fun at the same time, something summer blockbusters usually fail to achieve. To be fair, a lot of that is due to Batman's inherent legacy as a part of pop-culture, but it was Nolan's sensibilities that made the Dark Knight not just relevant again, but bigger than he has ever been before. So with my feelings on the Dark Knight saga shared, let's get on to the real meat and potatoes of this discussion. Let's talk about what happens when Batman returns (I hear the pun police) and is told to get his ass back in front of the camera. Let's have quick a chat about the inevitable Batman reboot. I don't want the tone of this article to be pessimistic. I'm willing to give anything a fair chance. Realistically, though, I think we can all agree that the benchmark is now higher than it has ever been before. And not just for Batman, but for all comic book films. So I really don't think there is any way that Batman will ever return to the greatness he has achieved in these last years. Oh, he'll be back, but who's to say if it will be the Batman that you've grown to love? What direction is left for the franchise? If they stick to the gritty realism of Nolan's universe, they won't be able to measure up. If they reboot the franchise back to Batman's origin, they'll be retreading old ground that really isn't even that old yet. So what's left? How can they keep Batman relevant? Well, I don't think they can, at least not as a live action film. You see, when a series has a satisfying conclusion it leaves the audience full. Sure, they could make room for more, but just like a good meal, you run the risk of throwing up all over the table if you keep cramming food into an already full belly. After seeing The Dark Knight Rises I came out of the theater knowing all I needed to about Gotham and its vigilant guardian. That doesn't necessarily mean I'm sick of Batman movies, if just means that once you've experienced the pinnacle of something, it's hard not to be disappointed in its future endeavors. I think I can confidently say that if there were never another Batman movie again I would be able to get by just fine. But that won't be the case of course, and I would love to be proved wrong. There's certainly no lack of villains to draw from, or even different universes (Batman Beyond, Gotham by Gaslight anyone?). I've even heard it suggested that future Batman films should just be stand-alone stories, similar to the Bond franchise. And these are all cool suggestions! They could still make some really fun Batman movies with the wealth of material available to pull from. I'm just not sure if they'll ever fill the bat-boots of the Dark Knight we know now. I would like to share an interesting fancy I had after leaving The Dark Knight Rises. If Batman and his comic book brethren are going to be shared across generations, with our children and grandchildren and so on, when do they stop being figments of pop-culture? When do they start becoming so ingrained into us that they just become a part of our cultural heritage? I feel that idea is part of the importance of Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, that it has solidified Batman not just as a comic book hero, or a film hero, but as a character whose stories will be told for years to come, for better or worse. Maybe there will come a day when Batman is more myth than mere entertainment. Maybe he really is the hero we deserve, and we just don't know it yet. I guess when you think about it that way, more Batman doesn't seem like such a bad idea.
 photo

So the Dark Knight saga has come to a close, the anticipation has been quelled, expectations have been met -- possibly even exceeded -- and everyone can go home satisfied in the knowledge that there will never need to be anot...

 photo

More new images from The Dark Knight Rises


Jul 17
// Hubert Vigilla
You can feel the anticipation for The Dark Knight Rises building this week, from every nostalgic viewing of the previous Christopher Nolan Batman movies to every irrational threat made against film critics who didn't care for...
 photo

New Mondo poster for The Dark Knight Rises


Jul 12
// Jenika Katz
Do you love Mondo posters? Of course you do. You're no communist heathen. Luckily for you, Mondo has a new poster for The Dark Knight Rises. It is horizontal, which I think is pretty interesting for movie posters in general, ...
 photo

Hear the entire Dark Knight Rises soundtrack now


Jul 10
// Jason Savior
If you're not yet super excited for The Dark Knight Rises, maybe you should consider pumping some Hans Zimmer into your belligerent little earholes. Empire's posted the film's score, allowing you an auditory journey through t...
 photo

Christopher Nolan done with DC Comics movies


Jul 10
// Maxwell Roahrig
As if there were any doubt in our minds, Chris Nolan has announced that he's completely done with the Batman franchise, and will not be working on a Justice League movie for Warners. This news comes from a Dark Knight Rises j...
 photo

13 minute Dark Knight Rises featurette aims to amaze


Jul 09
// Alex Katz
Holy crap, guys, The Dark Knight Rises is in theaters next Friday. It's the film many of us have been aching to see since first stepping out of The Dark Knight four years ago. Four years ago, I was unmarried, still...
 photo

DKR poster for midnight IMAX shows is bright and hopeful!


Jul 06
// Alex Katz
I'm going to sit here and be nice and unhappy that all of the legit 70mm IMAX theaters in Los Angeles sold out their midnight tickets for The Dark Knight Rises back in goddamned January, because it means I can't catch th...
 photo

Trailer: The Dark Knight Rises


Jun 19
// Alex Katz
The newest full length trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, possibly the most anticipated movie of the year, does underwhelm a touch, I must admit. Granted, I think at this point we've got pretty absurdly lofty expectations fo...
 photo

Make a Dark Knight Rises TV spot for Nolan to judge


Jun 18
// Hubert Vigilla
A while ago there was contest for people to design a Dark Knight Rises t-shirt. Christopher Nolan and producer Emma Thomas picked the top entries. With the film fast approaching, there's a new contest asking for fans to creat...
 photo

Dark Knight Rises ticket scalpers hope you're naive


Jun 18
// Hubert Vigilla
The Dark Knight Rises hype continues to mount, with samples from Hans Zimmer's score, TV spots and images, and betterment through hot dogs. Tix went on sale last week, and as Screen Crush and The Playlist point out, scalpers...
 photo

Listen to samples of Zimmer's The Dark Knight Rises score


Jun 15
// Liz Rugg
Below the jump you can take an early listen to some of the score of Christopher Nolan's upcoming The Dark Knight Rises, which is one of the most anticipated movies of the summer. The score was composed by Hans Zimmer, who, if...
 photo

New Dark Knight Rises pics and TV spot are Batman-y


Jun 07
// Hubert Vigilla
The hype machine is just going to keep ratcheting up as July 20th approaches and The Dark Knight Rises hits. Earlier in the week we had the new Dark Knight Rises footage shown at the MTV Movie Awards, and the recent TV spot ...
 photo

The Dark Knight Rises: better with hot dogs


Jun 05
// Alex Katz
The Dark Knight Rises joins the exclusive club "Better as a Hot Dog" with Ryan Hotdogosling. The folks at Sausage Party (hee) have remade one of the Dark Knight Rises trailers, and yes, everyone's a hot dog. Betwee...
 photo

Christopher Nolan says Batman is the biggest talkie ever


Jun 05
// Alec Kubas-Meyer
I think we all know that The Dark Knight Rises is going to be huge. Really, really huge. But if Christopher Nolan's recent statements about the film don't turn out to be hyperbole, then we are in for something absolutely insa...
 photo

The Dark Knight Rises will be 2 hours and 45 minutes, so says AMC. For comparison, Batman Begins was 2 hours 20 minutes, The Dark Knight was 2 hours 32 minutes, and Dr. Phibes Rises Again was 1 hour 28 minutes. AMC also annou...

New clips for The Dark Knight Rises from MTV Movie Awards

Jun 04 // Geoff Henao
[embed]210528:38359:0[/embed]
 photo

[UPDATE: The footage is no longer available. In its place is the the show segment featuring Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt] If you were watching the MTV Movie Awards last night, you might have seen the...

 photo

Warner Bros. pushed for DiCaprio as Riddler


Jun 01
// Jason Savior
Spurred on as I was by fan-made posters depicting beguiling actors such as David Tennant, Jude Law, or Johnny Depp in the role, I became quite enamored with the idea of The Dark Knight Rises offering a realistic take on ...

  Around the web (login to improve these)




Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -