The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

SLIM Hey, it’s your old pal Slim. And this is 70mm, a podcast for film lovers. Every Monday, I sit down to talk about recently watched movies with my dear friend and artist Danny Haas.

DANNY Just call him Dick Grayson! What — he’s not — no one — his name’s not Robin. What are we doing calling him Robin?

SLIM And our spiritual advisor, Protolexus.

PROTO You want to liquid bag of Batman cinema? Woof!

SLIM We are concluding our Nolan trilogy with part three: The Dark Knight Rises. Is it as bad as some hosts remember from all those years ago? Or was Danny right this entire time and is it actually good? Let’s find out… now.

[70mm theme ramps up, plays alone, fades out]

SLIM Elden Ring.

PROTO Oh!

SLIM Let’s start off. Let’s be frank with each other. Proto has watched no movies. He’s been sucked in to this hot new video game. Elben Ring. It’s by George RR Martin —

DANNY Are you saying B? Are you saying El-ben?

PROTO Alben Ring? That’s the other game —

SLIM How many hours have you put into this game so far?

PROTO 10 plus.

DANNY My god!

PROTO Let’s just say 10 plus.

SLIM Is this like WoW? You have to like amp up your character, you gotta pick a class. Like wizard, mage. Tell us about it.

PROTO No, no, no. So this is a game from Software, who are known for their Dark Souls games. And the games are known as being very difficult, they’re pretty hard. You kind of have to grind it. But I’ve never played one of these games. I’ve always been afraid —

SLIM Addiction.

PROTO Yeah, addiction. And if I buy into it, is it just not going to be for me. But this time, you know, I read about it. Everybody’s getting on it. And I thought you know what, I haven’t played a game at release in a long time. And it just felt right. It felt right and I and I thought I’d take a chance. Take a chance on me. Give myself a shot. So I did and it’s paying off. I’m just in love with this game. It kind of, it changes the formula of like gameplay mechanics in ways that’s like really inspiring. Games like this normally, you are kind of on like a loot chase, where you’re like chasing leveling up and chasing the rewards that come from that. But with this, like there’s such a learning curve and a depth to the gameplay, that you’re actually leveling up like your personal skill at being good at the game because it’s so hard. And I’ve just I haven’t really played a game like this — I mean, I’ve played some like roguelikes that are like this that are like really difficult that you just have to like get really good at the mechanics but I’m having the time of… the time my life right now. I couldn’t be happier.

SLIM Do you remember when we all went on vacation together, our group of friends, and WoW I think had like just been released or something. Everyone brought their laptop, their systems. And late one night everyone got, everyone brought their rigs. Everyone got their rigs out and started playing WoW Classic.

PROTO Our mobile rigs.

SLIM There’s a famous video of dear friend of ours, now podcaster, Dirkfeelgood, who does The Movie Mixtape Podcast with also dear friend of ours, Marcie. He was in this kind of like sleeping fugue state. He fell asleep watching everyone play WoW Classic and his head wishes bopping around trying to stay awake.

PROTO He was that engaged. Yeah, we’re playing with our our two producers. Well, our producer Dale and our ex-producer, now disgraced, Ian. Yeah. And yeah, we went into, what’s that dungeon underneath Aguamar? You know what it’s called? Firerage Chasm?

DANNY We went into firerage?

PROTO Ragefire chasm. That’s what it is. Thank you Traynor. I was close.

DANNY Let’s move on.

SLIM Yeah, sorry. Everyone wake up in live chat. We’re moving on. We have a big episode of The Dark Knight Rises. We’re closing out the Nolan-verse tonight together as friends. We’ll settle the score, just like we settle the score again for Rogue One this past week. We released a shock bonus episode of Rogue One: Redux. Danny, what’d you think now you had a few days behind us to marinate on the experience of doing it a second time?

DANNY I think we really bonded over this episode, the three of us together, we reached new levels of friendship. And I’m excited for the third time we do this movie. [Slim laughs]

PROTO That’s code for Danny, that we went more towards what he thinks of the movie.

DASNNY Yes, thank you.

SLIM I have some news. I saw The Batman tonight.

DANNY You just got out of the theater.

SLIM Just get out of the theater. That’s our movie next week. Three hours of The Batman.

PROTO Give us something. Give us something.

SLIM Just a little, I’m not gonna reveal my opinion.

PROTO Something.

DANNY Something.

SLIM I’ll give you something. I’ll just say this.

DANNY Don’t make us beg. [Danny & Slim laugh]

PROTO Like a dog!

SLIM Let me just say this about the Production Design—capital P, capital D—Production Design of this film, I would like it hooked up directly to my veins.

DANNY Mamma miaaaa.

SLIM Intravenously.

DANNY I don’t know what that means.

SLIM That’s all I’ll say about that.

PROTO You want a liquid bag of Batman cinema. [Slim laughs]

SLIM Can we get a Photoshop of intravenous of The Batman production design? [Slim laughs] Proto, did you watch any movies this week before you became a Elden Ring addict?

PROTO I did watch a movie. Okay? I’m a professional here. Everyone knows this. I don’t miss a beat. And I did watch a movie. I continued our Marvel Cinematic Universe journey.

DANNY Oh no.

SLIM Disgusting.

PROTO With my son. Yeah, I got to watch for the first time, Age of Ultron.

DANNY Oh, I’m sorry.

SLIM Wuuut?

PROTO Which I’d never seen.

SLIM James Spader’s lips.

PROTO James Spader’s lips. James Spader’s voice. I don’t know. I don’t know what the consensus is. But I liked James Spader in this as Ultron. I liked his voice. I liked his performance as that man. Yeah. And I mean, I gave it two stars. [Danny laughs] I kind of, I enjoyed it for the most part. I think it’s better than Ant Man. I mean, it has a lot, you know, a lot of issues just like classic issue. The biggest is just the whole love story angle between the Hulk and Black Widow. What are we thinking with this storyline?

DANNY Is this the big hide the pickle joke movie?

SLIM Do you remember a pickle joke Proto?

PROTO I think that does sound familiar. But I might have already blocked it out.

SLIM I think this one came out —

PROTO Hey big guy… [Danny laughs] Drink every time —

DANNY We need to isolate that.

SLIM Mental editing note, isolate Proto’s big guy audio. I think this had come out after some good Marvel movies had come out.

DANNY Name one. See? See?

SLIM Is the second Captain America movie out by this point?

DANNY No one knows.

PROTO Winter Soldier? Yes.

SLIM Thank you, Hannah. So that had come out. And then you get Avengers 2: Age of Ultron with that director. And you’re ready for let’s get rid of this guy because we have these studs on the Captain America movies. And then they eventually took over those those Avengers movies as they should have.

DANNY Those guys.

PROTO Yeah, not much to say about this movie. I mean, everybody else has already seen it.

SLIM We don’t need to dwell on that filth.

DANNY It’s 20 years old.

SLIM Slovenia. What was the country name?

PROTO Yeah, it was like Slovenia like, everything’s going down in Slovenia. This one town. [Slim laughs]

SLIM Danny, what did you watch this week?

DANNY After our last episode, your words about V for Vendetta really struck a chord with me. So I fired up V for Vendetta and gave it a fat juicy heart on Letterboxd. What an enjoyable movie.

SLIM No rating.

DANNY And I wish that one day we could cover it on the show. [Slim laughs]

SLIM Did I miss some kind of V for Vendetta love fest that I’m just like oblivious to? Is there a B community for the film and not the book?

DANNY There’s a forum somewhere.

SLIM Casey, thank you.

PROTO I think it’s just that we don’t hate it.

SLIM I don’t hate it. I’m just saying I have a list of movies that I would want to cover on this show.

DANNY You said never.

SLIM With you two, this is maybe at the bottom of the list.

DANNY Hmm, that’s not what you said.

SLIM Like this and Catwoman are probably the last two movies I want to cover for this podcast.

DANNY Interesting.

SLIM Thank you, Casey. I’m getting supported by your partner in chat.

DANNY My wife, please.

SLIM What about Beauty and the Beast? You watched that too.

DANNY Beauty and the Beast was a family movie night. We do her family movie nights. We all pick a movie in our family. Put our names in a spinning name app. And if you get picked, it’s your movie for that night. You can’t get upset if your movie doesn’t get picked because it’s all random. Casey’s pick was Beauty and the Beast. The animated, beautiful film, five stars. It’s such a perfect movie. I love it. Actually, the first movie I ever saw in theaters when I was a kid, so that was, it’s a special movie. I love this movie. It’s incredible.

SLIM That music hits where he’s transforming. Are you kidding me? I’m getting chilled up right now just thinking about it!

DANNY Sheesh.

PROTO It’s magic.

SLIM Imagine a Beauty and the Beast episode?

DANNY Oh my gosh. Yeah, so that’s all we watched this week. Got to see a Basquiat exhibit in the museum here. Love one of my favorite artists. It was a beautiful weekend.

PROTO I’m wearing my Basquiat shirt right now!

DANNY I saw. I saw your Basquiat shirt and I love you.

SLIM Wow. We have some new friends on Patreon to say hello to. Sarah and Kip joined this past week. They get access to the VHS Village Discord, discounts on Danny’s beautiful prints and merch, by the way, the Episode 91 hat. It’s going fast. That’s all I can tell you about right now. It’s going very fast. There was some buzz in on Twitter. Some people asking for another Redux episode potentially for Episode 91.

DANNY What could we redo?

SLIM Proto, would you ever want to go back and redo our Dune episode? For a Redux episode?

PROTO I think it would be interesting to do after Part Two comes out.

SLIM We’re 100% doing Part Two on this show.

DANNY 100% we’re doing Part Two on the show.

SLIM I guarantee it.

PROTO Someone has to do it. If not us, who?

SLIM I was thinking about that today. I was marinating on a dog walk today. What if we did part one and two as a as an entire episode?

PROTO As one movie, as it was intended.

SLIM Full movie as it should have been.

DANNY It’s weird that people would want us to redo an episode of a movie we liked. You know? It’s really interesting.

PROTO Yeah. You know what? [bell rings] That was a good point. [Danny & Slim laugh]

SLIM What have we redux one of the most controversial, maybe more controversial than the Dune episode, we go back and we do that big green lovable character Shrek?

DANNY Oh, yeah.

SLIM Shrek Redux. Proto just scoffed at me! You heard it. [Slim laughs] It’s the first I’ve ever heard Proto scoff on this podcast.

PROTO Thank you, Matthew. Shrek still sucks. [Slim laughs]

DANNY Supported.

SLIM I can’t believe it. No movie more divisive than Shrek in our community. Makes me ill! Every week we give away a free year of Letterboxd Pro for sharing the show on social media. Disclaimer, I’m a Letterboxd employee. And I want to call out this one tweet that probably stopped us all in our tracks this week. Positive tweet, stopped us on our tracks. Quote, “If you want to listen to three guys who are almost 50 pretend they’re 30 and act like they’re 20, then @70mmpod is the movie podcast for you. Five stars.” Danny, your reaction to that tweet?

DANNY That tweet was a journey that I went on reading it. I mean, we’re all in our 30s! [Danny & Slim laugh] Sir!

SLIM I replied to that tweet, “I’m 38!” Who’s the most 50-ish out of all the hosts?

DANNY Me, I’m 39. I turn 40 this year. I’m the oldest. I’m the elder. The Elder Ring.

SLIM That was Dustin Jackson. So Dustin, you win a free year of Letterboxd Pro by the way.

DANNY Congrats Dustin, thanks for your support. [Slim laughs]

SLIM So labored in that thank.

DANNY Grateful for your support Dustin.

SLIM Real quick, I’ll talk about a movie that I watched before we get into the Dark Knight Rises, the main event the main course. I was lucky enough to watch After Yang.

DANNY Oh yeah, talk about it.

SLIM This movie is dropping on Showtime or will be out on Showtime, I believe when this episode posts.

DANNY Wait. This is a Showtime release movie?

SLIM I mean it came out in Sundance and I think Showtime signed —

DANNY Oh okay, gotcha.

SLIM Signed the deal to get the digital release. When his young daughter’s beloved companion and Android name Yang malfunctions, Jake searches for a way to repair him. In the process Jake discovers the life that has been passing in front of him. Reconnecting with his wife and daughter across a distance he didn’t know was there. Colin Ferrell is in this, Jodie Turner Smith. This is one of those — oh yeah, A24 Matthew calls out in chat. This is one of those lo-fi sci fi movies that I love, you know, where it’s really about the human relationships in the movie and there’s like some minor sci fi aspects of it that are kind of like in the background but are super cool. Colin Ferrell is amazing in this. My review was almost like, can we talk about Colin Ferrell’s career at this point?

DANNY Has he ever missed?

SLIM I mean, I would not have foreseen the like the varying degree of his filmography at this point of his career. It’s so good. He just knows how to pick them. But through this journey that he goes on trying to repair Yang, I thought it was incredible. I gave it five stars and Letterboxd. Loved it. Hit me at the right time. I highly recommend everyone go see it.

PROTO Is it better than Artificial Intelligence? [Slim laughs]

SLIM It’s very meditative. I watched this on my laptop. I laid down on the couch. Nova, my my doggo, laid her head on my legs. I was watching it. It was like the ideal movie watching scenario. And I had an emotional experience watching this film, so much recommend everyone check it out, if possible. Look at how good Colin Farrell looks in that still from that trailer. The mustache alone.

PROTO The mustache, yeah.

DANNY I mean, The Lobster, Killing of a Sacred Deer. I mean, he’s done these lo-fi sci fis for a bit.

PROTO Yeah, but he had about — I want to say he had like 15 years of like nothing.

SLIM Yeah, I mean, he did the Total Recall reboot. He did the Fright Night reboot. He was in Horrible Bosses.

DANNY People love that movie.

PROTO Fascinating career, though.

SLIM Yeah, he’s got a very varied career.

PROTO I mean, you just saw them in the new Batman!

SLIM Which I can’t believe that he was in that. I would love to read a book about how he was cast as the Penguin. I mean, early on in his career, I was like, he was one of my favorite actors. Tigerland had come out, I think when I was working at West Coast Video, so I tracked down a DVD of that and then it was in Hearts War. Minority Report is amazing. He did Phone Booth. Remember that movie?

DANNY Phone Booth was wild.

SLIM The Recruit with Al Pacino. Sadly he was in Daredevil after that. One of the worst performances in history.

DANNY Evanescence. Can we play some Evanescence right now?

SLIM Oh my gos. Just got removed from Spotify for just saying Evanescence out loud. [Danny laughs] So yeah, also he was in The New World from Terrence Malick. Have you seen that Proto?

PROTO No, I really want to, to just you know to probably be disappointed but yeah, I really want to see that. I’ve been eyeing up that Criterion disk.

SLIM Alright, so check out After Yang if you’re at all able to, highly recommended. Five stars, movie of the year for me. But we need to get into the feature prezzo. The one we need to get into, The Dark Knight Rises. The most anticipated sequel in superhero film history.

DANNY Sheesh!

SLIM 2012.

PROTO Is that true?

SLIM Christopher Nolan.

DANNY Can you back that up?

SLIM Christian Bale. Anne Hathaway. Proto, what is the Dark Knight Rises?

[music from The Dark Knight Rises plays]

PROTO After the events of The Dark Knight, Batman, believed to be responsible for Harvey dents killing spree, disappears. But with the work that was done to clean up Gotham, it appears that he is no longer needed. Eight years have passed and Gotham is in better shape than ever. But Bane, a former member of the League of Shadows has come to Gotham to complete the work of Ra’s al Ghul, destroy Gotham. How? He takes the core of an experimental fusion reactor that Wayne Enterprises has in their basement and turns it into an armed nuke set to blow. Bruce Wayne dons the cowl one final time to stop being but Does he still have it? Can he still be the Batman? Can he still kick and punch and stuff? Yes and no. All it takes is some prison time in the Dark Knight Rises.

SLIM [Slim in Batman voice] So that what that feels like? They wouldn’t give the trigger to an ordinary citizen. So that’s another thing I kind of figured out in this viewing was, I’m guessing he couldn’t breathe through his nose in the cowl right? He was just always breathing through his mouth? That’s why the mouth was open constantly?

PROTO I also noticed that his technique of doing the voice is that he never let his lips touch. [Proto in Batman voice] Like he always just he never connected the lips at all. [Danny laughs] If you hold, you kinda —

SLIM [Slim in an increasingly questionable Batman voice] You wouldn’t give the trigger to an ordinary citizen… [Slim laughs] Where do we begin? I have some history with this movie.

DANNY Tell us!

SLIM I have some deep history with this movie.

DANNY Talk to us.

SLIM I was pissed when I saw this movie. [Proto gasps]

DANNY Talk to us!

SLIM I had a real bad reaction to the follow up to The Dark Knight. And I remember I said it last week. How on earth do you top The Dark Knight? Like it’s not possible. The storyline was so huge. It’s so good. In the movie universe, I said like, I think chat called out that I like how do you top this amazing perfect movie? I gave it four and a half stars. I mean, in the story terms, how do you top with Joker did and what Batman did? It’s like so vast, and I felt like it in, when I saw this in theaters. I was so confused by the Bane storyline. In my head. I was so annoyed that like Bruce Wayne healed his broken back in a couple months or two months, whatever it was. So I didn’t watch this movie for a long time until this week.

DANNY I was just a slipped disk.

SLIM Anyway. [Slim & Proto laugh]

PROTO Just needs a good punch.

SLIM He had a vertebrate, you know, pumping out of his back. He healed himself in two months. But Proto, what’s your backstory with The Dark Knight Rises? Do you remember?

PROTO Not really, you know, the last time I saw this was in theater. And yeah, I didn’t really remember too much about it. I remembered the prison, the breaking of the back. But the whole like, really what happens with Anne Hathaway and anything with the cops, I was kind of I was I forgot that Joseph Gordon Levitt was in this movie to be honest.

DANNY Jesus Christ.

PROTO So that’s where I was at. It was, you know, it was pretty much a fresh, it felt like a fresh viewing for me.

DANNY Wow, amazing. Well, that’s good then.

SLIM What’s your backstory, Danny, with The Dark Knight Rises?

DANNY We were probably, I don’t know, in a good spot at the comic store. We were hanging posters, we lined up to get tickets to see just that 10 minute, that first 10 minutes of the movie in IMAX, you know, when they hadn’t changed Bane’s voice at the time. I mean, the hype around this film was intense in any sort of comic community, that at least I was a part of. And I mean opening night we were there at the same place I’m seeing The Batman this weekend’s where I saw this film, so it’s just this movie was huge. And it was big for me because I don’t remember coming out of the theater in love with it like I did The Dark Knight and so I don’t know if it had reached the levels of you know what The Dark Knight did for me as performances wise with the Joker and because of all that kind of stuff but yeah, that’s that’s kind of my past with it.

SLIM Proto, what’s number one on your list for The Dark Knight Rises?

PROTO Well, the first thing on my list is Bane’s voice. So what is this, what is the backstory? Did they change it at some point? So what happened?

DANNY Well, from what I remember, in the IMAX preview that we got that was a big like event, was the first 10 minutes of the film, you could go see which was just the airplane sequence from the opening of this film, and then it had like quick shots of the movie to wrap up what you’re watching. And in that was just Tom talking through the mask, no voiceover and it was honestly impossible to understand a word he was saying. So from what I understand, was he came back and did all ADR to cover up, to come back and do his voice again. Well, they also won’t admit that they did that. But it’s —

SLIM It’s pretty obvious.

DANNY It’s very obvious.

[clip of The Dark Knight rises plays]

PROTO Yeah, I mean, it’s so obvious that there’s no like, ambience when he’s speaking. It sounds like, he’s like in a recording booth.

SLIM They just added it to the footage.

PROTO Yeah, like the levels aren’t even like the same with other people like talking in the scene. Like, whenever he talks, it’s like louder and clearer in some way. You can, you can clearly, you know, it’s not hard to understand what he’s saying. It’s just, I mean, Hardy has just like a strange kind of [in Bane voice] delivery with like, the end of his words. But yeah, it just, it kind of took me out of it whenever he was talking because of, you could just tell it was so different than everything else.

DANNY And it’s really noticeable right away, because you have everyone yelling over plain noises in this hole of a plane. But then you have Bane who isn’t shouting at all. He’s talking normal, but his volume is incredibly loud. And then you have to deal with Tom’s accent. And then you have to deal with whatever Tom is trying to do with Bane as some sort of evil overlord, as well. So it feels like a giant mess when it comes to his voice.

SLIM I will say that Bane in the animated series is awesome. [Danny laughs] You know, in comic books, Bane is almost, I think he’s almost like a master strategist. I think that’s how it comes across in the animated series and in the comic books, so I love Bane in the comics. So when they said Bane is going to be the villain in the movie, you’re like okurrr.

PROTO I don’t remember from the animated, is he on the juice in that?

SLIM Yeah, he’s on the juice.

DANNY Yeah, very much like the older movie.

SLIM Number one for me, sorry, number one. I’m gonna say something scandalous that I might have disagreed with my younger self, but I really like Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman in this. This viewing, I was smitten, I loved her. I loved her character. I loved her acting in those scenes where she felt like she was just screwed, you know, in terms of how her life had played out, and how she was almost like pretty much depressed. Like there’s nothing for me, some people just can’t get out of this life. I really connected with her in this viewing. I really, probably disagreed strongly when I was younger. I think when I was younger, and I saw this Catwoman, I was like, man, this sucks. Anne Hathaway, get out of my movie. I just want Batman in my movies, Catwoman! [Danny laughs] But I really enjoyed it. Danny, what did you think?

DANNY Yeah, I do love her as Catwoman and I really like, I like her moments outside of Catwoman. I like her Selina moments where she is, you know, being a real person. Even the scene where she returns the congressman for the fingerprints and she fakes being scared when the police are coming. I love those quick sequences with her. I love the masquerade ball with her, where she’s just given it right back to Bruce. There’s just something, I mean, it’s just hard to not like Anne Hathaway anyway. I just really love her.

SLIM Some haters in chat right now. Anne Hathaway haters. AHH.

DANNY That’s fine. Let them hate. She, I mean, she’s really cool in this movie. I love her. When she attacks Daggett and does the like, heel up the wall to knock the gun out of the hand.

PROTO Oh yeah, that stiletto.

DANNY Woof!

PROTO Sheesh!

SLIM I also feel like she played the perfect character for Bruce to want to retire with. He almost had this kind of mirror image almost of, if I was ever going to just quit and leave with someone who also wants a fresh start, like this Catwoman is the one for me.

PROTO Yeah, I like how she is, she fits well into like the Nolan universe of Batman where the whole Catwoman aspect is understated. And not really, they don’t even say Catwoman in this.

DANNY They don’t even say Catwoman.

PROTO She doesn’t really have a costume. She just happens to have like a pair of goggles that look like cat ears when they’re flipped up. Yeah, it’s more of like she’s a burglar. Yeah, I think like her scenes are just like really well done. And like Anne Hathaway really owns the role. Yeah, I think it’s probably, yeah, it’s one of the performances that I liked the most from this.

SLIM I will say she her costume in some of the scenes where she’s like Catwoman kind of looks a little bit goofy. It’s almost bordering, like this is drifting into almost unbelievable that she would walk around in this. Where like Batman is kind of like fighting crime. He needs like a military suit. But like Catwoman, you don’t really need —

DANNY I mean, the same can be said for Black Widow.

SLIM Well, I’m not talking about those movies right now. [Slim laughs]

DANNY A lot I like is also Zimmer’s score for her, the little piano riff whenever she’s on, like, especially when she’s trying to flee and get on the plane and she’s got that hat on and there’s a great score behind her in that scene.

SLIM What’s your number one Danny on your list?

DANNY Number one on my list. This viewing I really enjoyed the storyline with the pit that Batman and Bruce Wayne get thrown into. I love Nolan’s kind of grounded realistic take on the Lazarus Pit. And I just think it’s, I like it, I like the the moments with the doctor and him climbing out and the chance. There’s something really cool about that scene. Learning more about Bane, learning about Talia and the child that climbed down in him thinking the whole time that it was Bane that actually got out but he was the protector of her and I don’t know, I just really enjoyed those scenes and in 4K, it looked really good. I mean, a lot of this film looked gorgeous in 4K. But, I just really liked the pit. I mean, yeah, it’s just really cool as a cool take on the Lazarus Pit.

SLIM So when I was, when I first saw this movie, I remember being really annoyed that he healed from like a broken back, injured back, in what I thought was under three months and then swims to Gotham. And I said three months because on the TV, it says like Gotham day 89 or whatever. But the wiki says that he was down there for five months. Did I miss like another TV announcements?

DANNY No they do a bad time of showing the length of time he’s actually there. It is the longer, it is the five months.

PROTO You got Nolan’d.

DANNY Yeah, you got Tenet’d. [Slim laughs]

SLIM I though the wiki was I had an error, like the wiki says he was added for five months. I don’t remember them saying five months.

DANNY You gotta read between the lines with Nolan.

SLIM That says more believable than 80 days of him like healing. I also was like, how did he not reinjure his back falling and failing from that jump?

PROTO Right? That rope? Are you kidding me?

SLIM That would have severed his back again.

DANNY Well, you see the angle of which he landed — [Slim laughs] His stomach took the brunt of the fall.

SLIM His six packs of saved his back I think.

PROTO I’m conflicted about the pit because I liked the concept. The idea of it I think is cool. It’s very like something from a comic book. And it’s fun, I just don’t know if I like love the execution of it. I think the whole like chanting as a guide, like he’s climbing out, it’s a little corny.

SLIM I think it’s also tough to have, this is a big movie like Batman when the starts he’s retired for eight years he comes back as Batman, gets his back broken and he’s gone for five months and then comes back. So the time aspect of this movies is long, like even the him like having a broken back in theory would be like the end of the last movie or like start the beginning and have his journey being for like three quarters of the movie coming back from the broken back. I don’t know, I feel like the the the way they slotted the pieces around could have been done a little bit better to have it make, have it feel have more umph, I guess in my opinion.

PROTO It feels like Nolan had this obsession with this idea of Bruce Wayne wanting to get out of being Batman. And like you know, it’s in The Dark Knight and then it’s in this one as well. And it feels like that whole setup of like things are going great for eight years and like oh this you know, this Bane figure comes around, oh, I got to be Batman one more time to like set things right, so I can finally retire from being the Batman. Which it seems like it like was the guiding force for the whole story, which is, I don’t know if it like I don’t say it’s like good or bad. It’s just like a peculiar approach to telling a Batman story to me.

DANNY I think it’s because he tried so hard to tell the story that, the whole anyone can be a Batman story. You don’t have to be a billionaire, you don’t have to know, you know, martial arts to be Batman. So this, you know, him trying to retire but also pass the mantle and inspire a generation of people to, you know, not really fight crime, but anyone can be the person that stands up to injustice. And I think there’s that overarching story which is very, is told in this very long film with a very lot of storylines.

SLIM Thick. When I actually forgot that this movie started with him being retired for eight years, or like a recluse. I also was getting kind of pissed at Bruce for like, just essentially not doing anything for eight years. Like that orphanage stuff like, what is your problem? Like do something during the day! Sign some checks.

PROTO He doesn’t even know what’s going on with his company.

DANNY Yeah. I mean, that’s the that’s what, that’s what Alfred is pretty much yelling at him about, like, he’s pissed at Bruce for, you know, giving into his fear, his anger. He doesn’t know how to move on from being Batman, since he’s chosen to retire. And the fact that him, you know, being gone for eight years now it’s or, you know, him disappearing has allowed his actions of the Dark Knight to like, maintain meaning and significance, and Batman’s no longer needed, but at least it made his sacrifice worthwhile. And I like the eight year break, and I like the idea that he lost himself as a person and he just couldn’t come back from it. And he fixed the city, but also, he didn’t, I mean, he’d lost himself in doing so.

SLIM Megan just posted I think what my favorite shot of the movie is, where he’s darting around in the flashing of the bullets.

DANNY That’s your favorite part of the movie?

SLIM Yeah, I think so.

DANNY Okay. [Slim laughs]

SLIM Danny is ready to strangle me right now. Whose turn is it? Is it Proto’s number two?

PROTO My number two is I really like the Batplane helicopter thing.

SLIM Ohhhh yeah.

PROTO That’s really sick. It’s such a cool design the way it because it looks like the tumbler but like they carved out the bottom and put a helicopter blade underneath of it. Yeah, it’s just like an awesome design. I think the scenes where it’s involved, like when it comes out of the alley. It’s like shot so well, it feels I mean, is that CG? Does anybody know? Is that that practical? [Slim laughs]

DANNY It is practical. They do so much of that they built a full scale bat and they literally pull it through the city on pulley wires, through the air and then they have it strapped to a top of a car that’s controlled by a remote control of, you know, to move around. It’s so impressive that there’s so little of it CG. I mean it’s obviously the flying over the city stuff is, but the grounded kind of stuff is amazing. And they had to mimic you know, Tim just said in the chat about coming into the Batcave, yeah, they throw it into the Batcave just like they did the the tumbler, it’s such an amazing thing. And that’s like a prop that I hope still exists somewhere that I’d love to see one day, just to see that Bat in person.

PROTO When it flies into the Batcave. And then like the platform rises out of the water.

DANNY Did you say Rises? [Slim laughs]

PROTO Rises.

SLIM Marcie in chat is bringing up Pittsburgh. Marcie, no offense right now. But I did not enjoy Gotham’s look in this movie. It seemed a little generic compared —

DANNY That’s because it’s Pittsburgh.

SLIM It is Pittsburgh. And our Pittsburgh audience, please, just hold. Compared to Batman Begins and in the like the personality the city, there’s like no personality going on in Gotham in this one in my opinion. Proto, what do you think?

PROTO Yeah, I mean, the main shot like when Batman first appears and he’s on the bike. And there it looks like they’re going along like a like a river there. That just looks so, I don’t know. Almost like residential or something like, it just doesn’t really have much like character. Or it doesn’t invoke any sense of being Gotham. It looks like we are, hey, we’re in Pittsburgh, and we’re doing the best we can all right? [Slim laughs]

SLIM Christopher Nolan is piercing his lips. [Slim in questionable Nolan impression] “Mmm. We’re in Pittsburgh. Mmmkay? Mmm.” [Danny laughs]

DANNY We couldn’t get Chicago for this shoot.

SLIM It’s all we have. Alright. I think it’s my turn. I will say I think my actual favorite scene is Batman fighting Bane for the first time.

DANNY God damnit, that was my choice for the next point.

SLIM In the rain with the water coming down. And Batman just looking absolutely pathetic in this fight like he’s never fought a human being his entire life.

[clip of The Dark Knight plays]

SLIM Bane just like just stepping on his cape for like the first move of the fight and he defeats him, but it looks awesome and he kicks his ass and the entire thing it looks so cool, he breaks his back and then for comic fans, like “Oh god he broke his back just like the comics!” Like a lot of this is based on Nightfall. No man’s land. But I think it looks awesome. Like this is the money shot. This entire fight scene.

DANNY That fight felt like it was just short of being putting his hand on Batman’s head and Batman just flailing his arms like he can’t reach Bane. Like he was just making a fool out of him in this fight, and honestly, the lead up is great too where he gets swindled by Catoman just trying to get out. Anything to get these guys off her back and she learns his identity right there.

SLIM She starts crying.

DANNY I mean, she just watched him get, I mean, she thinks he’s done. I mean, he gets destroyed. The cracking of the cowl. I mean, that scene is intense. And it’s really annoying, because it could be something of like legend for me, like the interrogation scene in Dark Knight. But Bane’s voice in that scene. It’s just so corny. Like I just, every time like, I would just rather than just shut up and fight. But every time Bane talks, oh, the theatricality and like it’s just so cheesy. It’s so hard to enjoy.

PROTO Yeah, I also just wish like he was bigger because like Tom Hardy doesn’t, I don’t know, like Tom Hardy doesn’t, he doesn’t seem like a big dude in this. Like, he doesn’t even really look like Jack that much either.

DANNY What?! He looks thick as hell.

SLIM He did look like he gained weight but I don’t know if he’s like cut.

PROTO Yeah, when I think of Bane, I think of like jacked. So I don’t know. The scene, I mean, the scene’s good. I’ve never, yeah, I mean, I forgot it. There’s so many iconic lines in this movie. The whole like, you know, born in darkness. I forgot that was from the scene. I mean, that line is so ubiquitous at this point.

SLIM Yeah. God, you couldn’t escape those lines when this movie came out.

DANNY You couldn’t.

SLIM Everyone doing impressions left and right.

DANNY Everybody.

PROTO Not jacked, Megan. That is not jacked.

DANNY If Tom walked up to me like that, I would say, “this man is jacked.”

SLIM Really?

DANNY He looks huge!

SLIM I mean, he’s huge. He’s probably really strong.

PROTO He’s jacked for man, but he’s not jacked for Bane. There’s a different jacking. [Slim laughs]

SLIM Maybe they should have given the serum. He’s jacking up. You know, he’s putting the poison in hi,

DANNY No, you guys are turning back into the comic book movies, the cheesy —

SLIM I mean, pretty comic booky. Tim in chat said he’s got a fighters body. I can agree with that. Danny, what’s your number two?

DANNY Number two. The one thing that actually frustrates me in this film, John Blake, Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

SLIM Let’s get into it.

DANNY Now, outside of Joseph. I love Joseph. I think he’s a great actor in this film. I love his storyline. I think he was, I don’t know, I liked this person who is molded into what we are being told is Robin and it’s what we find out at the very end, his real name is Robin John Blake. It felt like someone dumped a bucket of cold water on my head when I heard that at the end of the movie. So in the comics there’s some great — I’m a huge Dick Grayson fan and I wanted him so bad to just, you should have went by your real name, Richard or something. Like give me him as Richard Grayson. Give me Dick. Okay?

SLIM Just call him Dick Grayson in the movie!

DANNY Just call him Dick Grayson!

SLIM Officer Grayson.

DANNY Just call him Dick Grayson! What — he’s not — no one — his name’s not Robin. What are we doing calling him Robin? There’s even there’s even in the comics stuff of Dick in GCPD. It’s like, this was set up to lead into a Dick Grayson taking over as Batman who, I know, I could argue that Dick was a better Batman than Bruce in the comics. So it’s like, it was set up so perfectly. And when she says Robin, I almost fell out of my chair.

SLIM Deflate audio. Balloon just deflating.

DANNY I was so frustrated because I think he’s one of the best parts of the movie. I like his character a lot working with Gordon. But to lead up to that and then to just see him swinging in the Batcave, like it was left to him. Why is his name Robin? Please.

SLIM It would have been cool if he was just like you could even presume that he would maybe just become Nightwing. He doesn’t need to be Batman. He could’ve been something new in Gotham. I could be Nightwing. I also had problems with him discovering Batman secret identity because Bruce Wayne was smiling at the orphanage.

PROTO Oh my gosh.

SLIM He instantly discovered the identity because of that, Proto.

DANNY Expert detective.

PROTO Yeah, I mean, everybody knows it was Bruce. Everybody figured it out in this movie.

SLIM Except Jim Gordon. [Slim laughs]

DANNY Poor Jim.

PROTO Yeah, that line that Batman says to him of like, I don’t know, whatever. [Proto in Batman voice] Helped a little boy, who held out his hand, when his parents were shot in an alley, that he never forget. Or whatever the heck he said.

SLIM And then Gordon’s like “Bruce… Wayne?!” Do we even need that? Like how would you even remember 20 plus years ago you putting a coat around a young boy? You’re a police officer, how many times you consoling victims of murder in Gotham? It could have been 100 people —

PROTO Him realizing because of that, it was pretty silly.

SLIM The one thing I do want to bring up Gordon you know in the No Man’s Land comics which is a some of what they pulled from the comic books. Gotham being cut off from the country etc. Gordon gets pissed at Batman because Batman disappears for several months in that comic book storyline. So they have like a schism, separation. And Batman tries to like do a me culpa to Gordon, like I’m back we can trust each other again, Gordon’s like I don’t think so. So Batman to try to make up he takes his mask off to reveal his identity to Gordon but Gordon has his back turn and he’s like, I don’t want to see it. Put the mask back on. You could have done that in this movie.

DANNY Oh, man. What a moment that would have been.

SLIM That would have been pretty baller. And then it’s like their fractured relationship as to kind of like heal from that.

PROTO You’re a symbol! I don’t need to see your face! How about Gary Oldman —

DANNY Talk to us.

PROTO How about Gary Oldman fumbling around on top of that dump truck? Did he look not prepared for that action scene that he was involved with? [Danny laughs]

DANNY Could they have picked someone more spry to climb on the back of a moving truck?

PROTO Can we get a stunt double? [Danny & Slim laugh]

SLIM Also, how about Talia al Ghul reveals her master plan. She’s dead literally two minutes later in one of the most embarrassing deaths and positions to be killed in. [Slim laughs]

DANNY Oh my gosh. I thought about that scene too, watching it again. Where she’s staring at Gary Oldman, Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway. And the way she’s sitting, I felt embarrassed for her! [Slim laughs]

SLIM Evil mastermind Talia al Ghul, 90 seconds later, she looks like she’s laying on the couch, trying to find something on Netflix.

PROTO Her vertebrae is not doing well.

SLIM One other thing, how did Robin —

DANNY Do not say that. Do not call him Robin. [Slim laughs] Not in front of me.

SLIM JGL. How did he find Gordon so fast in that drain? Remember that, he’s like, when he gets kidnapped, he rolls into the drain. And JGL knows to go to that exit.

DANNY It’s where he found the body of the first time.

SLIM Which body?

DANNY In the be beginning of the movie, when he found the dead orphan. That’s where the body washed up.

SLIM Ohhh.

DANNY Were you guys watching?

SLIM Maybe.

PROTO There were a lot of scenes, like how did Batman know where to find Catwoman when he came back to the city? There’s so much like, is this not a big city? It’s like, how was everyone finding each other so easily?

SLIM And he’s also just strolling up to her.

DANNY Oh, there’s a lot of awkward walking scenes in this film. Like when they meet in the in the train tunnel where they, the subway tunnel, l where they have to walk to see Bane and the music kind of kicks in hard, but they’re just like strolling away. And then the weird awkward walk that Lucius Fox gives to his secret bookcase. It’s like 10 seconds long. He’s like, let me show you one more thing and it’s like, doo, doo, doo, doo. Just walking along the bookcase. It’s like can we cut please?

SLIM Mhmm. Proto’s number three?

PROTO This will be my third.

DANNY Oh man, we’re wrapping up.

PROTO So I think my biggest problem with this movie is that for a story, that’s where the main threat is blowing up Gotham City, the story feels very small to me. Even though it should feel huge, like this is a risk of the city. But I was thinking about it. I was trying to figure out like, why does this not feel epic? Because you think like The Dark Knight Rises, I remember the trailer for this, it seemed like he’s like, this is going to be epic. But as I’m watching this, I just don’t, I don’t feel that way at all. And I think the thing is, is that there’s never a moment where I actually believe there’s a risk, or like, something’s gonna go wrong, right? Like, you know that Gotham is not gonna get blown up. When you compare it to the Dark Knight though, The Dark Knight has these relationships and these people who might not make it and they don’t, right, like Harvey Dent dies, Rachel Dawes dies. And there’s like that emotional connection to those characters that Batman has. And in the movie, you don’t, you know, you don’t know if, if Harvey Dent or Two-Face is going to survive or not. And the fact that they die, it feels like there’s real stakes in that movie. And you know, and there’s the stuff with the Joker, but like, even like, alright, you know, like Batman is gonna save the people on the on the on the boats. But it’s like, this movie has the threat that you know Batman will stop. But it doesn’t have that other part that where you feel like there’s real risk of like, oh, I don’t know what’s gonna happen. Like, I guess, I guess Selina Kyle could have died. Or there could have been some kind of threat to her life but there there really isn’t. And then like Alfred disappears halfway through this movie. So that to me, there isn’t any kind of like, real threat that I actually believe. So I’m never like convinced that anything is gonna happen other than what I expect. I don’t know. How do you guys feel about the overall plot of it?

SLIM Now that you say that, I remember saying last week that when I watched The Dark Knight, I just felt anxious the whole time, because everything was so chaotic, and nerve wracking, but I didn’t feel that way this time around. So I agree. I didn’t have any kind of like real connection to the characters, or the idea that people might be in danger. You know, also to the fact that like, all those idiot cops went in the sewers. So they sent 5000 cops into the sewers.

DANNY 3000.

SLIM Whatever. I mean, the one of the dumbest plans that Gotham has ever had, and they got locked down there.

DANNY I mean, I totally agree with Proto. I think it’s a very valid point. I don’t know that it takes me out of it, per se. And I was realizing a lot, it’s so weird. So much that keeps me in this movie is Hans Zimmer score. It’s quite, to me, it’s my favorite out of the three movies, I think. There’s so many moments where I think it could be dull, but for whatever reason, Zimmer’s score kind of kicks in, and I get kind of amped even if it’s something simple, but yeah, I mean, there’s very low, it does feel like there’s low stakes in this movie, and I think maybe the ending of Batman dying… ish, like the thought of him getting nuked. I remember, the first time it happened. I think I was super emotional then, thinking that, I mean, we just lost Batman bale. This kind of was like a very finite kind of into the story. And he sacrificed himself. So for me, that was a big moment in this film, but there is so many, with the amount of storylines nothing felt heavy enough to be on the edge of my seat for.

SLIM Yeah, I love the ending of this movie.

DANNY I do love it too. Yeah.

SLIM I think it’s incredible. That scene with Alfred and he at the end. Started tearing up myself.

DANNY The Ferny Branca.

PROTO Yeah, it’s a nice way to end a trilogy. Yeah, it’s well done.

SLIM My last one. So when this viewing, and I think last time I still kind of like don’t grasp why they still want to destroy Gotham. And I say that because crime is down. You know, like, the city is almost like doing very well for itself. Like why do you still want to destroy it? But then I guess in this viewing, I saw a little bit more of them still taking down the rich. Like let’s destroy Wall Street. And then this is just, through the lens of 2022. Like it did appear a little bit more like, I wrote a snarky Letterboxd review of like Batman saving the rich and the cops, which like is a bit of a disconnect in this day and age in our current climate. But that did affect my viewing this time around like, I just still think the cops are morons, like don’t care about saving these idiot cops in the sewers I don’t care about protecting the wealthy of Gotham and I know that’s like a snarky take of like yeah, I agree with Bane like destroy all these people but it did affect my viewing a little bit where like I just didn’t really care that Batman was really saving all these people that maybe didn’t need saving in Gotham.

PROTO Wow. [Slim laughs] Slim wants everyone dead.

DANNY Everyone.

PROTO The shot that kind of made me a little queasy is when Batman basically becomes the police commissioner and like all the police are coming out of the tunnel and he’s like they’re like with him and just him being identified with them. I was like, oh man, this doesn’t look that great. But, I don’t know, other than that, yeah.

SLIM Okay, I’m the odd man out, that’s fine.

DANNY Well there’s more to save than just the rich. I don’t, I mean the the city is still rotting from the ground up because of the rich and the inequity that’s still in Gotham even when there’s no crime or mob boss. So I mean, they mentioned like 12 million are going to die if this bomb goes off. So there’s the aspect of we still have plenty of innocent lives to say which I think they try to lean into with Blake’s character bussing the orphans off of the off of the island or you know the families stepping out of their homes and I don’t know.

SLIM Maybe it’s the cops being kidnapped, put like families down there or something.

DANNY Yeah, different kind of stakes.

SLIM Yeah, change the stakes up a little bit where it’s not like Oh, dang, he destroyed Wall Street. Like maybe he kidnaps an entire orphanage and puts kids down there, like that would make me more consider, yeah, I actually am rooting for Batman to like, save the day here and come back like those that those people are more important to me. Danny, what’s your third point?

DANNY I think I’ve exhausted a lot of the points, let me see. I mean, that’s kind of it for me. I will say, as the third film in this trilogy. I do love this movie. I really love sitting down and watching it. I don’t watch it often. Like I said I watch The Dark Knight the most, but I think I put this higher than Batman Begins. I really do enjoy this. I like, I love, I like Bane. I like the look of Bane. I like his physicality with Batman. I like the score in this. There’s a lot that I like about this film that I kind of connect to better than Batman Begins. So I just, for all. I think I’m at four stars for this. I think I’m sitting at four stars for this film. The Robin stuff really does piss me off because it’s a frustrating setup that kind of doesn’t pan out as you know, my nerd brain wants it to pan out. And that kind of is a lot for, I mean, a lot of stuff on comic movies happens for comic fans, but it does bug me.

SLIM What if I make an edit where I dub them saying his name to Grayson?

DANNY I mean sure, that would be great. But for me this is a fun film, and I still enjoy this trilogy as a whole more than you know most trilogies.

PROTO How about when Robin —

DANNY Stop saying his name.

PROTO Pulls the men off the cement truck, to shoot the guy.

SLIM Amazing scene. Proto, honorable mentions, final rating for The Dark Knight Rises?

PROTO Honorable Mentions. My favorite scene and I got chilled up is the bat signal on the bridge. I don’t know how Batman found the time to do that. But I got chilled up when he lights that on fire and it lights up and the music swells. But also just I can’t get over Bane’s plan, like the plan is so ridiculous and so complex. And everyone else in Gotham is complete idiots. Like these guys are mixing cement with like explosives throughout the entire city. And no one could catch on that this is happening? Also where are these 9000 psychopaths coming from that is Bane’s army? Who are these people? Where do they live? And why — I don’t know. You know what’s crazy, though, as I give my final thoughts is, I think I enjoyed watching this more than Batman Begins as well.

SLIM You gave two stars of Batman Begins! [Danny laughs]

PROTO I did. And I’m giving this two stars as well. [Slim & Danny laugh] So this is two stars. But I think I like it more than Batman because I think I just I had more fun watching this. Even though by like the final half hour, I was kind of checking out of it. Two stars.

SLIM Two stars from Proto. I’m trying to think if I had any other honorable mentions. The scene where he finally comes back on the bat cycle, after eight years, and the lights are going out, like behind the cop cars the chasing, I thought that was pretty badass. Amazing scene. I think they probably should have called this Nightfall or you know anything but the Dark Knight Rises would have been a better name.

PROTO It’s a terrible title.

SLIM So I’m at three and a half stars for The Dark Knight Rises. So that’s a jump from maybe a BLB rating of two and a half stars. There are some pretty cool moments and I really enjoyed Anne Hathaway this time around and the ending is still slaps, IMO. [alarm rings] Uh oh…

DANNY Oh god, answer it.

SLIM Hold on.

PROTO Pick it up.

SLIM You know what that means? Put it off, pick it up. You know what that means? We might be speaking with someone on the line. Let’s see if they’re calling in. Let’s see if Batman has something to say. We’ll see who’s calling in.

[Batman calls in]

SLIM Stupid, stupid, stupid. What were you doing dude utilize the Bane voice? That was impressive.

PROTO [In Bane voice] What do you meeannn? [Slim & Danny laugh]

SLIM Cripes. Amazing.

DANNY You sound like Jimmy Stewart. Holy cow. Oh, my chest.

SLIM Sad that that’s the end of our bat journey. You know, Batman calling in, breathing through his mouth each time. What a fun few weeks we had with the Batman. We have some VMs and letters to get to, you can send us those at 70mmpod.com. There’s links on there to send us an audio file or otherwise. So let’s get into a few right now. The subject line: The Fire Rises. Let me take a quick drink. Dear friends, it’s been a while since my last letter to the community, Malcolm X. But I felt the need to share my story with the Dark Knight Trilogy very quick. Batman Begins was the first movie I took a girl on a date to go see. We didn’t go on a second date. I bought tickets for the Dark Knight months ahead of time and was the first movie I saw at midnight with my younger brother and finally my brother and I completed the journey with rises also at a midnight showing. I love all three of these movies and compare all their superhero movies to them. I know that the unpopular opinion is that Rises is the weakest of the three, while star wise, I do agree the Dark Knight is five stars begins at four and rises at three, I actually like Rises better than begins and behind TDK. The complicated story of politics and class warfare tugs on the historical strings of my heart and the literary part of my reign as the movie was heavily influenced by a tale of two cities. I love that Bane is the villain and that it ties back to Batman Begins With Talia. Rest in Peace Talia. [Slim laughs] I think Batman was well done in similar to his comic motivations all by Tom Hardy’s voice and was better than the disaster of Bane and that pig swill of a movie Batman and Robin. I do think the fan service to Robin was okay, rather than mind blowing. I think Bruce the beginning being physically worn down from his history as Batman then he slaps on a knee device and he’s good to go is lame and that to overcome Bane, he just has to remember what he was fighting for is lackluster. All that said I’m excited to hear takes him by tickets already for the Batman. My fiance loves Twilight, and my brother and I joked with her she has to see the Batman movie with us as it may be the origin for Edward Cullen. Hope all three of you are doing well, 70mm fellows are doing well and keep up the good work. Love you all. That’s Mike. So Mike is aligned with you and your ratings Danny.

DANNY Yes, because I’m right. [Proto & Slim laugh]

PROTO Mike is right. Danny is right.

DANNY Thank you, Mike.

SLIM Remember our Malcolm X ep? What an ep.

DANNY What a movie. Sheesh.

SLIM Kip has emailed in. It’s a long one I might have to do an abridged version. We’ll see. The Dark Knight Rises.

DANNY Take a sip.

PROTO Swig it.

SLIM Might need more than a sip for this one. Hey fellas, I’ve been tagging along this 70 mm pod for just a few months, but I’ve loved every second. While normally I’m the kind of guy who likes to sit in the back and just listen I wanted to write in this week’s talk about The Dark Knight Rises a movie that is very special to me. In my junior high years, I would often spend my evening cycling around my neighborhood with my best friend. One night after completing our usual rounds, my brother informed me that they will be watching The Dark Knight Rises. I was only 12 or so, and I grew up in the kind of home where only PG 13 movies I could watch where the Lord of the Rings and The Martin Luther biopic.

DANNY Excuse me.

SLIM And so I assumed that this activity excluded me however, my father was feeling generous and at a 30 on a warm summer night. We stayed up to watch The Dark Knight Rises, ignoring the fact that I hadn’t seen any of the other known films. I tried to be careful with the phrase of life changing but to describe that night, any other way would be an injustice. Never before had I connected more with a character than Christian Bale’s Batman. And as the youngest and smallest of three boys, that backbreaking sewer fight scene hits a little too close to home. Watching Bruce Wayne climb out of the pit at his lowest both physically and mentally. With Hans Zimmer’s brass swells and the prisoners chanting was a moment of inspiration for 12 year old boy who was honestly struggling. The spark I felt during this movie pushed me to a love of stories and storytelling that follows me to this day. Whether it be comics or films. I’m currently university student majoring in film studies. And while TDKR is by no means a perfect movie, and after about an eighth rewatch began to unravel a bit, I think it would not be an overstatement to credit this movie with beginning my love of film. Even as I write this email, it’s hard not to spin off into a much lengthier statement to how special this movie is to me. Anyway, thank you for taking the moment to read this email. If I hadn’t take up enough of your time already. I’m curious if you all have a movie that began your journey to being a film lover? I appreciate you guys, have a wonderful week. That’s Kip. We’re an email.

PROTO Wow, what a great story.

DANNY Goodness.

SLIM What started the journey, Proto, for you?

PROTO I’ve said it before, The Matrix changed my life.

DANNY Phantom Menace.

SLIM I don’t remember what my answer was this question.

PROTO Robocop?

SLIM Love of film. Hmmm. Golly. I mean, my earliest film memories is when I went to see Ninja Turtles in the dank village mall theatre when it was like a year after it had come out. They would show like dollar movies. And I referenced it last week about how like sticky movie theater floor is like you step on it. Your shoe doesn’t move but your foot comes out. It’s very fong early memory.

DANNY I will say for the Phantom Menace. It was more, I kind of love going to movies anyway. But that was when I realized I wanted to know how movies were made. Like I really wanting to know more about the process of making film. That’s what kind of opened my eyes to it

PROTO You know what’s so cool about that story from Kip? Is that like, when you’re a kid, like him saying, Hey, we’re gonna watch The Dark Knight Rises, like now when you watch a movie, like you’re usually the one putting it on, and you know what you’re getting into. At least you know something about it when you’re a kid. Yeah, it’s like your dad could just your mom be like, Hey, we’re watching this movie and you have no idea what’s about to happen. You know, and you could be seeing something that yeah, like blows your mind, it’s just something you’ve never seen before. That’s so cool and special.

SLIM We don’t really have, at least in my house I’m sure I think a movie night we’ve been trying to do like Sunday like weekend family adventures where we leave the house and maybe go on like a hike or something. But we don’t have movie nights. James is pretty much left to his own devices playing Xbox with his friends. I might have missed already that era, maybe I shouldn’t have shown him The Exorcist when he was eight years old. Maybe that was a mistake.

DANNY Something to think about.

SLIM Something for me to think about. We do have some VMs to get to. So let’s start those off.

[voicemail plays]

VOICEMAIL Hey guys, it’s Megan I wanted to call in on this special episode of The Dark Knight Rises to share with you my favorite line from the movie. [In Batman voice] Where’s the trigger?! Where is it?! Where is the trigger?! You’re welcome. That was my best Batman impression. You know it’s a sad day in Gotham when Bane has some of the best lines and dialogue in the movie. Okay, byyye!

SLIM He said the trigger like nine times in that scene.

DANNY I thought his lips are gonna fall off.

SLIM You know he couldn’t breathe during all that. He said trigger nine times in one breath because, you know, he can’t inhale through his nose.

DANNY The power of Christian Bale.

PROTO Christian Bale, the look in his eyes when he’s betrayed by Talia. Like the knife is in and he’s just like [gasps for air]

SLIM Also how about them sleeping together? She’s been in two scenes. And she goes to Gotham manor in a rainy night with no power and they instantly start knocking boots.

PROTO That hasn’t happened since Val. Remember that scene? [Danny & Slim laugh]

SLIM Thank you for the VM Megan.

DANNY He was just looking for the trigger.

SLIM Oh my word. Innaprope.

[voicemail plays]

VOICEMAIL Yo what’s up, Danny, Slim, Proto. I just want to call in and let y’all know it’s Tyrell from Phoenix, Arizona. I’ve been watching the show for about two and a half months now. I really enjoyed the content that you’re putting out and the movie selections that y’all had. It really gives people a guide on how they should approach critique and movies, rate movies, you know, just being part of the industry. So I appreciate everything y’all do. I just watched Batman Begins because of the last episode. I’m excited to see what y’all say about The Dark Knight. I’m even more excited to see Robert Patterson do Robert Patterson as Batman. Please let me know what y’all think about that. And yeah, man, y’all just keep putting out this content. I love it.

SLIM Thank you Ty, love you back. Tyrell, are you ready for the Batman right now? That’s next week. That’s our next ep.

PROTO I’m so ready.

DANNY Gear up.

SLIM I need everyone to be ready.

DANNY Suit up.

PROTO I’m going on Saturday. I can’t wait.

DANNY What time are you going Saturday?

SLIM What time?

PROTO I think it’s 2pm.

SLIM Wow.

PROTO Jenna wanted to see it. So we’re going on a movie date.

DANNY Yooo, Jenna!

SLIM The fire rises.

DANNY Expect a voicemail from Jenna.

SLIM Will Jenna update her Letterboxd for the first time this year? Robocop might have been her last entry 2021. Dinal VM. You know who it’s gonna be from. The number one Batman fan in our Discord.

[voicemail plays]

VOICEMAIL What is up 70mm? It is Andy calling. And I’m calling one last time to complete the trilogy. You guys are talking about the Dark Knight Rises. And let’s just get it out there. This is my favorite one of the trilogy. Excuse me. I just love this movie so much. There’s no debating that The Dark Knight is the better film. But for me, I still love this is my favorite one of the three. I just love finally seeing Bruce Wayne being able to ride off into the sunset. You know, he has now this new life. He has this new relationship with Selena. And it’s just beautiful. And I just, I’m a sucker for a happy ending. And so I love this movie so much. I love Bane. I think Bane, the introduction of this new character that opening airplane seen pretty freakin amazing. And let’s be honest, who would have guessed that Anne Hathaway would have killed it as Catwoman? I just think she delivered! [Proto bell rings] Her performance in this was amazing. Specifically when she’s in a bar, and the cops show up and she starts screaming pretending to be a victim. That’s just so good. And so anyways, I love this movie so much. Again, I know it’s not the best one. I know that it’s not the best conclusion to the trilogy, but I don’t care. I love it. And yeah, I can’t wait to hear your guys’s thoughts. Love you guys.

DANNY His voicemail reminded me of the intro to this I forgot to say that. You know, I watched a lot of the making of’s and that’s the making of that scene is incredible. But when Bane is holding the doctor to when it drops them out of the middle of the ship. In the making of it shows that it’s two mannequins holding each other and I can’t unsee that anymore. And I need you guys to know that so if you ever see it again, it’s two mannequins holding each other wearing a wig.

SLIM Mmmmm, what if we put a wig on the mannequin? Hmmm. IMAX. That’s our VMs or feedback for the week.

DANNY What a journey.

SLIM What a journey. This Batman journey is almost finished. I mean next week we’ll announce our next journey. And it’s big. It’s big. There might be a slight detour in that journey. But we’re about to go big. Okay? Next week is The Batman Robert Pattinson. And the guy who did the apes movies.

DANNY Excuse me?

PROTO Reeves.

SLIM What’s your excitement level for The Batman, Proto?

PROTO Excitement? Five out of five excitement levels right now. Five stars. I’m very excited.

DANNY It’s hard not to be. This is a new Batman flick. New everything.

PROTO Yeah and it’s Rob! We love Rob!

SLIM Our King. He’s our Timmy, Rob, you know?

PROTO Thank you!

SLIM He’s our Timmy.

PROTO That is… that is so true.

SLIM What a week, what an episode. We’re through the Nolan movies. Next week is The Batman, so everyone hit theaters. Get ready for that episode. Proto, can you take us out for the week? Any wise words for us?

PROTO Well, just reflecting on this trilogy, you know, trilogies are like sandwiches. You got your bottom loaf. You got your meat on the inside and you got your top piece. In this case, I think bottom and top piece maybe like stale soggy bread but in the middle there we got the nice meats and sometimes that’s all you need in a trilogy. We got the good meats in the middle there and I’m thankful. I’m thankful that we got to do this together.

SLIM Thankful for the meats. We’ll see you next week for the Batman.

[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]

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70mm

70mm

A podcast for film lovers, inspired by Letterboxd.