I've wanted to talk at length about The Dark Knight Rises since the second it was over, but that was on Tuesday, and I would have been killed by my friends and office compatriots if I breathed a word of spoilers. What follows below the fold are some additional thoughts on the movie without concern for holding back details. Please consider yourself fully alerted to the spoilers before continuing.
Also, a note on the shootings in Colorado late Thursday night: It's a horrible tragedy. As someone who spends a lot of time in movie theaters I am mortified on many levels. I have no idea what motivated James Holmes, but I do know that blaming the movies in general, or Nolan's Batman flicks specifically, is wrong. No movie can inspire a person to commit this kind of unspeakable crime. That motivation must come from within the deranged individual. It would also be wrong to allow one moron lunatic with a gun to come between you and a movie you've been dying to see for weeks, months or years. The lasting message of The Dark Knight Rises is one of hope. Don't let Holmes dampen yours.
Now, on to the spoilerific nit-picking:
Speaking of COMMISSIONER Gordon: when's the last time the COMMISSIONER of the police force was doing grunt work in the sewers? Just asking.
That's right, I said months. How much time passes in the last hour of TDKR? Isn't there a six month window until the bomb decays and blows? Does six months go by? It has to so Bruce Wayne can training-montage his way to escape from the prison hole. That's some snowy winter Gotham is having …
Notes on the prison hole: Loved it. Loved the set. Loved the other prisoners. Loved that even in prison in Katmandu (or wherever the hell it was) they still get Direct TV. Loved the "hole" thing. Very confused as to A) How Bruce Wayne gets there, B) How Bane can be there too initially? (Isn't he busy halfway across the world?) C) How Bruce gets home after he escapes?
The trucks with the bomb: My least favorite element of the movie. I found it tedious. (When Gordon drops the "signal jamming box" while trying to get in the truck and install it I cringed, and not because I was on the edge of my seat.) I also can't believe TDKR prominently features a blinking red countdown timer on a bomb. Holy hackneyed plot device, Nolan!
The ending: Again, I loved it. Mushroom cloud. Batman's dead. My jaw is on the floor. My train of though starts rolling: Did they just kill off Batman? And didn't this same sort of thing just happen to Tony Stark? (Super heroes are really into self-martyrdom lately.) This movie has been so grim, everyone's an ass hole, the world sucks and now Batman is dead. I guess it fits. Holy shit, it's Bruce Wayne's grave! It's Real! Batman is dead! I'm conflicted … Michael Caine is crying again. I want to hug him … Man, it takes incredible balls to kill off your main character like that. Nolan really is to be — wait a second, what's that about a patch on the autopilot? (Oh Nolan, you bastard.) It's Alfred again. We've seen this place. This is Alfred's fantasy … Please do not let this movie end with Alfred looking across the table and smiling without us seeing what he's looking at. I'll fucking die! I'll DIE I tell you! Reveal: It's Bruce and Selina! All is well with the world. Hope wins in the end.