The Dark Knight Rises

‘The Dark Knight Rises': Building the Ideal Summer Blockbuster

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Big summer blockbusters don’t have to be terrible. The original ones — Jaws, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark — weren’t, and harnessing the considerable resources of Hollywood talent at the service of a large-budget, crowd-pleasing entertainment is something we do better than anyone; it’s one of the few things (like bombers and motorcycles) that America still builds well. The trouble is, so few filmmakers bother with matters like characterization and wit and intelligence, and those that do are often hamstrung by the creativity-by-committee that is the bane of studio “tentpoles,” and that’s why Christopher Nolan is so valuable. His Batman trilogy (and The Prestige and Inception, which he made between them) serve as a forceful reminder of the kind of quality that the marriage of art and commerce can birth — and the use of “art” here is a deliberate one, a word choice not made lightly. In the seven years since Warner Brothers handed the keys to their biggest franchise over to a British filmmaker best known for a twisty indie, Nolan has done nothing less than redefine blockbuster cinema: what it is, and what it can be.
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The Best Opening Scenes in Cinema

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It’s been four years since Christopher Nolan’s haunting, spectacular entry in the Batman franchise, The Dark Knight. This weekend, the director will complete his trilogy featuring the Caped Crusader defending Gotham’s finest yet again. After a memorable opening scene in the second film, audiences have high hopes for their first look at The Dark Knight Rises — and we wanted to prep ourselves for an amazing introduction by looking back at other movies that kicked off their stories in wonderful ways. We’ve already proved that unforgettable opening lines can really set the tone for a film, and the opening scenes in cinema are equally, if not more, important. We’ve listed 12 of the best movie openers after the jump. Leave us your favorites in the comments below.
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Here It Is, The Inevitable Yet Awesome ‘Breaking Batman’

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When Breaking Bad and The Dark Knight Rises premiere in the same week, there’s bound to be a mash-up of the two. But it was a stroke of genius to mix audio and video from Breaking Bad with clips of Christian Bale as Batman to tell the story of our beloved Bruce Wayne getting a cancer diagnosis and becoming a meth cook. Even more wonderful is the Batman & Robin stuff, which makes a good case for Walter White and Jesse Pinkman as the Batman and Robin of the dark, criminal underworld. Not only was this a great idea, but the editing is spot-on, too. The video comes courtesy of New York sketch troupe The Quanrudes, as a preview of their Batman show next Wednesday at The PIT.
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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

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1. Frank Ocean has decided to digitally release his debut solo album Channel Orange — a record which features collaborations with Earl Sweatshirt, John Mayer, and André 3000 — a week early. Stream it in full here.

2. Hans Zimmer’s score for The Dark Knight Rises has also arrived online. Listen to all… Read More