Tag Archives: Dark Knight

Let’s talk about Ticking Clocks

Today the new trailer arrived for Christopher Nolan’s upcoming war historical film, DUNKIRK, and it gives us an excellent opportunity to talk about the use of the ticking clock motif in trailers.  Check out the video below and then keep scrolling for the analysis.

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Dark Knight Rises, Fool!

Before we begin, please check out the trailer for – The Dark Knight Rises – and come back for thoughts and commentary. And if you haven’t already, please check out all of my review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2.

I was so excited to see the first teaser for this film before the final Harry Potter film. It caught me entirely off guard which made the revelation of what it was all the better.  I absolutely LOVE this trailer – it’s fresh, it’s furiously intense, it is beautiful!  I am so excited for the film, so let’s get to the trailer review!

First, it is important to note what we, the audience, know going into seeing this.  For the casual fan of the series, this comes off as the follow-up to the masterpiece that was The Dark Knight – with Gordon in trouble, Batman in hiding and some new creepy guy (who looks a bit like Scorpion from Mortal Kombat) terrorizing the town.

For the slightly-more-than-casual fan, a whole microcosm of insanity starts whirling in their head the moment they see the second text on screen: “Every Journey has an End”.  Those who have followed the Batman series (or those who have been in contact with a devoted fan) know that the creepy guy is Bane, a technologically enhanced human killing machine. And they know that it is he who brings about the demise of Bruce Wayne (ie – Batman).  In the 1990’s comic series “Knightfall”, Batman takes on Bane in an epic battle which comes to an end when Bane cracks Batman’s back. *Alliteration!*  According to the comics this paralyzed Bruce Wayne who had to turn over his Dark Knight role to Dick Greyson, the first Robin.

All of this via Wikipedia btw 🙂

SO – when I heard about the direction of this movie, knowing what I did about the Bane-Batman fight, I got really excited!!!  Perhaps for once a director would be willing to take us to that place with a superhero (no surprise that it would be Nolan doing it).  We have gotten just about every angle of the Superhero story by now and it is time for something new….like a protagonist’s “death”.  In other words I already thought this film had amazing potential and then this trailer came out…

I want to start with the end first actually.  My favorite part of this whole trailer is the title slide – it is bold and new, yet simple and elegant.  Nolan simply switched up the colors and did something amazing.  Again please remember that I was watching this on IMAX so the screen was massive as was everything on it.  My anticipation is building to fever pitch when the screen goes into brilliant white and the words “The Dark Knight Rises” fade onto the screen.  The simplicity of switching the colors made this title card, which for all other purposes was extremely dull, a beautiful and exciting revelation.  It was bold, as the film are, and unexpected, like it’s predecessor, Simply amazing.

Now that I have mentioned that, let’s turn to following the thing from the beginning.  And of the beginning let me say this:  I have rarely been so excited to see a logo as I was to see the WB with the blue flames.  I love that choice because instantly I sat upright in my chair saying to myself, “No…it can’t be….is this?….”  The semi-familiar blue flames from the Dark Knight was a great way to kick this trailer off because it is a teaser in of itself – you both recognize them and yet still have a moment of wonder as to whether they really are what you think they are.  Again, really loved them and I got so excited when I saw them.  Kudos, WB 🙂

Okay. While I love this trailer, I do have a beef with whoever animated those damn buildings.  Seriously?!  I am hoping that I will hear any day now that the trailer was rushed into production so that it could be matched with the HP7.2 release and that the animation won’t look that bad in the movie.  When I saw it the first time I thought, “Wow that doesn’t look so hot” and it is only after having thought it out know that I recognize that the buildings are more reminiscent of the new Arkham City video game than of a Hollywood blockbuster.  It serves it’s purpose but it doesn’t look good doing so.  That however is my only beef with the teaser, and I move on to more positive thoughts.

I love how the artist of this trailer starts with old footage and a monologue that, unless I am mistaken, comes from Ra’s al Ghul in movie 1.  The first couple of shots being throw-backs to Begins (Bruce walking in the mountains, Standing in the cave) works very well with that. And I love how it progresses to the final shot of the Dark Knight just before the halfway point of the trailer.  Again it is a nice call-back and creates a great flow for the trailer so that 30 seconds in we are caught up with what has happened and are eagerly anticipating what is too come.

Now, my favorite part of the trailer I have already mentioned (the title card) and much of the reason I love it is because of the marvelous crafting of the text slides that come before it.

“Every Hero has a Journey”
“Every Journey has an End”
“The Epic Conclusion to the Dark Knight Legend”

Again, Nolan plays this element so perfectly in that fans will be falling all over themselves with excitement about the film potentially following canon with the comics, while non-nerds get a similar excitement simply from the fact that something is ending.  It was a great choice to pair this with HP7.2 because both are banking (thank God!) on the fact that this is the END – there is no more after this.  In Hollywood world, which is currently rebooting a 2002 series, this is an incredibly NOVEL IDEA!!!!  🙂

The words and the phrasing are just fantastic.  You get an A-B  B-C pattern in the first two which creates a nice symmetry and flow, and the final card just throws more gas on the question-mark fire over whether this will be the end of Bruce Wayne or not.  They are beautiful, elegant, devilishly simple, and incredibly effective at stirring one’s heart to curiousity.

The second half of the trailer (0:42 – 1:39) handles the material in a very interesting manner.  First of all, it isn’t until after the Title card that we see the Dark Knight for whom the movie is titled.  We see Commissioner Gordon on his apparent deathbed, rasping for breath and explaining to some mysterious figure that the Batman must return to save Gotham.  Their is currently a debate going on about whether or not he is talking to Batman there or if perhaps he is speaking directly to Bruce Wayne, as the voice speaking back is not clearly one or the other.  Personally I don’t think he is talking to either there but we shall see.

We get some nice flashes of Bruce training and a very quick shot at Bane while the Cityscape is coming together to form the Bat logo.  Again it is a nice touch, the city forming the logo, but the animation still is just woefully subpar for what I assume it should be.  The monologue by Gordon is excellent – both in performance and in its building ramp of excitement and urgency.  In fact the whole trailer has a nice beat to it that ramps the anticipation very well.  The ending was a bit odd, with the scene and text card after the Title, but it again it puts that thought in our minds that this is the CONCLUSION.  All in all I thought it was wonderfully paced and it did its job very well.

One final thought on it:  I really liked the music.  While it is pretty standard-Nolan for the majority (or maybe I should say standard-Zimmer) it really shines when the Title Card comes up.  I love the chanting!!!  It makes it so guteral and intense – almost implying that the world is against Batman.  It reminds me of a bullfight or a cage match crowd crying out some war chant to psych themselves up. Really interesting and I am looking forward to another great Zimmer soundtrack.

So there you go!!!  A day late but never a dollar short! 😉  Hope you enjoyed this review and please let me know what you think in the comments below!  And please let me know what you would like to see me review!  Next week I will be getting back to the Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows trailer, as suggested by my brother.

My Sunday post might also by late (as we are traveling back then) but I promise that you don’t want to miss it.
Thanks for sticking with me and have a marv-u-lo-tastic-al weekend!!!

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