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The Dark Knight Rises – 2012 (BluRay Review)

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The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Runtime: 165 min

Genre: Action/Crime/Thriller

Release Date: 20 July 2012 (UK)

Director: Christopher Nolan

Writers: Jonathan Nolan (screenplay), Christopher Nolan (screenplay)


Cast Of Characters:

Christian Bale…Bruce Wayne

Gary Oldman…Commissioner Gordon

Tom Hardy…Bane

Joseph Gordon-Levitt…Blake

Anne Hathaway…Selina

Marion Cotillard…Miranda

Morgan Freeman…Fox

Michael Caine…Alfred

Matthew Modine…Foley

Alon Aboutboul…Dr Pavel (as Alon Moni Aboutboul)

Ben Mendelsohn…Daggett

Burn Gorman…Stryver

Daniel Sunjata…Captain Jones

Aidan Gillen…CIA Op

Sam Kennard…Special Ops Sergeant



Despite his tarnished reputation after the events of The Dark Knight, in which he took the rap for Dent’s crimes, Batman feels compelled to intervene to assist the city and its police force which is struggling to cope with Bane’s plans to destroy the city. Written by Wellard Rockard


DVD Archive Review: When we fast forward a few years from that fateful night when Arthur Dent (Two Faces) was slain by Batman for the good of Gotham City, and that of the whole world, we are introduced slowly to Bruce Wayne, now a well damaged and broken man with no mask in sight. His whole life as the Caped Crusader is but a distant memory as the Wayne Enterprises Empire begins to crumble around him.

When an old enemy returns as a new threat – worse than Arthur Dent – Bruce Wayne knows that the only way forward and, the only way to stop this new threat known only as Bane, he must take up his cape and mask one more time and once and for all bring peace and justice to Gotham City.

With the introduction of a more sophisticated and alluring Catwoman, we are brought face to face with something that has churned, festered and become greater than the “League Of Shadows”, and as Bane demonstrates his power and might so efficiently, we are left to learn whether or not Batman will Rise or whether he will Fall under the hands of this ruthless and almost immortal-like assassin…

Here at The DVD Archive, we just had to wait for the BluRay. Admittedly, we watched this a couple of times…okay, a few – 15 times – before being totally and completely satisfied that we were ready to go ahead with the full review. What we can say is that we are completely and utterly satisfied with this “Finale” to the Batman Series, and hope that the digestion of such a strong and powerful display from all actors involved; Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman, as well as other well credited actors, too.

For us, and it has to be said, the lead up to the cinema release was a little “Overkill”, and in the wayward signs of previous films of this calibre that have died a sad death through the Hype, Batman made it clear and safe. The result was simple. The Dark Knight Rises is the best of all three, and with it the viewer will see that the conclusion has become one of the most likeliest candidates for being a classic – I mean, come on 15 views in less than two weeks – the high rating that we give will surely indicate that this is excellent and well worth a view by anyone who is into their Super Hero, Fantasy Action films. We give this movie a well-deserved 2 Thumbs Up.

The DVD Archive Rating: 10/10


Additional Details

Official Sites: Official Facebook/Official Site

Country: USA/UK

Language: English

Release Date: 20 July 2012 (UK)

Also Known As: Batman: El caballero de la noche asciende

Filming Locations: Downtown, Los Angeles, California, USA


Box Office

Budget: $250,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $160,887,295 (USA) (20 July 2012)

Gross: $448,130,642 (USA) (7 December 2012)


Company Credits

Production Co: Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures, DC Entertainment


Technical Specs

Runtime: 165 min

Sound Mix: SDDS/Datasat/Dolby Digital

Colour: Colour

Aspect Ratio: 2.35 : 1



Christopher Nolan is the first director to complete a full trilogy of Batman films but the second to direct a full trilogy of films on one superhero (after Sam Raimi completed his Spider-Man films).


Christian Bale is the first actor to portray Batman/Bruce Wayne in three Batman films.


Cinematographer Wally Pfister expressed interest in shooting the entirety of the film in the IMAX format, as both Pfister and Christopher Nolan expressed distaste for shooting the film in 3-D. Ultimately, the film would feature approximately 72 minutes of IMAX footage, while the rest was shot in a combination of 35mm and 70mm, as IMAX cameras proved to be too noisy for shooting the films dialogue scenes.


Anne Hathaway, Jessica Biel, Gemma Arterton, Kate Mara, Charlotte Riley and Keira Knightley all auditioned for the role of Selina Kyle. After the initial audition process, Hathaway, Biel and Knightley all screen tested. Ultimately, Anne Hathaway won the role.


Naomi Watts, Rachel Weisz and Marion Cotillard were considered to play Miranda Tate before Cotillard finally got the role. Cotillard started filming 2 months after she gave birth to her son, Marcel.


Robin Williams was rumoured to play the role of Hugo Strange.


There was much speculation in the press when Anne Hathaway was announced as Selina Kyle if the actress would actually portray Kyle’s costumed alter-ego, Catwoman. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey following her stint as host of the Academy Awards, Hathaway let slip that her character indeed would don the Catwoman costume.


According to Gary Oldman, Christopher Nolan told the actors the ending of the film verbally to avoid any leaks.


Around 10,000 extras were used to shoot the Gotham Rogues scene in Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Some of the Pittsburgh Steelers played football players: Hines Ward, Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu, Willie Colon, Maurkice Pouncey, Mike Wallace, Heath Miller, Aaron Smith, Ryan Clark, James Farrior, LaMarr Woodley, and Casey Hampton. Former Steelers coach Bill Cowher appears as the coach. Pittsburgh mayor Luke R. Ravenstahl plays a kicker. Thomas Tull, CEO of the film’s production company Legendary Pictures, is part-owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers.


Chloë Grace Moretz and Jennifer Lawrence auditioned for Juno Temple’s role of Jen, Selina Kyle’s sidekick.


According to The Hollywood Reporter, Anne Hathaway’s stunt double broke one of the IMAX cameras when she crashed the Batpod into it. This marks the second time an IMAX camera has been destroyed on a Christopher Nolan Batman film – a previous camera was smashed when filming the Joker’s underground truck chase in The Dark Knight.


Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Gosling and Mark Ruffalo were considered to play John Blake before Joseph Gordon-Levitt was ultimately cast. DiCaprio was one of the actors considered to play Robin in Batman Forever before Chris O’Donnell got the part.


Anne Hathaway, who plays Catwoman, had been cast as Black Cat (Felicia Hardy) in The Amazing Spider-Man in 2010, which at that time was under Sam Raimi’s direction as “Spider-Man 4” and was going to feature the Vulture and Black Cat.


According to Christopher Nolan, Bane was chosen as the film’s main antagonist “to test Batman mentally as well as physically.”


To prepare for her role as Catwoman, Anne Hathaway worked out five days a week on a regime that involved vigorous exercise, stunt training and dancing. She called it her most physically demanding role to date.


To prepare for his role as Bane, Tom Hardy gained 30 pounds in weight, and studied various fighting styles to use in the film.


Tom Hardy described Bane as an absolute terrorist: “He’s brutal, but also incredibly clinical in the fact that he has a result-based and oriented fighting style. The style is heavy-handed, heavy-footed… it’s nasty. It’s not about fighting, it’s about carnage!”


After The Dark Knight was released, Aaron Eckhart expressed interest in returning as Harvey “Two-Face” Dent. Christopher Nolan stated that Dent was definitely dead, and that his death would leave lasting repercussions across Gotham.


Composer Hans Zimmer collected online recordings of chanting to incorporate in the film’s score.


Anne Hathaway previously appeared in Alice in Wonderland, which was directed by Batman/Batman Returns director Tim Burton and featured the previous Alfred, Michael Gough in his final role before his death.


Marion Cotillard previously appeared in Big Fish, which was directed by Batman/Batman Returns director Tim Burton and featured the Penguin, Danny DeVito.


Reunites Inception stars Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Marion Cotillard, and Cillian Murphy.


This is the fifth film in a row that Christopher Nolan has worked with Michael Caine. The other films were Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, and Inception.


With their appearances in this movie, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy and Gary Oldman will have each appeared in three Batman movies. Only Michael Gough and Pat Hingle have done the same thing.


Christopher Nolan picked Bane as the main villain. Coincidentally, with no known relation, the name of one of the creators of Bane for the comic books is Graham Nolan.


Anne Hathaway based her performance on Hedy Lamarr, who was the original inspiration for Catwoman.


Tickets for the films premiere midnight IMAX screenings in New York sold out six months in advance.


During the football sequence shown in the preview a player is seen wearing a jersey with the last name of Ravenstahl on it. This is Luke R. Ravenstahl, the Mayor of Pittsburgh, where portions of the movie were shot. He was Washington & Jefferson College’s starting place kicker on the football team for three years and was team captain for his senior year. He holds the school record for most consecutive extra points.


Tom Hardy is technically the fifth actor to play Bane in a feature film. In Batman & Robin, Michael Reid MacKay played serial killer Antonio Diego, who is selected for the “Venom” experiment and is transformed into Bane, who is then played by wrestler Jeep Swenson. The remaining two actors voiced Bane in two Dc Animated direct-to-video films, and they were Hector Elizondo in Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman and Carlos Alazraqui in Justice League: Doom.


Anne Hathaway has revealed that during her audition, she thought that she was auditioning for The Joker’s on again-off again girlfriend/partner-in-crime Harley Quinn. It was only after she had a discussion with Christopher Nolan that she found out that she was auditioning for Catwoman.


Anne Hathaway has said that she desperately coveted the role of Catwoman, and was a complete nervous wreck after her audition. The first time her agent phoned after her screen test, he said he had good news and asked if Hathaway was sitting down. Hathaway immediately screamed “I’m Catwoman!” and ran around the room in a frenzy. Unfortunately, her agent had to calm the actress down–he had called to let her know that she’d been invited to host the Academy Awards. Hathaway has said she was so shocked she went numb at the offer. Fortunately, shortly thereafter, her agent phoned again to let her know that she had been offered the part of Catwoman as well.


Christopher Nolan said that this film’s theme deals with “Pain”. For Batman Begins, it was on “Fear”, while The Dark Knight deals on “Chaos”.


The original story treatment by David S. Goyer was to have Two-Face as the principal antagonist for the film. Initially, at the end of The Dark Knight, the Joker would have scarred Harvey Dent at a courtroom trial, setting up the third film. Dent’s death and fall was put in at the end of the second film instead to set up the aftermath that follows.


Tom Hardy accepted the role of Bane without reading the script. He was verbally told that he would have unprecedented access to extensive stunt training and equipment that he could enjoy knocking around.


Christopher Nolan offered James Newton Howard the opportunity to write the score with Hans Zimmer as he did for Batman Begins and The Dark Knight but Howard felt that due to the collaboration between Nolan and Zimmer on Inception, he would be like a third wheel.


According to producer Emma Thomas, the filmmakers elected to shoot the film in Pittsburgh to emphasize Gotham’s immense size and scope and because “they literally shot every inch” in Chicago, where the previous two films were shot.


Selina Kyle is never referred to as her famous alter ego “Catwoman” during the movie; rather newspaper articles and police files refer to her as “The Cat.” This is in keeping with the original incarnation of Selina Kyle who was a jewel thief, and was known only as “The Cat” before becoming “The Catwoman.” However, various official merchandise and marketing material refer to Selina Kyle as Catwoman when she is wearing her masked costume.


Out of respect for Heath Ledger, the Joker is never once mentioned for the whole film.


At 165 minutes long, this is the longest Batman film released to date as well as the longest film that Christopher Nolan has ever directed.


Christopher Nolan wanted Marion Cotillard so much for the role of Miranda Tate that he modified the filming schedule to accommodate her pregnancy. Cotillard started filming two months after giving birth. In the last months of shooting, she also filmed another movie at the same time in France, Rust and Bone.


According to Tom Hardy, he based his voice for Bane on Bartley Gorman (1944 – 2002), an Irish Traveller who was the undefeated Bare-knuckle boxing champion of the United Kingdom: “The choice of the accent is actually a man called Bartley Gorman, who was a bare knuckle fighter, a Romani gypsy. So I wanted to underpin the Latin, but a Romani Latin opposed to Latino.”


In a Saturday Night Live sketch, Anne Hathaway, who plays Selina Kyle on this film, appeared as Katie Holmes talking on a talk show about her role in Batman Begins, the first film of this trilogy.


When Officer Blake talks about “giant alligators” being in the sewer line, this may be an intentional nod towards Batman villain Killer Croc.


Was filmed in Pittsburgh under the title “Magnus Rex.”


According to costume designer Lindy Hemming, she took two years to design Bane’s coat; it was inspired by a Swedish army jacket and a French Revolution frock coat, to make Bane look equally dictatorial and revolutionary, “like an amalgam of all sorts of bits and pieces he cobbled together as he passed through some very remote places.”


The Batsuit consisted of 110 separate pieces. The base layer was made of a polyester mesh, utilized by the military and high-tech sports manufacturers due to its breathability and moisture-retaining properties; moulded pieces of flexible urethane were then attached to the mesh to form the overall body armour plating. Carbon fiber panels were placed inside the sections on the legs, chest and abdomen. The cowl was sculpted from a cast of Christian Bale’s face and head to become a perfect fit for Bale.


Selina Kyle’s catsuit was made from two layers of polyurethane-coated spandex.


Costume effects supervisor Graham Churchyard created a three-dimensional model of Tom Hardy’s face and skull to design Bane’s mask.


In designing the Bat, production designer Nathan Crowley approached it as if it were an actual military project, emphasizing the need for it to “fit into the same family as the Tumbler and the Batpod”: he incorporated designs from military aircraft, including the Harrier Jump Jet, Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey and the Boeing AH-64 Apache.


In order to make the Bat fly, it was variously supported by wires, suspended from cranes and helicopters, and mounted on a purpose-built vehicle with hydraulic controls to simulate movement


Bane’s theme is a chant which features the term “deshi basara”, which is Moroccan for the word “rise”.


When Bane enters the stock exchange trading floor, he wears a backpack that has a logo ‘DCS courier services.’ Batman is a DC Comics superhero.


Tom Hardy, standing at 5’10”, had to wear 3 inch lifts to make his character Bane appear as tall or taller than fellow co-stars Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Caine.


When Selina Kyle disappears from a rooftop, Batman’s remark “So that’s what that feels like” is lifted directly from the DC graphic novel “Kingdom Come”. Even the circumstance is similar, except it was with Superman.


During the motorcycle chase scene, Bane is wearing a red helmet with black visor as well as a brown motorcycle jacket. This is the original costume Jason Todd took under his Red Hood persona, which is itself a call back to The Joker’s original criminal identity.


Christian Bale surprised locals by casually dropping in to enjoy some British craft ale at the Admiral Rodney pub in Wollaton, Nottingham, while filming the exteriors to Wayne Manor at Wollaton Hall.


A close look on the handheld walkie-talkies used by the Gotham City Police Dept. reveals an old DC Comic logo.


Diego Klattenhoff was up for a part as a police officer but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with Homeland.


Selina Kyle’s (Anne Hathaway) relationship with her accomplice (Juno Temple) is highly reminiscent of Kyle’s relationship with Holly Robinson in the comic “Batman: Year One.” In that story, Kyle and Robinson had been prostitutes together and even had an implied lesbian relationship before Kyle became Catwoman.


Studio execs had strongly suggested that the Riddler be the film’s primary villain but filmmakers felt the character too derivative. The filmmakers ultimately decided to use Bane as they felt he was strikingly different than the Joker from the previous movie.


MacFarlane Toys, which produces a line of licensed action figures of Pro Sports Athletes, created one of Hines Ward wearing the Gotham Rogues uniform that he was seen wearing in the movie.


When Bane rips the photo of Harvey Dent in half he does so vertically through the middle of Harvey’s face, replicating his transition to Two-Face at the end of The Dark Knight.


This is only the second “Batman” film not to include the word ”Batman” in the title.


This is the only live-action “Batman” film where the Bat-signal is never used.


When referring to Bruce Wayne as a shut-in, Daggett says “we all know he’s up there with 8-inch nails and mason jars full of urine.” This is an obvious reference to reclusive and eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes. Christopher Nolan was at one point attached to direct a Howard Hughes biopic.


The Pittsburgh football stadium used in the film was slated for extensive pitch resurfacing at that time of filming. Explosive squibs were placed to simulate explosion points for the field to collapse. It was executive producer Thomas Tull who gave the film crew access to use the stadium since he’s the co-owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team.


The character Barsad, Bane’s right-hand-man played by Josh Stewart, is a sniper and heavy arms expert. He is always shown wearing a bulletproof vest which has large bullets on it and a red scarf. This is a take on the Batman villain Dead Shot, a character which co-writer David S. Goyer had expressed interest in bringing to the big screen.


The football stadium scene was filmed at Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers’ team colours are black and yellow, same as the Gotham Rogues.


In the film there are a total of four Oscar winners: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Marion Cotillard, and four Oscar nominees: Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Tom Conti, Liam Neeson.


On July 20, 2012 during a midnight screening for the film in Aurora, Colorado a man entered the theatre and opened fire. James Holmes ended up killing twelve people and injured more than fifty-eight. He was arrested outside the theatre and charged with 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempted murder. After the incident several cast and crew members, including Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Gary Oldman released statements expressing their sorrow over the attack. Their publicity appearances, including a lavish premiere in France, were cancelled. Warner Brothers, the studio that released the film, decided not to release opening weekend grosses until the following Monday out of consideration for the victims. Christian Bale went and visited the surviving victims at the hospital days later.


Bruce Wayne’s doctor visit in which the doctor lists off all the degenerative injuries to his body (lack of cartilage, scar tissue, etc.) and the use of a mechanical knee brace both are reminiscent of Kingdom Come, where an older Bruce Wayne requires the use of an exoskeleton to move due to years of physical wear and tear on his body.


The orphanage where Blake grew up and visits in the film is named St. Swithins. In England, St. Swithins day takes place on July 15th and is a tradition where whatever the weather is like on this day it will be like for the next 40 days, and it is said that if it rains that day it will rain for the next 40. The rhyme goes: “St. Swithins day if thou dost rain, for forty days it will remain St. Swithins day if thou be fair, for forty days ’twill rain nae mair.” Water and rain are common motifs in Christopher Nolan’s films.


Each movie from the Dark Knight trilogy is 12 minutes longer than the previous one (Batman Begins is 140 minutes, The Dark Knight 152 and The Dark Knight Rises 164).


The Lazarus Pit/Bane’s prison scenes were shot in the city of Jodhpur, Rajasthan. (India). In the comics, Batman visited India to learn how to control his pain.


The building used for the exterior of the Gotham Stock Exchange is actually the J.P. Morgan building on the corner of Broad & Wall Streets in lower Manhattan. It is directly across the street from the actual NY Stock Exchange building, which can be seen in the background in some shots.


During the football stadium scene there are different shots of the crowd. One of the fans in the crowd is holding up a cardboard cut-out of a gate painted black. Blackgate Penitentiary is a prominent feature in the Batman comics (with its inmates including Bane and Catwoman in the comics) and it is used in this film at various points. Or it’s just a black fence for the chant “De-Fense.” Black and gold are the team colours of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who play their games at Heinz Field.


Though not shown in the final cut, the fight scene on Gotham City Hall steps included an explosion that cleared the steps of all the fighters still alive. When filming the actual explosion, the heat triggered a fire alarm that went directly to the authorities; which caused production to stop for more than 30 minutes while the film staff cleared everything with the police and fire marshal when they arrived.


Christopher Nolan used a heavy mask motif throughout the movie; Batman, Bane, and Catwoman all wear masks, Bruce Wayne has a collection of African tribal masks in the room where he and Officer Blake first talk in Wayne manor, and Miranda Tate hosts a masquerade party.


The only Batman film where Batman never uses his grapple gun to lift himself. Batman uses it once only for saving the stock exchange man from the motorcycle.


According to producers, the line “That’s a lovely, lovely voice” was improvised by Tom Hardy. Bruce Wayne responding “No you’re not” to Catwoman saying she felt sorry for Bruce losing his fortune was also improvised by Christian Bale.


The fascia and some of the interior shots of Wayne Manor were filmed at Wollaton Hall, a stately home in Nottingham, England.


While doing promotional interviews for the film Tom Hardy stated that the most difficult parts of the movie to shoot were the fight scenes. Not because of the physicality of them, but because he was such a huge Batman fan growing up that he said “it felt like I was beating up my childhood hero”. However he also said that despite his worship of the character, the moment Chris Nolan yelled ‘action’ Hardy just started throwing punches as hard as he could.


Alfred Pennyworth mentions that he orders Fernet Branca on his visits to Italy. This is an amaro, a type of bitter aromatic spirit.


At one point it was rumoured that the Penguin was to have been featured as one of the film’s major villains, as would have been played by ‘Phillip Seymour Hoffman’. Christopher Nolan quickly denied the rumours, saying that the character would have been difficult to adapt for his version of Batman.


Though the fate of the Joker is never revealed in the film, the novelization does mention his whereabouts in passing: he is the lone resident of the newly-rebuilt Arkham Asylum, held in solitary confinement and thus has no one to “play with” as ultimate punishment for his crimes.


Although used to soften a landing, this is the first movie in the Batman “Nolanverse” where the cape isn’t used to glide.


In the football stadium sequence, the cast and extras are all wearing heavy winter clothing, though the scenes were shot during a massive heat wave across the East Coast during the summer of 2011.


Tom Hardy has several large tattoos on his chest and arms that had to be covered using heavy cake makeup for the film.


Both this and the other live-action “Batman” film to feature Bane as a villain, Batman & Robin, show the Batman logo during the opening sequence freezing and then cracking.


The final fight marks the only occasion in either this series’ or the Burton/Schumacher films in which Batman is seen during the daytime.


During one of the scenes involving the kangaroo court headed by Cillian Murphy’s character, Bane can be seen sitting in the rear of the courtroom quietly knitting. Given the influence that Screenwriter Jonathan Nolan says Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” had on the story, this is presumably an allusion to Madame Defarge and her practice of knitting while watching public guillotine executions.


The only movie in the trilogy where Batman utilizes an “anti-personnel batarang”, and the first movie where Batman uses an EMP-like device to conceal his presence from pursuing cops and during his first confrontation with Bane in the Cistern.


This is the first Batman movie created by Christopher Nolan that did not get an Academy Award nomination, and the second Batman film (after Batman & Robin) which did not receive a single nomination.



Patrick Leahy:  US Senator from Vermont cameos in the movie as a Wayne Enterprises Board Member. Leahy, a fan of Batman, previously cameoed in The Dark Knight and Batman and Robin.


Miranda Nolan:  The cousin of writer-director Christopher Nolan and co-writer Jonathan Nolan appears as the maid gossiping about Bruce Wayne.


John Nolan:  The uncle of director Christopher Nolan and co-writer Jonathan Nolan, as well as the father of actress Miranda Nolan, reprises his role from Batman Begins as Wayne Enterprises board member Douglas Fredericks. He previously appeared in Christopher’s debut film, Following.

Batman: Rise Of The Dark Knight (2012) Official Trilogy Trailer


About mkds67

Author, Scriptwriter, Reviewer, Elite Blogger, Company Director, Promoter, Husband, Father and Brother.

2 responses »

  1. Everything about this movie is just so darn epic, that I honestly couldn’t wait to just stand up, cheer my head off, and show my love for the epic trilogy that Christopher Nolan has made for me, and made for me with total love and care. Great way to say bye-bye to everybody’s favorite Bat. Nice review.


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