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"The Dark Knight Rises" is here and lists are wildly en vogue this week. Lots of picking it apart here, sticking up for it there, etc. It's turned out to be an unexpectedly divisive film, and after a second look yesterday, I certainly still have my issues. But I should be clear: I'm really appreciative of what Christopher Nolan has given us.
People will twist themselves into pretzels to discuss the zeitgeist elements of the new film and drawing over-inflated political parallels, etc., but I think most Batman fans -- even those like me who were disappointed by "The Dark Knight Rises" -- can agree on one thing. We're glad there is a series of films built around this character that we can be proud of.
So while we will surely be talking about the new film for a number of months to come -- perhaps into the awards season, perhaps not -- I personally feel like I've had my say. And I'd rather leave it on a positive note.
Nolan's Batman films have been under a microscope because of the intense fandom that circulates this character. He was never going to please everyone. But he got a lot of things right along the way, nailing the mythos in such ways that deserve highlighting. Because when it comes to Batman on film, nailing the mythos has been very much out of the equation.
Would I have liked to see spins on the Penguin or the Riddler, etc.? Yes, particularly the former, which could easily have been molded to Nolan's universe. Would I have preferred a more epic nature than the year-and-a-half of Batman-in-action depicted by the films? Absolutely.
But this is Nolan's Batman, and one he's leaving behind for good. My hat's off to him for finding a way to make a lot of this stuff work. Because, as a fan, I could only imagine.
Check out my picks for the best of what he and his collaborators got right below, and feel free to rate them as you go and/or offer up your own selections in the comments section below.
"The Dark Knight Rises" is now playing everywhere.