The Dark Knight Trilogy

DARKKNIGHT

Looking down at my ticket I see I’m in Screen 1, Row E, Seat 8. This is where I’m going to be living for the next nine hours as I enter The Belmont Picturehouse for their once in a lifetime event – “The Dark Knight Trilogy“. With my large cola in hand (which Harley Quinn has promised will be refilled for free during the interval) I make my way to the screen…  And when the door opens and it’s the Joker who welcomes me into the cinema I realise I am in for a rather exciting time.

733775_10151850883621632_52393799_nAbove: The awesome staff at The Belmont, a who’s who of Batman characters!

“Batman Begins” (2005)
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The first time I saw this film I gave it a really hard time, and have vowed since the first viewing that I would never watch this film again. My reasoning? I am of the Tim Burton “Batman” generation. I loved the classic, gothic Michael Keaton Batman – fighting off the Joker, the Penguin and Catwoman whilst singlehandedly keeping the 1990s Gotham City in a sort of 1930’s limbo. I grew up watching these films, and well yes I suppose I have to admit I was also taken in by the surreally camp Schumacher films that followed, but because of this I was blinded by them and couldn’t see beyond them. I didn’t want to see beyond them. But as I sat in the cinema this time, with Two-Face and Catwoman sitting a few rows behind me, the atmosphere of the event and the occasion made me see the error of my ways. “Batman Begins” is a masterpiece. It’s a ride through Gotham City on the wings of The Bat – it thrills, it keeps you entertained, and just when you think you’re dipping it swoops you up into a breathless frenzy! And for an extra kick in the butt to my Tim Burton past self, the scenes with Bruce training with the League of Shadows (the very scenes I had a problem with during my first viewing) are now the very scenes I loved most of this film. It did what Tim Burton never did – showed a backstory to Bruce Wayne’s miraculous ability to actually POW! THWACK! and SOCK!

“There is something out there in the darkness, something terrifying, something that will not stop until it gets revenge… Me.”

An awesome buzz surrounds the cinema. You know that basically everyone you see wandering the foyer are here for the trilogy, and there are knowing nods and smiles amongst us as we are all clearly excited and ready for the occasion. The event is running so smoothly, and after a very theatrical and apt introduction by our very own Joker, the audience are relaxed and ready to enjoy the festivities.

During the first interval we are shown the finalists for the Best Cosplay Competition, and I must say they were all absolutely fantastic. The effort and talent showcased by people’s sewing and makeup abilities was astounding, and from all the magnificent staff to the audience themselves it was great to see so much enthusiasm put in by all.

To say the fanboys are out én force is an understatement, all of them discussing the tiniest details of the film and arguing over the smallest inaccuracy in the dark knight mythology. Best overheard conversation: “did you know Marilyn Manson was supposed to play The Scarecrow?”

“The Dark Knight” (2008)
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As apposed to my unjust beliefs in the first film, I loved this film. As per usual this film delivers, and offers a feast for those of us wanting to see the archetypal “Batman Villain”! We get The Scarecrow, Two Face and of course the Joker. There isn’t much can be said about Heath Ledger’s performance that hasn’t already been said. There are people, critics, in the world who like to go against type and make shocking statements in their reviews like “Everyone adores “Casablanca”, it’s a cinematic classic, but I don’t think so…” I sometimes have to agree with these people – to be fair I don’t see all the big hoopla surrounding “Gone with the Wind” but I imagine it’s an age thing. Unfortunately many of these classics have run their course and now hold the title of classic by name only. But I believe that no matter how many years pass, Heath Ledger’s performance in this film will be timeless and we can all LAUGH at any critic who says otherwise. Asides from that there are two things that bother me, and I will leave them open to discussion. Why is the mayor of Gotham City addicted to eyeliner? And why did Tom Cruise keep Katie Holmes locked away so she couldn’t reprise her role? I’m a stickler for continuity and I needed the real Rachel Dawes back.

“I took Gotham’s white knight and I brought him down to our level.”

The second interval reveals a dark and creepy mystery – the Joker himself bursts through the doors, in full nurses uniform and blonde wig, and announces that he has hidden ten envelopes under our chairs in the screen.

photoAbove: Nurse Joker

A gasp echoes through the cinema as everyone shuffles about, standing up and crouching down to check if their chair has an envelope pinned to it. There is a sullen sinking feeling in my stomach which I can’t tell is excitement at finding an envelope or dread at finding one. Alas there is no envelope and the ten have been chosen and lined up in front of the big screen. A “Riddle-Me-This” competition ensues and the hilarious results keep everyone amused. Cudos to Dallas for thinking up a clever competition and also for the costume change!

Best overheard conversation: “I can smell that woman’s can of sour cream and chive Pringles from five rows back!”

“The Dark Knight Rises” (2012)
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The final film begins, a film that is overall spectacular and yet doesn’t quite hit the mark as it’s predecessor did. The hype surrounding this film was overshadowed by the Colorado shooting that took place during the film’s first week of release. Yes it’s true that when I first went to the cinema to watch this film the terrible tragedy that took place was always playing in the back of my mind, a feeling that once again swept over me whilst watching the film again. Of course the shooting does not take away from the film as a piece of cinematic genius, and as a conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s trilogy this film serves up all a fan could want. Michael Caine’s performance has never been stronger, and the entire cast pulls together to make this a spectacular finale. In the end my only wish is that Nolan would do just one more. How could he leave everyone with that ending? Personally I need a fourth film where Batman teams up with Robin, and takes on two more villains just for the fun of it. But I suppose the last time someone said that we were given THIS!

“There’s a storm coming… when it hits, you’re all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.”

Whilst talking to people at the event there was discussion of this event compared to The Belmont’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy event, which I did not attend. People said the Rings event was awesome, and that this event was just as cool, if not “cooler”. Personally I had a magnificent time at the event. The camaraderie amongst all the fans during the films and the intervals made you feel energetic throughout the nine hour marathon, and Dallas and the staff at the cinema made sure everything ran so smoothly, making the event relaxed and more enjoyable.

Batman Begins – 8/10

The Dark Knight – 9/10

The Dark Knight Rises – 8/10

The Event  – 10/10

Poster Artworks: Alexander Strojanov on deviantArt

If you want to view and vote for your favourite cosplay, go HERE!

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