A Flea in the Fur of the Beast

“Death, fire, and burglary make all men equals.” —Dickens

Tag: dark knight rises review

Breitbart.com Reviewed Whatever Movie They Watched Instead Of The Dark Knight Rises

by evanmcmurry

If you haven’t read Breitbart.com’s review of The Dark Knight Rises, well…don’t do so immediately, or even today, but perhaps the next time a houseguest leaves a bottle of Malort on your counter. Here are the hits:

Batman is lost — a warrior without a war who sacrificed everything for a city that in peacetime dismisses those that make peacetime possible. Now smug and soft, Gotham is going about the business of letting down its guard — a weakness that always invites aggression.

Aggression has already arrived in the form of Bane (Thomas Hardy), a hulk of a man burning with resentment against a society whose only provocation is being prosperous, generous, welcoming, and content — instead of miserable like him. In Gotham’s sewers, Bane recruits those like himself — the insecure thumbsuckers raging with a sense of entitlement, desperate to justify their own laziness and failure and to flaunt a false sense of superiority through oppression, violence, terror, and ultimately, total and complete destruction.

They’re orphans, dude. You must have been tweeting during that part.

Uncharacteristically, Alfred (The Mighty Michael Caine) has lost some of his perspective over the years. He’s America’s surrogate parent of our wounded warriors and only (and understandably) worried about his child’s happiness and well being. In a world where evil is real, though, touching and noble intentions such as Alfred’s only get in the way of a greater good that frequently requires unspeakable sacrifice.

Plus he’s British. Think they’re so big, with the Olympics. They’re not the boss of us!

As expected, “Dark Knight Rises” is a love letter to Gotham City: its flawed but ultimately decent people, its industry and generosity — all of which are by-products of liberty, free markets, and capitalism. In other words, just as “The Dark Knight” was a touching tribute to an embattled George W. Bush who chose to be seen as a villain in order to be the hero, “Rises” is a love letter to an imperfect America that in the end always does the right thing.

And Nolan loves the American people — the wealthy producers who more often than not trickle down their hard-earned winnings, the workaday folks who keep our world turning, a financial system worth saving because it benefits us all, and those everyday warriors who offer their lives for a greater good with every punch of the clock.

While all of Hollywood embraces nihilism wrapped in irony, Nolan moves us with an inexpressibly touching faith in humanity. While all of Hollywood embraces CGI, the shaky-cam, and hyper-editing, Nolan sets his story in the real world and allows us to see what’s going on. And as all of Hollywood embraces hollow, artless, left-wing tripe, Nolan delivers crowd-pleasing, thematically-driven classical art that ennobles the human spirit — and while doing so, breaks box office records.  

There is, unbelievably, more. SEK has a good takedown of all of this, but here he really gets to the crux of the problem:

Conservatives aren’t accustomed to considering cultural artifacts with the seriousness they merit, and so on the rare occasion they want to claim ideological kinship with one, they have no idea how.

Also: The Daily Caller treats the leftist first half like an editing mistake. And ThinkProgress shows how to do ideological reviews of films, if you must. Plus, mine.

“The Dark Knight Rises” Trolls Are Here To Protect Capitalism From The Rest Of Us

by evanmcmurry

The kinship fanboys feel with their films—I’m talking the people who wait breathlessly for 30 second trailers and all that—is almost cute until you remember that major studio films are far and away products first and works of creativity a distant, distant second. The Dark Knight Rises cost $250 million to make, a 66% increase from The Dark Knight, which itself grossed half a billion dollars, slightly more than the GDP of American Somoa. When studios are tossing about the yearly production of small nations, the resulting films are much more units of late capitalism than they are acts of expression, no matter how dark Christopher Nolan is.

So when the fanboys mobilize to attack a critic who dares write a bad review, their nasty, unrelenting salvos (in this case, including death threats) come to seem less like the actions of a group committed to auteur expression and more like those of unwitting capitalist foot soldiers. “Hey you—unhand that $250 million film!”

See you now the ballad of Marshall Fine, whose site crashed today because he posted the world’s first bad review of the Dark Knight Rises. The reaction to his review has been so bad that Rotten Tomatoes has pulled the review and disabled comments. Keep in mind, 99% of these people commenting haven’t actually seen the movie yet. They’re rushing to the defense of a film that cost exponentially more than they and everybody they know will make in their lifetimes combined—and cost that in the midst of the worst recession in generations—and they don’t even know what they’re defending. (It’s as if some superstructure is replicating ideology through culture!)

There’s something noxious about a film franchise getting to increase its budget by 2/3 while state legislatures everywhere are cutting social services. I’m not saying “We should take DKR’s budget and give it to a fire department.” What I’m saying is that spending would reflect priorities more if our discourse reflected them more, if we circled the wagons around the vitality of civil society with the same intensity as we did the seventh Batman movie of the past 30 years. Instead, we have the limitless energies of intelligent, connected, culturally-savvy young people attacking a critic who probably makes $45K a year in defense of a movie that cost 556 years’ worth of his salary, and will make twice that. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

Full disclosure: I will see DKR and most likely enjoy it.

Addendum: Reverse Troll! Eric Snider posted this to Rotten Tomatoes, from which he was subsequently banned: