Video Blog: 'The Dark Knight Rises' IMAX Prologue was Exhilarating!
by Alex Billington
December 9, 2011
Earlier tonight I was invited to come see The Dark Knight Rises six-minute IMAX prologue in glorious full-screen film-projected IMAX. As many know, I am a huge fan of Chris Nolan and his Batman series, and I love The Dark Knight. I wasn't sure what to expect and I haven't been looking at any set photos, so this was all a surprise for me and it was amazing—even for only six minutes! The footage was personally introduced by Nolan himself, who I got to meet after. I won't spoil the experience of watching it unfold, but this is something you must—at any cost—see in full IMAX, it is absolutely exhilarating, your jaw will drop.
While I could fire off countless hyperbolic adjective after another in text, I'd rather speak my mind, so we recorded a video blog after the event inside the IMAX theater with Peter Sciretta from SlashFilm and Steve Weintraub from Collider. We all talk about how much the prologue amazed us, plus a few minor complaints, and how it compares to The Dark Knight prologue, which is a tough question to ask but one that will come up a lot. As expected, we all thought it was awesome. Watch our TDKR prologue video blog here:
The prologue, which runs six minutes and includes a brief one-minute montage of IMAX footage from later in the film, introduces us to the character of Bane, played by Tom Hardy. You must see for yourself exactly how that introduction is handled, but as Nolan has explained, it's the opening of the movie and it also gives us an idea of the feel and where this is headed. And holy shit, does it look unbelievably awesome. Nolan introduced this by speaking about how seeing films shot on film-stock IMAX brings back the "grandeur" of cinema, that "larger-than-life" experience he had watching movies as a kid. That is certainly the case here, as this is truly nothing grander than see an incredible action scene shot in IMAX, it all looks so stunning.
Even though it was only a brief six-minute tease, and admittedly I have a tendency to get easily hyped by Nolan's films, I believe there are hints in here that he has pulled off what we all thought was impossible - making a movie to even top The Dark Knight. There's even a few shots of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman (with pointy ears - which will be a huge discussion point for many), some shots of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and of course Tom Hardy as Bane, who speaks (in this prologue) using a distorted, digitized voice-box through his mask. My only complaint has to do with his voice, I couldn't understand some of what Bane was saying, it seemed mixed wrong, but either that's part of it or just the first pass. Besides that though, I loved it, every second, and I'm about ready to get back into full-on TDKR hype mode all the way until next July.
Finally, because I know this will be asked, how does this compare to The Dark Knight's opening Joker bank robbing prologue? My first impression is that I still like TDK's just a bit more. There's something about it, with Joker and how brilliant the robbery setup is, and while this one comes close it just can't top it. That said, once I see this one four or five more times, I might change my mind. The Dark Knight Rises prologue is playing select IMAX theaters starting December 16th. This is a cinematic experience you cannot miss!