Episode 212: And Now Over to Killer Croc for the Sports

The Overthinkers tackle “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Matt Belinkie, Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee, John Perich, and David Shechner tackle The Dark Knight Rises. Blanket spoiler alert for the movie – get out there and go see it if you haven’t already!


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28 Comments on “Episode 212: And Now Over to Killer Croc for the Sports”

  1. Anthony Abatte #

    Downloading now and I’m going to predict that someone uses the phrase “Occupy Arkham” in this episode.


  2. Cs #

    Hey, I think you uploaded the wrong file.


  3. Brady #

    The direct MP3 download file is episode 211, while the podcast player is the correct episode.


  4. Matthew Wrather OTI Staff #

    Thanks everyone. Fixed now. Let’s just hope iTunes refreshes before everyone wakes up on the east coast.


    • shechner OTI Staff #

      That’s a great question, Anthony! We were talking about this a bit before the start of the podcast, but with all the other stuff to dissect didn’t get around to it during…

      While watching the movie I sort of quipped to myself that a lot of action movies’ “Bad Things are Afoot” music (this example included) are in nonstandard meters – often 5/4, 5/8 or 7/8. We probably have Holst to thank for this: “Mars, Bringer of War” would eventually become too trite to use for this purpose, but it stuck in the cultural zeitgeist that––to the western ear, at least–a non 4/4 or triplet meter makes the listener uncomfortable.

      Fun fact: when I hear a movie soundtrack in 5/4, I can’t help myself from singing “Take Five” over it. Go ahead and try it over the Bain theme. It works! If, by “works,” you mean, “is an abomination…”



      • Anthony Abatte #

        After looking at the movie poster again, I was wondering if Nolan was sneaking in another, more subtle piece. Bane mentions “The fire rises,” when we first see him in the airplane sequence. That is also the name of the track on TDKR soundtrack, which is used as his theme music.

        The movie poster displays Batman in the foreground, with a fiery Bat symbol in the back. It’s very reminiscent of a Phoenix’s wings attached to Batman.

        So, Bane physically breaks Batman and leaves him to watch his city burn via satellite/closed circuit tv, whatever. Essentially, he’s “dead” for 5 months. Bruce finds the will to live, escapes the prison and returns, therefore, rising, like a phoenix.



    • Gab #

      While still working on the soundtrack, Zimmer actually put a call for fans to submit recordings themselves saying it out on the internet.


      • Anthony Abatte #

        Actually, I remember seeing that. It’s funny that when I first heard it on trailers, my initial thought was they were chanting “MATALO, MATALO, BANE! BANE!”

        This would have been perfect since Bane in the comics was from South America and that would have translated to “Kill him, kill him, BANE! BANE!”

        I’ve learned that it’s something else, perhaps made up words by the Nolans to mean “rise.”


        • Gab #

          I looked into it back when you could still contribute- it’s “deh-shay, deh-shay, bah-sah-rah, bah-sah-rah,” and is apparently Moroccan…?

          On a related note, I have a friend that speaks some Hebrew and said the blind doctor was probably using it.


          • Anthony Abatte #

            That’s interesting. So, by that logic, the prison was Moroccan. That’s very cool. I thought about contributing but missed the deadline.

            That’s an interesting idea. I’ve heard some people mention that since James Newton Howard didn’t work with Hans Zimmer on this soundtrack, they felt he just rehashed sounds from TDK.

            It just uses a lot of themes, which we’ve come to expect when we see certain characters. I even noticed that Selena Kyle had her own, quieter piano notes when she appeared.

            Of course, I saw it three times and have had a lot of time to look at it from several angles.

          • Timothy J Swann #

            The prison’s location filming wise, at least from on-top, is apparently Jaipur (at least according to someone who’s been there and recognised the nearby walled city).

          • LeighH #

            Well Actually, Tim, the city is Jodhpur.

          • Timothy J Swann #

            Blast. I guess he may have said it was ‘Jaipur or one of the walled cities in the Rajasthan area.’

    • Anthony Abatte #

      I don’t remember that scene but that was hilarious! I think the Adam West Batman is one of the few shows that as a kid I was entertained by but as an adult, I see the comedic genius of it. I can’t think of another show that you can rewatch years later and get that effect with.


      • Gab #

        Re-watch Rocko’s Modern Life. It will blow your mind.


    • fenzel #

      Consider also that the other clutch scene was a wall climb, and I think the presence of Adam West cannot be denied.


  5. Gab #

    Anthony Abatte:

    I’ve seen it twice, looking into a third, too. ;p

    Hans Zimmer is very meticulous about having different characters and types of scenes having specific themes in his soundtracks. They magnify and augment whatever that character is going through at the moment, depending on the execution, or they intensify the feeling of the moment itself. He’s one of my favorite movie composers, if not my very favorite.


  6. Gab #

    This, of course, has SPOILERS

    Bane’s Motivation: I actually have to fundamentally disagree with the assertion that he was sincere in leveling the playing field and whatnot. The hope wasn’t just for the people before killing them, it was as he said, so Bruce can watch them “scramble to stay in the light” or whatever- it was part of the plan to torture Batman. He “leveled the playing field” in order to make them scramble more and then force Bruce to see it before it blew.

    Catwoman’s “Girlgirlfriend”: I’m pretty sure she’s based on Selena’s roommate in Batman: Year One.

    Dr. Crane: It probably served twofold. Fanservice (he got a lot of cheers when I saw it, too), and yeah, a way of showing how this idea of the regular people of Gotham being in charge is a facade.

    I think this one demonstrates a lot of passivity. The most down-trodden and the convicts (people socially constructed as deviants, really) are the ones that act out and seek their justice. I’m guessing the middle class just kind of sat back and watched.

    Bane’s Death: I kind of feel like Bane’s death could be considered a mercy killing. Just before Catwoman shoots him (which, if nothing else, provided a little comic relief), Talia is about to go kamakazi and kill herself to protect the bomb. So that would basically remove Bane’s will to live (what you were talking about briefly). He looks incredibly sad, is still crying, when she leaves him. And since he knows he’s about to die, he goes against her wishes to enact revenge on Batman for taking her from him. He didn’t have anything left to live for.

    Civilization: I’d say it’s not urbanization, but excessive decadence. In the first one, at least, they say they raise cities to the ground but I believe there’s either an explicit or implicit statement about how the empty spots left are where civilization is supposed to start anew. Isn’t there some sort of metaphor about brush fires when a forest starts to grow out of control? The League of Shadows serves as the check on the limits of decadence and societal overstratification and elite excess.

    Bruce’s Exile: I’m not usually good at math, but when listening carefully, it seems as though Wayne went into hiding or whatever three, not eight, years before the events of this movie. It’s implied that he didn’t do it until the energy project “failed.” So presumably, he spent five years putting up his facade of being a playboy billionaire more (which, if he hadn’t done it during the events of the first two, would give opportunity for him to show up at the boys’ home and be spotted by Blake).

    Bruce v. Batman Dying: I think he meant Batman. He probably already knew Blake could take over for him, so he knew he individually wasn’t needed anymore. But Batman shouldn’t go down by being kidnapped and practically snapped in half.

    Blake: I’m speculating as to whether that character will be weaved into the fabric of future DC movies and eventually the Justice League movie that WB announced a while back. Nolan is specific that he won’t do anything with the “character” of “Batman,” and yeah, that he won’t be involved in Justice League movies, but he’s producing Man of Steel, and there have been times where he did flat-out lie before. I believe him when he says no more Batman, but not 100% when it comes to Justice League stuff. I had predicted months ago Blake would be an heir of some sort, and it was rather obvious as soon as Bruce talks to him about the symbolism of Batman in the car. And in terms of Blake’s effectiveness in his new role, I think that goes in tandem with the redemption of the police force. The police are going to do a better job, even though yeah, their “system becomes shackles” to Blake (to paraphrase the movie iteslf). They’ve probably been improved enough for him to be more like an assistant, working with them more than against. My cynical conspiracy theorist thinks Bruce/Batman planned on that climax for Blake to go just as it did: Bruce knew something like that would happen, and so he told Blake to lead an exodus to 1) keep him, his heir, safe, and 2) present a situation that he knew would drive him over the edge the way his own parents’ murder had.

    Stocks: Well Fox does say they can sue and get it back, but that it’ll take a lot of time. That presumably gets interrupted when Bane takes over Gotham, though.

    Breaking Batman: I think Bane reverses the breaking-order in this movie and thus fails at the mental breakage. Bane says himself that he wants to kill his spirit by making him watch the fall of Gotham. I think he realizes Batman isn’t entirely broken by the time he shows up because if he had been, he wouldn’t have resurfaced as Batman.

    If I had been around, my final thought would have been to overthink the pearl necklace in this series. It shows up a little in the first one (Joe Chill goes for it and that’s what makes Daddy Wayne jump and get shot), it disappears in the second, but it plays a rather subtly pivotal role in this one. But it’s broken in the first one, and then Bruce fixes it and improves it by putting a tracker on it. That tracker leads him to Selena mid-movie, and ultimately is how Blake finds the cave and then given to Selena he leaves Gotham for good. It sort of symbolizes Bruce’s pain and relief at the same time- it sets him up as Batman, but also sets up his new life and successor. So we can say Bruce takes the source of his pain and uses it for good, the treatment of the necklace paralleling his own development.

    Also, the suspension of disbelief was stretched pretty far in this one compared to the others. This gets at what Belinkie was saying about this one feeling the most comic book-ee. The stock stuff, the bomb stuff, how he gets from the prison to Gotham, the Clean Slate program, the nuclear physicist being able to change the bomb in like ten minutes, nobody seeing the plane under a piece of tarp…


  7. cat #

    Yay Shechner! Though I think I like Stokes’ answer for the weekly question best as I can actually picture it as the plot to a movie.


  8. CrazyLikeAFox OTI Staff #

    Really enjoyed the podcast, a couple stray thoughts (SPOILERS):

    A great discussion of the “Could the options trades have gone down like they did?” over on Law and the Multiverse:


    For your character types, you listed Batman (Lawful good), Bane (Lawful evil), Joker (Chaotic evil). I think Catwoman in this film pretty easily fits into the fourth quadrant, Chaotic good.

    I actually really liked the way they killed off Bane with the Bat-Cycle cannon – it was Nolan’s way of saying. “Don’t worry, he’s really dead, there’s not going to be a slasher-movie last-scare where he pops up to menace Batman again.” Of course, given that Batman has access to weaponry in his plane, it’s a little questionable why he didn’t just shoot Bane in the face a little earlier in the movie instead of charging straight at him with just his fists(or why NO ONE has shot Bane yet….)


    • Gab #

      I feel this is kind of applicable:


      I often like picking apart the different manifestations of characters in comics to see which alignment they follow. Although some never change- Superman is never anything but lawful neutral, and the Joker is never anything other than chaotic evil, for example. But I’d agree that Catwoman is kind of a chaotic good in this movie- I’d say either that, or perhaps neutral good. She’s okay with killing, after all, but only if she’s under direct threat- and she does help others.


  9. phantom joe #

    i didn’t mind it so much as i did how they handled Tahlia.
    Tahlia al Ghul is one of bruce’s all time great love interest along with Selina Kyle… kinda bugged me they killed her the way she did, and how much love she lacked. cause it was love that differentiates her from her father, otherwise she’s a carbon clone. i didn’t hate the fact that she died or was the secret big bad, it just didn’t add up. she hated her father, so she’s gonna carry out his crazy plan cause he’s dead and killing herself in the process? i thought she was smarter than crazy. if they had hit that certain emotional cue, i think it could have been another great defining moment for batman. it could have been a challenge, instead of death by car crash.

    otherwise i enjoyed myself.


    • fenzel OTI Staff #

      To me, Talia’s presence in The Dark Knight Rises felt kind of like the presence of The Absorbing Man in the Ang Lee _Hulk_ — we made up a character that we want to have in this movie; let’s futz around in the comic books until we find somebody who is close enough to it that we can make a reference to something in the literature rather than just introduce somethign totally new.

      And then let’s just ignore the glaring differences and inconsistencies with the literature, because this movie is a standalone project.

      I think it helped that we didn’t know she was Talia until the very end. That made it a fun surprise, but it meant I wasn’t spending the whole movie thinking “Wait, Talia Al Ghul isn’t like that at all!”


  10. LeighH #

    Pretty big Well Actually here – Matthew Modine’s character in Full Metal Jacket was Private Joker, the only character to survive both halves of the film. I have no idea whether Fenzel is confusing Matthew Modine with someone else, or if he’s confusing Full Metal Jacket with some other movie. But that aside reminder of who Matthew Modine is made no sense to me.

    Otherwise, a great discussion of the film. I just saw it today, and you helped distill and refine a lot of the same thoughts I was having.


    • fenzel OTI Staff #

      My main point in referencing Full Metal Jacket was remembering that Matthew Modine was in it. I don’t think I had anything else in mind other than remembering where I’d seen him before.


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