Posted by Alia Haddad on July 19, 2012 at 9:33 am
With Christopher Nolan’s third installment in his Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, opening later this week, it’s got me wondering if Nolan has succeeded in changing the game of summer blockbusters forever. It has been argued by me fairly persistently that a good summer blockbuster does not necessarily guarantee it a spot on a overarching good movie list. Rather, what makes a great blockbuster does not necessitate a great film. While I believe, there are definite crossovers, these films seem to be the exceptions, rather than the rules (just some He’s Just Not That Into You logic).
So yes, I’ve basically accepted this opinion as fact, but now everything seems to be a little in flux. What’s this gibberish I’m talking about? Well, I think the inquisitive word should be “who” not “what,” and the way I see it, that “who” takes the shape of Christopher Nolan.
I mean, by just the Batman movies alone it seems fairly obvious to me we have a new type of summer blockbuster upon us. These aren’t the light, fun comic-book-hero-saves-the-day sort of movies. No, instead Nolan has succeeded in giving us a dark, grimy, (baroque even) movie about a conflicted anti-hero trying to save an un-savable humanity from the depths of pure hell. And what’s great is that the blockbuster-population just loves it. They are eating it right up as evidenced by The Dark Knight Rises advanced ticket sales sell-out. This is not to say the lighthearted blockbuster is slowly phasing out (take a look at The Amazing Spider-Man for proof), but that a new genre might be on the rise: that of a great movie AND a great blockbuster.
While Nolan’s Batman trilogy may not be the most convincing set of examples when considering this genre game changer–I mean, what if this was just his particular vision of Batman and not how he does most movies–I would then ask you to turn your attention to Nolan’s other films, most notably Inception.
Inception was Nolan’s summer blockbuster of 2010, and boy oh boy was it a perfect mixture of blockbuster and the thinking man’s good movie. Never had I seen so many summer movie goers standing in line to think (like really think!). Other than Inception, The Prestige (2006) and Memento (2000) were Nolan’s other big hits. And while both were released in October of their respective years, they were no less intelligent and dark than the movies he’s currently been putting out. And also, how far away is October from August really?
And so, I’d look to put forth the following topic: will Christopher Nolan be held responsible for better blockbusters world wide? Your thoughts, Banterers?