Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Calling all the heroes

What a weekend it's been!  I'm a big fan of superheroes but Batman is my very, very favourite.  So, ofcourse I went to the movies on the evening of general release of the Dark Knight Rises, lining up excitedly for my fix of the caped crusader and the conclusion of Christopher Nolan's trilogy.  

I thought the first instalment, Batman Begins, was brilliant.   I loved Christopher Nolan's take on the story and the clever fusion of Eastern philosophy played out in the very heart of Western, Capitalist society.  The unfolding relationship between Bruce Wayne and his ever so English butler, Alfred, was beautiful to watch.  It reminded me of many such relationships I've seen on the big screen where the hired help take on a very special role in the rearing of their young charges - loving them every bit as a parent whilst maintaining a respectful, professional distance.  Glossing over the second movie, The Dark Knight, brings me to the final masterpiece.   The Dark Knight Rises - and how!
This movie was littered with the fruits of Nolan's labour in the first two movies.  Having spent time crafting a string of important relationships in Bruce Wayne's life, these are further developed and played out in a way that held me completely captivated.   Seldom has 164 mins passed in the blink of an eye, such was my interest in all that unfolded.  
Nolan takes on two huge current and controversial themes in the Dark Knight Rises - renewable energy using nuclear fusion (which ofcourse the baddies want to commandeer for their evil ends) and the public uprising against big business and capitalism - essentially the "have nots" against the "haves".  I thought he rather cleverly plotted these themes, whilst leaving the big questions unanswered.  Is nuclear energy the way forward?  Who exactly are the wealthy capitalists we blame for the mess we are in and where is the line drawn between the "haves" and the "have nots"?  
What a supporting cast, each one playing a role as important as Batman.  I was excited to see Matthew Modine, who plays the politician, Foley.  He has never received the acclaim he deserves - another fine actor playing a small but crucial part.  This is something Nolan does so well, weaving all the characters together into a story that is worthy of even the harshest critics praise.  He has masterfully produced an action packed blockbuster, with a child friendly rating,  that is worthy of an oscar nomination for the script and performances alone.   
The biggest and cleverest questions of all were a piece of movie making genius.  Does Bruce Wayne need Batman to define his very self and does Batman need Gotham City more than Gotham City needs Batman?   
And if all this isn't reason enough - OMG Christian Bale looks hot as hell in black Kevlar.  Thank you Christopher Nolan - nicely done. imdb.com rates the Dark Knight Rises 9.1/10.  For me it's a definite 10!

Which brings me to Bradley Wiggins.  What can I say about the man who has just won the Tour de France, without question the greatest sporting endurance event on earth.  The first British man to do so, he was favourite from the start after a blistering season up to that point.  No pressure then Brad.    Anyway, get this.  He covered 3500km in 87hours, 34 mins & 47 secs.  He rides on the flat @ a pretty consistent 50km per hour.  Yes, read that again because those stats seem almost impossible for a mere mortal.  He was pretty much assured of the yellow jersey in the final week but, like a true hero, he gave his all until the final km, leading out his wingman, the great Mark Cavendish, for one final stage win.   I had the absolute pleasure of meeting him @ a cycling dinner a couple of years ago before his rise to cycling god status.  He was Olympic champion mind you and one of only two British Olympians to have a medal tally of 6, including 3 golds.  And like a true Northern lad, he gleefully drank pints and chummed almost everyone in the room.  I'll tell you what though - just like Bruce Wayne I'm sure, if you looked closely enough you could almost see his cape under his Fred Perry button down shirt and Farah slacks.  BradleyWigginsoutof10 - a well deserved 10!

Only one thing separates Batman and Bradley Wiggins - one wears black and   the other, yellow.  But they're both true heroes.  

From the movie Drive, here's my musical tribute to them both.


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