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Pictures: 'The Dark Knight Rises' Christian Bale, Tom Hardy

The movie related stocking stuffers (or Hanukkah presents) just keep-a-comin’!  Today we have some nice shiny images from The Dark Knight Rises. Granted, most of them are not new, we’ve seen them as scans from Empire or obscured with copy but Warner Brothers has decided to gift us all with the hi-res versions (below and left)!

The more I look at Tom Hardy’s Bane, the more excited I get for this movie. I expect Christopher Nolan to put together a coda to his Dark Knight trilogy of epic proportions. To that end, the villain chosen to match or even best, Christian Bale’s Batman must be up to the task. Hardy is an actor, not an action figure, despite his propensity for bulking up for a role. The official synopsis describes Bane as a terrorist leader who arrives on Gotham City’s doorstep eight years after the events of The Dark Knight to hatch a nefarious plot of mass destruction and socio-political upheaval, pushing Gotham City and its police force to their limits, forcing its former hero Batman to resurface after taking the fall for Harvey Dent's crimes. When Batman tries to stop him, he finds that in Bane he has truly met a villain who is his equal, both physically and mentally.

A word about Bane’s voice: After having viewed the recently releasedtrailer, a lot of people have been complaining about it. I, for one, don’t have a problem with it or the fact that director Nolan won’t be tweaking it. I didn’t find it that inordinately difficult to understand.  I got the gist of it. And I have to agree with Nolan, if it is a little garbled, it makes Bane that much more sinister. Imagine having to go through life with everyone struggling to understand wtf you’re saying all the time.

The Dark Knight Rises stars Bale, Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Marion Cotillard, Matthew Modine, Juno Temple, Liam Neeson and Cillian Murphy and opens in theaters July 20 in the US, Canada and the UK.


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