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"The Dark Knight Rises" Prologue Screening

I was one of the lucky few who got to check out the screening last night of the first six minutes of "The Dark Knight Rises" in IMAX. Director Christopher Nolan introduced the prologue, singing the praises of the IMAX format and saying he wants to return some sense of grandeur to the moviegoing experience--something that has been "chipped away at" over the years. The footage will be available for audiences who check out the IMAX screenings of "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" the week of Dec. 16.

Warner Bros. has specifically asked journalists not to detail the footage that was shown or give away any of the plot, and I wouldn't want to do that anyway. Suffice to say we get a good look at the film's prime baddie Bane, played by the great Tom Hardy, who worked with Nolan in "Inception." And once again, Nolan has crafted an exciting action sequence. Happy to say Bane looks properly terrifying and intense. On the downside, expect to hear a lot of complaints about the fact that Hardy, under Bane's mask, was virtually unintelligible. Some journalists were insisting the film needed subtitles, I'm hoping some redubbing or sweetening of the sound can make Bane sound a little clearer.

After the prologue, we were treated to some shots from the movie, which included a quick glance at Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway in both the Catwoman suit and what appears to be a prison jumpsuit, and Batman charging Bane in an old-fashioned fistfight. There was also an incredible image of Bane holding something that I don't want to give away.

After the screening, I spoke briefly to Nolan, who said "The Dark Knight Rises" will feature more IMAX footage than the previous film--close to an hour's worth. As for filming the final installment of his Batman trilogy, which he's currently editing, Nolan said it was "bittersweet."

--Jenelle Riley

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