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If you've used the Internet this morning, the chances are good you read at least one report about the 'Dark Knight Rises' IMAX prologue screening that happened in Los Angeles on Thursday night. (Moviefone and the New York press corp will see what Nolan has to offer when the footage screens in Manhattan on Monday.) To quote 'Almost Famous': it's all happening! With news that a new trailer might come soon, and the IMAX prologue premiering for everyone near an IMAX theater on Dec. 16, the once far-away threequel now seems within grasp. Which means some backlash can start. Like, what the hell is up with Bane's voice?

"Tom Hardy's sinister characterization [of Bane] shines through," wrote Comics Alliance after screening the footage, "but it was difficult to understand some of Bane's dialogue in this sequence. It seems likely that there will be many parody videos forthcoming."

That opinion was echoed by many other Los Angeles journalists who got to see the prologue. "'Dark Knight Rises' 6 minute opening in IMAX shows you yet another Nolan moment never before put on film," wrote David Poland. "Boo-yah. (But could use subtitles.)"

"Just saw 'The Dark Knight Rises' prologue. It was great but main criticism will be that it's tough to understand Bane through the mask," Variety reporter Jeff Sneider added on Twitter.

'Dark Knight Rises' fanatics may remember hearing a snippet of Hardy's Bane voice over the summer, when video of the Christopher Nolan Batman shoot from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh leaked onto the Internet. In that clip, Hardy affected a high-pitched whine that made him sound like a cartoon villain.

Wrote Peter Sciretta at Slashfilm, "One of the big complaints among attendees was that it was hard to understand what Bane was saying. As you know, the character wears a mask, and his voice is synthesized and muffled in a way which is sometimes hard to hear over the score."

According to Drew McWeeny at HitFix, however, perhaps the Bane voice being difficult to understand is exactly what Nolan wants.

"I will say that the mix on the sequence we saw tonight could use some tweaking because while I believe Nolan's goal is to make it hard to understand everything Bane says, it really felt like I only picked up about 10% of what he said, including an emphatic "The Fire Rises!" at one point."

Not that Bane's vocalizations diminished the footage; nearly everyone who saw the 'Dark Knight Rises' prologue seems to have come away with thoughts akin to eyeballs popping out of heads. Check back to Moviefone next week for our detailed report; 'The Dark Knight Rises' prologue runs in front of IMAX screenings of 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol' starting on Dec. 16.

[Photo: Warner Bros.]





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