Warner Bros. over the weekend released a 13-minute featurette for "The Dark Knight Rises," the final part of writer/director Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight " trilogy (along with 2005's "Batman Begins" and 2008's "The Dark Knight ").
It comes off as much a celebration of Nolan as a making-of infomercial, given that a lot of the various talking heads who expound on "Rises" -- including the film's actors Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway and Gary Oldman -- inevitably testify to the auteur's brilliance, ambition and storytelling skills.
But it's hard not to be sucked in by the visual spectacle glimpsed, like a stadium explosion (with 11,000 extras on hand), collapsing Gotham bridges (based on real bridges connecting Manhattan to Brooklyn), and a breathtaking scene in which four stuntmen dangle from tethers off an actual (non-CGI'd) airplane in flight.
"We've expanded into the largest of genres: the war movie, the disaster film," Nolan says at one point in the featurette. "They add scale, raising the stakes from a place where they were already extremely heightened."
"The Dark Knight Rises" opens on July 20.
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.