Like so many of our cultural icons, I have a complex relationship with Nolan's much lauded Batman installments, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. The former I would say my opinion generally aligns with the opinion of the vast majority of those whom surround me. A very good film with a flaw here and there that are more or less forgivable when weighed against the film's high entertainment quality. Batman Begins does have some message but it's mostly surface level and geared towards a blockbuster style audience.
The Dark Knight on the other hand, well that's a different beast. I quite like The Dark Knight. It's maintained well upon subsequent viewings, I find it engaging, and I like that Nolan wasn't afraid to push the darkness while blending in the comic book world with the real world. My problem is that I don't think it's anywhere near one of the best movies of all time. I don't even think it's the best movie of its year (for the record: In Bruges). Now normally that wouldn't be much of an issue. I disagree with the common form "best film of the year" all the time, and I think that's healthy. After all, as I've said before, if everyone agreed on everything we'd be zombies instead of human beings. The problem lies in the fact that The Dark Knight has an army of fanboys behind it.
In other words, my refusal to accept it as one of the year's best - let along one of the all time greats - is because I'm wrong. Luckily these people have more or less faded by the way side due to the polarizing nature of the onslaught of comic book to film adaptations we've had as of late. This has allowed me a bit more perspective on The Dark Knight over the years. I've not yet changed my stance, I think it would take a sudden shift of perspective on life for me to do so. Still, I am looking forward to The Dark Knight Rises, if for no other reason than to see if Nolan has something up his sleeve for Batman one more time. And the recently premiered trailer goes a long way to show that if all else fails, we can always fall back on Nolan's eye for visual action.
P.S. Cover it up all you want, "The Legend Ends" is a horrid tagline to follow the title "The Dark Knight Rises." I'm sure it was chosen specifically to make all the rabid fans go "OMG ARE THEY REALLY GONNA KILL BATMAN!?!?!?!?!?!" - in which case, it is successful so fair enough - but I think it really lacks the punch of its 2008 exercise in marketing genius.