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For me, the most interesting thing going on in movie non-news right now is just how little positive buzz there is for The Dark Knight Rises. That's not to say it's being hated, but there's no denying that thus far the pre-release hype - which is, at this point, an unavoidably huge aspect of marketing a movie of this size, in the form of "working the fan buzz" - for this particular film comes mainly in two flavors: reserved disinterest and hand-wringing over impending disappointment.

Now, granted, both flavors come equipped with the mother of all caveats: "In Nolan We Trust." But even that carries with it the same basic problem - right now, the main reason to be looking forward to The Dark Knight Rises is that The Dark Knight was awesome. There are worse problems to have (just ask anyone who had money in a Western before Disney canned The Lone Ranger) but it's still a remarkable turn for a movie that, as early as three years ago, everyone and their mother would've assumed would be the safest bet - and the biggest smash - on the planet.

But there's no mistaking it; in the game of fan management, TDKR is taking a beating. Spy pictures - read: pics snapped by the camera phones of passers-by during its location shoots - have been found almost universally underwhelming (though, granted, that's based on the rather small sample group of people who actually care about location shoot spy photos). Batman's armor, which doesn't even look good in the final films much of the time, looks positively wretched when snapped under such conditions. Tom Hardy's Bane was going to be a hard sell as a character to begin with, but thus far (with notable exceptions) he's being received tepidly at best. And while it was kind of inevitable that Nolan's reputation as an erotically disinclined technician would yield a Catwoman that didn't look much at all like a fetish icon, it's a whole different level of odd that she also doesn't look much at all like a cat.

Right now, the most overwhelmingly positive buzz for the film (excluding the aforementioned "you loved the last one" factor) exists in the realm of speculation. No one from the production has said anything concrete about The League of Shadows (from Batman Begins) turning up again, but Bane's outfit looks kind of ninja-ish and fans sure hope they are - just like they hope Juno Temple is "secretly" playing Harley Quinn (not gonna happen) or that Marion Cotillard is playing - well ... let's not say that one out loud just in case. A month or so back someone took a set pic of a hole in the ground, and everyone got all excited that it might be a Lazarus Pit, because that would mean ... well, click the link and see for yourself.

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