I like TDKR, as much as anyone, but if I were doing a Batman film, its not how i would go about it. I tend to side with AJ, the idea of Batman "retiring" just doesn't jive with me. Its realistic, I get that, but its not the Batman I know, Batman is defined by his inability to quit.
Another thought that passed through my head today. You want to know what has always fascinated me about comics, and comic book based movies by extension? How powerful the characters are, and how many cool superpowers there are. We have a guy who can manipulate magnitism. A guy who can control space. A person who can bend reality at her will. A despot with an immortal army of followers. Beings with the powers of gods. A being who is God's hand of judgement. Yet, for all those powers, all those abilities, the most terrifying of the terrifying, the king, is HIM. The man you fear the most is the one who has no powers at all, and wages an eternal war against a guy dressed like a bat. There's something that Mr. J adds to any film, any display that is simply unique. Unlike Lex Luthor and Magneto, Mr. J hasn't been overexposed to the point where its same old same old. There's an edge that he brings, that I felt was missing from TDKR.
I just read Scott Synder's Batman #14, and it blew me away (just like #13 did), its the Joker at the peak of his powers, at the peak of his insanity. Check out what happens to poor old Alfred:
(The Joker poisoned him with Blood Thinner, Batman got him to a hospital in time)
and that's just one issue, and doesn't count what he did to Barbara's mother. I felt like that edge was missing from TDKR. It was still a great film, but man, it didn't have that feeling of unleashed chaos, that you never knew what was going to happen next, because you never what happens when he's in town.