Dark Knight

You can always count on someecards to uncomfortably hit the nail on the head. But Heath Ledger’s last performance is an added draw to The Dark Knight*. I don’t think we’ll catch it this weekend, unfortunately, but I’m not big on standing in line anyway. So if any of you guys see it, please try to hold your commentary. I want to keep my expectations in check—because let’s be honest: Batman Begins was horrid. And Christian Bale is not a good protagonist unless he’s hacking people up.

*Is this supposed to be a play on words? Night/Knight?

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15 responses to “Dark Knight

  1. To answer your asterisk, Batman has long been referred to as the Dark Knight. I don’t think they were going for anything more than a nod to the historic.

    For the record, I loved Batman Begins. Yes, the movie seemed over the top at times but it also sucessfully projected a comic book ambience, and I’ll swallow some cheese as a lesser of two evils. What made the movie great was Batman’s struggle between justice and vengeance, between exorcising his past while holding on to enough anger to fuel his quest. Great music, dark theme, comic-book cinematography… sweet. Makes George Clooney’s Batman look even worse.

    I’ve got tickets to Dark Knight tonight. I can’t wait. I’ll keep my review to myself for the time being, though.

  2. I forgot the original reason I wanted to post a comment.

    How is the Ledger’s death being exploited? I’ve read some comments from others involved in the movie, and they seem to have handled the situation very well. The marketing campaign immediately shifted away from the Joker emphasis immediately after Ledger’s death, and I’ve heard the movie has been dedicated, in part, to his memory. (Ledger is not the only one involved in this movie that died, you know.)

    Oh, and to respond to this: “And Christian Bale is not a good protagonist unless he’s hacking people up.”

    Have you seen The Machinist?

  3. I see I’ve found a Batman fan. 🙂

    In full disclosure, I haven’t been paying much attention to the Batman previews/ads because I don’t want to spoil anything for myself (which is unlike me), but from what I’ve seen, there hasn’t been Health Ledger overkill. And though it’s probably intentional and totally natural, there is a draw to the film since it’s his last, as well as from all the reports that he was in an emotionally dark place for an extended period of time during the filming. But then I don’t necessarily think the studio perpetuated those stories.

    I didn’t know someone else died? That’s too bad.

    I haven’t seen The Machinist. And while Bale is a talented actor, he’s definitely not my favorite Batman. (Nor is Clooney.) And sorry to say that Am. Psycho sort of ruined Bale for me. As did Sleepers with Kevin Bacon. Ugh.

  4. As for Batman Begins, you raise good points, but I found some of the scenes trite, and didn’t find the scenes involving his parents near as touching as previous films. (Something about Wayne Sr. didn’t do it for me.)

    But I agree that it went for something deeper (with the justice v. vengenace theme) and I look forward to that same kind of drama in this installment.

    I suppose what it really comes down to is that, while I was entertained, I didn’t feel a strong emotional connection with the characters. Except maybe Rachel. And Alfred. I’m such a sucker for Alfred.

  5. Also, if you can give me a simple thumbs up/thumbs down post-screening, that would be helpful. 🙂

  6. I’d love to go into detail, but I won’t. I’ll say only two things: 1) thumbs up, and 2) better than Batman Begins.

    1) requires a grain of salt because of my bias, but 2) might be separable from bias in that I’m comparing one against the other (and since they’re obviously both batman films, that aspect can arguably be tossed aside). I rewatched Batman Begins recently and feel that the Dark Knight was simply a better film.

    Enjoy it when you see it!

  7. Yessss. I’ve heard many good things (no details, thankfully). Good thoughts, Peter, good thoughts. I look forward to a more in-depth discussion after I see it!

  8. Hey! You’re exactly right. Unlike some others, I can’t wait to be 30, be stable, have a place of my own to decorate and be an adult. People like to tell me this will change as I approach my thirties, but they also like to assume that some day I’ll just randomly wake up and want to have babies. I think after 25 years I know myself pretty well, and I don’t see this happening.

    Fulfillment in all areas is over-rated. Not to mention impossible. We’re always (and always will be) searching for that something en plus. And that’s fine. I’ve realized that I may never be happy in my professional life because I still have no idea what I would like to do with it. I probably won’t like my job. Most people don’t. And that’s fine. That’s why we have good men, kitties and outlets.

    Thanks for the comment. I read your blog often, it’s always entertaining, and I must say I love the little glimpses into your life. It’s like we’ve always stayed in touch!

    A bientôt!

    K

  9. Go to Kelsy’s blog for background.

    I suppose one big benefit of never feeling 100% fulfilled is that you keep dreaming and reaching, and it maybe even keeps you inspired enough not to settle for the status quo.

    The common problem I see with people our age is that we tend to let what we do define who we are, which makes it tough to be indifferent about our day jobs. As a person who genuinely likes their job (it keeps me writing, which is a major plus) but doesn’t love it, I’m now contemplating other ventures that would combine my professional passions with my personal hobbies.

    Those daydreams may well be fruitless, but as you inferred, at the end of the day, what really makes me happy are the people (and animals!) I share my life with. The rest, really, is just a small slice of the life pie.

    Je suis d’accord about the blogs—it’s a good way to feel looped in. I stopped by good ol’ SHS on my drive from Denver to DC and everyone there is wishing you well!

  10. Okay I have to add my two cents (no spoilers), but I have to admit that I like the new Batmans better than the old. I like both the old and the new (I’m a sucker for Batman – he was my favorite comic book character), but I think Christian Bale does a great job. I did not see him as American Psycho, but can relate with the Kevin Bacon comment so can see where you are coming from.

    However, Peter, I did see the Machinist and it’s definitaly not a feel good, but I did think that Bale did a crazy good job and what he went through for the role was nuts.

    Wow I’m chatty cathy recently, or chatty cassie? wow, I’m dumb. Ha.

  11. OK, D and I finally saw the flick last night so at long last I can weigh in.

    I still don’t like Christian Bale as Batman (it’s the voice and the mouth…just strikes me as odd and I get so distracted by it that I can tell when the dubbing is off ever so slightly) but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and thought it was 10 times better than Batman Begins.

    Batman is also my favorite comic book graphic novel character and I thought they executed the dark undertones of the movie extremely well. (Remember how Spiderman III got it way wrong? Emo Spiderman? Yuck.)

    I was most impressed by Heath Ledger’s performance, and it has nothing to do with the fact that he’s no longer of this earth.

    I agree with most folks than it was too long; I think some aspects of the plot were superfluous, and frankly didn’t think the tie to Lao was strong enough to make me care. But all in all, it met my expectations (which were high), and I’m curious to see where they take it from here.

  12. hey megs!
    saw it last night.
    loved it…loved that they used a real city for gotham rather than a stage…at least it looked very real 🙂
    also, heath was superb…dove into that role and…superb performance.
    cheers!
    jack

  13. Megan, good comments. I see where you’re coming from with the length/plot/Lao stuff. Personally, I was glad that I still had 45 minutes left after I’d been watching for 1:45. Probably not so much because of the plot, but just because the movie was so much fun to watch. If they had cut the whole Lao thing out the story wouldn’t have suffered, but I would’ve been left wanting more after a mere 2 hours of Batman kicking serious bad guy ass.

  14. Ok… I’ve seen it twice now and I have to say it’s an excellent comic book movie. Quite possibly the best comic book movie ever. And I’m not a huge Batman fan. The depressing tone of the whole movie with undertones of hope is kind of the hallmark of the Batman comics and graphic novels, at least the later incarnations.

    Heath Ledger was amazing. The his mannerisms and tics were perfectly interjected into the dialog. The whole lizard tongue tic was great… it’s a symptom of a few mental illnesses and even more commonly associated with long-term use of older anti-psychotic meds, a nice subtle indicator that the Joker is a complete nutbag who’s been in and out of institutions. It was said he was in a pretty dark place after shooting the movie, and you can see why. His character had to be seriously mentally taxing.

    That said, the voice is a bit overdone. Batman’s supposed to have a gravelly voice, but Bale’s just comes off as super-fake. His mouth is also a bit weird shaped.

    The fight scenes were kind of lame and there weren’t enough of them and yes, the movie was too long.

  15. JB: I agree completely. I’m not too sure if I liked Batman better than Ironman (but then I had low expectations for Ironman), but Batman is and will always be my favorite comic book hero.

    But you hit the Bale thing on the head. Drives. Me. Nuts.

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