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Thoughts on "The Dark Knight" . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, July 21, 2008

Worth Full-Price, Matinee or Rental: If comic books films or simply Batman alone gets you going, then you could justify paying full price due to the quality and the running time of this flick.

If not, a matinee is worthwhile as this film should be viewed on the big screen.

Will I Own It On DVD: Yes.


1) Even the previews were excellent before "The Dark Knight" as studios must have known how much business Batman was going to bring them in terms of exposure, so they trotted our their best material. My favorite was a dyanmic preview for the upcoming James Bond sequel - "Quantum of Solace." Cool film, putrid title.

2) As for "The Dark Knight" itself, the movie is an admirable achievement with loads of action and fine acting jobs turned in by a stellar cast including Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Glynhehall, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine.


3)Bale gives another solid turn as the caped crusader as he looks equally at home hosting a fund-raiser as his alter ego Bruce Wayne or fighting crime in his Batsuit. That being said, there's something about his performance that keeps him distant from the audience, which may have been intended given that Batman is not the most social creature running around on two feet.

The only real problem I had was Batman's voice because once Bale dons the suit, his vocal chords suddenly sound like he swallowed a family of bullfrogs and is chewing glass as he speaks his lines. I found it unintentionally hilarious.


4) Much has already been said about Ledger's performance, and the late actor deserves every accolade. He immerses himself in the role of the Joker, a crazed figure with an insatiable lust for creating anarchy and causing trouble in Gotham. Ledger absolutely disappears behind the Joker's grotesque make-up, and provides another glimpse of the talent that was lost since he is no longer with us.

5) One of the things I admired most about "The Dark Knight" was the unrelentingly grim view it presents. There are moments of hope, however, they are generally overshadowed by forces of darkness and I can't recall a big budget film that manages to provide such fine entertainment when things are so damn bleak.

That being said, there is absolutely no comic book movie that deserves to run for 2 1/2 hours, and the filmmakers could have shaved at least 15 minutes without diminishing the results.

-BDS

17 comments

  1. JLee Says:
  2. I'm looking forward to this and I know what you mean about Bale and his distant quality. I have seen it in other roles as well. And the voice thing I noticed in the last one and found it kinda weird. ha
    Note to self: no giant soft drinks before watching it.

     
  3. This is the least favourable review I've read, seen or heard of this film. It seems as though every film critic (pro or amateur) is fighting over who can give this movie the most accolades.

    Being a huge fan of the Tim Burton Batman film from the late 80s, I'm in no rush to see a remake. (I'm never in a rush to see a remake, period.) I just don't feel that Batman is a movie that cinematically needed to be remade. (Yes, I understand it's only being remade to make money.) But I am quite content in watching Burton's film again instead of seeing a different interpretation of Batman vs. the Joker. Or, the animated series with Mark Hamill as the Joker.

     
  4. Heff Says:
  5. Way to go, 2Dollar. I knew you'd crack ! Nice honest review, too. I'm going to wait quite some time to see this film, as it's probably going to be awhile before the crowds diminish.

     
  6. Jlee - You're right about Bale & his other roles as I think he's a good actor and generally like him, however, he's still distant. And I saw 'Batman' first thing in the a.m., so I actually made it all the way through without hitting the bathroom.

    WhatIgot - I liked those films as well with Burton and Keaton. These are not remakes of them, but entirely different stories with the same characters. As for the review, I generally only get so excited about comic book films, but this one came pretty close to eclisping the genre. It was a very good movie.

    Heff - Dammit Heff, you send me out to deal with the masses & now you sit on the sidelines. Bullshit. Ha. Enjoy it when you make it out to see the film.

     
  7. OK, OK, I'm "in" as soon as the lines let up a bit. I saw MAMA MIA over the weekend and my "review" will be up tomorrow.

    I'm glad DARK KNIGHT is doing well - it wouldn't be summer without a blockbuster and I don't think you've ever been so enthusiastic over a movie. That alone would get me to see it.

     
  8. Gypsy Says:
  9. Even I will probably trot along to the cinema to see this one. Heath Ledger was a great loss to the movie industry and I am very interested to see his much hyped performance.

    Great review. I wonder why it is that movies seem to get longer and longer. I remember when most films ran between 90-120 minutes. Nowadays it's a 2 hour minimum it seems. Don't movie makers realise that some of us have short attention spans.

    Have you had any news lately on your rewrites?

     
  10. Anonymous Boxer - It's probably a wise move to wait until the hoopla dies down. I saw Mama Mia when it toured through Austin several years ago, so I think I'm good on the film. Ha. And it's definitely the best summer movie I've seen (although Iron Man was pretty close second).

    Gypsy - You should make it down to the theater as Ledger is excellent & the movie itself will play well on a larger screen. I agree about running time as I generally prefer a little restraint in the editing room. As far as re-writes, I just turned in the latest batch yesterday, so now I get to spend the next few weeks chasing him down. Ha.

     
  11. cats Says:
  12. hubby and i are going tonight.

    my brother got me hooked on comics and graphic novels growing up. i'm excited to see this version (even though i always loved the micheal keaton version, i'm really interested to see the darker version of this character.

     
  13. Ro Says:
  14. The sooner it opens here in the UK the better.

    My favourite Batman comics as a lad (okay, as a young(er) man) were the darker ones. Batman operates outside the law himself and carries darkness in his soul and it seems as if this film and its predecessor reflect that nicely.

    Now I just have to decide whether I go on my own or do as my son wishes and wait two weeks until he returns from vacation!

     
  15. vivavavoom Says:
  16. I want to see this one...but the kiddos cannot come. I cannot believe they are even selling the toys at McDonalds...it is too dark for little kids. How was Maggy Gylencantspellthelastname?

     
  17. Linda Says:
  18. Good review, Dark Knight is a movie that truly lives up to it's hype. The performances and the visuals are stunning. I'd like to see it again in IMAX. Be interesting to see how the performances are viewed after the heavy hitters are released at the end of the year. Somehow, I think this one will hold up.

     
  19. I'm seeing this on Thursday. I'm so excited.

     
  20. H.Wood Says:
  21. I loved the flick. My only complaint isn't much of one. I didn't think the Chicago day shots sold me on "Gotham." It didn't have the same gothic feel that Tim Burton and Batman Begins supplied.

     
  22. Cats - That's great & I'm sure you'll have a good time. There's room for both versions without a doubt.

    Ro - That's a tough decision, and based on the 'Batman' series you enjoyed then I'm sure you'll dig the movie . . . Maybe you could see twice, eh? Of course, you'd have to keep the first viewing to yourself. Ha.

    Vivavavoom - They'll sell toys anywhere to make a buck for all interested parties. And yes, I think it's a bit dark for younger kids, although since I have none of my own, you should probably take my opinion on that with a grain of salt. Ha.

    Linda - I definitely think it will hold up well, and you're right about IMAX as I wish I could have seen it on one of those screens. I recommended finding an IMAX to my parents as they live fairly close to one.

    Native Minnow - You shouldn't be disappointed. Enjoy it.

    H. Wood - I know what you mean, but it's tough to top Burton for that Gothic feel, so I'm guessing that Nolan didn't feel like mining that turf to extensively. But that's merely a guess.

     
  23. Vivavavoom - I almost forget Maggie (and I butcher her last name too), but she was solid in an underwritten role. I enjoyed her more than Katie Holmes in the first one (she plays the same character).

     
  24. Mr. DNA Says:
  25. I went and saw it last night.
    A definite "see in theater" for me.

    I would disagree when it comes to "Maggie".
    Small role, but she did nothing with it. I would say she was the low point of the movie for me. I never really felt invested in her character.

     
  26. Mr. DNA - I would agree that she didn't add anything to the picture, but I don't think she took anything away either. Maggie didn't have a lot to work with from the script(although maybe there's more on the cutting room floor somewhere). You know who was really good - Eckhart. I thought he did an excellent job.

     

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