Sunday, July 20, 2008

Movie Review - The Dark Knight

I was reluctant to see it right away because I knew how crazy the crowds would be, but I'm glad I saw it opening day. I realized how much more enthused people are about an opening. Very rarely do I hear applause and cheering after a film, let alone DURING. It just makes for a more enjoyable experience.
People are usually all, "Oh man! It was the greatest film I've ever seen in my life!! It was awesome! I would kill my grandfather to see it again!!" but when they're watching it, what do they do? They just sit there. Stop being a poser. If you liked it, show it.
Exact opposite: you know when you go see Step Brothers, people are going to be laughing their asses off and you will too. That is, until you rent it and watch it at home and realize how ridiculously unfunny it is. You'll see.

Anyways... I thought it was fantastic although, given the insane amount of marketing and the hype of Heath Ledger's Joker, it couldn't be anything but. People are screaming Oscar nominations and being real smug about it and I'm not one to speculate, especially given that if he does win an Oscar for it, it will be based more on the fact that he's dead than the fact that it was an epic performance. That's how Hollywood works; fake nice and real vain. If he doesn't win, I'm going to slap the hell out of everyone who "predicted" he would. If he does, I'll pass it off as a lucky guess. I wouldn't say Heath was "the best Joker ever" - they're all different and great in their own respects - but he played the character magnificently. It really was an incredible show of his acting abilities. It's up there with one of my favourite characters portrayals. The little jokes and idiosyncrasies, the shifty eyes, licking lips... man, he was just an uncomfortable individual.

A fantastic quote from sums it up: "Without question one of the most demonic, pure incarnations of nightmarish instant classic movie villains, Heath Ledger's Joker self-mutilated danger junkie, misery loves company chaos freak in hellish warpaint may be gone, but will never be forgotten."

Not that there was much there in terms of character - the guy was only on-screen for a couple minutes - but I really enjoyed William Fitchner popping up as the bank manager. Now that that's out of the way, I look forward to seeing him back in action on Prison Break.

I really appreciated that they re-visited Two Face and clarified the storyline after Batman Forever botched it up. Tommy Lee Jones' face looked like a dried up leather couch made from Barney the dinosaur's flesh. Damn Schumacher. I don't even know what to say about Harvey Dent's face. Just fantastic. They really did a great job here (and that goes for all of the FX).

I don't have much of an opinion on the re-casting of Rachel, other than to say I think Maggie is hotter than Katie. Okay, Katie is still hot. But c'mon... Katie Holmes was hot in Dawson's Creek and she was definitely hot in The Gift where you got to see her topless. But the second she started hooking up with the incarnation of L Ron Hubbard, her attractiveness went right out the window with her credibility and sanity.

Christian Bale is one lucky bastard. He's a good-looking dude and, my heterosexuality intact, I confidently admit the best-looking of the Batmen. And he gets to say that he is one of the most celebrated superheroes of all time with, might I add, the most badass vehicles and gadgets. He must get so much tail.

The only gripe I have is that Bale's dark, growling Batman voice is way over the top and that he can't even speak a full sentence in it is a testament to the fact that he ought to tone it down a bit. He sounds like a scary version of that mental black kid from Malcolm In The Middle.

Now who wants to go see Bolt?


  1. Good on ya, Rog! I read a crap load of reviews; it's nice to read one that isn't too 'pretentious film student wannabe'. Honest, funny and insightful - without any BS. Keep it up!

  2. Maggie hotter than Katie? Maybe. In the fund-raiser scene where she's all done up in formal dress... I guess she's cute in a wet dog kind of way. Droopy eyes and gangly posture, where do you get off? Katie is way hotter. Way.

    I'll agree with you that the rest of the movie was dashiznit., as it was juiced-up to be. After hearing everyone and their mother chanting it to be the movie of the summer, getting smothered in promo from billboards, to bus stops to bi-planes, I was expecting to be disappointed on at least some level. C'mon, really. Who advertises with bi-planes anymore?

    In comparison to Batman Begins however, I found The Dark Knight a bit lacking in plot. There was a point where I realized that I had been wide-eyed and sitting on the edge of my seat for almost an hour. Sure, they had a lot less story to work with than the origins of Bruce and how he became Batman, but there were no breaks from the action that let the audience just sit back and breathe. Which could be an attribute I guess, but eye-candy is quickly forgotten with the next best thing. It's like a first date: If you don't want some good conversation, just buy yourself a blow-up doll.

    Christian Bale is definitely my favourite Batman. I have no complaints about any acting performance in the movie, but Ledger undeniably brought it up a notch. His character (credit also being due to Nolan and FX) had such a fantastic element of psychotic realism. It carried the movie beyond the rest of the Kraft Dinner super hero movies like the original Hulk, Fantastic Four and borderline on Spiderman.

    On the topic of realism, I can't agree with the FX on Harvey Dent's face. I thought it was brutally cartoonish, especially the exposed eyeball. Give me a break, that eye would dry up like a raisin. I find it hard to believe the Joker and Two-Face were designed by the same make-up crew.

    I don't have much of an opinion on Batman's rough, raspy voice, but it's sexy as hell. Heterosexuality also intact, I really go for the whole garburator timbre in a voice, common of those three-dollar an hour 1-900 numbers. Not that I would know.

    Cool blog though Mr. Beck. Keep it up and you may just make the "Favourites" folder in my bookmarks. High society indeed, you baller you.

  3. Solid review sir... but the Two Face make-up FX were in fact, entirely CG. Minus three points.