Movie Madness: “The Dark Knight”

(I know this isn’t exactly college-related… but I’m no longer updating my personal blog and, therefore, I don’t have a place to yack about any movies I’ve recently seen or books I’ve recently read. This is how I see it: college kids like movies. Thus, this new feature isn’t a complete waste of time.)

While I recently watched The Dark Knight, the newest installment of the Batman series. I took notes on what I liked and didn’t like. Here are my thoughts on the blockbuster hit.

  • Just a general comment about all things Batman: I’m not sure if Batman should qualify as a “superhero”. “Superhero” is defined as: a hero, esp. in children’s comic books and television cartoons, possessing extraordinary, often magical powers. Batman doesn’t actually have any super powers. His gadgets do all the hard work for him.
  • Christian Bale, although not my favorite Batman, should do more scenes shirtless. (My fav Batman, for the record, is Val Kilmer. Rawr.)
  • I don’t like Michael Caine as Alfred. Michael Gough has a special place in my heart. Sadly, he’s almost 100 and not as spry as he used to be.
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal is fabulous. So much better than Katie Holmes (at everything, not just acting).
  • I’ve never been a comic book fan but I did used to watch the Batman cartoons once in a while. Maybe it was featured in the comic books, but I don’t remember Bruce Wayne pretending to be such a pompous dick like he was in The Dark Knight. I thought he was more quiet, introverted. A businessman while blending in, as to not attract focus or suspicion. (Feel free to correct me on this. I just thought this behavior was odd.)
  • Gary Oldman is far too awesome to be playing such a boring role like Gordon. Shame, shame.
  • Christian Bale has generally been ignored because of the recent-ish death of a certain fellow co-star. However, I think this would still be the case, even if You-Know-Who hadn’t died. His character would still have been a stand-out role.
  • Speaking of ignored, Aaron Eckhart‘s portrayal of Harvey Dent/Two-Face was pretty impressive. It was generally mainstream until his transformation to Two-Face. Too bad his performance was over-shadowed, over-looked and generally forgotten.
  • As for Heath Ledger, his performance was brilliant. I was kind of expecting more screen time for The Joker, but we got just enough. He was insane… yet somehow, a genius. The voice was crazy creepy- much better than Christian Bale’s forced “I’m trying to sound scary” Batman voice. Does the performance deserve an Oscar nod? Yes. Does the performance deserve to win the Oscar? …Depends on the competition. But I think giving Heath the award out of guilt isn’t the right way to go.
  • Over all, a pretty good action film- if that’s your cup of tea. Lots of shit gets blown up. Lots of high-tech gadgets. Lots of screaming Gotham City pedestrians. Et cetera.

I wanna know what you guys thought of this movie! Curse me out, if you wish. Just comment!

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5 Responses to “Movie Madness: “The Dark Knight””

  1. Loved this entry.
    I think you are right about the Batman being mislabeled as a “superhero”, but hey, maybe having the money to pay Lucious Fox (aka Morgan Freeman) to make his gadgets and the drive to save Gotham are superpowers.

    I loved “The Dark Knight” so much I saw it twice.

  2. We clearly disagree on several things.

    First of all, Batman is totally a superhero. He’s extraordinary. How many ordinary people do you know that could shoot bombs onto a building, swoop down into said building, grab a bad guy, allow the bombs to explode, and get on a plane passing by overhead? NOT MANY.

    Also Christian Bale is – quite literally – the most attractive man ever. The end.

    But yes, I thought Eckhart was great, and obvs Ledger BROUGHT IT. And action movies ARE my cup of tea, so perhaps that’s where we differ.

  3. Sure, Batman is athletic and he’s got cool gadgets and lots of money. But he can’t heal himself in seconds (like Wolverine), control the weather (like Storm) or make web come out of his wrists (like Spider-Man).

  4. A few thoughts from 1. a huge comics geek, 2. an even bigger movie geek, 3. a total stranger to you. Found your link at “On the Big Screen” forum. And, because I’m conversationally anal retentive, I’m starting another list to arbitrarily organize my thoughts.

    1. Batman is a superhero, but his power is unconventional. Unlike Superman, Spider-Man or Aquaman (there needs be more love for ol’ Aquaman), Batman doesn’t have super-human strength, agility, mutant augmentations or extraterrestrial godliness. What he does have, though, are two extraordinary powers: brains and money, and a lot of both. There isn’t a problem in DC comics that Batman can’t fix by throwing money at it. And while you don’t see much (any) of it in the movies, he’s a genius intellect and crazy-smart detective. Plus, the pompous dick aspect of the Bruce Wayne personae is to keep people from ever putting 2 and 2 together. The guy is too much of a rich, drunken prat to ever be Batman, right?

    ‘Kay, the nerdiest part of this post is over. Moving on.

    2. Agree on Maggie being > Katie Holmes. Maggie took that same character, who was written just as flimsily as last time, and made me care about her. I believed that Bruce and Harvey could fall for her, even though Bale never really convinced me he’s got any heat in him at all. And when she ‘sploded? Katie could never have made me care so much. Good on ya, Maggs.

    3. Aaron Eckhardt and Gary Oldman are the two unsung heroes of this movie. Everybody talks about how great Heath was (and he was), but the movie’s really about Harvey and Gordon (Batman’s a tertiary character at best). It was about half an hour into the movie when I realized that Harvey’s turn to Two-Face at the end was gonna hurt real bad, even though as a die hard Batman geek I knew it was coming; Eckhardt made the guy a tragic character and not just some colorful super villain.

    Oldman, like Maggie, took a fairly flimsy character (in the screenplay) and made him rich and wonderfully driven. I think he deserved better than what he was given, but he sure as hell ran with it. That said, even Gary couldn’t sell me on Jim’s rationale for faking his own death.

    4. Could Bale have been any more boring in the movie? Leaving that ridiculous Batman voice aside, he was so bland! His Bruce was all facade and his Batman was a physical presence and nothing more. Admittedly, Bale was given the very least to do in the script, aside from wailing on people and being the least important title character in any superhero movie, but still… the guy was great in Begins, not so much in Dark Knight.

    5. Ledger and the Oscar nomination. I really wonder if anyone would be clamoring for him to get the gold if he were still alive. And you’re right, he shouldn’t get nominated just for dying young, but that happens sometimes. He was really brilliant in the movie, and for my money is the only actor in the whole cast who effectively sold some truly clunky dialog. It’s a shame that he’s dead, but I’ve already seen five supporting performances in movies this year that are more worthy of an Oscar nod. We’ll see.

    Thanks for the review, I hope to see more from you (and sorry for taking up your entire comments page – my blather tends to get away from me).

  5. My god. Michael Caine not good as Alfred! Val Kilmer the best Batman. NO way.

    Blair – seen it twice? I think any true film fan has seen it twice. Must be one of the best movies of 2008. If not THE best movie.

    Movie Maven – most attractive man on planet Christian Bale. Watch American Psycho. Scariest man on the planet – giving Batman the intensity and fear that is needed for playing the duality of Batman and Bruce Wayne.

    Scott – defo on Eckhart and Oldman. Then again, these are exceptional actors taking part in a credible franchise (is that not an oxymoron?). Morgan Freeman … Michael Caine … Gary Oldman … Liam Neeson – these are Oscar winning (Oldman MUST have got something but he is the only one I am not 100% sure has won anything) actors playing bit parts. Amazing choice by both actor (must have been difficult prior to batman begins – shall i be in the new batman movie?) and director.

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