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Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Dark Knight

****½ The Dark Knight

Directed by: Christopher Nolan.
Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman



We saw this at the Embassy theater during our month in San Antonio this summer.

So much has been written about this movie, I hardly know where to start. If you haven't seen it, you've undoubtedly heard enough about it to know what it's about--and if you haven't, you can find a synopsis easily enough.

The biggest buzz about this movie was Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker. I agree--great performance. Creepily insane, darkly humorous. I suspect sentiment made some of his fans more enthusiastic than they might otherwise have been.

I wasn't a particular fan of Heath Ledger--hadn't really seen him before in anything other than The Patriot and A Knight's Tale--enough so I knew who he was, but not where I'd see a movie because he was in it. I'm not sure I had major doubts, but it did make me blink because cute kid from Knight's Tale =/= scary Joker. Yes, I know: that's why they call it "acting".

Magic Pencil Trick still makes me shudder.

Everybody talks about the Joker, and he was excellent, but Two-Face (Aaron Eckhart) was very cool, too. Loved that plot line, though its climax left me temporarily confused: ****spoiler****why did they kill off Two Face? I was sure he was a recurring character...**** then it clicked. You can tell all the moving and travel and stress was making me a little slow.

And of course that letter from Rachel (Maggie Gyllenhaal) broke my heart. *sniff* But then again, I wonder why they added her in the first place? Because every movie needs a love interest? I think she was so judgmental in the first movie because they wanted to play up the Scarlet Pimpernel-ish-ness of Bruce Wayne--dilettante by day, saves the world by night. Which, IMO, is a mistake--you're left with the question of why the heck would he care about her or what she thinks of him.

The other thing everyone talks about is how dark the movie is, and that's very true. It's a trend lately, most obviously visible in franchises like Batman and James Bond.

I love Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman in anything they're in, and this is no exception.

Don't shoot me... I liked Michael Keaton better as Batman than Christian Bale. Part of it may be because I saw the Keaton version first (well, not really: I saw Adam West first), and part is because of the look: Keaton's got the square jaw of the comics. But mostly it's the acting. Bale is just too subdued for me. Not a lot of dynamism in the acting there. Reminded me of the acting in Signs: he almost seems tranquilized.

Which, I suppose, fits with the darker theme. I try not to compare the first 4 Batman movies with the most recent 2. Same characters; different universes.

In the end, it was a fabulous movie, well worth seeing. And even though there's a lot of hype, it's mostly earned.


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Comments:
I completely agree with your review. Christian Bale seemed wooden and unrealistic. And I really didn't like the whole "why is he running? because we have to chase him" mess.

(and yes, the pencil trick was truly creepy.)
 
I'm glad you said that. I was trying to figure out why I didn't like him as well as some of my friends did, and that's what I came up with. Nice to know I'm not the only one.

I did love the movie, though. :)
 
I really enjoy Dark Knight! It was all dark, creepy, exciting, action adventures...just the way I like it :)

Not sure what I thought of Christian Bale, yet. And I can't compare Michael Keaton with Christina Bale, as I like them both. But I agree with the Two-Face guy...he was great too!
 
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