Sunday, August 17, 2008

Just when I thought I was out...

I keep getting pulled back in. Or something like that.

The Ardmorons blog is just so popular with our two regular readers, that it just cannot die.

So, as promised, here's a short review of the Dark Knight, after having seen it for the second time. Look out for spoilers, weinies.

First, the difference between IMAX and regular screen is more subtle than I expected, but you could really detect the increase in screen size and definition during the scenes filmed in IMAX. This is most evident in the opening aerial view of Gotham City, where your entire field of vision is filled.

As you've no doubt heard by now (way to review a movie that's been out for a month - maybe next month I should discuss this year's Olympics) the movie is pretty awesome.

First, the depiction of the Joker was spot on. Dead Heath Ledger really went out with a bang, and no Dark Knight review is complete without the phrase 'posthumous nomination' somewhere within, so there. I liked what the script did with the character, including his two television appearances (One a Nicholas Berg-like video of the Joker terrorizing the copy cat Batman, the other a call-in to Gotham Tonight with a funny/disturbing call to action for the city). Making appearances on the television is classic Joker, and the script found ways to do it in modern and relatively believable manners. Awesome. The Joker's tactics of turning the citizens of Gotham against Batman and each other were also a nod to classic plots, as was the practice of painting a smile on the face of the victims (no goofy smile-gas needed.)

As good as the Joker was, the movie didn't handle Two-Face in nearly as appropriate a manner. His rushed transformation, his relationship with the Joker, and his quick exit, all added up to a real squandered opportunity. Now, on the second viewing, I realized that the film was carefully edited to be very ambiguous as to Two-Face's fate, so in light of what happened in real life since filming, I think there's a good chance that we haven't seen the last of him. His character means a lot more to both Batman and Gordon than this movie displayed, and while the use of the character as a setup for Batman's sacrifice was impactful, there is more in the way of deep plot to be extracted from that relationship - especially considering Batman's status at the end of the film. Oh, he did look pretty cool, though.

Things I could have done without: The Hong Kong scene seemed a little out of place, even if the setup for it was darn cool. The sonar vision at the end...why? But I choose to focus on the positive. I can't wait to see the return of a new Batmobile next time around.

On the point of sequels, I would be very surprised to see director Christopher Nolan return for a third go-round, and if he goes, we'll probably see many of the principle actors go with him (my guess is that Bale, Freeman, and Oldman would go.) Since the movie is still making megabucks, to think that Warner Brothers would quit while they're ahead is crazy-talk, so I'm hoping we don't see another Batman Forever/X-Men 3.

One solution that could be intriguing is to forego a feature film for a serious and reverent live action HBO/Showtime series. If there is a mass exodus of any type, this is the only way that recasts (including a recast of the Joker) could possibly come off as acceptable. On the other hand, Warner should be willing to offer whatever it takes to keep Nolan et al on board for a third, so maybe my idea would happen afterward. Now that would be must-see TV.


Los said...

Still haven't seen Batman (yes, I'm the one).

I am going to see Pineapple Express today, though.

m@2 said...

"Dead Heath Ledger" I am not sure anyone on the planet reviewed the Dark Knight using this surname for the actor depicting the Joker. I can't wait to see this movie again and hopefully we will get a Nolan directed third installment with none other than the Riddler. "Dead Heath Ledger" - after all these years you still shock me. Thats just too funny.

Jess Sum said...

I haven't seen either movie, yet I couldn't read this post because I'm convinced I'll see them eventually. And I'm on San Diego time (or sympathy Taiwan time for my overseas boyfriend). Anyhow, you should blog about the epic Garces v. Flay battle!! I was so excited when he used garrotxa and Ted didn't know what it was!

Tech Lord said...

Looks like you are out now!