The Dark Knight

Jack who???

That’s how I felt after seeing a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight” last night. A lot has been said of Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker. There is no way it could possibly live up to the hype right? How could someone top Jack Nicholson’s masterful performance as The Joker from the original “Batman” movie?

I’m here to tell you that what Ledger did to that role, makes Jack’s performance as the Joker look like a Amateur Hour at the Apollo. Seriously. But let me talk about the movie for a bit (I’ll get back to Heath)

Folks, to call this movie a ‘superhero’ movie is not enough. In fact it would almost be insulting to call this the best superhero movie of all time. This movie is in a whole different category. This is a crime drama a la “The Departed” or even “Heat”. This is a tragedy that would bring Shakespeare to tears. This is a very dark, complex, thrilling and one of the most highly entertaining movies we may see all year long. It’s definitely not the average superhero movie where the good guy beats the bad guy, and everyone lives happily ever after. Lines were crossed.

Director Christopher Nolan really hit it out of the park with this one. And the cast is extraordinary. Every single one of them. Christian Bale (Batman/Bruce Wayne), Heath Ledger (Joker), Aaron Eckhart (Harvey Dent/ Two-Face) Michael Caine (Alfred) , Gary Oldman (Lt. Gordon), Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox), and even Maggie Gyllenhaal (Rachel Dawes) could not have played their parts any better. Even more surprising was how good the so called ‘bit’ players in this movie were. Everyone had their part to play no matter how small that part was (Deebo from “Friday” was even in the movie for about 2 minutes and had a HUGE role in those 2 minutes)

The movie is long at about 2 and half hours, but honestly after seeing it I’d have a hard time trying to figure out if anything needed to be cut. Trust me it does not seem long at all. The narrative is on-point and the action sequences are amazing. If you don’t lose your mind when the bat-pod/cycle appears onscreen I’ll refund your expenses!

Parents, please take caution in taking young children to see this movie. The movie is PG-13 but it really pushed the limit of what can appear in a PG-13 rated movie. There is one scene early on, which I don’t really want to ruin, but this scene involves the Joker performing a ‘magic trick’ and kids may not look at magicians or clowns the same way again (trust me)

Back to Ledger: I left the theatre very sad last night having watched his performance. I honestly do not want to see Nolan try to cast the Joker again. Ledger was THAT good. The performance was legendary. He made the Joker one of the best movie villains of ALL TIME – again not just super-villain – he was evil, depraved, an anarchist, he would kill every man, woman, child (and animal) in Gotham City, just because. He had no ‘real’ motivation. But when he told Batman, “You complete me” you will totally understand what he means. When Ledger receives a posthumous Oscar for this performance (and he will) just remember the speech in the hospital.

Right to the very end, you will be on the edge of your seat. Sequel? Well most of the actors all signed up for three movies so it is inevitable. The last few minutes of the movie are not at all what I would have expected with hints for an even ‘darker’ future for Batman.

Awesome movie!

“I wish I had more hands…so I can give this movie FOUR thumbs up”

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0 Comments

  • Larry Knight

    Reply Reply July 19, 2008

    In a word: brilliant. As a comic book reader, I can truly say that Chris Nolan and company have gotten it right on soooo many levels.

    First, though the Joker has finally been shown true to form…a stark, raving, homicidal maniac with a compunction for being the penultimate antagonist to Batman. Seeing Heath Ledger in this role truly makes his passing that much more tragic. And as an actor, this is how most actors would love to end their career…with a memorable performance that is gritty, difficult, and breathtaking. (GIVE THE MAN THE OSCAR!)

    Secondly, the relationship between Batman, Gordon, and Dent (ala ‘The Long Halloween’) is nothing short of masterfully done. If you have never read the referenced work…STOP READING THIS COMMENT AND HEAD TO THE BOOKSTORE! ‘The Long Halloween’ is one of those books that is more than a simple graphic novel…it is quite literary.

    Also, the relationship between The Joker and Batman…well one word: FINALLY! The Nicholson-Keaton pairing is now made to look like a bad sitcom compared to the Ledger-Bale treatment. Also, it does connect to another graphic novel ‘The Killing Joke.’

    And finally the writing…OMG the writing! The Nolan brothers have taken the comic book film genre (not to mention the Batman mythos) and propelled it to a level that has NEVER been seen on film. It is an honest film…realistic and often brutal.

  • Kpana

    Reply Reply July 19, 2008

    Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! I am not really into comic movies but this was awesome. I dont understand why so many parents brought kids and some young ones, too. This movie had a lot of violence. Oh well to each his own. You have to see this. I won’t even attempt to review it. Waiting for the dvd. Heath was phenomenal!!

  • Sis. Kia

    Reply Reply July 19, 2008

    I’m not a comic book reader.. I’m squeamish.. but I really liked this movie.. here is what I’ve posted elsewhere..:

    *Good movie…

    *Maggie Gyllanhal was terrible as Rachel… unnattractive.. shlumpy… not believable as a woman who captures the hearts of men… they couldn’t find a prettier white woman? or one with more presence? sue me… but her whole image/persona is drab… and eh.. batman’s groupies looked better and had more presence…

    *Heath Ledger was excellent… Oscar worthy… if one is going to see this in the theatre the film is worth seeing if just to see his performance… his character was arresting………. wickedly delightful even… believe the hype…

    *Gary Oldman plays an engaging Commisioner… his character was a little mysterious but likeable…

    * Aaron Ekhart was an excellent slightly naive, eventually gullible/ tormented, and teetering on the brink district attorney.. and an initially quite charming character.. who does a good job of shelving but allowing the audience to sense a potential dark side….

    *Christian Bale is a cool batman.. can’t stand his mouth though… does he have a lisp or something?? I can’t figure it out… for some reason I liked him better as a businessman….

    *Morgan Freeman is da man!

    *very good movie to stimulate ethical dialogue….

    *couldn’t stand batman’s voice when in batman attire…

    * the conspiracy theorist in me says that this movie sends the message that brother’s shouldn’t go into crime or law enforcement…

    *hate me.. but as engaging a film as it was I still could have waited for DVD none the less…

    *I wouldn’t recommend this for anyone under 13… the PG 13 rating is well suited…

    * ummm.. once again.. Heath Ledger’s joker was FUNNY, frightening and sometimes I forgot he was crazy until he started laughing.. he just makes fun of human ego, hypocrisy and vulnerability soooo well…!

    *I believe his joker works because he’s lonely… I believe many have experienced that from time to time.. and that takes his character from being a cartoonish individual to something accessible and relatable on a certain level… there is a scene where I could feel that that was his story… Of course his loneliness was marked by criminal genius… however for others of us who are not sadistic and cruel! lol… when one is good at what they do or can “see” beyond what others see… or feel as if they do not fit in and do not wish to try to fit in any of the offered “systems”…

    well I’ve known that type of loneliness before…

    ~Peace~
    Sis. Kia

  • uriah

    Reply Reply July 20, 2008

    This movie was fantastic. Ready to see it again. I was sad knowing heath has passed on and is not hear to receive the well deserved reviews. Brillant plot, acting, and action. Best movie I have seen all year!

  • Billy Batson

    Reply Reply July 20, 2008

    Glad everyone enjoyed the movie. Been thinking it over since I first saw the movie and wanna put this out there; could this be the most definitive version of the Joker that we’ve seen in ANY medium (film, tv, comics)???

    at first I wasn’t so sure, but I had my 2nd viewing yesterday and I think this might be the case.

    thoughts???

  • Stephie G

    Reply Reply July 20, 2008

    *slow approving clap… CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP.

    Unbelievable. I have been having a dificult time even telling people how much I liked this move. Unbelievable. I’ll add more when I am able to put my thoughts into words. It’s such a shame Heath will not be here to recieve his Oscar personally. A performance to remember.

  • Perron

    Reply Reply July 21, 2008

    PEOPLE!!! A true masterpiece, and a testament to film making and story telling as forms of art. Interesting, Billy, that you compared it to “Heat”, which for years has been what I consider the benchmark for crime sagas — William Fitchener (bank manager in “Dark Knight”, Roger Van Zandt in “Heat”)is in both. I’m not necessarily saying that this movie is better than “Heat” (different to be sure), but Michael Mann, who is my favorite person in Hollywood, will really have to bust his hump to create another crime saga that would trump this.

    “Dark Knight” was so deep, so complex, so riveting, and so entertaining, I was nearly overwhelmed. At one point early on, my wife was saying something, and I told her, “Will you please stop talking?” LOL If Heath is not awarded the Oscar posthumously, I will do like Chuck D, Ice Cube, and Big Daddy Kane, and yell, “BURN, HOLLYWOOD, BURN!!!” By the way, as if the movie itself was not enough, I saw it at a drive in! CLASSIC I will see it at the theater again!

  • Danielle

    Reply Reply July 21, 2008

    It’s a must see. I thought I was getting dragged on another Friday night date to see a movie I was going to fall asleep on; LOL! However, this was not the case. This movie was great; it kept my attention and I stayed up the entire time. Heath was perfect as the Joker. He made the character come alive. I even doubled back the next day to bring my niece and nephew!

    Do go and see it; you will enjoy it!!

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