Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Dark Knight

I can't remember the last time I saw a film on opening day. But I had to for this one. And I was not disappointed.

The thing I love about both of Nolan's batman movies is that there's so much to sink your teeth into. I saw the first one twice in the theatre, and I plan on doing the same with this one. I love how he avoids the gimicky effects shots like in Lord of the Rings or Spiderman, the "Look at these sweet camera moves" kind of stuff. Instead this feels alot more like No Country for Old Men, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and yes, as other critics have noted, The Godfather. It's got that kind of confidence, that great of characters, and that attention to detail. The acting is beautiful. Of course Heath Ledger's the one that stands out, but I particularly enjoy any of the scenes with Michael Kane, Gary Oldman, or Morgan Freeman. Similar to Tommy Lee Jones in No Country or Paul Scofield in Quiz Show, it's those kinds of salt of the earth characters that bring wisdom and goodhumor to a film, and I love hearing everything they have to say.

I guess that goes along with my only complaint about the film. As much as I love all the action stuff, it was almost too fast paced (which is saying a lot for a 150 minute film). I would've liked for it to slow down a little more at some points, and put in a few more great conversations, even if they aren't "essential" to the plot, to give us a chance to really savor these characters. I'd glady trim a couple minutes off a chase or fight scnene in exchange for a few more wise words from Gary Oldman.

All in all, I'm ranking it 2nd best of the year so far, right behind Wall-E. Matter of fact, I should write something about Wall-E on here. Maybe I'll wait til I see it again.


Blogger Jordan said...

I saw The Dark Knight on Saturday and it definitely was stunning. For me the most amazing scene (without spoiling anything) is the one that shows in all the previews with Heath Ledger's Joker swerving around in a cop car at night with his head out the window. It's a scene that in the preview looks kind of interesting and cool but put in the context of the film is an amazing thing: chilling, creepy, spectacular, and breathtaking. It's an example of the way a good story with good characters and compelling plot turns can turn a simple image or scene into much more than the sum of it's parts.

12:19 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Yes. I also like the scene where batman kicks joker really hard right in the nuts.

8:33 AM  
Blogger wes said...

Also loved the film, and without any give aways I think the ending monologue is one of the best ending to any movie i can remember. It is cheesie to say but both times I saw it it gave me goose bumps. I am taking my wife to see it in IMAX this week which I hear is even more amazing. I don't think I have ever seen a movie 3 times in the theatre. Eckhart is getting lost in all of the love for ledger also he is really really good. But I don't think this goes near Godfather status. Heat and other crime drama classics I am good with its great but not quite on that level.

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love how this film does not let Batman off the hook by easy solutions such as having the Bat copter rescue him by remote control. I remember in the original Batman movie with Adam West, that Batman and Robin were falling out of an airplane, then they land on a huge pile of mattresses, and Robin says..."It's a good thing these mattresses were here Batman". Part of this new Batman's battle is in the execution of his own ideas. I love that he has to research a way to escape from a high rise building.
I liked how the bat-cycle existed all along, inside the bat-mobile but he just never used it before. It's an interesting way to get around gadget problem that so many Bond films suffer from where every gadget that gets introduced gets perfectly written into the plot.

Also, I was so sure that when Harvey Dent finally turned his face to show his burnt skin that it would look like hamburger. I was already to be disappointed with the makeup job. But when he turned his face, I thought it was legitimately horrifying. That's what this movie kept doing for me...surprising me with smart choices. Having said that, I agree with Brandon in that I miss the slower paced moments from the first film. If I'm honest I thought the Joker's character resorted to one too many monologues toward the end and Aaron Eckhardt's performance bordered on serviceable at times, and even the infallible Gary Oldman had his accent slip a few times. Overall I like the comparison to the movie Heat. I absolutely love the opening six minutes.

10:42 PM  

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