Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Dark Knight Movie Review

So I saw this new movie the other day. The Dark Knight. I'm sure you've probably heard of or saw it by now.

I'll get this out of the way now - the movie was fantastic and you should be in line to see it if you haven't seen it by now. Hell, you should probably be in line to see it again if you've only seen it once so far.

Knowing that my thoughts on the movie isn't going to change anyone's opinion or stop you from seeing it, I've taken on the devil's advocate for this review in regards to The Dark Knight. What this means is that I will be listing a lot of the things I found wrong with the movie that everyone seems to be glossing over in their calls for Oscars and greatest movie ever campaigns.

While I do list the things I liked about the movie, too, don't let the number of negatives blind you to the fact that I loved this movie, will be seeing it again and have already set aside the money for the eventual DVD. It's just this movie wasn't perfect and, seeing as heaping a mountain of praises onto it would be boring, I've chosen to go the other way with this. None of these negatives are game breaking and some are just plain nitpicking, so take them with a grain of salt.

As always, if you haven't seen the movie yet, spoilers abound.


The Joker - Heath Ledger's Joker took me a little while to "get" as he is not the comic book Joker nor the animated Mark Hamill version nor even the previous Jack Nicholson movie version. However, about halfway through, this character just clicked for me and I can't imagine anyone else ever playing this role.

Year One - The movie did an excellent job capturing the Year One feel of the Harvey Dent, Jim Gordon and Batman dynamic and it's one of the best parts of this film for me.

Two-Face - Aaron Eckhart was perfectly cast in this role and it's a shame Ledger is the only one getting all the praise for his portrayal as the Joker when Eckhart's Harvey Dent / Two-Face was equally as compelling and could have easily held up a movie on his own.

Rachel Dies - Good riddence. Useless plot device character with the personality of cardboard won't be missed. Added nothing to the Batman mythos nor the film franchise in either movie.

Great Flow - Nolan did an unbelievable job of juggling the dozens of plots and sub-plots in this movie and the fact it managed to keep a film of this length entertaining from start to finish with absolutely no lulls or "I'll be pausing it for bathroom breaks at this part when the DVD comes out" sections is a testament to how great this film turned out.

Puts The "Dark" in Dark Knight - This is by far the darkest comic book film I've ever seen. While there's no gore or ultra violence like in 300, this is not a film for children and the crying of children and subsequent ushering away of said children by their parents during the movie when I went to see it is a testament to this. This movie is dark, gritty, violent and about as grown up a comic book movie as you'll ever see and I wouldn't have it any other way. If Watchmen can come anywhere near this level of maturity, we'll be in for a treat next year.

Watchmen Trailer - Speaking of Watchmen, the trailer, which I'd already seen online prior to seeing TDK, ran before the movie and washed away any doubts I had about the film.

Joker's Origin - I loved how they handled the Joker's origin, or should I say lack of origin, in the movie. It helped maintain that force of nature aspect of the character that pinning him down with a definitive origin would have robbed him of. It also stopped the movie from falling into the cliched "tie the villain's origin into the hero's actions" that bogs down just about every comic book movie on the market.


Batman - It's sad that the worst part of a Batman movie is, well, Batman. From the costume to Bale's terrible Batman voice, which is somehow worse than it was in Batman Begins, to the actual character's portrayal in and out of costume, the majority of it is cringe worthy. Why is Batman ready to give himself up after five or six murders? Because Joker told him to? How did he even come to such a decision?

Too Long - While the movie flowed well, there was no need for it to be over two and a half hours long. Some simple editing, such as removing the Scarecrow filler at the start or even breaking it up into two movies - one for Joker and one for Two-Face - would have done wonders for the film.

Plot Holes - The film is littered with plot holes that may not be immediately noticeable for most people on first viewing, but there are clearly a lot of details and problems glossed over to keep the movie moving. Hell, how Joker manages to do anything in the movie, such as where he found time to wire up a hospital with explosives or how no one managed to notice these massive amounts of explosives in the first place or why Joker was left uncuffed in the interrogation room, goes completely unexplained. These are dozens of these little plot holes that all add up to a story made out of swiss cheese.

Batman: Murderer - What's with Batman's obsession with throwing stuff off buildings in this movie? He throws several dogs down the shafts of the construction site during the final battle with Joker and later throws Two-Face off another building, resulting in his death. Add the leaving Ra's al Ghul to his death and attempting to shoot his parents' killer at the court house in the first movie and it adds up to a Batman I just can't agree with. Killing should be the one thing Batman never does or even contemplates.

Batman Turning Himself In - After everyone he's inadvertently killed, Batman was willing to turn himself in to the police and reveal his identity to the world because Joker killed 4 or 5 people and told him to or he'd keep killing more people? Seriously? What kind of reasoning is that? A 5 year old could tell you the Joker wouldn't stop killing people after Batman went to jail, yet that's the only solution he could come up with?

Batman: Fugitive - Why is Batman taking the fall for Harvey Dent at the end of the movie? I don't care what kind of messed up logic they tried to employ here - Batman doesn't let murderers off the hook, not even dead ones. Harvey Dent killed several people, including cops, took Gordon's family hostage and nearly killed Gordon's son. Batman wouldn't take responsibility for this. He'd make sure Dent was charged for his crimes, even in death, and that justice was served.

I can't help but think of an old Batman comic where Bruce Wayne was receiving training before becoming Batman. His mentor pulled off the perfect crime and murdered a man. Batman knew about it, but could never prove it. It was shown by the end of the story that Batman came to visit the man every year on the anniversary of the murders and wheeled the handicapped old man up to the graves of the man he murdered. Why go to all this trouble? To make sure the man knew that he knew what he had done and to make him face up to it, even if it couldn't be proven in court, and to see that justice was done. It didn't matter if he couldn't prove it, he couldn't allow this man to get away with what he had done.

The same thing applies to letting Two-Face "go free" after he died just because it would be inconvenient for them.

The Spirit Trailer - Not really Batman related, but this was one of the worst movie trailers I've ever seen. I'm still looking forward to seeing The Spirit, but my expectations have dropped considerably after this trailer.


Not the Greatest Movie Ever - I can't imagine how anyone in their right mind can consider The Dark Knight a cinematic masterpiece that deserves to be mentioned with movies such as Citizen Kane, Dr Strangelove or The Godfather. It's easily one of the best comic book movies ever made, but let's not kid ourselves here, it's still just a popcorn flick. You won't be having a life changing experience after watching this, regardless of how much you may have enjoyed it.

Oscar "Snubs" - There will be no Oscar nominations coming for this film. Not because it is a comic book movie, but because it doesn't deserve any. Most character's play their roles well and Heath Ledger's Joker was excellent, but no more so than Aaron Eckhart as Two-Face or Gary Oldman's Jim Gordon or even Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark in Iron Man earlier this summer. They all play their roles well and it comes together as a great film, but people are kidding themselves if they think this movie is going to mop up at the Oscars.

Gravity of the Situation - Where to even begin with this one? Let's start with the use of gravity and the ability to survive falling from great heights in this film.

In one of the earlier Joker appearances, Batman and Rachel both fell from the penthouse skyrise where a party was being held. Both landed on a car on the street below, laughed about being okay and then proceeded to walk away with nary a scratch.

Later, near the end of the film, Batman drops a crime boss off the second or third floor of building in what looked like a painful leg / kneecap breaking experience. This mobster was walking around as if nothing happened the next day.

Finally, at the end of the film, Batman throws Two-Face from the second floor of a construction site building and Dent dies from the fall. Shortly after Harvey fell, Batman, unable to hold on any longer, also falls to the ground below. Both landed flat on their backs in roughly the same spot. Batman got up and walked away. Actually, he didn't walk. He ran off, barely phased by the fall.

We could chalk this up to being the goddamn Batman or his mesh kevlar armour, but what the hell is going with the gravity in this film?

Magic Fingerprint Machine - I don't think I even have to explain this one, but for those that didn't see the movie yet, Batman takes some bullet fragments out of a wall, runs them through a computer scanner and has his computer analyze and rebuild the bullet based on the way it exploded. From this, it reconstructs the bullet with the fingerprint of the villain somehow. Who's idea was it to have Batman's "detective work" consist of something even the guys at CSI wouldn't try and pass off to its viewers as plausible?

Batman Sonar - Having Batman's eyes glow white and then having it malfunction so the Joker can stand up to him in a physical confrontation is not how you tell good stories. Luckily, Ledger's acting and monologues helped sell this terrible fight.

Holy Bat-Pod, Batman! - Why do I get the feeling the only reason for the Bat-Pod's existence was to sell those ridiculous looking toys I keep seeing advertised on TV? It added nothing to the film, looked horrible and was less functional than the normal motorcycle he was driving around on as Bruce Wayne in the film.

Verdict - Must See. Please, don't focus on the numerous negatives I've listed for the film. My only reason for doing so is to show that this is not the greatest film ever made nor is it going to be some life changing experience when you watch it.

These flaws don't stop this from being one of the best comic book films ever made nor does it stop you from enjoying this film or watching it numerous times. Hell, I'll probably go watch it again when my brother comes to visit me in a week or two's time and I never pay to watch movies at the theatre more than once.

In the end, The Dark Knight is an amazing, though flawed, film that sets the bar extremely high for any future comic book films.

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patrick said...

pretty much everything you said i agree with, however on a performance level, that joker portrayal was excellent if you have ever seen any of heath's other works. I have seen a lot of movies in 2008 and as of right now no other supporting actor role compares to what heath did in this.

Gravity thing you mentioned, after maroni was dropped and something snapped, he was seen walking around with a cane for the remainder of a movie

I think the point you were missing with the sonar (as ridiculous as it was) was that it made batman god-like and the fact that it malfunctioned proved he went overboard with it. (i think it served its purpose for that scene and i'm glad they did away with it right after)

Harveys "death scene" was meant to be fuzzy. IS he really dead? as of right now he is since nolan works film to film, but if the writers think of a reason to bring him back as it wouldnt be hard to write off that gordon and batman locked him up.

Batman took the fall for dent because dent was his friend, and dent stood for a symbol of hope for gotham, if the public knew dent commited the morders people would lose trust in justice, also it would allow joker to truly win

nitpicking aside, this is clearly the comic book movie to beat and anyone that says otherwise is just a marvel fanboy :P

Brother129 said...

I totally appreciate the perspective you're taking in the midst of the lavish praised that's been heaped on the film. You make a lot of great points. But I actually do think Ledger deserves an oscar nod. Lastly, what made the bat pod cool was that it came out of the freakin' batmobile. Dude, you know that scene kicked all kinds of ass.

Negadarkwing said...

On the Batman-Murderer part- Dogs don't get counted, Two-face is ambiguous, Bruce did not go through with killing Joe Chill, and that was important, and Ras was a bit iffy, but still doesn't count. Plus when Joker was refering to Batman's one rule I figured not killing was it. Otherwise Bats would have just let the Joker drop.

Andrenn said...

I understand some of your complaints, mostly about the gravity, Bale's awful voice acting and action and the Sonar thing was annoying after a quick while.

I enjoyed the Bat-pod and prefer it to the Bat-tank any day.

I agree that Eckhart was far too underplayed. He did such an amazing performance, and will no doubt get little if no credit compared to the praise Ledger is getting.

While I agree it's not the greatest film ever, it's easily the best film so far of our new millennium. I loved flicks like 300 and Gladiator (I think that came out in 2000), and yes, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but The Dark Knight is just an overall more enjoyable experience. Though saying that, I don't mean any of the several great films the new millennium has had are bad, I still greatly enjoyed them as well.

Loved the Watchmen trailer. Absolutely loved it. Can't wait to see it. I lost my old copy of the Watchmen collection a while back in a move, so I'll have to go get a new copy and read it all over again now. Also, Dr. Manhattan = Pure awesome.

I'd have to say that the Ledger Joker is far better than the comics version. DC has really run Joker into the ground as of lately. It's just become harder to find anything interesting about him with all they've already done. I doubt anything will ever really top things like killing Sarah Essin and crippling Barbara Gordon. Ledger's version just seemed...haunting, almost. Every time he made a joke, no matter how sick, I usually laughed. And I felt horrible for laughing along with this lunatic. Yet at the same time...what's not funny about shoving a pencil into someone's brain?

I was both glad, yet still shocked, at Rachel's death. That moment of the explosion, took me a second to register.

Also, Gordon was at his all time best in this film. I was shocked at his "death", and the scene with Batman in the shadows, lowering his head while Gordon's wife screams that it was his fault...incredible. And of course, his return was just awesome, holding a gun to Joker's head, I loved it. Even better was how everyone was clapping when they announced him as commissioner, and when Joker started clapping, they all stopped.

Contrary to you, I loved the ending. While I agree that the logic is a little backwards, the film does a great job of establishing Dent as Gotham's shining hope. A face that Gotham can look to. Batman realized that he has to take the fall for Dent because if Gotham lost that face of hope, they'd no doubt soon plunge into darkness all over again. The city doesn't need Batman as it's shining hero, they need him as their man behind the scenes, looking out for them, even if they don't want him now.

While I had my complaints, of course Bale being the biggest. That bat-rasp...ugh, made me want to find Kevin Conroy and have him dub over Bale's talking parts.

Despite that, I loved this film and will be seeing it again very soon. I saw the midnight opening, was insane, but still loved it.

great review, Kirk.

Kirk Warren said...

Re: Taking the Fall for Dent - I don't mind Batman becoming the vigilante / outcast of Gotham, but, of all the little nitpicks I pointed out, Batman letting Two-Face off the hook for his crimes simply to make his job easier isn't something I can see Batman doing. They could have found anothe rway for him to be painted the villain or just ignored the whole backlash from Dent being revealed as a criminal.

It won't ruin how I view the film and I realize this is not the comic version of Batman either, but I'm a comic nerd at heart and if I'm not bitching about something, I'm not breathing. =D

@brother129 - I just see it as the Batmissile or whtaever that splitting apart car was called in Batman Returns - something designed to sell toys with little actual need to be int he story. It wasn't as corny as I made it out to be in the review, but I would have preferred it just not be in the film at all, to be honest.

@negadarkwing - I think the SPCA or some other animal rights organization would like to have words with you about the killing of dogs. =p

I think Morrison's "new" Joker, based on the prose issue that introduced him, is very similar to the Dark Knight Ledger version while still maintaining a comic book appeal. Shame DC just doesn't want to use Morrison's version and has featured Joker numerous times in other books in the classic interpretation, even recently in Birds of Prey and Manhunter while the RIP version is kicking around.

Agreed on Gordon. He was fantastic in this movie. Both Dent and Gordon are seriously underrated in all the reviews and discussions about this movie. It sounds callous, but I think its only because Ledger died that he is getting so much attention compared to the rest of the talent. Ledger was extremely talented and this would have been a breakout role for him (at least int he mainstream; Brokeback Mountain was probably his better work), but the Joker just sort of comes and goes in teh movie while both Gordon and Dent were fully developed personalities and watching Dent's fall was much more tragic and moving than anything the Joker did in the movie.

In the end, will probably be the best movie this year - maybe of the past several years - and I can't wait to go see it again.

Bill said...

I agree on a lot of points... certainly the Batman voice was terrible, and no one's going to miss Rachel Dawes.

But the Batman/Bruce characterization isn't all bad. He can't be the uber-ninja of the comics who sees 17 different ways to stop a guy without killing him. To save Gordon and Jimmy, he had to tackle Dent and hope for the best (btw, I was so hoping for an "I'm practically blind without my glasses" moment there).

I take more of an issue with Gordon going along with falsely accusing a guy than Batman, since Gordon's already bending the rules by going along with Batman. The movies have never established Batman as a "justice even in death" kinda guy, just that he wants to clean up Gotham without murdering people. And taking the blame is the best way to do that.

I love this movie in a way that is probably unhealthy and have already seen it twice, with plans to see it a third time. And I'm obsessing over what they're going to do in the next one too.

Bill said...

Oh and I meant to comment on the Spirit trailer too. What the hell? I've been thinking that Frank Miller lost his mind the whole way through ASBAR, but at least it was a fun kind of insane. The Spirit looked like... equal parts Sin City, pretentious art house project, and Japanese game show.

J Ray said...

great review, and i agree with most of what you have to say. the "bat rasp" bothered me the first time i saw it, but on the second go-around actually really worked for me. Also, Gary Oldman as Gordon was amazing.

"Why is Batman ready to give himself up after five or six murders? Because Joker told him to? How did he even come to such a decision?"

This was the one issue that I totally disagree with you on, and here's why: it's easy for us to say "batman would never give up so easily" because we're comic-book readers who have decades of batman saving the day and enduring through terrible, TERRIBLE things (the killing joke and a death in the family come to mind) only to emerge stronger on the other side (although we'll see what Morrison does with that).

The thing about the Nolan-verse batman is that this is his first BIG test and he hasn't really worked out who he is yet. Yeah he took down Maroni and Ra's al Ghul and the Scarecrow, but that wasn't REALLY that big a challenge. It was a nice, clean win. This, on the other hand, is a much messier, "chaotic" affair. Now his actions are having unintended consequences and he's not only having to deal with "five or six murders" but also the prospect of people dying every single day he refuses to answer the joker's challenge. It takes Harvey and Alfred putting their feet down and saying, verbally or via their actions, "endure" for him to make that decision and come to the place where he's willing to put those other lives on the line. The Batman we know and love wouldn't flinch at making that choice, but Bale isn't that Batman until the end of the film.

At least that's how i see it ;)

Randallw said...

Although I'm Australian I've never been a big fan of Heath Ledger. The homegrown stuff I've seen him in here sort of lowers any fascination of him. I imagine it's different to people such as Americans who all of a sudden discover an actor when he makes it into a big movie in Hollywood, instead of stuff like Eric Bana used to be a Comedian, Guy Pearce was in a soap opera, and Dominic Purcell was in a 2nd rate show about a teenage radio studio. Then again I have no idea what soap operas big US stars might have been in once. Anyhow I found Ledger's performance good, I mean I have nothing to say against it, but with all the hype over his role I ended up thinking "Was it really that great?". Hype and all people might expect too much from him now. Two-Face was good, except that he seemed a bit wooden at the beginning. It looked like step 1: turn around, 2: express surprise, 3:Grab gun, 4: punch villain. I thought he had too little time and I'd like it if he returned in the next movie. Bale's performace was, I thought, sidelined. He seemed to be a secondary character in his own movie. I can't really comment on his voice as I'm partly deaf, wear a hearing aid, and can't detect subtleties.

I genuinely wonder just how much the praise for Heath Ledger's perfomance is sympathy for him dying. I suspect we just can't utter a comment in public that his performace was lacking in any regard lest we suffer from accusations of how could we. He did grab my attention as soon as he did his magic trick though :)

My guesses at the next film,

1) Two face might come back (that's more hope).
2) Gordon's son becomes a joint Robin/Batboy.
3) It's established no super powers. The "Nolanverse" as it seems to be called doesn't ahve them, so the Vilalin might be Catwoman, Penguin, Talia mayhap.

Deicide said...

On the "Gravity of the situation" issue, notice that, when Batman and Rachel fell off Bruce's penthouse, Batman used his cape as a parachute. You can notice he using it with one arm, while the other holds Rachel.

Also, Maroni is seen walking with help of a cane for the rest of the movie, after Batman breaks his leg on that fall.

And, IF Two-face is dead, remember that Batman fell off the same height, but he does use body armor that could soak part of the impact.


Also, this Batman is younger than comic book Batman. He's learning, like someone else said in this thread, what he needs to do to be a hero.

He wanted to surrender because he never faced something like the Joker before.

And he took the blame for Harvey because he did not want the Joker to win. The Joker plan was to make Gotham lose its hope, and that hope was Harvey Dent. By making Dent "die as a hero", Batman sacrificed himself to keep Gotham's hope.

It is not clear if Dent is dead, however. I would not be surprised if he was sent to Arkham, but he could be dead as well.

As for next movie... It would be cool to have the Riddler, not as the bandit who leaves riddles after crimes, but as the detective that may help the police to find Batman, but is in the payroll of the mafia so that they can kill Batman once Riddler finds him.

(However, the movie would need another villain with more presence then the riddler)

Tiago José "Deicide" Galvão Moreira

Kirk Warren said...

@bill - OMG, I didn't even consider the "don't have my glasses" scene for the ending. That would have been the only thing that oculd have made this perfect movie any better.

Nice site you have going there. Still working through the back log of villain suggestions, but I've commented on a few already.

About Spirit, the Sin City likeness was the biggest thing I found off putting about it. The Spirit isn't Sin City and Miller has it looking like Sin City 1.5, which it is far from being.

@j ray - That's true, the Nolanverse isn't comics and this is a year one type tale, so I don't have as big a problem with his thinking abou tquitting as the review makes out, but, from a comic book fan point of view, I found it a little contrived that he would think that would stop the Joker, or anyone, from continuing to kill people.

@randallw - I've known about Bana's comedy days for a while (the Eric Bana Show) and always found it funny how he came over and broke out as a big dramatic / action movie actor in North America.

It's interesting hearing the lack of enthusiasm for some of the stars that had more humble beginnings in foreign countries.

About Ledger's praise, I get the feeling a lot stems from his death and snubs at the Oscars over previous work. He did a great job with the Joker, but he didn't really show any depth in his acting like he did in Brokeback Mountain or other work. He was merely an insane man terrorizing Gotham, no more than any other villain in a movie.

Eckhart had to be both human with Dent and then portray the breaking and succumbing to evil as he lost everything and became Two-Face, which was much more moving, from an acting stand point, than anything Joker did. Yes, Joker stole the show with many of his scenes, but more from the character's actions than the actual acting, at least in my opinion.

@decide - I'm pretty sure Two-Face is dead based on Batman taking the fall, the funeral for him at the end and so on. He could come back very easily in a comic book,b ut I think in the gritty realistic movie unvierse, he's as dead as it gets.

About the mobster with the cane, I don't recall seeing him with it in the hospital when he was outside Dent's room, but he did have it when h ewas going to his car and Two-Face was waiting for him. However, he handed the cane to his driver and proceeded to walk to the door and sit down with relative ease.

Also, having a limp isn't the same as shattering your legs from a 2 or 3 story fall, which should have hospitalized or at least put him in a wheel chair / on crutches.

But, again, that's just nitpicking on my part.

Schuyler said...

"I can't help but think of an old Batman comic where Bruce Wayne was receiving training before becoming Batman. His mentor pulled off the perfect crime and murdered a man. Batman knew about it, but could never prove it."

I was wondering if you could tell me/us what issue this was. I'd love to read it.

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite parts was the Joker's "magic trick" when he walks in to the mob meeting. That was hardcore.

Mark said...

I felt the final third of the move was a bit of a shambles. The actions of Moroni, Joker and Two-face got all jumbled and were never resolved satisfactorily. And Harvey/Two-Face, who by rights should own the final act, gets done away with in a boilerplate standoff-with-family scene and a mostly-off-camera death that's too obvious a setup for a return later. Very pedestrian.

I think I would have preferred the movie to end without a Two-face resolution -- giving Harvey the chance for top-villain billing in a third movie. Maybe close the film with Two-Face, instead of the joker, rigging the ferries (that whole scenario seemed made for Two-Face, anyway -- two boats, filled with angels and demons, each given two options ... that would've made a much more complete fall from grace for Harvey, a sign that he's really gone around the bend.)

Overall, I liked the movie too (though your criticisms are spot-on) but felt the ending very much lacking.

mrpeepants said...

agree and disagree on stuff. what I do want to say now is that I love that you talk about Aaron Eckhart's performance. The poster of the 3 (bats, joker, and harvey) is amazing. They all were equally important and made this movie. In the hype for the movie, Harvey Dent was totally downplayed. But I think that was a good thing and partially planned because they didn't wanna give the Harvey Dent Two Face turn.

And the bats voice, I loved and hated it. Damn I loved this movie and Iron Man, still need to check out hb2.

J Ray said...

randallw: I didn't notice it the first time i saw the movie, but during the second viewing i came to the same conclusion that they've put all the pieces in place for Gordon's son to become Robin, neatly amalgamating aspects of Robin and Batgirl into one character. of course, that doesn't mean they have to go that route, but it's there for them to take advantage of if they want to.

Gordon also has a daughter who seems to be older than the son we'll see how it plays out.

kwaku said...

One I would point out about the Oscar talk it that it's not just coming from us(the internet fanboys/fangirls). It's coming professional movie critics like Ebert and Roeper(among others). But I'll add that they(the critics) often talk about nominations not the actually award.

Still it would be something wouldn't it?

Kirk Warren said...

@schulyer - I honestly can't recall the issue number or would have included it. I'm thinking an old Batman or Detective Annual or maybe the Many Deaths of the Batman story (thinkt hat's the name where one of the men training him was killing off other people that trained him), but couldn't find confirmation. All that comes up is Dark Knight this and Dark Knight that when I search on Google.

The issue this was in isn't one of the greatest Batman stories ever told or anything, but that one scene was something I still recall because of how defining it was.

I'll keep looking for the actual issue, but it's not looking good right now.

@anonymous - Ahaha, yes, that was great and caught me off guard. Wasn't expecting that at all. I loved the scene where he was in the nurses outfit too.

@mark - That's true. Moroni, especially, comes off a bit underveloped and his motivations are a litlte unclear for the things he was doing. Think I would have preferred a Joker movie that creates Two-Face and a Two-Face movie that expands on that character and fleshes out the ending more.

Your thoughts on the boats and how they should be Two-Face's gimmick makes a lot of sense too and now I can't stop thinking abou twhy the Joker was behind them.

@mrpeepants - I liked the first Hellboy, but have no desire to rush out and see the second one. I don't know why either. I know I'll watch it when it comes out on DVD, but can't work up the motivation to go to the theatre for it. Same for Wanted and Hancock.

@kwaku - That' is true about the other "mainstream" reviewers talking about Oscars too, but I can't help but get the feeling people just jumped on the bandwagon when they were all talking about Ledger getting an Oscar before the movie even came out and running with it.

As I've said, he does a great job, but the Joker is fairly one dimenionsal as a character. He kills people and laughs at his own jokes with no real depth or motivations. Few people can pull this role off and make it believable, but it's like a comedy movie. Ya, it's hard to be funny, but you don't get oscars for your acting for those types of movies either.

I get the feeling this will end up like Denzel Washington getting the main actor Oscar for Training Day when a) he was terrible in it and b) he wasn't even the main actor simply because he didnt' win one for his other great films over the years due to going up against better films at the time.

Since Ledger is dead and will never get another chance to be rewarded (Oscar voters seem to give it to people based on lifetime achievements instead of the performance a lot of the times), it's like they feel obligated to give it to him for what amounts to an inferior performance to the dramatic role in Brokeback Mountain or some of his other work.

Salieri said...

I too noticed a "Year One" link or two in Batman Begins (e.g., Detective Flass and Comissioner Loeb, Bats attracted by Bat-Device), but one of the more subtle ones is Nolan's capturing of the spirit of a Year One scene without directly adapting it to film - rather than Batman telling a bunch of corrupt rich people that he's hunting them down one by one, Bruce Wayne tells a bunch of rich arses that he wants them out of his house so that they won't be killed by ninjas.

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Justin said...

pretty much every bad thing you said i would have to disagree with - i've seen the movie four times, the first time i will admit i had mixed feelings about the story - but after watching it four times (fifth will be later today) i realized alot about what nolan was trying to do with this film, and the point to just about every negative thing that happened -

plot holes - who says that the joker did rig the hospital? he has a gang ya know... and who knows what the hospital was rigged with, the explosives could have been added easily considering how evil the city has gotten... if you want a story to have absolutely no holes READ A BOOK!
every movie could have billions of plot holes - i dont hear anyone complaining about how batman go into the plane that picked him up... what kind of a harness was he using? did he pull himself up on the rope, or was there some kind of mechanism? the truth is you dont need to know everything - if it's plausible dont question it, you'll just sound like an idiot.

taking the fall for harvey dent -

Do you remember all those lines about everyone harvey had put in jail, and how they (the criminals) would all be released if anything was found to discredit dent? the court scene of all the mobsters, and things they were being charged with?
are you seriously asking why batman took the fall for harvey dent? batman said it himself - "he is whoever gotham needs him to be" he's not their hero, dent is and needs to stay that way - "sometimes peoples faith deserves to be rewarded" even if it is a lie -

as far as a life changing experience - this movie has made me think about life as much as memento (how far would you go to give your life meaning. what lies would you convince yourself of) did - or american beauty.
there's so much you can get out of this movie - different philosophies, and why they would work, and why they wouldn't.
this is just ONE of the many things i got out of this film -
before i watched it i believed that honesty was always the best policy - but after watching it i realized that some people react better to lies - some people are more motivated to do good things - or have more hope if it is based around a bunch of lies -
who cares whether its the truth or not - if the result is hope, motivation, ambition, respect, and every other good virtue... who cares if it derives from the truth or a lie - its the result that matters...

if you watch this movie and dont get anything out of it - you're not looking - trust me i could go on for hours about how ingenious this movie was - i could debate for hours why a society completely run on chance would mirror the society we have built for ourselves...
life is just millions of random things and circumstances interacting in chaos. There's so much in life that is already based on chance.

Caes said...

I began reading your review with great interest. Thank you for this review. I am happy to see a review on the internet of a film such as this, you did a good job writing it. Here's a review my friend did of this movie, he is not very good writer but he knows a lot comedy:
Give thanks to all.

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