Daniel’s Critical Corner: “The Dark Knight”

  
Hi Bob !  Sorry I’m late for shooting practice…

~ Hello Everyone ~
Welcome To Daniel’s Critical Corner !
Today I’m Going Batty Over:  The Dark Knight

WOW !  It is FINALLY here.  The weekend we have ALL been waiting for ! 
After months and months of anticipation, one of the biggest events in
 cinematic history is being unveiled before the world’s hungry eyes !  Yes 
folks,  you can now stop marking the days off your calender.  My review 
    for “The Dark Knight” has arrived !!!

I know some of you are sitting at home, dressed up as either Batman or
The Joker, reading this review as you bang away on your laptops.  That’s OK. 
I’m used to people in funny outfits checking my stuff out…  As long as you
keep sending me pictures it’s totally cool.  *(Note to the guy that dresses like
“Elektra”:  I’m flattered but PLEASE get a waxing before trying to pull that
look off again).

So here we are.  “The Dark Knight”.  Hailed as one of the greatest
superhero movies of all time…  But does it stand up to the hype ?  The
answer is, surprisingly, YES !  Is it the best ever ?  That’s certainly
debatable.  Some people would say so…  I’d be inclined to say it’s at
least in the top five, (with the innovative “Iron Man” still on the
throne in my book).

It’s appropriate that the new “Batman” film has brought everything full
circle so to speak.  Tim Burton’s 1989 vision really was the prototype
for this genre as we know it.  Until that point, the only superhero to
be successfully brought to the big screen was “Superman”.  Thanks to
Mr. Burton, we learned that classic comic books could be given a
contemporary spin, and that opened the flood gates. There has been
no turning back. 

I’ve been a fan of Batman through ALL of his incarnations.  From the
campy tights-wearing version of the 1960’s, to the ultra-emo version
of today.   But really, no one goes to these films to see Batman himself.
As superheros go, he is a total bore.  We show up for THE VILLAINS.   
Yep.  Nobody can boast a more exciting lineup.

What does Superman have ?  Lex Luthor ?  Every single movie, Superman
has to battle some bald dude.  Big whoop.  Spider-Man has a little variety,
but his bad guys are just never that deep.  But Batman…  His foes always
have flair, and they are generally driven by something deep and sinister.

The Penguin, The Riddler, Catwoman and The Joker are arguably the
most famous comic book baddies to ever grace the big screen, and
we have Batman to thank for each and every one of them.  They are 
known for having a good time,  while our hero sits in a dark corner 
and broods.  Will someone call Dr. Phil for that guy ?  He has issues. 
I know his parents were killed, but this fellow needs to get over it !

He is just so DEPRESSED.  Even with all that money.  Go figure…  And for
someone suffering with depression he actually gets around pretty well.  If I 
were sad all the time, the LAST thing I would want to do would be to prance
around in a funny costume and then run around town fighting people.  I’d be 
more like the lady in that antidepressant commercial.  You know the one… 
She’s lying on a sofa, and her dog comes up with a ball…  She just sort of 
waves her hand at the perplexed pup in a “go away” gesture and then a   
 voice comes out of nowhere and says “Depression Hurts”.  Yep.  If I were 
a gloomy Gus I’d really want to take a long nap too.  Can you imagine if 
that woman just jumped off of the sofa, and then ran out the front door 
 wearing a cape ?  Boy, would her dog be pissed.

Our friend Bruce Wayne doesn’t seem to let the blues slow him down.  In this
   new movie, we find Bruce (Played by Christian Bale) deep and introspective    
as usual.  Gotham City is finding crime on the decline, thanks to his alter
ego’s heroic actions.  An honest politician by the name of Harvey Dent
(Aaron Eckhart) is the new DA in office, and he is also causing criminals  
to be weary of their evil deeds. 

Enter “The Joker”.  A total schizophrenic nut, played with unrestrained glee by
the late Heath Ledger.  Now HERE is a nemesis none of us will soon forget.  Of
course, people are saying because he died just after filming this picture that it
 really gives his performance an “edge”.  Hmmmph.  Dead Schmead.  He would
have been considered a genius no matter what.  His Joker is THAT good.

 


Be Honest…  Is My Mascara Running ?

 

Now, this movie is very DARK.  And there are so many characters, and so many
subplots, and plots within plots, and plots about plots that it’s hard to give “The 
Dark Knight” an in-depth synopsis.  But I will try to sum it up the best that I can.
 It sounds like a mess, but it all works on EVERY level !  From awesome directing
to great acting, this is one helluva ride (and Hans Zimmer has outdone himself 
with an intense soundtrack) !!!

The Joker wants to prove to the world that anyone and everyone is corruptible.
He tries to get the mob to turn on themselves, and he tries to get Harvey Dent
and Batman to turn evil.  He actually succeeds with Dent, as a horrible tragedy
disfigures him and he becomes the monster known as “Two-Face”.  

An all-star cast adds class to this brilliant morality play, as Morgan Freeman,
Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Cillian Murphy and Maggie Gyllenhaal all do their
thing to perfection.  But Heath Ledger steals the show…  It would be nice to  
see him get an Oscar nod for this.  Not just to honor his legacy, but for the 
sake of recognizing a very popular genre that’s often overlooked at The
Academy Awards.  When will those folks start singing the praises of films 
people actually LIKE ?

No Country For Old Men ?  It’s more like No Trophies For Good Movies. 
LOL !!!

 


And THIS is for laughing through “Brokeback Mountain” !

 

Oscar or no Oscar, at least the “Batman” franchise shows us that
rubber nipples RULE.  They’re not just for babies anymore ! 

*Warning: The following two paragraphs contain PLOT SPOILERS !

**********

My only gripe:  I appreciate this film being “darker” per se, but they
actually kill off Batman’s love interest from the first film, Rachel Dawes. 
She’s tied to a chair rigged with a bomb…  And then BOOM !    That’s 
just a cop-out if you ask me.  To make this film gloomier, I guess director
Christopher Nolan felt it was necessary.  I’m really tired of that cliche.  
Soooo many films try to pull that trick these days.  If a sequel is to be
darker, they just HAVE to kill the guy’s girlfriend from the first movie. 
“Revenge of the Sith”, “Quantum of Solace” and “The Bourne Supremacy” 
all come to mind.  I guess loosing the woman they love makes em’
extra tough.  The body count is also rising in the “Harry Potter” films.
Awww…  C’mon now.  Why so serious ?

Let’s not kill off any more characters we have invested in please.
Besides, I’m old school.  Superheros are supposed to save the girl. 
if they can’t, what good are they ?  Takes the fun out of it…  I hope 
the “Iron Man” sequel doesn’t boast being “darker”.  If that’s the case,
Gwyneth Paltrow is DOOMED !  Now, in comic book movies, no one
ever really seems to stay deceased.  So maybe Rachel will come back ?
She did get her ass blown off, but perhaps she will return as the evil 
“Half-Cheek”.  Or maybe “Burn-Boob”.  Or “Sizzlean”.

*********

Regardless of who lives or dies, this movie really is an achievement of
sorts.  Plus, I just love Batman’s voice…  Listen real close.  He kind of
sounds like a cross between Marlon Brando’s “Godfather” and the little
boy that gets shrunk in the original “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate
Factory”.  You remember Mike Teevee ?  Just a hint of a lisp ?  LOL ! 

Despite having a foul scowl behind his cowl, “The Dark Knight” shines !

~

Would I Recommend This ?  Yes

Daniel’s Critical Rating:  “9” out of “10”