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”



47 thoughts on “Daniel’s Critical Corner: “The Dark Knight”

  1. Fantastic review… Your best yet! However, I have to say I thought TDK was a mess. I know I’m in the minority, but I can’t believe what a joyless, grim and sadistic “comic book” movie this was. If this is indicative of what the future holds for Batman or other so-called superhero movies than count me out.

  2. Thank you Russ ! Well, I understand where you are coming from, that’s for sure. Director Christopher Nolan has
    indeed taken liberties with these all too familiar characters. I am very fond of the old “Batman” movies… So
    I can see how some fans might not like the current “dark” trend. If ALL superhero movies became this glum, I’d
    stop going as well. I’ve got to say this movie transcends it’s own genre, and I love it as much as the others
    in it’s own way… AND as a “stand-alone” flick also. However, “Batman” does not belong to Christopher Nolan.
    He belongs to all of us. So if people don’t like how he is presented this time around, I can’t argue ! LOL !!!

  3. I hate that they killed off Rachel. Was definitely shocked by that. It will be interesting to see where they go with this assuming they make a third movie.

    For me the movie wasn’t as dark or scary as I hoped it would be. But Ledger’s Joker was definitely great. As always Morgan Freeman Michael Caine and Gary Oldman didn’t disappoint. I really liked Eckhart though I didn’t expect to.

    Definitely one of the best movies I’ve seen this year.

    However I am waiting desperately on your review of Mamma Mia!

  4. Yea, I hate when characters from popular movies get “offed” in sequels. I just can’t tell
    you how many times I’ve had “Batman Begins” on “repeat” in my DVD player, and now I
    know Rachel meets her end with a “KA-BOOM”. LOL ! Well, what can you do ? Still a good
    movie. It’s making me delve deep into my critical corner ! I actually just found a ball of
    lint. Hmmmm. At any rate, I have a feeling the sequel will be lighter (it really has to be).
    The perfect villain: “Catwoman”. We have done the twenty-something bad GUYS laughing
    at their own jokes thing twice now. I just read a news article that said “Catwoman” is
    is the most “Nolanish” baddie on the remaining list. Second is “The Riddler”, but I think he’s
    too similar to “Joker” and “Scarecrow”. I’m sure they will probably have at least a couple of
    evildoers in the same movie again.

    As for “Mama Mia”, I would love to do a review on that… I’m just hoping I have time to
    see it in the near future !!!

  5. wow .. excellent review ..
    in fact i was waiting for ur review on this movie quite eagerly,,,
    9 out of 10 ,means that i would be doomed if i miss this one… i have been missing movies lately 😦
    well , i too like the movies of this kind being a little dark..

  6. I agree with you 100% about Heath Ledger. Dead or alive, he stole the show with this one, and (although I love him) put Jack Nicholson in his place (no easy task).

    I rank the movie at #3 on my all time favorite comic book movie list. It would have ranked higher, but I spent the last part of the film distracted by that big convict’s lazy eye. Also, I thought the “Battle of the Low, Gravelly Voices” between Batman, Two-Face and Gordon near the end was a bit much. Someone had to have needed a cough drop after that scene.

  7. Great review, as usual..I agree with you on a few things, especially tooooo many characters, and plot. They tried to put too much movie into one. And YES, Heath Ledger’s performance was fascinating, ‘Dead Schmead’ is correct , I have to mark him down as one of the best villains EVER! He made the film for me. Batman’s voice sounded for sure like Marlon Brando, smoking a pack of cigarettes!! And YES, this was a very dark movie, was that Katie Holmes Gyllenhaal?? LOL! They killed Rachel because they can’t find another actress to trade out..:)..Great details on your review, thank goodness you made some color and light out of the movie. I did not like the movie as much as you, but I have to say the Joker, AND your review, were worth the while. 🙂

  8. Thanks for the awesome comment Gayle ! Some people love this movie, others hate it, but one thing is for
    sure, it’s got the entire WORLD talking ! They really did have a lot of characters and such this time around.
    It could have been a wreck, but Christopher Nolan managed to pull it off with flare. “Two-Face” was something
    out of a horror film (to say the least). Good thing I LIKE horror films ! Ha Ha ! Thanks again !!!

  9. So many points, so little time. Why so serious? Because the “not so serious” earlier editions of Batman are a laughing stock now! I thought Rachel’s demise was definately called for, and I thought the soundtrack, while good, was sometimes a little too loud (which might just have been the theater I was in). Other than that, I think Ledger should definately should get a Supporting Actor nod and, up to this point, should be the frontrunner!

    Great review dude! So ya know, I’m revamping my Top 50 favorite movies and The Dark Knight is on it. Check out my new site! It’s called “Popcorn and a Soda” at http://popcornandasoda.wordpress.com/

  10. Bite your tongue ! (Heath Ledger seems to do that a lot in this movie by the way) ! LOL ! Well, I will always
    LOVE the old “Batman” movies… They really are great. And again, important… Paving the way for the superhero
    movies of today ! I never was a fan of “Batman Forever”, although Nicole Kidman really was a treat. And as for
    Rachel getting blown up… Hmmm… The Joker claims in this movie he didn’t set the detonater, because he was
    locked in a cell at the time. I hope YOU have an alibi Mr. “I’m Glad She Was Blown Up” !!! Ha Ha ! I actually
    bought the soundtrack, and as a work of music, I must say it is rather impressive… I feel it captures the
    morose sense of dread and (overall) scary feel of this cinematic masterpiece beautifully.

    Your new movie page is fantastic ! I’m really glad you now have a page devoted entirely to film ! 🙂

  11. As I sit here in my Dick Tracy attire, reading your ‘Dark Knight’ review, I crap my pants because it is f-ing phenomenal. Keep up the good work. However, I now need to buy a new pair of Dick Tracy pants.

  12. Thank you so much !!! Well, I’m sorry about your pants ! I feel responsible for that…
    When I get a chance, I will send you an extra pair of mine ! (I’ve got more “Dick Tracy”
    pants than I know what to do with) ! LOL !!!

  13. I am going to see this, but I don’t see how anyone could do a better Joker than Jack Nicholson, I mean come on,… I don’t care how many drugs Heath Ledger was on, it can’t be better than Jack. (Was that cruel of me to say that? well, I apologize then.) Great review.

  14. LOL ! Anybody and everyone is saying everything and anything about Jack Vs. Heath. In my eyes,
    there is no comparison. They are just different. BOTH great. It’s kind of like comparing 1933’s
    King Kong to Peter Jackson’s version. Of course Jackson’s version is going to be “better” in some
    ways because it is newer. But that doesn’t make the old “Fay Wray” classic any less of a masterpiece !

    Heath has created something unique and new… And creepy… But kudos to Jack Nicholson for being
    held to such high acclaim for almost twenty years for the role we all still remember and love.
    (He was the first and only choice for the role by “Batman” creator “Bob Kane”). Of course, let’s
    not forget Cesar Romero, the original “Joker” !!! He was really cool too (but soooo camp) !

  15. No one’s a bigger Jack Nicholson Joker fan than me. I am currently wearing a Joker outfit patterned after Jack Nicholson’s Joker from 1989’s Batman. In fact, I am Jack Nicholson. And I’d like to say, as brilliant as I was in Batman, Heath was better in The Dark Knight.

    Ok then. Kobe and I are gonna go have a margarita.

  16. Ahhhhh the review. I have still yet to see the movie!!! I did however skip the plot spoilers. I have never been one for a whole lot of action(movie action that is) but I am definitely looking forward to seeing this movie. Brokeback Mountain bitches!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

  17. Pingback: Best Week Ever: Thou shall not yark before the clubhouse « Jansen

  18. Honestly, sure The Dark Knight is dark, it’s in the name for crying out loud! But it’s such a refreshing change. The whole movie isn’t this dark depressing film, it’s a dark, yet entertaining film. The action is off the wall, and the performances are great.

  19. Excellent review, very accurate. As far as sitting at home bangin’ away on my laptop…you couldn’t be more correct.

  20. Another great review my friend. It’s def one of the top 3 comic book movies made so far. I do agree that there were alot of plots and subplots going on but this movie was to lead into two more sequels but with the tragedy of Heath Ledger it’s up in the air. I read somewhere that they mentioned of Jake Gllynhal(Sorry I don’t know how to spell his name) to takeover as Joker? It should be interesting to see what they decide to do. Man this is a long comment…Keep up the hard work Buddy!!!

  21. Thanks Justin ! Yes, this movie is top tier indeed ! I really am hoping for
    a sequel, (and two more would even be better). There are so many great villains
    left to deal with. Catwoman, The Riddler and The Penguin just to name a few !
    I would love to see director Christopher Nolan’s spin on these iconic characters.
    My money is on everyone’s favorite feline femme fatale. There is a possible hint
    towards that in “The Dark Knight” !!! (They do mention a cat) !

  22. Well spoken Daniel! The Dark Knight made for a long night! I have only one recommendation: just after purchasing your ticket and after you order that LARGE popcorn and GALLON of soda combo they push at you, be sure to order the EXTRA LARGE Depends Undergarments and pray that it is able to contain all that gooey goodness just long enough to sit through this mass-sensory overload of a film. Do we hear of a “THRILL-AGY” in the near future….

  23. Ah yes, the “Thrill” of it all ! LOL ! This was a long film indeed, but it went
    at such a fast pace that I never noticed it. (There were also about 40 trailers
    shown before anything got started). I was done with my popcorn and (most) of my
    drink by trailer number 28… My advice… Don’t start imbibing anything until The
    Joker does his “magic trick” with the pencil. You should be OK after that “point”.
    Ha Ha Ha !

  24. You know I watched that movie almost a week ago and I still can’t stop talking about it. Now I know I’ve said this Batman doesn’t do well to remind me of the channel five cartoon Batman that I grew up with, but since I’ve grown up so much maybe it is time to add some depth to what I watch. No more Spongebob and Harry Potter haha. I have to say that I would put this movie up to a ten just because it follows through with what everyone wants to see and what we’re all expecting to see. It makes us feel smart for some reason to know what’s coming before we see it. Anyway, as I always say, Great review!!

  25. Thanks Vanessa ! You are right… If they would have named this movie “The Happy Bat”,
    we ALL would have been in for a SHOCK. This movie delivers what it promises (and then
    some). I hear Christopher Nolan is going to actually do a “Spongebob” movie… So you
    are in luck ! It’s called “Spongebob Deadfriends”, and all of the characters get put in a
    blender and eaten at a seaside restaurant ! Yummy ! Also, Christopher wanted to direct
    the next “Harry Potter” installment… But they turned him down, saying that he was too
    optimistic ! LOL ! 🙂

  26. Great review! I’d have to say that I liked Dark Knight a little more than Iron Man, but Iron Man 2 is going to be incredible. I just don’t know how Nolan will be able to do this with Batman 3. Especially with Ledger gone. They might replace him, but who could top Ledger’s Joker? Or come even close for that matter? Maybe Johnny Depp. (SPOILER) I don’t think Two-Face is really dead so he’s coming back. Let’s just not bring Arnold back. “Ice to see you.”

  27. Thanks Mr. Box Office !!! A sequel would be quite a daunting task for Christopher Nolan.
    It would be impossible to “one-up” this masterpiece. Can you imagine the expectations ?
    He might just “Bale” out ! Ha Ha !

  28. Your review sent me laughing and nodding and laughing and nodding and then laughing again! I enjoyed reading it despite the fact that I hate long reviews! Yours is exceptional! Makes me very eager to see the next Batman movie. Like you, I’ve been a fan of all the Batman movies, the best incarnation would be the recent one – Christian Bale’s Batman. The worst would be George Clooney’s, not to mention the costume! I also didn’t like the actors’ portrayal of the villains, I was disappointed in that film actually. But of all the Batman actors, I loved Michael Keaton’s husky, snake-hissing Batman voice among all. Christian Bale’s was a bit trying hard, you’re right when you said it’s like he swallowed a carton of cigarettes LOL! Thanks for sharing your wonderful opinion on this great film! And thanks for commenting on my post, too! Keep up the good work, making people like me smile!

  29. Thank you so much ! You have actually put a smile on MY face as well ! 🙂
    “The Joker” would be proud ! LOL !!! I must say, Christian Bale seems to have
    become the definitive “Batman”. Kudos to Michael Keaton and of course Adam
    West. (I’m afraid poor George Clooney and Val Kilmer got lost in the shuffle) !!!

  30. Great review. Enjoyed it, even though I read it after I saw the movie :D. I like Dark Knight more than Iron Man!! Waiting eagerly for the next episode of Batman by Nolan. Cheers!

  31. Hey, Thanks !!! I’m seeing “The Dark Knight” a fourth time this
    weekend, (or is it a fifth time) ? I’m starting to loose count.
    I’m lovin’ the Angelina Jolie rumors going around in regards to
    the next Nolan movie. I don’t think he can one-up this flick,
    but I’m sure he can come up with the purr-fect companion piece !

  32. Heath Ledger was absolutely amazing in this film – had I not known he was playing the role of the Joker, I never would’ve been able to tell. He didn’t look or sound or act like the actor, Heath Ledger. Unfortunately, so many actors just play themselves in every movie. It’s great to see an actor who’s able to become the charactor and not the other way around. It’s a shame we won’t get to see him develop himself as an actor even further. He would’ve shot straight up into super stardom had he lived after the release of this movie. Unfortunatly, it’s the great ones that always seem to die young.

  33. Pingback: Nominations So Far…(Updated 06/Oct…still more to come) « Visceral Observations

  34. Pingback: Final List of Nominated Posts « Visceral Observations

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s