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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Mini-W Reviews: The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight, starring Christian Bale, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and the late Heath Ledger, was possibly one of the most anticipated films of 2008. Naturally I was SO excited to see it, and even though I got a seat at the very back row of the theatre (it was completely packed even at a matinee) I was pumped up as hell.

The results, however, I was not as happy about. As much as I respect Christian Bale as an actor, when he put on his Batman mask and his tough guy voice, I kind of wanted to laugh. On the other hand, Heath Ledger’s performance was great. The part of the Joker is written in such a cheesy way, that it takes a great actor to turn it into something dark and creepy. Almost like Kathy Bates’ performance in Stephen King’s 1990 film Misery.

Although I quite liked Ledger’s performance, I strongly disagree with the Academy Award buzz that he’s getting. Yes, it is sad that he had problems, and yes, it is tragic that he passed away, but honestly, that performance was not Oscar material. A friend of mine compared Ledger’s possible nomination to Johnny Depp’s nomination for best actor in 2003 as Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean The Curse of the Black Pearl but in my opinion Ledger wasn’t nearly as good as Depp.

In this installment of the Batman franchise, Batman fights the Joker and all these bad guys that I lost track of over and over again. The story doesn’t have much going on or if it did it was confusing which made it hard for me as a viewer to pay attention (my generation supposedly has a very low attention span). I think that there was a great cast, great special effects, and great action, but overall this movie was more publicity and less quality. I’m looking forward to the new Mummy movie. I give Batman a 2 out of five jelly beans rating.

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12 comments:

Christian M. Howell said...

Remind me to bribe you BEFORE you review any movie I make.

You're tough to please. Hancock and the Dark Knight blew.

Belzecue said...

"... but overall this movie was more publicity and less quality. I’m looking forward to the new Mummy movie."

MM-MMMPPHHZZZTTTT!!

(wiping coffee off screen)

Ah. The day has finally come. And so it begins.

Sister Flannery, fetch my XXXL-size silver cross, my blessed holy chalice, and a twelve-pack of Red Bull. This night I fear our faith will be sorely tested by an insidious new *Mini* evil such as Father Brennan warned us about in his diary.

Clear doubt from your mind, Sister. Tremble not. For the last twelve years we've trained for this day. And today is this day... Or rather, that day is this day, and this day is today, so... anyway, it's here, and we've trained for it, and we're ready.

Be that as it may, I wouldn't call it cheating if you bring along your Exorcism For Dummies book. I mean, jeez, it did cost $19.95, you know... and I was seriously gonna borrow it off you real soon. So... I'm just saying now is a good time to skim through for some tips and tricks. I mean, it's that or Google, and I'm pretty sure we've been capped already this month...

Anonymous said...

How old is the Mini-W? May I ask?

Julie Gray said...

The Mini-W is about to turn 15 next Sunday. Days away from the worldly wisdom that another year promises for a teenager. She is full of piss & vinegar, attitude, creativity and opinions. Just like mama. She has formidable movie knowledge, citing Sunset Boulevard as her favorite movie at age five. She knows her Bette Davis from her Joan Crawford, she knows her Cecil B. DeMille movies, she recently loved In Bruges and The Orphanage. Batman just did not impress the kid. Honestly it didn't impress me much either but there you go. That's what makes a horse race.

Laura Reyna said...

I've hated-- HATED-- just about every Batman movie so far. Batman Begins was the least stupid &/or boring one & it was only 'meh'. I truly don't get the fuss over these Batman movies, they haven't been that good.

So Mini-W's review doesn't surprise me at all. Most of her reviews have been pretty spot on.

Hmmm...? said...

I thought the Joker was a non-camped up evil version of Beetlejuice.

Anonymous said...

Here is my review of Batman - The Dark Knight....


Too amibitious...
Too visionary....
Too stupid...

History will not remember this movie...

This movie is for those film critics who watch movies drunk...

Maybe Steven Speilberg's take on the remake of "the french connection" will be a masterpiece....Not!

Lol

DougJ said...

I liked TDK much more than Mini-W did but I agree that Batman's growly voice was kind of funny. I think the purpose was more for disguise than coming across as a tough guy.

This worries me though: "I’m looking forward to the new Mummy movie."

I'll cut her some slack since she's just a kid.

Eddie M said...

Thank you. No one is saying anything bad about TDK anywhere else. I thought it was an okay flick, but I was underwhelmed by it given all the hype.

Chris said...

I am so happy to have seen this review from a fellow writer! From a screenwriting perspective, this was very sloppily written. I'm not going to say Matrix 2 and 3 sloppy. But sloppy nonetheless. It was way too dense and there were way too many characters and way too many things going on and when I tell people this, they look at me like I'm crazy. I just think that audiences don't know how good things can potentially be because they're used to utter garbage. Man they could've streamlined this script and it would've been great.

Screenwriter Shep said...

Batman's voice was a little tough to take at times, but other than that I thought it was close to brilliant.

Their mistake was they drew focus away from their strengths. They put too much focus on Harvey, which resulted in the film being about 30 minutes too long.

I suppose they had to... someone needed to arc for the theme to work. Batman barely did, Joker obviously didn't (nor was he supposed to).

They followed Harvey's arc when the strength of the film was the battle between the Joker and Batman, which is a valuable lesson -- play to the story's strengths.

The themes were incredibly strong, that's why it worked for me. A little too talky ("It's always darkest before dawn" ugh), but they still resonated.

Ledger will win the Oscar. Does he deserve it? Yes and no. He does -- but not for this role. Yes, it was masterful, BUT psychotics with no arc are the EASIEST character to play. Actors remember lines and play motivations -- the Joker has two motivations the entire film, Ledger mastered both of those.

So I guess whether you think he deserves the Oscar depends on if you count degree of difficulty, and I do.

Harvey would've been the toughest character to play, followed by Bruce.

Future Man said...

Haven't seen the flick yet, but got the shock of my life when I checked IMDb.

A 9.5 out of 115,340 votes!

If you know the ratings for the Top 250, you'll already have guessed it:

The Dark Knight has pushed The Godfather from the #1 slot!