The Dark Knight

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We saw The Dark Knight tonight.  I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it on this site before, but I am a huge comic book fan.  I read monthly comics as well as graphic novels.  It does irk me when people write off the medium as devoid of real meaning or importance.  Some of the most powerful stories I’ve read have been in the comic form.  Regular comic book stories do generally simply entertain, I’ll give the naysayers that.  It is rare to find a lot of meaning in most of them.  Graphic novels (basically an illustrated novel) tend to go deeper and have more intricate and detailed stories with highly realized characters and mature plots.  The Dark Knight is, obviously, based on the Batman comic book character.  It is based on a comic book character, but this is a graphic novel caliber story. 

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First, I don’t want to be one of the buffoons that hype up a mediocre film simply because I have a personal stake in it and enjoyed it for reasons that an average watcher may not.  I know the difference in a film that plays to a niche market and one that has mass appeal.  That being said, this is a fucking fantastic film.     

I honestly can’t talk very much about the plot because I will not ruin anything in the film by giving it away.  Just know that you are in store for an excellently written tale about a man (hell, a whole city) pushed and pushed to the point of breaking by an absolutely homicidal maniac.  Heath Ledger as The Joker is stunning.  Fucking brilliant.  He is a sick, disgusting, vile creature without a trace of humanity.  The Joker is unlike any Joker ever on film before.  There is nothing cute or silly about him (though he does make you laugh quite a bit when he’s on screen) and the one thought that stuck in my mind while watching was that someone finally got this character right. 

A running theme in the comics regarding The Joker and Batman is that they are, while mortal enemies, very much alike and dependant on each other.  Without Batman, The Joker may as well quit because no adversary will ever compare.  Batman, with his no-kill policy, will always have the one villain in which he cannot instill fear, the one person who can get under his skin the way no one else can.  So throughout the years they battle over and over and create some really poetic and dynamic stories.  This film addresses this conflict, on more than one occasion, which pleased me to no end.  Ledger has created the definitive Joker and if there is another movie I really hope he has no part of it because I can’t imagine someone else coming even close to this genius.

 

The thing that worries me the most is that Aaron Eckhart not receive the recognition he deserves as Harvey Dent (or Two-Face.)  In a way, the entire film is more about his character than anyone elses.  It’s definitely a driving force.  You really believe in his campaign to end crime in Gotham City.  By the way, he’s my choice to play Captain America. 

 

Don’t let people tell you any of the secrets in this one.  Wait and see for yourself, even if you are waiting for the DVD.  You’ll thank me later. 

Now, a quick look at a handful of recent viewing:

  • The Orphanage-pretty damn good ghost story.  Worth a look

  • The Good Humor Man-Solid indie flick about kids growing up in the 70s with drugs and nothing else to do

  • The Spiderwick Chronicles-I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that this is the best kids’ fantasy movie I’ve seen in recent years.  It’s kinda like Demon Knight for kids.  Seriously, watch this and think about the basic setup for both movies.  See, I’m right!

…and I guess that’s all from me for now.  I’m dead tired so I’m going to sleep now, and all you kids have a great night! 

Steve

evilreeves@gmail.com

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