Author Topic: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!  (Read 52213 times)

Marge_Innavera

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #120 on: July 25, 2008, 09:49:19 am »
I was going to say the same thing - there are two or three different times he's called "a freak" and he defiantly, but quietly says "No, I'm not.  I'm not..."  If he were a true sociopath and misanthrope, he'd have laughed at that or not even batted an eyelash.  But there is definitely an element of wanting to be appreciated for exactly what he is.  And he's not.  And that is the loneliest thing there is.

I'm not sure that would be the motivation.  IMO the Joker's denial of being a freak would be fairly typical of a sociopath who's not in the mood to hide it. 

At one point, the Joker remarks that he prefers to kill with a knife rather than a gun because guns can kill quickly and without personal contact  -- and because, he says, at the moment of death 'people act the way they really are.' (Sorry, this is a paraphrase -- have only seen the movie once so far.) In some ways, that summarizes his relationship with the rest of the world.

Enough pain and stress and terror can reduce anyone to acting on their basest survival instincts.  That's not all we are, but to a sociopath, those lowest common denominators are what define a human being. And a violent sociopath like the Joker could be convinced that he's the only one around who's superior enough to come to terms with that and even to celebrate it via spreading chaos.  In other words, the Joker is convinced that he's not a freak because he's convinced that everyone is just like him -- only less smart and more in need of illusions, which essentially makes them (in his mind) inferior beings to be disposed of in whatever way he finds entertaining.

That's an thumbnail of my reaction to this character -- I saw TDK for the first time yesterday and am still thinking over what I want to post about it.

Marge_Innavera

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #121 on: July 25, 2008, 09:58:34 am »
Profiles In History is auctioning off a coat worn by Heath Ledger in 'The Patriot'    The auction is July 31 and Aug 1   
This item is scheduled to be auctioned on Aug 1.

26901 Agoura Rd Ste 150
Calabasas Hills, CA 91301

http://www.profilesinhistory.com/new


Hope a Brokie buys it! 

That's my favorite period of history and the costume itself has its own history.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #122 on: July 25, 2008, 10:13:01 am »

I'm going to go see TDK again this weekend before I post any kind of extensive review here.  So much goes on in that movie, I really do think that a second viewing will be important to noticing details and to taking in the dialogue more accurately.

My initial reaction was really positive.  I thought it was a fabulous movie and it was definitely thought provoking in all kinds of ways.

Forgive me if this detail is discussed elsewhere in this thread... but I just need to comment on the one scene where the Joker is in the body bag, they unzip it and then he sits up to surprise everyone.  Yikes!!  That scene just about killed me... specifically with Heath's real life tragedy in mind.  It's just too, too terrible in juxtaposition with the news clips of Heath being taken out of the apartment.   That scene has already given me a nightmare.  One some level I'm almost surprised they left it in.  It's really effective as a scene... but still, it's just so surreal!
 :'(

the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie

Offline LauraGigs

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #123 on: July 25, 2008, 10:34:10 am »
Yeah, when he lies still when they take the bag off his face, that was hard to take.

Offline Mandy21

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #124 on: July 25, 2008, 10:53:54 am »
I saw TDK on Monday morning, and yes, the death stuff was hard to take.  Like you, Amanda, I was a bit surprised that they left those scenes in.  After having seen it only once, I've yet to decide if those scenes were so integral, that they couldn't have been left out, even for respect for Heath's memory.  I was in tears; thankfully, I was in the back row, and managed to keep it pretty quiet.  But in tears, nevertheless.  When you think about it, though, pretty much every movie Heath ever made involved either his character dying, or coming very close to death.  The Patriot, Monster's Ball, Four Feathers, Ned Kelly, Brothers Grimm, etc.  They're all much harder to watch post-Jan 22 than they were before.  I've not decided if I'll see TDK again or not.  To me, the only part of that very long movie that I found enjoyable were the scenes with The Joker.  Gave me goosebumps, in a good way, every time he came on screen.  I thought Heath's was a masterful performance, but that it was rather wasted in a film I found to be quite unspectacular.  Just my opinion.  Perhaps I've just seen one too many comic-book movies.   :-\
Dawn is coming,
Open your eyes...

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #125 on: July 25, 2008, 10:59:23 am »

As scary and hard-to-take as TDK was (especially the body bag scene in relation to real life events), I really did like it a lot.

And, am I correct in thinking we're not really supposed to know if the Joker really dies or is even captured at the end?  I thought that Batman's villains always survive somehow.


the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #126 on: July 25, 2008, 11:30:41 am »
I'm still catching up on this long thread and I just wanted to say YeeHaw for this fantastic article.  8)  It's so nice to see BBM getting this great attention... and it's really nicely written too.


From the Tribeca Film Festival newsletter, a wonderful article, clearly written by a Brokie:

http://www.tribecafilmfestival.org/news-features/features/heath.html

Wednesday July 16, 2008
Heath Ledger, You Got Us Good

By Nathaniel Rogers

As excitement mounts for The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger as the Joker, we take a look back at Ledger's towering performance as Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain.

It’s been only six months since the rising star Heath Ledger died of an accidental and toxic mix of prescription pills in New York City. He was 28 years old. What a difference half a year makes. From his death on January 22nd, 2008 to the opening of his last completed film, The Dark Knight, on July 18th he’s been transformed in the media from promising young actor to everyone’s favorite young actor. He’s now unarguably the doomed icon of this generation.

Ledger has been frequently eulogized in the past six months but he’s been oddly present, too; it’s as if he’s been watching the chaos of public mourning and contributing to it with intermittent peeks at his anarchic performance as “The Joker”. This odd double exposure of canonized and living actor didn’t happen through exploitative Hollywood maneuvering but simple economics. How do you stop a moving train? Tent pole scheduling is serious business and Knight was already well en route to its July berth when tragedy stuck. Ledger, too, was already earmarked—or grin-marked if you will—as that film’s principal visual marketing hook.

For all the current hoopla surrounding his intense take on a classic character, when the smoke clears, the Joker won't be the definitive Heath Ledger performance, the one that people remember him for in years to come. His astonishing creation of Ennis Del Mar is the one. His complete immersion into that self-loathing cowboy forever lost on Brokeback Mountain would have ensured his place in film history even if he had lived a long uneventful life as a working actor afterwards. The actor’s tragic demise only sped his classic work to its natural destination.

Brokeback Mountain, widely considered an instant classic upon its release in December 2005, keeps on improving with repeat viewings. Three years after its debut it’s more moving than ever, like some perfectly made objet d’art that feels more classic the more familiar it becomes. Ang Lee, a gifted auteur, deserves the lion’s share of praise for shaping the already heartbreaking short story by Annie Proulx, but he was blessed with the perfect cast in transitioning it to the screen. At first, the central roles of ranch hand lovers Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist were difficult to cast. The promise of working with Lee meant that Young Hollywood was interested but the sexuality of the material frightened some “name” actors away.

History was made once Ledger and his screen partner Jake Gyllenhaal were on board.  Romantic dramas live or die by their acting duets and Brokeback Mountain had it. Ledger’s painfully coiled star turn, while owning the film, owes a great deal to the eager sensitivity of Gyllenhaal’s work and vice versa. The contrast between their character temperaments and star personas only heightens the passion and the tragedy. Maybe Ennis and Jack could have saved each other.  If only…

Consider for a moment how vastly different they just stand and see their worlds. When we get our first look at Ennis Del Mar he’s leaning against a wall, smoking. He rarely lifts his head, staring only at his boots. Even before his sexual collision with Jack and resultant turmoil, Ledger has handed us a snapshot of man trapped inside himself. Jack Twist, on the other hand, moves like he’s a part of the larger world rather than a sole inhabitant. Even in repose, leaning against his truck while giving Ennis that first once over, he’s aggressively carnal. Ennis barely allows himself a glance but Jack isn’t at all shy about staring. Gyllenhaal makes deft use of his huge expressive eyes—they never stop looking at Ennis. Even as the romance progresses, Jack's desire for friendship, camaraderie even, never abates, remaining clear in his every expression, every flicker of his blue, blue eyes.

Actors are often lauded for physical transformations but the crystalline precision of Ledger’s star turn in Brokeback Mountain is that the physicality of Ennis is only a manifestation of the internal. The performance is as specific as any dutiful biopic recreation but it’s causal, lived in, rather than imitative. Ledger understands and telegraphs that Ennis’s discomfort is not physical but psychic. Ennis’s clenched physicality, his inconsistently tactile responses to his lover, the famous way he swallows his dialogue—these are merely his insides turned out. He can’t live with himself. He can’t live with or without Jack. This man can’t truly live.

Ennis may have lived a miserable half-life, but Ledger’s performance ironically delivers a full, radiant life. When people talk about "promising" actors it means they’ve generally been impressed but they’re still waiting for one great performance or signature role to come. Ledger’s death came far too early; there’s no disputing that. But promising isn’t the right word for his gifts. His breakthrough performance was not a promise made but a promise fulfilled. Ledger’s death and this towering performance have placed us in the awkward position of Jack Twist himself.  We’re still staring greedily at Heath Ledger, asking in vain for more. With Ennis Del Mar, the young actor delivered a performance so stunning and true that we’ll never be able to quit him.
the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #127 on: July 25, 2008, 11:56:29 am »
Thanks for capturing this article before it got completely buried, friend Amanda! Funny that when the author finally started talking about the role, he spent most of his words discussing Jack! But it is a great article and rightly pinpoints Ennis Del Mar as Heath's signature role.

May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline ednbarby

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #128 on: July 25, 2008, 12:50:45 pm »
I sense a Gyllenhaalic there who also deeply appreciates Heath's talent.  Sounds awfully familiar.  I loved the way he described Heath's portrayal of Ennis as turning him inside out.  And this:  "He can't live with himself.  He can't live with or without Jack.  This man can't truly live."

Lovely.  Thanks, Amanda and Meryl.

No more beans!

Offline optom3

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #129 on: July 25, 2008, 01:22:35 pm »
I saw TDK on Monday morning, and yes, the death stuff was hard to take.  Like you, Amanda, I was a bit surprised that they left those scenes in.  After having seen it only once, I've yet to decide if those scenes were so integral, that they couldn't have been left out, even for respect for Heath's memory.  I was in tears; thankfully, I was in the back row, and managed to keep it pretty quiet.  But in tears, nevertheless.  When you think about it, though, pretty much every movie Heath ever made involved either his character dying, or coming very close to death.  The Patriot, Monster's Ball, Four Feathers, Ned Kelly, Brothers Grimm, etc.  They're all much harder to watch post-Jan 22 than they were before.  I've not decided if I'll see TDK again or not.  To me, the only part of that very long movie that I found enjoyable were the scenes with The Joker.  Gave me goosebumps, in a good way, every time he came on screen.  I thought Heath's was a masterful performance, but that it was rather wasted in a film I found to be quite unspectacular.  Just my opinion.  Perhaps I've just seen one too many comic-book movies.   :-\

I agree with all you say.I am not a big fan of this movie genre, and only saw it because of Heath.I would buy it on Dvd so I could just skip through all the non Heath/joker parts.
The body bag scene floored me,I was so glad I was on my own and not with the boys who saw it first. I had a really surreal dream after, in which Heath came to life in a funny mix of TDK and real life.He was washed up on the beach here at Sarasota, and I was there with the family.Loads of other people came up to see and out jumps Heath, alive and kicking.
I woke up and have never felt so bad.It was one of those incredibly detailed and real dreams.He even told us all why he had done it.I wont bore you with the details, but it was so real.
I do think that Heath carried the film, but I am of course a little biased.