Author Topic: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!  (Read 66431 times)

Offline Meryl

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #30 on: July 17, 2008, 12:25:37 pm »
The History Channel has been showing two specials about Batman.  I just caught the end of one last night, and it has lots of clips of the comic books, TDK and interviews with the actors and creators.  The next time they're scheduled is Monday:

Monday 9:00 pm EDT:  Batman Tech

Monday 10:00 pm EDT:  Batman Unmasked: The Psychology of the Dark Knight

For more info go to the History Channel and search for "Batman":  http://www.history.com/schedule.do
Ich bin ein Brokie...

Offline Penthesilea

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #31 on: July 17, 2008, 03:21:37 pm »
From IMDB today:

With the latest Batman movie, The Dark Knight opening in thousands of theaters at midnight tonight or at 6:00 a.m. on Friday, newspapers throughout the country have made room for early reviews. Almost without exception they are raves. Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times gives it a rare -- for him -- four stars, writing, that it "is a haunted film that leaps beyond its origins and becomes an engrossing tragedy. It creates characters we come to care about. That's because of the performances, because of the direction, because of the writing, and because of the superlative technical quality of the entire production."

Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times observes that director Christopher Nolan does not make a big to-do over the film's formidable special effects and action sequences. "This is powerful, propulsive filmmaking in which elements that must have taken an eternity to set up stay on screen no longer than they absolutely need to," he remarks.

Claudia Puig in USA Today piles on the superlatives. "The Dark Knight is a more thrilling, intelligent, morally complex and masterfully crafted film than any summer blockbuster in recent years. It's probably the best superhero movie to date," she says.

Every critic marvels at the performance of the late Heath Ledger in the role of The Joker. "Ledger is so horrifically riveting you can't take your eyes off of him," comments Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News. Even the Washington Post's Stephen Hunter, who is one of the few critics who has found faults with the film, writes that Ledger's performance is memorable. "It's a subtle, nuanced piece of acting so powerful it banishes all memories of the handsome Aussie behind it," he writes. "Ledger's work is improbably droll, impossibly creepy, meticulously detailed," comments Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune, who also awards the film four stars.

And Amy Biancolli concludes in the Houston Chronicle: "Heath Ledger died too young, leaving behind performances as faceted, brilliant and few as a handful of diamonds. His final gem is no less radiant for being pitch black."


(blank lines added by me to make it more reader-friendly)

http://www.imdb.com/news/ns0000003/#ni0262911

Offline Meryl

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #32 on: July 17, 2008, 04:14:08 pm »
Quote
"Heath Ledger died too young, leaving behind performances as faceted, brilliant and few as a handful of diamonds. His final gem is no less radiant for being pitch black."

Ver' good.  8)
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Offline Ellemeno

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #33 on: July 17, 2008, 06:06:24 pm »
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/movies/la-et-performance17-2008jul17,0,5537431.story

Maggie Gyllenhaal: The mother and actress steps into her biggest feature yet as Rachel Dawes in 'The Dark Knight.'
By Cristy Lytal, Special to The Times
July 17, 2008



"The paparazzi were just really awful to us," she says. "I mean, they called the fire department and told them there was a fire in our little, tiny building in the West Village so that we would have to come outside with a 5-day-old baby. So all of that was happening and I was trying to navigate my way through that when this offer [to play Rachel Dawes in 'The Dark Knight'] came. And so I thought, 'It's going to push that stuff further probably.' But what am I going to do? I'm going to hide and not do things that are appealing to me? I'm an actress."

Immediately preceding the film's release, no one's crying fire as Gyllenhaal nibbles a papaya and sips a pot of green tea during breakfast in the restaurant at Santa Monica's Casa Del Mar. But the 30-year-old indie darling's fears are nevertheless well-founded as she dives into the publicity campaign for the biggest film she has appeared in to date -- and one rife with tragedy and complexity.

When it comes to the most difficult of these -- her costar Heath Ledger's death a mere two months after the film wrapped -- Gyllenhaal speaks with candor about the actor's mental state while playing the sociopathic Joker. "For every actor, you can get to this special place with a character where nothing you can do is wrong, where you just are living that person," she says. "That's what happened with Heath. And I would say it's difficult to be that good in a movie that big, where it's about a lot of other things aside from the acting. So he really accomplished something amazing. You know, I couldn't really watch him and when I first saw him on screen I felt very emotional."

Signing onto the film also sparked a minor media circus, since Gyllenhaal was taking over the role from Katie Holmes, who had dropped out months earlier due to "scheduling conflicts." Speculation ran wild that Holmes was ousted from the franchise for bad reviews or possibly her status as Mrs. Tom Cruise.

But Gyllenhaal was committed to making the character her own from the very first time she read the script -- at her brother Jake's house with a man standing guard in the driveway to make sure that she wouldn't run off with the franchise's secrets. "When [director and co-writer] Chris Nolan gave me the script, he said, 'She's not quite finished yet,' " Gyllenhaal says of the character. "So I read it, and I had a lot of ideas about ways that I thought that she could be stronger. And he was very open and collaborative and interested. In that first preliminary conversation, a lot of things that we talked about ended up in the movie. It was really trying to find a way that I was absolutely in love with Harvey Dent and absolutely in love with Bruce Wayne, the ways I found them both honorable, ethical, moral men and the ways that I had problems with their ethics and morals."

Gyllenhaal has earned two Golden Globe nominations -- for roles as the masochistic new hire in "Secretary" and the heroin-addicted mother in "Sherrybaby" -- and appeared in bigger budget fare like "Stranger Than Fiction" and "World Trade Center."

"When I started acting [in 2000], you could make an independent movie for $5 million and pretty easily get it financed with one sort-of-known actor in it," she recalls. "That is not true anymore unless you're making broad comedy or thriller or horror films. I've been thinking about how to get the things that are interesting to me made. So at the moment, I'm getting interested in what I guess you would call producing."

Rather than struggling to strike balance in her life as a new mother and an actress, she's integrating the two. She recently wrapped another high-profile project, director Sam Mendes' "Farlanders," a comedy about a couple in search of the perfect place to raise a baby. "I got to set my first day and I thought, 'I haven't worked in a long time. I've just been with my daughter,' " Gyllenhaal says. "And in the scene, I was acting with a 4-year-old and an 11-month-old. So there were two 11-month-old twins, and they were hysterical the entire day. And so I ended up mommying. You know, the calming, the baby bouncing, giving the baby its pacifier."

She smiles, calm and a little sleep-deprived. "If I weren't a mom, I never would have been able to do it."

Offline Meryl

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #34 on: July 17, 2008, 07:15:09 pm »
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.
Ich bin ein Brokie...

Offline Ellemeno

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #35 on: July 18, 2008, 03:09:38 am »
"With Ennis Del Mar, the young actor delivered a performance so stunning and true that we’ll never be able to quit him."

Thanks very, very much for posting, Meryl.  :-*

Offline Penthesilea

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #36 on: July 18, 2008, 03:43:43 am »
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

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 author of the article already had me at the headline. And it only got better while reading.
At the blue part, I thought, finally someone gets it!


Thanks so much Meryl for posting :-*.
I think this should also be posted in the Brokeback Mountain Resources Forum, it clearly belongs there, IMO. Would you, Meryl?
Oh, and I'll also post a referring link to your post on HHH.

Offline southendmd

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #37 on: July 18, 2008, 04:13:18 am »
OK, I saw the 12:01AM show tonight.  SPOILERS ahead, perhaps...


You've been warned....



It's almost 4AM here, so the following will be less than coherent.

Like I said at the Culture Tent, after the first few moments of recognizing little Heath quirks (mostly his mouth), I stopped seeing Heath and only saw the Joker.  It is an amazing performance; he somehow goes beyond caricature so typical of this type of villain.  While sadistic, he also supplies the only comic relief in an otherwise pretty dour film.  

I am a confirmed wimp when it comes to violence in films, and this was way over the top for me.  I actually thought of walking out a few times.  The PG-13 rating is an absolute travesty, in my opinion.  Even though there may not be much in the way of gore, I squirmed through most of the thing.

I found Christian Bale pretty stiff, and his Batman voice was an annoying loud whisper.  I didn't detect much internal conflict in this performance.  Gary Oldman acted circles around the rest of the main characters.  Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman were delightful, and contrasted Batman/Bruce's lack of personality.  Maggie was OK; I can't say much about Aaron Eckhart other than I liked his hair.  

Heath had relatively little screen time.  If there's an Oscar nomination, I would think it would be for supporting actor.  

The so-called "tribute" during the credits was no more than a simple "In memory of Heath Ledger" and the fellow who died in an accident.  

Sorry to be so negative, it's just not my kind of film.  

I appreciated Heath's performance, but I will prefer to remember him as Ennis. 

I'll be very interested in other Brokies' opinions.

Paul

Offline Penthesilea

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #38 on: July 18, 2008, 04:30:28 am »
I already replied to your comment on the other TDK thread; I'm following you around the board this morning  ;D



Heath had relatively little screen time.  

Now this is a surprise. After all the hoopla, all the marketing campaigns centering around the Joker, I would have awaited that he is (almost) as much the central figure of the movie as Batman is, with plenty of screen time.



Quote
I appreciated Heath's performance, but I will prefer to remember him as Ennis. 

Without having seen TDK (obviously), I think many of us will agree with you.

Offline southendmd

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #39 on: July 18, 2008, 09:27:02 am »
Well, at least no nightmares!  Of course, I only had about 3 hours of sleep.

I think my experience was tainted by the environment as well.  I hate being herded like cattle along with hundreds of other moviegoers; it started about 20 minutes late; it was unnecessarily hot in the theatre; we had to sit through trailers for every action film coming out in the next decade; and the film itself is l-o-n-g, about 2 1/2 hours.

Chrissi, Heath's screen time was relatively short, in minutes at least.  But, boy, it was quality time.  I think some reviewer mentioned that the film drags when Heath is not on-screen and I would definitely agree. 

His accent is bizarre (I'm sure you've seen the clips), he does this thing with his tongue that adds to his creepiness.  He has one costume change that is hilarious.  Funny, I don't want to spoil it!

The Joker embraces anarchy, and violence for its own sake, and so does the film.  Probably why I didn't really like it.

But hey, lotsa stuff blows up, and there's a Mad Max-like chase scene.