Author Topic: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!  (Read 52220 times)

Offline optom3

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #50 on: July 19, 2008, 10:01:23 am »
His accent reminded me of his Skip Engblom accent in The Lords of Dogtown. It seemed to be a variation on that.

One review I read (from the Boston Globe, I think...) said the lip-licking thing reminded him of patients who are on anti-depressants. Paul, any comment on that?

L

Patients on some anti-depressants do lick their lips a lot, because the meds make your whole mouth so dry.Itis also one of the Tourettes syndrome tics. The new meds I am on I have to permanantly have a chapstick with me.I guess maybe Heath tok the gesture and magnified it.

Offline MaineWriter

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #51 on: July 19, 2008, 10:51:16 am »
One of the games I play with myself is to try to find the movie review I would have written, if I wrote movie reviews. I think this one for The Dark Knight from the Wall Street Journal comes pretty close:

Ledger Dazzles in Suffocatingly Dark 'Knight'
Batman vs. Moral Murk;


July 18, 2008; Page W1

Toward the end of "The Dark Knight," the Joker -- the movie's animating force, thanks to a startling performance by the late Heath Ledger -- sets up what he calls a social experiment that's meant to show the malign essence of human nature. (The outcome may or may not surprise you.) The whole movie is a social experiment on a global scale, an ambitious, lavish attempt to see if audiences will turn out for a comic-book epic that goes beyond darkness into Stygian bleakness, grim paradox, endless betrayals and pervasive corruption. All of the early signs -- not just the ritual ravings of fanboys -- say that vast numbers of people will. But they may sustain lots more punishment than they signed up for. Christopher Nolan's latest exploration of the Batman mythology steeps its muddled plot in so much murk that the Joker's maniacal nihilism comes to seem like a recurrent grace note.

A great deal of the anticipation surrounding the film has sprung from the hope that Heath Ledger's role in it (his penultimate performance, since he'll be seen in a Terry Gilliam film scheduled for next year) would turn out to be something memorable. That hope has been rewarded more fully than anyone familiar with his previous work might have imagined.

His portrait of the Joker owes nothing to Jack Nicholson, even though that in itself is hard to imagine. This knife-wielding psychopath isn't jaunty, but hunched and frowzy. His mirthless grin isn't fixed, but the lipstick smear of a crazy street lady. He moves with Peter Lorre's furtiveness, speaks in a bright, crisp voice that seems to channel Jack Lemmon, and licks his scarred chops with a frequency that suggests heavy doses of anti-depressives. If the stories he tells about those scars are contradictory, they are never less than creepily entertaining. He's the best-written character in the script, but it's Ledger's eerie fervor that plumbs the depths of the Joker's derangement.

Elsewhere in the film, entertainment is a function of one's appetite for shock (the elaborate action sequences are pounding but arrhythmic, like extended cardiac seizures) and a kind of awe at the spectacle of a city seized by unremitting evil. The Gotham City of Mr. Nolan's "Batman Begins" was no slouch as sinkholes go, but "The Dark Knight" turns it into a moral Sargasso. ("This town," the Joker jokes, "deserves a better class of criminals.")

There's never any doubt about the movie's deadly seriousness, or its airless complexity. The script, which the director wrote with his brother, Jonathan Nolan, could be the syllabus for a civics class in a dark-matter universe. Every motive is mixed. Every effort to banish criminals has unintended consequences. Batman's psychic scars are mirrored by those of the Joker, while his lofty ambitions and grievous failings find their counterparts in Harvey Dent. He's the tight-jawed district attorney played by Aaron Eckhart, who also plays the hideously, and finally tediously, deformed Two-Face. (Both of those incarnations flip a coin fatefully in the fashion of Javier Bardem's monster in "No Country For Old Men," except that this coin has two heads, so what's the point?)

The Dark Knight of the title is played, as in "Batman Begins," by Christian Bale, an actor of such intensity that his smolder would be another star's blaze. Maggie Gyllenhaal is a welcome replacement for Katie Holmes as the assistant D.A. Rachel Dawes, but Rachel remains a hard case to care about because her feelings for Harvey and Bruce Wayne are so fraught with ambiguity.

Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman are back as, respectively, Bruce's butler and the CEO of his business empire. So is Gary Oldman as the upright police lieutenant Jim Gordon. The production outbonds Bond with technology that includes a new Batsuit made of titanium-dipped triweave fiber (so Bruce can turn his head), a two-wheeled vehicle called a Bat-Pod (they couldn't call it an iPod and they didn't want to call it a motorcycle) and a new Batmobile that looks to be less than brilliant when it comes to gas mileage. Quick shots of the control panel show two of the car's operating modes to be Loiter and Intimidate. The movie's main mode is Suffocate.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121632327909562803.html
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Offline southendmd

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #52 on: July 19, 2008, 11:14:04 am »
Thanks for the WSJ review, Leslie. 

I thought the Joker's licking his lips was more lascivious and disgusgting than anything else.  But, sure, some antidepressants cause dry mouth, but so do a whole lot of other medications, including stimulants (more in keeping with the Joker) and anticholinergics.  Why single out antidepressants?

While I seldom use the word "Stygian", I mostly like this review too. :)

I didn't get CB's "smolder" however.  He has such a distinctive mouth and manner of speaking (especially the "s" sound), it's kind of ridiculous nobody would know Bruce was Batman.  That "Darth Vader" voice was more silly than disguise.

Mikaela, I always dread going to see violent films.  While the comic book origins didn't make it any less horrific for me, at least one can often tell when something awful was going to happen, and one could avert the eyes.  I'd like to think I'm not desensitized to this stuff.  I only watched it for Heath, and I'm not likely to see it again.  At least no nightmares for me. 

Paul

Offline MaineWriter

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #53 on: July 19, 2008, 11:21:11 am »
Why single out antidepressants? Good question. Frankly, I can't see the Joker strolling into a doctor's office to get a prescription for anything, so I doubt he is on anything except is his maniacal lunacy.

Stephanie Zackarack (sp?) from Salon gave The Dark Knight a pretty nasty review. All the fanboys jumped all over her (and anyone else who happens to breathe a negative word for their precious Batman). LOL. She didn't like Brokeback Mountain, either. Does that woman like any movie at all?

L
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Marge_Innavera

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #54 on: July 19, 2008, 03:25:00 pm »
I'm planning to see TDK next week, so can't comment on the film itself as yet. Heath will be the only reason I'm seeing it -- I haven't seen any of the other Batman movies; never watched the TV show; never read the comic books. (which makes me a "batvirgin", I'd guess   ;D  )  One thing that intrigues me is that so many reviews have not only praised Heath's performance but remarked that he makes the Joker a seriously evil character -- a kind of sociopathic anarchist -- more than a comic-book bad guy.


In the meantime, Time reported a boxoffice record today:

Dark Knight One Day, B.O. Records
By David Germain/AP

(LOS ANGELES) Batman's joust with the Joker has set another box office record.

Stoked by fan fever over the manic performance of the late Heath Ledger as the Joker, The Dark Knight set a one-day box office record with $66.4 million on opening day, Warner Bros. head of distribution Dan Fellman said Saturday.

The movie's Friday haul surpassed the previous record of $59.8 million set last year by Spider-Man 3. The Dark Knight might break the opening-weekend record of $151.1 million, also held by Spider-Man 3.  "I think they're in jeopardy," Fellman said of the Spider-Man 3 records.

The Dark Knight began with a record $18.5 million from midnight screenings, topping the previous high of $16.9 million for Star Wars: Episode III The Revenge of the Sith.

The opening day grosses for The Dark Knight far exceeded the full weekend haul of its predecessor, Batman Begins, which took in $48.7 million in its first three days in 2005.

Reviews were excellent for director Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins, but they were stellar for his Dark Knight.  "We've really never seen anything like this," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media By Numbers. "The death of a fine actor taken in his prime, a legendary performance, and a movie that lives up to all the hype. That all combined to create these record-breaking numbers."

Buzz had been high for the Batman sequel well before Ledger died of an accidental prescription-drug overdose in January. Trailers last fall revealing Ledger's demented Joker, with crooked clown makeup, turned up the heat even more. The critical acclaim over his performance that built from advance screenings left fans in a frenzy.

"It's a combination of things. Certainly, that's a great part of it, but I think this movie's gross was partly because of the reviews it received and the incredible buzz and word of mouth that preceded it with our early screenings," Fellman said. "And the success and quality of the last one, Batman Begins, delivered by Chris Nolan just set the tone for the opening of this movie."

The Dark Knight reunites Christian Bale as Batman, the vigilante crime-fighter tormented by personal tragedy, and co-stars Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman. Maggie Gyllenhaal also stars.

The film spins an epic crime duel as Ledger's Joker orchestrates a reign of terror on the city of Gotham aimed to spread chaos and break down the restraint that keeps Batman on the right side of the law.

While critics are taking the film seriously enough to suggest Ledger could be in line for an Academy Award nomination, the action-packed movie also delivers as pure summer movie escapism.

"If you're worried about mortgage payments and gas prices, when you're sitting in The Dark Knight for two and a half hours, you're not thinking about any of that stuff," Dergarabedian said.

Offline optom3

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #55 on: July 19, 2008, 07:47:04 pm »
Well my husband, and in the end both sons went to see TDK. Very mixed reviews from all 3 of them. Matt who I was very against letting see it, was not remotely scared.He was the only one who really loved it.He liked every bit and wants to go and see it again.
My oldest son says the film was just O.K but he had to agree that Heath was amazing.My husband said without Heath it would be just average.
Husband and oldest son think Heath should get nominated, at least for best supporting actor,but don't think the flm should be nominated.
So a very mixed bag.
I was surprised my younger son wasn't scared but he just took it all at face value.My husband said a lot of the violence was implied and both him and the older son weremore disturbed by that, than the youngest.
They all said Heath was not on the screen enough and that he basically carried the movie. Interestingly they also all said it would be madness to do a 3rd batman as no one was going to be able to top Heaths' joker.But also that no other villain could top the joker.

Offline tamarack

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #56 on: July 19, 2008, 09:04:34 pm »
I watched Batman Begins last night, which was a good thing because I didn't remember much of any of it from the first time I saw it, but it left me totally primed to see Heath today. I can only reiterate what others have said here...it was all about Heath for me. I would have seen the movie eventually, but I would have gotten it from Netflix if Heath hadn't been in it. It was all about waiting for him to be back on the screen, as far as I'm concerned.

I was SO glad to leave the theater with the opinion that there is no reason to think that this movie had anything to do with his death. He looked like a big kid who was having a whole lot of fun! When he was driving the semi and he said "I like this job. I like it I like it," (at least I think that's what he said) I could imagine that he was talking about the job of acting. I loved the lip-licking and smacking (are you seriously thinking that he wasn't acting, that he really had dry mouth, or just discussing it because it was mentioned in the review?).

I almost felt sorry for him for a minute when he was describing how his father had given him the smile, but then, of course, the story changed the next time he told it...LOL

Loved the nurse's uniform! Loved the hand sanitizer! Loved the standing up and then falling down after the semi flipped! He's so adept physically.

The scariest thing I saw was a little boy with his Batman figurine waiting for his mom to buy popcorn so they could go to see the movie!

Offline Ellemeno

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #57 on: July 19, 2008, 10:09:25 pm »
Saw it.

And what Leslie said applied, that the violence was so comic-booky, that it mostly didn't get to me.  That was a huge relief.  If Heath wasn't on the screen, I simply closed my eyes during rough scenes.  If Heath was on the screen, I made a little viewing hole with my hands, and just watched his face, and avoided the rest of the screen.  But mostly, it wasn't what I had dreaded, not by a long shot, because it was clearly fake.

I felt pretty detached from the story much of the time, as I often do when I somehow wind up watching action films.  Like it's just so over the top that I can't suspend disbelief, so my emotional engagement with the story and characters doesn't kick in.  I don't think I ever really forgot I was watching a movie.  I'm definitely not its intended demographic.  EXCEPT that I'm a Heathen.  And there they got me good.

It was a joy to see Heath, and to just watch him, and watch for him in his movements, sounds, mannerisms, etc.  He had a surprising number of monologues, where it's just him and maybe one other character, and we get to listen to and look at him for a while.  It must have been a blast to go full throttle like that.

I don't know if it was an Oscar-worthy performance.  Or rather, I don't know if it was an Oscar-worthy role.  He did great, he stole the show, but it sure wasn't Ennis, or even, no offense, Capote.  I didn't think he was scary, but maybe that's because I was sitting there loving him, I went there to sit and love him.

I'm glad he was happy making it.



Offline ednbarby

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #58 on: July 19, 2008, 10:16:45 pm »
I've taken anti-depressants for six years.  I don't lick my lips much at all.

Saw the movie last night.  It was mind-blowing.  It's very rare that a movie surprises me.  This one did more than once.  I actually said the words "Oh, my God" out loud.  A few times.  I don't do that while watching movies.  Hell, I don't do that in everyday life.

It wasn't difficult watching Heath.  It was a joy - pure, unadulterated joy.  I wanted to applaud after every one of his scenes - and come to think of it, I probably did.  Along with most of the other people in the theater.  And not because he's gone.  I actually forgot that - believe it or not - until the end, when my heart stopped watching what I knew was his final scene in the movie when I realized that I wouldn't get to look forward to watching him reprise it, and improve upon perfection, in a few years.

That's what he could do - he could make me laugh while horrifying me.  He could horrify me while making me laugh.

The scene that resonates with me the most is the one in which he said to someone he was about to torturously kill, "Look at me.  LOOK. AT. ME."  That second one made the hair on the back of my neck stand up (and elicited one of my many oh-my-Gods).  The voice that came out of him then was unlike anything I could have conjured up in any of my worst night terrors.

He was The Shit.  The Absolute Shit.
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Offline Ellemeno

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Re: The Dark Knight: News, Reviews, your Views. "SPOILERS" welcome!
« Reply #59 on: July 19, 2008, 10:22:46 pm »
I was very glad I had read the list of violent moments on the kids-in-mind site before going to TDK, because it helped me recognize moments to close my eyes before something gross happened.  Like when The Joker stabs a pencil down into a table top, I closed my eyes right away, because I had read about the moment that was coming after that, and knew I didn't want that image in my memory.