PDA

View Full Version : The Dark Knight (SPOILERS)



Glom
2008-Jul-25, 10:48 AM
It is very good... and very loud (or maybe that was just the seats we had).

Anyway, I think I prefer the first one more though. I suspected this to be the case before seeing the movie that the second one would be about just events in Gotham whereas the first one was about the birth of the Batman. The journey of that creation was enamouring, while this is just another-day-in-the-life of the nutter in the Fathers-4-Justice outfit.

On a similar note, the mystique of the Batman was somewhat eroded in this film. That's a consequence of him becoming all too familiar to the people of Gotham. They know him now (even if not his true identity) and so becomes less scary. Because of the novelty value of the Bat, he can truly be terrifying. As Ducard said in the first film, "You have to become more than just a man, you have to become an idea." Only Gordon really saw him up close while he was caped crusading but here he hangs out in well lit car parks, visits nightclubs and participates in police interrogations. Even if no-one knows who the man is, he has become just a man.Compare that to the first crime fighting sequence in the first film when he attacks the drugs drop-off. A monster in the dark he was. If you were a bad guy, you'd be cacking yourself.

So the idea-over-man concept is gone, which leaves Batman's power to the fact that he's just damned good at his job. Too good in fact. We've seen he has skill and we know where's he got it from. But his capabilities seem somewhat more superhuman since the last film. I'm paricularly thinking when he took out the SWATs in the Joker's climactic hostage situation. When dealing with trained and armed army, the level of swiftness and coordination amidst all the tumble seemed to be stretching the credibility a bit. The actions scenes in the first film were not quite so challenging.

Heath Ledger was captivating as the Joker. He clearly has the funniest lines and moments, but the performance is such that the giggles and smiles only mask the dread we feel at what evil the character is capable of. It doesn't replace it. Even the scene in the hospital when he is dressed up as a nurse, the Joker remains terrifying despite - or perhaps even because of - the humourous aspects. To get that balance between sinister and funny is incredible difficult, but Ledger got it spot on. Compare that Batman Forever where Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey camped it up beyond belief. I was very entertained by their performances, but not frightened. With the Joker, I was chilled. A post-humous Oscar would be well deserved.

And then there's Aaron Eckhart. I'm not normally much of a fan of his, but he was unquestionably brilliant here. Having seen Batman Forever just last week, I couldn't help but compare the handling of Two-Face in these two versions. Tommy Lee Jones's character was just a camp sideshow. Entertaining sure, but Eckhart's character is someone we care about. In Forever the origins of Two-Face was explained in a throwaway moment which said something about him being injured and blaming Batman for some reason. Who knows? Here, we're given a better reason and a reason to connect with his eventual insanity, the whole Rachel thing and all. I liked the way rather than making Harvey Dent some random lawyer, they made him a Gotham hero, thereby adding to the tragedy of his fall. Although I think the way it ends does justice to the story, I was a little disappointed they killed him off so quickly. I was half expecting they were setting up the villain for the next film.

Of course, the make-up/special effects for Two-Face's make up is outstanding. Tommy Lee Jones was done up like he was going to a fancy dress party. Aaron Eckhart does look like half his face has been ripped off. The scenes of him with his face pressed up against a leaking diesel drum looked a bit cheesy though.

On underused characters, I liked the return of Cillian Murphy as Scarecrow but was disappointed he was so insignificant. His insanity also meant that the intelligent malevolence of the Crane character was gone. Michael Caine wasn't as well used this time either and Batman as well has fallen into the Tim Burton trap of getting pushed off centre stage in favour of the bad guys. For more on that, see my first point.

Disinfo Agent
2008-Jul-25, 02:18 PM
There have been some posts about it in another thread (http://www.bautforum.com/off-topic-babbling/69451-heath-ledger-rip-2.html#post1286143).

antoniseb
2008-Jul-25, 02:27 PM
I'm trying to recall whether any of the nighttime scenes showed stars. Perhaps in the seen with the two ferries on the harbor. Did anyone identify specific constellations to tip off what time of year the story was happening in?

Jason
2008-Jul-25, 04:49 PM
I suspected this to be the case before seeing the movie that the second one would be about just events in Gotham whereas the first one was about the birth of the Batman.And Hong Kong.


The journey of that creation was enamouring, while this is just another-day-in-the-life of the nutter in the Fathers-4-Justice outfit.Not quite. It was almost Batman's swan song - he was getting ready to hang up the cape and let Harvey Dent be the city's protector. Then the Joker happened, showing that Batman had escalated things by his very appearance and would be necessary.


On a similar note, the mystique of the Batman was somewhat eroded in this film. That's a consequence of him becoming all too familiar to the people of Gotham. They know him now (even if not his true identity) and so becomes less scary.I think criminals in the movie are just as scared of him as they were in the first movie. The Joker mentions how they are being careful to meet in the middle of the day.


But his capabilities seem somewhat more superhuman since the last film. I'm paricularly thinking when he took out the SWATs in the Joker's climactic hostage situation. When dealing with trained and armed army, the level of swiftness and coordination amidst all the tumble seemed to be stretching the credibility a bit. The actions scenes in the first film were not quite so challenging.He's gotten better over time, and he had a detailed real-time tactical map of exactly where the SWAT team and hostages were.


Heath Ledger was captivating as the Joker. He clearly has the funniest lines and moments, but the performance is such that the giggles and smiles only mask the dread we feel at what evil the character is capable of. It doesn't replace it. Even the scene in the hospital when he is dressed up as a nurse, the Joker remains terrifying despite - or perhaps even because of - the humourous aspects. To get that balance between sinister and funny is incredible difficult, but Ledger got it spot on.Yeah - there's a whole thread about it.


Although I think the way it ends does justice to the story, I was a little disappointed they killed him off so quickly. I was half expecting they were setting up the villain for the next film.Eckhart has signed on for the sequel, so Harvey may not be actually dead.


The scenes of him with his face pressed up against a leaking diesel drum looked a bit cheesy though.It was on the floor with gasoline leaking around him. I thought they were horrifying, because I knew what was coming next.


On underused characters, I liked the return of Cillian Murphy as Scarecrow but was disappointed he was so insignificant. His insanity also meant that the intelligent malevolence of the Crane character was gone.Scarecrow was pretty insignificant here. But then, once you have the antidote to his fear toxin he's just a guy in a mask.


Michael Caine wasn't as well used this time either and Batman as well has fallen into the Tim Burton trap of getting pushed off centre stage in favour of the bad guys. For more on that, see my first point.I thought Michael Caine was just fine, and Morgan Freeman got some great lines. The minor charactor who really got to shine this time was Gary Oldman as Gordon.

Gillianren
2008-Jul-25, 04:54 PM
I think Gotham probably has too much light pollution.

I seriously liked it better than any other superhero movie I've ever seen. Batman Begins was good, but I really think The Dark Knight was great. I don't use the term "instant classic," because I don't think you can know this soon how well a film will age. Maybe in fifteen years, I will look back and wonder why I thought it was so great. However, right now, I am still pretty floored.

I don't think this one was all about the villains. I think it was a study in the contrast between good and evil. Batman lets bad things happen to people, but he never kills. He even tries to avoid people getting killed around him, hence protecting those idiots at the beginning of the movie. On the other hand, there's the Joker, who is chaos personified. (And, yes, Heath Ledger deserves a posthumous nomination; I can't say to win until later in the year.) In fact, there is more of a spectrum--Harvey Dent as he's seen by Gotham to Harvey Dent as he is to Batman to Harvey Dent as he becomes to the Joker. Everyone in the movie falls somewhere between the idealized Harvey Dent and the Joker. And I think it's important when we discover that the idealized Harvey Dent is not necessarily the real Harvey Dent.

I was also impressed by the Becoming of Two-Face. It saddened me, in Batman Forever (which I wanted to like because I'm a Val Kilmer fan), when they camped up Two-Face. Especially because I think Tommy Lee Jones is a talented actor capable of doing a proper job. (I don't think Jim Carrey could have done a proper Riddler.) This, however, was a Two-Face whose origin I could follow. I wasn't best pleased by the makeup--severe burns don't look like that; my sister's best friend has them--but I thought the character was done very well indeed. And I do like Aaron Eckhart.

I'm not often scared by movies, and I don't think I was really scared by this one. However, let's say "chilled" instead. And amazed--I wrote a seven-paragraph review of it instead of my usual five.

HenrikOlsen
2008-Jul-25, 07:08 PM
I wasn't best pleased by the makeup--severe burns don't look like that; my sister's best friend has them--
I'm almost afraid to ask, did you see her burns before they healed and is that what you're comparing with?

Two-face definitely didn't have time to heal to simply scarred before the last part of the movie.

I admittedly didn't see a good copy, but what I saw had his face looking the dark color of scabbed over wounds rather than scarring, something I can recognize from the time I got close to burning my face off.

Hints to other guys:

if you want to to the firebreathing trick don't wear a full beard
if you do wear a full beard at least wipe your mouth between each firebreath so your beard don't get completely soaked
if you forget even that at least do it where people drink beer in pint glasses so they have something with which to extinguish you.

I missed all but no. 3, never been so happy to have people throw beer in my face before or after.

Gillianren
2008-Jul-25, 07:44 PM
Her skin looked melted.

The Supreme Canuck
2008-Jul-25, 10:18 PM
Yeah, Christopher Nolan has said that they considered going more realistic with the makeup, but that the result was too disturbing. I think it would have been better if they went with the realism.

mugaliens
2008-Jul-26, 11:10 AM
It is very good... and very loud (or maybe that was just the seats we had).

Could have been me. I was banging pots and pans with a hammer just to accentuate the soundtrack.

Sorry.

Seriously...

I saw it last night. Don't know if the theaters in the states had an intermission (it's 152 min long), but they did over here. The first half was so-so. The second half is the movie. If they'd compressed the first hour and twenty minutes into a five minute intro, everyone would still have gotten it and the movie would have been just as good.

Definately an entertaining flick! If they don't have an intermission, you might want to bring a piddle pack.

tdvance
2008-Jul-26, 03:31 PM
Theaters in the US generally sell HUGE buckets of popcorn and drinks--you order a "small" and it is what McDonalds considers "large",and even so, the salesperson might say, "but a large is only 25 cents more--are you sure?". Given that, sometimes there's an intermission (like with Titanic), but not usually. I have no idea about Dark Night which I've not watched yet (the theaters still being a bit crowded and you needing to buy in advance).

Gillianren
2008-Jul-26, 05:58 PM
The only time I've ever been to a movie in the US that had an intermission was when I saw Fellowship of the Ring in the old-fashioned movie house downtown. When I saw Return of the King at a multiplex, it did not have an intermission.

tdvance
2008-Jul-26, 06:32 PM
so that's what "piddle" means...and here when I was in England, I drank a beer called "Piddlin' hole". Actually, it was pretty good.

HenrikOlsen
2008-Jul-26, 09:15 PM
Piddling as a verb is peeing, piddling as adjective is insignificantly small.

Tobin Dax
2008-Jul-26, 11:25 PM
I'm almost afraid to ask, did you see her burns before they healed and is that what you're comparing with?

Two-face definitely didn't have time to heal to simply scarred before the last part of the movie.

I know that Two-Face didn't have time to heal, but his scarring was unrealistic. I'm no expert, but severe burns should look more like Gillian is thinking than the movie's take. Exposing as much as they did was over the top and unnecessary, IMO. Everything else they've done in these two movies is pretty much realistic (or tries to be), but this was just for effect.

Van Rijn
2008-Jul-26, 11:48 PM
The only time I've ever been to a movie in the US that had an intermission was when I saw Fellowship of the Ring in the old-fashioned movie house downtown. When I saw Return of the King at a multiplex, it did not have an intermission.

Intermissions used to be more common. These days, people usually go to watch one feature movie that often isn't more than an hour and a half long, so it isn't that big a deal. I suppose no intermission means they can fit in more movies during the day. Still, for a three hour movie there really should be an intermission, but there were none for all three of the LOTR movies that I saw.

Delvo
2008-Jul-28, 12:59 AM
I know that Two-Face didn't have time to heal, but his scarring was unrealistic. I'm no expert, but severe burns should look more like Gillian is thinking than the movie's take. Exposing as much as they did was over the top and unnecessary, IMO.It wasn't just a matter of over-the-top style. It was bad astronomy's counterpart, Bad Biology. The skin was gone and so were some muscles, so even if the blood vessels that normally serve those parts were sealed, infection would have developed pretty rapidly without the skin's protection of the internal stuff, even from mundane microbes we all touch every day and don't notice because they don't do anything to someone who has skin. With the cheek missing, including its muscles, he would have had neither the sound chamber nor the control over his lips to speak, and would have needed to use a straw with its end way back at the back of his mouth to consume liquids, with solids being out of the question. With his mouth unable to really close, it would have dehydrated, followed by his throat, which would not be good for the health and function of the rest of the digestive and possibly respiratory systems, and his remaining salivary glands would have swollen and konked out from the strain of trying to keep up with the loss rate, like goiters. The same might happen to his sinuses if too much was exposed in that area, but I didn't catch whether that was the case or not. Also, even just half of the face contains a pretty large percentage of the body's nerves, and no matter how much you can consciously tolerate the pain, a really large amount of it like that would have physiological effects on the rest of the nervous and endocrine systems, which would have more symptoms in all of the other systems than I can name but essentially means he wouldn't be functioning, including being able to coordinate walking and gun-pointing and such. (People have died from these responses to pain alone.) But the worst of all might have been the eye, even aside from the question of how it escaped burning; with some of the muscles around it missing or severed, he wouldn't have been able to control what direction it was looking, and without lids to blink with every few seconds, it would have dried up like a raisin.

Torsten
2008-Jul-28, 02:35 AM
We have to suspend our disbelief for all those unrealistic action scenes, the generally bizarre premise of the superhero character, the villians, etc. I quite happily did so for the bad biology too.

Jason
2008-Jul-28, 03:20 AM
He's actually fairly close to how Two-Face is drawn at times.

Tobin Dax
2008-Jul-28, 04:30 AM
Delvo, I almost mentioned infection in my post. That kept bugging me for the last part of the film. This just seemed like one of those things that shouldn't be too fantastic, and my suspension of disbelief found its limit there.

Come to think of it, this is one the reasons I don't like an unaltered Chicago as Gotham City. The slight fantastic elements of the city weren't used again. It's not just visual continuity, it's suspension of disbelief. I couldn't do it with a well-known U.S. city as the backdrop. The setting of a movie is as important as everything else in accepting the fantastic elements, and the realism this time just made Two-Face's look that much harder to swallow.

geonuc
2008-Jul-28, 11:06 AM
I was a little disappointed with the movie. Oh, I was good - really good, in fact. But given the raves, I was expecting to leave the theater with a sense of awe and that didn't happen at all. Heath Ledger rocked.

As to Harvey Dent's burn injury - that was so over the top as to be ridiculous.

Neverfly
2008-Jul-28, 11:13 AM
As to Harvey Dent's burn injury - that was so over the top as to be ridiculous.

In all fairness, it seems to be consistent with comic drawings...
http://www.beyondhollywood.com/stillsx/2008/03/two-face-batman.JPG

geonuc
2008-Jul-28, 11:17 AM
Um, good point. I retract my criticism.

Neverfly
2008-Jul-28, 11:22 AM
Um, good point. I retract my criticism.

Well.. That wasn't quite how I meant it...
Granted, I was being fair but, that doesn't mean that the movie had to go all out unscientific just because a comic book illustrator did.

It can still be ridiculous.

geonuc
2008-Jul-28, 11:26 AM
Well.. That wasn't quite how I meant it...
Granted, I was being fair but, that doesn't mean that the movie had to go all out unscientific just because a comic book illustrator did.

It can still be ridiculous.
But it's still good to know that the movie accurately depicted the comic.

Tobin Dax
2008-Jul-28, 07:51 PM
In all fairness, it seems to be consistent with comic drawings...
[pic removed]
Now, that's okay. That's more or less what should have been done, but the movie version was more than that, and it was unnecessary and unrealistic. Okay, that's not wholly realistic, but it's enough so that I can suspend disbelief.

sarongsong
2008-Sep-11, 06:57 PM
"If at first you do succeed..."
September 11, 2008
Warner Bros...plans to rerelease its blockbuster Batman sequel in January, the height of Academy Awards voting season...would help assure its topping $1 billion worldwide...
Hollywood Reporter (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3iaad57ccf4b9889b671f3d23a179e9704?imw=Y)

Gillianren
2008-Sep-11, 07:25 PM
Actually, January releases are generally bad signs. December releases are a sign of quality, but January releases are ineligible for the awards.

Romanus
2008-Sep-11, 11:07 PM
Since I missed this thread the first time, I'm taking my turn for a shameless "This is the best comic book movie I've ever seen" plug, in spite of considering the first two Superman movies and Burton's 1989 Batman top-ten favorites.

Tragic as Ledger's death was, I can't think of a finer performance to be remembered by, least of all in a summer blockbuster. I do believe he's made the act impossible to follow, though.