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The Dark Knight thread.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by peyjenk, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. peyjenk

    peyjenk Well-Known Member

    So I just returned from watching The Dark Knight and it was the best Batman movie I've ever seen (and I've seen 'em all, ladies and gentlemen). I expected Heath Ledger to be great after all the buzz, but Aaron Eckhart was a terrific surprise. They brought a lot of depth and vitality to the Joker and Dent/Two-Face without being campy or retreading old ground. And Maggie Gyllenhaal was a major improvement over Katie Holmes (who wasn't bad, but lacked Gyllenhaal's maturity; in other words, I would have been fine if Holmes had been there, but I really enjoyed Gyllenhaal's performance). Christian Bale was great again, too, and Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman were their typical wonderful selves.

    Anyway... I'm off to bed, so let's discuss the specifics later.... but what did you guys think?
  2. Pork

    Pork Well-Known Member

    Agreed, the actors were all brilliant. But the Joker creeps me out a little...which is what they were aiming at I'm sure. But eeew, some of it was just creeeeepy.
  3. Count von Count

    Count von Count Well-Known Member

    I want to see it, but the joker is said to be creepy And I don't like creepy.
  4. muppet baby

    muppet baby Well-Known Member

    you know i do not like creppy either but i think i am going to brave it because i have seen all the bat man films and i like them . haha I also just am so courious haha .

  5. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets Well-Known Member

    Have not seen the film but plan on to seeing it. Maybe when it comes out on DVD.
  6. peyjenk

    peyjenk Well-Known Member

    Don't wait for the DVD! You need to see it on the big screen!

    And yes, the Joker is insanely creepy, but it works. I don't know if Heath Ledger lives up to all of the Oscar buzz, but he really is very good and this role is such a departure for him.
  7. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    THANK you peyjenk, for starting this thread! I was getting ready to.

    The Dark Knight was definitely one of the BEST movies I have EVER seen. I has EVERYTHING, a heaping load of action, a good mixture of comedy, some of the best acting I have EVER seen, and even some very, very disturbing stuff.

    Heath Ledger's Joker is, yes, extremely creepy, but he was also AMAZING. Definitely the highlight of the film and, for me, probably the highlight of the summer. His performance was just perfection incarnated, IMHO. It was classic, funny, and downright creepy. It reminded me of Hannibal Lecter, in a way, only the Joker was funnier. I cannot praise Ledger's performance enough and just seeing him is worth the price of the ticket alone. Most definitely Oscar worthy. I'll be very upset if he's not at least nominated for it.

    Of course everyone else in the flim shines through brilliantly. Bale's Batman/Bruce Wayne is a character for the ages. He seemed a lot less... I don't know how to put it... but I definitely liked him better in this film than the first one. I also agree with peyjenk about Gyllenhal's performance being superior to Holmes--but then again, Katie Holmes has always bothered me as an actress. :smirk:

    Another highlight of the film, for me, was Michael Caine as Alfred. I absolutely loved his performance, as I knew I would. Alfred quickly became my favorite character. Caine is just a brilliant actor and deserves all the praise and accolaides and respect he gets. He's just fantastic.

    Morgan Freeman was the same way, as always. He's just such an impressive part of any film he's in, and The Dark Knight was no exception.

    Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon also blew me away. I've never seen Goldman act outside of these Batman films, and he's just awesome. He brings a whole lot of life to his character and really shines through with numerous plot twists and surprises that really impressed me.

    Of course the rest of the cast is just awesome as well, including Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent. That was just great. He really, really impressed me, and I wasn't expecting much at all from him

    So all in all The Dark Knight is definitely worth the watch. Do NOT wait for it to come out on DVD, it's almost a necessity to see on the big screen. I'm already talking about going to see it again today. I saw it first at the midnight showing and it was just so much fun. This movie is highly reccomended to everyone! Sure, Joker's creepy, but it shouldn't be enough to distract you from seeing this incredible film. Everything in it works, and I give it an, honest to goodness, 5/5. I can't think of any faults to it right now, and I really think it deserves the highest praise. Long live Batman! :batty:
  8. Winslow Leach

    Winslow Leach Well-Known Member

    Possible Spoilers!

    I agree: The Dark Knight more than lives up to the hype, and Heath Ledger, in his last completed role, is extraordinary. IMO, this is not only the best Batman film ever, it's also the best super hero movie ever.

    Aaron Eckhart has always been one of my favorite actors, and I'm glad he was cast as Harvey Dent. Eckhart has an impressive filmography, mostly in much smaller films, such as In the Company of Men, Nurse Betty and The Black Dahlia. Here he gives one of his finest performances.

    Maggie Gylenhaal made a fine replacement for Katie Holmes; in fact, she slipped into the character of Rachel so effortlessly, not once did I think "where's Katie Holmes?" The change of actresses did not interrupt the continuity one bit.

    Gary Oldman had much more to do this time around as Gordon, and it's wonderful to see him as the weary lieutenant.

    Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman were perfect, as always.

    And The Joker...IMO, the finest portrayal of the psychotic clown ever committed to celluloid. I was never a fan of Nicholson's "showman" take on the character, bopping around to Prince tunes, and lusting after Kim Basinger. I like Jack Nicholson many of his films, but Jack was essentially reprising his stock crazy characters from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Goin' South and The Shining. His Joker really didn't bring anything new to the table. I know his portrayal is revered by many fans, but I'm not one of them.

    Heath Ledger is a different story. His Joker is a madman with no past or origin (at least in this film); he simply shows up and creates chaos. When confronting a potential victim, he sneeringly asks, "wanna know how I got these scars?" then goes into a tirade about his disfigurement...although each time he tells the story, the tale changes. So we're never clear how exactly he did get those scars.

    Of course, the greasepaint make-up and slimy hair add to the ghoulishness of the character. Everything else, from the voice to the body language to the costume, is perfection.

    Why does the Joker do what he does? Because he enjoys it, plain and simple. "I'm a dog chasing cars," he says at one point. "I don't have plans, I just do things."

    Ledger is frightening, funny and downright creepy. I loved his "magic trick," making a pencil "disappear." And the scene outside the hospital, where he thinks he has a faulty detonator, and his somewhat confused reaction. Plus the fact that he's wearing...well, something other than his trademark suit, makes the sequence all the more amusing.

    The Joker's weapon of choice is a knife. As he explains, "I use a knife because guns are too quick. Otherwise, you can't savor all the emotions. You know who people are in their last moments."

    The cast also features Eric Roberts as the new head of the Falcone crime family, Anthony Michael Hall as an anchorman, and Cillian Murphy in a return appearance as the Scarecrow.

    The very ending of the film is tragic and well-written, with Batman making a sacrifice to clear Harvey's name, and allow the people of Gotham to believe he will always be the city's White Knight. Unlike Begins, the ending seems more closed, and less open to a sequel, although I'm sure Warners already has one planned.

    The film made a record-breaking $18 million on its midnight opening alone, beating the previous record-holder, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

    Christopher Nolan has not only made the greatest Batman film ever, he has also made his best film to date, IMO. Hopefully he'll return for a third installment.

    The Dark Knight is a masterpiece. The crown jewel of super hero films, and the template for future movies in the genre.
  9. Winslow Leach

    Winslow Leach Well-Known Member

    Some Bat trivia:

    If the 1960s Batman TV series (where are the DVDs? c'mon, Warners and Fox, get your act together, and release season sets!) was renewed for another season, the producers were considering adding Two-Face to the Rogue's Gallery. According to Adam West, the TV Harvey Dent/Two-Face would have been an anchorman who is disfigured when a television monitor blows up in his face. The actor the producers wanted? Clint Eastwood.

    Clint was still known primarily as a TV star in America; he was already a movie star in Europe, thanks to his trio of Spaghetti Westerns (Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good the Bad and the Ugly); those films didn't reach America until the late 1960s, so it was probably still possible to snag Clint for Batman.

    BTW, my favorite villain from the show is the Bookworm, a one-shot character played by the late great Roddy McDowell.


    Billy Dee Williams played Dent in Tim Burton's Batman. Williams took the role with the condition that he would get to play Two-Face in the sequel; of course, the Penguin and Catwoman were in the sequel, and Dent didn't appear at all.


    Gary Oldman says Heath Ledger based his portrayal of the Joker partially on Malcolm McDowell in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. Oldman recalls Ledger watching the film several times in his trailer, in between takes.


    Michael Caine was so unnerved by Ledger's Joker, that he actually forgot his lines in one scene.


    On a personal note, I tried to avoid any and all spoilers concerning the film; then one day, about two weeks ago, I was in Walgreen's, and spotted a Pez with a Two-Face head! D'OH! Fortunately that little spoiler, in the most unlikely of places, didn't come close to what the actual character looks like in the film, which is another masterpiece of make-up.
  10. peyjenk

    peyjenk Well-Known Member

    Okay, so I know I've already posted twice, but....

    One thing I particularly liked about this film was the fact that it was more or less an ensemble piece. Neither Bale nor Ledger carried the film, but instead the bulk was equally carried by Bale, Ledger, Caine, Eckhart, Freeman, Oldman, and Gyllenhaal. I liked the fact that they showed the war for Gotham as being carried out on so many fronts, instead of Batman doing all the work while the police and the DA's department sit around and go "Aw, shucks, Batman, thanks for catchin' those bad guys for us!" That was a nice improvement over most (if not all) of the other films in the franchise.

    I also liked the way that they really showed the effects of Batman's presence in Gotham... he's rounding up the thugs, so it's time for the costumed weirdos to show up. In most versions of the Batman "myth" (if you will), the villains just sort of pop up fairly completely formed. I like the cause-and-effect premise of TDK, and then the questions it explores: how much good is too much, where is the line between hero and villain, how do you know if you've crossed it. These are much deeper thoughts than we've ever see before in a Batman production.
  11. Winslow Leach

    Winslow Leach Well-Known Member

    Exactly. In fact, the very question of "do we need a Batman?" is brought up several times.

    I'm glad that Harvey Dent (my favorite character in the books, next to The Joker) had a complete story arc; he wasn't just squeezed in there to appease the fans, a la Venom.
  12. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    That... is awesome. That's a fantastic piece of trivia, Tony, thanks for sharing it.
  13. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    I, too, loved Mr. J's disappearing pencil trick ... as well as the ironic gag of a fire truck on fire.

    Spoilers ... kinda...

    Why am I using the label, "Mr. J", you ask? My only irritation ... Harley (or the lack thereof). Not even some random blonde chick. Though, I never could identify the name on Mr. J's name tag during his unusual costume scene. I guess that's as close as we were going to get. He didn't even puddin', if I recall. :mad:
  14. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    Oh yes, yes, yes! ! ! Both of those things were SO awesome! Especially the pencil trick--just spectacular! I'd almost forgotten about the fire truck, I really liked that part when it happened. Too funny.
  15. Count von Count

    Count von Count Well-Known Member

    Or a even bigger screen, Imax. I whould go see it there.
  16. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets Well-Known Member

    I don't think I'll be able to make it.:(

    But on an awesome note, it's the top single day gross of any movie in the history of cinema with 66 million!
  17. Winslow Leach

    Winslow Leach Well-Known Member

    Sure, Ryan, no problem!:)
  18. Winslow Leach

    Winslow Leach Well-Known Member

    I thought Rachel's name was on the tag, no? It was shown so fleetingly, but I'm pretty sure it said Rachel Dawes. The Joker is also wearing a Harvey Dent sticker/campaign button in that scene, lol!
  19. Winslow Leach

    Winslow Leach Well-Known Member



    The Dark Knight is currently #1 on the imdb's top 250 movies!
  20. Winslow Leach

    Winslow Leach Well-Known Member

    Apparently Ledger improvised a lot...one example is in the scene where Gordon becomes the new commish, and the Joker applauds in his cell, with the rest of the squadroom. The clapping was Heath's idea.


    I love the scene in the prison, where the Joker is taunting the cop ("how many of your friends did I kill?"), and the cop finally blows his steam, and starts beating on the Joker. Rather than fight back, the clown actually giggles during the beating, as if he enjoys it in some perverse way.

    The scene where Bruce throws a party for Harvey, and the Joker crashes it; great scene for Heath, as he totally takes command of the screen.

    Again, I must mention the "magic trick" with the pencil, lol!

    I also really like and appreciate how Nolan put a twist on the "hero must choose" scene, where two very important people are put in peril, and the hero must make a decision. I'll never be able to take such a scene seriously again, after seeing The Dark Knight.


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