Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Dark Knight

So what is this one about?
You might live under a rock if you don't know about this movie. If you haven't already seen the trailer (or, ya know...the movie!), you can watch it at the Warner Brothers site.

If for some reason you can't watch the trailer (like if you're at work, slacker, or you have an unsatisfactory video capability, come on) I will give you the regular description in words. Wikipedia says,
The Dark Knight is a 2008 American superhero film co-written and directed by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is a sequel to Batman Begins (2005), which rebooted the Batman film series after an eight-year hiatus. Christian Bale reprises the lead role. Batman's primary conflicts in the film include his fight against the Joker (Heath Ledger) and his strained friendship with district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart).
And how much did I pay to watch?
Well, Jack, my mom and I all went go the amazing Cinema De Lux to see the movie. She paid, but I think the tickets there are like $8.50.

But, like I said, I didn't pay, so zero dollars. (Thats one of the main advantages of seeing movies with my mom. All her gasping and jumping at 'scary' parts...thats not one of the advantages, I'ma tell you that right now!) (Maybe I shouldn't have written that, I gave her the link the other day, but I'm pretty sure she ain't readin' it, so, crisis averted)

And what did I think?
I really liked this. I think probably everyone who sees this is going to like it. (Even right now my mom and brother are yapping about it. Annoying!! What is the matter with them?! I am the only one who is allowed to yap about movies!)

I realize that many people who are reading this may not have seen this yet, and for that I apologize. So this entire post may merit a SPOILER ALERT! I will try and keep it under control, though.

Ok, so the thing I liked best about this movie was the social commentary. The layers, if you will. Though, I realize I need to see it again in order to unpack it a bit more. (The problem with writing a movie blog is I really have to process the movie while I am watching it and trying to get the plot straight, dur). The commentary was something about citizens relying on government and order and the Joker wanting citizens to revert back to their natural state of being, which Locke tells us is "angry, brutish, and short."

I think revenge was another very interesting theme in this movie. You had Batman (who is always sort of seeking revenge) and then Harvey Dent. Just like in Sweeney Todd, the audience sees the destruction of a character because their life has been corrupted by the desire for revenge. It is very interesting. The thing that was cool about this movie (and the thing that everyone has been babbling about for a week) was the Joker and the audience never really understanding his motivation besides the desire for chaos and anarchy. It isn't hard for the audience to identify him as a terrorist and then they can relate to him and to what Gotham is going through because then it can be a mirror for what America is going through. Though, in true grad school fashion I have chosen to focus not on the terrorism aspect but rather the social construct aspect of what society is. But, like I said, I need to see it again to understand it a bit more.

Cinematographically it is a pretty good film. Very dark (my mom crazily said it was one of the most terrifying films she's ever seen...though I disagree) but not overly stylized. Over stylizing things in super hero movies, I think, is very common, but this one didn't really do that.

Lastly, like everyone else, I will say a brief comment about Heath Ledger. I don't know that he deserves an Oscar for this movie like everyone is saying. Frankly, if he couldn't win for Brokeback Mountain (a movie I didn't really care for) where he was amazing I doubt he could even get nominated for a movie that is a "summer blockbuster". But, I will say it was surprisingly sad to watch him in this movie. I didn't even really care for him that much as an actor when he was alive. I thought he was quite talented, but he never made any of my top 5 lists for acting or looks. (Maybe I'll go into those later, but I will say that Gary Oldman is on my acting list). But, when I returned to my hotel one day when I was in Portland, turned on the TV and the news told me that he had died I was sadder than I remember being ever for someone I didn't know. I loved Tim Russert, but when he died I wasn't as deeply affected as I was when Heath Ledger died. I thought it was really weird. Though I guess Tim was an old guy, he'd had a great life, he could have had a longer one but he really had a great one. With Heath it just seemed like such a waste. I guess thats why it made me so sad. (And now I am a nerdy nerd just like everyone else for going on and on about him)

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
I don't really know what to rate this. I mean, it was good, but it wasn't great. If I didn't need to see it again to figure out why I thought it had such good social commentary I doubt I would see it again.

But, it seems quite good quality for a superhero movie. But, it wasn't especially fun like other ones in this genre. And it didn't really strike a chord in me at all. So, I guess for the time being, until I see it again, I will rate it a 6.

1 comment:

Elaine H said...

You are pretty much wrong, but I'm not offended anyway. ;-)