June 15, 2005

The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight

This really deserves its own post. Geo and I saw Batman Begins tonight. It was AWESOME. I usually avoid movies on opening day, but I'd been waiting for this one for so long that when Ben Lee (my ultra talented friend and fellow comic book lover who drew the picture of me and Terry McGinnis) told me it was out I ran to the theatre. Well, skipped. From the car at least. I never keep track of opening days of movies because I hate anticipation. I am very much an instant gratification type of person. Like waiting for the sixth Harry Potter book is torture. Maybe that would work on the prisoners at Gitmo. "Tell us where Osama is or we won't let you read the next Harry Potter book when it comes out in a month." Hee.

On to the movie, so stop reading if you're one of those people that hate hearing about movies before they watch them.

First, the previews. I thought Stealth (the movie about the high-tech military jet that goes all 2001 A Space Odyssey Hal on the world) looked interesting when I saw the preview before Revenge of the Sith. But on the second go-around I'm thinking it may be kind of weak. The Dukes of Hazard looks like a prime waste of film, despite the fact that the chase scenes look interesting. Then again I was never really a fan of the show, just the General Lee. I am however immature enough to giggle over the fact that the best the TV writers could come up with back in the day was "Luke Duke." Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was one of my favorite books as a child. In fact, I loved all of Roald Dahl's book, even the crappy sequel to Willy Wonka's tale. And I was looking forward to seeing the remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory because unlike a lot of people, I like seeing movies re-made. Why shouldn't we take advantage of better technology. But what I don't understand is how come the casting for the original and the remake is so wrong. Johnny Depp both creeped and grossed me out during the trailer. Did these directors read the same book I did? Willy Wonka isn't supposed to be a psychopath, he's supposed to be outlandish in a funny and wacky way. Oh well.

Okay NOW on to Batman Begins. I thought Katie Holmes was going to be really annoying in this movie, but she wasn't that bad. It could just be that I hated Dawson's Creek so much I thought there'd be residual angst. Like I can't even see a picture of that chick from Felicity without cringing, I despised that show so much. I guess it's not really fair to despise shows I've only seen twice, but I'm digressing. My point is the movie wasn't as negatively affected by her presence as I thought it'd be, except that it took time away from less inconsequential characters. Like the Scarecrow. Damn he was scary as hell. That actor, whoever he was, pulled his character off great. He just came off as this scary ass, androgynous, serial killer with eerie bright blue eyes. I dated a guy who had eyes like that once. Weird that the same eyes could be so freaky on someone else.

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Actually the entire cast pulled off their roles off superbly. When I first heard about this movie, I was like "Christian Bale? Michael Caine? Morgan Freeman? Liam Neesan? What the hell?" But the eclectic casting paid off in my opinion. Except Christian Bale's Batman voice. That just grated a little. When I read the comics, Batman always had a low voice, one that was somehow steely yet smooth at the same time. Like you were simultaneously reassured and scared at the sound of it. Bale sounded kind of guttural. Oh and sometimes when Liam Neeson spoke, I thought he was going to start talking about The Force. Like in that scene on the train "You are not mindful of your surroundings..." (then in my head) "...young padwan."

Overall though, there was really only one thing that bothered me, which was how the script writers seemed to make Batman less intelligent than he's supposed to be. In the movie, there were a few instances in which Bruce Wayne would ask people to dumb down their explanations. Batman is supposed to be a genius, a scientist. His brain is supposed to be his best weapon. Other than that, the movie ROCKED. It was hands down, the BEST movie yet based on a comic-book hero. Better than the X-Men, Spiderman, Superman, whatever movies. And of course, MUCH better than The Hulk, DareDevil, Elektra and Punisher movies. Part of what made it so good was the fact that they made a concerted effort to tell an actual story and to make you like and understand the characters, versus simply concentrating on the special effects. Spiderman did it very well, it's just that Batman Begins did it better. And the musical score is perfect. I even liked the movie art.

I hope they forget all about every other Batman film ever made and do movies with the Joker and Two-Face anyway. No Robin though, they worried me a bit when they kept showing the little blond kid. I was wondering if he was supposed to be Dick Grayson. You know that if I liked the movie then it had to at least be decent. Being that Batman is my favorite comic book hero ever, I was prepared to be a very harsh critic. But Chris Nolan did a great job of staying away from the campiness that so often befalls movies based on comic book heroes AND he did a great job of portraying the dark side of the story of Batman, without sacrificing action.

Four snaps up in Z formation.

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