Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Dark Knight

The Dark KnightIf you’ve hung around here you’ve probably rolled your eyes at my OCD when it comes to posting. Every day without fail, usually writing things up a couple weeks in advance, but that just hasn’t been the case lately. My kids are home for the summer and somehow life just has me busy with other things and all day long while I’ve been mowing two weeks worth of wet grass, pruning my roses, folding clean socks and underwear and making Pillsbury muffins in the Easy Bake Oven with Lillian I’ve been thinking “I really should get something written . . .

So knowing me you might expect some crafty treat or tidbit on blogging or scenic view of Alaska but what do I do instead? I go to a movie with Andrew. Two weeks of not seeing my man and I ditched the computer to go snuggle at a movie with him.

Bad choice of movie if I was looking for some action because we went to see the movie that I almost ditched BlogHer for: The Dark Knight and I’m going to say right here, first time in print: IT WAS AWESOME! Yes, AWESOME. Two and a half whopping hours of YEA!

Prediction? Heath Ledger will get a posthumous Oscar nomination for a Joker that is so evil, so vile, so terrifying that he makes a dinner party with Osama bin Laden, Charles Manson and Adolf Hitler feel cozy. He did crazy-bad better than anyone you can imagine—even better than Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Mission Impossible III which up until now was my reigning Insane Bad Guy.

It’s the most disturbing movie I’ve seen in a long time, much worse than Gladiator (which even though I saw it edited on television bothered me. Don't give me children suffering, I cannot take it) please don’t take the kids to this one, but for being as violent a movie as it was there wasn’t on-screen violence the way I was expecting. Of course those hands in front of my eyes and fat ol' eyelids squeezed tight over my eyeballs might have prevented some of the action from getting through but a scene would build and build and you were ready to wet your pants knowing how much scary stuff was coming but then they'd merely terrify you without showing you gore and guts.

But the body count by the end is something like 4,568—lots of shooting and blowing people up and children in danger—that I’m not going to let my boys see it, not until they’re much older, though I’d probably let Grace (age 14) see it if she wanted to. The statements the film makes about human nature, temptation, inner demons, the desire to do good and human frailty makes it deeper than your typical superhero movie and I have to say that the parallels it draws between our world and Gotham just add to the effect. The Joker is the terrorists, the child-snatchers, the political corruption, the pornography, the end of the world, all the dangers that are thrown at us that create that state of paralyzing fear and chaos and while he laughs at his victims you can’t help but feel the application and intimacy of the metaphor.

It’s not a predictable movie—while I loved Iron Man it was so easy to see exactly where each character was headed and what would eventually play out it was like watching Brittney and Kevin Federline going through marital problems. Didn’t see that coming did you? Though I wouldn’t say it’s unpredictable. The movie takes the characters in interesting developments but you don’t get things flying at you out of nowhere that don’t belong.

Every part is played so well and the cast is so talented that I’ll have to restrain myself from oozing over it too much—Gary Oldman as Chief Commissioner Gordon, Michael Caine as Alfred, Maggie Gyllenhal as Rachael Dawes or Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox are all perfect for their roles. There are the stunts and gadgets that you’d demand in the sequel to Batman Begins and it has the right blend of setting itself up for a sequel while tying up the loose ends.

And the best thing? I even got a preview for Quantum of Solace, the new Bond movie coming out November 7th as an added bonus for slacking in my duties and running off to the movies. Nothing says “Calgon take me away” like a bit o' Blond Bond.

I'll write something for real tomorrow. I'm almost 60% sure I will.

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42 comments:

Amber M. said...

I've heard nothing but good things about The Dark Knight, but I must admit the previews I've seen of scenes with the Joker make me want to hide in the bottom of my bed. Seriously.

Is Daniel Craig the Bond guy in the new film, too? Tony and I saw Casino Royale about 2 weeks ago and man, is he smokin'. Hot.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

We saw this the other night and I agree with everything you wrote- especially the disturbing part. Um, YES. Disturbing and I can't take children or animals in danger, so I found this movie so stressful, but yes it was good. I did love Heath's performance and it was fun seeing in a sold out show- the audience really responded with laughter and sometimes we forgot to breathe... he commanded the screen!

I think Gary Oldman's Commissioner was one of my favorite characters of all!

Steph

chelle said...

Ooooo I so want to see this soon!

Enjoy summer, it only lasts a short time!

Joyful Days said...

Thanks for the review, Michelle. You confirmed my suspicions that this was not one for the boys. As Amber said--the previews alone of Heath Ledger as the Joker have left me queasy.

Marie N. said...

Looks like something for mom and dad to do on a night out. Thanks for the warning about the kiddos!

Doll Clothes Gal said...

We saw it at the weekend - brilliant, a great ride.

Can't wait for the next Bond movie - Daniel Craig is the best (next to Sir Sean!)

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

This post doesn't count as "for real"?!?! Thanks for making me want to see it in the theater rather than wait until it come out to DVD...Convince Stephanie of that....

ashleyrae said...

I agree - totally amazing movie. It leaves you sitting there, unable to to say anything, because all you can do is try to contemplate the movie.

I would think this movie is the type you have to watch a 2nd time, just to let it all soak in (if you can handle the Joker again...). It was the first Batman movie where I wasn't absolutely sure the good guy would come out on top in the end.

Definitely not for kids either. The violence may not be shown on screen but it's so heavily implied that it's almost worse to imagine than to actually see the gore & guts & stuff. Beware if you have a very active imagination!

Cuddle Cottage said...

I can't wait to see this movie, I've heard nothing but rave reviews. I'll probably spend half of it hiding behind my hand as I cannot bear suspense, and it doesn't take much to scare me silly, but I'd like to see it anyway!

Jill - GlossyVeneer said...

The movie made you use "AWESOME"... that alone is awesome. ;-)

But I agree with your assessment, I really enjoyed this movie. If Heath Ledger is not recognized by the Academy, I will lose all faith in their awards! I can't see anything else coming out this year that could top his performance.

Scribbit said...

Yup Amber, he's in this one too--and you're right. Smokin'. Although I can't say that Daniel Craig really does anything for me--it's the Bond package that he plays that I liked. Saw him in Invasion and Golden Compass and found him kind of boring actually but love the way they've reworked Bond for these last two movies. I was never a fan before.

And yes, Ashleyrae, seeing it a second time would be good. I thought the opening sequence was a little confusing at first and while the end is packaged differently than in normal action movies it takes a few twists and turns that seeing again would make better.

Sarah said...

i agree, heath ledger was amazing. however, batman seemed like the biggest pansy throughout the whole movie to me.

all in all, a great movie. the joker pulled it off very well...

Scribbit said...

Pansy? I can see why you'd say that though I felt his concerns and fears made him more human and interesting--kind of the Hamlet effect. I've loved Christian Bale's version of the character and there were times when I was desperately rooting for him and times when I wanted to scream "No! Don't do that!" Of course I didn't--they don't appreciate that in a theater :)

Munchkins and Music said...

I can't wait to see this movie! It is too bad Heath Ledger died. He was only 27! I heard he did great in the movie.

Maddy said...

Great! I'll cross that one off the list then.
Cheers

Scribbit said...

Andrew told the boys this morning "you guys aren't seeing this until you're 16"

"!6?? I have, like, 1000 birthdays until then!" they said. :) Yes we're mean guys.

Anuj said...

The dark knight just blew away Spiderman and all of other fav Superhero films to bits ..../

Its simply fantastic....

I've seen the film thrice in the theater's....

About Heathe Ledger's Performance....

He's definitely put a smile on my face and loads of fear in my heart...!!

Kaye said...

I've gotta' agree with everything you stated. We saw it this weekend and it was incredibly on-the-edge-of-your-seat unpredictable. It was brilliant how the Joker's ploy was to leave a lot of things in the hands of humankind in general. Scary stuff. And Heath Ledger's performance cannot be described with words. Beautifully (figuratively spekaing) made movie! (yeah...the cast rocked as well!)

imadramamama said...

I have not heard one single bad review of Dark Knight. This is definitely on my list of movies to rent since we hardly make it to the theatres anymore.

Any chance you'll be reviewing Mamma Mia anytime soon?

Sandy said...

I loved it too! More than once, I turned to Kurt and told him that I thought we should leave because I could not handle the stress of watching what would happen.

But I'm glad we stayed. It was totally worth the $16 we shelled out for tickets.

Scribbit said...

I'm actually not a huge fan of the modern musical--and though I love ABBA as much as the next child of the 70s the movie hasn't appealed to me.

My sister went and saw it (big ABBA fan) with a group of her friends and they weren't sure if they liked it or not, she said it was disappointing and that the reviews saying Meryl Streep can sing are pretty whacked.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Good for you for ditching the computer and going with your hubby...that's what summer is all about, right? Taking a little extra time to do what you want? :)

I loved reading your review. I always trust your judgment and so, if it wasn't before, it is definitely a must-see for me now.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Good for you for ditching the computer and going with your hubby...that's what summer is all about, right? Taking a little extra time to do what you want? :)

I loved reading your review. I always trust your judgment and so, if it wasn't before, it is definitely a must-see for me now.

Maureen said...

I wasn't sure if I wanted to go see this movie or not but after reading your review, you have convinced me to go see it.

Joy said...

I found you on a blog from the Bloggy Carnival (you know... a friend of a friend of a friend sort of thing). OMG! The creep-factor was AMAZING in this movie.

And Heath's death only made his character even more creepy to me. Don't know why, just did!

Bobbie in AK said...

I saw the Dark Knight opening weekend. My 17 year old is a pretty big comic book fan and encouraged me to go. I didn't really care for Batman Begins, (Michael Keaton is still my favorite Batman)however, The Dark Knight is a different story. I loved it. It was dark, depressing and violent, but I was riveted from the beginning. In my opinion the success of the Dark Knight is largely due to Heath Ledger. He was incredible.

The buzz about his performance was swirling about for months and months before his death and he didn't disappoint! I kept thinking to myself throughout the whole movie that who I was seeing was not Heath Ledger, that it couldn't be him. He WAS the Joker!

His performance moved me, it saddened me too. It saddens me because of all the hype surrounding the movie and his untimely passing.. I wonder how many out there will only remember Heath Ledger for this one crazy psycho portrayal. He was so amazing, but he was also amazing in many other films in his short career - Brokeback Mountain, Candy and even A Knight's Tale.

If he doesn't win a posthumous Oscar it will be a crying shame! The Motion Picture Academy doesn't always get it right though - I thought Hal Holbrook should have won last year for Into The Wild.

I apologize for the rambling, gotta a little carried away.

blueviolet said...

Your review was brilliantly written. And my husband completely agrees with you. I haven't seen it yet but dang it, I should!

Kim said...

Saw The Dark Knight on Saturday. Heath Ledger was scary crazy! He was awesome.

I'm totally with you on the blond Bond and I like tall, dark and handsome.

Tami said...

My husband and I saw this opening weekend and loved it.

And the part of not being appropriate for kids. I wish the couple who brought their 4-5 year old had had the common sense to leave their child at home with a babysitter.

Little Window Shoppe said...

My hubby went to see this movie with the "guys" while I went with the "girls" to see Mamma Mia (also a super fun movie if you are a movie musical fan). He said the same thing, I really want to see it and hope that Heath is nominated - he was a fantastic actor in everything he did.

Michelle A. said...

You can tell that you really liked this movie. I was certain your review would end in the next paragraph, but you kept going! All good and fun, I enjoyed how you wrote this post. I haven't seen this movie, since my babysitters are me - and my husband, I haven't been able to locate any lately! I can't wait to see it as I love Gary Oldman and Aaron eckhart! And my favorite Empire of the Sun actor!

Guinevere Meadow said...

I haven't been to see a movie in a LONG time, but we have plans to go out Thursday. Maybe we'll see this one!

Kelly @ Love Well said...

It's summer. Tell the OCD to take a vacation. You deserve a break, too.

Glad you got to see The Movie of the Summer.

Julienne said...

I have to agree with you whole-heartedly!!! I saw it opening day with my hubby (both of us huge comic book geeks) and was in awe through the whole movie. I too noticed the lack of on-screen blood and gore - the buildup is actually scarier without the effects.

Genny said...

I heard the movie was creepy, but great. I'll have to see it...

Maddy said...

rats! To early or maybe too late.

dana said...

I've been reading all the accounts on the blogosphere about this movie, and now I have to go see it. Maybe tomorrow.

It was so great to meet you at the BlogHer conference. Can't wait for next year! :)

AlaneM said...

Loved this movie, loved it!!! Heath's Joker was perfect & I could see why he needed all those perscriptions for anxiety & sleeping. Sheesh what a part!

Pieces said...

The Loved saw it last night and he firmly told me that I would NOT WANT TO SEE IT. He loved it--thought that it couldn't be better and thinks that Heath Ledger will get at least a nomination. Would they award it to someone who is deceased? I wonder.

The reason he thought I couldn't handle it is the crazy, not the violence. He loved the moral questions it posed. He can't imagine kids seeing it. He saw a 6 year old there--can you believe it?

Geekwif said...

I thought it was a great movie too (Heath Ledger was amazing! I had no idea he could actually act.), but I don't do scary very well. The violence was just a little too much for me.

I like the old style better, back when Batman was cheesy, campy fun and you could easily separate yourself from it because of the lack of realism.

I have no problem with them making the more realistic version, it's just that it's a little too realistic for my easily freaked out mind.

beth - total mom haircut said...

I'm going to see this with my husband this afternoon, FINALLY, and now I'm even more excited. And you're right - PSH's villain in MI 3 was intense, so I can't wait to see Heath Ledger's joker...counting the hours now...

Janet said...

"then they'd merely terrify you without showing you gore and guts."

THAT's the kind of movie I like. I love being scared, I hate being grossed out.
Now that you and Miss G and Mrs. G at Derfwad Manor have recommended this, we may need to find a way to go see it. That would make 3 movies at the theatre in the same year. If it happens, you can expect the Apocalypse to follow shortly.