Friday, July 25, 2008

The Dark Knight - SPOILERS

By Xena's beard, I can't take it anymore...why do you all want to know what I think??

Neither my date or I were bowled over, and we're both big Batman geeks. He gave it a 3 out of 5. I gave it a 4 out of 5.

We both thought it started out incredibly strong (Oh! The high hopes I had!!!), was a squirm-inducing half hour to forty minutes too long (just like all the damn Pirate movies), and that the last act was done poorly and tried to cram in too much unsupported philosophy. The third act is not time for the kitchen sink, friends. Save it for your next film.

The acting was great.

It had the same problems as almost every other comic movie made I've been bitching about for almost 20 years now...too many villains and killing villains for no reason with no payoff; ruining the universe they've spent 2 hours painfully establishing. Grrrr!

I thought what they did right was Dent's makeup, Lucius Fox, Alfred again. The heist. Ledger in the nurse outfit. The pencil. Sally Maroni off the roof. The realistic batman toys. The violence in general. Batman's no killing rule, but just baaarely. Batman's fatigue and eagerness for a real life. The set design. The reference to Joker's henchmen being schizophrenic. The pile of money (Dick Sprang-like, yes? No? I think so...) Commisioner Loeb, hahaha...

And finally, using a villain the way the comics do...bless how they used Scarecrow. More of that! More of coming into the middle of a story, the middle of an established universe. No more origin! THAT'S the true comic-reading experience. Not knowing what's going on but diving in, catching up. Like life! Everyone else's stories have already started, and you suss it out as you go...

Which you can't do in movies when you keep KILLING EVERYONE. Should have had Dent mysteriously slink off into the night after killing the first driver, to pop up later in another movie. Batman could have accidentally killed a SWAT cop and still had his fall from grace. God that whole Two-Face thing became so grating and BAD after the first driver...Maudlin.

I thought the boat thing teetered on the same edge of 9/11 congratulatory calamity as Spiderman's ferry of New Yorkers tossing crap at the made me uncomfortable the whole time. If you're going to have the fabulous violence that precludes a child audience then take on the sophisticated Jungian arguments of Legends Of The Dark Knight books...give us morality issues to sink our teeth into and argue about! Don't kowtow now...Let's philosophize! That's what comics are for. The establishing of morality and ethics of a civilization through tribal fables.

I felt the editing in the second half was langorous and masturbatory. Faster towards the climax people, none of you are virgins...get it right!

Whole thing jumped the shark for me when the cop car chose to detour through Joker's route. Really?? Oh god, and Jim Gordon's non-existent son...shoot the fucker. Christ. Birth Oracle already. Get rid of the towhead idealist standing in for all you male viewers' youths believing in Batman. TOOOOO heavy-handed.

I'm not stoked about the Knightfall plot for the next one. It was never a favorite of mine and it took up so much of 90s comic time. I thought it was pretty kitschy they even used the title as a line. We get it already, trust me. "Knightfall: Batman 3 July 2011" Cautiously optimistic it gives them something new to cook up. What new moral theme now?

Obviously they want to do Catwoman next (Alfred's line about cat scratches). Bet it will be Loeb's mob tie-in story. Okay, that's brilliant. Great tie-in to Batman being thought of as on the side of wrong. More Loeb, please. For me, he's the one true Batman storyteller. Really enjoyed Roberts as Sally. Would pee a little if they had a scene on a skyscraper grecian rooftop with Sally, Selina, and Batman.
Also next movie? The Creeper. You heard me. Anthony Michael Hall's role and viral videos are grooming him to be The Creeper, not The Riddler. Mark my words. You come back here in 2 years and tell me I was right. Johnny Smith is The Creeper. Groomed from his post traumatic stress brush with The Joker.

Shame. Who they should really do next is Hugo Strange. Or Hush.

I think anyone who calls this movie Miller-esque instead of Loeb/Moore-worship is a comic retard.

I'm grumpy that the third act sucked when it could have been a great movie.

Let me just sit this one out from now on, okay? I think to watch it again, I'll first have to do my own DVD edit.

Guess I can go read everyone else's reviews now. I've been totally insulated.

I know what I really think? That they just upped my 4.5 stars for Iron Man to five.

God, is there anything worse then having a long bad third act? I always feel like I got crapped on when I leave. A Story is a Promise! God. Not the third act. Noooooo...ugh....

Ohhhhh how I wanted to love The Dark Knight!!! Siiigh. Disappointing. There. My two cents. Happy? Your mileage may vary, and this time I don't really care to hear it. I know, I'm a woman, and therefore WRONG.



Marty Nozz said...

THANK YOU!!!! I'm tired of being viewed as the freak because I didn't LOVE Dark Knight. It was a very well done movie, but I don't think we were supposed to be having fun. It felt like Empire Strikes Back when the good guys get the snot kicked out of them, only with less charm.

I'd rant further, but I already did in my blog, which by the way, thanks for commenting in.

Kid Sis said...

Wow, great points. And I did go read your blog and comment.

It's always hard to have a dissenting viewpoint...thanks for not ripping me to shreds for being honest about my opinion!

Kid Sis said...

Oh, you know what I thought was horrifying?


Cutting away from the implied violence at the last second does not make it kid-worthy. And like what you were talking about on your blog about the audience laughing with The Joker? That's the kind of thing kids that age aren't sophisticated enough to make their minds up about. So now they've got another cool villain like Anakin to emulate and be morally confused over...

Marty Nozz said...

Exactly! The studio should have just pulled up their big girl panties and went with an R rating. If they want to handle this subject matter in such a head on, straight away fashion they should not get point for flinching at certain moments for the sake of marketing to a broader audience. The main Batman comics have not been written for children in a very long time. If they want to use them for references, especially using 'The Long Halloween', they need to be up front about what the audience is going to be getting.

I was just looking re-watching the little 'I'm a marvel and I'm a DC' films on Youtube and I'll be damned if Itsjustsomerandomguy didn't absolutely nail it.

Kid Sis said...

Well just to be a total geek, I reread DARK VICTORY tonight, longingly stroked my Sale/Loeb CATWOMAN: WHEN IN ROME original art, browsed Tim Sale's official seller Graphic Collectibles for DV and LH art, then ran across this review on Amazon of their first Batman outing together:

Reviewer says this comic was used greatly in the first Nolan film.

I also skimmed through OFFICER DOWN again to see how much they'd used of Gordon getting shot.

Man, I maintain...Nolan is a Loeb-lover. DARK VICTORY, LONG's all over DARK KNIGHT, from the noir tone and mob bosses to the character takes. Even the camera angles. Loeb Loeb Loeb.

Seriously, like name one Miller element. Even the TV reporters didn't have that deranged nightmare schizophrenia feel of Miller. Nah, people call it Miller because it's "serious" and "adult". Well, welcome to the last 20 years of comics. God, read PREY or HUSH or FEAR or ugh!!!! Just read!!!! So frustrating!

I maintain: Nolan = Loeb. I'm a huge thriller/noir junkie. I have no problem with that. I just want tighter, better storytelling. And a world's greatest detective who, um...detects sometimes.

Marty Nozz said...

There was NO Miller elements in Dark Knight. Yes, there were plenty in Batman begins, but zero in the latest flick. I re-read Long Halloween and there's just so much being pulled from there it's unreal. You've already covered most of it. The "I believe in Harvey Dent" line was the most obvious for me.

For me Gordon getting shot didn't really feel like Officer Down (Great story) but felt more like a switch up from Long Halloween when Dent faked his death. Not mention the switch with Gordon in the riot gear and not Batman.

Here's what does have me curious.

Batman Begins = Miller

Dark Knight = Loeb

Next movie = ????

So help me if they pull from Brubaker and Rucka's Bruce Wayne: Fugitive/Murderer I'll squeal so loudly your neighbor's dog will bark.

Kid Sis said...

Wow, right!!!


Anonymous said...

"Seriously, like name one Miller element. Even the TV reporters didn't have that deranged nightmare schizophrenia feel of Miller. Nah, people call it Miller because it's "serious" and "adult". Well, welcome to the last 20 years of comics."
20 years? Kid Sis, try 35. Miller's a misogynistic swiper. He ditched his own "Dark Knight Returns" finale to rework it as a rip off on "Watchmen". "Serious" and "adult" is what Neil Adams & Denny O'Neil did in the early 70's but nobody remembers that... I thought "Dark Knight" was complex, but the biggest Third Act Problems I've seen are with Hancock & last two-thirds of Indiana Jones. Oh, if "Knight" it weren't from a Major Studio it would've been an "R", easily.

Anonymous said...

who is Miller?

Marty Nozz said...

Miller? He's that guy who wrote a couple of the Robocop movies.

He did some comics too.