*** Official THE DARK KNIGHT Discussion Thread

Nick Martin

Effects Supervisor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2003
Messages
2,691
In regular theaters the entire film is 2.35:1, or 2.40:1.

They cropped the IMAX image to fit that wide aspect ratio.

Nothing stands out, and it doesn't look awkward or anything. If you haven't seen the IMAX scenes beforehand, you would never know they were larger than the cropped-to-anamorphic image.
 

cafink

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 19, 1999
Messages
3,043
Real Name
Carl Fink

It is not a critic's job to know everything about the background of a movie; it is his job to review what's actually on the screen. Since nothing in Batman Begins itself obviously contradicts the Burton/Schumacher films, how is he to know that it's supposed to be a "reboot"?
 

Chad R

Effects Supervisor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 14, 1999
Messages
2,182
Real Name
Chad Rouch

Yeah, but critics are sent press packets with certain pertinent information so that they can spell actor's names right, better be able to recall character names, etc. The fact that it was a reboot was mentioned in there, and the fact that Rex didn't read it shows how lazily he reviewed the film. He didn't do his job very well, nor did his editor or fact checker.

But, even if he did it wouldn't change his opinion about the movie. Big movies aren't his thing, they really never have been.
 

Holadem

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2000
Messages
8,967
"Actually reached a point?" We've been there for a number of decades, where the heck have you been?
Tell me the last time you've seen a woman with average looks in a similar role and production. Watch enough foreign flicks and Hollywood's (and the American public's -- chicken and egg type deal) obsession with looks will become glaringly obvious.

MG is fine. She did a good job. But then again I never got the beef with Holmes so what do I know.

--
H
 

Pete-D

Screenwriter
Joined
May 30, 2000
Messages
1,746


Especially the character of Bruce Wayne.

And yes, I missed Katie Holmes in TDK. I think "that scene" would've been even more moving if she had come back, but c'est la vive. She is not a great actress, but she does have that Dawson's Creek/girl next door sweetness down pat and it was a nice contrast in the Nolanverse to all the darkness. I'm sure even Katie herself is regretting not coming back. $66 million dollar opening day? Potentially the biggest opening weekend ever?

Even Tom Cruise would love to have that on his resume, supporting part or not.
 

Jim Ogilvie

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 31, 1998
Messages
59

Excellent photo example, Thomas.

Note how they photoshopped out the heavy cheeklines she has? Obviously the photographer/retoucher of this photo felt they were distracting.

So you've kinda made the point very well.


Maggie isn't ugly, she just wasn't right for this particular role, imho.
 

cafink

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 19, 1999
Messages
3,043
Real Name
Carl Fink

Are you a critic? Have you seen the Batman Begins press packet? If not, how you know that the "reboot" was mentioned in it?

Even if it was (and I'm not saying it wasn't, I'm just curious about how you know that it was), I'm not sure I'd consider that "lazy" or "not doing his job very well." As I said previously, the critic's job is to review what's actually on the screen. Why should he or viewers be concerned about ancillary material such as that included in a press packet?
 

Tim Glover

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 12, 1999
Messages
8,220
Location
Monroe, LA
Real Name
Tim Glover
Adam L gets the prize for most quoted quotes.


Seriously, excellent post Adam and one that was well written and thought provoking.


Funny how a discussion thread really does bring added depth to a film...what we did in the old days I can't remember!
but this discussion thread has already made a rich movie going experience even better when looking back.

I eagerly await my next Dark Knight viewing.
 

Patrick Sun

Studio Mogul
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 30, 1999
Messages
39,338
Saw TDK on Imax this morning's 9 a.m. showing, running late and got there about 30 minutes before show time, and the theater was PACKED. People are making all sorts of early-arrival arrangements to see this film, even the early showings, just to get good seats.

The Imax footage does integrate pretty well with the conventional 2.35 AR footage, but the immediacy and impact of the Imax footage just makes the normally aspirated non-Imax version somewhat less involving from a visual/aural standpoint as the Imax version is a much more immersive film-watching/listening experience. Love the bass in the Imax theater. Go see TDK on Imax if you can, it's well worth the effort if you are near an Imax theater.

I did noticed (on my second viewing), that there isn't much background music for the "Harvey Dent to Country Jail" chase sequence, it's mainly reliant on the mulitude of sound effects from the cars, the crashes, the bullets, the RPGs, etc. It's pretty impressive, considering there are some other slightly heavy-handed pieces of background music (when the guy on the ferry is trying to decide to make the choice to blow up the ferry with prisoners on it).

Re: Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel, it seems that many people have forgotten that the character of Rachel is literally Bruce's best long-time friend from childhood, good-looking or not, Bruce loves what Rachel's got going on beneath the surface. He trusts her implicitly. It's about what's on the inside. It's unfortunate that some viewers are so caught up on the superficial, but Gyllenhaal's presence in the film didn't bother me on that level. I am also befuddled by the complaints of her line reading for the letter that she leaves with Alfred, it sounded fine to me, reflective of her current feelings at that point in time of the film, where she was ready to move on and commit to Harvey because Bruce was always going to have to carry the Batman torch because it was his primary vocation for the foreseeable future.

What I did take away from the 2nd viewing, it flows much better when you're rested (as my first viewing was the midnight showing), and the film is just as compelling to watch on subsequent viewings because I picked up more on the tragic undertones as situations unfolded. In the first viewing, you're just trying to keep up with the plot points, the spectacle, and see how invested you are in the characters.

In the classic "choose between 2 people you desperately want to save" scenario that Joker sets up, it's absolutely heartbreaking now to hear Rachel's voice over the phone, beseeching Harvey to be brave when Harvey is screaming that Batman has evidently shown up to save him and not her. It tragically solidifies makes her internal decision to choose Harvey over Bruce (maritally speaking). Of course, it's not the objective truth, but in classic stories, tragedies always come from misunderstandings and a lack of critical and timely details. It's tragic that she died not knowing that Bruce had made his true choice, and that choice was Rachel. That's also something the Bruce has to live with for the rest of his life, again, just so damn tragic and painful in retrospect.

It's not easy being an agent of good when faced with having to choose to do the dirty work no one else can do legally or morally. These themes are explored throughout the film, and for Batman, there are no easy ways to avoid dilemnas, and that's what's really good about the screenplay that the Nolans have crafted. Once the Joker puts his plans in motion, Bruce has to deal with the situation that every minute he stays in the shadows, innocent people die. People are dying for the ideals he upholds in his fight against crime and corruption in his city. That can't be an easy burden, for anyone. This is the heightened drama of personal cost exacted in pursuit of doing the right thing for the most people in jeopardy that comes through and through in the screenplay.

While there have been some grumblings about how Harvey's psychology was fast-tracked in the 3rd act, you strip a man of the trappings of a good life, promise of family, his inner truth comes out. Harvey used his coin, representing chaos of luck, as final arbiter of choice, which relieved himself of difficult moral choices.

What made Harvey go bad? Joker made his case in the hospital, cajoling Harvey to accept the rage of anarchy, the pain of loss, a future full of chaos and unheavals, damn the personal costs. As to Harvey's quick turn to the dark side, which happens when Harvey decides to accept the Joker's vision of the world, but it happened because of the result from the coin flip that allowed his psychologically fragile mindset to pursue any action once a choice was predicated on the flip of a coin in homage to fairness without the need for morals. Harvey's pursuit of revenge in the 3rd act is his main motivation for action as he has been freed by his moral compass, and solely reliant on a coin flip to guide his actions. Harvey's abrupt slide into the dark is palatable to me because Harvey's decison-making process became just as quick as a flip of the switch (or coin).

Seeing this new psychosis in action, plus salvaging whatever possible good from all the bad, Batman's plan to take on all the blame for Harvey's sins is even more tragic given the objective truth, but sadly, the higher ideals (for truth, justice, lawfullness) represented by Harvey (before his physical transformation into Two-Face) had to be upheld, because if his recent sins of revenge were to be exposed, they would have negated all the good being done from his legacy, and created more cynicism by the public at large, and eroded public confidence in people in general.

Batman (and Gordon) took on a heavy, heavy burden by taking on Harvey's sins, thus completing a story of heroism in the face of tragedy and loss. Just a fantastic way to end such a tale because we the audience would want to think we would have what it takes to make that troubling choice for the greater good, but could we really do it, even if it meant being ostracized, hated by the city you swore to protect?
 

Edwin-S

Lead Actor
Premium
Joined
Aug 20, 2000
Messages
8,429
A couple of observations:

It felt long. BB was long too but when I saw it in the theater I was never as conscious of its length as I was with TDK. Maybe it was due to the pacing in TDK. It just crashed along from one massive set piece to another. TDK had more climaxes in it than a ten dollar hooker. After awhile fatigue started setting in. Regardless, I don't think anything could have been cut in the film, not even the Hong Kong scene. In fact, the HK scene felt like the most effective use of the IMAX camera, even on the regular 35mm theatrical print.

The scene where he is standing on the edge of the building in HK and the camera pans down to show the height is the only one where I started feeling a bit of vertigo. I think that feeling would have only been amplified had I seen it in IMAX.

Some people have reported laughing at some of the antics of The Joker. I have to admit that I didn't find anything that he did funny: especially not the pencil trick. Some of the audience I watched the film with laughed, but all I could think was, "What's so funny?". Hell, I watched guys getting blown away by the boatload in RAMBO IV with not so much as a twinge, but I actually felt myself cringe when he slammed that pencil through the guy's head.

Ledger did a good job in bringing out the sick maniacal side of The Joker, but I felt that Nicholson was better a creating a quirky maniacal Joker. Nicholson was able to create a Joker that was insane but with a twisted sense of humour. I just didn't see a sense of humour in Ledger's Joker. He was just your regular homicidal maniac, but on steroids. Also, for me, Ledger's Joker had nothing in the way of memorable lines such as Nicholson's line, "Have you ever danced by the pale Moonlight"?

There was one scene near the end where Bale's emoting caused me to picture his head being replaced by a giant ham with the words "Grade A" stamped on it. That brought a grin to my face.

I also thought that Dent's conversion to Two-Face seemed a little too quick. It was partially covered by the earlier scene with Scarecrow where you see that Dent already has it in him to become Two-Face, but I still thought the conversion was a little too quick. I think they should have shortened at least one of the chase sequences and better used that time to show more of a deterioration in Dent's personality before his disfigurement and conversion.

Still, even with the minor quibbles, it is a pretty good movie. I would give it at least an A-.
 

TerryRL

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2001
Messages
3,977
I concur with Tim, excellent post Adam.

As for the third film, Nolan will do another movie in between (very likely his dream project, "The Prisoner") so 2011 will be the earliest we'll see the next Batman flick. With the type of business the movie is currently doing, WB definitely wants Nolan and co. to return (especially if the movie receives major Oscar consideration on top of its big box office).

Nolan will likely take some time off before going into another big budget movie (which "The Prisoner" no doubt will be). He'll probably hammer out some ideas for a third film with David Goyer and his brother Jonathan, than probably have one or both put together a first draft for the studio while Nolan is working on "The Prisoner".

I do know that WB brass wants a new love interest, a "femme fatale" (i.e. Catwoman or Talia al Ghul) sort of character from the bits I've heard. If Nolan does indeed return, expect a villain that will play into the "situation" Batman is left with in the finale of TDK. Despite what everyone says (minus Christian Bale who often talks of Nolan's "trilogy"), Nolan and Goyer came up plots for a three movie arc. The first two focusing on "fear" and "escalation".

I've heard rumors of the third focusing on "redemption" (which could be applied to a whole host of characters and situations following what went down in TDK), but not even a lot of WB brass knows what Nolan and Goyer have cooked up for the third movie. The word "hope" has been thrown around as well, but again, just a rumor. Mr. Nolan knows how to keep things very much on the "DL".

After seeing what Nolan did with the first two movies, I can't wait to see how he closes this trilogy of films. I do think its safe to say that the next movie won't be anything like what happened with Spidey 3. At least I hope now. WB has been smart enough to let Nolan make his movies. Let's all hope that this doesn't change with the next one.

As was the case with TDK, everything you hear from now until the third movie officially goes into production will be rumor and speculation. Regardless of all that, be sure that WB is already very much in the planning stages for another Batman flick given TDK's box office performance thur far.
 

Adam Lenhardt

Director
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2001
Messages
23,194
Location
Albany, NY
From what I heard, Goyer's treatment for the two sequels involved Dent being scarred early on in the first act of the third film and becoming the main villain for that picture. Nolan chose to condense the treatment into one movie since Dent's tragedy played into the thematic values of The Dark Knight so well.

I wouldn't be opposed to a Catwoman for TDK 3. Part of what made this film so dangerous was that the worst violence happened during the day, when Batman couldn't hide. That was smart writing, but one Batman day picture is enough. Now that Batman's in retreat, he should be return to the night, and that requires a villain that also hunts at night.

That being said, I grow more and more enamored of a film with no supervillain -- a movie with Batman pinned between the cops and the mob.
 

Patrick Sun

Studio Mogul
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 30, 1999
Messages
39,338
I loved it when the audience clapped at these moments because it means the audience is really in tune with the film:

1. The Joker's disappeaning pencil trick.

2. The Batpod causing the 18-wheeler to flip over end-over-end, and the Batpod's quick ride up the wall flip-around.

3. The re-appearance of Jim Gordon

4. When the prisoner tosses the detonator out the window.

5. At the end with "The Dark Knight" title shows up.

A couple of scenes that made the audience jump out of their skins:

1. When the mayor is telling Dent that he'll be the fall guy if it goes down badly, and the faux Batman's head hits the mayor's glass window with a loud thud

2. When they reveal Batman standing behind the Joker in the interrogation room.

It's been a while where I saw a film where people actually cheered and clapped during the film.
 

Thi Them

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 20, 1999
Messages
3,649
Real Name
Thi
I didn't like seeing it in IMAX that much. There were some shots that were ridiculous for being in IMAX, like near the end when Bruce was in Lamborghini. When he was in that car, it was in IMAX; then cut to the police, and it's in widescreen. Unecessary. The city views were beautiful but would've worked just as well if shot intentionally in widescreen

Heath Ledger was really great in his role as Joker. But, I'd have to go with Anton Chigurh as my favorite villain in recent years.

Harvey's transformation into Two Face wasn't that sudden. There were signs of his character going bad as Harvey.

What did Bruce Wayne say to Alfred to make him take away Rachel's letter? I couldn't hear.

I don't know if Batman's rescuing of Harvey exactly was a bad thing in Rachel's mind. I think she knows that as long as Wayne is saving her as Batman, he will always be Batman. But, he wanted to hand over the role to Harvey as the savior of the city, and since he saved Harvey, isn't that a good thing in Rachel's mind?

In any case, I thought that scene didn't have nowhere near the impact it should've. First of all, there's the change of actresses so we're no invested in her character as much as we should've been. And Maggie was just too cute and casual with her delivery.

~T
 

Chuck Mayer

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2001
Messages
8,231
Location
Northern Virginia
Real Name
Chuck Mayer
I wouldn't mind a film like that, Adam, except after the Joker it would feel trite and less threatening. Rachel is gone, so the mob literally has no leverage. They need to keep the ante where it is. And the Joker set the bar extraordinarily high. Alternatively, I wouldn't mind a completely new villain. Why feel beholden to the comic? Tread new ground if that is what suits the film.
 

Brandon Conway

captveg
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2002
Messages
9,345
Location
North Hollywood, CA
Real Name
Brandon Conway
I found the Joker "funny", and I don't think people should begrudge those who did. He's not funny in an amusing way, really, but in a "I can't believe he's THIS crazy!", with the cathartic release of laughter being a way to respond to it. He's funny in the same way Tommy DeVito is in GoodFellas - you laugh because he's so absolutely frightening.
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
344,414
Messages
4,709,644
Members
141,265
Latest member
ForsyDia