*** Official THE DARK KNIGHT Discussion Thread

Colin Jacobson

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The funny thing about age and fondness of movies is that I should probably love Superman most of all. After all, I was 11 when it came out and I adored it back then. I was 22 when Burton's Batman hit, so it doesn't get the nostalgia bump Superman receives.

I dunno - I just think Superman is a flawed film. The origin story goes on too long and the rest of it never quite compensates. For every good sequence like Superman's first night in Metropolis, we get dreck like Lois' "Can You Read My Mind?" to harm the flick.

I thought the origin story of Batman Begins was a little long too, but once we got to Gotham, the rest of the flick more than compensated. Once the lead character finally appears, however, Superman never quite makes up for lost time. It's a good film for that span, but never a great one. And that "time reversal" ending remains lame after 30 years!


Oh, I know!
 

Todd H

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Almost a day after seeing TDK at a midnight screening I still can't get it out of my head. I must see it again.

Does anyone else think this film reminded them of Empire Strikes Back? It ends on such a down note. I just hope for the third film Nolan doesn't give us Ewoks!
 

Chuck Mayer

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1) I agree about Nolan. He just hit the big time.
2) I'll be seeing it again Sunday morning, so I'll let you know. I thought when Batman and Gordon were talking, I remember Nolan shifting ahead to Batman running away and then back to them talking. Nothing big. Let me rewatch. I was pretty overloaded by that point last night.

EDIT: Colin, you are correct. I meant what you said, and used "bribe" incorrectly.
 

Romier S

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You'll find this element to the Joker character in The Killing Joke (if you haven't read it - you should do so immediately
). We get a version of the Joker's origin which some fans claim to be the "definitive" but it's one I always took as the Joker telling a twisted version of. One of my favorite lines from the Joker in the book..

"Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another... If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!"

It's one aspect I really loved seeing in the movie.
 

Phil Florian

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Some points..what a great and fast and furious discussion! First off, saw a midnight movie last night. Our theater added 6 in the first half hour after midnight and THEN a 3:20 AM showing! Jeepers! Somewhere I saw today it has the strongest midnight movie opening ever. Amazing.

1) Dent may be alive and I like the "Wayne tries to save him" bit suggested. This goes deep into Miller's Dark Knight Returns territory where this same point is done...Wayne pays to heal the burned side of his face. That had a wonderful payoff.

2) Anyone see the Batman: Gotham Knight DVD? These 6 mini-episodes really tie in well with the movie. In particular, the genesis of the "sonar" device. Not the device specifically, but more along the lines of working with Fox to create more powerful gadgets and the choice Wayne makes with one of them...one that makes him impervious to bullets. It is a great little flick. They deal with Deadshot (fits the Nolanverse, too), Scarecrow again (fits the movie version well) and Killer Croc (well...kind of...I think they use a dose of the Scarecrow stuff to make him more "scary" like the comic vs. real life croc man). Anyway, I think this is a must-see for fans of the movie.

3) One of the biggest reasons to save the HK scene (not for IMAX reasons alone) is that is also shows how comfortable and dependent the police force is on Batman. His gadgets and actions save their bacon a lot. It makes the ending all the more powerful.

4) The ending. Purple prose aside, I didn't see that coming but re-setting the status quo to "vigilante chased by cops" makes for a great 3rd movie possibility. I like the idea of NO supervillain (unlikely). Batman vs. badguys vs. cops would be great.

5) I like that Aaron Ekhart was once on the short-list for playing Batman in whatshisnames adaptation of Batman Year One. He would have (and still could, in my opinion) played a great Bat. As it is, his Harvey was fantastic and I agree that it is his high water mark performance. Batmanuel as Mayor doesn't hurt in the "how funny is that?" department.

6) Possible villains: If not just the cops, Catwoman seems likely. Penguin may fit as a mobster (as done in the Animated series...he is high class and almost legit...more Kingpin Light than...whatever the hell he was in Batman Returns). I liked Deadshot. He and the Bat had a great rivalry in the comics and his appearance in the animated was nice. Dr. Freeze! He was my favorite in the animated series but he is too sci-fi for the Nolanverse. Bane seems too one dimensional. I liked the old run when a murderer was offing people that COULD be the Batman based on physical abilities, money, etc. Wayne was of course on the list. Can't remember the bad guy. Will be neat to see what they do.

Gads. This was such a neat experience. It is rare that I am so jazzed after seeing such a dark and dour movie but I think one reviewer (Can't find the review, though) noted this was the best post-9/11 movie to really deal with "terror" and "anarchy" and how easy society can crumble with hits on small portions of the foundations of our country (yes, the losses were huge in 9/11 but more died on the road that year...but WHERE it was and HOW it happened chilled us to the bone). This made Joker's actions all the more potent. He did more to crush Gotham than Ghul's city-burning ideas.
 

Jim Ogilvie

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Sure, but thats not really what great casting is about. Why couldn't they cast a woman who is both breathtakingly beautiful and smart?

There are many actresses out there who can pull this off. They clearly thought 'attractive' was important when they went with Holmes in B.B. - they likely thought someone with better acting chops but a more subdued beauty would be a good changing of gears for the character. I'm sure they debated this point.

It was for me a distracting element. I also found her performance in the interrogation of Lau to be over the top, especially her return to the interrogation room after conferring with Gordon and Dent. She was *way* too giddy and self assured.
 

Adam Sanchez

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What is the Hk scene you all keep talking about? Is it something exclusive to IMAX? I have no idea what HK stands for.
 

Holadem

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A bit confused about something, did the Batman pick Dent over Rachel or did the Joker switch the addresses?

Fun flick. Action scenes are vastly improved from the first one -- at we can see the Batman doing his thing. Still, they remain standard, if serviceable. As I write this, I struggle to remember anything of note beside that truck going vertical.

Ledger has delivered a tremendous performance here, one of the ages. In the regard, the hype was for real. The Joker never came thru to me in the trailers and pictures; I felt there was a LOT of wishful thinking going on (I still do) but I was very pleasantly surprised.

--
H
 

ThomasC

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Now that you mention it, I think I get it now. I got confused, too. I think Batman was intending to save Rachel, but the Joker did switch the addresses. Later in the movie, the officer gives Gordon's wife the address to the place where Rachel was killed (as mentioned by Harvey)...255 something. The Joker gave out the 255 address for Harvey.

That would explain why Gordon got so emotional when the building blew up. I didn't think he knew Rachel well enough to get worked up that way, but I get it if he thought Harvey had died.
 

Chuck Mayer

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Batman picked Rachel. While Dent was the better choice to save (for Gotham), Batman (again) went with his emotions on that. But the Joker lied about who was where


Regarding the sonar...I've spent a portion of my professional life working with sonar (sound navigation and ranging is what sonar stands for). There are multiple ways to do it. You can passively listen for crap and use that information to understand your surroundings, or you can "go" active, where you emit signals and wait for the returns (as real bats and the gadgets do in the film) to illuminate physical objects (sound reflects off of matter and "bounces back"). The time difference and modulation represent what the sound is "seeing". Of course what it used in the movie is way beyond the ability of cell phones to transmit and receive, and the processing required for the big action scene is off the charts. But it's physically possible, and therefore fun for a neat action scene. Nerd mode off.
 

Holadem

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Re: Rachel/Dent choice -- that's what I thought. Just that something Dent said later suggested that Batman deliberately chose him over Rachel. Cool, thx.

--
H
 

Chuck Mayer

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Neither Dent nor Rachel know that Joker lied. Dent assumed Batman chose him over Rachel, and Rachel dies believing the very same. That's part of the tragedy. It's a reason for Dent to HATE Batman, and something Bruce Wayne will blame himself forever. Rachel died thinking Bruce chose Dent over her (which is cold).
 

Paul_Scott

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Watching Maggie, I became even more secure in my fondness for Holmes in the role because she made me realize who that character was...or was supposed to be: a pretty, young, earnest DA wannabe.
When people say she's not commanding or able to convey authority well enough, I think they are missing an essential point. The character herself probably feels this same way as well. She knows when she walks into a courtroom to face down powerful mobsters and heartless thugs that they are dismissing her based on her youth, gender, and looks. She is hit by these perceptions every day. Therefore, like many pretty girls in powerful positions, she tries to overcompensate by being as tough as she can be- BUT IT'S ONLY AN ACT.
She didn't grow up in the barrio or ghetto. She's not 'street tough'. She's simply earnest, and having the audience think that her courtroom adversaries and allies are dismissive of her because she projects a lack of gravitas or command, actually serves the character well.
I think most people have been way off base here.
 

Holadem

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Now that I think about it, I find this Batman curiously level-headed after the murder (not to mention the psychological torture) of the woman he loves. He was perfectly content to leave the villain in the last flick to his doom, but went out of his way to save the guy who killed Rachel. Weird no?

--
H
 

Zack Gibbs

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Well, not only was he making a point, he threw The Joker off the building in the first place. It wouldn't have been "not saving him," it would have been murder.
 

DavidJ

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Wow, by the time I get to post on the day it opens the thread is already 6 pages long...

I thought it was great.

It is hard for me to say that it lives up to the hype+reviews+buzz. To do so it would have to be THE GREATEST FREAKIN' MOVIE EVER.


And I'm definitely not going to go that far.

As I posted in the other pre-release thread, I was concerned that it wouldn't be able to live up to my expectations with all the high-praise, buzz, etc., but it did.

RE: Ledger's performance: Going in I was not particularly a fan of Ledger and I do not think that his performance needs to be judged differently because he met a tragic end. To me in fact, to do so would cheapen his craft that by all accounts he took a great pride in. His Joker was brilliant and truly scary and his performance was every bit as good as the advance word said it was. I'd be surprised if he doesn't earn an Oscar nomination and I'm sure some voters will be influenced by his death, but this was a great performance deserving of recognition regardless of circumstances.

I still thought the Rachael character was the weak link in the film. Gyllenhaal may have been an upgrade in the role, but the character doesn't seem particularly well-written to me. This is a minor quibble in a film that doesn't have many weaknesses.

It is dark film that doesn't pull many punches and it takes you on a great ride. It feels authentic and true and I think one of the big reasons is the fact there isn't "a lot" of CGI (I know there is plenty of computer aided work in the film, but hopefully you get the point).

Off to catch up with the thread...
 

Colin Jacobson

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I think I have "The Killing Joke" around here somewhere - I believe I bought it when I went through a renewed Bat-fascination in 1989. I'll have to check around for it and read it again if I have it!
 

Colin Jacobson

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This is something I'll have to pay more attention to when I see the movie again. I thought Bats indicated he was going for Rachel when he and Gordon divvied up their responsibilities, but when he got to Dent, he showed no "huh???" reaction that'd indicate a swap had been made.

I thought that he chose to save Dent for the same reason Rachel chose Harvey over Bruce: Bruce's sense of duty will ALWAYS beat his emotional side. He'd rather save the guy who can do good for Gotham than rescue the love of his life.

Of course, if he DID intend to save Rachel and the Joker tricked him... nevermind!
 

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