Hype, hype, hype! can ruin even a good film, especially when it’s inaccessible in nature but has been given rave reviews. But in the case of a great film, it just feeds the energy. Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan are back as the duo that’s more than a couple steps ahead of what Tim Burton and Michael Keaton were up to when they decided to reboot the Batman franchise in the 80s, which is saying something considering how well both Batman and Batman Returns hold up years after I’m as scared and saddened by Penguin’s parental rejection as I probably should be save for teen jadedness.
Of course, it’s Ledger’s performance as a hopelessly menacing Joker that just about everyone agrees steals the show and they’d be so right that the Oscar buzz surrounding it is not only well-deserved but it would be shameful not to acknowledge the brilliance of such a posthumous actor.
I saw this picture on its midnight debut, a first ever seeing a film debut at such an hour for me, and I can already quote many of Joker’s lines as though it were a classic and this ability has been acquired by literally everyone I’ve talked to who’s seen this film. There is no comparison to Jack Nicholson, they are not the same Joker and Ledger’s interpretation is vastly superior even in a role Nicholson was typecast for. That said, it’s an unfair comparison as the Joker in Tim Burton’s world is nothing similar to the Joker bred from the cerebral capacity of Christopher Nolan when inspired by Frank Miller but I digress. Ledger’s performance is as a certain brutal tactic the Joker knows involving a pencil: a magic trick.
Speaking of that tired midnight hour, while I did manage to stay awake through the film, make no mistake about the fatigue I was feeling; yet despite one or two spots where I thought the film would have ended, there was always a couple schemes and revelations that made me realize how disappointed I’d have been if it really had ended at those moments: Christopher Nolan’s screenplay is just too dam brilliant to cut short.
The film’s length has been given much adieu, yet unlike the Lord of the Rings trilogy which was excellent but still obviously long, this film feels a good hour or so shorter than it actually is and you’re left satisfied with just about every frame. This is due to the fact that though Ledger certainly escalates the film to a higher status, the movie’s core element is its intricate and challenging plot, as is the case with most great cinema.
Where Children of Men provided a highly emotional experience of feeling just about as dog-tired as its cast from the constant dark happenings and small windows of hope, The Dark Knight does the very same but better and with more flair and style. This is noir film making at its absolute pinnacle, with just enough heroic symbology and actually quite meaningful and well-delivered dialogue concerning ways of life and the cost of integrity to merit a hopeful feeling in the viewer. It is the perfect mix of dark character study, action film, and comic book fight-for-good inspiration and the likes of its supporting cast should be given plentiful credit for their more than adequate performances helping this perfect chain acquire all its links.
I have not gone into detail about the film too much farther than to rave about its broad appeal, but that is because every second of this is so precious I feel that any and all plotlines may as well be spoilers (yet the whole package cannot disappoint no matter how much you know). In short, this may not be the film that movie goers deserve considering what they’ve handed over hard-earned cash for, but it’s what not only comic book heroes but movies in general need.
Edit:Ok, so a guy on myspace named Ryan@Dallas messaged me about a show he was booking for this club The Door (where I've seen both my god-awful friend's band as well as the great 3 Inches of Blood once it moved to a less crime-ridden locale on Deep Ellum) and.... wondered where he could hear my music?
I'm guessing my page isn't working but Christ does this guy get paid by how many bands he can get for 9/21.... ok actually that scenario sounds quite plausible but shit that's a lame requirement: just have a page.
That said, I'd be in college by that time anyway, and don't want to perform entirely by myself as the songs are recorded. But then I have been in talks with my friend Albert to record some stuff on occassion. What do you guys think? And my page: myspace.com/thecolorviolence and Albert's bands are Fall Hero Fall and Knowing Limits From Lies.