Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Dark Knight

Hiatus is Ending

I've been on hiatus for quite a while now, but it's almost over! I've spent the last week getting moved into my apartment and I'm quite pleased with how it has turned out. The furniture is classy but not really expensive, I love having my new HD TV, this DVR thing is ridiculous (especially with HBO + Showtime), and I'm having a lot of fun with my PS3 + Rock Band (especially while my brother and sister-in-law are here). I start work on Monday (finally) so I'll be back into a routine by Wednesday. By then I'll be much more homesick though with all my family gone (even my cousin who lives here and her family are out of the country). By the end of next week you should start to get back your regular dose of tech news with probably a dribble of some other stuff (we'll see).

The Dark Knight

I'm going to be keeping this spoiler-free, so don't be afraid to keep reading. I hate it when reviewers give away key plot details, it really hurts the movie experience. Speaking of which: you need to see this movie in IMAX if it all possible. It's worth the extra few bucks, trust me. Christopher Nolan shot 6 scenes in the movie using IMAX cameras, and it shows.

In case you've been living under a rock: this movie is a direct sequel to Batman Begins and is not at all related to the prior Batman films. The main premise is that the organized crime in Gotham, under siege from Batman, turn to The Joker for help and, naturally, chaos ensues. This movie is hands-down the best comic book movie ever made. It took my high expectations and just shattered them. This movie doesn't just blow away Iron Man, it really outshines Batman Begins in its dialogue, pacing, and action scenes. This is Batman the way it was meant to be experienced and really combines the elements that make Batman my favorite comic book/animated series.

There's so much to love about this movie that I'm not sure where I should start. I think I'll go with the acting: Heath Ledger steals the show as Joker among an already incredible cast. He doesn't just portray the Joker, but for 2 and a half hours he is the Joker. I can't think of the last time I saw an actor nail a role so well that I couldn't even believe it was them in the role. I'm not saying I thought he was a bad actor before, but just the voice and makeup and everything transforms him into a completely different person. He's so good that I'm sure Jack Nicholson will see it and say, "Damn, he was good!" If you go to this movie for no other reason it should be to see Ledger in his best role ever. It's so sad to know that he can't come back in a future Batman film or any film at all. If you ever doubted his abilities as an actor, this movie will embarrass you.

The rest of the cast doesn't disappoint either. Christian Bale is an even better Bruce Wayne than before and really takes on a darker, grittier Batman. This movie is really dark, and Bale doesn't shy away from this. Michael Caine is, well, Alfred. he was in the first movie and he is here also. If you've seen the first one (which you really should before walking into this one) then you know what to expect here. Maggie Gyllenhaal really steals Rachel Dawes from Katie Holmes because it will amaze you that Katie Holmes ever could have been Rachel Dawes. I always felt that Gyllenhaal was underrated and it shows in this film. Aaron Eckhart was the perfect man to play Harvey Dent. The concept of a DA with a passion for justice is not lost on Eckhart. He starts off as being not bad and then progressively just gets deeper and deeper into the role. Morgan Freeman's character is given more screen time in this one and while I would've loved to have seen his character fleshed out a little more I appreciate their time restrictions also.

Speaking of which: the worst thing you can drudge up about this movie is how dense it is. It's 2 and a half hours long and a lot happens, but I feel like it's paced well enough so that you'll always want to know what happens next and you can't possibly be bored. You probably will laugh, cry, and jump in your seat (or squirm) during this movie, it's just that powerful. I love the dark humor because I love dark humor in general, and the delivery is always impeccable. The dialogue in this movie is decidedly more mature when compared to its predecessor, which I think is saying a lot (probably because David Goyer was not a part of writing this one). Getting back to my point though: there are several plots throughout this movie that do all tie together but can get confusing if you don't pay attention. Of course, I just look at this as giving more re-watch value to the film. There's so many little details to appreciate and the cinematography is so spot-on that you can't help but want to watch certain scenes again and again. The special effects are never too heavy and are always just welcome inclusions.

This movie should not be seen by small children. Seriously, if you're under 14 then you have no business seeing this movie. It's not curse words or violence (though there's not much cursing and there's absolutely no nudity), but rather the themes that this movie revolves around. They're dark, complicated, and involve a lot of moral gray area. Besides, the Joker would probably seriously creep out anyone that young (I'd be surprise if he didn't give some adults bad dreams). The haunting imagery in this movie will likely stick with you, but you have to appreciate the fact that these characters are likely to stick with you. You really care about them and feel involved in their lives.

I give this movie an A+ with my highest recommendation for you to run out and see it right now. Please, go see it in IMAX if you can. If you are above the age of 16 and you do not see this movie then something is wrong with you. Yes, it's that good. Even my dad really enjoyed it.

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