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The Dark Knight, not as good of a movie as everyone says it is.

Yes, Heath Ledger was great. He took what Mark Hammil did as the Joker but was able to add the violence of Jack Nicholson. It was a well written part. I enjoyed his performance but I wasn't as impressed. I like his final film better, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. The movie is flawed, but they had to rewrite the film because Heath Ledger died. Rather than reshoot the film, they had Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law step in to make this trippy film even trippier. Plus it doesn't suffer from Terry Gilliam's flaw of pacing too much. I would say this is one of his best film's and Heath Ledger's best, too.

I am going to say something that is considered sacrosanct: Christian Bale is not that good of a Batman. Yes he is physical, unlike previous Batmans; that is impressive. They designed a costume which gets past "Keaton-itis" (The costume in which one can not move one's head.) and he learned Keysi Fighting Method which fits Batman quite nicely. However, Bale does not do subtle. That is his problem. When Michael Keaton played Batman, he was amazing. His performance spoke about Batman more than the script did. Bale is great at being over the top. After seeing American Psycho, I would have rather seen him as the Joker. And he has the chin for it, too.

As Batman, Bale is closer to Keoanu Reeves.

Whoa.

There are two problems with this film. The nuances missing from Bale's performance would have fixed the first one making the film into a morality tale of the failures of the Bush Administration. Batman realizes that eavesdropping on the people of Gotham only lead to more death and destruction in Gotham which is why at the end he took the fall for Harvey Dent's death. The second was that stupid voice over to explain to stupid people what the ending was about.

I know Republicans are watching the movie, but it's okay if they don't get it. They don't get a lot of things. They are used to being stupid!

What I hope Christopher Nolan does with the trilogy is this: There are different schools of Batman, there is the Batman of the 40s to the 60s. Goofy and corny. Adam West perfectly captured this on film. Then in the 60s Dennis O'Neil took over and created the "Batman the Adventurer." This is a different Batman than what Bob Kane use to sign his name as doing. He was a swashbuckler and was charming. His stories and villians lived in shades of gray, very little is black or white. Robin grows up and moves on in his superhero career, so Batman is unencumbered by his pantsless, underage ward. Batman during this era was marked by the wonderful art of Neal Adams and other artists who tried to draw like him. The Dark Knight is closer to the Frank Miller Batman. This is book started the "Grim and Gritty" movement. This also made Batman the Right-Wing model of a superhero. He was self-made and "pulled himself up by his boot straps," just like George W. Bush and Mitt Romney, he inhareted it. Now in the ninties Dennis O'Neal returned to Batman, but this time as editor. He was activly guiding Batman into the Batman of the 21st century. By the time he left editing Batman (He is retired, but I recomend reading his essays on ComicMix. They are wonderful.) he and the group of writers who were working on Batman created a world where all the versions of Batman exist simultaneously. You just have to pick your own Batman title. This fusion of Batman, also the leader of many Batmen (Last time I checked he recruited a bunch of "Batmen" as franchises, much like one would franchise a KFC.) as well as the multiple vigilantes of Gotham City. This leader of superheroes is where Dark Knight Rises should end. If Christopher Nolan does this, he would have done 3 Batman films that represent 45 years of Batman's legacy.

On a different note: Who wants to see me take on Frank Miller's upcoming graphic novel? On his website he said, "So when I say that my new book, HOLY TERROR, is propaganda, I mean so in all the ways that the virtuous works of Thomas Paine practiced it, through to the ways that the current, shameless MSNBC practice it." I will chastize MSNBC for their shortcommings, but seriously? Shameless? Should I take on Frank Miller? Let me know if you want to see this.

 

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