The Dark Knight

We ventured out to see the midnight showing of The Dark Knight last week, and I haven’t written about it until now because I’ve been so busy, but I figured I better make some time for it before I forget, so here it goes…

It all began when we found out our little local theater would be showing it at midnight, and since we’re usually up with the new baby at that time, we figured why not be in a movie feeding the baby instead of at home?  So we got together a group who wanted to see it, and that’s when we found out the movie was 2 hours and 40 minutes!  Oops, the baby is never up THAT long but too late to back out now!  Besides, after all the hype involved, I was actually looking forward to it.

Since almost a week has passed and I’m on little sleep, some of my memory of the details have faded, so this will be a very vague reveiw.  I’d have to say the movie was exactly what I was expecting.  I was hoping it would be a little better, especially after all the media hype, but it was exactly what I thought it would be – and that’s not anywhere NEAR the 9.6 people gave it on imdb.com.  Since I’m not a huge fan of superhero / comic book movies (yet I keep going to see them; not sure what’s up with that), I really wasn’t expecting this to be one of my favorite movies ever.   Heath Ledger did have a VERY good performance as the Joker, but was it Oscar-worthy?  I personally don’t think so.  I do think he will win it though, but let’s just wait and see if he is nominated and who he is up against.  And it’s not like I ever agree with who wins those things anyway; for me it’s just a good excuse to throw a fun party 🙂

But back to the movie…  there was a lot of violence.  I can’t believe what they’re allowed to call PG-13 these days.  Although I suppose it wasn’t really anything short of what you’d see on tv, and there was actually little to no blood and gore, so maybe that explains it.  The children I saw in the theater were all asleep by the time the movie was over anyway.  And yes, I did think the movie went on too long – it wasn’t a short 2 hours and 40 minutes, and it didn’t really fly by.  As my husband pointed out, way too much dialogue for a superhero movie; friends agreed and added that the Batman movies are like that.  I’ve only seen the Tim Burton Batman from 1989, which I’m told is just a different take on the whole thing and doesn’t really fit into the timeline anywhere, and I’ve also seen Batman Forever, which I really enjoy.  So that brings me to my 2nd favorite villian next to the Joker – Harvey “Two-Face” Dent.  I just love what Tommy Lee Jones did with the character in Batman Forever, and I was pleased when I realized that Harvey Dent was going to turn into Two-Face in The Dark Knight, but overall I was disappointed because Aaron Eckhart’s  Two-Face was pretty lame compared to Jones’.  The makeup was pretty good, although I actually enjoy the more comic book look that they gave Tommy Lee Jones versus the scary look they gave Eckhart for the newest film.

Christian Bale’s Batman was alright, though I couldn’t stand his gravelly Batman voice – it reminded me of the Friends episode where Joey is selling cologne at a department store…  If you’re a fan of the show and you know what episode I’m talking about, find it and listen to his cologne adversary say “Hombre?” – sounds just like Christian Bale’s Batman and every time he spoke in the movie I was tempted to giggle as I thought of that hillarious Friends episode.  Maggie Gyllenhaal was pretty good too; although in scenes with both her and Heath Ledger’s Joker, it was weird for me to think that he played her brother’s gay lover in Brokeback Mountain, but that’s Hollywood for you, it’s cyclical.

And since we’re on the subject of Heath Ledger’s Joker, it was very impressive.  Not the kind of movie or role I’d pick for being Oscar-worthy, but that’s my personal opinion and like I said, we’ll just see happens as Oscar time draws near.  He was pretty scary, and I’d have to say Hollywood can mourn him as a good actor because when I was in the hospital less than a week ago, I watched 10 Things I Hate About You (the hospital’s limited cable selections + baby up at night = what else do I watch but this bad movie?).  Ledger was in that movie, and he couldn’t even shed his Australian accent back then!  Seeing where he was in that movie versus the Joker did give me appreciation for his work (as the Joker, not in 10 Things…).

And another reason I was excited to see this movie was that I had heard that 80% of it was shot in my former hometown (well, sort of, I grew up in the suburbs), Chicago.  It was neat to see all the familiar landmarks, although they did try to anonymize the city so it could be recognized as Gotham City instead of Chicago.  I was especially looking forward to the special effects involved in the Gotham City Hospital scene since I read an article about it ahead of time, but I have to say I was a little disappointed in how it actually looked on screen.  I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn’t seen this movie yet, but I will say that the vacant Brach’s Candy Factory on Chicago’s west side doubled for the Gotham City Hospital.  And seeing the Joker in a nurse’s dress was pretty funny in itself…

Overall, I had a lot of fun seeing this movie.  I think much of it had to do with the midnight showing and attending with a large group of friends.  The movie was exactly what I expected, although I can say I was hoping for better…  but again, I’m not a fan of comic books, and I’ve never read one in my life.

5 thoughts on “The Dark Knight”

  1. I had not thought about Joey’s cologne voice, but yeah. Right. It is really funny that Maggie’s BROTHER, Jake was up for Batman for the previous film. That would have been strange casting (not that it would have happened). I think that this and Brokeback Mountain will be the two Ledger will be most remembered for. Personally, the only other film I saw him in was The Patriot playing Mel Gibson’s son. I predict a nomination, but don’t I will not give my winning pick until next Feb.

  2. I was also curious to see reactions to the setting from two suburban Chicagoans. Was it well disguised or did you recognize anything beyond the abandoned Brach’s factory?

  3. Wouldn’t have recognized the Brach’s factory if I hadn’t read about it. I probably would have thought the city looked familiar, though I definitely would have recognized the arial shot of the Chicago River with all the traffic next to it… I’ll have to ask Chris – he went down to the city much more often than I did. Overall, I’d say it was very well disguised.

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