Thursday, July 31, 2008

Notes on seeing The Dark Knight

***Here there be spoilers!***

- For all the buzz about Heath Ledger's performance, I think that Aaron Eckhart was equally compelling. His turn to the dark side was a bit hard to swallow, but that's a weakness in the script. I only wish that Harvey Dent had been a more likable character.

- The scene in which the Joker burns the big pile of money is problematic for two reasons. 1) Gotham must exist in some very alternate reality in order for the Joker to be able to say that gas is cheap. 2) His monologue is too self-righteous. Who is he to talk about the glory days of Gotham villains?

- This film is definitely non-compliant with the Bechdel-Wallace Rule.

- In a similar vein, of the three female characters who have names, one gets killed, one is a turncoat, and one is a mom. (And isn't Barbara Gordon supposed to be Commissioner Gordon's daughter?)

- I wonder how they write action and car chase sequences for movies like this. Do they write it out specifically: "Motorcycle drives up wall and does a flip thing"? Or just "Insert badass blow-up-y stuff here" and let the action choreographers figure it out?

- I wonder how many mpg the Batmobile gets.

- The trope of a villain putting both a friend and love interest of Batman in peril and making him choose who to save always seemed really gimmicky to me. I'm glad that Batman was not able to save both in this reworking.

- I liked that Joker's exploding ferry scheme was an exercise in Game Theory. Very fitting.

- My favorite thing about Christian Bale's portrayal of Bruce Wayne is that he makes it very obvious (to the audience, at least) that the whole playboy millionaire thing is an act. This is much more convincing and laudable than previous incarnations in which Bruce Wayne has little personality and actually is a playboy. Bale's Wayne is more to Batman what Clark Kent is to Superman - an actual alternate identity - but rather than meek and mild-mannered, he goes for arrogant and air-headed. ("Should I go to the hospital?")

- It was a little too long. One too many climaxes, if you ask me.

- I want an "Ichi the Killer"/"Dark Knight" crossover Christmas special in which Joker and Kakihara go on a crime spree together.

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