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The Dark Knight Has Arrived – What a K’night’ Indeed

In Entertainment, Fun Stuff, Movies, The Dark Knight on July 18, 2008 at 1:05 pm

“A little fight in ya. I like that.” – The Joker to Rachel Dawes

I can gladly say that my sleepiness and stiff neck this am is attributed to the long anticipated The Dark Knight.

As I purchased our tickets early yesterday morning, I was mesmerized to hear the ticket clerk ask me exactly which midnight showing I wanted to see. It appears that the movie theater we were at had the film showing on 7 of its 17 screens. Hearing the clerk rattle off show times such as 12:01, 12:05, 12:10, 12:15, and so on, I couldn’t help but think, “Are you kidding me? Are that many people going to show up at these ungodly hours?” The answer: YES. I overheard a couple of young men next me who wanted to buy tickets for Friday’s ‘official’ premiere, but were turned down by the clerk stating that all shows for Friday had already been sold out.

We arrived to theater about 40 minutes before the film began with our prepurchased tickets in hand, but only to find out that the entire theater had already been seated. We were left to find seats in the third row. There were a few people who were channeling the Joker’s spirit by walking around in face paint along with quite a few who were wearing Batman shirts. One guy, riddled with tattoos, was wearing what looked like a 6 year old’s Batman mask and cape. Good for them. :-) It took all I had to throw on sweats and sneakers to make it to the showing that was well past my bedtime.

Now I generally hate going to movies when they premiere because of how packed the house usually is and the immaturity of the audience with their talking, whooping, and personal sound effects (not to mention the constant illumination coming from their cell phones as they’re texting during the movie). This was the first instance EVER where as soon as the first titles came up, in this case the DC Comics logo, the audience went silent. Then when the first scenes of tall buildings in Gotham City appeared, I realized that I could hear my own heart pounding. The audience was so quiet that I swear I could hear the person breathing next to me. Throughout the movie, we seemed to share in laughter, jolts, and gasping all at the same moments. Everyone was truly respectful to one another.

A little over two and half hours later, the film ended in applause and many stood up and gave an extra nod when Heath Ledger’s name came up. Was the film worth all the hype? Did Ledger’s performance truly withstand all the anticipation that has led up to this moment? Does he steal the show? I would say yes to all and even more so than I had imagined. It was a nice change to have more focus on the villains and other characters in the movie other than Batman himself. Don’t get me wrong, I think Christian Bale does an excellent job reprising his role as the Dark Knight; however, the spotlight goes to The Joker and Harvey ‘Two-Face’ Dent.

“You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” -Harvey Dent

The Joker’s character is not the same one from the cartoons, the old t.v. series, or Jack Nicholson’s creation. This one is far more sinister and for the most part, shockingly violent. Every time he would hold his knife up to someone’s face or his own, I would quickly put my hand over my mouth and hold my breath. Most frightening, his only motive is to create chaos because he can. He’s not interested in money, fame, or even killing ‘The Batman.’

“Introduce a little anarchy… Upset the established order… Well then everyone loses their minds!” – The Joker

Batman: “Why do you want to kill me?” The Joker: “I don’t want to kill you. What would I do without you?”

How can we like a villain that is so evil? I think the answer needs to be credited to Ledger’s performance. His mannerisms and nonchalant sayings make you squirm and laugh at the same time.

“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. We’re tonight’s entertainment.” – The Joker as he crashes Bruce Wayne’s party for Harvey Dent.

Unlike Batman Begins (during which I managed to fall asleep not once, but twice), The Dark Knight left me on the edge of my seat, hoping that it wouldn’t end. Speaking of the end, much remains open except for the fact that we know that we won’t be seeing Ledger’s Joker again. Do be careful though about taking young children to this one. For a Batman film, The Dark Knight is by far the most violent and scary for those under the age of 8.

Bad guys in clown masks, mob guys, rottweilers, and politicians who are turned into talking, rotting skulls of peeling flesh are just a few of the contemporary changes to this comic book film. Even the Scarecrow makes a brief appearance almost as an ordinary criminal. Gotham City is much brighter (except at the end when ‘the night is darkest just before the dawn’) and resembles present day instead of some ghastly, dark introverted society.

Alongside the main cast, look for some other familiar faces including Anthony Michael Hall as a reporter (yes- Farmer Ted from Sixteen Candles) and Eric Roberts as a slimy but suave mob boss.

So, plan on getting your tickets well ahead of time, arrive at least 45 minutes early, use the restroom facilities, and settle in for 2 hours and 32 minutes of thrilling, sinister, and explosive entertainment.

And by the way, I only have two words for you: Joker and Nurse ;-)

The Cast (from IMDB.com):

Christian Bale Bruce Wayne / Batman
Heath Ledger The Joker
Aaron Eckhart Harvey Dent / Two-Face
Michael Caine Alfred Pennyworth
Maggie Gyllenhaal Rachel Dawes
Gary Oldman Lt. James Gordon
Morgan Freeman Lucius Fox
Eric Roberts Salvatore Maroni
Anthony Michael Hall Mike Engel
William Fichtner Bank Manager

Also check out Manhola Dargis’ exceptional review from the NYTimes.

Posthumous Oscar for Heath Ledger’s Joker Performance?

Read the story from Wired.com.

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  1. Even if I can’t stand Bale, I can’t wait to see that flick. Sounds great!

  2. I CANNOT wait to see this movie!

    ps – Do you think Heath is going to get the posthumous Oscar?

  3. The skeptics say that Ledger won’t be nominated because films based on comic books never get Oscar nods. Well, if that’s the case, what about non-traditional type of nominations such as Kathy Bates for “Misery.” It may have not been a comic book, but it was a movie based on a Stephen King book for crying out loud. Bates WON the Oscar for her chilling part.
    I think it is possible, but unfortunately, if he is nominated, I would hope that it would be for his actual craft at playing the Joker and not the fact that he won’t be there to accept it.

  4. I saw the movie just 10 mins ago, and was completely awestruck by the brilliant storyline, the spellbindig performances and the never ending thrill of the movie, of course the best performance was by HEATH LEDGER, no other actor would have done that job as brilliant and as crude as HEATH LEDGER, superb and awesome

    I would like to end this by saying that HEATH should get a Posthumous Oscar for his wonderful yet dark performance as the “Joker”

  5. kudos to the makers Dark Knight for their record breaking opening weekend… it’s no wonder there’s talk of another one coming out ASAP

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