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It's 4:41 in the morning, and I just got back from The Dark Knight


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It's very rare in cinema when a movie captivates its audience so much that when the end credits come up, nobody says anything or even moves towards the door. That happened tonight in the theatre I was in. There was about a 10 second delay of silence when the screen went black and the first credits came up...and then wild applause. I'm not talking about a nice golf clap either, I'm talking about Josh Hamilton standing ovation type applause. I don't believe I've ever witnessed anything quite like it before. I'm sure the same thought was running through everyone else's head: "Did I really just watch that?"

My expectations, like so many other people, were through the roof and beyond...and STILL the movie surpassed every fiber of expectation I could ever imagine. It is a masterpiece of epic proportions. The cinematography, the eerie soundtrack score, the dialogue, the intertwining sub-plots and complex psychological commentary-- not much else can compare to it.

The cinematography alone is worth paying the money to see. Nolan brilliantly captures the essance of Gotham City. You can almost smell the police corruption, crime, and darkness that he was able to generate, and you really get the feeling that this is the only city in the world that could house both Batman and the Joker.

Accompanying Nolan's vision is the brilliance of two other men-- Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard. If they don't win an Oscar for best score then nobody ever has and nobody ever will again. There are times where the music literally sucks you into the moment, whether it be the scratching, tension building screech during a re-telling of childhood events from the Joker, or the calming but dangerous moan that joins Batman's city-wide gaze. I personally have never heard its equal.

The man that steals the show, undoubtedly, and as predicted, is the late Heath Ledger. Ledger was able to do what no other had done before him, and that was to rip the very soul from the Joker of the comics and plaster it, in all its maniacal glory, all over the screen for the world to see. It is disturbing, diabolical, psychopathic and at times disgusting. It is without question the most intense and brutal portrayal of a villain I have ever seen. There are times when I caught myself laughing at his behavior, or a remark he made, and then quickly questioning what was wrong with me. His untimely death really does create an aura of uneasiness whenever he's on screen, which only adds to the performance. The Joker's complete and utter devotion to total anarchy is fascinating to behold, and Ledger captured this perfectly.

But lost within the twisted take on The Laughing Man, are the performances of both Christian Bale and Aaron Eckhart. Bale was able to fully evolve into Batman, leaving only bits and pieces of Bruce Wayne scattered throughout the movie. His chilling persona and voice while dressed as the Bat are a definitive reminder of the true terror that is created by Batman amongst all of those that oppose him. The constant turmoil that swirls in his mind and before the audience's very eyes is really something to behold. It is a connection that every human being can make with him. It is depressing and inspiring all at the same time, and ends up leaving you questioning your own morality. Bale's gripping portrayal of the caped crusader should NOT be overshadowed by Ledger. Both of them were brilliant.

The surprise performance is Aaron Eckhart. He is the real hero of the movie up until his tragic transformation into the bone-chilling Two Face. His time spent on screen as Harvey Dent is insightful and inspiring. I haven't seen much of Eckhart's work before this, but he does NOT in any way mail in his performance. When the accident that turns him into Two Face happens, Eckhart transforms into a vengeful, spiteful and terrifying madman with one of the most brutal look of any movie villain ever. It is a FAR cry from Tommy Lee Jones' comical and campy take on the character. 

With Eckhart returning as the villain in Batman 3, that movie should be every bit as dark and unsettling as The Dark Knight.

The main question now is: Do they replace Heath Ledger for Batman 3 or do they leave what happens to The Joker up to audience interpretation?

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Ronald loves the falcons (7/19/2008)
good movie just got back from seeing it as well. but it annoys me shoulda of just killed joker.

They couldn't have killed the Joker though. Ledger was set to return as The Joker in Batman 3, and died after all of his scenes were shot, thus leaving the studio with the option of leaving Ledger's last full performance as it was intended, or "kill" a body double.

They chose wisely, but in the process have also created another big problem.

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Headshot (7/19/2008)
Ronald loves the falcons (7/19/2008)
good movie just got back from seeing it as well. but it annoys me shoulda of just killed joker.

They couldn't have killed the Joker though. Ledger was set to return as The Joker in Batman 3, and died after all of his scenes were shot, thus leaving the studio with the option of leaving Ledger's last full performance as it was intended, or "kill" a body double.

They chose wisely, but in the process have also created another big problem.

i just say shoulda killed joker because it seems like the simple thing to do. what do you think their going to do about the joker.

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Haha, I got to see the movie 24 hours earlier than you did at 12:01 Friday morning.

I will agree it was the best movie I've seen since I can remember.

By the way, how is Two Face going to come back when he died at the end of TDK? (by the way, if you haven't seen the movie yet, don't read that last sentence :hehe: ) I thought that Phillip Seymour Hoffman was going to be the Penguin in the next Batman.

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pencilpusher (7/19/2008)
I've never understood why people applaud at a film. It's not live a live show to show the actors your appreciation.

Carry on.

Batman opening night I can understand, but I've been to movies where they were crap and people applaud at the end it pisses me off, I mean are the actors gonna come out of the screen and be like o thanks guys!

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I won't write a book on here about everything that made it great, but heres just one thing I LOVED about it.

One of the things that they really stressed in Batman Begins was the whole concept of Batman becoming a symbol (with that whole thing about how when you make yourself a symbol you become more than just a man). And they completely took that and ran with it the entire movie. The entire movie you have this massive internal struggle of Bruce Wayne wanting to be a vigilante/do what he as a person wants to do and Batman knowing that he had to be the symbol he created. And that drama and suspense was something that no other superhero film has ever been able to do.

Ive been huge Christopher Nolan and Hans Zimmer guys for a long time. In fact Nolan was my favorite director even before I saw this. Everything he has done has been really amazing.

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saint vitus (7/19/2008)
Wow, alot of hype being made for Ledger's role as the joker.

I kind of made up my mind about Ledger when he played a gender challenged cowboy in the movie before this one.

Jack Nicholson...that is the Joker.

Have you seen the movie?  I think If you saw Ledger you'd change ur mind, but I still give props to Jack Nicholson as the joker.

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tipp78 (7/19/2008)
saint vitus (7/19/2008)
Wow, alot of hype being made for Ledger's role as the joker.

I kind of made up my mind about Ledger when he played a gender challenged cowboy in the movie before this one.

Jack Nicholson...that is the Joker.

Have you seen the movie?  I think If you saw Ledger you'd change ur mind, but I still give props to Jack Nicholson as the joker.

 

He's obviously never seen either movie - Ledger in Brokeback Mountain was a great performance, Ledger in Batman is a great performance

I don't understand how one can give credit for playing a fictional phsyco and not give credit for depicting a cowboy that does, what history says many cowboys did when on long drives

 

I separate the two and applaud both

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saint vitus (7/19/2008)
Wow, alot of hype being made for Ledger's role as the joker.

I kind of made up my mind about Ledger when he played a gender challenged cowboy in the movie before this one.

Jack Nicholson...that is the Joker.

ah, ignorance at its finest

Ledger is incredible in this movie. Not only do you get lost in his portrayal, but there were a few points in the movie where I couldn't even believe it was actually Ledger. Absolutely incredible.

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pencilpusher (7/19/2008)
I've never understood why people applaud at a film. It's not live a live show to show the actors your appreciation.

Carry on.

I didn't know people applauded at a movie, it hasn't happened to any movies I went to.
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I was not a big fan of Begins by itself, but as a set up for this epic movie it was perfect. You don't have to see Begins to enjoy TDK, but it is a more satisfying experience if you know the backstory. You covered just about everything in the original post that made the movie great, but maybe the most impressive thing about the whole movie is that it was only like two and a half hours long at most. It felt so much longer (in a good way), I was shocked when I saw the time leaving the theater. It's amazing how much was in that movie without it feeling rushed or confusing. The twist with Joker's escape felt like the beginning to a new movie.

Ledger cannot get enough praise for his Joker. From the beginning bank heist to his last scene hanging upside down, he was perfect. I don't know if he'll win an Oscar, but it wouldn't be an upset if he did. With his death, he may have been too good. I can't imagine a new Batman trying to live up to this one without the Joker. His character is now in the same class as Kilmer's Doc Holiday and DDL's Bill Cutting. 

By the way, is it weird that my three favorite movie characters are somewhat questionable as far as their morals? From the gambling alocoholic that shoots bad people to the insane hospital bomber who kills whoever he feels like.

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I just came back from seeing The Dark Knight.

That movie was blissful CHAOS. THAT was definitely the Joker from the comics.

I thought that people were just putting his name out there just because of his untimely death, but now I see what everyone was talking out.

Heath Ledger had better win the Oscar for Best Actor with his portrayal of the Joker. That sumb.itch was demented and EVIL.

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Remarkable (7/19/2008)
I forgot to ask, how did they find the room with those officers tied up before the attempt on the mayor? They did all of that with the bullet in the wall and the finger print, but I didn't understand it. That's the only part that lost me.
He ran the print and got 4 different matches, and one was on the apartment overlooking the funeral.
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kicker23 (7/19/2008)
Remarkable (7/19/2008)
I forgot to ask, how did they find the room with those officers tied up before the attempt on the mayor? They did all of that with the bullet in the wall and the finger print, but I didn't understand it. That's the only part that lost me.
He ran the print and got 4 different matches, and one was on the apartment overlooking the funeral.

Yeah, but what was with him using that big gun to shoot at the 4 different bricks or whatever?

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Remarkable (7/19/2008)
kicker23 (7/19/2008)
Remarkable (7/19/2008)
I forgot to ask, how did they find the room with those officers tied up before the attempt on the mayor? They did all of that with the bullet in the wall and the finger print, but I didn't understand it. That's the only part that lost me.
He ran the print and got 4 different matches, and one was on the apartment overlooking the funeral.

Yeah, but what was with him using thatbig gunto shoot at the 4 different bricks or whatever?

He had to figure out what type of bullet it was. At least, that was what my take on it was.
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Remarkable (7/19/2008)
Why? And did that gun shoot 4 different bullets?
I think he had to do it so his computer could piece it back together. He was analyzing the holes each bullet made, and picked the one that looked like the hole from the crime scene.
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