Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Dark Knight (2008)

Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale): [after running into Harvey and Rachel at a restaurant] So, let's put a couple tables together.
Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart): I'm not sure they'll let us.
Bruce Wayne: Oh, they should. I own the place.

Bruce Wayne: I need a new suit.
Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman): Yeah, three buttons is a little '90's, Mr. Wayne.
Bruce Wayne: I'm not talking fashion, Mr. Fox, so much as function.
[hands him a diagram]
Lucius Fox: You want to be able to turn your head.
Bruce Wayne: Sure would make backing out of the driveway easier.

"Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we'll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark knight."
- Lt. James Gordon (Gary Oldman) [last lines]

At a glance: An A-grade cast, an epic story, and a very dark and evil villain (played to perfection by Heath Ledger) mark this long, intense, violent, and wildly successful  Batman film – the second time Christian Bale has donned the cape.

Batman is pitted against a brutally evil foe: the Joker. Christian Bale is back at Batman and Christopher Nolan is back to direct; for both, it is there second outing (Batman Begins was the first). This is an amazing action film with an amazing cast: read the first seven names, for example: (Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman…and then further down to Cillian Murphy. This was, of course, Heath Ledger’s final performance before his untimely death. Ledger’s amazingly evil, thoroughly psychotic, and naturally quirky Joker provides a more than ample adversary for Bruce Wayne / Batman. It’s somewhat sad to think that Ledger’s very fate may have been shaped by his tendency to allow his roles to bleed into his real life (reportedly, he spent six weeks alone in his apartment studying and honing his performance – so sad to have lost an actor with his talent and dedication). Christian Bale brings a suave nonchalance to the role and could easily make James Bond green with envy. It’s established early on that this Joker is not a flamboyant jokester: he’s a sick, cold-blooded killer with some serious psychological problems. This is a darker, more violent Batman film, and this is not cartoon violence – people get shot in cold blood and don’t get up again (although it must be noted that almost all the violence happens off-screen). Rating: 3 of 4

"Can one great character carry an entire movie? ....the answer is obviously yes. Ledger does it."
- John J. Puccio (DVDTown.com)

"An amazing piece of filmmaking that rockets the Batman legacy to heights never imagined, fueled by Heath Ledger’s amazing re-invention of The Joker."
- Pete Hammond (Hollywood.com)

"The movie is two-and-a-half hours of almost non-stop action, which while often enthralling, eventually gets tiring. It's just go-go-go."
- Brie Beazley (Reel.com)

"Nolan gives in a bit to bloated-sequel syndrome ... but this is still one of the most riveting, trilling and wrenching movies of the year."
- Rich Cline (Shadows on the Wall)

"You will exit the cinema with an enhanced respect for Nolan's intelligence, for Wally Pfister's pin-sharp cinematography, and, sadly, for an acting talent tragically curtailed."
- Anthony Quinn (Independent)

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