Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Dark Knight

Since I was (or still are?) in my entertaining mood it’s not a surprise that I finally watched the Batman last installment. In a nutshell: yes, is a good movie and yes, it does not feel or looks like a comics-to-movie at all.

I believe that all the fuzz and buzz about this movie (that was impossible for me not to notice) sort of spoiled the movie for me; but still I believe that I can do an objective and unusual review of this movie. Let’s try.

Let’s start with the story. I’m sort of familiar with the Batman story as when I was a kid I used to read the comics (as well as Superman and Archie lol!). When I started to watch it got me by surprise and took me a while to realize that obviously this was the sequel to Batman Begins; but soon enough I did and the story became quite predictable for me. The only unexpected thing is that they killed Two-Face that soon.

The performances. I have to concur with “everyone” Heath Ledger performance is INCREDIBLY GOOD! Bravo! His villain will go into cinema history as one of the best performed, especially as he was able to absolutely convey the many layers of this complex and unlikable character. No, I wont get nightmares from his character, but while watching at moments my stomach was truly repulsed.

I believe that performances by other actors were acceptable, but none was able to be at Ledger stature and well, this is Ledger’s movie as he totally steals the movie from everyone else. But I can’t help to think that it was Christopher Nolan who was able to extract from Ledger his amazing performance (also the screenplay by brothers Christopher and Jonathan Nolan was extraordinary for The Joker character) and on the not so good side, he was not able to extract from other great actors a similar performance… hmm, just imagine that at least the Batman character had a better and complex screenplay character and I do not doubt that Christian Bale could have perform it with similar stature to Ledger. Then, the movie would have had at least two extraordinary and great characters, one competing against the other. Unfortunately it didn’t happened here.

The movie as a movie. It was all right, but I hoped for a more darker cinematography. Somehow cinematography helped to give me the feeling that this was not a Batman movie and that it was similar to many other good drama/crime/thriller movies. Then tech specs are just excellent and do not distract from everything that is happening in the screen and more important for me, allows to pay unique attention to Ledger’s performance.

Yep, as you probably have guessed by now, for me this movie didn’t look and feel like a Batman movie. It looks and feels like an extraordinary, excellent and unusual portrait of a complex personality character. This movie should have been called The Joker, as in my opinion all the other lead characters in the story had secondary roles and/or Ledger’s performance made them secondary.

So, if I imagine that I watched a movie called The Joker my nutshell review will be Amazing! Astonishing! Outstanding! Unbelievably Good! One of the best screenplays in American cinema with an explicit exploration of a complex personality man!

But it is a frivolous exercise to pretend that is not a Batman movie, and since it is a Batman movie I believe that the Batman character was demoted as secondary and not developed to the stature of his villain.

In the comment thread of Iron Man, some of us started a conversation about both movies that I’m going to pickup here to say that in my opinion the stories, the movies and the productions are to my eyes very different one from the other. Yes, this is a superior movie as definitively does not look like a comics-to-movie film; still Iron Man is an “unusual” movie too in the genre, but the movie does not have the excellent tech specs of this one.

Well, I know that by now must of you have already seen this movie that definitively will go into my collection and I’m thinking that after I get the DVD I’ll do some photoshop to the cover and change the name to The Joker, lol!

By the way, this movie has one of the most amazing movie poster collection that I have seen lately, most of them are visually outstanding and honestly I had a hard time selecting one to include in the post, but chose the one I liked best that -of course- has only The Joker.

Big Enjoy!!! (as The Joker)

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