Saturday, July 19, 2008

THE DARK KNIGHT, HEATH LEDGER, 4.5 STARS

What is the difference between the pre and post Christopher Nolan’s Batman rejuvenated films about the Capped Crusader? Let me try to answer that in a single paragraph. It was rather simple. The Batman movies before Nolan’s efforts including Batman in 1989 and 1992’s Batman Returns by Tim Burton, 1995’s Batman Forever and 1997’s Batman & Robin by Joel Schumacher were all centre on the comical aspect of the Batman series itself. Those are what I would love to called a "faithful comic book adaptation". Only kids are going to watch these thing!! The plot was sometimes silly and made no sense at all, acting was pretty just an act-up and it makes the whole things been irritating. At least Tim Burton’s effort was considered the best when Michael Keaton was in the Batman suit. When George Clooney took over in 1997, the film was so bad that it was doomed to death – the worst and most non-sense Batman series ever.A decade later, the Batman fans would rejoiced when the idea to reboot the whole thing, making it well-polished and more sparkles were among the hopes uttered by the fans. Something new, something untouchable and we prefer to have a darker theme than those silly oldies of Batman but not as dark as we have to turn to Frank Miller to have one. Something in between you say. Fame from driving the movie Memento, a highly success psychological thriller, Christopher Nolan picked up the trash and refurnished it in 2005’s adaptation of Batman Begins. It was one of the best Batman movies ever back then, and the theme was much darker and better-illustrated than its predecessors, more complexity and maturity in terms of acting and story flows, more realistic and humanity theme pumped into it. Batman Begins was an original idea, a handful different from the original DC comics where it shows how Bruce Wayne became a Batman and a relatively unknown villain called Ra’s al Ghul as his mentor. It was an idea of mentor VS mentee stuff, it was cool and entertaining. Since released in 2005, Batman Begins garnered US$ 205 million, about US$371 million worldwide, considered outstanding for a fresh rejuvenated series that had been scarred by bad names and bad publicities over the years.
2008, a sequel to Batman Begins, called The Dark Knight was released, and to my surprise, it was even better than the former. I mean, how on earth Nolan did that! With people nowadays keep on talking about viral campaign and strategy, so does the production teams from Warner Bros. They heavily publicized initially but those public anticipation just move over with time. Peoples keep on talking about this movie. There are something about Harvey Dent's campaign of "I Believe In Harvey Dent" in his pursuit for the D.A. job been another viral campaign to gather people's interest as well. One more, Joker had been the centre of attractions as well. Joker had been fully utilised as a campaign to attract people to see his uniqueness and fresh look. It works!! All these factors, including campaign, the movie itself and the sensational anticipation build up for this movie all blend well in a formula of success. Batman Begins was good and The Dark Knight is even better. The thrills and the dark theme remain, as well as any of those features from the first attempt by Nolan. I remembered back then I gave it 4.0 stars for it.

The Dark Knight, this time introduced the main arch nemesis of Batman, Joker. Okay not really this one, but rather this Joker.
The Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of Joker in Batman 1989 was made better this time in The Dark Knight by the late Heath Ledger. It was a pity thing that he was dead and I wonder what will happened in the future as there are possibilities that the Joker character may be coming back in the sequels. Heath Ledger’s role as Joker, perhaps one of the best performance and last by him deserves the much anticipated and currently on-buzz a posthumous Academy Award performance. So many awards in this world do not recognize dead people, if they do in a rare case. I’m not kidding and it is true. The revamped Joker is much scarier, complex and darker compared to the previous one. Kudos for Ledger!!Heath Ledger gave in everything on his efforts to become Joker. This character has been the central item used by Warner Bros. to promote this film aggressively, neither that his death back in January had any negative impact on the movie. Joker is the inspirational icon of darkness in Batman. This character is too important, yet Heath Ledger delivers well with it, nothing more I can ask from him. If you ask me, I do hope he will not only been nominated, but also win next year’s Oscar. Ledger is a talented actor which has bright future in years ahead him, but unfortunately, God loves him more!

The other acting force on field of course is Batman himself, portrayed by Christian Bale in another partnership with the director, Christopher Nolan. Christian Bale is also another example of actors with full capability to deliver, having many years of good futures ahead; he is one of the best Batman ever since Michael Keaton’s years. His Batman performance is darker, less “romeo” and more emotionally involved. Many main characters do return with the exceptional of Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes whom did not received well by the critics, even she was nominated for the worst Actress role in Razzies, an opposite of Oscars. Instead, she is replaced by Maggie Gyllenhaal. Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine return as Lucius Fox and Alfred respectively. Batman’s aide and district attorney (DA) Harvey Dent whom will eventually turn into dark side as Two-Face is played by Aaron Eckhart. Gary Oldman played the role of Commissioner James Gordon, an ally of Batman. All of them had been vital in the movie. This is a great example of how having many superstars and famous people in a single movie do not necessary make a film a trash. They all fit on their role and make this movie flawless in terms of acting. For cast and acting of The Dark Knight, I give 4.5 stars.

The typical story plot and lines from pre-Nolan’s effort on Batman again were not seen at all. The silliness, nonsense, underdeveloped and meaningless plots are not seen at all in The Dark Knight. Great writing by David S Goyer and Nolan himself that very much deserve credits. The theme is still dark, much scarier and more intense as like Batman Begins. The complexity of the story does not overshadowing the fact and the realistic issue it tries to deliver. It does not make you hazy dizzy but gives you an in depth of what, how and who, portrayed in a more crystal clear picture and understanding. Nevertheless, the penning of the story by both of them as well as by Jonathan Nolan, Christopher’s brother, is not disappointing but may even deserves the Oscar. For plots and story writing; 4.5 stars.

I have nothing to critise about the cinematography, nor the special effects. They are all awesome. I have to say the persons in charge of those things are simply brilliant. The movie sets in dark backgrounds which give unpleasant view but the experience of riding on throughout the whole movie is amazing, it’s been years I didn’t felt those kind of feeling now. Finally, The Dark Knight really delivered those moments. For cinematography and special effects, I give them 4.5 and 4.0 respectively.





Therefore, for the overall rating, I give The Dark Knight 4.5 stars, and the helm for the best movie of the year so far.
Kudos!! Any idea on what will come out in the next Batman installment? Maybe 3 more years to go!!

Before I sign out, here's something to be remembered:
And tonight, you're gonna break your one rule...
I believe whatever doesn't kill you simply makes you... stranger
You've changed things... forever. There's no going back. See, to them, you're just a freak... like me!
Evening, Commissioner...
Why... so... serious?
Let's put a smile on that face!
Come on, hit me!
You crossed the line first, sir. You hammered them. And in their desperation they turned to a man they didn't fully understand. Some men aren't looking for anything logical. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn
It's all... part of the plan.
This town deserves a better class of criminal... and I'm gonna give it to them.
You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.
The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming!
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. We're tonight's entertainment
Know your limits, Master Wayne. Batman has no limits.
Introduce a little anarchy... Upset the established order... Well then everyone loses their minds!
I'm a dog chasing cars. I don't have plans. I just do things. I'm not a schemer
I use a knife because guns are too quick. Otherwise, you can't savor all the emotions. You know who people are in their last moments.

3 comments:

.:JoY:. said...

I agree, Heath Ledger did a good job on this. :) It's sad he's not around anymore :(

phingy said...

thanks a lot for the quotes ! i love the movie lots !!!

hey you know where can i dload it ? LOL ;)

BernardC said...

To Joy:
Yeah, he has left us but his spirit and his charisma stays. Joker will always been remembered as Joker.

To Phingy:
Aiyo!! Relax lah!! U wanna download can but all oso cinema version. Try go to azulike.com

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