Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Reviewing "The Dark Knight"

Just a couple of asides before I dive into this. First of all, there are NO SPOILERS below. Why? Because you simply must see this masterpiece, so I'm not giving squat away. Second, Marcie and I rarely go out to movies because most of the pap Hollywood puts out isn't worth the price tag. But after seeing the previews, and knowing what the late Heath Ledger went through to pull off his role as the Joker, we decided this was one movie we weren't going to miss in the big theaters.

As for the movie, there is only one word to describe it. WOW! Christopher Nolan is back behind the camera helming the franchise as he did in "Batman Begins." The first movie in the re-launch of the franchise was commendable. It gave fans a Batman they have longed for since the very first Batman with Michael Keaton. It was dark and foreboding. No one ever thought Nolan could top his previous work, and many were skeptical when Ledger was pegged to be the Joker. But after a few scenes leaked out, and the trailers started rolling, people soon got over their apprehension and were salivating for this film to hit theaters.

Christian Bale is back as Bruce Wayne/Batman, and if people thought he couldn't improve on his previous performance, think again. Once again we see Bruce Wayne doing what he does best, but at the same time there is a level of humanity to the character. With the addition of Aaron Eckhart playing the role of Harvey Dent -- the tough, no-nonsense DA -- Bruce is finally believing he may be able to hang up the cape and cowl, and settle down. When the Joker arrives on the scene, all bets are off.

And what a magnificent performance Ledger gives us. The Joker slides into Gotham City as an element of corruption. He believes in violence for the sake of chaos and anarchy. Nolan does a great job of portraying him more like a force of nature than just merely a man. But from the moment he shows up on the screen -- with the blood-red rictus grin, the cracked white face, and a laugh that would send shivers up the spine of any sensible person -- Ledger takes command of the film. It is a non-stop ride that barely leaves you time to catch your breath, and he gives Batman no quarter.

Yes, there is a ton of violence in the movie, but it's anything but senseless. Every act the Joker commits is for the sake of the chaos he so desires. And there are a few jokes that are cracked, but they are overshadowed by the darkness unfolding. Additionally, there are a couple of surprises that neither of us were expecting. (Remember, no spoilers here.) Despite it's PG-13 rating, this film is definitely not for kids. It's far too dark, and too grim for them to understand. (Not to mention that the Joker will scare the Hell out of them.)

If you want a good film to see -- for pure escapism -- this is it. It's 152 minutes long, and that time passes by quick enough for you. And while everyone is raving about Heath Ledger's role, the rest of the cast is hardly full of slackers. EVERYONE does their level best in this film. And yes, the industry buzz is that there's a movement afoot to get Heath Ledger a posthumous Oscar for a very, very Oscar-worthy performance. He threw everything into this role in ways most people can't even fathom. We'll miss Heath Ledger's talent, but at least his final movie was memorable.

We give this movie 5 out of 5 stars. The only other movie we've seen this year that is as well done is Prince Caspian, and The Dark Knight blows it away. Gone is the campy portrayal of one of the most memorable comic book heroes. Batman was always supposed to be dark and gritty, and Christopher Nolan has done a superb job in ensuring it stays that way.

Publius II


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