Friday, July 18, 2008

Isane Clown Posse

First, let me give you the wrap up of the poll in with me asked who was the best Joker. There wasn't a whole lot of voters, though I will say that "You Geeks get off my lawn" surprisingly lead the votes, so it looks like there'll be another Geek Fight Club poll happening soon. Mark Hamill was the actual winner of the poll with his voice portrayal, but I think after what I saw last night, the phrase "Heath Ledger will own them all" will be used at Oscar time.

What can I say that hasn't been already said by every movie reviewer this week about "The Dark Knight"? It is a comic book movie and a tight crime thriller all at the same time. A morality play and psychological story as well. This film is a blockbuster among Summer blockbusters. You may have superhero movies like "Hancock" that do well, but that pales to what Christopher Nolan has done.

The Dark Knight" has a wonderful set of actors and created another high point in comic book movies, surpassing any of the others that have screened this year, including "Iron Man". Both films feature tortured heroes by night, rich playboys by day. Tony Stark enjoys the thrill of putting on a shiny suit of armor, while Bruce Wayne in this film realizes that he has no other choice but to wear the black armor to end crime in his city, which has now gone from dealing with the mob to criminally insane people dressed in costumes, unlike himself.

Saying that, Heath Ledger's take on The Joker will go down as possibly one of the great movie villains of all time. This Joker isn't a plain guy in makeup robbing banks or angry mob guy, this Joker is as he calls it "an agent of chaos". A man who just doesn't care about the mayhem he causes to anyone or anything he crosses, this version of the Joker just wants to see death and destruction happen. There's no origin story of how he came to have the scars and whenever he tells someone on how they came to be, the tale becomes another time after time, with the moral ending in the killing of whoever hears it.

With al the talk about Ledger and The Joker, let's remember the other cast as well. Christian Bale once again plays Bruce/Batman sometimes blurring the two characters into one when he needs do quite well this time. Micheal Caine as Alfred and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox do wonderful jobs in trying to keep Batman in reign this time, both letting the crimefighter know that he has a responsibilty now, but not to take it to the extreme. Gary Olman as James Gordon is once again the one good cop in Gotham who understands what must be done to rid the town of evil and goes above and beyond the line of duty to do it.

As for Maggie Gyllenhaal, taking over the role Katie Holes created in "Batman Begins" does what I thought was much better version of Assistant D.A. Rachal Dawes as a stronger woman working along with new D.A. Harvey Dent, played by Aaron Eckhart. Dent wants to rid Gotham of crime as much as Batman but doesn't wear a mask to bring them in. Still, if anyone who knows the history of the D.A. from the years of reading Detective or any of the other Batman comics over the years, his fate is not a good one as he is left only with a two sided chance.

I saw "The Dark Knight" around just before one in the morning on Thursday night and when it was over it was just after three thirty. This movie is an epic in story and time, but it's well worth it. This summer has finally seen superhero movies finally make growth and acceptance from Hollywood. After "Iron Man" and now "The Dark Knight" taking it to the next plateu, let's hope that the next set of films (including the trailer I saw of "Watchmen" coming April of next year) takes the genre up another notch.

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