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Old November 27 2010, 07:50 AM   #16
Admiral_Young
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Re: The Dark Knight

Yes that I think was gonna be the plan. Harvey would have become Two-Face at the end of "The Dark Knight" then we would have had Two-Face as the major villain in the third and final film.
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Old November 27 2010, 08:05 AM   #17
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Re: The Dark Knight

That would have been better.
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Old November 27 2010, 09:05 AM   #18
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Re: The Dark Knight

Wasn't it something like Joker on trial in the 3rd movie or something as well in the original idea for a 2/3 joint story.
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Old November 27 2010, 09:08 AM   #19
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Re: The Dark Knight

I think the Joker on trial might have been fan/media rumors. JacksonArcher would be able to clear this up.
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Old November 27 2010, 09:41 AM   #20
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Re: The Dark Knight

PsychoPere wrote: View Post
If you wanted a genuinely rare "theater experience," you should've been at the one I was at for the midnight premiere. I bet it doesn't get more rare than having to evacuate due to a bomb threat!
Was it during the hospital evacuation scenes or the ferry scene?
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Old November 27 2010, 11:30 AM   #21
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Re: The Dark Knight

It's a really good film and in terms of spectacle, you can't ask for much better. That said, I did enjoy Batman Begins a bit more. No doubt Dark Knight went in for the heavier themes, but I found the structure of the first film a bit tighter, which made it the more enjoyable experience for me.

Overall, I'm a Tim Burton man, but I'm very happy for Nolan to be handling the franchise for now.
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Old November 27 2010, 12:48 PM   #22
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Re: The Dark Knight

It's not just a great comic book movie...it's a great movie. I like it more and more each time I've seen it.
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Old November 27 2010, 02:13 PM   #23
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Re: The Dark Knight

This movie is hugely overrated; from the raping of Two Face, Gordon's 100% unnecessary 'death', the riduculous Bond-like excursion to China (!) and Ledger's Joker inspiring a thousand uninspired Halloween costumes. It's probably a good film, but a terrible Batman movie.

Begins is the superior of the two Nolan movies in that it actually feels like a Batman movie and not some crime movie with a gadget man running round.
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Old November 27 2010, 02:51 PM   #24
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Re: The Dark Knight

How was the excursion to China ridiculous? I agree that it was definitely Bond influenced but there have been elements of Bond to Batman in the comics. Batman needed to bring Lau back to Gotham. I found it very reasonably depicted and executed except for the automatic plane. I realize this was meant to imply a pre-Batwing existence but still, aside from that I thought it was a great sequence.

It was inevitable that Ledger's Joker was going to be popular...I'm not sure how inspiring 'a thousand Halloween costumes' makes this a bad Batman film. It's not like Jack Nicolson's Joker didn't inspire it's own myriad of costumes after that version came out. I also don't get how it can be called a terrible Batman movie.
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Old November 27 2010, 02:54 PM   #25
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Re: The Dark Knight

Admiral_Young wrote: View Post
I think one of the problem's with the voice is that it sounds forced, not practiced.
That's probably the most apt criticism of the Bat voice I've heard. You can hear the effort Bale has in giving every syllable in each word - it's distracting.

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Two-face doesn't really work. The justification for his coin-flipping philosophy from the comic book character never is explained very convincingly.
This, entirely. I'm more then willing to give the film a pass for the Joker staging implausible or even downright impossible plots - this is pretty much the norm not just for comic books, but action summer blockbusters in general. Nolan's Batman movies are realistic in the sense the Die Hard films are realistic (although judging by Live Free, they probably aim for greater plausibility).

But the thing one expects as given from a comic book movie is motivation. Your villain has his reasons for doing what he does, even if it is, as with Heath Ledger's Joker, just to watch the world burn. Harvey Dent delivers an about-face (ha ha I make funny) that is far too abrupt given what we've seen of the character to date.

People buy it not because it makes sense in the movie, but because it's Two-Face - they'll all expecting him to go nuts and start coin tossing the moment he gets the symbolic charring of half of his face. It fits the checklist but not the narrative.

And as far as comic book movies go (mainly, I mean to say superhero movies), most aren't going to be as good as (or better than) THE DARK KNIGHT.
History of Violence wasn't bad either. And I got a soft spot for Persepolis.

But yeah, the Dark Knight is really a stellar bit of blockbuster moviemaking and storytelling. Wouldn't be surprised if it remains the gold standard for some time, and the biggest fear Batman 3 is going to have is living up to that ungoldly hype... but then, Dark Knight had a bucketload of hype paving its routes as well.
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Old November 27 2010, 04:15 PM   #26
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Re: The Dark Knight

I had a nearly overwhelming urge to laugh at the movie by the end. But then, I wasn't so blown away by poor old Heath Ledger's performance I wasn't painfully aware of how preposterous the Joker's plots were. How sad that an actor who had already done so much will be remembered for this.

Joker as terrorist was pretentious nonsense. As explained very clearly above, Two-Face as a character was nonsense, sold only by Aaron Eckhart's truly amazing performance, a far more impressive (and essential to the movie) achievement than Ledger's. Whole segments of the movie are pointless or bungled.

And the action scenes sucked. They were incomprehensible, except when you realize that many of the cuts were so you wouldn't see Batman lumbering around in his costume. In retrospect, the movie can only appeal to people who enjoy seeing a Bat vehicle pointlessly but repeatedly slam through walls, without wondering how none of the explosives are detonate or the aiming/firing mechanisms damaged.

I think the particular kind of badness in Dark Knight is shown most clearly in the ferry scene. No one on the ferries has any good reason to believe the Joker is a man of his word. But everyone is written as believing perfect nonsense so the movie can pose a fake dramatic choice, supposedly with existential implications, no less!
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Old November 27 2010, 04:40 PM   #27
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Re: The Dark Knight

Aragorn wrote: View Post
PsychoPere wrote: View Post
If you wanted a genuinely rare "theater experience," you should've been at the one I was at for the midnight premiere. I bet it doesn't get more rare than having to evacuate due to a bomb threat!
Was it during the hospital evacuation scenes or the ferry scene?
Haha, nope. It was while Batman was in Hong Kong. The film was shut off just as he was getting ready to leave the building with Lau.
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Old November 27 2010, 05:19 PM   #28
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Re: The Dark Knight

Kegg wrote: View Post
But the thing one expects as given from a comic book movie is motivation. Your villain has his reasons for doing what he does, even if it is, as with Heath Ledger's Joker, just to watch the world burn. Harvey Dent delivers an about-face (ha ha I make funny) that is far too abrupt given what we've seen of the character to date.

People buy it not because it makes sense in the movie, but because it's Two-Face - they'll all expecting him to go nuts and start coin tossing the moment he gets the symbolic charring of half of his face. It fits the checklist but not the narrative.
I'm not sure I agree with this. I had a similar reaction the first time I saw TDK, but every time I've re-watched the movie, I've noticed little things that have made Dent's transformation more believable.

The important thing to realize about Dent is that he's really not the White Knight that he's built up to be. Dent is a flawed character from the start. Among other things, he's a control freak. He is more than willing to cheat and deceive other people to get what he wants and to get his way. And at the same time, he truly believes in his own ability to control and manipulate events and determine outcomes. He sees himself as a winner, when in reality, he's just a cheater.

All of these tendencies are symbolized and embodied by the two-headed coin, and his boast that he makes his own luck--both obvious examples of bad faith. He bullshits others into thinking that he is winning fairly. Then he bullshits himself into thinking that he's winning fairly, by congratulating himself on his own skill at deception.

The Joker sees though Dent: this is why he places Dent in a situation that he truly can't control, and forces him to play a game that can't be rigged. And Dent loses this game--badly. He not only doesn't get to be the hero--he loses the woman he loves, and winds up hideously burned.

Compared to the Joker, Dent is an amateur. The Joker outsmarts him completely, without even trying. In fact, the Joker isn't even all that concerned about Dent: his true target is Batman.

And it's the fact that the Joker has defeated Dent, without even stretching himself, that provides the key to Dent's transformation. The Joker has taken the mask off of reality, and Dent cannot bear to look on the face underneath. He cannot face the fact that he is not in control of events--that he is merely a pawn in the Joker's game with Batman--merely object, instead of subject. Similarly, he cannot face the fact that he is not a winner, and has never been a winner. He could only win by cheating--and the Joker has cheated him fair and square.

Once his self-image has been shattered, Dent can do one of two things: he can act in good faith, and acknowledge his own nature--or he can continue to act in bad faith. Unfortunately, it's his nature to deceive himself--and he does so by essentially reversing his previous worldview. Like so many losers, he refuses to acknowledge that he lost because his opponents were too strong and skillful for him. He refuses to acknowledge that there was any justice in his defeat. It was all just luck--chance. If he can't be in complete control of events, then he refuses to exercise any control at all: he'll just leave everything up to a coin flip.

In this case, of course, much like Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men, Dent is continuing to act in bad faith. He's not really leaving anything up to chance--just using the coin flip to deceive himself about his own agency. As Carla Jean says at the end of No Country for Old Men: "The coin don't have no say. It's just you."

And in Dent's case, we see him getting around an inconvenient coin flip--giving himself a do-over--by flipping again, and then shooting Maroni's driver, when the coin won't allow him to shoot Maroni. He doesn't shoot the Joker, by contrast, because to do so despite an adverse coin flip would require more authenticity than he possesses. In the end, he really is Two-Face--to himself as much as he is to others.

You know--I never really thought about the parallels between Two-Face and Chigurh until I started writing this post. I'm sure someone else has discussed the possible connection between these two characters, and their movies.
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Old November 27 2010, 06:04 PM   #29
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Re: The Dark Knight

Once his self-image has been shattered, Dent can do one of two things: he can act in good faith, and acknowledge his own nature--or he can continue to act in bad faith. Unfortunately, it's his nature to deceive himself--and he does so by essentially reversing his previous worldview. Like so many losers, he refuses to acknowledge that he lost because his opponents were too strong and skillful for him. He refuses to acknowledge that there was any justice in his defeat. It was all just luck--chance. If he can't be in complete control of events, then he refuses to exercise any control at all: he'll just leave everything up to a coin flip.
The italics are added. The Joker's superiority is a script cheat, of course. Apparently there are people who get off on the Joker's sheer coolness, physically impossible or not, and live in a fantasy world where people are losers because they, themselves, are losers. This is why the absurdity of the Joker's escapades is bad faith writing. It can't really be passed off as simple entertainment. In truth, many people lose a rigged game. The Joker rigged the game with Maggie Gyllenhaal and rigged the game with the ferries. Dent replacing his rigged coin with a real coin means there's no way to hold the interpretation above.

Everybody who heard Gordon's admission that all the cops called him Two-Face the whole time knows that there is in fact no change in Dent at all. Which means (if something like Dark Knight could actually be said to have meaning at all,) that there was no point to the Joker/Dent confrontation. It merely seemed to about something. Which is pretty much the summary of the whole damn movie.
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Old November 27 2010, 07:01 PM   #30
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Re: The Dark Knight

Goliath wrote: View Post
You know--I never really thought about the parallels between Two-Face and Chigurh until I started writing this post. I'm sure someone else has discussed the possible connection between these two characters, and their movies.
One of my first reactions to "No Country for Old Men" was "aw, this guy is just a Two-Face rip-off". I'm sure the thought occurred to me during the gas station scene. I still liked the movie, though.

One thing that I always notice about Nolan's movies (particularly after watching "Inception" a second time) is how good he is at making everything that happens feel important. He has an excellent command of scope and knows how to do 'epic', which hides narrative weakness very well. I think it's his choices as director with the way he shoots and the cinematography and music that all contribute to this.

I feel that way about "The Dark Knight" as much as "Inception". When I think about it and talk about it, I can analyze and criticize the hell out of the writing with the way too convoluted plot and sometimes unconvincing character beats (I agree that Harvey's transformation comes across as too rushed), but when I watch the movie, the look and sound of it is so captivating, it's easy to overlook or forget whatever storytelling flaws it may have.

The only thing that has consistently bugged me from the beginning visually and intellectually is that sonar stuff at the end, which I found just tedious, ridiculous, unnecessary and way too dragged out. I hate Bale's Batman voice too. Doesn't everyone? Despite the missteps with the Two-Face character, I think his last scene is masterful. His conversation with Gordon and Batman is some intense stuff. I remember the first time I watched the movie it got my heart pounding more than anything else that happened, and I still find it a rivetingly heart-wrenching scene to watch.
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