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View Poll Results: Grade the movie...
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Average 17 4.99%
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Old August 6 2008, 04:45 PM   #886
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
Sounds like it's a TAS thing, then, which would explain why it stuck.
Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
I also could've sworn Harvey would re-flip his coin if the result didn't suit his strongest desire.
Tommy Lee Jones did, but as I've seen protested elsewhere, that ruins the whole point of it. Two-Face has a maniacal code of honor/mental block, the same as the Riddler needing to leave riddles as clues.
Exactly. There is a good comic where a group of criminals capture Batman and Harvey is with them. They are going to kill him when Batman convinced him to flip the coin. When it lands on good heads he starts to protect Batman rather than join the mob trying to kill him.
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Old August 6 2008, 06:22 PM   #887
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

Seen it twice now, and it was just as good the second time.

I thought Ledger's acting chops would be a bit exagerrated due to his death, but honestly that was a hell of a performance.

Eckhart was solid too.

A shame that we won't see either again.

The action was top notch as was the overall mood of the movie, and the cinematography was awesome as well. Loved the sweeping shots of the cities (HK and Gotham) and the music. Good little bits of humor worked in to an overall dark tone and there really wasn't anything super cheesy about the flick, which is important to me at least.

My only real complaint was that darn sonar vision, and that was pretty minor. Other than that, I'd have to say it was excellent.
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Old August 6 2008, 09:18 PM   #888
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

nx1701g wrote: View Post
Exactly. There is a good comic where a group of criminals capture Batman and Harvey is with them. They are going to kill him when Batman convinced him to flip the coin. When it lands on good heads he starts to protect Batman rather than join the mob trying to kill him.
I just read that one, I believe. "Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth," right? Actually, the Joker was deciding whether to let Batman go at the end or kill him, and Batman gave Harvey back his coin and let him pick. Harvey said that the coin landed good-side up, and the Joker let Batman go. The last panel reveals that the coin actually landed scar-side up, and just the one time since his disfigurement, Harvey was able to make his own choice.
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Old August 6 2008, 10:30 PM   #889
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

JacksonArcher wrote: View Post
The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
I don't think it has to do with Miller's recently-adapted works; it's a popular misconception that's out there amongst people who don't know what they're talking about. Miller certainly upped the ante, but O'Neil and his collaborators really deserve the credit for bringing Batman back to his noir roots. Anyone who actually read some Batman comics in the '70s knows this, but it seems to be lost on people who only got into the comics after Miller, or never got into them at all.
Popular misconception or not, Miller's increase in popularity as of late surely has contributed to most people referencing him when it comes to Batman. Not all, but most.
And, while it's incorrect to credit Miller with inventing the phrase "The Dark Knight" (which was used frequently in the 70s, though usually as "the Dark Knight Detective"), there is no doubt that his work had a huge role in elevating Batman to the status he holds now as a pop culture icon. Watchmen broke comics out of its "kiddie" book mold, but it was a phenomenon fairly interior to the comic book world and a few critics who managed to notice. It was someone convincing me to read Dark Knight Returns that got me back into comics at age 15 after a stint reading them from ages 8-10 and feeling I had outgrown them - and I know many people had a parallel experience. I think Miller went around the bend as a writer ages ago, but DKR is a classic and probably his masterpiece. While I love Year One more, it has a very weak third act and an even weaker ending, whereas DKR is the only thing by Miller that I've ever read that has a strong ending. Granted it sags in the middle a tad, but a brilliant beginning and the iconic ending are what brought Batman from a second stringer and elevated him into the great superhero of our age. Miller was riffing on a ton of accumulated mythology and nothing in comics is actually original - that's not what the form is about - but we'd not be having either the Burton or Nolan Batman movies if it wasn't for the renaissance in the character Miller started. I may hate the guy's current writing but DKR and Year One do deserve their status as the most influential Batman books in the character's modern history.
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Old August 8 2008, 04:02 AM   #890
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

I saw the movie last night and I must say that, while I enjoyed the film and Ledger's performance, it didn't live up to all the hype for me. Maybe that is an attitude that will change with time, but I really missed the element of detective work that should be so integral to a Batman story. The idea of using the phones to find the Joker was disappointing; I wanted Batman to find a way to decipher the illogical actions of the Joker rather than just use some other piece of technology.

I also found it a little too relentless and unforgiving in its action sequences. There were no light moments to be had from the beginning to the end of the movie. And to be honest, I found no reason to care about Batman or root for him other than he was the Batman. There was much more development of Jim Gordon and Harvey Dent then there was of our title character.

Now, these criticisms aside I enjoyed the movie; I just found it lacking the spirit of Batman Begins that made the first movie so wonderfully enjoyable for me.
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Old August 8 2008, 01:36 PM   #891
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

nx1701g wrote: View Post
Exactly. There is a good comic where a group of criminals capture Batman and Harvey is with them. They are going to kill him when Batman convinced him to flip the coin. When it lands on good heads he starts to protect Batman rather than join the mob trying to kill him.
That's great. Says a lot about Harvey Dent. He's not "just bad," he's "merely" willing to BE bad now. But the coin toss allows his good side to come out in a big way.
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Old August 8 2008, 04:36 PM   #892
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

takara's bruce wayne figure
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Old August 8 2008, 05:08 PM   #893
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

David cgc wrote: View Post
nx1701g wrote: View Post
Exactly. There is a good comic where a group of criminals capture Batman and Harvey is with them. They are going to kill him when Batman convinced him to flip the coin. When it lands on good heads he starts to protect Batman rather than join the mob trying to kill him.
I just read that one, I believe. "Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth," right? Actually, the Joker was deciding whether to let Batman go at the end or kill him, and Batman gave Harvey back his coin and let him pick. Harvey said that the coin landed good-side up, and the Joker let Batman go. The last panel reveals that the coin actually landed scar-side up, and just the one time since his disfigurement, Harvey was able to make his own choice.
That sounds like it. It's been a long time since I read it. Though I may have confused it with the Batman/Aliens crossover too (similar storyline except the people trying to kill Batman were Xenomorphs spawned from Joker, Mister Freeze, and Poison Ivy).
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Old August 8 2008, 07:40 PM   #894
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

Saw it. Loved it. A few thoughts/questions -

- Am I reading in too much, or were dogs a running theme?
- the two attacks, beginning and end
- "I'm like a dog chasing a car"
- "Set the dogs on me."
Representing what? "A life without rules", maybe?


- I thought Harvey's final transformation happened too fast. Knowing what I know, we knew it was coming, but I think just getting the start here and continuing it elsewhere would have been more effective. TwoFace seemed a little bit crammed in for the sake of being there. Harvey could have been hurt, and started killing people without the scarring, the coin etc. The movie seemed to lurch a little bit out of its way to include the comic book images, yet still tell a complete story.

- The Joker was note-perfect. The movie created an amazing amount of horror with very little graphic imagery. The scene of his video to the press is still haunting me.

- Early on, in the Scarecrow scene, I thought Nolan had listened to criticism of the combat in BB - we got some more visible fight scenes. But later, the action became somewhat incomprehensible. The underground car chase? A little murky. Most of the SWAT team sequence at the end? Hard to follow. I found a lot of that chains-tripping-people-up stuff just had to be taken on faith.

- One thing I thought this film really improved on was the ongoing nature of the relationship. I've always found that comic book movies lose the strength of the rivalry between, say Spiderman and the Green Goblin, because where the comic book would have dozens of encounters before a death, the movie has two. But TDK really gave the sense of back-and-forth, cat-and-mouse, and made the end much more satisfying.

Didn't care for the sonar stuff. Or the spring-loaded glove... but hey. And I'm not sure how, when the Joker announces a hospital, the police miss the huge amounts of explosive that must have been used. (I know, willing suspension)

- I wanted more exploration of the idea that Batman was meant to inspire people to do good, and instead he's inspired the nutjob imitators and the Joker. This really seemed to suggest that Wayne had failed in his original mission. So why not give it up?

- Did Wayne know that Dent was going to end the press conference the way he did?

So many great lines, most of them The Joker's...
"Never start with the head."
"We burned the forest down."
"Do I look like I've got a plan?"
"Ta-dah! It's gone!"
"I want my phone call."
"Wanna know how I got these scars?"
Excellent.
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Old August 8 2008, 08:10 PM   #895
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

^That's exactly the point. Bruce as Batman was suppose to inspire good (something he says a couple of times in the film almost verbatim) but instead inspires "madness, death". It's partially what makes him so willing to back Harvey Dent as the true hero of Gotham, because he realizes that perhaps Dent could do what he as Batman could never do.
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Old August 8 2008, 09:13 PM   #896
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

Yassim wrote: View Post
- Did Wayne know that Dent was going to end the press conference the way he did?
No, in fact, he fully intended to turn himself in, which is evidenced by him taking a half step forward and suddenly stopping when he sees Harvey taking the blame.
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Old August 9 2008, 12:18 AM   #897
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

Yassim wrote: View Post
Saw it. Loved it. A few thoughts/questions -

- Am I reading in too much, or were dogs a running theme?
- the two attacks, beginning and end
- "I'm like a dog chasing a car"
- "Set the dogs on me."
Representing what? "A life without rules", maybe?
Dogs are definitely a running theme. More on this is a minute.

- I thought Harvey's final transformation happened too fast. Knowing what I know, we knew it was coming, but I think just getting the start here and continuing it elsewhere would have been more effective. TwoFace seemed a little bit crammed in for the sake of being there. Harvey could have been hurt, and started killing people without the scarring, the coin etc. The movie seemed to lurch a little bit out of its way to include the comic book images, yet still tell a complete story.
I was really struck by the opposite reaction. The movie is such a moving comic book - the framing, the shot choices, the dialogue (which is sometimes a little painfully "Comic Book"). I think a lot of comics fans found Harvey's transformation a little jarring because we're waiting for it from his first scene, which includes the coin - but the use of him in this story is pretty far removed from his traditional role in Batman stories; except that it's not - he's still a doppleganger for Batman, but moreso as Harvey than as Two-Face. That's what's unusual.

- The Joker was note-perfect. The movie created an amazing amount of horror with very little graphic imagery. The scene of his video to the press is still haunting me.
It really is remarkable how chilling the movie manages to be with pretty much no blood.

- Early on, in the Scarecrow scene, I thought Nolan had listened to criticism of the combat in BB - we got some more visible fight scenes. But later, the action became somewhat incomprehensible. The underground car chase? A little murky. Most of the SWAT team sequence at the end? Hard to follow. I found a lot of that chains-tripping-people-up stuff just had to be taken on faith.
Actually every bit of the Swat teams' entrapment by the lines is right there on camera. It just happens quickly. I actually like that this stuff is a little confusing during a first viewing - it gives you something to uncover with subsequent viewings. And the detail is impressive.

Didn't care for the sonar stuff. Or the spring-loaded glove... but hey. And I'm not sure how, when the Joker announces a hospital, the police miss the huge amounts of explosive that must have been used. (I know, willing suspension)
Hee! The police missed a lot of explosives all over the place apparently...

- I wanted more exploration of the idea that Batman was meant to inspire people to do good, and instead he's inspired the nutjob imitators and the Joker. This really seemed to suggest that Wayne had failed in his original mission. So why not give it up?
Because he can't. Most of Bruce Wayne's story is more implied than explicity shown in this movie, but it's all there. If the Joker is a dog chasing cars with no purpose, Bruce is portrayed as a bloodhound who'll follow right over a cliff before he'll give it up. There are implications that Bruce takes on Harvey's crimes as much as self-punishment as anything else. Dogs work as a symbol because they are both vicious fighters, and determined hunters.

This is to the poster above who said he didn't see the detective work - again a lot of things happen off screen but the results are right there in the story. Bruce has already worked out Lau's role as money launderer (using Wayne Enterprises to examine his books), he works out the entire plan to knock out Lau Security Investments power, get in and snatch Lau. He figures out how to get the fingerprint off the shattered bullet - down to figuring out what kind of bullet, and scatter pattern of the fragments - all Lucius has left to do is run the simulation. It's in that scene that we also see Bruce has Wayne Enterprises doing things even Lucius doesn't know about.
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Old August 9 2008, 12:24 AM   #898
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

Hicks wrote: View Post
That's great. Says a lot about Harvey Dent. He's not "just bad," he's "merely" willing to BE bad now. But the coin toss allows his good side to come out in a big way.
That's supposed to be the core element of the character--he's not just a maniacal villain, he's half bad guy, half good guy.
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Old August 9 2008, 01:23 AM   #899
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
Dogs are definitely a running theme. More on this is a minute.
Another dog reference - "when the chips are down, they'll turn on each other like dogs..."

So the Dark Knight and the Joker are both hunters, both fighters... A book I've read about dog training points out that when you look up dogged in the dictionary, it means stubborn - that fits dogs and our two main characters.

I was really struck by the opposite reaction. The movie is such a moving comic book - the framing, the shot choices, the dialogue (which is sometimes a little painfully "Comic Book"). I think a lot of comics fans found Harvey's transformation a little jarring because we're waiting for it from his first scene, which includes the coin - but the use of him in this story is pretty far removed from his traditional role in Batman stories; except that it's not - he's still a doppleganger for Batman, but moreso as Harvey than as Two-Face. That's what's unusual.
I guess I hadn't really bought the coin conceit as it was presented. I was perfectly ready to see Harvey start killing people at that point in the movie, but I didn't see where his compulsion to give in to his better half might come from, or why he'd leave it up to a coin toss. That struck me as sacrificing characterization for the sake of including the character trait from the books. For Harvey to let the Joker go because of a coin toss...?

Actually every bit of the Swat teams' entrapment by the lines is right there on camera. It just happens quickly. I actually like that this stuff is a little confusing during a first viewing - it gives you something to uncover with subsequent viewings. And the detail is impressive.
I'll have to trust you on this - only seen it once, and it went by in a (dark) flash. It certainly all looked accidental. It would have been an interesting parallel to draw, that both the Joker and Batman plan three or four steps ahead of ordinary people. (but on my viewing, in that scene, he just looked ridiculously lucky!)

Hee! The police missed a lot of explosives all over the place apparently...
Seriously - if you live in Gotham, check the car before you get in. Check the basement when you get home, get to work, go to the hospital, eat in a restaurant...

re: why not quit?
Because he can't. Most of Bruce Wayne's story is more implied than explicity shown in this movie, but it's all there. If the Joker is a dog chasing cars with no purpose, Bruce is portrayed as a bloodhound who'll follow right over a cliff before he'll give it up...
But he *does* decide to give it up (according to Emh above) - though it's not clear to me when Dent, Bruce and Gordon devised their plot. For things to make sense, it must have been before the attempt on the Mayor (when Gordon goes into hiding) but Bruce seems sincere when he decides to reveal himself... ?

I think that theme got short changed. It can't happen now, but I wanted to see Dent live, and now Gotham has two lunatic criminals, both inspired by Batman, and the war escalates, and the city suffers, and the only way Bruce knows to fight back is by throwing gasoline on the fire.

There are implications that Bruce takes on Harvey's crimes as much as self-punishment as anything else.
Now there's an interesting idea that can be tied back to his origin. Is Bruce punishing himself for surviving the attack that killed his parents? and if so, then assuming more punishment is right in character. I like that... but I'm not sure it's entirely intended by the filmmakers.

This is to the poster above who said he didn't see the detective work ...Lau's role as money launderer ...the entire plan to knock out Lau Security Investments ...how to get the fingerprint off the shattered bullet
I thought the movie did this very well with very little time - I don't need to watch him dust for fingerprints. The bullet extraction/recreation was exactly what was called for.

One last detail sticks out - the prisoner's decision on the ferry. I'm sure it's been kicked around upthread, but at the time, during the movie, it didn't ring exactly true. (The civilian one worked, though it was fairly unnecessary after we'd seen it once) The prisoner's decision was another moment where the film seemed more dictated by the writer than by their own possible motivations. Not that the actions were inexplicable, but ... more for the sake of advancing the theme than anything else. Did other people think the same?
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Old August 9 2008, 04:52 AM   #900
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

One last detail sticks out - the prisoner's decision on the ferry. I'm sure it's been kicked around upthread, but at the time, during the movie, it didn't ring exactly true. (The civilian one worked, though it was fairly unnecessary after we'd seen it once) The prisoner's decision was another moment where the film seemed more dictated by the writer than by their own possible motivations. Not that the actions were inexplicable, but ... more for the sake of advancing the theme than anything else. Did other people think the same?
I actually didn't have a problem with this, It actually indicates a great deal of faith in the human spirit, the idea that even though he may have made poor choices that got him to where he was, he still knew right from wrong, and had the ability to make a better choice.

What I've been thinking all along, after the Joker's obvious lie in regards to Harvey and Rachel, were the detonators really on the opposite ship. It would be really twisted if not only the "innocents" chose to blow up the convicts, but in doing so actually destroyed themselves. We never really see it, but I find myself wondering about it.
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