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View Poll Results: Grade the movie...
Excellent 271 79.47%
Above Average 46 13.49%
Average 17 4.99%
Below Average 2 0.59%
Poor 5 1.47%
Voters: 341. You may not vote on this poll

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Old August 9 2008, 05:03 AM   #901
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

Well, I think it is safe to say the Joker wasn't lying about the detonators. Part of his angle is causing terror and chaos.

With the deal with Rachel and Harvey he switched the addresses because he KNEW that Batman would choose Rachel. So what's better than him choosing to save Rachel and ending up saving Harvey instead -losing Rachel in the process? That's the harm of it that Batman would make the "wrong" choice by choosing Love over Logic (saving the much needed star DA.)

With the boat set-up for his "plan of terror" to work he has to make a group of innocent people killers and allow them to live their lives knowing that they made a decision to break society's boundaries and actively choose to kill someone. That plan can't work if the detonators blow up their own boat.
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Old August 9 2008, 05:04 AM   #902
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

Yassim wrote: View Post
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...?
Yeah... but then, Two-Face has never sat entirely well with me. Apparently, after he's disfigured he goes a little insane and determines everything by his coin toss. Because he's got half a face and his same-sided coin now has a scar, this is a Road to Damascus incident whose freak accidents inform his entire modus operandi. I thought they made about as much sense of this idea as they could - they implied his ability to go over the line before he was disfigured, made the event of his disfigurement suitably traumatic (his life or his fiance's held in a totally arbitrary balance) and then his subsequent discussion with the Joker gives him the required nihilism to make the Two-Face concept work. Finally, his following actions are mostly dictated by revenge - sure, he decides who lives based on a coin toss, but those who he subjects to this random test of fate are all those he considers who has wronged him or those close to them.

It still doesn't sit well with me, but then, as I've said - I don't really get Two-Face. A character who acts based on random chance is an interesting idea but it's difficult to both depict and justify, and I think they did it about as good as it can be done.

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 definitely felt it was advancing the theme. And I was fine with that. I preferred the film's theme presented in allegories such as this as opposed to sometimes cumbersome dialogue.
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Old August 9 2008, 08:01 AM   #903
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

I was actually surprised by the prisoner's decision. I thought he was going to blow the civilians to smithereens. And when he doesn't, you feel almost guilty for believing that. Nolan plays on those expectations and then turns them on their head, something he's done since Memento. Which is partially why I like him so much as a filmmaker.
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Old August 9 2008, 09:35 AM   #904
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

Personally, I liked that the bit with the prisoner, as he said to the guy in charge "I'll do what you shoulda did 10 minutes ago." He made the moral choice, I mean just because he may have killed someone for some reason, that doesn't mean he doesn't know right from wrong, and take killing hundreds of people lightly.
I also liked that the "civilians" didn't make a stand on principle, or good morals, they just chickened out. They would have done exactly what the Joker said, but in the end they were all mouth and no trousers.
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Old August 9 2008, 12:32 PM   #905
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

Bob The Skutter wrote: View Post
Personally, I liked that the bit with the prisoner, as he said to the guy in charge "I'll do what you shoulda did 10 minutes ago." He made the moral choice, I mean just because he may have killed someone for some reason, that doesn't mean he doesn't know right from wrong, and take killing hundreds of people lightly.
Someone for some reason? He's probably killed hundreds, if not directly then indirectly, for his own selfish gain. Now his life is on the line, and he suddenly gets a conscience?

Indeed, that makes no sense to me.

Also, the casual way he says, "what you shoul've done 10 minutes agao", seems more based on cold rationality to me: the Joker's been playing everyone from the start, implied that the bridges were booby trapped, when in fact the ferry's they'd take instead were, and everyone has been dancing to his tune. He would no longer be Joker's puppet, plus just as much chance they'd blow themselves up than the others.

Now this reason I understand, the cold way he got up seems to indicate it, it's the way I would have done it. Because there's no way I'd be the Joker's puppet anytime longer.
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Old August 9 2008, 12:42 PM   #906
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

3D Master wrote: View Post
Bob The Skutter wrote: View Post
Personally, I liked that the bit with the prisoner, as he said to the guy in charge "I'll do what you shoulda did 10 minutes ago." He made the moral choice, I mean just because he may have killed someone for some reason, that doesn't mean he doesn't know right from wrong, and take killing hundreds of people lightly.
Someone for some reason? He's probably killed hundreds, if not directly then indirectly, for his own selfish gain. Now his life is on the line, and he suddenly gets a conscience?

Indeed, that makes no sense to me.

Also, the casual way he says, "what you shoul've done 10 minutes agao", seems more based on cold rationality to me: the Joker's been playing everyone from the start, implied that the bridges were booby trapped, when in fact the ferry's they'd take instead were, and everyone has been dancing to his tune. He would no longer be Joker's puppet, plus just as much chance they'd blow themselves up than the others.

Now this reason I understand, the cold way he got up seems to indicate it, it's the way I would have done it. Because there's no way I'd be the Joker's puppet anytime longer.
How does the fact that he's a prisoner automatically mean he's killed hundreds of people?
I thought the way he gave the guy a disgusted look before he went and sat back down he was making a moral choice, rather than a cold calculated one.
It seemed to me that the cold way he came up and stated the "facts" was to simply convince the guy in charge to give up the detonator.
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Old August 9 2008, 12:57 PM   #907
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

Bob The Skutter wrote: View Post
3D Master wrote: View Post
Bob The Skutter wrote: View Post
Personally, I liked that the bit with the prisoner, as he said to the guy in charge "I'll do what you shoulda did 10 minutes ago." He made the moral choice, I mean just because he may have killed someone for some reason, that doesn't mean he doesn't know right from wrong, and take killing hundreds of people lightly.
Someone for some reason? He's probably killed hundreds, if not directly then indirectly, for his own selfish gain. Now his life is on the line, and he suddenly gets a conscience?

Indeed, that makes no sense to me.

Also, the casual way he says, "what you shoul've done 10 minutes agao", seems more based on cold rationality to me: the Joker's been playing everyone from the start, implied that the bridges were booby trapped, when in fact the ferry's they'd take instead were, and everyone has been dancing to his tune. He would no longer be Joker's puppet, plus just as much chance they'd blow themselves up than the others.

Now this reason I understand, the cold way he got up seems to indicate it, it's the way I would have done it. Because there's no way I'd be the Joker's puppet anytime longer.
How does the fact that he's a prisoner automatically mean he's killed hundreds of people?
I thought the way he gave the guy a disgusted look before he went and sat back down he was making a moral choice, rather than a cold calculated one.
It seemed to me that the cold way he came up and stated the "facts" was to simply convince the guy in charge to give up the detonator.
He's one of the mob folks! They sell drugs, probably spice them with cheap shit that makes it dangerous to make extra profit. He's called who knows how many hits on who knows how many people that were in his way. Etc. etc. etc.
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Old August 9 2008, 01:06 PM   #908
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

3D Master wrote: View Post

He's one of the mob folks! They sell drugs, probably spice them with cheap shit that makes it dangerous to make extra profit. He's called who knows how many hits on who knows how many people that were in his way. Etc. etc. etc.
And you know this how? All you know is he was involved with the mob guys, he could be of the low level guys, you know, those ones who couldn't afford the big lawyers to get off with it all.
Sure he looks like the sort of guy who'd be going round breaking legs, and the like, but we don't know anything beyond the fact he's in prison, and sounds like he had killed.
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Old August 9 2008, 01:27 PM   #909
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

Bob The Skutter wrote: View Post
3D Master wrote: View Post

He's one of the mob folks! They sell drugs, probably spice them with cheap shit that makes it dangerous to make extra profit. He's called who knows how many hits on who knows how many people that were in his way. Etc. etc. etc.
And you know this how? All you know is he was involved with the mob guys, ...
And do we even know this? I don't recall any sort of mention, and Gotham's a big city to only have mobsters as criminals... I'm sure there's just regular old criminals there too.
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Old August 9 2008, 01:33 PM   #910
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

archeryguy1701 wrote: View Post
Bob The Skutter wrote: View Post
3D Master wrote: View Post

He's one of the mob folks! They sell drugs, probably spice them with cheap shit that makes it dangerous to make extra profit. He's called who knows how many hits on who knows how many people that were in his way. Etc. etc. etc.
And you know this how? All you know is he was involved with the mob guys, ...
And do we even know this? I don't recall any sort of mention, and Gotham's a big city to only have mobsters as criminals... I'm sure there's just regular old criminals there too.
True, they did just say they wanted to clear the island of the guys Harvey put behind bars. I was thinking that meant the 500 odd guys in the mob case, but I suppose there are others.
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Old August 9 2008, 01:54 PM   #911
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

Count me amongst those who were fine with the prisoner's actions. He wasn't supposed to be a fully-fleshed out character with clear motivations. He was supposed to to challenge our own preconceptions, making us honestly face the fact that most of us would have seriously considered doing what the civilians almost did.
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Old August 9 2008, 03:02 PM   #912
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

The prisoner's actions were fine. I think there are many MANY people in jail who wouldn't want a bus full of innocent people to get blown up. It's a sort of cold cynical viewpoint that just because someone's in jail, they're not gonna care at all about other people dying. In fact, even people who've killed, who aren't weird serial psychopaths, I'd wager would care somewhat about a boat full of innocent people bout to be blown to smithereens.

What I didn't really buy was:

1) the other prisoners just sitting there calmly, but you can sort of buy because the guards had guns pointed at them.

but even moreso

2) The CIVILIANS on the boat:
On the prisoner's boat, the GUARDS had control the entire time, and it was their choice really. Only one prisoner stepped forward to make a real choice, the others were held in check.

Meanwhile the civilians were essentially in control on the other boat. There is no way they don't blow up a boat full of prisoners. People love LOVE to feel morally superior, especially people in jail. I mean really love it. More civilians would have stepped up to push that button after that one guy chickened out.
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Old August 9 2008, 07:09 PM   #913
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

Stone_Cold_Sisko wrote: View Post
The prisoner's actions were fine. I think there are many MANY people in jail who wouldn't want a bus full of innocent people to get blown up. It's a sort of cold cynical viewpoint that just because someone's in jail, they're not gonna care at all about other people dying. In fact, even people who've killed, who aren't weird serial psychopaths, I'd wager would care somewhat about a boat full of innocent people bout to be blown to smithereens.
Trust me, when people happily kill for their own monetary gain, than when their own lives are on the line, they'll kill with an even bigger grin on their face.

I mean, seriously, us LAW-ABIDING people, will kill when our, or our loved ones' lives are on the line. The courts even say it's right to do so. You really think a guy, who killed people to get fifty bucks, when his life is on the line, is going to go, "Oh, my god, killing is bad! Let's not kill then, and just die instead."
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Old August 9 2008, 07:23 PM   #914
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

Stone_Cold_Sisko wrote: View Post
It's a sort of cold cynical viewpoint that just because someone's in jail, they're not gonna care at all about other people dying. In fact, even people who've killed, who aren't weird serial psychopaths, I'd wager would care somewhat about a boat full of innocent people bout to be blown to smithereens.
This reminds me of a first season episode of Heroes, in which Sylar, who is a serial killer, learns that he may be destined to annihilate half of New York City. Having been highly selective about his victims, he's initially horrified at the prospect of killing millions of "innocent" people.

Even hardcore felons aren't completely amoral. People who've committed certain types of crimes are reportedly treated very badly by the general prison population.
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Old August 9 2008, 09:18 PM   #915
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Re: The Dark Knight - Grading & Discussion

Kegek wrote: View Post
Yeah... but then, Two-Face has never sat entirely well with me. Apparently, after he's disfigured he goes a little insane and determines everything by his coin toss. Because he's got half a face and his same-sided coin now has a scar, this is a Road to Damascus incident whose freak accidents inform his entire modus operandi. I thought they made about as much sense of this idea as they could
Fair enough. I guess I agree - short of making the film about him.

- they implied his ability to go over the line before he was disfigured, made the event of his disfigurement suitably traumatic (his life or his fiance's held in a totally arbitrary balance) and then his subsequent discussion with the Joker gives him the required nihilism to make the Two-Face concept work.
The Joker had a great moment here, but I never believed he was convincing Dent of anything.

I definitely felt it was advancing the theme. And I was fine with that. I preferred the film's theme presented in allegories such as this as opposed to sometimes cumbersome dialogue.
JacksonArcher wrote: View Post
I was actually surprised by the prisoner's decision. I thought he was going to blow the civilians to smithereens. And when he doesn't, you feel almost guilty for believing that. Nolan plays on those expectations and then turns them on their head
Both fair, but I still found it just a little too cryptic. While the civilian decision was never spelled out, it was given a beat. The motivations were in question during the decision. The prisoner's decision came out of nowhere, so it just seemed surprising for its own sake.
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