Anita18 on Superhero Hype!
And apparently Amanita and Ns 18 on the Citizensforbatman.org forums. Wheee!
Although I still think my spoof mushroom icon should at least dance. I can't even figure out the one for Ns 18. Is that a wormhole?
 My rambly thoughts on The Dark Knight
I've given the film some thought, which is easy to do because the reviewers are right - it's difficult to get this film out of your head. But I definitely need another viewing to fully process it. It isn't that the plot is convoluted or anything (although it's easy to miss some details in the subplots), it's just so overwhelming and it's difficult to gauge because there has been no precedence for this kind of film. It breaks genres, completely. You can't compare it to anything.
My immediate reactions:
- If I had to choose one word to describe my immediate reaction, it would be "overwhelming." If I had 2 more words, they would be "expansive" and "immersive." There's a special significance of this ARG, once you realize what the filmmakers were trying to do.
- My mind was like, "MORE!" but my butt was like, "NO!" The 2.5 hours just whiz by. The story is huge and involves so many characters, that it doesn't feel like ANYONE gets a lot of screentime.
- It's impossible to see Heath Ledger in the Joker. I'm still processing if it's really the characterization of the Joker through and through. I'm not quite as invested in the character and I had no idea what to expect, but there are moments where he's just PERFECT. My favorite bit was him getting out of a particular vehicle. You'll know it when you see it. In one of his early scenes, everyone in the audience was holding their fingers up to their eyes because you're waiting for him to do something horrible and he just lets the time go by, ramping up the tension.
- Aaron Eckhart and Gary Oldman are also terrific, and as I understand, they're acting completely against type. (I haven't seen any Eckhart films aside from Thank You for Smoking.)
- Even though I knew a lot of spoilers going in, the film builds with such intensity, that my feet cramped throughout a good part of it. That was kind of annoying.
- The action sequences are beautifully shot. They still go by very quickly so it's easy to go, "Hey, what just happened?" but you can definitely see what Batman is doing. Aerial shots - gorgeous, but I think we all knew that. ;)
- I barely noticed when the image got bigger for the IMAX sequences. It isn't that jarring, although it could depend on how big your IMAX screen is and how far you're sitting from it. I just thought, "Oh, look! More pretty!" when the image expanded.
- The climactic action sequence is quite trippy, but it never took me out of the movie very much. I've gotten quite picky about that recently (for instance, I was a bit underwhelmed by Wall-E because the third act got a bit out of hand), but I was so engrossed that I just bought whatever it threw at me.
- Despite reviewers mentioning how dark this film is, it actually doesn't end on a completely depressing note, even though it certainly doesn't end on a "Woohoo! Yeah!" kind of note either. (It certainly does have its "Woohoo! Yeah" moments though.) I think everyone had tears in their eyes at the conclusion. A good chunk of the film also takes place during the day, so it isn't shot to be physically gritter than Batman Begins. It's violent, but not overly so. What's truly terrifying is the plausibility of Joker's motivations and how tense the film is.
- I believe that Nolan will be back to do another one, eventually. I have no idea how they'd go about doing it, but Batman's story is not finished.
- I'm really impressed at how much Batman (and Bruce Wayne) gets to do. The Joker may steal the show and it may be Harvey's arc, but I definitely identified with Batman most. If you're a Batman fan, you will love this film. He does everything we've always wanted to see him do (seriously), and the character is what I've always imagined him to be, even when I was a wee little girl and scared witless by the Burton movies.
- The entire plot is basically Joker's "social experiment" and that drives the entire story. It's why there are so many characters, why the setting is so expansive, and why the film is so terrifying. The Joker doesn't have some ridiculous notion of taking over the world or killing "a billion people" (like ahem, Lex Luthor), or anything where you feel safe enough to sit back and watch the hero save the day. The Joker intends to show us all our own natures, and even though his methods may be outlandish and implausible, his motivations are believable enough that you can comprehend how someone could actually hold his viewpoint. And that's the terrifying part.
- The more I think about it, the more I'm impressed at how they imbued meaning onto everything. The ARG has significance, the slogans have significance, the posters have significance, even the title has significance, but you don't realize any of this until after seeing the film. Accolades to the entire marketing department, 42 Entertainment and otherwise.
- I didn't actually have to ponder on this, since I've believed it ever since Batman Begins. We are so, so, so, ridiculously lucky to have Christopher Nolan and his crew in charge of a Batman film. If only every other superhero had directors with his integrity helming their films, Hollywood would be drastically different. Thank you to everyone involved.
Update: Just finished seeing it a second time, notepad in hand so I wouldn't miss any viral references, LOL. 10/10. Perfect. There's so much you gain from a second viewing. Everyone should see it more than once.