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21 July 2008 @ 09:15 am
Birthdays and Batman  
Many thanks to my flist for the many birthday wishes. Needless to say, I've finally recovered from the 4 days of celebrations.

I've now seen 'The Dark Knight' 3 times. To say that it was an excellent film is really an understatement. To say it was a great superhero movie would be selling it short. The film reaches beyond genres and weaves an intricate story around the struggle between good and evil. A character driven story with a tour de force performance by the late Heath Ledger which asks questions instead of making statements. What is needed to defeat evil without becoming evil in the process?

The crux of the movie can be found in this quote: "You either die a hero or live long enough to become the villain."

This is a film that does not leave you and hence you end up seeing it multiple times just to unravel all the layers. Christian Bale's Batman is character driven and moves beyond comic book portrayals. Bale is so good that he allows Ledger to own the screen without losing sight of his own character. Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman are not simply window dressing, they move the plot along at breakneck speed adding balance to the struggle between Batman and the Joker.

And my city never looked better on film. Kudos to Chris Nolan for choosing Chicago to become Gotham City.
 
 
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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
kitsunealyckitsunealyc on July 21st, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC)
The only statements I disagree with are these two:

"To say it was a great superhero movie would be selling it short."

and

"Christian Bale's Batman is character driven and moves beyond comic book portrayals."

In both cases, I would say that you are selling comics and the superhero genre short. I'm not saying that everything in this medium or genre is excellent, but having read a wide range of the various Batman titles, I will say that I think we finally have a movie that lives up to the best that the comics have already developed and delivered. The dynamic between Batman and the Joker is why I have stuck with this title even through some of its less interesting permutations.

At their best, the comics have for years been exploring the question of whether one has to become a monster in order to fight the monsters, with the Joker constantly pushing at Batman to step over that line. I think that this film gets at what the comics have been saying for some time -- the core of what makes Batman a hero is that he will not let Harvey Dent's claim on villainy become true for himself. He doesn't use guns, and he won't kill the Joker, no matter that it might be the easier path or serve the greater good.

So, yeah. Great movie, but don't sell the comics short.
ms_sardonicus: destroms_sardonicus on July 21st, 2008 10:31 pm (UTC)
Oh by no means did I mean to sell comics short. I've been collecting for years now. And I've obviously written something here that is sending a negative vibe about comics which was never my intention. By 'comic book portrayal' I simply meant that it was not two dimensional in any sense.

As I was standing in line to see this film, many people passed by and commented that it was only another 'stupid superhero' movie and went on to purchase tickets for 'Mama Mia'. I think many people view a Batman movie as simply a 'superhero' flick and my comment was simply to dissuade them from viewing it as so. The general non-comic reading public should see this movie if only to see a good movie unfold and get a better sense of what good comics are about.

I read Valiant comics for years, Eternal Warrior being my favourite. I think DC and Marvel have good titles as well, Batman and Superman my favourites.

So, I'm sorry if my comments came off as negative towards comics....afterall, I was the only woman who ever frequented my local comic shop! I'm a fan and didn't mean any disservice to the genre.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )