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The Dark Knight (2008)


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Interesting comments. About the last 20 mintes being absolutely necessary -- that wasn't the point of my concern. The film is too long -- whether it needed material from those last 20 minutes lopped off, or material form the preceding 122 minutes, is something I'm not really in a position to judge. I didn't much care about the ending by the time the film finally got around to its actual ending. Had the film been tightened here and there, it would've played even better than it does, I think.

You're not suggesting that there's nothing in those first two hours that couldn't go, I hope.

The Tom Cruise line -- I must've read about it beforehand, because it didn't surprise me. I did chuckle at it. Don't remember the Apocalypse Now reference.

As stated numerous times on this board, superhero films ain't really my bag, but I did watch Batman Begins a couple of nights ago, and was impressed by that film in a way that I wasn't the first time I watched it. It's quite good, although it, too, could've been a little shorter. I prefer it to The Dark Knight, but I'm not sure Knight is any less accomplished or effective.

As for this comment -- "couldn't disagree more with Christian. Surely a comic book movie can handle three main characters and two supporting characters, and two of Batman's helpers." -- that's a hunch, nothing more at this point, based on another reviewer's comments that I read this morning. I liked Harvey Dent's character evolution (Hunter did not). I'm trying to figure out why the film felt too long, and I think the film may have too much going on in it to be much shorter. But if it had to be as long as it is -- and I'm not sure it did -- then why did it wear me down so?

What can I say? A man goes to the movies. The critic must be honest enough to admit that he is that man.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I'm curious if anyone else had issues with the sound mix of this movie. I doubt this a problem inherent to the film -- it's probably a theater-by-theater thing -- but the Uptown theater in D.C. had the sound up pretty loud. That wouldn't bother me so much, but the mix during the loud stretches was terrible! Dialogue was drowned out by the sound of vehicles, explosions and other craziness. It doesn't help that Bale's Batman speaks in a lower voice, although it's amplified somehow. Nevertheless, certain dialogue by other characters was difficult to make out during intense stretches of the film. I'm not sure how crucial that dialogue might have been.

That's what I was expecting to hear, although it's too bad. The sound mix on Batman Begins was one of the worst in a big blockbuster that I have ever heard, and really contributed to my dislike of the movie as a whole, more than I think I realized at the time. It's a little unfortunate, how isolated elements of craft like that can detract from a movie's appeal as a whole. I haven't seen The Dark Knight yet, but suffice it to say that I'm keeping my hopes low.

That's just how eye roll.

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You're not suggesting that there's nothing in those first two hours that couldn't go, I hope.

What would you cut? I was either grinning with glee or on the edge of my seat with dread... or some strange combination of both... for 2 1/2 hours.

Edited by Overstreet

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You're not suggesting that there's nothing in those first two hours that couldn't go, I hope.

What would you cut? I was either grinning with glee or on the edge of my seat with dread... or some strange combination of both... for 2 1/2 hours.

Then there's no discussing this movie with you. :)

I'm not sure what I'd cut, but there must be something. There's always something. Probably many somethings.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Christian wrote:

: Gosh, this movie is long. Really long.

Heh. The funny thing is, after all those reviews that said the last half-hour was almost a separate movie, I went into the film looking for the seam, looking for some sort of evidence that the film was now going on too long ... and I didn't find it. The film seemed the perfect length, to me.

There are some awkward plot holes, etc.

E.g., it doesn't really sell you on

the death of Jim Gordon

, and since I had forgotten about the upcoming scenes that had already been revealed in the trailer, I spent that chunk of the movie thinking, "They didn't REALLY just

kill him

so offhandedly like that, did they? did they?"

And after Batman

dives out the window to rescue someone who has been tossed out of a crowded party by the Joker

, the film NEVER goes back to the crowded party to show what became of the partygoers or the Joker. (Did the Joker just walk out of the room? Did he give just give up on looking for the person he was looking for? Did he rough anyone else up? Etc.) I kind of wish the film would have included at least one line of dialogue -- ANYthing -- to explain what happened here.

And for all his chaos, some of the Joker's plans are a little TOO elaborate, or hinge a little TOO much on things going according to plan -- starting with that opening bank heist, and the way the Joker apparently knows how to get a guy to stand in a certain place before another guy comes crashing through the wall ...

But hey. Minor quibbles.

A more serious quibble might be that Two-Face, a major villain in the comics, barely gets any screen time here. Yeah, Harvey Dent gets ample time pre-villainization, and what the film does with Two-Face certainly fits Harvey's character arc in a big way. But anyone coming to this film hoping to see a Two-Face movie will be disappointed.

: I'm curious if anyone else had issues with the sound mix of this movie. I doubt this a problem inherent to the film -- it's probably a theater-by-theater thing -- but the Uptown theater in D.C. had the sound up pretty loud.

It sounds like you saw this in a regular theatre. I thought most critics' screenings were being held in IMAX theatres? The IMAX company, as I understand it, tends to be a little more hands-on with the exhibition of their films and making sure the theatres are up-to-spec.

NBooth wrote:

: Last time I watched Batman Begins, I commented to the person with me that Batman--in Nolan's film, anyway--is essentially the "James Bond" of the major superheroes--no "powers," just gadgets, and now with a gadget-master.

True, as far as that goes -- though one key difference is that Bond works for the taxpayer and does all his killing and stuff with the government's approval, whereas Batman is completely outside the law (even if he is friendly with certain law enforcers).

Overstreet:

: Best serious superhero movie for grownups ever.

So glad you liked it!

: And there's a moment with a faulty detonator that I can't wait to watch again.

Oh my, yes. And I burst out laughing, while letting my jaw drop in astonishment, when I read this account of the filming of that scene:

Show hidden text
Christopher Nolan: We really wanted to deconstruct things, movie-wise, a little bit. We wanted to have the scene where the Joker walks out of the [hospital] in front of an explosion, which is a very familiar cinematic trope, and we wanted to do it on a bigger scale than anyone's ever done it before. But we wanted to undercut it somehow, to not allow that to be the big trailer moment. Putting him in drag seemed a good way to make it a little more Joker-ish, a little more anarchic.

We rehearsed it for hours and hours because obviously it was a one-take scene. The building was blowing up for real. He hit every mark absolutely perfectly and never looked back. I talked to him about it afterwards - to hear this building exploding behind you, but not be able to turn back and look at it, is a very difficult thing.

: And the film contains the spectacular ruination of a line made famous in an earlier film by Tom Cruise. The line made me laugh out loud in surprise.

Wow, that line was given away by more than a few items that I had read before seeing the film. Didn't spoil it for me, though, since it's still such a good line!

: (It was such a shock, I wondered if it was included as a cheap shot at Cruise. Did Cruise have anything to do with Katie Holmes not being in this film? If so, I wonder if this was a punishment. If not, it's a very strange choice. Anybody else here know what I'm talking about?)

Personally, I have always wondered if

the death of Rachel Dawes

was originally intended as a nod to all those people who couldn't stand Holmes.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Peter wrote:

Heh. The funny thing is, after all those reviews that said the last half-hour was almost a separate movie, I went into the film looking for the seam, looking for some sort of evidence that the film was now going on too long ... and I didn't find it. The film seemed the perfect length, to me.

Agreed.

There are some awkward plot holes, etc.

E.g.,

it doesn't really sell you on the death of Jim Gordon, and since I had forgotten about the upcoming scenes that had already been revealed in the trailer, I spent that chunk of the movie thinking, "They didn't REALLY just kill him so offhandedly like that, did they? did they?"

Agreed. I didn't fall for that either.

And after Batman

dives out the window to rescue someone who has been tossed out of a crowded party by the Joker,

the film NEVER goes back to the crowded party to show what became of the partygoers or the Joker. (Did the Joker just walk out of the room? Did he give just give up on looking for the person he was looking for? Did he rough anyone else up? Etc.) I kind of wish the film would have included at least one line of dialogue -- ANYthing -- to explain what happened here.

I totally agree. That, to me, is the film's biggest stumble. I felt like we'd skipped a reel, or something.

And for all his chaos, some of the Joker's plans are a little TOO elaborate, or hinge a little TOO much on things going according to plan -- starting with that opening bank heist, and the way the Joker apparently knows how to get a guy to stand in a certain place before another guy comes crashing through the wall ...

Yeah, but that's pretty conventional for comic book villains, methinks.

A more serious quibble might be that Two-Face, a major villain in the comics, barely gets any screen time here. Yeah, Harvey Dent gets ample time pre-villainization, and what the film does with Two-Face certainly fits Harvey's character arc in a big way. But anyone coming to this film hoping to see a Two-Face movie will be disappointed.

Yeah, but the level of realism that Nolan demands might have made a long-term story arc for Two-Face seem glaringly implausible.

It sounds like you saw this in a regular theatre. I thought most critics' screenings were being held in IMAX theatres? The IMAX company, as I understand it, tends to be a little more hands-on with the exhibition of their films and making sure the theatres are up-to-spec.

I saw it in IMAX, and I was blown away.

Personally, I have always wondered if

the death of Rachel Dawes

was originally intended as a nod to all those people who couldn't stand Holmes.

Hmmm. Perhaps. I didn't realize that she was so disliked. I didn't mind her so much. I've always liked Holmes, and it's been sad to see her offscreen life eclipse her acting.

Edited by Overstreet

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Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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BTW, one other thing I really loved about this movie was the way it concluded, and the way it did so by underscoring the meaning of the title, The Dark Knight. All along I had assumed the filmmakers were trying to come up with a non-Batman title that would sound kind of hip, or whatever. But it wasn't until I saw the film that I saw how this title actually reflects, and plays into, the THEMES of the movie.

Overstreet wrote:

: Yeah, but that's pretty conventional for comic book villains, methinks.

[ nod ]

: Yeah, but the level of realism that Nolan demands might have made a long-term story arc for Two-Face seem glaringly implausible.

Hmmm. In what way? Do you mean something like, Harvey has snapped so badly that he doesn't have the strength or cunning or whatever to become a long-term villain like the Joker? That there's only so much you can do, realistically, with a villain who goes around shooting people after flipping a coin?

BTW, speaking of "realism", I kept wondering how Harvey's eye stayed moist without an eyelid to blink, and why his voice stayed the same even though the shape of his mouth was, uh, noticeably different. :)

: I didn't realize that she was so disliked. I didn't mind her so much. I've always liked Holmes, and it's been sad to see her offscreen life eclipse her acting.

Yeah, I didn't mind her in the first film either. I think she could have done very well in this film, if they'd been able to keep her. (I wouldn't have minded if Gyllenhaal were in the first film, either. I just think it would have been better if the same actress had played the character in both films.)

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Hmmm. In what way? Do you mean something like, Harvey has snapped so badly that he doesn't have the strength or cunning or whatever to become a long-term villain like the Joker? That there's only so much you can do, realistically, with a villain who goes around shooting people after flipping a coin?

All of the above... plus the fact that I find it difficult to believe he wouldn't just, well...

DIE, having so much of his cranial innards exposed for so long.

BTW, speaking of "realism", I kept wondering how Harvey's eye stayed moist without an eyelid to blink, and why his voice stayed the same even though the shape of his mouth was, uh, noticeably different.

Yeah, that bugged me too. Not much, but a little.

I just think it would have been better if the same actress had played the character in both films.

Of course. I suspect that Nolan would agree. I've always hated that Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me has a different Donna.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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BTW, speaking of "realism", I kept wondering how Harvey's eye stayed moist without an eyelid to blink, and why his voice stayed the same even though the shape of his mouth was, uh, noticeably different.

Yeah, that bugged me too. Not much, but a little.

Duh. Eye Drops from the Super Villain Superstore in Gotham.

:)

"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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I'm a little surprised that the political angle Peter noted earlier hasn't taken more precedence in the reviews of this movie -- the ones I've been reading, which may not be representative. This is, to my mind, what makes the film much, much better than average. We've seen these "dark superhero" movies many times now -- will the superhero give in to his darker nature, etc.? This movie does that, but in the context of the broader post-9/11 context. Surveillance, "suspension of democracy" talk -- this is pretty strong stuff, all the more so because the film feeds you a strong line via Alfred that might be perceived, for lack of a better term, as "pro-Administration," or pro-Bush. I found myself wondering if the filmmakers had kept up with changing public perceptions. Sure enough, the film pivots toward an examination of the fruits of pursuing a hard line against remorseless men. It's quite deft, actually, in that it plays both sides of this debate so well.

So far, the best review I've read along these lines is Sonny Bunch in the Washington Times, titled "Gotham City's war on terror." The title is actually much more on point than the review itself, which fails to mention some of the many allusions to war-on-terror tactics depicted in this film. Cell-phone detonators, car bombs, attacks on public facilities, videotaped torture. The movie is really quite something when seen through that prism.

Why do I get the sense that reviewers, many of whom are politically liberal and presumably anti-war (although I've done no survey!), are uncomfortable tackling this angle, even if the film does support certain anti-war suppositions? It's this aspect of the film, more than any superhero mythology or adherence to the spirit of the comics, that will give this movie its staying power, I think. Or maybe I should just reduce this to the purely subjective and admit that its this aspect of the film that will make it stick for me. I doubt I'll be alone in that assessment, but reading the reviews, you'd think that critics are immune to that aspect of the film's potency.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Can someone who has seen it on IMAX explain how that works? If only some scenes were filmed in IMAX, does this mean that certain scenes fill the entire screen and others (those filmed in standard ratio) have "black bars" at the top and bottom? I would think this would be distracting in the extreme, especially since it would periodically switch back and forth.

Surprisingly, there are still tickets available for the IMAX showings here in Colorado Springs tomorrow, and I'm trying to decide whether to go IMAX or standard. I have actually read some reviews that advise just seeing it on a regular screen.

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My review.

Can someone who has seen it on IMAX explain how that works? If only some scenes were filmed in IMAX, does this mean that certain scenes fill the entire screen and others (those filmed in standard ratio) have "black bars" at the top and bottom? I would think this would be distracting in the extreme, especially since it would periodically switch back and forth.

Surprisingly, there are still tickets available for the IMAX showings here in Colorado Springs tomorrow, and I'm trying to decide whether to go IMAX or standard. I have actually read some reviews that advise just seeing it on a regular screen.

DO see it in IMAX.

It is not distracting. You notice the IMAX when it's there and don't think about it when it's not. Even the standard stuff really fills up the screen.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

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My review.

Can someone who has seen it on IMAX explain how that works? If only some scenes were filmed in IMAX, does this mean that certain scenes fill the entire screen and others (those filmed in standard ratio) have "black bars" at the top and bottom? I would think this would be distracting in the extreme, especially since it would periodically switch back and forth.

Surprisingly, there are still tickets available for the IMAX showings here in Colorado Springs tomorrow, and I'm trying to decide whether to go IMAX or standard. I have actually read some reviews that advise just seeing it on a regular screen.

DO see it in IMAX.

It is not distracting. You notice the IMAX when it's there and don't think about it when it's not. Even the standard stuff really fills up the screen.

What Steven said. You don't notice it when the IMAX isn't there, but it is breathtaking when the IMAX screen is filled. Very immersive.

My thoughts.

"The greatest meat of all. The meat of friendship and fatherhood."

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Steven, that is a terrific review. I'm directing everyone I know that wants to see the film to your site to read it. Wonderfully done!

Edited by Phill Lytle

"The greatest meat of all. The meat of friendship and fatherhood."

The Blue Raft - Are you ready to ride?

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Peter, what exactly do you mean here:

BTW, one other thing I really loved about this movie was the way it concluded, and the way it did so by underscoring the meaning of the title, The Dark Knight. All along I had assumed the filmmakers were trying to come up with a non-Batman title that would sound kind of hip, or whatever. But it wasn't until I saw the film that I saw how this title actually reflects, and plays into, the THEMES of the movie.

Do you simply mean that they wanted a title that didn't contain the word Batman in it? Or something else?

"The greatest meat of all. The meat of friendship and fatherhood."

The Blue Raft - Are you ready to ride?

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Steven, in your review you wrote: "Yet even when all seems lost, people may still do the right thing, taking their last recourse in prayer rather than in Nietzschean ruthlessness."

Are you referring to a particular character? I saw one particular person in this film make a bowing gesture, and I thought he was praying. But the film cut away quickly from him, so I wasn't sure.

BTW, Can anyone more familiar with the character of Alfred comment on this? I'm not sure there's much to it, but in light of some of the things the character says in The Dark Knight, I find this detail interesting.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Christian wrote:

: I'm a little surprised that the political angle Peter noted earlier hasn't taken more precedence in the reviews of this movie . . . It's quite deft, actually, in that it plays both sides of this debate so well.

Absolutely.

It's all there in that scene where Harvey talks about how the ancient Romans used to suspend democracy when they faced a threat, but only temporarily -- and then Rachel reminds him that one of Rome's non-democratic defenders turned out to be Julius Caesar, who ushered in a more permanent form of non-democracy. So the film dances with the possibility that unusual executive powers, as it were, might be needed, but they have to be abandoned as soon as they have served their immediate purpose (note the subplot involving

Batman's ability to spy on the entire city, and how he enabled Lucius to shut the whole thing down once the Joker is defeated

-- and how Lucius is allowed to lodge a moral protest against what Batman is doing).

I am also intrigued by the sequence with the ferries. The Joker sets the whole thing up to prove that people are just animals underneath -- that they are only as good as the world ALLOWS them to be, as he puts it. (Compare this to the earlier scene where the Joker says he needs a new henchman, and he

gets two or three men to fight to the death for the job

.) And the very interesting question here is whether the Joker is proved right in the end:

Show hidden text
On the one ferry, the people DO vote in favour of blowing up the other boat -- but none of them have the guts to go ahead and actually DO it. So does their vote -- their anonymous endorsement of a heinous act -- justify the Joker's view of them? Or does their inability to get up and do the deed, prove the Joker wrong? Or, perhaps, does their inability to get up and do the deed prove the Joker RIGHT, because they have demonstrated some sort of basic weakness? Then again, what would the SOURCE of that "weakness" be -- could it be something like a "conscience", some hint of goodness within them? Or is it simply an inability to do something that is way, way, way out of the ordinary?

And on the other ferry, no vote is taken, so we don't KNOW what the majority of those people felt, but we DO know that the civil authority was prepared to abdicate his position of responsibility -- and that the criminal who stood up and intervened had the courage to throw the detonator out the window. The day is saved by someone taking decisive action, and presumably a decisive action that the majority of those present would have disagreed with.

So the message here appears to be something like Ratatouille's: it is folly to say that everyone can be great, BUT it is true to say that greatness can come from anywhere. The human race itself remains an inconclusive mix of good and bad, but leadership -- and by that I mean a single person's initiative, rather than anyone who happens to be decorated in the trappings of authority -- can make the difference, one way or the other.

: I doubt I'll be alone in that assessment, but reading the reviews, you'd think that critics are immune to that aspect of the film's potency.

One funny response was Jeffrey Wells's comment earlier this morning that the ferry sequence is something of an "Obama moment". Given that Wells is a zealous Obama supporter, I don't think he has thought through the implications of that sequence anywhere near as deeply as he should.

Phill Lytle wrote:

: Do you simply mean that they wanted a title that didn't contain the word Batman in it?

I THOUGHT that that was what they might have wanted, yeah: a Batman movie without the word Batman in the title, a way of presenting themselves as cool and serious and removing themselves from the air of camp that still hangs around the word "Batman". But now that I have seen the film, I realize that the meaning of the new title runs quite a bit deeper than that.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Steven, in your review you wrote: "Yet even when all seems lost, people may still do the right thing, taking their last recourse in prayer rather than in Nietzschean ruthlessness."

Are you referring to a particular character? I saw one particular person in this film make a bowing gesture, and I thought he was praying. But the film cut away quickly from him, so I wasn't sure.

I'm pretty sure we have the same moment in mind -- but it's not just one character. My memory is corroborated by this spoilerific account from "Moriarty"'s Dark Knight/Hellboy II essay:

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

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Peter: w/r/t your hidden musings about whether

the actions on one of the ferries

prove the Joker right or wrong: His thesis was: "When the chips are down, these people will eat each other." He was

wrong

, straight up.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

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Yeah, that's the scene I was thinking of. There's a group of people around him, so it looks like he might be leading the prayer. I'm glad to have this confirmed. I didn't mention it because I wasn't certain about it. Makes the movie even better, and it makes me like that boat sequence more than I did previously.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Steven, that is a terrific review. I'm directing everyone I know that wants to see the film to your site to read it. Wonderfully done!

Thanks! FWIW, my editor seemed especially happy with it -- called it one of my best. I dunno -- to me it's one of those all-nighters written on two hours of sleep that I never know whether it'll be coherent at all or not. :)

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

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Huh, I don't remember the praying bit. I'll have to look for that next time. (Though again, I cannot help but note that, if these reports are true, this film's use of prayer would seem to conform to the standard Hollywood approach, where it's

one of those things that black people do, but white people don't

. So while there might be some playing with stereotypical expectations here, it only goes so far. Which is fine; you can't subvert EVERYthing.)

SDG wrote:

: Peter: w/r/t your hidden musings about whether

the actions on one of the ferries

prove the Joker right or wrong: His thesis was: "When the chips are down, these people will eat each other." He was

wrong

, straight up.

Perhaps. Then again, it could be that, just as people are only as good as society allows them to be, perhaps

they are only as bad as society allows them to be, too. Even when the majority votes -- anonymously! -- in favour of a murderous deed, there is still a strong taboo against going ahead and doing the deed, and anyone who would step up and actually do the deed must be aware that they would be incurring the disfavour of a sizeable chunk of the people on that boat, i.e. the ones who voted AGAINST blowing up the other boat

.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Your welcome Steven. By the way, your editor is right.

And FWIW, I too noticed the group of prisoners on the ferry praying. I loved that section!

"The greatest meat of all. The meat of friendship and fatherhood."

The Blue Raft - Are you ready to ride?

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The Salon writers have me thinking I may have gone too easy on this movie. :)

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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The last 20 minutes that have earned so many complaints are absolutely necessary: Any other conclusion would have felt like a cheap set-up for a sequel, or would have cut short the story arcs of a two or three vital characters.

<snip>

I couldn't disagree more with Christian. Surely a comic book movie can handle three main characters and two supporting characters, and two of Batman's helpers. And this takes Bruce, Harvey, Joker, Gordon, Rachel, Alfred, and Freeman and develops ALL of them impressively. I was exhausted by the action, but not by the story.

While I really, really enjoyed the movie overall, I have to side with those who felt a bit of last-30-minute-fatigue. In a few comments, you and Peter mention the lack of a "seam" that you were expecting. For me, this came somewhere right around the time that the Joker was

caught and imprisoned.

It's not a hard seam, per se, but it feels like a climax of sorts, and while you know it wasn't "big" enough to really be the end, it certainly felt to me like we were close to the end. Nuh uh. I empathize with the "last 30 minutes as a sequel" comments, specifically because of this. They started an entirely new storyline

(two-face)

AFTER what felt in many ways like the movie's climax, or "pre-climax."

As to exactly what I would cut... probably not a surprise given my comments so far, but basically most (all?) of the

two-face

stuff. Certainly that would've required other changes to get to the desired (good) ending, but that certainly doesn't mean it couldn't have been done. Either that, or they potentially could have kept all of the storylines that are there, but paced them a little better, perhaps by

not letting the arrest/jailing feel like a climax at all

, or

introducing two-face earlier in relation to that scene somehow

so it doesn't start a completely new storyline so late.

Just my $.02. And the other dime I have like it very much. :-)

"You guys don't really know who you're dealing with."

"Oh yeah, and who exactly are we dealing with?"

"I'm the mother flippin' rhymenoceros."

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