Like my book reviews site, these are movie reviews I write for entertainment purposes only. These are just my reviews and my opinions. They are not endorsed by Blogger or any movie studios or anyone else. So there. I borrowed my scoring system from the Metacritic site, which does not imply an endorsement from them, although I think they do have a very nice website. I convert the 1-100 scores into 1-4 stars, essentially it works like this:

1 star = 25 points
2 stars = 50 points
3 stars = 75 points
4 stars = 100 points

And then if something falls about halfway between, then I'll give it an added half-star.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Dark Knight (v2)

Does it violate some kind of reviewer's code to review a movie a second time within five months? Screw it. "The Dark Knight" finally came to the second-run theaters and since I hadn't seen it in three months and I had a day off, I thought I might as well go see it for a sixth time. (And if you think that's obsessive, my sister has seen it SEVEN times and is planning to go see it a couple more at her local second-run theater.)

Anyway, I like "The Dark Knight" for the same reason I like "The Empire Strikes Back" best of all the Star Wars movies: it's got everything a growing boy needs. Action, suspense, a little gore, a little humor, and yes even a little romance. Not to mention a kickass hero, an awesome villain, and plenty of things blowing up! (If they could have thrown in a lightsaber duel I would have been in movie Heaven.) If you're a guy--and I am, at least from the last time I used the bathroom--why the heck wouldn't you like this movie? If you're a woman and more inclined towards "Sex and the City" then not so much.

What I like best about the two Christopher Nolan films than the Burton/Schumacher ones is that Nolan put the Batman in the real world, more or less. (I mean as real as a world with a guy running around in a cape and cowl can be.) The Burton films were OK, but there was always that campy scenery so that the city always looked like a sound stage, not a real place. (This only became more pronounced in the so-so "Batman Forever" and dreadful "Batman & Robin.") Since the Nolan films were filmed largely in Chicago and you can see actual Chicago landmarks on the screen, you get more of a feeling that this is a real place with real people, some of whom just happen to dress funny.

Some people on Gather and other places have complained the movie isn't fun enough like, say, "Iron Man" but Batman isn't supposed to be fun. To borrow and paraphrase a quote from the movie, "This is a guy who goes out at night beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands." There's not a lot of fun in that. I applaud Nolan for taking the character seriously, unlike the old Adam West TV show. And if you want fun superhero movies there plenty of them out there.

Anyway, the movie isn't perfect of course, but it's still a great film in its own right. Watching it for the first time in three months I was more engrossed in it than probably the fourth or fifth times I saw it, even though I knew what was coming. I'm sure when this gets to DVD on December 9 I am going to wear out my DVD player watching it a seventh, eighth, etc. times.

If you don't know anything about the movie, here's the obligatory plot summary. A year after "Batman Begins" the Batman, Lt. Gordon, and new DA Harvey Dent are trying to take down the mob. In desperation the mob turns to the Joker, who unleashes a wave of terror on the poor people of Gotham City. Batman has to stop the Joker, but it sure as heck isn't going to be easy; there are a lot of casualties--including the Batman's soul!

So there you go. I also of course can't say enough about how awesome Heath Ledger's Joker is. He's smart and evil, just like I wish I was. Ha ha ha ha ha!

My score: still 4/4 stars

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