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Thread: The Dark Knight

  1. #46
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    cinemabon

    Mr. Nolan didn't have "his opportunity to fix things taken away" because Heath died.

    Filming of his part was complete, even the whole pictures' principal photography was complete at the time of his death.
    Your statement is wrong. Mr. Nolan wouldn't have tried to "fix"
    anything or try to do anything else with Heath's role- not "Keith", by the way.
    The Dark Knight is Ledger's final "full" movie role, an acting job that he completely dived into and completely finished before he tragically died.

    You can be very certain of the kind of film Mr. Nolan made had Ledger survived- the one we got. You can't be certain of what other glories we could have had with future appearances of the Joker in the greatest series of films I've seen in my 34 years breathing. Seriously, I'm just in utter amazement that these new Batman films even exist, forget about how majestic and classic they are- they EXIST MAN. That's something to rejoice about.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  2. #47
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    Masterpiece - Too Much Emphasis on Perfection

    Having attempted to spend so much effort on clarifying the term "Masterpiece" as "perfection" I came across an earlier discussion I had on Metacritic which doesn't really place much emphasis on perfection and thus some of Johann's commentary regarding THE DARK KNIGHT as a "Masterpiece" may have more merit than my own way of thinking about "Classic" movies that I responded to another person's belief that the DOCTOR and STARGATE ATLANTIS were classical dramas.

    [Posted 04 March 2009]

    "I wouldn't necessarily agree with your choices for classical dramas, particularly Stargate Atlantis which doesn't even have the "very long history" as might say the original movie itself Stargate (1994). I'm also somewhat confused by your selections which appear to be more appropriate for the television forum rather than the movie forum which could because of the difference of the medium have different defintions of "classic" episodes or series rather than a movie. As to what you mean by "large content," I'm not sure what the phrase means or "hollow." You've set out the beginnings of a defintion, but it seems to require further attention.

    The American Film Institute considers the following criteria when considering what are the "greatest" movies:

    - Critical recognition.
    - Popularity over time.
    - Historical significance.
    - Cultural impact.
    - Major award winner."


    THE DARK KNIGHT has obtained a highly decent "critical recognition" by film critics, if not outstanding, superlative across the board rating as well as recognition (nominations) by numerous Award Societies and Programs if not winning that many of them ("Major award winner"). THE DARK KNIGHT was and remains highly popular both in terms of audience turn out and boxoffice receipts. THE DARK KNIGHT may have also had a historical significance with Heath Ledger's death as well as his performance and cultural impact in terms of this darker interpretation of the iconic figure of Batman and the darker emotional and ethical turmoil as well as the penetrating insight into the human nature of humankind (good vs. evil).

    Overall, THE DARKMAN approaches a classic masterpiece, as to whether this movie solidly meets all these criteria remains in some doubt, but it seems to have established or met some of these benchmarks leaving the final determination of THE DARK KNIGHT's ulimate place in film history yet to be finally settled.

  3. #48
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    Christian Bale

    Heath Ledger gets the lion's share of praise for The Dark Knight (and he definitely deserves it) but too many people are trashing Bale's Batman and Bruce Wayne and I don't like it.

    He's the best Batman who ever suited up.
    That much is certain.
    I thought Val Kilmer was excellent as Batman but was surrounded by neon nonsense and Michael Keaton was the best Batman up until 2005.
    We won't even talk about George Clooney.

    Bale's Batman is the closest we have to the actual graphic novel Batman, the SERIOUS Batman, who's a beast in a cape.
    The way Bale plays him is the way I want my Bruce Wayne and caped crusader to be played.
    He's got issues (which are depicted and explained in Batman Begins perfectly), he's got a social life, he's got interesting relationships with Rachel, Gordon, Alfred and Fox, there's some light hints of humour, he's a man with wounds yet a symbol with no limits, he's got dilemmas, moral, personal, professional- he's a pretty complex guy, and Bale is the man who really brings all of that to the surface. He is a fantastic actor, a really
    watchable actor. He takes on fascinating roles and goes the Full Monster with it. You gotta admire a guy like that.
    I laugh at the people who make fun of his voice as Batman.
    The more I hear it, the more I know it's perfect.
    All these years I've been reading Batman comics and in my mind's ear he sounds like Bale's Batman, a disguised, hoarse, gravelly voice. It's great. Batman's gotta sound gritty and Bale's Batman sounds fucking gritty, like he won't take shit from no one:
    PRAY TO ME!!!!!!
    Last edited by Johann; 05-19-2009 at 10:02 AM.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  4. #49
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    Intelligibility and Acting

    However good an actor or a performance, part of the defining moments in a film is when the audience can relate and understand that actor. When, however, such as Batman portrayed by Christian Bale cannot be understood because of his gravelly voice, there's something wrong and quite detracting from the movie when an entire conversation in unintelligible and the audience loses out or either has to break from the movie and instead mentally, deliberately have to concentrate and focus on attempting to hear what Batman is saying, sometimes with limited success. The vital ability of any director and actor is being able to finely balance between the need to portray the graphic essence of the real "character" but at the same time be able to perform and deliver one's lines of dialogue that flow naturally and understandably on the screen. It is like in theater, a stage whisper, it must be both at the same time feel and be experienced as a whispter but also be understandable and the words must be heard.

    In Batman, it appears that his conversations are meant to be heard, not secret to the audience or to whoever he's talking to. Unfortuately for me and others, Batman's voice is a weakness in this movie that severely detracts from a truly completely satisfying experience. We can't understand what he's saying and even the criminal gets a better of it than the audience who ligitmately pays for the opportunity to watch the performance.

  5. #50
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    I have no idea what you're talking about.
    I understood Batman everytime he spoke.
    But then again, I'm a huge fan.
    I pay attention when that Hero speaks, no matter how garbled and gravelly his voice is.
    Last edited by Johann; 05-19-2009 at 11:05 AM.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  6. #51
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    I Have No Idea What You're Talking About

    Johann. Your response and difficulty in understanding what I posted is somewhat like what some of us in the audience experience when Batman is attempting to communicate in his gravelly voice. Frustrating isn't it? Hopefully your experience with my post will give you some of the same emotions and feelings that some audience members feel. That's what I really am talking about, what you experienced when attempting the decipher my post.

  7. #52
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    Everything about The Dark Knight was/is crystal clear to me.
    It's too bad you and many others had so much trouble with it.
    I don't know what else to say.
    The problems/flaws you point out do not register with me at all.
    The film is what it is, and I admire the Holy Hell out of it.

    In an earlier post you sounded like you might not ever see it again, so why are we still discussing it? Do the flaws that you see detract from your overall enjoyment of the movie?
    Is it a thumbs up or a thumbs down from you on Dark Knight?
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  8. #53
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    A great movie or masterpiece needs to have great popularity, but that great popularity is diminished when a significant number of people can't understand what Batman is saying. So just because a majority of the audience have clarity, a great movie or masterpiece needs to be able to reach out and touch most "everyone." Thus, the importance of this point is that your comment that this movie is a "masterpiece" is being questioned and doubted, in part, on this basis and other points regarding this movie.

    When audience members have to "pay attention" as much as in this movie to understand what Batman is saying it creates a sort of narrow-focused vision that for some of us is unnatural in that it takes away from the whole screen experience. If in fact the director wanted us to focus so much of our attention into concentrating on what was being said than perhaps the director could do a close up of just Batman's mouth and the criminals ear so we wouldn't be so distracted by the rest of the shot. The physical requirement to have to pull one's self into and out of a movie, mentally straining ourselves just to understand what's going on can be wearing and tiring. Great acting and great directors, like with ice skating make it appear, provide the illusion of easiness or clarity when called for even though in reality a performance is very difficult. A great actor or director would have been able to portray a gravelly voice represented as in a graphic comic but still understandable without forcing the audience to spend more time, effort, and work trying to figure out what that character is saying. There was no call for it from the script or the circumstances for this Batman's literally difficult to understand voice. In some instances, it might have been better if Batman had attempted to be more careful in speaking his words, especially in the context of the movie's storyline and plot. I would think he would have wanted to or needed to be be easily clearly understood or does he really have a speech impediment? It would be stupid to me if a superhero couldn't be understood. Criminals would look at him puzzled and say "Huh? I don't know what the hell you're talking about." In the heat of the moment, one doesn't have the luxury of coming across unintelligible in such a superhero movie.

    As for enjoying the movie, like I was saying earlier, like "being in love" it's so easy to overlook flaws because when one is in rapture, all the flaws seem to be frivolous. Your passion for this movie may have allowed you to see passed these "irrelevancies."

    Nevertheless, your point about enjoying the movie is appropriate. Overall, after seeing this movie for a second time, I enjoyed it more and the depth of emotional conflict and resonance, the level of initial frustration at evil gaining the upper hand and the later redemption was powerful. The flaws in this movie while significant for me, weren't sufficient to detract from the powerful storyline feelings that this movie managed to engender within me. I appreciate your commitment to this movie because it prompted me to see the movie again which was worthwhile experience a second time.

  9. #54
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    I'm finding it difficult to understand how people are so worked up about Batman's voice.
    There's only one thing that needs to be remembered on the point of his voice: it must be different (very different, hard to decipher easily). It must be different so that people can't link him to his alter-ego. That's the whole "raison d'etre" for his gravelly voice.
    That's where it begins and ends on the voice.
    And if memory serves Nolan has quite a few close-ups of his jaw/face that clearly show him speaking. I fail to see how or why you or others couldn't grasp his dialogue.

    It's very true, my passion and love for what this film is and what it represents pushes me past "flaws". When the whole thing just gives me an all-encompassing gratitude for it even existing, I tend to be very lenient on flaws like the ones you and others have pointed out. As I said, I see the big picture on this one, and that trumps any and all flaws.

    If the flaws were that bad or the movie was weakened considerably by them, I'd be first in line to take pot shots.
    But they don't, and I forgive very easily when I know what went into making it and what the end result was.
    The Dark Knight is a Masterpiece.
    For all times.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  10. #55
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    There's Different and then there's DIFFERENT

    I understand about the need to distinguish voices between Batman and Bruce Wayne, but there's distinctions and then there are over-the-top distinctions, quite unnecessary to the movie. Another point for anybody who has watched this movie many, many times...if audience members perhaps had the interest in watching this movie multiple number of times and also wanted to "study" Batman's dialogue and decipher it over time, it's likely that many people would come to understand Batman's conversation. The question comes down to how many times does one need to watch the movie for understanding to occur? Why can't understanding occur during the first viewing? Most people only get to experience reality once.

  11. #56
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    What was your level of interest in the film before you set foot in the theatre?
    How conscious and alert were you to what was going on?

    I almost didn't blink while watching this juggernaut and I don't blink much when I watch it subsequent times either.
    It's a mythology that I've followed since I was a wee lad, so my peepers are pretty perked up for Batman.

    Only one viewing is definitely not enough to appreciate all that's happening in this movie. Twice is not enough tabuno.
    I've seen it over ten times and it still rewards me.
    I'll see it ten more times and ten after that and it will still thrill me.
    Cuz it's BATMAN! and Batman is the SHIT!
    And the JOKER is the SHIT!

    Biff!
    Bam!
    Socko!
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  12. #57
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    Got off on the wrong foot

    Good point. The very first scene, the bank heist turned me on and off. While it was dramatic and all suspense, action, thrills and twists, the two earlier points I've mentioned also started me down a I don't like this first impression experience and fascinatingly I became more attentive to this movie, but at the same time very critical, looking for problems in the movie.

    The bank heist turned sour of me when unbelievably the bank official came out with a shotgun - NO WAY, I thought. This was a bunch of bull and manipulative just to improve ratings no matter how ridiculous and then the getaway school bus just manages to time its escape to somehow line up with the caravan of school buses, I lost any semblance of suspension of fantasy fun for me.

    Johann has made a point that while I didn't start out with a gripe about this movie and an open mind, it turned pretty quickly within five or ten minutes into the movie. Ironically though I was very attentive and focused on the movie and attempted to carefully listen to the dialogue and Batman's gravelly voice was beyond me most of the time.

  13. #58
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    Fair enough.

    The bank heist is pure spectacle, no argument there.
    It was shot and edited in a totally excitement-inducing way, with a heightened urgency, with dramatic flourishes, like the shotgun-cocking manager and bus crashing into the bank.
    It was all done to hold your interest.
    And it holds mine, I'll tell you that.
    I love how it opens, with safe-cracking, zip-lining, mask-wearing criminal activity, culminating with our villain making his escape after announcing what doesn't kill you makes you stranger...

    It's a movie, a popcorn one, no doubt.
    But it's gourmet to me, brotha.
    Gourmet Orville Reddenbacher goodness..
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  14. #59
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    Bank Heist

    Except for the two problems I had, the bank heist really did grab me and it was thrilling. I just wish I could have enjoyed it more, but it began to feel a little over-the-top with everybody killing everybody else, but I could almost accept it but darn bank official and school bus pushed me over the edge into doubt. The plot outline and twist in the very first few minutes of the bank heist was I'll admit brilliant though.

  15. #60
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    tabuno, have you tried to imagine yourself in the director's chair for a movie like this?

    Can you imagine being the arbiter for all of those decisions?
    And praying to the cinema Gods and Batman Gods that you are doing it justice?
    When you try to imagine it's YOUR picture, you start to appreciate what Christopher Nolan and crews have accomplished.

    Bryan Singer wrote that the torch for Superman is immensely heavy, and that to try to hold it up is a mighty responsibility.
    Think of the responsibility of bringing these kinds of myths to the big screen! You're crucified before you even shoot a foot of film!
    Today directors like Zack Snyder and Chris Nolan deserve honorary sainthoods to me, because they have vision. They have what it takes to try to do cinematic justice to Holy projects, with near-impossible-to-please fans.

    I often think of Bryan Singer being called up by Peter Jackson when he was in the middle of making King Kong and asking Bryan to shoot a sequence while he takes a break from the exhausting shoot. Think on that level my man!
    Imagine that Peter Jackson called you up and said "Hey, man, can you take over my movie for a while?"

    It staggers the mind.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

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