It’s probably in Michael Caine’s contract to say things like "You should really see Christian Bale turn his head in the new Batsuit" or "this movie has the best third act of any I’ve done this decade" not to mention the eulogies at any necessary stuntman funerals.*

But still, when a thespian with a halo of silvery hair and deeply dulcet voice like Caine’s tells me that Heath Ledger’s work is "one of the scariest performances I’ve ever seen," I’m tempted to believe him. Even if he last said that about a wired-up puppet appendage in The Hand. Maybe he just gets really freaked out by smudgy make-up, like I used to be before fashion ads in the ’90s forcibly redefined my notion of what’s attractive and socially acceptable.

Caine appears in a tidy little video clip over at the MTV Movies Blog talking about Ledger’s performance in the flick, so head over there to see him actually saying the words in flash-powered glory.

* I’m still having trouble envisioning any potential review that isn’t "someone died for this superhero movie so love it, kids." That ‘joke’ above is meant with all necessary respect.