July 14, 2008
July 15, 2008

DMMCOT #5 Ten Best and Five Worst Things about The Dark Knight

This is spoiler free. And mostly pointless without discussing things in depth, but I’m guessing that most of you still have another 48 hrs to wait before you see it and thus will lap up anything TDK related. I know I would.

A local cinema just showed The Dark Knight. They said it was the world’s first showing for the public, I doubt that’s true but they might as well toot their own horn whilst they can.

There was no trailer for The Watchmen. Unfortunately.

As well all know, this generation loves their top tens. So here’s another…


1. The Joker/Heath Ledger.
When people like ET or EW or whoever it was started saying that ‘there’s even talk of Ledger receiving an oscar nomination for his role as the Joker…’ that was in the days after his death, seven months before anyone would see the film. What a bunch of hype-mongering, myth-creating, sympathy-selling bullshit. You cannot claim oscar-worthy for a performance you haven’t seen. The good news is, now that I have seen it, this is a very, very good performance. It’s my favorite element in the film. My favorite scene in the entire film is The Joker’s second appearance in the film, where he crashes the crime boss meeting. Fantastic, unbelievably enjoyable stuff. This doesn’t make ET right. They’re still a bunch of fuckwits.

2. Surprises
Obviously I won’t give them away. But it’s nice to have a few expectations pulled out from under you.

3. The set up for the third film.
Nolan has made it so that from the first minute of the next film, Batman will be in a certain place, certain frame of mind, with different goals to the first two films. It promises to follow a different line of action instead of simply having Batman remain unchanged and just throwing another villain at him to create some conflict.

4. Harvey Dent/Aaron Eckhart.
Interesting character, motivations, a well rounded and believable character arc.

5. Make up.
You’ll see.

6. Stunt work
Batman’s little aerobatic displays are made more impressive by the fact that they look real. A lot of them were.

7. Where’s the CGI?
I love CGI. Sometimes the only reason I’ll watch something is for the effects. But not this time. I don’t want it, the film didn’t need it, I didn’t find a single shot where my brain flicked back into ‘this is a movie, that’s CGI, it doesn’t look real, why can’t they do a better job for $200million.’

8. The bike.
Yep it looks like a toy, it’ll also probably sell a bunch of toys too. But it’s cool. Sure it isn’t utilized as well as it could’ve been (see #1 below) but it beats the Tumbler.

9. That it passed as PG-13.
Not that you needed further proof that the MPAA is a bunch-o-arse, but this film really proves it. You can say fuck once, BUT NOT TWICE! You are, however, allowed to have tens of people shot, brutal fist beat downs and one hell of a make up job. This film is vicious. ‘Kids gonna get their shit freak’d.’

10. The few instances of humor.
I really only counted two. But they were good.



1. Christopher Nolan doesn’t have action sensibilities.
Well, they’re getting better. But he’s still a long way off making the sequences visually interesting, maintaining a sense of spatial clarity to the action and getting interesting shots out of the actions. Car chases are never fast enough. Villains are only there to be thumped by Batman, not to thump him back. There are never any gasp moments, no adrenaline. Action set pieces simply, just, happen.

2. Batman is almost the least interesting character in it.
True. Could be worse. Could be The Hulk. I didn’t get psyched for when Batman appear on screen, nor as Bruce Wayne. He was just…there.

3. Batman’s voice.
As seen in Batman Begins, he has a deeper voice for when dressed in the outfit. It works when he’s angry, but when he’s having a normal conversation, doesn’t work at all. It’s not even necessary. I’m pretty sure he sounded like he had a lisp at some point.

4. Repetition in dialogue.
There are themes of justice, responsibility, roles etc. But, I’m not fucking dumb. I don’t need these re-enforced by several lines from several characters just to make sure I ‘got it.’

5. Running time.
Not like when I was watching Troy, where I wanted all the talking to stop in order to see some action. It’s actually the opposite, I liked the scenes without action better. But yeah, it’s almost exhausting, and before the finale there were people shifting about, muttering, coughing etc.

So there it is. My favorite film of the year, worth the wait, but far from the second coming of Christ. (That would be Beavis and Butthead Do America. The man works in mysterious ways indeed.)