More and more critics are pouring on the praise, and wo’ betide us not to report them!
I’m late weighing in on this here DARK KNIGHT picture show dealio. The film is, in fact, superb in every way. A vast improvement on BATMAN BEGINS – amazing what happens when you no longer have to deal with an origin story and satisfying only the merchandizing interests of the parent corporation. Instead, Nolan has decided to treat Batman as only the best Comic Writers have dared to. Adult, scary and frightening.
Here’s the thing you must understand: even if you’ve dug up every possible trailer and clip of Heath Ledger as the greatest screen villain in any superhero movie ever, you really don’t have any idea how good his performance is in The Dark Knight. The true strength of his Joker isn’t his gallows humor one-liners or smart-ass quips he delivers as he tears apart what is left of the fabric of Gotham City (looking more like its filming location of Chicago this time out than the juiced-up version in Batman Begins). The true strength of the final complete performance of Ledger’s life lies in his much longer monologues.
AICN’s Mr Beaks:
Christopher Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT is the Batman movie I wanted in 1989: a savagely downbeat epic that views Gotham City as a disintegrating, crime-choked microcosm of the United States. It’s a film about the impossibility of justice in American life and the viciousness to which we’ll succumb in order to see another day; a cheerless summer blockbuster that ultimately exhibits just enough faith in humanity to keep from descending into utter misanthropy. It is a movie that enthralls one moment and punishes the next, lashing the audience for giving in to its IMAX-abetted exhilaration when the abyss is beckoning. It is, in other words, as hopelessly conflicted as its hero — and Batman fans shouldn’t want it any other way.
Cinematical’s Scott Weinberg:
Sometimes some folks just get it right. Bryan Singer was right for X-Men, Sam Raimi was right for Spider-Man, and dear lord is Christopher Nolan right for Batman. Maybe not the campy old Batman that the nostalgia fans know and love, but if the character had any clear path to follow after the disaster of Batman & Robin and the renaissance of Frank Miller, then this is where he should be: Anchoring a smart, dark, daring, and very intelligent movie that celebrates most of why we love the damn Bat in the first place: He’s hurt, he’s angry, he’s conflicted, he’s kinda weird … aside from the money and the suit, he’s pretty much just like everyone else.
Film School Reject’s Kevin Carr:
The Dark Knight absolutely delivers a riveting film with tons of action but not at the expense of plot or character. And it is a huge step up from Batman Begins.
Hollywood Chicago’s Adam Fendelman:
With only three short words comprising the film’s enigmatic title, “The Dark Knight” also boasts three epic claims to fame: the role of a lifetime for the late Heath Ledger as the hauntingly deranged Joker, one of the best films of 2008 and one of the greatest superhero films of all time.
Film School Reject’s Nathan Deen:
A heavy dose of Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk have made me feel better, but walking out of The Dark Knight was nothing short of a breath of fresh air. My point is that other comic book movies just feel insignificant compared to this one. So finally, I think I can let go of my Spidey depression and forget about [Spider-man 3].
In the next few days reviews for The Dark Knight will be pouring in left right and center as the general populous descend on the screenings. Ontop of our first round up, we have two more glowing reviews to share with you:
Film School Rejects, Neil Miller:
In summation, The Dark Knight is a rarity in Hollywood — a truly earnest adaptation that in many ways exceeds even the brilliance of the work upon which it is based. It is a film that is on a grand scale with larger-than-life characters, but also that is grounded by a plausible story and a very real environment. For the first time, a superhero movie could have us believing that this could all really happen. And whether or not this film will change the way superhero flicks are made in the future is unclear, but should more directors choose to go the route of Christopher Nolan and make films that are as jarring, as epic and as expertly crafted as films, not just as adaptations of a comic medium, then I certainly wouldn’t complain. For as much as The Dark Knight is not a perfect film, it is certainly pretty damn close.
With a weighty running time on this one you’d expect to feel it, but I have to tell you this doesn’t feel anywhere near two and a half hours. It runs like clock work and keeps things boiling even between the action. I was worried when I heard about all the people in this thing and all the plot points getting covered. Spider-Man 3 couldn’t keep all its balls in the air and it had far less to juggle. But nothing is left to waste or shoe horned in to this story it flows effortlessly and entertains on a massive scale. Much like the Joker himself it doesn’t just threaten to do something it delivers on all counts.
Not just another comic book film this is high art wrapped in one.
AICN — Quint:
Mark my words: Ledger will be nominated, Wally Pfister will be nominated, Chris Nolan will be nominated for direction, Jonathan and Chris Nolan for script and if the movie Gods are feeling kind early next year we might even see a Best Picture nom.
It really is that good. I am already giddy about seeing it again in 15 hours
Cinematical’s James Rocchi:
After critic David Denby savaged one of his Batman films, noted hack Joel Schumacher defended the idiotic excess of Batman and Robin and Batman Forever by asking “Well, it’s based on a comic book; what did he expect, Long Day’s Journey into Gotham?” What Shumacher did not understand — and that Nolan, thankfully, does — is that while any Batman film is by definition based on a comic book, that film can still have actual drama, actual characters, and something to say beyond Biff! Bam! Pow! action and simplistic camp. The Dark Knight may be based on a comic book, but it’s a real movie made by real talents — exciting, engaging, gorgeously crafted and thematically rich.
The praise just keeps raining down on our latest Gotham adventure, here are some credible sources to add weight to the plethora of Dark Knight acclamations that keep rolling in. Mr Nolan may be onto something here, don’t you think?
Justin Chang, of Variety, has posted his review of The Dark Knight movie,
“An ambitious, full-bodied crime epic of gratifying scope and moral complexity, this is seriously brainy pop entertainment that satisfies every expectation raised by its hit predecessor and then some .… Using five strongly developed characters to anchor a drama with life-or-death implications for the entire metropolis, the Nolans have taken Bob Kane’s comicbook template and crafted an anguished, eloquent meditation on ideas of justice and power, corruption and anarchy, and, of course, the need for heroes like Batman — a question never in doubt for the viewer, but one posed rather often by the citizens of Gotham.”
Kirk Honeycutt of Hollywood Reporter also has is say, once again the review just oozes praise, now with comparisons to Scorsese:
“The Dark Knight” is pure adrenaline. Returning director Christopher Nolan, having dispensed with his introspective, moody origin story, now puts the Caped Crusader through a decathlon of explosions, vehicle flips, hand-to-hand combat, midair rescues and pulse-pounding suspense.
Nolan is one of our smarter directors. He builds movies around ideas and characters, and “Dark Knight” is no exception. The ideas here are not new to the movie world of cops and criminal, but in the context of a comic book movie, they ring out with startling clarity. In other words, you expect moralistic underpinnings in a Martin Scorsese movie; in a Batman movie, they hit home with renewed vigor.
Rope of Silicon Review:
Heath Ledger presents himself as The Joker in a role that defines a career. It is unimaginable it would come to the point that a film based on a comic book character could actually have such an impact on one person. On a generation. Ledger’s decent into what is, and has become, The Joker makes Jack Nicholson’s interpretation look like nothing more than a simple clown. “Wait until they get a load of me,” says Jack… Wait until you get a load of Heath says I.
Moriarty of AICN:
You’re talking about an $85 million film for HELLBOY 2, and about $100 million more than that for THE DARK KNIGHT. These are gigantic investments for the releasing companies, and it would not surprise me in the least to see them diluted or dumbed-down. That’s just the nature of this industry, and we’ve come to expect it. So when you see films that truly seem to represent someone’s personal take on such gigantic archetypes, it’s bracing. It’s not just entertainment for a few hours in a theater… it’s an affirmation that there is room for greatness in this business, and sometimes, it’s allowed to happen, or even encouraged to flourish.
Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers has posted his review of The Dark Knight for us to dissect and envy; the first of the big publications to give their opinion on our much anticipated sequel.
Describing The Dark Knight as a thunderbolt that rips through a summer of bland movies, Travers heaps praise on the mad-crazy-blazing brilliant Heath Ledger as The Joker. I’ve picked out the part I love the most:
The haunting and visionary Dark Knight soars on the wings of untamed imagination. It’s full of surprises you don’t see coming. And just try to get it out of your dreams
Once again the full review comes after the break. We’ve already posted an unofficial review from a well known Spaced character.
Read the rest of this entry »
AICN have posted a review of The Dark Knight, where the movie is compared to The Godfather 2 and Heat whilst also suggesting that Heath Ledger should get an Oscar nod from the Academy.
This review contains spoilers — full article included after the break.
Read the rest of this entry »
Today Jim Gordon sent out a new email to the Acme Security System’s Delos crowd:
OK friend, you’re up to bat now. You have yourself a new assignment: Operation Slipknot.
Linking to a new Gotham Major Crimes Unit page dedicated to “Operation Slipknot”.
Clicking each of the police images reveals details about the individuals. The assignment states,
Gotham Police Major Crimes Unit, in coöperation with the GPD Internal Affairs Division, needs you to help track down numerous offenders that are fugitives from justice. Interestingly, we’ve tracked all of these individuals to the same last known location: Gotham Intercontinental Hotel. But we don’t know where they’ve gone from there.
Call the hotel and convince the concierge to ship you a certain package that’s been sent there for each fugitive. Use the provided intel and whatever means you can to convince him that you’re the intended recipient, your travel plans have changed, and he needs to send the package to you. Once received, you should have all you need to fill in the blanks as to that fugitive’s location.
We will add details about additional fugitives as they become available. Time is of the essence, as we have only a short time before the trail runs cold. Your coöperation in this operation will go a long way. Good luck.
Heading over to the Gotham Intercontinental Hotel, we are presented with a telephone number to call their concierge — 1 866 306 5589.
The aim is to state that you are the officer and provide your reference number — as outlined by the INTEL:
You should have received your duplicate care packages by now. If not, contact the concierge at the Intercontinental and have him forward you your original package (reference #‘s, as always, the total number of letters in your name followed by your last name shifted forward one letter, like 15DBOEPMPSP). He’s been instructed to send no-questions-asked if these ref #‘s are used. Do NOT contact me.
Then you must state that your travel arrangements have had to change, the concierge shall ask for a mailing address and then confirm that a package shall be sent out to that address overnight. You also need to provide a telephone number in case of problems. The phone lines are VERY BUSY and new fugitives are being added regularly
When you get your package, their is a submit button to provide the relevant details and turn them in:
If you have received a package, enter any pertinent intel on your subject here: the confirmation # of their ticket, the last name of the alias they’re traveling under, and the city they’re flying to. If everything checks out, we’ll forward it so that appropriate action can be taken.
Thanks Bruce, Maeghan and Carlos!
Update: All fugitives have been assigned and packages sent out. The game has gone quiet until tomorrow morning, when I’m sure it will return with more surprises!