Movie Chronicles » The Dark Knight


Reviews Round-up the third July 19th, 2008

More and more crit­ics are pour­ing on the praise, and wo’ betide us not to report them!

AICN’s Harry:

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.

AICN’s Capone:

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].

Dark Knight Review Round Up — Part Deux July 16th, 2008

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.

More Positive Dark Knight Reviews July 8th, 2008

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.

First “Official” Dark Knight Review online June 26th, 2008

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 »

First Dark Knight Review online June 25th, 2008

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 »

Operation Slipknot (Gotham Major Crimes Unit) April 23rd, 2008

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.

Bön Voy­age!

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!