although i didn't see the dark knight this past weekend, i did catch the matinee this morning. i've got a twinge of the bizarro in me; if everybody likes something, i can usually find a reason to dislike it. with that said, i was definitely entertained by the dark knight but i didn't find it as great as the praises being heaped up it by critics. neither did i find heath ledger's brilliance in his portrayal of the joker (i'm not an actor myself so i probably don't know the difference between good and bad). almost everyone who's seen the movie will tell you the film is dark, which is code word for depressing. although like in all superhero movies they catch the bad guy in the end, you will still leave the theatre feeling like you've survived some great ordeal (and i mean that in a good way). part of the reason is the numerous themes that can be related to our real world. the joker himself behaves like a terrorist, with his mysterious ideology and his guerilla tactics. there's the theme of can you really fight with rules when you're dealing with an enemy who doesn't have any? or the job of the protector, what constitutes too much power?

here are my other thoughts, with possible spoilers:

  • do people in gotham have the option of getting batman insurance? as great as it is to have a masked crimefighter operating in the city, it does also have its downside. like your car getting blown up by batman because he needs to clear a path for the batmobile or the batcycle. or the million instances of other property damage, like exploding buildings or shattered windows. i'd imagine all that would be enough to make some people move out of the city.
  • the action sequences could've been better. sometimes the fight sequences can get so confusing, i wasn't sure what was going on, just a flurry of limbs and guns and makeshift weapons.
  • i thought the two-face arc made the movie too long. i've read some people have said harry dent is essential, because he provides the perfect foil: love triangle, good versus evil, dark knight versus white knight.
  • this new chris nolan batman franchise is all about being grounded in reality. there's nothing too far-fetched that it couldn't happen in the real world. at the end of the day, batman goes home and patches himself up, his body all scarred up from his many battles. however, if batman is supposed to be realistic, why doesn't he cover up his mouth? wouldn't it be easier if he could wear a full-face helmet, minus the vulnerable eyeholes and mouth area? and if he was wearing a helmet, he wouldn't have to use his scowling gravelly voice every time he talked.
  • i sort of wish katie holmes was in the movie. maggie gyllenhaal is okay (especially since her character befalls a tragic conclusion midway through the film) and is a much better actress but katie holmes is more of an eye candy. you'd figure if bruce wayne is dating supermodels, you have to pretty hot to grab his attention. did holmes pull out of the movie because of tom cruise? i guess we'll never know.
  • ledger's joker is definitely different than the cesar romero campy joker or the jack nicholson hammy joker. ledger's joker retains the trademark sense of humor but is scarier, a psychopathic joker with a sadistic streak. but could somebody else have played him? i think so. but ledger's charisma sort of transfers to his joker character. maybe that's how he acquires his henchmen, his cult-like sway over them.
  • what happened to the joker at the end of the movie? batman sort of just leaves him dangling upside down off of a building, for the SWAT to take care of, while he leaves to confront two-face.

maybe the movie was just too cerebral for me. but you don't normally go to these superhero movies to be drown in deep thoughts. it's definitely one of the most realistic treatments of a superhero character though. it makes all other movies of its type look like children movies.

i came back home after paying a visit to the garden, bringing in the empty trash barrels and watering my plants. although it was a warm day, there was a cold breeze, which i took advantage of by running a box fan in the living room window. that was until the sky suddenly became dark. i went around the house closing windows just before it started raining. the downpour last about 20 minutes before the clouds disappeared again and the sun came back out.

since i only have standard cable, i never go beyond any double digit channels. but tonight i was exploring, and discovered that i actually have a channel called movieplex (channel 200 on my comcast network). not sure if it's just a free trial, but i managed to watch the first half of mannequin (even though i own the dvd). it's one of my favorite movies, but rewatching it again made me realize how cringeworthy it is. all the characters are caricatures: the flamboyant gay window dresser, the smarmy brown-nosing executive right-hand man, the intolerant and paranoid security guard with dog companion, the heart-in-the-right-place-but-clueless department store CEO. andrew mccarthy is one weird looking dude, with his tiny mouth and eyes that look like he's been crying all day. the now-sophisticated kim cattrall must be horrified by her role as the mannequin that comes to life (but keep it in context; she was 1987 hot). but for my money, the status-obsessed girlfriend roxie is way hotter.