by on Jul.31, 2008, under comics, environment, movies, TV

I finally made it out to see “Dark Knight” (see my prior post to read more about my delays in getting to the theater).  My sister-in-law volunteered to babysit the kids for the evening so my wife and I could step out on a date.  And what better date for a couple married over 11 years than one that involves very little conversation (sorry, dear – the joke was there).  She wanted to see it as much as I did, so it was a welcome retreat for both of us.  Though after seeing it, I think she isn’t sure it was the retreat she had hoped for.

I have to say that personally I really enjoyed this second installment in the rebooted Batman franchise.  It was dark and broody and full of flawed characters as such a film should be.  It picked up nicely on the heels of Batman Begins (not immediately, but close enough that there was continuity).  It returned with all of the characters you’d expect to from the first (though with at least one face that was less familiar) and introduced an array of interesting new people – obviously including the Joker.

This movie was long without being slow and had both believable action and realistic drama.  At no point did the film ever tread too close to the cartoony unreality that the older franchise seemed to drown in.  There were no rubber nipples or freeze rays or arrays of villian-themed weapons and vehicles.  Just one flawed hero trying to hold himself and Gotham together in the face of chaos.  What really made this movie ring true is the fact that people reacted throughout the movie like real people – Batman was not a hero uniformly lauded by the masses; he had supporters and skeptics and when the chips were down, some questioned their loyalties.  Additionally, the Joker’s plans and schemes were actually reasonably thought out and cleverly executed.  While Batman prevailed in the end, it was not due to the Joker’s failure in his own perverse pursuits.

I cannot speak for my wife’s opinion on the movie as she was rather tight-lipped about it.  She may not be sleeping well tonight as a result of some of the imagery in this movie.  In short, it was a bit darker than the last one and in a lot more graphic ways.  While the filmmakers were careful not to show anything gory, they came really close a number of times and very often you expected things to get gruesome.  It was almost worse than actually being gory because you couldn’t not imagine what they didn’t show you.  And knowing my wife’s great imagination for such things, I can see why she was a bit shaken afterward.  I give it a solid thumbs up.  But if she is interested in doing so, she will have to give her own review.

Now I’m going to write about something that is often excluded from movie reviews – the previews.  I love movie previews.  While some people might plan to get to a movie late so they can skip them, I look forward to seeing them.  I will even watch them on DVDs.  So here are the previews they showed before Dark Knight (that I remember seeing) and my quick impressions on each:

Watchmen – I’m looking forward to this one.  I’m currently in the process of reading the comics and it is really an interesting story arc.  It is interesting to see that DC is actually getting more properties to screen finally.

The Spirit – Another DC production.  It looks interesting, but it is done in the Sin City style and I’m not sure how I feel about that.  I liked Sin City, but if they do too many movies in this style, it will lose its uniqueness.  If I do see this, I may wait for the DVD.  I have to see something more compelling to convince me otherwise.

Bolt – This is a new animated feature from Disney.  I don’t recall seeing Pixar’s name attached to it and I worry that that might be an indication that they didn’t want to be involved in it.  I’m on the fence, but will likely take the kids to see it anyway.

The Mummy 3 – While I like Jet Li and I appreciate that they are taking a fresh tack with this franchise, I think they should have let it die.  I will not be seeing this in the theater and possibly not at all.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a question (for those that have seen the movie already):  Do you think that they could continue the franchise with a third installment?  Do you think they should?  If they do, where do you think they should go with it?

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