Another One

IGN’s Todd Gilchrist is doing the usual somersaults over The Dark Knight — “an intense, disturbing masterpiece.”

49 thoughts on “Another One

  1. Jeffrey, the RSS feed for HE is still 404 for me. It’s been last updated with the Nothing To Praise post in Google Reader.

  2. thanks for referencing my review, jeff. turnabout is fair play – feel free to tear me a new one with any of the stuff you don’t like or disagree with.

  3. My favorite detail from the trailer so far is when they say his clothing is custom, which just gives me the idea of the Joker as some bored rich kid.

  4. Ray: “At this point, do any of us imagine that this movie is not AT LEAST pretty good???”
    I imagined “The Departed” was pretty good, and then it ended up being another dull remake.

  5. While we’re on the topic of jizzing Dark Knight reviews, allow us for the moment to shift our gaze over to the erudite website of Mr. Emmanuel Levy, who has also penned a rave review of the new film… well, actually, TWO different articles as it turns out.
    First up is a puff piece talking about Heath Ledger as the joker, Oscar bullshit, yada yada… and in it he quotes Christopher Nolan in this paragraph:
    Nolan has said: “We wanted to create a villain who, as colorful and outrageous as he is, is still coming from a place of reality. In keeping with the tone we established in ‘Batman Begins,’ we determined he is a pretty serious guy, despite being called The Joker. So we began with the notion of the Joker as the most extreme form of anarchist–a force of chaos, a purposeless criminal who is not out for anything, and so can’t be understood. He is not only a massively destructive force, but he also takes great delight in his murderous nature, which is a pretty terrifying spectacle.” For Nolan, “anarchy and chaos, even the threat of anarchy and chaos, are among the most frightening things society faces, especially in this day and age.”
    http://emanuellevy.com/article.php?articleID=10372
    Then, one click later we’re treated to tasty little assessment FROM HIS A GRADE REVIEW OF THE FILM:
    The story’s most dangerous enemy is Batman’s infamous nemesis, the Joker, the maniacal, remorseless fiend. In this tale, the Joker is the ultimate arch-villain, as much an icon as the Dark Knight is, presenting the filmmakers the challenge to exploring an utterly perverse character with a distorted point of view (actually more of a philosophy of life). Perhaps following the tradition of villains in German expressionist cinema, this Joker represents the most extreme form of anarchist, a force of chaos, a purposeless criminal who is not motivated by money and greed; in one the film’s most disturbing scenes, he burs down a mountain of cash. A massively destructive force, he is truly unsettling, appearing out of nowhere, when he is least expected and taking great delight in his murderous nature.
    As interpreted by the inventive actor Heath Ledger (in his last screen role), the Joker is colorful, outrageous, and dangerous, devoted the spectacle and excess for their own sake.
    http://emanuellevy.com/article.php?articleID=10176
    So who wrote the review of this movie… Emmanuel Levy or Christopher Nolan?
    And we still think the critical gaze exists untouched by the spiky tendrils of corporate publicity! Fools, every last one of us.

  6. I’ve read a lot of reviews claiming this to be Ledgers last screen role????Doesn’t anyone do their home work anymore,especially those people that have their own film websites?Is this some publicity stunt,are the Warner Bros guys paying journalists to slip this in even thought its a lie.I guess it sounds less important if you say penultimate performance.
    “Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus” Directed byTerry Gilliam will be his last film and his character is called Tony.

  7. WELLS: I didn’t see you stepping at inevitabilities like Forrest Whitaker, Javier Bardem, or Daniel Day-Lewis when , from first reviews, people started talking Oscar.
    People have been talking Ledger up for an Oscar from filming on the set lest summer. I saw him; he was flawless. And now people are seeing Nolan’s finished work, and how Ledger inhabited and disapeared into it. Sometimes a rave is justified, and this just is one of those times.
    Just because the material is not traditional “award” material does not mean the performances are not. It’s time to throw that tradition out the window.

  8. You saw Ledger on the set last summer iamjoe! He was flawless and electrifying!
    Whoa, totally cool.
    For a second there, I thought you’d mentioned this in every previous batman/ledger-related post for the past 12 months.

  9. @ D.Z. – LOL I agree with you … THE DEPARTED was wildly overrated nonsense. Interestingly, that film also contained an over-the-top, cartoon-like performance in the lead villain role. Of course, the film was supposed to be a crime drama instead of a comic book adaptation … nice fly-eating, Jack.
    @ Blood Vessel – I have been thinging the same thing since I first saw the design … I can see Heath’s Joker becoming the next Crow.

  10. Touche`, Kunze. I can only laugh, it’s been 11 months of posts. But its not taking away from the fact this performance is solid, and Ledger deserve the praise being given.
    I just believe that quality and commercial films can go hand in hand. I’ve never understood the fanboy mentality, hate politics that come out when someone has been putting good work out consistently, and both general public along with critics sit up notice it.

  11. Tom Logan – many articles point out that it’s Ledger’s final COMPLETE big-screen role (he still had scenes left to shoot for the Gilliam film, for which the character will now morph into other actors).
    Others are either lazy or don’t get the distinction.

  12. What does The Departed have to do with The Dark Knight. Let me see…
    Different director. Different screenwriters. Different genre, unless you call TDK a crime film rather than a superhero film. I can’t think of a single actor in common with the two productions. Hmmm…
    Different locations. Different tone. Different type of action (down and dirty versus big budget explosions).
    Nope, can’t think of a single way the films are really related and how that was relevant.

  13. “Nope, can’t think of a single way the films are really related and how that was relevant.”
    Well, there is the “Joker” connection…
    Yeah, it’s tenuous.

  14. Mjs: They’re both dramas being touted as Oscar bait by critics who think the particular talent involved got screwed in the past by the Academy; so anything mediocre
    will be hyped as gold.

  15. is it me or does anyone else get the feeling that the joker will probably become some sort of anti hero?

  16. I have a feeling people think it feels Oscarworthy because it’s not entertaining, and kind of a chore to sit through, and because it beats you over the head with a realy obvious and simplistic theme about good and evil.
    Which sounds like at least half the best picture winners of recent years. Throw in something about race… Morgan Freeman’s presence helps, of course.

  17. “They’re both dramas being touted as Oscar bait by critics who think the particular talent involved got screwed in the past by the Academy; so anything mediocre
    will be hyped as gold. ”
    The Dark Knight is a drama? I could see it being labeled a popcorn film, a superhero film, an action film, a thriller. But not a drama. But anyway…
    You really think the oscar hype for The Dark Knight is based on the sole idea that Ledger didn’t win a few years ago? Really? He’s the only one in the production that I could see as being passed over in anybody’s eyes. Didn’t Hoffman win that year for Capote? I think there was more hype surrounding him than Ledger, or at least pretty equal.
    Either way, the only potentially overhype from this film comes from the fact that Ledger died, not from an Oscar snub. And his performance was already being talked about before he died. So really, there is no relevant connection.
    I know you’re a Batman hater, DZ, but that’s pretty thin.

  18. ” I mean, at this point, we’re talking a Best Picture nomination if the hype is to be believed.”
    If it’s true that the hype is to be believed, than Massey is right, right?

  19. Tom Logan – many articles point out that it’s Ledger’s final COMPLETE big-screen role (he still had scenes left to shoot for the Gilliam film, for which the character will now morph into other actors).

    Others are either lazy or don’t get the distinction.

  20. Well, then, clearly you’re biased against liking the performance. I’m neither a hater, not a huge fan of his. I’ve liked a performance or two. But I’m certain from the early reviews, and from what I’ve seen, that it will be great.
    My guess is that no matter what you eventually think, you’ll never admit to liking the performance. I hope you man up and prove me wrong.

  21. MJs – DZ is wholly incapable of admitting his is wrong about anything, at any time, every, even when irrefutable proof is presented, and regardless of the topic. He’s already decided, having not seen it, that the fact that it’s getting universally glowing reviews means it’s a mediocrity.
    So, don’t hold your breath.
    He’s still insisting Indy 4 is a failure….

  22. Mj: Every time I’ve seen Ledger in action, he came off like a frat boy desperately trying to prove his acting ability. Now, if he redeems himself with the Joker, then it should be Nolan who gets the Oscar, not him.
    storymark: I didn’t say it was a failure, just a disappointment.

  23. Even that is a step further in the direction of accuracy than anything you previously said about ‘Crystal Skull’.
    Two weeks ago, he was arguing that it was a failure because it had “only” made $250 million in profit worldwide.

  24. “Now, if he redeems himself with the Joker, then it should be Nolan who gets the Oscar, not him.”
    That’s an idiotic statement. But it does shield you from ever having to admit you were wrong. So well done on that.

  25. Richardson: I said it was a failure domestically.
    Snob: I can’t stand Gyllenhaal, either, actually. At least Ledger had presence, even if it he did look like a jock trying to emote.
    Mj: Why is it idiotic? It’s Nolan’s baby, after all.

  26. No, you said it was a failure because it was a failure domestically. Even so, it is not a failure domestically.

  27. “Why is it idiotic? It’s Nolan’s baby, after all.”
    I can’t believe I’ve defended you in the past. Clearly I needed to spend more time reading your posts. So, an actor should never get credit if a great director is involved in the film? Is that what you’re saying? Or are you now going to continue your inane circular logic to the point where it gives me a headache to try and follow your silliness?
    If you’re not man enough to admit you’re wrong, just say that.
    And any film that clears $300 million domestically isn’t a failure.

  28. Mj: “So, an actor should never get credit if a great director is involved in the film?”
    I’d say an actor deserves credit, if he or she’s done enough quality and memorable work. The only thing I got out of Ledger’s character in Brokeback Mountain was that he was the tall gay guy who liked cheating on his wife and ignoring his children. If he did all that for a guy who I actually believed meant something to him, maybe I could understand. But Gyllenhaal’s character was as much of a jerk as Ledger’s character, because he just married for the money.
    Though if you’re going to argue that Ledger’s
    performance somehow grabbed you, fine. I’ll accept that.
    Nolan apparently felt the same way, in fact-enough to bet on him, when he could have gotten someone who was more well-known for the part. And what does the guy do in return for a paycheck and a chance at stardom? Kill himself. That act of selfishness alone could have hurt Dark Knight’s box office, which is why Nolan deserves the gold more than Ledger. His career is the one at risk, while Ledger’s image will be put on a pedestal for years to come.
    How many casual movie-goers knew Ledger, even after that gay cowboy movie? (After all, they certainly didn’t care enough about Gyllenhaal to catch Zodiac.) Meanwhile, for better or for worse, they’ll definitely remember Ledger as the Joker, and Nolan will either be redeemed or ridiculed in return. And while Ledger did the forgettable “A Knight’s Tale”, Nolan gave us “Memento”.
    So why should Nolan’s hard work be overshadowed by a stupid primadonna junky?
    “And any film that clears $300 million domestically isn’t a failure.”
    It is when it costs more than three-quarters of that amount, and it stops there.

  29. Ledger didn’t kill himself. And your logic is unbelievable odd. And you’re judging based on outside factors, rather than the performance itself. You’re basing it on past performances, his personal life, and how much the regular public cared about him before he died.
    See the movie. Judge it by the performance. If you like it, man up and admit it. If you do that, Ledger gets the credit for creating the performance. Done deal.
    “It is when it costs more than three-quarters of that amount, and it stops there. ”
    On a budget of 185 million it has made over 300 million domestic, and well over 700 million worldwide. That’s a hit.
    Was Spiderman 2 a flop? It had a budget of 200 million and under 800 million worldwide. Not much better than where Indy will probably end up.
    Why am I debating you? In the year I’ve been reading HE I have never seen you admit you were wrong. Fucking weirdo.

  30. “The only thing I got out of Ledger’s character in Brokeback Mountain was that he was the tall gay guy who liked cheating on his wife and ignoring his children. If he did all that for a guy who I actually believed meant something to him, maybe I could understand. But Gyllenhaal’s character was as much of a jerk as Ledger’s character, because he just married for the money.”
    That is easily the most moronic and incorrect summary of Brokeback’s plot that I could imagine anyone writing (you actually saw the film, right, and didn’t just watch some of the Fox News Channel’s reviews of the film?).

  31. Mj: “Ledger didn’t kill himself. ”
    Yes, yes, he just had a cocaine and barbituate addiction, due to problems at home. No who takes those drugs ever thinks of suicide.
    Spider Man 2 made double its money back here.
    “See the movie. Judge it by the performance. If you like it, man up and admit it. If you do that, Ledger gets the credit for creating the performance. Done deal.”
    I might admire his performance, but it’ll still be Nolan who made the difference in making it work. Even if I were to admit that Ledger deserved the gold, I’d still stand by my opinion that Nolan should be first in line.
    “On a budget of 185 million it has made over 300 million domestic, and well over 700 million worldwide. That’s a hit. Was Spiderman 2 a flop? It had a budget of 200 million and under 800 million worldwide. Not much better than where Indy will probably end up. ”
    Spider Man 2 still made more money here than Indy 4.
    cinefan: Yeah, I did.

  32. Why has AUNT SASSY been BANNED???
    I miss her insightful comments on film, and her bitchy commentary. She added a refreshing viewpoint to this site.
    FREE AUNT SASSY!!!

  33. wow.. the image is intense enough to scare any one any time of the say, i wonder how people doing it can do it soo good, the image is of a dracula like figure even though draculas these days are more refined like edward of twilight saga.. great isnt it??

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