Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I'm Just Another American--My Thoughts on Dark Knight

So, here's the thing. I wasn't really all that interested in seeing Dark Knight. Don't get me wrong, I quite typically adore Batman...after all Batman was a favorite in my house growing up. Kapow!

Ahem. Anyway, I remember watching Batman Begins and feeling.....bored. I don't really know why, I just thought it was long and...I don't know.

So I wasn't all super pumped to see this one. And I thought the Joker seemed over the top creepy in the trailers. Quite honestly I was looking forward to the X-Files about a million times more.

And then I read Brant Hansen's post. And it actually made me kind of curious (and depressed). Could this really be emptiest movie ever? I know, I know, Brant says his post was not really about the movie so much as our bread and circuses culture.

So on a whim, I went and saw it tonight. And guess what? I liked it.

So I guess I'm just another American. Yes, I do get a tiny rush when I watch big summer blockbuster movies with lots of things crashing and shooting and blowing up. I admit it. I also enjoy a fine looking Christian Bale (who will always be Laurie to me). I'm only human. I also like stories about the superhero I've known about almost as long as I've known about Jesus. I love stories about inner conflict, good vs. evil and all that jazz. I didn't think this movie was empty at all, nor did I think it was lacking in story. Sometimes movies can achieve things visually to assist the telling of a story that other mediums of storytelling cannot. Like a complete landscape of darkness.

Brant didn't like the movie. But I think there have to be more pointlessly violent (I actually didn't think it was that violent) films than this. Like maybe Kill Bill (even though I liked those too...what's wrong with me???)

I actually thought the portrayal of the Batman/Joker relationship was not all that different from the flawed cop/serial killer sort of storyline.

So there you have it. Do we like entertainment in America? Yes. Are we addicted to it? Yes. Is it all bad and pointless and unredeemable? No way. Is it what you make of it? Maybe. In the same a classic novel can be read for entertainment by one person and change the life of another. Do I think Brant has a valid argument? Yes, but I don't think using this film was the best way to make his point.

Did you see Dark Knight? Your thoughts?

(by the way LOST fans...Richard Alpert is in it!! That guy is everywhere!)


Julie P. said...

My husband is dying to see this, but we'll probably end up waiting until it's out on DVD!

I nominated you for a blog award:


Shelley L. MacKenzie said...

I haven't seen the new Batman movie yet. I think it only comes out here in South Korea around the beginning of August. I haven't seen Batman begins...I don't think. I might have seen a bit of it, but honestly I don't remember. I assume I haven't. So, that said, I might go and see this one with a friend of mine here in Korea who has said she's heard great reviews for it.


Anonymous said...

I thought it was the best movie of the year, next to WANTED. I loved BATMAN BEGINS. Now poor IRON MAN was a let down for me. Don't get me wrong. It was good, but it could have been even better.

euphrony said...

Not had the chance to see it yet, but I probably will before too long. But I did love Brant's post. I knew from the get-go that he had much less qualms about this particular movie than about the culture in general. And I couldn't agree more, even as I indulge in that escapism culture.

At the same time, the movies I really love are more about the development of a character - their personal growth in life - than about big booms or bawdy scenes. I think my favorite movie from last year was Bella (honestly, I don't remember seeing any other movie besides this last year, even though I know I did). Little known, never going to be a crowd pleaser with its little-known cast and slow pace. But down-right good. Some people would want to make it into a "Christian" movie, though it's not any more than Batman is. It just tells the story of two people and how they try to really live life despite their mistakes and past.

Elizabeth Byler Younts said...

congrats on the brilliant award! :-)

i haven't seen the movie yet but plan too. the joker looks very creepy & with it being heath ledger that makes me sad... but i love a movie that can display good vs. evil. i look forward to watching it. :-)

Paul J. said...

I saw it, and I'm still thinking about it...which to me, is a sign of a good movie. I'm probably going to see it again just to dig a little deeper.

Amy said...

Julie...wow thanks!

Shelley, I think you'll like it.

J. Kaye...I liked Wanted too, but think it might be a better movie for Brant's argument, since they were, you know, killers.

Euphrony, I haven't seen Bella yet, but I really want to. My favorite movie so far this year was The Visitor. Truthfully I agree with Paul though that I'm still thinking about Batman and that generally is the sign of a movie (or book) that is worth my time. I really think Brant missed the boat on this one the more I think about it (I mean c'mon the guy watches 24!) but I do agree with a lot of his post. I just wish he'd used something less polarizing that made more sense.

Elizabeth..thank you! There are no easy answers in this movie, but isn't that life?

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