Posted by Hedwig on July 22, 2012
No “what’s making me happy” this week, since what I really want to talk about is the new Batman movie, and it unfortunately didn’t make me very happy. I hesitated to write this post because of the violent response to early negative (or not positive enough) reviews, but by now the virulent fan boys have seen the movie, and they’ve been much quieter since…
Note: a minor spoiler for The Dark Knight occurs further in the text. I’ll warn beforehand.
For me, the film illustrated how valuable film criticism can be. See, I liked, but didn’t love, the first two batman films, BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT. There was plenty to admire – many of the performances, with Heath Ledger’s joker as a stand-out; the fact that Gotham became a tangible place; the sheer scope of the thing, the epic scale. But I never really got into them, never really managed to lose myself in the films, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on the why. I knew that part of it was that the themes were stated over and over, and that the film mistook being dour and “dark” for being intellectual and deep, but that wasn’t everything.
Then I read many of Jim Emerson‘s many pieces about the films, and it clicked. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Reviews, Riffs and Ruminations, Week in Pop Cultrue | Tagged: Christopher Nolan, Gary Oldman, Magic Mike, Steven Soderbergh, the dark knight rises | 2 Comments »
Posted by Hedwig on July 24, 2008
As some critics discovered recently, most notably the two Davids (Edelstein and Denby) but also Keith Uhlich over at the House Next Door, writing reviews can sometimes be a risky enterprise. It’s a testament to the Dark Knight hype machine that there were insults and even death threats from people who hadn’t even seen the film. Mow that the rabid fanboys have got their hands on the final product, there seen even more vehement, almost as if trying to convince themselves.
The Dark Knight sky-rocketed to the #1 spot on the imdb Top 250 (a list that really should have a time delay built in), it’s currently at 95% on rottentomatoes, and it got an 82 on metacritic.
So now I’m going to say something risky: that 82? That seems about right. The Dark Knight is a solid 4 star film, dense, with interesting thematic currents, but also a bit too solemn and self-important, and with a construction that could be tighter. It’s a good movie, absolutely. The second coming of the Christ, however, it is patently not.
*cowers in the corner* Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in New, Reviews | Tagged: Batman, Christopher Nolan, Criticism, Heath Ledger, Joker, The Dark Knight | 13 Comments »