The Presidential Debate in a breadbox

I can sum it up in a few words:


Holy Update, Batman! (And speaking of... Here's the "The Dark Knight" review)

It's been a small eternity since I reviewed a movie, or, uh, said anything, but the new semester has begun and I'm already at my wits end! So, why not write a review while my emotional state is a volatile one?

I saw The Dark Knight opening day at the IMAX in Reading. I walked out in complete silence. I saw it twice more, still leaving in total silence, unable to formulate a word or opinion of any kind.

My thoughts have finally come together enough for me to write this review.

The Dark Knight is a comic book adaptation, as well as the sequel to the critically-acclaimed Batman Begins, which re-launched the series and pushed Batman once again into the spotlight. However, as much as it is a comic book movie, it works just as well as a crime drama, one of the best I've seen in years.

There are several storylines that play out in this film, all of them intertwined and important, and the way they unfold is nearly perfect. Brothers Christopher Nolan (director, writer, screenplay) and Jonathan Nolan (screenplay) knew exactly what they were doing when writing the screenplay for this movie. There is not one plot hole to be found -- everything is tied up by the end of the movie. But they manage to make it exciting and a complete thrill; the 152-minute you take is never a boring one. Tedious, maybe, but never boring.

I'll start off with the talk of the town: The Joker.

Heath Ledger, who will win a posthumous Oscar if the Academy doesn't want angry fans burning Hollywood to the ground, portrays this iconic villain as a man without morals or even a plan, just someone "who wants to watch the world burn". From the minute you see him standing on a street corner, back to the audience, you know something is not quite right -- just his stance alone conveys the important and messy role he plays.

Now, I'm a huge Batman fan. HUGE. I grew up watching the animated series, which prompted my older brother to introduce me to the comics. Even before Batman Begins brought life back to the franchise, I knew something was terribly wrong with all of the Batman films that had come before, one problem being Jack Nicholson's Joker.

I have nothing against Nicholson. He's an amazing actor. But in the 1989 Batman movie, he wasn't the Joker. He was Jack Nicholson with make-up on, dancing around and camping it up. His was not the mind of a psychotic killer.

Ledger's performance is up there with Kevin Spacey's in Se7en, or Sir Anthony Hopkins's Hannibal Lector. Ledger's Joker is twisted, insane (the "we the jury find the defendant" kind of insane), but more than that, he makes you believe that he is, in fact, an agent of chaos. Every wrong turn, every point of confusion, every horrifying bump in the dark on screen is caused by the very reminder that all clowns laugh, but some for all the wrong reasons.

He sold me on his Joker, with every snicker, every nervous tic, every hilarious one-liner -- he re-made this villain. WHY'D HE HAVE TO GO AND O.D.?!

Well, he'd better get that Oscar, or there really will be chaos.

Aaron Eckhart's D.A. Harvey Dent was perfect. Perfect. I love Aaron Eckhart, I really do, and he didn't disappoint. I was a bit nervous, as this was the first time that Harvey Dent and Two-Face were to be in the same movie, but Eckhart carried his character with much aplomb and really convinced me that the Joker was bringing him down a spiraling path. And then, of course, the big reveal.

Christian Bale, I love him. But would somebody give him a fucking lozenge?

And then, of course, there were Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman. Snappy, sarcastic, smart, and all those other good S words. While they were minor characters, you never forgot their presence, even when they weren't on-screen.

The soundtrack was amazing (Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard = WIN), and I want to have sex with Wally Pfister, the cinematographer. The editing was flawless and make-up? Um, yes please.

All in all, Mr. Nolan, I think you have a perfect movie on your hands, or as close as you can get to one. Congratulations. Let's hope you don't puss out when it comes to the third and final installment of the series.

And Sid Ganis? All eyes are on you, buddy. ::glare::

I give The Dark Knight a 5 out of 5.