Wednesday, July 30, 2008



Things I Liked: Heath Ledger's Joker. In fact, everything about the Joker. Wasn't sure I would like this anarcho-punk incarnation, but it turned out to be great. The fact that they did NOT show Joker's origin, and that Joker's own explanation for his scars keep changing a la The Killing Joke. The fact that Joker survived the movie. Gary Oldman's James Gordon. Absolutely perfect. Referring to the original 1989 Bat-suit that famously did not allow Michael Keaton to move his head. The cameo by Senator Pat Leahy. Keeping the same Bat-mobile. Referencing the 1970's "Batcave" hidden beneath Bruce Wayne's penthouse. Batman willing to take on the general public's hatred.

Things I Did Not Like: The damn thing was so dark (I mean lighting-wise) at times you couldn't tell what was going on. The fight scenes were claustrophobically-shot; how can you tell Batman is the world's greatest fighter when all you ever see is a blurry close-up of his elbow? The sound editing; loud and awful. Dialogue was drowned out at times, particularly during Gordon's closing exposition. Harvey Dent; pretty much everything about him. We never learned enough about him to care or understand why he went insane or why he was so great Batman would seriously consider retiring in favor of him. Dent's portrayal in The Long Halloween was much better. In fact, his entire sub-plot felt tacked-on and unnecessary and his death pointless. The music; utterly forgettable. Production values on Gotham City. While I don't miss the homo-erotic Stalinism of Joel Schumacher's Gotham, there was something to be said for Tim Burton's gothic mega-city. Gotham City should be virtually a character in and of itself. The city should reflect the corruption within it and I hardly recall even seeing graffiti. Nolan's Gotham either looked too much like Chicago (where it was shot) or too generic (particularly the hospital). Christian Bale's Bat-Voice. It's become so dark and raspy as to be unintelligible, more like Billy Bob Thornton in Slingblade.

Overall? Frankly? It was kind of meh. Hate to admit it, but yeah.

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 24, 2008



Great movie. Really great movie. I loved the concept of an essentially homeless alcoholic superhero utterly despised by the city he protects. Will Smith does a superb job of conveying the character's essential loneliness and surly alienation from society. Jason Bateman is understated and convincing as the earnest, PR sidekick who takes it on himself to rehabilitate Hancock against his will. Charlize Theron plays Mary, Bateman's disproportionately hot wife. The plot is more or less an origin story for Hancock and does an intriguing job of speculating on how superheroes might actually be perceived in the real world. Hancock also shows that the powers don't make the hero; his are relatively generic (flight, invulnerability, super-strength) but we don't mind because the character who wields them is complex, interesting, and (eventually) sympathetic. There is a mild plot twist at the end that most fanboys will spot coming, but it's still interesting and advances the plot without being annoying. Highly recommended.

Labels: ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?