Watching all the movies on the Warner Bros. 50-movie box set that I bought for cheap. This week the random number generator would like to show you a trick it learned with a pencil as it lands on The Dark Knight.
Here’s what happens: Crime is down in Gotham City, thanks to the efforts of Batman, the dark knight, and hard-fightin’ district attorney Harvey Dent, the city’s new white knight. Along comes the Joker, bringing with him a new breed of madness that neither of them are prepared for.
Why it’s famous: A three-hour long Batman movie? One that crosses the superhero genre with crime suspense and drama? There have been plenty of superhero movies before and after this, but The Dark Knight legitimized superhero-ing for mass audiences more than any other movie.
Get your film degree: This is a movie with a lot Big Important Ideas on its mind, but it successfully gets those Big Ideas across within the context of a Batman adventure. The script is overflowing with surprise plot twists, but unlike most action movies, you can go through this one scene-by-scene and see where the carefully and deftly foreshadowed each twist ahead of time.
Movie geekishness: When you’re dealing with iconic characters who have been around for decades (or more), the audience expects a certain level of consistency in them. For as over-the-top as Heath Ledger is as the Joker, he never so far gone that we don’t recognize him as the Joker we all know.
Thoughts upon this viewing: Talk about firing on cylinders. It’s a miracle when all the elements of a movie work together as well as this one does, and it’s an even bigger miracle that this is happening in a Batman movie.
Next week: I like long walks on the beach.
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