Scott Horowitz | June 21, 2005
Do you guys think that Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan saved and began a new batman franchise? I thought the movie was great. Best Batman movie to date, and I'm a big fan of both Burton films.

Kris Weberg | June 22, 2005
That wasn't just a good Batman movie; it was a good movie, period.

Comics-based or not, I wish more summer flicks were made that well.

John E Gunter | June 22, 2005
[quote]That wasn't just a good Batman movie; it was a good movie, period.[/quote]

I concur! Course, it's great that it was a Batman movie! :-D

John

Scott Hardie | July 1, 2005
[Spoilers here.]

I just saw it tonight, and enjoyed it a lot. As a DC hero, Batman hasn't ever been a particular favorite of mine – it bugs me the critics who picked on "The Punisher" for being dark and gritty are the same ones praising "Batman Begins" for the same tone – but this was a really entertaining movie. After assigning numerical ratings to movies for a long time now (I started sometime before my first TMR in 1999), it's rare that I sit though an entire film so engrossed that my mind doesn't once begin to ponder what rating I might give it, but "Begins" did that for me. I'm grateful.

I do have to wonder about the ending, though. If I'm not mistaken, the poison released into the air was said to cause permanent insanity within 24 hours. (It happened faster for Katie Holmes because she got a concentrated dose.) That island got polluted with the intoxicant, then the weapon was destroyed before the rest of Gotham could be poisoned, and the movie went into celebratory-epilogue mode. Well, what about the island? Gordon had one dose of the antidote and Fox was working on more, but could they possibly detox all of the island's inhabitants by the next night? I must have missed a detail in there somewhere. (Hmm... Wouldn't it be neat if Joker and Riddler and ... ok, all of Batman's rogues gallery, since they're all crazy, turned out to have been driven mad by the poisoning on the island? They don't all have to have come from Arkham.)

Kris Weberg | July 1, 2005
[Spoilers]

That's exactly what Gordon tells Batman in that last speech -- "We've lost the Narrows, completely."

Basically, it's now full of Scarecrow-maddened Arkham escapees who're starting to imitate Batman by donning costumes of their own. And we already know who the villain in the next movie will be, thanks to that "calling card" bit.

Scott Hardie | July 2, 2005
So all the non-criminal civilians living on that island are also now permanently insane, like the little boy? Huh. This is a dark movie.

Kris Weberg | July 3, 2005
Sure is.

Kris Weberg | December 5, 2007
POSSIBLE SPOILERS

Scott said: So all the non-criminal civilians living on that island are also now permanently insane, like the little boy? Huh. This is a dark movie.

The promo materials for the upcoming sequel include this fake newspaper, which has an article confirming just how dark the end ing of Batman Begins was really meant to be. Apparently even "trace exposure to the toxin can cause psychosis," and the psychosis is incurable.

Lovely.

Scott Hardie | December 5, 2007
Neat. I'm sure you've seen these already Kris, but for the spoiler-braving others, I'm psyched by the tidbits leaking out, like the teaser poster and the villain photos.

Steve West | December 6, 2007
One word - Batpod.

Steve West | December 6, 2007
Heath Ledger as The Joker on the cover of Empire magazine

Matthew Preston | December 6, 2007
Did anyone notice there's a subscription phone number on the fake newspaper? (1-866-237-6480).

Amy Austin | December 6, 2007
Yes... did you call it? ;-) I like the classifieds correction myself...

Scott Hardie | January 7, 2008
trailer remix

Tony Peters | January 22, 2008
was it finished filming? Heath Ledger was found dead today in NYC

Kris Weberg | January 22, 2008
Filming wrapped a while back, yes.

And it looks now like Ledger committed suicide.

Jackie Mason | January 23, 2008
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Steve West | February 1, 2008
Has anyone else seen the Dark Knight 6 minute prologue? It's pretty damn cool. Warner Bros is pulling it off YouTube as fast as their lawyers can manage. There are a few poor quality versions (hand-held camera shots of the IMAX version) still floating around that are as good as they'll get probably. I'd post here but don't want to subject the site (Scott) to any unwarranted legal letters (not likely but why chance it?). Go to YouTube and search for Dark Knight Prologue if interested.

Amy Austin | February 1, 2008
DAMN IT, MAN! Stop teasing me with the YouTube that I cannot see... the government forbids it, I say!

Jason Melo | February 24, 2008
i cannot wait to see this movie!

Steve West | April 28, 2008
Official movie poster for The Dark Knight.

Tony Peters | April 28, 2008
very cool....I am looking forward to this round of Comic movies, Robert Downey as Tony Stark was a stroke of character brilliance

Tony Peters | April 29, 2008
Holy Batcycle Robin

Scott Hardie | May 1, 2008
The Iron Man trailer doesn't make me very excited for the movie (though I like this). It started out kind of interesting with the material about Tony Stark, but you have a problem when your trailer takes a nosedive upon the appearance of the title character. And the obnoxious inclusion of the Black Sabbath song was an ominous sign of how high this movie intends to aim.

Tony Peters | May 1, 2008
It played on base last night as a preview and was greated with great reviews, note audience was single males age 18-30

Scott Hardie | May 2, 2008
Reviews today have been great; 95% on the TomatoMeter as of this writing. I'll reserve judgment until I see it.

Tony Peters | May 12, 2008
Iron Man destroyed Speedracer this weekend...they are saying it will be lucky to make it's budget...it's probably the difference between a movie with a well written story and a movie that is pretty much only special effects...sad

Scott Hardie | May 12, 2008
I liked Iron Man fine. It's better than the average superhero movie, and it's nice to see people making conscious decisions not just to make this movie good but to build a successful series. That said, Marvel should make all the moolah they can now, because the superhero movie trend only has a few years left before it reaches a saturation point.

[Spoiler alert.] Anybody else think a better ending would have been for Tony to reach in with his bare hand and pull out the other power reactor while he was pinned in a bear hug?

Lori may disagree with me about retro anime's viability as source material for successful live-action blockbusters, but the makers of the new Akira movie better look at Speed Racer's returns and think twice about messing with something that was fine the first time.

Amy Austin | May 12, 2008
"...a few years..."??? Oh, geez...

Tony Peters | May 12, 2008
Not sure I agree Scott but it really depends on the stories they tell, Spawn was a great story but the way it was translated to the movie sccreen was horrible. Xmen was OK for the first two but the last one was again beyond acceptable...People making movies seem to forget that writters have been working on the STORIES" of supehero's for many years and they only embrace the special powers that superhero's have. Watchmen will be a interesting movie, the story is spectacular but it was never mainstream, will the writing and story be able to carry the movie?

I'd like to see one of Hideyuki Kikuchi's Vampire Hunter D novels turned into a live action movie but who know if that will happen

Scott Hardie | May 18, 2008
This is probably the perfect time for Watchmen, since it exists to debunk superheroes. The buzz around the production is that Zack Snyder went out of his way to stick to the source material, down to using the original comic as storyboards and keeping a copy on hand at all times while filming, but that might just be there to placate worried fanboys before the movie comes out. I liked the comic, but I intend to see it with an open mind, as much as possible. Snyder's Dawn of the Dead was pretty good if you don't compare it to the original, which had different goals.

Trust me, Ghost Rider and Iron Man are nowhere near the bottom of Marvel's barrel. We'll get goddamn Darkhawk and Speedball movies before this peters out.

Tony Peters | May 18, 2008
I'm hoping that the upcoming Wolverine movie is better than the last Xmen movie

Scott Hardie | May 18, 2008
Maybe. I hope so too. I get tired of hearing Brett Ratner blamed for the third X-Men movie, because as I understand it, the fault lies with 20th Century Fox. They wanted to rush the film into production without proper story development first. Bryan Singer quit because he couldn't meet their timeline. Matthew Vaughn agreed to direct, and saw it through a six-month development phase, but quit two months before production began because 20th Century Fox wouldn't accept that the film wasn't ready yet. Ratner never met a paycheck he didn't like, so he accepted their offer to took over a doomed production, but the mess wasn't his fault. Neither Singer nor Vaughn nor Ratner are involved in the new Wolverine and Magneto movies, but do you know who is? 20th Century Fox.

Aaron Shurtleff | May 19, 2008
Oh no, YOU DID NOT just dis Speedball! You know I gots mad love for Speedball!

It's on, sir!

Scott Hardie | May 19, 2008
Who would play him? Andy Dick?

Tony Peters | May 23, 2008
My issue with X3 was that fact that the Story was truely horrid...taking parts of the whole xmen mythos and jamming them togeter to work with a special effects director's desire to blow things up. plus the people they killed annoyed me too

Scott Horowitz | July 23, 2008
BTW, this movie was awesome, anyone agree

Jackie Mason | July 24, 2008
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Shawn Brandt | July 25, 2008
Saw it for the second time tonight. It's unreal. The Godfather II comparisons are legit. Not in the sense that it's one of a handful of the best movies of all time, but it's the rare sequel that's better than an already outstanding original.

Scott Hardie | July 25, 2008
Sigh.

<---only person in the world who didn't like The Godfather Part II

Kris Weberg | July 26, 2008
I don't like The Godfather, Part II that much either. Aside from the justly renowned "kiss of death" scene with Fredo, it struck me as a tedious and long-winded explanation of the epilogue to the first film.

The Dark Knight, on the other hand, is likely to be the best movie I'll see this year.

Scott Hardie | July 26, 2008
Yes. The first Godfather had an arc. The events mean something. Even Godfather Part III pulled that off. II has its merits, but it wasn't as much of a creative success.

[Spoilers ahead.] Dark Knight is really good, but it has to be, since its predecessor set the bar so high. Ledger is really creepy, the action scenes are a real thrill, the tension is almost unbearable, and the film uses these characters for a thorough exploration of morality. A few nitpicks bugged me, but the only significant one was the stuffing of two villains into a film that only needed one; we could have had two really good movies with this material.

Present company excepted, Batman fans are really getting on my nerves. First it was hyping Dark Knight as a towering masterpiece so that I felt disappointed when it turned out to be merely really good. Then it was personally harrassing the critics who merely called the film really good. And now they've cheated their way into putting it atop the IMDb Top 250, which fans have never cracked before like this. [Edit: Turns out Fellowship of the Ring did briefly top it before slipping.] These fans tolerate no opinion that the film wasn't perfect. Watch out for a massive backlash against the Academy when Ledger fails to get nominated for an Oscar, and if he does get nominated, heaven help the actor who wins it instead.

Tony Peters | July 26, 2008
I have tried really hard to get excited about this film, being a long time Frank Miller fan but something about it has just turned me off. Maybe it's as Scott say and I am rebelling against the Fanboys hype, Mark Millar's "Wanted" and Mike Mignola's Hellboy actually have a better story draw for me

Jackie Mason | July 27, 2008
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Kris Weberg | July 28, 2008
I'd argue on two points; first, that Harvey Dent may not be dead. The dialogue is very carefully done in the final scene to avoid the "d" word, and the film leaves open the possibility that Harvey lives.

Second, I'm not sure how the movie works without Harvey's corruption and fall; it allows the Joker to remain threatening despite the failure of his boat scheme and it motivates Batman's final decision in a powerful fashion.

Scott Hardie | July 29, 2008
The movie that we saw couldn't have been done without Dent's corruption and fall; it was all interwoven. Instead I would have preferred separate Joker and Two-Face movies, which wouldn't have played off of each other nearly as well as they did combined, but would have resulted in a lot more entertainment and a deeper exploration of the two characters. I'm reminded of bands who break up and release solo albums; they lose the musical interplay that made them so good, but we get a much more undiluted version of what each artist contributes, not to mention many more songs.

It's all preference. Sony came close to splitting Spider-Man 3 into two movies to deal with its two villains, and I think they should have, but that's because the movie was weaker for having both. Dark Knight does a much better job of blending the two villains, getting more out of them combined than the sum of their parts, so it's not a mistake; I just wanted more of each character. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I really wanted more Dark Knight overall. :-)

Samir Mehta | July 29, 2008
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Scott Hardie | July 30, 2008
Well, if we're going to nitpick, I disliked the lack of resolution with the Joker. I'm sure others have written groaners about how that story was "left hanging" or "left dangling," ha ha, but I have to agree. Sure, he's in police custody, but he already escaped that once. Were they leaving him around for a sequel, like Scarecrow? Would Ledger have done one? Who knows.

Jackie Mason | July 30, 2008
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Kris Weberg | August 6, 2008
I dunno about the question of 'resolving" the Joker. There's the real-life issue, which is that Nolan didn't want to alter any part of Ledger's performance after the fact. Since the Joker was almost certainly planned to be a big part of a sequel, if leaked information is any guide, this means that a sequel hook was going to be left if Heath Ledger's performance was used as originally planned.

There's also the genre vs. medium issue: what counts as resolution in a comic-book doesn't count as resolution in a comic-book movie. A Joker story in comics ends when he goes back to Arkham, from which he will of course escape for next month's appearance. Comic-book movies, however, have a habit of killing off their baddies in line with the conventions of action movies and the realities of cast changes and the passage of time for real people.

For me, the key is the wording of the Joker's last monologue -- "I think we could keep doing this forever" -- and, more subtly, the way in which he's lit from below with the effect of blanching his (unpainted) skin and bringing out the color and reflective lining of that purple coat. In short, he's lit so that, for the only time in the film, he has the unreal look of the comic-book character. The inverted shot is suggestive in similar fashion.

Is the film's Joker, in the end, adopting for himself and imposing upon Batman the logic of the endless, merry-go-round serial of the comics? In that case, it counts as a resolution. Villains breaking jail is a time-honored comics tradition, and a villain murdering his or her way out of Arkham is one of the two practically required ways of opening a Batman story. (The other is Batman leaping down into a dark alley to kick the crap out of some nameless thug; in fact, it may have been a federal law in the late 1980s and 1990s that Batman must make said leap from a fire escape silhouetted by the moonlight.)

Scott Hardie | August 9, 2008
Critic Jim Emerson has written a good essay about the need to label Dark Knight "the greatest movie of all time." To me, it seems to circle around another reason for this phenomenon, which is the bandwagon mentality: If you don't agree with the throngs already calling it that, you're ostracized. The third comment, by Patrick, really underscores that with the quote from his friend.

If you want to read something scary and/or hilarious, read the tenth comment, by Satish Naidu. Talk about taking a movie way too seriously.

Jackie Mason | August 9, 2008
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Tony Peters | August 9, 2008
the dude wrote 5000 word on it......he really needs a life or baring that maybe he just needs to get laid

Edit:not to be an Anti Bandwagoner as you call it but I have seen Titanic and I think it sucked....I will eventully see Dark Knight and I will probably like it but like all dark and over the top comic stories I need to be in the mood for it

Steve West | September 7, 2008
An understandable misunderstanding.

Tony Peters | September 7, 2008
LOL that was funny

Scott Hardie | May 6, 2010
I wrote above:

I get tired of hearing Brett Ratner blamed for the third X-Men movie, because as I understand it, the fault lies with 20th Century Fox. They wanted to rush the film into production without proper story development first. ... Matthew Vaughn agreed to direct, and saw it through a six-month development phase, but quit two months before production began because 20th Century Fox wouldn't accept that the film wasn't ready yet. Ratner never met a paycheck he didn't like, so he accepted their offer to took over a doomed production, but the mess wasn't his fault.

It's been a nerd pet peeve of mine for years that Brett Ratner gets all the blame for the mess created by Matthew Vaughn that is ultimately the fault of 20th Century Fox. So with today's news that Vaughn will direct the next X-Men movie, guess what comment I'm seeing a lot in forums? "Thank god it's not Ratner!" Arrgh.

Samir Mehta | May 6, 2010
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