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Dark Knight

Journal Entry: Sun Jul 20, 2008, 3:15 PM
So, I saw Dark Knight this weekend.  I have to say, it was a great movie, and I'd give it an 8/10.  Which is rather disappointing for me, since I very much wanted to (and still wish I could) give it a 10/10.  :(

I don't know what to say.  It was a brilliantly conceived and beautifully crafted movie, IMO.  The story was amazing.  The plot twists had me guessing the whole time.  Characters did things that surprised me and threw me off in a good way without breaking character or being unrealistic.  The themes of sacrifice, of fallen heroes, of moral choices etc. were beautifully done.  The world-building was awesome.  Gotham felt real.  The film had a grand, epic feel to it that most movies today can't touch.  It really felt like it was the beginning of a new criminal era, and that was great.  The action was great.  The gadgets were great.  The cinematography was great.  The music was great.  The mood and atmosphere were great.  The cat and mouse feel with Joker and Batman was great.  Seriously, the other films this summer aren't even in the same league as this.  So why am I giving it an 8 instead of a 10?  

For me, the film had one flaw that I can't ignore.  It lacked passion.  Or heart, or chemistry, or whatever you want to call it.  It was overly cerebral, and any emotion I felt for the characters while watching it was felt as if through a barrier.  Kind of like in the winter, when you're wearing mittens.  You can feel things through them, but they're dulled and distant, and you wish you could take them off and feel with your naked fingers.  That was how this film felt to me emotionally.  I don't think it was the fault of the actors.  I think it was a stylistic choice to be understated and subtle.  Which is fine, but I think they overdid it, and I found myself watching events unfeelingly, including events that by all rights should have had me emotionally gutted.  

Obviously there are thousands and thousands of people who would disagree.  I mean, the film's got a friggin' 9.7 rating on IMDb from over 40k people.  So maybe I'm the one that's screwy here, and I'm missing something.  I don't know.  But I do know that I really, really wish I could be one of those 40k people who voted a 10 on the thing.  I really wish I could have loved this movie as much as I wanted to.  I really wish I could have felt more during the movie and thought less.  I love action movies.  I love superhero movies.  And I loved the first Tim Burton Batman movie as well as Batman Begins.  I can't understand why I didn't love this one.  They got 99 out of 100 things perfect with this.  But the 1 thing they missed was a big one for me.  Argh.  

I liked it a lot.  And there are so many parts of it that seriously awe me and blow me away.  But in the end, it didn't live up to the hype for me, and it felt emotionally hollow.  And that makes me really sad.   

I'm going to see it again.  In the past, sometimes certain films have grown on me.  I didn't love them on first viewing, but with subsequent viewings, I liked them more and more.  Blade Runner was like that.  And it's now one of my favorite movies.  I'm hoping the same happens with Dark Knight.   By all rights, I should have loved this film.


BTW, if you're going to respond, please, for those who haven't seen it yet, INCLUDE SPOILER WARNINGS IN YOUR POSTS!!!

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  • Reading: Kushiel's Mercy by Jacqueline Carey
  • Watching: Dark Knight -- 8/10
Add a Comment:
 
:icone-ddie:
E-ddie Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2008
I thought the movie was awesome! But i felt no connection to the characters.

But my real problem with the movie was the fact that Batman wasn't much of a hero. Throughout the whole movie he seemed to be ready to throw in the towel. It was irritating. And, when ever he decided to be an hero is wasn't for the reasons i'd say a 'superhero' would do it for.

Honestly, it started to remind me of Spiderman.

But, if i stopped looking at this movie as a 'superhero' movie I could learn to love it.

I agree with the passion. Leaving the movie theater, i felt the same as i did entering it. The only difference was that i knew the movie was really good. I didn't fall in love with the movie as i did with Iron Man nor anything else along those lines.

In most aspects, this movie was better then Iron Man- but i would rather see Iron man again then bat-man.

Batman is still an awesome movie. ONE of the best movies of the summer. I mean, i haven't even seen stepbrothers yet.. lol
Reply
:iconhakubaikou:
hakubaikou Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2008
I feel the same about Hellboy 2. I think Dark Knight was more finely crafted, but I'd rather see Hellboy again any day. And Iron Man too.
Reply
:icone-ddie:
E-ddie Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2008
Yeah! I didn't think anyone else would be able to relate to the because everyones like 'BATMAN RULEZ' but its good to see someone does.

Hellboy was really good. I love Abe. :]
Reply
:iconmirrinight:
mirrinight Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2008
I totally understand what you mean about it lacking passion in scenes. I just didn't really get so emotional at certain parts (e.g. parts with Rachel and Harvey, particularly the big one). I still felt something, but I agree that the emotions weren't as freely given as they could have been.

However, I still give it a 9.5/10. xD I don't really rate the emotional void as worth two whole points, I guess. Perhaps it's just because I feel it only detracted from the movie a tiny amount.
Reply
:iconhakubaikou:
hakubaikou Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2008
Fair enough. :) Thanks for commenting!
Reply
:iconlavonia:
lavonia Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
I feel the same way you do about the movie. Ledger's performance really made it for me.
Reply
:iconhakubaikou:
hakubaikou Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2008
I wish it did for me. Even his Joker didn't really make me feel anything. Don't get me wrong, I thought the character was cool and interesting. But I still didn't feel much. But that's just a personal thing, I think. :)
Reply
:iconlavonia:
lavonia Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah, I understand. :) I liked the darkness of the character alot. I felt the storyline kind of got too theatrical at the end. So it lost some of my interest.

I didn't have a "Planet of the Apes" moment though. Like when I went to see the new Planet of the Apes movie, the ending just left me sitting there scratching my head wondering what the hell? :/
Reply
:iconkeiiii:
keiiii Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2008   General Artist
I just saw the movie yesterday, and I can definitely relate to what you're saying.


SPOILERS BEGIN
SPOILERS BEGIN
SPOILERS BEGIN

That scene when Batman had to choose between Rachel and Harvey. When Rachel confessed to Harvey that she loved him, that was supposed to really touch me, but it didn't. When Batman came to rescue Harvey, and Harvey cried out, "No! Why are you coming for me?"... that's when I realized that he truly did love her. Yet it didn't move me. I wasn't even crying. That's saying something because I cry during movies a LOT.

And the ending. Batman taking the blame for the killings and running away... Gordon's son asking why he's running away. Gordon's reply. All of that should have gotten me really emotional, but it didn't.

(I was, however, close to tears when Harvey held his gun to the kid's head. Which is weird since I never really liked Gordon. He's a nice guy and all, but I just couldn't relate to him... until that scene.)


END spoilers
END spoilers
END spoilers

I really don't understand why. I mean, I liked the ending. In fact, I really liked the whole thing, plot-wise. Why? Why didn't it work for us? DX
Reply
:iconhakubaikou:
hakubaikou Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2008
***SPOILERS***



Yeah. One would think that if the main character's love interest gets blown to bits, one ought to feel something. But I didn't. It was like, "oh well, she blew up."

And yes, I loved the idea of the ending. The heroism there sounds great as a theme, but I felt nothing. Again. It was really frustrating, because I wanted to feel, but I couldn't. Weird.
Reply
:iconneobakeneko:
Neobakeneko Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2008
I had to wait until I saw the movie before readaing or responding to this. Well, I chose to rather, I didn't want to get any thoughts in my head.

Anywho, the movie was great, really really great. Gotta go buy the soundtrack soon as I can. To a degree I think I can see what you're saying about the hollowness but I think that's just part of what it is. If it was 100% perfect we'd be rackin' our brains tryna figure out what's wrong with it.

For me, what sold the movie, wasn't so much Ledger's acting as many said it was, but the way they portrayed the Joker as a whole. He seemed real. Unlike other batman movies and cartoons you didn't have to suspend your belief and reality to get into him y'know? Well for me anyway. I just wanna give him a big hug :heart:
Reply
:iconhakubaikou:
hakubaikou Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2008
That's so funny that you want to give him a big hug. ^_^ Not exactly what my initial response would be to that character.
Reply
:iconneobakeneko:
Neobakeneko Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2008
XD
I have a thing for the crazy murderous villian type :heart:
Reply
:iconinfz:
INFZ Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
I just bought tickets to see it Thursday and I really do have high expectations for it as well. I'll let you know what I thought of the film afterwards. But I understand what you mean by a "barrier". I've felt that before with quite a few films that would have otherwise become my favorites. Completely understandable.
Reply
:iconinfz:
INFZ Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
Just an update... I saw it today. I agree completely with what you said. Definitely an 8/10, and I wish I could have given it a 10. It's sad. And as many have said, it really lacked something to "tie it together". Up until the "last part" where one of the other "bad guys" kicks the bucket, it was actually about a 9. But for some reason that part just ripped apart the whole movie and it was just... not good. It was a great idea/concept but the way it was put together was horribly flawed. Definitely a good movie, but not the best.
Reply
:iconsnowmask:
snowmask Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
It lacked a central core. One vital shot even, that would string everything together.

Sadly, it was not there, and in the end the whole collage fell apart.

It was entertaining though :)
Reply
:iconhakubaikou:
hakubaikou Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2008
Yup, true enough. :)

And yeah, it did feel like it was missing a core. And really, there wasn't even a single main character that stood out.
Reply
:iconsnowmask:
snowmask Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Gary Oldman's character stood out for me ;P
Reply
:iconhakubaikou:
hakubaikou Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2008
I agree. You actually care about the guy. :)
Reply
:iconmightygaru:
MightyGaru Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2008  Student General Artist
Never wish to follow the crowd and be another one of "thousands" who just thought the movie was "amazing" or "perfect" because frankly its great that you had an opinion. To many people on this website just write that it was awesome and that nothing was wrong and blah blah blah. It's true that The Dark Knight was a good movie but they did fall short on the emotional aspect of the movie and could have done a far better job. If your going to write about something don't just show off the good show off the bad and the terrible and everything in between because otherwise your just wasting peoples time when you could just say "It was good".
Reply
:iconhakubaikou:
hakubaikou Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2008
Oh, but in this case, I do wish I could have been one of the thousands. Because they enjoyed it thoroughly, and I wanted to enjoy it too. Ah well. ^_^
Reply
:iconbethuel09:
Bethuel09 Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2008
Too many things happened for them to go deeper and show the reactions of the characters...I keep hearing stuff about Dent, and that he did a great job but for some reason he just didnt do it for me. I felt like his crazed insanity was momentary...and almost felt like if he had been included for say a third movie he would have repented...he didnt quite cut it as a villian...or perhaps he was the perfect villian, because he was still very very human in what he did :P for me the joker was the one who stood out, his insanity was overwhelming...and it seemed that his sickness was the one thing being highlighted in the movie, the one emotion that i felt very strongly...and I did feel a lot of heart in it...too much, too many things been thrown at me I kinda felt sometimes =/ and it made me somewhat numb to the other things that happened in it..I felt like if I didnt feel numb it'd be too much...anyways that was my silly tid bit =)
love your art btw..:D
Reply
:iconhakubaikou:
hakubaikou Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2008
*Spoilers*

I have to agree about Dent's villainy being unjustified. I didn't buy that either.

And I'd agree that they tried to squeeze too much into one film. I never got a chance to really absorb anything.

And thanks about my art! ^_^
Reply
:iconmoocow33:
moocow33 Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2008
i dont know, I loved it.
It was epic and told a detailed story. It wasnt the traditional one 'major' thing happens in this movie and it is over. It had a certain depth that it felt like you were able to enter the world. To be honest I'm glad that it didnt have a typical 'heart' to it, it was dark(the guy that I saw it with couldn't stop mentioning how scary the darkness was in the movie) and beautiful, maybe it was just meant to be watched and not meant to be involving. I like this type of story telling and hope to see more movies like it and I really reckon it deserves the scores it has been getting.

It was a really long movie, so maybe you got detached because of the length? I know that I had to make sure that I was putting all of my attention into the movie and that my mind didn't wander, because that is what makes a movie 'bad' and I am not going to let myself not enjoy a movie that I spent money to go see.

well i can't wait to see your response when you see it again. I also want to see it again because, for the first time in a long time, it is a movie that I have really enjoyed and actually want to see again
Reply
:iconhakubaikou:
hakubaikou Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2008
Oh, I so very much wanted to love it, and I envy you for being able to. ^_^

I really enjoyed the epic feel, and I liked that it wasn't about one major storyline. I really thought all other aspects of the movie were simply magnificent. I just wish it had heart. And by heart, I don't necessarily mean a positive or warm and mushy one. I'd be perfectly happy with a dark, twisted, ruthless heart. But it still needs heart, IMO.

I think it's great that it's getting such a high score. I just wish I wasn't so disappointed. For me (and I realize, this is a personal preference) I need to feel involved in a movie in order to truly and absolutely love it.

As for length, that's not an issue. My favorite movie of all time is Lawrence of Arabia. Which is waaaay longer than this one. Heh. :)

Yup, definitely warrants seeing again. I truly hope it grows on me.
Reply
:iconmoocow33:
moocow33 Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2008
I hope it grows on you too :)
Lawrence of Arabia? I have never heard of that film before. I would ask you about it but the assumption now-a-days is to simply google it :P
Reply
:iconbabykoalaprincess:
Babykoalaprincess Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2008
*hugs you*

You're my new hero, do you know that?

That's EXACTLY how I felt as well! I thought the Dark Knight was a good movie, but there wasn't anything moving about it. I just watched it, and it didn't make me cry, laugh (okay, I chuckled... but that's it), or touch me in any way. So I was surprised too to see that it was ranked #1 on IMDB for the top 250 movies of all time.

The Dark Knight isn't that much of a great movie to be considered to be art. To me, it was just entertainment. :P
Reply
:iconhakubaikou:
hakubaikou Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2008
I actually think that it's so well-made, it could be seen as art. It's just not art that does it for me, unfortunately.

I think there was so much care and thought put into the creation of the film, it really does stand apart in certain ways from other movies. I just wish I could have felt more. :(
Reply
:iconbabykoalaprincess:
Babykoalaprincess Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2008
Oh... Well, uh. Yeah. That's what I actually kind of meant. I mean, you're right. All movies are considered to be art. However, to me there is in which I have my own self-definitions of what "art" is in a movie.

I watched a bit of Batman & Robin today. :P And I do give The Dark Knight a whole lot more credit for everything, but I still didn't enjoy it that much because of the lack of emotion from it.
Reply
:iconchibiyueying:
ChibiYueYing Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2008
I must say though, that there was one part where I felt the emotionaly hollow aspect was broken. There was a scene where the Joker is hanginging his upper body out of the window of a car, wind beating against his face, and he does this move where he runs his hand through his hair. For some reason that provoked such aresponse from me, making that scene stand out in my mind. It made me feel an emotional connection to the Joker.
I don't know. Just my two cents, though I must say I do agree with you for the most part.
Reply
:iconhakubaikou:
hakubaikou Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2008
I'm glad you had that moment. :)
Reply
:iconkfc69s:
kfc69s Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2008
no one could take seriously a movie with such an exaggeratedly gruff batman voice
Reply
:iconhakubaikou:
hakubaikou Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2008
The voice did get a little annoying. It was like that in Batman Begins too, I thought.
Reply
:iconparanoid-duckkie:
Paranoid-Duckkie Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2008
You're overall feel of the movie is exactly how I felt. I came away thinking, WOW, that was mind boggling and cool and the acting was great... but it wasn't as great to me as it could have been. When you said it lacked heart, i finally got what was bugging me... still awesome movie... would see it again and everything... but not perfect.
Reply
:iconhakubaikou:
hakubaikou Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2008
Yeah. I'd see it again too.

I think when a movie is this well made and comes this close to being perfect, though, it just hurts more when it falls slightly short. :( The audience was clapping and cheering when it was done, and I felt miserable because I wanted to be clapping and cheering too.
Reply
:iconparanoid-duckkie:
Paranoid-Duckkie Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2008
I went into it with no expectations what-so-ever... not really having been a fan of Batman... I took my boyfriend who is... and I was just impressed because I was pleasantly surprised that it was as good as it was. No one clapped in my theater... but then again... it is a small town theater.
Reply
:iconhakubaikou:
hakubaikou Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2008
Maybe that would have helped, to have no expectations. :)

I saw it in the middle of Los Angeles, so yeah, probably more likely to be clapping there.
Reply
:iconparanoid-duckkie:
Paranoid-Duckkie Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2008
No where near anywhere for me... no clapping. :laughing:
Reply
:iconbuilderd:
BuilderD Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2008   Digital Artist
Hmmm, hoping to see it on Thurs but I've been hearing a fair amount of these sorta reviews also. I think what happened it only sorta caught up with the hype. I mean Heath died while was making this so people automatically want it to be his best and they've been showing trailers for it for a year and a half. So everyone expected it to be so godlike it wouldn't be able to be touched. But maybe it only turned out to be a demi-god so then people aren't happy, imo. Still, this kind of review is the best and I'm glad that you took the time to write it.
Reply
:iconhakubaikou:
hakubaikou Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2008
Thanks. :)

I think Ledger did a great job, but I didn't think it was his best performance. (I liked his performance in Brokeback Mountain more.) And yeah, I agree that people may want it to be considering his death. But the problem for me was widespread throughout the movie, not just him.

It's a shame though. This really is an amazing movie.
Reply
:iconbuilderd:
BuilderD Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2008   Digital Artist
I don't guess I'll have to see it for my own opinion, some people look for different things in movies-some want explosions and others want emotions. In that case it could have been the directors interpretation of the characters.
Reply
:iconhakubaikou:
hakubaikou Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2008
I want both explosions and emotions, heehee. ^_^ And yeah, I think it was the director's interpretation. Especially since I've liked other performances by these same actors.
Reply
:iconbuilderd:
BuilderD Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2008   Digital Artist
How 'bout explosive emotions!? They're great actors so only so much can be put on them. Might be the story since I know some of the comics have had much more of an impact.
Reply
:iconhakubaikou:
hakubaikou Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2008
Heh! Explosive emotions would be lovely too. ^_^ And yeah, there were a ton of great actors in it.
Reply
:iconbob-da-cat:
Bob-da-Cat Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2008
You didn't love the film... But I loved your review... It was very well written out and I can fully understand how you feel about this film...

I haven't seen the film myself but I'm eager as hell to watch it!

Must be caught up in the 'hype'... ;)
Reply
:iconhakubaikou:
hakubaikou Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2008
I hope the hype totally pays off for you! :) This film really deserves to be loved.

And thanks, glad you liked it. I really wanted to include more, but I hate spoilers, so I tried to keep it spoiler-free for people.
Reply
:iconbob-da-cat:
Bob-da-Cat Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2008
Oh you kept it very spoiler-free... ;)
Reply
:iconarctic-affinity:
Arctic-Affinity Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2008
Yeah, you pretty much covered the flaws.

Heath Ledger's acting was amazing, though.

Words can't describe how well he played the joker.
Reply
:iconhakubaikou:
hakubaikou Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2008
See, I think I'm really in the minority in that even his performance didn't do much for me. I actually liked watching Dent more. There was a hint of frailty there that the Joker lacked.

Wanna here something really nuts? I actually liked the villain from Hellboy 2 more. At least he was passionate about his cause. *headdesk*

Ugh! I wish I could love this movie as much as my brain is telling me to love it, but my heart is being stubborn and won't budge. Blah.
Reply
:iconneobakeneko:
Neobakeneko Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2008
That's not too nuts. I loved the villian from Hellboy 2 as well, because he wasn't so much a "villian" as a man with a purpose and a reason.
Reply
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