Thursday, January 01, 2009

Why so serious?

So, yes... when they said The Dark Knight was a dark movie, they weren't talking about the lighting. It was dark, and unrelentingly so. If you don't like unrelenting darkness, or dark unrelentingness, by all means don't see it.

Heath Ledger in the role that likely contributed to (certainly couldn't have helped) a state of mind that required prescription help and led to death from accidental overdose? Insanely good. Spooky good. I'd say chills, but it's more like shudders, good. There were no clunkers among the other performances... Christian Bale and Maggie Gyllenhaal were fine, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine were pleasures, as always... but it's Heath Ledger's movie.

It was so dark I'm not sure when I'll want to see it again, but it was awesome. Complex, scary, thrilling, bizarre, intense, awesome.

Speaking of Christian Bale, I do know when I'll want to see The New World (2005) again: Never. Nevereverever. This was the worst piece of crap movie I've seen in I don't know how long (maybe since A History of Violence?). It's writer/director Terrence Malik's alleged epic masterpiece about the founding of Jamestown in 1607. Colin Farrell -- who I'm starting to think shouldn't be allowed to open his mouth -- plays Captain John Smith, and Q'Orianka Kilcher makes her debut as Pocahontas. Bale plays the guy who marries Pocahontas after Smith goes back to England and she's told he's dead.

I'd originally feared this was going to be just a sappy romance, and made shameful jokes about putting the "poke" in "Pocahontas," but it really isn't like that (unless you count a fourteen year-old dressed midwinter in seductively torn and slitted deerskin -- but that's not romantic, it's stupid, and -- when you later hear the costume person going on about how "authentic" she made things -- insulting). I think Malik really thought he was trying to do history. Baffling. The dvd extra about "the making of" shows how they went to all kinds of great lengths to assure the authenticity of the structures and layout of the settlement and the Native encampments. What they ended up with, though, was two and a half hours of embarrassing, clumsily arranged shots narrated in cryptic (yet dumb!) whispers. Was the film edited, as it seems, by vandals? We shall never know, but we were actually laughing at it by the time the damn thing was over.

Holy Racist Revisionism, Batman, is this ever one to miss.


  1. I loved "The Dark Knight" too. It's darkness was part of the appeal for me. Given the turn the economy has taken, it kind of fits the current mood too.

    I didn't care for Maggie Gyllenhall, but can't really explain why. I guess I never saw any chemistry between her and Aaron Eckhart or Christian Bale. Not that I wanted Katie Holmes back, but she may have had more chemistry with Christian Bale. And she and Aaron Eckhart have already been together in a movie, Thank You for Smoking, and displayed a little chemistry there. I think Maggie Gyllenhall is a good actress, I just didn't care for her in this role.

  2. Saw The Dark Knight. Pretty good. Didn't see The New World. Pretty lucky.

  3. The Dark Knight was incredible, and Heath Ledger was remarkable. In fact, early in my career, I had a patient who was almost uncannily like the character of the Dark Knight that it truly gave me goosebumps.

    So real that it hurt.

  4. I think that just because Heath Ledger is gone, it would be hard for me to see it. Darkness aint good for me