Archive for July 22nd, 2008

“Batman: The Dark Knight”

July 22, 2008
There's a little Alex in all of us...even The Joker.

There's a little Alex in all of us...even The Joker.

There’s a lot of talk these days about Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker in Batman: The Dark Knight, and while it’s certainly deserving it’s only one part of the masterpiece that is director Christopher Nolan’s newest installment in the Batman Franchise. To say that the film’s a piece of something beyond it’s scope almost diminishes it, because as a singular whole there’s so much right about this film, there’s actually nothing at all wrong with it. But even to say that is doing it a disservice.

To start at the beginning. This is the the best plotted and written script (written by both Christopher and his brother Jonathon Nolan) I’ve seen since North by Northwest and Chinatown. In every scene there is conflict. Every character, major or minor, has to make a decision based on what they think is right and they are forced to live with the decisions they make. And those decisions not only further the story but add emotional depth to everyone’s character. Do you know how difficult that is to do in a movie? And the brothers make it look easy.

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“Hellboy II: The Golden Army”

July 22, 2008
Hey, we could really use Harry Hamlin right about now!

Hey, we could really use Harry Hamlin right about now!

There’s a sadness at the center of Guillermo Del Toro’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army. A sadness that lends a poignancy to the humor and action that was sorely missing in the first Hellboy film, which after being a huge fan of Del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone and Blade II, I was very much looking forward to, and never really ended up liking. Hellboy II lives up to that promise.

Del Toro, like fellow comic book director Christopher Nolan, is a master of plotting and pacing. So even when Hellboy II makes some jumps in story logistics you’re carried along without feeling the bump in the road. It begins as Pan’s Labyrinth did, with a bedtime story about an evil army of Golden soldiers, so from there you know it gives itself permission to go anywhere.

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