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The Dark Knight

USA 2008
produced by
Christopher Nolan, Charles Roven, Emma Thomas, Kevin De La Noy (executive), Benjamin Melniker (executive), Thomas Tull (executive), Michael E.Uslan (executive) for Warner Brothers, Syncopy, Legendary, DC Comics
directed by Christopher Nolan
starring Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Ron Dean, Cillian Murphy, Chin Han, Nestor Carbonell, Eric Roberts, Ritchie Coster, Anthony Michael Hall, Keith Szarabajka, Colin McFarlane, Joshua Harto, Melinda McGraw, Nathan Gamble, Michael Vieau, Michael Stoyanov, William Smillie, Danny Goldring, Michael Jai White, Matthew O'Neill, William Fichtner, Olumiji Olawumi, Greg Beam, Erik Hellman, Beatrice Rosen, Vincenzo Nicoli, Edison Chen, Nydia Rodriguez Terracina, Andy Luther, Patrick Clear, Sarah Jayne Dunn, Philip Bulcock, K.Todd Freeman, Matt Shallenberger, Lanny Lutz, Matt Rippy, Andrew Bicknell, Matthew Leitch, Tommy 'Tiny' Lister, William Armstrong, Gertrude Kyles, Jonathan Ryland, Hannah Gunn
story by Christopher Nolan, David S.Goyer, screenplay by Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan, based on the comic created by Bob Kane for DC-Comics, music by James Newton Howard, Hans Zimmer, miniature effects by New Deal Studios, visual effects by Dougle Negative, Framestore, BUF, Cinesite

Batman, Joker, Batman (Christian Bale)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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So ok, there is an evil Chinaman (Chin Han) wanting to get the money of the mob out of the country, there is a madman with too much makeup (Heath Ledger) who'll eventually come to be known as the Joker who wants to steal the money from the mob and take over gangland Gotham, and then there are three honest men, DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), police lieutnant and eventual commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) and this barking masked guy with (artificial) pointy ears called the Batman (Christian Bale) who want to clean up the city. It ,should also be noted here that Batman's alter ego Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent are also caught up in a love triangle with Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal), one of the very few people who knows who the Batman is.

Eventually, Gordon, Dent and Batman come up with a plan where Dent reveals himself to be the Batman and is arrested for being a vigilante, Gordon fakes his death, And Batman waits for the Joker to make his move - which he does of course.

After much to and fro, the police arrests the Joker, but (curiously off-screen) the Joker's men kidnap both Harvey and Rachel. The Batman tortures the locations where they are kept out of the Joker, but they are of course held at different locations, each tied to time-triggered explosives. It's impossible for the Batman to save them both in time, so he chooses Harvey and leaves the rescue of Rachel to the police ... but where Batman succeeds, the police fails, thus Rachel is blown to Kingdom Come. And even Dent doesn't survive the ordeal unscathed, half his face has been burned off, and with Rachel dead, he wants revenge on those responsible - a group of corrupt cops in Gordon's department. So he goes on a killing spree ...

Meanwhile, the Joker has of course freed himself from police custody, blows up a hospital, and eventually has his men place explosive devices on two ferries, giving each boat a remote control to blow up the other, otherwise ... what do you know, I've forgotten what otherwise was. Anyways, neither ferry blows up the other and nothing happens, so I guess it doesn't matter.

Anyways, the Joker eventually kidnaps someone or something, and keeps whoever it is at a secret location - but the Batman has a black holyman (who is of course played by Morgan Freeman) at his side who invents something that turns all the cellphones of the city into sonar detectors, so the Batman can see everything and he goes and captures the Joker (but refuses to kill him).

In the meantime, Dent, now Two-Face, has captured Gordon's family and wants Gordon to feel what he has felt when losing Rachel ... but Batman intervenes, but by saving Gordon's son he has to throw Two-Face off a building to his death - more of an accident really, though.

His recent murders though have seriously tainted the reputation of Dent, who has thuis far been a symbol of honesty and righteousness. And thus, the Batman, who has always been a vigilante living in the grey areas of the law, decides to take the blame for the murders and disappear into thin air.

Dependable veterans Michael Caine and Eric Roberts play Batman's butler and a mobster, respectively.

 

For some reason, everybody went crazy over The Dark Knight, it not only became one of the biggest box office successes of its time, it was also received with quite some critical acclaim ... and quite frankly, I don't get it. This is, simply put, not a good movie - but let me explain: The plot is overly convoluted, makes little sense on closer inspection, features tons of subplots that lead to nowhere and are not properly intertwined. The whole thing takes itself way too seriously despite the fact that it's about a masked man with pointy ears hunting a clown - and the film's tagline "Why so serious?" seems to be bitter irony here: It's especially disappointing that the Joker's built-in campiness and predilection for pranks is not exploited here. On top of that, the film is filled with flat characters who I really can't bring myself to care for. And while Heath Ledger's performance is pretty good (though probably Oscar-worthy only due to the fact that he tragically died not long after completing this), he's never given an actual showcase to prove his talents. Maggie Gyllenhaal makes an attempt to bring her character to life but has little to work with, while Christian Bale, a usually capable actor, leaves no impression at all as Bruce Wayne, while his performance as Batman is seriously marred by the barking noises that are supposed to be his dialogue. And that's the next flaw: All the dialogue's completely flat and completely witless. And as for the action, that should be the backbone of a film like this: dead-boring. I mean I'm sorry, but the editing in the many chasescenes is appallingly off, the fight scenes absolutely lack any dynamics, and the explosions are all sloppily executed - don't get me wrong, I don't want Michael Bay here, but you might want to put a little enthusiasm in your work.

You know, I actually wanted to like this movie, but I'm sorry, it's a piece of shit. The best thing I can say about it is probably it's better than Batman Begins - and even that I do only reluctantly.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD