OK, I only saw three movies in the theater this year (I am poor & have a baby so: Go, go Netflix!). Here are the three I saw: Iron Man, Wall-E & The Dark Knight. All of these movies are great and I now own all of them on DVD.
But I'm feeling nagged by all of these people who talk about The Dark Knight as being the best picture this side of Gone With the Wind.
Yes, The Dark Knight is a great movie. It is one of the best comic book movies ever made.
It's performances (outside of Bale's gravely-Batman-voice) are outstanding. Not only do we have the now-legendary Joker role (suck it, Nicholson!) but let's not forget Aaron Eckhart in an amazing portrayal of Two-Face. Hell, Michael Caine even brings Alfred alive. Even Gary Oldman is surprisingly not-so-over-the-top.
The General Grimness of the new Batman movies also sets it apart from others in the comic book genre. It's not the bright colorful Spider-Man or Iron Man movies. This is a different sort of super hero movie right off the bat. Which is weird, seeing that one of it's great quotes is: Why so serious?
But as great a movie as this is, it's not the Best Picture. Now, I'm not saying that a comic book movie can never win Best picture. Best Pictures have run the gamut. There have been romantic comedies (Shakespeare in Love), thrillers (Silence of the lambs) and crap (See Clint Eastwood canon). The Best Picture does not have to be a sweeping, epic tale of something or other. It doesn't have to be a message-picture. The best picture can just be plain old great movie (or crappy... right, Clint?).
What I'm saying is that everyone keeps overlooking the flaws of The Dark Knight.
For one thing, it's too long. I have no problem with a long movie. After all Lawrence of Arabia is 3 hours & 45 minutes. But this movie is so long because of the Two-Face story line. If they had simply used this movie to set up Two-Face as the villain for the next movie, I would have been blown away. My eagerness to see the next Batman movie would only have been matched by Aaron Eckhart's eagerness to cash in that big-ass paycheck.
For another thing, it is exhausting. The Joker's scheme just keep going and going and going. it is almost John Woo-esque in it's exhaustion. The reason I have a problem with this is that in order to pull this off, The Joker must have planned everything out months in advance. This gives me pause. Ya see, The joker even says "Do I look like a man with a plan?" While the Joker is a foe to be reckoned with, is he really as brilliant as all that? This plan is so intricate that I find it hard to beleive that some beat cop doesn't thwart the smallest step by giving a parking ticket ala Son of Sam. Even the creators of Lost can't fathom this plan.
And lastly, Christian Bale's Batman voice. Hmmm... how can I take my great Bruce Wayne performance and make it funny? I know, I'll talk real low and gravely when I'm Batman. I know it's a minor detail, but it's an annoying one.
So, yes, it's a great movie. But it's no Wall-E.... scroll down to a previous post for that one.