January 12, 2009

So Sue Me

Heath Ledger won The Golden Globe which reminds me of something. I'm sure this will get me no end of flaming comments, but here goes....

I saw The Dark Knight, and it was fine. It was a Batman movie, it was enjoyable - but it was nothing near what the hype suggested it would be.

* I can't stand Katie Holmes. I think her acting is just fine, but her personal life has rendered her nearly intolerable. However, replacing her with Maggie Gyllenhaal was ridiculous. Gyllenhaal was nowhere near appealing enough to have us believing the major characters were both in love with her. Holmes is much more attractive physically and as Rachel Dawes.

* Christian Bale is one of my favorite actors, ever since his appearance in Empire of the Sun. He is a performer who you can count on to deliver a quality performance, and in Batman Begins, I think he did. For some reason, this time out, he decided to adopt an odd verbal style. While in the suit, he was nearly unintelligible. His first foray as Batman was great, this time I wanted to smack him upside the head and yell, "spit it out!"

* And, this will really get me in trouble, Heath Ledger . . . not that great. Much like his performance in Brokeback Mountain, where he did a poor imitation of Karl Childers, Ledger relies on affectation rather than acting. It is tragic that he died, but that doesn't make his performance better - it makes it poignant and sad, but not better. I didn't feel anything for this Joker but confusion - as to whether it would have gotten anywhere near the positive press if Ledger hadn't died. I have nothing against the guy, but seriously, if you watch that performance objectively, does it truly deserve to effusive praise that has been heaped upon it?

All in all, The Dark Knight was full up to the brim with overacting. The early Batman films were big, cartoony movies - overacting fit. These latest films seemed to be aiming at more grown-up, more serious - the performances should be tailored to fit.

In the words of another comic book hero, "Flame on"

Posted by Vox at January 12, 2009 07:49 PM | movies

I disagree but that's what is fun. I thought it was very entertaining and really enjoyed Ledger and Bale. Guess that is why we enjoy each other so much...

Posted by: D at January 12, 2009 09:21 PM

I liked it, and them. Like I said, it was a Batman movie & it was enjoyable.

I just don't think the movie, or Ledger, were worthy of the unrelenting hype that was heaped on them.

You on the other hand, totally worthy of the hype ;-)

Posted by: Vox at January 12, 2009 09:35 PM

I agree with you on the movie in general--nothing special. I was never a comic book reader, so my perspective isn't informed by that experience. Having offered that disclaimer, my all-time favorite comic book movie is Spiderman 2. That world, and the Peter Parker character, and the city, and all of the secondary characters, just seem so much more real--and therefore more interesting--than anything in Batman. It's hard to relate to Bruce Wayne, with his movie star looks, unlimited resources, and his decision to live a weird double life. Peter Parker, by contrast, is an average guy with average looks and no money--a guy who had Spiderman thrust upon him, and who struggles with the responsibility.

As for Bale's voice, I agree--very annoying. It wasn't all his doing, though. It was digitally enhanced by Christopher Nolan (an inexplicable decision that was pretty much universally panned).

I did think Heath Ledger was great. I saw the movie twice because of him, and will likely see it again for that reason. In Brokeback Mountain, he proved he could do less...a very stripped-down performance. Here, he proved he could do more, too--something totally over the top. So, part of what made an impression on me was Ledger's ability to do something so different from what we had seen him do before. Beyond that, I thought he created a well-defined, well-rounded character on the strength of his verbal and physical tics, and his commitment to the role. He gives 100 percent all the time, never slipping character for a split second--even when dressed, ridiculously, as a hospital nurse, even when getting thrown around by Christian Bale. (Granted, the makeup and the costumes make it easier for him to stop appearing to the audience as Heath Ledger, and to assume a new identity onscreen.) When you compare the Joker to what Harvey Dent becomes in the end of the movie, the former seems like a fully realized character, whereas the latter comes off as an exercise in checking off a box from the source material.

Finally, I agree with you on the physical appeal of Maggie G versus Katie Holmes. The former has much better boobs, though.

Posted by: Special Agent Johnny Utah at January 13, 2009 07:16 AM

Interesting reviews and comments here. I personally haven't seen the last Batman movie yet. My dad did say he thought Heath's performance as the joker was very good though. I do remember people saying it before his death but I do agree with you that it did get too much hype after his death.

That is dissappointing to hear about Bale though since I really like that actor. Hmmm...

I agree with you on Katie and Maggie - I can't stand either of them.

I had to laugh about your description of Heath being an imitation of Karl Childers for Brokeback. I AGREE! Aside from that movie dragging, I HATED his friggin mumbling.

Posted by: Martini Girl at January 15, 2009 10:59 AM