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The Dark Knight

It’s been a few days since I first saw the movie (Friday at 12:01 AM of course) and I’m still stunned by its awesomeness. It stands on its own as one of the best crime dramas I’ve ever seen, but throw in the Batman universe’s characters and I was nergasming for 2.5 hours straight. Imagine Heat or The Departed with Batman in it, except the villain is a thousand times creepier and chaotic, and the action scenes are much cooler.

Heath Ledger is fucking amazing. If Javier Bardem can win the Supporting Actor Oscar in Old Country For Old Men (and I loved his performance, so I believe he earned it), there’s no way in hell Heath Ledger can be denied at least a nomination. He was incredible. One second he can be acting crazy, and the next cut he’ll be delivering a monologue that sends shivers down your spine.

I heard a few complaints about Aaron Eckhart’s performance but I don’t know what the hell they were talking about. I thought he was great. Maggie Gyllenhaal is a welcome replacement for Katie Holmes.

It is the best comic book movie I have ever seen, in part because it redefines what a comic book movie has to be. I mean, yeah, there are a few gadgets and stuff that a “real” crime drama would be unable to support, but other than that, this doesn’t fit the common comic book movie archetype at all.

It also nails Batman perfectly on so many levels. All the major issues that define him in the comic books are explored (his up-and-down relationship with the police, the fact that he’s a detective and not just someone who uses violence constantly, the question of whether his existence creates the criminals that he battles, whether he can ever stop being the Batman, etc.).

Unfortunately you still get a bunch of reviews that continue to praise Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman as the pinnacle of films based on the caped crusader. I never understood this, even before Nolan’s Batman films came out. Burton’s Batman films, though not as bad as that asshole Joel Schumacher’s, are too campy, and anyone who doesn’t think so has forgotten about the Joker dancing around to Prince music.

The Joker is not a fun-loving guy who happens to commit petty crimes. He’s a sadistic psychopath who kills and destroys without reason or mercy. Christopher Nolan and Heath Ledger apparently understood that.

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