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RogueSmurf6 said on July 20th, 2008 at 1:33 am

Oh God yes! That scene was great! Two seemingly ordinary extras, who’ve never had anything to do with the movie so far, and all of a sudden the entire film rests on the decisions they make. And I can honestly say I didn’t see either one coming.

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malakim2099 said on July 20th, 2008 at 1:54 am

That was definitely one of the best scenes of the movie.

“I’ll do what you should have done from the start” indeed. :)

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This is the review (yes, it’s Ain’t It Cool, but hear me out) that sold me on the film, and my favorite bit from that review:

In fact, the following night, I ran into Lister at the HELLBOY II premiere, and I told him about my reaction to the sequence. He was so moved that he ended up taking my phone, putting his number into it, and telling me to call him sometime so we could talk more. He didn’t know I was a reporter or a writer… he was just responding to my reaction, moved by the fact that his brief appearance had such a distinct impact on me.

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This movie made me a fan of Aaron Eckhart. Any movie that makes me a fan of an actor deserves a high grade in my book. Also: dammit, Heath Ledger made it so no one can ever play the Joker again, and I don’t know whether to be happy or sad about that.

But yes, Dark Knight is awesomesauce, and everyone should go see it as soon as possible.

“I think we’re destined to do this forever…” ;_;

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Sellyourselfshort said on July 20th, 2008 at 2:08 am

you forgot Gary Oldman

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Amen. I liked Tiny Lister more than I did Christian Bale.

All hail President Zeus.

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That moment completely justified everything Bruce, Jim, Rachel, and even poor Harvey had ever done. The first film asked whether Gotham could be saved. This film asked if it deserves to be, and it provided a resounding answer. Yes.

The soul of the film was laid bare in that moment, because it was made clear that the Joker would not win. He killed many innocent people, and he drove Gotham to the brink, but he will never win as long as the people have hope. This, of course, makes Bruce’s sacrifice all the more powerful.

There is one logistical problem, though. Jim said that five people were dead, two of them cops. Maroni, the driver, the one corrupt cop, Harvey himself, and…? He flipped the coin on Ramirez, and it came up on the clean side. He even said that she would live to fight another day. Did Harvey take out another cop, or are they pinning the dead officer in Harvey’s room on him? Any answer would be appreciated.

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Evan: I had wondered about that, too. Remember, Joker killed a cop inside the hospital, and Lau died thanks to Joker, so maybe they decided to pin those two deaths on Harvey / Bats? (And there’s no proof Harvey’s dead!)

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So I went to a 3am showing with three people I’d never met in meatworld before: a guy I do some writing for and a couple of his friends. Nice guys and we got along great. But damn it if I didn’t have to turn my head aside during Lister’s scene so these near strangers wouldn’t catch me tearing up.

I’m getting moist just thinking on that scene as I write this.

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The funeral wasn’t proof Freehaven?

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Malakim: the line was “I’ll do what should have been done 10 minutes ago.”

Its a shame that they decided to “stop” Two Face the way that they did (trying to express disappointment without spoiling it) at the end. Aaron Eckhart has a fantastic acting future ahead of him.

“It wont hurt your chances.” Too damn funny.

And… FUCK.. who the hell will they ever find to replace Heath Ledger as the most god damn brilliant portrayal of the Joker in cinematic history? I never expected him to be better than Jack, but *CRACK* going.. going.. gone!

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MastaP: Who said that was a funeral? And where’s the conclusive proof Harvey died of the fall (I mean, aside from the height of the fall)? If he’s truly dead, I’ll admit I’m wrong, but until either Nolan says “Harvey died” or the final cast list for the next Nolanverse Batfilm doesn’t have Eckhart on it, I don’t think Harvey’s dead. *shrug*

Zenrage: That whole scene with Harvey and Maroni was awesome.

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ninjasuperspy said on July 20th, 2008 at 6:45 am

Yes, they had a public funeral for Harvey Dent. Whether or not Two-Face is in some maximum security lockup in Arkham is up to us to infer. We never saw Harvey in a coffin, but that would have blown the cover of the funeral. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he wasn’t dead.

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Armored Gorilla said on July 20th, 2008 at 10:03 am

“Who said that was a funeral? And where’s the conclusive proof Harvey died of the fall (I mean, aside from the height of the fall)?”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the height from which Harvey fell was about the same height that Batman dropped the mobster from …

“A fall from this height isn’t going to kill me.”

“I’m counting on it.”

Methinks it was a hint. Nolan is subtle.

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Armored Gorilla said on July 20th, 2008 at 10:08 am

Also, Nolan doesn’t waste lines and the audience already knows Batman will do what he has to in order to get information. Going off those assumptions, why use the line?

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Guys: There was a funeral.

And Eckhart already HAS a fine acting career.

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“and Eckhart already HAS a fine acting career.”

Even though all I’ve managed to see was Thank You for Smoking, I agree.

And MGK, you’re right. The Dark Knight works because it is an ensemble piece. I find it a refreshing change of pace from the “original” and “poetic” ’89 film that showcased, in full prima donna mode, Jack Nicholson as a very poor man’s Cesar Romero to an instantly dated Prince soundtrack.

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malakim2099 said on July 20th, 2008 at 11:52 am

Thanks for the correction Zenrage. I couldn’t remember the exact line, obviously (and the IMAX theater I saw it in had some very bad speakers for catching all the dialogue.)

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There was a memorial, but not necessarily a funeral.

He’s most likely dead, but I still think it was such a complete waste to kill off such a brilliant portrayal of Two Face.

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Ken: Yeah, and they also said that no one in Gotham could know that Harvey had snapped.

I think they held a memorial while quietly shipping him off to Arkham. If he’s dead, then Batman essentially killed him, which would be really stupid after the whole thing where Batman couldn’t kill the Joker Because It Would Be Wrong. “No, Batman does not kill! … oops, well, Harvey Dent doesn’t count.”

I would love it if they were saving him to be a surprise in the third film. I don’t know how likely it is. But I would be happy.

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It should be a given to anyone reading this that there are spoilers aplenty here, but I’ll be nice and leave a spoilerspace.

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Anyways, according to the script, at least, Harvey’s dead. I can’t find the link at the moment, unfortunately, but it’s apparently down in cold ink that his neck is broken and he’s dead. Remember, the mobster fell feet first–Harvey did a face plant.

@Laura: Batman didn’t try to kill Harvey. Harvey died because Bats only has two hands, which he needed to save Jim Jr. BTW, does anyone remember if Bats picked up Harvey’s gun before he left?

I don’t know if they’ll try to recast the Joker. They may not have to, if they wanted to bring in Harley Quinn. I thought she was too zany for Nolan, but on futher thought I don’t know. They just need to find an actress who can pull off psychopathic + battered/abused girlfriend. HQ might be to disturbing in the Nolanverse for Nolan to touch. She would be a good proxy for him, though.

Other stuff, which other people have noted but which I missed at the 12:01 show:
– The shotgunning bank manager is apparently named Edward Nigma (name plate on his desk, or something)

– The “Your new suit should be fine against cats” line may be a hint at Catwoman showing up in III.

When I get a chance to see it again, I’ll watch for the Nigma thing.

Any speculation about the next villain(s)? Here’s what I brainstormed:

Scenario: With the Joker in Arkham and several crime bosses dead, there’s an underworld power vacuum. More movers and shakers start turning up dead, pointing to someone moving in to take over, but a second M.O. shows up as the bodies mount, and a shadowy figure seen leaving the crime scenes leads to wild speculation that the Bat has snapped.

The Players:
Black Mask: The brains and the main villain, taking over the Gotham underworld. Perfect fit for Nolan’s universe, and a great foil for Bruce, whom he hates with the fire of a thousand suns.
Victor Zsasz: Bit player. The killer Mask is paying to eliminate the competition he can’t buy. Perfect fit, and has already appeared in BB.
The Phantasm: Go with me on this. She’s the wild card, plus the new love interest for Bruce and a great counterpart to Batman.

It’s fun in my head, but I doubt you could pull it off in a reasonable time limit. Phantasm needs too much backstory, plus she has her own (animated) movie already.

Anyone else care to share?

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Required Name Here said on July 20th, 2008 at 5:00 pm

my theory: hush. first movie was about the destruction of gotham and how batman tried to stop it. second one was about the destruction of everyone batman knew and believed in/supported. all thats left to destroy is batman himself. however, zed has a good point and i could see black mask in there, or maybe even riddler or catwoman too.

however, i see little to no way for mr freeze to work well.

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Polychrome said on July 20th, 2008 at 7:08 pm

Evan:
The Joker did win. Not with the city, but Batman broke his one rule.

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@Required: Mr Freeze would work, as long as they don’t give him a ridiculous 1950’s robot suit. I think a Mr Freeze, operating remotely from the solitude of a habitat he can survive in, kind of like an evil Oracle or Jigsaw could work.

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The problem with Mr. Freeze is that his abilities fall into the hand-waved scifi/magic realm, which I don’t see working in the Nolanverse. It’s the same reason I don’t see Killer Croc, Man-Bat or Clayface showing up–or Ra’s al Ghul returning from the dead via Lazatus Pit.

And I have to nitpick over Batman breaking his one rule: he didn’t, really (I’m assuming you’re referring to Dent). It was a desperate last move to save the Jim Jr., but he couldn’t save them both. What Batman did at the end of Begins was much worse: he could have saved RaG, but deliberately let him die.

Was anybody else wondering if the Joker’s ferry-bombs were actually set up to blow their own ferries? I was waiting for that.

Dammit, I need to go see it again. I’ve never done that before.

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thelibrarygirl said on July 20th, 2008 at 8:27 pm

I yelped when I saw Tiny Lister on screen. The girl next sitting next to me that was more interested in text messaging than watching the film actually watched the ENTIRE ferryboat incident and ignored her phone. Does that indicate goodness?

I was really excited about this film when it ended. I felt like I got almost two films in one. It was a lot to take in, but it was riveting. I was thinking the memorial/funeral for Dent was a cover up based on the conversation Batman had with Gordon…”remember the hero”…I would love to see more of Eckhart as Two-Face.

I also love the idea of Harley Quinn emerging in the next film. As a female I would like to see a well written, well-acted villianess emerge on the screen in this Batman series.

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I could totally see Harley–something like a Nancy to the Joker’s Sid Vicious, make her look initially like a burnt-out punk drug casualty, and then as the plot unfolds, you find out she’s actually a brilliant psychologist under all that. Mind you, all that relies on recasting the Joker, and Heath Ledger left some very big shoes to fill there.

As to Two-Face…sure, Aaron Eckhart has a career. So does Christian Bale, and it doesn’t stop him from doing these movies. :) The death was ambiguous enough that you could script around it.

All in all, a damn-near perfect movie. I just wish someone would take Christian Bale quietly aside and explain to him that Batman’s voice is low and husky, not “punched in the throat” gravelly.

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If I could make one change to the movie, I’d have the Joker tell his “origin” a couple more times, for the sake of hearing more variations on it. That said…

“Behold! The pencil has completely disappeared!”

That was the precise moment I stopped analyzing the movie in my head and got sucked along for the ride. Woo. Hoo.

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You wouldn’t necessarily need to even recast the Joker to bring in Harley. Nolan leaves backstories untold, and there seems to be 1 year of time between films. Between 2 and 3, Joker wears down and breaks Harleen Quintzel (does any one else really hate the real names of most of the Bat-villains? Ugh).

HQ shows up in 3, every bit the wild card Joker was, and it’s only at the mid/two-thirds point that Batman/the GPD get enough evidence to find out who the hell the copycat psychopath is. Once it’s established that Joker’s been incommunicado and behind padded walls for the past year, he’s not directly in the plot.

Imagine a scene where Bat breaks into the shrink’s office, pulls the Joker files and flips through the disintegration of Quintzel’s mind… last few reports are childlike hearts scribbled in pen around “Mr. J”… the folio contains some 400+ different stories about how he got his scars… Turns out she went from weekly to daily to multiple/day sessions with him until a few months ago, when she quit/dropped off the face of the Earth. Now she’s trying to prove her worth.

They could even find someone who can do the Ledger voice, and have the Joker as a “presence” in the film.

This is fun.

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@NCallahan: Yeah, Ledger owns the screen from that moment on. I know some people hated it, but I appreciate how they kept little flashes of the Joker as zany comedian. Stuff like the “You complete me.” line. There was at least one other one like that.

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“It’s the same reason I don’t see Killer Croc, Man-Bat or Clayface showing up”

Killer Croc’d be easy to Nolan up, wouldn’t he? Or is he actually a dude who got jacked up on reptile DNA and turns into a half-man, half-lizard thingamabobber?

I’d thought that he was, some of the time, just a circus strongman with some kind of genetic condition or who was born disfigured. Heck, just find some big guy like Nathan Jones, give him a mask and a set of dentures, and make him a hitman with a penchant for consuming human flesh . . . and well, there you go, right?

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A Horse With No Name said on July 20th, 2008 at 11:20 pm

Damnit, MGK! I read reviews and impressions to prolong my enjoyment of the film, reliving scenes and moments through the eyes of another and seeing things in a way that I wouldn’t; this one-sentence bullshit will not stand! No matter how much I agree with that sentence.

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I think a good villain for the third one would be Ra’s daughter, Talia al-ghul. She’s a good villain in her own write who Batman has a complicated relationship with, maybe even more than with catwoman, and would bring a nice roundness to the trilogy. I’m surprised no one’s mentioned that. I would also like to see more Zsasz.

And there’s no way they can recast the joker. The have to write him out at this point, something that I’m sure they weren’t planning on doing.

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@Andrew: You could cast Ron Perlman.

Honestly, I’m just at a loss for who could carry the film as the main villain. I think Nolan will have to go a different direction for 3. More suspense & detective work. Have the police still hunting him as a complicating factor. There’s just no way he can top TDK without going into the absurd.

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I’ve also been thinking about the next villain. A reprise of Scarecrow is unlikely, although this version serves well as a flunky.

Ra’s? No. Not with the way Nolan handled it, and I’m not talking about the lack of Lazarus Pits. I would have liked the Ra’s twist much better if “Ra’s al Ghul” was a role instead of a person.

The film has made Two Face an impossibility, and life has made the Joker an impossibility. Nolan has taken Penguin off the table. Catwoman is a great solo villain; I’d very much like to see Nolan’s take on her, but I doubt I will. As Zed said, Nolan’s focus on realism takes Mr. Freeze off the table. I doubt that Poison Ivy will appear; she’s too close to the fantastic end of the spectrum, and her agenda is too similar to Ra’s’.

That leaves us with the Riddler, if only by process of elimination. The first film highlights the physical aspect of the Bat, the second the moral aspect. A film with the Riddler potentially highlights the mental aspect. The Riddler isn’t a physical threat, and he’s not likely to go for anarchy in the way that the Joker did. He’s going to engage the Bat on an intellectual level, and on an escalating level. The people of Gotham will be targets (and they should be because Gotham herself is a character in the Nolan films). The Riddler doesn’t want to wipe them out like Ra’s did or drive them mad like the Joker did. He sees them as pawns to be played as he wills because he is vastly superior to the overwhelming majority of them. They aren’t real to him, and this may be mirrored in Batman’s plot arc. He’s lost Rachel, and Jim cannot provide the support he once did. He’s becoming increasinly estranged from people. He still has Alfred and Lucius, but they can’t be his only emotional lifelines. Who would be? Well, Nolan may have taken Robin off the table, but he hasn’t said a word about Dick Grayson. Nolan’s clearly familiar with Year One and The Long Halloween. What are the chances he’s not familiar with Dark Victory?

At least that’s how I would do it were I in Nolan’s place.

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Evan: I don’t believe Nolan’s ruled out Robin at all, but merely stated that any movie with Robin would have him become Robin only at the very, very end after Dick proved himself to be a worthy sidekick.

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MGK: This is news to me. I have seen statements from him where he was very clear that Robin wouldn’t show up. Of course, those are a couple of years old by now, so he may well have changed his opinion. At least I hope so.

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Evan: I agree completely about the Riddler. He HAS to be in the next one. He’s recognizable, not dependent on some kind of crazy back story or unbelievable look (Penguin, Croc, Clay-Face, Man-Bat) or unrealistic ability (Freeze). He’s mind games.

Batman Begins was a bit of an action movie (NINJAAAAAAS!), Dark Knight was drama (dear lord, i went through the emotional spectrum every 10 minutes), the next could be a Mystery (Film Noir??). Give it some great twists and you’ve got a complete Nolan/Batman film and brand new film that doesn’t have to feel like another sequel.

Riddler could be done incredibly: sees the world of Youtube, Reality TV and so on as mindless entertainment and wants people to be challenged. He sees Batman as some kind of brute who punches first and then ask questions. Batman is a Detective right? I think that aspect of his character could be hammered away against the Riddler.

I think they could do Harley as the “opening villain.” Bats is dealing with the Joker Gang problem from Batman Beyond (which works with the Batmen copycats from this film) and some chick in a jester hat is running the show, while he cleans that up, the riddles start appearing. You could tie her into a showdown at the circus where she creates chaos that leaves the Flying Graysons dead and a young kid orphaned and out for justice. Then it becomes a film about Dick proving himself to Batman by trying to solve the crimes of the Riddler (and looking good in boy-shorts). Dick is the every-day-person we relate to: in awe of Batman, his abilities, and the game of chess with the Riddler. Even without Robin in the film, the Riddler could still work and should still work.

Either that or you bring back Louie the Lilac. He’s the only other acceptable villain.

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I hope he doesn’t change his mind about Robin.

The only time Robin is portrayed well is in animation. There’s are a couple of reasons for this.

First, he’s an absurd character to begin with and never should be taken seriously. The character of Robin was introduced during a time when child endangerment was never a serious issue because Batman was no longer a serious issue. This was back when government were pissing and moaning about dark images in comics and comic book companies folded like little bitches and made their comics more kid friendly (at least on the outside, I realize that Wonder Woman was never more than light bondage porn). There is no viable, non-creepy-sexual reason why a grown man who obsesses over being a beacon of fear in the night would ever need, want, or ask a young teen to take the mantle of sidekick.

Secondly, Robin’s costume is a day-glo flare tagging along on the back of a ninja’s costume. This is also because he was introduced during a time when kid friendly comics meant that a man that was a shadow of the night might be considered too scary for kids (even though he was already turned into a total pussy) so they teamed him up with a bright, colorful bird… in the night. At least in the Animated series, they made the outside of the cape black instead of “come-shoot-me-now Yellow”.

The only way I could see this happening in any dark and serious series is if they had three Robins in a single film, all of whom are essentially copycats of Batman, and the Joker kills all three by the end of the film.

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ATMachine said on July 21st, 2008 at 12:48 pm

I read in a recent interview that Christian Bale threatened to walk if Robin was introduced.

And given that in the TDK climax Nolan seemed pathologically averse to showing the face of Barbara Gordon Jr I doubt we’ll see Robin anytime soon.

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Robin was around well before Seduction of the Innocent, in fact the point you raised is basically the premise of the whole book not to mention the hearings and such. Personally you could do Robin fine if he was 16 or so and you actually got a 16 year old to play him as opposed to a 28 year old. The new color palette of red and black with yellow highlights works fine as offsetting the dark knight costume, and while the Nolanverse Batman is dark and brooding he does have a heart and if he was in some way responsible for this boy’s parents death he would almost certainly see to it that he was taken care of. In fact the Dick Grayson origin is just as powerful if not more so than the Bruce Wayne one because Grayson actually faces down his parent’s killer, something that was either not realized (comic) or stolen (movie) from Bruce.

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@AT

I noticed that as well. All I could think was that it was because they were setting up a Batgirl thing IE you don’t want to show someone and then have to replace her ala Katie Holmes again, but then you see her and she’s much too young even taking into account the whole year (or more) between movies sort of thing.

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What if they skipped right over the robins and went straight to Nightwing?

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That was the other thing I enjoyed about TDK – Nolan has emphatically established that there will be not Batgirl. At least not a Barb Gordon Batgirl.

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Robin could be used in the Nolanverse because he rounds out the arc of Bruce’s emotional development. In the first movie, he was dealing with survivor’s guilt as a son. One things the character of Robin forces Batman to do is become a father. That said, it would probably work best if they weren’t for a combination of the three male Robins. The murder of Dick Grayson’s parents combined with Tim Drake’s deduction that Bruce Wayne was Batman, with a little Jason Todd attitude thrown in to show us why Bruce needs to take this kid under his cape. TDK did establish that Batman has copycats, so it wouldn’t be hard to portray Robin as the latest and most successful of them. Batman has to ultimately take responsibility for the way he inspires people and we get something akin to the Bat Militia from Dark Knight Returns, although not as over-the-top.

Ooh, we could really follow this through and bring in Fire Bird. Remember her? The girl who became a superhero to impress Robin? Make Riddler a crime boss who enjoys playing these deadly mind games not only with Batman, but his impersonators (in fact, especially with the impersonators — Riddler’s into cruel tricks played on the idiots of the world). People like Robin and Fire Bird treat the whole thing like a game, much to Batman’s horror, and Fire Bird gets herself killed. Robin goes all Jason Todd and Batman finds himself in the awkward position of helping this young boy as lost as he is find the light again.

The final confrontation can boil down to the Riddler treating the “lesser folk” like things and Batman realizing he’s been heading in the same direction and coming to accept that you have to think of people as people.

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wow. Just saw the film. Wow.

All due respect to those thinking of a way to bring a Joker or Harley into the next movie… why? I can’t think of a better, more complete treatment of the relationship between Joker and Bats. It was that good. And Ledger was THAT. GOOD. Just pitch-perfect.

For Number Three? Make mine Dr. Hugo Strange. He’s an oldie, he’s “realistic,” and he’s got a back-story tied into the mob history Nolan’s established in the first two films. I mean, heck, Rupert Thorne’s about the only Mobster Nolan’s not brought into the game at this point.

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Michael, You are absolutely right. My dates were way off. However, my point remains that Robin is an outright absurd character that does not belong in any serious Batman film.

If he were introduced in comics today, he wouldn’t rate above a 15% on the Rex-o-meter.

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Wow.

Wow. Does there really need to be a sequel? Can we just speculate on that some other day? What could possibly top that film?

Aside from the pencil scene, the Joker in the nurse outfit getting mad at his remote and then jumping when it worked was the most morbidly funny scene in the movie for me. (I think that sentence was mostly spoiler-free.) I was crying laughing.

Oh, the bus driver line was pretty good, too.

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It’s early on, and Batman is completely confused as to how to go about things. He’s second-guessing himself, he’s taking advice from mobsters, he knocks himself out, pretty much on purpose, when he has the Joker cold (this also could be why it’s unclear if Batman broke his own rule at the end, there). Joker, on the other hand knows, knows exactly what he’s about, even though his little pop psychology assessment of Batman is way off. But Joker’s shtick is ultimately self-defeating, not because people are inherently good, but because his methods of terrorizing the city actually make people band together and care about each other. That’s a little bit of a stretch, because Nolan doesn’t overtly support that idea, but I came up with it, so I’m sticking to it. I loved that the movie doesn’t allow Batman to expose himself as Bruce Wayne to anybody new the way the Spiderman movies did every 15 minutes, which kind of cheapened the effect (or maybe I’m just thinking of Ultimate). But it did a total cop out in not showing us how Harvey becomes Two-Face and instead letting the comics do its work for it there.

But, man, that Joker.

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Tiny Lister for a best supporting actor nod?

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If Luise Rainier got it for a few minutes’ work, then why the hell not?

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No interest here. Not a big Bats fan, or ledger ( The order, nuff said), and especially Eckhart ( The core), I’ll wait til the dvd, like the first movie.

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If we’re talking about introducing Harley Quinn as a surrogate/copycat of the Joker, than can we discuss introducing Bats’ own copycat — The Huntress?

Also, I waited a week for this one and it didn’t disappoint in the least. Ledger was better than advertised, and damned if Eckhart wasn’t able to keep pace despite getting “in the game” so late.

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[…] Halloween to the overtly philosophical take Grant Morrison expanded on in Arkham Asylum. (And also, this.) And in some ways, it felt much more like Christopher Nolan’s followup to The Prestige, […]

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[…] blow up the other. To try and not spoil it, I’m going to quote MightyGodKing’s “One sentence review“: There are many reasons to see The Dark Knight, many of which have been repeated elsewhere […]

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Juisarian said on August 6th, 2008 at 5:34 am

Hi Chad, I’m from the Internet.

To paraphrase Lemmy, “Do you like movies? Then you’re gonna love this”

I wasn’t a huge fan of the previous Batman movie – and The Core? My God, what a crock – and wasn’t at all excited about this one until the reviews started trickling in, but I believe it has to be one of the best movies of the last 20 years. It really is that good. Eckhart is inspiring, Bale is engaging and Heath Ledger is mind-blowing. Plus, Gary Oldman brings it home as Jim Gordon.

The story is both epic and tight, the drama is gripping and the action is exciting and believable.

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