With a short break in my schedule, I finally got a chance to go to the movies casually--no pen in hand and no deadlines to worry about. I had won four movie passes at a minor league game and my girlfriend expressed a desire to see The Dark Knight, so off we went.
I had my reservations about going to the movie, primarily because I was not a huge fan of Batman Begins, which I felt was overburdened by background and atmosphere. (My friend actually stormed out of the theater with 20 minutes to go.) It almost felt like watching a particularly weighty, ass-kicking version of Masterpiece Theater.
I'm not going to offer a 1,500 word review here, but I will say that The Dark Knight is an early candidate for my favorite movie of the year, because director Christopher Nolan matches unrelenting action with unsettling psychological components (the fallibility of a hero, the personal cost of security). It's the best "serious" action movie I've seen in years. The script by Nolan and his brother Jonathan blends both paradigms beautifully; you never see the seams, you never feel like you're being hit over the head with essay points. This, folks, is how you make a blockbuster movie that doesn't make you feel like a moron or that you're being talked down to.
As for Heath Ledger (pictured above), good God. He's going to get an Oscar nomination, not as some kind of "let's honor the young, talented, and deceased" but because it's a fantastic performance. I'm not one to pine over the personal life of actors and actresses--to me they're entertainers the same way that LeBron James or Tom Brady are---so you can trust my assessment.
More coming soon, including an incident at the movie theater. Stay tuned.