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08/06/08: Stephie and I saw "The Dark Knight" a couple weeks ago, and since then I have been struggling with my opinion of the movie. Neither of us liked it, but that's not what I've been struggling with. I just can't seem to put my finger on what it was that I didn't like.
     I've been a Batman fan for a long time. I read the comics, as you can see by the accompanying picture, and enjoyed the Adam West TV series for what it was. I still remember when we went with friends to see the Tim Burton-Michael Keaton "Batman" the day it opened, and when it was over we all walked out and immediately wanted to go back in and watch it again. But this movie was a completely different experience.
     To begin with, I didn't care for the Joker character. Except for the face paint, I didn't see much difference between this character and so many other "criminal masterminds" that we see on TV and in movies. To me, he didn't have the kind of obvious lunacy that I equate with the Joker character. No, I didn't want to see Caesar Romero on the big screen, and I'm not that locked into the Jack Nicholson version (although the forced grin was well done), but Heath Ledger just seemed more like a generic terrorist than the Joker I know. There were a couple things he did that fit my idea of the character, but overall, I was unimpressed with the way the character was written.
     There were several spots in the movie where I didn't know what was going on, and I was a little annoyed by that. There was at least one point where there seemed to be a scene or two missing. I thought maybe I zoned out for a couple minutes, but Stephie was lost as well so it wasn't just me. Some people say that we should have seen it at an IMAX theater, but I don't think that would have helped me over the plot holes.
     The acting was pretty good, although I had trouble understanding Christian Bale when he was in costume. I guess he was going for the "Clint Eastwood tough-guy" voice, but all I got was a bunch of mumbling. True, there was a great scene with Morgan Freeman and a Wayne Corp accountant, but my impression was that Michael Caine's dialog was intentionally more vague than I thought the down-to-earth Alfred would say.
     This all seems like nit-picking, and I guess it is, but that's what I've been doing since we saw it because there was no one glaring thing that turned me off of the film, besides maybe the Joker character. I think it all boils down to the fact that I didn't have a good time watching this movie. We saw "Batman Begins" on DVD and I thought it was such a good movie from start to finish that I was kicking myself for not seeing it at the show, so I was expecting a similar experience with this one. But I was really disappointed. I had a much better time at the show when we saw "Iron Man", so much so that I can see myself watching "Iron Man" again in the near future. I can't say the same for "The Dark Knight".



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