**Warning there are some plot spoilers, so if you haven't already seen the movie then you might not want to read this!**
Hello. My name is Lori. I am a woman in my (gasp) late twenties and I grew up reading comic books long before they were all sold to the big screen. Phew. O.K. I got that off my chest. "And there was much rejoicing, yay."
When I first heard and saw the previews for the Dark Knight, I felt something genuine was bound to come from it. Besides the cast being phenomenal, I left the theater wondering, for the first time, can we see a super hero movie be nominated for more than special/visual effects Oscar? Anything is possible.
As some of you might not know(mainly the other avid lady readers), the Dark Knight is based on the comic book mini series: The Dark Knight Returns, which was written and drawn by the awesome Frank Miller (Sin City, Watchmen, 300). Most people think of Batman, the superhero character from the old TV series with Adam West or from the Tim Burton movies starring Michael Keaton(the others were crap!) In the more nowadays sense, the character of Batman is more of a grim caped crusader. Though Burton did touch upon that; however, I think Batman Begins and Dark Knight are proving to be fresh reiterations of the once famed DC Comic figure from the 30s.
First off, the talented Christian Bale makes a strikingly, sexy Batman versus West or Keaton. Bale's ability from being the lavish businessman Bruce Wayne and the mysterious Batman show the duality of this complex character. All Superman did was put glasses on and he was Clark Kent. Batman in movie, comic book and cartoon mini- series form had Wayne negotiating with evil doers and in the next scene fighting them as Batman. Bale makes the clear distinction between the two, particularly in his voice.
The late great Heath Ledger lends a brilliant performance of the Joker. This was the role many comic fan-boys/girls were wondering if he would actually pull it off. I think he did more than that. His performance was a step above Jack Nicholson's. Don't get me wrong, Nicholson's performance was pretty classic. However, Nicholson appealed more to the Joker's quarky, silly side, Ledger appealed more to the psychotic, sinister vilan. Ledger, in any movie he was in, even in 10-Things I Hate About You, always lent charm and charisma. Too bad his career was shortened, but I think this movie, along with his role in Brokeback Mountain, will make him legendary.
Dark Knight focuses upon one of my favorite heroes/villans, Harvey Dent/Two Face played by Aaron Eckhart, the actor with the cutest smile. In the movie, he's dating Batman's girl Rachel Dawes, a character not in the comic book, performed by the talented Maggie Gyllenhaal. The Joker wants Batman and will stop at nothing, even rob the mob of men and money, to get his man. That's as much of the plot that I want to reveal. I'm sure half the world has seen it by now, but I'd rather talk about the theme.
I liked how the movie, much like the comic book, touch upon the theme of what makes a hero. Batman does somethings to show how he is an independent vigilante at times. For instance, he breaks into the Gotham City's cell phone users to track down the Joker before their final fight. I left the theater thinking about what makes a person a hero? I started to reflect about the people who I look up to, my late mom Beverly Michael and late cousin David Musikant, John Lennon, Martin Luther King, Jr., Allan Ginsberg and Hunter S. Thompson. All of them were free spirited, some even vigilante-like(mainly Thompson, "Bat country!") I dub these people my heroes because of the deeds that they did when they were alive. So I think Batman, even though at the end marks himself a not-so-much hero, but in fact he is by choosing to be the Dark Knight.
By Lori, who read comic books while helping my mom at some of the flea markets she used to run and/or sell at. My mom owned/ran her own business. On of them being collecting/selling antiques. She sold antiques, one of the many items she sold were comic books. I've read X-Men, Captain America, Flash, Iron Man, Punisher, Fantastic Four, Batman, Superman and Archie. Comic books lend for some great imagination building. I shush all of the people who are probably laughing at my dorkiness right now. :)