Sunday, 3 August 2008

A DARK TRIUMPH




With Derby's Cinema De Lux positively buzzing with hordes of movie-goers, my wife and I entered the plush Director's Hall with great anticipation for the 11.00am screening of THE DARK KNIGHT. Almost 3 hours later, we emerged with the shared feeling that we had just witnessed a very special event in this years film calendar.


THE DARK KNIGHT introduces a fear-stricken Gotham City, where one massively unhinged individual seeks to deliver chaos to its citizens and, ultimately, "Kill the Batman". With its endlessly inventive script, THE DARK KNIGHT quickly establishes itself as the finest, most mature entry in this franchise, with twists and turns, white-knuckle set pieces and some fine performances making this the cream of the crop as far as super hero flicks are concerned. While Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman offer solid background support to our caped crusader, the beefy central characters continuously excel. Aaron Eckheart's Harvey Dent - the new Gotham DA - delivers a finely-tuned, often chilling, performance of light and darkness, while Gary Oldman's Lt James Gordon really hits the heights, earning himself true hero status in the eyes of citizens and audience. And what of the much-missed Heath Ledger? Visually, this insane criminal nods to THE CROW and CLOCKWORK ORANGE, and proceeds to tear up the screen with the same kind of machine gun etiquette swagger that possessed Pacino's Tony Montana. Ignore the BBFC 12A rating here (this perhaps should have been 15 rated) as Ledger reaches the epitome of cold evil, proudly boasting about his murderous escapades and recalling Brad Dourif's 'Gemini Killer' in the rather splendid EXORCIST III. Here is a man who absolutely relishes his work, and it's an icy cold pleasure to watch him perform.


On an entertainment level, this film delivers right down the line, with its 152 minute running time moving all too quickly. Of course, THE DARK KNIGHT is also tinged by a great sadness as it contains the final performance of Heath Ledger. I've long since given up on trying to work out why people are taken from us when their lives are still so full of promise. Ledger would undoubtedly have gone on to even greater things, and his passing at such an obscenely young age reminds us of the fragility of our own existence. He certainly gathered an impressive body of work during his short time amongst us, and his final role may well be awarded a posthumous Academy Award in 2009. Of course, there will be other worthy performances between now and then but, at the moment, he must be in with a shout.


I'm happy to report the Director's Hall auditorium lived up to the high standards of the film in question.Top-notch projection, and the latest surround sound equipment gave us a spectacular experience. Luxurious seating, a classy bar outside, waitress service offering food and drink (which we passed on) delivered to your seat. Just as important, the audience were a pleasure to be part of. No chit-chat, no mobile phones, just a group of people sitting in silence as they followed proceedings with their undivided attention. Going to the movies is an absolute joy in Derby, and this £30 million complex really has raised the bar in all areas.




For a beautifully written account of this film, please make sure you check out a blog by Ian Smith http://irascian.blogspot.com/ Ian has several blogs on the go, all of which are well worth your time, whether you are interested in movies or all things computer related. Some excellent pieces/reviews on HD-DVD and Blu-Ray too.


Our next outing to Cinema De Lux will be the new X-Files film, and this is an event I'm really looking forward to, despite all the negative reviews.


9 comments:

  1. What a great review. I'm going to see it this afternoon. I can't wait. I've heard so much good things about it. Plus it's done monster business here. Glad you enjoyed it so much.

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  2. Thank you, Keith. I really hope you had a good time and enjoyed the movie. DK is doing good business over here and deservedly so.

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  3. Great review, and blushing thanks for the plug for my blog. As you so rightly point out, this film really does feel like something very special.

    Most of the other blogs you mention (intended for different shiny disc review formats) are now "dead" as I decided to make the move to video reviewing in a single place at shinydiscs.tv Alas, teething problems mean that the launch is taking MUCH longer than intended. However, I'm hoping to properly launch August bank holiday weekend.

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  4. Hey Steve. I did see it this afternoon. Wow. It was amazing. The entire cast was awesome. Heath was definitely superb as the Joker. His scenes with Batman just blew me away. I was also thrilled to see Maggie in the place of Katie. I also enjoyed Aaron's take on Harvey Dent/Two Face.

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  5. Thanks very much, Ian. I look forward to the launch at the end of August and encourage everyone reading this to bookmark your blog.
    Cheers, Keith. Glad you enjoyed it so much. Ian mentioned in his excellent review that he'll likely catch this film again during its theatrical run and I know exactly what he means. It will certainly stand up to multiple viewings.

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  6. Just wanted to agree that this is an incredibly special film...a real stunner that I can't wait to see again. I've got my fingers crossed that it does indeed overatake TITANIC box-office wise and becomes the biggest film of all time.
    Also, I don't mean to sound dramatic but if Heath doesn't get at least an Oscar nomination for this I might not watch the show when it airs next year.

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  7. Thanks, Jeremy. I'm also hoping it overtakes Titanic, and that Heath gets a nomination. Doubt I'll get chance to see it again on the big screen, but the DVD can't come quickly enough for me.

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  8. Nice post on DK. You hit it on the head with your description of the Joker. It almost feels strange to be this enthused about a superhero flick...Nolan has definitely upped the ante in this genre.

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  9. Thanks, Kuraz. Glad you enjoyed the film. It as indeed upped the ante in this genre, and I'm still blown away by Ledger's performance.
    Many thanks for stopping by and for commenting.

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