Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Dark Knight: Pre-Review

I am a huge fan of Batman, although I've never bought a single DC comic book.

I watched the old ABC show in syndication as a kid, not really understanding until later that it was supposed to be a comedy. But once I saw the first Michael Keaton movie, with that wonderful Jack Nicholson Joker, I was hooked. Then Batman: The Animated Series came out, and its sequels and associated spin-offs, and I was loving every minute of it. Hell, I even still watch Batman and Robin (the last, awful one with Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy), because it does have a couple of redeeming moments.

I absolutely adored the restart of the franchise with Christian Bale, and have been looking forward to the sequel The Dark Knight with great anticipation. I have been scouring the web for reviews, and haven't seen a bad one.

Until now.

Stephanie Zacharek at Salon.com seems to have a bit of an issue with the film, as she did with its predecessor, and if you go through some of her other reviews, you'll be treated to an incredibly condescending view from atop the Ivory Tower (which assuredly doesn't exist in Gotham City). Hell, she didn't even like the inescapably terrific WALL-E. Her liberal/feminist credentials come out in full force in her reviews, and it's sad, given that she is supposed to be giving opinions about films, not about how they interact with her particular socio-political views.

I'll have a full review of The Dark Knight after I see it this weekend. I cannot wait to see Ms. Zacharek's review of the upcoming Wonder Woman movie. Dollars to donuts she uses the phrase "I'm conflicted" at least once.

7 comments:

Max said...

In fairness to Ms. Zacharek this particular review does at least focus on the film qua film rather than its compatibility with her worldview.

Humorously, the New Yorker reviewer gave the impression he thought Burton's Batman was the definitive version (which I like just fine, but which is not well-loved by fans of Batman's comic incarnations).

Anonymous said...

I'm left wondering if you simply don't like feminists, academics, or intelligent people at all.

Or if you just have been brainwashed into an anti-intellectual Siskel-Ebert-Roper thumbs-up/down mentality that simply tells you "This movie's fun! Go see it!" ...and you do.

Perhaps some unsigned tabloid newspaper review would be more your speed.

BTW, I don't read Salon normally, don't read movie reviews at all, have been trained as an academic, and appreciated that a reviewer [in Salon, mind you!...context matters] actually reviewed a film without pandering to the fanboys.

Especially since people are comparing Nolan to Hitchcock. Hitchcock is still, even in death, considered one of the greatest film-makers of all time. Comparisons of that sort warrant a reasoned, intellectual review.

But I suspect maybe you just wanted a thumbs-up and lots of splashy FX.

Sham aka Dave said...

Having not even seen the film in question, I can certainly say with glee that I will watch it and consider it upon it's own merit. If the film is indeed a steaming pile of...guano, I won't be afraid to say so.

To the above 'anon' comment, get a grip. Perhaps you have some axe to grind in regard to Mrs. Zacharek's reviews/critiques, I've no clue.

But please spare us the theatrics.

In particular, grouping:

feminists, academics, or intelligent people

together only serves to detract from what might otherwise have been considered an intelligent comment. Nice try.

Greyhawk Grognard said...

Feh, I'm not going to waste my time on someone who doesn't have the balls to sign in to make a comment.

KenHR said...

Hmmm...I'm really not seeing feminist/liberal leanings in the critique of the film (like "anonymous" above, I'm an unrepentant academic-type). It was actually fairly well-written and seems well-considered, even if you find room to disagree. Opinions and all that.

Not that it will affect my enjoyment of the movie. I'm pretty certain it will kick ass.

Ripper X said...

I am a HUGE comic book geek, particularly of the DC titles. Before I had kids, I collected every title that they put out, but now I'm lucky if I can pick up a trade paperback a couple of times a year.

Batman is always a good buy. He seems to attract the best writers, the best artists, and as long as you stay true to the spirit of him, it is hard to go wrong.

I can literally talk about Batman for hours, but I'll be kind and just say that I detested the original movie series that came out in the 90's. It wasn't Batman, and completely revolved around his villains. Batman should had been called "Joker".

When I saw the latest film, as a fan of the comic, I was overjoyed! During the last scene, when Gordan told him that he had forgotten to thank him, and he simply replied with, "And you'll never have to." THAT actually caused me to weep. THEY NAILED IT!!! That is Batman, and that is why his sales are always so high. Batman is an intriguing character. He isn't funny, he is all business. His methods are borderline criminal, however he is a hero through and through. FINALLY a Batman movie about BATMAN!!!

I plan on seeing this on Sunday & I can't wait.

Greyhawk Grognard said...

Hey, considering that she couldn't even get the butler's name right (the article originally had "Arthur" rather than "Alfred", although it's been corrected now), I'm not going to give her review much more consideration. Just hit a nerve when I read it last night. Can't wait to see the film this weekend!