Sunday, July 20, 2008

"Want To Know How I Got These Scars?

I saw The Dark Knight last night with my friend Aaron. It was, as everyone has said and will continue to say for quite awhile, incredible.

I'm not sure what it says about me, but the darker and more disturbing that Heath Ledger's Joker became with his stories and jokes and methods of killing people, the more I would laugh. I don't know if his performance if Oscar-worthy as some have been saying, but it is a remarkable performance.

One part of it reminded me of Burgess Meredith's Penguin. Go with me here...

Burgess Meredith had quit smoking before he accepted the role of The Penguin on the old Batman tv series, and the cigarettes he smoked irritated his throat. So, instead of stopping a take to cough, he incorporated the clearing of his throat into the character. All those quack-like sounds he was making started out as necessity; we interpreted them as character.

I think the same is true of Ledger's Joker. All of the makeup in and around his mouth must have irritated him slightly and caused him to move his tongue around and out of his mouth over and over. Maybe someone told him to do more with it, maybe not, but that little piece of business - - his tongue moving around and out of his mouth over and over - - was as disturbing and unsettling to me as the makeup, the voice and his knives.

There's only one way to sum up just how brilliant The Dark Knight truly is and I can't take credit for it. This one sentence review came from the girl sitting behind me last night at the theatre.

Right after The Joker's semi flipped over, she said (more than once)...

"Awww... That was the shit!"

I couldn't agree more.

10 comments:

Polt said...

Indeed it was. Indeed it was.

HUGS...

Aaron said...

My favorite movie-audience-commentary-moment was eight years ago when I went and saw "Teaching Mrs. Tingle" (the movie that turned me off all movies for years and years). The premise of the movie is that these high school kids kidnap their mean ol' history teacher (Helen Mirren) in order to get her to see reason. She isn't wearing shoes, and at one point, during a dead quiet spot in the film, I heard the girl behind me murmur:

"She sho got some ugly feet."

I had to go into the lobby for about five minutes because I was laughing so hard...

cb said...

There was one scene that made me exclaim out loud... it was during one of the more "unexpected" explosion/death scenes.

The film was really good.

whimsical brainpan said...

I can't wait to see it!

jer said...

i thought it was ok. there were too many things going on at the same time. i thought heath was great...but no oscar. i feel like i need to see it again.

Mike Ellis, The Jolly Reprobate said...

Fitting that he does that. Someone told me that licking the lips is one of the symptoms that doctors look for to see if someone's psychiatric medicine is the wrong dosage.

They told me that during one of Bush the Lesser's State of the Union speeches, which just made it more suspicious.

yinyang said...

The first time the Joker did the "Want to know how I got these scars?" bit, I was looking through my fingers for most of it, because I knew what was coming. Thankfully they didn't show anything (because, duh, it's rated PG-13), but it was still freaky.

And, I think I fell in love with Christian Bale a little today. Hello, shirtless Batman! ;)

Project Christopher said...

this blog is coming close to spoilers! Been traveling so haven't seen it yet.. .but going to rectify that soon. I'm SO glad it met your expectations Stephen. I had the suicide hotline on hold and the intervention crew ready in case it tanked in your opinion...

Palm Springs Savant said...

I tried to see it on Sunday but it was sold out. Going to try tomorrow. I didn't know that little Burgess Merideth throat clearing thing. It's AMAZING the things one can learn reading your blog Stephen!

dirkmancuso said...

As you know I was not a fan of BATMAN BEGINS, but THE DARK KNIGHT knocked me on my ass. This is the superhero movie that will set the bar.

Damn, I cannot wait for the dvd.