The Dark Knight: no laughter track

A TRIP to the cinema with my 16-year-old son was just the thing to cheer me up this morning, so, at his prompting, we bought tickets to see “The Dark Knight”.

Great film, but take my advice: do not go to see this if you think it’ll be a laugh. Heath Ledger is brilliant as the Joker (genuinely sinister, as opposed to Jack Nicholson, who played it strictly for laughs in Tim Burton’s 1989 version), and Christian Bale is… well, he’s Christian Bale. He’s well enough cast in the lead role, but you can’t help feeling that he’s going through the motions. His “impassive, strong and silent type” acting just comes across as a bit lifeless.

Like its predecessor, “The Dark Knight” tries to be all serious, dark, violent and threatening, and it is all those. But once again I’m left wondering whether making a serious movie based on a comic book superhero is worth the candle.

But I did like it. Honest.

PS. On the way home, having foolishly turned my phone back on, I received a call from a journalist friend. “What are you up to?” he asked. “On my way home from ‘The Dark Knight’,” I reply.

“You talking about last night?” Oh, what a wag!

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7 Comments

Filed under Family life, Movies, Politics, sci-fi

7 responses to “The Dark Knight: no laughter track

  1. Martin Cullip

    You can afford to go to the cinema? It’s all right for some. I was planning on busking for a bit so I can rent a 50p DVD from Blockbuster for my kids this summer. I’d have some money if it weren’t for the fact that I’ve had to pay tax already on the business earnings I haven’t earned yet. Nice one Gordon.

    Now where did I put my mouth organ …

  2. Oooh, I was thinking of seeing this tomorrow unless there’s an A-Team marathon on Bravo.

  3. John

    Sequences from the movie and the two previous Batman movies were filmed down the road in the giant airship hangars at Cardington, Bedfordshire. They tried to keep the filming hush-hush but with 1000 local extras used during the filming, not very successfully.

  4. Good joke about the ‘phone call btw.

    I can’t blame Labour for what I’m about to say, but it may help explain why some people think the way they do.

    Having just checked out the film on screenit: http://www.screenit.com/movies/2008/the_dark_knight.html – I see that the language is getting steadily worse on “children’s” films. Here is the list from The Dark Knight:

    At least 5 hells, 2 asses, 2 damns, 1 S.O.B., 2 uses of “Jesus” and 1 use each of “G-damn,” “God,” “God-awful,” “Oh Jesus,” “Oh my God,” “Sweet Jesus” and “Swear to God.”

    I would count on the name of Jesus not being used in its proper context – conditioning people to think of holy names only as swear words.

    Hollywood has been a part of the conditioning process for a long time. Like my post on your topic East End Reflections: http://tomcharris.wordpress.com/2008/07/25/east-end-reflections/ – it is lowest common denominator training.

    Disney is known as one of the worst conditioners. They famously have the odd single-frame of cartoon nudity – unnoticeable to the conscious mind, but the subconscious takes it in (that’s mind-control, isn’t it?).

    See what you think about this video, seemingly full of subliminals – some a bit dodgy perhaps, but some look very deliberate – all these in the Lion King alone:

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/may2008/220508pers.htm

  5. Stewart – you need to get out more, mate. If you think that the word “sex” can in itself corrupt impressionable young viewers, then I’m afraid you’re living on a different planet from the rest of us. I’ve approved your latest rant (above) and I’m happy to approve any future ones, but I’m not prepared to allow this site to be used to disseminate the kind of paranoid far-right nonsense that your URLs link to. If you want to make a point, fine; if you want to provide a gateway to every conspiracy nutter out there, start your own blog.

  6. Tom, I am literally flabbergasted by your reply; my guts are wrenching.

    Are you honestly telling me that you see nothing wrong with Disney filling their cartoons with the word “sex”?

    That the phallic symbolism and suggestions of nudity are fine by you to be shown to young children?

    Is concern for the wellbeing of children and the family now considered “paranoid far-right nonsense” by Labour?

    I’m truly amazed. Truly.

    Should you not be making sure that someone in government sets up a committee to analyse what Disney (the world’s #2 media/entertainment company?) and other companies are doing to manipulate the population?

    I’m almost speechless by your attitude. I know it’s hard to understand that some people are so evil they do these sorts of things, but please don’t paint me as some kind of right-wing “conspiracy nutter” when I provide fair evidence of what I say.

    Please don’t make strawmen (like the “far-right nonsense that [my] URLs link to”) to cover up such corporate wickedness. The video is actually hosted on YouTube anyway.

    If the word, “sex” has no effect, why has Disney bothered to use it so many times?

    I imagine that the psychological effect is massive on young impressionable minds.

    You said in the article you have a 16-year-old son. I am guessing that he saw the film when he was very young.

    Please forget about the words ‘conspiracy theory’ and say if you are happy that Disney thinks so little of you and your family that they try and influence you with such cynical and twisted psychology. The obvious conclusion from your reply is that you are completely unconcerned about it. Are you?

    I need to get out more, do I? Where to? The cinema? No thanks! Who knows what I’ll come out believing.

    You are allowed to make a U-turn on this one: please.

  7. “Should you not be making sure that someone in government sets up a committee to analyse what Disney (the world’s #2 media/entertainment company?) and other companies are doing to manipulate the population?”

    No.

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