Monday, August 11, 2008

Slackah Girl but Agent of Chaos nonetheless

I've learned that since my move to LeukemiaTown my blog posts are fewer and far between during my "normal" periods-those days and weeks when I feel good and have higher energy levels. (My e-mailing habits also take a knock; there are an embarrassingly high number of unanswered messages in my in box. Sorry guys; I'm working on it.) These last two weeks or so have been great. My counts have continued to climb to almost healthy people levels, and I can definitely feel the difference. Of course here in LeukemiaTown whenever you start feeling better, that means another stint in the Big House for more chemotastic action.

Enough of that business; I'll post later this week after my doc visit to let everyone know the latest on the cancer front. Until then here's some of what I've been up to in my so-called normal life.

Let's start with The Bat.

Two weeks ago, I finally got out to see The Dark Knight. Yeah, it was good. Since I am a lazy butt and haven't ordered my MurderTank t-shirt, I work my Pajiba Bust(ted) Tour shirt in honor of my comrades in film fandom. The girl at the ticket counter first asked The Mister and I if we were students (Hee!), and then told me enthusiastically that she "really liked my hair." Honestly, she was so sweet and sincere that I didn't have the heart to tell her my stylist was chemotherapy. It's a little heartening to think that I don't look baldy sick, but that I could pass for somebody with a bold summer style. My 'do sort of resembles GI Jane or Natalie Portman's look at the end of V For Vendetta.

Back to Batman; First the trailers: The Watchmen looks promising; my hopes are up, considering how much I adore the balls-out craziness of 300. Zack Snyder better deliver. I sincerely hope that Tropic Thunder is as hysterical as the trailer makes it look. I almost don't want to see it just to avoid the possibility of disappointment. The new Terminator movie? Huh. Not much to say there except ooooh, Christian Bale. Shiny, pretty! And then a remake of an alien movie with Keanu "My Boyfriend" Reeves. Shah, catch that one on Netflix.

From the very beginning, The Dark Knight proved itself to be a near pitch-perfect comic book movie. The opening bank heist sequence felt like it was lifted straight from the pages of a comic; I half expected to see a title page pop up as we watched the getaway bus cruise into the horizon. Story and character arc moved seamlessly from the previous film. Bruce/Batman has cooled some of his vengeance fury and is showing signs of weariness. When he's given the opportunity to hang up the bat ears, it doesn't seem like a hard call for him to make.

The meditation on the nature of revenge and justice from Batman Begins has evolved in The Dark Knight into an examination of the nature of a hero, how what the people want from a savior and what the people need are often far from the same. These themes mirror what has been bandied about for years in the Batman books: his status as both the scapegoat and the protector of Gotham. The movie definitely warrants a second viewing to ingest everything it is trying to say, much like a good, well-written comic has so much more than a straightforward, good guy versus bad guy plot and requires repeated readings

The action sequences were well balanced; none, save the helicopter stunt, veered into Michael Bayesque diarrhea of explosions and wildly unbelievable twisting of physics. What the F/X guys were able to accomplish with a lone tractor trailer was nothing short of insane. Goodness gracious, do I want a Batpod.

Acting was top notch all around, from the principles to the supporting actors. Bales was great, as usual; he's to the Batman franchise what Daniel Craig is to that dusty old British agent. A serious shot in the arm of fresh blood. Gary Oldman terrifies me with his talent; he's one of the few working in films today who can portray whacked-out insanity and normal, quiet decency with equal honesty. The only contemporary actor that comes close to his abilities is Cillian Murphy (who incidentally pops up in a cameo to continue The Scarecrow's storyline.). Rachel Dawes may be one of those throwaway roles, but at least Maggie Gyllenhaal turned in a better performace by far than Ms. Stroke Victim Holmes. Michael Caine is smacktacular as always.

I can't think of what to say about The Joker that hasn't already been written about by critics ad naseum. What struck me the most about Ledger's performance was the fact that I never saw Ledger. It wasn't just the makeup and the weird-o voice, but it the hunched, squirmy posture and all the oily little bits of business, like sucking on the cheeks, that made this actor-devouring performance. The bit with the hand sanitizer coming out of the hospital room cracked my ass up; I think there were people in the theater who were laughing because of how hard I was cackling. Ledger's the first Joker to capture what the Joker has always been about in the books: a maniacally joyful criminal who revels in chaos for its sheer entertainment. Sad for the movie world to have lost such an incredible talent.

The film wasn't without its flaws and disappointments. Like others have expressed, I found Bale's BatVoice too overly gruff at times. The editing in some of the fight scenes was too frenetic for my tastes. Finally, I wasn't thrilled with the way Two-Face's subplot was handled. I was surprised that the filmmakers chose to complete his story in this one film; I would have preferred that they had kept the character's fate more open-ended so as to continue in future films. Two-Face's face itself was perplexing and somewhat overdone. The Mister and I both thought that there would be two major issues with facial injuries of such an extreme nature: big, ole narsty drooling and serious dry-eye, not to mention major risk of infection. Or maybe we should have suspended our disbelief just a smidge more.

All that aside, the Bat satisfied.

More of my adventure goodnessto come. Up next, Little A's summertime fun, Sun, sand, and bouncy castles.

1 comment:

Girl With Curious Hair said...

Thank goodness for confirming my theory that you're well and enjoying it too much to post. Every couple of days, I try to predict if it is a good time to call, figure you're doing something and postpone...

I still haven't seen Dark Knight. I don't know why.

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