Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Dark Knight

Yesterday morning, the family and I went to see The Dark Knight. We have been looking forward to this movie for a very long time, as have many Batman fans. I know everyone is writing and talking about this movie right now, and I will probably not say anything that hasn't already been said. I've heard talk about people being tired of comic book and superhero movies, I can understand that to a certain extent. Despite the fact that this movie is based on a comic book, it's not a superhero or comic book movie. This movie is emotionally tense, I would not recommend it for younger viewers, though there isn't really any blood shed (not on screen anyway).

Christian Bale gives a masterful performance as usual. Michael Caine, as Alfred, is wonderfully understated as the father figure. He provides Batman with support and acts as a foil for his guilt when needed. Morgan Freeman returns as Lucius Fox acting as Batman's conscience and the CEO of Wayne Interprises. Rachel Dawes, now played by Maggie Gyllenhaal (a big improvement), is back. She is working with and dating Harvey Dent, the new D.A. Heath Ledger was beyond phenomenal as the Joker. Traditionally, because of the genre, Ledger would not be nominated for an Oscar in this role. I am hoping that all the buzz in Hollywood is right, sadly it will be posthumous, but greatly deserved.

In many ways, this movie was more of a Joker movie than a Batman movie. This Joker was terrifyingly insane. He was cruel, vindictive, devious. The elaborate schemes he develops while claiming to not be a schemer. He sees himself as an agent of chaos. The mannerisms used by Ledge intensify the lines of the Joker. The body language is far from over the top, in fact they seem restrained. This aids in the feel of a barely controlled madness, which is at the same time not controlled at all.

I have to admit when the credits rolled, I got a little teary. Not just because of the psychological horrifying situations in the movie, but because of the loss of such a talented man as Heath Ledger. I had just watched the last performance, and in my opinion the best, of this young man.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Monster Planet, the Final Installment

I use to hate critics, book and movie alike. I still dislike them, most of them are cynical and seem to desire to destroy authors' careers. However, now that I have written a few reviews I have more respect for their craft. It is incredibly hard to write a coherent review without including spoilers, especially when dealing with a series.

I just finished the last segment of David Wellington's zombie trilogy. In this book he focuses on Sarah, Dekalb's daughter, and Ayaan, the young lady that fought at Dekalb's side in New York. We get an insight into what Sarah's life was like in the Somali camp as an outsider. Ayaan has become a leader of her people and well as Sarah's protector and parental figure.

Dekalb and Gary return and feature rather prominently in the second half of this book. We meet many old Egyptian mummies, which do not hunger for human flesh. We are also introduced to a young Russian boy/zombie that can control other zombies. He has created a society in which the dead and living work and reside together. As I have said in my other two reviews, this is a very unorthodoxed set of zombie lore.

Sadly, I can't give a more thorough look at the plot, because then I will spoil the first two books for you. Wellington's style is easy and quick to read.

I have one question for you all. What's more important than the end of the world?