Wow. Just wow.
This is what I thought when leaving the theater around 3 this morning. Let me start from the beginning...
I arrived at the Irvine Spectrum at 7 o'clock to meet up with my friend Victor. As I drove past the front, a chill ran down my back. Hundreds of people were already lined up. I thought I wasn't going to be able to exchange my passes for midnight tickets. I ran to the box office and breathed a sigh of relief. They had one more midnight showing open. I got tickets and then walked to the evil that is Chipotle. I met up with Victor, ate, walked around a bit, and then went to see how long our line was. It wasn't too terrible and we were able to get people to save our spot while we went out on a supplies run. We finally returned with fuller pockets at 9:30. And waited. Waited. Waited.
I nearly froze out on the grass we were sitting on. I watched as our long line gained at least another hundred people. There were multiple Jokers and Batmen walking around and quite a few Robins (with horribly short shorts; not a pretty sight to gaze upon). One guy was dressed as Two Face. He wore prostectics and spirit gum to enhance the effect. It was awesome. At 11, people jumped to their feet as theater employees tried to organize them. We didn't get into a theater till about 11:30. That wait was relatively short because a group of guys brought, not one, not two, but six beach balls. The crowd, already impatient and rowdy, had a blast. There were two kids who didn't appreciate the balls flying and the girl deflated one that she got a hold of. I didn't want to be her at that moment. Her boyfriend stood up a couple times to make it look like he was defending her because a rowdier group of guys were heckling her. Instead of being a poor sport, just bat the ball down instead of making a show that you're deflating it and flipping people off. Hell, even the theater employees and security were tossing the beach balls and hitting them as high as they could. Time flew by thanks to the rowdy guys.
Watchmen looks fucking epic. If you haven't read that comic yet, you should! The imagery looks beyond compare. "When the world cries for my help, I'll whisper, No." Enough said.
Yes! Another Bond movie with Daniel Craig! Quantum of Solace looks as good, if not better than Casino Royale. I really didn't like the casting of Craig before I had seen Casino Royale (and also that he was afraid of water and was going to be filmed with life jacket on... Bond doesn't wear life jackets so luckily they cut most of those scenes), but after, I loved him. Dame Judy Dench is also back as his uptight, classy boss and she's always a pleasure to see on screen.
Terminator Salvation. I never thought they were going to make another Terminator movie that was good. I think I may be wrong, especially since Christian Bale is playing the future's savior, John Connor. We'll see if it can pass with audiences in 2009.
Disney's new movie Bolt. It has John Travolta. I don't know if I can stand to hear his voice for two hours. I'll probably become sick with the Hanta Virus and have to miss it. Darn.
I was sad for about 2.4 seconds on not being able to see the Half Blood Prince teaser. It's still so long away and I have a ton of stuff I'm obsessing over that its not a dire need. Yet.
Now to the main attraction, ladies and germs.
Again. Wow. The opening scenes established the ruthlessness of the Joker and already had the audience cringing and laughing nervously along with him. Heath Ledger as the Joker was brilliant. Throughout the whole movie, I didn't think once, "Oh, that's Ledger as the Joker." All I thought was, "He is the Joker." The role is radically different from anything he's done before. If he's not even nominated posthumously for an Oscar, the Academy will be labeled as old sacks of shite. I can see an uproar if that happens.
The story moves along seemlessly. The city of Gothman slowly dissipates into chaos and maddness as the Joker preaches the word of Anarchy. Christian Bale as Batman was more composed in this movie than the last. I would say even restrained. He was good though and the audience related to the feelings of desperation and resignation. The last scene made everyone's eyes glossy and the silence in the theater was very pregnant as Comissioner Gordon told his son that Batman was no hero, but a guardian, a dark knight.
Man, that still chokes me up!
Now, if you see the above reasons as not good enough to spend your money, here's the deal sealer. Gary Oldman. Most people still don't know of/ care enough about this man, and it's a bloody shame. He is the Lon Chaney Sr. (Man of a Thousand Faces) of our times. I was so happy that he was in more scenes and played an integral part of the plot. He kicked ass, plain and simple in laymen's terms. His Gordon was the tough, smart cop that worked tirelessly to bring in the bad guys.
Gordon, Batman, Harvey Dent, and even the Joker were very human and I believe that's the key to this film. You see Gordon make mistakes. You see Bruce Wayne in despair and indecision. Dent was trying to be the savior of Gothman but was swallowed by rage. And the Joker... "I'm just ahead of the curve." That line is chilling and has an air of foreboding that will likely travel into the third movie.
I'm not going to go too much into the plot, because I want people to see this film for themselves. I would just ruin it with lenghtly prose that would probably confuse you anyway. Let's just say that the most memorable scenes will stick with you for a while. I'm still picturing the Joker in a red wig and candy striper uniform. The end of that scene I heard was improvised, but I found no evidence online to support that. I did find that the Joker's clapping in the jail cell was improvised.
I only have one small, tiny problem that irked me a little. The cuts were a bit too sharp at times and you can tell Nolan wasn't comfortable with certain sequences. That might have been me trying to focus though. It was in the early hours of the morning and I have been out all hours of the night, the days before. As they say, "It's all good though" and most people will probably not notice it nor care.
Overall, I loved it. I will see again before the weekend is over. I loved it even more than the first film for the simple reason of having the characters established already. It's a bit tedious to see character development. I really like these sequels because they don't have to take a lot of time to get to "know" the characters and develop their backgrounds. When Iron Man 2 comes out, I'll probably love it more than the first, too.
I'll be out in Burbank most of the weekend for the Dark Shadows Fest, folks. I'll have pictures and stories about that soon.