Maggie Gyllenhaal, America's Next Top Model

She may also receive an Oscar nomination for best supporting male actor, although I hear she’ll be up against the likes of Heath Ledger.  She wasn’t available for comment but her brother Jake, who starred alongside Heath in a highly acclaimed movie, may be a presenter for the award and will probably want to give it to his sister as much as he wants to give it to Heath.

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Alfred's Role in Mystic River

Believe it or not, Alfred, played by Michael Caine, had a role in “Mystic River”: in the end, he’s in drag (or was that Laura Linney?) and gives the same sort of speech to Sean Penn that he gave to Bruce Wayne, played by Christian Bale, repeatedly throughout his brief cameo walk-ins for “The Dark Knight”.  His repeated “you’re the king” style speech was in stark contrast to his constant disturbance over Bruce’s crime-fighting obsession all throughout “Batman Begins”.  That is, until the end when he gives him the “What do we do when we fall?” inspiration.

Really, Alfred’s entire role in TDK was to keep telling Bruce to go out there and do whatever shit he needs to get the job done, even if it means not being such a good guy when doing it.  So not only are his morals somewhat shifted from BB, but he actually is now encouraging Bruce to dive head first into probable bodily harm and possible death.  And when he finally gives the “we burned the whole forrest” line in his final speech to Bruce, what was the point of it?  No symbolic action of the sort was taken by Batman at all that he wasn’t already doing or hadn’t already set in motion.  The symbolism of that ended up being meaningless.

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Give Maroni a Break

At some point in the movie Batman throws the mob boss Salvatore Maroni, played by Eric Roberts, from a few stories up, and Maroni lands on his feet none too comfortably – it’s clearly shown and implied that he at least broke his ankles if not altogether broke major bones in his legs.  Yet later in the movie, not very long at all in the the overall timeline, he’s seen standing rather normally outside Harvey Dent’s hospital room when James Gordon walks out and talks to him.  Then later shown walking almost normally with just the help of a cane when stepping into his limo.

So let’s get this straight – a man (clearly in his late 40s or early 50s) is dropped feet-first from a height of approximately 2 or 3 stories (maybe more), lands smack on his feet with a seriously disturbing cracking sound shown very distinctly, and barely 2 (or at most 3) days later in the story line he’s walking and standing almost completely normally with barely the need of a cane.

Maybe his legs have the same ability to withstand damage as Harvey’s eyeballs? Maybe Harvey should have traded his eyeballs for Maroni’s legs because he didn’t appear to survive what seemed to be a fall from the same height at the end of the movie.

Or maybe Maroni got strong bones by emulating Batman.  Hey Batman, got milk?

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Gordon Drowned… by Music Score

At times when Lieutenant Gordon, played by Gary Oldman, was talking, he could barely be heard due to being drowned out by the music score.  Music in movies at times can be great, especially when it enhances the story-telling and helps drive an emotion home.  There are instances in TDK where the score is so overwhelming as to actually make it hard to understand what Gordon is saying.

Some moments in the movie, the score worked great, in others it distracted.  The disjointed execution of the music scoring was mediocre, which is easy enough to ignore when trying to enjoy a movie, but there were moments that it was simply done so wrong as to be distracting.

Maybe sub-titling could have helped.

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Release The Hounds

In “Batman Begins”, Christian Bale is shown to be skillful and powerful enough to hold his own against multiple dangerous opponents, including skilled ninja-types.  Although the fight scenes could have been more clear in BB, they were still engaging and entertaining.  So how come in “The Dark Knight” all it takes to bring Batman down so that The Joker can pound on him (with, I believe, a piece of wood of all things) are a couple of rottweilers?


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Pick One: Realistic or Idealistic?

Clearly the goal of the movie was to be realistic and therefore have storylines and themes that could be plausible in reality.  Nevermind that it’s a movie based on a comic book character and doesn’t need to qualify itself that way to be entertaining, it’s clear that’s what the intention is and if that’s the case then it will end up contradicting itself when moments of totally unrealistic idealism are shown.

Such is the case with the people on the 2 ferries loaded with explosives.  In reality, it would take all of 30 seconds for someone on one boat or the other to turn the key on the trigger to blow up the other boat.  The Milgram Experiment proves this.

Someone also mentioned: “The power gets shut off of the ferry boats and they sit in the water for an hour… yet no rescue boats come and ask what’s up. In real life a rescue boat or coast guard [or other form of patrol] would show up in 10 minutes.”

BTW, is Tommy “Tiny” Lister wearing the same orange jumpsuit from “Next Friday” (1999)?

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Half a Face Equals a Normal Voice

The Joker has fully-healed scars on the sides of his face and has a slurry/smacky voice, clearly meant to show that his voice is at least partly affected by his disfigurement.  Yet Harvey Dent has half his face melted off with huge gaping holes where his mouth is, is allegedly in extreme pain, hasn’t fully healed yet, and still sounds the same.

Most people sound different when they just go to the dentist and get a shot of novacaine.

It’s a miracle.

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Holy Penthouse Peepers, Batman!

Bruce wayne is temporarily living in a penthouse in Chicago (I mean Gotham) and the penthouse has huge windows overlooking the city, with endless buildings around him.  He chooses at one moment to sit in his batsuit, minus mask, facing 2 windows where any one of thousands of people in nearby buildings could decide to look out their window or use binoculars or a telescope and see Bruce Wayne in a Batman suit.  Given that Bruce Wayne is such a “celebrity” (reaffirmed by the gossip stories shown in newspapers whenever he does something interesting), it’s pretty plausible to think that at any given moment there are eyes trained on his penthouse windows.

I’ve heard some fanatics try to explain this away (“there are no nearby buildings”, “the buildings are too far”, “maybe people would think he’s wearing Batman pajamas”) but then there’s this other dangling question: Clearly in every scene when he’s in his costume, he’s got black face makup all around his eyes.  Where was that makeup if he had just plopped down in the chair to stare so meditatively out the window?  His eyes should have looked like those of a raccoon when Alfred came around to bring him breakfast.

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Unseen Kidnappings

Harvey & Rachel get kidnapped.  Harvey is shown kidnapping Gordon’s family, Harvey is shown kidnapping Joker’s henchman.  So clearly when secondary characters are kidnapped it’s important to show their kidnappings.  However, apparently, when major characters are kidnapped, it’s not important to show it because the audience is supposed to presume that The Joker is omnipotent, all-powerful, and kidnaps by osmosis.  Therefore, the audience must presume he can do anything at any time, at will, with little money, endless henchmen (after constantly killing those who he has working for him), and the ability to control the reality of everyone around him as if playing chess with mentally challenged children.

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They Must Have All Been iPhones

Most movies require you to suspend at least SOME amount of disbelief, otherwise we could never enjoy ourselves watching a piece of fiction.  However, the basis of the new Batman franchise, starting with “Batman Begins” is an attempt to ground the Batman lore into reality.  REAL reality.  Yes, a guy dressed as a bat who fights crime with lots of neat gadgets is beyond the realm of day-to-day reality, but “Batman Begins” presented it as believable as possible and did a good job at it.

In that light, “The Dark Knight” started off on the right foot in the opening scenes.  I’ll put aside for a moment that Batman was shown bending the end of a machine gun with one hand…  Anyway, near the end, we see that Bruce Wayne has somehow developed a device WITHOUT Lucious Fox’s help which somehow turned everyone’s cell phones in Chigaco (I mean Gotham city) into real-time sonar devices that also sent their real-time 3D imaging, in sync, to some 500-screen computer station that also sends the 3D signal to Batman’s head gear.

It helps to know how this was initially introduced into the storyline.  Fox had used a similar cell phone device when visiting the office of the Chinese banker, and explained to Bruce that it was a cell phone modified to work as a sonar 3D mapping device.  It was left to be presumed (and any reasonable person can withold disbelief) that it was a physically modified phone.  That’s reasonably believable.  However, to extend that later into Bruce (who by the way had to ask Fox to provide him a modified suit since he couldn’t modify it himself) went and built a huge complex 500-screen worksation that got fed a 3D signal from every cell phone in Chicago (I mean Gotham) in real-time.

Was this the week after Apple upgraded everyone’s iPhones enhanced sonar GPS?  Did he also convert all cell towers of all wireless providers to support the extra sonar signals?  Did he ask Santa Clause to sneak around and replace everyone’s cell phones without them knowing to send out sonar signals?

If someone can please show me the “3D sonar” button on my phone, I would greatly appreciate it.

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