OK, because it's Monday, you've probably already guessed that the weekend stuffed me in a tiny hurt locker and slammed the door shut. Five coffees and four mush-mouthed news reports into my day, I still feel a bit fried. But...
It's a satisfied and happy fried, for the culmination of weeks of nerdy anticipation and speculation was a truly awesome movie experience. Yup, I finally got to see "The Dark Knight," in IMAX, no less. Nerds and geeks were plentiful, and I saw several moviegoers arguing over whether Spiderman could beat up Batman...in full make-up and costume. One winner, who sprinted into the theater and claimed about 20 seats, almost got into a fistfight with another gent. Then, a happy-looking fellow with a bowl cut walked by me munching on a Butterfinger, sporting a cape that draped over his polo shirt and khakis. You had to be there.
Now, I know many of us don't like to subscribe to unsubstantiated hyperbole. Especially nerd hyperbole. Intelligent people--more specifically, your garden variety blogger--inherently value their own opinion. Most of us blog because we feel we have something interesting to say; something worth sharing. We're unique individuals. So, latching onto the pop-culture sensibilities of the masses sans supportive evidence is a no-no for most of us. I'm an especially cynical person, and have never watched an episode of Survivor or American Idol without serious reservations, and never, under any circumstances, by personal choice.
But I'm forced to venture into dangerous overly-enthusiastic territory here. And I do so while first prefacing that It's just my opinion, not written-in-stone fact. If you see the film and you think it's utter goatshit, you're probably just an awful person to begin wi...I mean, it's simply a difference of opinion.
That said, I'm here to tell you, in that theater, for the first time in quite a few years I was seriously a giddy kid again. It happened during "Pulp Fiction" and "The Matrix." A similar feeling took hold after subjecting my then-girlfriend to rebel yell-induced embarrassment during "Gladiator." And for this "comic book movie" I felt it again.
My adulation isn't the result of whiz-bang effects and pyrotechnics. It wasn't the amazing cinematography (I can't begin to describe how awesome the swooping nighttime shots of Chicago's skyline look in IMAX). It wasn't even a genuinely scary-as-hell virtuoso performance by the sadly- departed Heath Ledger (my God, what a swan song). It was the fact that the movie took something, that for most adults, represents mere pop-culture child's play, and turned it into something far more relevant and palpable.
Yessiree, I'm talkin' seriously heady, post-9/11, fear and moral duality type themes. But amazingly, it still has plenty of the less brain-taxing "THWACK!" AND "POW!" stuff that people tend to go to summer movies for. I know I'm talking about a film featuring a guy running around in cape and costume; one that has ears for that matter--but the fact it could inspire such nerve-racking tension and dread was very impressive indeed.
Attendance at the show I went to was pretty evenly split between men and women and everyone, for the most part, appeared genuinely impressed afterwards. I feel comfortable recommending this movie to most anyone. But, they should probably first watch its predecessor, "Batman Begins" which re-booted the franchise after it was nearly destroyed by George Clooney and friends. in '97.
So, at least for me, Bats rocked my world, left a mint on the pillow and hasn't called back since. And I don't mind one bit.
On a less geeky note, I ran into, and had lunch with Miss Grace in San Francisco after the movie. (Oh yeah, I traveled some 70-something miles with friends to see TDK because Sacra-"Them sure is lovely chickens you got there"-mento didn't offer it at its IMAX theater) Grace was out there for Blogher '08, which by her account, was fantastic. Stop by her blog to find out why.
Of course the weekend included obligatory 100 meter butterfly race in beer moments (hence the Monday fuzzies). And I nearly killed a guy with a well-timed comet of a throw during my social league kickball game Sunday. All-in-all it was a truly satisfying couple of days. I'll get back to more inclusive subject matter next time, but since I'd been detailing my need to see TDK for weeks, I felt it was only appropriate to fill you in on my reaction.