Monday, July 21, 2008

Finally Saw It

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 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.



Miss Grace said...

I think I'm gonna take my brothers to see it Friday. Not in imax, because I'm not that cool.

Lola said...

I've never watched American Idol either, and I think I've seen three episodes of Survivor, so I hear you.

Oddly, however, I'm totally obsessed with Wipeout, but that's only because I think I could get my old ass out there and win. I could so stay on those big red balls!!! (Have better words ever been written?)

No need to apologize for giving your opinion on a movie. Glad you liked it and had a fun-filled weekend. Do you think it's too dark for a seven-year old boy? My son really wants to see it.

Aub said...


WAAAAAAY to dark. By all means, do not take your son to see this movie. I'm afraid it really isn't appropriate for kids in my opinion. It's probably too intense for the average child under the age of 12. There was a part where this 40-something European guy(I talked to him afterwards)sitting next to me shrieked and nearly jumped out of his seat. I can think of several scenes when I cringed from the pain suggested on-screen.

Lola said...

Thanks for the info. He thinks because I let him see all of the Spiderman movies that he should be able to go since it's PG-13.

Badass Geek said...

This was a great review. I'm itching to see it, too.

Aub said...

Badass Geek,

Thanks man. I'm almost 100 percent certain you're gonna love it! Try to see it in IMAX though. It's an epic experience.

AnnaC said...

So, this is the kind of review for a comic book kind of flick that I like to read.

And since I haven't seen a Batman since George Clooney, I guess I am willing to give it a try.

Thanks for breaking it down.

I am planning on waiting until it comes to the Parkway, though, so I can see it with a nice glass of wine sitting on a couch.

Aub said...


Yeah, it will definitely prove about a thousand times more enjoyable than Clooney's doomed "effort". One thing I must warn is that at two and a half hours, it's longer than you might expect (although for me the time zoomed by pretty quickly). Make sure you don't do what my friend Emil did and drink a half-gallon of Pepsi before the movie. You won't want to get up and you'll be forced to either suffer or wet yourself.

Aub said...


I accidentally deleted your comment that read...

"Why do comic books and comic book movies do this to boys? Do you wear underoos?"

Which was funny, but unfortunately deleted in my trying to delete and retype a garbled response that was supposed to read...

Of course I do. Who doesn't?

So now we're all caught up.

P.S. Did you happen to catch that "Sex and the City" movie you devoted that cute little post to? =)

April said...

Lol, Cameron saw it and apparently loved it! We didn't take him of course, but his ever so bright dad did. Hey, inviting anyone on Saturday?

Heather said...

I was going to let my daughter see this one because she is 14, but I am reconsidering. She hasn't seen a lot of "dark" movies, and even the scary Pg-13 movies freak her out. I don't know. Still thinking about it, I guess.

Aub said...


There's nothing graphic in the "squirting blood" sense in the film. Yeah, there's physical violence and there are several "yikes!" moments. But at 14, I'm betting she'd be fine.