Monday, July 28, 2008
Disney comments followed by a Dark Knight.
You can see by these early pictures I was destined to be hooked on two things, Disney and Batman. Now you can’t tell by the picture above, but at six months I was literally cutting my teeth on Disney. Actually, to be more specific I cut my teeth on Thumper. It’s true, I would knock him off the wall behind my crib, and chew until that hardened cardboard turned to mush.
Now as for the other picture. They say a child thrives on visual stimulation. For that I was being placed in my bouncy chair in front of the latest episode of Batman. (Caped crusader PJ’s non optional) I grew up watching the 1960’s series starring Adam West and Burt Ward. Most likely as an infant/toddler it was the flashing KABLAMMs and POWs that caught my eye. As I grew older I began to enjoy the characters. I looked forward with anticipation each week to see which villain the dynamic duo would face.
I remember fondly those darn cliffhangers and those famous words.
Tune in next time, Same Bat Channel, Same Bat Time.
But I digress back to the villains. Well known and established actors played these roles. Burgess Meredith (The Penguin), Frank Gorshin (The Riddler), Vincent Price (Egghead), Art Carney (The Archer), Roddy McDowell (The Bookworm), Elli Walach (Mr. Freeze), Otto Preminger (also as Mr. Freeze and my personal favorite), Of course Batman had a darn cat of his own. Cat Woman was portrayed by three actresses Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether, and Eartha Kitt, and of course I can’t forget Caesar Romero as The Joker.
In 1989 I was excited to learn that a big screen version of the film was being released. Sadly it starred Michael Keaton. Jack Nicholson however, was a hit as the Joker and like the most recent film “Dark Knight” The Joker steals the show. When I saw Michael on screen all I could think about was the film Night Shift with Henry Winkler. Not certain why, I just did. (still do)
Something occurred in “Batman” that should never happen in a super hero movie. He reveals his true identity to his girlfriend. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO I screamed internally when he did that. In the sequels we see the character reveal himself time and time again. Why would they write something like that into a story line? As an audience member we are suppose to be the ones, who peak behind the curtain and learn the truth. This scenario has played out in other super hero films as well.
My son and I went out last week to see the latest incarnation of the Batman franchise which stars Heath Ledger in the role of “The Joker.” Truthfully I am not a “fan” of Ledgers past work. He just never appealed to me. So with all the buzz and hype surrounding “The Dark Knight” following his death, I figured it was just that. Buzz and hype. Well I was wrong. His portrayal of “The Joker” is edgy and frightening. And he steals the show while playing the part in true Grind House fashion. His character is brutal in his disregard for life. He comes close to going over the top but pulls back enough to make you believe he really is the maniac behind that make up.
At 2:36 this is a long film. I suspect that it was edited to include more of Ledgers performance. I wish the extra time would have provided a back story about the Joker. None is ever given. He is a nameless unknown entity. The other principal actors who return from “Batman Begins” do ok. I enjoyed Michael Caine as Alfred. Morgan Freeman is always a pleasure to watch. I also like Gary Oldham as Commissioner Gordon. Other than that, who cares? Christian Bales performance as Bruce Wayne felt lacking. As Batman it felt forced. The film used close up after close up and that got old quickly.
Would I recommend seeing the Dark Knight? Yes I would. But be advised this is a very violent movie and the Joker kills simply on a whim. This is not a film for children simply because they are Batman fans. As a parent see it first, and then make a judgment call.
I feel we have yet to see a truly good Batman. George Clooney was ok as an “older and wiser” Bruce Wayne; Val Kilmer was….Val Kilmer was…. Val Kilmer was….oh forget Kilmer, I have. Yes Kilmer did play Batman. You mean you forgot too?
So do any of you have an idea for a great Bruce Wayne / Batman or other villains?
Hmm I need to think about that one myself.
Got back up to SNAP last night. My daughter went with me for the second time and has declared that she will be my conscience and will make sure I go up every other evening.
Managed too visit Dewey today. The humidity reminded me of jogging around Crescent Lake when I took off with Bryan during our Team Voice meet last December. Kept the pace relaxed again. It seems to help with the heat. I am feeling the need to reach a decision soon about running in the Des Moines half marathon. I am concerned about doing it and then losing motivation again like I did following Dam. But you guys wouldn’t allow that I’m sure.
Posted by Jeff W at 8:44 PM