DippyBlogs (dippyblogs) wrote,

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Comments on two films

A lot has been said about Heath Ledger as Joker in the latest Batman edition - The Dark Knight. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It has all the classic Batman trappings - a rich Bruce Wayne, a fast and ruthless Batman, Mayor of Gotham City, stunts, batmobile, batpod, searchlight and the final addressing of the "batman-cant-turn-his-head" problem. It also has three villains.
I liked the ending, the quippy dialogues in parts of the film, and the vehicles (the MV Augusta F4, the Lamborghini) used by Mr Wayne had me drooling. And though the batmobile was good, it was not shown in all its Glory, and was more of a guest appearance (Only one scene of batman inside the batmobile? Gimme a break).

Heath Ledger was good, the role demanded that energy. But somehow, Joker to me, means Jack Nicholson. That stiff smile while laughter emerged from a record, the suave sophisticated madness - is no comparison to the shoddy Joker makeup and the ill-concealed madness the Ledger portrayed. A purple suit not a Joker makes. Joker was a criminal mastermind, not a gutter rat who donned makeup for the heck of it. He wanted to be feared as Joker, so then why should he make Joker appear shoddy? It begins well enough when he robs the bank, but deteriorates somewhere mid-film. I agree, the shoddy joker makeup must have been tough to put on, but after seeing that Joker you would not look at a real joker in a show next door with fear. Thats what Nicholson did - he made the funny jokers in real life seem sinister. As an eight year old, the image lasts in your mind. Who can forget the roof-top scene of Batman and Joker in "Batman"? I cant.
Downplayed irrationality is leagues ahead of head-on madness, isnt it? A knife to scar and kill you is direct and gross, a jack-in-the-box bomb makes you doubt all jack-in-boxes. And could he stop licking his lips already? It was like a lizard and more irritating than scary. If he had to lick, he could have had a more leisurely savour of the fear in the environment around him than that gesture he did.
The script for the new Joker may have had more thought behind it than the one used in Batman (1989), but as a character portrayal, I preferred Nicholson, thank you. At least he wasnt grisly and gory, and he dint wear his hurt on his sleeve.

The film, overall, however, was fun. A little too much shaky camera action in parts, but I forgive that - the second half (two-face included) kind of makes up for it. The action, though animated looking was also good. And photography of the Batman-jumps, the cars, the bikes, and Gotham City were really good. Someone get a better girlfriend though.

Another film I saw recently was Speed Racer. At home. I lament that. I had tried all I could to watch it in theatres when it was released, but a combination of forces coupled with bad international reviews kept 'them' from showing the film at timings when I could go. The latter slots being usually devoted to some sappy Bollywood drama.

I did not understand a few things - why was the movie ridiculed so bad by the critics? Seems like they were not paid enough. Secondly, why was it targeted at kid's audience? Especially the under 10 one? Children would not get anything of the light-sound extravaganza that the movie is. It is not a simple anime, where it is simple for children to follow, but rather its an anime made for adults with nuances and subtleties which an adult mind can exult in.
Movies like this cannot be classified into 'adults' or 'children'. It is not a 'cute' movie, a film like Lion King or Toy Story or Finding Nemo...or even Shrek. It is not a Disney/ Pixar animated movie. It does not intend to be simple and slow, clear and cute.
The movie is homage to the Speed Racer anime. But more than anything else, it is finally, a movie which has worked back from anime to acting and stopped somewhere Utopically in-between.
It indulges also in Speed (not the hero, the adjective). I can imagine a Schumacher crying after seeing the movie - for his lack of driving skills and for the beautiful portrayal of the feelings when you are in the cockpit of a car. I, as a movie viewer, can only imagine it.
The movie portrays the feelings associated with driving at a high speed, for the thrill of it. There is no story to speak of, and no real need to act. It was a directorial bonanza. And I thoroughly enjoyed the lovely visuals (bright though they were) which captured the essence of the race. It was a comic book enacted. A film I would have expected to be better criticised than a money grossing movie. Ah well.

PS - I also saw Hancock, and considering how bad its reviews were and how senseless the name is, the movie wasnt half bad. Not 'good' but not bad either.

Tags: daily. living

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