Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Dark Knight: A Comic Book Movie Pinnacle

I admit it. I'm a comic book geek. And just so you know, the correct term for a comic book geek such as myself, is fanboy. I love comic books. Ever since I was a kid I would read them and enjoy their stories of struggle and heroism. My favorite super hero growing up was The Incredible Hulk. He was big, strong, and could beat up just about anyone. I used to run around as a kid growling like the Hulk from the Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno TV show. Sometimes I was even called baby Hulk. So my love of comic books goes back a long way back.

While reading my comic books growing up I would imagine my favorite super heros in live action movies. There was even a make believe casting call in a comic book magazine that would cast real actors in the ideal roles of some comic books. Although the Hulk was my favorite, I would also read Spiderman, X-men, Thor, Avengers, Ghost Rider, Iron Man, Superman, and Batman comics, just to name a few.

As I have gotten older, I have been a pretty stalwart fan of the comic book movies. I absolutely love the Richard Donner's Superman: The Movie. I was so excited for the Spiderman movie that I had butterflies while I was waiting to see it. I love "geeking out" when comic book writer names are dropped into the diologue or when Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance or when there is an additional scene after the credits. I have seen a lot of the super hero movies out there ranging from the bad (Superman 3 & 4) to the mediocre (Daredevil) to the good (Spiderman) to the awesome (The Dark Knight).

If you haven't seen The Dark Knight yet, it is amazing. This is no kiddy comic book movie. In fact, I wouldn't even recommend that kids watch it. It's dark. It's violent. It's intense. It grabs you and takes you in and does not let go. I had the opportunity to see this movie with a group of non-fanboy friends and we all loved it. I remember sitting there and watching the characters on the screen and realizing that they were as dark and life like as they are in the comic books. There was no campy 1960's Batman that was a little pudgy with a side kick that would say "Holy 'fill in the blank', Batman!" This was not the surreal Tim Burton vision of Batman or the dumb cartoony Joel Schumacher version with the "bat nipple" costume. The Dark Knight is an intense and serious movie that almost doesn't fit into the comic book movie category. This is a serious movie with a serious plot, serious (and award winning) actors, and a serious director. It is a movie with good character development and plot progression. Christopher Nolan has taken Batman back to his dark roots when he was created by Bob Kane. This movie may be the perfect comic book movie.

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