Ace in the hole

A creepy metafictional ad campaign for Gotham City DA Harvey Dent has given us the first official image of the Joker from The Dark Knight.

Based just on the picture, I’m guessing Nolan is going for a realistic, serial-killer Joker, rather than the cartoon villain portrayed by Nicholson. And I’m on board. Even in his first comic book appearance the Joker was portrayed as a murdering sociopath, and it looks like that’s the Joker we’ll be seeing in the new movie. I think that’s the right direction for Batman. Here’s hoping there are no silly microwave bombs or speeding trains this time around.

  1. “Silly microwave bombs or speeding trains” are what make a comic book movie a comic movie, no? I didn’t think the scene was all that silly.

    BTW: Your first link here is dead.

  2. Ed left a comment on May 25, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    Joker must have killed that link…

  3. Yeah, apparently they took the photo down, but you can see “hahahaha…” if you highlight the text on the page.

    And I still think the microwave bomb and speeding train sequence were a little much (a little too goofy James Bond-ish-ness) for a movie that otherwise did so well in anchoring itself in reality (as much as a superhero film can). But that’s just my opinion.

  4. See… they are too smart for their own good. How many people are going to do that?

    How many blind folks just had that read to them and are annoyed?

  5. Oh… forgot the second part…

    “…a movie that otherwise did so well in anchoring itself in reality (as much as a superhero film can).”

    Why? Why would you anchor a superhero film in reality as much as you could? Why?! Shouldn’t it be a comic book on film? You hated Hulk, didn’t you? In fact, you didn’t much like 300 either.

    I never chimed in on the posts you and Ed did on it and I have been meaning to. It is one on my list. It just got bubbled up to second from the top (Halo 3 is next).

  6. I just thought the microwave bomb was a little much. It seemed like a really convoluted and scientifically unlikely plan. Why couldn’t it just be a regular bomb, y’know? I didn’t mind the rioting from the Scarecrow’s stuff. It was the microwave bomb that went just a tad too far for me.

    As for why to anchor a superhero film in reality…as someone who’s written fantasy and science fiction, it’s a general rule of thumb that you use a realistic style to heighten fantastic events. The more a Batman movie pays attention to realistic details—Batman screws up, falls off buildings, has to order his outfit through dummy corporations, and so forth—the more people will buy a idea of a guy who dresses up like a bat and fights crime.

  7. The microwave bomb was how they were activating the Scarecrow hallucinogens in the water supply. They were sending it on the train to the central water supply hub for the city. This all makes sense to me. A regular bomb would simply blow everything up and likely incinerate the chemicals in the water, not cause it to turn to a steam/vapor state. I have only seen the movie three times, but I remember them going over all that.

    As for realism in this genre, I’m not arguing against it, I’m just saying that not everything has to be explainable, hence the fantasy aspect of it, right? I doubt in there’d be a need for the mechanical arms of Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2 for the real world application of maintaining a fusion reaction, but they tried to explain it in a plausible way and I thought they did the same with the microwave bomb.

    Is it that they did so well with everything else and you can’t forgive them for this one part you don’t agree with?

    Anyway, I only wanted to know what was up with your thoughts on it. It doesn’t need to turn into a debate or comparison of two people’s perceptions of the story. 🙂

  8. Haha, the Doc Ock thing amused me too—I remember thinking I was way more impressed with the thought-controlled robotic tentacles than I was that he’d solved cold fusion.

    I know the microwave bomb was part of the way to get the Scarecrow’s gas into the atmosphere, but it seemed to me like a convoluted way to try and avoid looking like they were doing the exact same thing as the first movie (where it was Smilex gas).

    My idea of a great Batman story is when he uses his detective skills to track down a clever, but utterly human, serial killer. Not a supervillain with some gimmick but, say, the Zodiac killer.

  9. Ed left a comment on May 28, 2007 at 8:16 am

    @Jason – I was able to hit the Harvey Dent site before the Joker hacked it – as well as after – and the second I saw that John Wayne Gacy creation brought to viscoeral life (that was no Bob Kane – we’re talking the work of a raging sociopath) I couldn’t have been more disturbed… and more excited. I agree with you completely – I am on board.

    Chris Nolan and his bro Jonathon seem to be making all of the right choices – in fact, the news that Anthony Michael Hall is on board in a supporting role as a vigilante leader of some Bat disciples leans me to believe they may have incorporated the Shadow of the Bat mythos into the flick. All told, this is one of the most visible flicks on my radar screen. Summer 2008 can’t come soon enough – now if only Summer 2007 would end already!!!

  10. Agree, the Batman detective stories are usually better than his throwdowns with the villains as the superhero. It would be way cool for them to do a movie like that, but there’s no way any movie studio would go for it because the average moviegoer wants to see popcorn action of the gimmicky villain curb stomping variety.

    As for this flick itself, I just heard/read that Jake Gyllenhall has replaced Katie Holmes as Wayne’s paramour (in the same role!). Now, I know Katie is married to a weirdo and brainwashed, etc., but she’s way easier on the eyes than Jake, even if not quite the same level of talent…

  11. As for this flick itself, I just heard/read that Jake Gyllenhall has replaced Katie Holmes as Wayne?s paramour (in the same role!).

    Hahahaha…oh man, the Brokeback connection just makes it even funnier…

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