Busy weekend, even with Lauren gone to Girl Scout Camp-- mostly because her brother was evohl much of the time. What a summer it's been (*groan*).
We've done a bunch of DVD viewing lately, and saw The Bat Movie finally. :D
The Lost Room is a 6-part TV miniseries from the Sci-Fi channel that we really enjoyed. Weird, a little spooky, and funny in unexpected places. Cannot recommend this one enough. \o/
Shameless was too shameless for me. I am such a prude. It's a British TV series that we watched one episode of, and though parts of it were funny much of it was uncomfortable. Returned to Netflix.
Carnivale: about 1 1/2 episodes in, so far so good. Very interesting style (gorgeous opening credits), liking it so far. Not so pleased at the 2-episodes-per-disc aspect, though. :(
Glory Road: True-sports movie about the first black basketball team to win the NCAA championship. Really enjoyed it, and it wasn't plodding or formulaic as I might have expected.
The Dark Knight: First, the theme (which I'd heard in the trailers) made me hunt through my Bruckner Symphonies on CD, and I hit paydirt on the opening of Symphony No. 8, Movement 4. Slightly different rhythm, but duuuude... way to steal from the Brass Master. :0
I've enjoyed the two more recent Batman movies much more than the earlier series (of which I only saw the first two). These are much darker and much more complex, and the storytelling is much more interesting.
Heath Ledger was as advertised in this film-- his Joker is rife with dangerous instability and a love of violence and bloodshed, but much quieter than the Jack Nicholson performance. There's a moment where the character says, "Do I look like the kind of guy who has a plan? I'm like a dog chasing cars-- wouldn't know what to do if I caught one." It's funny, but it's disturbingly true. All of this death and chaos and terror has no plan at all behind it, which makes the Joker an even more dangerous enemy because he is utterly unpredictable.
I loved Alfred here, and Lucius as well (a genius geek with a gentleman's exterior-- *swooon*).
Gary Oldham as Chief Gordon is so humane, and yet so firmly in control. It's so rare to see Oldham playing "nice" characters, but Gordon is very solid (and not at all dull) thanks to him.
I always dislike changing fundamental characters, so Maggie Gyllenhaal playing the same character that Katie Holmes played in the first movie was just distracting to me. I'm not such a fan that I actually remember the first movie all that well by now.
Oddly enough (sacrilege ahead), I didn't find any of the leads as attractive as other people seem to think they are. Maggie is just pretty in a very ordinary way to me. Christian Bale isn't good-looking to me (he's not UNattractive, but not attractive). And Aaron Eckhardt is sort of attractive, but he just crosses the line with that cleft chin into "Dudley Do Right" territory.
That has nothing to do with the performances, of course, but having people "Guh" and "Wow" over the actors here is puzzling to me.
The CGI work on the "after" version of Harvey Dent was fantastic and incredibly distracting. Definitely a TMI situation for me. Yick. But well done, all the same.
The movie seemed a little on the long side, but I can't pick out any part that I'd have removed. Very solid story. And the chase scene under the elevated freeways and such was terrific-- very high speed and claustrophobic with the feeling of disaster being imminent.
Now, of course, I want to see where things go when Batman can become slightly evil himself. :0 Probably in about 3 more years, unfortunately...
ETA: How I love seeing the man who will always be "Bat Manuel" appear in this movie too. :D