Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Dark Knight Review

Let me start by clarifying that this is less of a review and more of a request for help to break a record. For years I have followed movie revenue statistics (I know, get a life) and have been baffled that Titanic is still the top domestic money making movie of all time. Everyone loved it when it came out but almost everyone rips on it now. It was a strange deal because it started slow and picked up steam. It didn't set any opening week records, but after it had been out for a month or two word of mouth and repeat viewers fueled it to take off for the next couple months. This is the same rare occurrence that happened with My Big Fat Greek Wedding although it was not nearly as successful. Titanic ended up making $600,779.00 in the U.S. before it was released to video. The next closest money maker is the Original Star Wars at 460,998.00 and that was even after Lucas cheated and re-released it a second time 20 years later. How can this be possible?

I have always watched and wished any movie would come along and replace Titanic as the top money maker of all time but nothing has ever come close. I have hoped in vain over the years as Lord of the Rings, The Star Wars prequels, and even Indiana Jones could not pull it off. After seeing the Dark Knight's numbers from the opening weekend I again have hope that this will finally be the movie to dethrone Titanic. I give this movie a solid 9 out of 10 stars and and I am very frugal when it comes to giving out stars. I am the Simon Cowell of movie reviews so even though the audience will boo me for saying this I have to admit if I would have liked to see a few minor details changed. I know it is a comic book movie and not real, but a couple small items distracted me. Especially considering how well everything was done. (Warning spoilers)

1) When Batman kidnaps the Chinese dude I would have preferred to see him strap the cable to a harness for them instead of just hold onto the bad guy and the cable and get ripped away by a speeding plane.
2) The make up for Dent/Two Face was a little extreme. No swelling the day after half your face is burnt off? I could have gone for a little less skeleton open eye socket and a little more swollen, charred look.
3) When he dives out the window of his skyscraper for Rachel he falls with her onto a car. That would kill anyone even if you were holding onto Batman. At least they could have shown a parachute or his wings open up to better show that their fall was slowed down.
4) Two Face and Batman had nearly the same raspy deep voice. It was like dueling banjos of who had the scratchiest voice. I was waiting to see Rod Stewart come out to challenge them to a voice duel.
5) I'd also cut out 15 minutes somewhere. I think the whole cell phone tracking/ sonar deal could have been eliminated and was only included to show how his sonar bat eyes worked. This felt like 2 or 3 movies in one. It was long but didn't drag on like Return of the King where they should have ended the movie about 6 scenes sooner than they did. I got my moneys worth in the first half hour so I'm not complaining.

There are a lot of reasons you should see this movie if you haven't yet. (For those of you who are either in prison or a coma and haven't yet). First of all if you divide the cost of admission by how many minutes the film is you are in for a bargain. The cost per minute is quite competitive at 2 and 1/2 hours. Compare that to an animated Pixar/Disney movie that lasts 90 minutes and you can see the value. The cast is top notch and there is great acting by many well known actors including Heath Ledger's last performance. It has amazing special effects, action, and drama accompanied by an intense James Horner music score.

I really enjoyed this movie and encourage everyone to go see it. (with the exception of young kids). Some people look at this as entertainment but I am looking at it as something far more important. I feel kind of like Jerry Lewis during one of his telethons. I will keep pleading with the public for their support and help over the next several weeks no matter how tired I get. This is the only movie that has a chance to sink Titanic. Together we can make history and do this. If we accomplish this goal I will throw a party at my house and I will invite Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Caine. I'll let you know if something comes up and they are unable to make it.

Addendum 08/17/08
In less than a month, The Dark Knight has grossed $471,793,000 and is at the #2 domestic all time rank. Titanic didn't really start setting records until it was out for a month. It was the top earning movie from the 4th-12th weekends it was in release. Despite the great start, the last 129 million will be very hard to get. Gut it up and go see it again with some friends before school starts.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Things that bug me

No need for an introduction here. It is time for me to whine and complain again. I have noticed that I have become increasingly critical and judgemental in my entries so I apologize in advance. Please don't take offense if you happen to enjoy any of the following items. We can still be friends. It is just much cheaper for me to rant about stuff occasionally than to go to therapy or buy medication.

Let me start my list with something really disturbing. It is sock gloves. These are basically gloves you wear on your feet. I have to admit I have never tried them, but I don't think I could even put them on because I would freak out. My toes would be claustrophobic and there would be too much added girth to my feet if I had to wear them.

An irritating thing I see when I check my e-mail are the stupid skin care before and after simulations. They are getting worse with time. At first they'd show a pretty model in the after picture then they'd airbrush crows feet and wrinkles on her for the before picture. It was a subtle transformation but you could see a discernible difference. Now they have a picture of what appears to be either a gorilla or a severe burn victim for the before picture. It was insulting before and it is just ridiculous now. The only thing that could be more extreme would be to show a dog poop in the before picture. I wish these complexion ads would take a hike with all the dancing silhouettes from the mortgage rate pop ups.

There are many songs that bug me but one that drive me crazy is Mr. Roboto by Styx. What's up with that? If you have ever heard the song you know what I'm talking about. Whenever I hear this song or even a reference to it, it takes me days to get the song out of my head along with the images that have been burned into my mind from watching the music video on MTV in the 80's.

I like Carl's Jr. but there are a couple things that bug me. First is their commercial with a young hungry guy eating like a pig with food dripping all over him. He doesn't seem to notice or care that he is a slob. It reminds me of watching a two year old eating an icecream cone. I know this is intentional but it just doesn't work for me. Another thing about their commercials I don't like is dropping overloaded hamburgers in slow motion and watching them bounce. I'm OK with watching grapes or cherry tomatoes bounce but not giant hamburgers.

While we are on the topic of food let me address raisins. I have a great idea how you can ruin a perfectly good cookie. Put raisins in it. That way some of us might get our hopes up when we see a cookie with what looks like chocolate chips in it. If you want to see the classic face of disappointment check out someone who bit into a cookie and just realized it contains raisins instead of chocolate chips. Raisins are actually awesome when they are fresh. I believe they are called grapes during their fresh stage.

I have noticed that sometimes in social settings people try to impress and outdo others. The classic example of this is when you tell a story and immediately someone has to one up you. I don't mind being out done, but it does bother me when they are not tactful at it. Anytime someone stars a sentence by saying "That's nothing" then launch into their more amazing story I have a problem. "It was 104 degrees last week. We were dying". "That's nothing, I'm from Phoenix and we hit 115 over 20 times last month." OK, never mind your are better and I suck.

Let's finish with the worst offender. It is the stupid sideways gang banger gun holding technique. Why are some people compelled in movies to hold the gun sideways when they shoot? Is there some benefit that produces a more accurate shot? I doubt it. I think it's like the sideways hat thing which insinuates "Dude look at me I'm so rebellious that I wear my hat sideways" What could be more crazy than holding someone up? Holding them up with a sideways gun! I think it is dumb unless there are gang members reading this blog who love to brandish their weapon as described. In that case it rocks!

I'm sure you all have things that drive you crazy so feel free to share them. We can call it group therapy.