Harvey Dent: Rachel’s told me everything about you.
Bruce Wayne: I certainly hope not.
—The Dark Knight (2008)
Don’t worry; no spoilers here.
Yesterday I took the time to go visit Snay down in DC, along with Jomiwi and another fellow by the name of Len. Our goal was to see The Dark Knight at the Uptown Theater in Cleveland Park. Fortunately, Snay had purchased the tickets on Thursday, so there wasn’t any doubt about getting into the show we’d planned on. (Sorry to suck the tension out of that part of the story.)
We met about an hour before showtime at the Cleveland Park Bar & Grill, which is directly across the street from the theater. Even at that point, the line for the box office was about halfway up the block. The four of us sat at one of the tall tables near the front of the place, had some lunch, chitchatted and watched the line get bigger and bigger. The service was a bit on the slow side, but we got the feeling that they didn’t necessarily expect the restaurant to be as busy as it was.
At about 3:20 we see that the line is starting to move, quickly, and we ask for the tab. Here’s an odd detail: when the check arrived, I noticed that my beer (single pint, draft) cost four dollars and nine cents. $4.09? Really? I’m not bugged about it being relatively expensive–this is DC, after all–but that nine cents kills me. The nearest I can figure is that when you add tax it becomes a nice even number somewhere. DC has literally five different sales tax rates, though, so I’m not sure which one applies.
Across the street and into the theater. Somehow we wound up behind a theater employee who basically merged us into the line close to the front. “Close to the front” in our case still meant that about 500 people were in there ahead of us, but we’re not complaining. The main level was mostly individual seats unless we wanted to sit way down front, so we went up into the balcony. It was there that Snay spotted a whole block of seats that were empty, probably because the corner was so dark (even with house lights on) that they were tough to see. We staked out our territory and settled in.
I volunteered to get beverages for everyone, so as a result I missed all the trailers. Go read Snay and see if he has anything to say about them. I got back just in time for the film to start.
As I said above, I won’t spoil you on the film, but it was a lot of fun. It’s probably NOT something I’m going to take Wee One to see, as some of it is kind of grotesque and intense (although she did like Iron Man, so go figure). I hate to go the cliché route and compare Heath Ledger to Jack Nicholson, so let me do it this way: when I saw Nicholson, early in that picture I had a moment of “oh my god, this guy is completely crazy.” With Ledger’s Joker, there’s more of an amoral, anarchistic-yet-well-organized genius kind of thing going on. You’re still intimidated by him, but for different reasons. And in both cases you see a yin to Batman’s yang. Also, live with the fact that not only don’t you get an “origin” storyline for the Joker, you get several different explanations for his looks.
There are a couple of characters who are completely wasted in this film and I’m not sure why they were included at all, and both Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman do their usual bang-up jobs as Bruce Wayne’s behind-the-scenes support staff. Maggie Gyllenhaal does a good job of replacing Katie Holmes. There were several scenes that inspired many audience members to applaud (yeah, I don’t know about that, either) and I remember at least one scene that caused a huge chunk of the crowd to give off a collective “Ooooh!” when one villian took what looked like an especially bad injury. The four of us, who I’ll concede appear to have varying taste in movies, all enjoyed it and had an entertaining afternoon. And sometimes you can’t ask much more than that out of your day.