Friday, July 18, 2008

The Dark Knight -- bashing in the name of the Bat?

Hunting for reviews of The Dark Knight tonight reminded me that the anonymity that comes with the Internet can be a downright obnoxious thing, indeed.

One of the better sites out there to get a pretty good reviews of movies is, of course, Rotten Tomatoes. However, the reviews of The Dark Knight over there are more than a bit disturbing. Well, the puerile (and completely anonymous) comments to the reviews over there are disturbing, at least.

Like everyone else who's upright and breathing, I've heard a lot of hype surrounding The Dark Knight, the latest in a long line of Batman films. That's a line, by the way, that goes all the way back to the campy Batman that was released in 1966 in an attempt to cash in on the success of the television series.

The franchise laid dormant as far as the big screen was concerned until Warner Brothers released the revamped Batman in 1989. One thing in common throughout all of the Warner Batman films is that they've been hyped to the gills. I've been burned on earlier installments in the franchise as they've been woefully inconsistent.

When it comes to anything released in the Warner franchise, then, it's a good idea to check out the reviews before shelling out the cash to go see one. Yes, they've all been hyped and there has been a lot of talk about each one being the best of the lot -- pretty much what we've been seeing with the current release, in fact.

The majority of The Dark Knight (or "TDK" as all the too-hip-for-thou types call it) reviews were positive, causing me to think this particular movie might just be "the best thing, like, ever" type of film that Warner has been blabbing about for 20 years. Sure, the press surrounding all of the Warner Batman films claims the installment of the moment is the best in the franchise, but the critics (and not just the ones who are probably getting paid under the table) seem to back up that notion.

The disturbing thing is that the reviews that generate the most buzz are the negative ones. In fact, the hysteria generated by those negative reviews has caused me to think this movie might be one to see after it's been out for awhile and the particularly obnoxious fans have already watched it and are at home. It's likely those folks won't be quite so annoying when they're away from their computers and out in public with honest-to-goodness people, but one never knows.

You've got folks threatening to beat up critics for "bashing" the movie, rants about how the reviewers in question are just trying to get attention and all sorts of general nastiness. All of that hostility kind of makes you wonder -- if critics are getting hammered for picking on even minor details of the film, could it be that some reviewers are raving about it just to avoid trouble? How trustworthy, then, are the reviews over there when it comes to a movie that seems to be bordering on "sacred" staus? I could well see a critic handling this film with kid gloves so as to avoid having everything from his lineage to his sexuality questioned.

So, if you've seen this movie, leave a comment here about what you thought about it and I'm mighty interested in hearing from some people who don't have an axe to grind.


Adam Pieniazek said...

Haven't seen "TDK" yet but the last Batman film was good though I agree with you on the others being a bit over-hyped. I'll wait another week or two before venturing to an IMAX theatre; any movie is good when seen on a giant IMAX screen!

The Natural State Hawg said...


They just opened a new IMAX theater up in Little Rock. Think I'll follow your lead and wait a couple of weeks to go see The Dark Knight on it...