Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Dark Knight Returns

I was watching some of the Dark Knight on DVD tonight, and yesterday while at work (heh), and still marveling at what a great film it was. This, as anyone who knows me can tell you, is a huge thing for me. I don't generally enjoy movies, so to enjoy this one as much as I did is a tribute to how well-made it was.

Unfortunately, this dvd was a tad sparse on extras (I smell an Ultimate Edition, or 2.1 or whatever. Dammit!) However, one of the extras featured a little bit about how they built the batpod. This was one of the coolest things I've ever seen. The batpod (Batman's little motorcycle thing) was real. Not CGI. Not some little toy. It was a real thing that a real guy drove through the real streets while they were filming it from another batpod-like vehicle. A team of experts built a real batpod that could actually come out of the tumbler and drive around.

This is amazing, in this day and age. George Lucas wouldn't have bothered with that, and that's why (one of the reasons, anyway) Dark Knight succeeded where all of those Star Wars prequels failed (and a lot of other films). This kind of attention to detail comes out in the final product. It makes the film seem more real, that it could happen today. Christopher Nolan wanted to have a better suit for Batman because he wanted Batman to be faster and be able to turn his head. So what does he do? He writes in a scene where Bruce Wayne says he needs a new suit because he needs to be more agile and turn his head. Why make up a reason when the real reason works so well?

Finally, I also realized why this movie beats the hell out of most other super-hero-y movies, and it is because that reason I just mentioned: realism. There are no aliens or weird powers, no guy who gains super-powers when he gets close to the yellow sun of the Earth. Maybe I just have trouble suspending my disbelief, but I enjoy that the Dark Knight (and Iron Man, to an extent) was so grounded in reality. Maybe it makes it seem less nerdy. Maybe it just makes for a better story. Whatever it is, I'm obviously not the only one, because Dark Knight and Iron Man are two of the biggest and best comic movies of all time, and just all-around big money-makers. So, the public has spoken, and they are right. For once.

So I guess I'll have to buy that Ultimate Edition when it comes out, huh?

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