Maybe it’s been going on since before 2008’s The Dark Knight, but sitting in a theater the other day and seeing a preview for Thor: The Dark World, just a few months after sitting through Star Trek Into Darkness, I realized we seemed to be running out of “dark” titles. We need to be constantly reminded that these days movies are dark, what with their super-serious villains and moody cinematography and general jokelessness, and how can we do that without the word “dark” somewhere on the marquee?
To that end, here are some dark phrases that studios should feel free to slap on their next project. You’re welcome.
I haven’t watched any of the films in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy over the past five years because, frankly, I don’t care. Not the one with Heath Ledger. Not the one with Anne Hathaway. Not the other one. If you’re like me, and vaguely aware of a Batman-ish cultural thingies, then this three-minute-long ScreenRant cut be for you.
The overview of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises shares only the briefest snippets of plot. Scary masks? Gotham’s in trouble? Health Ledger is dead and that is sad?
Let’s get the obvious ones out of the way first: The 39 Steps, because trains and chasing a MacGuffin piece of information and the moody moors of Scotland. Then there’s that straight-up Blade Runner sequence in the Shanghai skyscrapers and mirrors and oh man, the neon. Then a guy falls from the hundredth floor or whatever, so the new James Bond movie is also like Die Hard.
The new James Bond movie is mostly like a mix of Batman Begins andThe Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, actually, with one part where a subway train crashes like toward the end of Speed. Remember, when Speed had the train part at the end? Additionally, the end is like Apocalypse Now, pretty much.
You know what else this movie is like? Other James Bond movies. The similarities are endless: guy named Bond, komodo dragon pit, etc. There was the rogue former MI6 agent, just like in GoldenEye—and that was only six Bond movies ago! Man, if there’s one thing you can count on in a Bond movie, it’s that Bond you Bond Bond Bondily Bond, that’s for Bond. “The name’s Bond: Bond Bond.”
The Dark Knight Rises doesn’t come out until July 20, more than six months away from now. However, /film points out that advance tickets for IMAX screenings have already gone in sale in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City. In fact, they’ve probably been on sale for weeks — they just weren’t publicized, allowing eagle-eyed fanboys to snap them up with fervor. In fact, the NYC passes are already gone, with attached photos showing a ticket sale from December.
That makes The Hunger Games look like a film for chumps, as advance tickets for that one are only going on sale a month ahead of time. That might seem like enough, but Batman fans are nothing but overzealous, and committing themselves for a July 20 midnight soiree isn’t too difficult. You can check Fandango in your city to see if there are any available tickets, but with the story out, I’m betting they’re all gone and we’ll soon be seeing astronomical markups on Craigslist and eBay. Here’s one guy selling tickets for $97 a pop — expensive, sure, but why wait to see it and risk being a square? (Or I guess you could just wait to see it.) Watch the trailer below, in case it hasn’t been seared into your brain a thousand times already.
Even while producing the second film, the director was wary of success to sequels that followed Batman Begins and mystified by its box office mojo. He further added, “How many good third movies in a franchise can people name? At the same time, in taking on the second one, we had the challenge of trying to make a great second movie, and there haven’t been too many of those either.” Uslan remains tight-lipped on the details, like potential successors to Rachel Dawes and working out the logistics of the Joker’s character. He says, “It’s one of those deals where if I told you anything about it, I’d have to kill you.” Somehow there seems to be a chilling certainty in his death threat. Or worse, a threat of forced interaction with Dawes’ first incarnation.
Even with eight Oscar nominations underneath its cape, all anyone can talk about today is the Dark Knight Oscar snub. Well boo hoo! Chris Nolan and friends created a cinematic touchstone that made more money in its first five days than all five Best Picture nominees put together. It was a unanimous hit with critics (except for David Edelstein) and forged a lasting legacy for Heath Ledger. Do the filmmakers really need a pat on the back from the Academy (their “peers?”) to remind them of their unprecedented achievement? Apparently, they do.
Jonah Nolan — TDK scribe, brother to director Chris, and inserter of “Why so serious?” into the national lexicon — sent a letter of thanks today to Dark Campaign, an absurd site (and ultimate waste of time) dedicated to ensuring a Best Picture nomination for TDK. He talks about the sting:
hey — not sure who to address this to as it looks like a collective effort, but I just wanted to pass along my thanks.
It’s truly humbling that you guys would take the time and effort to try to get the film recognized. I, like you, was disappointed that Chris didn’t get some recognition this morning, but for Heath and so many of the people who worked so hard on this thing to get nominated is thrilling.
Any nominations for a comic book movie is a thing of beauty no matter how you slice it, and that takes the sting out a bit. Besides, I’ve been to the big show before, and, like any of these things, it’s a little disappointing. Did you know it’s not even an open bar once the show starts? At least this time I would have remembered to bring a little cash so I could buy myself a drink after losing.
The best part of this experience is seeing other people getting passionate about the film the way that we did. It has been a truly incredible experience. So thank you again.
Presumably his brother Christopher is too devastated to acknowledge the support, and is locked up in a hotel room, wiping his tears and blowing his nose with million-dollar bills.
I did it! I found the quintessential image of 2008! In a search that’s taken me through the eternal galleries of Flickr to the back back ends of Google images, it took a visit to the movie blog /Film for me to come across a perfect mashup of the two most iconic figureheads of the year — and who are opposite sides of the same coin. T-shirt designer James Lillis took Shepard Fairey‘s iconic Obama image (see his post-election version here) and defaced it with the equally iconic visage of Heath Ledger’s Joker to make “The Audacity of Joke.” Another addition to the gaggle of Joker threads, and the perfect symbol for a year where everything seemed to go horribly wrong, and yet somehow ended up, well, decent. Click through for larger version of the design.
Heath Ledger’s ghoulish Joker makeup gave me the heebie jeebies. But he looks like a squeezable birthday clown compared to this grisly concept art. Some of these images, found in The Art of The Dark Knight, were created before Ledger was cast — back when names like Crispin Glover, Lachy Hulme, and Paul Bettany were bandied about. Ledger’s knife-wielding clown was a frightening cat, but this joker would have sported a chainsaw.
With another $75 million at the box office (biggest second weekend ever beeotches!), The Dark Knight is something of a phenomenon. And with Heath Ledger’s rendering of the Joker now entering icon territory, I’d like to see those hollow eyes and carved smile replace Che Guevera as the symbol of manufactured revolucion. /Film has assembled a large collection of Joker T-shirts, each available for purchase online, with designs ranging from punk-rock nostalgia to copies of the film’s posters. Apologies to John Wayne Gacy, whose run as coolest murdering clown is officially over.