well, he ain’t no Caesar Romero…

That’s what I heard as I was leaving the IMAX theater after seeing The Dark Knight.  It just struck me as so funny  I knew that would be the title for my review.

I love movies. I’ve got a large DVD collection that contains movies of all types. While I gravitate to horror I also have an equal amount of comdies, etc. In spite of that I rarely go out and see them anymore. Prior to Dark Knight the last movie I went to see was Sweeney Todd last Christmas. However, amidst all the hype in the media, the near constant orgasms over it on the myextralife.com boards I knew I wanted to see this for one thing and one thing only: Heath Ledger. Not because of it being his last completed film work or anything morbid like that but from the first joker pictures that were released I knew this was a Joker I would love.

I had no idea how awestruck his perfomance would leave me or the entire movie for that matter. I bought my ticket online last night for a 930 AM showing thinking that while it might be crowded it would still be easy to get a seat. I preprurchased the ticket just in case. I got to the theater about an hour early after a 20 minute bus ride and a 20 minute walk to find a line already there. Not long, maybe 10 people but it gave me an inkling I may have misjudged the size of the audience. I surveyed the theater before the lights went down and didn’t see a single seat available.  In spite of that it was the most attentive, quiet audience I’ve seen in I can’t remember how long.  If more audiences were like that I might go to the movies more but I digress.

***POSSIBLE SPOILERS***

From the opening scene of the bank robbery I was sitting there with my jaw hanging to the floor. I can’t remember the last time something held me so in awe of what I was watching. Each scene was better than the last. I was so caught up in the action I was literally on the edge of my seat as were many of those around me. From the gadgets to the stunts, to the writing it all wove itself into one of the best movies I’ve seen in at least 5 years.

And then there’s Heath. Not only the best Joker ever filmed but maybe one of the best movie villains ever to slash his away across the screen. I’m still left speechless on how fucking good he is. I didn’t see Heath, I saw the Joker come to life in all his madness, cowardice and brutality. Never has a villain been portrayed with such depth and range that Ledger brough to the role. This is the Joker from Alan Moore’s Killing Joke. This is a bad ass that makes you shudder. What could have been scenery chewing by anyone else (Nicholson I’m looking at you) was a character study in depravity. The amazing thing in his performance was more in the way he didn’t say things as opposed to his lines. This is a visual performance that demands to be watched. There’s no doubt this will earn Ledger an Oscar. I’ll say it here, it’s going to him. Nothing else could even come close.

Almost as amazing is Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent and it’s a shame he’s getting overlooked and overshadowed by Ledger. While I find two face-as written anyway-a bit one dimensional, Eckhart’s work as Dent is fantastic.

Is it perfect? no, but damn close. Bale’s whispering when he’s Batman is flat out annoying; Morgan Freeman is wasted; and there were some plot points that were a bit ridiculous. As a whole there isn’t a more entertaining and thrilling movie than The Dark Knight.

As i continue to digest this I’m sure I’ll be writing some more about it.

Ain’t no Ceaser Romero indeed…

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