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Movie Review: The Dark Knight

Alternate Title: The Chaos Theory

Story: The Batman is back and this time out we have a story about our superhero that is strictly for grown-ups. Despite its PG rating, I strongly advise against taking the kiddies. It is dark, grisly, filled with sadistic scenes and has much to say about the human condition (and those are the good parts). The film is directed again by Christopher Nolan and written by his brother, Jonathan and Christopher Nolan. It is based on a story by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer and the Batman character created by Bob Kane (DC Comics).

I have been partial to the Batman character because of his imperfections. Yes, he plays by the rules, but is known to cross them occasionally for the greater good. Gotham has become one scary place, with corruption on high and the mob is ubiquitous. The new DA, Harvey Dent, seems to be the man of the hour. His goal is to unshackle Gotham from the clutches of evil. Will his goal allow the Batman to retire? Will it finally allow him to get out of that rubber suit and into his Armani full time? Guess what? It is not to be. The Joker brings a plague of chaos to Gotham.

The Joker is a viscous, perverse, sadistic, frightening monster. He is that bogeyman you have nightmares about. Every time he was on screen I got nervous. Remember Javier Bardem's portrayal of Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men? This dude was even scarier.

If you like your superhero dark and your story line darker, this summer blockbuster is for you. I thought it was fine, though nerve wracking entertainment. It is overly long and uneven - but it is summer and I went along for the dark ride.

Check out the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KGFG-PhPxs.

Acting: Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman is mighty fine, although this terrific actor does not have much to 'act' about. Michael Caine as loyal manservant Alfred, is, well, Michael Caine. Heath Ledger as the Joker, gave one hell of a performance in his last role. Gary Oldman seemed to be tranquilized as Commissioner Gordon. Aaron Eckhart as DA Harvey Dent did an outstanding job and Maggie Gyllenhaal, who replaced Katie Holmes was fine, indeed as Rachel Dawes. Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, was Morgan Freeman.

Predilection: I like the Batman

Critters: Some very viscous Rottweilers.

Food: No time to eat when Gotham is going down the tubes.

Sex Spectrum: No time for sex either.

Blatant Product Placement: The lovely City of Chicago.

Soundtrack: The music by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard was over the top.

Opening Titles: All titles at the end.

Visual Art: The DC Comic came to life beautifully in this dark, dark tale.

Theater Audience: Fairly crowded for a 10 AM Sunday morning showing. Other than a few chuckles, when appropriate, there was not a peep out of this mostly male, adult crowd.

Weather: The weather was fine in Gotham.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: The scenes with the Joker were very squirmy on different levels.

Drift Factor: I looked at my watch often after the first hour. It needed editing badly.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: I did not think Heath Ledger would get an Oscar nod, but after seeing his performance I have changed my mind.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen for sure. Other Christopher Nolan films you can rent include: The Prestige, Batman Begins Insomnia and the terrific Memento

Length: Overly long at two and a half hours.