Domestic Knight

I decided to spend the afternoon in the AMC 42nd St. watching The Dark Knight. I have an affinity for Batman. I grew up pretending to be him and in large part owe my life as an actor to portraying Batman and Spiderman as a boy. Who better to be in the school play than the kid always wearing a cape?

I will have to see this one again in a month or so. So I can forget it a bit first. I have a few bones…

I guess they overdubbed Bale’s Batman barking wolf voice. It was weird and it doesn’t give him a lot of places to go. He spoke less as Batman in the first one. For that matter, everyone did. This has a lot of speechifying on morality. AND IT MAKES NO SENSE!! Christopher Nolan and his brother gave everyone these diatribes about being more than a hero or less than a hero and it all comes down to dealing with terrorism or not. Breaking rules after others have broken rules. Batman, Joker, and Two Face are supposed to be crazy but they aren’t. They’re just angry. They’ve come up with their own codes but you lose patience with what they are saying because in the bigger scheme, IT MAKES NO SENSE!!

Cillian Murphy makes a cameo that pretty much wipes away his performance in the first movie, rendering it worthless. Why was Scarecrow there? Why was he being a vigilante? Why did he have just a few cheesy throw away lines?

Michael Caine was indecipherable in the back half of all his big lines. Not because of the Cocknye accent but because he stopped paying attention to what he’s saying. The meaning was dropped. Let’s face it, these guys were really doing a George Bernard Shaw play here in a graphic novel veneer. God bless them, I know from experience it’s hard speaking Shavian text and making it engaging.

Gary Oldman and Eric Roberts are doing good things in this. Oldman is the heartbeat and backbone of this movie and I’m glad he got more to do on this one. I used to think he was masturbatory as an actor but he has really added humanity to his arsenal. Just a few years ago, he’d be top choice for Joker.

Aaron Eckhart looks like Aquaman in a suit. The Two Face make up did not disappoint later in the movie. I wonder if he ever asked himself “What Would Billy Dee Williams Do?” while they were shooting.

Chicago looked good in this one. Best use of that town since Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Ledger was truly spellbinding. I didn’t know what to expect moment to moment. He made my palms sweat. While I didn’t care for the Bush agenda/anti-terrorism thread in the movie, I thought he was marvelous. Such freedom. They gave you just enough to start coloring in the rest about this person. His Joker is actually a person. I thought a lot about Hitler being a failed artist. I think that was a bit of Bob Kane’s impulse with the character. An evil creative genius. He never slipped into silly or took it to some hammy place the way others have with the Joker. You would never get to the bottom of this Joker.

I hope they keep replacing the Rachel Dawes character. Maybe America Ferrara can get a swing at it next. You just have to be female and brunette. Maggie Gyllenhaal was good. Nobody’s talking about this switcheroo. Poor Katie Holmes. Maybe Batman will save her in real life.

This movie got me thinking about a few things. Here we go.

I just read 1 in 37 of us are on some database for being a suspicious person. 1 in 37. I would guarantee I am one of them with those odds. I’ll be standing naked in some humiliating way having to justify my writing and performances.

So let me go for broke here with the simple stuff. Some of it’s old hat now but…

1. Why does no one talk about the plane hitting the Pentagon? Where’s the hole in the building? Where’s the video on all of that?

2. What was supposed to happen with the 4th plane?

3. Why did it take almost a month before they said it was Al-Qaeda? Why haven’t we found them?

4. Why has no one taken responsibility?

5. Why do they use “Homeland” like the Nazis?

6. A plane hit the Empire State Building years ago but it didn’t fall down. I bet no one planning the attack thought they would go down. Hmmmm. It disturbs me because I don’t feel we have real answers. What if it was a botched job? What if we will never understand the full plan?

7. Oil and money. That might have been the plan somehow but now they want us out of Iraq. The folks they put into place want us out. Don’t be too shocked if Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki suddenly disappears or is taken out.

8. What happens if the oil companies profits go away and the government has to bail them out like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

We need a Batman-hold the FISA-to get us out of the corruption cycle. Like with dealing with the Joker, we’ll never get to the bottom of it and find the answers. There’s a point where it just needs to stop. The world needs to be covered with a thicker ozone and self-esteem layer.

The trick is we don’t know who the bad guys are. But no matter how confusing the truth may be about the events, we can’t turn on ourselves so much we can’t trust ourselves. Eventually, we have to stop fighting everyone or we will become more than just weak.

Reconstruction

In 1987, Will Eisner wrote, “I came to feel more keenly about the disappearances of people and landmarks. Especially troubling to me was the callous removal of buildings. I felt that, somehow, they had a kind of soul…barnacled with laughter, stained with tears, are more than lifeless edifices.”

Two days ago, I went down to the WTC site around 5pm. It was so different than it was in ’02. On that first anniversary, there were people there being respectful and mourning. The only irritation was the media shutterbugs being nuisances and snapping pictures right in your face as though you were a car or a piece of cake or some other inanimate object.

At 5pm on the 6th anniversary, there was a lot of buzz and anger. People were out shouting about how it was a conspiracy. How there was another building, 7 WTC, that went down that same day. You can’t really see into the site anymore. Now it is officially growing like a pot of boiling water. I don’t know if they moved the piece of scaffolding that was shaped like a cross. The Deutsche Bank building is finally coming down. I won’t argue whether all this is good or bad.

Being there on the 11th, I feel like it should just be a memorial. The economy seems to be doing better without buildings there. I would feel like I was on sacred ground were I to do any kind of business on that site. It seems like we are moving more rapidly into breaking the promise of “never forgetting”. I am troubled by the fact that no one has taken responsibility. I am worried we are tipping the world and messing ourselves up over something that we may never know the truth about.

As I wander around the city, I am astounded by the buildings that go up at the speed of a sneeze. The contrast between these high-priced mega towers with their glass edifices and the small, almost sad but charming older buildings is unsettling. Everyone is going real estate crazy and it seemed to get jacked up after 9/11. Like people lost a bit of themselves with those buildings and now they going out and getting one of their own. Or many. We are getting obese on real estate along with fatty foods. We will be moving back to a time of landlords and serfs before you know it. I saw that The Onion made a joke article about the widening gap between the rich and the super rich. It’s funny because it’s true.