Yeah, yeah…go, Batman. We all love Batman.
The Dark Knight
I fear the fanboys, so I can’t say anything bad about this movie. So…let’s see…This movie is guaranteed to be the best thing ever. Batman is not getting old as a character at all, even after 70-odd years of doing the same thing over and over. Assuredly, this latest flavor of Batman will be better than all previous attempts to make him relevant, and I certainly can’t think of anything that I’d rather take seriously than a guy who dresses up in a rubber bat costume to fight a sociopath in a clown outfit. A remake of Tim Burton’s 1989 film was way overdue (it’s been almost 20 years! get your head in the game, Hollywood!). And finally, Heath Ledger died tragically after filming this one, which is proof-positive that this is his best performance ever. Enjoy your opiate, masses. (All joking aside, the trailer does make this one look pretty cool. I’ll probably go. Just not on opening night…the thought of rabid Batman fans scares the guano out of me.)
Recommended if…yeah, I’m not even gonna bother. You’re all lined up at the box office already.
If you were wondering why Dark Knight was still my top choice, despite my sarcasm (what sarcasm?), here’s your answer (well, this movie and the next one). CG animals with celebrity voices are, of course, all the rage right now, because just like Batman, they’re not getting old at all. Every studio in Hollywood knows that kids aren’t particularly discerning, and their parents just want them to shut up for an hour and a half, so the studio suits just play this little Mad Lib game: “(type of talking animal) in (mildly surprising location).” Now fill in the blanks with “zoo animals in Madagascar,” “forest animals in suburbia,” “penguins in the tropics,” or “chimpanzees in space” and you’ve already made yourself a cool $100 million. Who even needs a clever script or the latest animation software? Plus, the sequels to these things practically write themselves!
Recommended if you just can’t get enough mediocrity.
…And if you’re looking for a movie trend even more nauseating than CG animals, how about a nice musical? Like nearly every bad film musical, this was based on a bad stage musical. And like nearly every bad stage musical, that one was based on the aging works of a washed-up pop band (in this case, ABBA). If the trailer is any indication, this one looks to be two hours of Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, and Colin Firth, among others, all standing on piers and lip-synching to songs you were hoping you’d never hear again. There’s an outside chance that this could be watchable, but if you’ve really got that musical itch, you’re probably better off renting The Music Man for the umpteenth time and waiting for High School Musical 3 in October.
Recommended if you still haven’t gotten over that 1980s nostalgia that the rest of us have been sick of since, like, 1991.