Nota Bene

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I have a couple of important meetings coming up in the next few days, preparing for which will prevent me from the kind of in-depth blogging you folks have come to expect.  My apologies.

Like many Americans this week, I spent more time than I really had available with my DVD of The Dark Knight. If, by some strange quirk of fate, you have not yet obtained a copy of this motion picture, and if you are blessed with a large enough monitor screen, I highly recommend the blu-ray edition. (Oh, and you’ll need a blu-ray player, which you might as well get in any case.)  The whole movie looks great, but the action scenes, which were shot in Imax, are simply jaw-dropping in their detail and picture quality.

When I return, before I finish up my Spielberg analysis, I plan to sit down and do a thorough, multi-part, act-by-act, scene-by-scene analysis of The Dark Knight, the densest, most deceptive, most accomplished, most compelling screenplay I’ve encountered in many a year.

(I was also planning on analyzing all the other Batman movies, to better place The Dark Knight in context, and I may still, but I think I will do The Dark Knight first.)

Then Munich, hopefully before Christmas, but you know me.


48 Responses to “Nota Bene”
  1. greyaenigma says:

    If only I could afford said things, I happily would procure them.

  2. black13 says:

    I’m with greyaenigma here. Only I can’t even afford the Dark Knight DVD. 🙁

    If I may utter a Giftmas wish: I’d like to read your analyses of Jess Franco movies in 2009. That should be entertaining. 🙂

  3. gdh says:

    All the other Batman movies? Even “Batman & Robin”? Even the 1960s one where Adam West fights an inflatable shark? I salute you, brave sir.

  4. amara_anon says:

    I’ve been looking forward to your Dark Knight analysis, glad to hear that’s coming up. Good luck with your meetings.

  5. gdh says:

    Is it weird that the thing I liked the least about The Dark Knight was Batman? Christian Bale was overshadowed by nearly everyone else in that movie, and I still can’t get over how goofy his I’m-a-gruff-tough-guy Batman Voice is. And the real story seemed to be The Joker vs. Gotham City rather than The Joker vs. Batman anyway.

    • johnnycrulez says:

      The Batman voice became way easier to digest after I saw the trailer for Clint Eastwood’s upcoming movie Gran Torino and realized Bale must have just been doing a Clint Eastwood impression.

    • black13 says:

      I thought the real story was the fall of Harvey Dent, with the Joker as the catalyst.

    • stormwyvern says:

      I don’t think so. I think Bale may possibly the best Bruce Wayne to ever grace the silver screen, but his Batman feels average at best and in a film with so many incredible performances, you end up in the strange situation where the guy the movie is named for is kind of lost. Some of of the more recent takes on Gotham City’s chief defender have gone with the idea that Bruce Wayne millionaire playboy is more then invented character and Batman is who Bruce really is. I never got that impression watching this film. Quite the opposite, in fact. Bruce Wayne seems extremely comfortable in his own skin, but once the cape and cowl go on, it’s like he’s acting like a tough, dark crimefighter, not truly being one.

  6. shocka says:

    Just out of interest, have you seen Let The Right One In yet?

  7. craigjclark says:

    Gah. I haven’t even priced a Blu-ray player yet (largely because I’m afraid to considering how much these things cost when they first come out), but the fact that Season Three of The Venture Bros. is being released in that format pretty much makes it a necessity.

    • Todd says:

      I got my blu-ray player at Best Buy for $250. It will come down from that as it becomes the standard. The problems are the monitor, which needs to be pretty big, and pretty expensive, to show off what the player can do, and the discs themselves, which cost significantly more than their plain-old DVD counterparts, but which will also drop as they become the standard.

    • woodandiron says:

      Can a hand-drawn cartoon really look that much better on Blu-Ray rather than regular DVDs?

      • craigjclark says:

        When we’re talking about a cartoon like The Venture Bros., which was produced in HD starting with the last season, yes, they can.

        • woodandiron says:

          I absolutely love The Venture Bros., it’s one of my favorite shows on TV, but no matter the electronic equipment used to produce the show, it still is limited by the fact it’s animation. It’s not like animation can be drawn in 1080p.

          But I’m not ragging on you. If I had the money, I’d absolutely purchase both a Blu-Ray player and season 3 on Blu-Ray.

          Incidentally, I’ve always wondered….is that you in your avatar or someone else I’m not recognizing?

  8. sean_tait says:

    all the other Batman movies

    Do not do yourself and your fans the disservice of sticking only to the live-action Batman films. “Batman Beyond: Revenge of the Joker” and “Mask of the Phantasm” are easily the third- and fourth-best Batman films (though “Mystery of the Batwoman” is an embarrassment).

    Actually, if you’re going to cut any of them off the list, cut the serials. They’re awful.

  9. chrispiers says:

    I eagerly await your Dark Knight analysis. But the prospect of you analyzing Batman and Robin might be even more tantalizing.

    Do you intend to pitch your analyses to a book publisher at some point? What a helpfu resource that could be for movie fans and prospective screenwriters alike.l

    • black13 says:

      I have to second what chrispiers said. You should compile your analyses into book form. I at least have found them very educational.

  10. rxgreene says:

    I am appalled,sir, at your self serving need to put some “important meetings” ahead of your far more financially lucrative cinematic bloggery.

    I suggest you re-evaluate your priorities posthaste.

    (good luck with the meetings, we’ll wait!)

  11. mitejen says:

    While the academic, mature part of me looks forward to your extensive review of The Dark Knight, the childish, train-wreck rubber-necker in me looks forward to your review of Batman and Robin just as much.

  12. yesdrizella says:

    To prep you for your Batman and Robin analysis:

    But of course I’m looking forward to them all.

  13. D:

    I still have to see that. And Batman Begins. Damn the bad Batman movies which made me reluctant to go back to the theatres! And damn my employers for never giving me sufficient hours to pay the bills. *weep*

  14. Any chance you’ll analyze the Batman animated movies as well, or at least MASK OF THE PHANTASM which was actually released in theaters?

  15. curt_holman says:


    You could allow yourself one entry per “era” — one of the Batman serials, one of the animated features, one of the Burtons, one of the Schumachers, etc. — lest it become a neverending project.

    I’d really like to read your thoughts on how you’d approach a sequel to ‘The Dark Knight,’ but would not encourage you to give away something you could conceivably be paid for.

    • Todd says:

      Re: Batman

      I would have no freaking clue about how to approach a follow-up to The Dark Knight. Luckily for me, that job is already spoken for.

  16. Anonymous says:

    not to nitpick, but…

    Nota Bene, not noto bene…

  17. I’m one of the few people (on the planet, apparently) who thinks that “The Dark Knight” was a steaming pile of clusterf*ck. I’m looking forward to this, mostly because of your particular insights, not to mention the high, holy praise you’ve just laid down on the screenplay.

    Not sure it will change how I feel about the execution of said screenplay, however.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I’m looking forward to BATMAN RETURNS most of all. What a weird, dense, beguiling movie. I watch it all the time, and I’m not even sure if I like it or not.


    • Todd says:

      Up until The Dark Knight, Batman Returns has always been my favorite Batman movie. But its screenplay has brains of Swiss cheese. Tasty, tasty Swiss cheese.

  19. locohero says:

    Having a complete breakdown of every Batman movie would be the best thing on the internet.

  20. curt_holman says:

    “I have a couple of important meetings coming up in the next few days,”

    “Okay, Santa Claus, I want Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl on Blu-Ray, and I want Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest on Blu-Ray, and I want Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End on Blur-Ray, and I want…”