Saturday, August 23, 2008

Good Knight

We finally went to see The Dark Knight last weekend. It's as good as everyone says it is, for the most part. It's certainly the darkest of all the Batman films (though, oddly enough, it probably has more daylight scenes than any of the recent Batman movies). All I can add to the litany of praise heaped on the film are my own, mostly geography-related observations. For one, it appears that Gotham is both a city and a state (or perhaps a city-state) since all of the cars in the movie had Gotham licenses plates. These license plates look very similar to those of the State of Illinois, which leads me to my second observation - Gotham City looks a lot like Chicago in this movie. As it turns out, most of the movie was filmed in Chicago. I thought it was kind of strange, since I had always assumed that Gotham City was a synonym for New York City, but as it turns out, the real-life location of Gotham has been a subject of considerable debate for quite some time. This isn't a case of slopping filmmaking however, Christopher Nolan, the director of the Dark Knight, deliberately used Chicago as the prototype for the Gotham City of his movies. Finally, (mini spoiler alert) I thought that scene at the beginning of the movie where the Joker shows up at a meeting of Gotham's criminal underground was a subtle reference to the 1960s Batman movie, but I'm not sure if that's something that a director like Nolan, who has succeeded brilliantly at rescuing the Batman franchise from its descent into camp and idiocy in the late 90s, would even want to do.

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