“The Dark Knight” – Joanna Langfield reviews

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Dark, indeed. In fact, this Batman sequel may be the darkest movie of the year. Capitalizing on Gotham’s legendary horrors, this chapter forsakes all of the emotion that made Batman Begins actually interesting, and goes full throttle instead, for the action. It’ll make a fortune.

Not that there aren’t rewards in this Nolan Brothers production. Especially as seen in IMAX, the soaring flight scenes, through the skyscrapers of Gotham and Hong Kong, are dizzyingly thrilling. And kinetic and lip smacking, poor Heath Ledger is simply terrific, establishing a unique take on the already overplayed Joker. It probably doesn’t matter that Christian Bale’s complex take on the playboy with a conscience is shoved aside in favor of a rubberized suit and stuff too cool for even him to get a kick out of. Because Morgan Freeman keeps it real (doesn’t he always?) and Michael Caine and Gary Oldman give sly, spot on performances. Maggie Gyllenhaal slides into Katie Holmes’ deserted role as Rachel, but it’s Aaron Eckhart who’s asked to do the most here: transforming his key character without the aide of real explanation in the script.

Yes, there are stabs at morals here; even a moment or two of quick introspection. But forget any levity: the only lightness is figurative and comes when guys are trying to kill each other while swooping through the skies. Maybe in the next Batman, the balance of visceral, introspection and a few laughs will be better: after all, they mention several times in this oh so bleak movie, it’s always darkest before the dawn.

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Joanna Langfield (Archived Contributor)

Her voice is heard throughout the 50 states and around the world by more than one million listeners on her syndicated radio programs: Joanna Langfield’s People Report and Video and Movie Minute. She’s also seen and heard as a regular contributing commentator on CNN International, CNN, Fox News and CNBC. In print, her articles have been published in such high profile magazines as Video Review and McCall’s. Joanna Langfield is known for taking interviews to another level with probing looks at celebrities’ insights rather than just their latest projects. As a result, she’s secured a niche among the nation’s premier interviewers and movie critics. Joanna began her career on the production staff of a local Boston television station. She then focused her energies towards radio and produced talk shows at WMEX-AM in Boston. After moving to New York, she became executive producer at WMCA-AM for talk show personalities Barry Gray and Sally Jessy Raphael. She began hosting a one-minute movie review spot which, in turn, led to her top-rated weekend call in-show, The Joanna Langfield Show (1980-83). Joanna moved to WABC-AM to host The Joanna Langfield Show on Saturday nights from 9:00pm to midnight. It was the highest rated show in its time slot. From 1987-1989, Joanna hosted Today’s People on the ABC Radio network, which was fed daily to over 300 stations around the country. She also appeared on WABC-TV as a regular on-air contributor. In 1989, Joanna formed her radio production company, Joanna Langfield Entertainment Reports, to syndicate her radio reports. She is considered to be one of the top authoritative commentators on the entertainment industry. Read Lagfield's recent articles below. For her Women On Film archive, type "Joanna Langfield" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).