The Dark Knight (2008)

Starring Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Ron Dean, Chin Han, Nestor Carbonell, Eric Roberts, Ritchie Coster, Anthony Michael Hall

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Expectations: High. Haven’t watched it since the theater.


[Editor’s note: I may spoil this movie, so if you’re one of the few who hasn’t seen it and you care, just watch it.]

Let’s just get this out of the way: Batman Begins is the better movie. I’m not trying to stir up controversy or anything, I’m just being realistic. Batman Begins sets up the world of Batman, sets up the character of Batman, sets up your attachment to this version of Batman. The Dark Knight plays off of that and builds on it, but the framework is already there. Also, The Dark Knight isn’t so much a Batman movie as it is a Gotham City movie, so with the focus shifted it allows for something completely different — and awesome — to occur, but I think it’s easy to be wowed by the machinations of The Dark Knight and forget how great that first Batman movie was. I know that’s what happened to me when I saw this in the theater, but watching them both at home in the space of a few days has allowed me to appraise them in a much more realistic way.

So as The Dark Knight is a movie about Gotham and its arc, it has a tendency to become detached from the things that made Batman Begins great. That character connection to Bruce Wayne/Batman is almost non-existent here, but it is replaced by the Joker’s wild brand of anarchy and the noble “White Knight” pursuits of Harvey Dent to finally clean up Gotham City once and for all. This makes The Dark Knight a harder movie to get inside of and feel connected to, but it doesn’t inherently make it a bad movie like it might in the hands of a different director. This is because Gotham and Batman are so closely tied together that in a way Gotham’s story is Batman’s story; Batman is an incorruptible symbol that will do anything necessary to help the city he lives in.

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The Dead Want Women (2012)

Starring Jessica Morris, Ariana Madix, Jean Louise O’Sullivan, Circus-Szalewski, Eric Roberts, J. Scott, Robert Zachar, Jeannie Marie Sullivan

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: None. Hopefully it’s better than Killer Eye: Halloween Haunt, and something more than a simple softcore film.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:


“Boys, that’s the thorniest rose I ever met.”

So speaks one of the many party guests during the opening scene of The Dead Want Women, and while it’d be easy to say that the line was a great analogy for the film, it just ain’t. See that would mean that despite the thorns and the discomfort and the blood, you’d have delicate beauty and sweet fragrances. Well… shit, the movie does kind of have all of that (except I’m imagining the sweet fragrances)… so what’s the matter? Through all the smoke and mirrors (and nudity), there isn’t much of a story here—but that’s OK, because it’s remarkably more of a movie than the last couple of Charles Band’s films were! Hurray!

Where his last film, Killer Eye: Halloween Haunt, was nothing more than an exercise in seeing just how boring he could make a movie about girls getting naked, The Dead Want Women is something slightly more. While it does feature a character that is completely nude in every scene she’s in, there’s actually a lot more substance here than you’d expect from Band’s recent track record. The film opens in the late 1920s when *GASP* a silent film star is being put out to pasture as the talkies take over. Fuck me running, if I have to watch another movie with this plot, I’ll kill someone, then make a silent movie about my experience but set it in the late 20s so that my character could be replaced by a plucky newcomer with a great voice, then watch that film and then kill myself. That should be enough to put that tired, old cliché to bed. Are all the film industry’s touchstones to the 1920s gleaned from Singin’ in the Rain? Anyway, our raspy-voiced silent film star isn’t too happy and one thing leads to another and she’s in an underground cave watching her actor friends fuck a couple of nubile females. Oh, these Hollywood types! They so crazy!

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