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The Dark Knight Review

Batman Begins is my all-time favorite comic book movie. The gritty realism really brought the whole story home for me in a way that no other movie ever could. A fantastic cast rounded out the first one, and made it a memorable film for all times. When I heard that they were indeed doing a sequel, I was both overjoyed and concerned. How could they ever top the greatness that was the first film? The answer? Heath Ledger.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, you’re well aware that Heath Ledger passed away due to a tragic accidental drug overdose. What you don’t realize is that this role was an absolute masterpiece of work that frankly would be impossible to top. Playing a very different Joker than Jack Nicholson or Cesar Romero, Ledger created one of the most terrifying villains I’ve ever seen in a film. In truth, he takes the top spot in my scariest bad guys top ten away from Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter. He creates a truly terrifying force, a polar opposite of Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne/Batman. I’ve heard lots of Oscar talk about Leger’s role, and now I see why.

What gets lost in the wake that was Heath Ledger’s performance is all the other great performances. Bale, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart, and Maggie Gyllenhal all have great performances that truly make The Dark Knight one of the best acted films I’ve personally ever seen. I’m a big fan of director Christopher Nolan’s, and he didn’t disappoint me at all with the performances he once again gets out of his cast.

About the only criticism I can lay down is that the story felt like it should have ended sooner, though in my humble opinion, that passed soon enough and I was grateful for more film. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, you should go now. Seriously…right now! Come on readers (OK…I know it’s just you Mom, but still…GO!!)

Seriously, this is a great movie and Ledger’s final full performance is worth every penny of ticket price. However, this may not be a good choice to see with small children. While my son tolerated it fine, he’s used to being traumatized. After all…I’m his father. Only you can judge whether your kids can handle this one. You, on the other hand, can, so go and you can thank me later.


July 20, 2008 Posted by | Movies | | Leave a comment

The Right Way to Have Fun

Recent posts at Critical Hits and Chatty DM had me thinking I should post this too. After all, my reader may find this useful (hi Mom!). I’ve been pretty hard on 4th Edition, and with what I think is good reason. Some of the changes were, in my opinion, answers to questions that I hadn’t heard anybody ask. But you know what? Someone was asking them! No two groups have the same approach to playing any RPG and no system supports every play style out there.

I’ve made no secret that I’ll be sticking with 3.5 for the foreseeable future. It fits my play style better than 4th Edition, and while 2nd Edition did too, 3rd Edition incorporated all the house rules we had been using for years already, so why go back? It does not mean that if you like 4th Edition, you’re the anti-christ and want to devour the souls of small children and puppies…well not necessarily anyways. It means you like a different game than me. Is it really that different than people who like D&D and people who like GURPS? Both a different systems. The only difference is that 3.5 used to be the D&D system, and like it or not, WOTC has decided 4th Edition is the future. So be it.

One knock against 4th Edition that I want to address right here and now is that 4th Edition doesn’t allow role play. First, that’s total bull. Some DMs might not, but that’s another story entirely. Nothing in the mechanics for 4th Edition prevents role play. Now, I find the mechanics support a style of role play that I find distasteful, making it harder to create unusual characters with skills within the mechanic, but that doesn’t prevent role play at all. Say you play a Tiefling fighter. How does the rules say you have to play them? It doesn’t! It could be as a tiefling who dispises what his ancestors did and strives to right any wrong to atone for the sins of the past, or as one who thinks his ancestors were on to something and hopes to build a great empire for his kind on the bones off all who oppose them.

Role play is not dead in 4th Edition folks. It’s not even sick. It is not, however, good for my style of role play. It doesn’t make 4th Edition wrong or 3.5 right. It makes them a bit different! That’s all!


Now…let’s go have some fun 😉

July 20, 2008 Posted by | RPG | | 2 Comments