Thursday, December 15, 2016

Return to Mikey

Mikey Neumann, who did my favorite podcast for a couple of years, has a growing YouTube channel where he reviews movies he likes. I... actually don't really like this channel[1]. Lately he focuses much more on the writing and basic plot content instead of the cinematic choices that make movies a different and more powerful form of art. Plus his philosophical perspective is usually just aggresive mainstream liberalism, which is generally inadequate for exploring these works.

But! This week he did The Dark Knight, and it was pretty good.

Recognizing that Batman is an insane fascist[2], and Joker is a revolutionary figure is a pretty good first step. The Joker here is exactly what we're talking about with the traumatic transformation into Authentic Evil, compared to the ineffectual and over-idealized and somewhat corrupt Harvey Dent.

As SMG said: Of course the Joker was trying to fight poverty. What was his other option, vote for Harvey Dent?

Anyway, the first half of the review focuses on plot and dialogue, but in the end he turns to Heath Ledger's acting choices, which yeah really make the character. Remember, one shouldn't judge acting by whether it was "good or bad", or even "charismatic or wooden", but rather by what those details show us about the overarching story. And Mikey makes a compelling argument for how they contribute to this inhuman crusader.

[1] I'd say I liked the earlier reviews but lost interest around his Fifth Element review. This is a beautiful, fucking insane movie by a visionary director, and he mostly talked about plot elements of what Bruce Willis was doing.

This is also why pure "fan theory" review sites are so terrible.

[2] Yeah kids, it's not a coincidence that Christian Bale is playing Bruce Wayne the same exact way he played American Psycho.

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