Transcript: The Dark Knight (2008)
Transcript of 70mm’s The Dark Knight (2008) Episode.
SLIM Hey, it’s your old pal Slim and this is 70mm, a podcast for film lovers. Every Monday I sit down to talk about recently watched movies with my dear friend and artist Danny Haas.
DANNY Your calves alone.
SLIM And our own spiritual advisor, Protolexus.
PROTO I cannot confirm nor deny that the sandwich that I ate in honor of Michael Caine had anything to do with my sickness the following evening.
SLIM This episode continues our Road to the Batman journey, with Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. The big one. Is it still the best Batman movie ever? Or will we knit pick so hard Danny quits the show? Let’s find out… now.
[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]
SLIM The vibe is electric right now. Last week, we had quote, “Batman” call in to talk about Batman Begins.
SLIM An amazing experience the three of us talking about Batman Beings. We’re continuing the Batman journey, the Road to the Batman with The Dark Knight. Proto, how are you feeling when you woke up this morning, knowing that you’re about to talk about The Dark Knight, the film?
PROTO I thought, man, I gotta write a synopsis for this. I gotta check to see if Batman called in, is gonna call in. I had a lot of work to do this morning. And I just tried to just organize my thoughts on what some are saying is an iconic landmark film in the cinematic universe of all superhero movies.
SLIM We have a lot of voicemails to get to, I can tell you that much. A lot of VMs and letters to get to. We struck a chord.
DANNY A lot of weeping.
SLIM I posted on our IG that The Dark Knight was happening. Our DMS lit up.
DANNY Oh, gosh.
SLIM Not gonna reveal any DMS because that would be improper. But they lit up. Should we talked about Nightmare Alley?
DANNY Yeah, talk about it.
SLIM I think both of you have seen this right? I was shocked by the ratings on Letterboxd that I saw.
DANNY I already talked about it. Let’s hear Proto talk about it.
PROTO Nightmare Alley. So I had quite a weekend. Actually when we finished the show. Last Thursday, that night, I got sick, and I was sick all Friday. And then into Saturday evening. Hadn’t been sick in a long time. So I was up, I was laid up in bed. And I got to watch some movies. So I watched, the first one I put on was Nightmare Alley. So this is the new, the newest picture from Guillermo del Toro.
SLIM The master of horror.
PROTO This is nominated right for Best Picture?
SLIM Best Picture.
DANNY Yeah beb.
PROTO Yeah, it’s a gorgeous, gorgeous movie, man. There’s a feeling that I get with del Toro movies, and I see why his movies get nominated. They almost feel like, like an ode to like cinema itself. Like he has like such good style and like, how authentic everything feels. And then it just feels like there’s almost like this sentimental nod towards periods that Hollywood just loves. Like this is set, I think like late 30s, early 40s. Has, you know, Noir vibes. And so if you don’t know, the basic premise is there’s this, this guy played by Bradley Cooper, who gets involved at a carnival. And he kind of learns the ropes of a particular act. He finds out that he does it well, and it’s it kind of follows him and a few other characters along with him. But man, Bradley Cooper and this is fantastic. I really love him in this movie.
DANNY I thought that too.
PROTO And then while I was thinking what Danny said last week of him being Indiana Jones. The scene of him in the bathtub, that’s an Indiana Jones chest if I’ve ever seen one.
DANNY Thank you! Yes!
PROTO Holy moly. This dude is jacked. He would be so jacked. Can you imagine him covered in sweat, no shirt, hat, whip at his side, gun on his thigh. You know, he’s got the khaki pants. He’s got the loafers on. Like, are we going to the jungle with Bradley Cooper right now? [Slim laughs]
DANNY Who do we have to write to get this going?
PROTO Yeah, this is real. I think Danny, you nailed it. He should be the next Indiana Jones.
DANNY There really is those vibes when this film. It really is. Just feeling it. And you know I always consider Bradley for comedy at this point, but I was remembering back to his days on Alias, and he’s really good in Alias. And that’s my first introduction to Bradley Cooper. He plays Jennifer Garner’s best friend in that. And he just deals with a lot and I really love him in that and I would like to see him and I mean at this point yes, as Indiana Jones, but then more action films where he’s playing a serious role because he’s great in this one too. In Nightmare Alley, he’s so solid.
SLIM Can you imagine a Danny and Beks Alias podcast just for patrons? [Danny laughs] You know? Drip those episodes out once every few months.
DANNY 7mm. [Slim & Danny laugh]
DANNY This is a 480p pod.
SLIM What was that role — what was the big one he did with Lady Gaga? A Star is Born?
SLIM When he played Eddie Federer.
PROTO I loved him in that too. People are saying Nightmare Alley is too long. I guess. I think people have a valid point. It does feel long. But I just I thought it was just so beautiful to look at, like I was fine with being in this world for two and a half hours.
DANNY How about that bar lounge that he performs in?
PROTO Yeah, it’s unreal. The sets in this are just insane.
PROTO Cate Blanchett has this like unreal office.
DANNY Her look!
PROTO Yeah, her look. Ugh, stop it.
SLIM I can’t believe what I’m hearing right now about this movie.
PROTO Stop it! I actually really, I think Toni Collette though was my favorite. I love her as Xena.
DANNY In everything.
PROTO I gave it four stars.
DANNY You gave him more stars than me.
SLIM Wait was this right after you ate those sandwiches for our show? [Danny laughs] When you were doing your Michael Caine bit? Did you eat bad ham?
DANNY Egg salad.
PROTO I cannot confirm nor deny that a sandwich that I ate in honor of Michael Caine had anything to do with my sickness the following evening.
SLIM Getting his comeuppance for that bit.
PROTO I did watch a few, you know what I did this week? You know, I promised myself I’d never do this but I resubscribed to Hulu.
DANNY Oh gosh.
PROTO My least favorite streaming service.
SLIM I can’t believe it.
PROTO Because it has some movies on there that I’ve been wanting to watch. So I watched Pig. The Nicolas Cage joint that was on there. And then Spencer. I watched that as well. And then it has some Titane.
SLIM Did you watch that?!
PROTO No, but I’m gonna watch that next. That’s the other one that I wanted to watch.
SLIM Oh my God! This is a Renaissance for Proto.
PROTO You fit it in within one month, you know, you cancel it. You’re free and clear of Hulu again. But yeah, I watched the Pig. Go ahead.
SLIM Before we get your Pig thoughts, I have to interject. We talk about HBO Max a lot because almost every movie we do is always on HBO Max. But I use Hulu the most any service that I have.
DANNY What? No, that’s not true.
SLIM I’m always on Hulu. Adventure Time. Futurama. We’ve been doing Always Sunny.
PROTO That’s background noise. That’s background noise.
SLIM Sometimes you need background noise! This is family time, Futurama.
PROTO Hulu, the service that specializes in background noise. [Danny laughs]
SLIM Listen, not to belabor the point, but I pay for that Disney triple play, whatever that — you get ESPN, you get Hulu and you get Disney no ads.
PROTO A bundle.
SLIM And then I get hockey in that bundle.
PROTO You need your hockey.
DANNY Let’s move on.
SLIM I gotta get that hockey. Alright, Proto, continue, Pig.
PROTO Um, yeah, Pig. I gave it three stars. I felt like it was kind of missing something. It felt like an idea —
PROTO That wasn’t fully, it needed more time in the oven. This is such a Slim movie though. [Danny & Slim laugh] You love these half baked movies. This is just like, what are those other two movies that I think of? Oh, You Were Never Really There.
PROTO That Joaquin Phoenix movie that’s half baked and then that Schrader movie, First Reformed is a half baked movie.
DANNY Oh my gosh.
PROTO This movie is like have that vibe and I see like you love all those movies. So definitely a Slim movie. But I mean, Nicolas Cage is great and I wish there was more Pig, the pig was amazing. Love the pig.
SLIM Matthew in chat, “cut the stream”. [Danny & Slim laugh] What a week for Proto. I’m excited to see this Titane review. This could break or make the Discord with this review of Titane from Proto.
PROTO Thank you.
SLIM Stay tuned.
PROTO Plan on it.
LSIM We have some new friends on Patreon to say hello to, You can join us, get access to our VHS Village Discord, exclusive episodes in the VHS Village vault, we’re at almost 25 episodes in there. We mentioned Twilight in an episode that will have not dropped yet on this feed. But what if Twilight makes it to the main feed? My gosh. And you get discounts on Danny’s art, discounts on the VHS Village storefront. And Christopher and ft car joined us this week on Patreon, so thanks for joining us on this journey. Danny, what did you watch this week?
DANNY I watched two, well, okay, I watched four movies, but two were to get caught up. I’m doing my best to get caught up on the Oscar Best Picture noms. I’ve kind of rounded out everything that I can see before next week. So I watched Belfast which feels, I didn’t realize how polarizing these reviews were coming in for this film. [Proto laughs] I didn’t know that so many people —
PROTO Someone took a dump on this movie right?
DANNY Yeah, there’s a few in our Discord, in our village.
SLIM A lot of dumps.
DANNY Took some steamers on it. But I still loved it. I gave it four stars. I really liked the child actor. I love his performance with his grandparents. There’s a lot of stuff that I connected with at least on that front. I’m not really connected with I guess, emotionally drawn to having a relationship with grandparents, which I never had. And really, when films kind of portray that with children and their grandparents I get really emotional about it so that that kind of tugged on some strings for me. Got around to watching CODA which I didn’t think I was going to watch because nothing about that movie looked appealing. But I gave it five stars.
SLIM Yeah, I saw that come through.
DANNY This movie has the visual stylings of a very old bad Disney TV show. There’s nothing to write home about. The cinematography is, I can’t get over how bad this movie looked. [Proto & Slim laugh] That being said, the performances and the story were just tugging at my heartstrings this whole time.
PROTO You love the tug.
DANNY Especially her hug her performances with her father. I was just really kind of loving this. And it I mean, it felt like a foreign film because of so much of the sign language and just watching how people have to communicate like that and them leaning so heavily on their daughter to translate for them and be there for them. And there’s just some really great moments and the performances are really good. So it’s just, it’s five stars for what a great emotional ride and to have a film that felt you know, different. I mean, I’ve never watched a film so heavily relying on sign language and it was kind of beautiful and I really —
SLIM Did you cry?
DANNY Yes. There’s a scene, a father daughter scene that got me, it really got me good. I really enjoyed it.
SLIM I saw Casey, your partner, also dropped a five star.
DANNY Yeah, it’s a good movie. I mean, that’s also feels like a polarizing reviews in our Village as well.
SLIM I mean, you took a steamy steamer on the visuals.
DANNY Yeah, it’s like did they even hire a cinematographer in this film?
SLIM My word. That was Danny that said that, for people taking notes.
DANNY Anyway. Then I thought I’d get brave and jump into a Tarkovsky movie. [Proto laughs]
PROTO Oh god.
DANNY I was scrolling through the Criterion Channel and the Mirror box art that I’ve seen around for criterion has always intrigued me, it’s a great cover. And so I started mirror ahead I just realized watching this, I got about 45 minutes into it, maybe an hour in and it’s just, Tarkovsky is not for me. This is not a film director that I can connect with. And I know people love his work and we’ve covered Solaris on our show. And I felt the same then as I do now with, it’s not my cup of tea for cinema. And I don’t know if I will revisit unless one of you pick a movie of his. But I mean, there’s some great what I saw this there’s some beautiful shots it’s really gorgeous. The performance are are cool, but man, there’s something about it that I just wasn’t connecting with and I turned it off. And I’ve just, I think I’m done. I don’t think that’s my kind of movies. It’s not my film.
SLIM Four star from Proto on this movie, Mirror.
PROTO Tarkovsky, he’s a vibe.
DANNY Yeah, I completely agree. Yeah, it’s just the vibe of cinema that it’s just not for me.
SLIM Yeah, that poster is very good, on Letterboxd right now.
DANNY And then real quick, I watched the documentary I am Heath Ledger leading up to this week and it’s a beautiful —
SLIM I’ve never heard of that.
DANNY Portrayal of his life. Luckily, he’s the was the kind of person that films everything he did outside of movies. So there’s so much home footage and handheld cameras of him and some voiceovers of him talking and a lot of his friends and family and close actors that were a part of his life. And it made me miss him so much more. I know we’ll talk about coming up but yeah, it was a lot to handle but I really enjoyed it.
PROTO Man, this banner shot of him on Letterboxd is amazing.
DANNY It’s a really just, yeah, what Jess said in the chat. It’s it really is it’s it’s so weird to have someone documented like this who dies so young and but to see so much footage of him young and full of life and it’s just it’s just one of those things. I cannot believe he’s gone. Still at this point.
SLIM We’ll get into The Dark Knight in just mere moments.
DANNY Stay with us.
SLIM It’s right around the corner. You can use the chapters to skip ahead if you so desire. Every week, we give away a free year of Letterboxd Pro to a friend that shares the show on social media, gets rid of third party ads. You can see where all these movies are streaming on your favorite services, get notified when they’re available. Put them on your watchlist and a bunch of other features that are well worth it. And this week’s winner is Oscar Ventura on Twitter for sharing the show. Congratulations, Oscar.
SLIM Just briefly because I want to get into The Dark Knight, we have a lot of voicemails to get to. I watched this movie called The Shakedown this week.
DANNY Excuse me?
SLIM Because my dear friends at the Bat & Spider podcast announced that that was gonna be their next film. And I had never heard of this movie. 1988, Peter Weller, aka Robocop and Sam Elliott, who you might know from Roadhouse or A Star is Born. Peter Weller plays a lawyer in this, he teams up with Sam Elliot undercover cop to take down some crooked cops. Gave it four stars.
SLIM Can’t beat it. Can’t beat it with a stick. So if you’re a Peter Weller fan like myself, you you owe it to yourself to check that out and listen to the Bat & Spider podcast for filth movies that they cover.
DANNY Did it have a good score? It felt like that movie had a good score.
SLIM Oh my god. Late 80s score? I mean, the music that hits once the credits roll.
DANNY Oh my gosh.
SLIM I was sent into a fugue state. [Danny laughs]
DANNY I might need to.
PROTO You know, this cover, so the director does other movie called The Protector, starring Jackie Chan. Look at this poster.
SLIM Yeah, I would love to just go through the Jackie Chan filmography at some point.
PROTO Yes, we need to do a Jackie Chan.
DANNY We have to!
PROTO We’re way overdue.
DANNY Way overdue.
PROTO I’ve been thinking about this for months.
SLIM You have the power at some point.
PROTO Is the power in my hands right now? [Slim laughs]
SLIM Alright, it’s time to get into The Dark Knight. This is the main course. People have been electrified at the thought of this episode. They’re electrified at the thought of Danny’s art.
SLIM The hype is nuclear to the point where Danny regrets the art that he made. He thinks it’s not good enough.
DANNY I second guessed everything at this point, God.
SLIM But it’s gorgeous. Proto, what is The Dark Knight?
[music from The Dark Knight plays]
PROTO Gotham’s criminal underbelly is reeling as the police are going after the money with the help of Batman who has no jurisdiction and can find you on the other side of the world. But as the noose tightens, a new kind of criminal emerges that isn’t bent towards just crime, but also towards the clanging of chaos. The Joker doesn’t want money or infamy. But he wants the Batman. Having put in 500 hours of planning and administration time, the Joker unleashes a string of kidnappings and rigged explosives that will test Batman’s resolve, The Dark Knight.
SLIM Is Joker the biggest mastermind in the history of film?
SLIM Has anyone defeated his plans?
PROTO This plan… it’s…
SLIM We’ll get into it.
PROTO It’s a stone cold lock. [Danny & Slim laugh]
SLIM I mean, the planning alone required for the Joker for this movie. We talked about it last week, before we get into our top three from each host, you know, the feeling of Batman Begins ending and that the Joker could potentially be in the next movie and you have to wait years to see if that comes to fruition and the excitement level, like you’ve got the first movie done. Set the stage, now you can really amp it up. And then the teaser trailer hits.
[clip of The Dark Knight teaser trailer plays]
SLIM It’s no visuals from the movie. You hear some quotes and then you hear Heath Ledger for the first time as the Joker. Like, I replayed that trailer when this came out a million times. A million times. Danny, what about you?
DANNY I felt like as a massive Batman fan that we were gearing up for something very special. I couldn’t get over the whole ARG stuff they were doing with leading up to this, especially when I mean the trailer that released after the ARG stuff was a Joker graffitied like ripped up trailer as well. Like we didn’t even get the real trailer. There’s just, their marketing behind releasing of this film was brilliant.
SLIM Everyone in charge of marketing this film was probably on a beach somewhere. They made billions of dollars, they don’t have to do this ever again. They’re swimming right now.
SLIM Proto, where were you? Dark Knight, 2008?
PROTO I was feeling cautious because the way I feel about Batman Begins now is the way I felt about it then. So, you know, I saw the teaser of the Joker card at the end of Batman Begins and I was like okay. But you know, when the teaser came out, when the talk began of like even just the title The Dark Knight, it’s like I was getting like starting to feel something, like something happened, like getting tingly, when all this stuff was really and like trying to stay like level, like let’s not get, let’s remember our past and hope the best. But yeah, the hype was high for, because this is, a movie with the Batman and the Joker is like the epitome of, especially at the time, of what I wanted from you know a comic book movie. Like this is it, this is the thing that I’m waiting for. So as these things release and everything looks incredible, like you can’t help but be swept up in it.
SLIM Danny, I feel like I know what your number one is. But what’s your number one note for this viewing of The Dark Knight?
DANNY I was going to hold off and let maybe one of you guys talk about what my number one, what you think it is. So for me, another one of my points, the intro to this movie, the bank heist, the Michael Mann Heat homage to this intro is, the music, the mask, the plan of killing one after another so that it’s just Joker left to take the money, honest to god, this intro is probably the my favorite out of, I mean I don’t even know where to begin with this film anyway, but this intro itself gets me insanely pumped for the next, you know, however long this film is after.
SLIM Yeah, I remember being in the theater as soon, as like the first five seconds in this movie, like where you see the first clown in the window. I was just like, oh my god, like I feel like I knew right then like this was gonna be something special. Then there was like an air in the theater of like we’re watching history right now.
DANNY Joker on the corner, unmasked, just his back to us, that slow pan up to him. It’s stupid good. And it’s just that one Hans Zimmer note that like slow building kind of ticking bomb of what’s about to happen is brilliant. It really is.
SLIM I mean, that’s a genius piece of music for this movie. And I made this note about how this is like Heat Batman.
SLIM And even sitting there, you know, not to talk about 4K again, but I watched this in 4K.
DANNY It’s gorgeous.
SLIM It feels, I was like getting anxious almost. Like this is so amped up at this point for like, even compared to Batman Begins, like Batman Begins it’s like grounded in realism. You know, but it’s like fun. It’s almost like there’s nothing fun about this movies. It’s just like, chaotic and stressful. And this will touch on one of my points and maybe we can get into it now. But like, everything is set to like 11. And one of my main notes is like, how do you even top this movie after this? Because everything is just the absolute worst case scenario in this movie. And it’s them trying to solve it. So like the end of this movie, I was like, Oh my God, like at the time too, I thought, like, where do you even go from here? Like you’ve had the worst event possible happen. You’ve become a surveillance state to beat this threat. Like, there’s nothing after this. Like it should just end, it’s so hard to top because it’s almost like the perfect movie.
PROTO Well, I just want to go back to the opening scene, and where just like, how you said, everything’s amped up to 11 that opening scene to me it felt so it feels so much like something out of a comic book too. I feel like just like, it could use so easily translate and I see what you’re saying of how it’s almost like it feels so intense. And there’s like a just like a what’s the word I’m looking for? Like an earnestness about it, of like, this is serious drama right now. But I think it like it works in like some kind of strange way because if it didn’t have it, like the stuff in it is kind of campy. Like the clowns in the beginning of the masks like they look over the top and ridiculous and even the things they’re saying to each other is like such comic book dialogue, that it it feels like if it was anyone else directing this, this would have felt so much more campy, but there’s like that aspect of it where the dialogue feels a part like it feels of the the source material, but it looks so like you’re saying like a Heat. Like like a gangster, like a Scorsese movie.
DANNY It was legit meant to be an homage to Heat. Whatever the director’s name is, I’m drawing a blank —
SLIM Michael Mann.
DANNY No, of this movie, Christopher Nolan made the made the cast watch Heat before filming the scene, so that they would get into the mindset of what this bank heist was meant to be. I mean, even there’s so many funny bits too in this. Like when when he puts the grenade in the guy’s mouth and kind of fakes him out like that’s kind of silly. Like that’s funny and then you know, the no, no, no, I killed the bus driver like that and that bus through the wall and it’s just, this opening is so perfect.
SLIM Hannah is killing me tonight. [Slim & Proto laugh] The Dwight Joker. In chat, sorry. Yeah. Overall, like this felt more comic book-y than Batman Begins did. Batman Begins, you know, felt more real. Like it just felt like a guy was dressed up like as a bat in real life and also able to get things done. This one felt like they got that out of the way and they’re like now we can just do whatever that we want and make it somewhat real. Proto, what’s your number one?
PROTO My number one is the scene of Batman going to get Lau in China? That scene is absurd. Like it is so cool. Like I haven’t seen this in a while and like yeah, like seeing it in 4K, him, Batman up on top of the building with the gun that’s shooting like the —
SLIM And the new suit.
PROTO Yeah, in the new suit him you know, base jumping off of it into the wings into the window getting pulled out with the plant like that whole it’s it’s incredible. And I was thinking about you know, each movie they always introduce some kind of, you know, new Batman tech of some kind. And in the previous movies, it’s you know, it could be pretty wonky. So I was like, I’m glad they didn’t go with like the, you know, a bad plan or anything like the way they did it. And this is so cool like him just having the suit to dive in. And just like looking amazing. Like Batman looks amazing in the dark scenes.
SLIM Plus he can move his neck and he move his head now. That was one of the your main points from last week.
PROTO Yeah, huge upgrade for him. How many times did that save his life?
DANNY This is my favorite batsuit, hands down. This the suit is incredible.
SLIM This is a real good one. There was some discussion in Discord about how the mouth hole was a little too small for Christian Bale. A sentence I never thought I’d say out loud. My number one, let’s get into it. This is what I thought Danny’s was going to be.
DANNY I knew someone else would have it.
SLIM Heath, let’s get into everyone. Every new person listening right now is like Milhouse on The Simpsons. When are they get into the fireworks factory? Like, when are they going to talk about Heath?! [Danny laughs] You haven’t talked about Heath yet! Thank you, Kev. So let’s get into it. Heath Ledger as the Joker. We talked about it in Discord today. I think it was a Danny who posted the collage of people reacting to his casting on the internet. Sadly, nothing has changed in 10 years. 20 years. It’s off the charts.
[clip of The Dark Knight plays]
SLIM It’s bonkers what he was able to pull off, to the point where on this viewing, I was like curious how they even, like I would have loved to have been in the meetings where they’re all planning the Joker. Like what do you want to do for the Joker? What’s his look like? And just being there, having Heath try things out, see what works. And then making it happen.
DANNY Well, Heath was a big part of designing that. I mean, he was a huge part of designing the look. He wanted to be involved in every aspect of creating the Joker. So he was a part of the costume design, the fitting, when they wanted to do test photos, he wanted to do his own makeup, which is why in some of the scenes in the movie you see the white makeup still on his fingers. Like that’s from Heath doing his own makeup in that scene. So it’s like he embodied the creation of this character. And then he molded it to what fit him perfectly.
SLIM One of the main things I wrote down, I wrote down in my Letterboxd review, was the mouth noises from Heath this time around. I mean, I don’t know if I ever noticed it before. But he’s mushing those lips together when he talks, big time, pointed out to me.
DANNY That’s because the the prosthetic on his lips, it comes off. And so to keep it from cutting the scene to fix this prosthetic he would lick his lips to keep it on his lips. And then just turned it into a character trait.
PROTO And it works so well because of like his scars. You can imagine just someone of his personality just like constantly licking these huge, you know, scars in his mouth. Works perfectly well. Yeah, he is, I was struck by it like that he wasn’t trying to emulate some version of Joker. You know, like, it really feels like this is his take on it. But at the same time it feels like timeless for this character. Like it’s a perfect fit, even when you think of you know, I think of Mark Hamill’s voice or like the Jack Nicholson approach, you know, and like those are all valid and an interesting in their own ways. But there is something about his take on it. That of the is what the Joker is about, what he’s trying to accomplish. I love how he is he feels more like a gangster in this than just like a madman or something else. And just like the way I love the scene where the truck opens up. And he just has like that that automatic pistol and he just is like flailing around like, like a crazy person, not really trying to do anything with it. Almost like he just wants to pull the trigger for the heck of it. Yeah, like he has so many moments where it’s like he he came up with like these expressions for this character that just fits so well for the personality. It’s really incredible. It all feel it feels easy as you’re watching it because you’re like, oh, well that’s the Joker that’s the Joker but it’s like he had to come up with all this stuff. And he had to do it on you know in the screen, on the screen, you know for every scene. It’s really impressive.
DANNY Yeah, leading up to this movie. I didn’t know Heath outside of 10 Things I Hate About You and A Knight’s Tale. I don’t even know that I’d seen The Patriot at that point. Maybe I had. But him, I mean, everything he does in this film is captivating and honestly, I can’t, I can’t, like not get super emotional watching this anymore because I really loved him in this as a person and so what every scene that he’s in, it almost feels like I’m watching it for the first time again. The same feelings I get, you know when he sits down with all the mob bosses at the table and Lau’s on the TV and he does the disappearing pencil trick and it’s just —
SLIM The way he kicked that door open behind him.
DANNY The way kicks it behind him! I know it’s so crazy. And you know, when he’s pulling the grenades out by the string that like it’s just every scene he’s in it just, it’s incredible. And so for him to win the Oscar posthumously is incredible, but also he’s only in this film for 33 minutes. Like this entire film, what feels like a Joker movie. He’s only in it for like a fifth of the time, which is insanely wild to me.
SLIM Also, you know, his makeup still holds up in 4K which you can’t say about Jack Nicholson’s makeup.
DANNY You know it’s also what I love about his makeup and this is it’s so crisp, not crisp, but it’s very well done when he’s like meeting the mob bosses but as time goes on, it’s like slowly like wearing off his face and I just it’s as you know, as things get tenser and more insane like it’s just, I don’t know, I kind of liked that aspect of it. You can see a skin under the makeup, it’s not perfect. It’s a really cool effect.
SLIM Proto, what’s your number two?
PROTO My number two, there are some insane dialogue in this movie. You know, Batman Begins had some insane moments, but there’s so many lines and this route is just like, either like shaking my head or like laughing out loud. And there’s a lot of scenes where it’s just like one on one characters between you know, between you know, Bale, Michael Caine, Rachel Dawes, Harvey Dent and Joker. You know, they’re all having scenes together where it’s like one on one and just like the this dialogue that they’re saying, like I was just cracking up. I was just dying every time Michael Caine had something to say. [Danny & Proto laugh] It is so silly to me like you know, it’s just like, like, just like this guy like saying to Bruce Wayne, this you know, this billionaire. “You got to be Batman. Like this is this is who you are.” Like giving him, like pumping them up for the spiel, but it just like sounds so ridiculous at the same time because we’re like talking about Batman. I don’t know. Like, I just couldn’t get over Michael Caine’s performance in this. He’s just like, so serious and so dramatic in what he’s saying about Batman and it’s just sound so ridiculous most of the time.
SLIM Poor Michael Caine. Imagine Michael’s reactions listening to this, this trilogy of episodes.
DANNY He’s gonna be pissed. We’re gonna need a Michael Caine voicemail.
SLIM I don’t have any notes about Michaelthis episode. I don’t think. What do I want to have as my number two? Let’s get my bad stuff out of the way. You know? We’re all friends here.
DANNY Let’s do it.
SLIM Danny’s got his notes prepared to rebuttal me, he knows exactly what I’m going to bring up. So in my last viewing of The Dark Knight was 2018. And I said that I like it less and less every time I watch it, because I think I was one of the people that just watched it so much, that I start to focus in and hone in on things that I don’t love, you know, because I obviously —
DANNY No, not you. [Slim laughs]
SLIM But the part of the movie that doesn’t, that I don’t love is the middle portion, where Gordon fakes his death. And you get the interpersonal stuff between Batman and Dent. And them thinking that the best plan is for the Batman to turn himself in to end this. How stupid is Batman to think that turning yourself in is going to end this? Like, there’s just zero chance that that is going to be the solution to this. Like, are you a moron? So in this viewing, I actually couldn’t remember if Gordon’s fake death was known by Batman or Dent. Like I was just one of the things I couldn’t remember. So in this feeling, it’s obvious like Gordon just worked on his own to pretend that he died. But that’s just one portion where it just feels like a storyline beat that they could have just erased and maybe saved some time in the movie to make it even tighter. Because Gordon is like the driver of the of the truck. That’s also one of my least favorite scenes, because you hear the dude in the car with him having all this dialogue and Gordon never says anything. And it just feels long on this viewing, like let’s cut some of that stuff out. Also additionally, like Joker planning on being captured is a big portion of that. Like he’s anticipating, failing, and getting captured. And then he plans an explosive to go off at that exact moment in the jail or no, he I’m sorry, he makes a phone call. And then he’s the only person left standing in that explosion like a lot of this stuff drifts so far into comic book land, that it almost takes me out of the movie a little bit.
PROTO I remember the first time I saw this movie, I was at a loss to so much that happened in this.
SLIM There’s a lot that happens, you have to rewind almost.
PROTO I think it took me like four or five viewings to fully get, because there’s the storytelling is so opaque at different points of how these things, like it’s all there. But you really got to be paying attention and like connecting the dots for it all to make sense. I think I kind of take that for granted now. Because it’s just like I’m familiar with it. But I remember like watching this in theater, I was like, I don’t know what’s going on with a lot of this stuff. But it’s cool, I guess.
SLIM Dave points out in chat, it is a Nolan film.
PROTO Yeah, totally.
SLIM And you can say that, like we’re starting to get more mainstream Nolan now, because his movies are very dense. And with like plot beats that you have to really pay attention to, or else you’re going to miss a lot.
DANNY It almost feels on purpose, though. It’s like if you’re not paying attention, you’re going to miss things. But also that’s going to cause this movie to feel more chaotic than it is. But it’s meant to be this incredibly chaotic film. So it’s like, you can if you keep up, this movie feels insane. Like if you’re if you’re following it to a perfect degree like yes, this story feels like, like, how does this work? Like how is Joker like, not just one step ahead. Like he’s, he’s like 20 clicks ahead of Batman at this point, especially when you talk about that scene, the jail scene. To know that he is, to know that this plan has failed. But to have the cell phone stitched into a goon as well, that also gets arrested in the same cell. Like yes, this is where it reaches, not necessarily not grounded in reality, but it definitely not grounded in implausibility.
PROTO How many workshops? Are you having to come up with this entire plant? Like how about them anticipating that there’s going to be a helicopter so like, let’s have these guys position that these two different skyscrapers to shoot wires across? So we’re gonna have to research how high do helicopters fly in between buildings? I mean, there’s so much you know, on the back end to make this all happen. Of course, you know, you don’t really think about it, but it’s just funny when you thought I just just thinking of like the Joker with like 10 henchmen, like in a room with a whiteboard like coming up with like a schedule plan for the last three days.
DANNY Right. But like, that’s what makes us foam chaotic, like to have this idea that an insane guy dressed as a clown, is this far ahead of planning for a Batman. I don’t know, it just honestly, you know, I mean, you know, I love it. But it’s, I think it plays very well into this film. And I love the Gordon bit, like I love you know, his reactionary, I’m going to pretend to be dead to save my family from you know, what comes next, because he’s obviously next after the commissioner has been killed. And the Joker just tried to kill the mayor. So Gordon’s next in line as who’s else is going to be killed in this film.
SLIM I had to google Reddit, why did Jim Gordon fake his death?
DANNY Oh yeah, what did they say?
SLIM They said the same thing.
DANNY Oh, good.
SLIM How about when they brought back that bullet? The exploded bullet to get fingerprints?
DANNY Still doesn’t make sense. I still even know how they got the fingerprint. I mean, I get that they —
SLIM It’s nonsense.
DANNY It doesn’t matter. It’s Batman.
SLIM Who are we on? I think it’s Danny’s turn.
DANNY One thing I realized in this viewing how how incredible that we get an entire story arc of a villain like Two Face we get his climb to you know the white knight of Gotham to the entire you know, turning into a villain to turning into a villain just straight up murdering people as like getting back the death of Rachel, all the way to his own death. Like the story arc have Two Face in this one film that’s already surrounded by the Joker. It’s hard you’re surrounded by Batman dealing with the Joker. I mean, to get an actual like you didn’t even I don’t even know why we needed an entire story arc of Two Face in this film, but it’s there and, and I love it and I get that you have if three people in this film Joker, Harvey Dent and Bruce, all set out to do the same thing, to change Gotham, but all doing it in their own way. And that’s the most chaotic thing about this film. But I love Aaron Eckhart in this film, I think he’s, I think this still might be my favorite performance of Aaron’s out of anything I’ve seen. I love him in this film.
SLIM He’s got one of the weirdest deliveries of saying Batman out loud, too. He’s like, alright, take the Batman into custody. I’m the Batman.
PROTO I’m the Batman.
SLIM I’m in the Batman.
PROTO I love that, like, here he is. He’s just like, I’m the Batman. He has no proof whatsoever. And they’re just like, well, I guess he said he’s the Batman. The cop just goes up and puts him in hand cuffs and just like immediately.
SLIM Take his ass in. Well, they didn’t know that plan was his plan.
DANNY Cops knew.
SLIM But — I don’t know about that.
PROTO I don’t know about that.
SLIM Well, how would they even trust the cops? What cops could they trust? They’re all working for the Joker.
PROTO Danny’s pissed.
DANNY I’m not pissed!
SLIM I love the dynamic between Gordon, Dent and Batman. That’s probably my one of my favorite parts of the entire movie. And in the comics that’s also some of the best stuff that they’ve been pulling from.
DANNY You know, Year One and Long Halloween and The Killing Joke. I mean, this is like a combination of amazing Batman comics that we’ve had. Also in 4K, I was really worried about the Two Face makeup. Yeah, but man, those close up shots still look so damn good. I mean, it’s really good. And it’s so terrifying. What an insane way to show Two Face in this film.
SLIM One of my other notes related to Harvey is something that really jumped up this time. Was Batman needing Harvey so he can retire? Like Harvey is his exit plan. Like Harvey is doing the work that I can’t do. He’s succeeding. And this is my chance to leave and be with Rachel.I’m out of the game. This is finally. And then what’s it’s just sucks. Like Harvey gets so screwed. Rachel, I mean, it gets so screwed.
DANNY She definitely gets screwed in this.
SLIM So her entire storyline kind of doesn’t work out so well. But also Harvey’s storyline. Like he was the great white hope for Batman and then he becomes a villain. Like I thought that worked pretty well. Like he gets so screwed that he goes insane. He’s not taking painkillers. His face is gone. [Danny laughs] How was he alive? He’s got to be so psychotic from the pain, it’s not even it’s not even funny.
PROTO Yeah, I love the double motive of Batman and that, of like, yeah, he wants to be able to allow Harvey to take up the mantle. Because, you were saying earlier like you know why, how could this plan even work? I guess I kind of buy that the plan of like Harvey taking over for Batman and Bruce Wayne retiring because they’ve like they’re cleaning up Gotham, like the cleaning of the police department like things are getting on track. You know, they get all these people you know, all these criminals arrested. Like this is kind of like, if Batman is going to take an exit, it’s on this upswing of Gotham. So I kind of buy that, I think with the storytelling this time around I thought it I thought it worked pretty well.
PROTO You know what I kept thinking, though, while I was watching this? Well it’ll go into my next point. I do have to update my list. I think that this movie, Bale does move to be the number one Batman.
DANNY Excuse me.
PROTO First of all, he is gorgeous in these early scenes as Bruce Wayne.
DANNY Yeah, he looks incredible.
SLIM He looks amazing in this one.
PROTO His hair is unbelievable. Like, gorgeous.
SLIM Art in chat pushing back slightly. How long has he been Batman here? Joker says a year ago no one would have challenged you, one year and he’s ready to retire? Art, you ever fought crime for a year?
DANNY Yeah, art.
SLIM Put your body on the line.
PROTO This is what I kept thinking of. What if Christian Bale came back for one more movie as an older Batman?
PROTO But alternate reality, alternate universe. He saved Rachel and Harvey Dent. But Harvey’s still Two-Face and Harvey and Rachel are living together as Batman continues to fight crime but he’s still in love with her.
SLIM What’s happening right now?
PROTO Just writing a movie.
DANNY I love it.
PROTO Nolan, call me. [Danny & Slim laugh]
DANNY Chris, please.
SLIM So that was your third point, make a multiverse Batman film?
PROTO Yeah, starring Christian Bale still. Alternate ending to the greatest Batman movie of all time, Dark Knight.
SLIM Wow. Okay. Final?
DANNY Sure, my number three. The interrogation scene with Batman and Joker, easily the best scene in this film.
DANNY Easily. Heath’s performance in that scene alone. Are you kidding me?
DANNY Wait, wait, wait, wait, what scene would you pick above the interrogation scene?
PROTO Not the scene where Batman is in the brightest lights of the movie. Batman looks terrible in that scene.
SLIM Oh, because of his costume in actual light?
PROTO I mean, come one, what are we doing putting Batman under a spotlight?
SLIM Cut his mic. Cut his mic.
PROTO What do you mean? Just like his face. [Proto laughs]
DANNY Enough. Enough. Turn him off.
SLIM Cut his mic. This is an iconic scene.
DANNY Iconic scene.
SLIM Iconic scene in nerd circles, maybe Proto’s just on the fringe a little bit. But yeah, the fact that Batman was in that room for the start of that scene, and he just like slowly appears.
DANNY Yeah. A lot of the behind the scenes stuff said that, Heath wanted Bale to not throw a punch, like he wanted to be hit. He wanted to be slammed, there’s a shot. You know when he lifts him against the the wall when he finally tells him his plan. And he pulls the gauntlet if you look to the like, right of Heath’s head, there’s a cracked tile and it’s from his head hitting it from before. Like there’s there’s so much physicality in that scene and Heath alone. I just I can’t get over that scene. It’s incredible and his performance him talking to Bruce as if they’re the same person. And when the chips are down, they’re gonna turn on you too, it’s just, it’s incredible. I can’t, it’s perfect. Heath is perfect.
SLIM There’s a couple, you know, that scene is pretty obvious homage to a famous Alan Moore, is it Boland who did the art for that comic book in that interrogation scene? And the scene also with Joker in the streets, with Batman riding the motorcycle is like almost like a weird homage to Batman 1989 of like the batwings scene, he’s flying down on him. Also, the truck stunt, I feel like was everywhere when this movie came out, like all of these big stunts were crazy. Also, yeah, we haven’t even talked about Gotham. Gotham is very different from Batman Begins. I know it’s a different city, Chicago.
DANNY It’s the same.
SLIM Did they do it in Chicago in the first one too?
DANNY They don’t change it until Rises, they go to Pittsburgh.
SLIM It looks like a totally different city.
DANNY I think it’s because they don’t show the Narrows in this, like the Narrows are so grimy, so grungy.
SLIM They even say the Narrows in this movie?
DANNY No, not at all.
SLIM What happened to the narrows in between Batman Begins and this movie?
DANNY Well, that was the brown movie. This is the blue movie. And the next one if the grey movie.
SLIM They dropped a nuclear bomb on the Narrows. And it’s just not a problem anymore?
DANNY Yeah, they cleaned it up.
SLIM Gentrification does it again. Makes me frickin’ sick.
PROTO They renamed it, I was gonna say that renamed at the Slims. But that was too soon. [Slim & Danny laugh]
SLIM The amount of white project managers that have moved into the new narrows that live there with their little dogs. Alright, my final point, I feel like I hit everything on my list for the Batman, The Dark Knight. Yeah, there’s, I mean, there’s a couple other honorable mentions. How do they nut —
DANNY Excuse me?
SLIM How do they know the cops in Dent’s van? You know, like, Dent gets arrested, “I’m the Batman,” and he gets put in a van with cops. How do you not – how do you assume that those cops aren’t Joker’s men? Like they’ve been talking about how there’s Joker’s men seeded into every department, it’s just like such a gamble — [sound of a bell rings] What was that?
PROTO That was my bell. I thought that was a great point. [Slim & Danny laugh]
SLIM What is going on right now? [Slim & Danny laugh]
PROTO I got a bell.
SLIM So what, is the bell when someone makes a good point on this show? That was the first time all episode?
PROTO Yeah, well I didn’t want to interrupt you. [Slim laughs] So I figured that if you made a good point, I can just ring my bell.
SLIM I am honored to be the first bell ringing recipient. So that was just a few things. You know, this is a Nolan movie. Some of the dialogue is pretty, not great, but it’s a fantastic film. It’s four and a half stars. It’s an amazing film. It’s legendary. So that’s my reading for The Dark Knight. Danny looks like he’s ready to retire from this podcast forever.
PROTO Let it out.
SLIM Proto, what’s your final thoughts and rating for The Dark Knight?
PROTO Oh, my final thoughts. Let’s see, is there anything I missed? Yeah, yeah, I mean, of course, the Joker, Heath’s performance in this is incredible thing I love about that character, too is that he’s just a man. Yeah, he’s just a man with some makeup on he doesn’t have any cool gadgets he you know doesn’t have any like, you know powers of any kind. He’s just a man making his own way in the world. I can relate to that, you know? I thought if if he I love the scene, my favorite scene of the movie is the Harvey Dent transport scene. I think that’s like right in the middle of the movie. To me, it’s like the pinnacle of everything with the Joker. That scene in the underground tunnel with the truck. I think if Joker, if he wrote a memoir, it would be called My Third Rocket where he shoots it and he hits the Batmobile. But yeah, I love this movie. I think the first hour is like my, probably, yeah, I mean, it might be my favorite of any, you know, superhero movies. But I don’t know I struggle with some of the like the dialogue and whatever. It doesn’t really matter. I mean, it’s an iconic movie. I’m at four stars for The Dark Knight.
SLIM Four stars. Wow. And I do want to come back to one point that I mentioned for my viewing, wwas just how epic this movie is. It’s almost like they, we’re not a Dark Knight Rises yet. I’m not making any comments on Dark Knight Rises until next week. But this movie is so grand and epic, that like by the end of this movie, I’m thinking again and I said earlier, but like how do you top this? It’s like impossible to go anywhere from here. Because this movie was so good. You hit every storyline, it is just so impossible for Batman to stop. So it’s just like, man, what do you do next? You know? So we’ll find out next week. Really. Danny, final thoughts, honorable mentions?
DANNY Yeah, honorable mentions. We didn’t talk too much but we can talk about Maggie real quick and how great she was as a recast of Rachel. I think she’s a great actress and I really liked her in this film. For me, this movie is exactly what I set the bar to when I watch any other conquest movie at this point. And honestly probably ruined the MCU for me because I gauge everything against this film. It obviously has its faults, but it’s a five star movie every time I watch it. I think it’s incredibly game changing as far just telling stories. More so than Batman Begins, Batman Begins was fine as a starting point, but this film I love the story. I love the writing. I love the performances. Everything about this kind of you know works for me on every level. And so I mean yes, it’s five stars, this film is means a lot to me. I mean, this is my favorite comic book movie still of all time. And so anytime I watch it, I get the same feeling, same reactions and I’m just enthralled with it.
PROTO [Proto in Batman impression] When you’re finished, type in your name. [Slim laughs]
SLIM How about when Harvey Dent doesn’t realize that the nurse is the Joker until he takes off the face mask?
DANNY Nurse Joker. I mean that whole scene is so good! Stop!
PROTO How about the guy, how about the prisoner who is on the ferry, he gets up and his bravery to go and pick up the the trigger in the box and then put it and then throw it out the window?
SLIM But it was like a weird toss! The trigger like hits the top of the window and like flails out. They couldn’t have shot it a second time? Try to get it right through the window this time.
DANNY Reality. This is reality.
PROTO It hit the window and then it just cut to like the whole ship blowing up. [Proto & Slim laugh] He accidentally triggered it.
SLIM Very risky. I do want to call out Beks’ comment, where did it go? “Poor Rachel Dawes basically just serving as the mental well being and beacon for two unstable men.” It is true. Like, you can say that the relationship between her and Bruce was, you know fulfilling for maybe one of them. But I kind of alluded to it last week like that’s, I’m not like her character could have just been Harvey Dent in the first two movies. You know, like their friend, like I said last week, their friendship and then just deteriorating over —
DANNY So you don’t want any females in this movie?
SLIM I was gonna say, I don’t want to just not have any female love interest, but like, is she better served to be in the movie and murdered? And, you know, by the second movie or not to be in the movie at all? I don’t know. It’s not for me to say.
PROTO Yeah, I keep thinking about that idea. Like how I don’t know, like, how much more impactful it might have been if character if he was in the first movie, and if the relationship was stronger, and just the connection over two movies. Yeah, what could have been. But yeah, that’s the only woman in the movie.
SLIM Jess in chat, but do we want Nolan writing women?
DANNY It’s a real good question.
DANNY You better pick up.
SLIM Holy crap, hold on, hold on. Hold on, hold on. Bat phone is ringing. Let me see.
DANNY Answer it.
SLIM Let me pick up the phone here and see who this might be.
[Proto in Batman impression calls in]
BATMAN Hey 70mm, it’s me, the Batman. This week you’re covering… me… The Dark Knight. A story… about me. Some people get a few things wrong and I want to set the record straight. [Slim laughs] First —
SLIM Sorry, I gotta pause it. I gotta pause it. I’m just picturing what room of the house Proto is in when he’s recording this Batman VM so that like nobody can walk in. Like Alvin walking in, Jenna walking in. I need total silence in here for two minutes, please don’t interrupt me. [Danny & Proto & Slim laugh]
DANNY This one also sounds less like Batman and more like Proto this time. And it’s the best. [Danny & Slim laugh]
PROTO I didn’t get into the role as much.
BATMAN Everyone knows that I am the Dark Knight. If it was about the Joker, it would’ve been called… The Joker. Or Why So Serious? But some people just want to see me upset. But I will endure. I’ll take it. They’ll hate you… They’ll hate me for it. But that’s the whole point of Batman. He can be the outcast. He can make the choice that no one else can make… the right choice. Another thing, there’s been a lot of confusion about what I said to the batlings, did I say hockey paaaads? Or hockey paaaants? For the final time, I said hockey paaads. I hope that clears the air. Okay, love you. [Slim & Danny laugh] I’m hanging up now.
SLIM Oh my god. Thanks for calling in Batman.
PROTO Thanks Batman.
SLIM We didn’t even talk about the ending, that famous bat speech, till that VM from the Batman calling in just now. That movie, that scene, if you showed that to a nerd on the streets, they’d go comatose. Seeing Batman saying that speech and riding off into the light. Oh my god.
DANNY Big time.
SLIM And then Joker, little James Gordon. Talking to Jim Gordon. Why is he running?
DANNY Little James. Should have been Barbra.
SLIM Little does James know that in the comics he grows up to be a murdering psychopath.
DANNY Spoilers. Geeze, Matt, spoilers.
SLIM Alright, we have some VMs and letters to get to. Buckle up. You can leave one for us in the future at 70mmpod.com or you can just shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Who do we want to get to first? Let’s get to some of these letters, I think. We got a few. RudeBoyPete. It’s your dude Rude Boy Pete here, first time longtime, loving what you’re doing. Thank you. I’m sure you’ll get a lot of fan input as to why The Dark Knight is the best in the trilogy. And it is, don’t be swayed otherwise. And I think wanted to point out a lesser discussed recent it rules. Before I became a Canadian, I lived in Chicago for six years and was living there when TDK dropped. As a new Chicagoian, I brought all the way in on what makes a great city in quickly developed a prideful chip on my shoulder that all Chicagoans have because we want the world to know how overlooked and underappreciated this the place is. When TDK released it was a moment for Chicago. It felt like a coming out party for the city. Whereas Batman Begins did use some key Chicago landmarks for its Gotham. The Merchandise Mart as Arkham Asylum is a stroke of genius. It often added too much CGI to make it easily recognizable. TDK stripped all that away and showed Chicago as Gotham in a far more unfiltered way. The river Navy Pier the underground Pedway, the Chicago post office in a gazillion more locations were on full display even though Gotham was a corrupt hellhole you could tell Nolan filmed it with love and we loved him right back. So yeah, I love The Dark Knight a lot, but especially because it reminds me of how much Chicago rules. I’m gonna go eat a Chicago hot dog right now. Do you guys put ketchup on hot dogs? If so, for shame. Love you, bye. RudeBoyPete. I don’t put hot dogs —
DANNY Excuse me? [Danny laughs]
SLIM I don’t put ketchup on my hotdogs. I don’t put hotdogs on my ketchup. Eat those bad boys plain.
DANNY RudeBoy’s right though, when I went to Chicago right after this movie came out, I went to all I scouted out the filming locations. I shared in Discord all my photos from the spots of the bank heist and where Heath was on the corner. I went to the you know the bar where he arrests, where Gordon arrests everything we snuck up to the you know, Batman’s penthouse. We got to the top of that building. I mean it was, it’s incredible what they did in Chicago and I love that city quite a lot for it.
SLIM I went to Chicago once for comic convention. I stayed in like a haunted hotel. Maybe some Chicagoians know what hotel that is.
DANNY I did too. Wait. The Congress.
SLIM I don’t remember the name. Not sure.
DANNY Is that what it’s called? The Congress?
SLIM But I did have some deep dish pizza for the first time. Ran across the pier. Proto, any thoughts on Chicago?
DANNY Loo Malnati’s Pizza is my fav. Is that right?
PROTO I’ve never been. I’d love to try deep dish. I’ve never had, you know, authentic Deep Dish. Someday.
SLIM There’s been a lot of talk about a potential 70mm VHS Village meetup in Chicago.
DANNY That’s plausible.
DANNY I’m down. I love Chicago.
SLIM Chicago. Chicagoooo. Right? Is that how it goes?
SLIM Next letter comes from Scott. Hey 70mm pod guys. Dark Knight is probably my fav hero comic book film of all time. That being said, when Protolexus stated last week he gave Batman Begins two stars, I almost drove my car purposefully into oncoming traffic while listening.
DANNY Yeesh. That’s murder.
SLIM I was seeing red. I did calm down after a few moments and realize that it’s okay everyone has their own opinion on films, and his is more artsy, less fartsy. But I’m starting to see a pattern with Proto that aligns with being the Simon Cowell of the group.
DANNY Oh my gosh.
SLIM All’s good. And just an FYI on Caine’s speak. If you say “my cocaine”, you’ve just done your best impression of Michael Caine telling you his name. That comes from Scott.
DANNY Scott’s not messing around on that.
SLIM Not messing.
PROTO There’s some strong words in that email.
DANNY The Simon Cowell — [Danny laughs]
SLIM The Simon Cowell of 70mm.
PROTO Is he still around, Simon Cowell?
SLIM No idea.
DANNY That just makes Slim Paula Abdul. So I’m okay with it.
SLIM Paula Abdul, you kidding me? I take that as a huge compliment. We gonna have a dance party in Chicago during our meetup?
DANNY Your calves alone.
SLIM No dance floor is ready for my calves. It might be too dangerous.
PROTO That would make Danny What’s Up Dog? [Slim laughs]
SLIM Let’s see. Let’s get a VM to break up the pace a little bit here. Now, we have a first time VMer, and it’s a little bit long. So I’m gonna allow it because they’re a first timer and it’s The Dark Knight and it’s probably praise for The Dark Knight. So Danny’s especially going to allow it.
DANNY Someone’s gotta praise it.
VOICEMAIL Hello 70mm podcast. Ben here. Huge fan. Going to start with a little bit of honesty upfront. When I started listening to you guys, you weren’t big fans of one of my favorite films of all time and that turned me off for a bit. But because you know what? different opinions are good. That’s great. That’s what I love about this art form that we call film. There’s so many different elements to it and we can have our varying opinions. So just wanted to get that out there. Because I love you guys. However, I’m really here because Batman. Holy smokes. We’re talking The Dark Knight. But last week’s Batman Begins, so good. It reinvigorated a lot of people for Batman. I had been reading Long Halloween and Dark Victory prior to that movie coming out. I was just, I was mind blown, but dark night we can talk a long time about Heath Ledger’s performance, about the visual effects of Two Face. About Batman actually being able to turn his neck. Oh my word, they finally did it. But I want to share my viewing story when I saw this film in theaters, so I I’d taken a trip to Colorado. And my friends were all back home in Wisconsin, so I couldn’t go see it with them, which was a huge bummer. But I was determined to go see it an IMAX in Denver, Colorado. I was on this trip. I had met a couple people. I got this guy to go with me. It was like a two hour drive to Denver. We drove to Denver. We saw this thing on IMAX and I was euphoric. It was probably one of the greatest film viewing experiences of my life. I mean, it’s Batman on the big screen, Joker on the big screen. Oh my word. So then, movie’s over, we get in the car. I’m, I’m giddy as all get out. And this guy, I turned to him and say oh, what did you think? It was fine. That was his response to this film. It was fine. And he didn’t really like it. Guys, I drove two hours home with this dingus. After watching The Dark Knight about an emotional roller coaster, I was exploding. My mind was blown. And I couldn’t even have a conversation about it. So that was my, that was that was my original experience. I’ve gone on to watch it, you know, maybe 50 times. I don’t even know at this point. I love it. I’m excited to hear what you guys say. Proto, dear God, please give it more than two stars please. At least a four banger for this one. But I’m not going to be upset if it’s a five. Thank you guys for everything you do. Thanks for letting me share my story. And can we just talk about Robert Pattinson’s complete 180 as an actor? How do you go from Twilight to Bruce Wayne? I don’t know. But man, am I excited for The Batman. He’s always love you guys. And I can’t wait to hear what you have to say. Bye.
SLIM Thank you so much, Ben.
PROTO Cedric Diggory, ever heard of him? [Slim laughs]
DANNY Robert’s always been on top.
SLIM Always been. Yeah, I think our eyes opened up during that Twilight episode that we did just for supporters. Big time.
DANNY Eyes wide open.
SLIM Especially that eyes wide open that gasp, the revulsion gasp when he smelled her across that classroom.
PROTO Oh yeah. Oh yeah.
DANNY The pheromones alone.
SLIM The pheromone levels.
PROTO Remember kicking that apple up with his foot, catching it in his hands? [Slim laughs]
SLIM Or him running, the running of special effects, where he’s just like, suspended in midair his little feet are running back and forth. [Slim laughs]
DANNY I forgot I made that shirt. [Danny laughs] It’s still there?
SLIM Is that still in stock? Oh my god. The Robert t-shirt on vhsvillage.com, check it out. Alright, let’s get to another letter here. We got one from a dear friend of ours, ctcher, cohost of the Cinenauts podcast. Subject line TDK Forever. There is a scene in The Dark Knight where Batman is racing towards the Joker on his brand new Batcycle expertly needling a high strung wire under the wheels of a semi truck and through a number of lampposts that lined the sidewalk, barreling down the street at a million miles an hour toward what is essentially a brick wall. The level of nervous excitement in that scene barely captures the real life anticipation me, my friends, and what felt like the rest of the world was feeling leading up to the opening night of The Dark Knight. Could any film possibly live up to this level of hype? In the theater that night the audience washes Batman slammed into and immediately crawled up the wall spun around and landed perfectly posed. The crowd erupted. It’s still the best film going experience I’ve ever had. Let me read it again. It’s still the best film going experience I’ve ever had. Okay?
DANNY That’s incredible, ctcher. I love you.
SLIM Let that sink in. Episode 91. Like Batman himself, The Dark Knight film managed to not only live up to my slash our wildest expectations and sticking the landing but it did so in style I love this movie with all my heart. Love ctcher. PS. This specific smell in that packed theater as we sat waiting for the film to start will never leave my sense memory. Thank you ctcher.
DANNY Imagine our Chicago meetup, we screen The Dark Knight. [Slim laughs]
PROTO On home turf, wow.
SLIM Can you imagine the day old hot dogs in that theater roller? Like that thing just stewing. We call ahead, tell them to put the hotdogs on like two days in advance.
DANNY Oh my gosh.
PROTO Let them marinate.
DANNY Stale bread.
SLIM When you bite into that hotdog.
DANNY Yeah, it cracks.
PROTO It’s not longer meat after two days in there. [Danny & Slim laugh]
SLIM Last week, I actually, you know, got a VM from Haitch, cohost of Dune Pod for Batman Begins. So let’s break up The Dark Knight lovefest for a moment and hear what he has to say about Batman Begins.
VOICEMAIL Hey guys, it’s Haitch. I just wanted to call in and say thank you so much for getting me to rewatch Batman Begins. I love this movie. I’ve seen it many, many times. And I think the thing that is most powerful about it is the fact that they made this movie so frickin grounded, whether it’s showing the armor or whether it is establishing how long things take as Bruce is getting up and running or spending years out in the world and doing his training and stuff. But the biggest thing was moving off of all of these elaborate Gothic sets that had been used in the previous movies and making this feel like the real world, including daytime shooting. It just, it made it so much more real and wonderful for me, I was just way into it. The other thing I’ll say is I remember seeing American Psycho in the theaters and thinking, just watching Christian Bale’s performance. And just thinking this is Batman, like this is the psycho rich boy that is out there enjoying pummeling people and so I was pretty thrilled when he got cast later on. Thanks a lot. Looking forward to the rest of the journey at least through Dark Knight. And I don’t know what to say about Rises, I guess we’ll see when we get there. Love you guys. Take good care.
SLIM Shots fired.
PROTO He’s always gonna get a shot in.
SLIM That’s classic Haitch from Dune Pod. I just want to point out, the emotional state of this team ahead of the Dark Knight Rises. Danny, I just want to just let everyone know, the fragile state of us ahead of Dark Knight Rises. Okay? I don’t know if I’ve seen it since theaters, to be honest.
SLIM I don’t know.
PROTO I haven’t seen it since theaters.
SLIM I don’t know.
PROTO Show us how to feel.
SLIM Let’s get another letter here from Jasher, who might be in chat right now. Jashzilla. Subject line: The Dark Knight. Hey 70mm, I’m huge fan of the show from New Zealand. And have spent the last few weeks binging the podcast while working. Thanks so much for the great discussions and entertainment. I absolutely love The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger. Are you kidding me? Nothing more can be said about his incredible performance that hasn’t already. But he’s a God. Don’t really have a question related to The Bat. But just wondering if you guys each have a favorite from this year’s Best Picture noms?Love you guys, love 70mm and love the community. Thanks for everything. That’s Jashzilla. Thank you Jash. Best Picture fave, Danny? What’s your pick out of that?
DANNY Power of the Dog, Jane Campion. I want it.
PROTO Let me look. Best Picture. I feel like it’s between Power of the Dog and Nightmare Alley right now. I think I’d go Power the Dog too maybe, I don’t know.
SLIM Yeah, I’d love to see Jane Campion win again. I really enjoyed the Power of the Dog. I think Licorice Pizza gave five stars. I can’t remember, maybe four and a half or five star. But I would rather see The Power of the Dog when personally. I don’t want to see any other ones win. It would be nice if Drive My Car won. There’s a lot of love for that. I didn’t love it myself.
PROTO It’s tough to see that.
SLIM Next VM. Who do we got here? Dear friend of the show Andy. Orlandy.
VOICEMAIL What is up 70mm? It’s Andy calling from Orlando, just want to call in super quick because this week you guys are talking about The Dark Knight, which in my opinion is the best film of the whole trilogy. Just seeing what Nolan did with the story really continuing this idea of Bruce wanting to walk away from being Batman to ultimately be with Rachel was a really nice touch. Again, it makes sense why we see Bruce try so hard in putting all of his chips on Harvey Dent. And again, also just some beautiful shots in this movie with Batman on those rooftops just absolutely gorgeous. And of course, Heath just did an incredible job with his performance as the Joker. Similar to last week, there are a few lines from this movie that I quote on the regular. If you’re good at something, you don’t do it for free. It’s simple. We killed the Batman. Fancy seeing you here. And I’m sorry for everything. Lastly, that last scene between Two Face, Gordon and Batman, it gets me every time to the point that every couple months or so I usually pull it up on YouTube just so I can rewatch it. In fact, Slim if you want to edit that scene in right now, I’ll pause for editing purposes. Just hearing Dent every time say, it’s not about what I want. It’s about what’s fair. You thought we can be decent men in an indecent time. Always, always gets me. Anyways, I love the movie. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. I’m kind of nervous actually. But I’ll just say this, in Danny we trust. Alright, I love you guys. Bye.
SLIM Yeah, I mean, there’s a lot we didn’t even talk about. There’s a lot in this movie. If we did a three hour episode, maybe we can cover everything.
DANNY In the most predictable person, we trust. [Slim laughs]
PROTO He’s a machine with the five stars.
DANNY I’ve always loved the line, unstoppable object meets an immovable force or whatever.
SLIM One of the, you know, we’ll probably talk about a little bit with Rises. But with Heath’s death, weren’t there rumors that the original plot of Rises was the trial of the Joker? Does that sound familiar to you?
DANNY We’ll get into it.
SLIM Save for the show.
DANNY You know what I found interesting and watching the documentary on Heath, I felt like there was so much negativity around his death that he, you know, the drugs that he was on was because of his sleeping, because of this film, because the Joker tormented him. But man, it couldn’t be more wrong listening to his friends and family talk about him and how much he loved this role and even the cast members on set would say how much off camera Heath was smiling, having a great time. Leading up to this film, so much of his he had insomnia. He was already on sleeping pills to begin with, and then the toll of just being exhausted from this film. But even going further after filming, he got walking pneumonia on the set of the Parnassus movie so it’s combination of all of his, you know, drugs for that, drug for sleeping just was a mess and it is what killed him but I felt like they tried to use the Joker as a reason for his overdose and which is could be more like furthest from the truth.
SLIM Right. I forgot about all that stuff. Next VM comes in from Ben.
VOICEMAIL Danny, Proto, and Slim. It’s Ben, aka nosoulnoproblem. Guys, The Dark Knight holds a very special place in my heart because it is one of probably my favorite theater going memories, not because there was a crazy audience or you know, there was any sort of insane moments but because I believe I was probably about 16 at the time, so I would have been of driving age and I remember driving me and my mom to our local theater. We got into the big room there and sat down to watch what neither of us were really expecting to be the glory that was The Dark Knight. I very specifically remember leaving the theater with a sore arm because my mom consistently was jumping and grabbing my arm very tightly throughout the duration of the movie. I went and got a special edition DVD. And it came with a Two Face coin which I carry in my wallet to this day to help me decide on spur the moment decisions. Obviously there’s plenty to talk about but I won’t do that, you guys have already done that. Thanks for covering this because it holds a very special place in my heart. Love you guys. Peace.
SLIM Oh, look out!
DANNY Production value.
SLIM That was just a shocking as Proto’s bell. [Danny laughs] Remember the bell? [Slim & Proto laugh] What a nice memory to have. The Dark Knight.
PROTO The memories we made.
SLIM I think we have, let’s see, we got Proto. I mean, Batman. We got Ben, we got the Bat Phone. Batman Begins, Haitch. I think we have dear friend of the show.
DANNY Wasn’t there a redacted email?
SLIM Oh, yes. Scott from earlier, who called Proto the Simon Cowell of 70mm had a redacted follow up because I think he just incorrectly thought it was actually Danny who gave the two stars. That was his redactions. Like oh, I’m sorry. [bell rings] [Slim & Danny laugh]
SLIM Kev, is our last VM.
SLIM Kev and McKenzie from our Discord have started up a new podcast. Austin Danger Podcast as they follow the Austin Powers films. They’re actually already done. I mean, it’s only three, but they are following the Dune Pod format and they’re drifting into other films. So if that tickles your fancy, which it does for me, because Austin Powers is one of my all time favorite movies, five banger every day of the week. Check out that podcast.
VOICEMAIL Hey kids, Kev here. Big night tonight. No pressure, you’re just doing The Dark Knight. The definitive masterpiece of our time, right? Um, you know, my memories of The Dark Knight start on opening night, midnight premiere. I went and got popcorn and missed the entire opening sequence, or so I thought. When I got to the theater, the whole place, the lights were up, and everybody was talking and stuff. And I had just figured out that well, the reel had broken and so they had to run the whole thing again, including the trailer for Zack Snyder’s Watchmen. Which we know better now, but felt like the last movie on earth without smashing pumpkins needle drop, you kidding me? I really miss when trailers would be attached to movies like that. But then again, if they were we wouldn’t have Nicole Kidman. I really loved this movie on the rewatch for this show. And the thing I noticed the most is the way the ensemble really makes the whole world feel more real. So with that in mind, do you realize who you’re dealing with you and your friends are dead? These dogs are hungry. Harvey Dent where they kept cool Sandar, any other memorable lines from the margins of The Dark Knight. Thank you very much. Have a good night.
SLIM Cripes alive.
PROTO So many great lines.
DANNY So many.
SLIM I mean, I can’t do any impressions after that.
PROTO [Proto in Batman voice] My clowns are hostages.
SLIM The smashing pumpkin song in that Watchmen trailer got you amped for that Watchmen movie. 100%.
DANNY What a trash movie too.
SLIM Zack Snyder knows how to cut a trailer.
PROTO He does.
DANNY If only he knew how to cut a movie.
SLIM Oh my god.
PROTO Do we have to go back and watch Watchmen?
DANNY Watchmen is garbage. What a terrible movie.
PROTO I don’t know about that.
SLIM The Watchmen is like the nerd holy grail or it was for many years, like when I grew up Watchmen —
DANNY What an overrated book too.
SLIM All right. Okay. Everyone shadowboxing right now. Everyone’s looking for a fight.
PROTO Some say Alan Moore’s the Tarkovsky of comics. [Danny laughs]
SLIM I just want to make it known that I did not say any of these things. I love the Watchmen comic book.
DANNY Imagine owning a comic book store and “do you have the Watchmen trade?” every day?
SLIM That’s what people hear —
DANNY Get outta here! I don’t sell this in my shop anymore! [Danny laughs]
SLIM We need to wrap this show up before we piss off any other listener about that loves the Watchmen.
PROTO We can do V for Vendetta instead. [Danny laughs]
SLIM I don’t want to watch that. No way Jose. Someone can sub in, we’ll get Ian to do that episode. That movie’s banned from being chosen for this year.
SLIM I’m putting a moratorium on that. I don’t have any desire to watch that.
DANNY We need to table this talk. What?
*SLIM Why would — no. Out of all the movies we have at our disposal we would watch V for Vendetta?
DANNY I think this is a must now.
PROTO I’ve never seen Slim this pissed.
SLIM Ian? Can someone at Ian in? There’s this like zero excitement level for me to watch that.
DANNY We just gave Dune Pod like six episodes to do now.
PROTO The vein in Slim’s forehead is throbbing right now. [Slim laughs]
SLIM All the movies to do, let alone redoing a movie we’ve already done, V for Vendetta is at the bottom of the list. I think we got everybody this week. Long full episode for The Dark Knight. Next week, we figure out how strong our friendships are for The Dark Knight Rises up. Let’s be frank with each other. Proto, can you take us out this week? Next week The Dark Knight Rises, hopefully everyone washes along and and sees how we really feel about it.
[Proto takes a bite of a sandwich]
PROTO We had a great show, for a great movie. We’ll get one final ride for our boy, Michael Caine in Rises. I have no idea how I’m gonna feel. I can’t wait to find out.
SLIM We’ll see everybody next week for The Dark Night.
[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]