Spiraling Toward Irrelevancy

Never has a blog title spoken quicker to the absolute truth than "Spiraling Toward Irrelevancy" ...


The Dark Knight / “Summer Vacation” / NYC Essay / The Summer of Dexter

1) The Dark Knight is two hours of a very good movie, and thirty minutes of a movie that significantly weakens the first two hours. Christian Bale is wooden and unpleasant – like he is in everything else – but absolutely tortures us as Batman. Somewhere along the line, Bale was convinced that in order to play the character with any sort of credibility, he had to sound exactly like Assy McGee. And he ran with it. (Look, I understand it’s an obscure reference. I can only trust you’ll investigate and catch up.)

Where Bale is … himself, Heath Ledger steps in, picks up the ball, and runs the greatest sprint of his acting life. As the Joker, Ledger is literally a joy to watch and hear; I have not one complaint about his performance, but question the sense of timing of the director that allowed Ledger to continue talking straight through two absolutely brilliantly delivered joke lines, no pun intended. (Without ruining the set-ups, those are “Ta-da!” and “You complete me,” the second being the best line of the movie, both of which you will not help but notice.)

There is a clean line of demarcation between the good Dark Knight and the horrible Dark Knight; no intelligent viewer will miss it. Something to do with the savage inability of screenwriters to end a script with the same panache employed early on, and the refusal of studios to step in and say, “All right, goddammit, this doesn’t make any sense.” (See a post somewhere below about how a movie still has to make sense despite a suspension of disbelief.) By all means, enjoy the first two hours, because it really is very good, but if you can, drift off during the last.

2) Technically I haven’t written because I’ve been on “summer vacation.” It tends to begin about the same time every year, when it first gets and stays hot enough to make people miserable. About that time something clicks in my head and I become utterly useless for anything other than finding and having sex. It lasts until something more important comes up – football, for example – and things return to whatever passes for normal. So as far as the column goes, we’ll see you sometime in the next several weeks.

3) The essay detailing my visit to New York City was called “When Both Our Cars Collide,” which right now stands at over 2,000 words, and which I’m not going to bother finishing. See above, and add the fact that not even I can convince myself that anyone in the world gives that much of a fuck about mostly miserable mini-vacations.

4) Besides the typical “summer vacation” activities, I did finally get around to watching Dexter, and dragged my poor cousin down with me – he’s a lot more into it than I am (to the point of having a man crush on the guy who plays Dexter). The first two seasons build to impressive points (especially the second), and even though they somewhat hurry through the last episodes of each season, Showtime has me interested enough in the third season to dread its being two months away.