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The Dark Knight


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Some box office news taken from Nikkie Finke's blog.

"So The Dark Knight posts still another best-ever. Media By Numbers is reporting that early estimates show Warner Bros' latest Batman installment crossing the $400,031,000 domestic gross milestone yesterday after only 18 days in release. This beats 2004's Shrek 2 and its 43-day sprint to $400 million. Final figures today."

I still can't believe a film could make that sort of money in only 18 days.

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It really is a great film with some truly intense moments, but plot wise it was absolutely all over the place and about an hour too long. Towards the end I was getting a bit fed up with watching something even as brilliant as The Joker which I thought wouldn't be possible. If anything it had too many ideas just thrown in where a little bit of restraint would have gone a long way in emphasising the better ones. But yeah, it is very good.

I'm no pussy, but the 12 rating is a farce. I'd be really pissed off if I had a son and he saw this and went mental as a result.

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Some box office news taken from Nikkie Finke's blog.

"So The Dark Knight posts still another best-ever. Media By Numbers is reporting that early estimates show Warner Bros' latest Batman installment crossing the $400,031,000 domestic gross milestone yesterday after only 18 days in release. This beats 2004's Shrek 2 and its 43-day sprint to $400 million. Final figures today."

I still can't believe a film could make that sort of money in only 18 days.

boxofficeguru.com estimates it'll take somewhere in the region of $520 million in north america by the end of its run, making it pals with only Titanic in the over half a billion dollars stakes. Apart from the hype etc but a lot of it is due to repeat viewings.

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Except that I'm sure he let me watch Robocop the year before. Hmm.

Why is it that whenever anyone mentions having watched violent films when they were young, Robocop is always the example they give? I do exactly the same myself.

I saw loads of pretty nasty films when I was a kid, but I havn't gone mental yet.

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Fixed.

Your post doesn't make sense dude, either you think the film is too much for a kid below 12 or you don't, which is what the BBFC should be doing and not parents. You have to concede that Dark Knight basically makes the 12A completely meaningless as a rating.

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The thing is people can say about parent's ignorance, but when it comes down to practicalities how exactly does that work? I guess they'd have to go and see it themselves, then go again with their kids if the 'test screening' was acceptable, and who in their right mind is going to do that? I'd been told it was a bit close to the bone, but they always say that, I had no idea you'd see some of the stuff you do.

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I took my 14 year old son to see it, we both love the movie. A 15 would have been too high, though a straight 12 would have been better. Do they still have straight 12s?

Not at cinemas nope.

I loved the film.

Was it just me or

had the Joker worked out who Batman was?

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The bit when he drops Sal Maroni off the building and it shows his legs breaking was fairly sick. Apart from that, I didn't think it was overtly violent.

EDIT: Imagine Batman had fucked that up and Sal had landed on his head.

It didn't really though, did it -- obviously it is implied because there is an audible snap, but there is just a split second shot of him landing feet first and then it cuts to something else. Match of the Day showed a slo-mo replay of Eduardo da Silva's leg actually breaking for real earlier this year, and I'd imagine plenty of kids watch that (either recorded or a repeat).

...and he went mental as a result.

Oh come on. I personally agree with the sentiment that a 12 was perhaps too lenient, but that's a tad sensationalist doncha think?

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It didn't really though, did it -- obviously it is implied because there is an audible snap, but there is just a split second shot of him landing feet first and then it cuts to something else. Match of the Day showed a slo-mo replay of Eduardo da Silva's leg actually breaking for real earlier this year, and I'd imagine plenty of kids watch that (either recorded or a repeat).

Nah man, you see his legs break as he hits the pavement. And Match of the Day showed Eduardo's leg breaking after the watershed.

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You did see the legs breaking.

Also, you're all assuming that 'adult' = parent, whereas I doubt this is the case. I find it a bit mad that, say, Harry Potter (GOF/OOTP) and TDK can share the same rating. Both are dark films in their own way, but the former's violence is fantasy and has a very marked right/wrong moralistic compass running through it. The boundaries in TDK are more blurred and it does glamourise a lot of The Joker's actions.

It's not the fact that children may be scarred or some such (which could be debated forever), more the fact that if you're going to have a system in place, have the decency to make it consistent and conform to your own rules, rather than just kowtow to a studio when they want to pull crowds into cinemas.

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it does glamourise a lot of The Joker's actions.

How so?

And I love the assumption that the BBFC must have bowed to pressure from the studio.

It's not the fact that children may be scarred or some such (which could be debated forever), more the fact that if you're going to have a system in place, have the decency to make it consistent and conform to your own rules, rather than just kowtow to a studio when they want to pull crowds into cinemas.

So the logic behind the system can be debated forever, but they have to make sure they stick to their arbitary rules and distinctions.

Wait a second, why?

It reminds of when we're talking about this with regards to games, and you get a lot of people unable to really say with any conviction that they're convinced any game could harm anyone in any way, but then they always religiously support the ratings as ''very important''.

Why? Coz we gotta cover our backsides - screw the logic!

That's why I never get het up over that stuff.

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Was it just me or

had the Joker worked out who Batman was?

No, i think he just knows that Batman cares about Rachel (as he dove out of a window to save her), he doesn't know that he is Bruce Wayne (i think anyway).

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How so?

And I love the assumption that the BBFC must have bowed to pressure from the studio.

The whole audience in the cinema I was in openly laughed when he killed the goon using the 'magic trick', and most of his 'crazy' lines produced laughter, even when he was doing the whole I've-blown-up-a-hospital and I'm-going-to-kill-a-boat-of-people and I'm-going-to-cut-your-face-up stuff. He's a charismatic character. I don't go out and murder people but I found the character to be cool.

So the logic behind the system can be debated forever, but they have to make sure they stick to their arbitary rules and distinctions.

Wait a second, why?

Well, that isn't the entire logic behind the system, is it? The rules clearly aren't arbitrary, otherwise nobody would debate classifications, would they? Saving Private Ryan was a 15 rather than an 18 because the violence in the film was shocking and necessary (though I now expect someone to chip in with a boring 'I found it funny!!!!' remark).

The point is, if I had a legal framework that said that certain films were off-limits to minors because of thematic issues such as violence, I don't see why I would grade one as accessible if it ticked all the boxes.

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The point is, if I had a legal framework that said that certain films were off-limits to minors because of thematic issues such as violence, I don't see why I would grade one as accessible if it ticked all the boxes.

It doesn't ''tick all the boxes''.

The whole audience in the cinema I was in openly laughed when he killed the goon using the 'magic trick', and most of his 'crazy' lines produced laughter, even when he was doing the whole I've-blown-up-a-hospital and I'm-going-to-kill-a-boat-of-people and I'm-going-to-cut-your-face-up stuff. He's a charismatic character. I don't go out and murder people but I found the character to be cool.

That doesn't demonstrate that the film glamourises his behaviour. It shows that people laughed at his behaviour.

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It doesn't ''tick all the boxes''.

Let's look at the documentary about Patti Smith, which gained a 15 rating:

"The film contains five uses of strong language, and, as the BBFC's Guidelines at '12A' state that 'the use of strong language must be infrequent,' 15 was considered to be the appropriate classification."

Apparently it's alright to have a 12A film featuring 'a good deal of violence' as long as there isn't any blood. Okay, then. Also nice to know it's been placed in the 'Fantasy' genre, despite having some quite clear moral messages to send out about modern society. Despite TDK meeting the 15 criteria, they've wangled it so that it also apparently fits within the remit of 12A. At the end of the day I'm not going to lose any sleep over it, but Burton's Batman was a 15 and looks tame compared to TDK. Has society seemingly changed so much that the age gap can be as much as 10 years?

That doesn't demonstrate that the film glamourises his behaviour. It shows that people laughed at his behaviour.

Right, whatever.

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In the 80's me and my pre-teen friends had all viewed Robocop, Die Hard, Elm Street etc.

Yes, but none of them were certified as being suitable for you. You may also have got hold of booze and been pissed whilst watching them for all I know, but that's hardly the point.

As for The Joker not being 'glamorous' or attractive at all, don't be so silly, No, really - just don't.

I can appreciate and understand why some people don't think there should be any certification at all, although I strongly disagree with that stance. But some of these justifications for TDK being a 12A within the current system - should you accept that the system needs to exist at all - are a little tenuous, and that's being overly polite.

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I don't accept that TDK should be a 15 because most of the violence is implied by editing.

The ones who've complained should know better.

I'm a little suspicious that it's taken this long for the story to make the news, could be to help push the film to a third weekend at the top of the charts.

I think implied violence can be just as persuasive and attractive - at least as persuasive and attractive - as graphic violence is. I think TDK makes the principal bringer of this violence seem cool and funny, and successful, without showing the actual gristle. I think TDK managed to avoid a higher cert because of this avoidance of the money shot, and it's the all more effective at selling the violence as a game because of this, yet it's obviously not 'fantasy' violence at all. The thing is with TDK that it's sufficiently grounded in reality to imply this violence is all real, and not at all 'fantasy', yet it still appeals (and gets shown) to the young because it avoids literal depictions of the consequences of violence. I think it's pretty cynical actually, as it enables the film to reach audiences that might otherwise be excluded, rake in the cash, and still say the film shows the consequences of violence, but by appealing to some pretty obscure and muddied morality that's almost entirely above the heads of the 12 year olds and under, who will for the most part just be looking at what's funny and cool about the film. You might not think kids are influenced by this, but I think some are.

I really like the film, but I don't agree with the certificate it was given. The BBFC seem to be on slippery ground these days, at least as far as consistency is concerned.

I don't know any better than this. I don't pretend to.

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Gorf King makes quite a bit of sense to me. I do recall leaving thinking "Is this really a 12A"? Aside from whether or not I agree with the rating system as a whole (and in particular the 'A' system, so you could take children of any age to see this film) I'm not convinced it's as 'innocuous' as a 12A. Probably should've been a 15 in my eyes.

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Gorf King makes quite a bit of sense to me. I do recall leaving thinking "Is this really a 12A"? Aside from whether or not I agree with the rating system as a whole (and in particular the 'A' system, so you could take children of any age to see this film) I'm not convinced it's as 'innocuous' as a 12A. Probably should've been a 15 in my eyes.

The folk I went to see it with all agreed that it was a bit full-on for a 12A. But then I've always thought it was a bullshit rating made up to get more 10-year-olds in to see Spiderman.

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And to give the studios a better parity with the MPAA's ratings in the long run. The MPAA's PG-13 seemingly existing to let annoying oiks into awesome MAN MOVIES.

Can we go back to guessing about the next movie's baddies? I'd like to see them take on the mad scientist trope with Mr. Freeze. He's got a kind of a lost love redemption story going on there which would tie in well with where this movie left off.

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