July 14, 2008, - 2:18 pm

Even in IMAX Theater, Dark Knight is Too Dark for Kids

By Debbie Schlussel
This is a big movie screening day, thus my absence from the site, but I’ll be posting stuff on and off for the rest of the day, with a lot of new stuff tonight and tomorrow, too (including new, VERY disturbing information about now-fired FOX News/NewsCorp Muslim anchor Fanchon Stinger–really disturbing stuff).
I just got back from a special screening, “The Dark Knight,” the second installment of the Christian Bale (as Batman) series on the comic book superhero. It was a great movie, and on top of that–the screening was held at an IMAX theater at one of my three favorite museums on the planet, “Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village,” which Detroiters know as the giant museum and grounds featuring homes and buildings from great historical American figures. If it’s old fashioned Americana, it’s at Henry Ford. It’s America’s greatest history museum, in my view–one of the good things the anti-Semitic Henry Ford left.

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(My other fave museums are the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC, and the little-known but very important and interesting National Museum of American Jewish Military History–also in DC–which documents the service and sacrifice Jewish Americans proudly gave in every war, including the Revolutionary War.) If you are ever in the Detroit area, a visit to Henry Ford and Greenfield Village is a must.
I’ve never before seen a movie in an IMAX theater before, and it is “WOW!” Like they say, “Once you go IMAX, you never go BAX.” I know–not funny. Don Rickles, I’ll never be. But I try.
Anyway, while I really liked “The Dark Knight,” I was struck by the massive amount of violence and killing throughout the movie (committed by the bad guys), which I found disturbing for a movie that is being heavily marketed to kids in promotions and toys. And there are also the multiple graphic descriptions of facial disfigurement with a knife, as told by the Joker.
In that respect, it’s significantly different from “Batman Begins,” the first one with Christian Bale as the “Caped Crusader.” the movie is extremely violent and probably almost 100 people are stabbed or shot to death at close range during the movie. Yes, the message of good triumphing over evil is there, but there are so many scenes that really aren’t suitable to kids. I’m disappointed that so many parents will take their kids to this 2.5 hours of desensitization to violence.
Christian Bale is one of my favorite living actors, and he’s good as usual here, though he’s not onscreen a lot. The late Heath Ledger as the Joker is the real star of the movie and gets most of the screen time, as do other characters. Another drawback is the starring role of Maggie Gyllenhaal in the top female billing as Rachel Dawes, Bruce Wayne’s true love. As readers will recall, I lambasted the universally homely–both inside and out–Gyllenhaal, who said American deserved and is to blame for the 9/11 attacks. Her close relatives are well-known left-wing activists. I had to laugh when the Joker repeatedly tells Gyllenhaal how beautiful she is.
Clearly, the Joker needs to get his eyes checked.
Stay tuned for my complete review, coming very soon.

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14 Responses

Maggie Gyllenhaal is the niece (on her mother’s side) of uber leftist (and probably proto Communist) Columbia University history professor Eric Foner so the apple did not fall far from the tree.

Ripper on July 14, 2008 at 2:36 pm

I must disagree with you, Debbie. Its one thing to avoid exposing kids to senseless violence. Its another thing to fill their heads with liberal pacifist mush that all violence in and of itself is a bad thing. There are times when the only way evil can be destroyed is to simply kill the bad guys and parents need to explain that to their children. We all hope and pray for a world in which the Hebrew prophets dreamed nations would turn their swords into plowshares and would not wage war anymore. One day that will happen, G-d willing. But until that day comes, a free people must be prepared to use force for resist those who would destroy them and to defend their free way of life. Freedom comes with a cost and our kids need to be aware that sometimes violence does lead to a morally desirable outcome.
[NF: I HEAR YOU. BUT THIS ISN’T THE SAME THING. NO, THE VIOLENCE IS COMMITTED BY THE CRIMINALS IN THIS MOVIE. NOT THE SAME THING. KILLING FOR MONEY AND EVIL IS WRONG, AND THIS MOVIE PROMOTES IT, AS WELL AS DISFIGUREMENT. DS]

NormanF on July 14, 2008 at 3:32 pm

I agree with you 100% concerning Christian Bale, Debbie.
I never paid that much attention to him until (and thanks to your review) I saw “The Prestige.”
As for the violence, seems I read somewhere Frank Miller of “Sin City” and “300” fame was involved in this movie, too. If so, that would explain the violence.

Jeff_W on July 14, 2008 at 4:06 pm

Agree totally about the HF Museum. We took Amtrak there and stayed at HF’s Dearborn Inn across the street. Everyone had a great time. The Oscar Meyer Weiner Wagon Christmas ormanement we got there reminds us of it every year when we put the tree up.

dm60462 on July 14, 2008 at 4:55 pm

No disagreement there. I’m absolutely opposed to senseless violence to make money off it and just disfigurement for no reason. Thanks for clearing that up for me. I wouldn’t take my kids to a movie that was full of random, mindless violence. Its not normal nor should it be a part of life. We all have the dark side inside us but by obeying G-d, we can avoid coming to grief. In our secular society, its getting harder to draw the line. Good and evil usually do have one and there’s no excuse for the way Hollywood pushes violence in the way it does to rake in profits. I’m all for free enterprise but even that has to have some limits.

NormanF on July 14, 2008 at 9:26 pm

[Another drawback is the starring role of Maggie Gyllenhaal … who said American deserved and is to blame for the 9/11 attacks.]
Ok, but as an actress, was she any good in this movie?
[I had to laugh when the Joker repeatedly tells Gyllenhaal how beautiful she is.
Clearly, the Joker needs to get his eyes checked.]
You’re obviously not a guy, Deb.

Norman Blitzer on July 15, 2008 at 12:05 am

Deb is correct. Gyllenhaal is as homely as a church mouse. I thought Eric Foner was her mothers ex-husband. Either way, terrible leftist/Marxist-Leninism in that family.

lexi on July 15, 2008 at 12:24 am

I watched a two-minute clip of this movie and, to be honest, don’t understand what the big deal is about Heath Ledger. I’ve seen a few of his movies (but not Brokeback Mountain, since the idea of two guys getting friendly doesn’t appeal to me), and don’t really understand why people like to elevate him. To me, he’s the 2008 version of River Phoenix–a so-so actor who through his own act of stupidity with drugs will become immortalized.

richardzowie on July 15, 2008 at 11:37 am

Thanks Debbie, for looking out for families with kids. The previous movies were marketed toward families and all assumptions are that this one would be family friendly also.

Dearborn Dhimmi on July 15, 2008 at 4:16 pm

I saw the movie yesterday too and I didn’t find it overly violent. Lots of stuff gets blown up and the bad guys get what’s coming to them. There are lots of cool effects but the ending was ambiguous, like they were planning a sequel.

LoveAManInAUniform on July 15, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Just saw her on a cover of a womens mag and pointed out that Gylenugly was misplaced and put on that cover. Me personally, I won’t go to any movie with her bro or his beau Ledger after the worst cowpoke movie of all time.

samurai on July 15, 2008 at 10:22 pm

I agree with your assessment of Maggie Gyllenhaal– both inside and out. What I wonder is why they did not resign Katie Holms for the role. While I question her judgment and often her acting ability, she held the role in the first movie– not to mention she was better looking too.
I agree that the movie is violent and heavily marketed to children. Why any parent would allow a young child to see this movie (considering the mature themes of Batman Begins) is beyond me. However, how is this different than any other action movie that has come out in the last 20 years? At least the message is good, and it can be a teaching example for older children that bad men really do exist.

ConstructivelyReasonable on July 16, 2008 at 4:24 pm

Did you just call Maggie Gyllenhaal homely? That’s kind of the pot calling the kettle black, isn’t it? I suppose this isn’t the first instance of you having double standards.
Example: As you pointed out, because Barack’s middle name is Hussein, he’s clearly a terrorist, which I guess would make you a Nazi, Ms. Schlussel.

Dieter on July 18, 2008 at 3:55 am

i am seriously strict about this movie it is not the movie for young children and imax theaters May not have it anymore because it is not for any little kid to see the movie follow’s the caped crusader i noticed about it for a while that when i watched it it was a very violent movie adressed to how much violence there is first batman goes to hong kong when he gets out through the window he is shown punching a bad guy in the stomach and then he hits one in the face and also punchs one with his hands in the crashes party scene batman punch’s the joker in the stomuch with his fists and then he punchs the bad guy wearing a sackbag 2 times then he holds him and runs to a guy with holding that guy and he trips a bad guy down to the ground violently and then throw’s him near where the bad guy’s hand is holding a gun he then hits him and then finshes him off by punching him in the back with his left arm and then he twist’s a guys arm out until he falls down dead and he also goes into a nightclub there he punchs a guy until he hits his head violently on some rail’s and then he punchs a guy in the face and then he slams a whiskey bottle on a man’s arm hurting him and slams him in the face with his gauntlts he then punchs a man in the face with metal spikes and then hit’s his head in his face and the man comes tumbiling down a pair of stairs and then he hits a guy in the chest 2 times and he falls down dead he investigates salavatore moroni and he falls down to the ground and hurt’s himself and then he questions him and he is hurt so that is not the point the point in the whole movie is that the actor’s are cool but the movie that resemble’s violence should be done so bye!

Andrew on November 27, 2010 at 12:33 am

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