Opening Tonight: The Dark Knight

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The eagerly anticipated THE DARK KNIGHT rolls out with a series of midnight screenings tonight, including several IMAX engagements. So far, the film has earned a 92% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes. The big guns like Roger Ebert and Andrew Sarris are falling all over themselves finding words of praise to bestow upon the film, but just to be contrary, I thought I would link to this negative review by Stephanie Zacharek at Salon.com. Zacharek, who also disliked BATMAN BEGINS, finds little to praise beyond Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker.

Nolan — who co-wrote the script with his brother, Jonathan, working from a story he conceived with David S. Goyer — gives us enough multilayered subplots to at least fool us into thinking this is a work of intellectual and moral complexity. But as a piece of visual storytelling, from shot to shot, “The Dark Knight” is a mess … [that] looks as if it were made from a … blackboard diagram with lots of circles, heavily underlined phrases (“Duality! Good vs. evil — in the same person! Kinship between hero and villain!”) and crisscrossing arrows that ultimately point to nothing.

I actually expect DARK KNIGHT to be much better than Zacharek would have us believe, but her negative remarks may prevent our expectations from going so high that they cannot possibly be met.

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