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The Dark Knight Fanedit- My problem with Christopher Nolan...

Ryantology

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Upon telling people I'm working on a Dark Knight fanedit, I get a massive amount of pushback. People think that there isn't a single frame that should be taken out of that movie. This is where I tell them my problem with Christopher Nolan. For as talented as he is as a director, he does a really poor job of directing/casting his bit players. In my opinion, there are so many poorly delivered lines of dialogue in that movie and I've done my best to cut that out. I enjoy the Dark Knight but I think if it weren't for Heath Ledger's once in a lifetime caliber performance, it would be forgettable. The movie tends to drag when he isn't in a scene. Again, this is all obviously my opinion. Anyone feel the movie shouldn't be touched? Anyone feel it could use a few good edits?
 

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Sure. It's an amazing movie as is but I would honestly cut most of the lines from the whiny soilder in the passenger seat of the truck during the chase. It's the guy who says crap like "I didn't sign up for this." Remove his remarks during the chase for some extra intensity.

Besides that I wouldn't change a frame. It really is nearly perfect.
 

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Personally, I've always felt the Two Face ending, although inherently critical to the story, drags out the 3rd Act too much.  It feels like it's over with the Joker capture, and then it's not.  Not sure what I would do differently if I were to edit it though...
 

Ryantology

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Completely agreed. I really haven't been able to edit that entire plot conclusion out but I feel that cleaning up some of the pacing issues in other areas of the movie has helped the third act not feel as drawn out.

Detective said:
Personally, I've always felt the Two Face ending, although inherently critical to the story, drags out the 3rd Act too much.  It feels like it's over with the Joker capture, and then it's not.  Not sure what I would do differently if I were to edit it though...
 

addiesin

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I always thought it should have ended when two-face is born. Harvey is in the hospital, he turns his head. Credits. Batman failed.
 

Moe_Syzlak

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Honestly, I think much of the movie isn’t very good. I like it pretty much for Ledger’s performance alone. I’ve made this ciriticism of Nolan before, but it seems to me he likes to assemble his movies as a sort of Rube Goldberg machine. It all feels very manufactured to get the characters to certain places, often in very far-fetched ways. And for a bad guy who purportedly revels in chaos, he has an awful lot of detailed plans. I like Batman Begins much more.
 

The Scribbling Man

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I haven't seen this in so long, I really couldn't say. I believe there is already a fanedit of it though. (I'm not sure if it's at all similar to what you want to cut). 

I definitely have issue with Christopher Nolan, but that didn't really start until Dark Knight Rises, which I hate. And, not that it really means that much, but it really makes my blood boil to see pretty much his entire filmography on the IMDB top 250. His best film was Memento, IMO, and he's gone slowly downhill ever since he got a taste for the epic.
 

Ryantology

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You’re literally the only other person I’ve ever heard say they liked Batman Begins more. I’m truly not alone in this world. 
Moe_Syzlak said:
Honestly, I think much of the movie isn’t very good. I like it pretty much for Ledger’s performance alone. I’ve made this ciriticism of Nolan before, but it seems to me he likes to assemble his movies as a sort of Rube Goldberg machine. It all feels very manufactured to get the characters to certain places, often in very far-fetched ways. And for a bad guy who purportedly revels in chaos, he has an awful lot of detailed plans. I like Batman Begins much more.
 

Moe_Syzlak

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If you swapped bad guys in the two movies it wouldn’t even be a contest. I’ve asked people what they like about DK other than Ledger’s Joker and people struggle.
 

That One Guy

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Moe_Syzlak said:
If you swapped bad guys in the two movies it wouldn’t even be a contest. I’ve asked people what they like about DK other than Ledger’s Joker and people struggle.

For starters the scenes filmed in IMAX, if you got to see them at a proper IMAX screen, are breathtaking. There's also Maggie Gyllenhaal being infinitely better than Katie Holmes at trying to bring something to what is a fairly vapidly-written role.

I do agree that the film's third act is weak and it would've been better with the Harvey Dent storyline either dropped or wrapped up when Harvey is turned (because that's the important thing thematically, not what comes after). But then I feel the same way about the needless bombast and "shocking return" of Ra's Al Ghul and his Magical Super Microwave Of Doom plot in Batman Begins.

On Nolan generally, I thought Dunkirk was a promising return to leaner film-making from Nolan, so I'm hopeful he'll keep up that trend. I suspect he needs to mix up his writing partners, as at this point it's quite possible he and his brother bring out each other's laziest impulses.
 

Ryantology

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I saw the movie in imax and enjoyed that format, but I hate the constant changing of aspect ratios when watching the Blu-ray. I letterboxed those scenes. It’s incredibly distracting, especially the Lamborghini scenes. 

I felt the Hong Kong scenes were unnecessary to me and just seemed like something Nolan wanted written to be able to shoot there in IMAX. 

Granted this is all my opinion, but I thought Maggie G was marginally better for a part that was very poorly written in both outings. 


To me, even scenes that should’ve been exciting start to finish had pacing issues. I felt a few minutes needed to be cut out of the armored car chase. Some of it was really bad continuity choices and some of it just seemed nonsensical. Batman was also way too needlessly destructive throughout that entire scene. Willing to bet he inadvertently murdered some people. Try to tell me the garbage truck driver lived...

That One Guy said:
Moe_Syzlak said:
If you swapped bad guys in the two movies it wouldn’t even be a contest. I’ve asked people what they like about DK other than Ledger’s Joker and people struggle.

For starters the scenes filmed in IMAX, if you got to see them at a proper IMAX screen, are breathtaking. There's also Maggie Gyllenhaal being infinitely better than Katie Holmes at trying to bring something to what is a fairly vapidly-written role.

I do agree that the film's third act is weak and it would've been better with the Harvey Dent storyline either dropped or wrapped up when Harvey is turned (because that's the important thing thematically, not what comes after). But then I feel the same way about the needless bombast and "shocking return" of Ra's Al Ghul and his Magical Super Microwave Of Doom plot in Batman Begins.

On Nolan generally, I thought Dunkirk was a promising return to leaner film-making from Nolan, so I'm hopeful he'll keep up that trend. I suspect he needs to mix up his writing partners, as at this point it's quite possible he and his brother bring out each other's laziest impulses.
 

Ryantology

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I saw the movie in imax and enjoyed that format, but I hate the constant changing of aspect ratios when watching the Blu-ray. I letterboxed those scenes. It’s incredibly distracting, especially the Lamborghini scenes. 

I felt the Hong Kong scenes were unnecessary to me and just seemed like something Nolan wanted written to be able to shoot there in IMAX. 

Granted this is all my opinion, but I thought Maggie G was marginally better for a part that was very poorly written in both outings. 


To me, even scenes that should’ve been exciting start to finish had pacing issues. I felt a few minutes needed to be cut out of the armored car chase. Some of it was really bad continuity choices and some of it just seemed nonsensical. Batman was also way too needlessly destructive throughout that entire scene. Willing to bet he inadvertently murdered some people. Try to tell me the garbage truck driver lived...

That One Guy said:
Moe_Syzlak said:
If you swapped bad guys in the two movies it wouldn’t even be a contest. I’ve asked people what they like about DK other than Ledger’s Joker and people struggle.

For starters the scenes filmed in IMAX, if you got to see them at a proper IMAX screen, are breathtaking. There's also Maggie Gyllenhaal being infinitely better than Katie Holmes at trying to bring something to what is a fairly vapidly-written role.

I do agree that the film's third act is weak and it would've been better with the Harvey Dent storyline either dropped or wrapped up when Harvey is turned (because that's the important thing thematically, not what comes after). But then I feel the same way about the needless bombast and "shocking return" of Ra's Al Ghul and his Magical Super Microwave Of Doom plot in Batman Begins.

On Nolan generally, I thought Dunkirk was a promising return to leaner film-making from Nolan, so I'm hopeful he'll keep up that trend. I suspect he needs to mix up his writing partners, as at this point it's quite possible he and his brother bring out each other's laziest impulses.
 

Moe_Syzlak

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I did see it in proper IMAX and it was nice to look at but so what. The Hong Kong scene, as stated above, seemed forced in to have that setpiece. If those are the stand-outs that people love about DK other than Ledger, I think you’ve just proved my point.
 

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I'm a huge fan of the Dark Knight, but that doesn't mean I'm oblivious to its issues (I'm not attacking anyone here, just saying my opinion).

I agree in that the scenes with Heath were the highlight, but the rest of the film has pacing issues. I don't feel they're bad, but as mentioned, the Hong Kong scenes didn't really add anything to the plot (besides some nice cinematography). I would say this film is about 4 characters- Bruce, Joker, Gordon, and Harvey- all 4 have dynamic arcs with satisfying endings (in my opinion), and are the central focus. I would recommend sticking to what involves those 4, and cutting out extraneous filler like the Mob interactions and Hong Kong. Just removing those two elements alone would make for a better film, but I'm sure you're going further than that.

Stuff like shortening the length of shots and more dynamic editing would also work. The Dark Knight is 152 minutes- I'm sure you could cut probably 15 or more from the run-time and not loose much.
 

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Moe_Syzlak said:
If you swapped bad guys in the two movies it wouldn’t even be a contest. I’ve asked people what they like about DK other than Ledger’s Joker and people struggle.

In my opinion, general audiences struggle to analyzes films in general.  We are not brought to turn our heads anymore and we don’t feel the need to because “content” is given to us almost free of any subtext.  “The Dark Knight” is a film which is rich of subtext, just like “Batman Begins”.  They are thoughtful films that touch themes in a delicate and elegant way, albeit being, on the surface, “action movies”.  Well, that said, back on topic: I absolutely love  both of them, but the first one slightly has the edge on the second one.
 

Ryantology

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My cut has taken about 14 minutes off the film without losing much. I cut all of the Hong Kong scenes with Morgan Freeman and that helped the first act pacing a lot. 

For a movie that was Oscar nominated for its editing, there were a ton of editing choices that didn’t sit well with me. The beginning for example- Joker robs band during day, Batman fights mob and scarecrow at night, Gordan and Batman investigate bank robbery at dusk, then it’s morning. I swapped scene two and three and it just seems like that was how it was written in the first place. 

The armored car chase has a lot of weird edits too. There’s the part where Batman shoots through a glass door, is randomly in some parking garage, then crashes through the glass door??? Why? 
professorwho said:
I'm a huge fan of the Dark Knight, but that doesn't mean I'm oblivious to its issues (I'm not attacking anyone here, just saying my opinion).

I agree in that the scenes with Heath were the highlight, but the rest of the film has pacing issues. I don't feel they're bad, but as mentioned, the Hong Kong scenes didn't really add anything to the plot (besides some nice cinematography). I would say this film is about 4 characters- Bruce, Joker, Gordon, and Harvey- all 4 have dynamic arcs with satisfying endings (in my opinion), and are the central focus. I would recommend sticking to what involves those 4, and cutting out extraneous filler like the Mob interactions and Hong Kong. Just removing those two elements alone would make for a better film, but I'm sure you're going further than that.

Stuff like shortening the length of shots and more dynamic editing would also work. The Dark Knight is 152 minutes- I'm sure you could cut probably 15 or more from the run-time and not loose much.
 

Ryantology

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Here’s some of the changes I made to the armored car chase. I cut out almost all of the dialogue from the passenger in the armored car, cut out Batman being needlessly destructive, and added some music that sounded very Zimmer like to me. I made some changes to have better continuity (IMO) and for good measure added audio of the joker yelling hit me from the trailer because I liked that delivery better.
 

That One Guy

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Moe_Syzlak said:
I did see it in proper IMAX and it was nice to look at but so what. The Hong Kong scene, as stated above, seemed forced in to have that setpiece. If those are the stand-outs that people love about DK other than Ledger, I think you’ve just proved my point.

1) Bloke on internet in "difference of opinions" shocker, news at 11.
2) Don't make me out to be some representative of everyone who likes TDK more than BB.

I like both films (and think both have issues which don't stop me enjoying them) and think that, owing to both a more interesting character and better performance by the actor in that role, TDK is better. You disagree. Cool. No need to get affronted just because your opinion hasn't been written into law as The Right View On Nolan Batfilms.
 

Moe_Syzlak

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That One Guy said:
Moe_Syzlak said:
I did see it in proper IMAX and it was nice to look at but so what. The Hong Kong scene, as stated above, seemed forced in to have that setpiece. If those are the stand-outs that people love about DK other than Ledger, I think you’ve just proved my point.

1) Bloke on internet in "difference of opinions" shocker, news at 11.
2) Don't make me out to be some representative of everyone who likes TDK more than BB.

I like both films (and think both have issues which don't stop me enjoying them) and think that, owing to both a more interesting character and better performance by the actor in that role, TDK is better. You disagree. Cool. No need to get affronted just because your opinion hasn't been written into law as The Right View On Nolan Batfilms.

No affront here. OP asked if DK is a sacred cow. I stated why I don’t think so and simply asked what, if anything people hold in high regard about the movie other than Ledger. If the HK scene is it, I’m pretty comfortable in my assessment of what it is that makes the movie so well respected. It’s Ledger. I’ve got no issues with anyone liking the movie. But in no way do I think it should be considered a sacred cow.
 

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The reason I think the Dark Knight is so much better than Batman Begins is I found the themes of the movie a lot more interesting than Batman Begins. It really questioned what it meant to be a hero, and I think we saw Batman evolve in more interesting ways than the previous entry which did the job (a great one at that) of going through the standard fare of origin stories.

People forget that Heath Ledger's performance does not stand as an isolated element of the movie that works. It makes the hero more interesting too since I think Batman gets more challenged than ever before.

Batman suffers the loss of who he thought could be a new symbol of goodness, he lost his love, and he moved forward and became the ultimate hero. So the Dark Knight is not just a showcase for the villain. I think it all around is just a powerhouse crime thriller that happens to also have Batman. It transcends the genre, and in my opinion, is unequivocally the best of the trilogy. Next would be Batman Begins. And then much lower, TDKR.
 
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