Reasons Why The Dark Knight Ruled
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Having waited patiently for a new Batman film ever since the release of "Batman Begins" in 2005, I could hardly contain my excitement when I made it out to the movie theater yesterday to see "The Dark Knight". I was prepared to be let down due to the massive hype surrounding the film, but from start to finish I was not disappointed in the least. I loved the film so much that I bought another ticket to see it again while I walked out of the theater. Upon second viewing, I loved the film even more.

Movies are my other life (other than games that is) but even though this is the case, I rarely have the desire to see a film multiple times in theaters. After thinking heavily about "The Dark Knight" (and buying another ticket to see it today), I've come up with a short list of reasons as to why the movie is such a masterpiece of modern filmmaking (or why it just entertains the pants off me).

Feel free to add your own reasons.

Oh, and THERE MAY BE SPOILERS AHEAD
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1. Board Game: The Batman Game [Average Rating:4.69 Overall Rank:14618]
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This may be generalizing and obvious, but the overall plot of the film engrosses the viewer and keeps one interested from beginning to end. Christopher Nolan and company have weaved an intelligent, captivating, and brilliantly paced narrative that stays true to both the style he previously set in "Batman Begins" and the Batman franchise in general. Bravo, Mr. Nolan.
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2. Board Game: Critical Acclaim: The Acting Game [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
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One of the prime reasons the film succeeds is due to the amazing performances given by all those involved. Everyone is at the top of their game here and none of the performances come off as character acting or cartoony. To examine a few in particular:

Christian Bale only seems to get better with age and continues to expand upon the three personalities within the Bruce Wayne/Batman character.

Aaron Eckhart brilliantly portrays Harvey Dent as Gotham City's "White Knight", devoted to stopping the crime in Gotham legally. It's the subtleties in his performance, showing the darker side of the character, that make it work though.

Gary Oldman as Lt./Commissioner Gordon really makes you believe that this man remains as one of the only incorruptible people in Gotham City and that the pressure on him to remain strong through the hell placed on Gotham is immense.

Michael Caine's performance as Bruce Wayne's butler, Alfred, remains as one of the most melancholy and haunting performances in the film. This may come as a shock to some, but do not be deterred. He is still full of charm, class, and that grandfatherly spirit of hope, but he during the film he tells a story of his past meant to act as a metaphor for the current state of affairs in Gotham City. When we finally learn the story's conclusion, we are forced to confront the many shades of gray of morality present in our lives.
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3. Board Game: The Joker's Wild [Average Rating:5.16 Unranked]
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You really didn't think I'd leave out The Joker, did you?

I'll just be blunt here: everything the critics have been saying about Heath Ledger's final complete performance is true. Ledger's Joker is both disturbing and awe-inducing. From the minute we're introduced to him until his last seconds on screen, The Joker is a villain we're both terrified of and can't get enough of seeing because we want to know how far he'll go. That is the genius of Heath Ledger's performance though. We never know what The Joker will do or how he'll respond to situations. What "sealed the deal" for me was how the character changed his back story whenever he was about to cut someone's mouth open. This schizophrenic nature of the character coupled with subtle physical nuances of Ledger's (such as constantly licking his lips or moving his hair) have created one of the best movie villains of all time.

Good job, Heath.
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4. Board Game: Batman: The Chase Through Gotham City [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
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Part of what makes the film succeed so much is that it couples an intelligent, dark narrative with amazing action and chase sequences that never feel out of place or tacked on. Things explode, cars crash, people get the crap beat out of them, and Batman comes to the rescue. Good times for me.

My personal favorite action sequence in "The Dark Knight" occurs as Harvey Dent is being transported in an armored car to the county jail. The Joker and his goons attempt to destroy the police convoy carrying Dent, resulting in a well-choreographed chase packed with explosions and chaos.
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5. Board Game: Face Off! [Average Rating:6.76 Unranked]
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I had a feeling that Two-Face would be in the film, but I thought that Harvey Dent would become Two-Face towards the end and they'd leave it as a loose string for the next Batman movie. Not so, and gladly not so. Harvey Dent's transformation into Two-Face is painful to watch even though Batman fans know it's coming, and it fully shows the anger present in Harvey Dent's head over everything that has occurred in the film.
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6. Board Game: Morgan's Revenge [Average Rating:4.40 Overall Rank:14386]
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Morgan Freeman.
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7. Board Game: Team Enduro Motorcycle Race Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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The Bat-Bike. In my favorite aforementioned chase sequence, the Batmobile is reduced to a hulk of flaming metal. We see Batman hit an eject button, but eject on the Batmobile means that you launch from its metallic remains on a two-wheeled monster that's basically a motorized 30 caliber machine gun with a tow cable. Suffice to say, I want one.
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8. Board Game: Seriously Silly [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Aaron Gelb
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"WHY SO SERIOUS?"
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9. Board Game: Lickin' Lizards [Average Rating:5.37 Unranked]
Aaron Gelb
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The way he kept licking his lips...the way his tonge kept flicking...he was so engrossing as the Joker.

I also LOVE how no one, including the Joker himself...ever referred to him as the Joker. They called him the clown, lunatic, etc...but never the Joker. It was awesome.

And when he sees rachel dawes and he slicks his hair back...it was so classic. Forever etched in my top 10 villains of all time.

I'm just sad that now that he's gone, no future Batman movie can have the Joker in it. soblue
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10. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:320]
Bruce Baskir
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Foreshadowing

There's a scene where Chris Bale asks Morgan Freeman if the new bat-armour is strong enough to stop a dog. To which Freeman answers:

"It might stop a cat."

Wink-wink-nudge-nudge-saynomore.

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11. Board Game: Trailer [Average Rating:5.36 Unranked]
Bruce Baskir
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The trailer for Watchmen. Awesome.
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