A Very Movie Weekend: Mamma Mia and The Dark Knight.

The concept of a film called “Mamma Mia and the Dark Knight” amuses me greatly. I wouldn’t see it, but it amuses me. So on to the reviews of both.

Mamma Mia (the film)
Since the play and the movie have no substantial plot, I’m not much worried about giving it away. The goal is to wrap a bit of a story around some great music. I will start by saying that I love the play. I’ve seen it in London, Charlotte, and Las Vegas. It’s not a good play by any stretch of the imagination but it’s fun. So, from the movie I was expecting good music and fun. The play is better than the movie, so I’ll have to be up front about that. Merryll Streep is a surprisingly good singer and I was blown away by her voice. She was also miscast because I never saw Donna: only Merryll Streep. Nothing is worse than when you only see an actor/actress and not the character they were playing. She overpowered the role. Pierce Brosnan can act, but I finally found someone who, when digitally and studio enhanced, STILL doesn’t sing much better than me.

As Maury said, “The two-hour movie seemed much longer than the three-hour play.” Sure, they did some nice things such as the initial boat ride, and cutting some of the long songs down a bit to improve the flow, but mostly part of the magic of the play — your imagination of everything — is ruined by the film. It was okay. But I wouldn’t see it again.

The Dark Knight
Holy shit, this film rocks. I shan’t mince words. This is the best film you will see this summer. It’s all over and everything else loses. This isn’t a comic book movie either, and almost everyone will like this. The biggest problem is this movie is not for kids. That’s right. I do not recommend you take your children (under 13) to this film. Heath Ledger’s Joker is a sociopath and insane. And he’s not fun insane like Nicholson’s version, or even wicked like Hopkins’ portrayal of Lechter. This is just creepy. Almost like he wasn’t acting. He should win an Oscar for this. The buzz is accurate and it’s not because he died. He earned it and owned this role.

Christian Bale’s Batman echoes the previous film, with Michael Caine doing a nice job on his scenes as does Morgan Freeman (who is apparently in every movie made now). And if Heath wasn’t here, they would be standouts. But they’re not. This movie is owned by one performance and that performance sucks you in. When he’s not on screen all you do is wonder when he’s coming back.

I wasn’t a fan of Two Face and if you took all his scenes out of the movie, it would have played just as well. I’d see this again without hesitation. And I’ll buy this on Blu-Ray because I want to see the outtakes. This film is phenomenal. Really.

In other news, Steven Brust’s new Vlad Taltos novel is out as is Eion Colfer’s new Artemis Fowl. I bought both but am currently in the midst of Glen Cook’s new Garrett novel. My unread book pile is obscene — nearly 20 books. I am so far behind. (And go read Little Brother if you haven’t. I am serious.)

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