General Question

tinyfaery's avatar

I just saw the Dark Knight and I have a question...

Asked by tinyfaery (43451points) August 3rd, 2008

Ok. Great movie. Heath Ledger, awesome. But I still knew what was going to happen. I knew from the moment Dent flipped the coin in court that it would have two heads, and that he would become Two-Face. I also knew Gordon was not dead. Now I did take a bit of film theory in college, but I can’t help but think that movies, even the good ones, just are not what they used to be. I cannot remember a movie surprising me since The Sixth Sense.
Is this just me or has Hollywood film quality seriously declined in the last 10–15 years?

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25 Answers

jtvoar16's avatar

OH THANK YOU! I have felt the same exact way! Nothing has surprised me in so long, except Hancock, that one I knew something was up, but not like that! (I don’t want to mention anything, incase readers haven’t seen it. PM me if you want to know what I am talking about)

I really think people, both writers and watchers are just getting lazy. Hopefully that will change very soon.

El_Cadejo's avatar

No shit Harvey Dent is two face….. didnt everyone know that going into the movie? And again no shit they arent going to kill off Gordon it doesn’t make sense for the story line for hiim to die this early on. After all this is the beginning of batman, cant exactly go around killing off main characters.—__—

aisyna's avatar

if you know batman comics you know DEnt is 2 face thats a given

AstroChuck's avatar

What? Dent is Two-Face. Gordon is gonna be commissioner? Way to blow everything for me! What’s the point in seeing it now?

tinyfaery's avatar

Ok, so even though I didn’t know any of that (I guessed I skipped the great literature of DC comics), and I still figured it out, just proves my point even more.

@uber There is absolutely no reason for you to be so rude about it. Did you write the movie or something? And you didn’t answer the question.

btko's avatar

I don’t think quality is going down at all – watch some old 50’s movies. The plots are certainly no thicker. I think consumer sophistication is going up though. But even if you know what’s going to happen in a movie – that doesn’t make it bad (I don’t think anyway).

I can watch a movie a few times and still have a blast watching them. I’ve seen The Matrix a few times, and the Princess Bride a few times.. they are great every time.

I think you should go into a movie not expecting to be surprised…

tinyfaery's avatar

I agree. I can watch a movie many times, and enjoy them, not because I cannot predict what will happen, but because they contain something familiar, and enjoyable.

I don’t want to go to a movie and predict every part of the story. Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, The Science of Sleep, these are fabulous movies that allowed me to be inside the story, with no forethought about what will be. Now I’m glad if I have at least some story thrown in with my CGI and action sequences.

I don’t know why so many people found the need to be so patronizing.

stratman37's avatar

I was trying to find where Shakespear (I think) said there were only eight (I think) different plots, and I found this:

syz's avatar

While there does seem to be a preponderence of remakes and sequels, I think it’s probably unfair to make an assumption about the state of cinema based on a movie that pretty much has to follow a basic premise and storyline since it’s based on an established (and widely followed with some very picky fans) comic book series.

megalongcat's avatar

I don’ feel this way. I think a lot of people are taking movies considerably too seriously. Everything has to be “artsy” and “plot driven”. Sometimes some of us just want a mindless horror movie and sometimes it’s better than an oscar winner.

All the same, I happen to think things like Wall-e and the like are very good movies that don’t show any sort of film decline.

Also, of course you knew what was going to happen in the Dark Knight. It’s Batman. It’s hard not to know what’s going to happen if you’ve read the comics or watched a single cartoon episode on television. Movies like that aren’t made on the premise of being great examples of Hollywood.

jlm11f's avatar

I figured the coin would be 2 headed too, ditto about Gordon. I also agree with jtvoar that I was surprised by Hancock’s twist. To answer the actual Q, i don’t think the quality of movies is going down, I think once you have seen enough movies, it is harder to get tricked or fall into the same traps. A 10 year old kid watching Dark Knight probably wouldn’t predict the twists like we did (unless he has read the book). Plus, isn’t there some sort of rule that says there are only 9 kinds of plots, with just minor variations? Sooner or later, you have to wise up to them. There will always be a few gems that will still surprise us. But I think it will be a lot lesser, not because of lower quality writers, but because of our individual experience.

RandomMrdan's avatar

I thought Hancock was at best mediocre…that twist they threw out there from left field I thought was a bit random. And I definitely expected a lot more humor and jokes than I saw. Why would they want to go and ruin a movie like this with a love story too? Jason Bateman for the record is really cool, I normally enjoy his movies.

And as far as ANY comic book movie goes, where there are heroes and villains, you kind of know the good guy is going to win, there are going to be some good action sequences to keep us all entertained, and they might throw a bit of a twist in from time to time. But yes, if you did a shred of reading about the Dark Knight and knew anything about the history of Batman, you already knew Dent was two face. And I remember from the cartoons that gordon becomes the commissioner and couldn’t possibly die.

Can’t wait until “watchment” come out =)

augustlan's avatar

I can’t remember ANY movie surprising me except The Sixth Sense. I wish I could experience that incredible “ah ha” moment again! I may not be right about 100 percent of plot developments, but it’s pretty darn close.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@augustlan have you seen The Usual Suspects? Because i think that movie had a better twist and was definitely a better movie than The Sixth Sense.

RandomMrdan's avatar

“watchmen” I didn’t mean to put the “t” on the end of that

RandomMrdan's avatar

@uberbatman Agreed on the Usual Suspects…great movie!

stratman37's avatar

Oh, y’all wanna talk about twists huh? Try Identity!

El_Cadejo's avatar

@stratman37 Identity wasnt really much of a twist. Pretty much just a modern version of Agatha Cristies And Then There Were None

stratman37's avatar

@uber: never saw it. I’ve GOT to go back and watch some of the classics! Or was ATTWN just a book?

susanc's avatar

Hey this is really upsetting. I never read any Batman comics but the movie went on for so long that the plot clearly wasn’t designed to matter and I really think it didn’t. They just kept thinking of new (well, more) ways to keep it going, going, going, going. Hmph. Never been so bored in my life,
except for beautiful H.L., r.i.p.
Correct me if you think I missed something.

kraka's avatar

As the summer movies seem to be predominately based on comic book characters, which essentially are based on stories that are nothing ‘new’ but tried and true characters that Hollywood has no worries about putting money behind, I think it’s kinda hard to ask this question about originality and surprise. It seems Hollywood is going with a safe bet and a chance to show off some good CGI techniques….with this said, I think the Dark Knight was written very well.
The director (Nolan) took a well known character which the public knew with a very Tim Burton personification, and focused more on explaining each person’s psychological reasoning behind what they do. Yes, Harvey Dent was a given with the coin, but Nolan did a great job at proving the point of the coin which was people choosing their own fate. He chose to become two-face, and the message to us was: ‘did he have to?’. To me, the question of choosing to be destructive in society instead of to better it was far more important.

Lightlyseared's avatar

talking of twists I was surprised when the boat sank in Titanic.

@susanc see Mark Kermode’s review

augustlan's avatar

@uber…oh, man, I totally forgot about The Usual Suspects…and you’re exactly right! Great movie.

susanc's avatar

Lightly are you a Brit? I enjoyed the review of MAMMA MIA! which is brilliant of course,
but the Dark Knight review was “not available in your country” (that is, my country). Darn.

jballou's avatar

There’s always going to be good movies and bad movies. People tend to remember back and say things like movies used to be so much better or music used to be so much better, but that’s only because the best of the past sticks with you and still holds up today. All the crap gets forgotten. Just like the crap of today will be forgotten. In 20 years, the same will be true of the best music of today. People will still listen to Radiohead and watch Tarantino flicks and lament that “the music and movies of the early 2000’s is so much better then today”

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