I'm not sure how, but on Friday night, I was coerced into going to see The Dark Knight. Sean has been looking forward to it for months, and since I've dragged him along to such cinematic masterpieces as Legally Blonde and Legally Blonde 2, I figured I probably owed him a favor or five. The deal was sweetened when two of my favorite people were added to the evening's plans, and the whole itinerary grew to include not only cocktails at Bourbon & Branch but also The World's Best $5.95 Falafel Sandwich, procured from this fine establishment. And that was that! I was in! Honestly, ply me with enough champagne and hummus and I'd probably agree to go see Gigli with you. Or a documentary about the inside of a ping-pong ball. Which would be more interesting, do you think? No, don't answer that.
(By the way, a brief aside: Bourbon & Branch is a speakeasy-themed bar where you need a password to gain entrance. After you make your reservation---don't get me started on how I feel about reservations at bars, but hey, at least it guarantees you a table on a Friday night---they email you the password, and then when you knock on the door at the appointed time, someone opens it a crack and says "what's the password?" You know, kind of like they've just built a fort out of couch cushions and don't entirely trust you to come in with that PB&J sandwich on a tray.
This time around, our password was---I kid you not---"nookie." I don't know how much you know about the Tenderloin, but saying a word like "nookie" in anything less than a whisper is likely to get you severals propositions of the very same, most at around fifteen bucks an hour. I swear on my life, several women on several street corners perked up when I mumbled it sheepishly to the doorman.)
So now is probably a good time to mention that I hadn't seen any of the previous Batman movies before this one, and I don't really know a whole lot about Batman at all, to be honest. Which means that yes, perhaps this was not the absolute best film for me to see. But seriously, one thing bugged me throughout the entire seven-hour long snoozefest and it was this: HOW COULD NO-ONE FIGURE OUT THAT BATMAN WAS THE SAME DUDE AS BRUCE WAYNE?
This irritated me and irritated me and irritated me: in one scene, Christian Bale would show up and be all chiseled jaw-ish and curved lip-ish and Christian Bale-ish, and in the next scene, Batman would show up and be all chiseled jaw-ish and curved lip-ish and Christian Bale-ish, and WHAT THE HELL, CITIZENS OF GOTHAM CITY, HOW COULD YOU NOT PUT TWO AND TWO TOGETHER? Was it the fact that Batman was wearing a mask that threw you off? Was it because he SHPOKE.....LIKE......THISSHHHH? What was it? How could you not think "wow, this Batman guy certainly has an awfully familiar-looking mouth. It's almost like.....yes, it is! It's almost like Bruce Wayne's mouth. Say, where is Bruce Wayne, anyway? Why do we never see them together at the same time?"
Sean tells me that I am missing the point and that you're just supposed to suspend disbelief when it comes to things like that, but....wha? How can I ignore something so glaringly obvious? Am I supposed to pretend that I am fooled by a rubber suit and a gravelly voice and that I don't know it's Christian Bale/Bruce Wayne in there? Am I supposed to believe that the people in the movie believe it? Wait, why am I watching this thing again? Don't I have a "no car chases and/or explosions" movie-going rule?
So it wasn't really my bag in the end, not least because I am of the opinion that should I end up in the fiery depths of hell one day, it will be Aaron Eckhart who is sent to greet me---I cannot stand the man! With his stupid BUTT CHIN!---but even I must begrudgingly admit that Heath Ledger was rather brilliant, probably the best thing in the whole movie, in fact. (Maggie Gyllenhaal, you are dead to me.) Still though, I am of the opinion that Sean owes me a whole bunch of movies now in return for sitting through all eight trillion slow-moving hours of that one.
And oh, what a lovely coincidence: The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2 comes out the Friday after next.