July 28th, 2007

solace

THE DARK KNIGHT teaser

It's out (HD version; right-click, save as), and it's official: I'm in the camp that has doubts about Heath Ledger as the Joker. I'm still hopeful, but now I'm a little nervous. You don't see Ledger in the teaser, but you hear his Joker voice. And it sounds, honestly, like he's imitating Jack Nicholson, who played the Joker in Tim Burton's BATMAN eighteen years ago. Except it's not effective, because 1) we've had Mark Hamill's Joker, a much more effective performance of the character, since then and 2) Jack Nicholson as the Joker is scary because he's Jack frigging Nicholson and he's a crazy bastard on his own. Heath Ledger imitating Jack Nicholson? ...not so much.

A lot of folks felt the fanboy nervousness over Ledger's casting was due to post-BROKEBACK homophobia. I'm sure some of it was, but there's another issue: *Heath Ledger isn't scary.* Remember the casting for the first movie? The actors there fell into three categories: 1) people the audience knows can play anything (Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Gary Oldman), 2) people who'd been impressive in a previous role that called for some similar vibes (Christian Bale, Cillian Murphy, Ken Watanabe), and 3) Katie Holmes. Remember how #3 worked out?

They've got Maggie Gyllenhaal replacing Holmes. I'd put Gyllenhaal in category 2, with Bale, Murphy, and Watanabe. But Ledger has given me some pause. He's a good actor, sure, when he's got the right part. But I've never seen him scary. And now that I've heard Ledger's Joker voice, *I still haven't.*

His laugh isn't bad, though. That's something.
cass groovy

(no subject)

On medical blog Movin' Meat, a doctor reports the weirdest damn thing he's ever seen:

I will preface this with the obligatory disclaimer: I shit you not.

The complaint was "Visual hallucinations," and the patient was not exactly the sort of individual you would expect to be hallucinating. He was a middle-aged, affluent corporate executive, a sharp and high-functioning individual with no history of either substance abuse or mental illness. He was, therefore, rather perturbed by the little red and green elves he kept seeing all over the place. He knew they weren't real, but they just wouldn't go away. (We attributed the fact that they were red & green to the fact that this case occurred shortly after Christmas.)


The elves, incidentally, were not the weird part.