Disclaimer: I have been a movie snob ever since the dawn of time, or at least since Yolim got a drivers license and a job at the River Oaks. (Back in the day, employees could put three friends and family members on some kind of VIP list, so I could always get into the local Landmark Theaters for free WITH a plus one.)
Well, in the past (let's say two) years I've tried to open my mind to more of the dreckish Hollywood output. I'm going to blame Sparki (and even Yolim) for that. In fact, I think it was Yo who IRONICALLY kind of opened my mind to the possibility of "good dreck" when I reluctantly agreed to go see The Matrix with him at the dollar theater at Sharpstown Mall--but only at the dollar theater and only if he paid my way. WHOA, The Matrix was bad ass and I realized maybe it was time to tone down my snobbishness.
I like narratives (whether they be books or movies) for characters. Most of this dreck I speak of is heavy on plot rather than character. The Dark Knight has neither. How many of you have seen it? Did you honestly give a shit about one single character in that 2.5 hour movie? Did you sit on the edge of your seat wondering "What happens next? How will Batman get himself out of THIS bind?"
My money is on "no." It didn't have characters, it had caricatures (no surprise), and it didn't have a plot, it had an emotionally manipulative score playing in the background the whole time.
WHY IS THIS MOVIE SO POPULAR???
But that's not even what I find most disappointing about the film--it's its [note Herb's awesome grammatical dexterity] negative depiction of my favorite mythological character: The Trixter. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, take a look at the page I just linked to--it's got links to a ton of material on the trixter, the wise fool, the coyote.
The Joker is a lame American pop-culture manifestation of that force which sets everything in motion, and his dumb-ass, simple dialog about the nature of chaos is...oh, fuck it. It's been a week and I don't really care that much anymore, but it's time that we as American artists reclaimed this noble fool from the simpletons in Hollywoodland.
[Edit: Ok, the film did have some bad ass vehicles in it--the motorcycle, the Batmobile, the Lamborghini--yum.]