This falls into the unhealthy obsession category, but as I watched The Dark Knight for the first time during the midnight screening on 18 July 2008, I noticed a few shots that I truly fell in love with from the trailers not being included in the finished product. I get that tweaking shots from the trailer to the final product is commonplace, but with the 2-Disc Special Edition DVD release including all three trailers, I figured I would take this opportunity to show the shots I love and explain their awesomeness. Funnily enough, they're all of the Joker (Heath Ledger, A Knight's Tale). Since my words will no doubt suck because of fanboyism, I hope the shots speak louder.
From: Trailer 2. V.O. of the Joker as he tells the Batman, "You're just a freak. Like me." Perfect, beautiful shot that compliments the dialogue. I understand how this might not have worked all the well with the finished product - with Nolan no doubt wanting to tighten up the already lengthy action sequence - but this truly reeks of a Jack Nicholson-Shinning-esque quality. For further proof of that, pay close attention to the Joker's facial expression: it screams of homicidal maniac! And there's sort of a King Kong vs. Godzilla thing going on here: the madman standing in the middle of the vacant street, waiting for his nemesis to arrive and engage in battle. And finally, this shot is a good advocate for widescreen - it adds such scope and power that the fullscreen aficionados wouldn't be able to see.
From: Trailer 2 & 3. Perhaps the shot I'm most disappointed with it's lack of inclusion in the final product, this is so awesome to watch as he tosses his knife between his hands in a playful manner. This shot gives the Joker a "I mean business, and I'm going to kick your ass" look. There's also a sense of carelessness; or perhaps it's more just a sense of glee/fun (similar to the joy he was experiencing driving the vehicle towards the Batman). He's like a mob boss having a field day. (this is becoming more like a metaphor blog) When the second trailer premiered, I re-watched it several times over, and this particular shot was the one that made me excited the most, and I hope you can see why.
From: Trailer 3. There's evidently three different versions of the Joker's delivery of "Kill the Batman": the film version (in which he flicks his hair back with a delivery of "Oh, right, yeah - kill the dude."), there's this trailer 3 version (where he says it seriously), and the Dominoes trailer (which I haven't seen, but there's apparently another delivery of the famous line. As for what version I like best, I think I like this one. Honestly, I'm at a loss with this entire sequence. It's not exactly easy to pinpoint what the Joker's thinking or his mood here; I'm not sure if he's intimidated, or if he's controlling the party, or if he's over-his-head, etc. At least with this version, the Joker is definitely in charge, and quite freakishly frightning as well.
From: Trailer 3. C'mon, now that is just friggin' menacing, is it not? The Joker making his way to the Batman, gun in one hand and a blade in the other. This is truly another beautiful example of the widescreen format. It sort of makes me want to sing The Joker's coming to town, ooooh the Joker's coming to town, tooodaay. Get it? Sorta Christmasy with "the Joker" instead of "Santa"? I know, the funniness of me just doesn't stop. It's akin to a lumbering giant advancing to his prey, walking at a steady pace, savoring every moment before the confrontation. Honestly, it's just simply cool.
Well, The Dark Knight hits theaters and IMAX screens again January 23rd, and I will most definitely be attending an IMAX screening. Three times on a normal screen, a IMAX experience is necessary. And yes, I do know I need some sort of life if I keep doing posts such as these.