THE DARK KNIGHT
2008, Warner Bros., 152 min, USA, Dir: Christopher Nolan

Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) must protect Gotham City from the Joker (Heath Ledger, in an Oscar-winning performance), whose path of destruction turns Batman’s potential successor, district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), into the disfigured villain Two-Face. The all-star cast includes Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine. While the bravura action sequences come fast and furious, Nolan’s exploration of the characters’ psyches - and the issue of vigilantism - is equally skilled.


BATMAN BEGINS
2005, Warner Bros., 140 min, USA, Dir: Christopher Nolan

MEMENTO director Christopher Nolan and BLADE scribe David S. Goyer reinvent the BATMAN franchise, with the help of the best cast ever assembled for a comic book film. Christian Bale infuses the Caped Crusader with emotional gravity, an approach that’s underscored by Nolan’s effectively realistic approach to the material. Michael Caine, Tom Wilkinson and many other noteworthy character actors provide solid support in this adventure film that’s as smart as it is rousing.


THE DARK CORNER
1946, 20th Century Fox, 99 min, USA, Dir: Henry Hathaway

In this classic private-eye noir, wrongly convicted shamus Bradford Galt (Mark Stevens) is sprung from prison, but bad luck sticks to his gummed shoes: Who’s the mystery man in the white suit and why won’t he leave Galt alone? What’s his connection to the big-money boys on the Upper East Side? Galt’s no Marlowe - without his loyal gal Friday (a spunky and sexy Lucille Ball), he wouldn’t make it out from behind the 8-ball alive. "I’m backed up in a dark corner," he grouses, "and I don’t know who’s hitting me." Co-starring Clifton Webb and William Bendix.


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