1. The movie was graded an A by the Cinema Evaluation Board, the highest score possible.

2. Critics and filmmakers around the world (France, United States, India, China and Singapore) took turns in praising this motion picture and showcasing it as part of their own International Film Festivals.

3. High caliber character actors like Ronnie Lazaro, Joel Torre and Jojit Lorenzo accepted the roles with little exposure and dialogue given to them. Seemingly a testament to their faith in the movie’s quality.

4. Cuyonon actors were trained and hired to add authenticity to the film. All of the actors and even the major players in the crew has Cuyonon buddies to guide them as they film every scene.

5. Dante Nico Garcia is an authentic local of Cuyo Island who studied in UP and became Judy Ann Santos’s friend during her Mara Clara days. Dante grabs this rare opportunity to save the dying Cuyonon language. This is also his birthday gift to Judy Ann.

6. This movie made Judy Ann Santos transcend her soap opera image.

7. The film’s cinematography is simply superb. It is a visual candy that provides us an opportunity to know that the Philippines’ environmental beauty is beyond Boracay and Mayon.

8. Aside from the beauty of the island, Cuyonon’s rare culture was made public in the film.

9. It is seldom that a film that shows some tragedy would also be labeled by a lot of people as a feel-good movie.

10. This film is a saving grace for a dying local movie industry marred by traditional conservatism, censorship, dirty politics and commercialism.

I have always been a fan of Marvel and not of DC Comics. It seems though that The Dark Knight is better than any other superhero movie, from Stan Lee and otherwise.

TDK is not the usual pop-corn-for-kids adventure film. Not a superhero-whips-the-villain’s-ass action flick either. With all its intelligence and wit, you’ll enjoy TDK not because of its special effects or the characters’ costumes but because of the script and the performance of the actors.

To be honest, I don’t remember any good thing about past Batman movies and some of them I didn’t even bothered to watch. So expect no comparison here.

Without knowing that it was Heath Ledger, TDK caught my interest before when its trailer showed Joker. I actually thought that I should be waiting for a sequel of The Crow. I only knew that it was Heath Ledger when the screening date is already near and movie news websites are already buzzing about Ledger’s possible posthumous Oscar.

When I saw the film, though his co-nominees are also factors, I do think that Ledger really deserves such. Especially after I read the effort he did since the film’s pre-shooting.

Back to TDK, one thing I would like to assert is that I never saw this really as a superhero film. Batman is presented here more of an anti-hero. The title itself suggests that the title role is dark. The movie actually presented a possible “White Knight” in the person of District Attorney Harvey Dent.

The entire presentation of Dent, eventually Two-Face, in TDK actually debunks the idea of a superhero, of someone who is “pure” and “white”. For years, Batman, though not a lot of people know, already debunked the idea that “superheroes” got super powers. All Batman has are gadgets, wealth and machinery, remember?

Also, I like the way Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) threatened to leave Bruce Wayne if the mobile tracking computer will be used other than against The Joker. No other post-September 11 franchise Hollywood film made such a declaration of support for civil liberties. Wayne eventually redeemed himself after Fox followed his instruction whenever he is ready to resign.

The Joker’s psychopath-not-for-the-money-criminal is perfect. For me, he represents not the petty thieves who do criminal things due to desperation but the usual mad men in our midst. Those who hunger for more even though they don’t need it anymore. Though the Nolan Brothers may have written this one without such a concept. I can’t help but think that this particular Joker’s character symbolizes capitalist greed.

What balanced the too-dark-villain is the scene where not one among the two ferries’ scores of passengers, not the civilians who hates the criminals nor the convicts who sees they have nothing to lose if they’ll kill the civilians, decided to pull the trigger.

With such, TDK actually presented a good concoction of the real and the ideal, that the world has no rules but in the end, may the better idea win.

One thing that I need to air though is that this movie should have been entitled The Joker for two reasons: since it made me understand the villain’s character more than Batman and obviously Ledger outshone Christian Bale on this one.