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.

Iron Man is a fairly good movie. But more than a film, it is propaganda.

Even before accepting my two bored officemates’ invitation to watch the movie yesterday, I already expected it to be a part of the United States’ arsenal of lingering psy-ops Hollywood films.

The only difference is that, I expected the movie to be anti-communist just like the Marvel Comics version of the superhero. It turned out to be more of anti-Islamic obviously in the context of George W. Bush’s war-mongering adventures. The social commentary against war corporations is a mere sugarcoat. Lockheed is not wounded.

Still, as I said, the movie is nice in terms of entertainment. The script is snappy and Robert Downey’s rendition is even snappier. Tony Stark’s happy-go-lucky but intelligent character is tailor-fit for Downey. Even Stark’s signature unorthodox ways and pleasant surprises is well projected in the movie.

I am somewhat puzzled though why Pepper was reduced to a minor and Gwyneth Paltrow would agree to such a role. May be Pepper’s character would be build-up for the part 2 of the movie. Stark’s open-ended media confession that he is Iron Man suggests an obvious sequel. The film’s too much tinkering on the armor could also be blamed on this as the director might just be planting details for the sequels.

In the end, Iron Man is just another superhero movie franchise; meant for profit and power just like Stark Industries and Lockheed Corporation.