Know what impresses me about “The Dark Knight”?

| July 16, 2008

No, not the movie itself — I haven’t seen it yet, though I do have tickets for Friday night.

It’s the movie’s title: “The Dark Knight”. It’s not “Batman: The Dark Knight” or worse yet “Batman II: The Dark Knight” (though I guess technically you’d have to call it “Batman VI: The Dark Knight”). It’s not even “Batman and the Joker”.  Yet I daresay that the movie-going public is pretty clear that this is a film about Batman.

Lucas had an excuse for the Star Wars series — he was really trying to do episodes (though read Michael Kaminski’s utterly fascinating The Secret History of Star Wars — a free downloadable electronic book), and he had the cojones to label “The Empire Strikes Back” — the second Star Wars film made — as “Episode VI”.  Beyond that, the “Star Wars Episode XX” part wasn’t part of the titles for posters and promotions for “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi”. Everyone who had a pulse and an above-room-temperature IQ knew that these were all Star Wars films and needed to reminding.

Spielberg, on the other hand, had no excuse for sticking “Indiana Jones and” in front of the successive “Indiana Jones” movies or, worse yet, retroactively in front of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (yep, that’s what the DVD cover says, though the title within the film itself remains untouched). Somewhere in here there is a whiff of Hollywood’s fear that we’re all secretly idiots and that no one would realize that “The Temple of Doom”, “The Last Crusade” and “The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” (which should have been “The City of Gods“, and I don’t just mean the title) were Indiana Jones films.

The nadir is probably “Spider-Man”, “Spider-Man 2”, and “Spider-Man 3”. Given how many different “Spider-Man” titles that Marvel has had over the years, surely Sony could have used some of those instead (as Marvel did for the Hulk reboot, using “The Incredible Hulk”).

A useless rant, I know. But if “The Dark Knight” turns out to be the top-grossing film of the year, maybe other studios will sit up and take notice.  ..bruce w..

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Category: Main, Media, Movies

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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