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Warner Bros.
"The Dark Knight" (rated PG-13). A sequel to 2005's "Batman Begins," starring Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader and Heath Ledger as his nemesis, the Joker.

Men and women may see eye to eye on a lot of things. But movies usually aren't one of them.

In theory, there are films that appeal to either male sensibilities or female ones, which may explain why something like the recent "Sex and the City" film can make $140 million with a predominantly female audience.

And it also shows why a decidedly male-skewing thriller like "Wanted" can bust past the $100-million mark as well.

So, in the interest of science — well, in the interest of something interesting — Deseret News film critic Jeff Vice and theater critic Erica Hansen decided an experiment was in order.

The idea was the two would watch the same two movies — one of them a supposed "chick flick," the other a big "manly movie" — and then see what, if anything, they agreed upon. Here are the results:

'The Dark Knight'

THE MOVIE: "The Dark Knight" (rated PG-13). A sequel to 2005's "Batman Begins," starring Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader and Heath Ledger as his nemesis, the Joker.

HE LIKED: It's dark. Really dark. In fact, it almost makes "Batman Begins" look like a Saturday morning cartoon. But that darkness is appropriate for this material, and Heath Ledger is amazing as the Joker. His performance really deserves all the early Oscar talk.

SHE LIKED: Ummm ... well ... I enjoyed Christian Bale (my friend was right, ladies love Bruce Wayne). I liked Aaron Eckhart, and Heath Ledger was certainly creepy enough. Plus Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine are always great.

HE DIDN'T LIKE: It's dark. Really dark. In fact, as disturbing as parts are, I wonder if the film should have gotten an R rating instead of PG-13. This is definitely not a kids film.

SHE DIDN'T LIKE: Most of the movie. I'm sorry, but what happened? These movies used to be so much fun — some great action sequences, definitive good guys and bad guys and a funny line or two. This was so dreary. It felt horribly long, and it was horribly loud! By explosion No. 7,567 I was ready to bawl. That being said, if you are a Batman fan, you'll probably love the movie; the crowd sure did.

THE CONSENSUS: Jeff thought it was dark ... in a really good way, though he thinks it's for more mature audiences (teenagers at least). Erica completely agrees with Jeff on one thing: Don't take the kids. "If you can't drive yourself to the theater, you might be too young."

Interesting side note: "I left the movie feeling so edgy," Erica said. "I snapped at my friend over the phone, talked loudly (louder than normal), didn't find anything funny, drove like a bat out of somewhere, and had to go home and find something sweet to eat to take the edge off.

"Ladies, if you're like me and you enjoy a good action flick with fun sequences and maybe a kiss or two — like 'James Bond' or 'Spider-Man,' this one isn't it. Let the men have a night out and catch the next one."

'Mamma Mia!'

THE MOVIE: "Mamma Mia! The Movie" (rated PG-13). A big-screen adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, starring Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan.

HE LIKED: Meryl Streep. Wow, Meryl Streep. Just when you think you've seen her do everything already, she shows a completely different side. Here, she does comedy and song-and-dance. And she is amazing. She's this film's biggest asset, besides the ABBA tunes.

SHE LIKED: I'm probably not alone in leaving the theater and wanting to book a ticket to Greece — where the sea is an endless blue and the people are beautiful, too. Meryl Streep's acting was wonderful, as usual, though I found her singing only adequate (but it still worked). I also liked her two friends and the singing townsfolk. And the music, the music, the music!

HE DIDN'T LIKE: Pierce Brosnan. Wow, Pierce Brosnan. There are things he does well, but singing and dancing are not among them. I think I'm still cringing from his tone-deaf screeching on "SOS." Make him stop, please!

SHE DIDN'T LIKE: Pierce Brosnan. Wow, Pierce Brosnan. As nice as his eyes look against the blue sky, his singing became the comic relief of the movie (and it's not supposed to be). I kept trying to figure out who let Frankenstein join the party — turns out it was just Brosnan's singing. Umm ... Hugh Jackman, anyone? He's dashing, suave and he can sing.

THE CONSENSUS: Jeff was surprisingly charmed by the movie, especially by possibly awards-worthy Meryl Streep's performance. Erica really liked the movie. "They didn't ruin it!" Having been a fan of the stage version for quite some time, "I won't trade in my Broadway soundtrack or my ABBA CDs for this, but the movie was a lot of fun."

Men, if you have to trade in a chick-flick IOU, this might be a good flick to pick.


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