[UPDATED] Brandon Lee, Aaliyah & Heath Ledger – anything to crow about or give a damn as they glide into that dark night?

This originally was done at an insomniac period earlier today, but now the Box Office figures are out on the Dark Knight, and not surprisingly the phrase “Heath Ledger’s last picture” or something to that effect is believed to have contributed massively to exceed projected sales

The opening day grosses for “The Dark Knight” far exceeded the full weekend haul of its predecessor, “Batman Begins,” which took in $48.7 million in its first three days in 2005.

Reviews were excellent for director Christopher Nolan‘s “Batman Begins,” but they were stellar for his “Dark Knight.”

We’ve really never seen anything like this,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media By Numbers. “The death of a fine actor taken in his prime, a legendary performance, and a movie that lives up to all the hype. That all combined to create these record-breaking numbers.”

Buzz had been high for the Batman sequel well before Ledger died of an accidental prescription-drug overdose in January. Trailers last fall revealing Ledger’s demented Joker, with crooked clown makeup, turned up the heat even more. The critical acclaim over his performance that built from advance screenings left fans in a frenzy.

It is only recently I realise Ledger’s interpretation of this character was as a rather psychotic death-dealer and therefore you could say tied in with Hades/Underworld/Hell what-have-you… I say that for this reason, it is not the first time in Hollywood when an actor dabbles in the Occult and plays a character who may be deemed larger rather than life but instead bigger than Death/Satan/Lucifer and then they may end up paying the Ultimate price?

Aaliyah, a singer known for an R. Kelly protege and hit songs in movies like Dr Doolittle with Eddie Murphy or Jet Li’s Romeo Must Die (where she also acted in), took on the title role of Anne Rice’s Queen Of The Damned. This persona was either the first or second vampire, according to the author now a born-again Catholic, in ancient Egypt it was a demon trapped with a Pharaoh and his escort which led to the creation of the Undead.

The Montreal Gazette does not look at what type of role was played before her demise but nevertheless indicates curiosity led to initial high sales –

Popular R&B singer Aaliyah, 22, had just finished playing the lead in this adaptation of Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles when she was killed in a plane crash in the Bahamas on August 25, 2001. The movie was released six months later. Aaliyah was next set to star as the lead in Honey and was replaced by Jessica Alba.

Box Office Reception: Though Aaliyah’s performance was generally praised, critics (and Anne Rice) panned Queen of the Damned. Still, the film managed to top the box office on its release, possibly because of curiosity surrounding the star’s final role.

The same article looks at the passing of the son of the 20th Century’s greatest Martial Artist in a film also dealing with Life After Death, but again shying away from the supranormal aspect of the film itself –

The Crow is best remembered for the tragic, onset death of its 28-year-old star, Brandon Lee, who was killed when a prop gun accidentally fired a real bullet during a scene. His death took place only eight days before the filming was set to wrap. For the remaining scenes, Lee’s face was superimposed onto the bodies of stunt doubles.

Box Office Reception: The film was released a year after Lee’s death to critical raves. Variety called it “a seamless, pulsating, dazzlingly visual revenge fantasy that stands as one of the most effective live-actioners ever derived from a comic strip,” while the New York Times raved “it is a genre film of a high order, stylish and smooth.” The Crow was an instant box office hit and has since become a cult favourite.

It is granted that the Canadian article looked at other pictures where similar events happened – in that a star died before release or as film debuts, but not all were hits and most had no paranormal connections, except Harry Potter and that only in the genre. It is the opinion of this writer that these three have a deeper and more mysterious connection…

We can only imagine what will be said about the late Australian’s portrayal of Batman’s nastiest and greatest Nemesis, if we go by the trailer – he seems very convincing in the sense his grin rather than created by shattered glass and toxic chemicals looks like a variation on the Colombian Necktie and his surviving such an attack led to his insanity of thanatotic proportions. Even Jack Nicholson’s iconic portrayal in Tim Burton’s interpretation of the antithesis to Bob Kane’s eternal Champion of the Night was nowhere as seamy, gritty or sepulchral as what is implied in the current various trailers.

Look carefully at Aaliyah, Brandon Lee and Ledger in their final roles – there is a definite similarity in what Western civilisation deems as demonic or supernatural and each had an untimely removal from this world. It was even implied via a Chinese demon for Brandon Lee in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story which was made and released before his death the following year.

Where does all of this lead? In my view, if you become an actor choose your role carefully – it could be your last in more ways than one!

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4 Responses

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  1. I found he played the role very well but I think the media hype about how crazy he was etc was just that. He was pyschotic but I dont see all the talk of the role overwhelming him in his portrayal. it was great but i didnt get the sense that he was a man not in control of himself just an actor playing the role

  2. I think this is a very insightful comment — perhaps it’s because these folks did not realize they, as media stars, also had a responsibility towards the public morally with their work. Aaliyah was raised Roman Catholic, and for her to shoot a film that provided marketing for the occult was a betrayal of her religion, and the many blessings that were given to her. Heath Ledger should not have promoted homosexuality with his cowboy movie, in addition to the occultic Dark Knight. It’s possibly an example of Faust-like results of living a life with so much blessings, but with little accountability to others.

  3. Your an asshole Anonymous Feb 15

  4. Qualify that, since you claim that I am too, it appears endemic to your assessment…


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