Friday, July 20, 2012

Some men just want to watch the world burn

I bought my ticket for The Dark Knight Rises yesterday, thinking it would be the best way to avoid getting sold out. Today, just a few minutes ago, I had it refunded, something I don't think I've ever done before in my life. I'm not ready to see it. Not today, not this weekend, not for awhile... and if you've seen the news, you know why.

I feel angry. Angry and deeply, deeply disappointed. It's still very early at this point, so we don't know if this was the work of a crazed Bat-fan who'd seen one too many movies (or read too many negative reviews of the film), or a political nut who believes everything Rush Limbaugh tells him, or what, but the result is still the same: what was shaping up to be the biggest celebration in the film world this year is now its greatest catastrophe. And the repercussions from this will be myriad, especially in this, an election year.

Will the Aurora massacre mean no more midnight premieres? Possibly, at least in the short term. My understanding is that the alleged shooter entered the theater through a fire exit, so he likely didn't pay a ticket and tried to enter through the front carrying a gun and tear gas and what not. (Tear gas? Really? Where did he think he was, Vietnam?) The fact remains, though, that this is far from a common occurrence at midnight premieres. It's not like there was a spree of shootings in theaters nationwide last night. That's something to keep in mind for the future, though it certainly would not surprise me if the studios put a temporary moratorium on the practice for awhile.

How will this impact the casual theater-going experience? Here in New York, security's getting beefed up at theaters for this weekend's screenings. Beyond that? The theatrical experience had already taken a beating in recent years - cellphone talkers, texters, screaming babies - and now this. I don't believe Aurora will be the final straw, and neither do others, but you can bet there'll be calls for changes of some sort in the days and weeks to come.

It's tempting to blame the overkill of 21st century pop culture media - the feeding frenzy of hype and marketing that makes everyone cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs over a movie, any movie. But what we all have to try to remember in the weeks to come is that the movies (and pop culture in general) don't create psycho-killers. People like that, whatever bad stuff in their heads causes them to go on a killing rampage was placed there long before the world ever heard of Christopher Nolan or Christian Bale.

I can't think of anything more to say right now. I'll see the movie in a few weeks. Maybe.

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Related:
Batman
The Dark Knight Rises

10 comments:

  1. This is such a tragic waste of lives. What a shame. I'm putting off my viewing as well--I just can't go and not think about what happened.

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  2. It didn't even occur to me that I could refund my ticket at first. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that I really, REALLY did not need to see this today or this weekend.

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  3. I pretty much share your thoughts on this. But for me, i refuse to let the actions of a crazy man dictate what movies i see.

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    1. Which is why I say I plan to see it later, not now.

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  4. I cried when I turned on TV this morning and heard the news. Real tears of compassion and frustration. All those people and their plan for an evening's entertainment. The movies are where we feel safe. Where we used to feel safe.

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  5. Certainly it hurts for us because it happened in a movie theater, someplace we have a particular affinity for, but history shows that it can - and does - happen just about anywhere (Columbine, Virginia Tech, etc).

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    1. So true. A major mall in my city was the site of a shooting last month. People are resilient. We overcome our fear. To a certain extent we even forget until the next time.

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    2. Toronto, right? I read about that.

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  6. I feel the same way about it, Rich. I have no desire to see the film soon, though I probably will weeks from now. Right now, there would be no joy in it and it would seem disrespectful for me if there was.

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  7. If all of this was the plot of a movie, no one would believe it.

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