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.
The Dark Knight Rises