The Dark Knight Rises

I’m not sure I should write anything about this movie now.  My first instinct was to simply review the film and not mention what happened in Aurora.  After all, smarter and more eloquent people than I have written about it.  What could I add?

But gradually I have come to believe that I must say something.  If you go to a midnight premiere of a Batman movie, you are by definition a geek, which means we have a connection; we are fellow travelers in the realms of the fantastic.  There is nothing like seeing a movie in a theater with a crowd of like-minded people amping the excitement up to unbearable levels.  That moment when the lights go down and the screen lights up and you know that the movie that everybody in the room has been waiting for, for years in some cases, is about to start.

The worst thing about this is obviously that twelve people are dead and many more injured.  The Dark Knight Rises will forever be associated with this tragedy, just as The Dark Knight is permanently linked to Heath Ledger’s tragic death.  I’ll never be able to watch it without thinking of this.  All because one madman chose this movie to play out his fantasies. 

The effects may be long lasting.  When I approached the multiplex, I have to admit Aurora was on my mind.  Was a copy-cat in the crowd?  Remember the first time you flew after 9/11?  It was like that.  This isn’t like a sports game or some other kind of spectator event.  There are thousands of movie showings every day.  They can’t guard them all.  I can easily see this being the end of midnight showings.  And it may very well be the beginning of the end of movie theaters. 

What it won’t be is the end of easy access to assault weapons.  The gun nuts already have a meme for these situations.  “Well it does make me wonder, you know with all those people in the theater, was there nobody that was carrying that could’ve stopped this guy more quickly?” is what Texas Representative Louis Gohmert said in an interview.  I think most law enforcement officers and people who have been trained in these situations will tell you that the last thing they want in a shooting is some amateur returning fire.  And yet the meme works.  It worked after Virginia Tech.  And sensible gun control remains politically impossible.

How many times does this have to happen before we realize that Louis Gohmert’s right to buy an assault rifle isn’t more important than those geeks’ rights to live.  The answer, sadly, is at least one more time.  My thoughts and sympathies go out to the victims and their families.

Even though it’s the weakest of the Nolan Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises is a good movie with many spectacular set pieces that really need to be seen on the big screen. 

But if you want to wait for the DVD, I don’t blame you.  I’ll review it in depth at that time.

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