This is What That Looks Like

To this day, my wife has not seen The Dark Knight.

Though not a geek, strictly speaking, the lady of the house has a soft spot for geeky pursuits (as well as the pursuit of geeks). She has bogarted every volume of Scott Pilgrim from me. At her request, our second date was a screening of X2: X-Men United at the last second-run theater still showing it. A couple of years later, it was she who bought the tickets and dragged a spouse into the Galleria multiplex when Batman Begins came out, and she loved it as much as I did, if not more.

When it comes to geekery, the missus is at best geek-adjacent. When it comes to parenthood…? The missus is All In. When it comes to moms and kids, she’s like some kind of mutant empath. She doesn’t just feel a bond between herself and her kids; she feels the bond between every mom and every kid. I have to actively intercept Amber Alerts in my house, snatching phones and changing channels, because my wife reacts to stories of missing children as if every single one of them is ours. Her heart goes out to them so much that she hears a news story about child abuse and cries harder than I would if I actually knew the people.

And that’s why she won’t watch The Dark Knight, even now. She bridles at the very suggestion to this day.

When he died, Heath Ledger had a little girl that was about two years old. When the movie came out, my wife and I had a little girl that was about two years old. As much as she loved Batman Begins and wanted to share my interests, my wife could not look at Heath Ledger’s face without thinking about everything he had left behind, and all the trauma his premature drug-related death would cause that poor little girl for the rest of her life. There was no performance compelling enough or film entertaining enough to make her forget that. The real world had intruded on the moviegoing experience, and she would never be able to get past it.

At the time, I told her I understood and respected her point of view, while to myself I muttered that I had married an irrational crazy person.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot this weekend. I owe my wife an apology.

As I queued up for The Dark Knight Rises on Saturday, I thought, “Yesterday, about twenty-five minutes into this movie, a guy armed himself and started shooting dozens of people who took too long figuring out they were in danger because the gunfire started during the first big action sequence. As long as I live, how will I ever watch that sequence without thinking, ‘Yep. This is the point when all those people got murdered’?”

Forty years from now, I will be flipping through the stations on TV, see a snippet of this movie and say, “Yessir, you whippersnappers, a fella took his six year old to this movie back in my day, and right here’s where some monster blew her brains clean out.”

Back in the Here and Now, I went to see The Dark Knight Rises this weekend anyway. I have been looking forward to it all year, and we owe it to ourselves not to be cowed by terror. A lot of people go to the movies to “turn off their brains” and escape from the horrors of the real world, so I thought I might give that a shot.

About three previews in, my eye caught the exit sign and the thought came into my head, unbidden: “Given the seat I usually choose in this theater, I’d almost certainly have been one of the first to go.” It took the rest of the previews to switch that part of my brain off.

The film was engaging and well-made. It drew me in. Then, about twenty-five minutes in, there came a big action sequence where everyone began shooting at one another, at which point I had a spontaneous breakdown and began bawling uncontrollably for ten minutes.

I started up again when Bane took the stock exchange. As the masked man barged into the room full of strangers and began firing indiscriminately, I thought, “This is what we do to amuse ourselves, but we’ve seen what this looks like in real life.” How could I think anything else? How long will it be before I do again?

I will never know whether or not The Dark Knight Rises was a good movie. It had its thrilling moments, its powerful moments, its tedious moments, its silly moments, and its so-idiotic-it-completely-takes-you-out-of-the-movie moments. Ultimately, I brought too much into the theater with me to judge it on its own terms. Maybe I’ll see it again one day, when I’ve come to terms with what senseless violence looks like in real life and how to reconcile that with the senseless violence we make up for fun. For now, my thoughts are too disorganized; within minutes of crying my eyes out for people I’ve never met, I was watching Batman fight Bane and thinking, “This would all be over by now if Batman would just shoot him.”

Comments

  1. Simply put, yes. I was sad and even felt sick when I read that on Monday morning, for a few hours, then I saw the movie with friends Friday night and had fun. Like they said on AintItCool, you can’t let monsters win.

    Seeing it again on Monday.

    • rottenjorge rottenjorge says:

      i dont,, because do you think about cloubine when watching the matrix or that lady who got killed before the twilight panel?

    • I also don’t, that’s what I meant to say. “Yes” to can I think of the movie seperate from it.

    • DFWRob DFWRob says:

      @Rottenjorge.

      I absolutely think about the Columbine Massacre every time I see the Matrix. It is obvious that the two killers were inspired by the film and walked into that school with the swagger and weaponry comparable to Neo and Trinity walking into the lobby to save Morpheous. I’m not saying that I switch the channel because of this. Or that I dislike the movie. But the two will always be connected.

      And for me it will be the same with the Dark Knight Rises. In the first 30 minutes there are two possible shootout scenes that the Columbus Massacre could have occured in. I will always connect the two. Again, I did enjoy the movie and I am seeing it again later this week. But these kind of stories…these kind of horrors are pervasive. Especially since the movie is designed to make you feel uncomfortable about seeing a football stadium and New York blown up.

      An analagous situation for me would be professional wrestling (I know i’m not the only fan here). Chris Benoit was one of the most well liked and well respected wrestlers of his generation. For wrestling fans, he is etched into our memories from the years 2000-2004 for his high profile role. And after the horrible murder/suicide of himself and his family it is IMPOSSIBLE to be able to seperate the two and look at one as a roll and a source of entertainment while also feel so saddened by the way it all ended.

  2. Woops, meant when I read it on Friday morning, and I’m seeing the movie again on Tues. Also the “yes” was in response to the question on the main page linking here, if I’d be able to think about the movie without the tragedy. Yes.

    Also you bring up how the movie itself features fantasy violence, which I’d say isn’t really connected. It’d be like if a serial killer liked to watch Westerns, most wouldn’t say “and those senselessly violent John Wayne films are bad”, etc. Most people can seperate fantasy and reality.

    Long story short, that horrible tragedy is sad and terrible. And it has nothing to do with Batman, or comic news.

    • Jim Mroczkowski Jim Mroczkowski (@jimski) says:

      I’m not blaming anything. I just mean that I couldn’t look at the one without thinking about the other this week.

    • Right on. The thing in general is I can understand how you empathize so much and feel bad, but pretty much, I could try to sat why I don’t think this tragedy should effect your enjoyment of Batman, but not sure that’d help.

      Pretty much, unfortunately terrible things happen everywhere, and to enjoy life we have to be able to well at times just not think about them. We’d have much bigger problems than enjoying this Batman movie if we really thought about everything.

  3. RoiVampire RoiVampire says:

    I saw the film last night and the stock exchange entrance hit a nerve.

    What really hit me was the trailer for American Gangsters in front of Dark Knight. There’s a moment where four guys standing behind a movie screen shoot the screen down and start shooting up the theater. As soon as the shooting in Colorado happened that should have been pulled. The audience was audibly upset in my theater and two people left during that trailer, presumably to complain to management .

    • kzap kzap says:

      Yes, I agree that trailer should have been pulled. Of course if you where seeing a film print of the movie it’s possible it may have been difficult to do. Although I still think it should have been done, sadly it’s just not the sort of thing that would even cross a theater managers mind when they hear about a tragedy like this.
      What I do find totally objectionable is that Warner Brothers are considering re-shooting and re-editing large chucks of that film to remove the scene entirely, which I think is totally unacceptable. Sure delay the release, sure put a warning on it but don’t butcher art because of a senseless tragedy that doesn’t help anybody.

    • WheelHands WheelHands says:

      They pulled that trailer nationwide.

    • markavo markavo says:

      Whatever theater you saw that trailer at failed to pull it. The decision to pull that trailer was made the morning of the attack.

    • RoiVampire RoiVampire says:

      Oh i realize the studio probably issued a mandate to pull it but the people that run the Hollywood Theater in my city are notoriously incompetent. I’ve heard of whole reels going missing at midnight shows, employees causing disruptions during screenings and last year a manager was fired for being drunk at work. I have no doubt they were told by corporate to pull that trailer and they were just too stupid to actually do it.

  4. CaseyJustice CaseyJustice says:

    I was able to shut it out during the movie, but right before the movie they showed a trailer for some Prohibition-era cop flick with Sean Penn and Jonah Hex in it. The movie looked pretty rad, until the very end of the trailer when the Badass Cop Squad went into a movie theater, lined up behind the screen, and opened fire on the audience.

    They couldn’t have pulled that one? Like, just for the weekend, even?

    • icn1983 icn1983 says:

      They were supposed to have pulled all trailers of “Gangster Squad” and they’re probably going to delay and recut the movie. It sounds like someone at the theater dropped the ball.

    • CaseyJustice CaseyJustice says:

      My wife and I just looked at each other, astonished. That could not possibly have been in worse taste. The entire audience clenched.

    • MisterShaw MisterShaw says:

      i don’t think it’s fair to say that it was in poor taste, because there’s no way they could’ve predicted what happened, and the logistics of changing the trailer reel for 4500 theaters is probably insane.

      I saw the movie 2x this weekend, and the 2nd time–Saturday–the Gangster Squad trailer wasn’t included.

    • CaseyJustice CaseyJustice says:

      I’m not saying that there’s any blame to be ascribed, but I think we can all agree that showing that before the movie is pretty gross. It’s not anybody’s fault. As you say, changing all of those was surely a massive undertaking.

      Perhaps “poor taste” was a poor choice of words.

  5. xantm70 says:

    Simply put, I will never be able to watch this movie without thinking about that massacre.

    On the other hand, one shouldn’t have been able to watch this movie without thinking about massacres in any case.

    Nolan is a genius in that, as a director, he forces his audience to grapple with ethical dilemmas that we normally don’t even think about, and he does so by putting them in a real-world context. In The Dark Knight, for instance, the Joker waxes positively eloquent–if psychotic–about how people will readily accept violence if it is part of the status quo, if it is scripted, but are terrified by chaos.

    Watching The Dark Knight, we were faced with scripted violence, and it didn’t bother us. Watching The Dark Knight Rises, we are now confronted with a vivid memory of chaotic violence, and it terrifies us. Life imitates art in a horrifically twisted way, and we realize that Messrs. Nolan and Ledger were right all along.

    • Gotta agree to disagree there. For one, not sure what the point of bringing up “scripted violence” is. We’re watching a story, a sad effective story featuring no violence can hit harder, and a violent movie can actually be completely harmless.

      Many, many have and will continue to see this movie without thinking about the tragedy. The tragedy, like any other horrible headline you read, effects you, but not everyone is going to always think about it and associate it with this film.

    • xantm70 says:

      I suppose I look at it like this: Why is it that a movie where no violence takes place can hit us harder than a movie where hundreds, if not thousands are killed–but in real life, if someone we’ve never met dies, it hits us far less (typically) than a massacre such as this? Somehow, the concept of death has become meaningless in the realm of entertainment until and unless an emotional bond is forged between audience and character. To an extent, I get the sense that that was one of the points Nolan was trying to make with The Dark Knight. Shouldn’t the fact that people died be enough to get us riled up, regardless of who they are? It does tend to be permanent.

      Of course, not everyone is going to watch this movie and think of Colorado, but some will, and perhaps this is why.

      That said? You’re right, an action film can be perfectly harmless. But when the violence inherent in the action genre becomes glorfied, then I, as an individual, take issue. Ike once said, and I think aptly, “There is no glory in battle worth the blood it costs.”

      But then, this is just my opinion. Others can and will disagree, and that’s entirely their prerogative.

      #treehuggingliberal #sorry

    • I’m as much a tree hugging liberal as the next guy, I just don’t make any association between art needing to be PC or take any responsibility for anything, other than being art.

  6. mguy77 mguy77 says:

    I remember where I was when 9/11 happened, the same for Hurricanes Ivan & Katrina when I lost my house. The TDKR shooting is a tragic event that few will be able to forget similar to Columbine HS & Rep. Giffords shootings You reflect on the loss, you hope the a’hole that did the killing is punished severally under the law & that the local community is renewed over time. How long that takes is anyone’s guess.

  7. thered thered says:

    i went back and saw it again on saturday for a couple reasons. one, i wanted to see if the imax version fixed my problems with understanding bane (to me it did), but also because i wanted to face up to any fears that the tragedy might have awakened in me. to be honest, i got to be a bit panicky in that stock market scene and i was checking the emergency exit to make sure it was closed for most of the movie. i still found new things to enjoy on the second viewing, and i still like the movie a lot, but the ghosts of what happened are definitely there.

  8. I was able to see the movie prior to the shooting taking place so I don’t know that I will always make that correlation. But right now, the feeling is so raw that it is understandable. Similar but not exact arguments have been made about traumatic events and movies mimicking them. After 9/11 the question was “when can they destroy NYC again?” And then they made Day After Tomorrow. We haven’t forgotten 9/11 but that raw feeling has subsided like all things that become more history rather than news.
    This isn’t to say we should forget but the raw feeling will pass. The sadder thing is that what we need is a serious dialogue about the nature of violence and access to weapons in our society and we’re unlikely to get it. It’s easier to wring our hands and point to peripheral concerns like the movie itself.

  9. kzap kzap says:

    I saw the film mere hours after hearing about the tragedy and it didn’t effect me. Does that make me cold and emotionless? Maybe.
    But personally I didn’t relate the tragedy to having anything to DO with the film.
    No one can pull the “he was clearly inspired by the film to commit violent acts” card (which is ridicules anyway) because it was at the premier of the film so there’s no way he could have seen it first.
    The way I see it, sadly we live in a world with sick people who will do disgusting, unforgivable things, those people may like certain stories or works of art but that doesn’t mean those works or art are to blame and can no longer been enjoyed because they’re somehow ‘corrupted’ by the memory of what happened.
    I just think of it as mad man gunning down families at a movie theater, the fact that this was the movie that was playing at the time is purely coincidental.
    If you watch the latest video from ItsJustSomeRandomGuy (the man behind the “I’m a Marvel, I’m a DC” sketches) on youtube he explains it better than me.

  10. The Batman origin was first written in athe November 1939 issue of Detective Comics. Characters in drama have been getting shot and killed ever since, and our gun laws allow criminals to purchase assault rifles nowadays with little regard for background checks or mental well being. My point is, 74 years later since that first comic book very little has changed in our country and in our entertainment arts. We have tv, movie, books, video games, etc…all involving rampant gun usage and violence.

    I was reading comic books Saturday to “avoid” the news media about the Colorado shootings and the books were filled with guns and violence. Art imitates life and vice versa…it really sucks a lot of times.

    I will always think about the folks in that theater when I see DKR in the future, and when I’m at the movie theater, same when I look around an airplane before take off to see if anyone looks evil…but I won’t stop flying or enjoying the movies.

    I wont let the sick, depraved or just evil people in the world take things away from me. But it isn’t easy.

  11. lifesend lifesend says:

    I’ll always think of the Batman fans that lost their lives when watching TDKR, but I’ll enjoy the film, as I hope they would have.

  12. Janja says:

    Yes.

  13. Funnybooks Funnybooks says:

    Maybe it is just because of what happened, and thinking about scenes or movie trailers that now seem inappropriate or “too soon” but don’t you sometimes wonder not “boy, this sure is in bad taste now” but instead “I wonder if this should bother me all the time, and not just now.”

  14. i couldn’t do it. I had been looking forward to this for so long and the wife and i had plans to go on Saturday afternoon…but then when it was time to leave for the theatre we just didn’t want to anymore.

    This incident really affected me more than it usually does. I’m also horrified that these kinds of things happen on a somewhat regular basis in some shape or form. Maybe i watched too much of the media coverage and the polarizing politicized reactions…. I dunno, just so angry and sad and bummed out and horrified and all kinds of other things. I guess in a weird place where being in a movie theatre was the last place i wanted to be.

    I’ll see it eventually in a few weeks…when i’m not going to be as distracted.

    • Smasher says:

      Good point. I saw it Sunday and I was distracted by people getting up and going to the bathroom (?) and the police officer that came in mid-movie to check the emergency exits.

      A few weeks might be less distracting.

    • I wouldn’t have gone if I didn’t buy an IMAX ticket ahead of time. I bought it Thursday night around 11pm and it was for a matinee show on Friday. There were local news people there in the morning. Being in the theatre the extremely loud gunfire sounds and the scenes of people shooting into crowds made me pretty sick.

      Eventually as the film went on I was able to kind of put it out of my mind but for the first half or so it was very present.

  15. Smasher says:

    It’ll be difficult for those of current movie going age (let’s say age 7-70) in the United States and abroad to detach the horrific events in Aurora from The Dark Knight Rises. The same is true with disassociating Heath Ledger’s and Brandon Lee’s untimely deaths from The Dark Knight and The Crow respectfully.

    What’s different though is with the death of an actor, audiences are drawn to their films, particularly their last films because of how they somehow showcase our connections with life and death. In those films we are watching actors working really hard at doing something they love to do. You’re appreciating life as much as you’re memorializing the persons who died.

    With this it’s quite different. With this I think you can turn the movie into a symbol of gun violence and a cautionary for how we need to be ever vigilant and aware of our surroundings. Or we can choose to bury the events deep and as far away from the movie because it’s hurts too much not too.

    Most of us will probably do a little of both.

  16. Ian says:

    While this is obviously a tragic event, for me it’s also a very separate thing form the Dark Knight Rises. So i will definitely watch the movie again, will i think of the shootings?, Probably not..

  17. WheelHands WheelHands says:

    I saw it Thursday night, before I knew what had happened. Still, I’ve never had a problem separating tragically real events from entertainment of any form. The fact that this happened IN a movie theater (as opposed to something like Columbine which is forever associated with the tone of a movie) makes this sadly unique, but that only strengthens my resolve to not let this lunatic affect something I hold so dear.

    The movie theater is the closest thing I have to a church. I love these movies, I love what they stand for, and I’ve been excited for this installment for over a year. I’m not going to think of the tragedy every time I see it, because in my mind the two have nothing to do with each other. Even if this sick fuck was influenced by this film and others like it, that’s a result of whatever wires he’s got crossed up top, it can’t be blamed on the film or the industry. His reasons (whatever they are) are ultimately inconsequential. They won’t bring the victims back, and they won’t do anything to ease the pain of the survivors and families of the dead.

    Then again, I’m not a father. I have a suspicion that all my current convictions would go right out the window if I were. I’m seeing the movie again tonight, and I hope I can sit back and enjoy it without feeling the sadness that I’ve felt while following the news stories over the past few days. I suppose what I’ve said here could be considered a little cold, but I don’t see it that way. I feel for those people. I do. It’s a terrible, senseless thing that none should ever have to experience. I’ve been thinking about it for days. I’ve also been thinking about the film for days, and how much I enjoyed it. I haven’t thought of them as one and the same. Not for a second. Because they aren’t.

  18. TurdSandwich TurdSandwich says:

    While I still went and saw the movie, and enjoyed it, I can totally understand how Jim and a lot of others felt. There were a few times when somebody got up during the movie (presumably to use the restroom), and I tensed up; it was unavoidable.

    I still to this day, haven’t and don’t want to see “Flight93″ or “The World Trade Center”, because what happened was so horrible, that I have no desire to see it re-enacted.

    • I haven’t seen either of those two firms myself. And for the exact same reason as you. DKR isn’t about a movie theater shooting rampage, but man those stock exchange scenes and a few others with Bane just offing people was tough to watch. Someone on this thread earlier said, maybe we should always be sickened by that type of scene and not just after something awful happens in the world. I had that same thought during DRK…and I thought of the joker talking about how ” if a solider dies somewhere no one notices, but if an old man is killed…everyone gets crazy”. It’s kinda fitting that we get reminded of that by a character like joker, to be reminded tht violence is always an awful thing to use for any reason. It’s fitting that Batman as a character still says ” no guns” and tht we as a society still need to stand our ground against the men “that just want to watch the world burn”.

  19. BCDX97 BCDX97 says:

    I’m not gonna let some loser creep ruin a movie for me. I saw it and thought it was great. It has nothing to do with what that garbage did.

    I’m fine with violence in film/TV/games/music whatever. It’s violence in real life I have a problem with. And that we sell assault rifles to any nut off the street? Yeah, 2nd Amendment.

  20. itsbecca itsbecca says:

    I saw the movie at a midnight showing so did not hear the news until I got home, but I passed up a second viewing a couple days later I’m sure what happened in Colorado had something to do with that.

    I probably will see it in the future though. The thing of it is, the emotions you describe about your wife are not dissimilar to how my own. I am a thin-skinned, empathetic weep bag. I cry at nearly ANY half decent movie no matter the genre, I tear up at sitcoms and cartoons. So when I watch a movie I know will have dramatic moments or violence it is a very conscious decision that I’m okay kicking my heart around on the ground for awhile. And there’s some creators I’m willing to do that for, because even bad feelings are good to have sometimes. It’s an experience and I appreciate it.

    On another note…
    This event led to a conversion about violence in movies between myself and a friend of mine. She is generally worried for the desensitization to violence in our society. Whenever someone makes that argument I have to think, “Okay, maybe some people aren’t effected by these things anymore, but you’re certainly not describing me.” Aside from purposefully absurdest examples of violence (Kill Bill, Shoot ‘em up, etc.) it doesn’t matter how many times I see a person get shot, stabbed, beat, robbed… to me it ALWAYS makes the connection to real life to me. I’ve had the good fortune to live in relatively safe areas for the majority of my life and I’m not subjected to these events first hand. In fact, and this probably sounds backwards, but even news stories are often surreal to me, they’re either cold and factual or sensationalist. I hardly ever feel any real connection. But films allow me that connection and give me that opportunity to grieve.

  21. Kamilo Kamilo says:

    Sorry if someone has already said this.

    I think people (especially within the comics community) are taking this way to seriously. Maybe its because I have grown up with these massacres happening all the time, but it just sounds like another big shooting to me. I was in elementary school when Columbine happened, and though it freaked everyone out for a few years, when I ask kids about it today (I work at the same elem. school I went to) none of them know what it even is, even the 14-15 year olds. I was in college when Virginia Tech happened, didn’t change anything in my college or any other I’ve ever heard of. I have several friends in the Army, and though Fort Hood was certainly a serious event, its not like it completely changed the way things work there. People still go to Mumbai, London, and New York for vacations don’t they? In the end it was a crazy person with a gun, not like that’s never happened before, and though tragic, linking the event with the movie is a fool’s errand since they have nothing to do with one another. He obviously never saw the movie since it was the first premiere, so it couldn’t have inspired him. We just live in a time when people do post-modern massacres in which people purposely attempt to get attention though murder. Sad, but you gotta get on and live in the world you live in.

  22. J-Shap J-Shap says:

    Absolutely get where you’re coming from. I can’t listen to Tears In Heaven without thinking of Eric Clapton’s son. Also, I saw the movie Thursday before the shooting became news, so perhaps when I see it again I will find that I share your sentiment. I don’t quite agree that the movie trivializes violence though. Art is often used to reflect the ugly things that happen in the real world, and many movies we see, books we read, and songs we listen to are probably connected to tragic events. TDKR obviously wasn’t inspired by the events of the Colorado shooting, and while it will forever be a movie linked to a tragic event, as the same with its predecessor, to feel guilt for enjoying it is actually more of a trivialization. I live in lower Manhattan, and still walk by ground zero every day. Do I let it get to me? Yes, does it keep me from living the same life I used to? Perhaps in some sort of psychological method whenever I’m on a plane, but I continue move forward. If we let the acts of evil men cripple us, then they truly win.

    Do not, however, take this as a sign that I believe you show weak character. There is nothing weak about feeling compassion.

  23. MisterShaw MisterShaw says:

    I didn’t have any kind of reaction to Batman because of the shooting, mostly because I don’t feel in any way connected to it. It’s sad, certainly, and I feel bad for everyone involved or connected to it (except the bad guy, obviously), but it doesn’t affect me. I did have a similar reaction to Flight 93 and World Trade Center, though. And Moulin Rouge, when I first saw it, which is a weird comparison in this thread, but it was a bad time in my life. Anyway. I’m glad to see not all geeks are detached asshats.

  24. IroncladMerc says:

    I’ll watch it eventually, maybe wait until it comes out on DVD, but I won’t enjoy it as much.

  25. Reform Reform says:

    I enjoy the movie for those who can not watch it, I enjoy the movie for those who were at the midnight showing that night. Will I think of them when I watch it again? YES! Godbless them I will not forget them, I love fans of Batman and I cry to think of what happend to 71 Batman fans going to see a movie. I wish the news would show us or tell us about the people, the victims and not focus on the killer. I enjoy watching the news but have to find somethig else to watch when I am getting ready for bed untill they stop the showcase of the killer. I understand it is news but enough, tell us what is new in the case then move on till something new comes up, if they really want to focus on the event then focus on the lost life not the killer.

  26. fo sho says:

    Ugh..Was at the movie and looked at the exit sign multiple times. I didn’t want to be too scared to go watch the movie since that felt like “letting the bade guy win.” So we went and saw it last night. And we had a great time and enjoyed it a ton. But I was there with my wife and kept thinking what I can do to protect her in case anything goes wrong. I hate that I even have to think that way.

  27. mattfox7669 says:

    I live about 15 minutes from the theater in Centennial Colorado. I was very excited about this before the shootings but now have no urge to go see this movie at all . Those are my own personal feelings but I don’t think anyone should feel guilty about going to see this movie. It’s a very creepy situation especially with that COWARD claiming he is the Joker but this has nothing to do with the Batman mythos or comic books.

  28. Reform Reform says:

    ANOTHER THING… this sort of thing can happen anywhere, anytime. From home invasions to work-place shootings to terror attacks to natural disaters, its good to watch out for and be ready for something to happen but we have to live in a world with good and evil. LOVE is stronger then hate, dont fear hate, embrace love.

  29. Jim Mroczkowski Jim Mroczkowski (@jimski) says:

    @Reform talked about focusing on the victims, not the psychopath. Here is an easy way to do that:

    Caleb Medley is a guy in his early twenties. He’s an aspiring stand-up comedian trying to make a name for himself on the Denver scene. He has a wife who is literally going to give birth to his first kid any day now. As a kind of “last hurrah” before the baby’s born (man, I have been there) they all went to see the movie at midnight.

    He got his wife and unborn child out of the theater. He got shot in the face. His right eye is history, and he will have some brain damage. He’s in a medically induced coma now.

    With this injury and a baby on the way, they have no insurance.

    I haven’t talked to the guys about it yet, but I would dearly love it if the iFanbase made this their pet cause for the summer. Open your piggy banks for this poor family:

    http://calebmedley.com/help

  30. I was able to get the events immediately out of my head the moment I walked in the theater. Will I be thinking about it whenever I see the movie? Sure. But I’m not gonna let it deter me from enjoying the movie or letting it ruin a good time when watching it with friends or family.

  31. Gary4362 Gary4362 says:

    I saw The Dark Knight Rises on last Friday morning at the 10:00 AM viewing. By that time we were just hearing the first few little details about the Aurora shooting that had happened less than 8 hours earlier. I enjoyed the movie and plan to see it again this weekend. I didn’t consider the incident while I watched the film. It didn’t color my viewing of the events that transpired in the story. The killing of 12 innocent people and the shooting of some 50 more persons by a lone gunman were the actions of a man who is callously believed he had the right to take lives. It wasn’t Christopher Nolan or Batman or violence films that caused what happened in Aurora last Friday morning. It was our complete lack of respect for the life in this country.

    If you didn’t see the film you missed the message against using guns and extreme violence to solve issues that runs through the movie. If you didn’t see the film you missed the message that a hero isn’t the one who dresses up in a mask and has fancy gadgets but rather the person who gets control of his or her fears and steps up to do the right thing even when it requires personal sacrifice. If you didn’t see the movie you missed the message about how building a myth of false heroism serves no one. If you didn’t see the film you missed the message on how selfish greed and acquisition of material wealth at all cost leaves none of us richer.

    A movie didn’t cause the problems we saw revealed in Aurora last week. They existed in this world before, and, as of yet, have gone unchecked by the lack of action on So go see the film. You weren’t doing anything to solve these problems anyway.

  32. JesseCuster says:

    Everyone is different. That’s all. It’s hard not to go into it or explain it any different without being insulting.

    I am outraged at what happened, I am saddened for those who were hurt and the people that died.

    But I am not going to watch a film and always think “People died!”. I am not going to be afraid to sit in a theater. I am not going to be afraid of stepping outside because life, and death, happens.

    I’m sorry for the people that can’t separate outside influence from their own experiences. I can’t imagine living life that way. See how that sounds like an insult? I’m sorry that it does, but this is what we’re really talking about here. It also seems to me that forever tying the event to your own experience is allowing your life to be controlled by others.

    I think of the people hurt and the event and it saddens me. I read about the people that died and it makes me cringe. I think about how young most of them were and realize what a monster Holmes is. But my empathy arises from thinking about the people, thinking about that actual moment. I’m not going to tie that directly to the movie they happened to be seeing.

    I have never, thankfully, been involved or related to any such tragic event. As such, in my opinion, the most honorable thing I can do is think of them, while going on with my daily life. There are people that this actually happened to, and people that are connected to it, the are much more entitled to the emotions than me.

    Our duty is not to cry with them, but to offer a shoulder to cry on.

  33. I saw the movie for the second time last night after seeing it at a midnight screening in an eastern time zone before the shooting. I don’t think long term or even really immediately the shooting effects my enjoyment of the movie its self. Overall I can honestly say I liked it better the second time but I did become upset at one point over the course of the movie.

    Like some people here have said I’m of the opinion that we can’t allow all of the bad things that happen in the world effect the way we live our lives and how we enjoy ourselves. That’s not to say that I don’t feel bad when I hear of these things or that I don’t have a great deal of sympathy for the people involved because I do. I just tend not to worry or think about these things on a day to day basis.

    That being said on Monday night when i saw Bane walk into the stock exchange and start shooting i felt a horrible pit in my stomach and began looking around the theater for movement. I don’t think i would have the same feeling if i was watching the movie at home but being in a theater full of strangers I suddenly couldn’t help feeling how incredibly vulnerable we all were. Luckily the feeling passed and I enjoyed the movie despite it. For me i think it was more the act of seeing the movie in a theater with the events so fresh in my mind that caused this. It probably could have happened in any movie but I’m sure it helped my mind make the connections since it was batman.

    I guess for me this is more connect to theaters than it is to a specific movie. I’m not going to stop going to the theaters and I would be kinda surprised if by the time something else i want to see comes out the feeling happens again.

  34. JokersNuts JokersNuts says:

    Can you go to school without thinking about all the senseless school shootings that have happened? Yes.

    Can you fly in a plane without thinking about it crashing to the ground or being hijacked? Yes.

    Can you watch The Dark Knight Rises without having to think of the horrific tragedy of last weekend? Yes, and with time it won’t even be a question.

  35. Watching the stock exchange scene added some nervousness to my watching.