While the shootings in Aurora, Colo., certainly altered the national mood regarding “The Dark Knight Rises,” plenty of people still headed to multiplexes this weekend to see Christopher Nolan’s final Batman film.
An Associated Press story reported that some moviegoers entered into the experience as they would any other summer blockbuster, while others insisted on sitting in the back row of the theater so they could make a quick exit in the event of a copycat killing.
Having seen the film before the events in Colorado, I was initially struck by how extra-harrowing some of the violent scenes must now seem in light of what happened during that Friday midnight-screening-turned-tragedy. But then I recalled how “The Dark Knight Rises” concludes — details I will not share here so as not to spoil the ending for those who have not seen it — and imagined how much more inspiring and culturally relevant those final few minutes must seem now, in the light of so much non-fictional, horrifying loss.
I was curious to know how Celebritology readers responded to “Dark Knight Rises” over the weekend, both through the prism of Aurora as well as to the movie more generally. After issuing a call for reactions on Twitter, I received a number of tweets and e-mails on this subject, ones that ran the Gotham gamut from “kept glancing at the exits” to more typical movie buff impressions. “The sound mixing was not done very well,” reported one reader.
Here are a few of the responses; please feel free to share more on Twitter or by posting a comment below.
“I thought the movie was my least favorite of all the Batman movies, even though Christian Bale is my favorite Batman,” said Meg McKenna, a Milwaukee mother who went to see the movie with her 12-year-old son, via e-mail. “I thought the story was super-disjointed, muddled in any thought-provoking message, and very dark. Add to that the knowledge that those poor people in Aurora were being sensory-blasted by this loud movie full of automatic weapon fire and I just felt kind of lousy about the whole experience.”
Roque Neto of San Francisco admitted via Twitter that he felt a little jittery during his viewing experience.
@celebritology I watched it on Saturday night, but I couldn't help myself from time to time I glanced at the audience and the exit doors.— Roque Neto (@RoqueANeto) July 23, 2012
And he was not alone.
@celebritology I grew up in Aurora. Saw Batman, but kept glancing at the exits and waiting for the scene where the shooter walked in.— Cid Standifer (@Cidmonster) July 23, 2012
Colton Long, a journalism student at Mansfield University, loved the film but doesn’t care for all the attention being given to alleged shooter James Holmes.
@celebritology Phenomenal movie. Re: the shooting, I think we're giving the shooter everything he wants in terms of fame.— Colton Long (@TheColtony) July 23, 2012
Regarding the movie itself, Tanya Ballard, a former Post colleague who now works at NPR, had a mixed response. But she didn’t think its tones were as sinister as those found in its predecessor, “The Dark Knight.”
“It wasn’t as dark as ‘The Dark Knight,’ though I think that’s what Nolan was aiming for with the script ... There wasn’t a lot of blood and Batman doesn’t use guns,” she said.
Reader Tom Maxwell (who also tweeted about the poor sound mix) agreed.
@celebritology It was definitely not The Dark Knight, though it wasn't trying to be. Excellent picture in its own right.— Tom Maxwell (@tomjmaxwell) July 23, 2012
Others (see below) were less enthusiastic.
@celebritology it left me oddly cold, but all of Nolan's dark knight movies have— Loonie Don't U Know (@Lynn102309) July 23, 2012
@celebritology It seems to cap off the belief that everyone gets everything they want in the end. No sacrifices needed.— Payton Guthrie (@PaytonGlen) July 23, 2012
@celebritology , will not go.hollywood does not get my support if i can prevent it.— Terrell Newberry (@Terrellnewberry) July 23, 2012
Meanwhile, Alex Munguia, a pop culture writer, saw some of the hope in the film that I implied above.
@celebritology it might be as dark as night but if you look for it, you'll always find of glimmer of light + hope.— Alex(@ask_alexx) July 23, 2012
Thanks to all of those who responded. If I missed your tweet or comment in this post, please feel free to add it below.