Last night I saw Dark Knight Rises at the Universal Boardwalk AMC Theatre in Los Angeles. In front there was one of the cars displayed from the movie on that shiny shiny boardwalk that looks like Hollywood did a hurl on it. I looked at my movie partner for this Batman movie (this time Hans as I'm a huge Batman fan and have gone to the midnight showings of Dark Knight for each and every movie) with that fangirlish comic book face of joy. I kept repeating this phrase the moment we knew we were going, during dinner, when we got the tickets and driving to the theater in a faux, raspy Christian Bale voice:
Me: I am Batman.
Hans (who always loves to create bits with me joined in roughly around when we were heading to get the tickets)
Me: (like Christian Bale) I am Batman
Hans: (in a very effeminate voice) ...ahhhhnd I'mmmm Robinn....
We got there early. We are having a smoke and a young man asks us for one. He started in on the awkward cigarette smoker conversation that us smokers who bum cigarettes have.
Him: So why are you here (Translation: What city are you from you can't be here and from L.A.)
Me: Oh...we are here to see Dark Knight Rises (Translation: Free tickets brother. We live in L.A.)
Him: I hear its a good movie (Translation: I have run out of conversation)
Me: Let's just hope a smoke bomb does not go off in there (Translation: Let's just end this conversation with me saying something topically horrible)
Him: Well. Have a great time! (Translation: Well played to get me out. Thanks for the smoke)
Maybe me writing about Dark Knight Rises is half review and half a topic of conversation about the horrible tragedy that happened in Colorado at the movie there. After seeing this amazing, dark movie (darker than any Batman movie in my mind to date) all I can say is this:
We all need to be Batman.
That is what struck me with this movie at the core of it all (without giving away too many spoilers to this movie) are two things:
1) The villains of this movie are the type of villains that you could easily see wondering the streets in this day and age. This is not just Wacky Jack Nicholson/Danny DeVito type of villains. Hell. They are darker than the Joker of Heath Ledger.
Why? You can see these characters could be real terrorists. You could have easily taken that thing off of his face and all of his speeches and what he does at one point to three victims is completely believable. That is the horror and darkness of this movie. It's real. It all seems plausible at many points in this movie
2) Everyone in some way or another is Batman. It was the underlying theme of the entire movie. Even Batman says it. Twice. But no one actually realizes it: In some way or another...every character that was not Batman *was Batman* They all did Batman quality feats? But more importantly they all did it for a common cause: To defeat the bad, evil people of the world. Straight down to the striking image of the police walking down a Gotham City Street with barely any to no guns in mass. They are all Batman...and it all looked like something straight out of a re-imagined moment right after 9/11
I left this beautifully shot, well acted and intensely dark and wonderful movie a little teary eyed in this recognition. We are all Batman and yet...somewhere in Colorado an insane man got in and out of a theatre and killed and wounded dozens of people inflecting fear. Wanting to create fear and anarchy and terrorism in Colorado's Gotham City.
That crazy son of a bitch probably in his heart thought he was Heath Ledger's Joker. Smoke Bomb. Shooting tons of innocent people to entice fear. Rigging his home because he knew the police were going to be there to kill more people.
This is for the Joker who took out all those people in a movie theatre: Dear "Joker": After this attack in Gotham City? You are not going to find henchman after the fact to carry out your evil plans. You are not going to break out of Arkham Asylum and rig Mile High Stadium with explosives. That is not going to happen. You were not even caught by The Dark Knight himself. It's worse than that. You were caught by the Gotham City Police Department and Commissioner Gordon before you could even get your Joker mobile out of the parking structure. You won't even be able to escape from Arkham Asylum because your stay will not be that long.
Translation: You are not the Joker. You are James Holmes, a 24 year old mentally unstable man who has been sliding through the world under the radar with your insanity as you could hide it well, who got caught by the police the moment you walked out of there and into the parking garage. You rigged your entire apartment after buying weaponry and ammunition generally purchased by a army supply store and headed out to kill people in the one place to play out your complete and horrible Cosplay fantasy: Killing fans of The Dark Knight as The Joker.
Now you are sitting in a jail cell that looks nothing like Arkham Asylum where you are not going to escape and you will most likely be put to death. As well you probably should be.
You are broken James. Completely broken. For how long? I don't know.
I don't think anything will fix you, James not only as a person who has done therapy work to people like you? But as a Dark Knight Fan.
...and you know what? I don't think I personally have the time or the patience anymore to fix the broken we have caused in this culture. I don't have the time anymore to explain to this broken culture of Hunger Games/Joker is the hero/Vampire/Zombie Apocalypse/End of Days broken culture.
Exhausted on how you should not have this sort of easy access to guns or ammunitions...or the idea that no one looked at you sideways in the movie theatre with you all bulked up with real guns and body armor because everyone probably thought you were Cos-Playing...or the horrible idea you killed a six year old at a midnight showing making me wonder to all high heaven why the hell grown adults would bring a six year old to a midnight movie showing in *The First Place*
Yea. What is the point anymore on trying to explain that to you and this broken culture. You probably need to die by electrocution or lethal injection. You are a rabid dog that needs to be put down. We turned you into a rabid dog. Guess we have to put you down.
I guess I was lucky not to be in that theatre...because goddamit you son of a bitch...I would have been fucking Batman. I would have gone the fuck out trying to tackle your crazy ass with all of your fucking body armor on in the hopes that someone would have been Batman with me. But in this twisted culture we talk a mean game of being heroes. I would have died. But I would have died trying.
I hate you, you piece of shit named James Holmes. You are not the Joker. You are a piece of shit that should not see, hear or feel the world around him anymore. You have spun around this earth for 24 years. That is enough now, you horrible insane dick. Now, die. Or as The Dark Knight would say to Bane if you only watched the fucking movie instead of killing the people watching it: "You now die on our schedule"
That is the general translation. Give or take a paragraph.
Someone said in a tweet after it occurred "I almost died. I'm surprised I got out alive" I'm glad he saved himself. I honestly am. It all makes me so sad.
Sadly and horribly while watching characters be Batman? There was not one Batman in the audience. That one person who, risking all life and limb took that chance and said "Fuck this. I'm Batman. This evil is going to stop. Now."
I'm not saying any of this would have not have happened or less people would have been killed or wounded if one person got up and try to thwart this man or at least tried. All I'm saying is something that should take rank before anything else.. Especially if you are as big of a Batman Fan as I am.
I would have died. Because I feel everyone should be Batman. Like the firemen who died trying to rescue people going into the towers before they came down. Like the guys on the plane who thwarted the terrorist and they all died, but it did not go into a building killing more people.
The people who try? Those are our Batman's of the world. There needed to be a Batman in the theatre at the Dark Knight movie. I pray that next time one Dark Knight will be around when a tragedy like this occurs.
If we are going to be a broken pop culture now? Lets really do this. Someone be a Batman the moment someone decides to be a Joker.
Causes Shaun Landry Supports
The Alzheimer's Foundation, NAACP, Breast Cancer Foundation, Gilda's Club.