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Friday, July 20, 2012

Batman: Sick Product of a Sick System

I hated "Batman: The Dark Knight Rises." I posted the review, below, on the International Movie Database in 2008. 

"Batman: The Dark Knight" is a tacky, trashy, mindless, ultra violent, pointless piece of garbage. It will bore anyone with a mature mind. "The Dark Knight" consists of one sadistic, pointlessly violent scene after another. There is no point to these scenes except to extract money from the pockets of sheltered teenage boys who have had no experience of real life, and those who think like sheltered teenage boys who have had no experience of real life. "The Dark Knight" is a drug. It pushes violence and sadism. That's it. That's what you get for your ten bucks.

"The Dark Knight" is a sick product of a sick culture. What's the difference between a blockbuster death-fest like this, and an act of actual terrorism? The terrorists who crashed planes on 9-11 killed over three thousand people. How many deaths do films like this contribute to? How much suffering? Pointless, ugly, violent, sadistic movies peddle violence as the drug of choice to mindless consumer hoards who lack discrimination, life experience, wisdom or balance. Teenage boys who hide out in their parents' basements playing video games and having no experience of three-dimensional reality see a movie like this and conclude that the world is like this: cool criminals torture passive victims and meet no resistance. Hey, Thanks, Hollywood, for flushing your refuse into young male minds. Let's call it cultural terrorism. Ka-ching. How much more violent and sadistic will such films have to be in the future to make that cash register sing? Let's up the ante.

The Plot? Heath Ledger puts on a ridiculous series of ticks, costumes  and make-up and tries really hard to get taken seriously as a master criminal / master actor. There is no real performance there because there is no real life there. In one scene, Ledger, a slight young man, murders a very large, muscular, professional criminal, and a black man – white supremacists will like that part – with a pencil. No. In real life that would not happen. Nor, in real life, would a man who shoots his every accomplice be able to do any of the things Ledger does in this movie – blow up hospitals, rig boats for explosions, etc.

The movie is utterly implausible. This won't matter to its fans, who live in the fantasy world of video games and internet sites devoted to their fantasy. These fanboys talk only to other fanboys who worship films like this as they do. In their solipsistic little computer-generated echo chamber, "The Dark Knight" is the greatest film ever made. These fanboys have no contact with anyone not exactly like themselves, and can't see any flaws in their judgment. Though saturated in violence, these fanboys can't even see why a skinny guy like Ledger murdering a muscular, hardened criminal with a pencil is a silly, nasty, scene that exists only to up the sadism ante, not to have any relationship with reality. Though saturated in violence, these fanboys would panic at the merest contact with the real world, with the real violence occurring in places like Iraq, or federal prisons.

Christian Bale is an interesting actor and was fun to watch in the previous batman. He's hardly onscreen here. There is nothing interesting about the sets or costumes, and as for the special effects, how many chase scenes and big explosions have been onscreen recently? Nothing new. Nothing interesting.


  1. There is no accountability in Hollywood. Everyone hotly denies that their films have any influence on the actions of others. On a cop show in the late 1970's a gang of teenage boys set fire to an elderly homeless woman. One week later, a gang of teenage boys set fire to an elderly homeless woman in a rough neighborhood of Boston. You do the math.

  2. In my own hometown, a man was watching a TV show about a criminal shooting a judge through a window.

    he got up, left, went to the courthouse, and shot the town judge through the window.

  3. Watching the news this morning about the killings in Aurora, CO, I felt that the news people were using the kilings to sell the new Batman movie. It was like every report on every channel had to talk about how it was opening weekend for the new film. They should have been ashamed of themselves.