Tag Archives: The Dark Knight Rises

I’m going to climb to the top of the Queensboro Bridge

Whenever I cross the Queensboro Bridge, I always get this urge to get off my bike and climb to the top. It looks so easy. Batman did it in The Dark Knight Rises. He’s just standing on top, staring at the city, planning out that whole part where he makes that line of gasoline that goes all the way from the base of the East River to the top, where it’s shaped like a flaming bat. I want to do it too, minus the flaming bat. It doesn’t even look that tall. Like, if I could just get past my fear of heights, if I could just focus on one step at a time, like a ladder, or not one step at a time, but one rung at a time, I’m sure I could be standing on the top in no time.


A couple of years ago there were like three guys that climbed to the top of the New York Times building. The whole thing is wrapped in these bars, something to do with green energy, I’m not really sure. But it’s also shaped exactly like a ladder. And so first, this guy who’s famous for climbing buildings, he did it. And then some other guy did it, and then another guy, until they had to remove the bars from the bottom floors.


So there’s definitely that urge. Sometimes the urge is barely there. Sometimes it’s all I can do to block it out of my head. When it’s at it’s strongest, I’ll look up from right underneath and picture myself doing it, where I’d start, at what pace I’d have to climb. I look at gaps in between some of the larger expanses of cable and steel and imagine how I’d realistically be able to make it across.


I’m confident that I could make it to the top, no problem. But will I ever get the chance? New York’s a pretty tightly guarded city. There are cameras everywhere. I don’t doubt for a second that if anything ever goes even the slightest bit off on one of the bridges or tunnels, the police must know about it almost instantly. One time I was riding my bike across and there were these weird graffiti tags spaced about every ten feet apart. I got to the middle of the bridge and there were like twenty cops surrounding this guy with cans of spray paint. If that guy couldn’t get away with his stunt, I doubt I’d be able to get away with mine.

Or maybe I’d be able to at least get started. I’d get like a quarter of the way up before someone notices what I’m up to. I’d have to travel light, so as not to give an impression that I’m carrying any sort of bomb or weapon. The crazier part of my imagination is cooking up some scenario where the police commissioner is staring at a TV screen somewhere, barking orders into a walkie-talkie, “Take him down! Now!” and some lieutenant would be like, “But commish, he doesn’t look like he’s up to no good … he’s just climbing.” But nobody wants to take that type of risk, not post-post-9/11, and so maybe they’d off me, cover up the operation, I’d die in obscurity, not ever having made it to the top.

Getting all the way up would be easy. And once I got up there, I’d bask in the view. I’d do a Batman pose and pretend like I’m reenacting the moment right before he took back the city from Bane. And then I’d probably just wait, frozen. Because while going up seems easy, climbing back down, that’s got to be tough. Making sure you have a controlled descent. I don’t know why, I imagine climbing up and I’m fine, but I imagine coming back down, and that kind of gets my palms all sweaty.

I’ll definitely do it someday. Maybe I’ll definitely do it someday. Probably. I always think, what’s stopping me? Fear? Of what? Getting in trouble? What are they going to do, lock me up? For how long? I’ll get out eventually, and I’ll never have to think about what it would be like to climb up, because I’d have already done it. And so I won’t have that nagging sensation in the back of my brain, every time I ride my bike to work, come on Rob, just do it, it looks so easy, you’re going to be an old man someday and you won’t be able to then even if you wanted to. You can totally make it up, come on, don’t be a weenie, just do it.


Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises: Part 2: Of the Review

I wrote last summer about how obsessed I was with the new Batman movie. It’s been a while now, but the obsession hasn’t diminished. In fact, I think that I’m even more obsessed with it now than I was when I saw it the first time. Or the second time. Ever since movie theaters stopped showing it, and because I haven’t yet bought it on DVD, I have no way to satisfy the gaping hole in the core of my very being that cries out on a daily basis for more Batman. Seriously, that movie was f’n ridiculous.

You remember the beginning? That airplane scene? I can’t think of any movie that’s had a more gripping or a more dramatic opening. Remember when they dragged those hostages onto the plane and the CIA agent pulls off the one hostage’s mask, and it’s Bane, and he’s wearing his breathing mask, and the CIA guy says to Bane, “Will it hurt if I take off this mask?” and Bane goes, “Yes … for you!” Seriously, remember that scene? Right before he somehow gets out of his handcuffs, and then the other plane comes out of nowhere and somehow Bane escapes? I think I actually passed out from excitement during those first five minutes. I must have, because when I saw it the second time, I was like, wait a second, I don’t remember exactly what happened. I have a sense memory of euphoria, followed by a warm and fuzzy sensation, so yeah, I must have fainted. I can’t wait to see it again because, maybe I lost consciousness during the second viewing also, and so it’ll only be after repeated viewing that I’ll be desensitized enough to actually make it through the entire movie awake. I’ve never been more hopped up on visual stimuli than I was when I saw Batman.

Seriously, sometimes when I’m sitting around with my friends, I’ll just go, totally unprompted, into the whole, “Yes … for you!” bit. And maybe nobody will get it. Maybe only some of the people will get it. Even if you get it, it’s a pretty random thing to just say, totally out of context from whatever else we might be doing or talking about. But it’s so awesome. Bane was such a badass bad guy.

And if you haven’t seen the movie, one, I have a little piece of advice: go see the movie. It’s so amazing. I’ve tried watching other movies since I’ve seen Batman, but they’ve all been terrible. That’s not to say that they’re terrible movies, although they might be. All I’m saying is, Batman is such a good movie, hold on, such a good film, that it’s going to ruin movies for you for the rest of your life. And films. It’s like that whole every square is a parallelogram but not every parallelogram is a square thing, but with movies and films, and Batman, and Batman is the film. Get it? What I’m getting at here is after you watch Batman, you realize that nothing else is ever going to come close to making you feel the way you did when you saw Batman for the first, second, third, five-hundredth time.

So you might be saying to yourself, why would I want to go see Batman? If it’s going to ruin the movies for me altogether, why bother? Because. It’s so fucking awesome. Even though you’ll never be able to watch another movie again, it’ll totally be worth it, to see Batman, to see The Dark Knight Returns. And besides, you won’t ever have to go see another movie again. Because eventually it’ll be released on DVD, or Blue-Ray, or whatever format happens to be the current standard, and any time you hear colleagues or family members talking about how much they loved a recent picture that came out, you can just go home and pop Batman in, and I’m serious here, I guarantee that you’ll be having a better time watching Batman over and over and over and over again than all of your friends and family watching all of those other movies combined, at the same time. It doesn’t make a lot of sense until you see it. I hope you already saw it.

And that opening scene? The whole “For you!” part that I was talking about before? It only gets better. I remember when I wrote my original Batman review, I was still a little bitter with my wife, because she made me wait to see Prometheus with her, but then she quickly lost interest in seeing Prometheus all together, and so we never wound up seeing it. I thought this was a bad thing. I thought I was being held back. And that’s one of the reasons I went to see Batman by myself, behind my wife’s back, while she was at school.

And when I finally did see Prometheus, I was left totally underwhelmed. Angry, even. It was more of a confusion that gradually built up to anger as I contemplated what Ridley Scott had just snuck up from behind and shoved my face in, but this is all really small minded of me. Now that I’m a couple of months removed from Batman, I can safely say that God himself purposely made Prometheus turn out to be a totally terrible movie, if only to show me that my wife wasn’t about to let me see a huge summer blockbuster by myself, and when I missed the Prometheus train entirely, I realized that I couldn’t let the same mistake happen with Batman. And so, if Prometheus hadn’t sucked so bad, maybe I would have waited for my wife to take a break from her books to see Batman with me, and in this scenario, maybe we would have never seen it, and I’m forced right now to contemplate a reality in which I’ve never seen Batman. And I can’t stand to even think about it. But then I think about all of the other alternate realities, universes in which I’ve never seen Batman, and it makes me crazy, to try and imagine a version of me that hasn’t seen Batman, that doesn’t recognize it as the greatest film in the multiverse, and that thought makes me insane with despair. And so if somebody ever invents a machine to travel to parallel universes, that’s going to be the only thing that I’ll want to do, to hop around from Earth to Earth, warning any potential Rob’s to see Batman immediately. But I’d also need a time machine, so I could first travel to the alternate world, and then go back in the past, back to this summer, when Batman came out, and I’ll grab myself by the collar and say, “Go see Batman, now!” But what if he’s like, “Batman? What? Who’s Batman?” And I’ll have realized that maybe I’ve accidentally travelled to a world where there is no Batman. And that’s too much. It’s too much to even think about. And so I’ll have to travel back to my original reality, kidnap Chris Nolan, and take him with me, to that and every other parallel universe where Batman doesn’t exist. And I’ll threaten him, scream at him “Make the Batman movie! Or I’ll never take you back to our Earth! Now!” And he’ll have to. And I know, it’s crazy, because there are probably an infinite number of worlds out there, and so I probably won’t have time to take Christopher Nolan to every single alternate reality. But I’ll try as hard as I can. Because that movie was so fucking sick, so unbelievably amazing. And so if all I’m doing is just increasing the number of realities where Batman exists, even if it’s just a handful of worlds, then it’s all worth it. I just … I just … I just, really, really, really, really love that movie.