Movie review: The Dark Knight Rises

I can’t stop thinking about Batman. I saw Dark Knight Rises a couple of weeks ago and since then I’ve been all about Batman. I want to be Batman so badly. Batman came out on a Friday, technically on a Thursday night, but I gave up on midnight movies years ago. It’s one of the most cutthroat experiences in the entire human experience to try and see a midnight showing of a really, immensely popular long-awaited blockbuster. I’d go through the details, all of the grueling misery, but it would consume this entire blog post, just like it’s already consumed the better part of this opening paragraph. Besides, I already wrote about it.

But Batman. Holy shit. It came out on a Friday, but I work nights and weekends. So my only available time to see it was that next Wednesday. But my wife wanted to see it also. She works Monday through Friday, like a regular human being. We have completely incompatible movie schedules. How long could I have waited? We went through this song and dance when Prometheus came out. I really wanted to see it. So did my wife. Allegedly. We never actually wound up seeing Prometheus. I guess either I didn’t really care about seeing it or my wife didn’t really care about seeing it. But I know that I really cared about seeing it, but whatever, water under the bridge right? It’s not like I’m going to divorce my wife over a loosely based Alien prequel.

But I’d have totally divorced her over Batman. Like I already had some divorce papers drafted before the movie came out just in case we wound up getting in a big fight over it and I for some reason either missed out on seeing it or, more likely, we saw it together, but it was way after opening weekend, and by then I would have already had a pretty good idea of what to expect. And that’s a legit possibility. That’s what happened with Prometheus. I heard all about that self-surgery scene and I still haven’t even seen it yet. But right, right, bygones are bygones, I forgot. Everyone’s pretty respectful for about two weeks, tops, regarding not talking about a popular movie. But after that it’s like, “Come on man, you didn’t see Batman yet? Well too bad, it’s been out for so long. You leave the room, because we’re all talking about Batman. Loser. “

I’m not a loser. So I had off on that Wednesday and I planned on going to see it in the morning, by myself, I’d just slip in, see the movie, be done with it, and then get right back into my day as if I were never gone in the first place. I wouldn’t tell my wife at all. If she wanted to see Batman, I’d just go and see it with her again and act like it was my first time also. And if we wound up never seeing it, then it would have totally proven my point: that she really didn’t care that much about Batman in the first place, and her Batman apathy was a huge risk factor in me not seeing Batman.

I wanted to see it in IMAX, because, well, I don’t know why, really. The New York Times said I should. I’ve never seen anything in IMAX. But whatever, this is Batman! So I coughed up the extra cash and rode my bike into midtown to see this movie. And it was awesome. Fantastic. It was so f’n cool. I was actually kind of worried about the logistics. I usually get up and drink like three cups of coffee right away, but I knew that if I did that, I’d have to pee really badly like right in the middle of this three hour film. So I skipped coffee. Which meant I skipped breakfast. I was starving. And hot. I got there and I was so hot because it’s like the hottest summer I’ve ever been alive for, and I rode my bike, which made it seem even hotter, because I was hotter, I had heated up my body, and initially the movie theater AC felt so good, like such a relief. But by the end of the movie I was freezing.

And I actually had to yell at this guy in front of me for using his cell phone. He kept taking it out and playing with it and putting it back and taking it out again. I tried to ignore it, but it was right there in my peripheral vision, this little square glow, and I didn’t want to be a dick, but instead of asking him nicely at the beginning, I suppressed it, held it in, let it grow and fester and mutate and finally I was like, in a voice a little too high above a whisper, “Will you turn your cell phone off, please!” And he did. I should have added, “Come on man, this is Batman!” just to show I wasn’t trying to be a dick, one of those random guys that enforces movie house rules on other patrons for no reason other than to boss somebody else around. But then I looked at the guy after he put his phone away, and he was some dad, totally not interested in the movie which, I personally don’t get, because, like I said, it’s Batman, and it was the sickest movie of all time, so how could you not be interested?

Even if you never saw the first two movies. So what? This is Batman! But still, a small part of me felt bad as he got up and moved to a seat way over by the side, so he could play with his phone, leaving his kids all alone, all by himself, just him and his phone and his wide angle seat, where he couldn’t even see the movie. Well he could see it, but at a really severe angle and, even though it’s IMAX, part of me didn’t get the whole IMAX thing because, well, it just seemed like a really big screen. So does a regular movie screen. All movie screens are bigger than my TV, so. This was really nineteen bucks? But it’s Batman! No, it was totally worth it. I would have paid twenty, easily twenty-five, thirty bucks. And besides, normally I’d have to see the movie with my wife, so I’d probably be spending the same amount on two tickets that I did on this one ticket, so it’s not like I’m really reaching deep in my pockets. If anything, I saved some money, because regular movie tickets are like thirteen bucks, so I saved seven? Does that make sense?

When I got out of the theater I realized that a three hour movie really eats up a huge chunk of your day. Especially when it’s in midtown. I had like a half hour bike ride back to my place. And I was so pumped by the time I got out of the theater, you know, sitting still for three hours, I had all of this Batman adrenaline coursing through my veins, and so I was riding down the first avenue bike path trying to get home like way too fast, like really, really fast, and right as I was riding past the UN, I must have not been paying attention for a second, ten seconds tops, probably thinking about the movie, about how unbelievably awesome it was, and while Batman was replaying in my head, I totally collided with this truck in front of me that was making a left turn and I went flying off the bike and over the truck and, I have no idea how, but I made a totally soft landing, really graceful almost, not graceful like landing on your feet graceful, I mean, I was on the ground, but I just got up, fine, just unscratched. It had to have been that Batman energy, it somehow fortified my body, bracing it for the collision.

But I got up and I’m just so embarrassed. Like everyone saw it. It was loud. And it was in front of the UN, so there were automatically like twelve cops rushing up to me, asking me if I was OK. Like I said, super embarrassing. I grabbed my bike to see if I couldn’t just get on it and ride away, but the front wheel got dislodged and the bike frame got completely bent, so bent that I couldn’t even force the wheel in the fork, but I still tried, and while I was trying to fix it, which, with no tools or anything was never going to happen, it was just making my hands all greasy and gross, all of these cops are surrounding me, like not just regular cops, but captains, with the white shirts. And they’re asking me if I want an ambulance to come over and check me out and I’m just head down, no thank you. “You sure you’re OK?” “Yeah, I’m fine.” “Well, we’re going to let the guy go then.” And I didn’t even notice that this truck was there, being detained by the cops. I don’t even know whose fault it was. OK, it was definitely my fault.

And while all of this was going on I still couldn’t stop thinking about Batman. It was the best movie I’d ever seen in my life. I had to focus on the situation at hand. But I couldn’t, because I just kept looking around at where I was, and it looked just like Gotham City from the Batman movie, and all of these cops looked like GCPD. Reality started to blur and I figured if I demanded to see Commissioner Gordon, the cops might force me into an ambulance even if I denied treatment. So I just picked up my bike and ran. But then slowly my run turned into a walk. Even with my extra Batman energy, the bike was heavy. And the subway was like twenty blocks and three avenues away, and so I had to take a couple of breaks. And I just kept sweating, so much sweat, and bike chain grease.

When I finally got home, I was supposed to meet my wife in like ten minutes for drinks with her coworkers who I’d never met before. And now what should I do? How could I explain my bike? My whole plan was to sneak Batman into my day and then never talk about it to anybody, because I wouldn’t have had to, because it was in the morning. But now it was afternoon and I’d have to tell my wife about my bike, clearly in some sort of accident, and she’d ask what I was doing in midtown. And what was I supposed to say? I didn’t have enough time to make up an even more convincing story. So I took a shower and caught a cab to where she’s already at with her coworkers. And right after I shook everyone’s hand and said hello and introduced myself, I sat down, and I say to the whole group, all nonchalantly, “So, did everyone see Batman yet? I just saw it this morning! It was awesome!” And it totally worked. My wife couldn’t get mad at me in front of everyone. What kind of a first impression would that have been? I got off scott free.

I can only surmise that my genius problem solving skills were a direct result of having just seen Batman, because he’s a detective, and I learned a lot about what Batman would do in various situations, because the movie was three hours long, and he had a lot of different problems to solve in those three hours.

Batman was three of the most awesome hours of my entire life. Seriously. It’s still consuming a large amount of my higher brain functions. I went on facebook right after I saw it and some guy that I haven’t talked to in like five years wrote as a status update, “So, anybody else disappointed by Batman?” And I wrote back, “NO!” Maybe I’ll feel weird about it if I ever run into him in the future, but he’s probably defriended me already, and if he hasn’t, I’m going to defriend him. Because Batman kicked ass! And how could he not like it?