First off, let me take the time to offer my deepest sympathies to those of the Aurora community in Colorado. I am deeply saddened by this incident and was extremely pissed off about it at the time I found out which was roughly around 5:30 that morning. A thing like this should have never happened. As a human being it disgusts me. As a film maker it makes me feel like crap to know that my work will probably influence the minds of generations to come in positive AND negative directions.
I once heard someone say, “Find out where everyone else is going and go the other way, you have a better chance of success,” and for the life of me I cannot figure out who or where I heard this, but the message stuck with me.
It sounds pretty basic in its approach: if everyone else is doing the same thing, do something else. A simple recipe to a better chance of achieving. This is akin to a business’s USP (Unique Selling Proposition), or the mantra given to the introverts at your local high school to get them to stop playing World of Warcraft for at least a few hours and hopefully find a girlfriend.
Okay, so maybe I didn’t “learn” this lesson, but it’s reassuring to see it in action during the course of your life. This is definitely one of the main principles I live with today and probably always will be until dinosaurs come back for a sequel and make US extinct. It is within this delicious trilogy of comic-to-screen goodness that Christopher Nolan has proven this point.
When Nolan’s Batman Begins (The Intimidation Game as it appeared on the script to keep it secret) first got the green light by Warner Bros. to reboot the franchise, I was pretty excited. Then the images leaked of the new batsuit and I was like, “yummy… gimme more.” Then the images of the Tumbler got around and I was like,
“What the fuck is that?”
I, not alone, felt the movie was going to flop because why would Batman be traveling is this big-ass tank? Not exactly the shiny new toy I was hoping for. But then, as long as I never see bat-nipples ever again… thanks for that Mr. Schumacher.
There were some criticism about that first movie, like Christian Bale’s decision, though logical, to have Batman growl when he speaks, which I still have a problem with no matter how much it makes sense to me. The decision to put Michael Caine in Alfred’s shoes perplexed me a little bit but I ended up loving him in that role.
I slapped myself after watching. The Tumbler was effin’ awesome! In the end, Batman Begins blew me away.
Then there’s The Dark Knight.
My excitement of seeing the Joker again was sky high. Then I learned they cast Heath Ledger… and again,
“What the fuck is that?”
Coming off of Brokeback Mountain, I can’t say I was too excited about it anymore. I scoured the internet to justify that I wasn’t the only one having doubts. I prevailed. It just didn’t seem like an obvious choice, given his previous roles and characters.
I slapped myself silly that night after leaving the theater. Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker was amazing to say the least (rest in peace good sir).
Now The Dark Knight Rises, I was fully invested to devouring every piece of this fine cinematic cuisine. There were definitely liberties taken on this film, and that was fine and dandy by me. Two movies I’ve already put my heart and soul in, my trust was with Nolan. And I wasn’t disappointed at all.
My biggest concern was with Anne Hathaway. Those concerns quickly diminished in the beginning of the first act. I LOVE ANNE HATHAWAY AS CATWOMAN! And not just because I think she’s hot.
In retrospect, what Christopher Nolan has reiterated (and now cemented in my psyche) is:
- going a different direction (a grittier retelling of the storyline)
- making decisions that seem questionable (Heath Ledger)
and all around doing things that not everyone would agree on has a better chance of a favorable outcome.
If I were to break it down in my own words:
If it sounds safe, go somewhere else.
In my opinion. There’s nothing wrong with a detour.
And now, a special review from my special lady, Catherine Reitman over at Revision3.com, I love her show. Enjoy.