Log in

No account? Create an account

Occupation: Girl

Please close the door and switch on the fun without fail.

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
So I saw The Dark Knight Rises
I don't really know how to talk about this. I don't want to talk about--I don't have words for what this guy is, or what he did, to children. As a writer, I'm fascinated by the psychology of crime and why people do things--and how other people respond to that. However, I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to feed this guy's fire. As far as I'm concerned, his name is July 20-2012 and he deserves nothing. Nothing but due process, and then a dark hole somewhere, whether that hole is a hospital or a prison--the darkness of being forgotten by history. If you want to know about it, as I want to know about it and try to not want to know about it, there's Wikipedia and cnn.com and pretty much every other news source in the world.

If this were almost any other movie, I would just quietly not talk about the film itself at all, I guess. I mean, I see movies now and then that I like well enough, but get too busy to ever really comment on or post a discussion entry for. But I hate that this had to be the movie haunted by this awfulness. This is a movie where the hero explicitly says "NO GUNS," takes guns away from people and takes them apart and throws the pieces away. These are movies about fighting crime and corruption, about believing in the good in people, about fighting fear, about hoping to set an example for others and then inspire them to continue that example, about hope itself. I don't say that as a starry-eyed fangirl; you could actually criticize the movies for being a little too on-the-nose about that, with all the Significant Thematic Dialogue that gets repeated over and over, if you wanted to. Sitting here today, I'm kind of glad now that the movies are so explicit with those themes. This is not "edgy" controversial cinema trying to glamorize nihilism. If you came out of any of these movies thinking that the villains are the way forward, you were not paying attention. Whether you think the movies do these themes well or not, they are pretty much about the EXACT OPPOSITE of what happened early Friday morning, and I hate that pundits are on the "news" sitting around talking about the Curse of the Dark Knight Movies and whether they're part of a CULTURE OF GRIMDARKNESS OMG that is bringing down American society. Because The Dark Knight Rises is pretty much the direct opposite of that.

The movie itself, viewed out of context, is okay--pretty good, I would say. It draws most on the events of Batman Begins, and while it's obviously about the fallout after Harvey Dent's death in The Dark Knight, most of the flashbacks and backwards glances are to the first movie. (Apparently Christopher Nolan said that he did not want to mention the Joker at all, even if that meant missing opportunities in the story, out of respect for Heath Ledger--he didn't want to have that moment of trying to explain where the Joker was or what happened to him because of a real-life death. And you do regret the storytelling opportunity missed there. But I personally can't find it in my heart to argue with it.) If you only rewatch one of the previous movies, make it the first one. Because there was a moment in this third movie where I thought, "Are we really reusing that idea, we're going to back to th...OHHHHHH." If you step back and view the three movies as a single story arc, not just "and then here is another villain we came up with for Batman to chase around," the way you view Lord of the Rings as a single story, they suddenly become something kind of amazing. Which is why I want to see it again--also, because not one but two of the characters' true motives are revealed near the end, and I want to rewatch it through that lens. I don't know how people feel about the ending; I loved it, because it's another one of Christopher Nolan's sleight-of-hand tricks, and it made the movie something I would be willing to watch again, rather than something I would have to emotionally trudge through. And that ending, the surprise of it, is another reason I hate the pall that's been cast over the whole thing. (It's the least of the reasons, obviously.) You should walk out of this movie feeling good, feeling hope, even though--maybe even because--we all expected something different to happen. And then--this.

As uncomfortable as some of the scenes might be now, I recommend it anyway, if you go in thinking about everything I just told you--both the overall themes and the hints that won't make sense until it's over. If you don't want to see The Dark Knight Rises because, as superhero movies go, it's too realistic or too grim (you might be surprised by the time you leave), go see The Avengers again or The Amazing Spider-Man or any of the many, many movies about anything else out there. Don't go if you don't feel safe, of course. But July 20 is probably in a holding cell somewhere gloating that he's got the entire country's attention and he's got their fear and that makes him ~powerful,~ this ignominious waste of oxygen who apparently was so smart, and had so many gifts, and yet couldn't think of anything better in the world to do with them than this. If I can work it out with our collective schedule this weekend, since I can't drive, I'm going to see the movie again tomorrow. Police are watching various movie theaters across the country, and I hear that we've got them at Birmingham theaters, too. I wanted to see the movie twice anyway, but I'll be damned if I'll let this absolute stain think he's achieved anything as far as I have anything to say about it. There is an achievement here, the achievement of people who used their gifts and worked hard to create a story that could mean something good to people, and it's not his.

I know that people who did see the movie want to discuss it and maybe don't have anywhere else to--if you're up to it, you can here, and there will be spoilers running wild and free in the comments.

If there is the LEAST WHIFF of anyone being awful, either regarding what happened Friday or the fanboy ridiculousness earlier this week, I will freeze and/or ban whoever I have to and we will move on with discussion like you never even existed. My longtimers will tell you, I am extremely tolerant of good-faith critical discussion and I do not trifle with anything else. This time, you get one "everyone play nice" warning. If you raise my blood pressure in any way, you get a one-week cool-your-heels ban. If you talk shit like you think you're a big bad flame warrior, I will send you straight to the cornfield. As y'all have recently seen, my patience is substantial but not infinite, and we are not having that Rotten Tomatoes bullshit here. Not this weekend.

Site Meter

Which part of the ending are you wondering about? Because I've been wondering how the Talia reveal influences people's reactions, depending on where they fall on the spectrum of "Didn't know that Ra's al Ghul had a daughter in the canon" vs "Instantly knew that's who Marion Cotillard was playing the millisecond she was cast in a Chris Nolan Batman movie regardless of how often she and Chris denied it in interviews wherein them being asked about it should've maybe clued them in that this plot twist wasn't exactly subtle." (guess which camp I fall into)

I mean for the movie as a whole I liked it fine, albeit with a need for some tighter storytelling as others have pointed out. but I feel like on a meta-level Nolan needs to realize that he's got a weakness for certain actors which telegraphs supposed twists from a mile away.

Ditto with the Blake reveal at the end. Knowing that JGL had been cast as Someone In A Nolan Batman Film I knew there were good odds he'd be on a character arc that had him somehow donning a cowl. So watching it in execution came off less as "Ohh, here's how the legend continues!" than it did me wondering why they did so many gymnastics to create this brand new character to take up the mantle when canon gives them at least five they could've pulled from with no problem. They didn't even have to change the writing much, just say at the end that his full name was Dick or Jason or Tim (if we're taking the JGL casting as a given).

So those parts kind of had me rolling my eyes and have me wondering how much those twists made or broke the movie for some people.

I did feel it was a solid story, though, and loved Anne as Selena. IMO she did great with the part and the movie came to life every time she was on screen. Also four for them for doing a good job with Bane, even if the casting was race faily.

Oh, I was wondering what people would think of the very last couple of minutes. Kind of the "should Harry Potter live or die" thing.

I knew Cotillard would most likely be Talia, but they did a great job of misdirecting with "the child." I was completely taken aback to realize who Bane actually was in that story, and how his actual motives were probably more centered on Talia/Miranda and believing in what she believed in because he loved her (in whatever way). I mean, maybe when I see it again, it'll seem to me like he WAS in it for League of Shadows reasons, but that whole reveal/flashback sequence made me think it was a lot more about her.

The Robin thing was a little silly to me--like, just let him be "John Blake" or whoever and find the Batcave and imply that he might carry on as whoever he wanted to be. The "Robin" thing was just to spell it out super-clearly for the non-comics-reading majority of the audience. But I get it, you know? Someone like my mother (who is smart, but completely unaware of this kind of thing) would need them to be that explicit about where they were going with that.

Honestly, I suspect they went with a name that had no connotations so as not to tip their hand to fans who WOULD recognize a name like "Tim Drake." Since they swore up and down there would be no Robin, they couldn't give it away with the tiniest reference. And none of the other first names would have been something a guy might not want to use--if you turn it into "Oh, my legal name is Dick," people think you're making a bizarrely random dirty joke, not a Batman reference. So I get why that was the option they went with.

Since you said we can discuss the movie here I thought I'd just put my idea of what the Joker was doing during the chaos. I imagine that Bane saw him as too much of a wild card to be let loose so he kept him in his Arkham cell. The thing being he did what he did for Bruce, he gave him a television to watch the city be destroyed. If he gives him a front row view, he has no desire to escape and we get a fun-house mirror version of Bruce's own plight.

I can, in fact, imagine Ledger-Joker sitting in his cell watching TV, on the edge of his bed, hooting and clapping like a seal (loose straitjacket sleeves flailing).

(How long he'd stay there, I don't know, but...)

Edited at 2012-07-21 07:34 pm (UTC)

I'd been trying to say all that you said (outside of the lj-cut, still haven't seen the movie myself, so I'm not reading direct commentary) to my friends and acquaintances, but I couldn't find the right way to phrase it. And now you did, and I am thankful.

I hope you (as well as many other people) will be able to enjoy the film, safely and again, tomorrow.

Yeah, it's INCREDIBLY vague commentary--I didn't even mention performances or music or even the plot, really--more just "in retrospect, it plays better as one long trilogy movie than a stand-alone movie, maybe look at it more that way." But, you know, give people the choice to read it or not.

I'm glad the first half of the entry helped any. I had to sit there and think, how do you talk about how you're not going to talk about something, and how do you say "We're not talking about this" in a way that isn't incredibly self-centered? "Well, *I* want to talk about the movie, so whatever." I honestly wouldn't have even wanted to, except that it was so ironically, thematically relevant. Which is more what I wanted to get into.

I am planning on seeing it this weekend. I admit to hesitating but I would have just seen it later on. We got our tickets though. I love this series of Batman.

I really do love the two Burton Batmans in their own way, but I'm kind of a Christopher Nolan fangirl in general, so. And I have come to really love the Zimmer score, which I remember feeling kind of meh about when there was only the first movie.

Honestly, any feelings of discomfort watching the movie aside, this weekend will probably be the safest weekend to see it. There will be so much security in the immediate aftermath. I hope nothing else happens at all, of course.

I have not seen it yet, going tomorrow. However, I would like to thank you very much for what you said As far as I'm concerned, his name is July 20-2012 and he deserves nothing.. Any kind of publicity is exactly what he wanted. I could make a sweeping statement that if there were less publicity about this kind of thing...but I'd be wrong.

Otherwise, I'll avoid this for now. Also, thank you for the warning about possible mild spoilers.

Yeah, particularly with the character thing. Whose MO was seeking as much publicity as possible. I mean, there was an older news segment clip someone posted with Park Dietz (a criminal psychologist I always enjoy seeing on TV) talking about how mass-murder publicity almost always results in copycat attempts, because of the way the stories are reported. There's going to be interest in this guy just because of how complicated his whole scheme was, but... seriously, fuck him.

I also like the idea of giving attention-seeking criminals vague, date-based code names because what if you then have two July 20th criminals? "But now people won't remember which one I was!" GOOD.

The spoilers aren't even really spoilers, just "It's okay as one movie but kind of amazing when you think of all three movies as a single story." Which I would have put outside the cut, but the entry was getting long. And something else vague, but, you know, if people want to know, they can click through. I did notice that almost everyone who came back saying the movie was amazing had also marathoned the first two movies or rewatched the DVDs very recently, so it might change how people see this one, might be a useful piece of information.

I totally understand wanting to avoid the movie, temporarily or not, however.

(Deleted comment)
See, I walked out of my midnight showing, got in the car with my sister, pulled up Twitter on my phone, and basically saw the news right as it broke. I had all of ten minutes to think about the movie before it all went awful, and I could only imagine what happened as if it had been in my own theater. I mean, I specifically remember noticing that there was only one exit door in our theater, not two, and it was on the left, on my side, because I look for that kind of thing. So then I got home and started running around looking for other sources/articles, because I just could not even believe what I was reading; it had to be some kind of social media hoax, right? And I just started freaking out.

I think the worst part of it for me, besides the idea that nobody would be there at midnight unless they were really excited to see it, was that all three of the Nolan movies have specifically have at least one scene about how much kids love and believe in Batman. "I knew he would come save us!" A lot of superhero movies touch on that, but it was like an actual SUBPLOT in this one, with the boys' home and the JGL character and all that. As much as I love Iron Man, he's more of a "protecting the world" character--much more powerful, a much larger scale. Batman is a very personal hero, who you believe is actually roaming the streets of this one specific city, and who stops to tell kids they'll be safe. Those are the scenes that'll be hard for me to watch, not anything with guns.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about this movie; moreso than I usually do after spending some time in the theatre. I don't know how much of it is that I grew up idolizing Batman, reading the comics and watching the Burton films and-you know. You kind've can't live in this culture without being at least aware of the cowl and the bat signal, I guess.

I genuinely loved it, and I left the theatre very confused, because most of the personal reviews I'd heard/read/been told long and at length at the bar. It was only on reflection that I realized, no, it's not this movie I love, although I enjoyed it; rather, it's the reinforcement of Nolan's take on the story. I think people forgot-after the Avengers, after Iron Man, after Spidey and Green Lantern and all the others...Batman is grim. His story is a bleak one. And this movie-and this franchise-sincerely reflect that.

People will go to this film expecting a spectacle-and they'll get it. But they'll expecting wise-cracking and Michael Bay action and it won't be there. Because the spectacle is moral. It's cerebral. There are explosions, and Nolan makes sure the action's pretty good, but no matter how much of the film Christian Bale spends in that mask...Nolan never really lets you forget that little boy, lit by a streetlight down a dingy back alley, shaking and crying over his parents' bodies. Batman is a man whose life is wrecked by crime, and he spends the rest of his life trying to make sure it doesn't do to others what it did to him.

THAT's why Batman is iconic. He's a victim who, while never maybe getting entirely out of that alley, refuses to give up.

I just al;skdf;klsfd I have so many feelings about Batman right now. I never really forget but sometimes it's in the back of my head, a little. He's back there with Ellen Ripley and Commander Shepard, just...being inspiring and tear-jerking.

Yes, what you said.

From a crossover, speaking to another orphaned by violence:
"Do you remember your parents? Do you remember their smiles? Do you remember the way they made you feel safe?"
"That's what you hold onto. That's what you can do for other people. You can give them safety. You can show them that they're not alone. That's how you make the world make sense. And if you can do that, you can stop the world from making more people like us. And no one will have to be scared anymore."

Edited at 2012-07-21 07:31 pm (UTC)

Personally, I've tried to separate the movie from what happened. Hopefully the media tries to do the same, but we all know that's not gonna happen. Last I heard, we don't know anything about his motives, so there's no evidence it was anything but what movie would've drawn the biggest crowds and the highest chance of people wearing costumes. Horrifically, horribly, awfully senseless. Then again, it always is.

Great to hear the movie's good, at least. Will think about seeing it (haven't seen the previous two, so it wouldn't be for a while anyway).

Most recent news is that his plan was Batman-themed, which, I am pretty sure, is why they won't release his mugshot. I won't go into it further here. Because fuck him. So I can understand why the media is making the connection (because it's there), but I wish, rather than creating some kind of false "omg dark Batman movies, they destroy the fabric of society" legend around it, they would actually look at what the movies are ABOUT, as I said in the entry, and report on the story (since they're going to anyway) from the perspective of, "This guy may or may not be mentally ill and he is definitely a criminal and he GOT IT WRONG, he misused something good for his own ends." At least don't give it the glamour of the forbidden or the "edgy" or something. So in that sense, yeah, it's separate from the actual movies, because he has completely misunderstood or misrepresented what they're about.

It's worth seeing, yeah, particularly in the context of the other two. It's also completely understandable, wanting to hold off on that.

I watched the marathon trilogy in the theater and even then, even knowing that Talia al Ghul exists, even turning to my friends in line and *saying* "I wonder if they'll bring in Talia?" I still was taken completely by surprise. Mainly because I was so engrossed in the movie that I didn't have time to think about that character except a bit of 'Wow, she's fairly useless and seems extraneous. Go make out with Catwoman dude.'

And am I the only one that just *sobbed* when Alfred started speaking at the Wayne graves? I was a legitimate blubbering mess.

A thoroughly satisfying end in my opinion. Could not have asked for more.

Uh no, you're definitely not the only one. MICHAEL CAINE, am I right?

Will you be doing a more detailed post with your thoughts on the movie? Because you touched on a couple things in the third paragraph that I'd be really interested in you elaborating on.

I went in with semi-lowered expectations based on reviews and things, and I absolutely loved it. Zimmer's score is amazing yet again, and there were several parts I got unabashedly giddy and caught up--one part in particular that sticks out is when Bruce finally emerges from the pit and that huge, booming-brass Batman theme (bommmmmm BWAHHHHHHHH) plays. Amazing.

And I loved the ending. My heart was touched.

Hm, I could, maybe later. That's the subplot where I went OHHHHH--"Are we climbing out of a well again? Are we really OHHHHHHH." And the best part is, it's not even something they conveniently made up, it's really part of the Bane back story. Which I had read up about on Wikipedia a while back (I was seriously, intensely dreading the back-breaking moment and was hoping it wouldn't specifically happen), so I was totally blindsided by all that "the child" business turning out to be Talia (even though I knew it was incredibly likely Talia was who Cotillard would be playing). And I loved that, the child/protector bait-and-switch with Bane. It totally recast how and why he was involved in the League of Shadows at all, IMO. I had gotten kind of a beatific vibe off the way Tom Hardy was playing the whole thing--not the cynical disgust Liam Neeson had in the first movie, but more "We're going to get this city to destroy itself and it's going to be beautiful." And I think that's because he was doing it for love (whatever kind), not disdain. I could be reading too much into the way he played it, hindsight being what it is, so I'd like to watch it again to keep an eye on that.

And yeah. After the grim French Revolution-themed plot that went on for months of desperation instead of maybe a week of action scenes, I needed that ending. I needed that ending to be able to enjoy the movie and want to see it again. It reminds me a lot of what Nolan did with The Prestige, the sleight-of-hand that allowed some kind of happy ending, at least partially.

Your second paragraph is why this is so upsetting to me. I love Batman, and I especially love Nolan's take on Batman. I heard about it immediately after leaving the screening I attended Friday morning. I couldn't sleep when I got home, I just stayed up glued to the TV, horrified, wishing I were dreaming.

I was fortunate to attend a marathon of all three movies, so in that regard, I really, really enjoyed TDKR, but maybe my enjoyment was enhanced by having just sat through the previous two and having them fresh in my mind. The twists seemed really obvious to me, but that didn't hurt my enjoyment of the movie at all. I was downright teary-eyed for the last ten minutes or so, and the very end itself made me so ridiculously happy. I intend to see it again soon, because I've been thinking about it pretty much since I left the theatre.

This. My local theatre had a marathon screening of all three films too, and I feel like it definitely enhanced the experience. I wouldn't have laughed as hard about Catwoman vanishing on Batman after their Bat-copter ride: "So THAT's what that feels like".

I just wanted to say, which is something I didn't articulate anywhere yesterday, that obviously I feel the worst for the actual victims and their families and friends, and I'm not losing sight of that. But, I also feel terrible for everybody who just wanted to enjoy this film -- which includes all of those victims -- as the culmination of 7 years of something they loved.

It's not "my" film, in that sense -- I never saw the other Nolan Batman films, I have no intention of seeing this one until someday I rent all three to watch, so this wasn't what I was looking forward to. But I know that feeling of loving something and looking forward to it, and how that becomes a part of you. Also, I know the feeling of wanting to share an experience in a movie theater -- I really love doing that and I treasure many memories of doing that.

Apart from all the other reasons to be SO ANGRY yesterday, I was also angry at that being ruined for so many people, beyond even those directly targeted.

I hope you're right and that many others come to the determination not to allow fear to win out. It's weird for me, because I have no intention of letting it do that to me; but then, there isn't another film I can think of this summer that I was planning to see in the theater. (I have... spent enough in the theaters this summer, omg.) I know that the next time I go, I'll think about it, because how can I not, when I'm sitting in there and the lights go down? But -- not to be trite, but it's like going anywhere after a bombing, or getting back on an airplane after 9/11. The possibility that it happens again remains, but it can't rule your life. I'd rather take the chance, than allow myself to be bullied by assholes who want me to be afraid.

Yeah. I was really trying to avoid some kind of grandstanding NOT SEEING BATMAN MEANS THE TERRORISTS WIN overtone up top. That said, I completely think this was an act of terrorism, in the pre-9/11 sense. I mean, it created terror, in addition to actual casualties; that had to be most, if not all, of the point. And this was one soul-shriveled guy who is now locked up, and with all the security measures present this weekend, if you feel safe--I would say go ahead and do what you were going to do anyway, if you care about these movies and what they have to say about heroism and do want to see them, if they're not upsetting to you at this time. Insofar as I have the ability to do anything about this, I am not going to let this absolute fucker force a different meaning on a story about goodness and hope just so he can feel powerful, is what I'm getting at. I want this to keep being a story kids can love, the way those kids did, and as painful as it is, I want to think about good people and what they lost (life and peace of mind, I mean) as they're being memorialized in the next few days, and not the person who took it from them. They found his explosives and, last I heard, they're successfully defusing all the traps in his apartment. Once that's safely done with, his ability to ruin and terrify, his presence in our minds, needs to be gone. He doesn't deserve it.

I took a day off yesterday just for the heck of it. Work has been really stressful, and I just wanted a day to myself to do a whole lot of nothing. At about 10:30 I impulsively decided to go see the movie. I mean, why not? It was a Friday morning showing and it wouldn't be packed. I didn't want to wait too long and risk any spoilers.

But here's the thing:
If you keep up with movie casting news...
If you find yourself invested in learning the mythology behind characters...
If you have been doing a lot of "writing professional development" and reading all kinds of "construct a deeply layered story that surprises upon initial read and is obvious upon reread"-type books...
You're gonna find yourself sitting in the theater at the very end going "So...I somehow managed to spoil...myself?"

I think what really got me was the exchange between Bruce and Alfred; the whole fantasy Alfred drops on us about being in Paris and the two of them locking eyes and knowing. I actually shivered and immediately thought: "Last scene. Calling it."

I was pleasantly surprised by Tom Hardy and Anne Hathaway. At times I found myself distracted because I was trying to see Tom Hardy in Bane. This guy could seriously give Christian Bale a run for his money on the whole "insane body transformations" thing. People in my audience gasped over the Talia reveal, and I could hear people crying when Alfred spoke to Bruce's parents' gravestones. There were a couple of chuckles at the final scene - I think some kid behind me said something like "Play on playa!" and then meowed. So there's that.

Heeeee, that kid.

Yeah, I could not see Tom Hardy in there at all. The weird thing was, when we see a glimpse of his eyes when he's just wrapped in whatever hood, it TOTALLY looked like him. And yet, we've been seeing his eyes the whole movie above that mask, but... I just could not see him when he had it on. Also, I have no idea why he sounded like Sean Connery. Irish Traveller accent, I know, I know. I still have no idea.

I knew from the casting news that Cotillard was very likely playing Talia. I vaguely knew the Bane origin story, and I noticed that they kept saying "the child" and side-stepping the actual story, so obviously there was something going on there, but I managed to not guess the Bane/Talia twist.

The cafe thing, though--they had the "robber in Burma" story in the second movie that had some great resonance (I still mentally shiver every time I see the movie and Michael Caine says, "They burned the forest down") but wasn't actually a plot point. So I figured the cafe thing was something like that, not that it would actually come up again. And I knew the autopilot thing was so heavy-handed that I was like, "OH NOOOOO (well, we all thought Bruce would die, so...)," even before we had any idea why he would need it. What I loved about that was the one-upmanship there--Nolan makes you think you've guessed the next step (o noes Bruce is actually sacrificing himself), and then he's like OH BUT WAIT. I don't even care how silly or implausible or how the hell did Bruce even get out when I'm pretty sure we saw shots of his face after he was over the water? I don't care. I needed that happy ending.

I feel silly because I actually believed Nolan/Cotillard when they denied Talia, so that when I noticed the incongruity that Bruce Wayne didn't notice - if the child escaped the Pit, then how could he have been the man who got mangled by the plague and medical incompetence - I was trying to find ways that it still fit into one person's life story.

You mention how amusing it'd be if the Joker was the judge and Scarecrow the prosecutor. There was an episode of Batman the cartoon in which Batman was caught by the inmates of Arkham Asylum and put on trial. Joker was the judge, of course, and there was a hilarious scene of Harley Quinn testifying.

There was a large numbers of Actors I Recognized in small roles throughout the film, more so than I usually notice in blockbuster productions: CIA Agent from the beginning is Petyr Baelish on Game of Thrones; Bane's right-hand man is Will from Criminal Minds; Blake's partner is Sargeant Wu on Grimm; Teal'c from Stargate: SG1 was one of the bad guys; and Donna Kozlowski from Judging Amy got to say that "Robin is a nice name."

Requisite Russian Rage: Pavel is a first name not a last name.

Hee. I kind of wondered about Pavel--even with my limited knowledge, I didn't think it was a surname. Isn't it related to Paul?

Also, I couldn't remember the actress or the character's name, but I was all JUDGING AMY!!!! when she showed up. Man, I could not stop myself from watching those reruns in syndication.

Having read The Gift Of Fear all I could think about when they described his behavior in articles is that they were creating an image of him that would come off as glorious to anyone who has similar ideas. You're the only one I've seen so far that is going about it the right way, so thanks.

Apparently--I will indulge my urge to talk about it for one moment--he left techno music blaring in his apartment (which was full of explosives and trip wires) with the door cracked open. There was just a press conference a little while ago where they said that anyone going through that door would have been "seriously injured or killed." Before the shooting started, a woman who lived in the building saw the door and was going to ask him to turn the music down, as I'm sure he intended. But she said "Something really didn't feel right," and went away again. My first thought was "GIFT OF FEARRRRRRR." I don't know how many lives that woman happened to save by making a decision that must have seemed irrational at the time. Somehow, it comforts me that "super villainy" doesn't work out in real life, that the simplest little things can thwart it.

I can't remember where I read this, but the speculation was, if anyone had opened that door and/or the police had been called to deal with it and that building had been totally leveled, as it easily could have been (based on the explosives they've identified inside, I think--they evacuated five different buildings?), all of the emergency services would have been diverted to that area, leaving no one to deal with the actual theater shooting. In turn, many of the injured were raced to hospitals in police cars, rather than wait (or hope) for enough ambulances; they would not have been able to spare that kind of manpower if they were also dealing with casualties at the apartment building. As it was, nothing was tripped, and there happened to be police already at the theater for some reason.

Unfortunately--and this made me so sad--the police chief was kind of tearing up last night, talking about how traumatized the officers were by the scene and the rescue efforts. I mean, it must have looked like a war zone, 70 people hurt or killed. And he himself has been just incredibly no-nonsense and professional, from what I've seen--just flat-out answering questions with "I can't discuss that at this time," "If I knew, I wouldn't tell you" (!), and refusing to release the mugshot, for reasons that are kind of awful if you think about it. They have genuinely tried to keep this as tightly locked down and unsensationalized as possible, while still being open about the bomb squad's progress, public safety, etc. It's awful, and you do have to discuss what happened in order to talk about it, but I would rather talk about the victims and the rescue efforts and what they had to go through, if we have to talk about anything. So. That's the tack I'm trying to take here.

This kind of shit is also why I keep thinking I'm dreaming all of this and it can't possibly really be happening. It's also why I feel so much disgust that this guy was obviously intelligent, and chose to waste it all on hurting people. Life is not a movie, jackass.