Sunday, July 20, 2008

Barbarians at the gate

The Dark Knight is breaking records--and taxing patience at some of the better movie-related sites, like The House Next Door and Dave Kehr's blog, which have been inundated with anonymous posters and batty first-time commenters just plain pissed that someone didn't like the "masterpiece" released on Friday. It's fascinating to wade through some of this stuff, put up by guys (I somehow doubt there are many women passionate on this subject) who only see comic book (oops!--"graphic novel") adaptations, and have trouble reading anything not broken up by pictures and bubble text.

But also discouraging. These sites don't exclude anyone (though I think The House, which has suffered the brunt of it, could, and should, put its shields up against the anonymous droogs) but they attract the cinema-literate, and I like having someplace to go that isn't full of fannish, common-denominator bleating. I can only hope the level of discourse rises to its usual level once the hype subsides, the Jokers go away, and we move onto the next big thing. I didn't much care for the film--"masterpiece" status is earned over time, and some of the ravers admit to second thoughts on its weak spots--but the intrusion it's caused at my usual online watering holes makes me like it even less. Go back to your Bat-caves.

The good news is: No more superhero pictures this summer, and not too many for next, as the writers strike acted like Kryptonite on their production. And I suspect that the tide will recede after this latest high-water mark--it's hard to imagine anyone but super-geeks being interested in a big-screen Thor or Green Hornet or Shazam!

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