The Night Is Darkest Before The Dawn

Okay, okay, I admit it. I’m a complete and total fanboy. I saw The Dark Knight last night at a midnight screening Hadley, MA.

As another dad of a small child said to me via email last week, “I can’t remember the last time I was awake at midnight, much less started an activity at midnight.” I know, I know. Me too.

But, there I was last night, standing in line by myself, reading a Harry Turtledove novel on my Gemstar eBook. And, yes, I’m dragging a little today, but I haven’t been able to think of anything else.

And, let’s make this clear, I’m a humongous Batman fan. Back in 2001 while on my honeymoon in San Diego, I bought a huge Batman ring at a Warner Brothers store that was going out of business. I still have that thing and regularly wear it to business meetings.

So far this summer, I’ve seen Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and Hellboy 2, but with every one of those movies, the movie had faded from my mind by the time I reached the parking lot. Now, granted, we could have an entire conversation about the fact that as you get older, pop culture entertainment doesn’t have quite the impact it does when you’re younger. When you’re trying to remember if you mailed the latest mortgage check or wondering if you’re son is okay after he fell off a picnic table and bopped his eye, it’s sometimes hard to concentrate 100% on the latest superhero movie.

But, it’s the next day, and I’m still thinking about scenes from The Dark Knight. The movie stuck with me well beyond the parking lot.

Christopher Nolan has done something with the Batman movies that other superhero movies just haven’t been able to come close to. The characters are real. And not the painful, Peter Parker soap opera scenes in the Spiderman movies. These two movies, and even more so The Dark Knight, feel more like well-done crime movies than men-in-tights-fighting-bad-guys movies. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve completely figured out how he’s done it. And, as a storyteller myself (several published short stories to my credit and more than one trunk novel), I’d like to figure it out.

Is it perfect? No. I have some quibbles. More than one. I’ll save those for later. For now though, just go see it.