Today will be the first day of Hanukkah this year, and I was planning this post about it, about the way that our society – in a painfully awkward attempt to be inclusive – turns this minor Jewish holiday into what people assume is the biggest occasion of all. To gentiles everywhere Judaism consists of two things: the bar mitzvah, and Hanukkah. And Seinfeld.
So that’s the gist of the post, and it was going to be delightful, but then something happened yesterday that derailed everything. Something that might seem very small, but the implications are, well, they’re just… I can’t think about it.
What? Hm? Oh, Kim-Jong Il died? Well, okay, I suppose that’s a big deal, too. No, I’m talking about the release of the first full trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, the third Batman film by Christopher Nolan.
The thing is, I love Nolan’s Batman films. I love them. I luuuuuuuurrrrv them. The kids on the playground could taunt me for sitting in a tree with them, spelling out romantic exchanges. They could do that and I wouldn’t care, because our love is pure. But there have been a lot of signs that this one is going to be, well, bad. I’ve actually written here about it a couple times before, but that was largely when my entire reading audience consisted solely of blood relatives and former roommates, so I understand if you don’t recall. Here’s one, if you’re interested, in which I write a scene for the third film on the idea that Nolan just intentionally tank it. But I didn’t expect him to take me up on this idea.
Because, the trailer is out and it looks, well, it just looks pretty stupid. There are some elements that look interesting, but… well…
Okay, for starters – the film appears to center around a football game. A football game? Really, Nolan? Sitting around with your writing-team reviewing the previous two films, the idea that floated to the surface was that what was missing were the Pittsburgh Steelers running around?
Also, there’s a giant explosion that vaporizes an entire football field, but the guy running down the field doesn’t sense it at all. Why? Well, because the blast leaving a football-field sized crater is, gosh, over 8 inches away from him! This kind of Hollywood Physics never bodes well.
Third, it appears that Batman will have a big hovercraft. Look, when Nolan made Batman Begins, he said he wanted to get rid of the silly toys and gadgets. The studio forced him to include the Batmobile, because it’d be a toy to sell, so under duress he included his big armored tank thing, which was – granted – pretty cool. But to go form that being too outlandish to a hovercraft? Uh oh. Plus, here is my list of great films which feature hovercrafts: .
Finally, they’re also clearly wanting to cash in on the Occupy movement, which I suppose could be interesting, but also stinks a bit of opportunism and pandering. “Hey, you know what people are in to right now? Economic disparity. Let’s do that!”
The trailer for The Dark Knight made me feel like a little kid. Like “Ahhh! Ahhhhhh! I have to see this right now! Now! Now now now now now now!” This one makes me feel like when you’re dating the wrong person, and constantly trying to rationalize that, no, no, it’s cool. Things seem bad an unpleasant, but there’s, uh, good things. Sure.
So, who knows. I’ll hold out hope. Maybe my little, paltry one-day’s worth of hope will miraculously last eight days, and then I’ll celebrate the time my hope carried me through.
Anyway, if you’re celebrating Hanukkah in the midst of the gloomy winter, happy Festival of Light. Enjoy. Because Summer’s looking dark.