The Dark Hype

I’m not a big fan of films and the cinema. Even less so when the hype surrounding a particular film means that suddenly, “normal” people can talk of nothing else except the latest offering from Hollywood. Gone are the important discussions about important things – politics, football, money, work – replaced instead by pseudo-knowledgeable comment about the directing ability of some Russian bloke whose name sounds like a sexually transmitted infection (or whatever) and his “meaningful cinematography”.
Why? Because it’s “cool” to “know” about such things this week.

The Dark Knight has done this to people. And, in case there wasn’t enough off-screen publicity for the film with Aussie actor Keith Ledger having thrown a seven during filming; conveniently, the star of the piece has to (allegedly) beat up his mother and sister, just so we’re aware that he’s in a film which you can currently buy tickets for.
The net result of these actions is even more hype over the film. The Grief Athletes who suddenly emerged as previously-unheard-of Heath Ledger fans when he died are now calling for him to win an Oscar for his performance.

And the nominations for Best Actor are:
Heath Ledger for Being A Rather Ordinary Actor
Heath Ledger for Overdosing Druggie
Heath Ledger for Joker in The Dark Knight Because He’s Dead, and
Cristiano Ronaldo for My Ankle Is Broken, Even Though He Didn’t Touch Me

Utterly pathetic. Because it actually doesn’t matter whether the film or the performances are any good or not. Not that you’re going to hear anyone dare to say that they’re rubbish anyway, because it’s simply not acceptable to criticise a überhyped movie like this.
Although leading South African film critic Barry Ronge enjoyed the film, he did pass comment on the radio that “the length made my bottom a bit sore”. I presume he was talking about the chronological enormity of the movie, and that he hadn’t accidently slipped into a dodgy massage parlour next door to the cinema.

So no, I haven’t seen The Dark Knight. And I won’t, because I don’t want to. You can’t make me.
For me, the best films are those which don’t get hyped out of all proportion. The ones whose storylines you don’t know in every last detail before you even go near the cinema. The ones where you can be honest about the ropey bits without fear of being shouted down for not being trendy or called insensitive just because some junkie topped himself in a hotel room while they were making it.

Yes, I’m aware that I’ll get comments and emails telling me how great the film is and how wonderful the “meaningful cinematography” is and so on.
But then, the same people said that about Harry Potter and The Matrix Trilogy and the new Star Wars films. Have you considered that maybe you were brainwashed into being wrong about them too?
Don’t tell me how it’s broken box office records etc etc. Popular doesn’t necessarily mean good: lest we forget, The Teletubbies had a number one hit in the UK with Teletubbies say Eh-Oh in 1997.
Popular? Yes.
Good? No.

I wonder what we’ll be saying about The Dark Knight in 11 years time? 
Heath who?

16 thoughts on “The Dark Hype

  1. I so love reading your blog, if only to read all about the people I’d completely forgotten about! Barry Ronge! I have no idea how old he is now, but I can’t believe he is still telling you what he thinks about the movies!

    Not quite sure myself if I’ll go and see this movie at the cinema… might buy it on DVD for my son, though.

    Helga Hansen’s last blog post was: Not Fantastic With Plastic (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  2. Well, I believe it is often best to make up your mind on your own. Heavens, it might mean actually watching the hype, and then share your opinion. Or am I missing something?

    Hope you guys are getting some sleep!

    Emil’s last blog post was: Gemene Delers – ‘n psigo-analiese (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  3. Helga Hansen » I was rather hoping there was more to love about 6000 miles… than a stray mention of Barry Ronge. No?

    Emil » Exactly my point – I’m not allowed to make up my own mind. I must like it because Ledger topped himself while it was being made. So it’s cool to like it. However crap it may be.

  4. Oooooh, you’re risking the wrath of the Goblin now.

    What you say is pretty much what I was thinking to myself yesterday. This movie is going to break all the takings records, but only ‘cos people want to see Ledger in his final movie, not because it’s a good movie.

    Besides, Jack Nicholson was a great Joker. So why the remake?

    DelBoy’s last blog post was: Rugby season (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  5. I say something bad about Heath and I’m a heartless witch…you do it and you’re a literary hero…I don’t get it 😛

    This movie is being blown out of proportion though (by people who didn’t grow up breathing comics and movies like me I mean, I’m allowed to be excited), even my aunt is sending me emails about how great his performance was…he most likely will get that post humous oscar and dear lord that is sad.

    Goblin@Work’s last blog post was: The Books List (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  6. hehe Del…no wrath!
    Actually I completely agree with you, I still feel this whole thing was unnecessary when Jack already did a great job of it…nothing beats Jack in make up dancing around to Prince songs 😉

    Goblin@Work’s last blog post was: The Books List (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  7. 6000, I can fully understand your resistance to movies with much hype surrounding it. That does not necessarily mean that all movies with lots of publicity and hype is necessarily bad. For you to take a stand that you will not go and see a much hyped movie, makes no sense. You’ve already made up your mind that the movie is going to be no good, no matter what is going on in the movie. With this attitude, you might some very good movies. But to each his own. You are entitled not to go and see movies you feel are ruined by too much hype and I’ll go and watch all movies that I might find enjoyable, whether there is much hype about it or not.

  8. Fabjewel » You misunderstand me. I’m not saying that it will be good or bad. All I’m saying is that if it is bad, I won’t be allowed to say so.
    With my attitude, I may miss some good movies? Well, so be it – as I said, I’m no big fan of films anyway and I’ll have saved my arse 3 hours of numbness.

  9. Of course there’s lots to love about your blog!! It’s just funny to read about people I had totally forgotten about… in my life now, Jonathan Ross does the film critic bit!

    Helga Hansen’s last blog post was: Not Fantastic With Plastic (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  10. I saw it on IMAX on Saturday and along with a grainy porno I saw in Standard 7 and the first time I saw Clockwork Orange it rates in my top 3 movies experiences of all time.

  11. Do get it on DVD later, though, if you’ve got no compelling alternatives. Not for Keith (not his last movie either, btw. That’s the forthcoming Terry Gilliam), but for Nolan, who’s one of the few directors able to combine blockbuster with a bit of brain. Not the Matrix-style plagiarism of Plato kind of brain, either.

    Quinn’s last blog post was: Am I an idiot? (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  12. I ignore the hype.

    But I really enjoyed Batman Begins so I went to watch this movie, and damn it was good. I do take pride in watching independent movies and art films and I have seen my fair share of movies, good and utterly crap. And I’m not afraid of criticising overly hyped movies. No Country For Old Men for example. I have seen all of the Coen brothers movies and I absolutely love them. No Country For Old Men seemed contrived to me.

    but anyway, The Dark Knight is up there with Sin City for me. By far the best superhero movie I have ever seen.

    but yeah, it is very hyped up so I guess some people are afraid of being conformists… well I reckon in this case those people should just watch it and not tell anyone. That way you can make up your own mind, and still be cool.

    No offence intended toward anyone. But damn The Dark Knight is good. It doesn’t even feel like a superhero movie.

    ’nuff said


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