Stop Watching Dark Knight Footage - It's All Part of the Experience!
by Alex Billington
July 8, 2008
There are 10 days left and you're probably counting down the hours like every other die hard fan. But what you should not be doing is watching every trailer and every clip out there. If you want to have the best experience going into The Dark Knight, then hear me out. I'll probably get in a lot of trouble with for saying this, but my intentions are truly good. Back when Spider-Man 3 came out, I watched every trailer and every clip over and over just hours before my screening. When I finally saw it, it was like watching everything I'd already seen all over again, but without any excitement, and with atrocious filler scenes stuck in between all the good action scenes. I've learned from that mistake and now I know to steer clear of excessive exposure weeks before I see a highly anticipated film - and it definitely pays off.
The reason why I'm writing about this and not just keeping it to myself is because I'm trying to save as many moviegoers as I can. You may remember a Sunday Discussion from a few months ago asking How Spoiled Do You Want to Be?. Although I don't post excessive quantities of trailers and clips on the site, for the most part, I know that there are endless other ways of finding them online. And because The Dark Knight was such an extraordinary experience, I want to make sure as many people can experience it the same way I did at my screening a few weeks ago. This means finally stepping out and actually encouraging you to stop watching trailers and clips and stop searching for every last second of footage. I can say from experience that it will damage your impression of the movie. You need to go in fresh and prepared for an mind blowing experience like no other. Smothering yourself with footage before hand won't achieve this.
The Dark Knight is an exception to the rule in that the footage that's out there doesn't even scratch the surface of what you'll find within its 2 hour and 40 minute running time, but that doesn't mean you can still watch it. The less you've seen, the better off you are. In fact, most people have probably already watched the second full theatrical trailer multiple times by now anyway. I'd suggest that's where you end it - just wait 10 more days without watching anything else and the experience will pay off vastly in the end. It's best to go in and be completely surprised by every fight, every action scene, every line that anyone says. If you're expecting anything, you're not going to get the complete Dark Knight experience.
What you can watch instead of trailers and clips is the newly released Batman: Gotham Knight animated DVD, which is a perfect compliment to The Dark Knight anyway, or Batman Begins as many times over as you can bear. You're safe watching those two because they set the perfect level of expectations and prepare you for the next step in Batman's saga. I watched Batman Begins just before my screening and not only did it leave me incredibly excited, but it was the perfect way to make my experience complete. As I stated in the Sunday Discussion, I find that when I have excitement, but no expectations in terms of footage and story, I enjoy great movies so much more. That's why I fell in love with The Wackness and American Teen at Sundance. And that's how it should be with The Dark Knight.
I hope anyone who reads this takes what I've said to heart. I'm not trying to create controversy, I'm not trying to force anyone to do anything, I'm simply attempting to key fans in on what made my own Dark Knight experience so unforgettable. It only 10 more days you'll be enjoying every last minute of Christopher Nolan's masterpiece, but don't ruin the experience before you even set foot in the theater. For some of you it may be hard to do, like giving up a bad habit, but if you follow these simple instructions, you'll probably walk out with a much greater experience than you could have ever imagined. Do yourself a favor and make your Dark Knight experience truly unforgettable by no longer watching clips and trailers.