Sunday Discussion: Is There Too Much Hysterical Hype for The Dark Knight?
by Alex Billington
July 13, 2008
It's nearly here - only five days left - The Dark Knight. As excited as you may be, and as promising as the movie looks, there's always a possibility that it might not be a masterpiece… We've got another Spider-Man 3 on our hands, where the marketing has been so phenomenal and the buzz so extraordinary, that expectations have exceeded levels that could reasonably be reached. Or so that's what I'm worried about. I've seen The Dark Knight and I can officially say that it surpassed all of my expectations, but by making that statement, I immediately just set everyone else's expectations even higher. It's the dilemma of a journalist who cares about the experience's of his readers. And I'm wondering if anyone out there is worried about setting too high of expectations? Or are you just ready to be blown away?
Everyone I know who has seen the movie has loved it. There are a few people I know who thought it was fantastic, but not perfect. There are others, like myself, who believe it's nearly flawless, a comic book movie masterpiece that is sure to win Heath Leger an Oscar. But the more we talk about it and the more that the hype increases as the we count down the minutes, the bigger the chance it has to disappoint. Writing that just made me cringe, because I really can't see The Dark Knight disappointing anyone since it literally is a masterpiece. However, it's inevitable that someone out there won't like it at all. In fact, the first negative review already showed up online (and I'll address that specifically in a separate article). The buzz for this movie is through the roof - every last person is probably more excited than they've ever been.
Although I know by writing this, hardly anyone is going to say that it won't live up to their expectations, it's still a legitimate concern. In fact, I'm concerned because I love this movie so much and it's always depressing to see the mainstream public not accept it as I have. I've already mentioned this before, regarding the marketing, and suggesting to: Stop Watching Dark Knight Footage. That's the most I can in an attempt to save your experience and after that, I just cross my fingers and hope that I wasn't wrong. Luckily all of my journalist friends are pretty much in agreement with my feelings on the film, including even Kevin Smith, and that makes me confident that I don't have much to worry about.
With less than a week left, it comes down to controlling your own excitement and anticipation. Will enough people do this? Or is The Dark Knight destined for the same disappointing reaction as Spider-Man 3? Nope, it's definitely not! This movie is going to melt the minds of so many unsuspecting fans, that I'm already calling it a revolution. The reason is that Warner Brothers (and Christopher Nolan) have done such a great job marketing it, that no one's expectations are too high. Why do I say this? Well, I can't tell you, because it would spoil so much of the movie. But what I can say is that no one knows what they're in for. No one knows how incredible this movie is until you sit down and soak all 160 minutes up. I can ask if there is too much hysterical hype, but I already know the answer. And you will too on July 18th.
Reader Feedback - 46 Comments
The internet hypes many, many things beyond reasonable anticipation. At this point, it would literally have to be the greatest movie of all-time to live up to some of the insane expectations I've seen posted on various forums. Of course, I've been burned before, by movies and by video games (*cough* GTA4 *cough*) I sure hope you -- and just about every other person that has seen it -- is right about it being amazing. And hopefully, it's even better in IMAX.
CajoleJuice on Jul 13, 2008
I have already started toning down the hype. I still however expect a great movie.
James on Jul 13, 2008
Alex, maybe that's why your expectations were not met when you saw "Hellboy 2" Perhaps, you were so impressed with "The Dark Knight" that you subsequently elevated your expectations for "Hellboy" and in turn, you were disappointed. I still believe that "Hellboy 2" was really good and the story about the fairy/troll world rising against humanity was wonderfully executed and Guillermo del Toro's direction was spot on, among all other good things. This flick topped my expectations and I've seen it twice, noticing other surprises that I missed the 1st time. It did supersede it's predecessor in every way. I do believe that, "The Dark Knight" will be truly amazing. I have reasonably high expectations and have refrained from seeing any other clips that are floating around the net. All in all, this has been a rockin' summer of kick-ass comic book flicks!!
Spider on Jul 13, 2008
I have to disagree here somewhat - personally, reading some of the reviews and hearing what other film-makers, journalists are already saying is only confirming what I've believed all along - that this film is going to be fantastic. I've followed this movie from pre-production and with every reveal, photo, trailer, etc it just kept getting better and better. Reading people praising the film is only justifying it that much more to me. It's got me even more excited because I know I'm in for a good time.
Boo-Yah on Jul 13, 2008
well i unintentionally watched the interrogation scene today thanks to the new T.V Spot, it was a good scene i rather have waited to see in the theater.
The Delightful Deviant on Jul 13, 2008
i love this website but to be honest, theres a whole lotta hype that goes on here. whether its for wall-e or for iron man the hype does go over a limit. now im not saying those movies are bad but im saying that too much coverage and way too much pandering makes people (like me) sick of hearing about certain movies. with TDK, i think the movie itself has generated its own hype along with the marketing so its gonna do well wither way
mos on Jul 13, 2008
I think that FS.net is overkilling the hype a little bit. Let us not have to read the same article every day! I respect everyone here immensely, but please STOP talking about TDK until it comes out!
Iron Man Fan on Jul 13, 2008
Do much hype? Probably but unlike spiderman 3 this movie will be able to handle it. and on that one review above to use a political term it sounds like saber rattling to me
rodan8812 on Jul 13, 2008
i've not seen a whole lot about The Dark Knight. Meaning I haven't watched anything beyond the spoilers. I don't really have high expectations, but that's not to say I think it will bomb. I think it will be wonderful and exciting. Really looking forward to it, but somehow I'm not jumping up and down and giddy as hell to see it. I think, mainly, it has to do with the fact that I may not be able to see it in theaters and thus am bummed. Will be a MUST BUY when it comes out on DVD, but the Theater may not be able to come for me. see ya next time same bat-depression same bat-site
Garrett.king on Jul 13, 2008
not enough hype we need more
Davor on Jul 13, 2008
Ok, if it is that amazing that's fine with me. I just feel like I've had enough hype(overall) to last me a lifetime! Keep up the good work FS!
Iron Man Fan on Jul 13, 2008
I have no problem with movie sites hyping things up, its just the excessive trolling I have a problem with, for instance a headline could say this: Six New Badass Max Payne Promo Photos! I scroll down to see peoples opinions on the photos that were posted and I see things like. "I don't care to much for this movie, TDK will rule us all" Not that I seen that here, but every site I've visited its people saying "this movie will suck and Dark Knight will rule everybody and blah blah. So I have no problem with the hype for this movie, just don't troll with it.
Jack M. on Jul 13, 2008
it is over hyped. some critics actually said the movie was incredible but they also mention that 30 mins of the film could have been removed.( i got this info from attack of the show, they had a critic on the loop). So for people who are expecting the perfect comic book film, you might be a little disappointed but hell it will be a better comic book film since iron man, and iron man was fuckin awesome.
darrin on Jul 13, 2008
alex, i believe it was you who referred to "so i married an axe murderer" as an "instant classic" in one of your recent discussions several weeks back. so with regards to the hype and hyperbole you've been throwing batman 2's way leading up to its premiere, let's just say this wary moviegoer will take it with a grain of salt for now. i'll see this proclaimed "flawless" "masterpiece" this friday and decide for myself.
Tom on Jul 13, 2008
Billington...we're all excited here and there's absolute no need for you to feel like you've got to keep people excited hyped. I know you wanna talk and talk some more about it and it's probably frustrating for you because you can't really divulge, analyze, and praise the film until all of us common folk have seen it, but relax a bit.
Matt Suhu on Jul 13, 2008
All I know is that here in Australia, its released on Wednesday July 16th, which is almost three days before its US release date. This never happens, and I'm so pumped about it
Jezza on Jul 13, 2008
#15 Dude, "So I Married An Axe Murderer" IS a classic! Ok, so Alex asks if there's too much hype. We're all reading this page, so there's definite interest. Any discussion about the movie is hype, so we're all guilty. Being a fanatic Batman fan, it's been entertaining to read all the recent articles posted on FirstShowing. Has it been excessive? Hell Yes. Keep it up!
TCox on Jul 13, 2008
I'm simply setting my expectations to a second Batman Begins. Whenever I think about The Dark Knight I just imagine Batman Begins scenes. I think if I keep doing that I'll be a very happy camper Thursday night 🙂 On a side note...I was looking at international release dates. Damn you, Taiwan! You get the movie on Wednesday! And my heart goes out to you, Germany. You don't get it until August 20th. 🙁
Viper on Jul 13, 2008
Now that is what I call honest discussion , article , point of view ( or what you name it )... now I can thank you Alex for the new way of writing ...taking more care about the readers feeling and expectations .... not just what you think and what you believe ... Now you think like there is others in the room...not just you 🙂 ... and I will be waiting for the new topics in this week or the next one .. in matter of the movie The Dark Knight and of course the discussion of the hypes and expectations for movies .... Hope you continue like this .... " by the way having a sound record discussion of you and another member of the site will give you all the freedom to explain and publish your thoughts and ideas by the way you want and like ..because it will be as changing ideas of two different people ...and you did that before with some of your friends ( Fight Cast !! ) ... of course as much as you be in different opinions will be better for both of you 🙂 " ( I am not learning you how to work ...I am reminding you by the things you already know ) I told you it is all part of the plan 😉
Shero on Jul 13, 2008
I will be seing it expecting an improvement from the Batman begins. That one suffered from incredible dull moments that slowed down the whole experience. Good thing they now have more colourful chars and the horrible Holmes is out.
Shige on Jul 13, 2008
I like all the hype, that means, more people will go see it, besides all the comic geeks. The hype also worries me that I might be disappointed too. I have taken your advice and stopped watching all the clips. I'm trying to go with a lowered expectation, so not to be disappointed. I just can't see it being a masterpiece as good it might be. I tend to be pretty picky.
Mayhem Studios on Jul 13, 2008
I bought two tix tonight so the hype worked on me. I will agree though that this movie has already been overhyped. Even though I'm positive I will enjoy it, I can't see it meeting my expectations. At this point, if it isn't the best comic book movie ever then it won't reach the level of hype it has recieved.
Gene on Jul 14, 2008
Hahaha! Alex first asks "Is There Too Much Hysterical Hype for The Dark Knight?" - and then proceeds to further hype the shit out of the film. Witness Warner's external PR machine in full swing...
Colin (brother of Mike) Hunt on Jul 14, 2008
I didn't much care for Batman Begins to be honest, but I'm optimistic this will be very much be an improvement. Everything I've heard so far points to a better film, so here's hoping. However, would the hype be at this level if Heath Ledger (God rest his soul) was still with us? Tough one to call, methinks.
sleepykid on Jul 14, 2008
I don't think that the hype will really bring a bad review by not living up to the standards of what we have been hearing. I believe it will be critics and others who miss the campiness and cartoonish ways of Batman of old. Most people over 40 are not going to be happen with the grittiness, the realism (so to speak), or the dark nature of what makes Batman stand out among other superheroes. This is a movie for people who are fans of the the comic, the animated series, and a good "detective story" with drama. And while I usually pick things apart by over-analyzing, I have no doubt that this will be the best movie I have every seen on screen (at 29 yrs old).
L on Jul 14, 2008
#9 - "I feel like I've got to keep people excited and hyped" What percentage of visitors to this site do you think you have persuaded to see THE DARK KNIGHT? I would guess (with some confidence) that AT LEAST 85 percent of the people who have glanced anything related to TDK on this site were already comitted to seeing it in the theatre. And of the remaining fifteen percent, four-fifths of THEM will see the film because of the overwhelming positive coverage from sources OTHER THAN this site. Most of the rest of the potential audience will see TDK eventually on DVD or television. I would bet my balls that your own interminable hype will be responsible for 3 percent (at MOST) of your very limited readership's viewings of THE DARK KNIGHT. Anyone who uses their time to convince 3 percent of a vanishingly small group to watch a movie is either a quintessential SHILL, or a DELUDED sucker. Either way, you have no credibility, and your ceaseless enthusiasm for the film might actually be turning-off the DARK KNIGHT 'swing-voters.'
M. on Jul 14, 2008
i read in a review that the action was filmed in shaky cam vision and edited so it made it really hard to see what was happening, much like it was in Batman Begins (and the Bourne movies). This is probably due to the Batman suit being hard to move in, and to keep the rating down to a 12A... or to make the action 'intense'. This immediately means the film can't possibly be 'flawless', as putting action you can't follow in a movie is completely pointless! Also, with a 12A rating it can't be THAT dark.... Those are my 2 concerns..but i am looking forward to it immensely all the same! Now i just have to wait until the 25th July for the cinema's over in the UK to show the damn thing!
chrisUK on Jul 14, 2008
You guys are ridiculous. You actually write something like: "This movie is going to melt the minds of so many unsuspecting fans, that I'm already calling it a revolution." in an article about whether or not there's too much hysterical hype. Not that I'm looking forward to the movie any less because of you, but it's just kind of... really out of place for a website like FS to ask that question. The only think I could think of that would be WEIRDER to hear from you guys would be "Stop watching TDK trailers."
Bobby on Jul 14, 2008
Danny on Jul 14, 2008
I do believe hype can make someone expect too much out of a movie. That's why the Star Wars prequels were a let down to a lot of people. People expected perfect movies, and instead got entertaining, but ultimately only decent movies at best. This, in turn, convinced many people that they were really really bad, because they didn't live up to the hype. Also, they had 16 or so years of anticipation before they came out. What will help TDK is that it will most likely be better than any of the Star Wars prequels, and it doesn't have 16 years of anticipation behind it. The SW prequels were destined to fail in some way, whether they were perfect or not. Too many years of waiting for them made them worse movies in the eyes of many film goers then they actually are. If those movies started coming out three years after the original trilogy, I think people wouldn't have hated them as much, even if they aren't as good as the original trilogy. They were merely decently entertaining movies that only became so hated and revered as horrible films because of all the years of anticipation. Thankfully, TDK was made well, according to so many critics, and it only has three years of anticipation.
Dan Geer on Jul 14, 2008
"Uh, I referenced So I Married an Axe Murderer, but I never called it an instant classic. " huh? check my sources you say? uh, ok, let's see: http://www.firstshowing.net/2008/06/22/has-the-downfall-of-mike-myers-truly-begun/ "Wayne's World and So I Married an Axe Murderer both became instant classics..." looks to me like you did, but hey, whatever.
Tom on Jul 14, 2008
I think TDK will be good, but give me a break, it's not going to be a revolution. It is what it is -- a comic book movie.
SB on Jul 14, 2008
YES - so stop posting about it!!
dom on Jul 14, 2008
I think with the passing of Heath Ledger this movie has risen to a level of excitement that I have not seen in quite some time. Sure things were exciting before he died, but with his passing this movie has taken on a life of it's own which has been driven in large part by many people believing that this is "the movie that killed him". And in a very morbid way everyone wants to know what the big deal is about.
Safi on Jul 14, 2008
hey please make the sound off one week after. the movie is coming out on the 23rd in Trinidad.
Drake on Jul 14, 2008
i don't think the people will be able to admit if this movie doesn't meet their expectations.
adam on Jul 14, 2008
Can you have too much of a good thing? I say no. And even if you can, not with this. Not now, in 2008, no with this movie.
DCompose on Jul 14, 2008
Is Harley Quinn in this movie? Does anybody know?
Kyle on Jul 14, 2008
I don't read or pay attention to any of the hype. It's laid on pretty thick by now too. But I made up my mind to see the movie as soon as I was finished watching Batman Begins the first time. Easy as that. I'm there. I don't need hype.
Woodge on Jul 14, 2008
I love Batman but can sombody design him a costume so he can turn his head? How can he fight 20 bad guys by not being able to look over his shoulder?
hibbity dibbity on Jul 14, 2008
Hey hibbity dibbity, He can turn his head in this outing! It's a costume improvement like you read about! (I read about it.)
Woodge on Jul 14, 2008
hibbity dibbity hhhhhhhhhhhhhhh nice one ...
Shero on Jul 15, 2008
"Is There Too Much Hysterical Hype for The Dark Knight?" Yes.
ScreenRant.com on Jul 15, 2008
Best movie ever! better than any movie of 2009!
George on Nov 14, 2009
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