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.
Reader Feedback - 42 Comments
Wow... Running a film website like this and ending with that statement... in BOLD no less... takes balls. But I agree with you! I suppose that was what was so good about Wall-E right? The little featurettes that kept on getting released were great to watch and not even in the film which meant they could be watched over and over again. Shame they cant do that with more films. 10 days and counting.
Marcus on Jul 8, 2008
So true I agree completly. Will I listen? I doubt it, lol. I really don't want to be spoiled (any more than I already have been) but I don't know if I have the willpower to stay away from any new trailers lol. This movie looks unfrickenbelievable.
JeepFu on Jul 8, 2008
i agree as well. but its hard to resist looking at those amazing footages
Darrin on Jul 8, 2008
I've been avoiding reviews of upcoming films, especially. Trailers are a different story for me. I generally avoid the clips / promos, though.
Cinexcellence on Jul 8, 2008
I'm too tempted. Help!! Lol. I feel you.
Fisherman on Jul 8, 2008
I couldn't agree more. I've been trying to avoid everything, but it's near impossible, Batman is everywhere! I've only watched one of the trailers, and I wish I hadn't watched that. I knew as soon as I'd seen Batman Begins that I would watch the sequel, the only reason for watching trailers in between is just because I'm impatient!
Jon on Jul 8, 2008
Viper on Jul 8, 2008
Nah, if the movie is good then nothing can really ruin it for me...spiderman 3 was just disappointing period.
Matthew J. on Jul 8, 2008
I can agree with you in this one 🙂 I was waiting to say this after watching The Dark Knight : People and now let's we continue our normal life .... 🙂 But I think it can be said for these 10 days too ... even it is hard to do ... but I think it will be for your own good to clean your mind about everything you heard and watched until now ... Just one think that I didn't mention it until now to you ...that before one year I had to work in The Dark Knight's Visual Effects department or as we mostly called it CGI ... even I got the contract with the Double Negative company who made most of the CGI shots for the movie ... but I couldn't get the work permit in U.K .... I am saying this to let you know how much is it painful for me to not be a part of this movie ... and how many days went I am thinking about it ... but that is the life ....what we do Until after watching the movie ...wish you all the best
Shero on Jul 8, 2008
Way to go! I commend you for saying it...it's hard to outright ignore material about a movie I have been waiting 5 years (maybe my whole life!) to see...But I have been strict about not reading any reviews because to me those are the most revealing and actually unnecessary to cover. We should all try and keep our imaginations in tact b/c Christopher Nolan's vision is truly unique, inspiring, and fully badass, and TDK deserves to stand on it's own (although the viral marketing was a key ingredient in my opinion). Instead, I am going to buy the new blu-ray special edition of Batman Begins and I ordered "Gotham Knight" from Netflix, should be here today 😉
Deidre on Jul 8, 2008
I haven't see any footage other than the theatrical trailers and the scene before I Am Legend. I already pre-ordered an IMAX ticket, so I'm all set.
Sean Kelly on Jul 8, 2008
I've been on Dark Knight lockdown for the last few months and I've really found it helpful in terms of keeping my expectations realistic. Frankly, I think The Dark Knight has enacted one of the most aggressive marketing campaigns in recent memory. You'd go nuts trying to keep up with all the viral stuff. It's too much.
Tom Brazelton on Jul 8, 2008
This May Sound Crazy But When I watch T.V. and They play the Commercials I either change the channel or if the controllers away from me I close my eyes and block out the sound. I want this experience to Be as New to me as possible
ZERO on Jul 8, 2008
I totally agree with you. The internet and tv has been able to beef up and yet kill a blockbuster movie by showing too much. Rock on Alex, keep bring da truth
Nick Sears on Jul 8, 2008
I've seen two of the trailers so I think I'm ok- I would have liked to know less- like stuff about where Harvy Dent goes in the movie, to do that I would have to stop visiting web sites like this one, which I should do just to save time. Hay here is an idea Mr. Billington- a personlized first showing where you can have the site hide articles on spicific movies- that'd be awesome.
Staatz on Jul 8, 2008
I've cut myself off cold-turkey because I agree full-heartedly with this article. I'm already beyond excited for this movie and cutting myself off from TDK clips, trailers, etc is only going to help that build. Call me a nerd, but I'm going to pass the next 10 days going back and re-watching some of Nolan and Bale's previous films. They are probably one of my favorite directors and actors respectively. If anyone's looking for a great flick - I recommend The Machinist. This is the movie Bale made before Batman Begins. He lost like 70 lbs to play this part and his transformation into his character is astonishing.
Boo-Yah on Jul 8, 2008
My friend (a movie fanatic) suggested exactly the same thing juz today. Movies like this need to be seen fresh to get the full experience. So, yes, I definitely go with u on this one.
Gdn | TD on Jul 8, 2008
I agree completely, but to be honest, Spiderman 3 sucked anyway. So watching all the trailers in the world would have been a much better experience than paying money to see that crap!
AT on Jul 8, 2008
Thanks for the advice, though a bit late I think. I've already watched all the clips posted on this website!
P on Jul 8, 2008
I totally agree! I kind of messed myself up with the Hulk by watching every trailer and clip out there. I was bit disapointed when I actually watched the movie. I must control myself from watching anymore Dark Knight clips, period.
mayhemstudios on Jul 8, 2008
I said this exact same thing almost a week ago over at my site: http://screenrant.com/dark-knight-videos-clips-images-2864/ Vic
ScreenRant.com on Jul 8, 2008
Wow Alex, you've got some kinda gusto for saying that on a film news website. A million kudos to your brave soul. And I totally agree, lol, no more clips for me. I tried finding interviews on youtube, and there are a million clips of Joker scenes. It scared me just seeing the little pictures in front of the video!!! I'm definitely staying away from any and all Batman until midnight July 17th!!!!
Reza on Jul 8, 2008
i don't know about you people but i prefer foreplay before sex.
Daniel on Jul 8, 2008
This article is absolutely right. I've already seen way too much. I've watched the Two-Face clip, about two of the 14 other clips that were released, and the first two theatrical trailers, as well as the Comcast trailer and Domino trailer. I haven't watched the final trailer, though. I heard it had a Two-Face clip in it, and I REALLY had to fight the urge to watch it. Again, I've seen WAY too much (I even accidentally stumbled upon the leaked Two-Face picture), so the experience won't be as good as it possibly could for me, but as of now, I'm not looking at any more footage. All I'm doing is listening to the soundtrack, which I'm loving.
Chip on Jul 8, 2008
I feel exactly the same way. I think there are about 12 clips online, and all these websites posting "watch the first 6 minutes!" I dont want to watch the first six minutes in crappy quality on a little computer screen. I'm waiting for the almost perfect clarity of DLP on a 50' screen and Dolby Digital blowing out my eardrums. I told myself I would only watch the trailers, and now I've even stopped watching those. I'm passing the next excrutiating 10 days by listening to the score by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard. It's hard to appreciate the music in a movie the first time you watch it, so I figured I'd appreciate the music now (and by the way, it's EPIC). My anticipation is up exponentially since I quit watching the trailers. And on July 17th, I'm watching Batman Begins to get my mouth watering, then I'm off to the theater for my most anticipated movie of all time.
JT on Jul 8, 2008
Ever sense I was 13 and became so excited and decided to read EVERYTHING even plot spoilers about STAR WARS EPISODE II: Attack of the Clones, and was pissed at myself afterward for ruining the experience for myself, I have kept as far away from spoilers as possible. I decided that with a few films already this year and they have definitely payed off. I read a few interviews on Iron Man, just some general making of stuff, nothing major, and didn't bother watching any videos (beyond the trailers of course) and that movie fucking rocked. This month will be no exception, as my 2 of my favorite comic characters (Hellboy and The Joker) will be gracing the screens and my eyes. I haven't read much on either one of them, aside from a few interviews, and I did take a role in some of the Viral for Hellboy. I didn't get a chance to participate in the Dark Knight's viral campaign, though I'm sure it would have been fun. I am absolutely looking forward to these films, and I'm sure they will be incredibly entertaining and thrilling. Just a few more days till the Dark Knight, I can't believe it.
Garrett.king on Jul 8, 2008
@Alex: I dunno. If it's as great as you say it is, then I fully expect an orgasmic experience. ^_^ On another note, I've decided that once I'm sold on a movie, then I won't see any more or even do a Google image search. I refuse to watch any more Tropic Thunder or Hellboy trailers because I'm already there, but I will watch more Mutant Chronicles trailers cuz I'm not convinced.
Nettle on Jul 8, 2008
I always do that for films when I'm excited to see them. Why see every single thing you can? Where's the surprise in that? I can't, and I WILL NOT listen to the sound clips of the soundtrack, because I want to hear it for the first time in the theater. I've heard it's amazing (duh - it's Hans Zimmer), and I'm so excited. What is it with people wanting to know every little thing, about every little thing? Just relax and get to it when you get to it. You don't bitch and complain when you are on a flight, because there's nothing you can do. So, have that kind of self-control. This movie is too big to spoil it. I feel like she-ot for just seeing the stills from the movie. Out.
Brian on Jul 8, 2008
Well, I guess it's true. I watched all the promos for Wall-E and was dissappointed by the movie. For the Dark Knight I only saw the trailer and to me it is still the best movie of 2008...
Vitor on Jul 8, 2008
This is not a revolutionary statement, but just common sense. If people haven't figured it out already that trailers give too much away these days and spoil the experience...then they're idiots.
Matt Suhu on Jul 8, 2008
dark knight looks like shit 2 me . sorry . batman begins bored the hell out of me. the amount of hype and already praise 4 film. i just dont belive its that good. no film is that worthy .
keith on Jul 8, 2008
Definitely agree with Alex, but to a certain degree. Agreed that going cold turkey from any exposure to promotional material could heighten the enjoyment when you finally sit down with your popcorn (I'm more nachos and cheese) and soda in front of the silver screen. But at least, on my individual level, these trailers and video clips serve as delicious appetizers before the main course. As long as these trailers and clips are officially released by the guys making the film and don't give away too much plot details. Fans especially will enjoy them I think. I'm a huge fan of the matrix trilogy, and before reloaded and revolutions came out; I consumed every piece of literature and other media related to the sequels before they were released. I thoroughly had an awesome experience when I watched the sequels, and I think the appetizers I had definitely had something to do with it. Again, I'm not advocating excessively watching the trailers and clips to the extent of analyzing each frame so you can see juuuusst enough of two face's profile in the bar scene and car scene...I only did that once okay! Like you said Alex, it's not even going to scratch the surface of the epic we shall all experience come July 18. PS. Spiderman 3 was a bad example, wasn't any where near as good as the previous two to begin with!
Chidi on Jul 8, 2008
Thank you pointing this out. I will stop searching for new footage and just make my peace with Gotham Knight and Batman Begins. I'll watch Batman Begins as many times as I can before the premiere of The Dark Knight.
thedarkknight on Jul 8, 2008
Uhh...yeah Keith say whatever you want about the movie...we'll see what you think after you watch it next week because I'm pretty sure you'll watch the movie. And by the way, Batman Begins has been (imo) the best Batman film. I loved it. I've been waiting to see this movie since I saw the first preview. I don't even remember when it was (probably last November?) but all it had was the voice of Heath Ledger and his laughter. I don't know about you but I'm excited to see Christian Bale. Who would want to miss watching gorgeous sexy Christian Bale as Batman? That's the main reason I'm watching it. I'm so excited. 10 more days...I hope time flies...but then again, that's what makes it more exciting. Having to wait 10 more days. I'll do what you suggested and watch Batman Begins. Thanks for telling us about not watching anymore trailers or pics because it will ruin the excitement. I think you're right. That's why from now on I'm not watching anymore Dark Knight clips. I don't want to be in the theater thinking.."Oh that's where Heath says "why so serious?" or "Oh yeah he's going to do this and that.." That's not the way to watch a movie for the first time. Especially one you've been anticipating to see for a long time. Until then...I can't wait!
Sally on Jul 8, 2008
i've been on a tdk footage fast since "myhero" for anyone that knows what that means. i'm still waiting on my gotham knight dvd to arrive. i'm planning to watch BB and GK on my day off before i go see TDK.
craziemutant on Jul 8, 2008
Too true, I wish there wasnt so much out there already. I noticed the TV spots have begun like mad, and they have some new footage in them too! I need to find a dark hole to crawl into for a week so I dont ruin it for myself...
interl0per on Jul 8, 2008
so i guess i'll be living in a cage for the next 10 days then................
B4tS on Jul 9, 2008
I am agree with # 31 Matt Suhu : that all what happen in this topic is just common sense. The funny thing is that 99% are on the same thoughts that will not watch any new footage for The Dark Knight .... but I am sure that at least 50% of them are wishing to not be other footage until the release of the movie ...but what if tomorrow they put a new 2-3 minutes clip from the movie in Internet ????? How many of you will not watch it ??????? can you hold your self and not watch the clip ????
Shero on Jul 9, 2008
I told you !!!! Here I am facing a 6 minute clip from the movie The Dark Knight ... !!!! 11 July 2008 12:45 after midnight . What you will do if you be in my place ? and what you think ... will I watch it or not ?
Shero on Jul 10, 2008
Man you are so right! My brother has being telling me to stop watching the trailers, and clips. I'm trying, hopefully i can stop watching trailers so when Saturday comes I'll be blown away even more! Thanks for a great tip!
commanderlewis on Jul 14, 2008
How silly do you feel now that the film has been released and has exceeded everyone's expectations?
Dre on Aug 6, 2008
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