Hanging up the cowl, a Voice staffer finally moves on.
Three years have passed and time now stands still. I think to myself, “Why can’t I hibernate, or buy a hyper-sleep chamber? Wasn’t I promised time travel in the 1940s?”
I can’t sleep. I dream about it. I go through snippets of dialogue in my head to see if I can use it in normal conversation.
“Why so serious?”
“That’s more like it, Mr. Wayne.”
More often than not, I do, and with ease.
I talk about the characters’ psychologies, the practical effects used, and why my favorite director prefers realism and IMAX over the clichés of computer animation.
I go toe to toe with “fan boys” on the Internet and always find a way to win. Simply put, I just know more about it than you do.
For three years, I’ve been obsessing over an icon, and at last I can put it to rest.
On Friday, “The Dark Knight Rises” will be released in theaters, and I’m sad to see him go.
Three years back, like many other wide-eyed comic book fans, I saw Christopher Nolan’s second installment in his Batman movie saga, and my life was changed forever. Like a flower pot from a high window, I never saw it coming.
Immediately, the nerd in me realized I had missed something special, and it wasn’t the film. After all, I saw it in theaters about 13 times. What I had missed was the buildup: the clever marketing that told the Joker’s sinister story before any plot had been divulged. The set photos, the leaks, the frenzied hype all taught me that there was so much more to a movie-going experience than actually seeing it in front of you.
I vowed to be a part of the next one, denying all other factors that stood in my way. But not without cost.
I procrastinated on Voice assignments to watch new trailers. Undeservedly, I blew off my beautiful girlfriend to chat with others about the events surrounding scenes shot in India. I even drove to Pittsburgh to become a citizen of Gotham City, just to say I was there.
As much as my family and friends didn’t get it, I was content with my little cinematic opiate. Now that it’s less than a week away, I think about the time I’ve lost – the valuable time that I’ll never get back.
Which is appropriate, to say the least. After 10 years, Nolan is done telling the tale, while actor Christian Bale is as equally happy to be finally moving on. I can’t say that I blame him.
It’s been one helluva ride, but now I can get back to reality, and enjoy what really makes a movie experience worthwhile – seeing it with the people you care about the most. Like Batman’s trusted allies, I would be nothing without them. This column is dedicated to them.
“It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me,” says Bale, jumping from a rooftop to save the eternally beleaguered Gotham from its first real credible threat.
It’s been three years, and only now do I get what that line really means.
*Editor’s note: While Ben may feel some sense of loss from the grueling wait, he still can’t deny how excited he is to see the film two days before its initial release. Stay tuned to the http://washtenwvoice.com on July 19 for an exclusive review of “The Dark Knight Rises!”