The Colorado Cinema Shooting and Gangster Squad

So now that the horrific shooting at the screening of a midnight show of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado has indeed happened, everyone is looking to see what the fallout will be in the film industry.

This all actually seems pretty petty. The real tragedy is the twelve people killed and the dozens injured at that theater that night for no reason. I’ve heard people waiting to hear what the shooters explanation was for doing what he did. But really, what possible reason could be given that will make us understand. It was a completely irrational act that was senseless.

With that perspective in mind, I thought I would take a look at some of the more superficial repercussions that’s happened since. But again this is all pretty unimportant compared to the deaths that night.

Movie theaters were quick to respond with an added security presence, trying to calm moviegoers nerves. Along with not allowing fans to dress up for Dark Knight screenings – or at least not wear masks.

I’m not one who would do the dress up thing for films, but I always did think it was strangely fun. The cliche of fans all decked out in their costumes being looked at as a pretty bizarre lot has always been a given. We could probably trace that back to Star Trek conventions back in the early days.

Naturally the Star Wars prequels attracted devoted fans who would come to the theater dressed as Jedi’s and all that. I never thought the movie costume thing was that nutty. I don’t view it as any more ridiculous than people painting their faces for their favorite sports teams or wearing outlandish wigs and stuff. You can see just as many devoted fans at a football game that look more off their nut than a guy wearing a Stormtrooper costume.

Despite these fans being labeled as geeks or whatever, they clearly aren’t afraid to show their passion for whatever film they’re anxious to see and that does create a bit of excitement to witness. Although, I don’t care how many Twilight costumes I see lined up – I just can’t get excited for those flicks.

It’s unfortunate that now these costumed fans will be viewed with more suspicious eyes. Essentially I always thought as goofy as they might be, they just want to have a good time and really embrace their movie going experience. Now the costume camaraderie might be a thing of the past.

The trailer for the film Gangster Squad had the ironic timing of being shown in front of a lot of The Dark Knight Rises prints. Understandably, a shoot out that takes place in Grauman’s Chinese Theatre that is featured in the trailer hit a little too close to home and the trailer was pulled from theaters. I could understand that.

I was very surprised to hear that the film will actually go back for reshoots and the movie theater gun fight, which I’ve read is the climax of the film, might possibly be removed from the entire film. Gangster Squad‘s release has been pushed back to January 2013, instead of its original release date in September.

I don’t want to sound callous, but I do think this was a bit of an overreaction. I can understand the sensitivity to audiences right now, yet I’m not sure removing the whole sequence out of the final film is really necessary.

There is a valid argument to wanting to do this. You don’t want to remind audiences of a real life tragedy when they’re sitting there wanting to be entertained, yet my question is where does it end? If you start removing things that can possibly be a reminder of tragedies in real life, when does it stop? Bad things happen in life. Whether a scene or shot in a film will make us recall it, we all know it.

Of course this is somewhat a very specific scene depicting something that just happened, to a movie audience that this could have easily happened to.

I’m playing devil’s advocate here a bit and really don’t have an answer whether the reshoots to Gangster Squad is a useless bandaid on the situation, a strategic marketing move or a sincere response to the tragedy that will actually benefit the film.

It’s just anytime I hear a film has gone back for reshoots it always sounds like trouble. Look at what happened with that G.I. Joe sequel.

Completely off topic, but I thought Gangster Squad actually looked pretty good. Nice cast, cool looking 1940’s period. I kind of thought it resembled an updated version of Brian DePalma’s 1987 The Untouchables.

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