In probably the only piece of news where I can legitimately compare Avatar to The Dark Knight Rises, word has leaked that suicide crisis counselors have been dispatched by Warner Bros. to all 15,000 screens in which TDKR is playing. Warner Bros. is responding to people like Ken Puree, who’s seen The Dark Knight 45 times since its release. “Everything is just so…depressing,” Puree said, dejectedly. “Is Batman gonna die? I hope not. I don’t think my wrists could take news like that.”
Back in 2009, when Avatar released, a bit of a phenomenon occurred. After some people saw the movie, they came to the conclusion that their real lives just weren’t up to the standards of the sci-fi master, James Cameron, and his totally fake world of Pandora. In a 358-page thread on Avatar Forums, entitled “Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible,” the inflicted laid their souls bare and talked about how being a giant, blue cat-person would make them feel so much better about themselves. Some choice excerpts:
“Meet with fellow NA’VI’s trapped in our human bodies and relate. I believe I am a Na’Vi trapped in this human shell.”
“I love and hate the feeling after I watch it… and that makes me love it more”
“I think this movie goes deep down into our very core, our primitive selves, when we used to live in Caves and Jungles, one with Nature.”
“i was going to watch avatar again for the 3rd time in 4 days tommorow but i think that would worssen my depression”
“I think james is changing a generation. This is big.”
“Though you may know its not real, does it actually feel that way? This lingering feeling is what causes the frustration.”
“I’m going to try to live more sustainably – I bought “planet” dishwashing liquid today”
“i lost the will to do a lot of things”
“Now that i think of it, I’m sure plenty of people died on December 17th 2009.”
“reality seems sub par, and i am in love with a compilation of blue pixels”
“My wife doesn’t get it. I was hoping that she would like it at least 1/2 as much as I did, but she didn’t. She just thinks I’m a loser now. ”
A lot of the complaining had to do with how green and lush Pandora looked compared to our own, shitty planet with garbage and crime and mostly non-sustainable dishwashing liquid. I think they might be underestimating Earth, but maybe that’s just me.
Pandora is a beautiful paradise
And Earth just cannot compare on any level
It appears studio execs have watched and learned from Avatar. In order to head off any potential bat-suicides, Warner Bros. is pulling out all the stops when it comes to telling people they still have something to live for even if Gotham is burning.
Promotional posters like this one will adorn the walls of theaters showing The Dark Knight Rises
Puree, however, is skeptical of WB’s approach to dealing with the heavy nature of Nolan’s trilogy. “Calling some lady five states away from me just isn’t going to cut it,” Puree warned. “Crime is running rampant, and people are getting killed left and right. If Gotham has gotten me down to the point I’m thinking it will, I’m going to need something more than a reassuring voice over the phone. I’m talking hugs; crying; letting it all out; the whole nine yards.”
Ken Puree during better times (after Batman Begins but before The Dark Knight)
Now, Ken (left front) doesn’t know what he would do without a little help
If you think you or anyone you know might be suffering from, or could potentially come down with, Dark Knight Depression, don’t hesitate to talk to someone. Both WB and Man, I Love Films want to assure everyone out there that they’re not alone. Many other people would also like to kill themselves because of a movie.
Operators are standing by