Gone are the days when moviegoers could arrive at a theater on opening day knowing almost nothing about what would unfold onscreen. Too much technology and the big, bad advertising/promotional machine have made it nearly impossible to avoid finding out about key plot points ahead of time. I don't like it.
Take all this crazy hullabaloo surrounding next year's surefire crowd-pleaser "The Dark Knight Rises," for example. Don't get me wrong: I am as psyched about this movie as anyone; I just don't want to know everything about it. So, in an effort to keep myself from stumbling across something I don't want to, here is a handy guide for avoiding "The Dark Knight Rises" spoilers from now until the film's July 20, 2012, release.
1. Take a Stand/Tell Your Friends
I don't know about you, but my film-obsessed friends are the worst offenders when it comes to spoilers. They'll start conversations with, "Did you see [spoiler] in that teaser for [movie]?!?" Be proactive, and politely inform your nearest and dearest that you really and truly wish to remain as spoiler-free as possible — and that the future of your relationship depends upon it.
2. Stay Away From Social-Networking Sites
This is tough one, living in this overly connected day and age of ours, but very important if you're committed to the cause. If you have to be on Twitter and Facebook, try to limit your use on days when there is news or new videos announced or leaked about the flick. Be on the lookout for "spoiler-free" reportage, because as nice as it is to come across a "Spoiler Alert!" it's often right in front of or next to the spoiler in question. Also, if you've followed through with item #1 on this list, your friends might do you a solid and avoid drawing your attention to their overly descriptive, excited reactions and remarks in their tweets and status updates.
3. Don't Watch Trailers
Once upon a time, watching the previews before a movie used to be as paramount to my film-going experience as seeing the full-length feature that followed them. That was up until a few years ago when studios started churning out five-minute reveal-all opuses that give away the best gags, lines, action sequences and cameos. I know that the new "Dark Knight Rises" trailer is amazing without watching it, and I'll be following the protocol set with Nolan's previous Batman films wherein I'll watch the trailers after I see the film. Caveat: I will watch a trailer if I've read the source material, i.e. the book, graphic novel, self-help book upon which the film is based. Or if I'm forced to write about it, which leads to the next item ...
4. Don't Have a Job Covering Entertainment News
Make no mistake, I love my job. Live for it, most days. The only thing worth complaining about is the state of being constantly over-informed. We journalists should go after and keep up with any and all pertinent information as it relates to our audience, but in doing so, we're confronted with the proverbial double-edged sword in being too in-the-know. Plus, sometimes we're invited to very special events and presentations with preview footage and conversations with filmmakers that cannot be ignored, as was the case with the early press screening of the "Dark Knight Rises" prologue I attended.
5. Be Realistic, or Move to El Paso
Let's face it: It's nearly impossible to avoid all spoilers. You never know when a new TV spot will air, a photo will leak or your friends will strike up a conversation about Bane's mumblings or Catwoman's costume. Just as it seems ridiculous to obsess over uncovering spoilers, it's probably equally unhealthy to rearrange your life to avoid them. But in making people aware of your wishes, limiting your social networking on certain newsy days and not watching trailers, it's possible to walk into the theater on July 20 without having been exposed to the entire plot and future of the franchise. Or you can move to El Paso, Texas, which was recently named the least socially networked city in the United States and where you're more likely to have a conversation about BBQ than Batman.
Check out everything we've got on "The Dark Knight Rises."
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