Star Gazing
Movies And Gun Violence!
By Rose Quintiliano
Jul 29, 2012 - 5:43:56 PM

HOLLYWOODHollywood has been producing violent movies for a very long time. According to the Motion Picture Association of  America, movie attendance has sunk to the same level as in 1995. A new report also shows that the number of young moviegoers has also decreased. The rising ticket prices have consumers not going to the movies anymore, opting to wait for the release of the DVDs. A decade ago, moviegoers  went to the theatre an average of eight to ten ten times a year. Last year, it was less than six.

This year with big blockbusters such as “The Avengers,” “The Hunger Games,” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” it should be a great improvement. The box-office has taken an estimated $6.1 billion with Warner Bros., “Dark Knight,” ringing in $161 million on its opening weekend despite the tragedy of the shooting in Colorado during the midnight showing.

So how much money did the shooting cost for “The Dark Knight Rises”? Only time will tell if what happened last week in Aurora will have any effect. James Holmes, 24, the massacre suspect will be put through multiple tests to see if he’s sane, and the state of Colorado will spend a fortune on his trial. If he is found guilty, he will spend the rest of his life in prison at the taxpayers expense, which includes three meals a day along with complimentary medical care. Perhaps they will push for the death penalty. Colorado currently has three inmates already on death row.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in The Dark Knight Rises

It isn't the film's fault that this tragedy occurred; the level of violence portrayed in film and on TV is protected by the Constitution. There are a lot of disturbed people out there who respond  accordingly when they see acts of violence. Tragedies like what we witnessed in Aurora have also occurred at college campuses, high schools, and fast food restaurants. Unfortunately, there are too many to name. Violent films have been around for many years. Remember the old James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson gangster films?  Granted the films today are more violent, yet fans still enjoy watching them. You can’t blame the films for people who aren’t stable. Back in 1981, John Hinckley Jr. shot U.S. President Ronald Reagan. He had sent many love letters to actress Jodi Foster professing his love for her. Foster was the child star of “Taxi Driver,” the 1970s classic about a determined man set to kill the president.  The movie “Natural Born Killers,” the 1994 Oliver Stone movie is believed to have inspired deadly shootings.
After the Aurora massacre, some movie theaters cancelled the premiere and several increased security. It simply won’t solve the long term problem. In a month or so, the added security will be gone, as theaters can’t afford such costs on a permanent basis. Another solution would be to install screeners and metal detectors, though it would be costly.

Let’s take a minute to address the Batman franchise, which seems like it has been cursed and full of controversy for a long time. The Hollywood star, Heath Ledger, who portrayed  The Joker in the Blockbuster film “The Dark Knight,” won him an Oscar. Sadly, he died months before the film’s release.

Observers were quick to blame Batman for the shootings. However, didn’t the Joker have green hair, not orange-red?  If a murderer has made his mind up to kill numerous people, there isn’t much we can do to stop him, unless we have some kind of gun control.

The actor Christian Bale, who plays Batman in the “Dark Knight Rises,” paid a very low key visit on July 24 to seven of the wounded victims in the hospital and took time with his wife, Sibi Blaziv, to visit the memorial in Aurora. Apparently, there had been an online campaign urging Christian to visit the victims of the shooting, which killed 12 people. Some of the survivors have also received visits from President Barack Obama and members of the Denver Broncos football team. According to TMZ, one moviegoer who wasn’t hurt, though he watched his best friend die in the rampage, plans to sue the theater and Warner Bros. for the “extreme trauma” he suffered in the incident. I’m sure there will be many lawsuits forth coming.

Rose’s Scoop: What is going on with the Jackson family? Paris Jackson continues to tweet.

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