An Urgent Plea and The Battle of the Sexes Cinema Style

First and foremost, I have a matter of housekeeping to take care of. Over the last month or so, I have been promoting that THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER is available for pre-order on For any person still inclined to pre-order the book from that retailer, I, in no way, want to discourage you. If you are planning on buying the book, I will be thrilled with whatever course you take to do so.

However, if you live in the Gila Valley, or have ties to the Gila Valley and think you would like to be a part of the book’s official release, I would encourage you to consider pre-ordering THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER from the local LDS bookstore, Bookworms. I would include their address, but if you are local, you know where it is. And if you are local, there is a good chance me telling you it is next to Audio Visions and R&R Pizza would probably be more effective than giving an actual address.

We are tentatively working towards an official event called a launch party or release party that would be held August 17 during the afternoon where we would provide some kind of amazing food items, a party-like atmosphere and a guaranteed copy of THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER for each person who has ordered it. There would also be several more copies available for purchase that day. And most importantly, I would be there to sign your copy.

Now I know some of you are thinking that having my signature in your book will decrease its value before you even get it out of the store. I have to admit, I would probably agree, but nonetheless, I will still be there just in case.

So again, a release party for THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER is tentatively scheduled for August 17 at Bookworms bookstore in Thatcher, AZ. Exact times for the event will be forthcoming. If you live in the Gila Valley or have any desire to be a part of the THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER’s official release in Thatcher, please consider pre-ordering the book through Bookworms. All copies obtained at the release party have the guarantee of having the author’s signature included. I will sign other copies obtained elsewhere, but you are not guaranteed a fancy dessert item to go with it.

My final request is that if you are reading this, please help spread the word to anyone who you might think would be interested. Word of mouth is an author’s greatest source of marketing. Thank you.

Now, to the mindless meanderings regular blog readers are used to.

For Christmas, I begged for, and received, a Blu-Ray copy of The Dark Knight Rises. Now before all of the naysayers start with their catcalls and hissing over my taste in movies, I would say, HUSH! I don’t mock your choice in cinematic fair…at least not to your face…or at least not very often…Oh, just hush!

I am a huge fan of the Christopher Nolan Batman movies.  I think they are amazing. And while I loved The Dark Knight Rises, I would still have to say that The Dark Knight is my favorite of the three. My wife couldn’t disagree more.

When we got The Dark Knight on DVD three years ago, we had to watch it in twenty to thirty minute increments because the stress level would get too high for her. So when I made her sit down to watch this latest Batman thriller, we started with a similar pattern. However, after the second night of viewing, I looked at her and said, “You hate this, don’t you.”

She looked at me for just a moment before saying, “Yes. They are just so dark. I’m sorry, but…” She didn’t have to finish. Sadly to say, at least for me, we settled on me telling her what happens right up to the final five minutes of the movie and then we fast-forwarded and she watched that part with me. It was a little anti-climactic.

Anyway, it got me to thinking. While at no time have I been forced, I have been encouraged (husbands, you know the encouragement of which I speak, it’s not forcible at all) to sit down with my wife and watch Little Women, Sense and Sensibility, and Pride and Prejudice. After these experiences, I believe a comparison in darkness is warranted.

Up front, I have to address the elephant in the room. Early on in The Dark Knight (TDK), the Joker jams a pencil straight down onto a table and then has it “disappear” with the aid of another man’s head. On the darkness scale, I tried desperately to come up with anything from my wife’s movies that would compare…

(Crickets sounding in the distance)

Okay, there really isn’t one. But on the flip side, at no point after any of these Batman flicks did I make the comment, “Oh, it was alright, but I really think the six hour version is better.” I’m sorry, but six hours of watching British actors go to parties and fuss over who is getting married or not is pretty darn dark. I’m just sayin’.

So, with that out of the way, I will begin a completely random selection of five “dark” movie ingredients and see where we end up. Buckle up, it could be a bumpy ride.

1. Use of a Toxic Agent – In Batman Begins (BB), the villains intend to infect the citizens of Gotham with a hallucinogenic gas that will cause intense paranoia that could easily lead to them killing each other. In the end, several thousand individuals are probably affected. In Little Women (LW), Beth dies of Scarlet Fever. This disease has killed hundreds of thousands, if not millions, through the centuries. Which is darker? Shannon’s movie:  Shannon-1, Ryan-0

2. Menacing Home Invasion – In TDK, the Joker crashes a party being held in Bruce Wayne’s penthouse. In Pride and Prejudice (P&P), whatever Judi Dench’s character’s name is bursts into the Bennett home in the middle of the night. In both instances people were threatened, but no one was ultimately killed. I think that due to the lateness of the hour and the intense disrespect shown to people who were sleeping, I would lean toward Shannon’s movie once again being the darker choice here, but since Judi Dench was not wielding a sawed-off shotgun and at no point was someone tossed off the roof of the Bennett household…Which is darker? A draw: Shannon-2, Ryan-1

3. Animal Cruelty – In TDK, a doberman is released and attacks Batman. In a later scene, three rottweilers are let loose on the caped crusader. While the animals do receive some punishing blows, none are actually seen dying. In any Jane Austin story, the men mount up for pure sport and set loose upwards of thirty to forty dogs who chase foxes into the woods. It is like Fight Club for animals. Everyone knows what happens to the fox next. I think this one is a no-brainer. Which is darker? Shannon’s movie: Shannon-3, Ryan-1

4. Betrayal – In TDKR, Selina Kyle, AKA The Cat, leads Batman into a trap where he is captured by Bane, thrown into a prison and almost dies. In Sense and Sensibility (S&S), John Willoughby leads Marianne Dashwood into a romantic trap, if you will, then callously casts her aside for financial gain causing Marianne, for whatever reason, to go walking in the freezing cold rain for hours on end, which leads to her almost dying. (SPOILER ALERTS AHEAD) In the end, Selina Kyle regrets her decisions and returns to Batman’s side. John Willoughby, on the other hand, never returns. How Cold…and dark. Which is darker? Shannon’s movie: Shannon-4, Ryan-1

5. Brutal Use of Hostages – In TDK, the Joker takes two ferry loads of people hostage and then pits them against each other in a twisted experiment to the death. Fifteen minutes into Little Women, I felt as if I had been brutally taken hostage…Alright, I grudgingly admit, Which is darker? Ryan’s movie: Shannon-4, Ryan-2

So there you have it. Taking a random sample of 5 areas of disturbing or “dark” content, Jane Austin and Louisa Mae Alcott clearly have a penchant for the darker side of humanity that Christopher Nolan could never hope to match. I hope my wife appreciates all the thought and effort that went into this scientific comparison. However, something tells me she won’t.



  1. Dawn Norton · March 14, 2013

    I smile when I read your blog. This one makes me clearly hear your mother, remember murder/mystery game nights at her house, and side with SHANNON. 🙂 I think TDK is the worst movie ever. The dead actor did too good of a job. I do like the other Batman movies, but I’m sorry, you should never be a referee. You need glasses. JK.

    • rrapier33 · March 14, 2013

      I hear you, Dawn, but I just have to say…I call ’em like I see ’em.

  2. Martha · March 14, 2013

    Another great & entertaining comparison, Ryan. I love how you went about this! I am so torn on who to agree with on this one. You see, I liked TDK. I agree that The Joker is very dark, but I love how crazy he is. He was an amazing actor! And the crazier the person, the happier the ending when the good guy (Batman) wins. But I have not seen TDKR yet, and so have a hard time following those references. On the other hand, I am a huge fan of P & P, Little Women, and those type of movies/books. So I have to side with Shannon when it comes to comparing the “dark sides”. To me it’s like comparing apples to oranges. TDK has a basement of dark, so to speak, when P & P doesn’t even reach the ground level of dark. We’re still lingering just below the attic. I think it was the sawed-off shotguns that pushed TDK down the basement stairs….. Lol! Not sure if my metaphors are the best choices, but hopefully get my point across.

    • rrapier33 · March 14, 2013

      Well said, Martha. I guess we will have to agree to disagree on the darkness of Jane Austin and Little Women, but I know darkness closes in on my consciousness every time I try to watch the story of Jo and her sisters.

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