Colorado Movie Theater Shooting: Largest Shooting in U.S. History

Colorado Movie Theater Shooting: 71 Victims the Largest Shooting in U.S. History – ABC News.


The Dark Knight Rises is a movie.  Unfortunately, the awful events of this morning are real:

“Twelve people were killed and 59 were injured in Aurora, Colo., during a sold-out midnight premier of the new Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises” when 24-year-old James Holmes allegedly unloaded four weapons’ full of ammunition into the unsuspecting crowd.

The number of casualties makes the incident the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Holmes, a graduate student at a nearby college with a clean arrest record, allegedly entered the movie auditorium wearing a ballistics helmet, bullet-proof vest, bullet-proof leggings, gas mask and gloves. He detonated multiple smoke bombs, and then began firing at viewers in the sold-out auditorium, police said today.

Bullets from the spree tore through the theater and into adjoining theaters, where at least one other person was struck and injured. Ten members of “The Dark Knight Rises” audience were killed in theater, while two others died later at area hospitals. Numerous patrons were in critical condition at six local hospitals, the Aurora police said this afternoon.

Holmes was apprehended within minutes of the 12:39 a.m. shooting at his car behind the theater, where police found him in full riot gear and carrying three weapons, including a AR-15 assault rifle, which can hold upwards of 100 rounds, a Remington 12 gauge shot gun, and a .40 Glock handgun. A fourth handgun was found in the vehicle. Agents from the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms are tracing the weapons. ABC news confirmed that they were all purchased legally.

According to police sources, Holmes told the officers arresting him that he was “The Joker,” referring to the villain in the second installment of the Batman movie trilogy, “The Dark Knight.” He also warned police that he had booby-trapped his apartment, leading officers to evacuate the Aurora apartment building.

Police Chief Dan Oates said today that police and bomb squads have found a large number of explosive devices and trip wires at Holmes’ apartment and have not yet decided how to proceed without setting off explosions.

“The pictures we have from inside the apartment are pretty disturbing considering how elaborate the apartment is booby trapped,” police said outside of the apartment complex today. The “flammable and explosive” materials could have blown up Holmes’ apartment building and the ones near it, police said.

The apartment complex is home exclusively to University of Colorado Medical Center students, patients, and staff members, residents tell ABC News.”


The article goes on to include the completely unsurprised reaction of the shooter’s parents and several witness statements about this horrific event.  I don’t have many coherent things to say in the face of this tragedy.  My one clear thought is this: Space needs to be reclaimed, life needs to be affirmed, and no bully with a gun in his hands should have the right to control people through fear, through horror, or through grief.  These things will exist, they are natural responses to what happened.  But the shooter does not deserve to win influence or hold sway over any more victims than he’s already claimed.  I know the movies are tainted now and that many may not be able to feel comfortable there for awhile, particularly at this particular film.  I only wish that things which have felt safe before, have made people happy, have gotten people to stay out until the wee hours of the morning, will not be more casualties claimed by this madman.

Today brought so many people so much to recover from.  I hope that healing, both physical and mental, will come as swiftly and smoothly as possible.



Sleeping Beauty as Stalker

Breezes from Wonderland » Blog Archive » Sleeping Beauty as Stalker.


“With Disney in production on a Sleeping Beauty film with  Angelina Jolie starring Maleficent, producer Neal Moritz is moving forward with a comedy take of  the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale that turns the slumbering sweetie into a pesky stalker.

The 21 Jump Street producer is developing a modern-day retelling that finds the male protagonist accidentally awakening Sleeping Beauty and finding that he can’t get rid of the lovestruck heroine.”


Here’s the thing about this: doesn’t it sound just like the beginning of Twilight?  There’s a ‘special’ guy (prince/vampire/just rich guy(?), what’s the difference in this vampire fetish age?) who attracts the attention of a young girl.  The young girl feels this man is the source of her ‘awakened’ self, her interest in this new world she finds herself in, and refuses to let him shake her off.  If this Sleeping Beauty starts stalking the guy without knowing what makes him ‘special’ then the similarities get even scarier.  At least a prince’s sparkles, no matter what time period he’s in, are likely to be confined to his clothes.

La Belle or Le Clueless?

During my visit this past week I watched two movies.  The first was a rewatch of Clueless.  The second was new to me, the cult classic La Belle et Le Bete (Jean Cocteau’s French film of Beauty and the Beast).  Unexpectedly, I discovered that these two films-American and French, modern and black-and-white-have much in common!

List of Similarities between Clueless and La Belle et Le Bete (some spoilers may apply):

1) Both protagonists have lost their mothers.

2) Neither Cher nor Belle can bear to leave their fathers.

3) Smoke causes a great deal of shame in both stories, by marking Travis as running in inferior circles and humiliating the beast for his beastly eating habits.

4) Makeovers are absolutely essential! (Tai, Cher’s soul, Belle’s clothing transformation, the Beast’s change…)

5) Both heroines put up with a man who’s constantly in their home and with their family, even though there’s no real family tie. (WHY is Avenant always there???  He doesn’t need to marry Belle to enjoy any money her father gets, he’ll be there enjoying whatever they’ve got anyhow.)

6) The role of lighting plays a huge part in dealing with the opposite sex. (Cher’s lighting plan, arms with torches…)

7) Both girls take it upon themselves to rehabilitate a social pariah. (Cher with Tai and Belle with the Beast, of course.)

8) Neither Cher nor Belle has any difficulty getting blunt and contemptuous with suitors. (“Clean yourself up!” “As if!”-Now, imagine those being used interchangeably with Cher ordering the greasy high school boys to ‘clean up, already!’ and Belle answering the Beast with ‘As if!’)

9) Neither are at all responsible when it comes to the practical things in life. (Cher’s driving, Belle’s failure to keep track of the key or to return on time.)

10) When they feel guilty, they both play sick. (Cher saying she’s physically unwell because her masseuse said she had a lot of tension after the encounter with Elton.  Belle lying in bed claiming illness from worry over her father while wearing a freaking crown-and-veil combo!)

The more I think about it the more this version of Beauty and the Beast seems like Emma-where the person you end up with is that one who’s been around, getting under your skin for ages.  Only the more modern tale made the male’s righteousness idealistic instead of arrogant or creepy.  (Can we talk about how absurd it is to hug someone to your chest by pulling an arrow across them?  I know I can’t, I can only stare agog.  Avenant is totally the Elton of the fairy tale universe.)  The other major difference is, of course, the posing.  The French classic takes posing literally and extremely seriously.  The Austen modernization interprets it more loosely as projecting a certain lifestyle over yourself.  So much else seems the same-a magic mirror would probably work exactly the same as the phone connection between Cher and Dionne.  Amber dressing in the same clothes as Cher effects her just the way Belle’s sister reacted to seeing herself reflected as a monkey.  Cher’s computerized clothing system and moving closet is akin to being dressed by invisible hands-though thankfully Cher has nothing as creepy as Belle’s moving blankets.  Belle’s feeling of power that the beast drinks from her hands, in spite of how clearly the event pales compared to his wild-animal instincts, is akin to Cher’s entitlement when she calls Josh to rescue her after being abandoned by Elton.  She assumes he will come when she calls, even though he has no real motivation.  Josh’s interest in the law and therefore Cher’s circle due to his own parents’ disinterest in him could arguably be akin to the Beast getting pushed into magic due to his parents’ angering of the spirits.  Now, if only I can figure out how this connection can explain the flying at the end of La Belle and Le Bete…

Belle is “a strange girl.”  On the other hand, Emma/Cher actually end up with their brother-types, instead of just getting stuck with someone in their body (though I’m sure the symbolism there means more in its lesson to girls about who the best man to end up with is).  In any event, it all ends with a big kiss frightfully soon after the switch from brother-type to suitor is made.    In really frilly clothes.  Because the girl will “get used to” the man telling her how to think and act, whether he’s a beast, prince, or college kid.  Because clearly, the man must know what is best for the woman.  Perhaps because he has the power of movement: Josh can drive.  The beast had all sorts of transportation devices.  That must be why he can fly at the end!  To show that in spite of losing his magical objects, he still has the power to move, to make his way in the world.  That is why he’s still acceptable-even if he’s a bit too familiar, Belle won’t be stuck in the same place again.  (Avenant offering to take Belle away didn’t work because he had no magic/power to back it up.  The man had no driver’s license!)

Well…smoke my statues’ faces and send myself flowers and chocolates: I know why the ex-beast can fly!  Now…why did the father seem more upset about riding through fog than the fact that he just lost his entire fortune?

Family, film, and flippancy!

Today I got to introduce my seven-year-old niece to Aladdin!  My niece had some insights:

1. First impression: “Who’s singing?” Me-“The man on the camel.”  Niece-“But what’s his name?…He’s tiny.”

2. “It takes Jasmine an hour every day to brush her hair.”

3. You should feel sorry for Jasmine when she thinks Aladdin got beheaded.  (Movie Jasmine: “It’s all my fault, Rajah.  I didn’t even know his name!” Niece: “His name’s Aladdin, princess!”

4. On Jafar: “He’s using hypnotism!” Also, “He’s calling him “Abooboo” on purpose!”

5. The genie is “hilarious.”

6. After that most romantic of songs, “A Whole New World”, “I wish I could’ve seen that Chinese dragon up closer.”


As this was officially a Movie Date and my sister gave us permission to watch two films, Aladdin was followed by The Swan Princess, which the niece had seen before.  I think it just made her think about it more.  Also, it made her helpful.  She explained several things to me.  She informed me that Derek was sad because he wanted to marry Odette, that King William’s not really there during his voiceover, Derek’s just remembering, and other helpful tips.


1. Odette introducing Puffin: “I’m Odette, princess Odette.  And these are my two best friends in the whole world-Jean-Bob and Mr. Trudgealong.” Niece: “No-your best friend should be Prince Derek!”

2. Question: When Odette’s flying to find Derek as a swan, why does she whisper “Derek” when she sees him instead of saying it aloud?  My answer was that humans can’t understand her when she’s a swan and she didn’t want to startle him.  Any thoughts?

3. Question: Is that hag character Rothbart’s “true daughter”?  I said no, it was just his assistant, who I think joined him because she had a crush on him before she met Chamberlain.  There is debate about the crush-any votes?

4. Question: Can the hag character talk?  I said that I thought she could, but refrained herself to noises because that’s what Rothbart preferred.  After a particularly emphatic noise at the end of the movie my niece also decided that the hag probably could talk.  Yes?

5. Odette: “I’ll never give you my father’s kingdom!” Me: “Actually, her father’s dead, so she shouldn’t call it ‘her father’s kingdom’.  It’s really all hers!”  Niece: “But she should still call it ‘her father’s kingdom’ because she’s not married, so she can’t be the queen yet.”  I’m not sure if I should be glad the niece is brilliant enough to pick up on this medieval idea or be alarmed that she sees this so clearly.

6. Rothbart: “You’ve forgotten one very important thing.  Tomorrow there is no moon!” Niece: “How can she know the weather!?”


So, in short: I should watch more things with the niece.  She won’t let you get confused on the one hand, and on the other she comes up with good questions.  Hurrah!