First of all, give yourself a pat on the back for getting your Batman-fix at a site that doesn’t post spoilers. Good job! Now you just have to keep it up until July 20th.

With press screenings, premiers, and more press screenings happening from here on out more and more people are learning the ending of this film. And many of those people are spoiling that ending either purposefully or accidentally. Seeing as how “Don’t use the internet or watch TV” are hardly realistic options for anyone in this day and age, I’ve made 3 lists full of helpful tips to see you through these trying times. List #1 is made up of ways to avoid reading/hearing any spoilers. List #2 is for folks like me who want to go in fresh. The fans who want to abstain from seeing another new clip! The fans who don’t even want to see the clips they’ve already seen again, at least not until we see the film in its entirety. And list #3 features my suggestions on how to spend the last few days leading up to The Dark Knight Rises.

HOW TO AVOID SPOILERS

  1. Do you use Reddit? I do. I love it. It’s a great place to get news about all the subjects important to me from hilarious cats to Neil deGrasse Tyson quotes. It’s my homepage too, so every time I go online I see tons of upvoted links. The only problem is that now that “The Dark Knight Rises” has had a press screening, there’s a real threat of seeing a link on the front page or (even more likely) in r/movies. It’s just a matter of time before some jerk makes a headline that’s a major spoiler and ruins the film for everybody. So what can you do? You can’t just STOP using reddit for a week. That’s insane! Instead, download the free Reddit Enhancement Suite. Not only is it going to make your reddit browsing experience better, but you can customize it to block comments and headlines with key words and phrases. Just install the app on your web browser and then look to the upper right hand corner of the reddit homepage. It should look different now. Click the cog, click “settings console”, and then go to the filters tab. Type in things like “Dark Knight Rises” (obviously), “Alfred”, “Gordon”, “Christian Bale”, “Lucius Fox”, “Bane”, “TDKR”, “Batman”, etc. etc. Now you can browse reddit worry-free for the next week and after you watch the movie, simply go back into the settings console and remove those filters.
  2. Do not visit a message board or image board that has anything to do with movies, comics, video games, or Batman for the next week (if it has filter settings like the reddit enhancement suite, then party on). I don’t care if it says it’s spoiler-free or not– don’t go there. Internet trolls are chomping at the bit to spoil this movie for die-hard fans and your favorite forum’s moderators can’t be there 24/7 to protect you.
  3. Online comments are everywhere–even at the bottom of this page! Just by making an article with this subject, my article’s comments section is prime troll-bait. You might think “Oh, I’ll scroll to the bottom and see if any other fellow readers like me have any helpful hints to add.” NO. Don’t read the comments of any article that’s “The Dark Knight Rises” related from now until after you see the movie.
  4. Facebook news feeds. That’s right, even your Facebook isn’t safe. Block or man-up and delete anyone you think might spoil the movie for you either with a link or image they found or with their own status update.
  5. The radio. Remember the radio? I’m sure there are still a few of you who listen to the radio rather than your MP3 player or Pandora or whatever. Quite a few radio DJs are jerks and the callers are even worse. Don’t listen to your local “Morning Zoo” or any other talk-program. Same goes for anyone who downloads a nerdy podcast or two. Stop it. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
  6. This is a big one: DON’T READ THE REVIEWS. I can’t stress this enough. When “The Dark Knight” was only days away I read a review from a very respectable source and still yet the author mentioned the pencil trick. He didn’t say what it was, but I knew The Joker doing “something” cool with a pencil was coming and I’m still mad about that. It doesn’t matter if the review is insanely positive or soul crushingly negative, do not read it. In fact, you shouldn’t even look at the newspaper (what’s a newspaper?) or go to Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic to see if it’s scoring over 60%. That little exercise may sound harmless but the temptation could get the better of you.
  7. Don’t watch the TV interviews with cast members. Somebody is going to say something they shouldn’t have or a clip will be shown that you’ll wish you had not seen before going to the cinema. From what I’ve heard, David Letterman already spoiled the ending in his interview with Anne Hathaway.
  8. Are you following anybody on Twitter that might spoil things? Un-follow them, you can always re-follow them later, you can’t un-see spoilers.
  9. Do you play online gaming on anything from an Xbox to the PC? Well then take the headset off. You’d be amazed at what comes out of the mouth of someone who has just been utterly pwned.
  10. Lastly, and this will be a tough one. If your line to get into “The Dark Knight Rises” stretches outside of the cinema and even into the street, wear earplugs or just be ready to cover your ears. A drive-by spoiling is always possible. Think of all the folks who had Harry Potter ruined for them by trolls waiting outside a yet to open bookstore all those years ago. The same could happen here and if it does, make sure to jot down their license plate and from then on out just take this guy’s lead.

HOW TO STAY FRESH

What do I mean by “staying fresh”? I’m saying that I want every image of “The Dark Knight Rises” to be a distant memory when you walk into that cinema. I want to remove as much expectation as possible until the last possible minute…because if you don’t remove that expectation and high level of anticipation, you might find yourself wandering around the internet for reviews and then just seeing that they are positive or negative won’t be enough– you’ll read the article and then BOOM, you just spoiled something for yourself. So stay fresh!

  1. Follow all the tips from list #1.
  2. You know those trailers you have saved to your computer? Delete them. You’ll be able to download them again when this is over.
  3. No more going to YouTube and watching trailers and TV spots. Cut it out.
  4. No more articles regarding this movie should be read. No more interviews, behind-the-scenes looks, production photos–NOTHING. Of course, that means you would have to stop coming here for a week–except for comic book news, of course. (And Chris, I know this advice kind of drives away hits for a bit, but Santa did the same thing back in “Miracle on 34th Street” and if I recall correctly, that worked out pretty well for Macy’s and Christmas in general)
  5. Do you have a DVR? Great. If not, then you’ll have to keep the remote control at-the-ready in the event that a TV spot airs. Commercials for movies are notorious for spoiling key scenes ESPECIALLY the TV spots that air the week after a movie comes out. Be ready to change the channel the second you see a Gotham skyline or hear a “Deshay Deshay Bassara” chant.

WAYS TO MAKE THE WAIT BETTER

Think abstinence only is hogwash? If you still need some Batman to make your life bearable, then here are a few suggestions.

July 13th

Who’s up for reading some classical literature? The greatest influence on the Nolan brothers when writing “The Dark Knight Rises” was “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens. If you’ve read it before then that’s great. If not, then go buy it, get a library card, OR you could just mosey on over to Google Books and start reading it for free.

July 14th

You’re probably thinking that this Dickens fella is a pretty good writer, but once you found out the two cities in question weren’t Gotham and Blüdhaven you started getting the shakes for more Batman in your diet. Well, why not read some books that influenced the previous 2 Nolan Bat-films? All three of these are classics.
Read any of the following:

  • Batman: Year One: You could watch the movie too, I suppose. This book was a major influence on “Batman Begins”
  • The Long Halloween: Christopher Nolan’s favorite Batman story–I’m pretty sure I read that somewhere anyway
  • The Killing Joke: Arguably the greatest Joker story ever written

July 15th

Play Arkham Asylum or Arkham City. If you visit a site called “Batman-News” chances are good that you own this game. Chances are even better that you own it and haven’t picked it up again since you beat it and solved all the Riddler’s puzzles…you did solve all the Riddler’s puzzles, didn’t you?

July 16th

Make it a Catwoman and Bane day!
Catwoman fans, read this:

Watch these (and yes these are links to the full episodes, hosted legally I might add):

Bane fans, read these:

  • Vengeance of Bane: This is the original origin of Bane. (Don’t be a sucker. Due to the movie coming out, the original issue’s first printing is going for an outrageous price on eBay, so don’t buy a 1st printing. If you already have a copy, go ahead and sell it now before demand falls and it returns to its true value. You can buy it back once it’s $10 bucks or cheaper again.
  • Knightfall: Bane arrives in Gotham, determined to take the city and break the Batman.
  • There’s a sale going right now in which you can buy these and even more Bane comics in digital form for only 99 cents.

And watch this “Batman: The Animated Series” episode:

  • Bane: You’ll have to find a link to this one on your own. Or better yet, just buy the every season of “Batman: The Animated Series”.

July 17th

It’s an End of Batman day. We’re watching cartoons that dealt with possible conclusions to The Dark Knight legend and reading comics that share themes with “The Dark Knight Rises”

Read any of these:

  • The Dark Knight Returns: After a world shattering encounter with the Joker, Batman retires. Bruce lives a life without purpose for almost a decade when finally he is pushed to the edge and must dawn the cape and cowl once again. Sound familiar?
  • No Man’s Land: Gotham is rubble. Villains fight for territory, Batman fights to save a fallen city.

Watch this episode of “Batman: The Animated Series”:

  • Over the Edge: I can’t find a link to this that’s legal and we’re a website that likes to play by the rules. But anyway, this is my favorite episode of “Batman: The Animated Series”. It all begins with the GCPD raiding Wayne Manor. Batman, Robin, and Nightwing run for their lives as Gordon and an entire swat team open fire on them. You don’t deserve to call yourself a Batman fan if you haven’t watched this. There. I said it.

July 18th

This suggestion is going to surprise you but it’s going to be worth it. Today you’re going to watch “Batman & Robin”

Why? …WHY?!

You’re going to watch “Batman & Robin” because it is the absolute worst Batman film ever made and arguably one of the worst movies ever made, period. You’re spoiled, I’m spoiled, we’ve all been spoiled for the past 8 years and it’s time to remind ourselves how good we have it! In order to fully appreciate how incredible “The Dark Knight Rises” and the rest of Nolan’s Batman trilogy is you must relive the terrible experience of Robin on skates, ice puns, and rubber nipples. Michael Caine’s Alfred said “Things were gonna get worse before they got better”, right? Today you hit bottom. Tomorrow you and the Dark Knight…Rise.

July 19th

I’m going to out on a limb and assuming anyone who reads a lengthy article like this already bought their midnight tickets for this movie, right? Good. This is the last Batman movie you’re going to get from Christopher Nolan, the last Batman movie you’re going to get from this cast, and after you see it for the first time you can never see it for the first time ever again.

Take the day off work, leave work early, do whatever you have to do–we’re watching Batman Begins and The Dark Knight back-to-back.

Best. Fan-made poster. Ever.

After going through the horror of watching “Batman & Robin” and then fasting for so long from watching any trailers, commercials, or the original films, you’re going to experience a pleasure that will make your toes curl as you watch the first two parts of the Nolan Batman trilogy before heading to the cinema (or if you bought tickets for the marathon at your local theater you should go do that, obviously). If you’re like me and horde your Easter candy so you can enjoy Cadbury eggs throughout the year, today is a good day to open a package.

Once you’re all caught up with parts one and two you will not watch a TV Spot. You will not watch a trailer. You will not listen to the soundtrack from “The Dark Knight Rises” or even look at any photos available online. You will go into the movie theater and you will watch the movie and it will (it better) be worth it.

July 20th – Onward

Having (hopefully) loved the film, you now realize that you’ll never experience the film in quite the same way ever again. You’ll never get to wait in eager anticipation for yet another Christopher Nolan Batman film, either. Dance a bittersweet Batusi and then go buy tickets for repeat viewings until “The Dark Knight Rises” is out on Blu-Ray. In the meantime, START READING THE DAMN COMIC BOOKS, PEOPLE.