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Violence Shocks Critic Who Received Death Threats over 'Dark Knight' Review

There's no comparison, says reviewer Marshall Fine, an Ossining resident, between the online furor and the tragedy that took place at a Colorado theater.

Marshall Fine was taken aback by death threats this week after he wrote a negative review of the new film, “The Dark Knight Rises," on RottenTomatoes.com.

This morning, he was shocked by the deaths at a premiere of the movie in Colorado.

"There were so many nasty comments which they construed as death threats," said Fine today. "There were also some fairly misogynistic comments towards Christy Lemire from the Associated Press, who had the second negative review, that they stopped the comments and are rethinking their comment policy, in terms of whether or not they should allow anonymous comments anymore."

Fine said he was taken aback when he started seeing the responses to his review—and by the media attention.

"I was surprised at the volume of the thing—how big the response was to my review—it did surprise me. I got a lot of emails from friends saying 'Are you okay?'" said Fine. "I personally don't feel as though I was ever specifically threatened. I don't feel threatened by anonymous comments on a thread on a website. I didn't get threatening emails. I didn't get telephone calls or anything. It's pretty easy to be courageous and make threats anonymously when you're sitting in your basement on the Internet."

Now, he is watching the Colorado shooting story unfold online and on television at his Ossining home.

A Huffington Post blogger, he wrote about the contrast this morning.

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"It's tragic and it says a lot about how easy it is to get these kinds of weapons and go into a theater and do something like this," said Fine. "I think that when all the facts come out, we'll find it had nothing to do with the movie itself. This is a guy who was looking for an opportunity to do something and thought, 'Where can I find the most people in one place while they're showing that first showing—that'll be packed—that's where I'll go.'"

On his website, hollywoodandfine.com, Fine wrote today regarding the tragedy in Colorado and the online threats against him. Here's the opening:

Me and Batman: Some perspective

As the minor media frenzy about me being the first critic to post a negative review of “The Dark Knight Rises” reached its mini-crescendo on Wednesday (when I actually had six requests for interviews – five of them from Canadian outlets – about so-called “death threats” on Rotten Tomatoes aimed at me), I kept thinking to myself, “This must really be a slow news week if I’m the headline.”

As if to prove the point, actual news happened last night in the form of a tragedy, when someone walked into a suburban Denver multiplex and killed more than a dozen people. And it happened at a midnight show of “The Dark Knight Rises.”

So let me say two things: First of all, while there is nothing yet in the news reports about the deranged individual who shot those people, I’d be willing to bet there was no relationship between his crime and the movie itself. He would have done this anyway; “TDKR” simply offered a location where he was guaranteed to have a crowd on which he could open fire.

Second, while I’ve been held up this week as the “victim” of death threats, at no point did I ever actually receive a personal threat. Anonymous and violent rants posted to Rotten Tomatoes (and even a couple to my website)? Come on – I mean, I understand why Rotten Tomatoes closed down comments for the movie because some of the stuff posted about me and Christy Lemire of Associated Press was pretty vile.

And I understand why Indiewire used the words “death threats” in their headline. As we used to say, that’s what sells newspapers (or, in this case, drives page-views).

But I did not feel threatened. As I said in a couple of interviews, there were no crowds with pitchforks and torches storming my house. These were just people spouting off, venting anger; I happened to be the target. But it’s not as if I was receiving phone calls or even emails directly; I was the subject of anonymous posting. It’s easy to have courage when you’re sitting alone at the keyboard in your home, behind the cloak of anonymity.

Read more on his blog post at hollywoodandfine.com

 

Tim July 27, 2012 at 08:02 PM
There already is. Civilians cannot own fully automatic military assault rifles or have grenade launchers, rocket launchers, etc. We should not be taking away semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic handguns, shotguns, etc. And I'm not worried because after the liberal Democrats passed the 1994 "assault" weapons ban, they were thrown out of Congress and Gingrich became Speaker. Don't think for a moment the Dems have forgotten that. There is no appetite for more gun control. In fact, concealed carry is at an all time high, and in CO, background checks for gun purchases soared since the shooting last week. By taking away guns, you are only taking away the law abiding citizen's right to self-defense. Nut job criminals will always find a way to get guns and could give a shit about left wing gun control laws.
Pat July 27, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Your numbers are misleading Bjorn, very clever but very misleading. Although the "gun homicide" rate is very high in the US, the total "homicide" rate compared to other countries has the US way down on the list. In Mexico the homicide rate is 20 times higher than in the US and they don't even have the highest rate. Having guns available to us keeps us safer, but if you choose not to have one, then that's your choice.
Dan Seidel July 27, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Amazing the way Patch deletes my Imam Obama comments, or if I call him Traitor in Chief. One speaks the truth and gets censored - welcome to 1984!! Anyway, Caroline Glick says it better than me in re the Muslim Brotherhood running the White House with POTUS permitting and planning the whole thing. http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=279075 And the disrespect shown to Obummah? he deserves every bit of it. He's scammed the American People. He has set us up for a takeover. Yes I believe that.
Dan Seidel July 27, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Mark, I am a product of the left. Trust me on this - I know the type of guy POTUS is - I was raised "red". I am steeped in what he "thinks". I stepped away from his delusions and the delusions of the "left". I see clearly now. We have major trouble with this character. He IS a traitor and should be jailed forthwith. Obama is a clear and present danger to the world. He needs to go - NOW. NOBAMA in 2012!! HE will bring the end of the world - for real.
Bjorn Olsson July 29, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Dan, it's kind of fascinating to "meet" someone who actually believe that sort of nonsense. (Unless you're just trolling, hard to tell) You see these conspiratorial crazies on TV and read about them, but it's hard to believe they are real people. If the Muslim Brotherhood were so good they can put one of their guys in the White House, why can't they seem to get Egypt or any other country in order? Makes me think about all those nutters that think government is hopelessly wasteful and incompetent, except when it comes to incredibly complicated coverups perfectly executed. (9/11, JFK, moon landing, etc, etc)

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