***Warning this article contains spoilers. Judging by the amount the superhero flicks earned at the box office we would assume everyone had seen them three or four times, but in case you’re one of those weird hold outs, consider yourself warned.***

The Summer of Movie Summers has effectively concluded. The Avengers was a sensation, effectively crippling the box office and providing the proverbial bar for all future superhero/summer flicks to aspire. Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man was appropriately named. And (choking back tears as I write this) Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy was concluded in remarkable… no, astounding… better yet, phenomenal fashion as The Dark Knight Rises (against seemingly insurmountable odds) exceeded all expectations.

The three most memorable films of the past few months (by far) have supplied future filmmakers with a rubric: necessities to incorporate and few, if any, mistakes to avoid. Enjoy.

This is how Hulk handles the readers who don’t enjoy.

Note to the six people in America who haven’t seen these movies: Beware of spoilers in the following sections: 9, 6, 3, 2, and the caption of the Batman picture!

And if you actually need to “beware spoilers” at this point, for goodness’ sake, get to the nearest theater immediately!

10. Downsize!- Two hours and 45 minutes is butt-numbing, and even with the quantity of time available, there were simply too many characters in The Dark Knight Rises. Audiences wanted to see Bane (Tom Hardy) and Batman/Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) in every frame possible. Distributing the limelight amongst Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), Alfred (Michael Caine) and Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) stalled the tension. Personally, I could not believe Nolan decided to bring in even more faces, calling attention to a seemingly endless list of supporting actors including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Matthew Modine and Ben Mendelsohn. (Breath.) Not that everything didn’t come together spectacularly, but there were certainly characters that could’ve been cut out and moments nixed. With regards to the number of characters and run-time, the moviegoer’s attention span (and bladder) must always be considered.

9. Threats: Think BIG!- Nothing like the threat of becoming a nine-foot reptile to spark a fire beneath your bum. Then again, your home city/planet being taken over/destroyed probably incites similar motivation. Sometimes, the problem with this film genre is its believability. But it’s moments like these – immense crises – that subdue the cynicism and provoke our values. Such chaos, if surrounded by credible characters and a compelling story, immerses the observer in philosophical thought: “If given the power, would I use it responsibly?” In a world where stress runs rampant through the halls of our minds, the realization that our problems could technically be bigger acts as a valuable lesson; the conveyance that challenges can be overcome, heartwarming inspiration.

Now that’s a big threat…

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