Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Some Comic Geeks(Including Myself) Ruminate About Batman Begins

batman begins...Spoilers, obviously.I've had a few people ask me what thought of Batman Begins. I saw it on Sunday night. I didn't see it opening night because I wasn't sure if it was going to be good.There are two different ways to approach Batman. There is gadget Batman and detective Batman. This movie focused more on gadget Batman, whereas the animated series in the 1990s was more detective Batman. I prefer detective Batman. Ra's Al Ghul calls Batman "The Detective" so it was weird to see him with gadget Batman.Christian Bale was excellent. I enjoyed his Bruce Wayne. Most people can't pull off both because the lifestyles of Batman and Bruce Wayne are so radically different in everything. Bruce Wayne is supposed to come off as a shallow, stupid, self-involved "millionare playboy". It was kind of annoying that it took over an hour for Batman to get into costume. The origin with R'as Al Ghul took longer then expected, however, Liam Niesson does kick ass. After watching him teach Batman and Obi-Wan Kenobi, I wish he had taught me how to ride a bike. I would be a more spiritual person today. Maybe I would be pope. Liam Niesson kicks a ton of ass.Batman held up his "I don't kill principle" which, by the way, he should break maybe once in a great while. There was this really, really crappy story a few years ago called "Last Laugh" where a doctor told the Joker he had cancer and was going to die so that he might atone for his crimes, but instead he went on a huge killing spree. (He didn't have cancer.) Anyway, Nightwing did something and the Joker was dead but Batman gave the Joker mouth-to-mouth. STUPID! Anyway, that was me bitching about the poor writing style of Chuck Dixon, not reviewing the movie. That brings me to my next point: Liam Niesson's death (or did he die??) was very cool. I enjoyed the "I'm not going to kill you but I'm not going to save you" which is reminds me of old and bitter Bruce Wayne from Batman Beyond.The Scarecrow was pretty sweet. He had a different origin. He wasn't a professor from Gotham State that got fired for his experiments on fear, but the dude that ran Arkham Asylum. Also, I liked how they used all stuff from the comics. Some movies use other stuff when they could just use stuff from books or comics. Like they could have just used any old name for the asylum but they used Arkham even though not everyone KNOWS Arkham Asylum. I thought I recognized the Scarecrow from something else but then I realized he just looked like Josh Hartnett's creepy older brother.Carmon Falcone as the mob boss was good. It was one of Falcone's guys that hit Harvey Dent with acid and made him Two-Face in the comics so maybe we'll see Two-Face in another movie because Tommy Lee Jones sucked so hard as Two-Face. Actually, in the previous Batman movies, which pretty much all sucked, except the first one, no one did a good job as a villian, except maybe Jack Nicholson as the Joker. On a related note, the first Batman movie was cool in 1989 but does not stand up to time very well. Michelle Pfieffer sucked ass as Catwoman, although I'm sure Halle Berry was ten times worse. I'll have to check with Seth on that one. And speaking of the first Batman movie, Billy Dee Williams played Harvey Dent. And then he gets splashed with acid and turns into Tommy Lee Jones? Bullshit! Lando would have made an excellent Two-Face. Especially if he said, "I had no choice. They arrived right before you did." Okay, maybe not.Back to Batman Begins. Katie Holmes played the Jack McCoy wannabe, but it was okay. Perhaps in the next movie, her new (not dead) boss will be Harvey Dent. I like how they showed how corrupt Gotham can be. I would have liked to have seen Detective Bullock or Montoyna, maybe next time.Back to Katie Holmes. There was no reason for the "I wish this was the first Spider-Man" scene where they realize that as long as Gotham needs Batman, they can never love... that part was retarded.Stately Wayne Manor burning to the ground was hard core. Wayne Manor isn't like the Baxter Building or the Avengers Mansion where it gets trashed, burned down, overrun by the Masters of Evil (who beat the shit out of the butler), launched into space, etc. Usually Wayne Manor escapes the icky stuff that happens to other superhero headquarters. It got damaged during the earthquake before No Man's Land but burned to the ground? Hardcore. Alfred was good. He was a little TOO helpful in the crime-fighting thing. Usually he just kind of puts up with Batman and doesn't think he should be spending all of his time dressed up as a bat.Batman's parents were awesome. The fanboy in me wishes that they had gone to see "The Mask of Zorro" at the movies instead of an opera, but... it was cool. The Frank Miller Year One homage was cool. The Batmobile looked dumb. The whole scene with him getting Katie Holmes back to the Batcave was a little excessive. Batman tries to minimize damage while doing his thing. Lorne said it was probably because he was new at being Batman, blah blah blah and maybe he's right.Also, Batman was a lot nicer then he is in the comics. In the comics, he's an ice cold jerk. He was nice in the movie. Maybe he will get bitter later.I liked Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox. In the comics, Lucius Fox runs Wayne Industries for Bruce Wayne and thinks he's a total idiot. Overall, I liked the movie quite a bit. It was no Spider-Man 2 and it was better then any other Batman movie. I liked it a lot and can't wait for the next one.I think that's everything. I got kinda distracted while writing this. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I had very little to bitch about. I thought it was a near-perfect rendition of BATMAN. Of course, every fan is going to have some issues about this or that. Bats is an icon after all. Same when SHERLOCK HOLMES gets interpreted. I can't tell you how many Brits prefer Basil Rathbone to Jeremy Brett. But Rathbone's stories took place in WW II and had WATSON being a doddering old fool. So there you go. There is no way to make everyone happy.(Digression: If you dig Sherlock and H.P. Lovecraft, check out SHADOWS OVER BAKER STREET. Neil Gaiman is among the contributors and has contributed one of the better stories in there. Cool anthology. Two great tastes that taste great together.) So all told, I think this was a far more concise and faithful distillation of Batman than the first Burton flick. Didn't mind the Batmobile. Stands to reason that it would be a tank if you're waging urban warfare. Now what we need is a full on PROPER Joker. And a proper TWO-FACE. Batman always had the cooler villains...Thanks for letting me sound off...G.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

A Friend In Deed And In Need

Ray... Some thoughts on the friendship theme. I told you that if K--- and E--- were TRUE friends, they would see past the conflict and analyze the reasons FOR it...learning from it so it wouldn't happen again. This is how a friendship or relationship usually deepens and evolves... You made attempt to reach out to K---. He gave you the cold-shoulder in a juvenile manner. Understandable but disappointing. So what determines and defines a friendship? Why should you even try? Why should you put forth the effort? Jesus, how do friendships FORM? By some bizarre accidents of fate? Maybe frienships last because you don't get to know people TOO well because some people can't take a friend holding up an HONEST mirror to them...in a rational manner of course. No one likes to look at the flaws in their character...but I think it's necessary for growth... You're a naturally friendly person, Ray. You have no problem making friends, associations, and connections...A person could learn a lot from you...Maybe friendships are a combination of many things...where you work(D----y), who you meet through other friends(T--), or common interests(C---n, L--m) Maybe it's something not even to be questioned. One door closes and another opens...some stay open for longer than others. And if you're DAMN lucky, some doors stay open for YEARS or for LIFE... Keep opening doors, buddy...And thank you for helping me to open some of mine...G..
Hello, Charles... Listening to this excellent piece on NPR about the Cold War Atomic Horror Films and the political context surrounding them. Very cool. Love them. I remember seeing old reruns of them on CREATURE DOUBLE-FEATURE...a mainstay of Channel 56...All heralding the arrival of Steven Spielberg's WAR OF THE WORLDS. I just love how INVASION OF THE BODY-SNATCHERS is reinterpreted throughout the various decades...Fifties, Seventies, Nineties...(I've seen the the last two...Not the classic first. I should do some sort of a marathon...)It's interesting to see how these type of movies are a triptych of the prevailing national climate. Last week, I called in sick. I was tired of the passenger-bullshit. I could feel my patience slipping and the sarcasm slipping out. What do you expect with that many cultures with all of their various wants and needs? Yesterday was particularly trying. I know I'm not exactly sweetness and light sometimes but yesterday I counted THREE specific incidents during the Immigration Form Distribution Nightmare when I COULD have lost my shit...and didn't. I took deep breaths, shut my eyes, and counted...Whatever it took. Trying to be helpful to a bunch of people who want your PERSONALIZED attention(MORE! NOW!) would probably test the mettle of Christ himself...(Never MIND the Patience of Job...) I'm home now. Planning to enjoy the time as much as I can. Thinking of heading up to C-----for a bit of browsing. Great used "record" shop there as well as some cool card shops...Always looking for new stationary to use...I'm an incorrigible letter-writer...I keep hearing that it's a dead art but WHO CARES? Just DO IT ANYWAY! I LOVE it...wish I could turn it into some kind of career. If you have the means, Charles...go to Paris. Europe has a handle on culture, class, and civility. America is still a petulant little bully screaming at another bully in the schoolyard. Call me a Euro-Snob but doesn't the grass always seem greener on the OTHER side? (Parlez-vous francais, monsieur? C'est une langue comme la musique...) Thanks for the note...and stay cool. Speak soon, my friend...G--

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Political Exchange

An e-mail from a politically-minded friend and my reply... ------------------------------------------------ G--, give particular attention to para 2 of Wes Clark's remarks. See what you missed? G--- http://www.securingamerica.com/?q=speeches/2004-06-12 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Hello, G---... Quite a speech. I now realize what you saw in the man to get him into the last presidential race. (I remember when your name was mentioned on NPR when you went out to Ohio to petition for him. "Democratic Activist G--- B---" THAT G--- B---?) His idealism and optomism is almost infectious. I say ALMOST because I WANT to believe in everything he proposes. But I also know that every world-power(I'll say this instead of EMPIRE for the sake of politeness) has it's turn...and then it declines. Implodes. Turns inward. Pick one. America was a nice idea. But once again, the very human traits of greed and powerlust have scuppered the ideals. Money is the constant. America no longer has the moral high ground if it ever did. All it has now is Might Makes Right, the ethos that our current president seems to subscribe to. Thanks for listening. See you soon...G--

Charting The Course Of...A "Relationship"?

Some e-mail exchanges that might be of interest between myself and...another. G-- I can not find the proper words to tell you how much you mean to me without including the infamous "L" word. So I'm just going to leave "that word" well enough alone. You are at a point where you are still searching for the correct thing that fits your life and I am at a point where I have waited far too long to experience any kind of "affection". So at this cross road in both of our lives, it's best to play things cool and take it day by day giving each other any room that is needed to find what fits us both the best. Does that make any sense to you at all? Keeping in mind I'm still buzzing from a few too many Hornsby's. LOL ! No matter how many Hornsy's, I know what I feel deep inside and I know what makes me feel like a whole human being for a change. I know I would still be a lump in a huge pile of crap if it had not been for meeting you. I Cherish the times we share together and each time you leave is becoming more and more difficult. I know I need to spread my wings and test the waters, so to speak. But that is a very difficult thing to do when I care so much for what is right under my nose. I hope by me saying these things to you doesn't drive you away from me. If you need space and if you need time to find happiness, then I am willing to step aside so you can find it. I read you blog and I am honored that you saw fit to enter what I had written to you about Ray and how friends that care about friends is very important. I could go on and on about telling you how much you mean to all the people who care about you but you don't have the time, plus your head would swell. LOL ! Hope we can do Wednesday evening. You already know I'd cancel any plans to keep a date with you. Thanks for the new music. I already loaded the IPOD. latest count.... 695 songs !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! B-- XO ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hello, B-- No worries about that, B--. I'm not running in fear and panic yet. Okay, let's just put it this way, my friend. The feeling is mutual. I'm not eager to leave the warmth of your company, either...As a matter of fact, you made the observation last time that maybe I had gotten myself into more than I had planned on...or words to that effect. You're a perceptive gent. I like being with you, talking with you, hanging out with you, as well as the intimacy. I'm not going to go crazy and use the "L" word just yet. If YOU want to use it, I won't bolt. If you don't want to explore and see what's out there, I'm not going to force you. If you're happy where you are, that's cool. I would just urge you to take advantage of whatever unlikely situation that should come up. (Like, say, you flashing a smile to a waiter with a receding hairline that leads up to a roll in the hay.) Sample what's out there if it just happens to come to you is all I'm saying. If Don(he of the supposedly elephantine uncut penis)had gotten in touch with me, I WOULD have gone to town on him and that's all it would have been: a booty call. If I run into some handsome doctor/lawyer-type on the plane who flashes me a smile between sips of scotch, I will have a roll in the hay with HIM, knowing full well that it's a ships-passing-in-the-night situation. Does this bother you? I will be happy to meet up with you on Wednesday and even spend the night. Let me know if you're in the mood to see the CHASING AMY extras and/or DOGMA. Saw BATMAN BEGINS today. Very cool. Batman for adults. He even faces two villians even though it doesn't seem like it...R'as As Ghul(Liam Neeson) and The Scarecrow(Don't Remember the actor's name...) but it all hung together pretty well...Like to see it again... And of course, I bought some music today that I didn't really NEED. But what the hell... Interesting turn of events today...A year and half ago, I extended the hand of friendship to this dude in the Y(partly because he was handsome) and he shot me off at the knees, saying that I was too overwhelming and shit...Since then, I've been harboring a simmering high-school resentment/hatred towards him. So today, after all that time, he starts talking to me, asking me if I was a steward and all that...I was cold to him at first but then he apologized for his previous behavior and starts pouring all the details of his life...Check it: At that time, he was going through a depression, he's now actually HOMELESS, living in his car, using the showers at the Y(he's actually pretty clean), and collecting his mail at a P.O. BOX...He used to be computer engineer(big shock...has the personality for it too) and now wants to pursue a career in abnormal psych. Specifically, the field of suicide prevention because he got a ladyfriend of his admitted into the C---- Medical Center. Fascinating... Talk to you soon, buddy...XO ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Okay my friend. I'll tell you where I'm at and what I did this afternoon while waiting for the kids to arrive. You remember I told you I had written to a guy in Yahoo personals? Well I had asked to meet him and he writes back saying it's hard to meet because of working so many hours, working on his house, looking after his sons and daughters. He said he might be able to go for a coffee early Saturday morning before he goes to play golf. Then in the next line he said he wasn't just after a buddy to do things with and go places. He was also after hot man to man wild sex and wanted to know if I was up for that. Fine! But when is this guy going to find the time for anything? I wrote back to him and told him I was ending this relationship right now before it even starts. I told him he don't have the time to be "playing around" he's too busy wrapped up in his own personal life. So I wished him luck in finding someone who fits well in his busy schedule. tah tah!!!!! What do you think? Think I was wise to tell him to take a hike? Or do you think I should have followed through and take a ticket? Well G--, part of the reason I gave this guy his walking papers was the fact that I can't bare the thought of trying to find another person to be intimate with. I'm a hopeless romantic as you very well know. And you are right,, I am happy and very comfortable with the way things are right now in my life. As far as you grabbing a quick roll in the hay with that handsome doctor or lawyer. Well, deeeeeeep down inside of me hurts just a tiny bit. I'd be lying to you if I said it didn't. But I know you much better than probably you think I know you. And I also know that those "quick little rolls in the hay" are nothing more than what they are. A quick roll in the hey. They don't mean anything except personal satisfaction at the moment. I would never stand in your way or say " I wish you wouldn't do that" You know what's best for you. Your a free man to do whatever you wish and you don't need me or anyone telling you what's best for you. And God knows you sure don't need my permission to have a fling. So go for it G--. I just wish I could be that way. But I'm learning. :-) Wednesday evening is great. Yes I do want to see the Chasing Amy extras. And Dogma. I'm not sure if Dogma might be too late if I have to be at work the next morning. Bring it anyway and we'll go from there. I am elated that you want to spend the night again. You sure know how to make me hot even through a email. LOL ! Even though I have to leave early the next morning doesn't mean you need to pack up and move on. You can sleep as late as you like. Stay as long as you want. Remember when I told you my house is your house? I don't extend that offer to many people. You,,, I care about and trust you. Your welcome here any time you wish, day or night. Well it's getting to be bed time right now. Tomorrow is going to be a hot one. I'm taking the roadster to work tomorrow. Probably be too hot too drop the top. LOL ! Let me know about what you want to do for Wednesday ? Do you want me to pick you up? Are you walking over and what time will be be here? Would you like to have dinner with me here? Or go out for dinner? Fill me in on the details, okay? Later B-- XO P.S. You can use what ever you like for your blog. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Hm. B--. Sounds that you may have been a very wise man. Reading your account, it seems like he's already setting up the premise to jerk you around HIS schedule. He'll say Saturday in the A.M.---You'll mentally prepare for that...and then he'll pull out at the last minute. If he even gets in touch with you at all. I've experienced this myself and B---(from Maine) advises that married men are just aggravation.) Actually, that sounds a bit like Don's M.O.---or it could just be the closeted married man programming. Depressing. And these words may come back to haunt me but the thought of you looking around for someone online bothered me just a bit too. Meaningless, by-the-way sex is one thing...but B--- you are MORE than that to me. You're a kind, cute, and gentle guy...plus I can play around with all of your toys. Again, I'm wary of the "L" word. Interesting. My feelings mirror your own. (About being hurt a TINY bit...)But what do you think? Should meaningless carnal opportunities be passed up? They don't happen very often. Am I just trying to have my cake and eat it too? I admit, I'm not that far out of the starting gate ahead of you. Any thoughts you may have would be welcome. And there's nothing wrong with being a hopeless romantic. It's part of your charm. Wednesday is going to be a school night for you so I'll just bring over the Chasing Amy extras. You'll probably be spending a bit of time loading in whatever new tunes that I bring over for you. (Yesterday at Newbury's, I fell victim to enjoying whatever music they were playing overhead and buying the disc. ARCADE FIRE--"Funeral". Yeah, like I have the cash to experiment.) Most likely, I'll be walking over. But if any of that should change, I'll let you know... Talk to you soon, handsome...G-- --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Good morning G-- I'm sipping my coffee getting ready to head out to hell for another day of fun and games with children I baby sit all day. ( my job ) Yes I like the way you put it for Wednesday night. "A school night" . That's for sure and in more ways than one. I feel a learning curve coming our way. I feel a need to discuss the events that is going on around us, that involves us. I feel a need to look you in the eyes and tell you everything we have been discussing over the last few days. I am really afraid I will loose you. I want you to look into my eyes and read that it's okay to follow your desires. If you see an opportunity to experiment and should feel some guilt because you are afraid to hurt me. I want you to know that it's okay,, I truly understand. Got to run now and get to work. Write to you soon Here goes, sit down. buckle up, I love you G-- B-- --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- B--... I read your e-mail and I want to respond...but I'm under the influence. So Christ knows how it would come out. But one thing I WILL say is this: I like being with you, B--. The fact that it's hard for me to leave your place is a clear indicator. But we will talk. Tell me what's on your mind. Because the last thing I want to do is hurt you... Have no fear, my friend. We are rational adults. We will get our points across... See you tomorrow, handsome...G--

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Family Values

G-- I think I understand you a little better now after you telling me about your mom and how you was raised as a child. And I also do understand where Ray was coming from. I guess I could be considered in the same bracket as Ray. I grew up in a family that pretty much stuck together and did things together. It's only since my brother and I both got married and started a family of our own is when we started to drift apart. Mom and dad stayed away because they felt they were interfering in our new lives. Little did they realize their interference would have been most welcome. I needed a shoulder to cry on at times and there was no one I could turn to. So there I sat, divorced, and sulking in my guilt and sorrow because I felt like a loser to my ex wife and to my son as well. My brother is twice divorced and finally realized that he is a person that can not handle the constant nagging of a bitchy wife, so he claims he will never get married again. Hooray for him!! I think the whole point of this little story is.... Be thankful for the good friends that care about you. Good friends are far and few between. It's not easy to find a true friend who worries about your health welfare. I honestly believe Ray cares about you, not because of the way his kids treat him, but he cares about you for being you. And so do I. B--

Pulling A Ferris Bueller

Hello, David... I'm afraid I'm going to have to bail out on my visit on the 20th. I made an interior executive decision an hour before landing in Boston yesterday afternoon. I was calling in sick the next day. I had had ENOUGH. Please don't get me wrong. Nothing BAD happened...like me going BALLISTIC and spreading two cans of tomato juice over three rows of passengers...But I could feel my patience slipping and my exasperation growing. I kept my cool for the most part...but being nice to people who should be in a f--king mental ward or who could be considered socially maladapted was beginning to wear on me. I knew myself well enough to realize that I'd probably lose my shit if someone pressed the wrong mental buttons. After all, there are 250 of them and ONE of me. That's a LOT of personalities to adapt to. My patience is finite. So rather than take the risk, I'm taking a breather. Just thought you'd want to know. I will be over to visit in the not-too-distant future. Thanks for the invitation. It's encouraging to know that friendship goes both ways, you know? All The Best, my good chap...

Happy Father's Day

Wow. Ray just left to meet his friend. He told me that when I didn't call last night, the feelings of abandonment swept over him... ...and he couldn't finish. He broke down into tears. I was touched and humbled by this. He has three out of four children who have exiled him from their lives, some more completely than others. And the one who DOES talk to him may not even get around to sending him a card or calling him because she's oh-so-busy maintaining her nuclear family... So I sent him two Father's day cards...and then there I was between two flights, NOT coming home, NO word of where I was...He felt alone, lost, forsaken...His generation, people his AGE are used to family cohesion...togetherness...being in touch... And never having been raised in such an environment I value my autonomy and freedom. Especially when you had a domineering mother trying to control every aspect of your life... (Where was I? I was making drinking-buddy stops on my way home up the hill. Something I don't usually do.) It's humbling to know that people care for you that much. A phone call wouldn't have hurt. I will remember this. Happy Father's Day.