Like: Sweet/Bitter Taste combination

July 25, 2008

MMMMMMM. Delicious.

Nothing is better then switching back sweet and bitter tastes. For example the wonderful coffee/donut or coffee/chocolate combo.

That’s how you rock it Amadeus.

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Don’t Like: Itchy Pants

July 24, 2008

I have one pair of itchy pants that I somehow convince myself into wearing once a month. They look good so that’s not the problem. The problem is they’re itchy as hell and make it hard to work comfortably.

Why do I convince myself? I don’t know. It’s like I forget and in the haze of morning tiredness I just go “hey, haven’t worn those in awhile”

BOOM.

Itchy pants ensue.


Like: Candace Parker: Brawler

July 23, 2008

The WNBA is a tax write off for the NBA. That’s why it still exists.

As it’s own independent thing it is a commercial failure, let’s make no quams about this, but that’s okay. The WNBA hasn’t attracted male viewership because the quality is not as good as the NBA. It’s that simple. It’s the reason foreign soccer viewership is up, but not MLS. People want to see the best soccer just like they want to see the best basketball. There’s only so  much sports to watch and people watch women’s tennis because it is actually an excellent product. Everyone says that Candace Parker’s consecutive dunks are transforming the game. They’re not. A step in the right direction? You bet.

The sport simply needs more physicality so it can look like modern basketball. It’ll happen with due time. Women are getting taller and stronger. It’s just a matter of time before they can throw it down over someone consistently. This isn’t sexist. Not in the slightest. It’s just a matter of sports nuance. Are WNBA players great shooters? You bet. They have incredible fundamentals and I’d be happy to show kids tape on how to create ball movement for set shots. But sit down and watch a game? It just doesn’t measure up to the physicality.

Which is exactly why the sports biggest new star getting into a throwdown last night is so important. Because it is awesome. Brawls are exciting. I don’t care what anyone says, brawls exhibit passion, pride, and physicality. The very thing that viewers like to see. The story has ALREADY gotten way more hits and interest than any other story in the WBNA and it happened last night. And it’s not all retarded catfight jokes. It’s much more legitimate than that.

Said throwdown:


Like: The Dark Knight

July 21, 2008

As of Today, The Dark Knight is the #1 film of all-time on IMDB.

Fuck the Godfather, Batman rocks!

Okay, it’s impossible to deny The Dark Knight is a very good film. I’d go so far as to call many of its aspects phenomenal and can’t imagine someone not liking the films as a whole. Universal adoration is tricky feat and TDK might have pulled it off. And sure, I hope it gets some Oscar respect because it is tremendously well made and most Oscar-calibur films are bland as sin (not including last years No Country and There Will Be Blood). And like most award films, TDK features a bevy of great performances (and even one classic performance). I hope it gets its due, yada yada yada, all that good stuff.

But… we need a little appropriation and discretion here. To those swarming the boards of IMDB, it’s not the greatest film ever. Time decides those kind of things. Not internet rating systems. Not critics. Not reviews. Not awards. Only Time. And time is the very reason people still reference Shawshank Redemption and Pulp Fiction but seem to have forgotten about forest gumps very existence (seriously, I’ve seen more references to Cast Away recently in the wake of Wall-E).

Hell, I wouldn’t even call The Dark Knight the greatest comic book movie of all time. It’s in the conversation sure, but to make the argument so clear-cut as most critics and fellow nerds have is slightly ridiculous. Tim Burton’s original Batman was just as visionary, albeit in other ways. Even Spider-Man 2 dealt with a lot of the same issues as TDK and I might say it’s even more flawless. Hell, I had just as good a time watching Iron Man as I did this film. And that’s okay folks. Serious doesn’t = better. It’s just different.

Another thing. The Dark Knight DID NOT transcend comic book movies. That’s a bold face lie propagated by a lot of reviewers and people who don’t read comics. If anything, the movies have just finally caught up to the comics after 20+ years. There’s nothing about TDK that hasn’t really been explored by Batman: Year One, The Long Halloween, and The Killing Joke. And guess what? That’s also okay. It’s been a long time coming and I sincerely appreciate the effort.

I think what makes The Dark Knight such a hit with critics and audiences is that we all collectively realize there should be a lot more films like it. Iron Man was brain candy perfected, the very thing studios have been wanting to shell out to us for years. It was sweet, fun, exciting and light. A perfect concoction really.

So why is it we all go apeshit for 3 hour crime epic on the nuances of anarchy and alternative heroism?

Easy. Because we don’t get enough thoughtfulness in our popcorn movies. The studios are looking to turn in a product they can predict and so a genuinely scary bad guy who strives of anarchy makes em a little nervous. And our cultures “serious” films are almost as flimsy and predictable as the super-hero movies. The various endings of prestige pictures have become as predictable to american audiences as “the good guy wins.”

American film-going audiences are much better than people realize. Yeah, many can’t necessarily articulate their sentiments but they are perceptive as hell. and that’s why TDK is getting so much acclaim. It’s filling a void modern movies have left in us and I love that.

So as for the actual movie… here’s some nerd analysis:

TDK was bloated. There’s no way around. It was all incredibly well executed and directed so you don’t notice it so much. But damn, a lot of stuff never really came to fruition (what was the significance of Joker breaking the Asian crime-lord guy out of jail? I think he burned him in the money pile but it was never made clear. Seriously. Messy for something that occupied a half hour+ of running time.

The film also features a lot of great political, social, and legal commentary. It’s stuff you don’t get too much of in these films and that’s shame. Sure it’s laid on a little thick, but at least it’s not politico-lite (corruption versus good! etc). It’s a nice touch (Devin Faraci did some nice work in his review comparing it to The Wire)

Honestly, I loved Aaron Eckhart (I usually appreciate his work in general) and his take on Harvey Dent. He was really the driving force of the film since the entire plot is really just a reaction to his very presence. They enforce his whole persona very much: he is our very ideals, as the oft referenced “White Knight.” It was all really nicely observed. With Eckhart being our ideals, that leaves Gary Oldman to pull off some tremendous humanity as the everyman Lt. Gordon. Considering how many baddies Oldman’s played in his time it’s a special revelation to see him like this. I liked him just the same way with his performance in Batman Begins. Maggie Gyylleennhhaallll shows why Katie Holmes not-as-distracting-as-everyone-claims performance in BB was actually much worse than I thought: with just a few more scenes she turns the Rachel character from merely servicable to fully-functional with in the world of TDK. I’m amazed how much her presence changed the dynamic, and even made the endeavor a little sexual, which is desperately needed in the dour landscape of this films. And yeah, Michael Caine is good as always. Hell, all the actors in this film are just good.

Which brings us to Heath Ledger.

With Heath’s Joker, well, you really have to just see it. There’s no real way to explain and the reason the hyperbole doesn’t get in the way is because there’s no real apt way to describe it. It’s a special performance. It’s unique. It’s easily one of the great all time villain performances. My friend Ken aptly described it as “100% nihilistic glee” but there’s more to it then that. It’s jaw-dropping in its nuance and exclamations. The Joker’s intro to the crime syndicates (not opening bank job) was electric, the entire theater just came alive watching him on screen. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen something like that. Right afterwards, I wanted to see the film again, but only just his scenes. They took what was started with Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke and perfected it. There’s no origin story. Attempts to throw a little pop psychology in the mix are wonderfully ridiculed by the Joker himself. As the Nolan bros put it, their Joker is “absolute.”

Which makes the whole thing a little bittersweet. There’s a line near the end where Joker looks at Batman and says “we’re going to do this forever.” It’s a tremendous nod to the endless cyclical nature of hero and villain in comics… But it won’t be going on forever. Ledger died and I think this incarnation of the character dies with him. Perhaps it’s just too good to spoil. It’s too much his own. And a part of me hates that. I hate that we won’t see more of him. Maybe it’s better that way, maybe it makes it timeless. But the very turmoil in my mind is proof-positive of the effectiveness of his performance: We want it to live forever.

You’ll also notice I haven’t made mention of Batman or Bale yet. That’s cause Batman’s boring.

Let’s get serious folks, people are attracted to Batman because he is our dark fantasy. He’s what we wish we could be, but that makes him far from human or interesting. In the better versions of the comics he’s only interesting when we get into those more difficult moral dilemmas. The film deals with that stuff tangentially but far too swiftly (I sincerely hope it’s what they address it more clearly in the next one).

But I finally came on board with this version of Batman with that memorable ending. Well, it’s memorable to me. It’s not a stunner or anything, but just a remarkable clarification of the things you realize they’ve been hitting you over the head with the entire movie. They finally get to heart of Batman’s very existence as really nothing more than an idea. Which is really the right way to go in this thing. At the very end, after we realize The Joker was really going after the White Knight Harvey Dent (Devin Faraci also did a nice comparison saying that Batman almost works as the Joker’s accomplice in anarchy), they finally bring it back to Batz. He makes a choice to sacrifice his own image, which is sometimes the one thing a hero is never seems willing to do. And by making that sacrifice, he honors his namesake:

He’s The Dark Knight bitch.


Don’t Like: Sunburns! Ouchy!

July 21, 2008

Note: Above picture not me, I’m not that douchey. I would not have that hair, neither where a shirt like that.

But I did get sunburned this weekend.  Which stinks. I did put on sunscreen just a good few hours too late. I feel kinda dehydrated and crispy. Last night I actually got wicked bad chills too which was fucking weird. My teeth were chattering so bad I was borderline convulsing. It was kinda scary just because I forgot sunburns can do that to you and I didn’t know what the hell was going on. I thought i was gonna die like in Scanners. Then I calmed down once I realized it was the burn… wait… sunburns can do that to you right? RIGHT?


Don’t Like: That when I try to get information on the great old Conan sketch “Joel Factor” I just get a bunch of douchebags named Joel blogging about themselves and the “Joel Factor”. Lame.

July 18, 2008

Everything explained in title. But that Conan sketch was hilarious.


Like: The WATCHMEN Trailer

July 18, 2008

here: http://www.apple.com/trailers/wb/watchmen/hd/

First things first: this looks incredible. Which is good. Cause something incredibly cool looking will get people’s butts into a theater.

WATCHMEN is one of my top 10 favorite things ever. It’s status as “The greatest graphic novel of all time” is wholly justified. It is the masterpiece of the great Alan Moore and flushed into the world through the wonderful art of Dave GIbbons.

It deals hyper-intelligently in matters of history, politics, and socialization. It’s a wonderfully written epic story that also happens to be a complete deconstruction of superheroes.

It spans 50+ years of history and 2 planets.

What if heroes and superheroes were real? How would our political history be different? How would our society be different? (all using specific events).

It’s enthralling to me.

… and yes Zach Snyder, the guy who directed 300, has directed the movie version of WATCHMEN… which I’m on the fence about. The trailer definitely shows he got Dave Gibbons sensibility for the world down and the stylization feels just about right.

But the question is can Snyder get Moore’s nuance and subtlety? Can he show intellectual depth in the film? He really hasn’t had that kind of challenge thus far, but if he keeps all of Moore’s dialog in tact then most of the job will be done for him… which leaves it up to the actors. I love two of the choices (jackie earl haley, patrick wilson), think two will work out pretty good (cudrup, matthew goode), think it will be a break out role of (can’t remember the guys name who’s playing the comedian) and I have magnificent doubts about Malin Akerman. Everything I’ve seen her do thus far has been… um… pretty awful.

But with the look? yeah… really nice.