Friday, July 18, 2008

The Dark Knight


I have been anticipating this film for quite some time. And when I say anticipating, I mean from the moment the credits rolled on Batman Begins after we saw the Joker card. I remember not being entirely sure if Heath Ledger could pull off the Joker. As an actor I really liked him, but I wasn’t sure if I could see him as a psychopath and then the first images came out and I knew…yep, the Dark Knight was going to rock. And then Heath Ledger passed away and some speculated it was because his portrayal of the Joker seeped into his personal life. Maybe it was or maybe he was just an awesome guy who accidentally took too much and combined the wrong medications. Regardless it certainly didn’t lessen the hype of the film. In fact the buzz only strengthened. Oscar worthy performances they said. Then the first reviews came up and said it was frakking brilliant. My expectations soared.

So then I finally got a chance to see it. Did it live up to my expectations? Is it as awesome as everyone says? Yes and No. And here is where the spoilers begin, so if you haven’t seen the film, don’t read the rest of my review. I will say that I did like the film. In fact there were parts I absolutely loved, but it didn’t leave me full of the geekasms I thought I would be feeling. But I will get to that. First we’ll talk about what I loved.

‘Why so serious?’ The Dark Knight lives up to its name in that it is deliciously dark in both its tone and its look. And you have one hell of a villain in The Joker. In fact, Heath Ledger pulled him off brilliantly. He is by far the best Joker on screen. He is charismatic, brutal, funny, and functional psychopath who is manipulative and can muster very little empathy for anything other than his own interests. He is everything I wanted him to be and more from his mannerisms, look and voice. Finally he wasn’t some snarky clown, but a brutal killer with a twisted sense of humor. He was the perfect villain for Batman always wanting to push, never believing that the bat could really be incorruptible. Alfred said it best, “Some men aren't looking for anything logical. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.” Knowing that there will not be any more of Ledger’s performance makes me sad because I didn’t feel like I got enough of him in this one and I definitely want more. By the way…magic trick with the pencil. Made of awesome.

As I said I love the overall look and feel of the film. Gotham isn’t a happy place. Its dark and the idea that the escalation that is occurring, that a man like Joker even exists, is all due to Batman taking the fight to the next level is brilliant. There are a lot of lies in this film from Joker’s lies of how he got his scars, to Alfred not giving Bruce Rachel’s letter, to Gordon, and even Batman himself. And when the film ends the city is even darker. The white knight is gone along with the white hat of Harvey Dent, Batman is on the run his head full of demons of lost loves and guilt and the bad guys are still out there. Like I said, Gotham isn’t a happy place and I love that because in the next film I get the reason why I love Batman. I get the Dark Knight and that question of will he or won’t he stick to his rules? Will he live long enough to be the villain of the story?

It goes without saying that Christian Bale does a brilliant job. As much as I like Michael Keaton, I think Bale might be my favorite Batman. And the supporting cast of Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Gary Oldman completely rock. Could you ask for more? Aaron Eckhart did a wonderful job as Harvey and the ‘face’ for ‘Two Face’ horrendous and wonderful. And well I already gushed bout Heath’s performance.

Other reasons I loved it: The Chase. When the semi trailer flipped I was grinning from ear to ear. The giddiness of the beginning, seeing new toys for Batman to play with, having Bruce Wayne steal away the entire ballet company, the little subtle hints of where Harvey Dent would eventually go and even having Bat fanboys/imposters.

So now we get to what I didn’t like about the film, some of which would probably get me some comments if anyone really read my blog. *smile* What bugged the most? The Harvey Dent/Two Face storyline. Of course I wanted a Batman vs Joker movie. In fact, that is what I thought we would be getting while the Harvey Dent storyline was weaved through out but we never got to see Two Face emerge until the next film. And I think there was every intention of having more Joker. Alas, we will never get to see any more of Heath Ledger’s Joker and thus it is bittersweet. I wanted more Joker.

For me I think the Harvey Dent/Two Face storyline should have stopped at the hospital when naughty nurse Joker shows up and talks to him. Harvey makes a choice there and with the explosion of the hospital later his whereabouts are unknown. We know what he has become now. We know he’s the bad guy and seeing him again in another film makes you giddy; a hero in one film and a villain in the next. Instead, they rushed his storyline. There wasn’t enough build up and the result is disappointing.

While I enjoyed Maggie Gyllenhaal replaying Katie Holmes (Secretary is one of my favorite films of all time), I really never liked the Rachel Dawes character. So I wasn’t entirely sad to see her go. The length of the film is a bit longer than it needed to be and if you trim out the Two face bits it would be a nice length. For some reason Batman’s voice was a bit more distracting than it was the last time. Though understandable why he couldn’t use his Bruce voice, the harsh guttural tones were just weird.

I did enjoy this movie as a whole and I think the more I watch the more I will like it. I had extremely high expectations and add in the death of a brilliant actor the film had a very high order to fill. Nolan continues to impress and I cannot wait to see what he come sup with next.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Top Five Childhood Toys


1. Tinker Toys: When I was a kid, these were my favorite toys at my grandmother's. I would build elaborate buildings, make flowers, people, and more. They were awesome.

2. Popples: I dont know why these stuffed toys fascinated me, but I had about four. My favorite was a purple one. They were just cute little creatures that you could flip and roll into a ball.

3. Roller Racer: By far one of my favorite outdoor toys. Sure it was basically a plastic seat a few inches from the ground and a set of handlebars that you swiveled from side to side, but I loved mine. In fact, I think went through like two before I got too tall to play with it. They're just not made for 6 ft tall girls or even 5'7 girls.

4. Hall of Justice: My superhero fangirlyness started at a young age with my Hall of Justice playset and figures. My favorite figure was Wonder Woman who, when you squeezed her legs, her arms flew up to block bullets. Although the Joker was pretty cool with his mallet that came down and Hawkman's wings did make him fly. I wonder if my mother still has all of those figures tucked away in a box somewhere.

5. Lite Brite: Great little toy. I wonder if they stil make them?

Do you have any favorites?

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What my music says...


1.If someone says, "Is this okay?" You say?
Bittersweet Symphony – The Verve

2.How would you describe yourself?
Girls – Beastie Boys
[I suppose 'Girls' describes me as a woman and that I am a gemini. Or it could be describing my breasts.]

3.What do you like in the opposite sex?
Machinehead – Bush
[I am not sure what this means. I want them to be tech savvy? A mechanic? A cylon? (Leoben is nice. So is Anders)]

4.How do you feel today?
This Place is a Prison – The Postal Service
[Oh so true today. Oh so true.]

5.What is your life's purpose?
Spirit’s in the Material World – The Police

6.What is your motto?
Cry, Little Sister (Theme from the Lost Boys) – Gerard McMann'

7.What do your friends think of you?
Starlight – Muse
[Does this mean they think I am dreamy? Or Spacey? Or just plain neat]

8.What do you think of your family?
Boss of Me – They Might Be Giants
[It’s scary how some of these fit]

9.What do you think about very often?
Big Love – Chicken
[I am kind of a die hard romantic]

10.What are you doing this weekend?
Waiting on the World to Change – John Mayer
[As per usual]

11.What do you think of your best friend?
Lucky – Bif Naked

12.What do you think of your significant other?
Weird Science – Oingo Boingo
[Which is funny since I am currently single, but I imagine that the future Mr. Smirking Revenge will be a bit odd]

13.What is your life story?
Ace of Spades – Motorhead

14.What do you want to be when you grow up?
Portions for Foxes – Rilo Kiley
[I would rather not be a rotting corpse…thanks. Love, love this song though]

15.What do you think of when you see the person you like?
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – Propellerheads
[I think everyone is a spy? James Bond? Wouldn’t be all bad if the guy I liked looked like Daniel Craig]

16.What will you dance to at your wedding?
Where Do I Begin – Chemical Brothers

17.What will they play at your funeral?
Wicked Ways – Garbage
[I’m not that wicked. Honest. Just smirking.]

18.What is your hobby/interest?
Prophecy – Remy Zero

19.What is your biggest fear?
World Spins Madly On – The Weepies

20.What is your biggest secret?
Loose Ends – Imogen Heap

21.What do you think of your friends?
Natural’s Not In It – Gang of Four

22. How would you best describe yourself?
My Skin is not my own – Brian Tyler

23. What is the secret to the universe?
Natural Selection – Wendy and Lisa (Heroes Soundtrack)
[It all comes down to Darwin doesn’t it?]

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Monday, July 7, 2008



June 29th - July 5th

How was your geek week? Any recommendations, movie reviews, etc?

BEST IN TV: So You Think You Can Dance returned to some great routines, but I was sad to see Kourtney and Matt go. Am hoping that Gev and Jessica are next as they are my least favorite. Loved both of Mia Michaels pieces and was happy to see popper, I can do strange things with my body guy during the results show. Also have been digging America’s Next Dance Crew though I miss having Shane Sparks on SYTYCD. Not a big TV week really, but also enjoyed I Survived a Japanese Game Show (I love the redheaded girl), Secret Diary of a Call Girl and am very excited to have Burn Notice, Psych, and Stargate: Atlantis starting up again. Same goes with No Reservations (Gotta love Anthony Bourdain).

BEST IN FILM: Wall*E officially stole my heart as he has been since I first saw the trailer. Was it the best of the Pixar films? No. But I seem to have a soft spot for the loveable little robot. It was a cute film, not heavy handed on the social commentary and made a cockroach absolutely adorable which never happens. Netflix queue gave me Brothers of the Head which was a mockumentary about two conjoined twins who are in a 79’s punk band. More dramatic then funny, but good. The red envelope also sent me The Eye (2008) which was a horrible remake of a genuinely creepy Asian horror film. See the original, not this one. The elevator scene in the original is my favorite oogie moment.

BEST IN PRINT: I Was Told There’d be Cake by Sloane Crosley I knew I was going to love the book after the first paragraph ponders ‘what if I die suddenly. What will people say about me when they look at the current state of my apartment’. I don’t even want to know what people would have to say about mine. I think I like Crosley because I can relate to her from her Bring-Your-Machete-to-Work Day tales of the Oregon Trail videogame to You On A Stick which regales unpleasant weddings. She is snarky and self-deprecating, charming and endearing, and throws enough pop culture, tales of suburbia and longings for something else that I was completely hooked. I laughed, took my own little trips down memory lane and the joys and heartache that are still there, and discovered a new person who is made of awesome. Her name is Sloane Crosley.

BEST IN MUSIC: I have been listening to the new Coldplay disc (disc meaning ipod. I don’t think I have bought a cd in at least three years) a lot as well as a few tracks off of Sigur Ro’s new album. I absolutely love The Watson Twin’s cover of The Cure’s Just Like Heaven. Top Five new tracks to my iPod would include: The Little Things - Danny Elfman/Wanted Soundtrack, Godan daginn - Sigur Ros, Love and Hate - Benoit Guerin/Persepolis Soundtrack, Mouthwash - Kate Nash, and Not an Addict - K’s Choice

OTHER GEEKY THINGS: I picked up the second TP of the Buffy Season 8 comic featuring Miss Faith of which I look forward to reading this weekend. I also picked up a new game, if you can call it that for my DS called My Fitness Coach in which I keep track of my physical activity, what I eat and participate in challenges. Is cute. And finally I have been catching up on my GeeksOn podcasts. If you haven’t listened to these guys, they are great and can be found on iTunes. I love my geeks.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Top Five Fictional Restaurants


Hard to pick just five, but...

1. Milliways (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams): Kind of a nobrainer for me. Plus dinner and a show and what a show it is.

2. Mos Eisley Cantina (Star Wars Trilogy): I always wanted to go there. I hear they have great music. Plus any chance to meet Han and seduce him before he falls for Leia is fine by me.

3. The Leaky Cauldron (Harry Potter series by JK Rowling): So I can pretend not to be a muggle. Who wants to be a muggle anyway? I would be so awesome at magic.

4. The Bronze (Buffy series): Great bands and such (Even Aimee Mann who hates ‘vampire’ towns). Granted it all got sucked up into the Hellmouth, but I'd visit and party pre-destruction. Especially if I could corner Spike. *le sigh* Spike.

5. The Prancing Pony (Lord of the Rings by Tolkien): They have pints! And also ruggedly handsome men named Strider.

Runners up would include: The Central Perk (Friends), The Pie Hole (Pushing Daisies), Strangefellows (Nightside series by Simon R Green), Vianne's chocolate shop (Chocolat) and Eric's nightclub (Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris)

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