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Archive for the 'Indifferent' Category


2008.07.26 except for the bits with the bat, man:

(with apologies to the three or four of you who might read this post, as you're probably the three or four to whom i've already talked about it, and you've probably heard most of this from me already…)

Sara and i finally got out to see The Dark Knight thurs. night, and while it exceeded my expectations, i felt it didn't live up to the hype.

let me say first that this was a fantastic movie. all the major characters felt fully realized and deep, and either had strong arcs or a consistency of character that was gradually exposed during the course of the movie… that is, all the characters but one—the Batman. there was a recurring thought in my head as the movie unfolded: "this is a great movie, except for those pesky bits with the batman." after the movie, i reasoned that this movie would have been perfect as a GCPD movie—with all the batman stuff happening off-screen.

the performances delivered by the entire (non-batsuited) cast were absolutely spot-on. Gordon, Harvey, the Joker, and heck, even Lucius and Rachel were phenomenal at every turn. Such fantastic acting, scripting, and directing that there could be an oscar here (or several).

as bruce wayne, christian bale's performance was on par with his co-stars, an unimpeachable rendition of the nuanced billionaire playboy—dashing, vain, pretentious, and ostentatious, while also calculating, serious, and very aware of himself. a perfect bruce wayne. however, once he's in the suit, we're not so lucky.

i do understand that batman is not the suit, but the man inside and the raging, conflicting emotional and philosophical debates that play inside him. however, i feel that bale's portrayal of batman is weak and contrived.

the main thing I hated about the val kilmer batman (aside from the dreadful story and the rest of that horrible movie), was that stupid, insipid, forced gravelly voice thing he did. well, now, of course we've got christian bale doing the exact same thing. it's well established in the comics that batman does speak with an altered, lower voice than bruce, so it's not like the gravelly thing is completely off-base… it's just that it's so bad, and unnatural, and just simply not right. batman just doesn't talk this way, except maybe in one of those weird surreal one-shot trades by some artist with a fixation on the grotesque.

also, this batman just doesn't feel right to me somehow. in the (hand-to-hand) fight sequences, batman seems slow, plodding, and shortsighted. despite the fact that he's just a man with no superpowers, a man who is supposed to be the single greatest fighter in the world should move with more grace, fluidity, economy, and speed. batman's abilities border on the super-human, but with this batman, i don't feel that at all. it just feels like a guy in a suit. as the bat acolyte says, "what's the difference between you and me?" in this movie, the answer is "nothing."

(let me digress for just a sec by reiterating that in the previous paragraph i'm talking almost exclusively about the physicality of batman—we'll deal with psychological and philosophical concepts in a moment)

also, the suit. the keaton suit always bugged me a little, because, like the current suit, it's a little too bulky, a little too stiff, a little too rubbery. however, i felt like in the keaton movies, tim burton worked fairly well around the limitations of the suit, leaving that batman feeling more like a superhero than a guy in a suit. i almost feel that chris nolan just doesn't care to work around his suit's limitations, like he wants it to be more realistic, and thus it ends up being just a guy in a suit. and what's up with the cowl? keaton's was a bit funky, with that stiff rubber, but seems like it was shaped better. bale's cowl feels too ovular, and like he's just got this tiny pointy little face on this great big egg shaped head. i dunno, but i don't like it.

veering away from the negativity a bit, but continuing with physicality, i have to say that the driving and flying sequences were great. all very well done, and enjoyable to watch. batman on a glider is one of my favorite things, and this movie didn't disappoint in this area. some of his toys were pretty nifty too. however, i do have a beef with the whole "skyhook" thing. it's a fantastic idea, don't get me wrong, it looked pretty awesome, and i know bruce wayne is rich as fuck, but seriously, the way that went down was not batman's style. a charter plane, or involving the U.S. military, either way, it's not his style. i mean, you can pursue realism all you want, but there is a line.

i mentioned earlier that all the characters were deep and well-realized. this is also true of batman (even though i don't care for the portrayal). the concepts dealt with in this movie—duality, sanity, purpose versus principles, and escalation—are indeed quintessentially batman concepts which have been dealt with extensively in the comics and other movies. so, yes, the batman's arc in this movie is also fantastically conceived… if only it was executed as well.

finally, we saw the movie in the IMAX theater, with seats near the middle on the second row about 100 feet or so away from the screen. perhaps i was too close, or perhaps i was too engrossed in the movie, but i can't say that i ever noticed a single bit that was IMAX. i will also say that it was very disappointing that there was at least some component of the projection system—the screen, the booth window, the project, or even the film—that was very dirty. there were black spots all over the screen.

given all the above, and my love of batman (in general), i figure that i will like it much better after a second viewing. now that i have traded expectation for experience, and having already said my peace about bale's bat, perhaps i'll be able to sit back and really watch it, enjoy it, and not let the bad bits color my perception of everything else too much.

anyone willing to give it a second look?

- 04:29 am - PL :: 5 Comments
categories ::  Comics - Indifferent - Movies - Pop Culture - Rants - Raves - Uncategorized

 

2004.03.18 how often does a blue moon come?:

to say that my blogging habits have become rather poor would be something of an understatement, i'd imagine. nevertheless, i'm still around, things are still happening, to me, just not enough discrete interesting things that i've a fount of fun events to pepper you with.

show flyeralso, i realize it's a bit late in the day to be "announcing" this, but i figure that anyone who reads bipolar and is interested in my band already knows the website (which also suffers from lack-of-update-itis) so will already be informed about tonight's show.

we'll be at the rud tonight with Chumley and Tipping the Lion which is basically Chumley, just playing free-form improv rock stuff. should certainly be interesting.

the really fun thing is that i've been fighting a cold for a few days, i'm tired, i'm sick, and i may have a slight fever as well. needless to say, i'm going home to take a nap before the show tonight. at least for 45 to an hour, if i can get it.

wish us luck, and get on out to the Rud if ya can.

- 04:42 pm - PL :: 8 Comments
categories ::  Calls to Action - Indifferent - Lucifigous Prick - Music

 

2003.07.16 five dollar, no holler:

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series DC 2003

Day Three: today, we decided to visit the other monuments in the Mall, and to spend some time at the Air & Space Museum (this was really my only mandatory activity for the whole trip–i wasn't about to visit D.C. without going to the Air & Space Museum).

we set out from the probably somewhere in the range of 10:30 to 11:00, and proceeded to the Mall. we made it back to the Washington Monument, then made our way towards the construction zone, avoiding touring school-children, gaggles of the elderly, and middle-aged couples walking hand in hand discussing whatever it is that middle-aged hand-in-hand type couples discuss.

one end of the lawn was boarded, roped, fenced, and otherwise closed off, but there were gateways through the fencing at the crosswalks to let onto the sidewalks that lead along the reflecting pool at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial. now, if you've not been to D.C., or if you've been but have never seen the reflecting pool, let me just prepare you… it is a green festering dirty filthy mess. not nearly so "beautiful" as we may've been led to believe by the movies, photographs, and other images. that shit looks nasty, and, while i didn't walk directly along the edge of the pool, i imagine it probably stunk. it looked like it would stink. much like our society and especially our government, it looks pretty nice from far away, but once you get right up close, you can see that it's unkempt, rundown, dirty, and ugly. "reflecting" indeed.

anyway… before we made it to the Lincoln Memorial, i noticed the Korean War Veterans Memorial off to the side as we approached, so i detoured our contingent to go get a peek. i remembered ben and geoff talking about it at some point in the past, and remembered the images i'd seen from it, so i wanted to go get a real look at it. it was pretty cool, but i think this was really the point in the trip where i started wishing that i could visit these places without hundreds of other people. i couldn't "connect" with the memorial, or any of the memorials we visited, because i couldn't "disconnect" from all the people milling about.

next we went on to the Lincoln Memorial. it is huge. it was cool.

after that, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. my companions were all visibly moved by it, once we reached the other side, but once again, somehow i managed not to take it in or be effected by it. i have no immediate personal connection to that conflict, at least not through a familial loss, because though most of the male members of my extended family (who were of age) did serve in that war, they all returned.

after the Vietnam Memorial, we left the Mall and headed for the nearest Metro stop (10 blocks away or some crazy shit like that) and headed back around to the Air & Space Museum.

you've doubtless heard the old analogy of the kid in the candy store, right? well, that certainly could've been applied to me. rockets and manned space capsules and jets and… just all kinds of really cool shit.

probably my favorite of the exhibits was the Apollo moon shot exhibit, followed closely by the history of aviation exhibit. they also had the crazy ass space flight simulators or airplane simulators or whatever they were–the ones with the pneumatic chambers that shake, move, twist, and turn the little cabin that you're sitting in. i really wanted to do that, but the wait was over an hour, and we were only planning on spending 4 or so there.

the freakiest thing of the whole trip though, was when we decided to get some lunch after walking through a couple exhibits. there was a food court area in a sectioned off area of the building, and the restaurant was a combined McDonald's (ick), Boston Market, and Donato's Pizzeria. i can hardly describe the level of freakishness that this fast-food place has managed to achieve… think of a drive-through restaurant for race-car drivers, only there're no cars… think of cattle lining up to be slaughtered, and each being able to pick which particular shape of knife gets to be drawn across its throat… think of being shoved in a bright, metal & glass elevator car, going up at ridiculous speeds and having grease, meat, bread and french fries squeezed through a strainer in the ceiling above you.

ok, now think of something just a touch less freakish.

yeah. fucking packed… PACKED with people—scads, scores, gobs of people—in long lines where you first place your order with a disinterested person sitting in a bright metal chair, and then are told to go to the next person who will collect your money. then, after paying, you have to step up to the "counter" to pick up your "meal." each successive person looking like they give even less of a shit than the last, and the food you're handed, if hot, is only just barely so. hell, i'm freaking out right now just thinking about it.

so anyway, we ate the crappy food at the freaky food court, then went on back out to get some more exhibits under our belts before meeting ben & mary (who'd been sitting on a bench or in the planet-arium for most of the day).

after the Museum, we were dog tired (and still freaked out about the food court), so we went back to the hotel and crashed for a few hours, before going back out on the town for dinner.

this evening we kind of jazzed it up a bit. we walked out to this place that ben had found (we tended to leave the dining decisions to ben & mary it seemed, so we ended up eating at much more high-class establishments than i can imagine i would've picked) and checked in at the front table. there were actually two separate restaurants in the same… er… restaurant–one for the lower upper middle class, the other for the lower upper class. ben picked the one he thought was the former, and we proceeded downstairs to a nice big round table with all the accoutrements including the cloth napkins all folded and placed decoratively on the plate. we opened the fancy menus in the nice leather-bound folders, and stared aghast at the $15 asking price for a house salad. needless to say, we stared even more aghast at the $40 – $60 dollar entrees, then promptly told the waiter that there'd been a mistake and we needed to go back upstairs to the "cheap seats".

somehow, at this point, $5 for a Beam & Coke, and $15 for an entree didn't seem all that bad.

the food was good (thank god, or someone would've lost an eye or limb) and we were satisfied with our last day & night in D.C.

well, almost. sara & i decided to go back to the White House, as there was some issue of film not advancing properly in her camera the night before, and she wanted to make sure she got some night shots of the White House. we did, and we had a nice leisurely stroll through the streets of D.C., just the two of us hand-in-hand, talking about whatever it is that young hand-in-hand type couples talk about on their last night on their first vacation together.

we went back to the hotel and prepared for our early morning departure, and a day of potential chaos.

2003.04.19 frascintration:

i just stumbled across the Wikipedia while looking up Glockenspiel for a minor update to the Lucifigous Prick about page. Wikipedia looks to be an awesome thing–an open source encyclopedia, built and maintained by a broad internet community. It's an encyclopedia that, should you find an article you disagree with, you can change (or recommend changes) to better fit the facts as you know or understand them. I think i may have to add some functionality to my bookmarklet to add an option for searching the Wikipedia.

In other fun news, our show on the 11th went alright, except that the people (there was another show scheduled earlier in the evening) who were on stage before us didn't get off-stage until 15 minutes before we were supposed to start playing. Seeing as it takes us most of an hour to get all our equipment set up, it was 10:45pm before we even started playing. So there were several people who kept asking us when we were going to be ready, and that we needed to start "soon." Needless to say, we were all a bit frustrated before we even played the first note, and the first half of the set pretty much reflected that–we were a little tight and held-back. Really, we didn't play badly at all… we were just "in a mood." I think most of the crowd was enjoying what we were doing, but i was a bit too frustrated to pay attention at the time.

Ah well, this sort of stuff is to be expected every once in a while, i'd say.

2002.08.09 ah-iggit, blah:

well, i did get the car back. and it does now stop without making any noises. if anyone's ever wondered what the price of silence is, i can easily tell them that it's about $1,400.00. bleh.

hm. i think i'm going to do the unthinkable… follow up two really long and (arguably) interesting posts with a really short lame one.

in case anyone was wondering… those permalinks (the little "PL" in the author line following each post) are now working again. apparently, i did something when converting this site to PHP (yes, that long ago) that broke the permalinks. well, they're working again. so, grab some PL's and link your happy asses off.

er something.

speaking of PL's, (only, backwards) Lucifigous Prick (have i told you this already?) has another show lined up this coming week, with none other than the inimitable Old Man (featuring the illustrious puffin), and the irreplaceable Green Formica Table (who i've mentioned previously). go to http://www.lucifigousprick.com/ for more info on the show. flyers and the like will be up on the site as soon as i can grab a spare 15 minutes to whip together some downloadable versions of the designs.

again, i say bleh. it's been that kind of week.

- 03:42 pm - PL :: 22 Comments
categories ::  Bipolar: News - Indifferent - Lucifigous Prick - Music

 

2001.03.04 so, yeah:

so, i had this conversation with my mother earlier this week, and we ended up talking about my smoking habit. basically, her telling me (of course) that i should quit because it's not good yada yada yada… which i already know. and believe me, i often think of quitting for all those reasons, but i just don't want to right now, and it's that simple. well, of course, it's not that simple, but y'know.

well, i ended up trying to explain to my mother why i smoke, which forced me, in the process to admit to myself why i smoke. or at least to attempt to figure out why i continue to do this to myself. mainly what i came up with is that i know it's bad for me, unhealthy, but since i'm not happy with my physical being right now — i'm lazy, i'm getting fat, tired all the time, always oversleeping. let's just say that psychologically i'm not in a good place, because i'm neglecting my physical self, and i'm neglecting my physical self because i'm not, psychologically, in a good place. basically, what i told her was that i didn't feel like i deserved to treat my body any better than i am.

but don't you worry 'bout me, i'm just having a little personal crisis here, and i'm sure, like puffin, it'll all get a little better when the weather gets a little warmer.

and yeah, jessie won the big contest, so we'll be putting her bipolar redesign up hopefully by mid-next week… assuming i can find any free time in which to work on all the little things that need to be done. but, it looks great, and you'll all be pleasantly surprised once we've done away with all this black and these skulls. i know i will be.

my sister is still kicking my ass at this posting thing, and thankfully she's had a few moments to write some longer posts in the past few days. it's nice to be able to keep up with her life this way since she seems to be able to write email to my roommates and my friends but not to me. sorry, just had to get in a little dig there sis. i know, i haven't written you either… i'm a bad brother.

well, there are, perhaps, other things i could say… but i won't. it's late and i'm tired. good night all.

- 06:23 am - PL ::
categories ::  Bipolar: News - Family - Friends - Indifferent - Personal Projects

 

2001.01.18 substance of life:

alright, i've been reading erasing.org for several months now, on a mostly daily basis, and i just now clicked the Sadness link. such a simple concept, replacing words in corporate slogans with the word sadness. simple, profound (in spots), and so much the story of my life (at times).

so, i got an email from since he's been reading, he's not really finding anything out about my life, but about the other useless crap i've felt compelled to fill these pages with for the past few posts.

i figured he would have liked the "holy grail" post, but then he's heard about her enough times, it's old news to him. i figured he would have liked my "year in review" post since i provided a brief roadmap to some of the more important points of my life that have occurred since the inception of this blog.

but he's right. with the exception of the "holy grail" post, everything else has pretty much just been filler.

so, i've been busy at work, at least until a week ago, when the frantic activity suddenly came to a grinding halt due to the fact that no one could seem to get me the remaining three pieces of content that i needed to complete the new corvus site (on which, btw, are welcome).

in my home life, i've been busy cataloging my comics, now that brian and i are helping beta-test OmniComics and catching up on email. i've now got five emails in my inbox at home, compared to the 25 that were sitting in there for a few weeks. i've been trying to refine my focus a little, concentrate on certain projects, see them through to completion… y'know, the way it should be done. like the puffin i tend to get 15 or 20 projects going at the same time, and just never finish them. when i think about all the things i've got "waiting in the wings" i just feel kind of hopeless and lost. so, it's been good to finish the email project, to be near completion on the comics project, (and yes, i'm still working on the bipolar redesign project, which is… uhm… kinda close).

overall, i can't say i'm really happy, but i'm not really depressed either. i'm just kind of… here. and i don't know, maybe that's even worse than the other two.

ah, don't worry 'bout li'l ol' me though, i'll be fine.

2000.06.15 job hates life:

well, I'm sitting here at work once again, on my "lunch break" at 2:40 am. you'd think that after two months of being unemployed and having no money, and having to beg, borrow, and/or steal to pay my bills (I never really had to steal anything, but I did have to beg & borrow a lot), that I would be thrilled to be back at work, making money. i'm not. there are much more important things I'd rather be doing with my time, but most of them aren't things I'll make any immediate money from. I'd love to be able to devote more time to coffeemonk.com and get it to where I'd like it to be design and feature wise. I'd like to be able to devote more time to web development and finding new clients for x:13. I'd like to be able to spend more time working on my writing, finishing the novel and short stories I've started, and maybe even write more poetry. I'd like to be able to finish my second poetry book, and get that out on the shelves and on the site. there are lots of things I'd like to do, but "real life" seems to get in the way. maybe I don't try hard enough, maybe I don't take enough risks, maybe I'm too much of a dreamer and not enough of a do-er.

'til I get that figured out, I guess I'm stuck working a job I don't really enjoy, making less money than I should be, and wishing I could be doing something else.

- 02:50 am - PL ::
categories ::  Indifferent - Personal Projects - Work - x:13 Family

 


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