Theater Masks

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Dark Knight Rises review

We finally got to see TDKR yesterday.

Disclosure on my opinion of the previous two films: Batman Begins was long with a solid ending. The Dark Knight was good. Heath Ledger was fantastic - the movie itself? Too long with some confusing set pieces.

Now, going into TDKR I had heard mixed things. It turns out that the "mixed" reviews were right on the money. The first hour, hour and a half or so DRAGGED. I understand the need for setup, especially with so many characters, but even once that's said, a fairly major player in the finale was conveniently ignored through the first half of the film.

Once the movie kicked into gear (I'd say around the time of the football stadium), it got much better. The last hour or so flew by.

Bane was an interesting villain, to be sure, but nothing compared to Heath Ledger's Joker. I didn't have as much trouble hearing what he had to say (and in fact found the voice downright creepy) but it did bring up other questions. First, how does he eat? I mean, Darth Vader could take his helmet off. Bane can't take the mask off. I also wondered why when it came down to it, Batman and he fought street-fighter style. No cool toys - just punches. Hmph.

To be honest, I didn't get the point of Catwoman in the movie. It's nothing against Anne Hathaway who I thought was great - I just feel the part was underwritten.

There are a couple of surprises in the movie I won't spoil here - one in particular where I turned to Caitie and, surprised, declared the mystery solved. She turned back to me "Duh!" - she had it figured out way earlier. D'oh!

Overall, I feel Nolan could have cut 45 minutes from the front of the movie. Otherwise, it was a pretty solid film and ending to the series.

One final point -- I confess I flinched HEAVILY at the gunfire in the movie. Granted, it was LOUD in our theater, but memories of the shooting couldn't be avoided throughout the film. It's a shame the movie will be scarred by that - I wonder how long gunshots in films will set me edge.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The shooting in Colorado and Polyamory

There's a show on Showtime late at night called Polyamory about people who are in a more than monogamous relationship. One story is a couple with a girlfriend, one is about a couple dating another couple. My initial reaction was "Good for them, not for me, but good for them." On the surface it felt like trash TV, but in the wake of what happened in Colorado at The Dark Knight Rises premiere, the show took on a different meaning for me and helped speak to just how crazy far right wing this country has become.

I can only imagine that if any Conservatives decided to shell out for Showtime (who knows, maybe they like Big Brother After Dark), they would probably flip their lids over this show. People in MORE than monogamous relationships? People with KIDS having a family that's more than mother and father? No way!

What impacted me the most after watching the first two episodes of this was how many times the two families highlighted used the word "love." At first I thought they were a little crazy - "love" this, "love" that, "love" energy - and so on. I mean, I love my wife and we tell each other that we love each other all the time, but it seems rare to hear people on TV tell each other they are in love and mean it - and even more so often.

So what is it exactly that Conservatives would have against this show which CLEARLY goes against what's "normal"? How can people be so against loving each other, if that's what's right for themselves. The show deals with how these people have to handle themselves psychologically - fully communicate problems and discuss them with the others they share their lives with. To me, it looked a lot more healthy than many of the families I've seen on TV.

After watching the show I went to bed last night thinking about this. My wife gets up early to go to work, and she woke me up this morning to tell me about the shooting in Colorado. She gave me a big hug before going to work. I couldn't get the thought of it out of my mind. I lay awake in bed for a good 45 minutes or so before drifting back to a restless sleep. I've spent most of today watching CNN and the coverage of the tragedy. Of course, now around 4pm afterwards, bubbles of talk about gun control are rising.

On a social media site my wife and I frequent,, talk is already coming up and sides are being drawn - those who are calling for more gun control, those who are fighting against it - the same old nonsense that comes up any time there's a tragedy along these lines.

I try to wrap my mind around the arguments for allowing people to have guns. Yeah, maybe it won't make a difference - those who want them will still get them. But wouldn't making it more difficult for these people be ideal? Shouldn't we run background checks on people, see why they WANT guns in the first place? I don't know the answer to this, and I am not that informed on gun control debate issues, truth be told. To me, though, today seems like the wrong time to jump to the defense of keeping stocked up on weapons and ammo come hell or highwater.

This brings me back to my original point - when did half this country become so backwards? They would argue against people who love each other being together and happy (and if not in polyamorous ways, at least in homosexual monogamous ways), and argue for the preservation of guns in the home. How did half this country become so cold, so out for themselves, so selfish as to not realize that they live in a community with some 300 million other people who are also looking for the same things they are - happiness, love, and the freedom to enjoy those things?

I don't know the answer. I can't even begin to explain it and tragedies like what happened last night make me try to wrap my mind around it even more.

I'll just end with this: I love my wife and my family very much. I'm very glad I have them to live with, to hug, and to enjoy. I just think we can learn more from the "freaks" out there, then from the "supposedly normal" right wing crazies who seem to scream from our televisions day in and day out for a return to normalcy.

I can't wait till my wife gets home to give her a huge hug.