Posts Tagged 'batman'

The 2017 Biggie Awards (and my Top 10 & Bottom 5 of 2016)

The 28th Annual Biggie Awards

for the love of movies.

Celebrating achievements in film for the year 2016

So 2016 has come and gone. A year I had big hopes for about 15 months ago turned out to be quite a dud in the grand scheme of things. It was even worse than 2015. For the second year in a row, I rated no theatrical release a ‘9’ on IMDb. There were no masterpieces, no all-time greats. There were some really good movies, and I put almost 20 more films on my “Movies I Love” list, but in terms of quality and the ability to stand the test of time, even the second or third-best movies of most past years would have easily won my Best Picture award over this lot.

Lobster Farrell bury
Me waiting for 2016 to be over.

2016 also broke a pretty long streak of spectacular even-numbered years. It was such a mediocre year that it even gave us a Steven Spielberg movie I couldn’t bring myself to watch (The BFG). General cinematic malaise aside, there were, as always, some highlights…

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Review: MAN OF STEEL

man_of_steel_ver6

WARNING: Spoilers be comin! If you’re one of 8 people left who haven’t seen this movie, know that I discuss almost every detail of the plot at one point or another during this review. There, I told you.

Man of Steel is the best Superman movie ever made, and my new NEW favorite movie of 2013. It’s one of the best movies I’ve seen all year, and easily the best movie I’ve seen so far this summer. I can confidently say that the only other movies that even have a chance to compete for Best Movie of the Summer are Elysium and Pacific Rim. Most of my complaints about the film are trivial at best, so the “Didn’t Like” section won’t be as long as it has been with a lot of other movies recently. MoS is far from perfect, but I didn’t have any huge gripes with it. Sorry, no nitpicking section this go-around. Sad face. But do join me for nearly 5,000 words of astute, insightful, edumacational reviewing…

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Review & Perspective: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

The Dark Knight Rises arrived in theaters as my most anticipated movie of 2012, and if I think about it, one of my most anticipated movies EVAR. As in, top 5 on my “keeps me up nights I’m so excited to see it” list, right up there with The Phantom Menace, The Matrix Reloaded, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers & Return of the King, Spielberg’s War of the Worlds and the first Transformers. That’s not an official list, but it gives you some historical comps. It’s been four long years since The Dark Knight rocked our socks with its awesomeness (it remains the best comic book movie ever made), and even though Christopher Nolan has continued to shit greatness in the interim (Inception), ever since 2008 I was always more excited about any and all news regarding his third Batflick. What’s the title gonna be? Who is the next villain to get the Nolan Treatment? The instant I walked out of that theater in July, 2008, I was wondering how soon Warner Bros. would announce a release date for the followup. And it didn’t happen. Forever. Even as The Dark Knight broke the almighty 3-day opening weekend box office record (which has since been topped twice by two 3D-enhanced juggernauts, Harry Potter 7-b and The Avengers), went on to gross more than $500 million domestically and just over a billion worldwide. Nowadays, when studios get results like that, they announce the release dates for the next 3 movies in a series. But it wasn’t until April 30, 2010 that they announced the release date (which I correctly predicted in 2008 would be in 2012), and the Dark Knight Rises title wasn’t announced until October 27, 2010. I remember being hugely underwhelmed by the title choice (Huh? You’re just gonna add one word to the title of the last movie? was my reaction at the time), but I trusted that it would all make sense once we saw the film. And even with all the trailers and ads prior to release, you don’t fully come to appreciate the title until literally the final shot of the movie, at which point it does in fact make perfect sense…as I thought it would. Continue reading ‘Review & Perspective: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES’

My Top 5 Concerns Going Into THE AVENGERS

The Avengers is now but 2 Fridays away, after 4 years of buildup through 5 other superhero movies. One of the most unique and challenging attempts in history at a cinematic merger is complete. That fact alone makes this a really big deal. Nothing like this has been attempted before in the hundred-plus years people have been making movies. I always had serious doubts this movie would even happen, let alone come together this smoothly. Now that it’s here, despite my excitement and trust in the talented people involved, I’m still a little hesitant to believe it will work. Or at least work the way I want it to (that’s a big caveat there).

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As you get older…(feat. Drake)

Editor’s Note: This post does not actually feature Drake. But if the false advertising attracted a few more readers, I win.

I’ve noticed in the last couple of years how I’ve changed as a person in certain areas as I’ve gotten older. Part of it is your natural maturation process, but the second big factor for me has been watching younger people making the mistakes that I’m not making anymore (and some that I never made in the first place). I’ve always known the person I wanted to be, but as you get older you are better able to make your actions back up your intentions, in large part because your priorities shift. I often notice now the differences in behavior between people in their early 20’s and people my age, and it makes me thankful not to be older, but to have the wisdom now to be able to control myself and make better decisions.

I find that wisdom manifesting itself now as a much better ability to control my emotions. The key to this is to simply follow your own good advice. In this case, it’s “control your emotions, do not let your emotions control you.” And that’s such a common, simple expression, but it’s true! The problem is that most people don’t have the discipline to put it into practice. With a few exceptions, anything that pisses you off in this life can be overcome with just a bit of patience. Almost all emotions dissolve over time. It’s just a matter of what emotion you’re trying to get rid of. For instance, it obviously takes longer to get over a longtime love than it does to get over one of your sports teams losing a big game. Anger is not something that you need to get rid of immediately, be it through a vengeful act that may harm others, or a reactionary act that may cause you to harm yourself. For example, when I get really pissed, 9 times out 10 (okay, maybe 8 times out of 10) I don’t kick or punch or throw anything anymore; for two reasons, 1) whatever I’m pissed at isn’t worth the potential of breaking your bones (and the time it will take for your body to heal), and 2) it’s not worth breaking yours or somebody else’s property (and the cost it will take to fix or replace it). Not that controlling my anger was ever a serious issue, but now it’s pretty much a non-factor. You will simply not feel as bad about most things that piss you off just a few hours or days later. At the very least, if you take a step back and wait, you’ll have a clear head, and the raw emotional desire you have for immediate satisfaction will have worn off, or at least subsided to the point where you can make a rational decision about how best to respond. When you’re pissed off, you rarely think, you just DO something in response. Right? Well, I prefer to think, both about the best course of action and the consequences something I do will have on everyone and everything around it. Let the other person be the one to do something stupid.

A perfect example of rationality besting emotion was this past Sunday. Following the Patriots devastating loss to the Jets, I had a bunch of immediate reactions that I wanted to spew into the world. I was emotional, and that emotion was desperate to manifest itself with hateful words and drastic action. But I knew better. I knew that even a couple days later, that emotion would subside and I could speak rationally on the subject. Truth is though, I don’t want to talk about the game. There’s no point anymore. I know why they lost, and don’t feel the need to make myself feel worse by discussing it further with anyone else. I’ve read some stuff online and listened to some Boston sports radio discussion on it, but I haven’t watched a minute of ESPN all week. If I watch even half of the AFC Championship Game tomorrow, I’ll be surprised. There will be only two people on that field that I like; Troy Polamalu and Mike Tomlin. The only Super Bowl result that will even mildly please me is if the Packers win it. I don’t want the Steelers winning their 7th. I don’t want Roethlisberger tying Brady for rings, and the thought of the Jets winning after talking all that shit all year rots my skin. What kind of world do we live in if scumbags like Ben Roethlisberger and pretty much everyone on the Jets are rewarded with a championship after being such bad people and poor sportsmen? It’s not a world I want to live in.

However, out of the Patriots loss I did learn one lesson, and putting it into action, I will be less excited about success in the regular season going forward, because when all of that joy and confidence can be taken from you in one 3-hour period in January, you feel pretty damn stupid about wasting September thru December being so hyped up about the possibilities and the chances of another Super Bowl appearance or win. I will be less emotionally invested in the games next year, because I’m tired of being let down. It’s simply not worth it. It’s not because I love the game, the players or the team any less. I just refuse to get that emotionally involved over something I have no control over. It’s not logical. It’s not sane. My policy for next season will be, Wake me when they’ve won a playoff game. Going 16-0, 15-1, or 14-2 is obviously irrelevant. I don’t care if they’re 10-6, so long as they go undefeated in the playoffs. I love dominant teams, but these guys haven’t turned regular season dominance into playoff success in 6 fucking years. The Patriots have not won a playoff game in 3 years, and the last time they did, the game after was the worst sports loss of my life (the tragic events of February 3, 2008). In my view, Patriots fans should be celebrating our 5th Super Bowl win this year, but instead (as I said on Facebook last week), the Patriots seem to be evolving into the pre-2004 Red Sox; purveyors of constant heartbreak. Moving on…

There are still a lot of things I want (and need) to change about myself, but it’s always good when you realize that some things have improved.

Anyway, enough psychobabble, and here’s some other random stuff on my mind this week:

*Great news this week out of Hollywood. Warner Bros. made some official casting announcements with regards to Christopher Nolan‘s final Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises. It had previously been reported that Tom Hardy (a Nolan veteran from Inception) had been cast, but we didn’t know who he was playing. Well, as was expected, he will be one of the two villains in the film, and we now know that will be Bane. Equally as exciting is the news that the beautiful and talented Anne Hathaway will be playing Selina Kyle/Catwoman. I believe Hathaway is one of the 2 or 3 most talented actresses in her age range, and I love that she will now be a major part of a series of films I adore. She’s proven she’s a great actress, and she’s also proven she can be damn sexy (Get Smart). Needless to say, I greatly anticipate the first official shot of her in costume. I fully expect her to eclipse even the wonderful job Michelle Pfeiffer did in Batman Returns, much like Heath Ledger eclipsed Jack Nicholson‘s classic Joker from the 1989 Batman. And it’s a no-brainer that Tom Hardy’s Bane will shit all over that stupid thing we got in Batman & Robin. I have no idea how these two villains will be used in Nolan’s Batworld, I don’t know a damn thing about their backstories from the comics, and I’ll probably avoid any and all internet speculation along those lines. The film comes out July 20 next year, and that right now that 18 months seems like 50 years.

*There’s a new, full-length trailer for Scream 4 (or Scre4m as they’re frequently peddling it), and I just need to warn you that if you intend to see the movie, you need to avoid this trailer at all costs. I wish I had. It is the single most spoiler-filled trailer I have ever seen. It’s basically a highlight reel of all the jump scares and death scenes in the entire movie. Again, if you are even remotely interested in seeing Scream 4, do NOT watch the new trailer. It comes out in April, and I would advise avoiding all trailers and TV spots until you see it, if you’re at all interested in being surprised by anything that happens. Meanwhile, Dimension Films needs to find new marketing people.

*God help me, but I need to praise an actor for their humanitarian efforts. Mr. George Clooney, one of Hollywood’s biggest “join the cause” blabbermouths, has actually been backing up his talk recently with actions. He’s been one of those “Save Darfur/Rwanda” guys for a long time, and has actually spent a lot of time in Sudan this winter as part of the development of a program between Google and the UN to try and monitor the country via satellite imagery in order to prevent future acts of genocide. Turns out Clooney actually contracted malaria while he was he was over there (twice! as a matter of fact). All is well of course, but credit to him for not immediately running back to L.A. after getting sick. He’s certainly not faking his concern over these issues. Now, I don’t know if what he’s doing will actually make a lick of difference in the long run, but if he’s getting malaria, he’s obviously getting his hands dirty, and for that I commend him. Too bad Sudan’s population aren’t all multimillionaire celebrities who can afford to get immediate priority medical care. I for one would prefer to see Mr. Clooney and his ilk get involved with some domestic issues, but to each his own I suppose. As long as his trips over there aren’t taxpayer funded he can do what he pleases. [NY Daily News] [Clooney wrote THIS for the Huffington Post on the issue in December]

Actor Future Sudanese dictator George Clooney.

*OH, HAI, January Jones! I never thought of her as hot, but she looked goddamnedfantastic at the Golden Globes on Sunday. So kudos Ms. Jones. I’ve got my eye on you. This must be her month! (BA DUM BUM!) Who’s got two thumbs and lame puns? This guy!

 

*I want to add something to my “Things I Find Disturbing” list. I was reminded of it early this week when Apple released their massive earnings statements, which saw them bring in $26.7 billion in revenue and $6 billion in profits (both record highs for the company) over the holiday season. And goodie for them. I don’t have a problem with that. I have a problem with something else. I find it disturbing that no one will point out or openly accuse Apple of having a monopoly on the  mp3 player market. I’ve thought this for a long time. The iPod has no true competitor. Sure, you can pick from a limited amount of other devices that can play digital music on them. However, if you want any accessories, or any capability to use your mp3 player with external brands and products, you have only one option. As far as I know, the Zune is the second most popular mp3 player (which is kind of like saying Boston, New York is the second most popular Boston in America).

Other than basic things like a protective sleeve and a portable charger, there are next to no options for Zune accessories, nothing to compares with what you can do with any iPod. And no, Apple whores (who can smell from thousands of miles away whenever I criticize Apple products or practices), that’s not because the Zune isn’t worthy of accessorizing. I have an 80GB Zune, which I LOVE, and which I’ve had for more than 2 years now. I will keep it as long as it functions. But god forbid I want to use it outside of just in my ears, and I’m fucked. Try searching “Zune sound dock” and see what comes up. Next to nothing. Nothing of any quality, anyway. Meanwhile, every high-end audio company on Earth makes multiple iPod docks. You can connect an iPod to pretty much anything. I can unplug one from my computer, go to the bathroom, plug it into my shower, get out and plug it into my toothbrush, finish that and plug it into my fucking refrigerator while I eat breakfast, and then take it out to any new car, which are now all built with iPod connectivity. I would love a Bose sound dock for my Zune, but I ain’t gettin one anytime soon, am I? I’m pretty sure you can buy an iPod Nano for your dog, and dog collar makers are putting Nano docks in the collars. I believe Apple has a monopoly on mp3 player accessories and portability, which as a result forces new buyers to favor iPods above anything else. It’s just common sense. If you want to do something with an mp3 player other than walk around with headphones in your ears, you better buy an iPod. I’ve been holding out, but eventually, I will have to turn into a consumer zombie, buy an iPod and use the iTunes software as base camp for my music collection. I am not looking forward to this day.

Note to Apple whores: nowhere in the above did I say Apple makes an inferior product, or that the iPod isn’t worth buying. So spare me your defenses of the Once-Bitten Fruit Logo.

I’ve thought the same thing about ESPN for years. ESPN has a monopoly on nationalized sports coverage. Sure, Fox has local sports networks in most major markets, networks like NESN and YES can succeed in their one market, and all the major networks have sports divisions, but does anyone seriously believe someone could start up another national sports-only network on cable right now and succeed? Fuck no they couldn’t. It’d be impossible, because ESPN has been allowed to buy up the rights to cover pretty much EVERYTHING sports-related you could possibly think of. As such, how does ESPN not have a monopoly? If I want to watch a daily wrap-up of national sports news, what are my options other than SportsCenter? None. Nil. They don’t exist. If you’re an anti-trust lawyer, please explain to me where I’m going wrong. I must be in error somewhere, because I’ve literally heard NO ONE else bring this up, even media people who are often critical of ESPN. So I’m either way ahead of the curve or I’m totally out of the loop.

*And because I love posting these and have fun making them, here’s a couple more Black Ops Theater videos of my gameplay: First is 2 angles of an awesome Valkyrie rocket triple kill, followed by a sweet single kill. I may have to start using this as a killstreak more often.

Next is one of me putting a hot double sticky grenade kill on some campers on Havana. I particularly enjoy the first angle where the guy I stick the grenade to gets launched up against the table. LOLZ.

P.S. If you read my “Things I Find Disturbing” post, you saw at the end where I posted that ridiculous Lil’ Wayne lyric. Remember? I posted it intending to show just how UNinsightful these rappers are. I had just clicked on a random song from his newest album and found a stupid, insulting lyric (it didn’t take long). Well, two people (both girls) posted that exact quote on their Facebook pages this week, and it didn’t seem to be in jest. I don’t know how to react to this. Should it sadden me, or should I be laughing?


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