Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Guess Who Batman

So, I finally got around to seeing The Dark Knight this weekend. Perhaps you've heard of it?

Anyway, it seems silly to add my two cents to the heap of praise that the movie has already received (as one astute critic noted, the film "TOWERED ABOVE ALL THE BULLSHIT LIKE A FUCKING OBALISK OF OWNAGE"). I must say, though, that I was impressed by some of the actors who turned up in smaller roles. Look, it's William Fichtner in the opening scene! Hey, Richard Alpert got elected mayor of Gotham! There's Sen. Patrick Leahy, talking back to the Joker! I guess once you've faced off against Dick Cheney, that sort of thing comes easily.

And speaking of the caped crusader, I remember reading years ago that Darren Aronofsky was planning to direct an adaptation of Frank Miller's Batman: Year One, but the project never came to fruition. I only recently learned more about how Aronofsky wanted to adapt the material, but now I completely understand why a studio would be reluctant to kill off their star superhero franchise in ways that Joel Schumaker could only dream of. Still, I would've liked to see that movie.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Deeper Into Movies

I've come across the website of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists (yes, such creatures still exist) when they put out their more gender-balanced response to the AFI's predictable Top 100 list. Their year-end awards also worth checking out; they have the usual critics-group categories, but also include more offbeat ones, like Most Egregious Age Difference Between Leading Man and Love Interest (a particular interest of mine, apparently) and Best Depiction Of Nudity or Sexuality. Strangely, both of those went to movies starring Ben Kingsley, that old creep.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dear Lily Allen,

Hi! How have you been lately? I like your new haircut.

Do you want to go to a movie or something?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Antichrist Television Blues

The AV Club's list of bad gifts includes the television given to Jane Wyman in Douglas Sirk's All That Heaven Allows. I've never seen that movie, but I immediately thought of two other films in which a TV serves a similar role: in Barry Levinson's Avalon, a TV ends up alienating a family from their heritage, and in Quiz Show, Charles van Doren presents his father with a new TV set at a frequently awkward birthday party, just as his own fleeting celebrity is outshining his father's intellectual notoriety.

So, if you're looking for a Christmas present that will be fraught with symbolism and drive a wedge between the generations, by all means spring for that shiny plasma screen.

Monday, December 8, 2008

There's a War on Christmas, It's Under Attack

Bill O'Reilly's gonna have a fit when he sees what the evil secular progressives at Parade magazine titled his inane quiz.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Upper Darby: Liz Lemon Does Not Want to Go to There

Oh, Tina Fey; why must you slander the hometown that loves you so much? It's bad enough that we now have the reputation as the sort of place where five-year-old kids are liable to be viciously attacked by strangers in their own front yards. But then you have to go and feature a thinly-veiled version of Upper Darby on last night's 30 Rock, a place inhabited by whittling, jug-blowing IHOP monkeys, an N.C. Wyeth museum that was burned down by meth addicts, and Detour signs that are really traps.

I mean, this is just out of line:

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Keanu Barada Nikto

This remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still looks a bit different from the original (i.e., less theremin music, more TOTALLY AWESOME EXPLOSIONS!!!!!). One thing that the commercials haven't made clear, though, is who Keanu Reeves is supposed to play. Sure, it looks like he's Klaatu, but if he were playing Gort . . . let's just say that one of those roles is better-suited to his particular acting style.