Monday, September 25, 2017

Taking A Knee

I hadn't really followed the commentary around Trump's tweeting about NFL protests last week and I was out of town for part of Sunday so it wasn't until shortly before the Sunday night game that I was somewhat caught up on what was going on. I did turn the game on, but after seeing so many of the Raiders and a few Redskins kneeling I walked out of the room. I turned it off a few minutes later, though part of that was due to audio issues they were having with the broadcast. Still, I have to say that while I've disliked the anthem protests all along, this Sunday made a difference. The league decided to get behind these players and for the first time I find myself disliking the league as a whole, not just some of the players. I'm not sure I'm ready to quit but I'm actually finding myself thinking about it. I have to think there are other fans thinking the same, especially since NFL fans tend to skew Republican, and turn out to vote. Alejandro Villenueva, NFL lineman and U.S. Army veteran, the only Steeler to stand outside the tunnel for the anthem, has the best-selling jersey in the last 24 hours. I'd buy a shirt myself but the money would just go to the NFL. Anyway, this could turn out bad for the NFL and for once I'm rooting against them.

Friday, August 04, 2017

"Gotham needs its true hero."

Kevin Conroy is Batman. He's never wore the cape and cowl onscreen but he's still the definitive version of the character, voicing him for 25 years in animation and video games. Below, he reads Batman's speech from the end of The Dark Knight.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Thoughts on Dunkirk

What do you need to know about Dunkirk? I think this statement from a 97-year-old veteran who was there says it all:

“I never thought I would see that again. It was just like I was there again.”

Which means it is intense. Early in the film there is an attack by a Stuka dive bomber and the volume increases to almost painful levels as the screaming plane makes its bombing run. I wanted to duck under my seat. Zimmer's score also keeps everything tense as I'm sure you can imagine if you're familiar with his work. It's not something you'd want to turn on and unwind with after a long day. I'm listening to it now (thanks Amazon Prime) and getting a little tense.

A few other thoughts:

-The movie is split into three stories each taking place over a different period of time: One week, one day, one hour. This is clearly indicated in the titles but many people, including myself, seemed to have missed that at first.

-"Mole" is another word for essentially a big break wall, so when you see that show up in the titles don't think the guy on the screen is a German spy. This also confused me until they used the word later in the movie.

-If water really freaks you out don't watch this movie. It's definitely as close as I ever want to be to being inside a sinking ship.

-The movie is surprising bloodless. There is plenty of violence and death but it's not gory like the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan.

-You're probably going to jump multiple times watching this movie.

-It's a different movie than some of Nolan's previous work, like Interstellar and Inception, but I still liked it a lot. I will need to see it again to really appreciate it because the first time you sort of just survive it.

-The movie ends with one of the characters reading Churchill's famous speech in a newspaper. Here's the speech:

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Homecoming Rankings

1a.Captain America: Civil War
1b. Guardians of the Galaxy
1c. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
1d. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
5. Avengers
6. Iron Man
7. Doctor Strange
8. Iron Man 3
9. Spider-Man: Homecoming
10. Avengers: Age of Ultron
11. Thor
12. Captain America: The First Avenger
13. Ant-Man
14. Iron Man 2
15. Thor: The Dark World
16. The Incredible Hulk

It's getting difficult to slot these new films in. There's very little difference from 7-14 for me and I could probably change that around every time I look at it.

Thoughts on Spider-Man: Homecoming

A few thoughts on Spider-Man: Homecoming:

-I was a bit skeptical about this movie. Tom Holland was great in Civil War but Sony's involvement and the weight of all the previous Spider-Man movies made wonder if they could pull this off. They definitely pulled it off.

-This was the first Spider-Man movie to feel like it was actually taking place to a character in high school. It was nice to see high school kids played by actors that at least looked like they could plausibly (the main cast is a little older) be high school kids.

-Skipping the origin story allows us to get more time with Peter learning how to be a superhero. It's one of the only superhero movies that shows the hero screwing up big time and learning how to deal with it. That's a nice change and perfect for Spider-Man.

-Speaking of perfect, Holland is just that as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man. The previous actors could do one or the other but not both.

-The Vulture is an excellent villain. They managed to make a silly-looking character cool (comic pic below) and Keaton did a great job making him somewhat sympathetic and appropriately threatening.

 -I love that the film definitely takes place in the MCU. Even with Stark involved I was afraid they would downplay that fact but the whole story develops from the events of previous movies. I wish S.H.I.E.L.D. had been involved but that seems to be an issue with the TV-Movie divide at Marvel in general rather than this movie in particular.

-I think the Stark upgrades to the Spider-Man suit are pretty cool.

-Stark himself came off as a bit of a jerk in the movie. No doubt part of that is even having him in it for a few minutes strains the budget.

-The only things I didn't care for in the movie were two supporting characters, Flash and Michelle. Flash is a real departure from the classic version and that just didn't work for me. Michelle has a similar issue, but they go to great lengths to hide her true identity until the end.

-Spider-Man will appear again in Infinity War and his own sequel. After that it's up to Sony and Marvel to reach a new deal. Hopefully Sony doesn't screw it up, though Sony not screwing things up would be unusual.

-The mid-credit scene is related to the movie and kind of interesting. The post-credit scene is just fun but you could certainly skip it if you were trying to get out of the theater.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Black Panther

I'm very interested to see how this movie turns out. Black Panther never really clicked for me as a character until Civil War. Wakanda especially has always been kind of silly since writers could never seem to decide if it was a country of extreme wealth and super-advanced science or the most stereotypical kind of African tribesmen. Hopefully they can find a way to make it all make sense.

I'm not feeling the slight redesign of the costume.