Monday, May 24, 2010

LOST without you

So LOST ended yesterday, on what I would say a high note, but there was still some questions as to the ending. Let me do a little background on my Lost habits. I watched the first season in it's entirety and half of the second season, missed the third season, except for the final episode, I caught up reading synopsises on various websites, watched half the 4th season, and all of the 5th and sixth. I own all the DVD sets except season 5 which I hope to get this week and season 6 which does not come out until 8/24. So I have followed it pretty regularly and I was very happy with the endings of the different relationships in this final episode but the final 10 minutes or so were a bit strange, though I loved them and I have a general idea what it is about.


So the sideways flashes were just sort of a Limbo, heaven's waiting room as it were, and then when someone eventually gave in to it, they remembered everything that happened on the island and then went and waited for the others to arrive. As Christian Shepard stated to Jack, everything that happened on the island happened, some people died early and were just waiting in Limbo until they decided to let go or needed to help someone let go. Some lived long lives, some died early, but in the end they all went to one place to be together and move on to the next level. And some were not ready to leave their limbo, or decided to stay like Ben who didn't want to leave his limbo, or he felt he did not deserve to go. That seems to be the gist that most people are reading into it.

It makes it into a great ending to a series that still has a ton of questions that need to be answered, but this show was about the people on the island and not what the island was. I will miss the show and I hope to catch up on all the episodes I missed. Lost was great and it will be missed.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Greatish Performances: Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka

"What is this Wonka? Some kind of funhouse?" "Why? Having Fun?"

Back before Blogs were the big thing I used to write what I called an email column, which I guess was a predecessor to a Blog. I wrote movie reviews and other things of interest to me and sent them out as emails to some people, Family and friends mostly. One of the columns I used to write was one called Greatish Performances, which I think I stole from Movieline or EW or Premiere or one of the myriad of movie magazines I used to read. They would take a performance from an actor or actress and just focus on that, not really getting into a review of the film or TV show they wrote about, but a review of a great performance. I have decided to bring that back.

I was flipping the remote around the other day and caught the classic 70s musical Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. This happens to be one of my favorite films and the main reason why is the utter insanity that is Gene Wilder in this film. The funny thing is he does not appear until about 45 minutes in because you have to set up the storyline, 5 lucky kids get a chance to get to see Wonka's chocolate factory. Wonka having been a recluse for so long finally appears walking with a cane very slowly and looking very old, then the cane gets stuck and Wilder falls but he rolls and stands up, not old and weak at all, just very deceptive, and the start of his deception. While you spend more time with him you can't believe anything he says or does he's the greatest con man in the world and you love him.

Wilder plays him with a sparkle in his eye, as if he is having the time of his life. This film is weird enough that it gives him license to go out of his head and he does and he is fabulous. Be it the heartfelt singing he does about Pure Imagination, or his insane glee about Augustus Gloop getting stuck in a pipe, or Violet Beaureguard turning into a blueberry, or best of all Veruca Salt getting dropped into the garbage chute. He loves that this horrible children are getting their just desserts, and on top of that he even messes with their parents who are enabling their children's bad habits. It's a fun, sly little act that Wilder nails. He acts like every bizarre thing that happens in his factory is perfectly normal and you love it.

Wilder is loads better then Johnny Depp's portrayal in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, though if Wilder's performance did not exist, Depp's would be a good start, but Depp's was just a little out there for me. His Wonka was a kooky recluse, Wilder looked like he was just biding his time and having fun. And you will enjoy his performance as well.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Iron Man 2 The Sequel

It's been over a week since My wife and I saw Iron Man 2. I've let it digest in and have decided to write my review. Real quick, those who know me, know I am a huge movie geek as well as a Comic Book geek, so I always have special places in my hearts for Comic Book movies, yes even the bad ones. That being said. I really liked it, but didn't love it. SPOILERS BELOW!!!

The first one was an instant classic because as a lot of reviewers have said it focused more on the characters and not the CGI, but in this one you need to surpass the first one with huge set pieces and awesome effects. I get it, and that works, but I feel some of the characters got short shrift, especially Pepper Potts played by Gwenyth Paltrow. She was quite a force in the first one, this one she gets an interesting promotion and they really don't touch on it that much. Don Cheadle steps into the role of James Rhodes and again his character is just kind of there, though he does have a few quick ass scenes as War Machine. Scarlett Johannssen plays the Black Widow, and again gets very few scenes, though like Cheadle, she gets a kick-ass fight scene in full Black Widow regalia, and she is awesome. I wish we could have seen more of her as well. Instead we get a lot of Robert Downey JR., Mickey Rourke, and Sam Rockwell.

Downey I get, he is Iron Man and the main focus of the story SHOULD be on him as it is. He gets some great plot points as he should and the focus is on him. By the way he nails the role and is the perfect actor for it. If only he was slightly younger.

Rourke and Rockwell are the villains and I get they need some time as well, but if that is the case, don't introduce the Black Widow, or get Pepper involved more in the plot. As villains I was slightly disappointed in Rourke's Whiplash. He does not wear the Whiplash costume, though his electric Whips rock. He uses am ARC device like Iron man, and in the final battle he is in a metal suit. Look Iron Man has a lot of villains who are not in Armor, and I realize also that you don't want the villains to wear garish suits, but it is a comic book movie and this is the character. If you wanted another metallic villain you could have had Rourke still be Russian, but he could be the Crimson Dynamo and that would logically lead to having Black Widow in there as well since she is Russian too. But they didn't do that.

Rockwell as Justin Hammer is done a lot better and is closer to the comic book character. And I guess that is where some of my criticism lies. I have got to get it into my head that these movies are not adaptations of the comics, but are using the characters. So keeping that in mind the film is great and gets people interested in the characters so they may check them out in the comics. And that is all I really ask. Go see it you will enjoy it. It is a big Summer Event Film. ENJOY!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Death in Comics Revisited

On the eve of Free Comic Book Day I am revisiting one of my previous blogs about death in comics. My last post was about a year ago and a lot has changed. DC did a storyline called Blackest Night where all the dead people in the DC universe were re-animated and they attacked friends and families to feed on their emotions. When the story was done {SPOILER WARNING} the above 12 super-heroes and super-villains were brought back to life. Why these 12 and not anymore is an on-going story that is occuring in the Brightest Day series which will last through the rest of the year. But I'm ok with this. The way writer brought them back was quite clever and the fact that it was only these 12 makes it an interesting story that is yet to be told why they lived. What I like also is that these 12 are all having trouble trying to get back to living after being dead for so long which is fairly realistic. According to DC this is also the beginning of Dead means dead, which means the heroes and villains that did not live probably will not be coming back soon, but who knows. However DC has decided to continue killing, case in point little Lian Harper. She is an 8 year old girl who is the daughter of the hero Speedy/Red Arrow/Arsenal/Roy Harper and the villain Cheshire. In a storyline that preceeded Blackest Night they destroyed Roy's home town of Star City and killed is daughter. Now he is going through hell because he also just got his arm tore off as well. So Death is still around and this time it is effecting non heroes. And I don't like this. Not only because it is an 8 year old girl, that is the main reason, but also Roy Harper is a second tier-third tier hero who is not that interesting. He was addicted to drugs in the 70s which lead to a great Green Lantern/Green Arrow story. Green Arrow is his former partner and mentor, and surrogate father. But when they made him have a kid with a known female assassin and villain that made the story interesting, also focusing on the travails of a single parent super hero which is very interesting to me. Now he is a non-entity, even without an arm. Comics tend to not like to have heroes have interesting things, single parent, or in the case of Spider man let's dissolve his marriage in a magic way so they never remember being married.(That I will save for another Blog)

On another note Captain America is now back in the land of the living and Batman will be starting his return in May. Oh and Jean Grey may be back for a third time. AWESOME!!! Sarcasm...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

End of Days

It's been a while since I've blogged, been busy with my new son. My wife however has taken up the slack with her blog. Anyway I finally had something I wanted to talk about. 2012. If you don't know, December 20, 2012 is when the Mayan calendar ends. Now some people believe that is sign that the end of the world will occur on that day, and scientists and theologists, and climatologists have all gone on record discussing what could happen. Now if that was all that date was known for it would not be such a big deal, but I have also learned that our sun will be in the exact center of the Milky way on that date, again could be a coincidence. I have also heard of an astronomical alignment at that time as well. And then I just heard that the Jewish Calendar supposedly ends at that time as well. So that leaves me scratching my head. Now I don't want the world to end because my daughter will have just turned 6, and my son will be 3. That is not enough time for them to live their life. On top of that I will only have been with my wife for 12 years which again is not enough to be with the woman I love. But I have to admit I am slightly intrigued by what could actually happen, so of course I have been watching all of these shows about 2012 and the end of days.

Then 2010 started. So far this year we have had massive snow storms, two major earthquakes, one so bad that it changed the earth's rotation slightly, the other was devastating. Then we have Volcanoes in Iceland, Tornadoes in the Midwest and now a massive oil spill which is destroying sea life and heading for the coast. Which leads me to predict that someone will be hit with a devastating hurricane this summer or fall. I am not wishing this on anyone, but all signs are pointing to it. Put on top of that all the murders and death that has been going on and it makes you wonder if the end of days is actually starting now and will be climaxing on 12/20/2012. People are saying massive meteor could hit us, gamma rays, and who knows maybe it will be a man-made event such has a nuclear war. All I know is that this year has had an amazing amount of natural disasters, as well as a lot more hatred in the world and maybe just maybe the clock has started ticking on the End of Days. Only time will tell...