July 18, 2008

I Saw Batman before You Did!

Even though I didn't get to blog about it until now.

I'm lazy. I should be working. I have the day off and should be using it to proofread and clean and pack shit up that I'm not planning to use. I should be making my house look pretty for 10 and Dr. G who are coming out as soon as I get back from the East Coast. Instead, I'm listening to Liz Phair, enjoying the air conditioner, watching the sunlight bake the parking lot while poorly-paid highschool kids trim the hedges, and waiting anxiously for my next opportunity to see The Dark Knight again.

If you haven't seen it yet, you may want to wait to read this until later. I'm not aiming to put in any spoilers, but I don't know what constitutes a spoiler to everybody, so reader, beware.

First, I saw Batman on Wednesday at 7:30 at the IMAX because Danika is awesome. She's press, and when I'm with her, I'm with the press. :) Everybody in the long line stretching out the door glared daggers at us because they knew we were getting in, and they were probably weren't. I dig it. I need to work for the press.

The ads for this movie gave me chills; chills, I say. While it is true that it would have been hard to get chills since the theater was roughly three degrees hotter than it was outside (which was roughly the temperature in hell), I didn't exactly get chills from this flick.

It was a good show, don't get me wrong. I would say that it is equally as good as the first of this cycle, which was mind-blowing, in my opinion, so there you have it. Begins gave a dark delivery, but Knight made Begins look like a day on a yacht on the sunny side of the planet.

Brooding and dark, the movie begins by making you feel like Gotham is winning, leaves you feeling like it will never be cleaned up in the middle, and by the near end, you start to think that maybe Batman should have just let the bad guys raze the place in the last movie. It kept me on the edge of my seat, and at times it was even overwhelming. But it lacks the lighter moments of social life that the first one included, and I think it suffers a little because of this. (Perhaps this is because his social life isn't very lighthearted at this point.) I think you spend so much time amped up that the movie can't build the way it otherwise could (thus producing the aforementioned chills that I was hoping for). My guess is that most of these scenes fell to a cutting room floor somewhere in an attempt to make the movie short enough. I think it did do a good job of reproducing the fear and stress of a city living in the shadow of a terroristic serial killer. My stomach was in knots for most of the show.

The Joker is truly creepy. I have to be honest; I've never found the villians of the Batman universe to be very frightening. In particular, I never thought The Joker was a real threat. To me, he always seemed like a starter villian; you know, the kind you draw before you figure out exactly how evil villians can be. (To be fair, I only watched the cartoons and TV shows; I never read the comics.) But I have to say that Ledger delivers a villian I can believe in; he delivers a villian who needs a superhero to put a stop to his antics, and I appreciate this about the new Batman movies in general and about this Batman movie in particular. I think The Joker and Two Face have a particularly good scene together near the end that I just can't get out of my head.

Whether or not Ledger will get or be nominated for an Oscar remains to be seen, and since a recent article I read said that the rumors regarding this are mostly hype created in the blogosphere by people who are not actually in the know on such topics, I should probably keep my opinions to myself. However, I have never been known for being one to stay out of a good fight, so I'll throw in my own two cents. I think he ought to get a nod. I don't think he'll win, but he ought to get a nomination (and possibly he should win). Whether or not he will is better left to people who actually know about such things. I lean towards no because, at rock bottom, this is still a comic book movie, and they tend not to have a lot of pull among serious critics.

I am not a serious critic, so I can say that I thought Ledger was brilliant, that he was probably just coming into what would likely have been a long career of playing interesting and unique villians, that it is truly too bad that he can't see the amazing job he did. His character truly scared me, and that's aside from the parts that were eerily poignant. He created a Joker that is worthy of the title of arch nemesis.

I love, love, love Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel this time. Granted, she is one of my favorite actresses (and the role didn't have a ton of lines), but I thought she was so much better than Katie Holmes Crazy Pants in the role. Maybe I just don't like people named Katie.

Batman struggles as always with his role in society and whether or not he is doing the right thing, and as always, the public likes to tell him that he sucks because some of them are dying rather than all of them dying (as they would have at the end of the last movie if he had not saved the day).

On the whole, I would give this movie 4.5 to 5 stars. It probably never could have lived up to all the hype, but I wasn't disappointed. I just wasn't as blown away as I was hoping I possibly could be. I think it's amazing, and it has some truly deep, truly touching moments, without losing what we all go to Batman to see, which is, let's face it, the thrilling heroics.

Go see it. Now. I'll be here waiting for you when you get back, and we'll chat about more specifics in the comments.

Posted by LoWriter at 02:50 PM | Comments (4)

July 14, 2008

Our Registry Signed Us Up for a Diaper Bag and Other Scary Tales

Yesterday, we began our registry at Target. I'm sure we will register at other places and have equally interesting experiences, but we began with Target. Aside from the fact that they are now b--ches when it comes to returns, we thought they were probably the place to go for the basics. (Apparently, you can only return things if you have a receipt. Otherwise, if someone turned in the registry when they purchased the item, Target can look up four purchases for you as couple--you each get two look-ups per year. Beyond that, you're on your own.) (It used to be that they gave you three free returns per year.) (Please don't think that this entry is a giant registry hint; I just found the experience blog-worthy.)

We began by taking a little inventory, which resulted in me discovering that I have very few practical cooking items. I thought I had a cupboard full of cooking stuff that I was not using. As it turned out, I had one more pot, one lid that seems not to belong to anything, one roaster that can hold a small chicken (or perhaps a cornish hen), one really ugly painted wooden salad bowl (with utensils) that I can't get rid of because my mom saved it for me from "Grandma Lou" (my uncle's mom), a few hopelessly specialized small elecrtics, and one airbake cookie sheet. Apparently, my cupboards are not so much full as they are poorly organized. (I blame the fact that my cupboards are poorly designed. Few of the shelves are tall enough to hold more than a water glass.)

Once the inventory was taken, we moved on to the actual store part of the registry. First, they make you enter your contact info a hundred times, hoping to trick you into saying that you would like to be spammed, and then, they give you that wonderful little gun with the firm instruction to return it (Ben did threaten to keep it and play laser tag at home with it) and hand you a clutch with a bunch of coupons that expire tomorrow.

The gun itself seems designed to inspire impulse registering, which was fun because it says that the item you entered four different brands of has been deleted, but when we checked online later, it had not been deleted after all. We also wound up with an iron on the list solely because it is pink.

We wandered through the store for a couple of hours at least, and basically, we have a lot of cooking utensils and all the small electrics done. The problem with registering for a bunch of little items that cost between $2 and $5 is that it starts to look like you have the longest registry in the history of earth. We don't; I swear. It's just that we added things like a melon baller and corn holders. So, maybe we do have the longest registry in the history of earth, but they are all things like meat thermometers and strainers from the generic Target brand collection.

The decisions are endless, aparently. We stood debating about bedding and bath towels and cookware (oh my!) before deciding to table that until another day. We had done some homework and thought we had picked out a pretty good bedspread online, but when we went back to the bedding department, it turned out that the thing was hideous and a completely different color, so that did not work out so well. We're going to do some research on pots and pans. (I have a nice set of pots, but I really need pans, and we thought maybe adding some non-stick pots to our collection couldn't hurt, either. Any suggestions anyone has would be appreciated.) I looked for kitchen items in a light bright blue (robbin's egg/cornflower-ish), but to no avail; I have to settle for what's there. Finally, we argued about flatware patterns for awhile before deciding that flatware arguments must surely signal that registry time is over for one day.

The best part was when we got home and double checked our registry only to discover that the registry had added its own favorite item to the list: A diaper bag, which I then had to delete immediately because that is how rumors get started. (Thank goodness we looked at it right away.) Neither of us has any idea how the diaper bag got on the list. We both deny even walking past the baby aisle. Yet, there it is, an Eddy Bauer diaper bag in the midst of our party games and Corningware. (No, we do not have anything to share with you... we don't want or have any buns in any ovens right now. Planning a wedding is plenty enough work for now, thank you.)

So, that is our registry tale. All in all, it was fun, but you have to pace yourself. I also think that I have to stop thinking, "But this is the glassware we will use every day for the rest of our lives" everytime I look at something. No, it is not. We can get different glassware if we decide we want it later. Also, I think Target has some pretty out-there suggestions for what to add to the list. (I'm not going to name them in case you yourself have registered for them.) It was an interesting experience, and it was probably one of the least stressful parts of wedding planning so far. We are registering kind of early, but I kind of needed a break from the high-stress stuff. I packed my first box this weekend, actually, so I deserved some imaginary retail therapy. :)

Oh, and we set the date for those who don't know yet: June 13, 2009. Hooray! :)

Posted by LoWriter at 08:57 AM | Comments (7)

July 07, 2008

Reunion from Hell

Well, I went to my 10 year reunion on Saturday. There's something I never need to do again. I purposely avoided most of the activities, opting only to go to the dinner, which was wise, considering that by 7, we were clock watching.

You know, I never liked high school, and when even the people who you liked are jerks, I think it's time to jump ship.

Therefore, I will never go to another class reunion again. I might be talked into an all-school reunion, which was not bad when I went last time. For the most part, though, I have pretty much decided that there was nothing for me there when I went to school there, and there is nothing there for me now.

So there you have it. The answer to the question of whether or not you can possibly have anything to say to people after all that time has passed is no, no you cannot.

Posted by LoWriter at 11:03 PM | Comments (8)