Friday, July 20, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises - reviewed.

Well, the day finally arrived. I’ve wanted to see The Dark Knight Rises ever since, well, I saw The Dark Knight.

I woke up, amped to go see the film, with my pre-purchased ticket in hand for the 10:20 a.m. showing. Then I got a phone call, telling me about what happened in Aurora, Colorado. A customer in front of me at the ticket booth had heard the news as well, asking the booth attendant if she’d heard the news.

“Yeah,” she said, “It was crazy last night.”

I got my soda and popcorn and sat in the theatre, reading through the initial news coverage on my phone. Kudos to the Colorado police for acting quickly and also to Warner Brothers for reacting appropriately, pulling the Gangster Squad trailer from the line up of previews scheduled to air before the movie.

The previews (no Gangster Squad trailer at the theatre I went to) started and the film commenced.

It was a very good movie – but it was awkward. The audience was silent during moments they probably would have otherwise been laughing. There was one scene, where Bane and his crew enter into a stock exchange office, firing their weapons. Again, awkward silence.

I’m not sure what this James Holmes was hoping to accomplish with his actions. By the news I’ve read, he had it planned out carefully and was most likely trying to make some sort of statement, dressed in his SWAT-like gear.

Others have been making their own statements on Facebook and Twitter, talking about the senselessness of this tragedy.

One statement I see, as a result of this, is that people are capable of amazing kindness and emotion when a group of people – no matter how far away they are – experience something tragic. People all over are offering prayer and support for the families of the 12 people who were killed and the many more who were injured.

In a way, this goes right along with the theme of The Dark Knight Rises: hope and good triumphing over despair and evil.

What would have been an epic movie was reduced today to a ‘very good’ one.

I appreciated the acting that much more though. I was taken away from the real world at moments, despite knowing what happened hours earlier. Anne Hathaway’s amazing ability to portray a cunning, witty, and very three-dimensional Catwoman was a big factor in that.

I was hoping for Angelina Jolie to get the spot, but when I heard that Hathaway would be suiting up to play the villain, I figured she’d do the role well. She definitely didn’t disappoint.

The line between adversary and ally in Catwoman's relationship with Batman is written perfectly. It's a much better portrayal than Batman Returns.

Once Christian Bale delivered. I always thought Michael Keaton played the best Batman, but, after this film, I may have to change my mind. I don’t think his acting in the movie will garner any critical acclaim or awards, but he was a very real, believable Batman. That’s a tough task after Adam West, Val Kilmer and George Clooney delivered more cheesy performances in the past.

The lines Alfred (Michael Caine) is given are usually reserved for the comedic moments in the Batman films, but in this one, that character was mostly used to evoke emotion.

As “Bane,” Tom Hardy filled his menacing villain spot perfectly. He was a legit beast in this film – a new kind of foe for Batman.

I’d heard that Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be playing the role of The Riddler. As it turns out, he didn’t play that role, but his character was very important to the movie. I won’t spoil how, though.

There were actually a few twists and turns. Perhaps those who have been tracking every report or spoiler won’t be as surprised as I was. Speaking of surprises, there were a few surprise appearances in the movie as well. Again, I won’t spoil it for you.

I tried to stay away from the previews and I refused to read any spoilers going into this film. Knowing that this is the final film in the Dark Knight trilogy, I wanted the excitement to be there when I sat in the theatre and watched the movie.

After what happened in Aurora, the excitement I was hoping for just wasn’t there. I am looking forward to buying the DVD, however, and watching it again months from now. Outside of the original Star Wars, I can’t think of a trilogy that had a more complete story arc than The Dark Knight trilogy. Despite a few moments that were a little too unbelievable in this third installment, everything delivered.

Yes, when I have all three films on DVD and watch them back-to-back-to-back, I know I’ll enjoy The Dark Knight Rises much more. Today there’s an air of sadness that just can’t be escaped and rightfully so.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pink - Blow Me (One Last Kiss) - reviewed.

Driving home the other night I heard Pink’s new song: Blow Me (One Last Kiss). Turns out it’s already a few weeks old. I must’ve been living under a rock because I’m a big fan of Pink. I was never a huge fan of Can’t Take Me Home, but the catchy singles off M!ssundaztood caught my attention. Then I got hooked with the highly underrated Try This. I now own all of her albums.

So anyway, I’m driving home, and I hear a new Pink song playing. After I got over the ‘WTF?! When did this happen?’ shock, I cranked the volume and started listening. I haven’t bought it on iTunes (I’ll just wait for the album in September), but I have been contributing a significant amount of views to her lyric video on YouTube.

I can’t say it’s my favorite Pink song ever, but there’s nothing wrong with the song and, after a couple of listens, it does become quite addictive.

The song kicks off with a nice techno/dance feel. It’s very reminiscent of Modest Mouse’s Float On actually.

Once Pink starts singing, it kind of sounds like Pink is covering a Maroon 5 track. She hits some new notes that we haven’t heard her do on her radio singles before.

If there was any worry that Pink wasn’t staying true to herself, you need not fear. After the main chorus kicks in, we get a few cuss words.

Pink sings about having a “shit day,” and declares, in this post-break-up anthem, no more “whiskey dick” for her.

She continues on:

“I think I finally had enough. I think I maybe think too much. I think this may be it for us. Blow me one last kiss. You think I’m just too serious. I think you’re full of shit.”

It’s so simple and it works. Then again, that’s the case with most Pink songs.

Overall, the lyrics are actually pretty cool. It’s your basic ‘break-up/I’m going to be fine’ song, but somehow it feels a little deeper than that – even with the dance beats carrying on in the background throughout the entire song. It’s the feelings of Alanis Morissette mixed with the sound of LMFAO.

Personally, I’m a fan.

After listening to the emotional rollercoaster that was Funhouse, it’s nice to hear a simple, foot tapping, F’-You-ex-lover song.

The nice thing about Pink is, if you don’t like her current single, wait until the next one. There’s usually something on her album for everyone’s liking.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Parking Deck Photography

Went to Uptown Charlotte the other day to run some errands. Took a few pics while I was there -- a little something I like to call Parking Deck Photography. lol

Take a look at a few more on my Flickr photostream.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

PWX awesomeness

Much like my HeroesCon adventure a couple of weeks back, I found out last week that there was a pro wrestling show in Charlotte last Friday night.

I ended up having the night off from work, so I figured I’d check it out. It wasn’t my first indy wrestling experience, but I haven’t gone to a show in a long time. See, I’ve been working at getting into World Wrestling Entertainment as a creative writer for the past few years.

I networked my butt off for the last four years. It kind of culminated with a backstage interview with a member of the production team at a show WWE had in Sioux City, Iowa. It was a live Raw and a taping of ECW as well, so things were a bit hectic. I had my interview early in the afternoon and went home before the show started.

Timing wasn’t right. They weren’t hiring. That’s what I was told anyway.

WWE has been to the Time Warner Arena twice since I moved to Charlotte, but I couldn’t bring myself to go. It would've been hard to enjoy the show, sitting there in the crowd – the entire time thinking about how I should be working backstage with the rest of the team.

This was an independent show though. No ties to WWE. Small venue. Sounded like it could be fun. The company is called Premiere Wrestling Xperience.

I actually ended up having a great time. There was no lame in-ring segment involving Claire Lynch and each match lasted a lot longer than 18 seconds.

Anyway, on the card was a mix of in-ring veterans, like Lodi and Amber O’Neal, some current ROH wrestlers, like Cedric Alexander and Grizzly Redwood, and some indy guys, like Chiva Kid.

For $15 bucks I got front row seating, was thoroughly entertained, and saw some incredibly innovative moves.

The night ended in a 3 way tag team match featuring Cedric Alexander, Caleb Konley, Grizzly Redwood, Jake Feuerbach, Corey Hollis, and Chip Day. Let me tell you, first hand, those six guys gave the crowd a shining example of how tag teams should be booked. It was nice to see some tag team wrestling alive and well, despite WWE and TNA wasting most of the potential sitting in their tag divisions.

PWX is holding another show in Charlotte on August 18. Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis are set to appear for that one. After this awesome “xperience” (lame joke, I know…) I’m definitely there.

For more pics of the event, check out my Flickr stream.

Monday, July 9, 2012

New Music Video Slideshow on my YouTube channel.

Some of the reasons for my cavities are featured in this one:

The video isn't viewable in Germany, but it's viewable everywhere else!