Photostrip

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Some people come to the Franklin Institutions for the science.

We came for Mission Impossible 4 and eight minutes of footage from The Dark Knight Rises.

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We Read Too Many Fairy Tales as Children Or, Sorry That We’re Smartass Jerks, Mom

Mom (after making all the food ever): Do you want me to make more?
My Sister: No! Are you trying to fatten us up? Are you a witch? Are you going to eat us?

A short while later:

Mom: That dress looks nice!
(I turn around)
Mom: No, it doesn’t!

Yup. That’s my family.

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!

As a Symbol, I Can Be Incorruptible. I Can Be Everlasting Or, I Am Entirely Too Stoked About The Dark Knight Rises

Dinner and a movie.

It’s a standard and at this point, probably a little staid. However, it’s a date that I would never turn down.

Because this guy right here?

Best guy in the world to watch movies with. He gets there early, he finds the perfect seats and he stays until the houselights come up. Oh and he shares his popcorn (even though I hate movie theater popcorn. It’s awful. It has that terrible chemical aftertaste and the consistency is like styrofoam. Stove-popped or bust, dudes. With brown sugar, salt and cayenne pepper)

After the holidays, we’re planning to see see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.

I’m looking forward to the movie – the Mission Impossible franchise is an entertaining way to spend two hours and you know, Sawyer BUT more than that — I’m really excited to see the eight minute prologue to The Dark Knight Rises.

Augs is telling me to keep my expectations in check, but I’ve been looking forward to this movie since the last shot of The Dark Knight.

Before Nolan came along, screen adaptations of Batman were essentially a joke (of course, we’re discounting Batman: The Animated Series which is just excellent) .

The 1966 television series was campier than the annual Boy Scout Jambaroo and subsequent iterations of the movie were just….no (Look, I’m not denying Nicholson and Pfieffer were amazing as The Joker and Catwoman but there’s no way you can say Burton’s movies were better than Nolan’s. They have their place but they’re not better. Also, Batman Forever and Batman and Robin never happened).

Batman Begins changed all that – Batman’s genesis was fully fleshed out. A skittish little boy witnesses his parents murdered in cold blood and something inside of him snaps. He embraces the dark in hopes of preserving the light.

Then a couple of years later, Nolan follows up a truly excellent character study with a gritty, dark and intense crime drama disguised as a comic book movie – The Dark Knight.

It’s a movie of countless perfect moments but my five favorite things about it (I’m from the Championship Vinyl school and live my life in lists)

– The IMAX sequences. They speak for themselves and if you haven’t seen the film in IMAX the way God and Nolan intended, well — I pity you.
– Ledger’s sublime performance as The Joker. It’s the second best Joker of all time behind Mark Hamill.
– The practical effect that features the upending of a full-sized truck. We live in a world where directors seem to be increasingly reliant on computer wizardry to make movie magic. The fact that Nolan and cinematographer Wally Pfister kicked it old school and actually flipped this big bastard? Highly impressive.
– It features a cameo by Senator Patrick Leahy (let me crack an egg of knowledge about Senator Leahy — if he ran for President, I would gladly volunteer for the campaign. The man shares a lot of the same ideologies that I do and he’s kind of a bad-ass. In addition to a cameo role in The Dark Knight, Senator Leahy did voice work for Batman: The Animated Series, wrote the foreword to The Dark Knight Archives and once, Dick Cheney told Senator Leahy to fuck himself)
– The score. Hans Zimmer is responsible for some of my favorite music ever created (Beach Song – True Romance) and in The Dark Knight, he winds nickel strings tighter and tighter until your nerves ache. Perfect mood music.

Watching The Dark Knight made me a little nervous.

“This is a good movie. This is a really good movie. I don’t understand how Nolan is going to top this.”

And then, I saw Inception and decided that from now on, I should just keep calm and have faith in Christopher Nolan.

I have this theory (now’s a good time to pop a beta blocker, nerds) about The Dark Knight Rises. If you’re not familiar with Batman canon, this might be construed as a spoiler, so heads up.

Bane’s biggest claim to fame is that he’s the dude who broke the bat, right? As in took Batman, lifted him high, broke his back and left our hero a paraplegic.

Batman may be a bad-ass but you can’t really fight crime in Gotham when you’re confined to a wheelchair, so the world needed a new Dark Knight. Cue Azarael – a man hand-picked by our boy Bats to replace him as the Caped Crusader.

No, Not him.

Him.

(Straight ladies and gay men – I know. I KNOW)

You get a great actor like Joseph Gordon Levitt and you pop him in a seemingly inconsequential role as Commissioner’s Gordon’s underling. Yeah, no. Something’s rotten in Gotham.

So, here’s what I’m thinking — the movie ends with Bane breaking the Bat and Gotham getting the hero it deserves. A silent guardian. A watchful protector. A new Dark Knight.

Now, I open the floor for mockery, threats and general displeasure from the nerd community.

McKinley Out of a Molehill Or, Yeah, I Don’t Understand How I Have Friends Either

Me: GODDAMN IT! How do we fix this?! This is a defcon situation! This is worse than Hooker Boots-Gate!
Biffle: I don’t know, I had it under control until you broke it.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the essence of my friendship with Biffle.

Hell, that’s pretty much the essence of my relationship with everyone.

1. Something goes wrong.
2. I get all hyperbolic and start flagrantly dropping exclamation points.
3. The poor person I’ve suckered into hanging out with me essentially rolls their eyes heavenwards and thinks, “Which god did I anger to invite this storm of crazy into my life?”
4. Poor sucker fixes aforementioned problem.
5. I’m calm for a good 20 minutes before the next storm of cray washes ashore.

Oh and in case you were wondering? The conversation was about dinner reservations and no, I’m not explaining what Hooker Boots-Gate is.

Hello Mixtape Or, Pomegranate Champagne Punch – A Mix For Christmas 2011

I’m usually not a fan of Christmas music. Primarily because most of it sucks (does anyone actually like Feliz Navidad? I’m convinced this song was belched out from the darkest bowels of hell) and it’s usually impossible to avoid for a solid month.

However, there are some really great seasonal songs out there that make this girl’s heart grow three times bigger. And so, in the spirit of the season, I thought it was only right that I share them with you.

Pomegranate-Champagne Punch – Brass, Sass and Classics for the 2011 Christmas Season

A Spotify playlist with the same characteristics as its title – It’s bright, bubbly and will make you feel warm all over.

Basically, it’s a lot of overdubbed brass, a little sad bastard music (because when you’re a grown-up, there’s always a little melancholy associated with the season) and a couple of tracks from Home Alone because it’s just not Christmas without the McAllisters.

The Nutcracker Suite – The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Walk This Sleigh – Robbie Williams
O Tannenbaum – Vince Guaraldi Trio
Santa Claus is Coming to Town – Bruce Springsteen
Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas – The Eels
Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire – Nat King Cole
Christmas Day – She & Him
(Christmas) Baby, Please Come Home – U2
Run Rudolph Run – Chuck Berry
Santa Baby – The Pussycat Dolls
The Only Gift That I Need – Dashboard Confessional
Please Come Home For Christmas – Jon Bon Jovi
It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas – Johnny Mathis
Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Harry Connick Jr. feat. Lee Ann Womack
Boogie Woogie Santa Claus – The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Back Door Santa – Clarence Carter
Cool Jerk (Christmas Mix) – The Capitols
Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms
All I Want For Christmas Is You – Olivia Olson

May it jingle your bells, deck your halls and basically, get you feeling all sorts of merry for the holidays.

And if you’re looking for a Pomegranate-Champagne Punch recipe? Click here. Martha’s got you covered…as usual.