Category: the Batman


So, I could have very, very easily been murdered today.  

I found myself Downtown this afternoon.  Not L.A. Live, more the residential neighborhoods.  I was wrapping up my affairs as a nearby high school was letting out.

One set of boys walking down the street I was on starts shit talking another set of boys passing by.  The first reaction is of course, ‘Kids.’

The conversation gets a little more heated.  I start paying closer attention.  The instigator in the first group keeps saying over and over, ‘But you ain’t gonna do nothing!  But you ain’t gonna do nothin!’

There was a Mexican cat around my age in the parking lot as well.  We caught each other eyes; it was a telepathic ‘Oh shit, I know where this is heading.  I hope I’m wrong but…’

We turned back around in time to see that silver in the other boy’s hand briefly shine in the sunlight…

I yelled ‘GET DOWN’ and instinctively grabbed the two women nearest to me and pulled them to the ground.  People started scattering. And running.

Today, the gun ‘worked’, in the sense that seeing it was enough to make the first boy and his crew run out of shooting range and make the obligatory ‘wait until next time’ threats.  No shots were fired.

When the adrenaline rush died down, there wasn’t much hanging around to take a second chance on being innocent bystanders in someone else’s beef.  The shock of it is worse than anything else.

This wasn’t Friday or Saturday night.  This isn’t ‘running with the wrong crowd.’ I’m not afraid of death, but this, in no way shape or form, was my fight.  This is just being in the right place at the absolutely worse possible time.

I’m fine, truly.  But tonight, again, I say the things I try to live by:

Make sure your family knows you love them.

Make sure your people know you’re down for them.

Chase your passions.  

Be your authentic self.

Live your life fully.

Love.

Because you have NO idea when your time will be up…

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btas

Don’t know why it took the Honest Trailer guys so long to get around to this, but it was done well.  Give credit where it’s due.

Enjoy!

 

 

Still buzzed from watching an IMAX print of ‘the Dark Knight’.  Tenth anniversary and on a weeknight the place was still packed (well played Warner Brothers.)

No film is perfect of course (the ‘Heat’ and ‘Se7en’ influences feel heavier now),  but that film is still a quick 2 and a half hour ride.

  • Adapting comic book characters in a ‘realistic’ setting…
  • the villain who is actually brilliant and not simply ‘crazy’
  • practical stakes (humanity as a whole wasn’t going to end no matter who ‘won’)
  • And Heath Ledger…still…

And the hero had to lose in order to eventually win.  I said it ten years ago, I knew at some point Warners was going to reboot the IP (too much money to be made), and I’m still fine with whatever comes next.  My generation got the hero we deserved AND wanted.

Last post before the holiday, have a good one.

Back next week.

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-08-18 at 3.56.29 PM

The comedy stuff I’ve done hasn’t really been consolidated into one piece, until now.

My buddy Jeebz likes to edit, so we tried to tone a few of the parts I’ve played over the years into a ‘comedic timing/hit the punchline’ highlight reel.

As far as the intro/outro, hand to God, as we were in the middle of it, my only thoughts were ‘Everyone is going to expect me to touch on this, let’s use it to set the tone.’

Only now as a passive observer do I see it and go, ‘Huh, I guess I can officially scratch playing this character on screen off my bucket list.  Cool.’

Anyway, enjoy!

 

Black-Panther-Movie-Fan-Cut-Trailer-Killmonger

‘Lessons from the Screenplay’ has quickly become my favorite video essay series in breaking down why some films and TV shows work (and some don’t)…

Today, Michael Tucker breaks down Killmonger and Black Panther, and to say I was enthused by his thesis is an understatement.

Enjoy!

 

 

thanos

Just through a coincidence, I watched ‘the Dark Knight’ last night.  Bias aside, still my favorite ‘film featuring characters who started in comic books.’

But ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ might be the best ‘comic book movie’ ever.

A few non spoiling thoughts…

  1. I was rolling over in my head the last time I sat in a theatre that was stunned into silence when the credits rolled.  COMPLETELY different genre obviously, but it was ’12 Years a Slave’.  Some (like me) where processing what just happened, and what comes next; some were legitimately emotionally shattered.  Some were pissed off.  So…well done, Marvel!!!!
  2. If I had to pick out a single thing I was most impressed by, it was the balancing act.  I’m not going to go back and count, but every headlining hero, and more than a few surprising supporting players from the past decade made appearances.  Three or four rotating arcs/locations, and I at least, never got tired.  Credit to the editing here for keeping the story going and always going somewhere else before the audience got restless.
  3. The template has been well set now: if your goal is to create a compelling villain in one of these movies, from Magneto to Killmonger to Thanos, the audience has to understand the logic and say, ‘but you’re going way too extreme to get what you want.’  Mass genocide is mass genocide, but Thanos is just empathetic enough…

Had time to do a little homework about where Infinity War: Part II goes…still have no idea?

But why on earth would you doubt that Marvel knows what it’s doing?

 

 

ryan-coogler-and-chadwick-boseman-discuss-crafting-black-panther

Malcolm X, Do the Right Thing, Coming to America…Black Panther is in the pantheon of great black films, immediately.

So what can I say that hasn’t been hot taked to death already?  I picked a few things…

  • Stakes – Yes, I’m going to use ‘the Dark Knight’ as one of the best examples, but it’s true: even in Marvel movies, if it feels like the villain gets NO real wins or causes no real consequence…kind of takes you out of it a bit.  Taking over the world?  Ehhh…everything else better be perfect.  Beating the hero in a battle and genuinely creating a long term change in the protagonist and their world?  That’s how its done.
  •   Mike – I never doubted Michael B’s ability to play a villain.  But I loved, LOVED how this particular villain takes advantage of that vulnerability and sensitivity that Mike has done in everything from ‘the Wire’ to ‘Fruitvale Station’.  A lot of the love for Killmonger comes from him being a hurt, vindictive person pushing it to its extreme (as opposed to an asshole whose evil just for the sake of being evil).
  • Coogler – The ‘weakness’ of the film to me is the action sequences.  And they’re not remotely bad; it’s just we’ve all been conditioned at this point to turn our brains off a bit when it’s ‘super CGI time’ in superhero movies.

Then my boy Ben sent this to me.  I don’t want to anoint Ryan as ‘our Spielberg/Scorsese’, even after a weekend like this…but…LISTEN TO HOW MUCH THOUGHT AND DETAIL WENT INTO THIS…

 

So yeah, enter your superlative here.  Looking forward to seeing it again.

 

 

Darkest-Hour-Movie

First, Rest in Peace Reg E. Cathey.  From ‘Oz’ to ‘the Wire’ to ‘House of Cards’, Cathey was a fantastic, Emmy winning character actor.  More importantly, judging by the words of those who knew him and worked with him, an even better human being.  He will be missed.

Speaking of character actors.  Lee Harvey Oswald.  Commissioner Gordon. Dracula.  Gary Oldman owned these roles and numerous others in movies big and small over the years. But no Oscar.  That’s probably changing next month.

‘Darkest Hour’ benefits not just from having Gary Oldman in the leading role (barely recognizable under all that makeup), but also from living in a world where its target audience has been given ‘the Crown’ and ‘Dunkirk’ over the past 12 months.  Knowing so much more about World War II era London helps a movie we’re so much of the conflict is cerebral and hard to visualize.

None of this is to take away from what Oldman does here.  You expect dialect expertise, you expect a few outbursts of anger, you expect a great monologue from two if for no other reason than it’s Winston Churchill.  And you get all of that and a little more.

It’ll be a surprise if Gary doesn’t get his ‘Lifetime Achievement’ Oscar for this.

 

 

batmanninja

Have to start the week with this trailer, that spread like wildfire, and with good reason.

Such an obvious concept and genre turn, that we haven’t seen done exactly like this…

Until next year apparently.

Wow…

 

 

jl

DC finally got the formula right for the most part.  Now can they get the general goodwill of the fanbase back?

To the degree you can put away what came before it, ‘Justice League’ is actually enjoyable and has some fun moments.  For this generation, Superman has never felt more like Superman, the Flash is fun without feeling like a knock off of the current Spider-Man (which I worried about before I saw the film), the Aquaman take is fresh and different.  We’ll never know how much credit goes to Josh Whedon and how blame goes to Zack Snyder, but this one was fun without feeling like a complete Marvel copy cat.

Are there flaws?  Definitely.  It irked me to hear Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent being referred to, in public, by their alternate identities.  But as opposed to episodes in the past, it didn’t pull the whole movie down.  If, as it seems, Batfleck is done putting on the cowl, I think it’s a little unfortunate he never got a full solo run with the character.  He’s above average as both ‘Asshole Bruce Wayne’ and ‘Older Batman’.  It is what it is.

Ignore the negativity.  Give this one a chance and judge it for yourself.