Archives for the month of: June, 2013

“Man of Steel” is directed by Zach Synder, written by David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan, based on characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

Well.

This film is right my alley – a superhero film dark overtones that is broodingly introspective and deep in character analysis. With lots of explosions.

So.

Why did I spent most of the film missing Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder?

I missed the positive, happy, sunshine quality of the Superman character, the snarky, flirty chemistry between him and Lois Lane and, most of all, the brash and feisty character of Lois Lane.

I enjoyed that Superman’s past is told through flashbacks and that our first meeting with Superman is with him as an adult, the flashbacks are touching and explore what it means to not fit in but to have parents who care and love you deeply, I found the flashbacks very effective.

The fight and battle sequences were fast-paced and enjoyable, with loads of destruction.

The film is good-looking with a great production value.

But.

Look, this is the first film that I’ve seen where I wasn’t completely wild about Amy Adams – for the character of Lois Lane, she was so sweet, so mild and was not at all believable as a feisty award-winning, hard-nose reporter. Give me Margot Kidder any day. Amy Adams is charming and likeable, she is charismatic and sweet, but Lois Lane? Nope, not believable.

Look. I understand the need to give an updated, revisited version of superheroes, where superheroes are re-imagined as having to face problems and suffer from everyday issues and struggles. I get it.

But.

I want my Superman to be beyond this, I want Superman to be filled with hope and joy and sunshine. I want a smile and happy blue eyes and yes, a curl in the middle of the forehead. I want to see a bumbling Clark Kent and to enjoy snark and banter between him and Lois Lane. I don’t want introspection and personal struggles, I don’t want anti-hero, I don’t want a hero who questions their place in the world and risks being rejected by other humans – I go to Batman for that stuff.

I wanted to love this film, I’ve been looking forward to it since I saw the first preview. I didn’t love it. It left me…cold and I wouldn’t see it again.

And I think this is the problem that I am increasingly having with Nolan superhero films, they look great, stylish and slick and they offer a different take of the hero, but they ultimately leave the audience emotionally cold. This worked in favour of the Batman trilogy, but for Superman it doesn’t work – Superman is a warm character that shows us the best of hope and humanity.

This is a good movie, but if you like your Superman the way I like my Superman, you will be pining for earlier versions.

 

 

 

 

 

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“This Is the End” is directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, written by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, based on the short film “Seth & Jay vs. The Apocalypse” by Jason Stone.

My climbing partner remarked that she wanted to see this movie because it looked like Seth Rogen called up some of his friends and they came over to his place, they got really stoned and then made a film about it.

Which is pretty much what this is…

The film features various celebrities playing hyper-realistic versions of themselves in an end-of-the-world scenario.

The film is highly uneven, with the laughs being inconsistent and questionable internal logic – the power goes out, the world is ending and yet, the characters still do “videotape confessionals” – but, it is still funny and, if you aren’t looking for something meaningful and deep, a lot of fun.

One of the things that I most enjoyed was seeing the actors do things that they don’t normally in other films and engaging in self-mockery, my favourite part of the film was a bizarre moment with Channing Tatum, which has me giggling when I think of it. I’m not a fan of Tatum, so to see him do a send-up of himself was a lot of fun and very funny.

The audience that I saw this film with found it very funny, but I overheard a few people talking about how they didn’t understand why the film was based on the Bible’s version of the end of the world. I guess they missed the joke…

The jokes took place mostly at my limits of gross-out and rude, anymore and I wouldn’t have been able to stomach it, but as it was the jokes were played for laughs not for gross-out, which I appreciated.

It wasn’t a great movie and it isn’t going to change your life or give you some deep insight into how to better live your life or what the lives of celebrities are like, but it will give you a few laughs and a complete break from your life.

“Much Ado About Nothing” is directed by Joss Whedon, who also adapted screenplay from the play by Shakespeare.

Well, look, you know I am a Whedon-fan and, yes, mostly I saw this film ‘cuz he directed it with some of his pals starring…but you also know that I love Shakespeare, so a few reasons to catch this film.

Lovely.

Filmed in back and white at what looks to be someone’s house (Whedon’s?), the actors breath live, humour, intimacy and sexy-ness into Shakespeare’s words.

The performances are joyful and it is beautifully filmed – there are a couple of odd moments where the film shot changes to a high angle which I found a bit jarring, but for the most part Whedon plays it pretty straight.

I think this film, when held up against last year’s “The Avengers”, just underlines how sensitive Whedon is to each character and allows them to have their moments and it never feels like the film is “about” any single character or relationship, regardless of lines or screen time. This is probably the quality that I admire the most about Whedon’s film making, he truly understands the “there are no small roles…” and disregards the “…only small actors.” Every actor, every character is honoured and appreciated and I love seeing and experiencing that as a member of the audience.

This movie is quiet and filled with humour, no super powers, so aliens, no explosions. And filmed in black and white!

I don’t know who to suggest this film to, Whedon fans may find it a far cry from the genres that brought him success.

The only bump in the film, for me, was the unexplained and uncalled for gender switch of the character of Conrad, one of Don John’s henchmen. The gender-switch, from female to male (Conrad to Conrade), and inserting a sexual and implied romantic relationship between Don John and Conrad(e) doesn’t really make sense. Don John is the outcast in this play that focuses on romantic relationships – he seeks to destroy others’ happiness with spreading lies and deceit, that he has a similar relationship doesn’t make his actions and motivations believable. That aside, it is really a lovely production.

A note too, about the music – bravo! Very enjoyable and original, set to Shakespeare’s words. Nice touch.

This film is for anyone who is looking for an enjoyable, light, summertime flick. And not just Whedon-fans. And not just Shakespeare-fans either.

 

Woke up yesterday with my throat aching and having gotten up during the night to change soaked sheets twice.

Sucked it up, ‘cuz Tuesday. And Tuesdays, I gotta to be at work. Too much to do and only me to do it.

Got home and barely kept my eyes open until bedtime.

Woke up a few times during the night to take meds and re-adjust so I could breathe.

This morning could barely breathe and my voice = gone.

I lost my voice!

And still very tired and congested.

Called in sick – the third time in two weeks! – drank some hot tea and went back to bed.

Slept the day away.

Hope Thursday is better…

I love Mondays.

I love waking up Monday morning, getting out of bed, eating a good breakfast, showering off what is left from the week-end, putting on nice clothes, doing my hair and make-up and…viola – ready to take on the world.

I love the potential of Mondays.

Anything can happen.

There is this moment where everything is only possibilities. Who knows what the week will bring! Could be something horrible. Could be something wonderful. There are all these unplanned moments of potential that are just ready and waiting to happen.

Mondays at work are often marked by corporate orientation. And I love seeing all the new faces that I’m going to start seeing around the place and maybe work with and probably help, ‘cuz I’m helpful like that…

Mondays at work are filled with news of what people did on the week-end, maybe they saw new films or old films, maybe they went to a karate tourney and their kids got a gold and silver medal – each! Maybe they did yard work and they are looking to hear about what I did on my week-end and I can tell them all about my climbs and my school work.

Maybe I will have to drive to another branch to drop off some diagnostic equipment for one of my colleagues.

Maybe it will be cloudy and suddenly rain and I will think about not wearing my hood and my hair will get drenched and go curlier and my make-up will run and I won’t care.

Maybe one of my friends will suddenly decide she doesn’t want to eat the salad she has for lunch and suggest we go for the mall and instead of my cheese and crackers, I will get some mall sushi. And an Orange Julius.

Maybe my friend will think about getting salad for lunch and I will tease her for giving up salad for salad and she will opt to have something that she isn’t eating like a pita with chicken.

Maybe all of those things will happen.

Anything is possible on a Monday.

Even one of my colleagues saying that I’m so happy Monday mornings that she is sure the rest of everyone feels the worse for it – they feel even more “blah” when they see how happy I am, especially on a Monday.

I don’t know.

When I smile at people, they smile back.

When I tell a joke, people laugh.

And when I tell people how good they look or how much I like what they are wearing, they seem to grow a little, stand taller and smile a bit wider.

I like Mondays. They contain all the potential of the upcoming week.

 

I’ve discovered more Superpowers!

I was going for a walkabout at work the other day – I tend to do that regularly, it shakes out my muscles, gets my blood flowing, lets me re-connect with people, gives my eyes a break, lets me hear the latest news etc – and all I could think was how much I wanted a piece of cake.

I wandered over to where my trivia friend sits, we didn’t have time to play on that day so thought I would say “hey!” and another colleague walked by and said “Hey, if you want cake there is some at my desk.”

Whats that you say?

“Cake” you say?

“At my desk” you say?

Cake, yeah!

Needless to say, my conversation with my trivia partner ended abruptly when I turned to follow the person with the cake at her desk.

And there it was.

A home-made, beautiful chocolate cake.

It was tall and light and fluffy. It didn’t have icing in the centre and it had this nice, gooey kind of icing on top.

She put it on plate for me and everything!

It was like…the cake found me! The cake came to me, I didn’t have to go for it. I didn’t tell anyone that I was wanting cake, I was just minding my own business and suddenly!

Cake!

Kinda like…manna from heaven…only cake from colleague.

As I returned to my desk with my found cake another colleague whose desk I have to go by commented “You didn’t have cake when you left! You’ve been gone for like 5 minutes – how and where did you find cake?!”

I guess some people just have awesome super powers.

My other work-related superpower seems to be an odd connection I have with one of the people on one of my teams. It seems no matter where she is in the building, we find or see each other in about 10 seconds. For no reason! She isn’t looking for me, I’m not looking for her, the office space is big enough to be able to avoid each other and there are enough routes to take to avoid certain areas. We always see each other or walk right to each other. Very, very weird.

Incredibly bad climbing day. There seems to be someone new setting up the routes – we tried a few routes that are within our ability and they were incredibly difficult. We were completely disappointed.

After climbing, I went out to give support to my colleagues participating in the corporate baseball day. It was very nice – everyone seemed quite happy to see me and that I came out.

When I got home, it was all school-work, all the time. And laundry. Good day, much accomplished…too bad about climbing.

Have you ever found yourself somewhere, like a meeting at work or with a group of friends or something and you are listening, contributing to the conversation, everyone is getting a bit worked up and you are generally in agreement with stuff being said and actions being taken and then suddenly it hits you – you are in the middle of staging a coup?

This happened to me the other day.

I was there, being asked and offering my opinion on things, trying my best to problem solve, give support, try to calm things down, making suggestions and then, there I was, in the middle of coup.

I tried to calm things down and explain why things weren’t going on the track they should, but sometimes people get a little relentless. And focused on whatever it is that they are focused on. Getting their problems heard or solved or right their past wrongs or whatever.

And you know, in that moment, I got, I understood, how sometimes people get so caught up in things that they forget themselves, they forget how to be reasonable and let things get out of hand.

I’m trying to remain reasonable and calm, but I have to tell you I sent a rather rude email today to someone who sent me no fewer than 3 emails about each one of her issues that she wanted solved. And although it takes her less than 2 minutes to type an email complaining to me, but sometime it can take me days to resolve the same issue.

The thing is, many of the things that I’m trying to clean-up are messes that belong to someone else. Messes that have been permitted to stay messy and difficult and…

Look.

For the past year or so, a few of my colleagues have been trying to use a mobile application. They need a mobile application becuz they are mostly…mobile. And there was this one specific one that they wanted. So, after months and months and some beta testing and what not, they got the application they wanted.

Only.

They can’t access the application in a mobile version…they have to use their computers.

This has been true since the beginning of April.

And no one told me.

No one even thought to tell me.

Huh.

So I find out about this, blow my top, take a walk, talk to 3 people and…mobile access.

I sometimes tell people that I get more done during a 5 minute walk than some people get done in a day…

Only thing is, they need log on information which they don’t have…

Yikes.

One mess begets another mess.

So, I’m trying to set up log on information for these colleagues and…I find out a whole other set of colleagues haven’t completed their action in order to get mobile access.

Mess begets mess.

Which kinda serves me right for getting involved in a coup.

Ended up being very ill last week with…zombie plague virus, second stage. No energy, throwing up and…nope, not a craving for brains in sight.

Yet.

Visited some friends when I was back in work and only one of them offered to bash my head in if turns out I am patient zero and the virus starts with me.

I guess you really do know who your friends are.

Whatever it was left me feeling weak and wimpy, so no climbing Saturday morning. Which makes it 2 weeks in a row of no climbing.

And you know what I did.

Nothing.

I read, I listened to music, I did laundry and I tried my best to get interested in food.

When the day was over I went to bed early and got a sound sleep.

Sunday was a day at the spa and hanging out doing more of nothing.

Another night of early to bed.

Woke up this morning feeling.

What is that feeling?

Happy.

Better than I’ve felt in while coming into work.

There still aren’t any answers and most things are still way, way up in the air. People still asking questions, me still not having answers, me not having any indication of what is going to happen, me waiting for resolution and not really getting any.

But.

Truthfully, I’m kinda sick of being upset about it. I’ve lost the momentum of trauma and upset and simply let the whole thing…drift away so I can get onto other things. I still don’t know what is going happen, but I’m tired of the upset and elevated heart rate. I wish I knew what was going on and how it was going to be resolved. I have no right to know and no one can tell me how it is going to play out, but I can change things for me no matter what anyone else does.

And that. That gives me back my sense of control and self-determination.

And that.

Makes me very, very happy.

And still not craving brains.