Sunday, November 06, 2005

The weekend that was, and the week that will be.

Wow, Batman Begins is really good.

In fact, the movie gets to movie up into my elite comic book movie category right now. I know, who cares? Well, I'm a huge comic book fan, and an even bigger comic book movie fan. Good comic book movies are usually enormously popular and make tens of millions at the box office. I always find it interesting that people don't want to admit that they like comic books, but will shell out the cash for a good comic book flick. My top comic book movies, in no particular order:
Superman
Superman Returns
X-Men
X-Men 2
Batman
Batman Begins
Spiderman
Spiderman 2
The Crow
Akira

Batman Begins is the new storyline from Christopher Nolan, who directed one of my favorites, Memento. Christian Bale plays an excellent Batman, once again a tormented soul that decides to fight the crime that is infesting Gotham City. Finally, they decide to go away from the conventional villains and bring out the Scarecrow (done excellent) and Ra's Al Ghul. Notice that the Scarecrow did not die (a major mistake in Batman), you only see him take off. The whole movie felt right from the beginning, and the payoff was excellent. I'm very interested in who will portray The Joker for the next film, as I think it will be next to impossible to top Jack Nicholson. The only problem I had with the movie is Batman showing his identity to his ex-girlfriend. You maintain the secrecy, not give it up so easily. However, I can easily see the next film dumping Katie Holmes and moving on. The movie was excellent, a solid 9.5 out of 10. Stop repressing your nerd side and see it now.

I also saw Sin City this week, an amazingly bloody and nasty film that does an excellent job portraying the comic books from Frank Miller. If you are really into Sin City, then you will probably really like the film. The colors play right out of the comic book and the actors play all the roles totally over the top, probably just like Frank Miller intended. I appreciate Miller's style (his Batman adaptation "Year One" and "Dark Knight Returns" were excellent), but I really don't like a lot about Sin City. I love film noir and I love the "Pulp Fiction" idea where stories interact. However, the movie doesn't click for me until too late into the film. On top of that, it is just too over the top for me to really get into. The Mickey Rourke storyline was too brutal and disgusting, with little in terms of idea that was new, besides the sheer nastiness of the villains. The Bruce Willis/Jessica Alba story was interesting but predictable. I did like the Clive Owen story of prostitutes that own the Old Town area of Basin City. The hookers had a peace with police officers and the Mob, thus allowing them to basically govern an entire piece of town. The scene with Owen, Alexis Bledel, and Benicio del Toro was sexy, smart, and entertaining. I wanted to know the outcome and I had no idea what was coming next. It was the lone example of interesting storytelling in the movie. Being this critical might be without merit however. Many say that Sin City might be the most accurate adaptation of a comic book, and I'm inclined to agree. However, it is a movie and it was ok, at best. The Clive Owen storyline was enough to keep me interested. 7.5 out of 10.

What does the week have upcoming? The California Special Election will have a lot to do with it, as both classes take serious looks at the ballot measures. Then Intro moves into Elections, and College Prep looks at campaign finance. Basketball starts tomorrow. I'm excited as always, even though my two best guards are being moved up to Junior Varsity. My opinion about moving players up is simple; if they start on the J.V. program, they should be there. If they don't start, then it does no good to play up. Regardless, I'm going to have a small tryout group for the first time in 5 years. Normal tryout numbers average about 25-35 players. I only have 18 on the sign-up roster, and over half play football, which means they will come next week. Could I not have enough to even scrimmage? We shall see.
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