Monday, July 17, 2006

Why I Heart Superman

But first, the latest highlights...I helped stain a porch today and it actually looks prit-ty good, so I now fear that I will become a wood-nerd in addition to the comic-nerd, sci-fi nerd, and cinephile titles that I already hold...Blueberries are still in the lead as my totally-favourite summer fruit, but watermelon is closing in...Gremlins 2 is funnier than I remember (and I dare you to watch Gizmo dance to Fats Domino's 'I'm Ready' and not join in) almost-8-yr-old niece, Rylee is addicted to and tried to start her own blog the other day before her mom figured out what was going on - yes, nip that in the bud right now before she decodes The Matrix and figures out the truth...the jury's still out on the dancing with long(er) hair vs. dancing with short hair debate - while it feels sexier to flip the tresses around, there's nothing stingray-whipping me in the eyes or getting stuck in my lipgloss now...and this just in: Boys STILL suck! Mostly. ;) Not sucking: the scene on 'Family Guy' in the Poltergeist spoof episode where Stewie covers Phil Collins (I cried), Bryan Singer, whom I want to hug (director of Superman Returns), and Hitler Cats (again with the crying):

Now on to Kal-El..

In the 'old days' people actually used to clap at the the end of a film if they'd enjoyed it. I miss that. There have been times when I've braved it and sometimes been joined by more than a few others, which is a particularly heady feeling, not unlike the group euphoria you feel at a really amazing concert. And sometimes what you're watching onscreen is so riveting, so mesmerizing that you simply forget to care. That's what happened to me last Wednesday. I went in not expecting to be disappointed at least, mainly due to the fact that Bryan Singer was directing and he'd already shown me two pretty kick-ass X-Men films. But I was blown away. Truly. 'Animated' doesn't even cover my reactions to this film. I gasped, laughed, clapped, shuddered, made erratic hand motions and most surprisingly, I cried. More than once, in fact. Not only was it more moving than I would have expected from a 'comic-book movie', but it was funny, smart, engaging, and made me wonder. I love that. I even enjoyed Kate Bosworth's Lois Lane and I'm not usually a fan. Kevin Spacey's Lex Luthor and his henchmen were especially hateful and who would've thought a kid from Iowa with a mere soap opera on his resume would prove to so worthily super-sede Christopher Reeve. Wow. Heroes fascinate us. It's why we read comics and always cheer for the good guy. Because he is strong and brave and will always save us..if he can. And let's face it - it's a pretty thankless job most of the time. So, why do we still love Superman after 70-odd years and countless reincarnations? Because sometimes an alien can be more human than any of us.
Superman Returns gets *****

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Hello, Wavebabies!

Must-Have Summer Downloads:

'Crazy' - Gnarls Barkley
'Is It Any Wonder?' - Keane
'Edge of the Ocean' - Ivy
'Spooky' - Imogen Heap
'Flawed Design' - Stabilo
'Feel Good Inc.' - Gorillaz
'Sad Eyes' - Josh Rouse
'Beep' - Pussycat Dolls f.
'Crazy' - Alanis Morissette
'Son's Gonna Rise' - Citizen Cope

Quotes of the Week (on marriage):

"My mom's always asking me, 'When will you finally get married?' And I always say, 'When I find a man who has more balls than me.'"
- Salma Hayek
"I've been married five times and people think that's some bizarre thing, and yet I've got buddies who refuse to get married and [have sex with] 15 people a week. I'm like: which is better? At least I'm trying."
- Billy Bob Thornton

Summer TV Obsession: 'Rockstar: Supernova' (Tues/Wed night on CBS) - Slash is going to be a guest-judge. 'Nuff said.

Random Quote #1:

"If you didn't have adult-onset diabetes, I wouldn't mind giving you a little sugar."
- Gob flirting with the elderly on Arrested Development

Best Song Title: 'Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth' (by The Dandy Warhols)

Embarrassing Song I Love: 'What's Left of Me' - Nick Lachey

Random Quote #2:

"'Straight Up', and I would sing it right to Paula Abdul."
- Kathy Griffin, when asked what her American Idol audition song would be

'Celebrities' Who Gross Me Out: Uncle Kracker, the creepy female comm. officer on Battlestar Galactica and the Cryptkeeper

What the he--..?
(letters submitted to TV Guide in answer to what readers' favourite car from a TV series would be)

"One hundred percent, without a doubt, I would much rather drive Knight Rider's KITT car than the General Lee. KITT was Michael's best friend. The car took care of Michael and cared what happened to him. And it was always there for Michael. If I could drive KITT, I just know the car would be there for me too! General Lee is just an orange car, and one that you can't even open the doors!"
- Angela C. Wong, Nanaimo, BC

"I am 26 years old now, but when I was four I had a General Lee pedal car with sound effects. I used to drive it up and down the sidewalk from morning til bedtime. I would honk my "Dixie" horn, and the neighbours would come out and put cookies in my trunk. Thanks for the memories, TV Guide."
- Jeff Murray, St. Catharines, ON

Summer Movie Reviews:

Mission: Impossible 3 - I tend to follow directors as often as I do actors, so I was willing to follow the man who brought me Felicity and Alias because he hasn't disappointed me yet. The action scenes were great, especially the airborne windmill scene, and Maggie Q and Jonathan Rhys-Myers are lovely eye-candy. And is Mr. Cruise a nutbar in real life? Most probably, but I still enjoy watching him on screen. His forearms get **** and the movie gets ***.

Stick It - From the director of Bring It On, which exceeded my low expectations unbelievably, comes this equally fun and silly feel-good pile of fluffy gymnastic goodness. Jeff Bridges plays the coach and I for one have missed him. I laughed out loud, I grooved in my seat and I cheered - and that my friends, is what summer is all about. ***1/2

The Da Vinci Code - For starters, I didn't read the book. And I could care less. The film was a bit confusing and convoluted at first, but I caught on. The main draw for me was Paul Bettany, whom I would watch in just about anything, as the albino monk, Silas. Prior to seeing the film, I dreamt I was hanging out with the cast and Bettany's real-life wife, Jennifer Connelly. They were both very gracious and warm, while Tom Hanks was quite aloof and unimpressive. Perhaps this influenced my decision, as I found myself not-as-impressed-as-usual with the usually constant Mr. Hanks. Though in all fairness, his hair wasn't that bad. I didn't find it offensive or controversial at all, merely interesting. In spite of a religious upbringing (or perhaps because of it), I always find myself fascinated by the theological beliefs and theories of others and this brought up some spiritual food for thought. The Catholic-baiters get **1/2

X-Men: The Last Stand - As a comic geek, I was really looking forward to this one - the previous films were exceptional, but they were also helmed by Bryan Singer (whose Superman Returns is getting great buzz) and I should've known that a director whose resume includes the Rush Hour films would probably have his head pretty far up his a--. There were some cool special effects, yes. Kelsey Grammer as Beast was fun to watch, yes. And I enjoyed the always-surprising Ben Foster as Angel, though he was barely in it. And no Gambit - what the ----?? Now, I could sit here here and regale you with all of the bits of X-Men lore that Brett Ratner totally ignored or screwed up, or I could just let a fellow geek speak for me:
Ratner's pile of steaming super-poo gets **

Nacho Libre - There were funny parts and silly parts and a definite Napoleon-vibe (love the 70s sweater-shirts!), but overall, it felt like Jack Black was holding back and not being, well, Jack Black. And when you're that endearingly zany and maniacal, it's a crying shame. **1/2

That's all for now. Eat all your watermelon, kids!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


I love the word 'aloha' because it means both hello and goodbye. Very fitting at this moment. I'm feeling rather bittersweet about putting my little Owl to bed, but as my friend says, "It's a new era." So without further ado, welcome to Verbosity...