Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Remember? I said crossover films?

A few posts ago I mentioned that I thought it seemed likely that there will be crossover films from the Marvel Universe, DC Comics and whatever. Here is the latest news touting Fox joining up with Marvel to make that exact thing happen:

Friday, June 24, 2016

I went to Finding Dory today.

Finding Dory is the follow up film to Finding Nemo.

I didn't see Finding Nemo but I did enjoy Finding Dory.

The voice casting was great.

And Disney/Pixar animation is great.

I was a little surprised to see credits roll at the beginning of the movie. In the past this usually meant that the story of the movie was going to somehow end in such a way that people probably wouldn't sit through the credits at the end, and so the production moves the credits to the beginning of the film.

My college professor made a statement once that, if you find yourself in the movie business, or in television, watch the credits. It is after all why you are in the business. To see your name up there.

The story hit a little hard for me. The story is about a blue tang, a type of salwater fish, named Dory, who has short term memory loss. It was fun for the kids in the theater to see someone go through the problems of short term memory loss.

For me though it struck home in a different way. At this time I am living with my 93 year old mother, and she is beginning to have issues with short term memory loss.

The question it raises for me is how do you go about dealing with this?

As I sat there I began to feel guilty for being in the theater and leaving her at home alone.

She really needs to have someone around to help her. Not so much to take care of her as she seems to be doing okay. She can get her food and make her way to and from bed, she still balances her bills and checkbook but that particular chore is becoming difficult and she has always made it a point in her life to balance her checkbook often. Short term memory is taking that away from her.

It will eventually, if we all live to be that old, take it away from us as well.

I have been trying to figure out how to gracefully meet the eventual cross roads I am coming to. I will at some point have to find work somehow that will be adequate for me to live the rest of my life on. And I will have to leave her.

The medical experts will tell you to go.

It is not so easy.

In the last few years Mom has been preyed upon. She answered some spam emails over the last few years and was caught up in some scams. Fortunately I was here, and helped to stop them.

But now I am thinking what is the next one going to be. And can I take the risk of leaving, knowing someone might take another opportunity to make mischief at her expense.

The last scammer came right to the door and asked for her electric bill. He may have been legitimate however he wasn't wearing anything like a uniform and didn't leave a business card, and he wasn't driving a company car, and there wasn't any advance notice he was coming to visit.

The American economy has fallen so much that many Americans can't make enough money to live without thinking about how they can make some more money.

It is a difficult nut to crack.

Out of this there is a predator spirit at work to take, even if it means taking from little old ladies.

The United States, if you read a book called Plan B, Mobilizing to Save Civilization (I have only gleaned a few pages here and there in it), you find out that other countries are also desperate. Countries are renting land in other countries to raise foods to bring back to their own countries to feed their people.

I share this feeling of desperation, although I try to minimize it as much as possible, because I am coming to this crossroads I mentioned earlier.

Finding Dory is a story about a Tang that loses its family, but somehow makes it way across the ocean and back again to find its family.

I empathized with the emotional content through this story.

NPR ran a story recently about how this movie will have an impact on ocean fish. The scientist in the NPR story is concerned that people will want to have saltwater aquariums and fish as pets.

I am inclined to agree and to share this concern.

Our oceans are over fished, and recently I have been made aware that eating fresh water fish is not good for you, that there are now so many contaminants in our fresh waters that it is starting to border on being a health hazard to do so.

The term Walt Kelly made via his character known as Pogo comes to mind. We are our own worst enemy, we have met the enemy and he is us.

One more thing about movie credits and the end of the movie, sit through until the end. More and more the movies are adding snippets to the end of the credits worth seeing. Finding Dory ran the credits and then had about 5 more minutes of movie to watch.

Disney really knows how to make movies.

A long time ago I watched a movie at a theater in Hollywood. I want to say it was The Egyptian, but now I have taken the time to look via Google and I am not so sure it is the theater called the Egyptian in present day Hollywood. Whatever theater it was, what a cool looking theater it was.

The movie was Outland with Sean Connery and Peter Boyle. Outland is a remake of the Gary Cooper movie, High Noon. At the end of Outland when the bad guys got beat, the entire audience cheered and clapped. That's Hollywood for you.

They are really into the movies there.

I make it a point now to sit through to the end... and clap even if I am the only one left in the theater.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

I went to...

I went to X-Men Apocalypse, the movie, yesterday. May 4th, 2016.

Ultimate, ultimate, ultimate. Ultimate anything is a kind of hard wall to bounce off of.

In one of the Ironman movies Tony has a one use weapon that sends out a searing, slicing laser type of linear light beam, and he swirls it around taking out all the attacking 'Droid robots.

I think it is Don Cheadle in the other suit and Tony says, "Duck". Tony spins, and cuts all the robots in half or other sections.

Apocalypse was the same kind of thing. The ultimate villain. It took all of the X-Men simultaneously working together to bring down and destroy Apocalypse.

I like that premise, cooperation is what pulls us all together to overcome obstacles.

But I also found it interesting that for an X-Men movie the theater was nearly empty. There were only about 6 or 7 us sitting there.

That really bothered me.

But that is off topic. The topic is Ultimate anything, Apocalypse was the ultimate alternative God-villain posing as God.

There could have been an interesting tie-in to the DC Universe and the New Gods. Stan Lee published both, I suspect we will at some point, if the comic book movies maintain audience numbers, start to see crossover story lines, with Ironman battling Batman and similar.

Each comic book realm has its ultimate bad guy. Thanos in the Marvel realm, Apocalypse for X-Men, Darkseid for the DC comics.

Which makes me think the comic book movies are getting away from the way they were when I read them all those years ago. That was then, this is now. Sure I agree.

Let me inform you though that Marvel comics during the 60s and 70s were full of deep conversation with the characters thinking out their decisions. There wasn't a lot of biff, boom, bang then. Which is one of the reasons I liked to stick to DC comics because, like all procedural story telling, they found a problem, found a cure, and fixed it, fighting included. But since then and now we have had the rise of the WWE, the WWF, the UFC, the internet and the doing away with boxing, for the time being.

We glorify the fight. But we do so in a way that is unreal. But by doing so we send the message that the way to solve problems is to fight.

In my college classes my cinema studies class and my cinema studies textbook made the point that war, fighting, is the ultimate conflict. I think what I am reaching for is that life isn't always about the quick fix fight. Dominating someone via pugilism, fighting is not the way that always works. In fact it sends a sublime message to those that view it that it is okay to fix problems by getting into a fight.

Life is not about the quick fix fight, not even close.

Duking it out with your dentist will probably only get you more cavities.

To the untrained mind, the quick fix fight sends the message that this is the way to fix your problems. No it is not the way to fix your problems. The problems we deal with in life are more complex than that. You have to choose a school, that isn't a fight thing, you have to choose a car, that isn't a fight thing, you have to choose your work place, that isn't a fight thing.

I admit it might be a kind of path to take to simply fight, dominate and get the problem out of the way.

Look at what happened to Loki. He got his butt kicked, destroyed Asgard and then made himself King. What good is it to destroy the thing you fight for?

Which is why I kept looking at my watch all through the Apocalypse movie.

When I look back to the Avengers movie where they are at Hawkeye's family home, I enjoyed the conversational tone that took place between he and his partner. They have a family. They were trying to decide which is more important. They were going back to that 60s and 70s conversational tone in the comics that I didn't like in the 60s and 70s. I liked it in that movie though.

I am a lot older now.

As Apocalypse peaked, it did not pique my interest. It did point to Magneto dealing with his loss, but somehow in the heat and stress of that battle it lost meaning for me. Like the conversation wasn't so important, that what was important was the spectacle, and taking it to its peak. The added in talking about Magneto's family loss had no poignancy, the emotional content of his life and loss was diminished by the extent of the mind blowing special effects ultimate mayhem making taking place.

And when I left the theater I didn't feel like I had learned anything new. It was another incredibly violent, unbelievably intense fight, from one end of the movie to the other, except Quicksilver. That was a nice interlude that did work for me. But all else felt empty for me.

In the DC world and the Marvel comics of old there was usually some kind of take away that stuck with you.

For instance, the word caveat. The first time I read that was in a comic book. That isn't all I wish for out of the movies these days. Some simple take away, like Groot saying We are Groot.

Apocalypse proudly proclaimed at the end credits that 15,000 people worked on the movie. That is an amazing statistic, and well worth being proud of, but then the now typical tag ending of the movie came along. The tag ending is that part of the movie that hints at the next movie from the same storyline.

What bothered me about the X Men movie that ended with the four horsemen, alluding to this very movie, Apocalypse, is there weren't any horsemen in this movie at all. And the tag on this movie was lost on me. I think it is because I am not following the stories in the comic books.

Maybe I missed it. I missed the easter eggs in the other movies.

It is probably my fault because I simply can't afford to buy the new comic books. I have my real job to think about and my 93 year old Mom to keep an eye on, and I have to think about people trying to prey on her because she answers spam from the internet or she picks up the phone and they say it is Publisher's Clearinghouse when in fact it is another scam team from who knows where.

Where are the heroes that deal with real life issues like that in the comic book movies?

They aren't there in real life are they? You don't see the comic book characters in real war scenarios. There may be a backdrop that looks like real war, but it isn't real war in the current day. You can't have that. Think about why that is.

How long then can the comic book world movie genre keep us coming back to the theater?

Which brings me back to cross-over movies. I think that will start to be the end of the run.

When Superman comes around to beat Thanos, and Hulk comes around to beat Darkseid in a tied to each other ring battle, and Rocky Balboa comes around in Tony Stark's Ironman suit to beat whomever is going to replace the ultimate X Men threat as Apocalypse reborn.

I probably will go to a few more comic book movies, but I will also be looking for the new genre that is going to come along, or the new sleeper hit movie of the year to come along.

And I will be looking for the take away, because I want to learn something new from these movies.

Because the comic book movies are hitting a wall. The Ultimate wall. You have to be careful with ultimate weapons, you can only use them once, and ultimate villains, because you can only use them once. Once you have defeated them, because they were supposed to be the ultimate villain, they couldn't have been, so we were mislead into thinking they were in the first place.

The ultimate villain is ourselves. Pogo is right. We are our own worst enemy.

But war, in real life, we keep using that over, and  over   and      o  v    e      r. To create others as the ultimate enemy.

So then, something else has to come along to change the diet. Variety, the spice of life. What the box office keeps looking to feed us constantly.


Today is now June 6th, 2016. I am going to apologize for the above post. A couple posts ago I posted the relationship matrix. I posted that because I believe that is important that we stay positive. If you look at the relationship matrix, the ideal is to be in the actively constructive and positive parts of the relationship matrix. It isn't easy, which is why I believe I need to apologize.

In the above post, yesterday, I went off negative. Bryan Singer, the Director, and everyone that worked on that picture worked hard to bring it to us. The above post isn't fair to them.

The positive part of the movie for me was Quicksilver. As soon as he made his entrance and the slow motion fun started taking place I was into it. And there is now the prospect he will meet his Dad.

Let's hope that is a positive, and lasts a long time.