The Yah-Boo-Dankerties

Thursday, June 23, 2005

An Ottava Rima dedicated to the WWE Arabs.

Inside the mind of Vince McMahon, Late 2004.

        I want a villain: - loud, dark skin, short fuse -
                 To show my critics how much of a cinch t'is
        To land some easy headlines in the news
                 And seat an ass down every eighteen inches.
        The hicks'll pay to see these Eastern shrews
                 Get clobbered, spat on, placed in painful clinches...
        No Arabs? That Italian kid'll do.
        And now, to start the feud off, where's a Jew?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

It's Bad, man.

It gets a few little things right. But on the most fundamental levels it's a botch. Reader, I hated it.

In descending order of gravity, here are its crimes against the franchise:

1.) The logic is inconsistent. I'm fine with them going ultra-realistic. I was with them for the first hour. But the director needs to (a) set up a character's superpowers clearly, including their limits, and then (b) stick to them.

Batman's "super"-powers:
  • Physical toughness and martial arts skills.
  • Stealth
  • Unlimited finances.

Fine. So how come he can suddenly fly? How does he survive his falls from towers? If the bat-suit is made of Kevlar, then how is he nearly defeated in a fist-fight? If he values human life to the extent he vows never to kill a villain, why is he happy to flip over 4 or 5 police cars in his dog-ugly new Batmobile?


2.) It has no original look. From iMDB Trivia: " Before the shooting began, Christopher Nolan invited the whole film crew to a private screening of Blade Runner (1982). After the film he said to the whole crew, 'This is how we're going to make Batman.'"

An original aesthetic a bit too much for you, Christophe? Even Joel Schumacher went one way with the whole 'neon' look (see below).

An established franchise demands a new director (or, fair enough, production designer) to reinvent the story's look, especially if they're gonna update the tone into something more realist. But they couldn't even be consistent with the new straight-winged bat-logo; the bat on Christian Bale's suit is curly and Schumacheresque.


3.) And then, (sigh), there's the script, which I won't dissect, but which gives talented character actors like G. Oldman, T. Wilkinson & "Scarecrow" Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later) nothing to play with.

I'm losing patience, so here's my final, vitriolic thought:

  • How many villains in the one film?

Friday, June 17, 2005

Poehler and Fey: End the Experiment.

This is a post about American comedy.

From 2000 to 2004, Tina Fey and giggling fool Jimmy Fallon anchored Saturday Night Live's topical "Weekend Update" slot. When Fallon left to ply his charming brand of unprofessionalism elsewhere, SNL supremo Lorne Michaels was forced to reselect a team. My readers, the new team is no good.

Lorne kept Fey on, and added Amy Poehler. Poehler is fab. Poelher I like. I have no problem with Poelher. But herein lies the petard by which Fey has hoisted herself. So central to the success of the segment was Fey and Fallon's "sexy chemistry", that all I can see in 2005's sassy, oestrogen-heavy partnership is its absence.

Here's the solution, Lorne.
  • Eliminate Fey.
  • Install Seth Myers.

Poehler and Myers complement one another in the following ways:

  1. They are gawky.
  2. They are from Boston.
  3. He is a man and she is a woman.
  4. Look at this clip.
True, Fallon/Fey worked on a chalk n' cheese level. But for next season, while Fey ejects her baby, let's have a pair who are more traditional. More "cheddar n' cheese".

Thursday, June 16, 2005

I feel it coming together, People will see me and cry...


It's on my mind after last night's comedy show. The Out of Focus Group were warming up for Edinburgh at London's trendy Zetter hotel in London's trendy Shoreditch, with Adam "No Joe" Buxton (below) presiding.

Mostly high quality stuff - with a gasp-provoking surprise appearance by heterosexual- man-crush object Peter Serafinowicz (below) - but the offstage shenanigans made me think the most.

1.) In a small room of maybe 50 people, some 20% could've been described (more or less) as famous: people what have been on the television. A famous corner quickly asserted itself, swelled by performers joining as they left the stage, and sequestered by an invisible velvet rope of intimidation and self-congratulation.

2.) In his farewell address, Buxton apologised for the hung-over state of the performers, as they'd all been wined the night before at a "BBC Talent Evening". Anecdotes were flung out, and the names "Baddiel" and "Gervais" dropped with considerable force.

The impression I got was that after an entertainer reaches a certain plateau of recogniseability, to interact socially with the public becomes a real hassle. Our celeb exposes himself to professonal judgement or empty acclaim from strangers, so opts to surround himself with those who suffer the same. But there are only so many S. Frys, D. Bakers and J. Sessionses. After a while, what more is there to discuss among this narrow, frightened group? As Buxton confessed, in social situations recently he'd been mostly talking about his new beard.

    Wednesday, June 15, 2005

    Sin City.

    Pains me to say it, but this wasn't alot of fun.

    Les diagnosed it as we left the film: it was just humourless. So damn desperately bleak. 2.5 hours of relentless torture & whoring & peril.

    See, I'm all for stylised violence, but this is no Kill Bill - it's oppressive & overwhelming in its lack of levity, both in content & in style.

    Positives? Well dammit, it's beautiful... in a way that does bolster the story (not a shallow, purely decorative Passion of the Christ beauty).
    And it scores points for having characters vomit onscreen at times when the action demands it.

    But I'd wanted an excuse to go straight out & buy a pile of the comics, and i now just want to forget tonight's events. Especially what he did with the rubber tubing.

    Then again, I felt this way straight after the first Kill Bill, too...

    Tuesday, June 14, 2005

    Help me help you.

    My beautiful readers, you are few. I cherish you each, like a delicate bud on some kind of really priceless flower with lots of sentimental value, or something.

    I want to make a blog that y'all will read, & visit, & look forward to. But what parts of my life are you interested in hearing about?

    1.) Cultural?
    Would you like to see my reviews of:
    • Films? (MA in Film Studies on its way, I claim some fair authority).
    • Music? (Opinions from the 'I likes what I likes' school).
    • Wrestling events? (bring you into my world of childlike excitement, give you the backstage nonsense, and pics that'll make you go Ooh).
    2.) Philosophical/Spiritual?
    I'm doing plenty of reading at the moment about Postmodernism, Liberal Theology, Nietzsche & that kind of balls. The questions and thoughts are pressing against my skull-case... should I vent them on these pages for you to mop up like so much leftover gravy? Any chance of a discussion starting? Will you promise to get angry and endeavour to bloody well set me right?

    3.) Personal?
    Would you like to hear about the Scavenger Hunt I went on yesterday, and why it brought out my inner fascist? What great new recipe I have just mastered - my first that contains absolutely no meat? Why the words "luxury", "relations" and "molecular" hold new joy for me? Such mysteries as these, and their anticlimactic answers, can be at hand regularly for you.

    So which of these style of entry would you read if I posted, & which would you skip?
    Any other ideas that I didn't just say?

    I'll pepper the site too with jovial titbits (like the Edinburgh show titles), of course, unless they make you very unhappy.

    I love you all individually.