Friday, July 20, 2012

You don't need to be the World's Greatest Detective to know what the new Batman movie is about: What Richard Pryor and emo-Spiderman have to do with Bane

***This post contains no spoilers. Sorry to get your hopes up***
As I'm writing this, hundreds of thousands of fangirls and boys are reveling in the fact that they just saw Christopher Nolan's conclusion to his Caped Crusader story arc at the midnight showing, while millions more are lining up to see it today. Despite my self-proclaimed status as a comic book nerd ever since Thanos was resurrected in the pages of Silver Surfer, I'm not one of those fans that will see Batman today.
I'm sure these would have been hanging from my wall if they were around during my teen years.  And as a side note, it's amazing that I didn't get beat up more often.

Namely because Batman: El caballero de la noche asciende doesn't come out in Mexico, where I am currently writing from, for another week.  Despite this tragic turn of events, I know exactly what the new movie is about thanks to the "third-movie-inner-demons" plot outline that has become so ubiquitous in the super-hero mythos that it's amazing it was never described by Joseph Campbell.  Basically, the super-hero trilogy goes like this: part one is the origin story, part two is the established super-hero that has been ramped up, and by the time the third film rolls around, filmmakers assume that the only way to make the sequel to the sequel "bigger and badder than before" is to make the super-hero battle his or her own inner existential threat.  What better way to illustrate the point than with two cinematic gems: Superman III and Spiderman III.
The most fortunate of you have probably just finished years of self-hypnotism classes in order to purge these movies from your mind, so allow me to remind you how these two movies can illuminate the finer plot points of the new Batman movie.  In Superman III, the man of steel is turned into an dark version of himself by synthetic kryptonite created by Richard Pryor, who it turns out is a idiot-genius after taking an introduction to computing class.  In Spiderman III, the friendly neighborhood webslinger is corrupted by an alien symbiote that falls from outer-space.  In both cases, the protagonist becomes a dark shade of his former heroic self, accompanied by a gamut of horrible actions: Superman grows a five o'clock shadow, blows out the Olympic flame, straightens out the leaning tower of Pisa and has a fling with the villain's therapist.  Spiderman for his part turns emo, becomes a womanizing jerk as well as a horrible dancer.  Both heroes are forced to battle their dark selves, Superman in a metaphysical junkyard battle between the doppelganger and Clark Kent, and Spiderman by discovering that the symbiote's only weakness happens to be church bells.

There are countless other examples of the hero turned villain for the third movie.  In X-Men United, Xavier's mutants have to face the Phoenix force, manifested through Jean Grey.  In Karate Kid III, Daniel leaves Mr. Miyagi to be trained by the bad guy.  And in Land Before Time III, Littlefoot becomes an insufferable hipster, wearing his Keffiyeh everywhere and only drinking Pabst blue ribbon.  In fact, if you want to compare apples to apples, the appearance of nipples on the batsuit in Batman Forever should be evidence enough of Batman's corruption in the third movie (of sorts).
 So what does all this have to do with Christopher Nolan's coda?  I think it should be obvious by now: Bane is really just a manifestation of Bruce Wayne's dark side that will be overcome in a metaphorical final battle to save Gotham.  I'm sure that all of the carnage in the trailer is just part of a dream sequence, but it's always possible that I'm wrong.  To be honest though, all signs point toward Bane just being the yin to Batman's yang, so don't be surprised if Christian Bale turns out to be playing the surprise double role again (I know I promised at the first that there wasn't any spoilers in this post, so you shouldn't click on this link unless you know how The Prestige ends; and if you didn't, then I guess I just ruined it for you anyway).   
This foolproof theory can of course be extended to other threequels.  Many fans have been clamoring for Iron Man 3 to be based on the "Demon in a Bottle" arc, where Tony Stark dramatically succumbs to  alcoholism, which is guaranteed to translate into a surefire blockbuster.
Not depressing in the least bit.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rocky's favorite songs pt. 10; "Kick Drum"

What started out as a way to post all of Rocky's favorite music videos in just a few days has obviously taken a little longer than that. One of the reasons I took so long on this final one was because I wanted to post the video of her dancing. It's not going to happen, but just know that she always sings along, and she knows to wave her arm slowly above her head on the introspective bridge of the song.

The first time that Rocky heard this song, she said "This song is magic!!" Thanks to Mark for introducing us to The Avett Brothers, they're definitely a family favorite.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Rocky's favorite songs pt. 9; All the pretty girls

Because it's been over two months since Rocky's birthday, because I'm sick of this series and because today is the fourth of July and nothing is more American than breaking a piñata, here's the second to last song, with a bonus video of Rocky's interpretation. I dare you to try and listen to this song all the way through without tapping your feet or dancing around a little bit. Go ahead, give it a try.

I told you that you wouldn't be able to do it.

A huge thanks to Derek for introducing us to fun. We had to pick this member of the band (Jack Antanoff) to piñata-zize, because he is the lead singer of another group (Steel Train), which was Rocky´s first ever concert (in utero).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rocky's favorite songs pt. 8; Hey, Hey

I've been out of school for a week and half now, and I really don't have any more valid excuses as to why I haven't updated this in forever. So I'm resolving now to put up the final three music videos for my Rocky series so that I can finally move to other things that I've been meaning to write about.
This song is the one that started it all. It was Rocky's favorite song since she was old enough to know what a song was and has always called it "Hey, hey". Aside from having a seriously infectious beat, I think her predilection for the song stems from the fact that she really thinks it's her song; i.e., it opens "I'm on a rocky road...". Also, it was the soundtrack to her breakout hit zombie movie that she always asks to see. Enjoy.

Update: Unfortunately, for some reason this reason is blocked from embedding, so you'll have to go to the link to see it on Youtube.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rocky's favorite songs pt. 7; Rocky's all right, Daisy's all right

When I originally started doing these, I was going to post a video a day, and it was going to be over in a week and a half. Five months later, and there's still a few more songs that Rocky feels should be on here. On top of that, because of my blogosphere dormancy, I've been forced to look at the Train song every time I check in on my blog over the last few months. I don't know that Cheap Trick is a huge improvement, but at least it's a change of scenery. Rocky riffs on this song by inserting her name into the chorus in place of "mommy", saying "Rocky's all right". Then she names everyone else in the room the same way, concluding that they're all just a little weird.

On a completely unrelated-but-worth-mentioning-anyway note, I'm pretty sure that I saw a red-breasted sapsucker outside my office yesterday. Not a big deal, but I was excited.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Rocky's favorite songs pt. 6; Radio

Rocky's obsession with the song can be directly attributed to my mom and my younger brothers and sisters. My mom and my three youngest siblings came to visit us for a week in the summer. They drove back to Utah five or six days before us, and they took Rocky with them so that she could have some good hang-out time with all our family in Utah. Apparently the had the Now! music compilation number 31-ish repeating this song for the entire 15 hours that it took them to drive home. Now when we walk into the grocery store and this song is playing (which is just about every time), Rocky shouts "Radio" and starts doing her bum-dance.

I'll admit that this song is catchy, but it's definitely one of those songs that loses considerable appeal if you actually listen to the lyrics. Also, I liked it much less after having seen the video. I feel like it's my obligation to show you a video with the "animation-through-constantly-repainting-over-and-over-thing" done right.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rocky's favorite songs pt. 5; We will Rocky you

Before I introduce this song, I have to provide an addendum to song #3: After seeing the Joseph video again, Rocky stated "Jojo has a diaper-change" (for Rocky,the poop-catcher itself and not the action are called diaper-changes).

Ever since Rocky heard "We will rock you" on the radio, she is constantly walking around the house with improvised "drumsticks", beat-boxing the sound of two bass drums and then a symbol: bumm-bummm-tsizz. It's not exactly the same as Queen's version, but it is pretty dang good for a two year old. I struggled to choose between these two videos, so I decided to put them both up in all of their glory.

It's no surprise how Señor Mercury became an international rock star when you look at that hair/glasses/teeth combo. Just like with David Bowie, Rocky told me that she liked Freddie's hair the first time she saw the video.