Saturday, June 17, 2006

We Interrupt your regularly schedueled broadcasting...

To present... this:

And the crowd goes wild!!

This was good, very good. I like it. A LOT!

But hey, that's just me...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

But That's Just Me... #3

In 36 minutes it will be my birthday.

Happy Birthday to me, right?
Well, I don't know. It's kind of mixed feelings right now.
This birthday will be the last "important" birthday, so to speak. Now, I know what you're thinking - "all birthdays are important, you've grown another year...", and I agree. With each passing year we grow as people, and we learn many new things about ourselves. Each year brings unfamiliar experiences, for better or worse. So how can I say that this is my last "important" birthday?

Throughout our lives, there are several important milestones that we must reach. Our first birthday, is just that, our first. So that's pretty important and ranks pretty high up the list of important birthdays. The next few sort of blend togehter, as nothing really changes from year to year. Next up is 10, now we are in double-digit land, and we're "all growed up". Things are starting to change for us, adults don't treat us as kids as much and we are expected to be more responsible and mature (though we ARE still kids, don't get me wrong, 10 is no-where NEAR adult-territory). 13 is and important birthday to some, namely jewish kids (12 for girls, but stay with me here..). Bar-Mitzvah, according to the religion you are now starting you journey down the path of manhood. And there is much rejoicing. Up next we got 16. Ahh... "sweet" sixteen, which essentially no different than 15 or 17, it's just that sweet fifteen isn't as catchy.
18, that's a major one, maybe even THE one. I think we all agree that at 18 you cross a line. You're no longer a kid, you're an adult, certifiable. Morally, socially, hell, even legally you're now walking in the lands of giants, figurativly speaking of course. Next up, 19. Now I view a person's 19th birthday as, and I do not mean to offend all you 19-year-olds out there, I was 19 once too, the LEAST important birthday of all. Why? Well look who it's surrounded by, with that kind of company 19 seems unimportant by relation. Which is an excellent seguey into 20. Your third of decades is probably the most significant one in your life, you finish your education, get a job, have some fun for a few years, settle down, get married, and start your life. And 20, the 20th birthday is the harbringer of real life, as ominous as that sounds.

Which, at last, brings us to our final important birthday. 21. At 21 the last safety net gets pulled. You are now completley responisble for your own actions. You can drink, gamble, buy a gun, whatever. So if you screw up, it's on you.
After 21 most birthdays are the same, 22 is like 23 which is like 26 which is no different than 34. Yeah, you might have a little less hair, or a little more of a belly. You might share that birthday with your daughter, or your employees, but essentially, they're not milestones. Not anymore. So aside from birthdays like 50, 60, 75 (in which you are more of celebrating in "congradulations! You're not dead yet!" way) 21 is the last important birthday.

Now I'm not sad, not at all. I'm quite happy that it's my birthday, I get cool presents - who doesn't like that. And I feel a sense of... accomplishment. I've covered them all, and lived to tell the tale. So maybe next year my outlook will change, maybe I'll find a reason why 22 should be important. But if I do, it won't be some global statement, it will be important because I chose it to be, becuase of something I've done, said or achieved, and you know what, I'm ok with that, but that's just me...

Sunday, June 04, 2006

But That's Just Me... #2

X-Men: The Last Stand.

X-Men - A group of mutants fighting for mutant rights in a world that hates and persecutes them for being different.

The - Used before an absolute adjective.

Last - Said absolute adjective. Meaning final, climactic, definitive, terminal, ultimate.

Stand - "To Take a Stand" means to fight for what one beleives in. In conjunction with 'Last' implies a final battle of ideologies, to determine, once and for all, whoe right, and who is left.

Those were the parts and now for the sum. X-Men: The Last Stand - a terrific movie.

The third (and supposedly final) installment in Marvel's X-Men movie franchise hit theaters last week. Maybe the word 'hit' is not the right word to use in this context. To quote a certain ever-lovin'-blue-eyed individual the movie clobbered theatres last week.
In its first weekend the film made a record-breaking debut. But is it really that good?

The short answer is yes, it really is.
But we're not here for the short answer, are we? X-Men: The Last Stand borrows elements from various story-arcs in the merry mutants library. Strolling through the Claremont classic "Dark Phoenix Saga", and even borrowing from modern instant-hit "Astonishing X-Men" by Joss Whedon (of Buffy and Firefly fame). The storyline, in brief, talks about a so-called 'cure' for the mutant condition. Many disagreements insue, with the major players being, quite obviously, the X-Men and Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
On the blue side, the X-Men roster features veterans Wolverine and Storm, joined by new-comers Iceman, Kitty Pride (aka Shadowcat, though never called that in the movie), Colossus, Rogue and Beast (played superbly by Kelsey Gramer (Fraiser)). The Red side, Magneto's Brotherhood, sports old Mags himself, Pyro, Multiple Man, Juggernaut, Callisto, Arclight, about a hundred or so generic mutants used as cannon fodder, and the Brotherhood's secret weapon - Jean Grey, the Dark Phoenix.
While there are some very powerful scenes, containing tear-wrenching deaths, they will not be described here to avoid spoiling them for people who have not seen the movie.
(As a side note and a word to the wise: When the movie is over and the credits roll, stay in your seat, there is a scene after the credits which will blow you away.)

And now the bad stuff. I have two main complaints with this movie. The first is the lack of balance between characters. Wolverine and Storm dominate the film, and appear on screen for most of it, while fan-favorite characters like Colossus and Kitty Pride barely show up (Colossus had one spoken line in the entire film). One could also argue the use of Angel in the movie as totally pointless, and serving no purpose aside from being a catalyst to geth the "cure" storyline going.
The second gripe I have with the movie is the choice of villains. It's not that I haven a problem with Magneto or Dark Pheonix, on the contrary, I think both are excellent villains. It is just that each could have held the movie together individually. Using both is like using a flame-thrower to light candles on a birthday cake. You can't fully use either of them. This ends up resulting in seriousl down-playing Pheonix' role in the film, which is a shame becasue Pheonix is an excellent character, and a more intriguing villain than Magneto.

Aside from those two main comments, X-Men: The Last Stand is a good movie, and is truly worth watching, even if you do not read the comics. It is quite clear that we have not seen the last of the mutants on the silver screen. While the appearance of future X-Men films is unclear right now, it has been anounced that Marvel plans on making a "Wolverine" and "Magneto" films. Personally, I am looking forward to seeing both movies, and can't wait to find out more information about the two. But hey, that's just me...