Showing 1 - 5 of 5 posts found matching keyword: chad
Friend Chad recently asked me if I had any interest in the upcoming Joker movie. You know the one. It just won the Golden Lion award for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival. My answer, in short, was no. In long, it was *hell* no.
As a longtime reader of comics, I have a well-established mental image of what I expect from Batman and his rogues gallery. As a general rule, I don't enjoy films about gangsters (which Joker was in the 40s) or films about serial killers (which Joker has been since the 80s). I've seen both Bonnie and Clyde and Natural Born Killers exactly once, and that's each one time too many.
My biggest problem with the film is that the Joker is unequivocally a villain. Pure capital-E Evil. However, a story's protagonist has to be relatable to its audience. Just as the short-lived Joker comic series of the mid-70s focused on its eponymous star's zany antics (and minimized the collateral damage), to put the character at the center of a film it becomes necessary to humanize him, to turn him from villain to anti-hero. No, thank you.
Call me a prude, but I don't see any reason to make a film exploring how someone becomes a narcissistic, mass-murdering sociopath on the scale of the Joker. In fiction, the Joker has beaten a child to death with a crowbar, slaughtered an entire talk show audience on camera, and gassed the United Nations General Assembly. All for giggles. If such a monster existed in the real world — an Osama bin Laden-squared — would you pay to see that person's biography on the big screen?
Joker works best in comics as a larger-than-life malevolent force of nature, the personification of the chaos that Batman strives to eliminate from the world. That's exactly how "Why so serious" Heath Ledger played him (and "This town needs an enema" Jack Nicholson before that). If you insist on reinventing the character, I'd say making him mortal is the wrong direction to go. Forget realism for a character that is inherently unreal. Give us a film about how Cesar Romero's wacky Joker earned his place as Gotham City's Clown Prince of Crime with a painted-over mustache (the anti-Groucho Marx!). Or choose to elaborate on any random Joker entry from silly The Super Dictionary.
But don't try to remake Martin Scorsese's The King of Comedy with a super-villain behind the greasepaint. Once was enough for that one, too.
3. The story of Mr. Tom Spy
Mr. Tom Spy was dedicated to his craft: he peeped on everyone everywhere. Blindly wandering wherever the peeping opportunity took him, he shadowed a Rogue out of the City and followed a Magus into the Woods. That proved to be his undoing.
Although Mr. Spy was good at looking at things such as tombstones in The Graveyard, he was terribly unprepared when things looked back. A Living Doll chased Mr. Spy all the way back to the City, where Tom conned an Alchemist into buying "his" doll for one gold piece.
Mr. Spy returned to the Woods only to discover that the Magus had left. Night fell suddenly and the Woods soon filled with horrible creatures like the Crypt Keeper. In no time at all, Mr. Spy was attacked by a Wolfen and infected with the dread disease of Lycanthropy.
Rushing back to the City unaware that he was being followed, Mr. Spy hoped to use his gold piece to buy a cure. However, Fate was not to be so kind. While Mr. Spy was distracted by a City Rat, a menacing Werewolf fell upon him and killed him. The End.
3 (cont'd). The story of Lady Valkyrie
The Valkyrie began her quest to purge the world of evil in the Ruins. Knowing that money was the root of all evil, she headed to the City, where she killed the City Rat and convinced the City Patrol to clean up the streets.
The good Lady Valkyrie next headed to the Graveyard, where she prayed and had her Life restored. She next ventured to and drank from the Fountain of Wisdom, improving her Craft.
Emboldened, she headed into the Crags, where she befriended a Beastmaster and a Magpie and a found a Magic Mace and Horns of Power (as well as a useless Lodestone). The mysterious even Ymir's Glow empowered her with spells! Defeating a Wind Rider, she proceeded to defeat the Lord of the Eyrie and take his precious Rage Talon. The End.
Talisman, game three. (Games 1 and 2 here.) I've decided that I enjoy writing these little character vignettes more than I enjoy playing Talisman.
A word about Spartacus (the board game, not the movie or any of the television shows or the historical figure or even the video game):
I really want to like Spartacus: A Game of Blood and Treachery. But I don't.
This is probably a case of sour grapes. I've played the game 6 times, and each time I've fared increasingly worse. Five of those six times, I've been tasked to play as Batiatus. I don't know who he was historically (he won Peter Ustinov an Oscar in Stanley Kubrick's film), but in this board game he sucks balls. He's the only character who starts with an income deficit, a situation rapidly and repeatedly exploited by experienced opponents.
Maybe it is possible to win with Batiatus. Maybe I'd fare better playing with people who wouldn't take advantage of Batiatus' built-in disadvantage. Maybe I've only lost over and over because — as has been suggested by friend Chad — I suck at the game. Whatever the case, I swear that I will no longer play Spartacus. Few games are fun enough for me to lose them over and over and over again, and Spartacus: A Game of Blood and Treachery isn't one of them.
That is all.
This past weekend I attended another wedding. More than attended, actually, as I was in the wedding party. The older I get, the more I wonder what's the point of having friends if they are going to keep dragging me into their rituals?
Chad and Meagan were married in the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Chattahoochee National Forest. The wedding itself was held at an elevation of about 2100 feet on Snake Mountain. (The name made my brother nervous, as he was frequently looking over his shoulder for an appearance by Skeletor.) This is the second time I attended a mountain wedding, once in the Sierra Nevada and now on the southern end of the Appalachian. I suppose everyone I know wants to start their marriage with their head literally in the clouds.
Blue Ridge, GA is a strange place, more Tennessee than Georgia country. It seems that everyone calls their home a "cabin" and maintains a gravel road in order that they might still drive during frequent winter freezings. At least the people seemed nice enough, especially when compared to their neighbors in Tennessee.
Trey and I had a good time on the drive up, especially after we spotted that bear statue that looked very unhappy to be chained to an American flag. (There's an allegory in that, somewhere.) And everyone had a great time at the bachelor party I organized. We drank Coke and played video games until the groom hurt his elbow playing Foosball. Never tell me I don't know how to party!
Thank goodness it's all over. Here's hoping no one else I know ever ties the knot; I'm getting too old for this shit.
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This weekend, while searching for spouts for an absinth bottle, a friend of mine told me that I was each day growing closer to the textbook definition of a sociopath. I told him that I didn't care what he and his books had to say!