Sunday, May 12, 2013

They told us we could be anything when we grew up....we decided to be children....without the children

Recently I had to go to baby shower for a co-worker of mine and despite taking part in a game where one has to guess what melted candy is in the diaper I had an ok time. The best part was when no one asked me when I was going to have a baby. It's common knowledge among my family and friends that my husband and I have decided to not partake in the child have portion of life and while most people seem to be ok with that, you still get the occasional, what I can only call back handed bitch slap remark about this choice.

Take the following incident.

I recently had an interview for another job, however one doesn't go blurting that about at ones current job so I had 'a doctor's appointment'. This 'appointment' lasted over two hours and when I finally got to work one of my co-workers asked how it went.

Me-It was ok. The doctor was just running late.
Her-We were kind of hoping that you might be pregnant.
Me-Oh no...we don't want that.
Her-Well sometimes life doesn't work out how we want it.

Seriously can someone tell me how you react after someone says something like that? I suddenly regretted not telling them it was an interview maybe than they might have been less shitty. Sadly I didn't get the job and now I'm stuck with people who clearly think I have issues since I don't want children.

It's not that I don't like children, I love my nieces and nephews and other people's children. I just don't think I'm 'mommy' material and while I love my husband he does not a paternal bone in his body. It's a fight to get him up to put the dog out in the middle of the night. I doubt that will change when it's a screaming infant with a dirty diaper. When I tell people our reasoning for not having children instead of just leaving it alone the following comments have been said.

"You'll/he'll change once you have the baby."
"You really should have one so your parents/his parents can be grandparents."
"You are going to miss out on something really special in your life."
"We just really want you two to have a baby!"

Why...why is it so freaking important to you that you that we make a baby? Is my lack of baby having messing with your life in some way that I am not aware of? harassing me doesn't make me change my mind. It just makes me want to slap you.

I grew up the oldest of seven and for all intents and purposes I had children. I didn't give birth to them or go to PTA meetings, but I helped raise them and it was exhausting. My parents split up when I was 12 and my mother got custody of myself and my three younger siblings. When my father remarried, he and his second wife had three more children. My weekdays with my mother were me getting up for school, making sure the younger three were ready for school before I caught my bus, putting in an 7 hour school day and that was before I started after school stuff, coming home and making dinner, getting the younger three do their homework before doing my own homework and doing my chores before I could go to bed and start the whole thing over the next day.

My weekends at my father did not offer a break from baby care. My father's second wife realized that this baby stuff is exhausting and she GTFO'ed. Hey guess what I did on those weekends. I had many a shirt that had spit up on it and many an early Sunday morning helping with breakfast feedings and diaper changing.

I have also related this story of raising children when I was child and how exhausting it was and how I missed out on being young myself and this doesn't seem to make them understand either. The 'It's different when it's your own' remark gets tossed out than and I'm left imaging how my hands would feel wrapped around your thoughtless throat.

My husband is a different story, like I said early he really doesn't have a paternal bone in his body. He grew up with a sister ten years older than him and his mother blames his lack of child wanting on the fact that he pretty much grew up as an only child. He's stated his reasoning for not wanting children in the following statement.

"I'm selfish. I like doing what I want, when I want. I like the fact that we can spend our money on things we want to spend them on after we pay our bills and not have to worry about trying to feed/clothe/school another person."

The 'You're being selfish' remark has been thrown out after that statement and I'm trying to figure out how we're being selfish. We're being honest. It would be selfish to have a baby and than resent it because we can't go out since we don't have the funds to do so.

I don't badger people about having children so what makes it ok for others to badger me about my lack of children?

Many people in my social circle don't have children for one reason or another. Be it careers, they had horrible genes or they just opted out and we seem to be doing alright. One of my single friends opted to take herself out of the baby pool after being finding out she had Lupus. Her reasoning is perfectly sound to me. She doesn't want to take the risk of having a child that could have this illness not to mention she has a slew of other health issues and she has never wanted kids. My mother in law couldn't understand this and I could feel her biological clock ticking for me.

The 'Someday he'll need to grow up' remark was said by my mother in law when I related what her son had said about not wanting children and I don't understand why having children is equal to growing up. I have seen lots of people (my own parents included) that having children did not make them grow up. They did grow up, but it took a long time for it to happen and a lot of shit happened along the way that involved dragging a kid through the mess. 

I constantly heard (and so did a lot of the people I know) this expression or something similar to it.

"When you grow up and have your own house you can do whatever you want!"

This normally related to dinner time or how clean your bedroom was or any number of things that you wanted and your parents didn't. I'm turning 28 this month and it's Mother's Day and I'm sitting in a house that my husband and I bought. My fur baby sleeping next to me. Our house has a bookshelf filled with game books and I have a serious love of My Little Pony and stuffed animals. My husband has a room filled with minis yet to be painted and I have a lot un-finished fanfiction...and that's how it's always going to be.

 Yesterday I went out with one of my best friends who has two little boys. After we had lunch we went shopping and she was having buyer guilt about a set of mini dolls, they were of the Evil Queen and Maleficent.

"I just bought a SIMS game on sale so I really shouldn't buy these."  Plus her son has a birthday coming up. I ended up buying the set and we split the dolls. I currently have an Evil Queen that is going to go on my desk at work. It was sort of like little girls buying friendship rings and each friend getting a ring.

Even though she's a mother of two and I'm a mother of a four legged beagle we still really haven't grown up...we still want toys. I hope we never grow up.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Making your saves

I honestly don't remember what brought it up...I'm not sure if it was joke I made about making a voodoo dolls to resemble or boss or a pain in the ass client or something else I said, but my co workers did mention they were worried about my soul and being saved. I've never had anyone worry about the state of my soul before and I'm really not sure how I should feel about it. It's an odd feeling to have people worry about what afterlife you may end up in.

I did grow up in a 'Christian' household and we did go to church almost every Sunday when I was younger...well my mom did and my dad went sometimes for holiday stuff, but for the most part it was my mom and grandmother who took us. Considering my current relationship with 'Church' it might stun people to know that I used to love going. I couldn't wait to get up and go and learn about God and Jesus. I think that's what brought me in. I liked learning about The Bible and everything that went with it. I used to just sit there and read the Bible just because it was sitting there. I think this is what got me in trouble later in life.

We went through a period where we didn't go as a family, but I would sometimes tag along with a friend to church and than we hit a dry spell where we didn't go at all. It didn't start till after my parents divorce that we went all the time and this is when I think the downward spiral between me and 'Church' started. Looking back I realize that it really doesn't matter what you believe in teen aged girls are teen aged girls and they are just pure evil. I tried youth group and found only one person would really talk to me and the other girls didn't like this so in turn they didn't talk to me and I was just hit with the thought. This isn't very Christian like at all. I was hit with this odd thought again when after I spoke with an older lady of the church we were going to said something to the effect of I should try to get my Catholic friend here so she could be saved. I was really confused, she believed in God too, they just did stuff different. According to the lady it wasn't the right way. Now I was really confused because I had never heard of a wrong way to believe in God before that second.

It was also during this time that I got exposed to a lot of other religions-My dad exposed me to Wicca, My friends to Catholicism, Judaism through talking about the Holocaust, Sailor Moon introduced me to the ideas of Eastern religions. That whole wanting to learn thing is what got me in trouble. I learned that asking questions about church history and the Bible isn't liked at all. Like how Paganism is older than Christianity and how the Catholic Church took some Pagan holidays to convert people. Or how priests translated the Bible and only told us what they felt we needed to know. Why didn't all the Apostles have a chapter in the Bible? I was like that annoying three year old asking 'why' all the time. Instead the question being addressed and answered I was told that I was 'doubting' and just needed to have faith.

I wanted to have faith and that was the problem. Jesus was a teacher and he wanted us to ask questions. Jesus was answering questions all the time and he never seemed to get mad about it, annoyed maybe but he would talk to you about it. I was really happy when we stopped going to church for awhile, the youth group just made the whole thing unbearable. I was more worried about how I looked to this group of kids than learning the message.

However Church wasn't done with me..

During my junior year of high school I was working on the school magazine and in years past we always ran an ad with Planned Parenthood and another with an adoption agency. Not gonna lie we did have an issue with teen pregnancy and a lot of girls didn't have access to health care so that's why we had Planned Parenthood in our magazine. We came out with a Valentine's Day issue and it was like a powder keg to a match. In addition to our ad about Planned Parenthood, our OP editor did a piece about legal pot and our feature story was about couples-a couple who had started dating, a long distance couple and a girl from our class that had gotten married that summer. The long distance couple was another girl from our class who was gay and her girlfriend lived out of state. The girl had no issue with being out, but once the magazine came out was when everything hit the fan.

A kid from another school who we exchanged papers with complained about seeing a gay couple cuddling together and I'm pretty sure he said it was sick. He complained about our OP piece and our ad with Planned Parenthood. This set off a fire storm that landed us in our local paper and in national news. Our teacher at the time tried to keep some of the letters out of our sight, but one that me and the other girl selling ad saw still digs at me. The writer stated that we 'the ad team' were horrible human beings and that our parents needed to teach us morals if we were taking the 'blood money' of Planned Parenthood. Wow...this writer did know he/she was writing to teen aged girls right? We got shit in the halls at school for supporting gay rights and abortion. The mother of a former friend of mine didn't want me in her house for a time because of the ad.

We weren't supporting abortion, we just wanted people to know you could go there for care and testing. The whole gay rights thing I don't think had even crossed our mind at the time. We just thought their story as a couple was cute. I had gay friends at the time and my dad had introduced me to his gay friends so I didn't know what was wrong. I'm serious I really didn't know what was wrong and why people were being so hateful towards us and to the girl who was at our school. From what I heard she was kicked out of her church and her parents weren't supporting her. I didn't understand it. Doesn't Jesus teach us that we're to love everyone. Even do you become so cold and cruel to someone you've known your whole life? I really was sheltered and just couldn't understand it. It was was wrong and against all the things I had read.

The final straw with me and 'Church' came my senior year of high school and it was over being hateful towards. My mother was dating someone who I will only address as Bible Thumper came into my life and back to church we went. Thankfully I was too old at the time for youth group so I could just go to service and I remember sitting there and wanting to feel something I couldn't. The thing I used to love held nothing for me other than annoyance. Bible Thumper didn't like my brother playing with dinosaurs because their fossils were put here by Satan to confuse us. Really. He didn't like me watching Will and Grace it made him uncomfortable. Really .However he was totally cool with his friend cheating on his wife. Yeah. It started to really grate on my nerves when my mom started on this Anti Gay kick. She had no issue with my gay friends before and now...

 The final straw came during my graduation party that he didn't even come to and we had to call him repeatedly to help us clean up since he had the truck and one my gay friends from middle school came back to the house with us after he helped us cleaned. I had missed his open house and he had asked for a shirt that had Ralph from The Simpsons that was pink and read 'I'm a pop superstar!" I got him that and he love it and we talked about getting together that summer and he left. During this whole time Bible Thumper just glared at him and didn't thank him for helping us. Bible Thumper's son was there and he was a sweet boy and he asked why my friend wanted a pink shirt and I didn't know how to explain it to a six year old.

"He's different," was what I said.
"Honey just say he's gay," was what my than boyfriend now husband said. He's own sister was gay, out and with her partner for almost ten years at that time.
"I believe the word faggot is right," said Bible Thumper. It was like a fuse was lit and I just wanted to go off.

How dare this jackass who didn't even know my friend say such a hateful thing. How was this Christian or following the word of God? It was wrong. Treating people badly was wrong and I didn't care what The Bible said. If being a good Christian was being hateful to people than I was done and I wanted nothing else to do with Church or anything stemming from that.

Other than weddings and funerals I haven't been in a church or opened a Bible for almost ten years. My husband wasn't brought up religion so he really doesn't care. He went to Midnight Mass once and I think that was enough for him. We had joked about becoming Jewish after hearing Lewis Black and it is the default religion I go to when Mormons knock on the door. I think it blows some people's minds that it's been that long and I think it blows their minds when I tell that at one point I was really into church and had actually wanted to be a missionary because I liked helping people and teaching. I still like learning about religions even though I really don't belong to one.

I like to think that even though I don't a religion that I still have morals. I don't steal, I don't cheat, I don't beat kids or puppies and I always have 12 items or less in the express lane. I try to go out of my way to help people and to just be nice to everyone I cross paths with. I've adopted the philosophy that you have one life and one meeting and you should try to make the best first impression possible. I speak up when I don't feel something is right. My co-worker who was worried about my soul said someone was a faggot and I told her I didn't think that was right.

"You swear all the time and that offends you?" Yes because it's a hateful word about a group of people that I care about. I made her a deal. I wouldn't say fuck or any other swears and she couldn't say gay or faggot anymore.

I think Jesus/God/Buddha/Muhammad/Cthulhu/Flying Spaghetti monster or whatever you believe in would approve.

"Be Excellent to each other!"  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What's wrong with being 'girly' or not

I like Hello Kitty, baking, watching Say Yes to the Dress and wearing pink....I also like roleplaying games, comics, horror movies, and That's what she said jokes...however I'm either too 'girly' or 'not ladylike' according to today's standards. Either I have feminists saying that my love of the color pink is taking us back to the Dark Ages or I have older men telling my that my dirty joke telling is shameful behavior not befitting a lady.

Femmephobia seems be catching like a bad cold. For those new to the word, Femmephobia is a fear of things that could be considered feminine: this could be anything from the color pink or just things that or considered feminine like talking about your feelings or being caring. This is sort of like slut shaming expect your being shamed for wanting to bake cupcakes. What makes this type of shaming even more humiliating is that it's being hurled by other women at women.

The above article by Deborah Schoeneman is a little more than condescending at times. Her phrase 'woman-child' is a comparison to the 'man-child' that have never grown up, that our enjoyment of 'childish' things is actually harmful to society and that doing and enjoying these 'girly' activities we are hiding our fear of the real world and how scary it is....that they have no clue how to be serious. For those not wanting to read the whole article here are some great bits.

She's a counterpart to the "man-child" stars of Judd Apatow movies; she would rather rally girlfriends to see The Hunger Games than the more peer-group-appropriate What to Expect When You're Expecting. From sporting sparkly nail polish to religiously reading every bestselling young adult novel, these women seem to be reliving their teenage years with real gusto.

My friends and I saw a trailer for What to Expect and we all agreed that it looked like a waste of $20 and these are 'adult' woman, one is a mother with two boys and the other works at a prison and we agreed that The Hunger Games was a better movie with a better message about being a strong person and self sacrifice from both men and woman.

A "woman-child" is the type to prioritize her female friendships as if she were in a high school clique by posting pictures of her girls' birthday dinners or boozy vacations on Facebook while her peers post wedding and baby pictures with similar zeal. She truly believes that women are in it together and is all about helping her friends start businesses, meet guys and pick out a cute outfit for a big event. Competitiveness among females in the workplace is perceived as totally 80s. "Women-children" are increasingly looking back to create a new common ground and it's a warm fuzzy ground.

I love my female friends and they come from all over the place, married, single, kids, no kids, fur children, ect. Do I have pictures of me and my friends cos-playing at Devil's Carnival yeah...I also have pictures of me and niece and at my friend's wedding with my husband. She makes is sound as if being there for your friends (male or female) is a social disease of some sort and we should all hang our heads in shame. I also work in a pretty much all female office place and my co-workers range from my age group to old enough to be my grandmother, we work hard at our jobs, but because we aren't competitive and ladder climbing something must be wrong with nothing is wrong with wanting to work in a positive workplace where for the most part people get along because at the end of the day our job is to help our clients and provide a good service. Our boss who is female doesn't put up with the petty backstabbing and makes us work together in a positive fashion because it makes us look bad at the end of the day it reflects well on us and makes us look like a team of professionals that other people want to work with. No we're not competitive, but we work hard.

"Women-children" certainly seem to be enjoying themselves more than their peers who struggle with the motherhood/career conundrum. The trend has crept into my peer group, too. It's as if some of the women around me still want to be girls because girls just want to have fun. Girls certainly don't obsess over a feminist article in The Atlantic or the dearth of female directors in Hollywood.

I actually had a debate with myself in the middle of a toy aisle about buying my niece a pink tea set because I was worried about her having a clearly female gendered toy...than I said fuck it she's two and I had tea parties all the time with my grandmother and my toys when I was kid and it was fun. I had fun pretending with my pink tea set as a child and I don't see why she shouldn't have the same fun just because some people can't deal with a color scheme. 

I also dislike how this writer tends to throw around the issue of woman not having children or not in relationship as not acting like an adult. I know lots of woman (myself included) who don't plan on having children for one reason or another and a lot of those woman are in serious relationships with serious careers.  I know woman who are single and have good careers and don't want to settle right away because they want to focus on becoming a better person.

I own a home, car, have low debt, a good marriage,a college degree and have worked myself into helping my boss with some serious projects that she wants to present to her bosses, but because I don't have a baby and like My Little Pony the 2010 version I'm a girl who can't have a serious thought in my head at any given moment. I thought we were past the age where marriage and family defined what is a woman and what is a girl. 

On the flip side I have men in the media telling me what being a woman married a vagina you didn't get one and until you get one you can't tell me what makes me a woman. The greatest example of this is the great Todd Akin stating that his rival Claire McCaskill was more 'ladylike' back in 2006 and 'came out swinging' during their debate. What was she suppose to do? Ask for the ok to speak, offer you a sandwich, not understand the issues at hand...please tell me. He stated that she had more confidence when she was 'ladylike' What made her un ladylike? Really I want to know what made her less of lady. I have one group telling me that being 'nice' is wrong, but you have another group saying that being to aggressive is wrong. 

Would someone please tell me how I'm supposed to act, dress, behave, ect so that I'm not ruining the world?

I was always told when I grew up, moved out and got my own home and a job that I could do whatever I wanted because I was an adult...well guess what...this adult has to go to work tomorrow, I have game to attend this weekend and I need to buy my niece an outfit for her pictures this weekend....I might even buy her a dress....something pink with bows on it. 


Other readings to enjoy....

Sunday, August 19, 2012

2012 Gen-Con: Hits and Misses

Sigh....another 361 days till the next Gen-Con.

I always have an amazing time when I go to Gen-Con and every year it seems to get better and better as more games and extras are added each year. This year had it's fair share of great events and fun times and here is mini list of the things that I loved and loathed about this year's Gen-Con. (The love list is much longer than the loath list)

Loved-The Coupon Book: I know some people were complaining about the lack of SWAG Bags, but for me personally I prefer just getting the coupon book. It's less I have to care and most likely pitch when I get home. The past years had things I just didn't care for in the bag other than the coupon book and maybe my free D6. With all the stuff you get over the four day span the SWAG bag just got lost in shuffle so this made life a little easier.

Loved-The all night pick up and line speeds-I only had to wait in a line for less than 15 minutes to get my badge and tickets in the afternoon. Granted the line was long, but the booth workers did their best to make sure everything was fast so you weren't waiting that long. Plus you could always leave and come back later and not worry about closing.

Loathed-Cthulhu Dark-I didn't think it was possible to make a Cthulhu game boring and than I found this and I've had more fun at the dentist getting my teeth cleaned than playing this. The event was called Christmas in Berlin and the description was that a family was found murdered and Germany spies are suspected and the local infantry is hot on the trail of the prime suspect and it's set during WWI. Seriously this sounded like fun and I was really excited about this and it was the only Cthulhu game I was able to get into.

A good game makes the time go by so it doesn't feel like four hours and I felt every second of this four hours. So Cthulhu Dark has one of three modes and this was from the mouth of the GM-Investigate, Run or be is this fun?  I know Cthulhu games are about investigating and mostly likely being killed or going crazy, but to not even give the players a fighting shot at combat is just sucky. You have to come up with your characters on the fly and than try to work from there. It also felt like I was being railroaded at every turn and was just there to listen to the GM tell a very boring story. One of the guys I game with had the follow up game to Christmas in Berlin and had it with the same GM and also complained about the boredom he felt playing. I will not by doing this system ever again, it was not worth the four dollars in ticket price or the four hours of my life I will never get back.

Loved-Camp Bloodbath and Spectum Games-This made up for the horrible Cthulhu experience. Camp Bloodbath was a horror comedy game run by Spectum Games and the GM was Cynthia and she made the game fun and let us do what we wanted to do. The system was easy to learn-Take D10, D8 and a D6. Your bad stats are the D10's and the really good stats is a D6. The goal is to get matching numbers
(Get four 6's one your D6) to not be killed and either flee your killer or fight back. Genre points are also helpful and are a little like drama points. Some characters get them right off the bat and the players can earn them by doing typical stupid horror movie things-IE-Going off alone to see what is that noise or in the case of our game, each time we got a horror movie reference or amused or GM.

 I was actually a little bummed out that we wrapped up an hour early. The system is called Slasher Flick and it takes all the horror movie troupes and places you in the roles of horror movie characters and you just go from there. At no time did I feel railroaded or bored with the group I was in. Roleplaying is stressed so if you have a group that really enjoys acting up this is the game for them. Fight scenes are light, but can be fun. I went to the website but it's still a work in process so please give them time.

Loathes-The lack of Saturday night events-Saturday night was always the busiest night for events and now they don't seem to have a lot of late night events. We were walking around at 1 am and people were still just milling around the ICC and the event guide really didn't have a lot past eleven. Events that used to be later on Saturday: TOVA Auction, the Costume Contest, the Dance, ect  seemed to have been moved up to earlier time slots leaving the evening kind of ho hum. Yes there are plenty of bars and late night hang outs which are good, but if I don't wanna drink or eat and game instead my options were limited.

Loved-The food trucks-I never thought I could get good Mac and Cheese off a truck and I was proven wrong this weekend. The trucks offered a lot of variety (Pizza, Cujan, Cupcakes, ect)  for a good price and the area near the ICC was nice was relaxing and having a quick dinner with folks.

Loved-The City of Indy and the Locals-The 1st year I attended Gen-Con it was clear the city had no idea what it was getting into. A lot of places were actually running out of food on Saturday night and the city just seemed overwhelmed by what was going on. Flash forward nine years and the city pulls out the welcome mat for us and make sure we have a good time each year. I have rarely had a bad dining or being out and about experience while in Indy during the con and that's in large part thanks to the locals and people who work in the service industry.

I heard from one waitress that the gamers are the nicest and best group of people to come in. She complained that the people who come in for The Brickyard tend to be the rudest group of people she waits on all year. She complained that they talked down to her, held up tables for hours while they got drunk and than left her a two dollar tip. She said we come in, we're fun, we're polite and we tip the best. One bell boy summed it up the best while we chatted waiting for the car.

"I see people all the time and most of the time it's for work or something else and they are just unhappy or not friendly at all. You guys come to town and you're happy and fun and it's just nice for a change to see happy people!"

Damn straight were happy people because we're at the best place on earth!!!  GFY Disney you don't have shit on Gen-Con!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Batman Review Project-Part Seven-The Dark Knight Rises.


There the warning has been issued so no whining can occur. Oh my god...I think this might be my favorite in the trilogy as of right now. I'm writing this after viewing it so I'm still coming off the high of watching it and just being in love with how the story came together perfectly without missing a step. This won't contain a second by second summary, but an overview and thoughts on the film. 

We jump eight years into the future with the city of Gotham still in a state of mourning for it's fallen hero Harvey Dent with a holiday and laws have been passed in his name, they elevate him to almost a state of sainthood. The city of Gotham is finally free of it's corrupt officers and organized crime due to the Dent laws. Batman is still vilified for taking away their hero and Gordon is seen as a relic of a past that Gotham would like to forget. Bruce has become a hermit in his own home and life as the party goes in Dent's name. I love the fact that we see these two people struggling with how Rachel and Harvey deaths. Bruce has the luxury of hiding from the world and wallowing in his pain, while Gordon has to deal with the public, hiding his pain and losing his family and friend. The happiness of the city they love comes at a heavy price for both of them. 

I love the fact that we finally get a decent live action Selina Kyle/Catwoman. Anne Hathaway was amazing and just fun to watch on screen. Any time she was on the screen you never knew where she was going to go and how you were supposed to feel about her. We didn't get a lot of background on her character and I really didn't care where she came from or any of her back story, I cared about where she was going. Her desire to get the 'Clean Slate' program seemed be just another game to her. Even if she did wipe her identity as Selina Kyle could she give up who she is? Hathaway held her own against some serious heavy weights and stole the scene almost every time. I know that this was Nolan's last film, but if they were to do another Catwoman film I would love to see this version of Catwoman/Selina Kyle.

Tom Hardy as Bane was one of the best performance's I have seen next to Heath Ledger's Joker. Not only did this man use physical fear to bring people in line, he was unbelievably charismatic to bring people under his sway and get them to do anything for him, even die in plane crashes or kill themselves without revealing anything.  Due to the theater I was in it was hard at times to understand some of Bane's speeches, but the scene where he just kicked the snot out of Batman and Bane's men look away speaks volumes how terrified they are of this man. (Just a small geek moment for me-Bane's right hand man was played by Josh Stewart who plays William LaMontage Jr on Criminal Minds and I had a small fan girl sqee)

I was half spoiled/half guessed that Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard) was Talia al Ghul and the surprise of her turning against Bruce was sort of ruined for me, but the character was another one that was fun to watch on screen trying to finish her father's work of ruining Gotham. I have to give this character credit for waiting over eight years to have her revenge. It speaks to the type of character she is and if they were to have a movie just about her and how she came to be I would like to see it. 

If someone had told me years ago that the kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun would become a great blockbuster star and be in a Batman movie I would have laughed. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was the best casting choice for this role and all the scenes he had with Gordon and Bruce were just great to see. I'm still not sure how I feel about him figuring out that Bruce was Batman all on his own when he was younger when no one else ever had.

The best moments in this movie come between Bruce, Alfred and Gordon. All three of these men are trying to come back from the darkness and the lies they told to protect what they loved and it's clear the emotional toll it has taken on them. The scenes between Alfred and Bruce were almost heartbreaking to watch. The moment were Alfred tells Bruce that he wishes he hadn't come back to Gotham because he wanted him to be happy was even more heartbreaking than when he finally tells him the truth about Rachel's letter. The moment when Gordon sees the repaired Bat Signal was touching, even though he wasn't physical there it was Bruce's way of telling Gordon that they were still friends and that he could still count on the Batman.

This was the perfect way to wrap up the series and I love the fact that even though we get a passing of torch we get a perfect wrap up and for once Bruce gets a happy ending by hanging up the cowl and had this been in the hands of any other director I don't think this would have been handled as well and wouldn't have been as satisfying. 

Thank you for following the series. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Batman Review Project-Part Six-Batman Begins and The Dark Knight

So after the mind numbing badness of Batman and Robin people were done with non animated Batman movies for what is a long time in entertainment and movie time. The only good thing to come from Batman and Robin was that we have our current series of films and since these films are recent I'm not going to do the summary, I'm just going to give my feelings and thoughts on these two films.

At first I really had no desire to see Batman Begins. I just didn't care and wasn't interested since it was first leaked around has Batman 5. I honestly didn't pay any attention to any of the hype going on since I was in school full time,work part time and a bad case of personal BS. It wasn't until my dad offered to take me and my than boyfriend (now husband) to go see it and I never turn down free movies. Holy shit...this is what happens when I don't pay attention to the hype, I'm treated to a surprise and a great movie. I have to give Nolan credit for making a Batman movie for people who haven't read a single comic from the series or who might not of had a clue who Batman was. This was the perfect blend of intro/reboot. I still enjoy the 1st Batman from 1989, but this had a much better story that would be easy for a non comic/superhero fan to follow and they actually have emotion and heart in the story that make you think instead of the dumb fun that was found in the 89 Batman. 

I love the fact that were treated to the building of the relationship between Gordon and Batman, something that was never really addressed in the other films and we build on the corrupt police department aiding the mob and gangs that was briefly touched on in the 89 film, but not brought to a good conclusion or really built up. I also enjoy the fact that we see Bruce not only becoming Batman, but creating the persona of a rich playboy so that when people look at him they don't see anything worthwhile in him. Bale did an amazing job playing the three parts of Batman- Rich, Out On the Town Bruce, Batman and the Bruce that we see when he's not the other guy. Keaton did a good job playing the normal Bruce, but he lacked the other two parts and well let's not talk about the other two Batman's. 

The only weak link in the first one is Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes. I just don't care for Katie Holmes so it was hard to lose myself in her character. She just felt silly and out of place next to all her male counterparts who took each scene and owned it. Every time she was on screen I just wanted her to go away.

On the other hand I paid attention to all the hype around The Dark Knight and by the time is came out I didn't go and see it because I didn't want to deal with the crowds going to see it and I wanted to watch it after the hype went down to see if it was as good as everyone was going on about. Somehow I managed to stay spoiler free until the movie came out on Blu-ray and I was able to enjoy it at home. This is so far my favorite in the Nolan series and close to being my favorite Batman movie overall. 

Since I paid attention to the hype surrounding The Dark Knight I was treated to all the first wave bitching about casting Heath Ledger as the Joker, the changes made to his back story and the re-casting of Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes. I couldn't count how many times I had to listen to some uber fan boy cry foul about this re-imagining of the Joker and back story. I listened to whining about how Heath Ledger was a rom-com guy and had no business rubbing make up on his face and playing Joker. Than the trailers came out and than Heath Ledger passed the uber fan boys did a massive turn around really quick after the trailers and his passing. Suddenly enough praise couldn't be given to his performance and the re-telling of his story. Now I'm not saying that his performance doesn't deserve the praise, he is amazing to watch on screen and if I hadn't of know that was Heath Ledger I would have been surprised. He disappeared into that role and I lost myself in that character. I do wonder though if he hadn't of passed would he gotten the same praise, what work would he being now and would it have been as good as this performance? 

The other bitch I heard, but not as loudly was the re-casting of Rachel Dawes. I really hadn't seen enough of Maggie Gyllenhaal's work to form any opinion of her so I walked into this movie with a clean slate and I like her. One compliant I heard was that she wasn't as pretty as Holmes and to that I say 'Who gives a shit?' She actually felt like a fleshed out character that could actually act and be equal with her male counterparts and compared to vapid girls of Batman's past I say yeah. 

I think I did the right thing waiting until the buzz had died down so I could watch the movie without a lot of people pressuring me to like it. The story was one that caught your attention and held it the whole time, even the sub-plots held your attention and that is saying something. All the actors in this film were amazing to watch and I know a lot of people were buzzing for a Oscar nod for Ledger, but I felt that Aaron Eckhart should have gotten a nod for something. This guy made you like him from the second he stepped onto the screen and to watch him slowly turn from the nice guy to the disfigured killer is a huge leap and he did it so well and without missing a beat. His turn to being a 'bad guy' felt like it should happen and even when he was the bad guy you still felt sorry for him and wanted him to come back.I'm going to see The Dark Knight Risestomorrow after I leave work...I hate dealing with crowds at movies so this is the best way I know to go see a movie. In the afternoon on a weekday. So far I've managed a media black out about movie details and look forward to 

Both these films had a great story, great dialogue, the way they built each relationship felt real and they made you feel for each character and never once do you feel cheated or short changed with any of the story or plot points. I know that a Batman reboot might happen in a few years so that Warner Brothers can do a Justice League movie, but I think they're going to be hard pressed to top the story telling in this series.

We're nearing the end of our review project and I hope people have enjoy reading the series. I'm going to see The Dark Knight Risestomorrow after I leave work...I hate dealing with crowds at movies so this is the best way I know to go see a movie. In the afternoon on a weekday. So far I've managed a media black out about movie details and look forward to seeing the final chapter.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Batman Review Project-Part Five-Batman and Robin

Before I start this blog, I feel that a moment needs to be taken to address the tragedy that happened yesterday during the midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. My thoughts are with the people who simply wanted to go out and enjoy a movie with friends and family. I haven't gone to a midnight showing in years, but it's no different than going to a con or a concert. It's all about the experience and having a good time with a group of like minded people. It's just a sad day in general. So far there doesn't seem to be a lot of finger waving or general blame games being hurled about. We shouldn't blame the media, religion, politics, or any other standard that goes up when events like this occur. This was the cruel act of a very ill person and as of this moment I say we focus on the victims and their families members. Let's focus on the healing....and laughter is the best cure in my book so I hope that people get a laugh or two out of this.

It's been years since I've seen Batman and Robin and I'm starting to remember why...because it is a bad movie. Sweet cream Jesus this movie is bad and I don't understand why it's so bad. I remember being really excited for this movie when it was announced since it was going to have two of my favorite characters in it: Bat-girl and Poison Ivy. Finally we were going to get some female leads again other than Bruce's love interest for a change and the 12 year old girl I was so happy.  Than I went and saw the movie and I honestly have no memory of how I felt when I walked out of the theater. I remember being really excited and than it was like I lost two hours of my life and than I went shopping my mother's birthday. I just watched it last night and I can't remember what the hell happened. 

So Batman Forever was a huge success so the heads a Warner Brothers decided to fast track a sequel. Schumacher was quickly re-hired to director, however Kilmer was not ask to renew his role as Batman since Schumacher found him difficult to work with the first time around. Schumacher also decided to pay homage to the campy Batman of the 1960's with this film and even the actors on set found it difficult to work under. Chris O'Donnell would later go on to say- " It just felt like everything got a little soft the second time. On Batman Forever, I felt like I was making movie. The second time, I felt like I was making a kid's toy commercial."  According to John Glover who played Dr. Jason Woodrue, Schumacher would sit on his crane and before each take tell the actors that they were making a cartoon. Comparing this to the Batman Animated Series is like comparing a really expensive sport car to a rusted out school bus. I would rather watch a cartoon than watch this again, at least the cartoon as a plot.

People have gone of to say some of the harsh reviews and bashing of this movie stems from some the homoerotic innuendo in the film, I honestly didn't see it has a twelve year old and has twenty seven year old I really didn't care if it was there or wasn't there. I cared that the story was lacking and the characters were boring and I don't understand how they could be boring. Mr. Freeze is one of the best villains in Batman's Rouge Gallery and he could have carried the movie solo. Poison Ivy is a fun femme fatale who doesn't need a man to do her work and let's not even get started on Bane. Bat-girl we finally get Bat-girl and I hated her...they made my 12 year old self hate Alica Silverstone. I was the biggest fan girl of Clueless and they made me hate her. The actors have actually apologized for ruining Batman this movie was that bad we once again open up with no really build up, we're just thrown into the movie with Batman and Robin getting ready and close up and butt cheeks and cod-pieces. Not funny. God I can't even remember what happened and I just watched it last night. So they go off to do battle with Mr. Freeze and I guess this is their first encounter with him, but for some unknown reason they have built in ice skates and heat lasers and god this movie sucked. Mr. Freeze is supposed be a tragic villain, he was trying to save his wife and was 'killed' by his boss in a lab accident and wants revenge on his boss. Paul Dini who wrote the Batman Animated Series episode Heart of Ice admitted to crying when he wrote it since it was so sad what happened to this man who just wanted to save his loved one. This is the stuff that those Twilight fan girls eat up, this story should make you feel sorry for this guy. Instead we get Arnold Schwarzenegger tossing off one liners about cold and freezing. If I had been running against Arnold for Governor all my campaign ad's would have been clips from this movie and asking the people if we really want this guy running our state. So they fight Mr. Freeze and his Mighty Duck rejects and Freeze gets away in a rocket ship....what the French Toast. I think I started playing Triple Town at this point in time. So Mr. Freeze is going to let his rocket ship crash and Batman says it will kill thousands if he does, however Batman and Robin blow it up so I'm confused and than I think there was some sky diving and surfing going on, the effects are just really bad and not getting my attention.  So they fight and Mr. Freeze uses his freeze ray on Robin and than tells Batman how to save him. Face-palm and I start working on a new high score.

We than cut to South American were Dr. Pamela Isley is working on trying to make an animal/plant cross breed so that plants can fight back...and totally throw off the whole eco system I don't know what is going on. She's upset that the project isn't working and she thinks it's because her boss keeps taking her venom samples for his own projects. She hears something from his lab and goes to see what it is and it turns out her boss is using part of her research to create super soldiers from South American prisoners and sell them to evil countries. He turns one of this prisoners into Bane. Well of course she confronts her boss, he asks her to join him, she says no and he pushes her into her plants and chemicals thus killing her. Ok if you find out your boss is capable of creating super humans and working with terrorist countries than maybe pissing him off isn't a good idea. Anyone else notice this re-occurring them in the series. Confronting your boss or co-workers will get you killed and sometimes give you awesome powers, but most of the time if just leads to you dying.  So when she comes back she is transformed by the chemicals and venom and able to kill with kiss. She burns down the lab and takes Bane with her to be her henchman. 

Now I really don't care for this version of Poison Ivy. I know the comics based her looks off the late Bettie Page, but this is supposed to be one of the really smart villains in Batman and she's so annoying in this role. This lady teams up with no one and suddenly she takes Bane has her lackey. She doesn't need them she's more than capable of handling things and like I said we're not going to talk about Bane, another very smart villain reduced to a very dumb role. It was like they decided to take three of the smartest Batman villains and make them stupid.

So other stuff happens and we're introduced to Alfred's niece Barbara and I don't even want to figure out the time line for her family since Alfred is like eighty and she's only twenty at the most so how old is her mother. I was more than a little annoyed at this change in the story. Barbara is supposed to be Gordon's daughter and they actually could have used this to show some relationship between Gordon and Batman since the other three movies have forgotten that part of the story, instead this sub plot is just shoved in for reasons unknown.

I'm sure other stuff happens, but I can't remember. I can normally remember what happens in these movies even two or three days later, but this time I'm just drawing a blank since I was so bored the whole time. We'll just cut to one of the dumber scenes in the movie. So in order to trap Mr. Freeze who uses diamonds to power his suit Bruce Wayne is going to loan one of his family diamonds to a charity auction and somehow he got Batman and Robin to attend. I'm starting to think the people of Gotham know that Bruce Wayne is Batman, but no one wants to hurt his feelings. did a rather funny video about this so go check that out. The auction is going on and than suddenly Poison Ivy is stripping out of a monkey suit and walking on oily half naked guys and seducing the crowd with her magic pixie dust. She than gets the guys bidding on her and than Batman and Robin start bidding over her and I feel dumber just writing this...Batman pulls out a Batman credit card. "Never leave the Cave without it!" Really who the hell thought this was funny none of this is funny. The 1960's Batman was funny, this is just stupid and boring and it made my head hurt. Freeze shows up and is captured and tossed in Arkham and I'm really sorry for H.P Lovecraft being referenced in this movie.

 More stuff happens and we find out Alfred is dying....really where the hell did this come from. It turns out that Alfred has the same illness that Mr. Freeze's wife has and of course he has the cure for the stage that Alfred has. But before they can go and talk to him, Poison Ivy and Bane break him and and break the laws of Physics by jumping out of the building and going at least a thousand feet down. We're also shown a really out of nowhere scene with Bruce and his new girlfriend. They been dating for almost a year and she still hasn't figured out he's Batman. Normally they find out or figure it out within a few weeks, but I guess Bruce finally got a dumb girlfriend for a change and she asks him to marry her and he doesn't response and why is her. We get no set up for her, no story closure and no explanation of what happened to Chase. We couldn't even get a one liner about what happened? 

I'm just going to skip to the end because even writing this bores me to tears. The guys are still fighting over Poison Ivy, Barbara figures out that the guys are Batman and Robin and despite being on his death bed Alfred still finds time to make her not one, but two costumes plus all the gadgets that go with it. This guy is devoted. So they beat Poison Ivy and Bane, Mr. Freeze turns a giant telescope into a freeze ray they beat him and than I fell asleep. I'm serious I fell asleep with only ten minutes in the movie left. It was like my brain shut itself down to cope with what I was watching and than I woke up to the credits. No I did not go back and re-watch the last ten minutes because I don't think my psyche could handle it. I think if I could have watched this is group with a few drinks it would have been funnier, but I was sober and my husband was playing The Secret World and didn't want to watch the train wreck.

I will give it some credit, had this not happened we wouldn't have the amazing Nolan films we have today.

Next time-Batman Begins and The Dark Knight