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Why yes, C&C did go and see Hellboy II. Thanks for asking.

What did we think? We both enjoyed the movie.
I enjoyed it because it is a very good, very comic-booky movie. I was never into Hellboy before the first movie (I’m almost ashamed to admit it), but I’ve very much enjoyed the character in the comic books, the cartoons, and the movies.

C enjoyed the movie because of the karaoke scene. (Hey, she knows what she likes.)

Another two thumbs up from us.

Spoiler –>C: So, what do you think the kid will look like.
C: Red.
C: Good Guess.


So, I went to see Wanted the other week.
C was not interested in the movie, so I was forced to scare up some fellow geeks to go with.
(C is not interested in assassins, secret societies, or Angelina Jolie’s tattooed backside, so her reluctance to see the movie is understandable.)

Since I am: fascinated by assassins, obsessed with comic book movies, and not at all opposed to Ms. Jolie’s inked backside, I felt obligated to go.

First, the movie deviated from the comic book. Not a little. Not somewhat. Almost completely. Boo.

Second, the story (the new story) wasn’t too bad, but it wasn’t great.

Third, they didn’t justify or explain their mythos in a way that I could buy into. (I’m a comic book geek, folks– I’ll buy almost any story if you make it somewhat consistent or coherent.) Curving bullets I can buy. Curving bullets because you snap your wrist as you fire the gun (as if this will put a spin on the bullet) is ridiculous. BOO!

Fourth, the Loom of Fate was … I don’t know. I’m torn. Could be OK. Seemed lame.

Fifth, the rat plan— again, could have been OK. Seemed ultra lame in its execution.

All in all– a waste of my time.
I should have stayed home with C.

C&C went with a friend to a double feature today.

First, to The Incredible Hulk. (C’s second time seeing it.)
C was a little skeptical but a good sport. They both thought it was very good.

Upon second viewing, it still holds up–though there are few holes that are noticeable.
1. What time of day is it exactly in the first chase scene?
2. Where, exactly, did she carry her purse? (Maybe he carried it?)
3. How did they not notice her renting that room?

Then we went to Hancock.
Excellent! Not the greatest film we’ve ever seen, but definitely a winner in the Superhero genre.
* Will Smith was excellent in the role. Very good acting.
* The idea was well done and creative.
(One reviewer ripped it for being “not superheroey” Well, that’s the point really. Let’s not fault hollywood for getting creative, OK? Don’t want to discourage that. And he is quite the superhero at the end.)
* Like the mythos they alluded to.

C actually figured out the plot twist. (C was, oddly, gobsmacked by it.) She’s smart– what can I say.

We’ll be adding it to our DVD collection.

Today, I finally got a chance to see The Incredible Hulk.
(I went with Occam’s Rev.)

I had a great time. We both enjoyed the movie.
I believe, and I’ve been thinking about this all day, that it is my new favorite super hero movie.
I’ve been trying to think of one that was better. I’ve looked at my list. I think there are plenty on that list that are equal to it– but none I’d place higher on the list.

So, here’s my take on it.
Why: Sticks to the mythos. (It does replace the comic book origin with the TV-show origin, but it does it with such grace and style that I didn’t mind. Plus, I admit, I was a big fan of the TV show.) The story was good. The acting (with one minor exception) was very good (especially Ed Norton.) It only had one major villain and it was good one. The CGI was acceptable and actually quite good in some scenes. It was also chock full of Easter Eggs for the fans/geeks. It answers a question I’ve had for over two decades. (That, alone, makes it worthwhile.)
Why Not: It does make use of the POV, shaky cam a little too much. There are some small reality snags. (From Occam’s Rev, “How did she still have her purse? Why didn’t they get her when she paid for the hotel room?” Hmm. Good questions. Not hugely important, but O.R. is a very detail oriented person.)

Spoiler Alert
Below, I shall post the Easter Eggs and Geek Gifts. (The ones I remember anyway.)

1. Homage to Bill Bixby, David Banner in the TV series. Bruce Banner watches The Courtship of Eddie’s Father at one point.

2. Lou Ferrigno, the Hulk in the tv series, as the security guard at the lab.

3. Stan Lee cameo (he has one in every major Marvel movie) as the old man in Wisconsin.

4. The many homage moments to the TV series. (“You wouldn’t like me when I’m hungry.” The theme music sprinkled throughout the soundtrack. Even the shot of him hitchhiking in the rain.)

5. The other characters or groups that show up. (Tony Stark, S.H.I.E.L.D., The Leader –though to be honest, I thought he was Doc Samson at first, I completely missed him when he did show up–, McGee, Doc Samson, and of course, The Abomination.)

6. The purple shorts.

7. The secret of the non-ripping shorts. (see above)

Someone or some group of someones out there has it in for me.

I offer as proof: Iron Man

C&C went to see it on opening night.
Great movie.
Very funny.
Great special effects.
Good Story.
Robert Downy Jr. is perfect as Tony Stark.
One of the best super hero movies ever made!


(spoiler alert)

He gives away his secret identity.
To everyone.
(Something he doesn’t do until quite late in the comic book story arc.)

Why does he do this?
No reason I can think of– except someone out there hates me and wants to give me a brain aneurism.

What? You thought I was talking about something else? Don’t know what that could be…

If there is a better idea for television than this, I do not know what it could be.

Combining Mythbusters with Superheroes.

The Mythbusters aired their Superhero special today. All of the myths were based on Superhero gadgets from comic books and super hero movies.

I’m speechless with the absolute awesomeness of this idea.

For those of you who can’t see the show or can’t look at it on the internet, here are the myths they chose to investigate.

Can a superhero hit a person so hard that their Superhero Sigil Ring leaves a permanent mark (ala The Phantom)?

Can a superhero create a grapping gun that will imbed a grapple pin directly into concrete? (ala Batman or Green Arrow or a gazillion other examples)

Can a superhero create belt size ascending unit to lift him up his grappling rope? (ala Batman and half a gazillion other examples)

Can a superhero’s car take tight corners at high speed with the help of a grappling hook cannon? (ala Batman in the first movie)

Now you might think I’d be against this sort of thing. Nothing worse than people who want to bring reality into my most cherished of fantasies. But the opposite is true. I believe in internal consistency. In other words, super hero stories break some rules of reality, but other rules still have to exist and function normally. If they don’t, the super powers become meaningless (and you start having people reversing time by spinning the earth backwards.)

In case you were curious, here are the results of the mythbuster’s attempts.

Sigil Ring Scar on Face? Nope. If you hit hard enough to leave a permanent scar, you crush the skull. Now that’ll leave a mark….
Grappling Gun? Nope. They can make something that will eventually blast into concrette– but it won’t stay there. Holy Free-fall, Batman!
Belt Size Rope Ascender? Plausible. They built a rig that would do it– but it wasn’t on the belt AND they forgot to build in a reverse switch. You can go up, but apparently you are walking back down on the stairs.
Grappling Hook Assisted Turns? Absolutely not. No cable in existence can handle the force. Cool watching them try, though.

Today, I was wearing my new favorite t-shirt. (Mine is light blue with dark blue writing.)

The checkout person at the grocery store looked at the shirt and said,
“That is like a shirt a superhero would wear.”

“You don’t say…”

By this time, if you are watching Heroes (and if you aren’t watchng Heroes, well why the heck aren’t you?), you should have watched the season finale. I’ve watched it three times– and I (suprise, suprise) have some thoughts to share.

Be forewarned, this is one big spoiler.

1. DL is an idiot. If you can phase through objects, and you can phase others through objects, you shouldn’t be getting shot. You are a one trick pony, D.L., but it is a good trick. Use it. (Though, to be honest, I didn’t see the whole hole-in-the-head thing coming. Another good trick. Gory, but a good trick. It is things like that that keep LB from becoming a fan.) At least the writers realize he is an idiot. Jessica/Nikki says as much.

2. Loved the line from HRG, “What am I thinking now, Parkman?”
“You’re last thought.”

3. C says the scene where Hiro tells his father that he can’t abandon his friend, Ando, is straight out of Star Wars. She’s right. It is still a good scene.

4. What is Hiro’s father’s power? (I’m guessing long life.) Also, bonus trivia. The license plate of Hiro’s dad’s car is NCC-1701.

5. What is Angela Petreli’s power? (Most people are guessing she has mental powers related to manipulation. She touches people and they seem to do what she wants them too.)

6. There is a bad guy worse than Sylar that when you see him, he looks back at you. (Sauron is in Heroes?)

7. Matt, Matt, Matt. You also are a one trick pony. You read surface thoughts. In the list of cool combat powers, it isn’t even in the top 100. All of a sudden you want to get all heroic and bad-ass? I fear this will not end well for you. (Oh, lookey, it doesn’t.)

8. Hmmm. Where did this dream sequence come from? (I believe Mr. Devereaux has temporal astral projection as a power. Or had it as a power. Now Peter has it.)

9. How the hell does Sylar keep sneaking up on people? He sneaks up on Ando. He sneaks up on HRG and Peter. Peter says, “Then he must be hiding in plain sight.” Good call. HOW? (C thinks he stole Claude’s invisibility power– but then Peter could see him.) (Bonus question: How does Sylar understand Japanese when Ando and Hiro speak it?)

10. Candice is NOT a one-trick pony. Her illusion powers are very powerful–and she knows how to use them. C & C really enjoyed this scene. Good to see the psychological healing take place. Candice did exactly what was needed without knowing it. Give the two selves physical representation so they could integrate. BUT– why didn’t Candice revert to an ugly person when the powers stopped? (Earlier she implied to Micah that her appearance was less than pleasant.)

11. Thought for sure Matt was going to buy the farm in the loft. Nope. (Stupidity pass #1.)

12. Love, LOVE, LOVE it when Claire jumps out the window. (Nathan could just fly down and get her… oh, wait, Mommy Dearest told him not to.) Reminded me of a friend from an earlier game.

13. How do they know Peter can survive blowing up? That is a pretty high level of regeneration. Claire didn’t blow up, she just healed from being burned.

14. Micah and Molly seem to like each other…. Next generation of Heroes? (They make a cute couple, don’t you think?)

15. Matt, Matt, Matt… Gun and Mind Reading vs. Telekinesis (and about 12 other powers)– guess the winner? (Looks like Matt used up his Stupidity Passes.)

16. Don’t know why Sylar let Nikki/Jessica hit him with the parking meter, but I liked it.

17. Anybody else notice that Peter takes off his Jacket when he gets ready to fight Sylar? I thought you only did that in school ground fights. Was it a designer jacket or something?

18. Ok. I like the whole Hiro stabbing Sylar thing… I really do– but please explain to me why Sylar couldn’t/wouldn’t stop him when he was running from 10 feet away. Lame. (Should have had Hiro teleport across the distance and stab him. That would have been mucho cool.) Also, Hiro, once you stab an evil super villian with super powers, you should take the extra step of chopping off his head. (Mengler taught me that, though his method involved grenades.)

19. See? I told you. Loved the teleport escape though.

20. OK. Now, this can end in one of two ways as I see it. One, Peter flys off into the stratospshere and blows up there. (Peter can fly, remember.) Two, Nathan shows up and through brotherly love and support talks Peter down from going nuclear. Both are good endings. Three, someone could shoot him (Oh, look, there’s Claire) in the head. (No, wait, that won’t work. He can heal from bullet wounds… the bullet has to stay stuck in him for him not to regenerate. Why the heck has no one else thought of that little flaw in their plan?) Still only two solutions….
(Oh, look, there’s Nathan.) Looks like option 2.

That wasn’t one of the options.


Didn’t we already cover this? Peter can use more than one power at a time.
(Fans speculate that when he is overloading, he has lost control of his powers…)
Oh… well, then. I guess you have to go with this option.
Nathan is going to drop him, right? I mean, he isn’t going to just hang on to him, is he?
And what about regenerating from dispersed atoms?
Can he do that? (Not bloodly likely.)

21. C to C, “Well, at least Sylar is dead. I was getting really sick of him.”
C back to C, “Yup, me too.”
C and C, “OH CRAP! We’ve been gyped.”
See, Hiro, one more sword stroke would have been a really good idea….

22. The Japanese word that Hiro says is apparently literally translated as “I’m pinched.”

23. Next season is going to be cool….

Short Version: Meh.

Medium Version:
C gives it an 8, but he is a supers geek. Some good things, but no great joy.
C gives it a 6, but she loves C anyway. Too much speed, too much people-doing-bad.

Long Version:
C doesn’t like action movies that move so fast that you can’t see what is happening. The “really cool” scenes in Spiderman are great, but they move in that fashion. Hard to watch, and not pleasant. Worse, Peter Parker starts the movie as arrogant ass who is full of himself. C hates that kind of thing. The only thing she hates worse than that is when people betray people. In this movie, Peter betrays MJ. Then MJ betrays Peter. Then Peter REALLY betrays MJ. (C explained that the second time, Peter was under the influence of an evil creepy space thingie. To which C responded, “Doesn’t matter. No excuse.” Icky feelings mean an icky movie.

C has other objections, of a more geeky nature. The biggest problem with this movie?
It forgets the key aspects of who Spiderman is. There are two things you can’t screw up in a Super’s movie if you want to keep C happy.
One, if they have a secret identity, keep it secret. Every DAMN villain in this movie knows who Peter Parker is. He spends half the movie in costume, minus his mask. Drives me nuts. But I am, regrettably, getting used to it. Every hack writer in hollywood does this these days.

Two, get the powers right. (Superman can’t spin the Earth backwards and reverse time.) Spiderman’s greatest power is…. his spider-sense. Spider-sense warns him when he is in danger. It is very well tuned. With it, he can sense ambushes. He can sense blows before they hit. He can sense all things…and get out of the way of them. (Having super-reflexes is very useful if you know WHEN you need to dodge.) [Oddly enough, the Nicholas Cage movie currently out, NEXT, is about a guy with this same ability.] Why is this power so important? Because Spiderman doesn’t have invulnerability or any healing powers. You hit him hard enough, and it really doesn’t have to be that hard, and he is down for the count. Spidey go Splat.

Spiderman’s greatest foes? They usually don’t trigger his spider-sense. That is why they are his worst foes.

Wanna guess how often Spidey uses his spidersense in this movie? Go ahead, I’ll wait.
(Not once that I can tell.)

Wanna guess how often Spidey gets hit, smashed, pummelled, thrown through walls, bashed, or otherwise beaten like a red-headed step-child? Give it a try.
(Can’t tell you. It happens so often, I lost track.)

If he doesn’t have Spider Sense and is nigh invulnerable like Superman, I don’t know what hero he is supposed to be.

So, Meh.

Over the years, we have realized that C is missing some of the typical male genetic material. Among the missing? The Car Gene.

You know the one. It is responsible for the guy-like knowledge of cars.
“Honey, what kind of car do I drive again?”
It is responsible for the desire to attend car shows and read car magazines.
It is the one that imparts wisdom in all things mechanical and a primal joy in grease beneath fingernails.
“There are different kinds of oil? Can’t you just put in what you did last time?”
It is the source of dreams about the “perfect” car.
“What do you mean you won’t ride in my car. Just because it is a 10 year old Crown Victoria with cab yellow showing through the smurf blue paint? This car is a wonderful boat of a car–and it only cost me $50. People want this car. I can tell. Every time I drive it, they stare at em at the stop lights.”

That gene is, for the most part, missing.

Which is not to say that I escape completely. There are other markers in my double helix that try to pick up the slack and fill in the gaps. My Super Hero gene, for instance.

When I a teenager, the first “true” Batman movie came out. As a promotion, MTV held a contest where the newly designed Batmobile was the prize. I wanted that car. I was, almost, obsessed. I didn’t win. In retrospect, that was a good thing.

The car-lust subsided back to its mostly non-existent level.

Until today.

After reading this article, I’m afraid I have a serious case of car envy once again.

I’ve already got the ring tone to match it…

Of course, I’m older and wiser now. I know I could never afford to buy this car.
But I don’t have to buy that one.
I can make it.