Friday, November 12, 2004

My apologies if I appear to be light of blogging.

I was busy, and now I'm taking a few days off from my usual schedule and work.

I think you can get along without me.

And, hey... while I'm out... somebody solve the mystery of why Molly hasn't blogged in over a month. What's going down in the Land of the Rising Sun?

I hereby formally endorse the new Bravo program: Long Way Round. For an agoraphobe like myself, the show is quite interesting. It also makes me want to be rich and famous so I can get corporations to sponsor my epic vacation.

And, just a general announcement: I will be in Austin for Thanksgiving. I will be giving thanks at the home of Jason Steans. Hopefully he will locate a table for us to sit at before we show up.

Gobble. Gobble.

If you're going to be in Austin, let me know.
I think Randy is getting married Saturday. Everyone cross your fingers and wish the little tyke the best of luck for the ceremony to go well.

Here is Randy with some girl. Let's hope it's the Mysterious M.

Randy, if you want a secret escape plan, I've planted a car near your house. Before you sink teh car into the lake, make sure you remove the passport and driver's license with your new identity from the glove compartment. Don't worry about the body in the car. You needed a body double, and that guy was going to die soon. I think.

Either way, best of luck, RHPT, or maybe I should say, Mr. Faizul Goldstein.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Time to get lowbrow.

Do not view this clip if you are of a delicate nature.

And, yes... a quick Google search will demonstrate that this was, in fact, a legitimate children's show. No, I don't know how they got away with it. I am sure it never happened again.
Interesting stuff online last night about The Incredibles.

Apparently Bard Bird isn't the comic book geek you'd assume he'd be from both The Iron Giant and The Incredibles. In fact, he didn't even know how close he was coming to the Fantastic Four. Instead, he developed the powers based more upon character archetypes.

Dash = 10 year old boy, which means a lot of energy to run around = superspeed
Violet = shy 13 year old girl = invisibility and invisible barriers
Elastigirl = moms getting pulled in too many directions = stretchy powers
Mr. Incredible = dad + former tough guy = super strength

Interesting enough.

The "review" I enjoyed reading was the one posted by The Beat!. Heidi had an interesting POV on the movie and pitches that this movie may have a darker underlying message and than you'd pick up on at a first glance. If you wonder where she's going with this (and maybe the name of the article is enough to get you to click over) is THE INCREDIBLES: From Nietzsche to Rand.

Anyway, read the review here.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Later this week and The Mysterious M join in holy matrimony.

The League has been married since April 28th, 2000, so The League feels entitled to shoot his mouth off about marital bliss.

Here are some pointers for folks about to enter into wedded bliss:

1. Just because you are married does not mean you are always going to enjoy the exact same things. It just doesn't. Jamie still won't help me with my mime.

2. While lying in bed, unable to sleep, do not begin toying with a plan for the perfect murder.

3. If by merging your CD collections you now have more than one copy of an album, sell duplicate copies. In two years, people are going to raise an eyebrow at your multiple copies of "The Soul Cages", for more than one reason.

4. You've got until death to spend time together. You have my permission to go off and play putt-putt on your own without feeling guilty.

5. Tell each other when you're paying bills.

6. Don't go to McDonald's.

7. A puppy or a kitten is not a child. Do not allow your spouse to begin calling themself "mommy" or "daddy" regarding a pet. Pets are more like idiot roommates, and treating them as children is weird and creepy. If you must have something to call you "mommy" or "daddy", it's easy to accomplish and I have a Barry White album which may speed the process.

8. If you don't like a certain genre of movies, lay down the law and insist your spouse find a friend to see that genre with. (I refuse to watch romantic comedies. Jamie hates westerns.)

9. Do not make up lengthy songs about any physical feature which the other person might feel uncomfortable about (big ears, bird toes, etc...) and then sing said song to to the other person each and every morning. This will lead to divorce.

10. Try not to point out really attractive people to your significant other.

11. Ask your spouse about their opinion on your selection of clothes and then go ahead and buy the same boring crap you've been buying since high school.

12. Dressing up the cat to surprise your spouse may seem like a good idea, but it just ends up getting you injured.

13. Call your spouse at least once a day from work.

14. When your spouse says "have you seen my shoes?" always answer "no" unless you can see them at that exact moment. Do not try to remember when last you saw the missing shoes. It was never important enough for you to make a mental note and you will never remember.

15. Tell your spouse at least one item you want for Christmas, because guessing is a complete bastard.

16. Don't bring up old nonsense in an argument. That's dumb and it always just makes the situation worse.

17. Don't go to bed angry.

18. Don't have kids. They're loud, they eat all the food, use all the money and they smell like syrup.

And that's it. That's my advice. Not too exciting. I guess my point is, just because you're getting married doesn't mean you have to compromise on everything and become a boring dud. Sure, to some point nature will make you more of a boring dud, but you needn't necessarily voluntarily become a boring dud. You can still do your own thing as long as it doesn't involve bigamy or bankruptcy or both.

Happy wedding, Randy and Mysterious M. Go out there and freak out the squares.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

The League Reviews: The Incredibles

I feel terrible for the cast and crew working on Fantastic Four. Really. I feel awful for those people.

The Incredibles is not only an homage to the Fantastic Four, it also directly lifts powers and characters most closely identified with Fantastic Four. And it does it well. Incredibly well. So well, in fact, that I imagine that right now the producers and directors of the FF movie are probably having a meeting at this moment, trying to figure out how to salvage their very expensive movie.

Bottom line, this isn't so much a review as a suggestion you go check this movie out.

I was a tremendous fan of The Incredibles director/ writer Brad Bird's feature film "The Iron Giant", and, dammit, I still get a little weepy whenever I watch that movie. Iron Giant (returning to DVD on November 16thish) had some nice nods to superherodom, as well as working as a 1950's "Day the Earth Stood Still" type sci-fi homage. Anyway, check it out.

The Incredibles manages to take a concept which, even five years ago, might have been done with much, much more of a wink and a nod. It would have been a family movie with super-heroing deeds with lots of silly superhero jokes making fun of the genre tossed in (Mystery Men, I am looking at you). This movie manages to be a great superhero movie, while still keeping it a family movie at the core. But, make no mistake... this is a superhero movie with some of the most imaginative uses and visualizations of superpowers ever seen on film, TV. And I think it even outstrips the budgetless world of most comic books to some degree.

Most impressive to me were Elastigirl (NOT Rita Farr, Doom Patrollers) and Dash, who, for once, made stretching powers and superspeed look GOOD. And Mr. Incredible is no slouch, himself.

The character design is excellent, and seems to hearken back to late 50's - early 60's clip art. The look of the sets is a sort of vague post-WWII USA, mixed with AIM/ Bond-Villain style headquarters. Edna Mode's house/ HQ is amazing. The backgrounds are as lifelike as any of those utilized for the Star Wars films, giving the wonder of the Incredibles using their powers all the more "wow" factor.

The story itself is largely recycled material, but material which works well to make characters resonate a bit better for the adults in the audience. Hell, one could almost say this is the Dark Knight Returns of Mr. Incredible. Similar stories have been done with the JSA, and, coincidentally, the FF gets sued every few years, just to shake things up. There's also a hyper seven year-old, a wife unsure of what her husband is up to, and a shy teen-age girl who needs to learn how to shine to pick up the boy. All familiar, but all somehow work fairly well.

But, hey... how many of you REALLY expect to see brand new stories when you go to the megaplex? If you're like me, you're looking for the method of execution of those stories, and that's where The Incredibles really catches on fire.

I'd also say, if Disney and even Dreamworks want to learn something from the success of this movie, here's my recommendation. Note how may writers and directors were responsible for this movie. Even if it's not entirely true, Brad Bird is listed as THE writer and director of this movie, not a list of writers as long as your arm. This movie wasn't written by a committee, nor was it created by polling focus groups or trying to create characters which emulate "X-TREME!!!!" characters from soda commercials as Disney has been trying to do since Tarzan.

The story isn't 80 minutes, a length believed by Disney Execs to be the duration a kid can sit through a movie (and given how I felt about the last few Disney flicks, the length I wanted to sit through it). There are no cheesey musical numbers, there are no wise-cracking anthropomorphic side-kicks, there is no attempt at Robin Williams-style rapid fire delivery. However the heck they got this flick past the suits, they got it past the suits without that kind of repetitive fluff being tucked in, and that alone is worthy of praise.

Anyway, enough.

Is it obvious I enjoyed the movie?

I'd love to see it again a few times before it's condensed down to fitting on my TV.

Some other things I liked, a quick list.

1) The Edith Head of super hero costuming
2) Vehicle design was really inspired
3) Background design in all areas incredibly well thought out. Wait for Edna Mode's "living room"
4) Voice casting is perfect. Holly Hunter as Elastigirl, Craig T. Nelson as Mr. Incredible, Sarah Vowell (inspired, that) as Violet, and Elizabeth Pena as Mirage.
5) Not shying away from real action

Anyway, cool movie. Go check it out.

Oh, and the opening short, "Boundin'" was great. And it looked like they used North Phoenix for reference.

My only real complaint? I quit watching the UT/OSU game half-way thru to catch dinner and the movie. I left at half-time believing UT was going to get stomped. Ugh. Apparently I missed the best game all season. 49 unanswered points, was it? So unfair.