Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Arkham Asylum A Serious House on Serious Earth, or How I Bought/Read My First Pretentious Graphic Novel

So, still reeling from the fact that I went to New York's biggest comic book store and bought one of the best-selling graphic novel's of all time there I thought I should actually get around to read it. Grant Morrison's Arkham Asylum, A Serious House on Serious Earth illustrated by Dave McKean is an interesting read for many reasons. It is Batman as I had never thought of him before (sexually stunted? ambiguous and shadowy? broken and fragmented?) - it's not West, Keaton, Kilmer, Clooney or even Bale and I don't think I'd have it any other way. Little did I know that this classic graphic novel has spurred disparate reception with the lovely power of hindsight. Just from reading around the web the word that is ever-present in all the negative reviews is "pretentious" and maybe that's why I liked it so much.
Freud + Christian Imagery on its head + Tarot Symbology + Jungian Mythology + Batman + Theories of Sanity/Insanity = A good read for someone as geeky and theory-oriented as myself. The inclusion of Morrison's original script in this version was very intriguing - you get to see how intricately woven all the symbology was in Morrison's writing and yet how far away McKean drifts from specificity and moves towards mood and tone to invoke the surrealism and Saturnalia-effect the book has when you first read it. This is the kind of graphic novel that just screams "Theorise-Me!" (an apt Lewis Carrollian imperative from a book so influenced by that 'children's story') and well I would love to - I find that stories about losing one's sanity in order to gain self-knowledge are quite appealing. Reading Asylum reminded me of Carlos Fuentes Aura and Juan Rulfo's Pedro Paramo - which, while different in style and scope deal with similar topics - only instead of Batman you're getting Latin-American history.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Mirror Mirror on the...Pond? or How I am Seeing Double

Is NBC drawing on a well-established cliche perfected by these guys at Disney ?

Knowing Hayden, she probably did break into song on the set while looking at her reflection.

Heroes Promo, or How I Hate Voiceovers Sometimes

Speaking of annoying voice-overs:

The Nanny Diaries, or How Chris Evans Brightened my Day

Well, actually to be honest James and Zac were keeping my spirits up before then on my iPod - I swear, nothing makes bleak afternoons house hunting better than "It's Hairspray" and "Bet on it" on loop; with the occasional Michelle and Lucas/Corbin song here and there.
But I digress. So I ventured, yet again, on the Jersey transit system (which everyone I have talked to recoils from) and went to a Mall. Yes, a real mall. And I timed it perfectly so I could go, watch a movie and come back before it got too late. Saw The Nanny Diaries (only good new thing that was playing although a re-viewing of Superbad would have been pleasant as well - "Funny thing about my back..." gets me every time!). In case you have been living under a rock (cause really, this movie was supposed to be out AGES ago [April 11 but who kept track back then, no?]) Nanny Diaries is chick-lit made into chick-flick fluff. No offense, cause I like chick-flicks - and this movie even gives a wink to that 'other' chick-flick that Annie, Meryl and Emily were part of last year (PS. Did we know Emily was going to be in Dan in Real Life? Yes, she only appears for a mere second in the trailer, but she made me smile, I am such a geek!). Coming of age story, blah blah, awful boss, blah blah, meet-cute, blah blah. I've seen it before, you have seen it before, but it was a good time and while yes, I can't bring myself to like Scarlett in movies (other than the ones where she gets shot by Jonathan or being bred by her own clone to be harvested for organs) I do believe that her supporting cast did a good job at saving my first movie-going experience here in NJ - that and the fact that I did not sit in the front rows as per customary in Paramount, or was surrounded by those Davie gee aye whys we all adore. Out of the supporting cast I liked Chris Evans the best (Linney came pretty much right behind him but he had the hottie factor and after this and Sunshine, I am ready to forgive him for those two Fantastic 4 movies but then playing a 'Harvard Hottie' isn't really much of an acting stretch, but he was good at it. The rest of the supporting cast (Nathan Corddry included - took me a while to recognize him, from Studio 60 no less! AND expected to appear in the upcoming SMG Suburban Girl accoridng to imdb! - Is that movie EVER coming out? Seriously) tries hard, but always gets stumped by Scarlett's numbing voice-over.
That said, a few one-liners were good:
"They don't speak English!" (A concerned Nanny-employer/"Mom" on why communicating with Nannies is hard)
"...Manuel will be making copies of your keys..." (Linney/Mrs X off-handedly to ScarJo)
"... *snap*..." (Alicia Keys snapping her fingers at Chris' friends. She just looked ghetto-fabulous doing it.

On other news - is it bad that finding a Best Buy and a Barnes&Nobles was the /other/ highlight of my day? It was a slow day - although I did get to see this like 8 bedroom place (3 storeys, each its own apartment with laundry downstairs) that this realtor was showing today. It was quite appalling. Ancient house + DIY Refurbishing + well anything, really = me walking out midway through the 5cent tour.
Looking at a couple more places tomorrow so wish me luck!
Also, I realised what a big spaz I am. Can anyone count how many parentheses I used in this post alone?