Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Dark Knight

Okay, I just got back from The Dark Night at the IMAX at Henry Ford. HOLEEEEE CRRRAPPPOLA!!! One of the only movies I've ever seen that has lived up to the hype! I won't bore you with my review, because I know I'm late to the party, but some impressions:

*IMAX!-Can't imagine seeing this film on anything other than IMAX. Absolutely visually assaulting. Tremendous cinematography, design, the whole thing.
*Heath Ledger-Honestly, I think even had he lived, this performance would go down as one of the absolute most memorable one on screen. Riveting, compelling and as complex as any method actor's performance. What a shame he died, and wasn't able to witness the celebration for his performance come Oscar time. I would hate to be an actor nominated this year in a best supporting role.
*Screenplay-What a great story. I told the buddy I went with, that it seems to me when they hit a point in the script that required drama or sensitivity, they went a 180. This especially true with the Joker. Great lines, tension, playful repartee between characters.
*Cast-Freeman and Caine, can't beat them. Bale is sensational, although I would prefer his voice be a little less forced. I actually like Keaton's Batman voice a bit better. But it's what he does with his face that makes it so watchable. That Maggie Gyllenhall, strange looking woman, and I almost wonder if they used her instead of a more classically beautiful actress who could've proven too distracting and not "complex" enough for a man of Wayne's tastes. Aaron Eckhart was very good, as was Gary Oldman, whose ability to shape-shift into roles as varied as he's played is nothing short of staggering.
*Sound-The use of natural sound, and high-pitched noise to convey terror, pain, sorrow was a real throwback. IMAX enhanced it dramatically.

TOM LONG, local movie reviewer from The Detroit News, gave this a B-!!! WTF movie was he watching? This guy also gave "Over Her Dead Body" with Eva Longoria-Parker the same grade. Huh? He said not enough Ledger, too long and Batman too dark and serious. Right. Sorry Tom,you are wrong on all counts. And the restrained use of Ledger was genius as the anticipation of his re-appearances was made even more tantalizing and anticipated.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Swimming season over

This year's swim season went by quick! Bad weather at the start of the season caused for make ups and that gave the whole summer a quickened pace. It never felt like we had a spring, instead slipping between rainy, cold and brutal hot weather.
The kids had a great A Finals meet, and Marina is in Maryland now competing in the Y Nationals. My free spirited son, Gino, proudly displayed his back tattoo, designed by yours truly (rendered in Sharpie). It reads, El Gino, Spanish for The Gino.
(apologies to the late Chris Farley).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dog Days Coming

Summer has flown by, and I wonder if it's more because of the awful start we had. There was never that nice transition into spring. It seems that now all we have is fading winter then BOOM! Hot summer days. This year it was cold/hot/cold/hot then boatloads of rain. I can't believe all the rain. Everything looks so much greener than normal. The canopies up north are more lush, the grass at home is greener. But now I'm starting to feel that drag-ass weather coming, where soon we'll just melt the days and wait for fall.

I'm polishing my novel, working on the 3rd rewrite. It's around 123,000 words, though I have no idea what it will be pared down to.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Michigan Authors Homecoming

I was fortunate enough to attend the Michigan Authors Homecoming last night at the Wharton Center in East Lansing on MSU's campus. Was I glad I went. Seeing and listening to Jim Harrison, Thomas McGuane and Richard Ford talk about their experiences as writers was nothing short of inspirational. Unbelievable and historic, to have three of the nation's most celebrated authors, and Michigan State graduates, on the same stage. The three are good friends, and it was apparent in the way they played off each other. Harrison didn't disappoint with bawdy sexual banter and stories of Hollywood. McGuane was polished and very witty, telling hilarious stories of flyfishing adventures and his time at MSU. And Ford was a southern gentleman with a cutting wit and self deprecating way about him--I'm eager to read his book, The Sportswriter, the first of his famous Bascombe trilogy.

Afterwards, I was able to get Harrison to sign his Memoir, and got him to mumble something about our mutual friend and owner of Dog Ears Books, Pamela Grath: "Arrr, a lovely woman. How's she putting up with that husband of hers?" Delightful. McGuane was gracious as was Ford, signing my copies of Gallatin Canyon and The Sportswriter, respectively. What a night.