Batman: Arkham City is the best video game I’ve played in recent memory. Mass Effect 2 and Portal 2 are close contenders, but Arkham City still takes the top spot. I don’t think I’ve been quite as enthralled by a game since Half-Life 2 came out. They’ve captured the spirit of Batman perfectly, distilling the Dark Knight and his gallery of villains to their essence.
This is awesome in so many ways it eludes summarization. SeanWard.net put a guy in a Batman suit and sent him out into the streets of Toronto, originally with the intention of making a “Shit Batman Says” video. It became more of a social phenomenon. Watch and learn and watch again. WHERE ARE THEY?!?
It’s been too long since I read comics regularly (Wolverine was still missing his adamantium the last time I frequented a comic shop) for me to comment intelligently on the relative pros and cons of the DC Universe reboot, called The New 52, that began last September. What I can say is that I recently discovered, to my great pleasure, that most of DC’s catalog was available for purchase digitally on the iPad (and other tablets, I presume). You download the DC app from the App Store and buy comics for $2.99 a piece with your Apple ID. As I said, I’ve been out of touch with the comics world for a long time, so this relatively straightforward innovation was an expected but pleasant surprise. You can also read them on the web.
Despite the commercial success of the reboot, some have criticized the overall quality of the comics themselves. I’ve been reading Batman primarily, and while it’s true that it’s hardly Frank Miller, the art is good and the experience of reading comics on the iPad is stellar. The benefit of the reboot is that it allows people like me to start reading again, by providing a jumping off point. The plotlines of comics being the notoriously twisted labyrinths that they are, the idea of simply picking up a book and reading can be intimidating. I’ve always been an X-Men fan, for instance, but X-Men stories are nigh on incomprehensible if you don’t read every issue, and every tie-in series, religiously. Sometimes they’re incomprehensible even if you do. Which is why I’ve often preferred the simpler, distilled versions of superhero stories presented in movies.
The general premise of The New 52 is a new beginning: younger heroes, set in a world new to the idea of costumed superheroes, redesigned for modern readers. I’m unclear as to how much of the pre-reboot canon has survived, and despite several attempts to find a primer on this subject online, I’ve come up with zilch. I guess I’ll just have to keep reading and find out. Expect to see the occasional comic book review here in the future.
- Carving a quality jack-o-lantern, like the one above. The pumpkin I carved last year actually scared off a couple of younger children (which I viewed as a success). This year’s was voted “best jack-o-lantern of the night” by several kids. One girl described it as “cute…but vicious.” Score.
Apparently there’s been some backlash on the internets concerning the leaked footage and photographs from the set of The Dark Knight Rises.
People, please. This is such stupid fanboy bullshit. Films take time to make. You absolutely cannot judge anything about a movie based on a couple of minutes of leaked footage taken on what was probably a camera phone and a few set photos. Keep in mind that filmmakers do multiple takes of every shot to get it right. We could easily be seeing the worst of them. The fight scene I posted below had obviously just been blocked out before the actual take, which makes it look like maybe this was an early take and not the final one.
Also keep in mind that you’re not seeing any of this from the point of view of the actual movie camera, or in anywhere near the frame rate or resolution that camera will provide. On top of which, there will be massive post-production work done on probably every shot, including color correction, CGI, etc. Judging this film on this shit is like judging a Caravaggio based on some initial sketches made on a cocktail napkin. The fact that you read about movies on the web and then post poorly-written, typo-filled screeds about them in the comments section does not make you qualified to comment on the potential quality of a film from a few shots of its production.