Batman Forever Essay

After months of procrastinating and then about three weeks of writing and revising, I have completed my four part essay on Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever. It is posted in a new section titled Essays which can be accessed in the above tool bar.

You might recall Batman Forever as the hokey downfall of the Caped Crusader on the silver screen until Christopher Nolan came down and gave Batman his gritty reboot.

However, after rewatching the film recently, I found that there was a lot more going on in Batman Forever that I would have suspected and on top of that, it’s extremely well made. Not only did it not suck but was actually pretty good. I implore you to take a read and reassess your opinion of Batman Forever.

Recently a group of 20 well-known filmmakers spoke out against the decision made by four major film studios to allow VOD downloading of their films 60 days after their cinema release. They argue this will increase piracy and seriously hurt ticket sales. You can read the full story at The Guardian here.

Yes ticket sales would hurt as more people would probably be disposed to save their ticket and gas money and instead watch the movie in the comfort of their home (in fact, most do that now).

But I have a bigger issue with this whole concept which was clarified while I was rereading The Power of Myth, the transcript of the dialogue between Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers. Here is an excerpt:

Moyers: Movies seem to create these large figures, while television merely creates celebrities. They don’t become models as much as they do objects of gossip.

Campbell: Perhaps that’s because we see TV personalities in the home instead of in a special temple like the movie theater.

I love that comparison of a movie theater to a temple. And it’s true.

Of course even before this issue there was Netflix Instant, DVD, VHS, laserdisc but there used to be a huge gap between when a film was released in the theater and when it came out on video. Up to a whole year in some cases. This gap has increasingly gotten smaller and smaller and now seemingly culminates with this 60 day later VOD option.

I remember in the first grade that I desperately wanted to see The Nightmare Before Christmas. Just about everyone in the class had seen it and was talking about it, probably had TNBC lunchboxes and TNBC themed pencils. But my mother had deemed the film too scary for her son. “I guess I’ll have to wait until it’s on video,” I thought. But one boy had told me that they weren’t going to release it on video. Ever. He heard it somewhere. Maybe he read Variety during recess. Of course it wasn’t true but I believed him and I despaired.


The real point is that watching the movie at home should be the second time you see it. Viewing a movie for a first time should take place in a movie theater where it can demand all of your attention. With movies so easily accessible in our homes now, it won’t be long before they become just another thing in the background while we tend to the dishes, empty the trash, make the bed… kind of like TV.

I went and saw Thor opening weekend and I realized that it was the first 2011 movie I’ve seen and that kind of bummed me out. Most of that is due to rising ticket prices but I always prefer to see a movie in a theater rather than at home. It’s an exhilarating experience. There’s a murmur of chatter before the screen flickers on (and hopefully stops thereafter), a certain electricity runs through the audience.

Then the lights go down.

And we go somewhere else for a while.

We really do get transported although I know that’s a cliche. A bunch of strangers in a dark room share in the experience of being whisked away. Can’t get that at home.

“The Square” from Down Under; Free Screening

Philadelphia is gearing up for it’s annual film festival and this weekend, April 9-11, there will be special preview screenings of some of the films that will be showing at the festival.

One of these pictures is The Square from Australian filmmaker Nash Edgerton. Here’s a synopsis:

A stylish, twist-filled film noir, THE SQUARE centers on an adulterous couple whose scheming leads to arson, blackmail and murder. THE SQUARE is the first feature from Australian stuntman-turned-director Nash Edgerton and his brother Joel who co-wrote and stars in the film.

Escaping the monotony of a loveless marriage, Raymond Yale becomes entangled in an affair with the beautiful and troubled Carla. Ray’s moral limits are tested when Carla presents him with the proceeds of her controlling husband’s latest crime. This is their chance: Take the money and run… If only it were that simple.

The seed is planted and Ray, fearing he will lose his love, engineers the plan. Hiring the professional arsonist Billy becomes a fatal error, and the plan goes horribly wrong. Alarm bells sound and suspicions are raised but, miraculously, the dust looks to settle. After all… Nobody knows.

Then the first blackmail note arrives.

The couple’s nerves are tested as both Carla’s husband and the mystery author threaten to throw open their secret… With the blackmailer’s deadline approaching, they are going to find out just how far they are willing to go for love.

Also a trailer:

And the best thing? You can see the movie for FREE on April 9th at 9:45 p.m. at the Prince Music Theater while tickets last by going to Afterwards there will be a Q&A with director Nash Edgerton.

Super geeks will recognize Joel Edgerton (the director’s brother as well as supporting actor and writer) as the young Owen Lars from the Star Wars prequels. Let’s not hold that against him too much, it wasn’t his fault.

From what I know about the Australian film business, a lot of their talent (Sam Worthington, the guys who did Saw) end up coming to the US to lend their skills to our productions, thus stunting the Australian industry. Let’s show some love for The Square and hope that the Edgerton brothers make more films and that the Australian industry has its day.

Lil’ Drew Sends His Absentee Ballot

This was something I concoted while I was over in England for the semester.

Episode 1 – Lil’ Drew Sends His Absentee Ballot

Ho hum. Internship was cancelled today. What to do in the jolly old city of London?

Of course! I need to get my absentee ballot done! That’s what I’ll do!

But who o who to vote for?

Well, the answer is pretty obvious.

Into the envelope it goes.

Sure as heckfire isn’t going to deliver itself.

Hope the mailbox isn’t too far…

There’s my good friend Manish. What up Manish.

Dum dee dum…

…da dum dum.

Ah, there it is.

Bye bye absentee ballot. Have a safe journey. Say hello to America for me.

Uh oh, there is a rumbly in my tumbly.


Last Weekend Before School Starts Up Again

I don’t even have to look up the tbs afternoon schedule, I know it backwards and forwards. That is what my life has become.

12:00 – 2:00 – Home Improvement
2:00 – 3:00 – Just Shoot Me (vastly underrated)
3:00 – 4:00 – Yes, Dear
4:00 – 5:00 – The King of Queens
5:00 – 6:30 – Everybody Loves Raymond

God dammit.

Marble Madness

Sort of forgot that I had this…

In London now until December. You wouldn’t believe it, but I found a diner here. I went there a few weeks ago but managed to completely forget my camera. I’ll go back to take some pictures and then post about it.

In the meantime, here is a short video I made about marbles and gravity. Did anybody else have this toy when they were a kid?