24 February 2006

Scenes From The Jerical Life

     Before the Not-So-Good Doctor disappears again for a while-- a new batch of essays are in and demand attention-- it seems appropriate to provide some images of the goofs as they haven't been featured in a while.  Below are two pics, one of the two little dastards hinting that they want food, the other of Trouble in rare (very rare) darling form, cuddled up in his owner's arm.  Despite the semblance of affection, you will surely note the air of curmudgeonliness that never leaves that old cat for more than five seconds at a time.  (The Doctor has dutifully removed most of himself from the picture, for which you should all be appropriately thankful.) 

     There's also news that my much-younger cousin has just sired a lad, which makes me a second-cousin for the umpteen-trillionth time.  Another is already on the way, from an even younger cousin.  Talk about making one feel Ollllllllllllld....

     It has also proven to be a movie week, of sorts, with the Doc actually getting around to seeing Wedding Crashers and Batman Begins.  The former was a painfully-dull reminder that what other people make popular comedies, I am best to avoid.  Like There's Something About Mary, Wedding Crashers wore out its welcome within the first half-hour, the gags too trite by half, and the script too long by leagues.  Batman Begins, on the other hand, surprised me with how good it was.  I had not realized that it was directed by Christopher Nolan, which I think made all the difference.  Nolan's Memento was one of the few films in recent years to utterly floor me with its audacity and strength, and many of the key elements that made that movie so effective are in place in the Batman revisioning-- the wonderful sense of economy and pacing, the care of explanation without devolving into hackeneyed exposition, the lucidities of casting (Gary Oldman is not someone I would have thought of to play Gordon, but he works, as does Michael Caine as Alfred, and Christian Bale suits the coweled-one surprisingly well).  The genius of the film, though, is its canonicity, a term I use in its musical rather than its critical sense, using all the techniques of contrapuntality to impressively resonant effect.  Although Nolan's film doesn't have any star-turns per se (nothing as gargantuan as Nicholson's Joker or as delicious as Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman), it's also probably the best of the Batman films so far.  That Nolan could inject fresh blood into that franchise strikes me as a minor miracle. 

     Anyway, that's probably as much of an update as I'll be able to manage for the next bit as I wade through essays.  Wish me luck.  Until later, mes ami(e)s....

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