Put Together

So the Boy turns one in a few days.  And really we don’t have anything huge planned.  It’s a combination of he-won’t-remember and Thea-has-no-free-time-to-plan-and-Nikolas-is-hopeless.  Just a small family thing.  But the hope is that Thea will be able to put together a Batman cake.  Does one “put together” a cake?

I think I’ve been adjusting fine to… staying in my pajamas and watching movies with a toddler.  Admittedly, not a difficult adjustment.  Much more difficult for Thea to go back to full-time work… and then some.  Being a teacher is hard.  And unlike me, Thea doesn’t look for shortcuts nor is she as comfortable with mediocrity.  So she works very hard.

Fortunately, we have a setup where I’m able to work from home quite a bit (he says as he updates his blog) and my mom can watch the Boy a couple days a week.  In my mind, a pretty good setup.  Of course… I’m the one in pajamas.

So I feel a little guilty that we’re not the traditional family… Where the man goes to work and… the wife stays home.  I guess the traditional family from the 50’s.  Because I know very few families where one parent can stay home.  Life is expensive.

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Relief

After three years of waiting for a new Batman movie to come out, I watched The Dark Knight last night with Thea.  I bought tickets to the midnight showing a couple weeks ago.  We showed up about an hour early and the theatre was already full, so we could only find seats together in the third row from the front.  I was pretty disappointed because I was straining to see the whole screen and all the teenagers around me were annoying.

And then the movie started.

When I watch The Silence of the Lambs, Beauty and the Beast, Raiders of the Lost Arc or some other iconic, classic movie, I wonder what it would have been like to see them on opening night.  To experience movie magic communally with an audience.

I had wanted to gather a group of friends to watch Batman with me, to recapture the fun and excitement of watching The Lord of the Rings together.  Although there are still a bunch of people with whom I’d like to watch it… and I will… last night was one of the best movie experiences I’ve ever had.  Even with the guy beside me checking his text messages throughout the movie, or the guy behind us who kept kicking my chair, to the guy in the back laughing at non-funny moments… just to be annoying, I think.

We, all of us, got caught up in the movie.  Cheering and clapping, laughing and gasping.

I feel like I should give it time to settle before I start spouting superlatives in describing the movie.

Nah… it’s one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.  Heath Ledger is mind-bogglingly good.  It’s going to be one of those movies that I watch again every year for the rest of my life.  After I see it a half dozen times in the theatre.  I can’t wait to see it again… from somewhere nearer the middle of the theatre.

The Dark Knight

I’m a little excited about the upcoming Batman flick, The Dark Knight.

I’ve bought tickets for opening night already.  I’ve taken to scouring the internet for reviews and opinions and scoops.  I have to quickly switch sites when Thea walks in because my Batman obsession bothers her.  Which isn’t to say that she suppresses my personality, only that she gives me a hard time, just as I do when she watches 7th Heaven, the worst TV show of all time.

Anyway the reviews are almost universally ecstatic.  I’ve been waiting my whole life for an amazing Batman movie.  Batman Begins definitely had moments.  It also had Katie Holmes.

I remember when Batman ’89 came out.  Until then I was only familiar with Batman from Super Friends or the old 60’s TV show.  Suddenly Batman was dark and serious.  I found the Batman action figure from the movie in the black garb, and when I brought him home he outed the old blue-and-grey Batman as an imposter in front of Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and the Flash.  A pivotal moment in my childhood.

I haven’t been this excited about a movie since The Lord of the Rings ended in 2003.

Ut humiliter opinor

I watched Citizen Kane for the first time this week.  The DVD has been sitting on my shelf since Christmas, and I finally decided to watch it after getting our snazzy new DVD player in Pennsylvania.  Although I already knew the identity of “Rosebud” going in simply through theatrical osmosis, I found myself taken away by the mastery of it all.  And it was entertaining as well, which is always a relief when watching critically acclaimed classics.  I don’t know if it’s a movie I could watch repeatedly, but from the opening shot I definitely felt like I was watching something transcendent.  The same way I felt about The Godfather, Schindler’s List, and The Lord of the Rings.  Of course, my opinion could be skewed by generations of film critics lauding its attributes.

I was talking to my pastor last night about Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman, and 2005’s reboot, Batman Begins.  I saw both in the theater, and I prefer the new one.  I loved the original when I first saw it at nine-years-old with my dad.  I don’t think it has aged very well.  And the in the subsequent decades I’ve read… um… quite a few Batman comics.  So I appreciate how close Batman Begins conforms to the spirit of the character’s original medium.  Anyway, Jon was hoping for something more fantastical from a comic book movie and prefers the Tim Burton stuff.  My point is that opinions differ.  Which is frustrating when I really think I’m right and how could anyone not look at it the same as me?  The end of the story is that The Dark Knight is coming out in 48 days and it’s going to be amazing.