Wednesday, July 23, 2008

my maths is poor

i realized, after talking to dr. rei about my running at the pool on saturday and having her express that running 5km in 20 minutes is REALLY impressive, that i plotted my route wrong on google runs. i actually run 3.77km in 20 minutes. which i'm still pretty proud of, considering that last summer, 1 lap around the track almost made me collapse like martin lawrence during a heat wave.

tonight for dinner i made that red pepper, onion, and egg sammy with harissa. it's dead easy. thinly slice an onion (multiply the amounts by whatever you have on hand versus how many people you're serving) and 2 red peppers and saute them in a bit of olive oil. add minced garlic. add a good squeeze of harissa, depending on how spicy you like it. add salt and pepper. boil eggs. mound the red pepper-onion mixture on a bun (in this case, halved whole wheat kaisers), top with the quartered eggs, and eat in under 2 minutes (the amount of eating time is up to you...if you're as hungry as i goes down, we're talking half-life of bubbles or lightning fast). i served it with that radish and cucumber and feta salad with the dill vinaigrette. great combo. spicy, soft, yielding sammy chased with the cool, crisp, creamy, bright salad. loved it.

okay, "the dark knight" review time. [THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!] i've let it sit and simmer. i've considered, deconstructed, reflected. first, you have to know that no one WANTED to love this movie more than i or had higher expectations. i wanted it to blow me away. unfortunately, it didn't. it was very, very good. but it wasn't excellent.

the story was weak and disjointed and shoddily cobbled together, a spindly frame that exists so that heath ledger's joker (and in this case, the superlatives and breathless accolades from the world at large are well earned - but more on that later) can converge on gotham city and cross paths with his double, batman. seriously now...mob money laundering? the chinese snitch? these elements seemed pointless and superfluous and didn't contribute to the film at all.

heath ledger was outstanding. the licking of the lips, the herky-jerky broken marionette movements, the manic, sly, manipulative, charismatic machinations and scheming...the characterization was fearless and even though this film is burdened enough by the tragic legacy it carries, experiencing ledger's joker pulling you by the lapels into the movie underscores what a talented and gifted actor he was...and how few actors in his generation are capable of assuming the same mantle of fearlessness he bore.

maggie gyllenhaal is all quick and fiesty against katie holmes doe-eyed and listless earnestness. gary oldman makes a great commissioner gordon. aaron eckhart's descent into two-face felt like a rushed afterthought. although the makeup job made him look exactly like the two-face of the comics...i just wish he had been given more. the last 1/4 of the movie isn't integrated well with the rest of the're sitting in the theatre, feeling like it has ended, and then it limps along to tie up the harvey dent storyline. killing rachel dawes was a smart move...although the tragedy of it was underplayed, to the detriment of the movie. bruce wayne/batman's reaction is so detached, it doesn't feel like the crux that it should be.

there were almost too many identical fight sequences/car chases for me. and the movie felt long...which is not good. the narrative trajectory went something like this: dark, indistinguishable, hand-to-hand fight sequence --> tortured exposition on what kind of man the joker/batman/harvey dent/humanity is --> dark, indistinct car chase culminating in an epic explosion. the attempts at humour were overly contrived (oh look, morgan freeman and michael caine being dry/wry!)

finally, i would probably walk across broken glass to be in the same room with christian bale...he's an equally phenomenal actor...but the gravel-voiced delivery for batman became too much. it's well suited for lurking in the shadows, but for long speeches, it seems too forced and contrived and leaves the characterization open to laughter.

overall, i'd give it a 7.9/10. i think i might like "iron man" better.

maybe i have to re-watch it. i'll leave it open to reconsideration of the grade.


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