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Dark Knight Rises?

The Dark Knight Rises is not a bad movie. In fact, it's definitely a good one. The Dark Knight, however, can sit comfortably on its throne as the best Batman film ever (depending on your taste in Jokers, I suppose).

The strange thing is that I don't need to get anywhere near a spoiler to explain why this is the case.

The simple fact is: for a Batman movie, there was very little Batman.

The beginning is intriguing, the ending ties things up nicely in keeping with the spirit of Nolan's Batman vision, and I can't say that the middle was lacking in interesting plot or circumstances. Just a lack of Batman, or even Bruce Wayne, for that matter.

He's there, and he's important, but even when he dons his cape he's... diminished somehow. It makes sense at the beginning, but... well here we would venture into spoiler territory.

Suffice to say, his three best "Batman" moments were, I think. 1) When he's off camera, 2) When he's in the Batcopter thing and 3) when he's Bruce Wayne, and so it doesn't really count.

So despite the many good aspects of this finale, I left the theater feeling wronged, somehow, by the lack of Bat.

It merits re-watching, but I'll wait for DVD.

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Revolution - Abrams and Kripke's Lovechild

Woah! Wait. What?

Revolution <- Trailer for one of NBC's new fall dramas

J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Fringe, Lost) and Erik Kripke (Supernatural) have spawned an intellectual lovechild.

Basic Plot: All over the world, electricity stopped working. Not just the grid, everything, even batteries. It all stopped working all at once. (I smell supernatural/crazy science from these two, but since it's them I'm willing to accept this physics-defying premise and roll with it.) 15 years pass, society has regressed, and the real show begins. [Focus of trailer/blurbs seems to be character and the mystery of it all, plus the functioning of the new/old society.]

I am cautiously optimistic. I refuse to get my hopes up... but the potential is INSANE.

World grown over with pretty greenery? Awesome. Female lead (I think), awesome. Bows and Arrows (and guns but whatever), awesome. What is an essentially post apocalyptic future, but in a novel new way (to me). Obviously something caused it, but since that's a mystery what you get is a jump from normal to post apocalypse setting without zombies/infection disease, or war, or any of the usual suspects.

If this show achieves its potential, it could easily climb my list of favourites.

We'll see. Fall is a long way away.

One thing I can feel confident about is that with J.J. Abrams' name attached, loudly and proudly, to the show, it's 99% guaranteed a full season to show what it's made of. There's that 1% chance that it flops utterly (and NBC loves to pull plugs), but given the popularity of things like The Hunger Games and Walking Dead right now, I think it's likely to have the large initial audience required to give it that chance.

Thoughts?

EDIT:

Credits are billed as follows:

Executive Producers Eric Kripke, Jon Favreau, J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk

Writer Eric Kripke

Director Jon Favreau


Kripke as prime writer gives me a lot of hope. Seasons 1-5 of Supernatural were amazing. If they'd let him end it, instead of continuing it without him, there would have been sadness at the series being over, and it may have ended tragically (I have my theories), but it would have been 5 compact, complete, and brilliant seasons.

EDIT 2: This and any future non-personal media review/info/etc. posts will be publicly viewable (so feel free to link/share/what have you). I have vague plans that may or may not get off the ground regarding blogging about entertainment in a more professional fashion. This post is somewhere in between.

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Interesting Psych Quotes/Facts

Interesting bits from my lecture notes:

The melting pot is a myth.

Romantic love (passion) is a basic drive, rather than emotional. Real, emotional love doesn't finish growing until after two years (when the lust drops off precipitously). "We do not fall in love, we climb there."
- Commitment and Intimacy increase over time. Passion drops off after about 2 years.

Men are more visual, women are more susceptible to scent.

Getting dumped sets off all the same reactions as falling in love, except instead of feeling wonderful, you feel horrible. It is not to be laughed at or shrugged off, and is very serious. When you get dumped, you love even harder. Absolutely do not minimize it.

Depression can be an opportunity for insight and personal growth. (True from personal experience.)
- We grow most, find our strengths, through loss and suffering.

According to John Gottman, successful relationships must have:
1. Respectful perception
2. Constant communication
3. Unfailing commitment (ie you cheat once and the relationship is forever damaged)
4. Complete trust

Anyone has the capacity for evil if the situation is powerful enough, but situational power can also be positive.

Cognitive dissonance is the Engine of Self-Justification - "lying to yourself and fully believing it."
- When people behave in a way that they are likely to see as stupid, immoral or erroneous, they change their attitudes so as to believe their behaviour is sensible and justified.

The By-stander effect, is the diffusion of responsibility among a group of people. Since others know of the emergency (and are probably more qualified to deal with it), one's own obligation is lessened. This leads to situations like 30+ witnesses from an apartment building to a rape taking place outside, and no one doing anything to help. (True story.) The smaller the number of people involved, the more likely someone will take action to help.

"The world is filled with good and evil. The barrier between is very nebulous. It is possible for angels to become devils and devils to become angels." - It's all about the situation.

Evil, according to Zimbardo, is "knowing better, but doing worse."

Heroism, according to Zimbardo, focuses on what is right about human nature. Heroic stories serve as powerful reminders that people are capable of resisting evil, rising above mediocrity, and heeding the call to action when others fail to act.

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A Couple Awesome Big Bang Theory clips

Sheldon teaching Penny to play WoW (sort of):



Penny gets Sheldon an awesome gift (Nimoy/Spock fans, enjoy!)



From my icon, sort of, the killer robot:

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The Last Question by Issac Asimov

The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

Having read Asimov's Foundation series, I already consider him to be a brilliant author by my own judgment. Clearly, more important minds than mine have already determined this, but I was glad I finally got around to reading his work myself.

Today reddit led me to this short story. It's not long, by definition (haha), but it is once again bloody brilliant. It was written in 1956, but aside from a few little things at the beginning of the story that make it apparent that it's somewhat dated, you can't tell.

Regardless, I think it's fascinating, and I immediately fell in love with it, so I felt I must share.

Enjoy!

(I hope people would like to discuss it, so the comments in this thread will likely contain spoilers for the ending.)

Also, it oddly gives me motivation to write that short story I keep avoiding.

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Blake on Emanuel Swedenberg

Understanding or Thought is not natural to Man; it is acquired by means of Suffering and Distress, i.e. Experience. Will, Desire, Love, Rage, Envy, and all other affections are Natural, but Understanding is Acquired. But Observe: without these is to be less than man." - William Blake, The Wisdom of Angels, Concerning Divine Love and Divine Wisdom


My prof provided this as the footnote to a lecture on Blake's works, particularly the Songs of Innocence and Experience. Though I'm not a particular fan of his poetry on the surface, I have to say I enjoyed the provided interpretation of it and I'll certainly have to re-read some of his poetry from this new perspective.

It should come as little surprise, given my interest, that Blake was considered mad at the time. But then, as he also intimated, what's life without a little insanity?

It's also interesting to me that this is actually the second time I've studied several of these poems. I didn't much care for them the first time through, so I have to give praise to my professor for providing a much more enjoyable, and less technical, presentation of the works.

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