Daily Archives: July 24, 2012

SPOILERS AHEAD!! The Dark Knight Rises

Standard

So, this isn’t going to be a recap of everything that happened in The Dark Knight Rises. If you’re reading this, it’ll probably make more sense if you’ve already seen it. However, if you haven’t seen it and want to, you have a decision to make here. If you love or don’t mind spoilers and just want to know what I thought of the movie as a massive Batman fan, read on. If you want a breakdown of everything that happened, wrapped up with a critique, you’ll probably want to find a review with a synopsis of the plot and more details about what actually happened in the movie.

With that caveat, here goes … okay, you have one last chance to back out and stop reading (*lol*) … okay, you had your chance.

I was … underwhelmed. And here are the reasons why.

  1. People called Talia last year and the producers, Nolan or whoever denied it … only for it to be true.
  2. Bats’ costume in the light of day, which it seemed to be in most of this movie, was so painfully bulky and stiff.
  3. Speaking of his costume, all I could think when he was fighting Bane in the sewers was, “NO CAPES!!” Seriously, Bane could have yanked that overly long and oddly incongruous cape and snapped Bats’ neck.
  4. Bats was excruciatingly slow … both before and after training in the pit.
  5. Speaking of the pit … this was a great opportunity to explore the inner mind of Bruce Wayne/Batman … to really dig into his psyche, to find him broken only to rise above his physical disability with the sheer power of his mental strength and fortitude. What we had here was the potential to reveal how this HUman can hang with SUPERman, can stand toe to toe with him and earn his respect and admiration. Instead, Bruce gets a little speech, gets angry and climbs a wall.
  6. Bale’s mouth hanging open every time he stopped talking drove me insane.
  7. This is nothing new, but the Bale Batman voice is so annoying. Really wish that they had Kevin Conroy do the Batman voice.
  8. Alfred abandoning Bruce?!?!?! Are you frickin’ kidding me?!?! NEVER.
  9. As soon as I saw the kid from Third Rock, I was like, “Robin?” Then, he told his story and you knew that was probably a sure bet. No surprises here.
  10. Bane? I couldn’t understand him for half the movie … and,
  11. He’s Talia’s lackey with a face mask to ameliorate the agonizing pain that would otherwise debilitate him. Really? Really? That’s how you decide to create a more “realistic” version of a character who pumps himself up with venom to make him strong enough to defeat the Bat and break his back in Knightfall (The series that birthed, “Broken Bat”)?
  12. We have the same plot with essentially the same villains from Batman Begins … i.e. Ra’s al Ghul … I mean, Talia al Ghul … wants to “Destroy Gotham … burn Gotham to the ground … purge the earth …” Still not exactly sure how that is productive and helps the League of Shadows … what, take over the world … destroy the world? Anarchy? What exactly is their end game?
  13. That kiss between Selena (yeah, we can’t call her Catwoman, though she had goggles that looked like a cat’s ears when she pushed them up on her head) and Batman??? Whack!!! The frickin’ atom bomb is less than a minute away from exploding and you waste 15 seconds of it to mack Bats?! Add to that …
  14. There was barely any chemistry between the two the whole movie, but that’s who he settles down with at the end, despite the fact that he had a different, admittedly seriously underdeveloped, love interest earlier in the movie? WT … ?!?!
  15. Bruce gives up the cape and cowl and SETTLES DOWN?!?! Yeah. No. Bruce NEVER finds peace. He IS the Bat. Bruce is his alter ego. Anyone ever see that Batman Beyond episode where Shreik (?) gets old Bruce institutionalized by causing others to think he’s become schizophrenic as he is hearing voices in his head? And, at the end, Terry asks him how he knew he wasn’t crazy? Bats responds, “Because, the voice kept calling me Bruce. In my mind, that’s not what I call myself.” and Terry says, “Well I’m him now” and Bruce says, “Tell that to my subconscious.” Bruce would never completely relinquish his cape and cowl for a life of love and leisure. That’s not what is in his cards. Justice is what drives him.
  16. Bruce Wayne BROKE?!?!  What the … ?!?!  You guys are buggin’!!
  17. I prefer Begins far and above DKR. I LOVED Ledger’s Joker … he was cuhrazzy … and it was GREAT!! But, the Dark Knight is second because I felt Two Face was very underserved as a secondary villain. He is one of my fave tragic villains and he was one-dimensional and boring. And that Maggie Gyllenhal??? OMGosh, she brought me out of the movie every time …. anytime your audience cheers at the death of a protagonist … the protagonist whose death is supposed to be the tragedy that triggers a noble man’s descent into insanity and schizophrenia? You have a problem. I just wish they would figure out how to cast and develop female lead characters. We will never understand why our hero will sacrifice everything for the love of their life when that love is an annoying twit, a one-dimensional bore or a cold, ice queen. They need to figure out how to make US believe that our hero would sacrifice everything for this woman … or would sacrifice his happiness to protect her.
  18. All this to say, again, we have under-developed female lead characters. We never get Catwoman’s story beyond a single sentence about “doing what one must.” C’mon, for real? This is the extent of the motivation for the character? And Talia … Talia … this was like Sabretooth being a lackey with no long, torturous history with Wolvie in X-Men, like Juggernaut not being Charles antagonist brother in X-Men 3 !!! C’mon, get it together folks. Seriously, if you want to totally reinvent a beloved and decades old character, while only keeping a vague resemblance to the history, just call the movie/hero something else and deal with us saying it’s derivative or a knock-off of “so and so.”
  19. Ultimately, I kept waiting for something huge to happen … for Batman to do something so awesome, I’d lose my mind. But, he never did. Nolan wrapped up the trilogy, sure enough … but, IMHO, it went out with a fizzle, not a bang.

ETA (20-28): I thought of even more reasons why DKR was not good:

  • What was the point of the Bane minion staying in the plane? “One of us needs to be here.” Ummmm … why? Wasn’t the point to kidnap Pavel without anyone knowing and everyone thinking he died in a tragic, but accidental plane crash?
  • And when’s the last time they used blood to ID someone (the “fake” Pavel that they blood transfused into one of the plane passengers) … in fact, have they ever? It’s dental records dummy!
  • Bruce is going to really sit around with a messed up leg for 8 years? Even if he wasn’t going to be Batman anymore, he would have done something about that.
  • And even if he wouldn’t have, Alfred wouldn’t have sat idly by for 8 years while his surrogate son became an invalid recluse.
  • You had 5 months to disable this bomb and you wait until 24 hours before it’s set to go off to disable it?
  • How the hell did Bruce get back into Gotham????
  • Why the heck did Miranda/Talia sleep with Bruce? She already had what she wanted before she kissed him. What was her motivation as she had no reason to seduce him since she already had the company and the device? If this was supposed to be the set-up to make the “cut” burn deeper when she betrayed him, maybe they should have actually made it seem as if Bruce fell in love with her. And, maybe she should have said something about playing him out. Instead, their tryst simply appeared a Playboy Bruce dalliance with no significance.
  • Speaking of Talia again, not once did she call Bruce, “Beloved.” Well, since they failed to develop their relationship in any meaningful way, I guess that would have seemed ridiculous in the context of this plot.
  • And back to Bruce being broke, the trade(s) that caused him to lose all of his money happened during a terrorist attack of Gotham Wall Street as a madman shot and killed multiple people and then took hostages. And he doesn’t get his money back because it was obvious fraud?

Oh well. To end on a good, happy note though (mind you, I get immense  joy in critiquing all that’s wrong in a movie/show … especially when I can do it with/among friends who feel the same ;)), I still want these socks:

They glitter … ooooooooh.

And these too, as a matter of fact.

Actually saw these first. A friend took the pic to send to me ;).

************************************************************************************

Did you see The Dark Knight Rises? If so, what did you think of it?

Hair Crush: Brielle’s HairStory

Standard

Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
My name is Brielle. I am a super family-oriented person, very friendly and silly. I LOVE to laugh and I am loving.

How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
I transitioned for a year and a couple months. I can’t recall how long. But I got ALL the relaxed and DAMAGED ends cut off last year in June of 2011. So, I always say that I’m fully one year natural. Well, I have one year’s growth of relaxed free, heat damage free hair.

I chose to go natural initially because I had a permanent color and perm and my hair broke off tremendously, leaving me with a mushroom cut. I just decided that it was time to let the relaxer go. Plus, I’m super tender-headed and that new growth used to HURT, lol!

Did you transition or big chop?
I transitioned.

How did others (family, friends, colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
EVERYONE except my older sister and two cousins (who were natural) was negative about me going natural, sadly, even my mother. I will never forget the day she said, “Wow, your hair is really nappy. Are you sure you wanna do this?” I was really upset, but I ignored the comment my best and kept pushing. Everyone kept telling me that my hair was trained to be straight, so it would never be curly like I wanted and I ignored them, because I knew they were wrong. NOW everyone comes to me for natural hair advice and they, “ooooohhhhhh” and “ahhhhhhh” about my hair, how it is so pretty and thick and full, and guess what? CURLY … lol. BAM!!!! In their face!

What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle?  How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
My biggest obstacle was breakage due to excessive straightening and accepting my own natural hair. It was hard for me, because my hair was short and the texture was one I had never felt before. It was new to me and I was not comfortable. I overcame breakage by deciding to TRULY be natural and wear my own texture. Once I became comfortable with the curls, I slowly accepted my texture and began to like it. I just pushed through the days I didn’t feel “pretty,” because I knew that they were only temporary and not permanent days and that my hair would get to where I wanted.

What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
I love my CURLS! I love being able to wear my hair in a curly state. I love people asking, “How did you get your hair like that” and I can respond, “I washed it and went” (Wash ‘n Go). And, I love being ME. I love not accepting the societal view of beauty. Being natural says, “I know I’m beautiful just the way I am, I will not change who I am for anybody but ME!”

What is your current regimen?  Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
My regimen is pretty simple. I co-wash in the shower twice a week with whatever conditioner I left in the shower at the time. I section my hair in half, detangle with conditioner, wash that out, squeeze water out of section, clip it up and out of the way and rinse conditioner out of the other side and clip it up and out of the way. Proceed with shower routine. After I shower, I get excess water out of my hair with an old t-shirt and start applying conditioner (usually Tressemme or Suave) as my leave-in to both sections, one at a time, smoothing in the conditioner. Then, I use a VERY SMALL amount of Eco-Styler Gel (about a quarter size) and emulsify on my hands. I smooth that through one section at a time, grab my spray bottle of water and spray my hair and shake my head to clump my curls. This Wash ‘n Go usually last about 3-4 days (I’m wearing a 3 day old Wash ‘n Go right now, lol).

It takes roughly 4 hours to dry and I wrap my hair at night. I know that it sounds weird, but I do! I just wrap it around, securing the ‘fro with bobby pins all around and tie it down with my silk scarf. I know it is weird, but one night I stumbled across this method by just trying something new and it works! LOL, my secret is out! Wrapping my ‘fro gives me bigger and fuller hair than using the Pineapple Method does.

The biggest and most major thing about my regimen that changed is that I no longer use sulfates or silicones. I am strictly Curly Girl and my hair is LOVING it. It was the best natural decision I have made.

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
My staples are Tresemme Naturals, Suave Naturals, extra virgin olive oil,Eco Styler Gel, and tea tree oil.

What is your “go to” style (share a picture of it, if you have one!)? Do you wear protective and/or low manipulation styles? If so, how often and why?
My go to style has changed from the puff to the Wash ‘n Go, mainly because I have learned to master it, lol! I wear low-manipulation styles 90% of the time and, maybe once a week, a protective style. I wear low-manipulation styles, because I just haven’t quite figured out the protective style fit for my personal style. None seem to suit “Brielle.” Ya know, I love my hair free! I wear a protective style mostly due to weather.

How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it (salon, DIY, straight, curly, in twists)? If you go to a salon, would you recommend it?
I trim my hair every 6-8 months OR whenever I feel its needed. I cut it myself while wet and curly. I take a small section and curl it with my finger (finger coil) and snip the ends. Then I uncurl it, stretch it, check for evenness and trim it evenly.

Has going natural impacted other areas of your life (i.e. health & fitness, style, environmental consciousness, etc.?) If so, how and in what ways has it affected your lifestyle?
Health-wise, I became very conscience of what I was putting into my body because of the constant habit of “ingredient list reading” for hair products. So now, I am conscience of my calorie intake and I solely associate this with my natural hair. My style has changed due to my natural hair, because I honestly feel free. I do not feel hidden behind someone else’s perception of expectation of beauty and style. I wear what I like and I’ve never felt more FLY, lol! Going natural has influenced SO many women in my life. I am happy to be able to do that and I also proved so many people wrong about “not being able to go natural,” because my hair is beautiful and I LOVE it. So, my mentality has changed very much and I am definitely just a better person. I’ve learned beauty is not always outside, but inside. I feel going natural has definitely made me a confident being!

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
YES!!!!! lol. CIPRIANA from Urban Bush Babes.

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, Fotki, etc.)?
Blogs: MahoganyCurls,  UrbanBushBabes, AroundTheWayCurls, Naturalchickepi, Jamila from CollegeCurlies.

YouTube: Taren916, AliciaJames,Naptural85

Where can we find you online? I have a blog, coilycurls.blogspot.com (e-mail coilycurls@gmail.com) and am on Instagram as Bhaylee.

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
To the person contemplating, GO FOR IT!! Because, say you don’t like it, you can still go back to your relaxer. But why not give it a try when there is nothing to lose? For those discouraged with their natural hair, BE PATIENT. It may not be where you want it right now, but it will be, especially if you have a length goal. We all know that healthy hair grows. Be patient with yourself. It will get better. We all go through a moment when natural hair can be discouraging.

Anything else that you’d like to add?
Be CONFIDENT and pursue your aspirations. I love to write and I always have. But, I assumed no one would ever read my blog or be interested. But it does not matter, because, at the end of the day, I am HAPPY doing something that I love and am very passionate about. If you love something, go for it. Do not settle. EVEN with natural hair, keep pushing until you make your goal!