Archive | March 2013

If There Was A Modern League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

lxg

Lets just generously say that there are things that I think about a bit too much. There are things that no one actually wants my opinion on and my opinion will never matter. That does not actually stop me from having a precise and well thought out answer should the question ever arise. I am not really alone in this. There is an entire army of men ready and waiting to explain exactly what the in field fly rule is in baseball knowing that one day it will actually come up and be kind of a thing. So, in that regard, I often think about what the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen would look like today. Never mind the fact that I am not British and I don’t think Alan Moore has any of my contact information. I also tend to think long and hard on the question of “Hey, you random citizen, cast my superhero movie for me.” One just has to be prepared for these types of things.  So, I was thinking about all the different people that would currently have a ‘franchise’ passed over to them and how that group might make an intriguing league.

Oscar Barrett

Oscar Barrett

Assuming that Baby Oscar was born in 1988, he would be around 25 now. Oscar would also have been raised his entire life around nuclear powered laser jet packs, ghost containment, the occult, and the prusuit of science. In short, Baby Oscar from Ghostbusters 2 would be a modern day Abraham Van Helsing in training. Also, unlike the pudgy middle aged men that we know as Ghostbusters, Oscar would have the benefit of being raised by Dana Barrett who seemed to put a premium on exercise. You have to imagine out a bit but there are few people that you would want more in your league today than Oscar Barrett.

mutt williams

Mutt Williams

By now, Williams (or rather Henry Jones III) would be an octogenarian. Ironically, that would put him in the same role as Sean Connery (who played his grandfather) in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) movie. Williams would be the elder statesman of the group to be sure. However, as a lifelong adventurer as well as presumably archaeologist, Williams experience by this time would be a welcome addition to any group. This is also not to mention that there is a good chance even in his advanced age that Williams would still have a level of physcial prowess.

danny torrance

Danny Torrance

Interestingly enough, Stephen King himself is going back to the adulthood of the boy who possessed “the Shining” in a new novel called Doctor Sleep. Given the proper inspiration, these days Torrance is a modern day Martian Manhunter as well as a potential Dr. Jeckyll / Mr. Hyde. In any mystery, having a man with mental abilities would be invaluable to help. This would be especially true if there were mental abilities which had not yet been discovered. Having a proper adventure may also prove to be curative for Doctor Sleep. Of course, it might also well be the trigger for violent madness.

charles fairmont

Charlie Fairmont

If you are 7 years old and the terrorist orginzation COBRA drops a plane on your house, it might affect you. This would be especially true if your Dad was capable of putting together a campaign which ultimately led to him putting a gun directly in the face of a Cobra Commander would give you an interesting perspective on life. In short, Charlie Fairmont would probably have been raised nearly completely in what is referred to as the militia / survivalist movement. In addition, with his father’s beliefs as well as background as a Doctor, we are looking at an unexplored little gem who just might have grown up to be like Batman. Certainly, in a modern era of Joes, Fairmont might be the most natural of all of them.

jack mclane

Jack McClane

McClane seems to have inherited a craziness as well as an invincibility from his father. This is truly remarkeable especially in a broken home that doesn’t ‘hug.’ McClane is another example of being born into relative badassery all your life. As such, McClane generally has more potential than even his father had who came by it relatively late in life (all things considered.) McClane brings a resourcefullness as well as a certain unconventionality to his role, all things considered. McClane also has the advantage of you in addition to being ahead of the supposed curve.

nikki bell

Nikki Bell

After a lifetime of being hellbent on vengeance upon watching the Bride kill her mother, Nikki has been the subject of rampant speculation for years. Certainly, Bell would have found sympathic elements willing to help her along a quest of vengeance and ninja level skill. Whether or not that ultimate goal had been acheived, such a living weapon would certainly be of interest to the government so that they might exploit for their own needs. By now, Nikki would be a teenager to her early twenties. She would be at the height of her physical skill if not the height of her experience. Nikki would be like a younger more dangerous Black Widow.

john connor

John Connor

Whats the only thing more dangerous than a person raised for an apocalypse? A person raised and prepared for an apocalypse that never came. You had to spend your life taking on Terminators with conventional weapons as well as treating every day as one in which you were at war. Connor was also raised with leadership capabilities believing he would one day be a savior to all mankind. That day has still yet to come, however this does not mean that Connor would not be an asset in any type of fight. Connor would be a master of a wide variety of weapons as well as military tactics as well as a better than average break in artist and thief.

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The Tale of the Cigar

cigar

For the record, I really would like to request ideas that will not leave my head until they are written down in some form to keep better hours and let me sleep more on my off days. I am just throwing that out there kind of universally. Just a suggestion. Anyone who is listening that may have an impact on the situation, I would prefer more sleep before having to do these things.

 

All that being said, my wife has a friend who is a cigar smoker and is endlessly fascinated by the topic of cigar smoking. As a result, he also believes that everyone else would and should be endlessly fascinated by the subject of cigar smoking. Like a broken clock that is right two times a day, he sent her over email something that was actually…endlessly fascinating. It was a youtube video of a contributer to Cigar Afficianado magazine talking about the perfect way to light a cigar.

 

During his travels, he was in Mexico at the family of a local beauracrat who treated him to what he called a traditional Mexican dinner. He stated that as in all truly traditional Mexican dinners, it ended around 11:30 at night. After the dinner, the host asked him if he would like a cigar. The man said “Would I?” excitedly and the Mexican host pulled out some of his finest cigars and handed him one. No stranger to cigars, the man immeadiately pulled out his clip and clipped the cigar – lit t- and began to enjoy.

 

The Mexican host was nearly offended. He asked the man if he had any idea what the proper way to light a cigar was. The man thought “I just lit the thing, didn’t I?” The Mexican host shook his head and said “Wait, I will show you.” Carefully, slowly, and deliberately, the Mexican host removed the cigar from its wrapper. Carefully, slowly, and deliberately, he laid down three matches. Wooden matches long and tall. Then over a golden bowl, the Mexican host lit the first match on the table. He put the cigar over it and turned the cigar over the match on the end of the tip. He did not cut the tip off. The guest watched expectantly and asked why he had not cut off the tip.

The Mexican host said “Think of all that you lose when the match strikes the air. Think of all that is in the tip. Think of all the taste and Inatural aroma that is changed immediately…no this way is better.” The Mexican host engaged his guest in discourse. He was always looking down at the cigar, always talking but never taking his focus off and talking about whatever the guest wanted to speak of. The guest talked with his host, but he was still focused on when the tip was going to be cut off. He was also focused on when the cigar was going to be actually lit.

 

The first match got down to the point of nearly burning the Mexican hosts finger. He put out the match on the golden tray and quickly lit the second match. Again, the tip was not cut off. Again, he placed the fire next to the tip. Again, he turned it. Again, he started talking to the guest about other things. But even as he was engaged in discourse, again his concentration never left the cigar or the turning or hold the flame at the proper angle. Again the match went nearly down to the hosts’ finger and again he put the match out and moved to the third match.

 

Surely he was done and with the third match, the host would cut off the tip and simply light the cigar? No, the process did not change. The host took the third match and lit it. He slowly rolled the cigar over the match as he did the other two and continued talking to his guest. To the guest astonishment, the procedure had not changed and yet there was no fourth match. Slowly and deliberately the cigar was turned over the flame. Slowly and deliberately, the host never wavered in his concentration in rolling the cigar or left his duty as being a host engaging in discourse with his guest. Finally, tantilizingly, the match nearly again hit the Mexican hosts finger. And he put out the match.

 

With carefully timing and percision, the host then reached for his cigar clip and clipped off the enge of the cigar. He put the cigar in his mouth and took a drag long and comfortably. He then exhaled the drag. The cigar once the tip was cut off had already been lit by being put over the flame and was not released until it was time.

 

I saw that video and (not being a cigar smoker) a deeper meaning was imparted on me. As Christians, we should realize that God will never waiver from his duties or from his plan. Like the guest, we don’t see how the plan will ultimately unfold. Like the cigar, all we may feel is that we are being slowly turned over and open flame. But His concentration or His purpose in getting everything absolutely correct so that we are ready for His purpose never waivers. His eyes are always upon us and He is always working with us. Even though, we may feel like He is not paying attention or focusing on other things with the discourse of a guest.

 

All too often in society and even in our Christian walk, we are like the guest. Naturally, we know how things should be done. We have lit cigars hundreds and thousands of times. We know what we are doing. We take the way that is easy and immediate. We do not take the way that is correct and intended for the fullest extent. We also do not often understand what is going on or that we were in facr being prepared for a greater purpose the entire time.

 

There are many times in my life when I have looked back and seen the Majesty of the Plan after it was finished. I saw how things happened the way that they happened and could ot have happened any other way or more perfectly. Even though the action at the time seemingly had nothing to do with the goal. It is the actions taken by faith and not understanding that I have grown to cherish the most in life. I do not know why anything happens. I do not know particularly why I needed to write this at 8:18 eastern standard time on my day off. But God does. He has a plan. He knows who needs to read this right now and who cannot wait any longer even though I could have certainly gone back to sleep and not written it.

 

God bless. The path is dark and uncertain but the Guide is wise and knows where He is going. Its a slow burn but I guarantee the end result will be like magic.

If Stanley Kubrick Did The Dark Knight Returns

Stanley kubrick

Growing up, I had a couple of really great loves in entertainment. One was comic books and another would be the cinema of Stanley Kubrick. Of comic books, I considered one of the greatest and most influential to be Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. I could go on and on about Kubrick’s movies. My ultimate geek fantasy growing up was that Kubrick would some how direct a Batman movie, specifically an adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns. Of course, Stanley is no longer with us. That leads me to the question of populating a Dark Knight Returns movie mostly with actors who worked with Kubrick. The notable exception would be the Robin done by a teenage Carrie Kelly. Although, a living Kubrick would probably have a good time discovering a young Lolita-esque ingenue to play her. What follows are just purely my suggestions.

jack nicolson bruce wayne

Freakish as it may seem to fans of 1989’s Batman, Jack Nicholson would not b occupying his familiar role as the Joker in this version of The Dark Knight Returns. Rather, this time the aging Jack would play the aging, challenged, and haunted Bruce Wayne. Done correctly, Nicholson’s Wayne would be a tour de force and the coda on  a magnificient career. Literally, Bruce Wayne and Nicholson have grown into each other at this point of both their careers.

superman cruise

Before you dimiss the notion completely of Tom Cruise playing Superman, remember that Cruise did his best work when paired with Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men. Nicholson’s Batman still can’t handle the truth. As a matter of fact, Rob Reiner might be an excellent director to pull of this particular version of Batman. Even if you can’t stand Tom Cruise, that may actually improve his ability to perform a “Big Blue Boy Scout” who does not quite get it either.

vincent donoforio two face

Vincent D’Onofrio would make a brillaint Harvey Dent under any circumstances, however the Dark Knight Returns Two-Face who is fully healed and fully evil would be just the sort of showcase to highlight what a great actor D’Onofrio is. D’Onofrio would also provide a beefier Dent with the physicality to match Wayne. That was a dimension severely lacking in the 2008 movie The Dark Knight. 

matthew modine joker

Admittedly, the original thought came because Matthew Modine’s character was nicknamed Joker in Full Metal Jacket. However, the middle aged Joker is better served in the Dark Knight Returns story line by Modine than much anyone else. Not only is Modine a wonderful actor, he is also a great physical match for the role.

malcolm mcdowell jim gordon

One of the truly great parts of The Dark Knight Returns is Jim Gordon’s speech about Franklin Roosevelt and Pearl Harbor. This would require an actor with not only a distinctive voice but also a sense of veritas. Assuming that the movie was properly set in the 1980s, Malcolm McDowell is the proper age and has the distinctive voice to provide a dramatic reading of the speech in a way that no other actor doing it would ever consider to be justice. The hardened look in the eyes as well perfectly matches Gordon.

 

Those are my suggestions. Of course, half the fun is filling in the others. Remember, they have to have worked on a Kubrick production with the exception of the Carrie Kelly Robin or a few of the younger characters.