Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Saturday, September 20, 2003


listening to: 'Stories of Old' by Depeche Mode
feeling: Revved

I knew I'd like Daredevil, but for whatever reason, I didn't make it out to see it during its theatre run and didn't want to buy it on video before watching it, so I've been waiting for it to come to On Demand from Insight. Definitely going to have to get it on DVD once I have a player, which might be a bit. But it's got everything I could like in an action movie--a sympathetic, somewhat flawed hero who nevertheless is trying to do the right thing (and Ben Affleck SO does that whilst looking pretty great in a red leather suit, and although he's maybe not completely comfortable-looking, he does much better than most actors playing superheroes with similar costumes, like Batman), a leading lady who's cast for her her ability to do great action moves rather than the jiggle factor, and an insane Irish hitman who can kill with a paperclip. Hey, what can I say, I'm a softie for Colin Farrell. I've seen him in several things now and I'm rather impressed by his acting, even during interviews. :) And although I loved the action (must remember the fly through their outstretched legs and whack outward breaking the knees as you go move for the Cthulhu game), I found I cried through some parts, too. The music and sets were done well, too, and although it wasn't say an extremely deep movie, it managed to do well with character development and background in a relatively short time, which was good, because I did not read Daredevil when I was a kid, so I needed the background. Fortunately, it also means I'm not the purist that grumbles over details like, say the ethnicity of the Kingpin, or that Bullseye should be blonde. I thought the music fit the mood of the movie well, too...it wasn't just something they threw in that you scratch your head and go...huh? The effects for his 'sight' were artistic but thoroughly necessary for the movie. I like it when I don't spend a lot of time asking myself what they were thinking. I think there were only a couple things like that--at first I did think how can a lawyer who gets paid in cheese wheels pay for all the nifty gear, but that's because he obviously has no other life to spend any money on, and they must make money occasionally. Also, I understand the pain pills (he's not indestructible, after all) but I didn't understand immediately that the nifty gizmo that's kind of a coffin with water that he sleeps in is an isolation tank--makes sense if you have superhuman senses, but hey, how many of those do you see everyday? I could see that putting a strain on long-term relationships, along with the emotional issues/never home thing. I'm sure it's something Daredevil fans wouldn't think twice of, like the phoenix symbol at the end of X2: X-men United--those of us who had read the books knew what it was, but others just thought Jean was dead and that was a funny glowing blob, but I had to look it up, ironically on a site that provides descriptive enhancement of video for the blind. In my search I was rather disappointed to find that in the comics the nice secretary became a porn queen, heroin addict, and AIDS patient. Poor girl.

One thing I'll say for Marvel, despite all the cursing of them I used to do when I had to deal with their distribution system as a comic bookstore assistant manager, Marvel has always been superior to DC in creating superheroes who, despite some great gift, were flawed and had just as much difficulty getting through the emotional ups and downs as the rest of us. Think Spiderman vs. Superman. Superman tries, but in the end, he's kind of still an alien. DC's always struck me as the comic line for the brain (i.e., Sandman) whilst Marvel is for the heart (Mutants fighting against hate). (Image was always more like a cracked-up version of what high-power wrestling in comparison, although well done visually--think something like The Matrix, although the comics for those have been online and will be out, published as a collection rather than as a traditional comic series, in November. That's just one comic geek's take on things. Some obviously disagree. Obviously some individual titles differ, and I've collected titles from all three of the above and a lot of the smaller independents, too.

Hee hee. Most people on the street would be shocked I'm a comic geek, because those who do not read comics dismiss them as being derivative or childish. Silly people. Yes, there are librarians who love comics. It's one of the reasons I like Unshelved's Dewey, even when he's a little too strong in his sarcasm. Of course I seem to surprise people over the strangest things. Recent conversation I had while watching an episode of Star Trek: the Next Generation.

--'You wouldn't think Deanna would be a fan of the American Old West, would you? I mean Zane Grey?'
Me: 'I don't know. Do I look like an Old West fan?'
--'No. You mean you are?'--in an utterly surprised tone; it's so nice to be able to surprise people after you've known them for years and years.
Me: 'Yeah. I love Zane Grey. Used to read him all the time.' (Didn't mention that I _really_ love Louis L'Amour.) I love Western movies, too.' (I think if I mentioned how much I used to watch 'Bonanza' and 'Big Valley' I'd have hurt his brain.)


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