Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Spiderman's almost amazing reboot

When it comes to superhero stories, I'm a real fan. Specifically Marvel syndicate's Spiderman and X-men have been my favorites since I was a child. I remember how I connected to unbreakable and self-healing Wolverine and the nerdy, but loud-mouthed Peter Parker alias Spiderman.

I think I've seen most of the Marvel universe's movie adaptions, even the infamous The Punisher (rated 5.3/10 on IMDB) starring Dolph Lundgren, the Swedish megastar of late 80's and early 90's. Punisher's only connection to comics were characters with a same name, which can not be regarded as a plus for an antihero, who brutally kills mobsters without mercy, and seems to be enjoying justice as a revenge only served with as much as pain as a man can inflict on another.

Marvel has had it share of excellent characters, story arcs and stories shining on the silver screen as well as adaptations which have brought shame to the makers and is solely the main reason I hate big production companies which turn things that should be loved to things that get despised. And in some cases I don't believe the producers are so much interested in artistic integrity as they are of money.

For me, Sam Raimi's Spiderman trilogy should have gotten it's fourth installment produced and I wasn't very happy with the idea of a new Spiderman reboot - specially so soon. But that was just prejudice on my part.

Last weekend I went to see the movie's 3D version. My only disappointment was that the movie didn't let me hate it and rant about it all over the internet, which is my true ranting arena. I could say Andrew Garfield is somehow missing a bit of Tobey Maguire's silent charisma, but he still does a magnificent job as a sarcastic wise guy superhero and a shy but scientifically unique young boy with hormones splashing through his body while he also has to deal with tragic childhood and surviving teens.

*Here starts spoilers* (if you're not familiar with Spiderman comics in full - you might just want to stop here)

With the new Spiderman movie you get introduced to many of the original things that differentiated in Raimi's trilogy. First of all, this time Gwen Stacy is introduced as Peter Parker's first teenage love. Second of all, Spiderman doesn't have a mutation to web. Instead he works on a webbing machine attached to his hands, just like in the original comics. It might have seem like an easier way to explain Spiderman's webbing ability instead of portraiting the process of Peter Parker getting the idea for webcannons.

Also it might have been seen as a great groundshaking idea to introduce Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) as the greatest love of Spiderman-Parker, but for someone else it might have felt like the necessary nuisance to keep the story short in a sense that the Spiderman story has been continuing for decades with a big family of characters, which would have been easier to be introduced in a tv-series lasting for several seasons.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

One Bell for the cards

Unlike in so many other developed countries, Ireland has next to none regulations concerning poker. It's almost a national sport. There are cash games, tournaments and freerolls in every district of Dublin.

I've been now twice in The Bell (Blanchardstown), where they organize a bar tournament of 40+3. First time I came last and the second time third. So there's my baseline so far. I can get through the bubble and I also have the amazing ability to finish just before the second last.

I found the place through Dublin Poker Nights. They seem to be handling a few tournaments on weekly basis. I haven't made sure that the information on the site is valid, but that's on my checklist.

Amy and Bono in heaven

When Amy Winehouse died, she went to heaven, which is a subject that some people might feel strongly about. For being raised in a jew family for instance might be a distinguishing characteristics for some to believe that there's no heaven for likes of her. Also doing an airfield full of drugs before turning 30 could be another distinctive reason for other's to believe that Amy is going to be given lots of reasons why she cannot enter tonight at the gates of heaven. Some people have a very strong belief that her not being a suitable role model for children and teenagers is reason enough to ban her from heaven and hell altogether. Anyways, she went to heaven cause of the popular belief that god is an all-loving man, who doesn't give a rat's bottom about how mortal people like to mix their beliefs and politics together.

In heaven, there is a special place for rockstars, and Amy for being one was naturally accepted to this 24h party people's club. That's the club where there's literally a band playing the best of rock and all the other genres as well 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and everything is free, there's no queues to the bar, no sexually transmitted diseases (or any other diseases), beer cold as hell, err, cold as heaven, no injuries for falling down intentionally or unintentionally. Place which could be by many indicators defined as the Greatest Invention of God.

At the heaven's heavenly rockstar club, Amy was given a tour by St. Peter and Jesus themselves. "When we looked at your record, we thought that this would be your final resting place so to speak."

Everything seemed swell. There we're beer that didn't make you sick for days and a lots of famous rock stars. "There's John Lennon", said St. Peter to Amy. "He is still preaching about Utopia, but that's allright here in heaven." "Oh, Kurt Cobain", said Amy. "Live and well so to speak", replied Jesus knowingly, "and there's Jimi Hendrix, Wolfgang Mozart, Elvis Presley, of course, and Freddie Mercury."

"Oh, but who is that?", asked Amy. There was a man in a black suit rounded by the elite of the heavenly rockstar groupies. Man was wearing sunglasses which reminded a bit of honeybee's eyes. "I didn't know that Bono was dead", said Amy.

"He is not. That's just my dad, the god almighty, thinking that he is Bono", said Jesus and went back to his room.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Local not-so-proud

Every city, town and metropolis has their own distinctive landmarks of a sort, where to plan meetings. In Dublin centre, they have this thing called The Spire and for 4 million euroes Dublin got their share of local people sharing their opinions. International public may be aware of the statue as the tallest sculpture in the world, but locals sometimes define it as "The Needle Statue Of The Drug Capital Of The World", "Far From Grand", "Just The Needle" and they also use some other names that you shouldn't use for someone or something you like.

If you want to make international comparisons, you should take The Eiffel Tower as a competition. Eiffel Tower was meant to be the highest building in the world and stay that way forever. The Spire had similar meanings when they started building the tallest sculpture in the world in a city of documented history close to 2000 years.

Also Eiffel Tower is a world famous building with top engineering involved. The Spire may have some of that. Considering that 21st century's engineering is prone to be hidden away from plain sight, The Spire may have had just wrong timing. It has a mass dampener to counteract the sway and the stainless steel is modified to reflect light smoothly, but you cannot actually see the technology. Oh, and The Spire had something to do polishing the central too.

O'Connell street, where the Spire is located, had trees old as century harvested, local shops were prohibited to use plastic signs (more like anything regarded as a cheap looking) to attract customers and the traffic lanes we're simplified.

The Spire was sold to the great public as a self-cleaning sculpture, but for some reason it has 200 000 euro maintenance budget. But it is not unusual that politicians may redefine the meaning of words. The Spire was self-cleaning before it was built and afterwards it was just illogical to believe the stainless steel tourist attraction would clean itself (quote is from nowpublic.com's article "Cleaning The World's Tallest Sculpture Is An Expensive Process").