Dude. What the hell are they thinking? More to the point, what the hell are they smoking that makes them think this bears even the shadow of a resemblance to a Cubist rendering of a good idea? Are they actively trying to turn Iraq into Vietnam II: The Sequel? I'm a graduate studentin music with no experience in government whatsoever, and who wasn't even born during the Vietnam War, and even I can tell that this idea is completely, totally, and in all other ways on major league crack.
Oy gevalt. One of my friends just got a postdoc at the University of Alberta. That's looking like a real good idea right now.
In other news, I went to see Batman with a friend last night. For the most part, it is a seriously awesome movie. The producers manage to reconcile all the different elaborations on the basic Batman origin story quite elegantly, and the movie never lets you forget for a minute that, underneath the costume, the gadgets, and the ninja awesomeness, Batman is about half a hair away from being a complete psychotic. Liam Neeson, Michael Caine, and Gary Oldman stand out in a very strong supporting cast. And the design! Be still, my heart. They've taken the basic Art Deco look of the earliest Batman and updated it. It's utterly modern, 21st-century Art Deco. I love it. If this movie does not win a Best Design nomination Oscar, it will be due to the machinations of the same sheep who picked "Into The West" over the infinitely better "Scarlet Tide" for Best Song when ROTK swept the Oscars.
I do have a few quibbles with Batman, however. There are moments when it gets formulaic. You see a setup, and you can predict with frightening accuracy how the scene will resolve itself. And the fight scenes are terribly cut. They're very long, but they're so fragmented that you can't really tell what's going on or appreciate the sheer ninja awesomeness. And, finally: Chicago? Gotham City is New York. I have lived in both cities, and I know for a fact that New York is not Chicago. The geography, the design of the cities, their characters, everything is different. And this Gotham City, for some reason, is Chicago. The design looks like Chicago, and you can tell it was filmed there. I recognized quite a few buildings and places in the Loop, including one particular parking garage. It should have been Manhattan. The villain's plot depends on it being Manhattan. The Batman characters have a Manhattan mindset. Gotham City should not be Chicago, no matter how nifty and Art Deco it was.
But that aside, Batman is one of the more seriously awesome summer action flicks going.