comic every Monday, Wednesday & Friday
Raging Pencils by
Mike "monkey-boy" Stanfill
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Taken For A Thrill-Ride
"Never start with the head, the victim gets all fuzzy. " -
saw Batman: The Dark Knight this past weekend. The more I think
about the experience the more annoyed I get. Let me explain:
Suppose you decided to pleasure yourself to the accompaniment
of your favorite pictures of Jennifer Alba playing "hide-the-carbohydrate"
with a large, unripened mango. (To each his own, right?)
And what if in the midst of fervored calisthenics your mother
standing right beside your bed? Even though your door was locked,
and she lived
miles away and she was confined to an iron lung.
That's how I felt every time the Joker (or Batman) made an
appearance in the Dark Knight, and it happened almost every
time he was
It was completely, totally, unbe-fucking-leivably unlikely
was, right where he couldn't possibly be. And
we were all supposed to sit there and go "Ooooh!".
This technique is exactly the kind of thing that was
entertaining when your dad played peek-a-boo with you when
you were still in
I played along for the first couple of entrances but then the closing credits
rolled and I realized we'd been played for total saps. Again.
This bullshit technique was first popularized for the cinema
in "Halloween" when Michael Myers seemed to be everywhere
and nowhere at the
same time. It was kinda cool the first hundred thousand
or so times it happened but it's just annoying now. Hollywood,
unfortunately, hasn't yet lost the woody that movie gave them
once they learned
could be for such "thrills".
You know what else I hated? Sit down, this could take a while:
(1) Batman's Total Population Surveillance Device. Yes, I know it mirrors eactly
what Homeland Security
up to but the movie posits that it's okay to use such devices "when the need
arises". No person in government is ever that noble. Let's give no one the idea
this is ever acceptable. Besides, superheroes have always shown up, like magic,
exactly when the crime is being committed, no explanation needed. Let's not have
that process works.
(2) The thing with the C130 transport? Yeah, I'm sure the Chinese government
lets American warplanes cruise over their major cities ail the time.
(3) Four different endings. All in the same film. That's not a roller-coaster,
that's a series of head-on collisions. And there's still no "ending" as
it's pretty much ends right back where it started. I'll lay anyone decent odds
Dent isn't dead, either.
(4) The worst thing? Any 13-year-old could legally stroll into this movie
see throats being slit,
humans exploding, people shot time and again, hundreds of people killed and maimed
in various fashions,
woman blown to smithereens, dogs killed (presumably), a man slaughtered and fed
the answer to all our problems. But, that young person would not see
a realistic portrayal of
blood as that would mean an "R" rating. Lesson? Violence: Good. Blood:
There's more. So much more, but you get the idea.
I am defintely not a prude. I love films that deal with the
dark side of the human mind (Go rent Peter Jackson's
films) and there are plenty of movies that can tweak both
sides of the brain along with the better parts of the central
movie is the hillbilly heroin of films, a nasty little ball
of sadism that puts the hypothalamus in a headlock and carves
away at your decency until you're numb to the pain.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, most films today
are written by 11-years-olds for the pleasure of 12-year-olds.
The Dark Knight doesn't disappoint in that regard.
Later, in his notes, Professor Scoggins would elaborate on how the lowland gorilla
can be a really sarcastic bastard at times.
"We'd just like to say hoe happy we are to have you studying us. After all, what
better way to learn how to survive in the wild after the oil is all gone."