Friday, June 30, 2006

Superman Returns: The Review

Okay. As you may have surmised by my previous post, I attended an advance screening of Superman Returns. The only other advance screening I've ever seen was Rocky IV (which, ironically enough, also features a "hero" in red and blue returning after an abscence). Those tickets I think came by way of a fellow who lived above us and worked at a radio station. In this instance, I just bought the tickets. I didn't feel quite as special this time....and didn't get a cool headband.

Anyway, it's actually somewhat odd that I was in such a hurry to see Superman Returns, as I've never been a huge fan of the guy. I mean, as conveyed with comic efficiency in this post, Kal-el is kind of a hard guy to relate to. He's handsome, indestructible, can fly, burn stuff with his eyes, he's an alien. In other words, he's not like us. Add to that the somewhat predictable nature of Superman storylines; Lex Luthor gets out of prison. Lex Luthor acquires money and kryptonite. Superman catches falling pianos and derailing trains. Lex Luthor launches evil scheme. Superman interferes, is kryptonited, beaten up. Lex Luthor fails to finish the job. Superman recovers with the help of a mere mortal. Superman finds Lex Luthor and stops him, saving the day. Superman doesn't get the girl.

But, in this case, I liked what Bryan Singer did with the X-Men films, so was willing to take a chance. And I wanted to avoid reading all the reviews and make my own determination as to the merits and flaws of the film. As of this writing, I'm still unspoiled, as it were. So here's my take on the film, hopefully without spoilers.

I was glad that Singer decided not to do an origin film. Everyone knows the origin story for Superman. Everyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the last 30 years, anyway. Unfortunately, with the exception of a few minor plot twists that were inserted along the way, Singer didn't stray very far from the Superman story formula, and I found that a bit dissappointing. It's a major design flaw in the Superman story that his only real vulnerability is to kryptonite. In order to have any sort of drama or danger for your hero, the green rock has to enter the equation. It gets old. Some of the other elements of the story had potential, but weren't explored in any depth.

The first major action sequence in the film is phenomenal, assisted by the spectacular special effects. They did a really good job in that department. I have to add as well that the casting of Brandon Routh was inspired. While he doesn't quite measure up to Christopher Reeve (who would), he does an admirable job. Singer was quite right to go with an unknown actor as opposed to a celebrity. I heard Nicolas Cage was one of those after the role. Thank god that didn't happen. Kevin Spacey also does a fine job as Lex, and Kate Bosworth is satisfactory as Lois Lane.

I can't say I didn't enjoy the movie. I've definitely been to worse. The first half hour was really promising, but then I saw it slide a bit as it progressed, descending into all too familiar territory. At the end of the day, I think it was just an updated version of the older Superman movies. Superman returns doesn't bring all that much new to the table, other than fresh faces and fancier special effects. If you're a big Superman fan, you'll probably really like this movie. However, if you're like me and like your heroes with a bit more vulnerability (not brought on by minerals), then hold out for Spider-man 3, the trailer for which rolled before this film (and looked totally awesome, I must say).

My rating: Myeeeah. (while teetering hand)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Conversation Overheard At An Advance Screening of Superman Returns

A blonde in her teens walks up the steps towards he seat at the back of the theatre, carrying some newly acquired goodies from the (overpriced) concession stand. During her ascent, she spots a male sitting in an aisle seat and her face registers recognition.

Blonde: "Matt...hey.....what are you doing here?"

Matt: "Uh....[points at screen]...I'm here to see Superman Returns."

Blonde: "Me toooo!" [in tone denoting holy amazing coincidence]

Matt: "Uh....yeah.." [thought bubble: Idiot.]

The conversation continues, but I don't hear it. I'm too busy trying not to laugh.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Something that really gets under my skin and compels me to write a blog post about it.

It has been occurring for a while now.

All around.

It hasn't gone unnoticed.

Every time I go to Tim Horton's or McDonald's or [insert random fast food chain here] I hear it.

Five words.

Five excruciating words.

"Can I help who's next?"

I beg your pardon? Is this what is being taught in English classrooms across the country these days? Is it some bastardization of language being inserted into orientation packages alongside of "Would you like fries with that?" Inquiring minds want to know, because I myself worked at a fast food chain for X* years and that particular phrase was never part of my repatoire. Instead, I went to the old standbys like:

[eye contact] "Hi, can I take your order please?"

"Hello, can I help the next person in line?"

"Good afternoon, sir, how can I help you?"

Any of these.....perfectly acceptable. "Can I help who's next?", on the other hand? You may as well just throw a couple of bling blings and hizouses at me while you're at it and really incite my rage.


And don't think I'm the only one who's noticed.

* Where X = more years than I care to admit.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Public Service Announcement #1


Women who shave their eyebrows and then pencil them in afterward.

You look ridiculous.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


I'm back.

Back from my second trip to Ottawa in the last month. I'd love to regale you with stories of all the interesting sites I'd seen, and inundate you with breathtaking pictures from the nation's capital. Unfortunately....I've got nothing. The truth of the matter is, there wasn't a lot of time for a personal program, as it were. They kept us busy on the course, and any downtime was spent with tasks like sleeping....and eating....and perhaps imbibing the odd alcoholic beverage (just to be social, of course).

I can tell you this. Going on a work related trip, where expenses are covered, has it's perks. You get your bed made every morning by housekeeping. You get to eat out every night. You get to hang out with co-workers......

On the down-side, you have to sleep in a hotel, eat out every night, and hang out with co-workers.

Yeah. It gets old pretty fast. It doesn't take long before you begin to miss your wife, the dog, a home-cooked meal, your bed, the Internets.....and all the things you become accustomed to in every day life.

That's not to say that I didn't have a fantastic time. The training was great. I got to spend some time with the boys, drinking beer and watching the World and Stanley Cups, respectively. And Ottawa (at least parts of it) is a lovely city, which I wish I had more time to experience.

But yeah. I'm back. And just 1.5 days away from 17 days off.

Whatever will I do with myself?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Preemptive Blog

I feel compelled to post something today, since I know it will be close to two weeks before I get the opportunity again. I am going to be away in Ottawa on a work related course, and aside from being extremely busy, I don't think I am going to have any Internet access. So, for the next two weeks at least, I have a valid excuse for not posting. ;)

The truth is, I would post a lot more if I could, but there are some things I just can't talk about due to my job as a member of the RCMP. I'd love to talk about some of the cool training I'm getting as part of the VIP Security Section. I have opinions about the Caledonia standoff (I was there) and on what people are saying about the recent terror arrests. I can't really be vocal about any political issue, as I have to retain the appearance of neutrality (which is how we have to approach our job as well).

At the end of the day, that eliminates a great deal about what I can discuss or post about in my blog. So what can I discuss?


Two days ago, we went and had our first ultrasound for the pregnancy. It was admittedly, a little surreal. Up until that point, I was still able to retain just a little bit of denial. Out of sight, out of mind, as it were. No longer. It's kind of funny, since every time I've seen an ultrasound image of a pregnancy before, I just kind of nodded and said I saw it (kind of like those pictures that are all blurry, but they tell you there's a sailboat there, and after a while you just say you see the bloody thing so they stop asking you, doyouseeit, doyouseeit, doyouseeit?), when in reality, all is saw was some obscure shapes in a bunch of static. Not so in this instance. I definitely saw a baby, and it kind of freaked me out. But....I was smiling, so I suppose it's the good sort of freaked out. I'd love to be able to post a picture, but the bloody place doesn't do pictures. We were able to dish out $20 for a VHS copy of the ultrasound though. That is really super-fantastic, since we don't have a VCR!!

Yesterday, I was a slug. I slept in, watched television, and did practically nothing all day. Very productive. We had someone come in to clean our ducts, since the airflow upstairs is brutal. We have yet to see if it had any effect, but the guy said it didn't look like they had been cleaned since the house was built 14 years ago. Not that I expected him to say, "These ducts are spotless.....we're not needed here....please keep your money sir!"

We decided to go out for dinner, being in the sluggish funk that we were and not wanting to cook. Having lived here for almost a year, we've never tried eating anywhere local, usually going to Barrie instead. So, we decided to try one of the local Chinese joints. They had a buffet, and it was pretty good. I'm glad we went. As an added bonus, my fortune cookie said, "An influential person will say something about you in a positive light.", or something to that effect. Score.

In other news, I've become my mother. When I was younger, I used to tease her about falling asleep on the couch while watching a movie, usually early in the evening. Now it's me. Two nights in a row. I'm pathetic. It's biological clock has been officially reset to adult time. Being a grown up blows.

There....that's like....4 posts in one. A little disjointed, and not my best work, but beggars can't be choosers. That should buy me a week and a half. At least. Who knows....maybe I'll even post something else today.

I'm crazy like that.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

What's In A Name?

I have a confession to make to you: I hate the name of my blog.

This wasn't always the case.

When I first created this blog, I wanted to get started as soon as possible, and things like choosing a name were an unfortunate obstacle. Fortunately, I was struck by a moment of inspiration. I'll call it The Greatest Blog Ever Written! Tongue in cheek, of course. To illustrate the point, I would add a clever subtitle, like " unavailable at this time. We apologize for the inconvenience."

Unfortunately, a couple of weeks later I had the thought to Google that name....just out of curiousity. My worst fear was confirmed. I was original.....along with about 87 others. Sigh.

Add to that the realization that anyone seeing a link to my site only sees The Greatest Blog Ever Written, and not the witty comment following it (hell, it's hard enough to see if you actually visit the page). What are people to think?

Reader: The Greatest Blog Ever Written? WTF? I have a blog. Who does this clown think he is that he's better than me?


Reader: This isn't even the greatest thing I've read today. What a moron. Oooooh.....Wil Wheaton. Let's see what Wesley Crusher's up to......


So, therein lies my dilema. I've been trying to come up with a new name ever since. Unsuccessfully, I might add. I need something catchy, witty, memorable, and apropos. How about:

Dave Grant Dot Blogspot Dot Com (DGDBDC). Too wordy. And there are about a bazillion Dave Grants (seriously....I looked it up. A bazillion. And three).

Singing Telegrams from Innisfil. Too obscure.

Adventures in a ...Chalmers...Shelter. ??????????

No. No. No. No. NO! Think big. Think original. THINK!!

[deep breath]

It's there. Swirling in the darkest corners of my brain and dammit.....the batteries in my flashlight are dying.

Anybody got a couple of D cells to spare?


It's getting dark in here.