Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Blockbuster Coffee!

So, this has been a pretty monumental year for me, what with the lay-off in January and the two new jobs since then. Earlier this week, I even interviewed for a possible third (I’m still in the early stages of that one, we’ll see what develops) I had my 10 year wedding anniversary in May, and in March, I officially entered my “mid-thirties”.

35 came with exactly no more and no less fanfare than I would’ve wanted. My advancing age isn’t something that’s bothered me much lately; as a matter of fact, for some reason the idea of 36 seems sort of dignified to me. Like its real, true adulthood - implying all the respect and experience therein (but then again, talk to me when I’m 40).

Oh, sure, there have been some little landmarks that are disorienting, if I allow myself to ponder them for too long. I totally outlived Jesus, for one. And If I lived in the 70’s style, futuristic dystopia of Logan’s Run, I would have been offed years ago. Not only that, but I’m two whole years older than Shatner was when he took the helm of the Enterprise. What seems strangest of all, though, is the fact that I’m no longer part of that coveted “18-34” male demographic that all of pop culture is said to be geared to.

My favorite birthday present this year was a Toddy brand iced coffee maker. Long time lurkers on my blog may recall my love of The Market’s iced coffee. They make theirs “Toddy Style”, and that’s where the Missus bought my 'maker from. It’s an entirely low tech affair; no electrical plug-ins or doodads. A pound worth of coarsely ground beans brew overnight in nine cups of cold water; the resulting, filtered concoction is a thick, pitch black concentrate, to which you add two parts water. That last part is of the utmost importance, and should be printed on the directions in ALL CAPS, italicized, and perhaps even be written in blood. Less a suggestion than a mandate, like “Don’t Feed the Mogwai After Midnight” or “Look Out! Swimming Pool Filled with Infected Hypodermic Needles!” Upon reading it, there should be an ominous thunderclap in the distance… you must make sure that you cut the stuff with a sufficient amount of H2O, and what ever you do - DO NOT drink the concentrate straight. It is dark. Potent. Intense. Like juice squeezed directly from Keith Richard’s right lung. It is an oily, shimmering, foreboding substance, like an alien life form that could crawl out of it’s carafe to bond to your body and take over your mind.

Speaking of which, I finally caught “Spiderman 3” last weekend. I’m sorry to say that it’s a mixed bag, at best. Maybe the way to go for Hollywood would be to have all of the movies top out at a duology; the trilogy thing too often ends badly. Spider-Man the Third doesn’t quite plumb the depths of stupidity mined by Superman III or Batman Forever, but neither is it as good as the good parts of Return of the Jedi. Remember Chewbacca’s groan-inducing “Tarzan Yell” at the climax? This whole movie is sort of like that - “cute”.

Sam Raimi seems to have decided that the success of the Spiderman series is less about watching 40+ years of comic book history played out on the big screen, and more about watching references to the first two movies (the upside down kiss, more flashbacks of Peter’s dead uncle, etc.). And really, can they come up with a climax that doesn’t involve putting Mary Jane in peril? I don’t care how google eyed, dodo yoohoo in love you are (and, oh, are they ever – yeeech), that would be the relationship breaker right there. If they make a fourth, they can just call it “Spider-Man 4: Sucks to be Your Girlfriend”, and it can be about Kristen Dunst and Bruce Campbell fighting off Zombie Uncle Ben.

Part of the problem for me was the whole “alien suit that turns you evil” subplot (or maybe that was the main plot and the other 15 plots were all “sub” – I had a hard time keeping up) The first time in my life I realized I was growing up was when they started the symbiote storyline in the comics. MY friendly neighborhood Spider-Man fought freaks of science localized here on Earth, like the Rhino, or Electro, or Hydro-Man, not other-worldly cosmic threats (because that would be, you know, unrealistic) He left all that stuff for the Fantastic Four or the X-Men. Seeing the previews, I begrudgingly accepted that this was the way they’d be going with the movie. Unfortunately, nothing could prepare me for the fact that Peter turning eeeevil would be illustrated by having Tobey Mcguire look like a coked-up Kyle Maclachlan in “Dreamgirls” and doing a dance number while Mary Jane sings in the background. Badly. (Stop giggling, folks who haven’t seen it yet – I’m Not Kidding.) If they really wanted to him to act evil, they should have just given him the straight Toddy concentrate – it’s called method acting, people. My proportions were a little off this morning, and I was like a paranoid schizophrenic.

The Peter vs. Harry stuff worked okay, and the finale was somewhat satisfying, if a little reminiscent of Ghostbusters (Man! Gremlins, Ghostbusters, Temple of Doom – second in a trilogy, I might add. 1984… now that was a year for summer movies). So of course, all this begs the question… is my enjoyment of this sort of thing diminished by my advancing years? Has my pop-tolerance been left behind, along with my membership in the “18-34” club? Is little Caff all grows up?

I sincerely doubt it. I think it has to do more with the fact that these gigantor budgeted movies are all micro-managed now, in order to appeal to the widest possible base. That means more Saved By the Bell-style flirting for Peter and MJ, and more heart to hearts with Aunt May. This morning, the two women I work with; women who talk about “Brad” and “Angelina” and “Rosie” with the same familiarity that multiple-cat owners use for their pets, were discussing how that new Fantastic Four movie looks “cute”.

Hear me now, world. If they screw up the Silver Surfer, I will go berserker… caffeinated or not.


vivavavoom said...

you are back!!! great entry....and NO WAY does he dance in Spiderman 3 to show he is evil....say it ain't so.

MrDanger said...

we so have to see fantastic 4 together

vivavavoom said...

now get troy a matching silver surfer T shirt and the gay buddy picture will be complete.