August 18, 2005

Bye, Bri!

We were lucky enough to spend a few days having Brian in town, which included a pool party and getting together for a movie like old times.

The movie was Batman Begins at the IMAX in Providence. It’s not cheap to see a movie on the super-big screen, but it certainly is spectacular.

Afterward we wandered around trying to figure out what to do with ourselves. We wanted dessert, but it was already past 9 and the lame mall closes at 9:30. We tried the Cheesecake Factory, but didn’t want to wait the 20 minutes for a table, especially since Chuck and Patty were facing a long drive north to get home on, as Chuck calls it “a school night.”

So we resorted to Borders Cafe where we were repeatedly reminded that the store was about to close in 15 minutes. There was zero chance to relax as it took the remaining time until closing just to order a drink or three, so we stood around cracking wise until they were ready to throw us out. The PA announced “We are really, really, really, really closed.” We got the message, but Brian couldn’t resist asking someone else seated nearby “Do you think they’re closed?”

On the drive back to Fall River we listened to Clapton and joked that there should definitely be a parody of “Clapton and Tenille.” After about 5 minutes of laughing about it, we were trying our hand (badly) at ideas for song parodies when Chuck, in the back seat, leaned forward and said “Wouldn’t it be funny if there were a parody of Captain and Tenille: Clapton and Tenille!?”


“You can’t hear us at all back there with the windows rolled down and the music turned up, can you, Chuck?”

“No, I can’t. Why do you ask?”

Well, Brian. Whether communications are clear or not, we’ll miss you. Thanks for the visit and travel safe!

Posted by James at August 18, 2005 10:48 AM
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Oh, lordy--Clapton and Tenille. I shared this picture in the office, to the groans of many.

Posted by: Patti M. at August 18, 2005 11:46 AM

I think the funniest thing was trying to order at Borders. The guy took my order first, and then he puttered around behind the counter for about five minutes (literally, a very long time), while everybody else stood behind me, waiting to be served. Finally he came back and said, "what did you want again?"

Then a girl came over and took Brian's order. Brian wanted to know what was in a particular fruit drink. "Well, it's like the cafe freeze." Pause as we all look up at the board and read the ingredients of the cafe freeze, which turned out to be basically espresso and milk and ice. Bri: "It has espresso in it?"

"Well, no, it's the consistency of a cafe freeze."

We had a lot to laugh at. We spent fifteen minutes trying to get served, but it was a fun fifteen minutes.

Posted by: Maggie at August 18, 2005 12:34 PM

Yes - it was an amusing night. Unfortunately, The Chuck didn't like the movie much at all, getting turned off really early by the choppy action scenes. Frankly, I love the movie because I think they've created a more interesting Batman than we've seen on the screen anywhere before. And I loves me some Dark Knight Detective.

I'd love to see them do "The Dark Knight Returns" someday.

Luckily, everyone else liked the film, but I felt bad because I was almost positive Batman was going to be a big winner across the board.

Posted by: James at August 18, 2005 12:44 PM

Hmmm -- I didn't mean to type "the Chuck."

Posted by: James at August 18, 2005 1:02 PM

So long Brian. Your time here was too brief. But remember, even though we are apart...

Love, Love will keep us together
Think of us Bri whenever
Some sweet looking job comes along
With hours too long
On some remote isle where they all wear sarongs

Just stop, 'cause we really love you
Stop, we'll be thinking of you
Look in our hearts and let love keep us together.

You, you always were a charmer
But now you're stuck with Karma
With all her batty banning renown
Made up like a clown
When she makes you crazy--makes you wear a frown

Just stop, 'cause we really love you
Stop, we'll be thinking of you
Look in our hearts and let love keep us together

In Escondido
When you're missing your folks
When Karma's flipping you off
Who'll laugh at all of your jokes?
We will, we will, we will, we will

Here or there -- wherever
Love will keep us together
So if you find you're feeling alone,
At work or at home,
When you're letting stress drive you out of your dome...

Stop cause we really love ya
Stop we'll be thinking of ya
Look in our hearts and let love keep us together

Posted by: Chuck S. at August 18, 2005 1:21 PM

Oh I liked the movie well enough... I mean, I don't typically like superhero movies. But this movie wasn't nearly as good as Spiderman. I'd say it is definitely better than any previous Batman I've seen.

If the film were a romantic drama, or a comedy, I wouldn't care so much about the exceptionally poor action sequences. I'd be more interested in the chemistry between the characters, or how funny the jokes were.

But as "Batman Begins" is an -action- movie, it's really an unforgivable flaw... at least to me. Clearly the production values were very high, so there's really no excuse for crappy choreography.

Great characters, interesting plot, good acting, decent special effects, and good cinematography (apart from the fight scenes, and car chases). It has a lot to recommend it. But it's a character movie billed as an action movie, and thus sets up the wrong expectations, i.e. that you're going to see some action, as opposed to 30 little cutscenes strung together which suggest something really interesting just happened, but you missed it.

Posted by: Chuck S. at August 18, 2005 1:38 PM

The action sequences were my big complaint originally, although I have plenty of other complaints. When we saw it in IMAX, I thought I was going to have to leave after the first fight scene (the one in the prison), it made me so dizzy. But after that I was okay. I enjoyed the Batman character, although I wouldn't call this a character movie, as Chuck does. Most of the characters are one-dimensional. Bruce Wayne is the only character with anything to him. But how can you not love a movie with Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Liam Neeson? I love Gary Oldman and I don't usually think he's a great actor, but I thought he did a great job here despite some really pathetic one-liners.

What I don't like about superhero movies, especially this one, is the way everybody's in the right place at the right time. Especially Batman. I know he's had ninja training and everything, but puh-lease. "Who's that?" "I'm Batman." Ugh. And the whole gargoyle thing struck me as silly. And were we saving on child actors, using that one kid twice? Are they particularly expensive? Lots of little things like that bugged me. Still, mainly because of Alfred and Bruce Wayne, and action that's fast enough that you don't pause too long on the illogical parts, I really enjoyed it.

Oh, I should mention the Scarecrow, too. What a creepy actor!

Posted by: Maggie at August 18, 2005 2:10 PM

Nice tweak to a very bad song from the '70s. Oh, wait, that qualifier is redundant.

Posted by: Patti M. at August 18, 2005 2:20 PM

That word "cutscene"... I do not think it means what you think it means. (I'm saying that in a bad imitation of Mandy Patinkin)

I think what you're refering to is a number or quick shots and close-ups. I, too, found the action disorienting and hard to follow. But I think it was a cinematic decision and an attempt to make the fights more shadowy, rather than showing "the Batman" (some guy in a costume) kicking bad-guy ass, which almost invariably looks comic-book lame.

Spider-Man can get away with it because he's not supposed to look all that intimidating. He's just supposed to look amazing.

But I understand how the cinematography and fight scenes can ruin a movie for you. I felt that way about the first X-Men film.

Posted by: James at August 18, 2005 3:18 PM

BTW - nice lyrics, Chuck!

Posted by: James at August 18, 2005 3:20 PM

Cute. I'd suggest the converse "Captain and Two Neils" (Neil Young and Neil Diamond, maybe?) but that sounds like a drink.

Posted by: Mike at August 19, 2005 5:17 AM

Just imagining Neil Young (whose music I love) on the same stage with Neil Diamond increases the throbbing headache I have.

Posted by: Patti M. at August 19, 2005 8:24 AM

I like them both, but I'm not sure they'd play nice together.

I'll try the drink, though. As long as cream soda isn't involved.

Posted by: Julie at August 19, 2005 9:22 AM

What if it were The Captain and Ten Neils?

1. Neil Young
2. Neil Diamond
3. Neil Peart
4. Neil Primrose (Travis)
5. Neil Gaiman
6. Neil Armstrong
7. Neil Sedaka
8. Neil Patrick Harris
9. Neill Kirby McMillain, Jr., aka Mojo Nixon (penned the song "Don Henley Must Die")
10.Vince Neil (Motley Crue)

Posted by: Patti M. at August 19, 2005 2:08 PM

With eleven guys on stage I'd hate to be working the soundboard.

Posted by: Mike at August 19, 2005 2:13 PM

Maybe you could do what they did to Tony Kay at a Yes concert I went to: leave his instrument up there but don't plug it in.

Posted by: Patti M. at August 19, 2005 2:22 PM

How about a Captain and ten eels?

Quite possible when your boat capsizes in eel-infested waters.

Posted by: James at August 19, 2005 4:14 PM


Posted by: Bob McCown at August 19, 2005 8:39 PM

Hee. Love the riffs on the Cap theme. The picture is great! I may have to hang it in my cube.

Thanks for the good times, guys. It was almost like being home. Except for the part where I had to leave. Glad we made the most of it, though.

I wonder if the folks at Borders were as annoyed by us as we were by them.

James, are they shrieking eels? ;)

Funny song, Chuck. And touching at the same time. Nicely done.

Posted by: briwei at August 23, 2005 11:51 AM

Y'all come back now, y'hear?

Posted by: James at August 23, 2005 12:23 PM

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