The Most Beautiful and Terrifying Moment

It has been a while since I have posted a blog entry. It has been almost a year in fact. I think this occasion is a good enough reason to get back into my blog writing. I would like to introduce you all to my Fiancée

My Fiancée

My Fiancée Tyffani

Yes, I got engaged toTyffani Thompson. It was a magical moment for me and my new fiancée. We met 3 years ago at work and had been friends for a couple of years. When we first met neither of us would have imagined we would be at this point. If you were to ask her she would swear it never would have happened. She tried hard to stay away and keep anything  more than a friendship from developing. So we hung out a few times and stayed friends until late last year. Dating her felt different than anything I have ever felt before. This was different from any relationship I had in the past. Love was building and by January it was full blown and both of us were captivated by it and each other. It was here where the first thoughts of making this and her a permanent part of my life.

The Plot Thickens.

We spent every weekend together. We were unapologetically in love. No matter what anyone said or thought we loved one another. We did have some challenges. She had doubts. I had hesitations. Together we had resolve. We also had no intentions of letting either of those prevent my story and her story from becoming our story. One January afternoon, after a trip and during one of Tyffani’s doubting moments, I watched her as she napped and thought “God, I want to Marry her”.  With that I worked to be a better man. The thoughts of marriage and proposals came to flood my mind but I knew that we were not there or ready yet. I needed to improve myself and character. We laughed and loved and fought and partied. We hosted family gatherings and Special events. We went on trips to plenty of places Charleston South Carolina, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Florida, Virginia and others. We were trapped in love. I didn’t want to escape.

2-14 3

Charleston Waterfront

2-14 2

Toast in Charleston

Punta Cana 1

Punta Cana Fun

We are two silly Kernels on a cob

I have always known that when I wanted to propose I would want to do something in public and fun. I also try to have a bit of romance to me. So I knew that anything I did had to incorporate those two elements. I also knew that whatever proposal I had planned had to be significant to her. I had thought of several different public forums to actually do the proposal. Some of the ideas that came to me were karaoke or a flash mob dance. (As much as I try to deny it, I’m not a great singer or dancer.) In the end, neither of those felt right. Neither showed of my romantic aptitude. I used to write very often. I used to perform open mic poetry on stage at a few places. I shared with Tyffani that I had written poetry before. She had asked me to write something for her. I had written something small and quick for her.  That was the end of it until I thought about a new poem I wanted to write for her….

Tyff

Stop This World from Spinning!

The poem idea came after watching other proposals and thinking about what exactly that moment is for a man. I, also being a huge thrill seeker and having a love for flying or soaring, swinging, gliding through the sky thought about that moment before you jump from a plane or base jump site or even the pendulum drop at an amusement park. That moment being a beautiful and terrifying moment. You making the decision to let go and or leap into the sky and not know whether you will crash or if you will be caught or if you will fall or fly. “It has to be a wonderful and scary moment.” I thought to myself. So I decided to write the poem as a metaphor.

“In order to feel heaven I have to touch the sky!”

Once I decided that I wanted to do a poem the next thing to determine was how to deliver the poem. I knew an open mic was the way to go. I knew I would need to try to get family there so my original idea was to have her sister invite us to a quaint open mic poetry night at a spot. The plan was to progressively invite more family along with us, in what I would try to make in unsuspecting fashions. I would then to her surprise hop on stage after my name was called and perform.  I was prepared to reach out to old contacts to try to host an open mic if I couldn’t find one already being hosted during the period I would want to propose. The problem with that plan is that she would be suspicious if there was that much family at an event. So I needed a new plan.

The Ring

The Ring

It was at this point where I bought the ring. That was a challenge in and of itself. But immediately after I had purchased the ring I began having a bit of second thoughts and worries of if I was doing the right thing. Now anyone that knows me and has ridden in my car knows I have an unorthodox way of listening to music. I usually let my entire collection play. Usually this means going from an R&B song to a Pop song to a rap song to country or gospel or rock. Im told its hard to catch a mood in my music selection. But in the exact moment of my doubt I got Devine confirmation of my decision. The song Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran, which is special to us for a number of reasons, began playing. It was then followed by Bruno Mars’ Marry You. 

Armed with this newfound confirmation and confidence, I went ahead started working on fine tuning my plan. (I don’t want to give all the details before you see for yourself below) I found the perfect event which was another confirmation. This also gave me a date. The plan ended up working to where I could get all of our immediate family there and Tyffani not know it, as well as me surprise her with the proposal. Below is the Poem and the proposal both and some photos of the day of the proposal. (So I actually was nervous and there was so much going on I forgot some lines.) Please Enjoy Share and comment. 

So there it is folks. That was the culmination of months of planning and different ideas. I knew I wanted to plan the event around October or November because this was the time when we started to have our relationship grow. We have a number of special moments in October and November. So once I purchased the ring I began looking for open mic events and then I found that the Blumenthal Performing Arts center was hosting an open mic at their Spirit Square McGlohon theater. The event was schedueled for October 30th 2015 and this fit within the time frame of when I wanted to propose. What really sold me was the size of the theater and the fact that they were encouraging performers and audience to wear costumes. I loved this fact because this allowed me to have our family all there to witness the event without Tyffani ever knowing they were there. This also allowed me to perform and for her to not know it was me until the point when I wanted her to know. This venue and event was perfect in every way that perfect could be.

Once I found the event and venue,  I called and advised them of my plan. They were very supportive and eager to help and assist me. They allowed me to come by and visit the venue and plan the proposal. They also offered much assistance and I thank all of them for their involvement before and day of. After the venue was secured I needed to coordinate with the family. So I gathered up everyone’s contact information and informed them of the news. I contacted her grandparents and asked for their blessings. I then had to gather the important people in our lives and make sure they were there to be a part of it. I invited my 3 sisters, My Mom, Tyffani’s Son, Mom, Sisters, grandparents and best friend. Her brother, unfortunately was not able to make it. There were also plenty of nieces and nephews there as well. I kept in secret email correspondence with all of them. It was a clandestine operation and I was the Jason Borne of wedding proposals I had deleted every evidence of it from my phone. Any pictures or text messages were instantly deleted. I used a secret email address. I even made the family members delete conversations from their phones. No one was allowed to text me about it unless I text them first. I went so far as to throw her off the scent by downplaying my readiness to marry her. I even lied to her face and flat out told her there were many things for us to work on to get there. I annoyed her and acted disinterested in her discussions. every word out of my mouth was carefully vetted before they left my mouth, like soldiers off to do battle. I was determined for this to be a complete surprise to her.

My next task was to perfect the poem. As I mentioned earlier the theme was a metaphor of The Most Beautiful and Terrifying moment but I needed to make sure it was special to us and related to our relationship. There was a moment where it all fit together. Back when Tyffani and I were dating and beginning to get serious in our relationship and wondering about the next steps, we were both hesitant for our own reasons. We had both been through a lot and as I mentioned Tyffani was already trying to push me away for the longest time. She was afraid of us failing, of being hurt and losing out on our friendship. She used a metaphor of her being on the ledge and worried about taking the step off. She was scared of falling. She didn’t want to jump she felt she had no parachute and she was right. She wanted to stay safe and comfortable on the ledge and then the words of the thought she was terrified of seemed to escaped the prison of her lips dying for freedom.

“What if I stepped out off the ledge”

Without a hesitation I responded with

“I’ll catch you”

This was it. This was the moment from our relationship that married my poem with our love. I had to make this the signature.

Now that that was all in place I just had to wait until the day of event. Leading up to the day I was not nervous at all. I had to remain calm to make sure I had all bases covered. The plan was to have her sister invite her to the open mic event. I would be invited as well but I would decline and state that I had to work and instead would watch their children. I meanwhile, on the day of the event would get all of our family in the theater early seated and in costume so that she wouldn’t recognize them or me. I also invited a friend of mine whom Tyffani did not ever meet in person but also in mask. Her purpose was to help get Tyffani and her sisters to their designated reserved seats in the front row. She was also responsible for taking video from my phone during the performance and proposal. I chose her to do this because I figured Tyffani would be suspicious if her sisters started recording my performance. (They recorded anyway lol.) I also was supposed to have a camera on stage with me to film Tyffani’s reaction to the performance. I unfortunately in all of my day of excitement did not realize that I had not charged my camera battery. If I have one regret of the proposal it would be that I did not have that done.

On the day of, I was a robot. I had worked the night before from 9:00 pm to 7:00 am. At around 7:30 am before Tyffani left for work I fell asleep as I would normally do. I then woke up about 10:30 and began preparing. I had to prepare my poem. I would then go to my barber to get my haircut. Next I would have to be at Tyffani’s house to pick up the children and get them and myself dressed. All the while throughout the day taking and making calls to be sure everyone was going to be in place on time and to make sure everyone had all of the details. I didn’t even eat until about 5:00 pm. At 5:00 I met up with Tyffani’s grandparents and my mom and Tyffani’s best friend and headed to the theatre where my sisters and everyone else would meet with the exception of Tyffani and her two sisters. Their job was to take Tyffani out to a bar for drinks and snacks and stall her prior to, in order to make sure that everyone else was settled in first.  When we all met I gave the family the final details. I advised them when I was set to perform and informed them of the audible cue in my poem. The audible cue was the phrase “Cloud 9”. When they heard this they were to get up from their seats in the back of the theater and travel down to the front in view of Tyffani. I wanted her to know that her family was there to support her and share this special moment with her. That cue gave me enough time to also make my own reveal.

At the time of the doors opening I got everyone in. I was in full on dictator mode. I began barking out orders and demanding compliance. Once everyone was settled in and had their masks on. I put on my own mask. and waited in the lobby for the guest of honor. Once I spotted her I signaled my friend who then signaled the hostess to seat them. I walked away before being noticed and sat down in the back. I waited and watched other performers and then my name was called. All of a sudden all of the nervousness that should have been spread out over weeks came and hit me at once. I wasn’t worried that she would say no, not in the least. I worked so hard to make everything perfect. I wanted it to play out just how I imagined it. This moment was a culmination of so much planning and care and precision tactics. I did not want to mess up. I even had an iPod with my poem ready to go in my ear in case the nerves took over my memory. I then stepped on stage.

In that moment looking down at her barely visible through my mask…. I felt as if I WAS on top of a building about to jump… My metaphor poem was manifesting itself in that moment. I truly was feeling The Most Beautiful and Terrifying Moment. I press play on the iPod, and then what felt like disaster… the poem was already 3 lines in. I paused for a moment and just started speaking from the beginning. My pacing was a little faster than I had wanted because I was trying to catch up. I even skipped a line. I was also trying to disguise my voice. In an instant I settled myself down and thought of the hundred times I had listened to and recited the poem and calmed myself. I got through to the moment where it was time to reveal my face. ALL BETS WERE OFF. I knew the words but it was hard trying to force them out. They were there but hard to see through all of the emotions and litany of other things going on.  They were mere the gnats in a room full of giants. And then for the first time since 7:00 am that morning I could see her clearly. She was there never taking her really moist eyes off of me. I could hear her tears. I would hear the crying and sniffles of most of the family and then the wave hit me. I couldn’t think and it took all of my brain to hold back my own tears to finish the poem. To Ask The Question… I speak and I know its not how I had written it down but I don’t care. I reach for the ring, I kneel… I speak still knowing that it wasn’t exactly how it was written but still not caring… I wanted to get to that moment. The question was burning a fire in its cell to be released from my lips. She’s shaking her head and answering before I could even get it out. And then FREEDOM. I lept. We met in the air and now we are flying and ready to soar!

Here is the full poem for those that would like to read it:

The Most Beautiful and Terrifying Moment by Xavion Newkirk

Have you ever been high? I mean at the top of the world and looking down from the sky type high. Your breath is lighter than helium gas, your heart is a revving like a Nascar engine waiting on the green flag. Your apprehensive mind filled with second thoughts and hesitations. “What happens next?” written on your face with the ink of anxious anticipation. What ifs and speculations. But no, Now is not the time for regrets though…. You look down close your eyes and then let go. And you see and THERE is the moment. That wonderful, most beautiful and terrifying moment. The one where you take control of your fear an own it. When you let go and adorn the sky. See some fear the fall… but Me! Listen… I was born to fly… In that beautiful terrifying moment there’s a feeling of peace replacing my cares. I mean I literally get high on facing my fears. They say everyone has two choices when faced with peril right. Fight or Flight… Well ironically my fight is my flight. I’ll look for the tallest and most terrifying roller coaster sight. Get on wait for it to climb to its highest height. To feel that beautiful scary moment start when it stops. To feel my stomach in knots when it drops. I’ll raise my arms and throw my hands up to fly. I do this because in order to feel heaven I have to touch the sky. That’s why I’ll never stop trying I’m obsessed. It’s no wonder my church is called Elevation and my favorite team is The Jets. I look down and stand above the crowd. Some may say I have my head in the clouds. Well How else do you expect me to elevate my mind? So I will fly, soar, glide levitate and climb. Everyone wants to be at the top. No one wants to fall. I live for the moment. Others don’t want it at all. When you’re there with the bungee cord attached to your legs.That moment Standing on the edge looking down working up the courage to leap from your ledge. I know stepping off isn’t going to be easy In that beautiful scary moment the fear frees me. When I’m up there looking down but I have no plans to touch the ground. I want to touch the sky. If I stepped off will I fall or will I fly. That moment is where I am now … See you have me at the top of the world. You have me on cloud 9. With you I feel high even in my down time. But staying in one place isn’t how I’m made. Not too long ago you were in this moment on the ledge and afraid. There’s a reason it’s called falling in love. You’ll never find out if you keep it safe. I told you I’d catch you if you just took that leap of faith. Now it’s my turn to make that leap out into the sky. It’s a beautiful scary moment. Will I fall or will I fly? And if I fall for you all over again will you be catching me? Because see The most beautiful terrifying moment is asking…

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Finding Heroes

With all the superhero/comic book casting news that has been made recently, there has been quite a bit of excitement and skepticism and complaints. There have been the castings that have been absolutely can’t miss with Ryan Reynolds returning to put the mouth to the Merc with a Mouth in a feature length dead pool movie. There are castings that seem pretty solid and potentially great with Benedict Cumberbatch portraying the live action version of Dr. Strange. There are those with mixed reviews with The Cast of Warner Bros/DC Comics Suicide Squad. I think the casting is pretty solid. I’m not sold on Will Smith as DeadShot but I like the idea of the other actors Leto as The Joker and Hardy as Rick Flagg. Marvel has also cast their stars for Netflix series with Mike Colter as Luke Cage and Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones. Then you have the WTF castings like Ezra Miller as the Flash. Now Im not disappointed by the Ezra Miller casting because he’s gay or a bad actor. I just truly don’t think he fits the character. Although I don’t know which version of the Flash they are going with since there are 4 characters with extensive stints as the Flash. I just feel they should go Barry Allen, although my favorite and the one I grew up with was Wally West. Ezra Miller doesnt look anything like the Barry Allen in the comics. To be fair neither does Grant Gustin, who plays the character on TVs “The Flash”.

With all of the commotion about castings and more and more superhero movies being made, I figured I’d share a few thoughts and do my own castings. So in the inevitable battle that always comes up when talking about comics I will give quick opinion of DC vs Marvel. I have to say I have loved Marvels castings for their Cinematic Universe. I have always been more of a DC fan over Marvel, although I love both. To be fair I blame Warner Brothers more than DC. Marvel has its own studios to do their movies while DC has parent company WB doing theirs. So WB is not as focused on comic book fandom or History while Marvel Studios is very well rooted in it. WB is trying too hard to do “out of the box” and sort of eclectic casting. Its okay but sometimes the reasons we get so excited for these movie is because we have read and seen these characters for years and dreamed of seeing them in live action and how they would look and move in the genre and to change that can kind of give a disconnect. It feels as if we will still be waiting to see these characters.

So far I have been disappointed in the casting of my favorite Superhero team. “The Justice League” (Sorry Avengers). I love the Justice League. Batman and the Flash and Green Lantern. I have been waiting for the live action realization of these heroes since I was a child. While I will have to live with someone else’s vision for now. I can still imagine how I would have loved to have seen it look. So I will share my casting thoughts on this post. I will also share what would have been my story for the Batman Superman Team up and on into a shared DC universe in future posts.  So without further ado… I present to you…

Justice_League_of_America_Vol_3_logoJustice League

 

BATMAN-KARL URBAN:

The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight

I know everyone was probably expecting Superman up first but I went the Dark Knight first BECAUSE HE’S BATMAN! Now I loved the Nolan Trilogy and loved Christian Bale. But When they decided to end the franchise and not link it to a shared universe, I conceded that it was right as Nolan’s world didn’t fit with a Justice league. So I thought my next choice would be Karl Urban. I think Urban is a pretty good actor and he can play the tough, no nonsense and terrifying characteristics of Batman. Hell the movie “Dredd” might as well had been an audition tape for Batman. He can also pull off the charming and playboy characteristics of Bruce Wayne. I think he would have made the perfect Batman for the shared universe. I hate the idea of Batfleck when first announced and Im still not warm and fuzzy about it. I think Affleck can do a good Bruce Wayne but Im not sold on The Dark Knight.

SUPERMAN-HENRY CAVILL:

The Man of Steel

The Man of Steel

I actually liked Cavill as Superman. The movie had its issues but I thought Cavill fit the role. I would loosen up the hair a bit but other than that visual he looked like Superman. I like that he was in a fit and ripped shape. He also had that charm of a boy scout mixed with trying to balance out the strength of a god. I would keep him in the role. Now we didn’t get to see much of his mild mannered Clumsy Kent side but I think he’s earned the role.

WONDER WOMAN-GEMMA ARTERTON: 

The Amazon Princess.

The Amazon Princess

One of the first things I think Wonder Woman has to be, is undoubtedly beautiful. She also has to look like someone that is tough and can take on the world. I think Gemma is both of those. She is gorgeous and has a history of playing tough “woman of action” characters as seen in Prince of Persia and Hansel and Gretel. She is only 5’7″ and I think ideally that Wonder Woman is taller but thats an easy fix. She also looks of a more solid build than Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman is also Princess and she will need someone that can bring that regalness to her. Gemma’s role in Clash of the Titans was good enough to sell me on her abilities there.

MARTIAN MANHUNTER-DJIMON HOUNSOU:

The Alien Atlas

The Alien Atlas

J’onn J’onzz AKA The Martian Manhunter. I think its just wrong to have a Justice League movie without him. He was a founding member and has always been at the center of the team. He is the heart of the league. You need an actor with range. You need an actor that can appear opposing and intimidating but have that soft heart. Hounsou has been around the acting block and played heroes and villains alike. He has had dramatic turns in Amistad and done action. He has shown he can be the warrior in movies like Gladiator and the Mentor/voice of reason in Never Back Down.

GREEN LANTERN – RYAN REYNOLDS:

The Emerald Knight

The Emerald Knight

Now I know almost everyone if not everyone hated the Green Lantern movie. And to be honest there was a lot to hate. BUT Ryan Reynolds was not one of them. Hal Jordan was always meant to be the cocky, brash Flyboy. Ryan Reynolds plays that role in his sleep. He’s a mix of goofball and dedicated worker. Ryan Reynolds has had plenty of Action and superhero experience. He can do the Hal Jordan wit and the Green Lantern Space Cop. I thought he deserved another chance at Green Lantern with a better script and better production.

FLASH-KELLAN LUTZ:

The Fastest Man Alive

The Fastest Man Alive

So this is one of my favorite castings. The Flash is one of my favorite heroes. I decided to go with a Barry Allen version of the Flash. I originally wanted to always do a Wally West Flash movie, but with DC bringing back Barry Allen and his buddy Hal Jordan being a member of the team I decided Barry was the way to go. I picked Kellan because not only does he look the part of The Flash(No disrespect Grant Gustin) … He can capture that personality. He has that solid exterior. He can play that fast paced hurried/hyper personality The Flash has with a bit of stoicism as well. He has the comedy and adventurous personality as seen in Twilight Movies. He’s also been more involved in Action lately with The Expendables and Hercules. Also how awesome would the comic relief be in the Bro moments with with Ryan and Kellan playing Hal and Barry? Cant you just imagine all the funny exchanges between them?

HAWKWOMAN-JESSICA CHASTAIN:

The Crimefighter of Thanagar

The Crimefighter of Thanagar

I was torn I wanted to add another woman to my team and thought about adding founding member Black Canary to the list but Ultimately went with Hawkwoman. Hawkwoman is a strong female Character. She’s tough and authoritative with being a cop from another planet. I think Jessica fits the bill of looking the part and has the acting chops to pull it off. She was great in Zero Dark Thirty and The Debt. Im a huge fan of hers.

CYBORG-MICHEAL B JORDAN:

The Robotman

The Robotman

Cyborg after the New 52 reboot in the comics is now a founding member of the Justice League. I like the character and its nice to bring some “color” into the fold. I think I needed an actor that was young and could help give Cyborg that heart and the man trapped in Cybernetics but making the most of it feeling. Michael is a young actor that has been acting for a while but is just now starting to blow up. He’s fresh off an academy award nomination and has played various characters. Come to find out after I had already put this list together, he has already played Cyborg. So he has experience there. He’s playing the Human Torch in the new Fantastic Four and he’s also played a young kid with powers thrust upon him in Chronicle. All of this leads me to believe he’d be perfect for the role.

AQUAMAN-CHARLIE HUNNAM:IMG_0665

This was the pick I was least confident about. I wasn’t sure if Charlie was a great fit for this role but I would give him the chance. It would be departure from his character Jackson Teller slightly. Aquaman has to be this regal sort of “above it all” personality. I think Hunnam has the chops to pull it off. He has the look I think he is someone that could hold his own vs the likes of a Batman or Superman. My original actor I think would be great actually plays another Hero. I think Chris Hemsworth would be my first choice for this role but You cant have Thor play Aquaman.

 

So that would be my Justice League. I think this cast would bring the best to each of their Characters and I thought about cohesiveness between the characters. I think these actors could mesh well and build the relationships needed to carry the film.  I will cast some villains in later posts as well as give my ideas for building the DC cinematic Universe. Let me know what you all think.

 

 

X-Man Talks X-Men (Warning!! Spoilers!!)

So it has been almost a week since X-MEN: Days of Future Past has been released. I figured I’d give my opinion or thoughts on the movie. So here comes the The Xavion factor on the latest X-Men Movie. I first want to say that I enjoyed the movie because the following may give some the impression that I didn’t. I enjoyed the movie as a stand alone movie based solely on movie making merits. With that said, I did have my issues with the movie as: An X-Men movie, a movie in the current series/cinematic universe and a superhero movie.

I’ll start with the last one. I consider this a comic book movie but not really a superhero movie. For me a superhero movie should be fun and flashy and showcase amazing uses of abilities, stretching, learning and growing with those abilities. Probably most importantly doing superheroish things. Superhero movies are fun. I think I’d consider the first X-Men the closest to a super hero movie. Even the dreaded X-3 was fun. I actually enjoyed the battle at the end when Wolverine led the X-Men into battle against Magneto. I just love seeing a superhero team come together and into a lineup to fight against an an enemy. My favorite scene from that movie was that scene when they all show up to protect Leech. X-Men:DOFP was exciting at parts and I think my favorite part was the use of quicksilver although I do think they made him a bit faster than he is in the comics.  Overall the movie felt more of a dramatic action film. The focus didn’t seem to be on fun but on message. This brings me to my next point.

As an X-Men movie, I just didn’t like the film. This film does a good job of pulling a story out of a plan to reboot the X-Men movie universe. The story was really good but did not really fit with X-Men mythos. The movie was more of a spinoff than an X-Men movie. The makers decided to make the film focus on the new age stars of Jackman, McAvoy, Fassbender, and Lawrence. This was less of an X-Men movie and more of a Them movie guest starring the X-Men in cameos. We all understand that Wolverine is the most popular of all X-Men. The entire series has felt like a Wolverine series with the exception of First Class. He was a main focal point which led to deficiencies in character development of the other X-Men. Cyclops was under developed as a leader and his importance to the team (Did anyone even mourn him in X-3?). Jean Grey’s story and background seemed rushed. Rouge was forgettable and not very charismatic. Storm wasn’t played up to potential in the sheer magnitude of the character. Storm is an extremely powerful mutant. There were several fan favorites that only made brief appearances and were either poorly done not nearly enough was done with what they had. There’s also the deviations from source material. Where the hell does Shadow cat get the ability of sending someones mind back in time? Not only is this an ability created for this movie but it is never explained how she does this or where it came from. I would think that would be an ability the most powerful telepath on the planet would have. It would have made more sense for Xavier to have had this ability. I suppose that the creators wanted to give a nod to the original story line by making Shadowcat integral to the Days of Future past story. It was poorly done though. Also going back through the whole franchise there were instances that strayed. From the costume design to the description of Phoenix being a dissociative identity of Jean Grey’s mind instead of a separate entity. Also the fact that several Character relationships are never mentioned or explored. Some of them even make it unlikely or complete disagreement with comic. I hated that Havoc, the YOUNGER brother of Cyclops was an original X-Men member and Cyclops wasn’t. Other relationships never mentioned or hinted at; Mystique and Rouge, Mystique and NightCrawler, Xavier and Juggernaut, Magneto and Quiksilver were only slightly hinted at.  Ever since I was young I have enjoyed the parallels or down right symbolism of X-Men and the Civil rights movement. Professor X paralleling with Martin Luther King and Magneto with Malcolm X. It was so cool to me the day I linked it in my mind as a kid in elementary school.  The entire series played well on that with them up until this movie. This movie kind of felt less of a battle between ideologies and more of you hurt me and took away my friends difference between the two. The rift seems to have felt to have been caused by Mystique rather than the way to handle mutants in the world or even (YOU PARALYZED ME!!). Also beast cures paralysis but only by taking away Xaviers powers? I think there could have been some permanent cure for that developed at some point.

In connecting this movie to the series as a whole, I feel the development team came up short. Sure it was linked back to all the other movies but the whole time I was watching it just felt as if it was separated from everything except First Class.  This was mostly due to unexplained plot holes and character changes. The first of which I already mentioned being Kitty’s new powers. Then there’s the fact that Wolverine Miraculously has his adamantium claws back when at the end of  The Wolverine they were removed from him. Professor X being back in his body (There was a scene in X-3 that suggested that he transferred his consciousness into another body.). Then there is the whole Wolverine/Striker relationship That this movie went on to reference but not really make it seem like it was the same William Striker. Also if Mystique was captured and her DNA was used to create these sentinels that we see in the future. When did she get released? And why does she seem like a completely different character? Then there’s toad who’s character doesn’t fit with the toad from the first X-Men. The there’s the case of the Black Trask from X3 vs The Dwarf Trask from this movie. Many of these Plot holes can have been easily acknowledged with a simple line or 2 but they complete forgo it and say deal with it. All it makes me think is that this is a stand alone movie just focusing on rebooting an Xmen franchise. One that I’m not sure can come up with a compelling enough story to continue. Honestly, It is Okay to make an X-Men film without Magneto. The end of every X-Men film outside of the Wolverine movies ends with The X-Men fighting Magneto. 3 of the 5 of them had him working with them up until the final act. The end of DOFP shows them basically resetting the X-Men franchise, restoring Professor X, Jean Grey and Cyclops. This doesn’t tell how the changes in the past affect this but throws it in there anyway.

In all, as I said I enjoyed the movie but strictly as and action/sci-fi/drama. Making it fit in with the X-Men comics or even the past movies required too much. It’s like the creators basically said “Here! You make up your own parts of the movie to go with what we give you because we don’t feel like filling in holes. “. Then “Look at this great new crop of actors that we have here and focus on them and forget about the 3 plus movies worth of characters you invested in. but we will throw them in just for novelty sake.”  I rather them have done a clean reboot like Spider-Man but I suppose this will work as well. We will see how Apocalypse comes about. If they ignore almost everything from the past of the franchise it can be great. I think there should be another movie in between or at least a 2 part to Apocalypse.  The first part should feature Xavier recruiting the original X-Men (Cyclops, Jean, Storm, Beast, Angel, etc.). They should face off against a disciple like Mr. Sinister as hes preparing for Apocalypse(Maybe even throw Cable in there). This way they can build up interest and develop these characters in a better way than they did with the first 3 movies. Then the next Movie should show the coming of Apocalypse. Let’s make that the epic X-Men/Superhero movie we have been waiting for.

Yes, That's  Jim Lee X-Men art

Yes, That’s Jim Lee X-Men art

 

The Dark Knight Returns

So almost everyone knows how much I love comics and superheroes and geek culture altogether. Most people know that I love Batman and think he’s the best hero in comics. I have always been a DC fan over a Marvel fan but I love both of them. I had been really excited about Marvels Cinematic Universe that they had created. It was something that I had always looked forward to when I was a young kid reading comics. A movie universe where multiple superheroes could meet and interact with each other and team up to take out great and many villains. It was dream come true when Marvel created this. Its one of the reasons I loved Avengers so much it was a culmination and realization of childhood fantasy. After… All I had wanted was for DC  and my favorite superheroes to have their chance and their own cinematic universe.

When the Man of Steel came about, I had hoped it would begin that process. I was hoping there would be a post credits scene showing Batman in his cave watching the destruction of Metropolis. They could have easily done just a shot from behind and didn’t need to have an actor signed for the role.  Now, I had my issues with Man of Steel. I didn’t care much for the way parts of the story played out. I thought the fact that Lois figuring out who Superman was was tasteless and takes away from future stories and great interaction between Clark and Lois. Also had a problem with The whole Johnathan Kent character. I love Henry Cavil as superman though. I think he fits the part well.  I did enjoy the movie though. It was fun and I thought a franchise would have potential.

Then came ComicCon and that changed the world… The Man of Steel Sequel would feature Batman. I FUCKING EXPLODED with excitement. This was what I had been waiting for. This was going to be the amazing and the most exciting superhero movie ever. I was so excited.. I even came up with an entire plot and synopsis for the movie. I was hoping that Chris Bale would come back but I was pretty sure it wouldn’t happen for a number of reasons. Chris Nolan’s batman didn’t really seem to fit in this Man of Steel Universe. Bale also had already discussed not returning to the character after as well. Also the way Nolans Trilogy ended it kind of left it alone to itself. So with Bale out we all Speculated on who would be next to don the cowl. I personally loved the idea of Karl Urban. I felt Dredd was a pretty good audition. Well few months later I took a shot to the heart. They made the announcement that they would be casting Ben Affleck as Batman. I don’t hate Affleck. I just really hate him for this role. It will be hard to suspend belief and accept him in this role because he is Ben Affleck. Also I’m not sure he’d be able to pull off the Batman badass that we know and love. Batman is a deeper character than we’ve seen in past and I think Nolan and Bale had come closest to getting him right. Although Burton’s was really good as well. So I had my reservations and I thought. It could still work with a great story. I think that Affleck if he was dedicated enough could be a surprise. But the casting already gave me worry about the direction of this franchise.

The next thing that bothered me was that they scheduled the movie for 2015 release. I just knew there was no way they could make this movie great and meet that timeline. I guess WB agreed and decided to push the movie back a year. Then it was announced that the working title was Batman vs Superman. I HATED it. I don’t want that to be the case at all. If they do go at it in the movie it should be a 5 minute petty fight scene. While they focus on a bigger threat at hand. (again I told you I had a whole story planned.) They next report that they had cast Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. I dont have a huge problem with this casting. I thought she was too much on the slimmer side and Im not sure how well her acting is having only seen her in the Fast 5. This bothered me because it again felt like they were rushing a Justice league movie into existence. The thing that worked so well for The Avengers was time. Almost every character had their own movie or significant time in another movie so that when they came together they can all share their screen time and their solo time on screen felt like enough. We got to know these characters as individuals and see them form a team and how the team fit each of them. WB seems to have ignored this part of the Success. We still barely know this Superman and then a bunch of Characters and personalities we know nothing about are about to join him.

That leads me to my next  casting choice. Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. I love Eisenberg. I think he’s a good actor and can play a number of roles. My problem with this casting is the direction of the character. They are making Lex a young street tough genius mogul. My whole thing is okay its pretty established LexCorp is huge in the first movie. You now have to explain this as what some young kid created a hit website  and became a mogul? Lex is supposed to be a super genius. He should have years of philanthropy and scientific breakthroughs under his belt something that actually makes him feel threatened by this alien. I just find it hard to believe that this young urban kid would hate someone like superman. Granted the first movie gave about $100 billion worth of reasons to hate him. It just seems weird they would go in that direction.

This brings me to the latest in the story. The Batman suit and Batmobile. Let me just say… I LOVE IT. This is the first thing that has gotten me excited again since they announced Batman was going to be in the movie. The suit gives it a comic book feel. It is obviously based on the costume from Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns”It gives the movie a Comic book feel. This Batman looks like he was ripped straight from the pages of a comic or graphic novel. With the muscle definition exaggeration and all. The Batmobile also takes on that feeling as well. I dont know what I was expecting prior to this photo but I definitely am not unhappy with this look at all. Now its feeling like Batman is in this fantastical world where men can fly Aliens do battle and a man can run faster than the speed of light.

I love the costume option. It is very Comic Book Inspired.

I love the costume option. It is very Comic Book Inspired.

 

This brings back some of the excitement I first had. I just hope for a great story. I hope they are true to character from the comics. The fact that this Batman hasn’t been in a movie before gives more importance to the need to  make him the Batman fans know and love. Batman is essential to the Justice League and he will need to be integral in this franchise for it to be successful. He will have to be the genius tactician. The no fear take no shit, stand up and put everyone else in their place Batman. He will have to be the master detective, master Martial artists insanely disciplined hero that makes the character so amazing. If they can get this right and follow suit with the other heroes this movie and franchise will surpass the Avengers. These characters are top of the rung and will always be so above the Marvel characters. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman. They are the first images of superheroes in peoples minds. Getting this right will make them successful.

 

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