The Dark Knight Rises Reviewed

I just got back from a family wedding weekend but I managed to sneak in a showing of The Dark Knight Rises while I was gone. I hesitated about writing this review because it seems so trivial in light of what has happened.

These massacres are beyond tragic. They show us the very worst and the very best of humanity. One deranged human being shot up a movie theatre but countless real life heroes were born that night. For every life lost, three more were saved by the brave actions of those around them.

In the grand scheme of things, no movie or fictional character could ever be as important as the stranger standing next to you in the grocery line. Life is fragile and precious and I ultimately decided to do an abbreviated review of the movie because it’s one of the lessons it tries to teach us at the end. That life and living is what is truly important. We can’t let the bad guys win but we can’t lose ourselves in that pursuit either.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8evyE9TuYk]

If you haven’t seen the movie yet this is the point where you should stop reading. I try really hard not to spoil anything but I don’t want to risk it without warning you first.

I used to have the biggest crush on Christian Bale when I was a kid. I was a Little Women fan and he played Laurie. I’m not gonna lie, I probably would have had a crush on whoever played Laurie. But it didn’t hurt that Bale was also in Empire of the Sun, Newsies and Swing Kids, some of my favorite movies when I was a youngin. People like to poke fun at the gravelly voice he uses at Batman and I’ll admit that it’s been a little hard to understand at times, but I truly believe that Bale has done right by Bruce Wayne and his tortured alter ego. We’ve learned from past films that not many people have the chops to pull it off. We get to see many sides of Bruce in this climactic end of the trilogy. Broken, curious, humorous, tortured, reluctant, triumphant, peaceful. He is all these and more. A totally evolved human being who has seen the best and the worst that life has to offer.

I’ve been a huge Tom Hardy fan since Star Trek: Nemesis when he portrayed Picard’s Romulan-raised clone. I think he’s brilliant and adorable. Even though I only got to see his unmasked face for about 2 seconds, I think that Christopher Nolan was smart to cast someone who could express Bane’s emotion through his eyes and mannerisms. A lesser actor would not have been able to pull off this role.  I guesstimate that they stayed true to about 50% of the comics in Bane’s back story, etc.  The Pena Dura prison was portrayed beautifully but his story was combined and mingled with another character for the film so I can see why it would be confusing to the layman/average moviegoer to see such a highly intelligent and superhumanly-strong character if you don’t have any knowledge of the comic books. Still, I thought Bane was well done. The costume/facial gear was intimidating and not cartoonish. His voice was better than I expected it to be, though I probably missed about 1/3 of what he said (can’t wait to watch it at home with the subtitles on).  The 30 lbs of weight Hardy put on made him virtually unrecognizable.  It had to have been a daunting prospect to follow Heath Ledger’s Joker as the main villain and I think that they succeeded admirably.

I go back and forth on Anne Hathaway. Sometimes I like her and sometimes I’m not impressed. She definitely brought some comic relief as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman. Her smooth, instantaneous transition from frightened maid to sly jewel thief was pretty brilliant. And I really dug how they never called her Catwoman but when she lifted her eye wear-glasses-goggle-thingies they gave the impression of cat ears. Having her masquerade as a cat at the charity ball was another nice touch.  The only thing that really bothered me about her getup was the stiletto heels. As gorgeous as they looked and despite their seemingly practical blades and obvious stabbing properties, no woman can run around in those shoes. I’m sorry, it’s just not going to happen. However, this is movieland and not real life so I’m willing to overlook the heels.

Gary Oldman is the shit. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of the best actors of my generation. Michael Caine broke my heart and then stitched it back up again. Marion Cotillard surprised even me. I love Matthew Modine because of Full Metal Jacket but I really wanted to punch him in the face until the epic cops-united scene. I just like to hear Morgan Freeman talk. He has the most amazing voice.

There were times when I was very much aware that I’d been sitting in a movie theatre for 3 hours but I must say that I was deeply satisfied by the ending. It felt like closure while still keeping the story open for future installments with different main players. Certain scenes were very moving because they showed groups of people coming together and demonstrating bravery and goodness despite their bleak and hopeless surroundings. I’m a sucker for those moments regardless but they were definitely made more poignant by the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado.

In Roman mythology, Aurora is the goddess of the dawn. She renews herself each morning and flies across the sky, announcing the arrival of the sun. She represents renewed hope and another chance at life. I’m not an overly religious person but I do believe in a higher power and I’ve been praying for those affected by the massacre. I pray that Aurora holds true to her name and that the residents there can find some hope in the aftermath of this horrendous tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are with them. Always.

4.5 out of 5 sci-fives

7 Guys Worth Nerdgasaming Over

Just replace the Tribble with one of these 7 delicious men and I’ll be a happy camper

My sister-in-law and I were at WonderCon on Friday and somehow we got on the topic of “Cheat Sheets.”

And no, I’m not talking about the school variety.

The “Cheat Sheet” I’m referring to is a list of people you’re allowed to get it on with and your significant other can’t hold it against you.  You both get one and the list is full of people you don’t even remotely stand a chance with.  For example, Robert Downey Jr. and Christian Bale are on my SIL’s list.  Isla Fisher and Gretchen Mole are on my brother’s list.  They are only allowed 5 each.

Now, I’ve written a number of articles about sexy women, the 2 most popular being 10 Hottest Babes of Sci-Fi and Maxim’s Hot 100 Lucky 13 but I have yet to write a post about nerd-worthy sexy men.  This kind of blows my mind. It also got me thinking about my own list and who would be on it.  I certainly know it when I see it if I’d hit it…but can I narrow it down to a list?

It’s was a difficult challenge but one that I was willing to accept.

Yeesh my job really sucks sometimes 😉

After much thought, meditation and Google image searching, I’ve put together my Cheat Sheet. I couldn’t narrow it down to 5 so I get 7.  Because I’m HNG and I say so.  So there.  Naturally everyone on my list fits nicely into the nerd ‘verse….cause that’s all I ever pay attention to anyways…ahem.  Sorry if you don’t bat for this team and it’s not your kind of list.  I’m an equal opportunity sexy list maker and I can’t (nay won’t!) neglect the fans who will appreciate this.

So without further ado, here’s my list in alphabetical order:

Orlando Bloom

I studied for my college finals every December for 3 years in a row while waiting in the 5+ hour line for opening day of the latest Lord of the Rings movie.  I graduated Cum Laude so I must have been doing something right.  The first time I saw Legolas on screen I was 100% convinced that I was going to marry him one day.  Then all the teeny boppers jumped on that bandwagon (especially once Pirates of the Caribbean came out) and it turned me off big time.  But still, I can’t help it.  I think he’s adorable.  Thankfully most of those teeny boppers have moved on to RPatz.  I used to see Orlando outside my work sometimes, once with Dominic Monaghan (and cue borderline creepy stalker pic) and my heart would still leap into my throat.  So he stays on the list.

Nathan Fillion

Does this one really need an explanation?  I didn’t think so.  But I’ll give one anyway.  Actually, I wrote a whole blog about it back when HNG was brand spankin’ new and I stand by it.  But aside from the fact that he’s Malcolm Reynolds, Captain Hammer, Richard Castle, The Holy Avenger, etc etc etc…Nathan himself has an amazing sense of humor.  I don’t pay much attention to my Twitter account (although I probably should) but every once in a while I go on and just read back through his tweets for fun.  I’m often told that I look like Stana Katic, Nathan’s source of sexual tension on Castle.  I disagree about the physical similarities but I would gladly trade places with her and experience some of that sexual tension for myself. ….please….?

Tom Hardy

Five of the men on this list are foreigners with deliciously sexy foreign accents.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m as proud an American as they come, but GD I love a good accent.  There’s a scene in This Means War when Reese Witherspoon meets Tom Hardy for the first time and she asks him to say something again because it sounds so awesome.  I could not have said it better myself.  Tom Hardy first came to my attention as the Captain Picard clone in Star Trek: Nemesis.  I went to see it on opening day with about ten guy friends.  About five minutes into the movie I started crying (because I’m a movie psychic and I’d already figured out what would happen to Data) much to the horror of every guy I was with.   I will never forget the moment when the friend next to me asked me if I was ok and I looked over and saw ten grown men staring at me like I had tentacles sprouting from my face.  It was HI-larious.  But I digress.  The other thing that stood out was Tom.  He’s been charming me ever since, crooked teeth and all. Seriously, he was my very favorite character in InceptionI think I’m the only person on the planet that isn’t looking forward to seeing him as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises.  I know he’s going to be brilliant but the thought of him like that just makes me cringe.  But I’ll still watch it.  Over and over and over again.

Chris Hemsworth

If you’ve been following the blog for a while this will come as no surprise.  If you are a newbie, allow me to explain.  I’m a big Thor fan. 1. He’s my favorite comic book character and 2. I’m a ridiculously proud Scandinavian who grew up listening to stories about Odin and Asgard while we made lefse and sauerkraut.  The first time I remember seeing Thor on a movie screen was when Vincent D’Onofrio reluctantly accepted the title in Adventures in Babysitting, one of my very favorite movies of all time. So I had very high hopes for whoever Kenneth Branaugh cast in his Avengers set up.  I wasn’t sure what to think about Chris Hemsworth at first.  I remembered him being Kirk’s daddy in the latest Star Trek and I thought he was mighty cute but not big enough to be the God of Thunder.  Then he took his shirt off and I had a conniption fit.  OMFG.  Seriously Chris, you just have to say the word and it is on like Donkey Kong.

James McAvoy

I think my attraction to James mostly has to do with his Scottish accent.  And his eyes.  And the fact that he’s a brilliant actor.  And his eyes.  And his accent.  All of which I discussed in my review of X-Men: First Class. But aside from all that, he’s uber talented.  Mr. Tumnus is one of those literary characters that is beloved by fans of The Chronicles of Narnia and James did good by our favorite faun.  Plus, he rocks the Jane Austin-type stuff and you know us girls eat that shit right up.

David Tennant

Another choice that needs no explanation.  Easily the sexiest of all the Doctor incarnations, his 3 series and 8 specials are the most popular and well-loved of the long running Doctor Who BBC show.  Then he had to go and seal the deal with Harry Potter and Fright Night, forcing me to adore him forever.  His face is so malleable, he can twist and turn it in countless ways.  But when he just stop and smiles, your heart melts.  David, I am so sorry (see what I did there?), but I just can’t quit you.

Michael Trucco

Now, my brother’s name is Michael and normally I’m totally weirded out by the thought of banging someone with the same name as someone I’m related to but in this case I will totally make an exception.  I fell head over heels in love with Anders the second he showed up on Battlestar Galactica.  Lee who?  Seriously, I wanted to punch Starbuck in the face for the way she treated him.  Even the fact that he was a Cylon could not diminish my love.  It sucked when he went all vegetable and yet I would still probably hit that.  I’m a little grossed out by myself right now but damn, that is a fine ass man.  He also had memorable guest spots on Big Bang Theory and Castle (where my celebrity look alike got to have a nice little love triangle with TWO of the people on my list.  Bitch.)

Runners Up:

Richard Madden – Game of Thrones

Kit Harington – Game of Thrones

Chris O’Donnell – Batman Forever (but never ever ever Batman & Robin *shudder*)

Patrick Stewart – Star Trek: The Next Generation, X-Men

Henry Cavill – The Tudors, Immortals, Man of Steel

Jamie Dornan – Once Upon A Time

Jason Mamoa – Conan the Barbarian, Game of Thrones, Stargate: Atlantis

Ben BrowderFarscape, Stargate SG1, upcoming Doctor Who episode

Alexander Skarsgard – True Blood

Ryan Kwanten – True Blood

Joe ManganielloTrue Blood

Tristan MacManus – Dancing with the Stars (I know, totally random, right? But I’m a theatre/dance nerd too and he’s frakking adorable)