Saturday, July 19, 2008

Night's Darkest Before The Dawn Rises

Just watched this Saturday afternoon, the sequel to the recent reboot of the Batman movie franchise, Batman Begins, titled Dark Knight and I was pretty much amazed and blown away by the story and visuals for this one. Batman/Bruce Wayne is reprised by Christian Bale, Alfred by Michael Caine, Lucius Fox by Morgan Freeman, Lt./Commisioner James "Jim" Gordon by Gary Oldman and Scarecrow by Cillian Murphy for a brief scene. Newcomers to this outing would be the late Heath Ledger as the main bad: Joker, Maggie Gyllenhaal replaces Katie Holmes for the role of Rachel Dawes, Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent/Two-Face.

[SPOILER MODE ON] The story for this installment picks up from what hinted from the end of the prior movie. The scene starts with a daylight bank robbery being executed by Joker's gang of expendables which becomes all too apparent in the course of the bank robbery's execution which leaves Joker as its only participant. The criminal empires of the Gotham Underworld are in turmoil since the recent disruption of the Falcone Crime Family in the previous movie. The recent spate of raids carried out by Lt. James Gordon have primarily targetted the lifeblood of their illicit enterprises, money aka liquid assets in banks. A foreign company steps in to help the crime families with their money woes by having their funds siphoned off to be relocated offshore. Said company also happens to be in negotiations with Wayne Enterprises as a partner decided to be partnered upon, which got cut short by Bruce's foresight. The Joker steps in when he offers his services in eliminating the one major obstacle in their plans, Batman. Joker was dismissed as a major crackpot not to be taken seriously, but Joker becomes a major player not to be dismissed no longer.
While the Gotham Underworld schemes, Gotham PD gets support with crusading District Attorny Harvey Dent who worked his way through GPD's Internal Affairs until his present station. He is also Rachel Dawes current boyfriend. Bruce has taken an interest on Rachel's current boyfriend in his millionaire/old friend as well as his caped crusader persona. Batman was also informed and offered info about extraditing the Chinese businessman who has stockpiled the funds of the crimelords away from the banks which were targetted by police raids and seizures. Batman goes to Hong Kong to extract the businessman with the use of a ultrasonic imaging cellphone, his mimetic flight cape and a couple of well-placed explosive, new bat-armor and the use of the Sky-hook manuever for exfil from the building. Cool sequences which was prolly changed from the initial plans of jumping into the water since the pollution levels were rather high and unsafe to do the stunt prior to the film's release. The movie goes further in with Joker's jockeying of position to gain the trust of the criminal underworld. The movie later approaches the dilemma Batman faces about continuing the fight or giving it up at the cost of the city's destruction if he still persists. Harvey Dent, in a twist, surrenders himself to authorities as claiming to be Batman. It laters leads to Harvey Dent being transferred to another facility which the transport he's on gets waylaid by Joker and his cronies. Batman gets into the scene as part of an elaborate plan which was modified from the getgo by Dent's surrender. The tumbler Batmobile gets catastrophically damaged and emerging from the wreckage like a phoenix reborn is the newly christened Bat-pod, a monster-wheeled motorcycle armed with high caliber machineguns and 40mm cannons. The Joker gets arrested but somehow manages to escape the jail by the use of electively creative surgery on one of his henchmen and a contingency plan in place involving his crime lord contacts. The contingency plan involves the abduction of Harvey Dent and Rachel Dawes to placed at different locations which timed detonators were rigged to drums of fuel filling the rooms they're in. Joker gives out the locations of where they are though who's at those locations were not mentioned. Outside critics mentioned that Joker deliberating lied as to who is at what location given how loyalties are divided on who to save first moreso the faster party to arrive there first, in this case Batman. It was this event where Harvey Dent suffered the disfiguring injury and subsequent mental anguish when Rachel Dawes dies in the explosion. Movie moves further on with Joker's gambit of creating chaos for Gotham City as well as ransoming hostages. This is the moment where Big Brother Bat comes into the picture. With the use of the cellphone network, Bats was able to rig all the cellphones to emit an ultrasonic pulse like the one used in his Hong Kong extradition mission. It gave him a massive ultrasonic picture of Gotham City. Lucius Fox was astounded by Batman's audacity to use the technology in such a scale and manner. Bruce allows him to protest and resign from his position after the crisis is over. This selfsame sonic pulse tech also gives a more visual homage to what was the sonar mod used in Schumacher's Batman and Robin which we have no visual of how it works. The sonic pulse tech was put to full cool effect in having Batman spot the tangos, hostages and the SWAT teams swarming the building at various points. After Batman sorts out the hostage situation while minimizing injuries to the SWAT teams, Batman was able to corner and collar the Joker. While Batman was busy with Joker, Harvey Dent now Two-Face has been busy tracking down suspected people connected to his disfigurement and loss of Rachel. Two-Face got down to kidnapping Commissioner Gordon's family as bait and collateral for Gordon's compliance. Batman was there in time to foil the act of vengeance enacted by Two-Face. The fallout of Harvey Dent's fall from grace would be extremely detrimental on Gotham's crusade against crime. The dilemma was taken upon by Batman for him to take the blame for a number of supposed charges to keep Harvey Dent's reputation intact and clean. This pretty much sets up how Batman becomes an outlaw in status as if to shift from the Campy Batman's ally to the Police to being a dark outlaw scorned by the authorities. A sacrifice Batman has to bear as hero. [SPOILER MODE OFF]

All in all, the movie was worth the wait and the hype. Hoping the next installment would be just a good a thrill ride as this one.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Your Personality Type: The Dreamy Idealist

Your Personality Type: The Dreamy Idealist

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Friday, July 04, 2008

A Most Unconventional Career Guide...

...which one you never thought of after reading it. Its the Adventures of Johnny Bunko which has its own website located here.

I picked it up in a bookstore about 2-3 weeks ago. It caught me eye on account of it being in manga format, which is an unconventional approach to the use dry and tried text in most career advice/counselling books. It basically distills the realities of the job flow and market. The wisdom derived from this book is summed up with these 6 lessons:

1. There is no plan.
2. Think strengths, not weaknesses
3. It's not about you.
4. Persistence trumps talent.
5. Make excellent mistakes.
6. Leave an imprint.

The presentation in the book is rather humorous in presentation and execution. I mean the 1st lesson alone would through off all the well laid career plans off kilter to one who followed their own set paths.

Of course, besides it applications in the career side of things, it would seem to be practical in other matters of life as well. The extent of it is not for me to determine.

Anyways, examine how these lessons would apply to your own life and path and the end result would be yours to steer through or towards.