The ongoing prattlings of a lifelong geek and his random luck with love, work, children and rediscovering himself.


Movie: Superman Returns

(aka "Superman III v2.0")

[[[ SPOILER ALERT ]]]   Might as well get that out of the way now.

I'll start with a "rating" of sorts:   I give this movie "4 out of 5 stars". It's a fun movie, with a lot of great special effects, with a decent storyline (not stellar).

Now, on with the nitpicking.

Number one: Superman has a son. This just drips with WRONG-NESS. I mean, there is no explanation, there is no discussion with how Lois Lane ever got pregnant. Those who know that this movie is an "almost sequel" to Superman II (and that Superman III and IV never happened now) will remember that Kal-El and Lois are intimate when he gives up his power to be human. Then, he regains his power to battle General Zod and company. So "obviously", this must be how she got pregnant. As well, the fact that he used "Krypton oogie boogie" to make her FORGET about Clark being Superman must ALSO be part of the equation. But, there is no mention of Lois' long term fiance not being the biological father, and frankly, I'm mystified why this was done. I think it was a DUMB move and took away from the movie and leaves open some horrible storylines if they choose to continue the new series-arc. At the very least, there should have been a brief moment with Lois and Superman discussing this and, perhaps, him restoring her memories (yes, even of the knowledge that he is also Clark Kent). THAT would have made it ALMOST PERFECT, but someone dropped the ball in a major way.

Now that that's done:

I'm glad to see they did not get Kal-El new or modified powers. I was unhappy, however, with the blatant regurgitated quotes and obvious mechanisms from the original Richard Donner Superman movies. Lex quoting things from the first two movies. Lex having a female counterpart who was literally a modernized version of Ms. Teschmacher (whiny about Supes getting hurt, fawning over Supes, treating Lex like he's her husband of 20 years, ad nauseum).

I thought the advertising and in-movie references to Superman as the equivelent of Jesus from the bible to be borderline sacrilege. So much so that I'd be willing to bet good Baptist preachers around the US will be telling people that this is now what their kids need to be seeing, equating a movie actor to Jesus, etc... (and for the most part, they'd be right).

I felt Lex's sojourn into the Fortress of Solitude was also poorly done. He truly acted as if, though he'd been there before, he had no useful knowledge of the fortress in general. This was probably a creative decision by Brian Singer for some stupid reason unknown to me.

Now, despite all my negativity, I did enjoy the movie! I though the new actor playing Superman did an above average job. I was a little disturbed by one part of his "Clark Kent" disguise -- his EYES. When you see the movie, watch his eyes when he's Clark and when he's Supes. His eyeballs get HUGE and almost come out of their sockets at some points!! It's actually comical.

The basic storyline was very good -- taking the original Lex's obsession with real estate to a new level.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie. I just had a hard time swallowing that they were taking so much creative license versus the original two movies that this is supposedly a "modernized sequel" to. It's certainly better than a Richard Pryor movie (*cough* Superman III *cough*)...

Go see it. It's a lot of fun, and I found nothing I would need to hide from even a little kid.

Things to look forward to: The beginning sequence of Kal-El's trip to where Krypton used to be (what drew him away from Earth in the first place, which in the MOVIE is reduced to a one-screen three-sentence quote).

Superman is back!!


MOVIE: The Lake House

I was this movie alone one evening. It interested me since it had a slight "mystic" or "scifi" twist to it (the fact that two people were separated by exactly two years). It was very well executed, and I may go see it again with my daughters (I don't think my sons would care about it). It's not an emotional rollercoaster (more of an emotional tea cups ride, perhaps) and I'm sure it's not going to win any awards, but it was definitely a good movie to let your emotions be free for a couple hours and wonder "what would you do" if the person you loved was so close, yet so far away.

THEATER: Jesus Christ Superstar (Seaside Music Theater)

This production marks Seaside's 30th year and it's first season at the new News-Journal Center in Daytona Beach, located right on the Halifax River.

My kids and I took my parents to see this production as an Anniversary/Father's Day gift. It was worth it!

Ignoring any religious concerns, I sat and took in the production openly. I had only seen pieces of the video production many years ago, so I was basically seeing this for the first time.

The visuals were good, though I found the excess framework onstage that allowed lighting personnel (in robes) to get above everyone very obtrusive. I'm quite positive it shouldn't have been necessary to have so much excess non-production-appropriate hardware all over the stage. This stood out like a sore thumb throughout the production.

Once I got past that and concentrated on the performances, though, I definitely enjoyed the show. The actual play itself had some odd pieces that were not clear (I believe that it assumed everyone know some basic facts about Jesus' life from the bible, instead of explaining things to those who would have no clue) but when taken in the context of "this would have been Jesus' life if he'd existed in the seventies", it rang true in many ways. I'm sure this production over the years has earned the scorn of most religious leaders. In truth, it seemed to me that this should have been titled "Judas Iscariot Betrays The Savior" given the fact that Judas appeared (to me) to be the true star of the show.

From a religious perspective, I thought the portrayal of Mary Magdalene was actually VERY good, especially once her song was performed. Being a "woman of the night", trying to show Jesus affection, and singing how she didn't know how to do it properly accentuated other facets of the show, such as the comradery of the Apostles with Jesus and each other, and the three "beings" who continually tempted/seduced Judas, as well as the other relationships you see during this nearly two hour play.

The sick and infirmed demanding Jesus' attention and other such side-pieces were very interesting interpretations of Biblical facts. Overall, the play was an enjoyable production. I'm sure that those who refuse to suspend ingrained religious beliefs would find the production, perhaps, intolerable. I took it as the work it was meant to be, and then evaluated it afterward based on my own upbringing and found it "good". I'm glad to have shared it with my kids.


MOVIE: Nacho Libre

This was a slow moving picture overall, but it served it's purpose. It made me laugh. I have to question a nun who wears makeup and is very hot, though...

See it in a matinee. It's funny. Even when the theater has to stop the film three times to fix it. (Port Orange Six = bad) But then again, free movie passes = good. :-)

Father's Day 2006

It is Father's Day in the year of our Lord 2006.

I sit at my computer in my "pajamas" typing this after reviewing a remix of Hyperactive by Thomas Dolby that I acquired last night and ponder the day's events.

My oldest daughter will come home from work at 12:10pm and quickly change, so we can then pickup my parents at 12:30pm and travel to the News-Journal Center Theater in Daytona Beach and see Jesus Christ Superstar on stage (our subscription starts today for the summer session, and it just so happens that the dates I was able to work the tickets out for included this production on Father's Day - no relevance, it just happened that way).

We'll then go to an early dinner (I'm thinking Fazoli's right now for simplicity, but am not sure yet; my dad may have a "want" that we'll have to address).

Then we'll come back home so my oldest can go back to work.

Suddenly, three of my four children have jobs, which is absolutely, completely, totaly awesome for them and for me. My youngest is enjoying day camp at the Port Orange Parks and Recreation Department (where they go out a different event each day, such as DeLeon Springs, Islands Of Adventure and Skating - I envy him!). To be truthful, that's probably the biggest father's day gift I could receive today -- that the four kids are moving forward, socially and economically. I have two who are also going to be driving on their own pretty soon (one with permit who just needed her own money to show she could take care of the insurance and gas, and another who is just the opposite - she needs to get a permit and then her license). It's sobering to me that they are, indeed, becoming more independent, spending hours (nay, entire days) away from home with friends many days.. but it's jus a part of life.

I plan on taking two (if not all three) of the older children to get their own checking accounts VERY soon (I'm guessing I will be co-signing all of these based on information I have so far, which bugs me, but again, it's part of life) so they can start managing their money on their own (to date, there has been a checking account that their allowance was deposited to, and their paychecks as well, and they had access to a Visa/Debit card with "KIDS" permanent-markered on it, so they could access their money under my supervision). Now they'll be on their own with only my guidance and occasional scrutiny of how they're handling things. My only real concern is a minimum balance and learning to keep their check ledger up-to-date -- I'm sure I'll use an Excel file as I do for all such things personally now -- paper ledgers are so 80's. ;-)

It's truly an exciting and sobering time in my own life, watching the kids get more and more independent. I've already dealt with "co-ed sleep overs", the first boyfriend, the stupid-decision of jumping on someone's hood and then paying for it, the attitudes (ah, the ongoing battle) and had several (but not all of my) sex talks with them in various ways (in my typical, subersive way, many times hiding it behind a friendly chat about this or that). Some of them will read this and begin wondering what exactly I mean. (shrug) I hide very little from them, only the tiny shards of a personal life that I've had post-divorce are really hidden from them -- such personal adventures are limited to really one short event in California last year that rejuvenated me in some ways and kind of made me "distant" in others.

So Father's Day to me this year is a mixed bag. My parents have their tumultuous relationship per the norm (but stick to it to this very day, instead of giving up on it), my former wife is (I assume) enjoying life living with her latest boyfriend (at least it's post-marriage this time) and my kids are moving along in life towards that great adventure called independence. I continue to give thought towards some post-college, no-children avenues I may take. Nothing concrete yet. I'm totally open, and anything I plan could change in a heartbeat. I really do still "want" more children, though it's just "if my partner wanted them also" idea at this point. No big deal either way. I've got the Mighty Four, and they're awesome. I love kids. They make the joylessness of things I used to love doing, but now must do, much more bearable. I've even considered the growing numbers of young and teenaged kids that are pawns of the foster care system... who don't have a real home where they can rely on going every day. That saddens me greatly. A kid should have one home and one family to go to, even after they move on with life. I've been lucky enough to have that when it was needed. My kids will always have that through me.

And then there's grandkids. They could be here a lot sooner than later.

Anyway. Those are my thoughts on Father's Day this year. The important things to me, the "father". The "dad". The big mean ogre. The guy who takes all these pictures and authors DVDs for the band. The man who loves kids.

So, to all you fathers out there, Happy Father's Day. Do what YOU want to do today and enjoy.


Duarte High School 1986 Reunion

Some people finally got things going on a 20th year class reunion at the high school I spent "more time at" (but did not graduate from). This is cool news, as I look forward to seeing some classmates later this year who I have not seen since graduation (or before).

If you happen to be a DHS 1986 Alumni, visit for information.