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Why I Sometimes Cry At Movies

I'll admit it. I am moved to near tears sometimes at the movies. It doesn't bother and in fact it serves me as a great indicator that I'm watching a great movie. I don't remember all the movies that made me tear up, but I remember the first. 'Philadelphia'. Stupid Tom Hanks is such a good actor he made me nearly bawl. I thought it was a fluke. Until I became 100% a 12 year old girl when I saw 'Titanic'. When Jack died I nearly lost it. As it was I was tearing up so much that the credits were blurry and my then girlfriend could probably tell, especially since for the next six months whenever I heard the Celine Dion (insert snicker here) song that accompanied that movie I got this look on my face like I just watched a puppy die from leukemia. And I generally disdain Celine Dion as much, if not more, than most people.
I think the reason I get this response is the same reason that 'Arachnaphobia' and 'The Others' and 'The Blair Witch Project' scared the life out of me. I get absorbed in movies. Not just the stories, not just caring about the characters, but the atmosphere, the combination of visuals, music and story that makes me EXTREMELY vulnerable to emotional manipulation.
Two more recent examples. I went to see 'Up' on a first date. I thought it was a good move as it was a Pixar movie and they make quality movies. Except that the beginning of the movie was SO sad that I nearly collapsed into a weeping pile of humanity on the floor. Love that movie.
And the most recent, the one that inspired the writing of this blog, was the new Harry Potter movie. I love the movie, it's the best in the series thus far but the one little moment at the beginning with Hermione and her parents (I wont ENTIRELY ruin it) had me tearing up. It was just a beautiful and sad little scene.

Secret Origins

As a comic fan it struck me the other day that many of the characters I love so much have RIDICULOUS origin stories. Like ten miles beyond suspension of disbelieve ridiculous. So I figured I'd point out three of the weirder ones.
– Captain Marvel- Great character. Except when you consider that he's a kid who has a job as a radio announcer. The kid later meets a wizard named Shazam who grants the kid the power to turn into a super strong, super fast ADULT superhero when he says the wizard's name. Even weirder is that SHAZAM is an anagram of the mythological characters Captain Marvel derives his powers from (Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, Mercury). That took a LOT of forethought on the part of Shazam's parents. And yet weirder is that he later splits his power amongst his sister (Mary Marvel), his sidekick (also a kid, Captain Marvel, Jr. JUNIOR even though they arent related), some guys called The Lieutenant Marvels, Hillbilly Marvel and Uncle Marvel.
– The Question- No powers at all. Just an investigative journalist who uses a special gas to bond fake skin to his face to make it look like he has a blank spot instead of a face. And he wears a blue trenchcoat and purple socks. But he gets bonus points for being the inspiration for one of the greatest characters ever, Rorschach.
– The Silver Surfer- A guy on an alien planet who makes a deal with the gigantic guy in the big purple helmet that is going to eat his planet. The deal? Helmet-guy (Galactus) won't eat his planet if he becomes a metallic guy on a surfboard who finds other planets for Helmet-guy to eat. It's never mentioned if they have surfing on his planet or not. But with so many characters that can fly through space (Quasar, Nova, Thor etc) why does he need a surfboard?


Today I'm going to do a brief rant about why Worf (of Star Trek fame) is awesome.
The guy kicks ass. He has a batleth. He teaches Klingon/Romulan hybrids to hunt (and to love). He says really chauvinistic things but when called on it grumbles in a way that means 'I guess you're right' thus winning the heart of whatever the woman said to him. He was the chief of Security on the Enterprise AND Operations office of Deep Space Nine (and sometime captain of the Defiant). He was the first Klingon in Starfleet and also the first to join Starfleet, quit and become Klingon ambassador. He made Deanna Troi dig him (even for just a little while) as well as marrying Jadzia Dax (until she got killed). Which means he put his mad Klingon love moves on a Trill AND Betazoid in addition to Klingon chicks like K'ehylar (probably misspelled that). He's got Jean-Luc Picard as his lawyer (sort of). He used a severed Borg hand and it's tube as a tourniquet. He's a dad to a Klingon kid that looks suspiciously like the little boy from 'Family Ties'. He kills guys (okay, fake guys) on the holodeck to stay in shape. He rocks the Klingon pony tail. He killed Duras for killing his girlfriend and besmirching the name of his father. He was adopted by Paul Sorvino.
Real men listen to Klingon opera. Worf FTW!


Another list. It's what I'm good at.
My top 5 favorite vampires in fiction and film.
5) Genevieve Dieudonna- The French vampire from Kim Newman's novels (Anno Dracula etc). She helps bring down Prince Dracula, nurses her aging boyfriend and later befriends Phillip Marlowe. She's a detective, a nurse and a kickass vampire warrior. Awesomeness. I always imagined she'd be played by Nicole Kidman in a movie but I've since reconsidered and decided on Scarlett Johansen.
4) Lestat- The best of Anne Rice's pantheon of overly erotic vampire characters. He's funny, mischievous and sometimes a real dick. Nobody does the foppish homoerotic vampire better than Lestat.
3) Sonja Blue- The star of a series of books by Nancy Collins (starting with Sunglasses At Night). She's a real cool character and I see a LOT of her in Selene (Kate Beckinsale's character in the Underworld films). I imagine Beckinsale would do a great job playing her too.
2) Spike- A Sex Pistols loving bad boy with a secret love of the Bloomin' Onion. He started out as a right bastard but through his love of Buffy became a decent guy (for a soulless killer) and later gained his soul back. I think he'd rank number two on my list of all time favorite TV characters too (but thats a list for another day).
1) Dracula- The grand-daddy of them all. The brooding Transylvanian count has been adapted from book to screen more times than maybe any other character. I personally prefer the Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee and Gary Oldman portrayals, though he has been played by other screen luminaries like John Carradine, Leslie Nielsen, Frank Langella and Lon Chaney.

Today's Top Five

First off, I'd like to say that the news that both Leslie Nielsen and Irvin Kershner died makes me sad.
That being said, I'd like to list my top 5 favorite Christmas specials. I love Christmas and I am really starting to get in the spirit.
5) Mickey's Christmas Carol- A very well animated short film that casts Disney characters into Charles Dickens' classic Christmas tale. Scrooge McDuck (obviously) as Scrooge, Pete as The Ghost of Christmas Future and Goofy as Marley are standouts.
4) Frosty the Snowman- A pretty good movie but the main reason I like it is the magic hat. And imagining what would happen if you put it on something else.
3) The Next Doctor- A Doctor Who story that has little to do with Christmas other than the general atmosphere and the fact that it takes place on Christmas. Still, the shot of David Tennant (as the Doctor) enjoying snowfall in a picturesque Victorian setting makes the whole episode.
2) Charlie Brown Christmas Special- I love Peanuts but this special set the standard for specials. So much of it has become so iconic.
1) Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer- This story is just too cool to not make the top of the list. It's the best of the classic animated Christmas specials and the elf who wants to be a dentist may be one of the greatest TV characters ever.