Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Identity Crisis by Brad Meltzer, Rags Morales and Michael Bair.

Identity Crisis is a seven-issue comic book limited series published by DC Comics from June to December in 2004. It was created by writer Brad Meltzer and the artistic team of penciler Rags Morales and inker Michael Bair.






















Sunday, December 5, 2010

VOL: Who Knows When The Sunrise Will Be?

Who Knows When The Sunrise Will Be? I'm a chemistry of flesh and water Blood and guts A savage disorder I made the wrong move Oh, what a bother And ever since then, I been looking for my Father When this darkness rolls in I can't read my I.D. And who knows when the sunrise will be? Martin Luther said to one of his brothers "Except for one instance, no one can die for another" And the devil makes me fearful about my survival One's gone before to ensure your arrival Sometimes the darkness rolls in And it just takes ahold of me And who knows when the sunrise will be? See, I feel like Barabbas with his sentence reversed I got my handgun of conceit But at least it's registered And I checked out of my Best Western motel I saw a man on a hill in place of my hell And then the darkness rolls in And chokes the life out of me And who knows when the sunrise will be? You can count on your charm or revel in your wealth Improve your appearance or hope in your health But houses of cards tumble, and reputations fail Marriages crumble, and interest rates sale And there are no more heroes, and there are no rules of thumb Criminals are pardoned 'cos there's no place to put them Babies are torn because nobody wants them And whales, canonized by some government program We're blind men, sad men, dreamers with wishes Paralytics, lunatics and the back-street fringes All find a place in Your home, at Your table And You make them well 'cos You're willing and able Still, in the darkness there's a candle you will see And who knows when the sunrise will be? ----------------------------------------------- http://www.wnrn.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/sunrise.jpg Who Knows When The Sunrise Will Be - Jugular (1990) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--frqowDmbE

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Kingsington Post: November 27, 2010

Well, I’ve decided last week to begin posting my thoughts about the happenings in and around our world in a topic-by-topic list and call it the “Kingsington Post”. Why? Because it sounds official…and cool.

These are my thoughts and commentary on current events, things I heard about, celebrities or whatever else that has crossed my path on TV, radio, print, etc. I know everyone is dying to pick my brain so here ya go….

Blockbuster to remind people it still exists - The movie-rental chain is about to launch its first national ad campaign since 2007.
http://articles.latimes.com/2010/nov/22/business/la-fi-ct-blockbuster-20101122-47

Blockbuster

What are these guys doing? There was a time where renting a movie was limited to a few choices but in this day and age, umm, everybody’s sellin’! You can got to Wal-Mart and find a RedBox or online with NetFlix or OnoDemand at Comcast. C’mon Blockbuster! This better be the one offer that can’t be beat.

N.J. anti-Facebook pastor taking leave over affair -
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40359035/ns/us_news-life/

Anti Facebook Pastor

OK. Heard about this one. Its obvious. You can’t expect people to leave the #1 social networking site because of a few rotten apples. Plus if this guy wanted to tell his congregation to leave Facebook for the publicity he got it and a whole lot more! A “three-way” relationship? Dude, should’ve left Facebook alone.

First-Grade Girl Bullied for Liking Star Wars?! -
http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2010/11/first-grade-girl-bullied-for-liking-star-wars/

Bullied First-Grade Girl

This bullying is getting out of hand. Good thing the actors and fans of Star Wars stepped in to offer her some encouragement. Wish the creators and fans of Marvel comics could have stepped in when my friends and I were kids and our teacher took away our Avengers comics and threw them away. Dang school and their rules….

The Six-Million Dollar Man is Back: Lee Majors does interviews
http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/20101123_With__Six_Million_Dollar_Man__DVD_set_coming_out__Lee_Majors_reminisces.html
Six Million Dollar Man


Well, it was good to see ol’ Lee Majors promoting the Six-Million Dollar Man box set the other day on CNN. Haven’t seen him on TV since The Fall Guy and a couple of reunion movies. He talked about some behind the scenes stuff and showed a clip of the na-na-na-na sound when he ran in slow motion. Awesome!! Now where’s my Buck Rogers box set…

Tiger Woods: 1 Year Later -
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/golf/2010-11-22-1448610128_x.htm

Tiger Woods

…And we still don’t know what REALLY happened that night.
____________________________________


With that said,

Good night and good luck.

Torrence King


Sunday, November 21, 2010

ART: Stardust The Super Wizard – Pencil Sketch

Fletcher Hanks’ Stardust The Super Wizard (Pencil Sketch) POSTER PRINT


SIZE: 18x24 - Glossy Poster Print - ONLY: $29.98 (signed)

To order, click "Add to Cart" below: 




Pencil sketch of golden age comics artist/writer Fletcher Hanks' Stardust The Super Wizard for a recent series of classic character sketches.  

Stardust originally appeared in 16 issues of Fantastic Comics (Dec. 1939 - March 1941), as well Big 3 Comics #2 (1941, undated on cover). Some of his Golden Age adventures were collected in the books I Shall Destroy All Civilized Planets!: The Comics of Fletcher Hanks (2007, ISBN 1560978392), and You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation! (June 2009, ISBN 1606991604) edited by Paul Karasik.
 
To read more about the life and art of Fletcher Hanks, go to:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fletcher_Hanks

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

For more illustrations, sizes or commissioned art prices, contact exitpress@hotmail.com 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Poem: ISOLATION

ISOLATION

Release me out of this box.

Pounding hard
On these four walls

Fists and fury.
Blood and sweat.

I am
All that way
And more.

Pushing and passing through.

A place to stay.
A land to stand.

I’ve lost control
And shifted to the bitter end.

A tiny hole to breathe
With every ounce
Of oxygen remaining.

Time is a waste,
A rotation of nothing.

This is it.
The tumbling down
And down the drain.

Locked inside.

Bars and mud,
A darkness without.

No way to change,
No where to stay.

Release me now.

I will hold tight
The last pound of madness,
For strength
And understanding.

Now, comes the enduring story,
How I will gain
As only one.

Left alone
To defend myself.

Within this surrounding storm,
My heart beats faster,
Ready to burst forth.

Way too late
To hide away
From you.

©2010 Torrence King. All rights reserved. From the poetry-art collection “The Story So Far...” _______________________________________

For commission rates, art designs, publications, poetry-art books and purchase poster prints, contact: torrenceking2000@hotmail.com

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Photography Model: Lolita Reyes

A collection of models photographed for publications and portfolio by Torrence King from 2007-2010. Mostly black and white and artistic photo sessions of international, professional and aspiring models from the United States, India, Russia and more. Model: Lolita Reyes


model,glamour,fashion,photography,women


©2007-2010 Torrence King. All Rights Reserved For commission rates, art designs, publications, poetry-art books and purchase poster prints, contact: exitpress@hotmail.com


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Poem: Heaven Still Hounds

HEAVEN STILL HOUNDS

You don’t have to go
Too far
When your howl Is heard.

Neither one of us
Planned for the show
Of business,
So perfectly intricate
And sunnier.

In those days,
I was bewildered
And fighting
To tear down
Improvements.

Along the same lines
I concentrate directly
From lessons
Or whatever happens.

The ground opens up
On the street.
Pass the stage,
Envy and germs
Start to spring
And attack
Our flattered perspective.

I will waste more time, 
Erase the pressure
And assume
Its going to get worse.

A result to losing,
I hear a voice,
Overtly loud
Suggesting the fall
Of power.

Substance spits out
Miracles sweetly tasted.
______________________________________  

“I am now a central part of your mind’s landscape whether you care or do not…” - 
“The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get”, Morrissey
______________________________________

©2009 Torrence King. All rights reserved. 
__________________________________________________  

from Dead Artists Symmetry - To view and order go to:

http://torrenceking.blogspot.com/2011/08/dead-artists-symmetry-poetry-art.html


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Photography Model: Ashley Von

A collection of models photographed for publications and portfolio by Torrence King from 2007-2010. Mostly black & white and artistic photo sessions of international, professional and aspiring models from the United States, India, Russia and more.

Model: Ashley Von

model,glamour,fashion,photography,women
___________________________________________

©2007-2010 Torrence King. All Rights Reserved

For commission rates, art designs, publications, poetry-art books and purchase poster prints, contact: exitpress@hotmail.com

Monday, October 25, 2010

Photography: Tiffany Vaughn

A collection of models photographed for publications and portfolio by Torrence King from 2007-2010. Mostly black & white and artistic photo sessions of international, professional and aspiring models from the United States, India, Russia and more.

Tiffany Vaughn

Models,Glamour,Photography,black and white,international,swimsuit,fashion,artistic

©2007-2010 Torrence King. All Rights Reserved

For commission rates, art designs, publications, poetry-art books and purchase poster prints, contact: exitpress@hotmail.com

Photography: Maria Kyle

A collection of models photographed for publications and portfolio by Torrence King from 2007-2010. Mostly black and white and artistic photo sessions of international, professional and aspiring models from the United States, India, Russia and more.

Model: Maria Kyle


Models,Glamour,Photography,black and white,international,swimsuit,fashion,artistic

_______________________________________

Fuji S700

Model: Maria Kyle

Photo Session: January, 2009 – Studio, Chicago

B/W photo of Maria in black and white dress sitting during her second shoot.


___________________________________________________

©2007-2010 Torrence King. All Rights Reserved


For commission rates, art designs, publications, poetry-art books and purchase poster prints, contact: exitpress@hotmail.com

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Art: Half-Full Heart, Half-Empty Mind

Pencil and Ink drawing for the poem, Half-Full Heart, Half-Empty Mind. Originally published in the poetry-art collection Satellites & Exits.  


©1996 Torrence King. All Rights Reserved 

For commission rates, art designs, publications, poetry-art books and purchase poster prints, contact: exitpress@hotmail.com 


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Art: Greg Maddux 300 poster print (2005)


Pencil illustration (with Photoshop filter and tone adjustment) of pitching great Greg Maddux shortly after reaching 300 wins in 2005 with the Chicago Cubs.

Originally designed for a published poster and t-shirt.

Signed - Available Now - Size: 36x24 - ONLY: $99.99

To purchase Click "Add To Cart" Below 




For commission rates, art designs and purchase other poster prints, cont act: exitpress@hotmail.com

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Poem: The River

THE RIVER
 
These tides change 
With each passing thought. 

These waves splash 
Upon each foundation. 

They caress the rocks 
With purity. 
The rocks cry out 
For more. 

More change to flow, 
More doubts to grow. 

This land of shifting 
Is held not, 
Seeping through our cracks 
Of humanness. 

This river cleanses 
But never enough. 

Wind and spirit 
Are our strength, 
Overcoming impossibilities, 
Making all things new. 

From this cliff’s edge, 
I take note 
Of the cold air 
And the clouded sky above. 

I begin to feel 
Closer to my fears, 
Closer to my home. 
My soul cries 
Like the rocks below, 
For the mighty river. 

I will never fall alone 
Or fret for tomorrow, 
Because the river is near. 

The river is love, 
The river is peace. 

It floods my land 
With blessings from the shore 
And dreams of a better world 
Where we are Closer than we know. 

______________________________________________________  

©2000 Torrence. King. All Rights Reserved. 

To view and order The Kiss of Life – Go to:
http://torrenceking.blogspot.com/2011/08/kiss-of-life-poetry-art-collection.html

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Profile Playlist: Interpol - Video Selections and Commentary

Photograph by Jelle Wagenaar

Interpol is an American indie rock band formed in 1997 in New York City. The band's line-up consists of Paul Banks (vocals, guitar), Daniel Kessler (guitar, vocals), and Greg Drudy (drums, percussion). Interpol is one of the bands associated with the New York City indie music scene, and was one of several groups that emerged out of the post-punk revival of the 2000s. The band's sound is generally a mix of bass throb and rhythmic, harmonized guitar, with a snare heavy mix, drawing comparisons to post-punk bands such as Joy Division and The Chameleons.

Interpol is one of the bands associated with the New York City indie music scene, and was one of several groups that emerged out of the post-punk revival of the 2000s. The band's sound is generally a mix of bass throb and rhythmic, harmonized guitar, with a snare heavy mix, drawing comparisons to post-punk bands such as Joy Division and The Chameleons. Aside from the lyrics, their songwriting method includes all of the band members, rather than relying on any given chief songwriter. Interpol's debut album Turn on the Bright Lights (2002) was critically acclaimed, making it to tenth position on the NME's list of top albums in 2002 as well as #1 on Pitchfork Media's Top 50 Albums of 2002. Subsequent records Antics (2004) and Our Love to Admire (2007) have confirmed the band's initial success and turned them into a commercial and critical success. The band released its fourth, self-titled album on September 7, 2010.


PERSONAL NOTE:
_____________________________

My first encounter with Interpol was when I attended The Cure's Curiosa Festival Tour stop at the Tweeter Center, Tinley Park, IL, Thursday, August 12, 2004. I went there to see the Cure for the third time with some friends and didn't really expect much else. I believe there were three bands scheduled to open for The Cure that night. Had no real interest in those other bands at all. While conversing with other fans and security, the last band was set to play before the Cure came out. All I can remember between conversations and laughter among others of like minds was this driving bass and this voice. Thoughts of Joy Division were obvious but I tried to ignore it, determined not to care. But the energy and the tone of delivery was too strong. I remember turning around and thinking "Who the hell is this??"

Here's a quick review from the website concertlivewire.com

"..Over at the mainstage The Rapture kept things moving with an energetic set of danceable numbers driven by, of all things, a cowbell, before New York hipsters Interpol took the stage for a riveting performance of tragic, yet highly addictive numbers from their debut Turn On the Bright Lights. While vocalist / guitarist Paul Banks stoically delivered his lines as if Joy Division's Ian Curtis had never strung himself up whilst listening to Iggy Pop's The Idiot, Daniel Kessler chiseled out sharp, angular guitar lines, while bassist Carlos D's Teutonic storm trooper look exuded a chilling air of Kraftwerkian theater into the set. As darkness started to move in, so did the audience - as they swarmed to the A-stage to catch The Cure's headling set."

That pretty much sum things up. It wasn't long before I was able to get a copy of Turn on The Bright Lights and been a fan ever since. It's funny how music can lift you, challenge your way of thinking and, sometimes, take hold of you when you don't want to listen.

Their second album, Antics is what some considered to be their best and I would agree. At first, I listened to choice favorite songs, "Slow Hands", "Narc", "Not Even Jail", "C'mere" and "Evil". Then, seriously, years later, I started to really enjoy the songs "Length of Love", "Take You On A Cruise" and "Time To Be Small". Eventually realizing that the album, as a whole, is a masterpiece.

I can't really explain it, but the music of Interpol, uncannily got me through many a personal moment including the lost of my daughter, Jasmine who was born premature and my divorce. Its been a long time since a band had such a great effect on me. The Call, The 77s, Daniel Amos, The Cure, New Order, The Smiths, The Beatles, U2, Vigilantes of Love and a few others come to mind among my list of all-time favorites, where just about every song I both like and know word-for-word. Of course, those other bands and artists will get their due soon....

INTERPOL Studio albums


Slow Hands - Interpol


____________________________________________

C'mere - Interpol

___________________________________________________

Obstacle 1 - Interpol

_____________________________________________

Barricade - Interpol


==========================================


Try it On (live @ space 15 twenty) – Interpol


___________________________________________


Friday, October 8, 2010

POEM: I DREAMT ABOUT YOU AGAIN LAST NIGHT

I DREAMT ABOUT YOU AGAIN LAST NIGHT

These pictures running like film
 

Within my mind’s eye.

You are there.

My love, looking the way you do
For me to love.
Showing me all that you want to receive.

My erotic angel, my dream come true.

Walking up to me in the cool of the night.

You close your eyes,
And I am here to hold you.

A gentle sigh from you,
And I can feel your heartbeat.

It’s the rhythm of love.

This is all I want
To feel you so near.

That’s why I hold you.
That’s why I hold you dear.

Move with me,
Let us flow together.

All this world and its chaos
Melt when I look into your beautiful eyes.

How much more do you want?

Whatever your desire,
It will be my pleasure.

You are my love, my baby,
I live to discover your treasures.

Find me,
Find you.

In this maze,
Lost in time.

Hide and seek,
In the midst of this dream.

You’re everything I need here,
And more than I can comprehend.

I wake up. Wake up to the absence of your arms
Holding me. A realm of possibility
Within reach of my reality.

My baby,
My mind again longs to feel you here.

All my hopes and fears
Combined into one.

Now, I drift into silence.

Wondering, where you are.

So close,
And yet so far.

Closing down.
Eyes wide shut.

May this dream never end…




__________________________________________________
©2010 Torrence King. All rights reserved. From the poetry-art collection "Night. Love. Magic."




Monday, September 20, 2010

Poem: Warmed By Your Fire


WARMED BY YOUR FIRE

I’m out in the cold, wishing you were here.

All too often I took your lyrics for granted,
So many times I mistook your candle for harm.

A typical child would have kept out of trouble
With knowing the extreme burden you bear.

A love that keeps the fire burning.

When I was alone searching for a memory,
You called out my name as a gift to me.

I waited a moment then lost my way
In the warmth of your arms.

Close to me are those reminders of solitude
Taking on a song,
I know I can turn to you now or later.

Why do I endure this isolation,
This bitter sound of silence.

O love, why do you care?

Months can go by without my making a verbal plea
Nor an inner yearning for your touch.

If you are here, save my soul from growing numb
And burn tonight a fraction of your light.

Dwell outside the deep that calls the deep inside of me.
I am homesick and strange to feeling alone.

Warmed by your fire,
Underneath your flame
Is where I belong.
________________________________

©2000 Torrence J. King. All Rights Reserved.


To view and order The Kiss of Life – Go to:
http://torrenceking.blogspot.com/2011/08/kiss-of-life-poetry-art-collection.html


 


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Top 100 Favorite Songs 2005

Lately, I've been posting archive blogs of posts from Myspace, blogster, etc.

Here's a list of my top 100 favorite songs that I posted on Myspace.com back in 2005, to me, have stood the test of time, both lyrically and musically. 

I suppose a new list is appropriately due for 2010 any day now.....

Song/Artist Listed Alphabetically:

25 or 6 to 4 - Chicago  

A Day in The Life - The Beatles

Abraham, Martin and John - Dion

Across 110th Street - Bobby Womack and Peace

All I Do - Stevie Wonder

Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 - Pink Floyd

Another One Bites the Dust - Queen

Anyway - Over the Rhine

At The Hop - Danny and the Juniors

Back in the Saddle - Aerosmith

Ballroom Blitz - Sweet

Brooklyn Heights - Down to the Bone

Carefree Highway - Gordon Lightfoot

Come Fly With Me - Frank Sinatra

Creep - Radiohead

Disarm - Smashing Pumpkins

Doctor Who Theme Song - Various

Dress You Up - Madonna

Ebony Eyes - Rick James and Smokey Robinson

Everybody's Talkin' - Harry Nilson

Exodus - Bob Marley and the Wailers

Five Fathoms - Everything But the Girl

Funkytown - Lipps, Inc.

Genuis of Love - Tom Tom Club

Girl from Ipanema - Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto

God Only Knows - Beach Boys

Groovejet (If This Ain't Love) - Spiller with Sophie Ellis Bextor

Half A Person - The Smiths

Halo - The Cure

Hey! Love - The Delfonics

Hurt - Johnny Cash

I Am I Said - Neil Diamond

I Love Music - The O'Jays

I Want To Take You Higher - Sly and The Family Stone

I Want You - Marvin Gaye

I'm Not In Love - 10CC

I'm Only Sleeping - The Beatles

In This World - Moby

Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby (Remix) - Dinah Washington

Jack The Ripper (Live) - Morrissey

Lake Shore Drive - Aliotta, Haynes and Jeremiah

Life During Wartime - Talking Heads

Making Love - Roberta Flack

Man in a Suitcase - The Police

Miss You - Rolling Stones

Money - The O'Jays

Mr. Bojangles - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Music - Eric Sermon and Marvin Gaye

Narc - Interpol

No Such Thing - John Mayer

Nothing is Better than Love - Luther Vandross and Gregory Hines

One - U2

One of These Nights - The Eagles

Ooh La La La - Teena Marie

Orange Crush - REM

PYT - Michael Jackson

Rainy Day Woman ..12 and 35 - Bob Dylan

Regret (Fire Island Remix) - New Order

Right Place, Wrong Time - Dr. John

Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash

Rise - Herb Alpert

Rock Around the Clock - Bill Haley and His Comets

Rubber Ring - The Smiths

Run Like the Wind - Christopher Cross

Running Down A Dream - Tom Petty

Running Up That Hill - Kate Bush

School Day - Chuck Berry

Sing Your Life - Morrissey

Sinnerman - Nina Simone

Slow Jamz - Kanye West, Twista, Jamie Foxx

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes - The Platters

Song For You - Ray Charles

Sound of Silence - Simon and Garfunkel

Stand Back - Stevie Nicks

Still The Same - Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band

Strawberry Letter 23 - Brothers Johnson

Suddenly - Olivia Newton-John and Cliff Richard

Superstar/Until You Come Back to Me - Luther Vandross

Sway - Bic Runga

Sweet Surrender - Sarah McLachlan

Take Five - Dave Brubeck Quartet

Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand

The Boxer - Simon and Garfunkel

The Look of Love – Chris Botti and Chantal Kreviazuk

The More You Ignore Me - Morrissey

The Scientist - Coldplay

The Wanderer - Johnny Cash and U2

The Way I Feel - Remy Shand

They Say-Vision - Res

Through the Wire - Kanye West

Time - Pink Floyd

Tower - Big Head Todd and The Monsters

Uptight (Everything is All Right) - Stevie Wonder

Vincent (Starry, Starry Night) - Josh Groban

Walk the Line - Johnny Cash

What A Fool Believes - Doobie Brothers

When Am I Going To Make A Living - Sade

Woman in Chains - Tears for Fears and Oleta Adams

You Should Be Dancing - Bee Gees

You're So Vain - Carly Simon

_____________________________

Here's some of my favorite videos of songs from the list:

Sarah McLachlan - Sweet Surrender


Johnny Cash - 'Hurt" video


Luther Vandross - Superstar (Live) HD


Smashing Pumpkins - "Disarm" video


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Poem: At The End of The Day

AT THE END OF THE DAY Today, And here after My thoughts Fall on deaf ears. Can I be what I make this life? On the run, During this time With the sun Above my head. Nothing left to lose, Before this day is through. It's too late The day is almost gone. No hour can explain, How it moves so fast. Within a minute, You won't give the time. Within a second, You will shut me down. The night has risen And I'm all alone. Waiting for tomorrow,

If it ever comes.


______________________________________

(c)1996 Torrence J. King. All Rights Reserved. Originally published in "Satellites and Exits Volume 1" 2006 (Exit Press Publications)

The Winds of Tragedy/The Hope of VicTory (Tribute to Virginia Tech)

The Winds of Tragedy/The Hope of VicTory

I hear the wind blowing.
I hear it howl.
I hear it weep.

Like a mother for a hurting child.

The sound of shots
Ringing throughout the land.

Shots fired!
Shots fired!

So many tears fall down.
So many heads hang low.
So many hearts lost in sorrow.
So many questions that surround our very being.

Some have survived
Still others are gone.
Forever.
And ever,
By a madman's gun.

No one understands.

The worst of it all
Thus far
And, so far, we must go on.

No rhyme.
No reason.
Can we comprehend this senselessness?

No matter of thought
Toward many lives yet to be lived.

And, it is now that these lives are remembered.
All that's left for us to restore.
Reflections on their history.
The pictures that tell their story.
Of their smiles,
Of their dreams,
Of their hopes.

For this, we hope
Of a better day.
A better way.

A hope that this tragedy will not cause us to fear and tremble.

That the lives lost
Will shine on
For all to see.

Remembering the brave,
The bold.
Those who stood up
That others may live.

For this,
We must stand together,
One by one.
As one.

Holding the hands of those left behind.
Praying for those who bore witness.
Sharing a whisper of love to all.

We shall overcome
And claim the ultimate victory.

The victory over this tragedy.

Never to forget.
Determined to stand strong.

That no madman
Can take away all hope
Though they themselves are lost
To their own despair.

For this,
A prayer goes forth:
Let those touched by the lost of loved ones,
Be comforted.
Let those who endure with pain,
Be healed.

May time and prayers
Bring an encouragement
To go on with love fulfilled,
From all who cry with you
And everyone in-between.

May you know the hope we pray and share.

We are one.
We are strength.
We are the hope of VicTory.


The image

©2007 Torrence J. King. All Rights Reseved.

originally posted on Myspace: April 16, 2008

Batman The Dark Knight (2008) - Movie Review


Movie Review: Batman: The Dark Knight (2008)

Originally Posted September 20, 2008

Well, I wanted to wait a while…after the dust settled… with my review of the monster-of-a-movie known as "Batman: The Dark Knight".

Off the bat, (no pun intended) I want to make it very clear, I'm a Batman fan. One of the first comic books I ever read was Batman. I'm familiar with the character's history and place in pop culture. With that said, I'm little bit more critical than those who I consider fair-weather fans.

I also liked the movie as opposed to hating it as some might think. There are things about it that I did not like which I will point out here.

I also spoke to three friends, I will name "Jay", "Ed" and "Rob" and will include their opinions here.

Rob saw the Dark Knight at a midnight showing. Jay and Ed saw it in September, weeks after its release.

I saw it over the first weekend of release.

I found it very interesting on the day of its release, people who saw it that first day including Rob was claiming it was the Greatest Movie Ever. Huh???

I started to backtrack movies I would put in that category…."The Godfather", "Citizen Kane", "The Lord of The Rings Trilogy", etc.

Batman: The Dark Knight….better than all those movies????

Could it be?? Hmmmmm

After seeing it over that first weekend….I concluded with this…

UMMMMM….NO!

OK. Not sure why people were saying that including Rob. I'm still trying to make sense of it.

Alright. Here's my take on the movie. It was good but not better than Batman Returns. Heath Ledger's take on the Joker was very good…but not as menacing as the villain in No Country For Old Men (that guy will give you nightmares).

OK. Now for a breakdown. Batman The Dark Knight had a lot of things going on in a variety of different directions. I think a lot of the problems I saw had to do with the editing. I honestly believe there were some issues in the editing process and because of Ledger's untimely death, they were stuck with a movie that could not be edited to its full potential. I feel this way due to the movie's rapid jump from scene-to-scene and story flow.

Some of the concerns I had were these:

In all of Gotham City, not one cop was good except Jim Gordon?

The Joker comes up with a plan to use two boats, one with prison inmates and the other with innocent people and they must decide who lives or dies by a switch that will blow up the other. What The...??? That sounds more like The Riddler, not the Joker and especially this Joker, who really doesn't care about anything except anarchy. It seemed so out of character.

Batman uses a technology that sends images to his systems based on sounds and cellphones. Using this technology he will attempt to save hostages and prevent the Gotham City SWAT team from unknowingly killing innocent people. At this point, I felt the need to yell at the screen.."Hey, Batman. Don't you think it's time to call the Justice League". That whole stopping-SWAT-using-sound-signatures thing was a bit too much.

There really was no development with the new characters and their interaction with each other especially Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent. And speaking of which, was it necessary to include Two-Face in THIS movie. Would it not have been a better to leave him out or around for the inevitable sequel?

Now, Jay who recently saw The Dark Knight, says that he like it for its realism. You see, Jay is not a comic book fan or a superhero movie fan. He believes comic book genre movies relies heavily on a fantasy angle. He felt that The Dark Knight was more realistic (another term even used by Rob, who is not a comic book fan but loves the Batman and Spider-Man movies). They both feel that it's realistic in the since that someone can actually by Batman. He doesn't have powers. He's just a man with "wonderful" toys. But isn't all movies a bit of Fantasy? Just because Superman can fly or Spider-man sticks to walls, does that make their characters and movies less than realistic? What is reality when you have the likes of James Bond, Jason Bourne, Jack Bauer, John Mclaine and others portrayed as regular guys who beat impossible odds and villains? Doesn't their extraordinary strength and resolve display an ability in and of itself even if they cannot fly? As a fan of Batman and comic books, I feel that both are coming into understanding Batman, like most, by movie only. I grew up with some Batman stories and art that would make the movie pale in comparison. I was into Batman and comic books when it wasn't cool. Not to say that their opinions don't matter but I think it depends on the viewpoint and motivation. And, by the way, both Jay and Rob agree there is no need to include Batman's sidekick, Robin. That's a subject I will address shortly.

My take on all this is that The Dark Knight is NOT the greatest movie ever. In my opinion, it doesn't make it in the Top Ten of all time. Now you can base it on sales, which it will make a list of top money making movies but as far as a great movie, that's another subject itself. It will, and should be, considered as one of the best super-hero movies. On that I will agree.

The Dark Knight story is pretty average compared to Batman Begins or even the summer's other comic book related moview, Incredible Hulk, Iron Man or Wanted. It has really no development but just a series of events.

One character or actor does not make a movie. Heath Ledger SHOULD get an Oscar for his performance as The Joker. Javier Bardemin from No Country for Old Men won for his performance but critics and moviegoers have said that the movie was great up to its flat ending. I think people are going to remember Ledger's performance more than the movie and that should not be the basis of "Greatest Movie". A movie is a combination of some many factors as well as the people behind it.

The movie has crushed box office records and raked in millions. But so did Spider-Man 2, which I came close to walking out on.

One friend, "Ed", summed it up this way: "The last 20 minutes we could have did without". I agree.

Christopher Nolan is an excellent director but, I feel, this would have been a great time to set up Robin in the story. Not to include him the overall movie itself, there were too many characters in it already. Some may disagree because Robin is viewed as the downfall of Batman. If you read the Batman comics, Robin is the HOPE of Batman. He's not like anything that resembles the 60's camp version. He's lost his family, like Bruce Wayne and is a younger version of Bruce Wayne at a time when Bruce had no direction. Wayne helps to give him direction and purpose. Not including Robin in the story is like denying the legacy of the Batman story which includes an assortment of characters. It's like taking Frodo out of Lord of The Rings because you don't like that fact that he's always complaining about the ring. Robin is a part of Batman just like Commissioner Gordon, Harvey Dent and Gotham City. I have faith in Nolan's ability to include all of the Batman mythology with care and excellence. (That is if Nolan directs anymore of the Batman movies to come)

With all that said, I felt the movie was OK. Great action and, as far as superhero movies go, very good. I would like to see it on DVD when it's made available to hear the commentaries by the director and actors. But the outrageous claims of "greatest" and "best" by fans and critics has me at a loss.

The debate goes on and I guess I will continue to be the odd man out.

-Torrence King

"The Watchmen" Movie Review and Commentary


"The Watchmen" Movie Review and Commentary

Originally posted in Myspace, March 09, 2009

====================================== 


I went to see The Watchmen a few days ago And ALL I have to say is...AMAZING!

Even now, I still have images of the movie in my head….I’m still thinking about how director Zack Snyder literally pulled images from the graphic novel and recreated a motion picture masterpiece.

THE WATCHMEN IS THE GODFATHER OF COMIC BOOK MOVIES and NOT THE DARK KNIGHT!

I’m not here to write a long, detailed account of the movie.

But I will offer some commentary on the movie in relation to some points being made by CRITICS, FANBOYS AND MOVIEGOERS recently.

Since I'm not writing a complete review, I have provided the following movie review that, in some ways, I agree with more than others by the very talented Michelle Kerns of the Examiner.com (SEE AFTER THE FOLLOWING COMMENTARY)


I would like to address some points:

1) Greatest Comic Book Movie Ever (So Far…?)

This is, without a doubt, The Greatest Comic Book Movie Ever…at least so far…PLEASE…KEEP IN MIND there ARE still others to be made.

And please understand, I am not saying “Greatest Superhero” movie. There is a difference.

To this day, I feel that Superman starring Christopher Reeve is the Greatest Superhero Movie Ever because it was the first to take the genre of superheroes and comic books seriously and everything else that came after it has followed in its footsteps.

The Watchmen on the other hand is based on a comic book series released over 12 issues (1986-1987) and collected into one book...AND THATS IT! No more stories. No more adventures of the Nite Owl or Dr. Manhattan. NOTHING.

So, the movie had to be EXACTLY like the book or fans would have had Zack Snyder fed to the wolves!

2) The “Godfather” of Comic Book Movies and why I can’t understand The Dark Knight’s great appeal except for Heath Ledger’s outstanding performance or simply put….The Watchmen vs. The Dark Knight

OK. Everyone wants to compare current movies with those who have tested the strains of time. Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather is one of those (along with its great sequel) that rose above the fray of 70’s movies and endured as a legacy of great film making. It was filled with so many characters that carried the film and, not so much, centered around the exploits of just one person.

Everyone is looking for the one comic book movie that raises the bar to the Godfather's level of excellence.

The Watchmen, which time will tell if it does the same in regard to popularity, has similar points of plot and character layers.

In regard to the widely popular and highly successful Batman: The Dark Knight: The movie, I felt, was mostly centered around scenes with Christian Bale and Heath Ledger. I’ve watched the thing five times and cannot understand how this thing was so huge. The biggest issue I had was the EDITING….THIS IS one of my many problems with The Dark Knight.

Scenes, especially action sequences, are cut so fast that I cannot tell what’s going on. Heath Ledger’s Joker is the only thing that is worth watching and the ending is just plain ridiculous. Why does Hollywood insist on killing off a Batman villain in almost every movie??? THEY NEVER DIE!

BY THE WAY, Batman Begins is my favorite Batman movie…I felt it was WAY better than The Dark Knight….

Now, I would admit that one thing leads to the other…most of these comic book movies would not be here if not for the success of Blade, X-Men and, of course, Spider-Man….And all of those, I feel, were edited in a way that helps to viewer appreciate each scene…

Which leads me to one of the techniques used in some movies since it was used greatly in the first Matrix movie….THE SLOW-MO FIGHT SCENE!

I love the Slow-Mo Fight Scene…In The Watchmen, when Nite Owl II fights, breaking necks and punching, I can see what he’s doing….I can feel the crunching….I can take time to watch it ALL go down….

In The Dark Knight….YOU GET NOTHING!!….Did Batman punch the guy???? I don’t know, it happened so fast…I’m not sure.

Cue to director Christopher Nolan….The jail break scene in The Watchmen…THAT’S HOW BATMAN SHOULD FIGHT!!! (or watch the entire Bourne Identity trilogy or A History of Violence…those guys can fight AND YOU SEE IT!!!!!!)

Also, the Slow-Mo Fight Scene is perfect for action movies but works even better in comic book based action movies. Because comic book fans are readers and they appreciate a good fight scene or two….

Also, I like it because as an artist I can appreciate what I’m watching….because when I was reading comics with the superhero fighting and/or plasma blasting a villain drawn by great artists like Jim Lee, John Byrne, etc. I saw it happening...visualizing it off the page…

3) The Comic Book Fanboys-Geeks and Watchmen Book Readers VS. Regular Joe and Jane Movie-Goer or IF YOU DIDN’T READ THE BOOK…OH WELL

Now this debate over whether you can appreciate the movie for what it is vs. those who read the book is quite valid.

But what I got to say is….So what!!

For years, prior to the string of comic book/superhero based movies to come out since 1998, Hollywood tried to marry the comic book movie with successful box office receipts….which means COMPROMISING a little. So they began to throw everything but the kitchen sink in these movies to get the ALMIGHTY DOLLAR FROM THE REGULAR GUY AND GAL’S TIGHT HAND.

And I appreciate the valiant efforts of those who had throw a love story, a kidnapped love interest, a few jokes, touches of nostalgia and more to make Spider-Man, X-Men and others a BOX OFFICE HIT.

But, you know, every once in a while, can't they afford to throw the comic book fans a few bones???

I mean, (and this can be related to ALL comic book fans..AND YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!)…When I was a kid, I was called GEEK…NERD….AND EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE BULLY BOOK because I read comic books and would draw super-heroes…All this while everyone else was listening to and watching whatever was the HOT THING back then….I was in my bedroom at my desk finding out what would happen next to Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Superman, etc….And Everybody Else Didn't Care!

While we comic book readers were READING comic books just like others before us….EVERYONE ELSE LAUGHED…ALL COMIC BOOK READERS WERE LOOKED DOWN ON…EVEN OUR TEACHERS THOUGHT COMIC BOOKS WERE TRASH (FUNNY LOOK AT OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM NOW, THEIR USING COMICS TO HELP KIDS!) AND WE WERE THE ONES SHELLING OUT OUR MONEY TO SUPPORT OUR LOCAL COMIC BOOK STORES AND COMPANIES AND WRITERS AND ARTISTS…

IT WAS OUR HARD EARNED MONEY THAT WENT TO BUY ALL THOSE COMIC BOOKS…NOW, COLLECTING DUST IN OUR BOXES….NOW, SELLING THEM ON EBAY….

NOW, EVERYONE, THE SAME PEOPLE WHO THOUGHT COMIC BOOKS SUCKED AND TREATED US BAD, WANT TO NOW CRY: “OH, I LOVE SPIDER-MAN”…”OH, I LOVE BATMAN”…YOU SEE A MOVIE AND NO NOTHING ABOUT THE CHARACTER!

AND YOU THINK I CARE IF SOMEONE GOES TO SEE “WATCHMEN” AND DON’T LIKE IT???

THIS MOVIE IS FOR THE WATCHMEN GRAPHIC NOVEL READER….NO ONE ELSE…

IF YOU LIKE THE MOVIE DESPITE NOT READING THE BOOK, COOL…

IF YOU DON’T, WELL, WAIT UNTIL THE WOLVERINE MOVIE OR SPIDER-MAN 4 TO GET YOUR FIX OR YOU CAN TRY READING A BOOK FOR A CHANGE! YOU HAD OVER 10 YEARS TO READ THE WATCHMEN DAMMIT!

THE ONLY OPINION THAT REALLY MATTERS ABOUT THE WATCHMEN MOVIE IS THOSE WHO READ
THE WATCHMEN GRAPHIC NOVEL

(Please forgive my little rant....)

Here is the review posted by Michelle Kerns of the Examiner.com that I am in nearly total agreement:


The Watchmen movie review: what worked, what flopped, and how the movie measures up to the book by Michelle Kerns (Examiner.com)

March 7, 4:56 AM
....
Alan Moore's Watchmen has been one of my favorite books (#22 in my top 50, to be Dr. Manhattan-exact) since I first read it at the behest of a friend over 10 years ago.


*****A Word to the Wise: Spoilers follow, proceed with caution*****Seeing a film adaptation that could measure up to the depth and intelligence of the book seemed about as likely as a murderer's chances locked in a room with Rorschach; did Zack Snyder's movie version of Watchmen do it? Let's take a look at a breakdown of what worked, what flopped and how Watchmen, the movie measured up to Watchmen, the book.

What worked magnificently

The Comedian: Jeffrey Dean Morgan is pure genius as Eddie Blake, a.k.a The Comedian: he doesn't just look, talk, and act as if he leapt straight from the pages of the book, his apartment (complete with Hustler and girly poster on the wall) and his every gesture are dead on. The Comedian is the sort of character that, on the big screen, could easily look like a complete bastard that everyone hates; Mr. Morgan managed to make him as likeable as he is hateable -- fantastic.

The fight scenes:
Where to begin here? The fight between The Comedian and the intruder at the movie's beginning; Laurie and Dan taking on the knot-tops and then, later, the prison heavies; and Rorschach fighting pretty much the whole of the NYPD were graphic joys. I particularly loved the Nat King Cole "Unforgettable" touch during the movie's opening fracas. There is something about the surreal juxtaposition of a smooth golden-oldie being played over scenes of utter violence that makes my jaw drop in admiration.

The opening credit scenes: The history of the Watchmen, and their predecessors, the Minutemen, are covered in a nicely compressed fashion in this. Without leaving a jot or tittle out, Snyder managed to get across who the original masked avengers were, what happened to them, and where the new crop of heroes came from, all without a word uttered. That is, unless you count Bob Dylan's "The Times They are A-Changin'", a nice retro choice here.

The itsy bitsy details that only a Watchmen fan will recognize and appreciate: 


Where's the fun of making a film adaptation of a book if you don't
throw in a few nods here and there to the book's devoted fan base?
Snyder did more than throw Watch-heads a few bones in this movie; he practically coated the film from beginning to end with tiny details that, while they may not be noticed by people who haven't read the
book, will be adored and appreciated by the book's fans. From the Veidt label on the aerosol can that Rorschach uses to fend off the police in Moloch's house to the Gunga Diner balloon flying over the city, this is the kind of movie that I can see myself watching obsessively on DVD, trying to pick out more and more and more obscure Watchmen details with each viewing.

Rorschach: 


I loved Rorschach in the book; his film manifestation didn't lessen my admiration one bit. While his Clint-Eastwood-with-laryngitis voice bugged me at first, it soon grew on me. Jackie Earle Haley's interpretations of the dialogue were spot-on and his dead-pan Rorschach sans mask face was as identical to the book as it could get. I confess, I came dangerously close to tears at the end when he and Dr. Manhattan had their little Antarctica standoff. Additionally, I was thrilled that Rorschach's classic, "None of you understand. I'm not locked up in here with you. You're locked up in here with me," was kept in the prison scene. Now gentlemen, that's a man's man for you. A man after my own heart

Dan Dreiberg:


Where did they get this guy? He was fantastic -- the perfect mixture of decency, kindness, vulnerabiltiy, and danger. His relationship with Rorschach was well portrayed.

Dr. Manhattan:


Although I always imagined his voice to be deep and monotonous, after hearing Billy Crudup's interpretation, I realized how much better it was at simultaneously conveying the invincible man's weird combination of aloof detachment and emotion. His scenes with Laurie on Mars were outstanding.

The Comedian's funeral:


Although I didn't care much for the choice of Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence" here, the flashback scenes of Dan, Dr.
Manhattan, and Veidt were exceptionally well done.

What flopped miserably

The dry political bits at the beginning: 
I'm not sure why the McLaughlin Group take-off bits were considered to be a better kick-off for the movie than simply starting out of the gate with the Comedian's death. It might have been less daunting for viewers not familiar with Watchmen if the political yakking came after Blake flies out the window.

Adrian Veidt: 


Veidt was the only hero that didn't match his literary counterpart at all. The Veidt in the Watchmen book looked like a pretty-boy Ken doll on steroids; the Veidt of the movie looked like a twiggy English professor togged up in a Halloween costume. And this skinny guy is supposed to be able to take out the Comedian, Rorschach, and Nite Owl? Please. Also, a number of Veidt's harangues, especially the one he gives just prior to the "assassination" attempt, could have been cut substantially without doing harm to the movie.

The Ride of the Valkyries music during the Vietnam War scenes:
Are you kidding me? The scenes themselves were great, but that awful, awful Wagner in the background just made them seem corny. "The Ride of the Valkyries" should be reserved exclusively for German opera houses and the Loony Toons.

Not enough Rorschach: I was terribly disappointed that Rorschach's time with the psychologist ended up being compressed into one brief scene. Rorschach is really the headliner of the entire story, and the details revealed about him in the book as he talks about Kitty Genovese and his personal development into Rorschach are fascinating. With as good a Rorschach as Mr. Haley was, I would have killed to have seen more of him. Or, at the very
least, broken a few fingers to see more.

Rorschach chopping Blaire Roche's killer in the head:
It's not so much the blood and guts (or brains, if you will), that I
mind in this bit, but that it makes Rorschach look more like a blood
lusting lunatic than the avenger he is. I also sorely missed the
phoenix-like imagery that Rorschach describes to the psychologist when he talks about burning the killer's house down: how Walter Kovacs died that night and Rorschach was born.

Too much tits & ass:
I could have done with much less of the Dan and Laurie peep show and much more Rorschach. O.K., so Nite Owl is getting over being impotent, I get it. I don't need to see every detail. Anyway, Dr. Manhattan shows off enough of his electric blue to more than make up for them keeping their clothes on.

Dr. Manhattan as the bad guy:
I'm not certain why the squid/alien thing couldn't simply have remained
as the destroyer of New York City. Did it really make the story less
complicated to just have it all pinned on Dr. Manhattan? I don't think
so, especially since they had to keep harping on tachyons in order to
make the point.

How the Watchmen movie measures up to the Watchmen book

The Watchmen movie was stunning: it was visually spectacular and the details and character performances will keep Watchmen fans more than happy for years. No matter how hard it tries though, it doesn't come close to matching the emotional intensity and depth of the Watchmen book. There are too many parts of the book that the movie couldn't replicate effectively, such as the policeman talking about Blake's murder at the beginning of the book while their words are placed over the pictures showing Blake's death, or The Tales of the Black Freighter snippets mixed with the newspaper-man's conversations. It's a fantastic movie, but remains a better book.

We Examiners are such suckers for Watchmen, you could surf this site all day and not read it all. But at least give it a try. Take a look at these alternative thoughts about Watchmen, the movie:

The Graphic Novel Examiner, Kevin Smith's review of Watchmen

============================