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Final Crisis (Review/Retrospective)

This post is part of the DCAU fortnight, a series of articles looking at the Warner Brothers animations featuring DC’s iconic selection of characters. I’ll be looking at movies and episodes and even some of the related comic books. Later on today, we’ll be reviewing Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, so I thought I might take a look at a comic book tale which was heavy on Superman, Darkseid and Batman…

This epic elegy for a doomed civilisation, declining from splendor to squalor. This Final Crisis. This last ditch attempt to save creation itself from a loathing and greed beyond measure.

– Grant Morrison outlines the whole point of the book, in case you weren’t paying attention… in a narration which deserves to be read in the most pompously ridiculous style possible

Look, I could hitch a ride back with you. I have a real talent for gritty drama no one’s ever thought to exploit.

– Merryman makes a pitch for “relevance” in the hopes of escaping comic book “limbo”

Destruction or creation. Everything or nothing. A universe full or a universe empty. Life or anti-life. Grant Morrison certainly lives up to his reputation as a frustrating and challenging author – is Final Crisis the statement of a genre looking to make peace with itself, or nonsensical Silver Age surrealism repackaged for a modern world? Is it pretentious or profound? Insightful or devoid of interest? Can’t it be both, or are these mutually exclusive states?

We all knew Obama was Superman…

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Thoughts on Meaning…

So what does this cartoon mean?

It shows how the depletion of our natural resources has pitted our small farmers against each other.

Yes, and birds go tweet, what else?

– College lecturer and student dissect Itchy & Scratchy, “Little Girl in the Big Ten”, The Simpsons

I had the pleasure of moving in with my better half last week, and we grew quite fond of listening to her “best of REM” CD – the excellent In Time. “Orange Crush” happened to play, and my significant other happened to remark that she greatly enjoyed the song. As we nodded in time to the music, I pondered aloud if she was familiar with the meaning of the song – she had been unaware of the origins of the Boomtown Rats’ “I Don’t Like Mondays”, for instance, or “What’s the Frequency Kenneth?” on the same CD. She admitted that she was not, so I offered her a brief synopsis over the discussion as to the “meaning” and “roots” of the song:

Orange Crush was an orange flavored soft drink. In this case, though, it was meant to refer to Agent Orange, a chemical used by the US to defoliate the Vietnamese jungle during the Vietnam War. US military personnel exposed to it developed cancer years later and some of their children had birth defects.

This was met with observations that I tend to “ruin” songs be talking about such things, implying that once you know something like that about a song it becomes a lot more difficult to nod your head along and join in on the chorus. Part of me wonders if the same is a little true of movies, in a manner of speaking – does over analysing and disecting them ultimately lead us to somewhat devalue them as entertainment?

It's actually about nuclear proliferation...

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Desert Island Discs: Who is Taking What…

Congrats again to Andy on running such a fantastically successful Desert Island Discs.

I took the liberty of compiling the selections from the sites that went live this morning to give you an idea of who would be taking what to their desert islands (in case you needed to borrow… or were just curious). The picture is below. Click for a larger version.

Note: Not all the blogs went live this morning – and it’s possible I missed one or two (though I did it methodically). If I did, or if you’ve since added a list, please let me know. If there’s enough interest, I’ll update the list next weekend to give a more comprehensive view.

EDIT: And here it is.

Some notes (because I like trivia):

  • Between us all, we’ll have the completed Indiana Jones trilogy. Because Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull totally doesn’t count. We’ll have incomplete copies of the Lord of the Rings (missing The Return of the King) and the original Star Wars (missing A New Hope) trilogies.
  • There was a bit of hubbub about what we could and couldn’t take – is the list just movies or are other media forms allowed? Various castaways tried to smuggle The Wire and Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog on to their island. I acted under the assumption it was just movies, but am not sure if I’d change anything if I could take TV shows or miniseries.
  • The Godfather Part II does not appear on anyone’s list, which surprises me.
  • The Dark Knight is the most essential movie in blogdom (appearing on five islands), though we’ll likely all be borrowing the single copy of Batman Begins out with us.
  • Only one blogger admitted to bringing porn. And possibly imaginary porn at that.

If you’re bored, you can also try ‘island hopping’ or ‘six degrees of desert island discs’ the idea is basically like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, where you pick two movies on the list and try to connect them by jumping from list to list where titles overlap. It’s a little nerdy, but still fun.

My own list is here.