Monday, March 29, 2010

Sandra Bullock, Spider-Woman?!

Spider-Woman, a.k.a Jessica Drew, a.k.a. Sandra BullockI had no idea my last post was one of the last good things Sandra Bullock would discover this year. Seems that her husband has been not only unfaithful, but picking from the opposite end of the spectrum. Not only once, but again and again.

I have a lot of empathy for her. As I was going through my divorce, I found out some things that I really didn't want to know, but convinced me I was making the right decision. It also happened right as I was getting the most acclaim as a Designer I had ever had. I won a Creative Shoot-Out with some of Memphis' best creatives and was promoted to Art Director at iDex.

But my life pretty much blew up anyway. When the heart has no home, it goes looking. And even as I went searching and found the love of God in Christ, I went through a huge mess of temptations, job changes, alterations and soul-searching.

I went to some pretty dark places and some beautiful places. I was given every opportunity to be self-indulgent and, as I was serious about getting to the Truth [capital 'T'], I wasn't going to be derailed by my more carnal side. I learned to be wiser in my choices.

It wasn't easy. Its especially hard not to give in when you are heart-broken. I know that.

Like Sandra, I married someone who just didn't have the same values. I think my ex changed, though. We will see if Sandra's soon-to-be ex changes. With a name like 'Jesse James' and the women he's been involved with, I seriously doubt it.

Here's Comes the Spider-Woman
My attention was also captured by Spider-Woman, a motion comic that you can see on YouTube. Effectively, it is a cross between a comic and a full animatic used for motion pictures. It has sound and voice actors and special effects, with dark music and I love it.

Jessica Drew, a.k.a. Spider-Woman is "one of the most screwed-over characters in the Marvel universe." There are various origins for her that say everything from "she evolved from a spider" [which Stan Lee hated and had them change] to "her father saved her with a life-saving drug made from a spider" [the animated series.]

What is consistent is she was raised under the thumb of the Hydra, an evil secret organization bent on world domination. She was trained by them as an assassin and now wants to be free of them and do good. She's had enough of the bad boys. She's had enough of evil.

Unfortunately, even as she was promoted into the limelight as the leader of The Might Avengers, she was upstaged. She was captured and replaced by an alien shape-changing Skrull, so the world at large thought pretty poorly of her for the actions, betrayals and etc. that soon followed. When she was finally rescued by the Avengers she, the REAL Jessica Drew, had no idea of all that had been going on [they'd kept her in a coma, IIRC].

So Spider-Woman is a tangled character. All the worse because she is stunningly beautiful and able to manipulate emotions in others, making them love her or hate her. Hard to get close to a woman like that.

Oh - one last bit of confusion: she is NO relation to Spider-Man. None. Zip. Zilcho. Nada.

But she IS a neat character as Brian Michael Bendis writes her. He wisely takes the 'film noir' approach, where nothing is as it seems and the line between good and evil is dangerously blurred. She's confused, loved by her admirers, heart-broken and not sure who to trust anymore. She can't go home and she can barely see her next step.

I think they ought to make a Spider-Woman film. Let it be self-contained, like Iron Man, with just enough hints that it is in the Marvel Universe.

And I think, after the personal betrayal she has experienced, Sandra Bullock would do a fine job of portraying Jessica Drew.

Sexy, smart, beautiful, strong and wary as hell whenever someone gets near her.

Yeah. She'd probably get another Oscar nomination for that role. ;-)

I'm praying for Sandra to see. Maybe God had her do this last movie so she could meet authentic Christians and a good family [in the Tuohys] just before everything fell apart in her life. I know that's happened many times to me before Jesus grabbed me.

Well, that's as spiritual as I can be today. You may be a superstar [or a superhero] and do great and awesome things - but it is still all about the heart.

For your enjoyment, here's a music video based on the motion comic, Spider-Woman. As an artist, I got to say I think the lyrics for her were very well done.



Yeah. Sandra Bullock for the win (though Jolynn Carpenter is the model used, I'll trust Sandra's acting ability first.)


p.s. Here are the lyrics for you geeks out there

"Watch Your Step"
Spider-Woman's Theme from the motion comic music video
By Dan Phillips with Anna Abbey
Marvel Music Group

Hold your fire
And hide your head
In Spider-Woman's tangled web

Better watch your step
Or you'll wind up dead
In Spider-Woman's tangled web


You can take my friends
You can take my name -
You can hide your face
Or you can play your games

Trouble's nothing that new
I was born this broken
Just give me one thing true
And leave the rest unspoken

Let me lift the veil
On the face of your fail

Hold your heart
And hide your head
In Spider-Woman's tangled web

Better watch your step
Or you'll wind up dead
In Spider-Woman's tangled web

Hold your heart
And hide your head
In Spider-Woman's tangled web

Better watch your step
Or you'll wind up dead
In Spider-Woman's tangled web


I don't like to do it.
I kinda hate this part.
It's not a hero's move -
But I can chain your heart!

Just a tiny push
Just a little shove
And I can make you fear
Or I can make you love...

Let me lift the veil
on the things that you'll fail

Hold your heart
And hide your head
In Spider-Woman's tangled web

Better watch your step
Or you'll wind up dead
In Spider-Woman's tangled web

Hold your heart
And hide your head
In Spider-Woman's tangled web

Better watch your step
Or you'll wind up dead
In Spider-Woman's tangled web

In Spider-Woman's tangled web
In Spider-Woman's tangled web


copied [best guess] 3/29/2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Blind Side - miracles happen

How apropos that Sandra Bullock won her first Academy award for Best Actress for this great film. I was surely blind-sided!

Yeah, I admit, I loved this film but I thought she hadn't a chance. Too many ugly politics in Hollywood. Glad I was wrong.

This low-budget film could almost be called evangelical, in fact. It is the story of a poorly educated black teen who gets entrance into Briarcrest, a prestigious private Christian school in Memphis, TN (my hometown).

Thanks to the care and concern of a well-to-do Christian family, he is brought into their home, their life and like all good fariy-tales, it changes their lives and his life forever. He goes on to college and to fame and fortune.

Nice thing is: it is true. Yeah - this poor young man went on to play for Ole Miss and then to be one of the highest paid NFL players in the league.

Like Facing the Giants and Fireproof, small films made by the Baptist Church that "thought it should", this wears not only the mantle but the message of compassionate Christianity: we are blessed to be a blessing - and if you want to change a life, you have to get involved in it.

For all that, it is not preachy. The only overt reference to Christianity is when Mrs. Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) locates 'Big Mike's long-absent mother.

It is a real-life depiction that is heart-shattering. The woman is ashamed of her arrangement, but is gracious to her visitor. She excuses her appearance as 'medical issues' when in fact it is drugs. She loves her children, but just can't keep up with all TWELVE of them. She is a child living in squalor herself. Mrs. Tuohy makes no judgments, but only wants to let the mother know she wants to take care of Michael, to adopt him, if she will let her. She wants him to have a good education and stay with them.

Michael's mother is - as is often in such cases - stunned and surprised at the offer. She knows she is a failure as a caregiver; she cannot give Michael those things. But that this well-heeled white lady would come to ask her permission? It floors her.

"You a good Christian woman." she says admiringly at last.

"Well... I try," admits Teouhy.

Bullock plays it perfectly. Grateful for the compliment, but perfectly aware she's not "gentle as a lamb." We see her fierceness later in confronting a truly despicable ex-friend of Michael's in a later scene.

I remember Memphis. I remember living and working with the boys that we tried to rescue from the lifestyes of their parents. You could not just talk to them; you had to go live with them and give them a new place to live and grow.

I had a 'Michael.'

But his name was James.

And he left all of his old life behind to go to college and play football, too.

I remember finding that out. I remember the joy in knowing that had happened.

So you see - miracles DO happen.

And you will see one too if you decide to trust God, love Him and love your neighbor as yourself.

Amen.