Reasons Logan should replace The Dark Knight as the gold standard for superhero films
Hugh Jackman‘s final performance as Wolverine: Yes, Bale is really good so long as you get past the “WHERE ARE THEY?!“ voice, but Hugh is on a whole other level. This is his swan song and he gave it everything he has. It’s the best lead performance in any superhero film, as far as I’m concerned.
The feels: Remember how Rachel died in that film and the reaction from most of us was ‘oh shit, that happened‘. It was more shock than sadness, lbh. Meanwhile, this film packs so much emotional punch. And it’s the full range emotions as well. There are some surprisingly funny moments. But when it gets sad, it does not hold back.
It’s proud to be a comic book movie: While Nolan’s Batman films, TDK included, repress any hint of anything that would compromise his realistic version of Batman, Logan embraces the fact that it’s a comic book movie. A very different kind of comic book movie, but still a comic book movie. Complete with a kid killing grown men with claws, clones, and cyborg hands.
Dafne Keen as Laura Kinney aka X-23: Seriously, there is not a single film in existence that could not be improved by Laura Kinney.
Diversity: OK, the diversity in Logan is not, say, Moonlight levels. But of the three central characters, one is disabled physically and mentally, the other is Mexican. Plus, the story explores the themes of prejudice and racism that have always been a part of X-Men with mutants being referred to as ‘objects‘ and made to be ‘controlled.‘ The Dark Knight has one person of color. And he gets the least attention of the side characters. Everyone forgets that because Morgan Freeman can make five minutes feel as satisfying as a 30 minute scene.
A tightly put together story: I honestly can’t think of a single plot hole in Logan. Sure, the timeline was up in the air, but I was never questioning the characters decision making, or how the logistics of this post apocalyptic future worked. Meanwhile, the Dark Knight has a few plot holes. Like how did Bruce Wayne swim onto a plane from a boat filled with models without any of them saying anything to the news? How is Lau’s arrest even remotely legal? The Joker’s plan hinges a lot on coincidence and people acting and reacting exactly the way Joker wants. And the ending. Why did Batman have to take the blame? Blame the Joker. It is technically his fault, since he pushed Harvey over the edge. And if he says ‘Harvey did it‘, who the hell’s going to believe him?
There’s other little stuff as well. The action scenes are better overall, it never feels too long, it looks better. But most importantly, Logan was a step forward. The Dark Knight was a step forward as well, don’t get me wrong. But it came out 9 years ago. The superhero genre has made leaps and bounds in the time since then. And I want to see a sign that we’re moving forward with the genre, and not clinging to 2008.
It doesn’t even have to be Logan that gets to be the new benchmark of the genre. It could be another film that made a similar or larger impact on the genre (The Avengers, X-Men, Spider-Man, Superman) or a film that’s just as good as The Dark Knight if not better. (Winter Soldier, Civil War, First Class, Days of Future Past, Spider-Man 2). Hell, I’ll take Deadpool or a DCEU movie. Just some indication that we’ve moved on from a film that’s actual impact has overshadowed the film itself.
I am by no means saying that Dark Knight is anything below great. But it’s been 9 years. We’ve had several other great superhero films since then. Some even better than The Dark Knight. Can we please just move on? Nolan has. The actors have. The genre has. DC… is getting there. Why can’t we?
We finally have a movie that seems destined to be the new gold standard for the rest of the genre. Let’s take this as an opportunity to move on and let the genre step out of the shadows of the Dark Knight.
a set of simple strategies to detach from emotional pain for example
(cravings, self harm urges, emotional eating behaviour etc.) Grounding can also
be a way of returning your attention to the outside world and away from
yourself. In the case of dissociation.
PRACTICE GROUNDING TECHNIQUES?
When you are
overwhelmed with emotional pain, you need a way to detach so that you can gain
control over your feelings and stay safe. As long as you are grounding, you are
more likely to be able to overcome urges. Grounding ‘anchors’ you to reality.
with PTSD and dissociative disorders struggle with either feeling too much
(overwhelming emotions and memories) or too little (numbing and dissociation).
In grounding, you attain balance between the two—conscious of reality and ability
to tolerate it.
§ Grounding can be done any time, anywhere
and no one has to know.
· § Use grounding when you
with a trigger, having a flashback or dissociating.
· § Keep your eyes open, look around the room, and
make sure the light is good to stay in touch with the present.
· § Rate your mood before and after to test
whether it worked. Before grounding, rate your level of
· § emotional pain, or your
level of dissociation. Then re-rate it afterwards. Has it gone down?
· Try not to make judgements or
think negatively. The idea is to distract from the negatives.
· § Stay neutral—no judgments of good or
· § Focus on the present, not the past or future.
· § Grounding
is much more active than relaxation exercises and focuses your attention.
deemed to be a better way of coping with PTSD and dissociative disorders than
relaxation practice. As during relaxation the focus is too much within the
body, which at the worst may bring on flashbacks.
♣ Describe to yourself in detail your
surroundings: For example “The walls are white, there are three pink chairs and
a blue sofa. There is a picture of a brown border collie on the wall with a
gold frame around it.” You can do this out loud if appropriate, or in your head
if you are in public.
♣ Play a game like “Scattergories” in your head
or with a friend or family member. Choose a letter of the alphabet and try and
come up with as many examples of a category you choose as you can. For example
C … Boys names: Christopher, Curtis, Carl, Charles etc.
♣ Do an age progression. IThis can be
particularly useful if you have dissociated or regressed to a younger alter or
state. For example in my experiences I have an alter who is three. So I might
say… Now I am four, I am at home with Mummy and Daddy and I can do (an example
of an age appropriate activity) alone. Work your way up until you are back to
your current age. This may not always work for little alters, but can help.
♣ Describe an everyday activity in great detail.
For example if you like gardening “I open the shed door and pull out the
lawn mower, I connect it to a power supply and climb on. I turn the key and put
it into drive….”
♣ Imagine. For example make up a nice
little story in your head, or out loud. “I am putting some roller skates on,
and I am slowly gliding away from all my emotional suffering down a beautiful
smooth lane, having fun listening to my favourite music LOUD!”
♣ Say a safety statement. ‘My name is
_________; I am safe right now. I am in the present, not the past. I am in
_____________ the date is _____________.
· ♣ Read something, saying each word to yourself. Or read each
letter backwards so that you focus or the letters and not on the meaning of
· ♣ Use humour: For example have a “Funny Memory Bank” where you store up
your favourite witty moments for those detached, rainy days.
· ♣ Count to 100 or say the alphabet very slowly or very fast.
· ♣ Repeat something meaningful to yourself, such as a prayer or quote. For
example you could use the Serenity Prayer.
û Run cool or warm water over your hands.
û Grab tightly onto your chair as hard as you
· û Touch various objects around you: a
pen. keys, your clothing, the table, the walls. Pay close attention to colours,
weights, textures etc.
· û Firmly stamp your feet on the floor, literally
grounding yourself. Feel the tension of your feet against the pressure of the
· û Carry a ground object in your pocket—a small
object such as a rock, stone, crystal, bead, piece of string or cloth, or a
stress ball that you can touch whenever you feel triggered.
· û Jump up and down.
· û Stretch reach upwards and pull yourself
tall. Extend your arms, legs, fingers and toes.
· û Walk slowly, noticing each footstep.
· û Eat something yummy. Notice the flavours,
textures and feelings that come up for you.
· ♥ Use Cheerleading statements, as if you were talking to a small
child. For example “You are having a difficult time adjusting to these chanes,
but you are doing so well. You should be proud of yourself.”
· ♥ Think of favorites. Think of your favorite color, animal,
season, food, time of day, TV show.
· ♥ Picture people you care about. Even get a photobook made of positive
pictures or pictures of people you love! Such a simple nice way to ground, and
you can get A4 photo books at the moment from GroupOn for under £7!! (I in no
way endorse them I just thought it was a good offer!)
· ♥ Remember the words to an inspiring song, quotation or poem that
you like or feel positively about. Maybe write out the words and decorate it
for your wall.
· ♥ Remember a safe place. Describe a place that you find very
soothing it could be when you went on holiday to the beach, or walking in the
woods. Or just a time you felt safe and peaceful at home in your living room or
· ♥ Plan out a safe treat for yourself, such as a trip to a coffee
shop with a friend, making a nice dinner or a bath with some nice toiletries or
candles if you feel safe to use them
· ♥ Think of things you are looking forward to in the next week.
Perhaps schedule your time so you build some structure for chores and
pleasurable activities. It can help to know what you are doing and also not
just sit at home with nothing to do. This can cause difficulties.
WHAT IF GROUNDING DOESN’T WORK?
♠ Practice as often as possible. Even
when you don’t feel overwhelmed or dissociative. This way it will come more
naturally to you when you are struggling.
♠ Practice faster. Speeding up the pace
gets you focused on the outside world quickly.
♠ Try grounding for
a Ioooong time 20 mins at least, and then repeat !!
♠ Try to notice
whether you do better with physical or mental or soothing grounding.
♠ Create your own methods of grounding. Any
method you make up may be worth much more than those you read here because it
♠ Start grounding early in a negative mood cycle.
Start when you begin to feel the early warning signs of dissociation or when
you have just started having a flashback.
Epic Movie (Re)Watch #119 - Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Have I Seen It Before: Yes.
Did I Like It Then: Yes.
Do I Remember It: Yes.
Did I See It In Theaters: No.
1) Starting this comedy/noir film off with what appears to be an animated cartoon from the 40s is a good way of establishing tone for a few reasons. First of all it tells us what kind of toons Roger and company are. The kind that star in short after short after short like Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny, as opposed to say the Care Bears (it was the 80s, so I’m going with that example) who had a TV Show and a movie. It also introduces us to Roger, Baby Herman, the idea of ACME in cartoons, and Maroon studios. Also the film’s excellence in slapstick is there from the get go.
2) But as soon as the cartoon is over, we’re in the “real” world. This film has a slight bit of edge to it that I wildly appreciate. Not like Martin Scorsese edge, but come on. This is a film starring animated characters that has swearing, murder, sexual innuendo galore, and an alcoholic main character. For example in the original version of the film (now edited out): after Baby Herman walks under the skirt of a female employee on set, his finger is extended upward and has some liquid on it. That is VERY adult but will go over the heads of children.
3) According to IMDb:
Joel Silver’s cameo as the director of the Baby Herman cartoon was a prank on Disney chief Michael Eisner by Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg. Eisner and Silver hated each other from their days at Paramount Pictures in the early ‘80s, particularly after the difficulties involved in making 48 Hrs. (1982). Silver shaved off his beard, paid his own expenses, and kept his name out of all initial cast sheets. When Eisner was told, after the movie was complete, who was playing the director - Silver was nearly unrecognizable - he reportedly shrugged and said, “He was pretty good.”
4) Bob Hoskins as Eddie Valiant.
Eddie is a wildly interesting character. He’s a former goofball who has kept his sharp tongue for wiseass remarks and being a pain in the ass, which is always appreciated by me. His conflict is incredibly interesting (more on that later) and he’s just a great character to follow around in this world.
Bob Hoskins is perfect for this role. I’ll go into detail on this later but his interactions with the cartoon characters look easy when they’re not, and Hoskins is able to balance the sourpuss aspect of Eddie’s personality with the wiseass, heartache, alcoholism, and former goofball in a complete package.
According to IMDb:
On the Special Edition DVD, Robert Zemeckis recounts that he had stated in a newspaper interview that Bill Murray was his and producer Steven Spielberg’s original choice for the role of Eddie Valiant, but neither could get in contact with him in time. Bill Murray, in turn, has stated that when he read the interview he was in a public place, but he still screamed his lungs out, because he would have definitely accepted the role.
I think Hoskins can’t be replaced though.
5) This film is more of a noir film than an animated fantasy. You have your archetypes like RK Maroon begin the big money slime, Judge Doom is the shady government official, and Jessica Rabbit it the femme fatale. This is felt in every aspect of the film, from the cinematography right down to Alan Silvestri’s wonderful music.
6) Remember how I said Eddie had a great conflict?
Angelo [bar patron who Eddie flipped out on]: “What’s his problem?”
Dolores [Eddie’s sort-of-girlfriend and bar owner]: “Toon killed his brother.”
Like that is such a strange idea, a murderous toon, and it provides such great conflict for Eddie. A conflict which we see laid out before us when the camera takes the time to look at all the stuff on his and Teddy’s desk. You SEE that Eddie is in pain, and without a flashback you see the guy he used to be when his brother was around. The fun goofball who liked working Toontown and helpings toons out. To go from that to where he is now takes a lot of heartbreak.
7) I love that the password to get into the Ink & Paint Club is, “Walt sent me.”
8) Daffy and Donald Duck.
This is the first (and to date only) time cartoon characters owned by Warner Brothers and Disney have appeared in a film together. Since the film was being made by Disney, WB only allowed to have their characters show up if the major characters had the same amount of screen time as the Disney characters. That’s why Donald/Daffy and later Mickey/Bugs always share the screen together.
As a kid THIS was my favorite part of the film! The crossover aspect. Getting to see characters interact who normally don’t. AND they got the official actors at the time to voice them. Mel Blanc voices all his Looney Tunes characters, Tony Anselmo is Donald, and Wayne Allwine is Mickey Mouse. These aren’t cheap cameos, these are the genuine articles and that’s amazing!
9) There are also some appearances by non-Disney/non-WB characters, such as Betty Boop.
I think the inclusion of Betty is a nice way to pay respect to the early days of studio animation, and her original voice actress was still alive at the time so she got a chance to reprise the character.
10) Jessica Rabbit.
Before anything else, I would just like to point out that Jessica’s proportions are PURPOSEFULLY impossible. I think that this is done to play into the idea of her being a femme fatale, but more so even to critique some of the ridiculous bodies animated female characters have (but that last part may just be wishful thinking on my part). Kathleen Turner unfortunately does not get credit for her voiceover work as Jessica, which is a shame because she gives the character so much of her heart and intrigue. When she’s just the femme fatale Jessica’s a bit of a stereotype but by the end of the film she becomes truly interesting to me because she doesn’t just fill that role. There’s also a fan theory about Jessica I’m totally onboard with, but more on that later.
11) Robert Zemeckis’ films are marked for their incredible special effects, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit is no exception. Ask yourself: every time an animated character opens a door, or moves a desk, or splashes water, or bumps into a lamp, or (in the case of Jessica) pulls Eddie close to them by his tie and then lets him go, how did they do that on set? Because they had to! CGI is not a factor in this film. The animation is done by drawing over the film that was shot in the traditional fashion, but everything else had to be done practically on set. It’s so subtle and so natural that I marvel at it every time.
She’s in love with a rabbit because he makes her laugh.
She uses her body to get things she wants from people, but outside of that doesn’t she interest in anybody.
Her line, “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way.”
Her line, “You don’t know how hard it is being a woman looking the way I do.”
The only thing that really contradicts the theory is that later in the movie Eddie says to Jessica that Roger is a better lover than a driver, to which she replies, “You better believe it buster.” But I can easily see that as her defending his loving husband side instead of any sexual prowess.
13) Another thing that supports the asexual Jessica theme is that instead of her doing anything sexual with Marvin Acme, she plays Patty Cake with him. Like literally, patty cake.
(GIF source unknown [if this is your GIF please let me know].)
That is a joke I did not understand as a child.
14) I haven’t talked too much about Roger’s voice actor yet, Charles Fleischer.
During filming, Charles Fleischer delivered Roger Rabbit’s lines off camera in full Roger costume including rabbit ears, yellow gloves and orange cover-alls. During breaks when he was in costume, other staff at the studios would see him and make comments about the poor caliber of the effects in the “rabbit movie”.
Fleischer’s voice IS Roger in so many ways. All he can do to deliver Roger’s heart is speak, and Fleischer’s performance in this film is not to be underwritten because it is amazing. It is full with such life, such heart, and a surprising amount of honesty. It works brilliantly.
15) You have to keep your eyes open for the little innuendos in this film. For example, when Eddie meets Jessica at the crime scene he quickly peeks down at her boobs. This is the first time I’ve ever noticed that and I’ve seen this film a lot.
16) Christopher Lloyd as Judge Doom.
Director Robert Zemeckis had worked with Lloyd on their most iconic film Back to the Future (where Lloyd played Doc Brown), and now Lloyd gets to show off his villainous side. He is wonderfully and gleefully evil, showing no remorse and has a cartoon like quality which makes the bad guy work wonderfully in the role. He’s just threatening enough but also just funny enough. And Lloyd never phones it in once. It’s a fantastic performance through and through.
16.5) Can we talk about how this judge just murdered a cartoon shoe for no other reason than to show that he could and no one stopped him. Like, is the shoe technically a prop and so it doesn’t count as murder? Because that thing seems more alive than a prop!
17) So I talked about Roger’s voice actor but not much about Roger as a character yet.
Roger is a pure cartoon character, and I mean that in a sort of literal sense. He’s not tainted by greed or hatred, he is pure joy and humor. A bit of a dunce but he trusts people and WANTS to see the best in them. His entire purpose in life is to make people life and that feeds every decision he makes. It’s a wonderful cartoon counterpart to Hoskins as Eddie.
18) Hoskins’ interactions with Roger is where he shines. Because remember, Hoskins was not on set with Rogers. He was looking at an empty space which would be drawn in latter. But when you watch the film he’s never looking through the space. He’s miming it excellently, he is looking AT an animated character who isn’t even there yet. It’s amazing and the key reason he excels in the role.
19) I never caught this line before.
Roger [asking Eddie for help]: “You know there’s no justice for toons anymore.”
So toons are sort of a disenfranchised minority. That’s an interesting concept. If there’s a sequel maybe they’ll play with it.
20) According to IMDb:
When Eddie takes Roger Rabbit into the back room at the bar where Dolores works to cut apart the hand-cuffs, the lamp from ceiling is bumped and swinging. Lots of extra work was needed to make the shadows match between the actual room shots and the animation. Today, “Bump the Lamp” is a term used by many Disney employees to refer to going that extra mile on an effect just to make it a little more special, even though most audience members will never notice it.
Nothing sums up Roger more than the fact that he can only get out of those handcuffs when it’s funny. It feeds into how Roger entertains all the guys at the tavern because they’re down on their luck, even though they could turn him over to Doom for a ton of cash (but they don’t). He believes in the power of laughter.
Judge Doom [upon observing the record on the record player]: “‘The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down’. Quite a looney selection for a bunch of drunken reprobates.”
“The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down” is the theme to the Looney Tunes shorts.
23) The rest of the bar scene is filled with so many great cartoon gags. The fact that Judge Doom is able to lure Roger out by having him respond to, “Shave and a haircut,” is great. But a subtler reference is how Eddie gets Roger to drink the alcohol and loose control (thereby freeing himself from Doom). They go back and forth where Eddie wants Roger to drink the drink but Roger doesn’t want it, but when Eddie says Roger DOESN’T want the drink Roger says he wants it just to continue the conflict. Sound familiar?
24) Benny the cab is another fun original character added to the film, and he’s the same voice over actor as Roger!
25) I find this hysterical.
Benny [right before they’re going to hit a car]: “Pull the lever!”
Eddie: “Which one?”
Roger: “Which one?”
Benny: “‘WHICH ONE?’!?”
26) I am so ashamed of myself that I never caught the Back to the Future reference this film makes! Benny is driving down an alleyway and the evil weasels are driving straight towards him, and one of the weasels declares, “I’m gonna ram him!” Well in Back to the Future (also directed by Robert Zemeckis) Biff Tannen is about do the same thing to Marty McFly and says the EXACT same line as we get the EXACT same shot of his car!
I love that.
27) Me too Roger, me too.
Roger [expecting another cartoon to play in the movie theater but it’s a news reel]: “I hate the news.”
28) When we were introduced to Roger in the opening cartoon, I was trying to dissect what made him a unique cartoon character. Like Donald has his temper tantrums, Bugs Bunny is a wise guy, and Roger I’ve discovered likes to go on tangents. Like someone will tell him to do something and he’ll talk for five minutes about how well he’ll do it even when no one is around to listen. I like that.
29) The animated bullets Eddie uses in the gun given to him by Yosemite Sam are very much in the style of Chuck Jones and I can appreciate that.
30) It’s pretty fun watching for all the animated characters the filmmakers inserted into Toontown.
31) Droopy Dog is another cartoon character who shows up despite not being owned by Disney or WB. This meant he got to show up again later in an animated Roger Rabbit cartoon.
32) When Eddie is in a Toontown bathroom there’s writing on the wall that says, “For a Good Time Call Alyson ‘Wonderland’,” but then there’s no phone number. The theatrical release DID have a phone number but it was Michael Eisner’s home phone (I think) so it was edited out for the home video release.
33) What could possibly top Donald Duck & Daffy Duck dueling pianos?
I love everything about this. But it also gets to another agreement between WB & Disney: Disney did not want any of their characters doing anything to harm Eddie, so that’s why when he gets the “spare” from Mickey & Bugs (it’s a spare tire but he thought it was a parachute) it is BUGS who gives it to him!
Honestly it’d be awesome if Disney and WB could make more crossover cartoons. That would be pretty awesome.
34) File this one under jokes I didn’t get as a kid:
35) So Judge Doom’s end goal, his whole villainous plan, is to construct…a freeway? God, if it weren’t for the twist coming up that would’ve been so stupid.
36) Eddie’s comedy routine is great. It shows Bob Hoskins’ skill at slapstick and goofball and is just a joy to watch. Also we get this fun line:
Eddie: I’m through with taking falls / And bouncing off the walls / Without that gun, I’d have some fun / I’d kick you in the…
[bottle falls on his head]
Head Weasel: Nose? That don’t rhyme with “walls.”
Eddie: No, but this does. [kicks Head Weasel in the balls, propelling him into a vat of Dip]
37) Doom is a toon!
This is a nice twist in the film that you can totally see was setup if you’re looking for it. Christopher Lloyd is able to play Doom with an even bigger sense of cartoony evil, and it means his end goal of a freeway isn’t so stupid after all.
38) The train that hits the dip machine at the end has a bunch of window. If you go through it frame by frame, each window depicts someone being murdered. Fun fun fun.
39) According to IMDb:
The opening track on the Sting album “…Nothing Like the Sun”, the song “The Lazarus Heart” was originally written as the movie’s musical finale, at an early stage of the movie’s production when the book’s tragic ending, where Roger is killed in the crossfire during the final duel, was still in the script. When the studio ordered its default ending to be used at the film’s end, in which Roger is alive at the end of the duel, however, the song was deleted from the script and ended up on Sting’s album instead.
40) I like that the film ends not only with the classic, “That’s All Folks,” but also Tinkerbell to let us know this was special.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is awesome. It’s fun, funny, gives us interesting characters, has effects which stand the test of time even 29 years later, and is just a wonderful ride. Hoskins’ performance and the animation are the true standouts here, but that is not to discredit any of the other amazing aspects of the film. A true joy to watch all the way through.
I KNEW IT. We all knew it. He was too smart. When they killed him off so easily I was in shock at first but then I realised it would be an insult for such a genius character die like that. He must be alive, somewhere. And here we are, almost two seasons later. I can’t wait to see him in 8x13! Get ready, our sociopath is back! Thx Matt for ringing that bell! ♥ “Miss me?”