State of the Union

A couple thoughts on a variety of topics. First off, I watched "The Hulk" tonight. The Hulk is already a throwaway character in my opinion, and I think they did well with what they had. He's a big strong dumb one-dimensional hero, with a devastating lack of memorable villains, but they stuck to what made him endearing, story-wise. As Marvel has wisely figured out, you don't go to these films to see Iron Man or The Hulk; you go to see them for Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, the people behind the mask. So considering General Ross is more of an archetypal "military badguy" than a memorable character in himself, and Abomination is pretty much Ugly Hulk, they could do worse. There's something I like to bring up in comic book movie debates, regarding how you should grade on a curve. Batman is arguably the strongest comic book property in the world, with three other contenders: Superman, Spiderman and Wolverine. Also, I'd say he and Spiderman tie for the strongest tier of memorable villians to draw from. When you consider this, then consider that 90% of all Batman movies are unwatchably bad, it's hard to criticize The Hulk too much. 

Also thought I'd throw in two museum reviews. First, I finally saw the new Seattle Art Museum, and it's fantastic! Visually stunning when you walk in, a sense of storyboarding as you round corners and enter new rooms, and a much better flow of exhibits from one wall to another. They also bring out more of their large pieces thanks to their huge open spaces. I used to be a harsh critic of the SAM, and even though I could respect their focus on a comprehensive inventory of art history, I thought it was poorly executed. Unless the feature exhibit was interesting, it wasn't worth the money. Sadly, I was late to the exhibit I had been hoping to see (the forerunners of the impressionists), but the revamped museum was nonetheless a treat.

Additionally, I just saw the Frye's Egypt exhibit again. I think this was a great collection of work, and it held a special place in my heart for having a piece by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. However, they're tie-in video exhibit, "Empire," felt like garbage to me. Never trust art that doesn't hold any meaning until you read the Artist's Statement. The point of this was to tie into Egypt, Aztecs and Napoleon the modern equivalents of parts of those empires, which is through lavish latin parties and soccer hooliganism. Or at least, I'm sure the people behind this used some excuse like that to obtain grant money. They then procrastinated until a week from their deadline, then panicked and rushed stuff together. The result is some interviews with soccer fans and filming a roof party in Brazil. Maybe I'm reading too much into the motives of "Empire"'s creators. Then again, it takes a loooot more reading too much into their work before it gets the benefit of the doubt. 

Also, just so I don't leave with no new art, here's two pieces. The first is a WIP tarting up of one of my recent sketchbook drawings, which may or may not ever get finished. The second is a piece of space art I did a while back for fun, just because space art's so fun and quick. 


No comments: