Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Black Panther is All That



Black Panther is a stunning visual spectacle.  


  Black Panther is thrilling, beautiful, fascinating....everything that the critics have been saying.  The only question is why it took so long to make this movie.  Hollywood has been in a rut lately, seemingly fearful of Afrocentric films.  Though some progress has been made, face it, this move has turned Hollywood upside down by brilliantly shattering stereotypes. 
   If this movie had only been about the natural beauty of Africa, it would be a good movie.  The nature scenes are gorgeously shot, the colors and composition are beautiful.  In fact if you could invest in a travel agency that specializes in tours in African countries, it might be a good investment now.
    If this movie had only been about fictional tribes in Africa, it would be a good movie.  For at least two hours (far too short), you can get a feeling about what it's like being a member of King T'Challa's tribe, and how it differs from nine other tribes in the area. It's not intended to be authentic, but nevertheless you get a feeling about what it might be like in an African society.  And we are allowed to see the tribe members not as a faceless monolith, but as individuals with different personalities and individual points of views.  Hey, if you can identify with green skinned aliens in sci-fi movies, then the Wakandan society should be equally sympathetic. Rituals are cool.
    If this movie had only been about ethnically inspired fashion it would be a success. The hairstyles and costumes are fantastically colorful, beautiful and so obviously inspired by African designs.  Now please don't get carried away by the Dora Milajae, who are the all-women royal guards, with shaved heads.  They are not real, okay?   But they are strong and gorgeous and, well, we're just not in Kansas anymore.  But perhaps the most important thing is that they are far from one dimensional.  You can understand their emotions and motivations and a little about what makes them tick. General Okoye is a particularly interesting character.  In fact there could very well be a movie simply about her.  Initially it was kind of jarring, but by the end of the movie I had totally accepted the style choices for the Dora Milajae. If you liked the Amazons in Wonder Woman, you'll be just fine with the Droa Milajae.  

King T'Challa's elite all-female guards, the Dora Milajae led by General Okoye are worth getting to know. Honest.  But don't mess with them.    

  The superhero scenes are very exciting, totally up to spec with Marvel's best.  That alone could have carried the movie.      There is a diverse cast of bad guys, good guys and in-between guys.  They are all very interesting characters.   The only thing you can count on is unpredictability.
   

   The best thing I can say about any movie is that I've never seen anything like it before.  As for the Black Panther, I've never seen anything like it before.  

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Darkest Hour: Great Acting, Story Line Pathetic

   The Darkest Hour is not a documentary.  It is a historical drama, meaning that the writer and director are allowed to imagine events that might have happened, though there might not be evidence that it in fact did happen. I enjoyed it very much because of the cast, which is a five star case.  Gary Oldman is very convincing as  Winston Churchill despite being hampered by a weak script. Oldman channels the Prime Minister's powerful personality, although the script portrays him as a bumbling fool.  Like Donald Trump, Churchill lives in an alternative reality, disbelieving that the Germans have actually invaded France.  
     In reality Churchill was First Lord of the Admiralty at the outbreak of the war and had held several cabinet positions.  He had consistently warned of the warlike intentions of Hitler, and the need to bolster the nation's defenses.  It is inconceivable that Churchill would have been in denial of the reality of the German invasion as portrayed in the movie.  But Gary Oldman's portrayal is so outstanding that it overcomes the pathetic attempts of the scriptwriters and directors to make Churchill into an unsympathetic character.    I think Oldman might contend for an Oscar.
         Kristin Scott Thomas is outstanding as Clementine Churchill.  She is behind the scenes, but there is no doubt that she is vastly more intelligent, wise and emotionally balanced than her husband.  It is she who provides her bumbling husband with guidance while receiving no credit for having done so.  


Clementine Churchill is much more sophisticated, intelligent and wise that her blustering husband.  Crusty old Winston, on the other hand, has the IQ of a grapefruit.  He definitely married over his head.  

      In addition, Ben Mendelsohn is very convincing as King George VI. You can easily believe that you've been transported via time machine to meet the real King, and you can share his concerns and motivations.  Both Ronald Pickup, a doppelganger for Neville Chamberlain, and Stephen Dillane  are much more sympathetic and rational characters than Churchill. It is easy to believe the Appeasement policy was the more rational policy compared to Churchill's hard headedness and emotional decisions.  
    Darkest Hour attempts to portray Winston Churchill in the most unflattering light possible.  Though good at writing speeches and giving them, at his core he is an untalented, unintelligent man who becomes Prime Minister more or less by accident.  He makes snap decisions that affect the future of the world based on emotions.  Were it not for the counsel of his wife, and does not appear to be capable of much independent thought.  I asked my 15 year old daughter, who is not terribly familiar with the Prime Minister, what her opinion of him was, based on the movie.  She said, "His primary characteristic is that he is insane."  
    Well, okay, the purpose of the film's creators is to tear down the legend.  French diplomats rolling their eyes and shake their heads at how disconnected he is from reality.  The problem is that when Churchill reads the actual speeches from 1940, Gary Oldman's portrayal is so strong that it overcomes the intention of the scriptwriter to tear him down.  These speeches simply can not have been given by the tempermental madman that Oldman seems to have been tasked to portray. 
     Similarly, in the movie, Franklin Dr. Roosevelt snickers at Churchill's plea for help, citing the Neutrality Act as the reason for inaction. Roosevelt muses that it might be legal to delivering plane to the Canadian border and having them pulled over the border by horses.  Churchill doesn't take him seriously. The implication was that the US was not going to deliver aircraft purchased by the United Kingdom  (again, I asked my daughter whether she felt that the President intended to assist Churchill at all, and she thought the answer was clearly "no") But in fact they really did use overland transport of aircraft to Canda, as a way to get around legislative restrictions. Such sales had actually begun in February 1940, or BEFORE the German invasion.  In reality the Neutrality Act was significantly modified in November 1939 as a consequence of the Polish invasion. The invasion woke up--at least partially--the global community to the menace of Nazism.   
     The US had been feverishly supplying the Western powers with weapons, and in fact were starting to ship a new high octane aviation fuel (courtesy of the Houdry Catalytic Cracking process) that helped British Spitfires outfly the German Messerschmidts in the Battle of Britain two months later.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it.  
      Again, it's a historical drama, not a documentary.  So if in this movie the characters behave differently than the historical record shows, that's probably within the purview of the writers and directors.
     By the way, the costumes and sets are absolutely wonderful and make the movie worth seeing just for that.  You can believe that you are actually in 1940 and you are seeing the real Winston Churchill (drunken buffoon or not, Oldman's portrayal is captivating). 

    My conclusion is: yes, see this movie. If you are into the craft of movie making and you enjoy great acting performances, it is excellent. But if you are hoping for historical accuracy, you may be disappointed, as many of the events are fictional.   

Saturday, January 6, 2018

May I Please Be an Unhyphenated American?


It's great that all these categories of Americans are set up on our census forms.  However, it's time to recognize "American" as a separate ethnic group.   


  I would like to be known as an American.  Period.  I don't need to set myself above or below anyone else.  There is no box on  the census to be "American." 
   Look, if I have to be hyphenated, by blood, my family is Korean-Amish-Indian-Chinese. (I'm the Korean Amishman, and my wife is from Malaysia, but she is not Malay. Got it?)  By nationality, my Mom was technically born in Japan since Korea was part of the Japanese Empire.  So we're Swiss-Japanese-Malaysian-German-French-Dutch-American.   
    Now I don't mind if YOU wish to be hyphenated.  And I'm cool with government programs that are directed towards some ethnic groups but not others. I"m not saying that there's anything wrong with categorizing people if that's what they want to be known as.  That's not what this is about.  
      It's just that, for myself, I just want to be American.  With no reservations, no qualifiers, no ifs ands or buts.  

     America is odd because it is arguably the predominant culture in the world, but it doesn't realize that it exists as its own culture. It dawned on me when I was watching a tennis match from France at a time when there was an international crisis, and a female African tennis player was booed for being an American.  Not for being from African descent but just because she was an American and symbolized President Bush to the French people.  The rest of the world may not always like us, but at least they recognize us.  
     So you can be European-American, Asian-American, African American, or Native American.  But on the census form, there is no listing for "American."  Also, I am still looking for the box marked "Korean-Amish-Indian-Chinese-Swiss-Japanese-Malaysian-German-French-Dutch-American."   
    At some point, you have to realize that this is getting ridiculous, and no longer descibes many Americans in a useful way.  Perhaps, for at least some of us, it's time to drop all these silly hyphens and to try to do the best we can to just be American.  Plus, I am concerned that insistence on subcategorizing Americans is likely to yield to some form of cultural elitism.  The word "discriminate" actually means to categorize or subdivide.  Only now it means to view one subgroup disfavorably and usually to persecute them.  In the same way, I am concerned that creating categories of people may make us easier to administer and also enable us to persecute other groups.   But I also realize that there are other ways that the government seeks to help correct biases in the system, and they like to keep stats  to see how well it's working.       
     Anyway, as a personal decision, I'm going to write in "American" or better yet leave it blank  when I am asked in the future. 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Jumanji is Entertaining, Exciting and Fun, but about that ethnic stereotyping problem.....

Jumanji provides an unexpected challenge for unsuspecting high school kids transformed into video game characters. 


The new Jumanji is a very good movie, with a little bit of scariness, a lot of humor and excitement, as a young group of high school students become magically trapped in a video game, finding themselves transformed into the video game characters.  I can relate, having been trapped in a few myself.  


The plot has great pace.  If you like action movies and you want to laugh too, it's a perfect film. There are a few scary moments and some adult verbal humor that bring it to the PG-13 level, but nothing blatant.   Dwayne Johnson is very good, a super-powered version of his normal self. Jack Black is hilarious.  It's actually a tough acting job to portray someone who does not match his exterior appearance. Karen Gillian is very believable as a shy high school girl suddenly forced to work with other people.  Kevin Hart is very good, and very funny, although I did not particularly like the way his part was written.  Kevin's character (Moose) is a sterotypic African American male, not very bright, dishonest and smart mouthed, but good at sports. I wonder, is that all that African Americans are allowed to be in Hollywood these days?  Not cool.  But that's not on Kevin Hart, that's on the writers and the producers. 

Hollywood has gotten into a rut the past few years, and Jumanji takes the lazy way out in not challenging the expectations of racial stereotyping.  But it's fun and worth seeing if not an all-time classic.  

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Will Trump Survive 2018? Or will the Russian Connection Bring Him Down?

    I wonder if President Trump's presidency will survive 2018.  Readers of my humble blog will recall that I was one of the first to predict that Donald Trump would win the Presidency, and I was also one of the first to suggest that he might be impeached. I hope that does not happen, but I still believe it is a possibility. But I don't think it will be about election manipulation, or at least I have seen very little that is actually going to impale a sitting President.  On the other hand, illegal insider trading might be more of a concern.
      I am not impressed with the argument that Russian "meddled in the election" because that is a very imprecise term, and if Russia did indeed meddle, that doesn't mean that something illegal occurred.  Look, you can't accuse someone of being a thief unless something has been stolen.  By the same token, "meddling" is not a criminal offense.  

      "Meddling" is when a pro football owner orders the GM to draft his favorite quarterback out of college.  Or if you prefer, it's what Mothers in Law love to do to make the Daughter in Law miserable.   But these are far from felony offenses.  The American people should be shown one vote that was changed, one ballot that was falsified, one fake registration, one voting machine that was hacked, one illegal wiretap or something.  If you can't show that, there is no criminal offense to investigate. 
     Dirty tricks, spying, lies and deception were in fact practiced by Russian intelligence, but these acts are simply not naughty enough to bring down the government, and moreover they have been going on since 1917.  They would have still occurred if the election had been between, say, Bernie Sanders and John Kasich (or whomever).  Indeed, the US major parties do all of the same dirty tricks and more.  It's pathetic, but I doubt if this is going to bring down the Trump Administration.    
    
Did Russian Intelligence "meddle" in US Elections? "Meddling," unless they find something illegal, is  bothersome but nobody is going to jail for it.  But insider trading on oil deals might be more serious.  

Let's ask whether any of the items in the Russia investigation are impeachment-worthy:

     a.  What if the Trump Administration tried to normalize relations with Russia?  Well that's legal, isn't it?  And possibly a good thing.  When did it become conventional wisdom that we should go back to the Cold War? Military and economic cooperation should be the norm.  

     b.  What if Russian intelligence services made fake Facebook accounts and other intrusions into social media to try to influence political opinions? Then they would be doing what the Democrats and Republicans do.  This is disgusting, vile and unethical but not illegal (and by the way, yes, I called your favorite political party disgusting vile and unethical).  
  
      c.  What if Russian intelligence told outright lies about certain Presidential candidates? Isn't that libel or slander? Hello, this is America!  We always tell lies about political candidates.  Are you kidding?  As a practical matter a conviction is nearly impossible. 

     d.  What if the Russians provided information Wikileaks and the Republicans about Hillary Clinton and the DNC?  That's probably not illegal unless the information was obtained illegally and the Trump campaign knew it was obtained illegally and you can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. Hacking can be a felony crime, but good luck trying to pin the blame on some entity.  For example Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange have evaded prosecution for years, despite the fact that everyone knows what they are doing..  And even if it's illegal, Russian spying on America has been going on for years--about the same length of time that we have spied on them. I don't see how collaboration with Wikileaks is going to bring down the government. 

     e.  Well, what if the President's family had a billion dollar deal in the works with Russia, and sought to benefit via insider information?  Now, that might be worth looking into.  The greatest potential for illegality, in my view, is not Putin controlling US elections--that appears to be simply a farce promoted by staunch supporters of Hillary Clinton--but insider trading is a different story.

     To date, I'm not aware of any incriminating evidence, but you have to admit it's a bit odd that the former President of Exxon, Rex Tillerson, became Secretary of State in the Administration, and Exxon has been pursuing a 500 billion dollar deal with Russia for several years.
      Oil deals with Russia are not necessarily illegal either.  Muller would no doubt like to know who had money invested, and who stood to benefit from insider information, if indeed it was available. Were there secret deals?  And if so, who stood to benefit?  Depending on what Muller finds, that could impact the viability of the current Administration.
       Even then, I give the Administration a chance to wiggle out of it. He can simply pardon anyone he likes if they get in trouble, so I think he can probably survive even if they catch a family member in an illegal insider deal.  From the beginning I have thought that the President will pardon his entire cabinet as well as his family.  
A very interesting question is whether the President has the power to pardon himself.  Some sources say flatly that he can not, but others are not so sure.  For example,  famed Constitutional Law scholar Alan Deshowitz believes that it is an open issue, and Charlie Savage expresses similar thoughts in a New York Times article:


   It might take years of legal machinations to resolve whether a Trump self-pardon is legal or not.  That might be enough time to complete his term.  
  Regardless of whether the Administration survives its full term or note, when it is time to leave office, I suspect that the President will simply issue pardons for his friends and family. If he pardons himself, it will take years to decide whether he has the power to that, and plenty of time to wriggle off the hook.  Under these conditions, insider trading might be ultimately successful.   



  


Saturday, December 16, 2017

What About the Claim that Bitcoin Production Will Soon Consume All of the Energy in the United States?

   This can't be right, can it? According to Adam Rogers at Wired, bitcoin production is so energy intensive that in two years it will consume energy equal to all of the energy currently produced in the United States.  The idea is that big computers have to work a long time to generate a bitcoin, and it costs money and energy to operate big computer.  According to Mr. Rogers, it is a lot of energy.  But really, how could it be that the entire energy output of the United States is needed to generate bitcoins??


Dude, when you get an answer that weird, you need to look for a catastrophic error.  As I review the article, the first thing that catches my eye are that power and energy are confused, as are "hashes" and hashes per second  ( a hash being related to operations carried out by a computer). 

Rogers says that bitcoin production involves  0.3 Wattts per billion hashes.  I think he means 0.3 Watts per billion hashes-per-second.  Anyway, I went onto the Bitcoin website to see. 


They say it Bitcoin prodution i currently (Dec 16 2017) associated with 4730 GHash/sec corresponding to 1293 Watts.  Physics majors will recall Watts = Joule/sec and it is an energy consumption rate.   OK so the energy associated with computer operations is equal to 0.27  Watt*sec/GHash.  OK that's where the 0.3 Watts per billion hashes comes from, but the unit is wrong.

Now, however comes a major problem:   he inverts the numbers and comes up with 300 GHash/sec per Watt.  If I understand correctly, this time the unit is correct, but the number is wrong.  When I divide a billion by 0.3, I get 3 GHash/Wsec, not 300.  Oops!  Well, right there it's only 1% of the country's energy, not 100%.  But let's follow the rest of the calculation. 

Mr. Rogers then throws numbers around:  13,600 PetaHashes (1 Peta = 10^15), and 234 kWH.  I'm not sure what those number represent, but let's calculate the energy and average power required to create 1 bitcoin, and then the remaining 5 million or so over the next two years.  The previous linked website gives us three numbers ($0.12 per kWH, 0.2729 Bitcoin per year;  $ 1,359.20 energy cost per year.  If this is representative of 21 Million bitcoins, then

1 bitcoin =  1359.20/0.2729 = $4980.58
Energy to produce 1 bitcoin =  $4980/0.12 = 41,504.82 kWH

The total remaining production history of Bitcoin is supposed to be 5 Million additional.  So the total cost to produce these wonderful treasures is  $4981 * 5e06 = $25 billion dollars. 

The energy corresponding to this production process is 210 billion kWH.   In round terms, the US consumes about 4000 Terrawatt-hours per year.  If the production run lasts two years, Bitcoin production corresponds to 0.000026 of the energy output of the United States, rather than 100% as was claimed. In other words, the energy production of the US is 40,000 times larger than the energy needed by Bitcoin, by my estimation. That's still a ridiculous amount of energy to wasted on financial speculation, but it does not threaten the survival of the economy.    

So, there's my answer. I won't swear to be error free, partly because I don't completely understand how bitcoins are produced or mined, and so I don't know where Mr. Rogers got his numbers or what they mean. But common sense says that if the sensational claims were true, there would have to be power plant after power plant being built to power planetary-sized computers.  I mean, come on. 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Rehabilitating The Movie Batman



It's been on my mind for a while that The Batman is in a terrible slump in the movies and needs to be fixed.  I think the original Batman movie with Michael Keaton wanted to take an entirely different direction that the children's Batman of the 1960s, and so for that reason Batman was a much more somber character, and actually they went back to Bob Kane's 1939 character who wanted to terrorize crooks.  This may not have been a good decision, because the moviegoing audience is not going to understand a scary Batman.
The movies have emphasized Batman's plan to gain an edge over criminals by frightening them by dressing up like a bat. But are crooks of the 21st century scared by a bat suit?  Doubtful.    
   In 1939, it may have been terrifying to see a person dressed as a bat. Plus, initially bad guys may not have heard of Batman and might be surprised by him as an unknown force.   But in 2017, everybody knows Batman.  He is not scary any more, if he ever was.  
    Starting with the 1989 Batman with Michael Keaton, Batman has gotten darker and darker, even to the point of being psychologically disturbed.  Frankly, I find him to be depressing, boring and generally inept.  He has become a handsome version of Wile E. Coyote, who was always getting fantastic devices to use against Road Runner, only to be beaten every time.

The stuff that the Coyote used to buy from the Acme Company worked way better than the decrepit stuff that Batman gets from Wayne Industries.


     In particular, the Batplane is a disgusting piece of junk, and the American military should definitely buy from Stark Industries instead of Wayne Industries. As an Air Force guy, I cannot accept that the Batplane can be brought down from a single shot from a clown revolver (Jack Nicholson's, plus Riddler shot it down again with a laser pistol for good measure). That is utterly pathetic and totally unrealistic. Jeepers, Steve Trevor did much more damage in his World War I jalopy in Wonder Woman than the Batplane ever did.  Similarly, Penguin sabotaged the Batmobile using a jamming kit he probably bought on E-Bay.  Even in the new Justice League movie, Batman's futuristic Spider Tank breaks down.  Somebody is going to do a monolog on late night TV to point out what a joke Batman's hi-tech machines are.    This is not entertaining, and kid's aren't going to buy a toy Batplane or Batmobile if they crash all the time.  It's pathetic. 

     Now let's talk about Batman, mano i mano. To be worth a darn, the Batman should be as good a fighter as Bruce Lee with the knockout power of Mike Tyson.  But no, Batman has to brawl with ordinary thugs these days, usually taking significant damage.  His long bulky cape gets in his way, and he really looks clumsy. When he fought against Keith Ledger's Joker, he pummeled Joker with his fists, but Joker just laughed at him.  That's not a superhero.  That's far below the level of fighter from your local kung fu studio, who would simply destroy Joker with one punch.  
     Look, if Batman is fighting a non-super-badguy, one punch should knock his opponent out, break bones or shatter joints.  Otherwise, don't bore us with his pathetic lack of skill in combat.  



Keith Ledger's Joker just laughed off Batman's puny attempts to punch him out.  Conclusion:  Batman can't punch and can't fight.  

   So, what is to be done with this aging bat? I have a few modest ideas.  Ben Afleck put Batman on the road to rehabilitation in Justice League.  In this movie, he at least thinks about organizing and working on team with difficult personalities.  That's better, but I think he should be allowed to take the role even further down the road to recovery.
    Batman needs to rediscover his role as a detective.  After all, his comic book home was Detective Comics (in fact that's what DC stands for!), and he was billed as the World's Greatest Detective. 
      Like Sherlock Holmes, Batman should be able to get in the head of an evildoer and predict his next move. He should be able to figure out where traps have been laid and outsmart them, like an urbanized Indiana Jones.  

     Batman should stop losing fights to non-entities. He needs to be a superhero, not a marginally effective brawler.  If he goes one on one with the Joker or Luthor, they should not stay awake at the end of the scene.    
    Perhaps he could also develop a sense of humor.   Like Spider-Man, he could take a special delight in humiliating bad guys when gift wrapping them for the authorities. For example, I could imagine a scene in which Batman would catch a bad guy and then attach him to a crane and leave him suspended ten stories high in the air.  Or bad guys might wind up covered in unpleasant substances (think Biff Tanner in Back to the Future, or Marv and Harry in Home Alone 2).   
    They absolutely have to stop the plot device that Wayne Industries products break down on the job.  It's not cool, just stop it.   The Batplane and Batmobile represent DC's answer to Tony Stark's armor.  The way it is now, if DC had Iron Man as a character, his tag line would be, "Oil my mouth."  Riddler would soon make him into a beer keg.  
    No, Batman's weapons should be fantastic and highly effective, rather than simply ineffective as in the past.  The Batplane should be at least as awesome as a military aircraft. In fact, I think it would a prototype built by Wayne Industry's "skunk works," modeled after the real life "skunk works" of Lockheed Martin Aircraft.  That's the only way you could plausibly have a Batplane. It was to be on the books as an exotic prototype fighter (the F-1000 or something), and it has the extra capability to turn into the Batplane, which almost no one knows about.  Batman could press a secret button and it reconfigures into the Batplane, with some special secret weapons that even the Air Force doesn't know about.    He should be able to take on a third world country's Air Force and win, though he might be a bit more concerned if the US Air Force should ever decide to contest its flight.   A bad guy (like James Bond's Dr NO or Goldfinger) should not be safe in a fortress in some Caribbean island.  The Batplane should reduce it to a pile of rocks, and then vanish using active camouflage to blend in with the background.   
    Bruce Wayne could use a facelift also, to compete with Tony Stark. I don't see him as the hard-luck bachelor we have sen so far. His love life should be at least as exciting as James Bond's or, for that matter, Adam West's!.  Adam's Bruce Wayne got to go on dates with Catwoman.   In fact, I think with his rediscovered detective ability, he might be able to deduce that Catwoman is actually Selena Kyle, and so he might decide to go undercover and have an affair with her in order to collect information from her.   Or perhaps he might even have a thing for Wonder Woman, if he can figure out a way to not be crushed by her.  
 
Amazingly, Adam West's elegant and clasy Bruce Wayne had a much more exciting social life than Ben Afleck's. Ben's Bruce mainly hangs out in a cave with his butler.   Here is Bruce on a date with a disguised Catwoman (Lee Meriwether).  Now that's a hot date! She's a killer--really!  
    Lastly, the Alfred character is brought up to date by Jeremy Irons, who is a truly great actor. This character started to make sense in the past few movies, but we're not there yet.  At least now he's a military expert.  Still, we can not imagine that a Butler is able to build fighter jets by himself as a part time job.  That makes no sense. 
  I think Alfred needs also to have a secret identity as the head of the aforementioned Wayne Industry "Skunk Works."  Very few people would realize the full plan, but there has to be an organization to support Batman, not just a butler.  


    So those are my modest prescriptions for rehabbing Batman.  He's a comics icon and will always draw an audience even if the movie is a bomb.  But maybe the next movie won't be bomb.  Hire me, DC.  I'll help out!