Five times Robert Pattison’s “The Batman” suit worked on screen and Five times it did not.

Let’s start out by giving a round of applause to Matt Reeves and fellow cast members for delivering such a wonderful piece of art at a time when the film industry is rattled with questionable and quite appalling projects. This film, a comic book adaptation, respectfully borrows to my knowledge from multiple medium – such as The Long Halloween, Batman Year One – to convey a story worth watching without needing to constantly roll your eyes (I’ve been doing that a lot lately with recent films. Have you?).

The score, the colors and set pieces allowed me the opportunity to immerse myself into a world beautifully crafted by Reeves and company. I still listen to the score played at the Mayor’s funeral on repeat. What can I say, it’s just breathtaking. And to add to that immersion, the decision to release a short novel prior to the film was brilliant. If you read it, you learned a ton about the world we’re introduced to in the film and it adds a much welcome layer to the experience. Bruce Wayne isn’t front and center in this film, however; reading the novel automatically bestows upon you this feeling of familiarity and empathy for the character and his crusade to elevate Gotham to a brighter future.

And in order accomplish that goal, he builds himself a suit of armor and adopts the shadows as his ally. With that said, Matt Reeves tried his best to gives us a glamorous yet practical suit. Due to the suits “homemade” originality, proper lighting was necessary in every scene for us fans to not only believe but obviously fall in love with it. In my opinion, I can undoubtedly say that Robert Pattison did an excellent job with what he had to work with and I’m very excited to see where he takes this character and the suit in the much anticipated sequel.

So without further ado, here’s five times the suit worked on screen and 5 times it did not. (Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN ANY OF THESE PHOTOS. THEY ARE THE PROPERTY OF WARNER BROS. PICTURES)

WORKED (5)

Talk about copying and pasting straight out of a comic book page!
I’m still trying to figure out how much work went into this shot. Just amazing!
WOW!
This looks even better as it unfolds, so go watch this scene if you can….now!
A thousand applauses for this shot!

DID NOT WORK (5)

When I first saw this scene, my brain just could not comprehend the odd take on this one. The cowl is just off.
The hockey-like shoulder pads…..a bit cringe.
The shoulder pads once again.
Reeves loves his close shots, but unfortunately it does not do the suit justice on many occasions. Especially the cowl.
Maybe I’m nitpicking here, but prior to taking flight, his suit looked a little funny. Go back to this scene and watch his right armpit area. Without him even touching the suit, it looked inflated.

Let me know what you guys think. Did you enjoy the film? What were some things that you loved or where bothered by during your experience?

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Fear makes us all vulnerable and highly susceptible to change

There are two things in life which are certain, death and taxes. But what if I told you this aphorism was partially false? Would you believe me? What if I told you that taxes don’t have to be certain? Would that tickle your imagination a bit? So many instances could lead to the demise of tax collection as a national collective. Obviously, the sheer number of individual tax evaders is already prevalent and it’s a phenomenon I can’t possibly quantify. But as a collective, it’s absolutely not set in stone. A government coup or the refabricating of our national economic model are two of many scenarios where taxes can pivot from certainty to history. 

The same can’t be said for death. Death is without a doubt inevitable. I sometimes fantasize about the idea of being a principal scientist in search of discovering a revolutionary solution to the shortening of our telomeres, hoping that one day we could extend the process of aging. After basking in fantasy for a quick minute, I always immediately crash back to earth pondering at the realization that death is sadly certain for all species on earth. But you see how the fragile mind works. Fearful of death, my mind is constantly ready to formulate any absurd scenario where the one thing it fears more becomes non existent. 

Which brings me to my main point: The death of all social constructs as we once knew it.

Depending on your beliefs, the world has been around 4.5 billion years. Out of those 4.5 billions years, sentient life has been around for 6 million years while the modern form of human life evolved and thrived for as much as 200,000 years. Now, if you are a Christian and do not believe in evolution, the modern form of human life evolved and thrived approximately 6000 years ago. Now, whether you believe in 200,000 or 6000 years doesn’t really effect this piece because, both are tangible evidence to make my case. For 200,000 years or 6000 years, humans have formed societies to add meaning and structure to an unforgiving world desperately trying to axe them off the face of existence. Within said structure were roles created to ensure the survival and advancement of said society. Individuals had a purpose (innately discovered or implanted by societal hierarchy) to strive toward. Through those remarkable years, we discovered incredible technologies through the dedicated work of scientists and engineers. Incredible technologies with which we continue to reap the benefits in the year 2021. To name a few: energy sources, vehicles of transportation, modern agriculture, modern medicine, computers, Web1, Web2, Web3 and film….ect. Those years also gave rise to spectacular artists, poets, writers, filmmakers and historians. Within the same degree of discovery also rose horrific discoveries and vile leaders who alone destroyed or almost succeeded at destroying established societies. 

Societies within every culture, whether we accept it or not, play a vital role in the life of all species roaming the earth. From the day we are born to the day we die. Human interaction, conversations, debates, intimacy, war and a plethora of other things molds us into the person we stare in the mirror daily, good or bad. And within those interactions are the technologies which facilitate our lives through efficiency. With efficiency, technological advancements have increased exponentially giving way to a new society, one drastically and far removed from those of our predecessors. In this new society, we are granted the biggest gift of all – time. More time to spend with family, friends and loved ones, right? Well, not quite right. Study shows that as a collective, we spend about 59 hours a week of our free time on the internet. 80% of internet users are mobile users which signals the beginning of the “cyborg” lifestyle Tesla CEO, Elon Musk dubbed a year ago. In the United States, the average time spent on social media is clocked at 2 hours and 41 minutes with projections eyeing an increase. Surpassing the U.S is the Philippines with a whopping 4 hours. 

Through the revolutionary technology of social media, we were given the avenue to transport our real world experiences and sense of belonging, pride and dignity to a world dictated by algorithms which we knew very little of and their impact on the human psyche until recently. CEO’s of these mega tech corporations have gone on record to admit the unforeseen impact of their creation and have swayed the public to indulge wisely. But, how can one indulge wisely when one’s needs of love, belonging and affirmation have been hijacked by this technology and are served back to them on an artificially bloated platter. The one thing one fears most in real life can suddenly go away for a brief moment once on social media at the touch of a digital button.

And if that wasn’t enough for the fickle minded brain of the consumer , who former Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg errogantly described as “dumb fucks”, recently introduced to market was a mind shattering technology called the Metaverse. A place where you can live out your wildest dreams and fantasies. A place where business meetings, shopping, dating, learning can be done through the usage of 3 dimensional avatars in 3 dimensional space. Providing even more efficiency, you may never have to leave the comfort of your home except for emergencies. Why would you when you can just put on Virtual Reality Headsets, gloves and become your true self digitally. Your biggest fears become a thing of the past and your worries, well possibly non-existent. As of this moment, virtual lands and roads are being sold for millions of dollars. Conglomerates such as Nike who are aware of the shift in the air are buying in early to secure their seat at the big table in the Metaverse. 

As you read this piece, you’re without a doubt convincing yourself that this 3 dimensional society will never come to fruition like they want it to. And to that, I say think again. Prior to consumer culture, we had a culture of producers. How did they get us onboard? Prior to social media culture, we all had tangible social lives? How did they get us onboard? What we have to ask ourselves is,  what are we afraid of so much that we are willing to forsake our real selves for something uber artificial? What are we afraid of that makes us so vulnerable and susceptible to these drastic changes? What are we afraid of that we are willing to destroy the very fabric of what’s decently left of our current society for the Metaverse?

As you ponder over these questions, I’ll leave you with two excerpts. I can’t quite remember the species they used for the first excerpt since a large chunk of time as elapsed since I last read about these experiments, so I’m going to try my best to summarize:

  1. A group of scientists once conducted an experiment in the hopes of understanding the importance of a society. They ran two tests. One had a colony of larvae in close proximity and the other had a colony of isolated larvae. The species which hatched from close proximity over time grew to build a strong society. A society of unity which benefited all surviving members of that species. The species which hatched from the isolated colony over time grew and demonstrated an astounding number of members who sadly became cannibals.
  2. A brilliant scientist intrigued with studying the fabric of society built a utopian world for a large group of mice. This experiment stretched out for years. They had unlimited food, unlimited water and more. Things begin smoothly take shape for the colony of mice. Unfortunately, as the years went on, the brilliant scientist was met with grave disappointment. War broke out within the colony. The mice had stopped mating, some even stopped taking care of themselves. Instead, a handful turned to cannibalism. Others just refused to eat and simply died of starvation even with the excess of food at their disposal. Soon enough, the colony self-destructed.  

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Side note: Why did I write this article?

Never have I been one to shy away from appreciating and admiring technological advances. Heck, I even go as far as trying to convince others to adopt those innovative ideas in their day to day lives. Innovations such as Peer to Peer trading like crypto, transparent ledgers facilitated by the blockchain, NFT’s, EV’s, Neuralink and many more all have potential. When I analyze them, I tend to weigh more positives on the scale of utility. Yet, after researching and reading about the topic of the Metaverse, I got a sense that there’s an outcry from a small community. An outcry possibly stemming from the foreseeable loss of freedom of speech, freedom of privacy, freedom of choice…ect. I for once see the validity in their outcry no matter how much I admire the technological advances aforementioned. 

With Insta’s 2bil+ active users and TikToks 2bil+ active users who combine spend about 6+ hours a day on these apps, it can be a scary thought to think what the Metaverse will provide to these users if it delivers on all its promises. 

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Underwater We Can’t Be Together

Are we all living underwater?

Aurora has always been a favorite artist of mine ever since I discovered her song called: “Murder Song”. The tone and words articulated immediately captivated my attention for reasons that may seem trivial to some. The detailed story telling painted a gruesomely vivid imagery of “US”, citizens of this world, as emotionally damaged. Obviously you’ll argue that not all individuals are emotionally damaged and my rebuke would be to ask the 29 million people who viewed the song on youtube, add that by the number of spotify/apple/amazon streams and for analytical accuracy multiply that by the magic number 3. That should give an accurate estimate, right? Maybe not, but the point is that people in such a state of mind find the song captivating. If you think about the booming success “Emo” music has enjoyed these past few years compared to other genres, it should paint you a clear picture of our state of mind as a society. But I digress. 

To paint the picture of how I ended up on Aurora’s playlist today, it started with a normal lazy day listening to music. We just got off a celebratory phase with Independence Day and here I am enjoying my time off work, listening to music and analyzing lyrics. (Hooray to corporate America for such eccentric perks) As my songs shuffle one after another, a song by Haiva Ru comes on called: “Wildflowers”. I heard it before. To be fair, I thoroughly enjoyed the melody and the instruments the first time I heard the song. I can recall a few words when it comes on but I mostly like the song because of the melody. Suddenly, a thought crossed my mind. Phrases from a past conversation with a friend over 4th of July constantly echoed. Phrases such as – Happiness, sadness, sins of the father and mother, relationships, building or upholding a community, caring..ect. We discussed on a micro level how the butterfly effect is much bigger than we had originally imagined. “Maybe we should write a paper on this?” I told my friend, even though I knew we most likely wouldn’t because of the time it would take. The idea stuck to mind after he left and it sincerely nagged me to the bone. Oddly enough, those thoughts propelled me to look up the lyrics to Haiva’s songs this afternoon. As I read them without the music in the background, a small patch of fog dissipated from my mind. I loaded a second song by her and read the lyrics. A second patch of fog left my mind. I tried to understand the message she was trying to share. Following a few reads, I immediately looked for similarities which caused me to tumble back to Aurora. 

As I carefully read the lyrics to Aurora’s song called: “Running with the wolves”, I think it’s safe to say that I experienced an epiphany like never before. So, I loaded another song called: “Underwater”. After days of battling with the idea of writing the piece regarding “The real butterfly effect and society’s collective state of mind”, I became victorious. The lyrics to “Underwater” served as a catalyst for me to begin writing the piece my friend and I lightly shrugged to the side. To make sense of our vision, here are the lyrics which stuck out the most:

Under the water we can’t breathe, we can’t breathe

Under the water we die

Under the water there is no one watching

Under the water we are alone

Then why do we jump in?

So many souls, that lost control

Where did they fall?

Into the deep, what do they seek?

Where did they fall?

Hearts will dream again

Lungs will breathe in

Wash away the sins

It’s where it begins

Feet won’t fail you now

Arms won’t let you down


In the next coming weeks, I am going to share with you all a handful of original articles which in the end will hopefully merge into a cohesive narration of “The real butterfly effect and society’s collective state of mind”. It’s hopefully going to answer questions such as: “Why do we do the things we do? Why aren’t we doing the things we’re supposed to be doing? How does it impact those around us? How does it impact our community? How does it impact the world?” The lyrics above encompass the present with a melancholic tone and end with hope. My goal is to mimic Aurora’s delivery and bring you 6 robust chapters answering the questions mentioned above with revelations from current events and possibly solutions to issues deeply aching us to our core.

Family Vs. Friends

The word family for some is defined by the bonds accumulated over time with blood relatives. To others, it means the strong bonds and relations birthed and maintained with individuals who aren’t of shared descent. In both contexts, we tried our best on Friday to understand the dynamic between the two and tried to understand if one held more weight than the other. Can a bond between a mother/father and a son/daughter ever be replicated between friends? 

Some concluded that it sure can. I believe the natural fabric or essence of family extends beyond blood relatives. It may seem or sound foreign to many people but it has happened and it continues to. I believe a friend can be there to pick up the slack of a lackluster or absent parent to another friend without a doubt if the occasion presented itself. Some argued that limitations may arise and to that I agree. Expecting to receive identical parental treatment of endless patience and love – given to us by our parents – from a friend could be classified as foolish thought, however; it shouldn’t deter us from believing that a friend may be capable of those traits. And if you do come across such a friend, be open and be glad to call them family. In the end, family is what you make of it. I’m sure you’ve all heard that axiom one too many times but it’s true. I stand as an example of someone who has received such treatment from people who aren’t of my descent. These individuals are rare but they exist. 

So in the end, if you already have such a friend, be sure to let him/her know how much you appreciate them for being in your life and make them aware of how proud you are to have them as part of your family. And lastly, if you are that friend to someone else, I commend you for stepping up to the plate and carrying out such an altruist act. 

SDR Wednesday Memo 12/30/2020

Hope this holiday has been treating you all well. Hope you all received gifts you’ve been dreaming of all year and with that satisfaction, hope you all took it upon yourselves to make someone else’s holiday just as satisfactory. My brother and I received flashlights, so we’re patiently waiting for a power outage any moment now.

As we wave 2020 goodbye, a year plagued by a plethora of negative events and sprinkles of positive outcomes, let us look forward to 2021, a year destined to be such a delight – Oh wait: “News just struck that the new Covid-19 strain has officially landed in California and Colorado. It’s much more transmissive, however; there are no current indications that its virulence has increased.” 

WTF!!! Can’t we just catch a break already? –  I hear ya. I totally do. 

All I can leave you all with is a mindset. And what is that mindset? Knowing that you are still in control of your life. Knowing that you are directly responsible for your own happiness and success. Knowing that you can still carve out something out of nothing. Knowing you can still turn this never ending crisis into an opportunity. Knowing that you are not alone in these trying times. Knowing that there’s a new year ahead of you which may bring good or bad times and you’ve begun to develop a strategy to make the most of it. 

SDR Wednesday Memo 12/9/2020

Another week, another hump day coming to a close with a flurry of snow depending on where you live. To be frank, snow has never been my favorite but I can definitely see the appeal, especially for those of you who love winter sports. 
This week, we’ll be piggy backing off last week’s memo regarding the topic of never giving up. I recently picked up this book called “The purpose driven life”. At first glance, it seemed like another self-help, promise to change your life kind of book. Immediately after flipping through a few pages, the author blatantly warns: This is not a self-help book. This book will not help you find the right career, it will not help you achieve your dreams, plan your life or cram more activities into an overloaded schedule.”  Then, he goes on to state: “On the contrary, it will help you do less by focusing on that matters most.” What matters most? – you may ask. 

Finding PURPOSE! 

A handful of statements stood out regarding purpose. To share a few: 1) Purpose always produces passion. On the other hand, passion dissipates with a lack of purpose. 2) Knowing your purpose motivates your life.3) Knowing your purpose simplifies your life.4) Knowing your purpose focuses your life.5) Those without a purpose try to do too much, eventually becoming gyroscopes, spinning around endlessly without going anywhere.
After reading a few chapters, especially note 5, something suddenly clicked. Many of us may feel like gyroscopes at times. As we try to fill our lives with meaningful activities and goals, we may get the sensation that we aren’t progressing at the pace we wished for. So naturally, we become inclined to give up on our goals and pursue new ones. Maybe it’s time we start asking ourselves, why do we tend to easily give up on our goals or newly adopted activities? Do we lack purpose? Do you lack purpose? And if you do, how can you obtain it? 
Just something for your sharp minds to ponder for the remainder of the week. 

SDR Wednesday Memo 12/2/2020

The warm weather is slowly dissipating while winter is brazenly knocking at our doorsteps. But that’s okay, thank God for artificial heat right? Or the Romans, or Franz San Galli, or John Evelyn’s. At this point, you pick, Google can’t seem to give a clear answer.
Jokes aside, this week, we will be briefly brushing on the meaning behind the phrase – “Never giving up”. 

At some point in our younger lives, we all set out to achieve an absurd goal. A goal so enormous, your parents and friends looked at you with muddled eyes and inadvertently sat you down and revealed to you how foolish you sounded without truly knowing the consequences and impact of their words. Anyone remember having that conversation? If not, then you’re definitely an outlier. As long as I can remember, I always wanted to play American Football as a profession. I was obsessed with the sport. I recall spending hours upon hours watching games, highlights and film. However; since my parents didn’t approve of my choice, they did all they could to discourage me from playing. So like all teenagers, I’d sneak out of the house after school to attend the practices in the spring. At every school discussion or gatherings, when the question “what do you want to be when you grow up” was brought to our attention, I’d always say year after year – To be in the NFL. I was so obsessed, I’d repeatedly tell myself I’d play without pay if I had to. I was dedicated – possibly delusional – but very dedicated. So much so, I had to get my coaches to visit my house year after year to convince my parents to let me play. They thought I was decent, so they visited only to be politely shown out of the house. Then, after many attempts without real results, the time came and I threw in the towel. I had succumbed to pressure and gave up.

The reason for sharing this story is to smoothly transition to a talk recently given by my kickboxing trainer and his long time friend Bryan Robinson who played at Wesley College, later for an NFL club dubbed the Arizona Cardinals and soon after landed in the AFL (Arena Football League). At every stage of his career, he constantly worked hard, conquered the odds and dedicated his breath and sweat to achieve one goal – being the best at his profession. He never gave up! 
Now that we are all older, a bit more mature, we take on new goals to prove to ourselves that we are capable. That we are more than what society has in store for us. Whatever goal(s) you may have or plan to have in the near future – whether it be to obtain that new promotion at work, land that first job, buy that new car, volunteer for a humanitarian cause, start or save your relationship, buy that new house, grow mentally or spiritually, become a millionaire or billionaire, build a service to the benefit of your community – I hope you take on the initiative to remind yourself to never give up regardless of outside influences or environmental pressures. You are solely responsible for your goal(s). Like Bryan Robinson, make sure at every step of the way, you pour out every breath and sweat to the fullest. 

What are some goals you have set out for yourself? 
And remember – Never Give Up! 

SDR Wednesday Memo 11/25/20

Hump day is coming to a close while thanksgiving day patiently waits around the corner. This year has been a year to remember or to forget depending on who you talk to. Many have lost while a plethora of others have gained. Tears were shed. Joyous moments were found. Yet through it all, a good majority of us will be gathering at a dinner table tomorrow to give thanks. What does it mean to give thanks? What does it mean when we say we are grateful? 

Recently, the company I work for hired a man in his late twenties to support in the day to day operations. We got off to a good start and ever since, our relationship has matured quite a bit. To describe him as a positive and jovial individual would not do him justice. He constantly walks around with a contagious smile on his face and is always on the prowl to spring a laugh out of someone. Then, one day, while discussing with him the implications of Covid-19 and the nagging feeling of lack of freedom hunting most of the population, he opens up and reveals that he lost his mother to the Ebola virus in 2014. A year prior, his father succumbed from a heart attack. You can imagine my facial expression after his confession. I immediately stopped talking and just listened. He went on for an hour. As I drove home later that evening, I began to ponder the true meaning of gratefulness. I began to question if there’s truly weight to the words “I’m grateful” when spoken into existence. We say and preach it repeatedly, yet at the slightest minute sign of struggle or discomfort, we verbally or physically go off the rails. Are we then really grateful? Or has it become just another unquestioned expression to the likes of “Bless you”

As we gather tomorrow with family members and friends, I hope we can find it within us to contemplate on the meaning of being thankful and grateful. As someone once told me, it’s not something you inherently possess. Instead, it is practiced every day. 
Happy Thanksgiving!

Beware of the Golden Wish

Sitting behind a white screen embellished with blue borders, I begin to drift once again into a headspace most would deem unhealthy or better yet, unnecessary. “Why waste any brain power thinking about philosophical things when in the grand scheme of life, they may just turn out to be as trivial as the new Smart 4K TV some of us so desperately craved for Christmas,” I catchmyself asking often. Unfortunately, convincing myself to ignore these thoughts isn’t as easy as asking Alexa to play my favorite movie score. So, to quell my thoughts, here I am writing, hoping you get to read this and maybe relate to the topic at hand. Alright, ready? Here’s a question I have for you.

Why do we wish for certain things in life, knowing fully well those wishes are more likely to be offered as a golden double-sided coin? A golden coin which offers you your most desirable need but in return demands a hefty price. Yet, despite all the warning signs, the nagging heart palpitations and the voice in our heads pleading us to re-think, we load the chamber and pull on the hair-trigger anyway.

Why are we often so short-sighted that we are constantly itching to jeopardize our future for a golden wish to gain an artificially temporary glorious present?

Isn’t it time for us to look inward and truly analyze ourselves for who we are and kindly refuse the golden wish?

Beware of the golden wish, for it brings temporary joy but robs you of your future!