Month: November 2017

No.

Edwin Roman: The Year In Pictures

The featured image of this blog entry was taken on the eve of Trump’s inauguration during the New York City protest around Columbus Circle. I had gone there to participate and document. I didn’t stay as long as I had intended because in the midst of it, I got a call from my sister telling me that my uncle had passed away. Until I started working on this entry, I had never looked at the photographs from that day.

The individual in the featured photograph had the absolute gall to show up wearing a (made in China) maga hat (someone had asked him to remove it so they could inspect the label). I can’t begin to convey the vitriol he encountered, which was absolutely deserved. I watched him for a while and my favorite exchange was with a woman who conveyed that based solely on his appearance, he would be thrown over Trump’s border wall. She noted that most of his supporters would only ever see him as a terrorist or criminal. She completely shut him down and I managed to capture that moment. Ultimately, I thought he did this as a stunt; a way to garner attention and trend online to get his fifteen minutes. He was recording all of this exchanges on his phone.

It has been a long year and I have done my best to do things that counter the limited mindset of Trump and his supporters. I continue to volunteer, engage in activism and create art. With regards to photography, I largely engage in it during the warm months. I consider myself to be a street photographer and hate working with my camera while wearing gloves. This year, I found myself inspired to try and capture the beautiful diversity of New York City.

It is with great pride that I present to you my favorite pictures of 2017.

A Human Right

A Human Right. Edwin Roman 2017. As seen at Bronx Community College during the 60th anniversary celebration.

Devious Smiles

Devious Smiles. Edwin Roman, 2017. People watching at the Coney Island Art Walls.

Wepa!

Wepa! Edwin Roman, 2017. As seen at the “Salsa Under The Sun” concert.

Fuga Aqua

Fuga Aqua. Edwin Roman, 2017. As seen at the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park.

Dreaming in Red.

Dreaming in Red. Edwin Roman 2017. Actors from the off-Broadway, cabaret show, I Dream of Jackie, featuring the wonderful Jackie Cox. As seen at Flame Con 2017.

Rockland Cliff

Rockland Cliff. Edwin Roman, 2017. This was my first ever visit to Rockland Lake State Park during the fall or any time other than summer.

Sharing a Laugh.

Sharing a Laugh. Edwin Roman, 2017. This was the first time I was ever hired to photograph a wedding. This couple was just great and so laid back; they were in sync with my style of photography.

Boarding Squared

Boarding Squared. Edwin Roman, 2017. As seen on the Coney Island Boardwalk.

Brooklyn, The Statue

Brooklyn, The Statue. Edwin Roman, 2017. As seen outside of the Brooklyn Museum.

Goose Goose

Goose Goose. Edwin Roman, 2017. A rare winter picture in Flushing Meadow Park.

Kente Color Splash

Kente Color Splash. Edwin Roman, 2017. As seen in The Bronx.

Two Cameras

Two Cameras. Edwin Roman, 2017. A fellow photographer at work in Central Park.

Sépia Fille

Sépia Fille. Edwin Roman, 2017. This lovely young woman posed for me at Coney Island Beach.

The View Finder

The View Finder. Edwin Roman, 2017. The George Washington Bridge as seen from Fort Lee Historic Park.

Picturing Robin Lord Taylor

Picturing Robin Lord Taylor. Edwin Roman, 2017. This was during the actor’s panel at Flame Con. I actually got to ask the first question, which was: “If Gotham City were a real place would you want to live there?”

Boardwalk Fútbol.

Boardwalk Fútbol. Edwin Roman, 2017. As seen on the Coney Island Boardwalk.

Sara the Turtle

Sara the Turtle. Edwin Roman, 2017. One summer weekday at Rockland Lake State Park I actually witnessed this beautiful little turtle burying her eggs.

Touring The Hall of Fame

Touring The Hall of Fame. Edwin Roman, 2017. As seen at Bronx Community College.

Speed Walking The Boardwalk

Speed Walking The Boardwalk. Edwin Roman, 2017. As seen on the Coney Island Boardwalk.

Sinewy Skirt and Sloppy Star

Sinewy Skirt and Sloppy Star. Edwin Roman, 2017. Whenever I am in a tediously long workplace meeting, I will go into survival mode and let my imagination take over. I often create made up superheroes and villains. This duo is a pair of superheroes.

Exuberance

Exuberance. Edwin Roman, 2017. As seen at “Salsa Under the Sun.”

As seen from the Wonder Wheel.

As seen from the Wonder Wheel. Edwin Roman, 2017. Picturing the world famous Cyclone from the equally famous Wonder Wheel.

The Batwoman on my Shelf.

The Batwoman on my Shelf. Edwin Roman, 2017. An action figure of one of my favorite comic book characters, Batwoman.

Classic Rose.

Classic Rose. Edwin Roman, 2017.

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A Middle-Aged Fanboy Reviews Justice League

justice-league-review

My own re-enactment of a scene.

My love affair with comic books started in the late 1970s because of the television series Wonder Woman. Every week I tuned in and geeked out. Around that time, I first learned about Greek mythology and purchased my first Wonder Woman comic books. I loved how she said things like “Great Hera” and “Praise Aphrodite.” During the third season of Wonder Woman, Superman, The Movie was released. I was eleven years old and will never forget the awe and excitement I experienced watching that film. From that point on, I was forever hooked on comic books, specifically, DC Comics (I don’t dislike Marvel, but I was never able to find a place in the stories to pick up on the long-term plots). After Superman II, I started thinking about how amazing it would be to have a film based on the superhero team, the Justice League. Back then I imagined Christopher Reeve, Lynda Carter and Adam West (the 1960s television Batman) in their respective roles. It took nearly forty years, but the Justice League film I have been waiting for has finally made it to the big screen.

Picking up where Batman v. Superman left off, we see Bruce Wayne / Batman, inspired by Superman’s selfless act of giving his life to save the world, working with Diana Prince / Wonder Woman to create a team to battle an impending alien invasion led by Steppenwolf (played by Ciarán Hinds, though I didn’t much of him through the CGI).

Casting on the film is superb and all of the actors have exceptional chemistry with one another. It is this chemistry that is a highlight of the film. Ezra Miller is comic gold as an inexperienced Flash. Jason Momoa as Aquaman brilliantly alternates between humor and gravitas and also has some great battle scenes alongside Wonder Woman and Batman. Gal Gadot continues to wonderfully embody the Wonder Woman character, as does Ben Affleck with Batman. Stage actor Ray Fisher does a terrific job portraying Cyborg, sounding exactly way I have imagined for years. Also, the CGI on Cyborg had a lot of great details that can’t be drawn in the comic books because of time. I won’t give away how Superman is restored to the plot (he died at the end of Batman v. Superman), but Henry Cavill does a wonderful job finally channeling a Christopher Reeve quality into the role. I am truly looking forward to seeing him in future films.

The film is not without problems. Before I dive into the problems, I would like to point out what director, Zack Snyder, gets right. Snyder’s DC films were created for the true fans, those that actually read comic books. Marvel films differ in that they are more conventional and you don’t have to read the comic books to understand what is going on, requiring a fundamental to no knowledge of the characters. This can sometimes hurt the DCEU franchise, but I appreciate Snyder’s incorporation of those wonderful details. For example, on Earth 2 (DC employs the concept of a multiverse in their stories), the first superhero to appear is Wonder Woman (Snyder conceived the story for the film); in this film, Flash’s costume looks a lot like the one he wears in the Injustice series, while the dream sequence in Batman v. Superman is taken from that series. Snyder falters with pacing and production. What in Dante’s inferno is his aversion to brighter colors and over reliance on sometimes mediocre CGI? While working on this film, he experienced a personal tragedy and did not complete his work on the film. Josh Whedon came in and finished the film, making significant changes. Did this affect the film? Absolutely. There were details shown in the trailers that did not appear in the final version of the film. I would like to see those details. And there was one big hole in the plot that is not explained. I know the filmmakers were trying to trim time on the film, but this hole in the plot should have been explained!

Overall, I truly enjoyed the film. The audience in the theater where I saw it applauded and the end and many waited for the post credits scenes (there were two). Wonder Woman, for me, still stands as is the best superhero film DC has produced since the Dark Knight trilogy. Still, I geeked out seeing all of my favorite superheroes together in a live action film. I was, for two hours, an eleven-year kid enjoying a film and that is what counts the most.

Justice League

Director Zack Snyder

Writers Chris Terrio, Joss Whedon

Rating PG-13

Running Time 2h 0m

 

Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne / Batman

Henry Cavill as Clark Kent / Superman

Amy Adams as Lois Lane

Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman

Ezra Miller as Barry Allen / Flash

Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry / Aquaman

Ray Fisher as Victor Stone / Cyborg

Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth

Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf

Joe Morton as Silas Stone

Amber Heard as Mera

Billy Crudup as Henry Allen

Marc McClure, who portrayed Jimmy Olsen in the Christopher Reeve Superman films, has a cameo

 

Recommended Reading

New 52 Justice League (issues 1-6, which was the plot basis for the film)

Justice League 1

New 52 Earth 2

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