Homo: Hemo, since it’s taken you three weeks to see the movie, I’d like to elaborate on why I went on opening weekend. (And yes, reader, hemo is the reason this is so late).
Hemo: Take it away, sir.
Homo: Boy Wonder Drugs, I have been a comic book fanatic all my life, and it made me crazy that most of them have been so bad. Before, it would be a studio making a “comic book” movie. Campy or badly acted. Super hero comics are deadly serious and very adult in their relationships, which is what makes them interesting. And too many Hollywood people think, “Comic book! Let’s do something ’comic booky’.”
Hemo: It’s the opposite of the typical “AIDS movie”, where no humor is allowed to enter.
Homo: Exactly. So, I’m amazed at how good The Dark Knight is on every level. Heath Ledger’s Joker has already become iconic. I still live with the vivid image of him in that nurse’s outfit, dancing in the parking lot of the hospital, pushing those buttons. It’s indelible.
Hemo: Good God. Can you imagine showing up at the Infectious Disease Clinic and running into that guy?
Homo: Are you kidding? I’d PAY to see that. And the relief is that his actual death has nothing to do with the enjoyment of his performance, assuming one can truly “enjoy” watching a complete psychopath. He’s so different from “Brokeback” where he was so totally authentic as a tight-jawed cowboy.
Patient adherence under Dr. Joker rose by 317%
Hemo: He was way more convincing than President Bush. What made his performance so striking?
Homo: I don’t see him. I only see his character, this demented nutcase.
Hemo: I’m confused- are we talking about Heath Ledger or President Bush?
Homo: Good question. I was talking about Heath in this instance.
Hemo: Heath was pretty badass... but one guy stole his thunder in the Dark Knight.
Hemo: This guy.
Homo: A wrestler? You sat through this entire movie and the only thing that caught your attention was some old wrestler from 1989 who once starred in a movie with Hulk Hogan?
Hemo: It’s Zeus. The human wrecking machine!
I really think they are setting him up as the next super villain. Zeus was only a nice guy in The Dark Knight to lull the audience into a false sense of security for the next time. It’s a classic wrestling swerve-job, Homo.
Homo: You are a classic wrestling nutjob, Hemo. And as bad of a movie reviewer as you are, I used to think that at least, someday, you’d make a good straight dad. But now I hope you never sign up for those sperm washing appointments. You are one sack of DNA that does not need to be spread any farther.
Hemo: Why so serious? Wait- I know what this is about. This anger I sense in you- this darkness. And it has nothing to do with this guy.
Homo: Stop posting those things!
Hemo: You’re still upset about our last review, The Happening? That I lied to you. What can I do to regain the trust that made the Hemo2Homo Connection great?
Homo: Well, the first thing I’d like you to do is to do what normal movie reviewers do. See the movie early enough that you’re one of the first to be talking about it.
Hemo: I was going to see it, but I was kind of freaked out that Batman beat up his mother and sister in England. That was weirder than Heath being gone. And then I found out that “assault” in England means raising your voice at someone, which isn’t very badass.
Plus, no one had mentioned that Zeus was in the damn thing.
Homo: Either way it doesn’t matter: everyone has talked it to death, even the sorta “bad” parts, like Batman’s raspy voice processing or the way The Joker managed to attract hordes of followers even though he killed everyone who ever worked for him.
Hemo: I bet he made up for the risk with a good dental plan. Wait, has anyone made fun of The Joker’s dental hygiene yet? Or the guyliner that the Mayor of Gotham City wears?
Homo: I’m sure someone has. We’re always late, thinblood. People move on because it takes so long for you to get your thinblooded ass to the movies.
Hemo: ... I guess you’re right... but wait: isn’t that a triumph of sorts?
Homo: What do you mean?
Hemo: That we can be late in 2008? That we survived AIDS and are in good enough health? We don’t have to rush out on opening weekend to see a movie like we did back when Beaches came out. We can wait, make sure a movie is worth our beans, then go see it in a nice, peaceful and empty movie theatre, where we can truly absorb a film’s every nuance.
Homo: You almost had me. We’re late. And this thing is starting to get longer than the movie itself. And... Oh, god.
Hemo: What? What??
Homo: As much as it pains me, I just realized that you’re a genius. By focusing on Zeus, we’re the only reviewers to introduce a totally unique perspective on the movie!
Hemo: See? The world needs us, Steve. Even if we live to see ourselves become the villains we once fought.
Homo: You quoted the movie! Maybe there is hope for you yet.
The Hemo2Homo Connection’s creators met online in 1996, and posted their first movie review in 1998. Both have been living with HIV for over twenty years, and have annoyed their friends and loved ones for longer than that.
Steve Schalchlin resides in Los Angeles, CA. He is an award-winning musician, singer and songwriter. Shawn Decker lives in Charlottesville, VA. He is an HIV/AIDS educator and the author of My Pet Virus.