In the life of a web comic, there is typically a time where an artist or writer will call on high to Gods that sit atop Mount Olympus in a futile attempt to gain their favor. Some of them fashion crude duplicates of their image in order to invoke their power. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they fail.

Yes, at some point in the career of many web comic artists, they will toss in an unsolicited Penny Arcade cameo.

Truthfully, with nearly 700 comics to my credit, I'm surprised it's taken this long. But, y'know... ever since Tycho wrote that wonderful essay about fatherhood for the site a few months ago... him and I are like "this."

You can't see it, but I've crossed my fingers to represent closeness.

I suppose I can't say that I've gone completely without referencing Penny Arcade in the past. I borrowed Div for a couple of strips where I was lampooning the trend of anthropomorphic appliances. At any rate, it's all in good fun. If anyone takes exception to my characterization of Gabe and Tycho as violent hooligans, I don't think they'll mind if Monday's Penny Arcade is any indication.

Speaking of Monday, I mentioned that Cami and I had an opportunity to see Reign Over Me this weekend. Kind of an odd choice for our first movie-going experience since Henry was born, but I actually enjoyed it a lot. Writer/director Mike Binder did a very good job of dissecting grief and the responsibilities of men in the modern age. He side-steps the whole 9/11 issue very carefully and doesn't exploit the memory of that day in the least.

Adam Sandler is getting high praise for his work in this film and I think it's deserved. He's done a good job of picking dramatic roles that don't announce "I'M DOING DRAMATIC ROLES NOW! TAKE ME SERIOUSLY!" like Jim Carrey has in the past.

That said, I think Don Cheadle steals the show with his performance. Cheadle has much less to hide behind in his portrayal of a man burdened by his responsibilities. In the movie, he ends up spending a lot of time with Sandler's character trying to draw him out of his shell at the expense of those responsibilities. In one scene, his wife calls him out on his behavior and accuses him of coveting the freedom Sandler's character has after losing his entire family in the 9/11 attacks. It's a sick and twisted accusation and Cheadle's character addresses it as such. But if you let the idea sink in, it's kind of true.

In the hands of a less competent actor, Cheadle's character could have been GROSSLY unlikable. But I think Cheadle deftly brings to the surface dark taboos about the conflict between the responsibility of a father and husband versus man's almost innate need for freedom and independence. It adds a dimension to the movie that enriches it beyond "Adam Sandler wrestles with grief."

At any rate, I go into my opinions of Reign Over Me with greater detail in this week's Triple Feature broadcast. If you missed the show on Monday night, you missed a doozy. Not only did we talk about Reign Over Me, but we also talked about TMNT, rumors surrounding Netflix distributing through local libraries, the death of the traditional movie-going experience in the face of streaming movie downloads and more. We actually drew Scott Kurtz from PvP into the fray and he had some great observations about the movie-going experience. It was a real treat to have him participate in the show.

Man, I'm just name-checking the A-listers left and right today, aren't I?

Download this week's show and savor in it's glory.

Another big reason you'll want to download this week's show is so you can get the first half of the two-part clue you'll need to submit along with your full name, age and mailing address to participate in the Copying Beethoven DVD giveaway. I'm not going to tell you what the first half of the clue is here, but I will give you the second half for those of you participating.

The second half of the clue is "OUT."

Again, you'll need the whole clue to be in the running for the giveaway. Send the clue along with your information to theaterhopper@hotmail.com with the subject line "Beethoven" by NEXT MONDAY to be part of the raffle. Winners will be chosen at random!

We really want to get a lot of people to participate in this because the more people we have who put their name into the hat, the more likely we'll be able to do bigger and better promotions like this in the future!

Remember that Copying Beethoven starring Ed Harris comes out on DVD next Tuesday, April 3 and thanks again to 20th Century Fox for helping us set this up!

That'll do it for me. I hope everyone has a great Wednesday. I'll see you here again on Friday!

↓ Transcript
I really liked Reign Over Me. But I didn't understand the significance of Adam Sandler's character constantly playing the video game Shadow of the Colossus.

OUTRAGE!

Any half-wit knows the significance of Shadow of the Colossus!

Oh, yeah? Does your Mom know?

YOU'RE DEAD!

I thought you raised money for children's hospitals!