Friday, October 21, 2005

It's been a week, hasn't it? 

Yeah, well, what are ya gonna do? Nothing. Gear in, 'cause here's some stuff.

Been busy the last few days with... you know... that thing that pays me.

Vegas continues to be freaking awesome. I am not generally a happy man. Last weekend, I was for but a fleeting moment. Good times. Very good times. In fact, that segues well into my SMRT-TV article which admittedly may not provide any insight into anything, but shit, there it is. I forgot to mention skanky cocktail waitresses fueling us with Heinekens during the games. Hey, you should check out the other SMRT stuff, too.

Movies. I've seen some. Three recently (within the last month). There may be spoilers, so read with caution.

Elizabethtown - I actually found Elizabethtown to be vaguely depressing and fairly disappointing. That may just be me bringing some of my own issues into the theater, but I don't know, it felt a little too all over the map. Plus, Kirsten Dunst's character is CRAZY. No, seriously, she's totally mental. It almost has to be seen to be believed. You can't comprehend how impossible it is that this sociopath exists and that she is supposed to be absolutely perfect. It is not only absurd, but insulting. For crying out loud, you're telling me she laid out that elaborate scheme at the end for this boring stranger that she just met in two days?! Folly! And I also thought Orlando Bloom's performance was cringe-worthy at times. I didn't like him at all. Let's just say it: He's a bad actor. In spite of all this, I'd say the film is passable. Still has that wonderful Cameron Crowe quality to it, just felt a little unfocused at times and the material is fairly rehashed. I think that's what left the bitter taste in my mouth the most. We've seen this story before and, in some ways, movies like Garden State executed it better. And in this film, the "perfect love" is between a complete bore and a crazy person (on both counts, even more so than Garden State). Some nice moments, though. The "Rusty" video had me laughing my ass off. That was brilliant. However, none of these nice moments include Orlando Bloom's stilted, wooden narration -- seemingly delivered as such to match his performance.

A History of Violence - I really really liked it. The normalcy is so overt that there isn't any way that it isn't intentional and once I realized that, I embraced it. Viggo and Bello are terrific and, as has been noted here many times, the kids were... not. The daughter is especially horrible. My God is she horrible. But this movie kicks ass. Without spoiling too much, it's hard to play murder for comedy, but the scene at William Hurt's estate absolutely nails it. Entertaining and engaging. Probably one of the year's best when it's all said and done. That final scene is so tense! Again, definitely recommend it. I love love love how about 2/3 of the way in, when the cat is out of the bag on Viggo's past that the only connection he and Bello have is purely carnal and that they still love each other on that level at least. By the end of the movie, who knows? The descension of the household from perfect to completely fractured is awesome to watch.

Serenity - This movie was entertaining, but I call infinite bullshit on Mal suddenly giving a crap about protecting River. Nevermind all the backstory from the series between these two, within the film he goes off at least five times about how he wants Summer off the ship. Then, he finds out that she's a lethal sleeper agent who could kill the whole crew at any second! Explain to me why he only chooses then to decide she is worth fighting for. It's flimsy like a wet paper bag. I don't buy it for a second and it ruins much of the film, in my opinion. Of course, we want to know what happens with River (that is, after all, the drive of the film), but the motivation is so false that it hurts and really held me at arm's length for much of the film. Also, the ending is completely contrived. We all know that the Operative kills Mal in a second. But that isn't so, here, because rather than an ensemble piece, this has become "The Mal Show." All of the other characters are merely charicatures of themselves from Firefly. Kaylee is totally worthless, reduced to a sex-craving idiot. Simon is inconsistent and... worse? Inara actually has LESS to work with. Ugh... Really, the only character/performance that I think improved from the television series was Summer Glau as River. She looked very comfortable on screen.

A lot of problems here, but again I thought the action was entertaining and that Whedon succeeded in raising the stakes to cinematic quality (in the second half, that is). A healthy chunk of the first two-thirds of the film felt like a continuation of the television series. I could almost hear the end credits rolling when Mal first meets up with Inara at her estate. Also, Wash dying? Didn't see it coming. Was affected. Felt he deserved more of an homage than to be lumped in with the others at the gravesite on the cliffs, even if just for a brief scene. I can't imagine there ever being a sequel here because, well, everything has been wrapped up. There are no loose ends. Although, the dynamic does seem to be pretty different now and (I know, it was a huge flop at the box office) if a sequel ever did come out, I admit that I'd be very interested to see what they did with it.

Moving on, my gym has become, "Halloween Gym." There are cobwebs and spiders and ghosty decorations all around the front entrance. Caution tape is on the managerial offices. Where am I? Second grade? You know what I want to feel when I walk into my gym? Scared. The thought of working out, dropping a few pounds, slimming down, and toning up should be terrifying. Actually, there was a pretty frightening sight there last night. I was doing a half hour on the eliptical and about two stations over was a chubby, Richard Simmons-esque guy wearing hyper pink sweatpants and headphones. His headphones must've been playing Jackson Five, because he was belting song lyrics at the top of his lungs for all to here. You know what? It was fairly uncomfortable. I imagine it scared a lot of people away from the cardio area.

The World Series is tomorrow. I've said before that I'd take the NLCS winner (Astros/Cardinals) over the ALCS winner regardless of who it is. Astros in 6 in what should be a really great Series. I can't imagine it'll generate too much national interest, but baseball fans are in for a good one. I can't remember two pitching staffs this good facing off against one another in the Series. Nice.

NFL picks record bumped to 52-36, 13-5 (BB) including 11-3, 3-0 last week. Week 7:

Miami over Kansas City - I was going to pick the Chiefs until I heard that the game was moved to today -- the same day the Chiefs stepped off the plane in Miami.

Cleveland over Detroit - These teams both really suck. Browns are at home, though.

New Orleans over St. Louis - In this series, it's the road team that has been more successful. Advantage: Discombobulated Saints. Also, having Bulger out of the lineup kills the Rams.

Green Bay over Minnesota - The Packers are rested and, despite their bad start to the year, still in the divisional race. The Vikings might be the worst NFL team not located in Houston. Speaking of which... (BB)

Indianapolis over Houston - Consider this game (and the return game in Indy) the locks of the season. (BB)

Philadelphia over San Diego - Great matchup. Given the Eagles recent woes and the Chargers impressive form, I should probably reverse my prediction. But I'll give Philly the edge at home and coming off a bye week.

Pittsburgh over Cincinnati - It's a battle of Jacksonville's last two conquests. Even though the Steelers are on the road, I think they win a tight one. I'm going with their muscle up front and against the Bengals recent predaliction for penalties.

Washington over San Francisco - We're talking about the 49ers here. Also, Mark Brunell is going through a renaissance thanks almost entirely to Santana Moss. (BB)

Tennessee over Arizona - We're talking about the Cardinals here. Titans aren't a good team, but they're better than the Cards.

New York Giants over Denver - It's hard to pick against a hot hot hot Broncos team (even though I despise them), but you have to like the way the G-Men have been playing this season. Particularly at home. Eli Manning looks like the real deal. Hell, he's outshining his MVP brother this season considerably.

Oakland over Buffalo - A little home cooking here. Probably isn't wise to pick Oakland when Randy Moss is listed as doubtful and the Bills offense is feeling rejuvinated. But look! Here it is! Also, the Bills defense will struggle to contain LaMont Jordan.

Chicago over Baltimore - The Bears have shown that they can beat the bad teams. That means they can win at home against B-more.

Seattle over Dallas - Seahawks at home? Check. Shaun Alexander playing? Check. Dallas due for a letdown after two monster intra-division wins at home? Yup.

Monday Night
Atlanta over New York Jets - I'm betting on the "under" in this one. Atlanta is good enough to beat the Jets at home, but they'll struggle to get separation. Jets D is still solid even if their O isn't.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?