Posted on: March 26, 2008 12:19 pm

Movie Talk II

As promised, I have returned having recently watched "Ratatouille", "The Increadibles", and the newest installment of "John Adams".

The Disney/Pixar combo just keeps knocking these out of the park!  "The Increadibles" was visually stunning as well as being a fabulous family friendly fantasy.  I grew up hearing about the typical American Family, and how "Leave it to Beaver" should be that model... I also grew up watching "Married with Children" and was subjected to the Anti-Family posing as a closer representation of true family life in America.  While there are just as many disfunctional families are there are funtional, I truly believe that this film captured one of the best representations of a healthy family I have ever seen.  No matter what walk of life you are from, a good family man, and a good mother are always trying to figure things out in a way to best take care of thier children and eachother.  While children, teens, and young adults will come watch this movie and appreciate the adventure and super-hero tale, parents will watch this movie and breathe a sigh of releif in that someone understands how hard they work, and that a good parent is the real hero.

"Ratatouille" took a different appraoch to story telling than "The Increadibles".  While being just as inspiring, it was condsiderably more cinematically complex.  This story of a country rat who's family does not understand his appreciation and desire for fine fare, follows as he is swept into the big city (Paris) and finds a way to follow his dreams.  Along the way we are treated to a colorful cast of characters and culinary creations.  However, the biggest star of this film is the production and direction.  Where "The Increadibles" was an animated movie, "Ratatouille" was a great movie that just so happened to be drawn as opposed to filmed.  Everything from the storyboards to the camera angles screamed of the kind of moviemaking that typically draws the attention of The Acadamy Awards.  While "Ratatouille" did win the Oscar for Best Animated Movie, I feel it was a gross injustice to have been relegated to this category and forgotten.  Children will love the comedy and visual treats, while adults will enjoy the inspirational story of someone following and achieving their dreams while being treated to complex sub-plots of love, comercialization, employee retribution, and winning over one's critics. 

While this past holiday weekend affored me the time to watch a couple of family friendly animated movies, I also made time for myself to watch HBO's newest installment of "John Adams".  I was excited to watch where this episode would take me, given how masterfully the first two wound their way through The Boston Massacre all the way to the Declaration of Independence.  Had I not seen the first two episodes, I'm not sure I would continue watching this Mini-series solely based on the the third.  Paul Giamatti fell into the trap that I and many others were afraid of... a whining, self pitying academic who happened to get caught up in political life, and thrust into the maelstrom of American Independence.  His personal hangups with Ben Franklin during their time in France were far overplayed, and instead of feeling for Adams the audience is left annoyed and tired of him.  While this was a low point in Adams' life, it should not have consumed a full hour delving into his insecurities.  I will absolutely watch this series through to the end, but if this episode becomes more the norm than the exception, I will be disappointed because of the promise of what could have been.

Next installment: Showtime's premier episode of the Tudors Season 2, more John Adams, and hopefully a live action comedy.

Posted on: March 18, 2008 11:48 am
Edited on: March 18, 2008 7:39 pm

Movie Talk

Who says this has to be all about sports?...

One of my favorite things to do in my spare time is to watch movies.  Since I don't have the time, or the funds to get to the cinema as much as I would like, I rely on NetFlix and the movie channels to see relatively new releases.  You won't see any "Horton Hears a Who" talk here for another 6-8 months or so...

In this, I also include HBO and Showtime's original programming...  Dexter, The Soprano's, The Tudors, In Treatment, Dead Like Me, etc.  HBO also has great Mini Series Events.  They won a ton of Emmys for "Bury My Heart ay Wounded Knee" (which was fantastic) and have recently begun airing a Tom Hanks produced take on the David McCullough book "John Adams". 

I've watched the first two installments of "John Adams" and can't wait for the rest of the series to play itself out.  Paul Giamatti is surprisingly good as our Massachusetts born second President.  He is just unlikeable enough to portray a man whom many of his contemporaries found less than charming.  David Morse shows promise as George Washington, as Washington is typically overplayed and diafied, but Morse keeps him understated and stoic... It's great to watch him work.

On Sunday night I was able to watch "Disturbia" for the first time.  While it lacks the artistry of Hitchcock's "Rear Window", it was an adequate modern retelling.  Shia LaBeouf showed why he is one of the premier up-and-coming actors in Hollywood, and the a-for-mentioned David Morse was fantastic as the "psycho next door".  The real stand out in this movie for it's target audience though was newcomer Sarah Roemer.  This movie is aimed at the 18-35 male demographic, and the body shots of Ms. Roemer throughout the movie certainly keep the viewer's attention, even if her character was considerably less complex than the director tried to make her.  When she was given a chance to actually act, she did well enough to warrent more complex roles, but most of the time she was treated merely as eye candy and a tool to distract the viewer from the actual plot.  In all, the movie provided good entertainment, and was pleasing to the eye.  It's worth a watch if you want easy entertainment with a touch of suspense.

Next installment: Ratatouille 

Posted on: February 11, 2008 10:26 am

Problems with the New Rating Change? Let me know!

I've had some pretty mysterious difficulties with the new rating change... somehow, the day they changed the ratings, my user value rating went from 85 to 18, and has since risen to a hefty 22... I contacted CBS Admins and they said that the reason that my value slipped was that people were passing me because more of their posts were being rated... I did a little research and found that posters who haven't posted anything since March or April actually had their value rise this past month... sounds strange to me... Not that I think this is some kind of conspiricy against me, but my status is being adversely effected with very little reason... that just kind of annoys me.

If you have any problems, let me know... share your thoughts... if enough people speak up, we can forward these problems on to the Admins (some actually are pretty helpful), and maybe raise some awareness and bring about a little positive change.

Thanks in advance for your input...

Category: General
Tags: Admins, CBS, Rating
Posted on: February 8, 2008 10:11 am

Honoring George "The Boss" Steinbrenner

He has been a caustic, surly, outspoken and a highly controversial figure in NY for decades, but there is no doubt that he has also been passionate, inspiring, and influential.  Look at all the memorable owners of days gone by, and George Steinbrenner is right up there with the rest of them. 

Like the greats, he has done something to change the game... in this case, it's money and personal involvement.  During his tenure as owner, he has thrown more money at players than anyone else... not just because he owns the Yankees, but because HE wants to win.  If he owned the Angels, Red Sox, Mets, Cubs, White Sox, Cardinals, or any other well established franchise over the same period of time, they would be the financial juggernaut instead of the Yankees... it's not just about being a large market... there were many years (in the 80's and early 90's) when the Yankees drew so few fans that The Boss put most of his own personal money into the team's payroll... it's about one man who more than anything else wanted to be the champion... every year.  Has there ever been anyone in the history of the game who hating losing one regular season game nearly as much? 

Whether you like him or not, or agree with his tactics or not, you have to respect him and his constant desire to win.  That passion and desire have completely changed the landscape of modern baseball.  Without George Steinbrenner free agency would be different, player contracts would be different, team payrolls would be different, marketing would be different, and baseball itself would be different.  Whether he changed baseball for the better can be debated, but he made it the cash cow that it is today.  If you don't like it, you go out there, and you make the change... then we'll be writing about you, and your name on a stadium.

No other man, currently or recently involved with the game, deserves to have a stadium (all-be-it a minor league and spring training facility) named after him.  And this from a Mets fan... here's to you Boss!

Category: MLB
Posted on: February 7, 2008 8:57 am
Edited on: February 7, 2008 11:26 am

Rocket's Jets Cooled

Roger oh Roger... you have certainly tried to make US believe that YOU believe that you never took PEDs... I have to admit that your conviction almost cast a shadow of a doubt in my mind... problem is that there was always something far too contrived about all of your arguments...

You wait for weeks before even addressing the accusations, then when you do, it's with false rage that is intended to intimidate the public.  You go into one of your tantrums the same way you would when things weren't going your way on the mound.  You fire insults at McNamee the same way you fired high and tight heaters at an opposing batter's chin who was actually a threat.  When that doesn't work, you bean him (taping a phone conversation where you try to bully him into saying something) the same way you beaned Mike Piazza.  Finally, after that didn't work and your threat just kept on coming, you throw a shard of the sawed off bat at him as he trots down the first base line in the form of a Defamation of Character Lawsuit...

Well, the gig is up Roger... you're tired, sore, and beaten... go back to the dugout and bang a water cooler, 'cause the most devastating opponent you've ever faced has just hit a Grand Slam off you in the biggest moment of your life.  By handing over physical evidence, Brian McNamee has deflated you in a way that no one else ever could... the kicker: we have yet to hear what your BFF Andy Pettitte admitted in his deposition... when that comes out, boy oh boy are things gonna get interesting...

Look on the bright side... you and Barry Bonds will make one hell of a duo on the prison softball team.

Posted on: February 6, 2008 8:43 am
Edited on: February 7, 2008 8:59 am

Gisele Running Naked Through Manhattan?

So CBS reported that if Gisele Bundchen said (and later regretted) that if the Giants won the Super Bowl, she would run naked through Manhattan, preferrably along the same route as the Giants Parade in the Canyon of Heroes and with the same turnout.  While I highly doubt that this will happen, I remain optimistic... Videos would be all over YouTube in minutes, and we would be treated to one of the finest female forms ever to grace this Earth in our generation's Bo Derek moment... 

A man can dream... Unless he's that scumbag Tom Brady who left his pregnant girlfriend for Gisele... He doesn't have to dream (unless it's about being 19-0)... He's the definition of a star quarterback.  Not only does he play for a dominant football team, make tons of money, advertise for almost as many products as Peyton Manning, but he gets two of the hottest girls in the world... one a gorgeous actress, the other THE reigning top supermodel... is it bad to want his life?



Posted on: February 2, 2008 7:02 pm

Happy Super Bowl Weekend

So, here it is... Super Bowl weekend.  The 18-0 Cheeters have to face the newly invigorated NY Giants... even as a Jets fan I have to respect what the Giants have done for the past few weeks.  Eli has shown the leadreship that all Giants fans have been searching and calling for over his early years as the G-men's QB.  I have to agree with so many people out there thought hat a lot of that has to do with the departure of Tiki Barber and the injury of Jeremy Shockey... both of whom were distractions to the team as well as vocal detractors from Eli.  Again, while it's rare that I'll pull for the Giants, I can't help myself in this game... nothing would give me more pleasure on Sunday night than seeing the look on Belicheck's face when his team loses it's perfect season.

As a Mets fan, I am elated to hear that Johan Santana will be suiting up for the Mets this season now that he has passed his physical.  Granted, we'll now be paying $20 for a beer and $15 for a hot dog, it'll be worth the possible memory of seeing the first ever Mets no hitter, and the prospect of another World Series Championship.  What a wonderful time to live in the NY area.

In other news, Puxatawney Phils saw his shadow today signaling another six weeks of winter... who cares... it's 13 days to pitchers and catchers... in my estimation, that means slightly less than two weeks of winter! 

Good luck G-men, and GO METS!!!

Posted on: January 17, 2008 11:35 am

Another way to be unproductive...

Hello, and welcome to the lastest diversion from the work I should actually be doing.  CBSsports has given us news, message boards, and now blog space... all of which have managed to entertain us, while simultainiously diverting our attention from being productive members of society.  Instead of seeking extra projects or finding ways to assist others when I get bored at work, I simply log-in to CBSsports and check player movement or the goings on with the "friends" I've made through various message boards.  For some, this serves as a distraction from schoolwork, other a distraction from the family...  Isn't there something more productive I could be doing rather than posting my errant thoughts in a blog?  Yes.  Does it take more energy to seek more responsibility than it does to unleash tirades about which starting pitcher we want our teams to aquire?  I'm not sure it does.. But alas, we post because we are so self satisfied by being able to reach out to a much broader audience than we would by simply chatting with our co-workers, spouses, parents, children, classmates etc.  So, off my soap-box I step while I check my own imperfections at the door...  I hope to see this space for what it is: A spot to release the thoughts I couldn't otherwise, to those in my immediate sphere of influence, as opposed to the only place to release all of my thoughts and creative energy.

So, welcome, and if my ramblings amuse you enough to continue to read... that's your problem... my conscience is clear.


Category: General
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or