May 31, 2009

Week In Review #4

Lakers on their way to another finals and most likely a win (Bill Simmons save us with long rants about how selfish Kobe is!!)...I hate them...Yanks on top of the division...I just barely hate them more (and settle down it's a 1/2 game)...and the The President goes on a date...with his wife??? about that.

Alright lets do a Week in's the summer people, time for me to close all my doors, turn off my phone, and ignore the outside world while I catch up on old Scrubs episodes on my DVR, watch old flicks I've never seen (and consequently people yell at me for not seeing) like Night at the Museum (there will be no review but Carla Gugino is very hot...and Owen Wilson was clearly whacked out of his mind while filming that movie), and make sure I am aware of the latest in the conspiracy know not that I can do anything about it...just like to be aware. (also the time when I get really bored and write on my blog :) and download songs I wish people will never see on my ipod...this weeks guilty Miley Cyrus "The Climb"...yeah don't bother calling to make fun of me...the phone is off).

ROUNDUP So sometimes I don't get politics, we have a President who decides to take his wife (who is pretty hot) out for a date, not an intern, not Dick Cheney, or Browny, but his own wife...and somehow that is bad thing...Whatever. GM is going to file Bankruptcy (big shocker there, go rent "Who Killed the Electirc Car" and witness the genius that is GM) and that's not even though worst news of the week...Millvina Dean died on Sunday May 31st, she was the last living survivor of the Titanic (she was just a baby at the time). Now as a history guy I will say the significance of this boat is a little overblown a la Columbus or Revere, but I will admit that hearing this does strike a cord with me, it was a story that for whatever reason sparked interest in the past for almost 100 years...and will continue to...just thought it was sad. So after sunday's race (I am not in any way a Nascar guy...but I am an ESPNEWS guy so I know these things) Tony Stewart is back ahead of Jeff Gordon in the "Nascar Cup thingy" I have decided that he is my favorite driver now, not because I know anything about it but because he is a little chubby and I respect that...(i'm not really chubby or anything but it is always good to know an athlete who looks like he drinks Bud Ice (like me, yeah I know and Ice House to, I don't why I like it) every night he doesn't have to drive a race car. (see the Armoral commercial)

NBA So its the Lakers vs. the Magic...the disrespected angle is alive and well with those Magic (not a good sports team name) but my guess is it won't matter and I will have to ignore the fact that Phil Jackson will break the tie that he shares with my boy Red Auerbach (9 titles) and also the fact that I will have to listen to an entire year of how much Kobe has overcome in his life to capture this title...(yeah he overcame so much...what was it he overcame again??, oh yeah a rape allegation...that he was never cleared of...hmm I seemed to have forgotten that, what with all the puppet commercials and the fact that no NBA analyst goes there...c'mon Barkely throw down a few and just let it know you want to). Oh well I will say if the Magic do win...and I hope they do I will feel better about my Celtics who were able to take them to 7 games, and I will admit (like most people) that I underestimated this very deep Magic team that is fun to watch...even if the are coached by a Ron Jeremy/Old Super Mario lookalike. Prediction Stupid Lakers in 6

Sox Nation 29-22 2nd in the A.L. East, and yes even though the evil empire Yanks are ahead by a gigantic 1/2 game, I am not concerned. My manger finally woke up from his tobacco coma and changed the lineup to basically what I've been screaming for weeks (seriously don't laugh I swear I could mange this team better). I think we are primed for a better month in June. With Mikey Lowell hitting in front of Papi, and Drew hitting 2nd, I think we will be better at not stranding so many baserunners. Lester and Beckett seem to be piching better, which is good because it's time for Wakefield to be bad for about a month or so. Dice-K looks bad, and Penny is still just gambling out out there...but have no fear Sox Nation...guess who's coming??? Smotlz !!! He is a class guy who will lift the team just by going out there, my BOLD PREDICTION is 11-3 for the old his swan song victory lap.

IDOL So its over the kid Kris Allen wins the whole thing, he won us over with his Kanye or "The Fray" version of Heartless, but I am feeling a little bad for Adam Lambert...I like my Boy Matt Giraud don't get me wrong....but if it wasn't him then I would have leaned heavily on the Adam Lambert wagon. I think Adam sings the single better as well. Oh well my only hope to remain an Idol Watcher next year is that Tony Kornheiser returns to his morning radio show (where he talks at nausea about idol) and that Kara does every show in a bikini (I said damn that girls fine).

UPDATE So I am not sure if it will be attached to this blog or not, but it looks like a podcast that will cover movies, sports, hot chicks, tech, current events, and TV might actually get done in the near future. I will keep you updated and when it is ready I will link it on this blog. I am open to any suggestions.

May 25, 2009

Fantasy Update #7

I am doing ok, made a slight comeback in the Soxtown league (currently holding on to 4th place), and in the RedsoxRevenge league I am in full control (first place...where else). Both 12 team mixed leagues. I think I am ok with both of these teams, though I still haven't figured out my pitching yet. I think my rosters are coming together.

League One (RedsoxRevenge) Starting Lineup: Soto Catcher 8/1/10/202avg (he is coming around, but I still miss Posada). Dunn 1st Base 25/14/39/284avg (everyone laughed when the Nationals settled on him after losing out on Tex...but no joke Dunn is playing better) Utley 2nd Base 31/11/31/297avg (my favorite non-redsox 2nd baseman, he is hard to root against) Wright 3rd Base 28/3/30/350avg (ten steals as well, he is the natural...but would love to see him hit for a bit more power) Tejada SS 26/5/25/345avg (yeah after a horrible start, he is now my starting shortstop...I had him last year...and I'm glad to have him back) Holliday OF 22/6/27/269avg (he should be better than this, he will be) Alexei Ramirez OF 14/3/20/243avg (he might not be on this team if he wasn't outfield eligible, but 8 steals and better play of late...he stays) Ibanez OF 38/17/43/345avg (yeah those numbers are right Ibanez is seriously the MVP favorite right now) Lowell UTIL 24/8/33/305avg (I'm not sure I believed Mikey would be starting on this team for three weeks now, but he is as solid as it comes...and he is so easy to root for...real class act) On My Bench (still no manny or posada) I'm still strong with Derek Lee filling in from time to time, he is playing much better, and Jayson Werth is streaky but very valuable. My Pitching is very average, but it has been good enough to stay on top, a trade is in my near future (was offered Cole Hamels for Ibanez but just turned it down). Led here by Way-Rod (1.71 era, 56 K's/5 wins), the resurgent Edwin Jackson (2.55 era, 48 K's/ 4 wins), and Erik Bedard (2.64 era, 49 K's/ 2 wins). My Relief Core is fine with Nathan and Fuentes, I recently added Rafael Soriano and Ramon Ramirez to stabilize my crappy spot starting choices, and cancel out the crappy Roy Oswalt (he losses to Cincy tomorrow and he is off my team). This is a good team, with Manny on the bench, a trade for an ace is in the works, and the stability I have with my big 3 Wright/Utley/Ibanez should keep me on or near first for some time.

League Two (Soxtown) McCann Catcher 13/5/18/326avg (there he is, Brian McCann has arrived) Helton 1st Base 25/6/31/338avg (alright this year should put Helton on the probably didn't take steroids list) Pedroia 2nd Base 37/1/15/337avg (he has 6 steals, but needs to show up with some more 2 or 3 more homers) YOUK! 3rd Base 28/7/28/384avg (The Red Sox answer to the Mets David Wright...both naturals) Asdrubal Cabrera SS 34/1/25/316avg (7 steals helps, but I could see this position as trouble in the least I have Alexei to fill in) Grady Sizemore OF 27/8/29/227avg (I'm tired of saying raise the average...oh well screw it one more time...Grady raise your F-ing average) Dunn OF 25/14/39/284avg (if he bats above 260 for the rest of the year my draft pick of him in both leagues looks like genius) Alexei Ramirez OF 14/3/20/243avg (keep it up Alexei I need you to be good now) Lowell UTIL 24/8/33/305avg (the more the season progresses the more my two teams look the same...again Mikey is so solid) On my bench Werth and Ethier are weak right now, but Werth is not going anywhere, and hopefully when Manny returns he will bring Ethier with him. My Pitching needs to get better if I'm going to make a run in this league. Led here by Way-Rod (still great), Jon Lester (he is getting stronger), and Tim Wakefield (he is so fun to root for as well) Scott Richmond 3.63 era, 43 K's/4 wins has been good and is making it hard for me to keep both Dice-K and Zambrano on my rosters, but I will hold on for now. I can't make too many moves because this team is thin. Dice-K needs to get better and soon. My Relief Core is very good: Jenks 10svs Franklin 11 svs Rodney 8 svs and Fuentes 12 svs are all keeping me alive, but this pitching staff has me at a 4.72 era in this has to get better, and I'm not sure how I can fix it right now.

Some advice from the guy in 1st and 4th
So if you have a high value guy i.e. Ibanez or maybe Dunn, now is the time to decide if his best days are now behind him. I may want to trade Ibanez if I believe he won't play this good all year (but right now I believe he will) because I need a pitcher. If you still have a chance at a stat like steals or saves, go out and get a guy that will is too soon to concede stats. Warning mistakes will cost the Soxtown league I am getting killed at pitching, when he got hurt I dropped C Carpenter...believe me I really could use him right now. Too many mistakes like that will kill you. Also right now is streak season guys are running into streaks...get them and ride those streaks...looks like Freddie Sanchez is about to hit one right now.

Stock Up: J.D. Drew...yeah yeah I still hate him, but the weather is warm so go get him now till the end of July, Ramon Ramirez he is a great bullpen value guy, if you need wins try Penny 5-1 and he won't kill your whip either, and my boy Alexei Ramirez...oh how I have waited to put you on this list.

Stock Down: Have to have Ortiz on this pains me to watch, Jeter he is not a good fantasy guy I would sell high, wary from this point on he may hurt some of your numbers except wins he is still good for those, Grady Sizemore...undroppable but really 22o range batting average is troublesome, Dan Haren 5.14 over the last three starts, and Ryan Braun he was not rated high by me to begin with, some people love him but I think he is never going to have another great season...he is average.

News and Rants: Red Sox on top, but not by much. It is nice to see my boys getting healthy, with Youk back, it almost doesn't bother me that we have no shortstop or DH...almost. Smoltz sighting...I'm getting giddy. Yanks look good I have to admit...with A-fraud back Tex and the gang look legit again...but thank god A.J. Burnett has proven to be overpaid. Peavy says no to the CHISOX...don't worry he will go somewhere most likely the cubs or braves, but I sure as shit don't blame him if he stays in San Diego...who would want to leave U.S. city to live.

May 22, 2009

Movie Review #9 Terminator Salvation

Terminator Salvation (2009) Christian Bale, Sam Worthington Directed by McG

Maybe I'm starting to agree with James Cameron that the story has been "already told" with the first two films, or perhaps with the onslaught of robot movies, (I'm partial to aliens) I am tired of watching robots prance about trying to kill the human the way if you are a robot must you throw the guy around for fifteen minutes, you know proving your robot strength. You know the guy you need to kill to end the threat so the robots can win the war...why don't you just pick him up and crush his face. Oh well, as you can tell I am not going to be giving this McG movie a great review. Terminator Salvation fast forwards us to 2018 where the "The Resistance" believes they found the key to stopping the robots. Much like Matrix 3 there is a lot going on, John Conner (played again by somebody different, Bale) has to find his way into the robot headquarters which I think is just silly. Conner is portrayed as a leader of the group, who is believed by many to be the prophet of his time. There is leadership in the group ahead of him (play so so cheesy by some weird guy and Michael Ironside) and of course they collide and disagree. Along the way we meet another Terminator guy (Worthington) who is not as likable as Arnuld, but is ok. I get the message of the movie, and I know they liked the idea of showing the humans and robots at war, but this movie really feels unnecessary. It doesn't really have closure, it doesn't provide us with a lot to reminisce about from the old movies (although a nice G&R cameo is very cool), and John Conner is not that likable...I kinda just wanted the robots to kill him. (does that make me a bad person?) Along the way Bryce Dallas Howard is wasted (very pretty eyes), Moon Bloodgood (plays Blair in the film) she is the the most watchable character, and Anton Yelchin (Chekov from the new Star Trek) is ok. Overall this movie tells a story that I don't really need to see, it shows us nothing we didn't already know or couldn't guess, robots can kick our ass in the it. I suppose for a summer movie it has a reasonable amount of action, but I felt it moved slow, with garbage dialogue, and a rare bright spot. Not a total waste, I would see it in the theater if you are going to go, but I doubt it will be a great experience for you...try a doubleheader...this time I didn't and I regret it. This movie looked like it would pull in a solid 50-60 mill plus over the long weekend, so expect more...and the ending of the film suggests that (also a silly silly ending). I might not commit to any more of these though...for me judgement day was today...and my judgement...enough already!!! I'd rather watch Arnold hold meetings about fuel efficiency in California, or gay marriage laws, then watch more of these. I will give it a lackluster 4.5 memorable Morgan Freeman lines from Shawshank (out of ten, as always) because I think Andy Dufrane would rather hang out in the library with Brooks then go to the theater and watch this thoughtless movie.

Food For Thought: I had a nice Nathans Hot Dog which was very good, and a Diet Coke, but was depressed because I didn't have popcorn to keep my mind occupied while trying to pass the time until the robots went away. Try the Cannolis at Whole Foods bakery (if you don't live on the east coast where you can get real Cannolis) they are solid and helped me get over this film.

May 20, 2009

DVD Reviews #6 & #7

Frost/Nixon (2008) Frank Langella, Michael Sheen Directed by Ron Howard

In my first defense of DVD #1 Review, Best Picture Winner Slumdog Millionaire, I will be explaining to you why Frost/Nixon was not better than Slumdog.

Frost/Nixon is a very good movie, all the great directing skills and meaningful characters that are absent from Ron Howard's Angels & Demons (recently reviewed) are present in Frost/Nixon. Not to say Angels & Demons is a bad movie, but once you set the bar high, with great films like A Beautiful Mind, and Apollo 13 (both Howard) don't backtrack by making movies that literally anyone could have made. Howard seems to follow a pattern of great film, then mediocre film...don't believe me check this out: Mediocre-2000 Grinch Stole Xmas, Great-2001 A Beautiful Mind, Mediocre-2003 The Missing, Great-2005 Cinderella Man, Mediocre-2006 Da Vinci Code, Great-2008 Frost/Nixon, Mediocre-2009 Angels & Demons...weird huh, he should just produce, not direct like every other movie, then he would make strictly Oscar bait movies. Anyway not to rag on Opie, but I am sometimes frazzled when I see his name at the end of a great film like Gung Ho, or even Backdraft (which I like), then I will catch his name again at the end of EDTV, or Far and Away...both garbage. Alright back to the film, if you are history buff (and I like to think I am) you should love Frost/Nixon, which is a slow moving drama that captures both the impact and emotion of a very interesting historical event. We all know the story of a Greek Tragedy he fell from on high, to become the only man in U.S. history to resign the Presidency. This film is specifically about the first interview he did with a man called David Frost (brilliantly played by Michael Sheen). It wouldn't seem at first glance like a powerful enough historical story, maybe one thinks there isn't enough there to fill a 2 hour plus movie, but trust me...there is. Frank Langella recreates Nixon like Simon Pegg recreates Scotty from Star Trek (and that is meant to be very very well)...he is a totally uncomfortable man, trapped in his own hubris. He is very vulnerable and frustrated by it. He was well deserving of an Oscar nomination for this. The rest of the cast fills in nicely Oliver Platt, Sam Rockwell, and Kevin Bacon all do a nice job in this film, but really the last 20 minutes where the two actors go at it and where Frost really forces Nixon into a corner is priceless. It is not however, better than Slumdog, not by a long shot. Slumdog has layers, and elements that I have never seen before, it unravels at a pace that is captivating and exotic, but Frost/Nixon is a great film, and by all means I recommend it. Warning-if you are not interested in history, Nixon, or 70's not get this movie...unless you plan to make out through the whole which case...carry on.

(The Shawshank Scale 1-10) Frost/Nixon Worthy of a 7.0

In my second defense of 2008 Oscar Winner Slumdog, I present 2008 Best Picture Nominee The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett Directed by David Fincher

David Fincher is a one of my favorite directors, with Fight Club, Seven, and Zodiac (didn't like Panic Room) his track record is ok with me. Button is a very good movie. It is built for anyone who has ever loved or anyone who ever wants to fall in love. It is the most truthful and compelling love story I have seen in quite some time. Button is the story (as you may have heard) of a man who is born old, and grows young. Brad Pitt (who is hard not to like) does a very admirable job with his role (reminiscent of Meet Joe Black...I think I might be the only person who really loves that movie) of Benjamin, who because of his odd circumstances grows up in a way that allows him to experience life backwards...or at least different then the rest of us. This enables him to see the world in a very interesting way. The problem is the love of his life, played well by Cate Blanchett (she had to be a ballerina grrr) is a normal child. Their only chance at a workable love will be to meet in the middle of their growth cycles...which of course they do..and well you figure out the rest. Fincher again directs a visually compelling movie, that is filled with great role players along the way (most memorable: Queenie, Benjamins "sort of mom" played by Taraji Henson beautifully). Fincher's movie is too long at almost 3 hours, even though it is good, at times it feels like too big a commitment to make for our busy lives (good thing I don't sleep). If you can commit that kind of time to a love story that is wonderful to watch, and interesting enough to keep you involved (though you may need breaks) you will enjoy this film.
It is not however better than Slumdog, Button is too long, and tries at times too hard. It is narrated by Pitt himself, and is paced by an older woman dying in a hospital, forcing her daughter to read the story to her as she dies (though I love that hurricane Katrina is happening in the background). Slumdog is better paced and much easier to watch. Button a worthy Best Picture nominee, but not the winner.

(The Shawshank Scale 1-10) Button a very good 7.5

Nothing new coming up for Ron Howard, his Angels & Demons opened up to a lackluster 48 million this past weekend, but the world totals will make it a blockbuster, Dan Brown is writing another Robert Langdon book, and you can be sure Howard's next Langdon film will be shortly behind. As for Fincher he is doing a Heavy Metal update 2010, and a couple of other films are in the works called Black Hole, and The killer...I will give anything he does a chance. Pitt has Tarentino's Inglorious Bastards out later this year, and will be playing Billy Beane in the film version of the baseball book Moneyball, he is also rumored to be starring in a 2012 version of The bout that.

May 17, 2009

Coming Soon!!!

Week in Review #4 Just as soon as I get over the demise of the Bruins and Celtics, I will comment...the Sox completed their injury plagued last west coast trip so I will go easy there. The Yanks playing yeah, and the Mets as well. DVD Review #6 & 7 we play catch up by defending last year's Best Picture Slumdog the winner (reviewed already) by finally watching Frost/Nixon and The Curious Case of Ben Button (also nominated) and writing why I thought Slumdog was better. Fantasy Update #7 about the same, but making moves trying to get things better...just not that much out there...need guys to get healthy. Keep logging on, and keep commenting...please it's all I got!!! Well I do have an espresso machine that's pretty cool.

May 16, 2009

Movie Review #8 Angels & Demons

Angels & Demons (2009) Tom Hanks Ewan McGregor Directed by Ron Howard

I am a big fan of religious argument. I enjoy a little controversy and conversation over one of the biggest topics of all time. This movie does give me the ammo needed to start discussions, and I like that. I have watched several promotional interviews (Daily Show, Letterman, etc...) and the topic is discussed pretty openly, I think that shows progess. Like Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons questions some of our most popular beliefs with a mix of history, and myth. I have read both books, and now have seen both films. I know my blog wasn't around for Da Vinci Code, but if it was I would have given that film the same rating as I will give this one.

Angels & Demons, the second film in the Robert Langdon series authored by Dan Brown, is meant to be a sequel to the Da Vinci Code (book readers will note that Angels & Demons comes before the Da Vinci Code), and it holds up its end of the deal as a sequel. Tom Hanks is back with shorter hair playing once again Prof. Robert Langdon, who must follow clues and ancient symbols, in a short matter of time, before an awful truth and vicious attack strikes the Vatican, and all mankind. Brown, has a knack for writing his stories with a timeline, that keeps things moving in a fast pace manner...i.e...turn the page, c'mon turn it!!! Howard failed with the Da Vinci Code movie the first time to establish this pace, and he fails again here...but that doesn't mean the movie is bad. In fact I was entertained thoroughly by this movie, as I was the last, but I will not argue with you, or anyone else to this point...THE BOOKS ARE BETTER, but since I believe we have all read the books, let's just move on and happily enjoy our characters coming to life on the big screen. (also just to point out that when Langdon was first rumored to be coming to the big screen, I really wanted Michael Keaton to play him...and I still do...but Hanks is fine) Ewan McGregor and Stellan Skarsgard (from the great Hunt for Red October, and Good Will Hunting) accompany Hanks on this journey that involves, the Pope dying, and a plot to destroy the Vatican...but since maybe, just maybe, some of you didn't read it, I will treat this as all other reviews and not give plot details away. My criticism is basically that the books have an inherent cheesiness to them and the films fail to fix the problem, you see Brown writes a mean fake history tale, but a crappy dialogue/romance/character tale, he fails at making us want to turn the page because of the relationships Langdon finds himself in, or the characters he faces along the way, we only want to turn the page to see the next clue...and for a book that is plenty good enough, as for a 2 hour plus movie...I would contend...we need a touch more. Howard uses the books marker of a death (of a preist) an hour to keep the pace up (but we sort of just want to say hurry the F up Langdon, instead of oh my god, we have no time), and the scenery and cinematography are awesome (they got to shoot at the Vatican...crazy), but still it just comes up a little short in character development, in plot smoothness, and overall likability. I still liked it just fine, but instead of watching it again when it comes out on DVD, I'll skim the book's just flat out better. I give it a reasonable 6.0 memorable Morgan Freeman lines from Shawshank (out of ten always) because Andy Dufrane and Robert Langdon would make a great team.

Notes for thought: After it was over I went back in and watched the last 20 minutes of Star Trek again...just confirming that it indeed has been the best summer movie so far...and I venture to say it will be the best at the end of summer...(but I could be wrong).

May 15, 2009

Movie Review #7 The Soloist

The Soloist (2009) Robert Downey Jr. Jamie Foxx Directed by Joe Wright

The Soloist is directed by Joe Wright, who previously tackled Atonement, and Pride and Prejudice. For this movie he examines a true life story about a columnist(Downey Jr.) who works in L.A. and befriends a musically gifted homeless man (Foxx). The acting is terrific which is business as usual with these two talented actors. Downey Jr. who plays Steve Lopez would be watchable reading the phonebook, and it's worth noting that on a day when I saw "America's favorite" Tom Hanks in Angels & Demons, he was outdone by a maturing Robert Downey Jr. who is experiencing a renaissance that is much deserved. You get the feeling that that the character Steve Lopez and the man Downey Jr. have been through a lot and just want to see something good now. Foxx who is very undervalued as an entertainer plays Nathaniel Ayers, a homeless man who suffers from a mental disorder, and use to be a student at Julliard. He wanders the streets playing music on his two string violin until he encounters Steve, who attempts to help him get his life in order. I was made aware that many of the scenes in the film that involve homeless characters are actually homeless people from the L.A. area. I think that stands out in this film, and I think it makes it work better. Some of the best moments in this feature come when the very real life style is addressed into in detail (how and where the homeless sleep and wash, etc...). The storyline is more realistic than most movies of this nature, which I found refreshing. But there is something lacking, you won't find yourself becoming as emotionally attached to these two guys as you may have liked. I think that is because of the realism this movie appears to hold. It is sort of ass-backwards when you complain about something Hollywood does (make everything work in a film), then when it decides to not do it, you miss the fairy tale (can't it all just work out). We have seen movies that tell the truth before and we have seen characters leave the screen before everything is resolved...and honestly though we may not feel as good in our hearts as we would like, we hopefully will continue to see this real way of looking at life on screen. This film is a nice piece of work by a director I will now be looking out for. It gets a very commendable 7.0 memorable Morgan Freeman lines from Shawshank (as always out of ten), because if Andy Dufrane wasn't allowed to make those bank withdrawals, he might have very well been homeless.

Food for thought: Again it is summer so popcorn and diet coke. Although be aware pork chop sandwich...very underrated, but eat it right away. On a side note, the homeless are often misunderstood, if you have some extra change, or better yet some food, why not give it away...lets not be afraid of these people, lets try to understand.

May 11, 2009

Movie Review #6 Star Trek

Star Trek (2009) Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto Directed by J.J. Abrams

Yup I said it before I will say it again, the summer is here! Started with Wolverine, and now we have the next blockbuster of May arriving with a bang. I'm am not a Star Trek fan really, I think the only movie I really liked was "The Undiscovered Country" (think that was Star Trek 5) with Spock's brother causing problems (it had a god theme or something). The rest sort of came and went, though I watched almost all of them, I never jumped up and cheered or anything...well looks like that streak is broken...for this flick...I jumped up and cheered (mostly because I was so thrilled that Wolverine (6.5 rating) wasn't going to be the best of the summer crop). Now I might guess that if you are a loyal fan of this franchise, there may be a few things that will irk you bit, and I had a couple as well, but like Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, I was so happy it worked to see these characters again, I set aside my normal "what were they thinking there" mentality, and just went along for the ride (which is what summer movie viewing is all about). Star Trek takes place as a prequel to the TV series, and we learn throughout the film how all these characters ended up on the U.S.S. Enterprise together. Now again I'm not a huge fan or anything, but you would have to live in a shoebox if you are my age or around my age, to not know about these iconic characters. We all know what Kirk is suppused to sound like, or what Dr. McCoy should say (Dammit Jim i'm a doctor not a blogger!). I am very happy to report that, although it so rarely ever works to replay iconic characters with relatively unknown actors (see Superman Returns), it most certainly worked here. I don't know how it was done, but this cast hit a freakin grand slam with the crew from the Enterprise. Props to April Webster and Alyssa Weisberg for their great work in casting this movie. Chris Pine who i've never seen before, or at least don't remember if I had, kills as James T. Kirk, and it's hard for me to like a guy pretending to be Shatner, Zachary Quinto also makes Spock...I don't know kind of cool and layered. Simon Pegg (who is my boy...please see Run Fatboy Run or Shawn of the dead if you haven't) is awesome as Scotty, Anton Yelchin is hiliarous as Chekov, John Cho is solid as Sulu, Karl Urban is dead on as "bones" McCoy, and my oh my is Uhura (played well by Zoe Saldana...who is now forgiven for the poop known as Centerstage) freakin HOT!!! Even Eric Bana as a pissed off Romulan is cool. I had a feeling J.J. Abrams could handle this film, his retooling of the Mission Impossible movie (part 3) was very good work. He really does a nice job making a mediocre script come to life with awesome editing, and a very rocking cast. He allows (or has the balls to)give each character a new element that we have not seen before, and lets the actors both imitate, and explore the characters of the past to give us a new angle. Do not screw around on this people, I have seen the trailers, this might be the best of the summer (though I could be wrong), go out and see this movie, I don't give a crap if you hate the idea of going to a Star Trek movie, and I don't care if you are a loyalist who thinks replacing Kirk with a kid is sacrilegious...go out and do it...before I set my phasers to kill...ok ok that was dorky, but just go see it. I give it a very good 7.5 memorable Morgan Freeman lines from Shawshank (as always out of ten, and this is my highest mark yet) because Andy Dufrane would have stayed in his cell another week if he knew this movie was coming to the prison theater...then he would crawl through the poop of course after he saw it.

Food for thought: It's the summer people, gotta go classic every once in awhile, popcorn and a soda...and I even used a coupon thingy they gave me at the entrance. Though just so you know my coffee making skills are getting better, 1 1/2 shots espresso, 1 pump caramel, 1 pump vanilla, 1/2 scoop sugar, sprinkle of cinnamon, and steamed milk makes a great latte.

May 10, 2009

Fantasy Update #6

Ok so now I find myself very solid in League One and trying to position myself for the second half (2nd Place currently). As for the other one, League Two, Team: Soxtown...well we are in disarray. (6th place !) I have several issues with this team, so many that I am confused as what I can do to help it. Maybe you have suggestions.

League One (Redsox Revenge) Starting lineup: Soto Catcher (he is picking it up after struggling mightily in the first 20 games...Posada hurt is killing me, but is worth taking up my DL spot). Dunn 1st Base (I've been offered several trades for this guy and might take one soon, I have D. Lee and there are a few guys on the waiver wire that would fit nicely here...Todd Helton maybe?). Utley 2nd Base (yeah a stud period...just stay healthy my man). Alexei Ramirez Shortstop (he is still shaky but at least he has picked up a little 6 steals...but please get over the Mendoza line 198 avg). David Wright 3rd base (Utley is playing more like my 1st round pick, but I won't complain too much about 304/21r/3hrs/18rbi/5stls). Ibanez OF (can you say MVP for the Phills again), Matt Holiday OF (226avg/4hr's/20rbi/0steals...guess which number pisses me off the most?), Jayson Werth OF (traded Ethier away as Werth got I would have roid-manny-ram later...I hope I don't regret that). Lowell UTIL (Of course, of course, we (when I say "we" that's the Red Sox) never wanted Teixeira really, let's compare numbers 198avg/7Hrs/17rbi to Lowell(who we would have lost if Tex was picked up by the sox) 312avg/6Hr's/ lets compare salary...well you get the idea here). On my bench (which is shorthanded currently with Posada out and Manny gone for 50 games) is Derek Lee (coming alive) and Freddy Sanchez (I just like this former sox draft pick, he's exciting) . This lineup has given me the best offense in the league but if I can get value for Dunn I will get rid of him...and soon. My pitching has been pretty good with my patchwork rotation of Bedard (43 strikeouts in 42 innings), Oswalt (your killing me man 4.50 era/1.34 whip/1 goddamn win), Way-rod (go back to my pre-draft fantasy blog...insert I told you so dance here...3wins/37K's/1.80 era/1.04whip), Timmy Wakefield (this guy just won't quit...still my favorite current Sox player), and Joe Saunders (i'll stick with him and his 5 wins a little longer this time). My Relief Core is just getting it together Nathan (5 saves), Fuentes (9 saves, but bad whip and era), Hawkins (solid addition), and Aardsma (this guy has great stuff, but can't hold him on the roster unless Morrow gets hurt again). I was pressed to make some roster moves so I had to ditch Smoltz, who I was saving, hopefully nobody will grab him before I make room again.

League Two McCann C Catcher (I have no backup, so thanks for coming stay healthy!). Dunn 1st Base (On this team he is my best player so he says put). Pedroia 2nd Base (he might be hurt for a bit, but I like his numbers and with Asdrubal I have insurance). Alexei Ramirez Shortstop (again I got Asdrubal, but still hope I'm not wrong about this kid, love his game). Youkilis 3rd Base (he is hurt but isn't going on the DL so I won't flip out, besides Melvin Mora has done solid in Youk's absence). Grady Sizemore OF (again I like you, but your team sucks, and that scares me, also isn't it time for you to mature and start hitting at lease 260ish...currently 227avg), Jayson Werth OF (stepped it up for me, he should be a 20hr/20stls guy again), Ethier OF (you lost Manny, stay focussed kid, you need to be a leader now). Asdrubal Cabrera Util (he is awesome, the one bright spot for the Indians 319/1hr/16rbi/5stls). On my bench, and its a long one, I added Helton (playing great again 343avg/3hr/18rbi), Freddie Sanchez (just like him), Melvin Mora (too good to be sitting on the waiver wire), and Crisp (I don't know if I believe he will have a good year...or I just want him to have one). My pitching sucks! Did I make that clear, ok my sucky staff is lead by Way-rod (I told you so dance guy...remember), Gil Meche (yeah that Gil Meche...the one with the 1.41 whip), um and yeah that's it for starters right now...I am so frustrated I dropped them all (Wakefield was dropped by me...why, I have no idea). My Relief Core has to carry me until I make a trade or find some guys on the waiver wire, while my boys Dice-K, and Zambrano heal from there injuries. Jenks (pitching lights again), Franklin (please stay the closer), Rodney (shaky but i'll take it), and Fuentes (even shakier, but he stays the closer), then for now I have Ramon Ramirez (because I can't stand the idea of making another bad spot start right now). This roster is moving and shaking quite a bit, and I have a funny feeling next update it could look very different. Any ideas???

Some advice from the guy in 2nd and 6th
So once you have identified weaknesses, you have to get aggressive and start moving pieces. People will now start trading, look at all your roster spots and find solutions. If you have a big lead in one category, let the idea of trading a big dog at least gel in your mind...if you don't fix your problems soon enough, then it will be too late. Always try to offer counter offers, even if they won't go through it lets people know you are willing to play ball.

Stock up: Todd Helton, Okajima, Ian Snell, Michael Bourn, and still Freddie Sanchez...though I don't know why he misses a game a week. C.C. Sabathia seems to be settling in and maybe...just maybe...Brad Penny will actually be alright (hit 94 on the gun in his last start...but his best case is a spot guy anyway).

Stock Down: David Ortiz (it's hard not to include him here, he has to bat lower in the lineup), Teixeira (for the place you drafted him he sucks...I don't care what he does in the second half), Phil (f-ing) Hughes (why again did I get tricked into liking this guy and his stuff...he sucks...he is not cut out for the Yankees, let him go to the Royals where he can relax and just pitch, Phil you single handily raised my era does that make you feel...that's what I get for trusting a Yankee), J.D. Drew (just cause I can't let myself like him...I don't care what his OBP is), and Roy Oswalt (we are deep enough in that we now know he is not a front line starter, he has passed that torch to Way-rod...thanks for telling me that before the draft).

News and Rants: Mets come alive with a 7 game win streak that has put them in first place, what will Peter Pascarelli complain about? Sox still behind the Blue Jays, and I might start believing in this team soon, Yanks still showing they are just about what we thought they were...a mediocre team, and the Manny steroid story rocked the baseball world...the Bill Simmons column on Manny and the World Series titiles of 04 and 07 just made me sad. Peter Gammons said he wished Shakespeare was around to write about the "Hubris"of these ballplayers...i'm glad he's not, because I would have to read it, and it would just make me mad at the baseball world. I'm a baseball fan but when the few guys I said no about (in the "did he use" question) come up dirty, and then they reference their doctor...well I can't help but watch a little hockey instead of the least for a few innings.

May 6, 2009

Week In Review #3

Bret Farve...again? Manny best pound for pound...disagree? let me introduce you to Manny...and life without Matt on Idol, f-ing blows. Oh Yeah and the Yankees can't best the Red to be them.

Boxing Manny Pacquiao beat the living crap out of Hatton on Saturday. I am just going to leave it basically at that. Hatton gets props for being aggressive, but not many because he was aggressively getting the snot beat out of him...and he hit the canvas as hard as I have seen anyone hit it. He took the cleanest left from Manny ever...and went down like a sack of potatoes. Bring on Floyd!! I mean Floyd is going to fight Marquez, and that's no easy bout so props to him, but I think he should worry about Pacquiao, who is so quick and so strong. One thing is for sure, that fight will bring the boxing world back to the top, MMA got any answers for that fight?? Whats that? Chuck Lidell is getting knocked out again you say.

Farve Listen Brett I really have grown to respect you over the last few years (because I did hate you for the Superbowl victory over my Pats in 1996...damn you Desmond Howard!!), but seriously stop it with the attention thing...your like the ex-girlfriend that plays games with you all day to see if you will notice that she thinks she isn't getting enough attention from you. Alright I get it, I get it, but no I can't give you the amount of attention you desire...only ESPN can do that. I am not going to lie if you play for the Vikings you will be my backup in fantasy this year...but that aside, you have to be sympathetic to those of us who are trying to protect your stature in the game...your legacy. I know you don't care about it, and I know that if I was an athlete and I thought I could still play, I wouldn't want anyone telling me when to stop...I'm just tired of saying goodbye to for the record if you come back or not...Goodbye, I'll just get it out of the way now, this way we are cool when I bench you for T Jackson in week 13...we are cool right??

Sox Nation 17-10 2nd in the A.L. East, and the most important part...5-0 against the's that Tex and C.C. thing working out? The Red Sox "takes it easy" against the Yankees. I am concerned about a few things...Ortiz no dingers yet, but RBI doubles are just as good, Beckett is fastball crazy, my manager is still a pushover, and Papelbon is a little shaky. There are so many good things though...Mikey Lowell for starters, anyone still want Tex? Jason can we get a know like the one that dirtbag J.D. Drew has for this guy. Our bullpen is so deep and still so solid, and of course I will give him some props Penny is throwing a little better (94 on the gun last game) so as long as Dice-K comes back strong I think we pass the Jays in Oh I don't know a few days.

NBA If I don't talk about the NBA in one of these blog posts...I'm afraid Bill Simmons will never read it. Here goes...Kobe (you know the guy who was once accused of rape) shot 1-7 from 3-point range, and 14-31 overall...yeah that's the guy I remember from last years finals...nice to see you again. Maybe the Rockets can win this thing, I know one thing for sure this round Nuggets, Cavs...gonna be just fine. What if we had a Melo vs. Lebron know they were supposed to be natural rivals. I would watch that. As for my Celts...we should win, we will in long as Ray Allen makes shots and Rondo gets his legs back. The NBA playoffs are too long, and that first round 7 games thing is an embarrassment, but it is starting to heat up, so I will tune in. Oh and let me mention that Barkley could kill someone...and I would still want him as the personality of the NBA...listen to him on PTI (May 5) he is hilarious.

IDOL Ok Matt is gone...I don't like it, but I will deal with it. Adam sang a decent version of Whole Lotta Love this week, and Danny reached a little high on Dream On, but no doubt Kris and Allison are in guess is Kris who couldn't pull off Come Together...shoulda sang Revolution...who cares what Slash thinks. Come back Matt :(

May 5, 2009

DVD Review #5 The Wrestler

The Wrestler (2008) Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Let me just say that recently I have been accused by a handful of people that I've lost some of my hopeless romantic sense that was once likable about me in the past...well they are right, I have, but there is still some left...its's older...and maybe its romanticsim for others, i'm not applying it to myself anymore...and I think thats right for me. This movie is a little hopeless romantic in a very different way then you may it, and let me know if i'm right.

I don't think I made up my my mind on this movie until "The Boss" filled the screen at the very end when the credits roll with the cool song "The Wrestler" which is as good as anything he has done. Aronofsky best known for a crazy memorable and disturbing movie Requiem for a dream, does a great job with an aging Mickey Rourke and a crazy hot (she can't be 40) Marisa Tomei. This film is slow, quiet, and gets under your skin. I think if you watch it and your not in the mood, you might ask yourself why you give a crap about this guy, but if you watch it on the right day...then you will be absorbed by the life of Randy "The Ram" Robinson. We have seen the guy who tries to make amends with his daughter before, we have seen the washed up athlete before, and we have seen the futile attempts by many to make a last ditch effort not to be alone...but we haven't seen Aronofsky's version...until The Wrestler. As a guy who watched wrestling growing up (Huge Hitman Hart fan) a was fascinated by the part of "The Ram" played very well by Mickey Rourke, who is hanging on to his career as hard as he can so he doesn't have to live in the real world. It is such a harsh reality for "The Ram" to face (which if you have seen Requiem then you know how harsh this director can be), there is lot of layers to this guy, there is enough there to make you root for him, even though you know it might be a bad investment. We can all relate to screwing up our lives at one point or another, and we all know there are people out there that we invest in even though we know we shouldn't but for whatever reason we do it...we want to. That's "The Ram" go out and invest in this movie, put it on and i'm fairly certain you will think you have invested your time wisely.

(The Shawshank Scale 1-10) The story of The Ram warrants a 7.5

Evan Rachel Wood does a nice job as "The Ram's" daughter, she has grown into a very fine actress and we will see her at the Oscar podium eventually, I also can't say enough about Marisa Tomei who recently has hit us one after another in roles where she knocks it out of the park...I really think the travesty in this film was her not getting the Oscar. Mickey probably should have won as well, but as I have not seen Milk yet I will hold back.

Aronofsky has Robocop to look forward to in the future (2010) hopefully he can pull that off. As for Rourke he has Iron Man 2 where he plays whiplash...and it's possible he shows up for Rambo V...yeah I said Rambo V. Tomei has a really funny sounding Duplass Brothers comedy coming in (2010) that has yet to be titled, but has Jonah Hill and John C. Reilley in it, and Wood will star in the Jodie Foster Directed Flora Plum.

May 4, 2009

Movie Review #5 Wolverine

Wolverine (2009) Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber Directed by Gavin Hood

Well the summer is among us, this is what we all have been waiting for (by all I mean probably just me cause I love movies). The one who strikes first with a cool 87 mill on opening weekend...well that would be Wolverine. This marks a string of biggies that will soon follow...May 8th Star Trek, May 15 Angels & Demons, and May 21 Terminator (you know with the guy who flipped out on the set...are you f-ing serious you don't remember that!!) But right now is Wolverine's time. Hugh Jackman got stacked (does he know A-rod's cousin?) for his reprisal as the sharp clawed Wolverine. I am a basic fan of the X-Men movies. All three were solid, the 2nd and third better than the first. By the way this movie basically wants you to forget that Sabertooth (Victor Creed) was in the first flick (it won't be hard to do he was Bane in the fourth Batman). This is a prequel designed to give us the Origin story of the fan favorite "Wolverine". It does a nice job getting us to buy that vengeance, and war has shaped this loner mutant into the guy we all love today. It is a little sloppy around the plot points, but after Fast and Furious, I won't complain too much. the action at times is intense, and too often a little CG heavy. It is saved mostly by the good casting. The pair Jackman and Schreiber as rival half-brothers is pretty cool, though again the story is full of holes. We get a bunch of cool new characters...Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, has maybe the best scenes (though it is awfully reminiscent of Blade 3) and you miss him when he is out of the picture. Taylor Kitsch (from Friday Night Lights) surprised me with a nice portrayal of my comic book favorite Gambit. Danny Huston as Stryker, and Kayla Silverfox as Lynn are both fine as well. It is a swift 107 minutes, that is a little slow at the beginning but keeps you moving along after that. It contains plenty of action, though the editing is choppy and a little confusing. Also it tries really hard to connect to the other movies with Scott Summers (Cyclops) showing up, and a nice young looking Prof. X. Don't be pissed for a spoiler had to know that was coming. Ultimately for the first of the summer it was solid. I thought it could have been done better, but i'm fine with it. I'm happy they got some class actors to do it, if they had cast differently I know I would have slaughtered it in a review. So get your popcorn ready...there's no way in the world I am not going to recommend the first of the summer flick...come on people get excited. Go see Wolverine! I give it a solid 6.5 memorable Morgan Freeman lines from Shawshank (as always out of ten), what if Andy Dufrane had cool Wolverine claws, then he could just cut out of the sewer filled with poop and piss...but then the scene in the rain wouldn't mean as much...sorry Andy can't make it easy for that scene too much, no claws for you.

Food for thought: Would you believe it, I wasn't hungry this time. Up next for Jackman Drive, about a stuntman.

Movie Review #4 I Love You Man

I Love You, Man (2009) Paul Rudd, Jason Segal Directed by John Hamburg

Well if you don't love Paul Rudd by should seriously consider going to the seriously something is wrong with you, i'll call for you if you want. Yeah Yeah I know the Apatow gang's fifteen minutes might have been up two minutes ago, but maybe, just maybe this crew has some staying least for my own selfish interests I hope they stay sharp through the new Ghostbusters flick (writers). This is a gut busting funny movie, plenty of laugh out loud moments, it works with a date, with a buddy, and as a double header come down off the first summer blockbuster (in this case Wolverine). Cool acting, fun premise, and nifty cameos (yeah the hulk, but also look for the Daily Show's Larry Wilmore) Paul Rudd plays Peter, a very, very dorky guy who just got engaged (to a very sexy Rashida Jones) but is a little jealous that his fiance has lots of girl friends to confide in, and he is lacking in good guy buddies. So he goes out on a few hilarious trial runs to attempt to find a good guy buddy. I won't mention much about these but the one with Thomas Lennon from Reno 911 is f-ing awesome. Finally he links up with a Jason Segal and they hit it off. After awhile the guy friend starts to impede on Peters relationship with his fiance and you know where this goes...the important thing is it's funny. Paul Rudd has never been dorkier...and never been funnier. It is as good as Sarah Marshall, and Knocked Up if not better. Jaime Pressly and Jon Favreau play a funny married couple, and Andy Samberg, and the always funny...and so underrated J.K. Simmons (don't believe me see Burn After Reading) play Peter's dad and bro. I saw it late, it has been out for awhile, but no doubt a great flick worthy of a big-screen view...don't slack and wait for the DVD, go see it now. I'll give it notable 7.0 memorable Morgan Freeman lines from Shawshank (as always out of ten) cause if the sista's finished up with Andy, and Red was looking for a way to cheer him up...he might just give him this movie. Nice work Apatow...I will give the college humor site making fun of you a rest...for now...don't f-up Ghostbusters though!!

Food for thought: Had some Pistachio/Cotton Candy Ice it was good. Was feeling sweets today. Up next for Rudd is Dinner for Schmucks with Steve Carell, he plays a bit part in Year One, and is still talking about Anchorman 2...cause 50% of the works 100% of the time. For Segal it's Gulliver's Travels...yeah not sure about that one...but also a new untitled Muppet movie...yeah that's more like it.

DVD Review #4 Zombie Strippers

Zombie Strippers (2008) Jenna Jameson, Robert England Directed by Jay Lee

I will never get these precious minutes of my life back will I? Are there boobs and strippers?...Yes there are. Are there Zombies and blood? yeah. Are there people who know nothing about the military acting as an elite military secret team of fighters?...F yeah. With all those things you would clearly ask for in a movie called Zombie strippers, why does it come up short? Well it's hard to say...wait I got it, no Mother-F-ing Sam Jackson...yeah that might be it. The boobs are nice and I will admit Jenna looked hotter than I remember (though the plastic surgery has done a number on what was once a very hot girl next door face), but I think this film comes up short because it fails to be as smart as it thought it was. I know what your thinking here...wait for it...this is a movie called Zombie Strippers, it has no intention of being smart...i'm aware of that, but it ventures into that territory by trying to make fun of itself. When you make fun of yourself the general rules of thumb are (A) you gotta be funny, (B) you gotta be confident and spare us awkwardness...just go for it, and (C) you gotta be smart enough to do it. This movie follows none of those pretty solid rules. It was tiring watching Robert Englund (Freddy) waddle through this flick with several awful, painful one-liners that not only didn't make sense, they weren't funny, no comic timing, no sense, and all too often no boobies behind him to distract my attention from um, Robert Englund's stupid lines. I will say the height of this film is when Jenna is fighting another Zombie stripper and she uses golf balls and pool balls as weapons, by inserting them into her va-jay-jay (of course what else) and firing them at the other zombie stripper lady. Also not to be too mean, but these strippers are hot chicks don't get me wrong, but they are not that hot, they are kind of skino-max 37 year old ladies with bad boob jobs who thought this would be awesome, we can make a flick and hide our cocaine induced eye wrinkles with some zombie makeup. Hard to point out a bright side in this one...other than boobs, and a stripper creating wind by spinning really fast on the stripper pole (yeah that happens), but keep an eye out for Joey Medina as Paco the janitor...he steals his scenes...wait that phrase is too good...he is the most watchable thing in this movie, not filled with silicone. Other than that stuff it was, if you have a friend that forced you to watch this like I yourself a favor, take a rain check, or tell him to go spend time with his wife, or if that fails tell him you'd rather just go to a real strip club, where you will proceed to act really bad, step on a ketchup bottle, and then punch him in his face. How about this Griswald??? Please for the love of humanity don't do it...the boobs aren't worth it...and I don't say that often.

(The Shawshank Scale 1-10) Um..1.5 I'll be generous
Next up for Jenna and Robert who gives a shit.

Food for thought here...1.5 pounds Beef (lean), two diced jalapeno peppers, four diced tomatoes, one diced onion, chili powder, and a log of Velveeta cheese...saute all together...toss in a bowl...make some dip...if your lucky the chips crunching noise will prevent you from hearing the dialogue in Zombie Strippers.

May 1, 2009

Coming Soon !!!

Week in review #3 I will talk about my boy Matt Giraud leaving soon as I get over it. Fantasy Update # 6, Also Wolverine Movie Revew...Hugh pops are summer movie cherry, and DVD Review The Wrestler among others. Also another Sox/Yanks series...and Tiger and Phil keep it going, maybe this is the year they become real rivals...also Peppers holds out for a mini-camp...come to the Pats Julius...we won't make you even go to a mini camp.