February 25, 2010

American Idol Update #1

Season #9, Here we go...and just for you...weekly updates!!!

So last year we rode the Matt Giraud bandwagon till it ended with him finishing 5th in the competition. Remember him he was the guy who got saved by the judges. Anyway I was wrong there I guess, but I did really think he was the best and ended up downloading more of his songs than any other contestants. The year before (my first year of Idol…I blame my friend CJB3 for getting me involved) I nailed David Cook who I picked during the top 16 week…after he sang an awesome version of a crappy song “Hello” by Lionel Ritchie. This is a new year, and with my new blogging powers (though really whose reading?), it comes with weekly updates (make no mistake this is because the movie season has died down, and there is sadly no more football…and um I suppose I like Idol…maybe Mr. Tony is to blame?) Well here it goes, let’s quickly break down the top 24 week, by the way the top 24 is the earliest I have ever ventured into the Idol show, because I hate the first few weeks with all the awful auditions, and though I know many of you think that is the best part, I dread it, I prefer the later weeks where they all sing acoustic Bryan Adams songs (break downs will get more specific in later weeks, I promise).

Top 24 Girls-Mostly bad with few standouts, they all look scared and confused at this point.

Best Performances of top 24 week:

· (1) Michelle Delamor-She did a nice job with Alicia Keys, but could use work. This girl did not do it for me prior to this performance, but really this was the first time we heard her sing solo.

· (2) Kateyln Epperly-I didn’t like her before this, and think she dresses a bit slutty, but when you do Oh Darling by The Beatles and do it even remotely well, I will give you props.

· (3) Siobhan Magnus-She’s weird, but from New England…so she has that going for, and Wicked Game is a cool song choice, very David Lynch-fan-friendly.

Worst Performances of top 24 week (two of these should go):

· (1) Lacey Brown-Just dreadful…wow.

· (2) Paige Miles-If I had all night, I doubt I could have picked a worse song choice for this girl (All Right Now?), who btw is pretty good.

· (3) Haely Vaughn-Again she’s good, but I Want to Hold Your Hand? It was the goofiest version of that I think anyone could imagine…well maybe not David Lynch, and seriously the smiling thing is getting a tad annoying and I have barely watched the show.

· (4) Katie Stevens-She is also good (as seen in past weeks) but may be too young, her song choice was wrong and her stage presence is awful.

Push for top 24 week (just fine, not great…should stay alive): Ashley Rodriguez, Janell Wheeler, Lilly Scott, Crystal Bowersox, and Didi Benami.

Current Girl Pick to Win: Didi Benami-just really like her so far.

Runner Up: Janell Wheeler-she’s really pretty and country, which Idol likes.

Top 24 Guys-I think I thought the girls would be better, and then I saw the girls and thought…nope guys will be better this week…should’a stuck with my first instinct…just a poor showing mostly.

Best Performances of top 24 week:

· (1) Lee Dewyze-He was original and good, though his voice sounds like it has limits.

· (2) Casey Blake-The song was right (Bryan Adams Heaven), he’s not great but in this crowd he stands out enough.

· (3) Andrew Garcia-Took a risk, I thought it was fine, but some people go a bit too far when they are changing these songs.

Worst Performances of the top 24 (two of these should go):

· (1) Tim Urban-Wow so, so awful, I felt bad for him, but he’s good looking he will be fine.

· (2) John Park-Not as bad as Tim Urban, but was still awful.

· (3) Jermaine Sellers-The best of the worst

Push for top 24 week (just fine, not great…should stay alive): Joe Munoz, Tyler Grady, Alex Lambert, Todrick Hall, Aaron Kelly.

Current Guy Pick to Win: Andrew Garcia-He is the most polished, but I think it’s gonna be a girl.

Runner Up: Lee Dewyze-He seems cool, he should get better.

So that’s where I’m at right now…I will update this post after tomorrow night’s show, where hopefully they will put Tim Urban out of his misery.

***Update-Idol likes to shock and it did with both Ashley and Janell leaving early in my opinion, Lacey Brown had to be the one to go...but oh well, looks like I need a new second best to Didi, I think for now I will (1) Didi still, (2) Katelyn...as she may be the only potential Itunes Download this week from the ladies/With the dudes, I seriously can't believe (and neither can he looks like) that Tim Urban is getting another shot, Also though Tyler is nothing great, listening to John Park for another week, would be like voting for Tim Urban to stay...just nonsensical...oh well Idol surprises keep on coming.***

3-Downloads for this week-Katelyn Epperly:Oh Darling, Lee Dwyze:Chasing Cars, and Andrew Garcia:Sugar (We're going down swingin). None of these are great but I get excited early.

The guy ranks stay the same for me with Andrew at (1) and Lee at (2) but the girl ranks got shook by the sudden and early departure of Janell, I go (1) Didi and then (2) Katelyn...see you next week with new a post and breakdown !

February 20, 2010

A Little Rant!!! and Coming Soon!!!

TIGER-So instead of a more traditional flower arrangement or maybe a newer edible arrangement Tiger decides to apologize to his wife with a more unique idea …via a fake press conference for the world to see…hmm…I really thought Tiger was smarter than this…Just a thought Tiger, you don’t have to apologize to America, and even worse you don’t have to tell us (America) that you will never do this again and you are a changed man…because guess what, if you do it again (likely) it will be even worse…(man I can’t stop thinking about Roger Clemons)…People get divorced all the time, and famous people get divorced and cheat all the time...we know it happens, take ownership and get a divorce and move on…the sex addict business isn’t getting you your female audience back, but guess what, most females aren’t buying Gillette razors anyway…Play Golf and stop trying to make up excuses for being a human being…it’s between you and your wife. Jeez that when on a bit huh…OK COMING SOON-Baseball Preview 2010 (With Predictions) Along with the Fantasy Baseball Update #1 (with rankings) (Two years ago I was in one league and finished 8th, Last year I was in two leagues and finished 2nd in both…so I’m getting better, this year I will only cover one league on the blog, but will be in 2 or 3 most likely). Also for my one year Anniversary of the Blog (March 14th) I will be putting out my most controversial piece yet…The Top 25 Songs of All Time…and some other goodies, cuz I like to ramble. As always Movie Reviews and DVD Reviews…and I know you missed them, so some more Poll Questions for you as well…it’s all coming soon…please feel free to rant and yell in the comment section…and unlike Tiger I will take questions !

Fantasy Basketball Update #2 with "State of the NBA"

Ok so I knew early on that not many of you would be dying to know about my misguided ventures in only my 2nd NBA Fantasy League…so I wasn’t going to bore you (which is why I attached mini-updates on my more popular Fantasy Football Updates). Alas Football is over now and I wanted to check in and let you know that I’m holding on desperately to the #2 spot in our 10-team Roto-league. I finished 2nd last year and I would love to finish 1st, but right now I’m looking up and by about 51 to 57. The home stretch is near (and yikes the trade deadline is passed) so I need my stars to shine. Humor me a bit as I give my guys some quick grades. The last update will come at the end of the regular season.

Carmelo Anthony-(A-) Melo has missed some time, but he has come up with big games when I needed him too…it’s because of him and Wade that I comfortably lead the league in scoring…the (-) is for his FG%.

Dwayne Wade-(A-) Wade has been awesome, but lately he’s been slacking, especially in FG%, I need him to be great again down the stretch and without a Miami trade to motivate Wade...that looks unlikely.

Al Jefferson-(B+) I really thought he would be better when I traded him for Gilbert Arenas (Phew!), but I won’t kill him for putting up 17.5 Points and 9.5 Rebounds a game.

Chris Kaman-(A-) Maybe my MVP, and certainly most consistent…19.7 pts, 8.9 rebs, 1.3 blks, and 75% FT…he was a great late draft pick and has had a career year.

Tyreke Evans –(A-) The “Rookie of the Year” was a great late pickup, his 20.2 pts filled in nicely when Arenas left and his 79% FT helps as well.

Devin Harris-(C-) Though he has played better of late his FG% is 39% and is killing me.

Russell Westbrook-(C+) He also has played much better of late, but again a barely 40% FG% and early troubles really set me back.

The Rest of the group A Bargnani ( B+ has been what I thought), Al Harrington (C- plays great sometimes, but his inconsistency kills you), Roy Hibbert and Andray Blatche (C+ they are both valuable, but might not be enough to get me to 1st), and Kevin Love and Darren Collison (B+ these two youngs guys have really kept me alive, and though they are not yet good enough to be counted on every night, I am grateful I got them off the waiver wire.

So with just a third of the season to go, I hope my guys catch fire, so I can catch first.

State of the NBA-The trade deadline came and went and all the Celtics could do was snatch Nate Robinson from a team that didn’t want him…that said I think I am back on board with the C’s if they can just pick it up down the stretch here, I still believe we have a real shot. The Nuggets vs. Cavs game the other night with Melo shooting the game winner over Lebron was priceless! I hope those two make the Finals if it can’t be my Celt’s. The Kevin Martin trade was genius by the Rockets who will miss Carl Landry (Nice pick up for the Kings who will be better and cheap next year), and the Jamison Cavs move might not be enough for the Cavs to get to the finals…though it shows they are trying. (Lebron will stay in Cleveland)

Top 5 Teams

1-Lakers (Pains me to say it)

2-Nuggets (Fun to watch)

3-Cavaliers (The ball still in Lebron's hands too much)

4-Celtics (Ray needs to shoot and Garnett needs to stop letting guys burn him on the baseline)

5-Magic (If Vince stays motivated they can overcome their bad coaching)

5 Teams that still need to prove it-Hawks, Rockets, Jazz (I hope they do), Bobcats (good for them), and The Thunder (this team is a power house and they play defense!)

Predication-Why Fight it…I’m sticking with the Celtics over the Lakers in 6…history repeats itself…but I will love a Nuggets over Cavs in 7 kinda series!

February 16, 2010

Movie Review #30 Crazy Heart

Crazy Heart (2009) Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal Directed by Scott Cooper

It takes a lot for me to like a Country Song…especially one that Colin Farrell and “The Dude” Jeff Bridges is singing…but I immediately went home after this film and downloaded three songs. This is “this year’s” The Wrestler (2008) which I gave a very good 7.5 ranking in DVD Review #5 (way back when)…I can’t believe the Oscars did not nominate this film for Best Picture…seriously? In any case in my continuing mission to catch up on the Oscar films, I decided to see Crazy Heart (Bridges, Gyllenhall, best song The Weary Kind all nominated) instead of the Wolfman or Valentine’s Day, and I think I made a good choice as this film was very good, and very well acted top to bottom…yes even Colin Farrell.

Crazy Heart is the story of Bad Blake (A shoe-in for best actor Jeff Bridges) who is a fading alcoholic ex-country star. He is endlessly out on the road, reduced to playing bowling alleys and dive-bars. Bad Blake falls for a younger reporter (played well by Maggie Gyllenhaal) along the way. He is a man much like (Randy the Ram) was who is hanging onto his past, while not thinking about the future at all. To make matters worse, a former band mate that he taught the ropes too, is now very famous: Tommy Sweet (played so well by Colin Farrell-how did he not get nominated…the guy sings, and pretty well). Bad Blake survives many of his crappy wake-up call moments without even considering changing his ways…that is until he makes a mistake that wakes him up…but costs him. The film is slow at times, but the acting is so good you immediately connect with these characters and wish them the best. Robert Duvall shows up for a few brief moments as Bad’s buddy Wayne and he is brilliant as usual. The movie is filled with surprisingly excellent music done by the actors themselves…and it is good. I very highly recommend this film and it will find itself way up on my year’s top ten…the road for a fading Country icon is no place for The Weary Kind…now pick up your Crazy Heart and give it one more try…indeed. Download Hold On You, Fallin’& Flyin’, and The Weary Kind on Itunes.

(The Shawshank Scale 1-10) Absolutely beautifully acted throughout…near perfection…remnants of A Few Good Men in that way…the re-watchabilty hurts this film a bit, as I will certainly listen to the Soundtrack, but maybe won’t watch this film too many more times, but that was the case for The Wrestler as well. I can’t give it any lower than The Wrestler…A much deserved 7.5 on the Shawshank Scale…I Highly Recommend this film…give 3D and Special Effects a break for a weekend and see a poignant and brilliantly acted film. BRIDGES FOR BEST ACTOR!...sorry Morgan Freeman :)

Food For Thought: Next up for “The Dude” (Bridges…if you’re not into the whole brevity thing) is Tron Legacy…um I will give him a pass on this since he is so good in Crazy Heart. Bridges is also set to star in a ballsy remake of a John Wayne classis, True Grit…and who has balls to redo John Wayne…why it’s the Coen Brothers (of No Country for Old Men fame) who else? Maggie Gyllenhaal has Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang out later this year, and Colin Farrell has a film called London Boulevard coming soon and co-starring Keira Knightley…and I will see it…because my hope has been restored that Mr. Farrell likes being a serious actor, rather than a Playboy Mansion junky who likes his press better than his reviews…keep it up Colin, just like “Bad Blake” you can clean up your act as well :)