Thursday, January 29, 2009

Top Ten Thursday: Name Game

With the impending arrival of a new tax deduction bundle of joy in a few months, we've turned our attention to the question of possible names.

Typically this is one of those areas I get vetoed on, since my taste in names comes across to some people as a bit non-traditional. Still, I'm hoping that I can at least have one of my picks for the middle name.

With that in mind, today's Top Ten Thursday category is my short list for middle names.
Top Ten Favorite Middle Names

10) Amadeus -- If it's good enough for Mozart, it's good enough for me.
9) Cochise -- We are native American after all.
8) Ninja -- Unfortunately, this one is already taken by one of the cutest kids in the city.
7) Stringfellow -- A real high-flying name.
6) 7 -- Thank you George Costanza.
5) Tiberius -- An oldie but a goodie (and a Trekie).
4) Mojo -- We already have the black cat bone.
3) Starbuck -- A great literary character, a great TV character and a great cup of burnt coffee.
2) Gatsby -- I just think this is a really Great name
1) Thundar -- Demon Dogs!! This is an awesome name!
Let me know what you think in the comments. And let me know if you have a better middle name option.
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

3AM EXCLUSIVE!!!: Chiefs to benefit from new NFL policies

Okay guys pay attention, because this news is too hot hot hot to keep on the down low.

For reasons I can't get into right now, I have developed some pretty good sources of information inside the National Football League.

This source -- I can't name names, but let's just call him Schmoger Schmoodell -- recently notified me of the results of some recent high-level meetings at the League offices in New York.

It turns out that the economic recession/depression has hit the League harder than has been publicized.

The crisis has already threatened some teams' construction and expansion plans. And it's become so bad that the New England Patriots have had to lay off several of their videographers/spies.

So, taking a cue from the Federal Government, the NFL top brass have decided to step in with a bailout plan that consists of several new policies designed to help the individual teams.

The new policies are being referred to collectively as the Troubled Athletics Rescue Plan.

As part of TARP, starting with the Fall 2009 season, the lowest performing players and coaches on each team will be given a bonus salary equal to the sum total of the highest performing player and coaches.

And for teams like the Chiefs that have experienced lost revenue due to poor attendance caused by lackluster on-field performance, the NFL will compensate them with funds taken from top-performing teams that have kept their attendance and revenues through high achievement on the field.

NFL is also reconfiguring the playoff structure as part of TARP.

Instead of having the teams with the best records advance through a single elimination bracket tournament, the League will pit the teams with the worst records against each other.

The teams that fail to advance on the field, score points and meet their other goals, will advance through the playoff system until only the worst are left to play in the Super Bowl.

League officials say that this new playoff scheme is designed to reward the worst teams in the league to make sure that they are able to stay around for next season.

"Let's face it," Schmoger Schmoodell told me, "Teams like the Kansas City Chief and the Detroit Lions are too big to fail. We need to make sure that we are coming through with a solid plan to prop them up."

Schmoger Schmoodell mentioned that there are other tactics available to league officials as part of the TARP package, including spotting the worst teams a three or four touchdown lead at the beginning of the game, or allowing them 12, 13, or even 14 players on the field at any given time.

"Those types of things will be game day decisions," Schmoger Schmoodell said.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: It's ...

Pretty much the best news in technology in a long time is the debut of the Monty Python channel on YouTube.

I guess the Pythons got sick of people illicitly viewing their work for free, so they've uploaded them to their YouTube channel for us to legitimately view for free ...
But we want something in return.

None of your driveling, mindless comments. Instead, we want you to click on the links, buy our movies & TV shows and soften our pain and disgust at being ripped off all these years.
So go check it out and click some links.

Oh and since the economy is so much in the news these days, here's a clip on me (I've already clicked links for you on this one).

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Friday, January 23, 2009

As seen in Kansas: Road less traveled

Sometimes those interesting historical footnotes are hiding right under your, well, feet. And it only takes an afternoon walk on fine midwinter's day to discover them.

I must have driven past this historical marker a million times before actually seeing it in my own neighborhood.

It denotes the crossing of the old Ft. Leavenworth and Ft. Scott Military Road -- not that it means much to the modern pilots of SUVs and minivans that now zip by at about 40 miles per hour today.

Ft. Leavenworth-Ft.Scott Military Road? All I knew was what I could infer from the context. Obviously it was a road used by the military to get from Ft. Leavenworth to Ft. Scott. Seems simple enough.

But I thought there must be more to the story, or else why put up a sign? So I did a quick Google search.

According to this detailed and lengthy (if somewhat dry) account from the Kansas State Historical Society, the need for the road arose in the early to mid-1800s as the U.S. pushed the indigenous Indian populations into the "Indian territories" -- what today is Kansas and Oklahoma.

This was back before the residents of Missouri had to worry about fighting to keep their slaves from being freed by those pesky Kansans.

Back then, they were more worried about the Choctaw, Shawnee and Cherokee who might have felt a bit peeved, a bit miffed about being forcibly removed from their native lands after passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

So starting in about 1835 there was strong congressional interest in building a road along the then western edge of the United States from Iowa to Arkansas that would act as a kind of border that the U.S. Army could patrol.

By 1842 with the establishment of Ft. Scott, the military road was pretty much completed.

The road was heavily used by military and commercial interest and was important as the only direct route from Iowa to Arkansas and Texas.

But it didn't take long for westward expansion to leave it behind.
As the frontier advanced westward the importance of Fort Scott decreased. In 1852 present Fort Riley was established as Camp Center on the Kansas river at what was thought to be the head of navigation of that stream. The following year Fort Scott was abandoned.

The military road, however, continued for several years to be an important highway. In 1854 Kansas became a territory and a law enacted by the first Kansas territorial legislature (meeting in 1855) stated: "The road as now located and opened from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Scott, known as the military road, is hereby declared a territorial road." Within this decade other highways, came to be more traveled. Only a few landmarks can be pointed out today as marking the route of the old Western military road in Kansas.

Atomic Cannon
The Answer My friend

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Metro GOOB Watch: Limited

Intrepid reader Kansas Sity Sinic correctly pointed out that Harold's isn't the only lower-upper-middle class clothier calling it quits in Leawood.

The Limited store is also closing it's Town Center Plaza location

Women's clothing stores seem to be taking a particular beating around the metro area, as NBC Action News recently reported that The Limited Too was closing in The Big Ass Mall of Olathe and on The Country Club Plaza (evidently, the closing of women's clothing stores constitutes "action news" in this town).

So all you ladies (and Chris Packham) have a great opportunity to expand your wardrobes.

Metro GOOB Watch: Rainforest Cafe
Metro GOOB Watch: Harold's

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The beginning of a new error

I have to applaud Midtown Miscreant for his healthy skepticism about the Obama Administration.

In his post the other day (which I am just now getting caught up on), he points out that many of the most rabid supporters of B.O. will be disappointed by the new administration.
It is the supporters of Obama who will be his downfall should he fail to live up to their expectations. I hate to burst bubbles here, but the high level of expectations placed on Obama will guarantee he will only play 4 and out, just like Carter.
Unfortunately I'm going to have to disagree with Midtown for the second time in as many posts. But, unlike some people, I'll explain why he's wrong rather than just call him names.

While the analysis is solid as far as it goes, MM has miscalculated the nature of Obama's supporters, and of supporters of either of the two fake political parties.

You see, politics is not about policies. Politics is a spectator sport. The new opiate of the masses.

Slightly more than half of the voting public are fans of Team Obama. And like the sorry saps who think every fall that the Chiefs have a chance at the playoffs, fans of Obama aren't going to change their allegiance no matter how badly he performs.

We're at a time in American politics where there is very little difference between the two main political parties. It's like being a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs or being a fan of the Detroit Lions. You choose the side you like and you stick with them. It doesn't matter to the fans that both teams are playing the same game with very similar tactics and trying to score the same goals.

In fact, the fans like it that way. It makes it easier for them to follow the sport. They don't really have to think about anything since they can just look at a red and blue chart accompanied by an electoral vote scoreboard.

And as with sports, you can look at the recent past to determine future trends.

Make no mistake. Obama supporters are no different from those who blindly supported his predecessor through two administrations. Bush's mistakes didn't cost him a second term, and Obama's mistakes won't cost him a second term.

In the past 32 years, there have only been two presidents who have served single terms. Being an incumbent president of a country where voters don't care about policy is a huge advantage.

All you have to do is keep making trite sentimental meaningless statements that appeal to the emotions of your audience. You only have to win their hearts, not their minds. Years of watching Deal or No Dancing with America's Top Survivor Idol have pretty much ensured that most voters don't have much of a mind anyway.

So, will B.O. make mistakes? Absolutely. Hell he already has and he hasn't even been in office for 24 hours yet.

But it won't matter. The B.O. apologists have already started lowering their expectations. An eight-year administration is a virtual lock.

It's politics as usual, unfortunately.


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Friday, January 16, 2009

Obama's Big Balls FTW!

As Amy correctly and excitedly pointed out, we're down to single digits in the number of days left in our long national nightmare we call the Bush Administration.

At long last we will be free of life's slings and arrows, and a new day will dawn with tons of hopeful Hope and gobs of changing Change.

Unfortunately, some cynical narrow minded people seem bent on harshing the Democratic mellow with common sense. In an attempt to tear down the most successful American president ever, they point out how much this inaugural party is going to cost us.

But I think we should consider this $160 million odd dollar expenditure as an investment, rather than a cost.

After all, there will be no fewer than 10 official inaugural parties and dozens of unofficial ones. And it's been widely reported that these inaugural balls are the biggest celebrations of any American president. Millions of people are expected to make the trip to DC to attend one of these parties, and it can be a painful experience for a president to have so many people trying to get to his balls.

So it's understandable that Obama is approving historically high record spending for his balls.

I mean, you have to expect that when a president has balls as big as Obama's, you're going to have to pay a little extra for them. For example, when your balls are this big you can't hold them just anywhere. You have to hold your balls in the proper venue. And let's face it, those venues can be expensive.

Furthermore, you don't get hotties like Beyonce to come to your balls unless you're willing to pay for it. Celebrity luminaries like Bono and Denzel Washington aren't going to waste their time on tiny little balls. They need balls they can really sink their teeth into.

And don't even think about getting your balls broadcast on national network television unless you're willing to open up your pocketbook.

In his defense we should point out that to a significant extent private parties are paying for Obama's balls. It's only fair and appropriate that the Wall Street executives whose companies have received billions of dollars in federal bailout money should kick a little of that back to Obama's balls.

So even though the economy is in the crapper, average Americans are losing their jobs, houses and dignity, raise your glass to our new president and the way he's handling his huge balls.

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Friday Blogthing: Twilight zone

I think I need to find a 13-year-old girl to tell be who Edward Cullen is and interpret the rest of this for me.

"Inner pain and self-loathing"??? Sheesh!

Your Result

Edward Cullen You are Edward Cullen. Charming and polite yet stubborn and overprotective, your desperately adorable crooked smile bears the weight of your inner pain and self-loathing. Your salvation lies in love -- though you won't admit it, you feel you can save your soul in the arms of your true love, Bella.

Twilight Quiz
Twilight Quiz by

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Top Ten Thursday: Water bodies

When the high temperature for the day tops out at 15 degrees Fahrenheit, and the wind pierces your clothes like an frozen ice pick, it's only natural for a life-long Kansan like myself to take a mental trip to a tropical port.

As the great American philosopher Christopher Cross once said, "Sailing takes me away."

But away to where? That's the subject of today's Top Ten Thursday List:
Top Ten Favorite Bodies of Water

10) Adriatic Sea:
I should say that it was a really close call for the number 10 spot between the Indian Ocean and the Adriatic Sea. But c'mon, everybody likes the Indian Ocean. The Adriatic got the nod based on it's intimacy and it's ability to flood Venice every year.

9) Martian Ice Fields:
I never said it had to be solid water, and I never said it had to be on Earth. The recent discovery of frozen water on Mars comes in at number 9 for the coolness factor alone.

8) Lake Mead:
It's not the biggest man-made lake, but it's still impressive. Still, a part of me wonders about the arrogant folly of trying to harness the Colorado River in an attempt to make a desert into a garden.

7) Mississippi River:
I've associated romance and adventure to the Mississippi River since first picking up a Mark Twain novel in junior high. It's seemingly slow moving water is also a good metaphor. Life happens, but Ol' Man River just keeps on rollin' along.

6) Spring Creek:
Lots of nostalgia factoring into this selection as well. This is the creek that ran through my backyard. A great place for fishing, swimming, ice skating in the winter, camping... pretty much anything a 10-year-old boy could want to do.

5) San Francisco Bay:
I admit this pick might have more to do with my fondness for the Bay Area than the actual water itself. Still, if you've been to San Francisco in the late spring (or really, anytime), you know that the water has a way of invading the city in to form of very romantic and mysterious fog.

4) Atlantic Ocean (Mid-Atlantic Coast):
I've had some really great vacations on America's east coast. But forget New York and points north, stick with the mid-Atlantic. The ocean has a temper here, a personality all its own. I just admire the attitude of a body of water that would just as soon throw a hurricane at you as look at you. The Atlantic is also my all-time favorite body of water named after a magazine.

3) Pacific Ocean (Southern California Coast):
Nothing beats the SoCal coast for chillin' out, relaxin', maxin' all cool and all (yeah, I just dropped some Fresh Prince all up in your hizzi). The Pacific Ocean here has a reputation for imbuing the inhabitants of the coast with a peaceful, tranquil nature (though it's best not to mention this to Uzi-toting gang bangers in South Central LA).

2) Ligurian Sea:
This quiet little corner of the Mediterranean may not have the bluster of the Atlantic or the cachet of the Pacific, but I'll always remember it's quaint medieval fishing villages and rocky coast with fondness. Mark my words, I shall return there someday.

1) Caribbean Sea:

In my fantasy of selling everything I own and living the rest of my live on a boat, I imagine living in the Caribbean like some kind of reject from a Jimmy Buffett song. Fishing, drinking my Green Label, strumming my six string. Ah, this is the life (as long as I can still have my broadband Internet and high-def television. And could you please do something about the pirates and Krakenses).

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Blockbuster FAIL

So let me set the stage here.

The kid's at her grandmother's house. My Supermodel Wife and I have returned home early on a Saturday with a chance for date night to celebrate her 29th birthday. On the agenda: dinner out and movies in.

We decide to hit the neighborhood Blockbuster Video store to pick up a couple of flicks to watch after dinner. A glance at the local movie listings revealed there was nothing we both wanted to see, so a quick stop at Blockbuster seemed like a good move.

Only it turns out that there's no such thing as a quick stop at Blockbuster.

After learning they didn't have the film we wanted (Burn After Reading, have you seen it?) and about 10 minutes or so of browsing the titles, we make our way up to the counter to check out.

At this time I'll mention that the store is nearly deserted except for us, two other couples and two clerks.

I'll also mention that it's been about three years since we've rented videos. What with cable TV, DVRs and in-laws who buy DVDs like its an investment strategy, we just haven't had the occasion to rent.

Unfortunately for us, this meant that our membership in the exclusive Blockbuster customer club had lapsed.

Zoolander, the clerk who was "helping" us (not his actual name, but it was something equally as droll and movie-related) handed me a pen and a lengthy application form to fill out.

Meanwhile, other customers went ahead of us in line. It took me about 5 minutes to complete the questionnaire, using as much fake information as possible (do they really need to know my blood type? Really???).

So anyway, by the time I finish the application, Zoolander is busy with another customer. Seems this customer wanted to do something totally crazy like buy one of the previously viewed DVDs that Blockbuster sells. This insane request taxed Zoolander's mental capacity and that of his esteemed co-clerk to the point that they spent the next 15 minutes scratching their heads, poking the computer keyboard and calling the absent manager for help.

At length, Zoolander turned his attention back to our application for membership in the highly exclusive Blockbuster Video customer club. Unfortunately, he was breaking new professional ground in taking such an application. I was honored to be the first member he ever accepted, but frustrated that it took another 15 minutes to enter all of the information into the super secret Blockbuster Video world domination super computer database.

Finally, with our most personal information safely if not accurately entered, Zoolander fake-laminated our temporary membership cards with packing tape.

We paid for our three rentals and headed out to our car where an evening snowfall had deposited about an inch of snow in the 40 minutes we had been in the store.

Given this terrible experience, I'm not really surprised that Netflix is kicking Blockbuster's ass.

In fact, as rarely as we rent movies and despite my distaste for McDonald's, that Red Box thing is looking like a good option.

Has anyone ever used it? Cause I can't afford to lose more time in the Blockbuster's black hole of the soul.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Remembrance: Greg Hawley

This morning's sad news proved that my self-imposed protective media shield isn't impermeable to all of the mass media's messages.

Reading that Greg Hawley was killed the other day really struck a chord with me.

Sure it's sad anytime you hear of someone's death, especially if the death is random and meaningless (as most are).

But Hawley's death seems to me a particular loss to the community.

I had several occasions to meet Hawley, once when I was profiling him and his museum for a local fishwrap and again when I was visiting the museum for fun with the family.

I don't claim to be a friend of his. He certainly wouldn't know me from any of the other thousands of slightly bald, slightly pudgy suburbanites. But I was and am a great admirer of what he and his family have done.

Here's a little background for those not familiar with the Hawley's: Greg and his friends and family decided, seemingly on a whim, to find and excavate one of the hundreds of legendary steamboats that sank in the Missouri River during the late 1800s.

When they found the Steamboat Arabia, it was buried under 50 feet of Missouri River bottom farmland. Still in the cargo hold was a veritable general store of everything a pioneer could need in the 1850s, including barrels of pickles that, according to Hawley, were still edible and delicious.

The Hawley's took the trove and opened the Steamboat Arabia museum which in my opinion is one of the jewels of Kansas City. It tells a story of the people who passed through, who stayed, who lived and died here.

In this time when chain stores and restaurants seem to be flooding the metro, when any project of meaningful size seems to be managed by an east coast or west coast company, the Hawleys just seem much more organic. They belong to Kansas City like barbecue and blues.

So the death of Greg is a loss to the city.

If you've never been to the Arabia museum, or even if it's been a while since your last visit, I think now is a good time to drop in, offer condolences to the family and learn a little about our local history.

I was with Greg Hawley, a great man
Thanks, Greg Hawley
I wouldn't wear that coat around the jail...
A Riverboat Legacy
A terrible loss for historical preservation

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Metro GOOB Watch: Harold's

Leawood has an "upscale" reputation in the metro area, so it's a bit surprising to see it being hit with so many Going Out Of Businesses.

But that sentiment didn't stop a "day laborer" from taking a job holding a sign at 115th and Nall the other day announcing great deals at the Harold's Going Out Of Business sale.

The closing of the Harold's store illustrates that in the current (bad) economy is affecting even affluent places like Leawood's Town Center Plaza.

To be fair the writing was on the wall for the regional retailer of ladies fashions. It was having trouble throughout it's Midwest territory, and the chain filed for bankruptcy at its Oklahoma headquarters back in November.

Turns out the 60-year-old business couldn't keep up with the failing economy.
"Increased competition and a weak economy have left us no choice but to cease operations," stated Ronald S. Staffieri, Chief Executive Officer of Harold's Stores, Inc. "We'd like to thank our loyal customers for their many years of patronage by offering incredible values on merchandise in all stores. As always, our knowledgeable Associates will provide our customers with the same high level of service."
Related: Metro GOOB Watch: Rainforest Cafe

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Friday Blogthing: Formula for blog success

I've just discovered that there is, in fact, a good formula for becoming everyone's favorite blog. It's so simple, even you can do it.

Just do this simple math (without looking at the answers, please) and you'll discover your favorite blog in no time. For those of you who went through the Kansas City, Mo., school system, feel free to use a calculator.

Please don't look down until you do the math. You'll love it I promise.
1) Pick your favorite whole number between 1-9

2) Multiply by 3

3) Add 3, then again Multiply by 3

4) You'll get a 2 or 3 digit number....

5) Add the digits together

6) Now Scroll down.........

1. TKC
2. Kansas Sity Sinic
3. Moxie Moma
4. Logtar
5. Frighteningly Uncommon Sense
6. KC with the Russian Accent
7. May's Machete
8. Rumbling Grumbling Old Fart
9. 3AM
10. Devious Bloggery

I know... I just have that effect on day you too can be like me...:-) Believe it!

P.S. -- Stop picking different numbers. I am your idol, just deal with it!!!

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Metro GOOB Watch: Rainforest Café

The closing of restaurants and stores isn't really all that uncommon, even in the best economic times.

But lately, I seem to be noticing more Going Out Of Business signs than usual, and they are cropping up in places around the metro that you wouldn't normally think of as economically challenged.

But, as the economy continues to slouch toward depression, it has become apparent that there aren't any places that you can't think of as economically challenged.

So today we introduce a new feature, the Metro G.0.O.B. Watch (G.O.O.B. = Going Out Of Business, get it? Clever no?)

Our first honoree is the popular dining establishment Rainforest Café. Formerly located in Oak Park Mall, the metro area's Taj Mahal of capitalism, the pseudo-environmentalist jungle-themed restaurant abruptly closed its doors and moved out this week.

On Tuesday, a group of mall workers cleared the eatery of its Rainforest décor like a bunch of Brazilian cattle ranchers.

I can't really say I'm sad to see it go. My 6-year-old daughter loved the place, but the food was palatable at best. But it does go to show that despite large crowds on weekends, midweek traffic wasn't enough to keep the green coming in.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: No problems, only resolutions

I know you've all made your New Year's resolutions, and according to Obama Girl, so have many of the political figures of the day.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Movie Mini Review: In Bruges

Title: In Bruges

Cast: Colin Farrell, Ralph Fiennes, Brendan Gleeson, Jordan Prentice

Plot summary:
Novice hit man Ray (Ferrell) and his mentor Ken (Gleeson) flee to Bruges after a botched job in London to await instructions from the mob boss, Harry Waters (Fiennes). At first frustrated by the slow pace of the Belgian backwater, Ray eventually falls in love and finds himself in a fight for his life.

My thoughts:
The DVD box was marked with words like "A Hilarious Twisted Pleasure!" and "Undeniably Fun and Refreshingly Un-P.C.!" It described the film as an "edgy, action-packed comedy..."

From what I could remember of the theatrical trailer, this seemed like a good choice for a fun night in. We popped the disc in the player, grabbed the popcorn and waited for the hilarity.

But the hilarity never came. And that's my biggest problem with In Bruges. It was billed as a dark comedy, but only a very sad, humorless person would actually consider this a comedy.

The so-called comedy in this film seems to be built the shaky assumptions that 1) nobody knows where Bruges is 2) all Americans are fat and rude 3) American dwarfs are racists and 4) murder and suicide are side-splittingly witty.

There were a few moments, a few snippets of dialogue that made me crack a smile, perhaps even chuckle out loud a little. I'd like to tell you about them, but I can't remember what they were.

There was a lot of potential for actual hilarity, the scene where a fat family of Americans were considering climbing the top of a bell tower, for example. Unfortunately it missed the mark by turning into a stream of unfunny insults. The large actors couldn't even get the American accent right (if you're portraying a Midwestern American, you should lose the Brummy accent when you curse).

Anyway, all this isn't to say that it was a bad movie. The story line is pretty solid despite a few contrived plot devices. It tends to wander off a little bit in the second act, and the bloody ending is anything but hilarious.

The acting is solid, as it the directing. The photography and locations are really the strong points as far as I'm concerned.

I actually might have liked, not loved, this movie if it weren't for the poor marketing and high expectations I had before we watched it.

My final rating: If you're prepared to hate it, you might like it.

Favorite quote:
"Jeez he swears a lot, doesn't he?"

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Friday, January 02, 2009

Oh nine.

I'm not doing any resolutions this year. They would be the same as last year anyway.

But I did want to share this new year's greeting with you as we start pushing the boulder up the hill again...
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Thursday, January 01, 2009

Top Ten Thursday: Sports Movies

I think that since today is such a big day in sports, what with all of the college football being played, it is a good day to publish my Top Ten List of Favorite Sports Movies.

Now, I’ll warn you right away that despite the football reference above, only one movie below is actually about American football – and it’s not We Are Marshall or Remember the Titans.

Of course a list like this is highly subjective, so if you disagree with my picks, tell me why in the comments.

Anyway, here goes…
Top Ten Favorite Sports Movies

10) Shaolin Soccer: This movie was a lot of fun. Completely and utterly fanciful, but a lot of fun nonetheless. It does require the viewer to suspend quite a bit of disbelief (I mean, let’s face it who would believe that someone would make a movie about boring soccer?), but the comedy and special effects make it totally worth it.

9) Slap Shot: Paul Newman is at his ice-skating best in this ode to the perpetually juvenile male, but what sticks out most for me are those lovable, cuddly Hanson brothers who could totally kick the crap out of the Hanson brothers (MMMBop indeed).

8) Chariots of Fire: I like this film a lot because it manages to be a success (four Oscars can't be wrong) without resorting to tired clichés (see We Are Marshall).

7) Raging Bull: In this classic recounting of the career of boxer Jake La Motta, you come to respect then revile then pity the main character as he goes from rags to riches to rags.

6) Brian' Song: The lone football movie on the list. I don't care if it was a made-for-television movie, if you can watch this heartbreaking tale without getting verklempt, then there's just something wrong with you, boy.

5) The Big Lebowski: Some might be surprised to see this film on a list of best Sports movies, but I don't think you can ignore the importance of bowling to the storyline, in both the literal and metaphorical senses. Watch it again, you'll see what I mean.

4) Caddyshack: Crude? Yes. Juvenile? Absolutely. But this classic comedy makes the top five on the strength of quotable one-liners alone. Not to mention an amazing cast. "Be the ball, Danny. Be the ball... You're not being the ball, Danny."

3) Breaking Away: This coming of age story set against a backdrop of The Little 500 bicycle race in Bloomington, Ind., features a great cast, strong directing and genuine characters. The writing is smart, subtly tacking various social issues with charm and humor.

2) Pride of the Yankees: Gary Cooper's portrayal of Lou Gehrig may be my all-time favorite sports movie role. I still get teary just thinking of the final scene when Gehrig gives his goodbye speech in Yankee Stadium. This is not only one of the best sports movies, but also one of the best biographical movies EVAR!

1) ROCKY: Say what you will about Sylvester Stalone. The latter works of his career definitely merit the rotten tomatoes (personally, I never forgave him for Tango & Cash). But this classic underdog fairytale has great characters and great writing and pretty solid acting. With all of the crappy sequels, it's easy to forget how good this film is. If you haven't watched it in a while, give Rocky another chance.

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