Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Feature Presentation--ESPN 30 for 30

At our annual work party, we received a gift certificate that we had to spend in one hour. Since this wasn’t my first rodeo, I immediately went to Best Buy and bought the entire set of ESPN’s 30 for 30. Over the holidays I started digging into the.

Two Escobars

Unbelievable film about drugs and soccer and the impact of both on the world. Fasicinating to hear about how drug lords got involved in Colombian soccer and took the club teams to the top of the continent, especially Escobar’s influence at Medellín side Atlético Nacional, which was led by another Escobar. As for the national team, I remember reading about Colombia beating Argentina 5-0 in Buenos Aires, but now I have a digital record of the thrashing.

USA 94 went wrong from the moment they touched down, dealing with the pressure of being favorites, an opening game loss to Romania, and then defeat to the US. Based on the film, Andres Escobar was killed for disrespecting local toughs, which is a far different story than I knew. Great film and well worth seeing.

King’s Ransom

I vaguely remember Gretzky getting traded to the Kings but how no idea the impact it had on him, on Edmonton and on the league. An epic shift in the history of the league came down to a business decision, much in the same way the LeBron decision happened recently. You must get value for an asset before losing it for nothing. That’s what Pocklington did and everyone has to move on.

The U

Flashback. I remember the Canes and Catholics v Convicts and Wide Right I and II, and this film provided a depth to one of the great college football dynasties. From nowhere, Miami became a national power, bringing a level of physicality, speed and braggadocio not seen before in college football. I can still visualize all of those picks thrown by Testaverde in the ’86 Orange Bowl and still shudder to think what might have been if they won that game.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Feature Presentation--Holiday Viewing

A Fistful of Dollars

After watching the season finale of Community Season 2, I decided to watch this movie. I’m not a big Western guy and don’t get references to Leone or Spaghetti Westerns or anything like that.

I almost gave up after the intro. Yikes. I know this was made in 1964 but surely that was bad then as it is now. Took me a while to figure out the plot and what Clint Eastwood’s character was even doing there but by the end it was pretty clear.

The movie was ok, with very sparse production value. Let’s just say I’m not going to catch up the Western genre anytime soon.

Modern Family Season 2

What a quality show, telling little nuggets of wisdom about love and family and life in 20 minute segments. That’s all I have to say.

Hung Season 1

One my best friends suggested this and since it was shot in Detroit, with part of one episode being shot a BIGGBY location, I gave it a try.

Meh. Interesting idea, actually very intriguing, but I’m still not sure on the execution. What would it look for an everyman to become a male escort being pimped by an everywoman with a dream and some hard work? It might look something like the show. Obviously the Lenore character is the correct angle but would have been too obvious at the outset. The tension and misfortune and mistakes are plausible but it’s kinda hard to sit through. This is not a show that I watched in a day. It took two because I was vacation but I did get bored of it. Not sure that I’m going to continue for season two.

Sherlock Holmes’ Game of Shadows

Let me first say that I have not seen the first one. Not sure why, just didn’t, but over Thanksgiving, I saw the trailer for this movie and immediately said I have to see this. Some time opened up over Christmas, and me and the missus checked it out.
Man is Robert Downey, Jr amazing. Non stop energy and charisma, you cannot take your eyes off him. Jude Law provides a nice foil, keeping things grounded as the two meander around Europe. The story was fascinating, using the market of war and the impact of geo-politics to craft a narrative that kept the audience intrigued.

Liked the introduction of Moriarty but why introduce him and kill him off in the same film? Surely that would have set up a third. Plus bringing back Sherlock at the end. Seems like they shot their wad with that one.

The actions sequences were visually appealing. I enjoyed how they used Sherlock’s thought processes to explore the action and create depth to the moment. I thought the slow mo through the forest was a little much and went on a little too long. Other than that, clever angles and techniques to move the story long.

The movie is good fun and worth seeing, at least once.

Sherlock (BBC) Season 1

My best friend recommended this series from the BBC. Having just seen Sherlock Holmes Game of Shadows, I was primed for the World’s Greatest Detective.
After watching the first episode, I tweeted: Sherlock is a combination of House and CSI and Perfect Strangers. Honestly, my first impression was—wonderful. The show takes Doyle’s stories and inserts them into the 21st century, using current technology, situations and dialogue to update the character and create fascinating, dramatic, and enjoyable shows. The Sherlock of the modern age uses the tools of the day—internet, smart phones and medical expertise—to track down cases beyond the police. The interaction with Watson is quite good, as the two play off each other to form a team of energy, wisdom and cunning.
The first season has three episodes and introduces the principal villain, Moriarty, in the last one. I imagine this will set up season two and I anxiously await watching it.