Friday, November 02, 2007

11/2/2007 Update

There's simply too much going on in the sports world for me to even write about. It would be about fifteen pages long. So a couple bullet points before we get to yet another random memory from my youth:
  • I hope the Patriots win by at least 5 touchdowns. That's right, five. I hope they run up the score at the end, and win something like 63-21. That would f'n rule.
  • Favorite Pats-Colts quote of the week - Gerry Callahan, WEEI: "I think the Patriots need new uniforms...maybe they should try swastikas or something...".
  • Sox won another world series. I think for those Sox fans out there who never liked the Pats, they're still basking in the glow. For me, I've been so busy looking forward to the best regular-season NFL matchup we've had in at least a decade, that I haven't "basked" as much in it as I should have to this point. I mean, the SOX WON ANOTHER FREAKIN' WORLD SERIES...we're the new Yankees...people are gonna be sick of watching this team in the postseason by next year...we (potentially) have one of the best young pitching rotations out there...could it really get any better??? Maybe if they win back-to-back-to-back like the Yanks did from 98-2000. If the Yankees can win three World Series in a row with George Costanza presumably in prison, I can't believe the Sox can't do it with a young & healthy Theo Epstein out of prison. Did that make sense? Didn't think so.
  • I am lucky enough to be attending the season and home opener for the Boston Celtics tonight. The last time I was at a game was, I believe, 2002 when they came back from 25 points down in the fourth quarter to take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals...I may have gone to an Indiana/Boston home playoff game since then but for some reason I can't remember when that was. That 2002 East Finals game was probably the best Celtics game I have ever been to - and I've been to both the home and playoff finales at the original Boston Garden, been to see Robert Parish's last game in Celtic Green, and I remember, barely, seeing Reggie Lewis and Larry Bird on the same floor at the same time back in 1990 or so. Seeing Kevin freakin' Garnett in a Celtics uniform made me want to bow down to the mormon god that is Danny Ainge. I can't believe I can finally be excited about the Celtics again...even five years ago in the East Finals, no one had any illusions about the championship, but it was a fun thought that they were only 2 wins away from being swept by the Western Conference team that year. The icing on the cake? Kevin McHale, the Minnesota GM, gave up Garnett this offseason for, admittedly, a bunch of youngsters who could easily become quite good...but none of them will ever be as valuable on a team as Garnett.
  • The Bruins? I mean, are you kidding? It's too early in the season but they've already avoided a life-threatening injury to Bergeron, their goalie is actually doing well, and they beat Buffalo last night. I think the last time they beat Buffalo was when Ray Bourque was on the team...feels that way at least. They might even fight for their division this year.

Hm, random memory time...random MOVIE time, actually...I could write my own column based on random movies. Today's winner? Needful Things, a lost classic from 1994 (or 1993...IMDB gives you the date the movie was wrapped, not the time it was actually released). Let's see what you had here:

  • Leland Gaunt...I mean, Max von Sydow was born to play that part. It's like Stephen King already had the movie in mind when he wrote the book.
  • Danforth "Buster" Keaton III...again, J.T. Walsh was born to play that role. He's paranoid, he runs into someone's office screaming "they're after me", then he bludgeons his wife to death with a hammer after she calls him his dreaded nickname, "Buster", in a fit of rage. He's also a gambling junkie who nearly eats (yes, eats) an entire cigar in trying to figure out which horse will come in first in a plastic horse-racing wind-up toy, while finding the time to tell his wife she needs a nose job. Who could have pulled this off better than J.T.? Long live J.T.
  • Alan Pangborn...I was never the biggest Ed Harris fan. He always seemed like a gym teacher to me with that weird, hardass demeanor of his; a guy who you know would blow up like a balloon if he let himself go, but always kept himself in really good shape, so that he could make movies like Milk Money where he gets to make out with women like Melanie Griffith at the tail end of her prime. I didn't even have to look that one up - how scary is that? I don't know why, but Ed Harris just rubbed me the wrong way when I was younger, and still does. However, in trying to come off as unbiased, he was good for the role...I much prefer him in roles like Carl Fogarty, the Philly toughguy with lots of scars, in A History of Violence (I DID have to look that one up).
  • Bonnie Bedalia...okay, she became a Liftetime/Women's Network regular after she started to look old, which was about the time she lost some of that cute Marilyn Monroe-esque extra weight after the second Die Hard movie and her skin started to wrinkle up. She looked pretty hot here for an older chick, but that's just it - like everything else in most Stephen King movies, she looked real, she didn't look like a supermodel. Watch "IT" or "The Stand" - both TV movies, I know - and check out the characters. These are NOT people you see in People's 50 Sexiest every year. I mean, Harry Anderson and John Ritter in the same film? John Ritter in a serious role?? I loved the guy - LOVED him - in Three's Company, but come on...what's next, the guy that played Larry, in the film adaptation of Dreamcatcher? Oops, they already did that one with Jason Patric, never mind...
  • The role players...I'm talking mainly about Hugh, the bum ex-football star who misses his youth. He gets a varisity letter jacket w/ his name on it from Mr. Gaunt so he can keep living in the past, after getting his ass kicked out of a bar by the owner (also his nemesis). He goes into the bar with a shotgun, and lo and behold, the bartender has one too. Hugh calmly states, "Hello, Henry." Henry calmly states, "Hello, Hugh." They blow each other away with simultaneous shots. Simply perfect. Other great role players include the Baptist and Catholic priests, who end up in a fist-fight, damn near ready to kill each other by the end - King can always be counted on for religious satire.
  • Side note on role players: In the book, Ace from Stand By Me, now grown up and a complete loser, was reprised - albeit, for a brief appearance. It would have gone over the heads of most at the theatre, but how cool would it have been to see Ace and Eyeball Chambers on film again - played by the original actors? Can you imagine Kiefer Sutherland taking a step down to reprise that role, with makeup to make him look older than he was at the time? OK, it might have cost him a lot of acting gigs, but it would have been great to see a grown-up Ace in Needful Things. Two problems: my Oregon comment below, and the fact that the only one who could ever pull off that character, had already done so in Stand By Me.
  • While Stephen King is not shy about his New England roots - which makes the fact that Stand By Me took place in Castle Rock, OREGON, instead of Maine, perhaps the oddest book-to-movie detail blunder ever - I feel like Needful Things captured the essence of New England in the autumn perfectly. Small town, leaves everywhere, priests talking about the holidays, the scenery, a box of granny smith apples, a kid who collects baseball cards, old houses with basements that feel like they could have been there since time began...for some reason it all came together really well in this movie.
  • Notable Quotes are located here.
  • Lastly, and part of the reason I still remember this film 13 years later...I saw this movie in the theatres with JF. I remember almost every movie we've seen in the theatres together...from Children of the Corn 2, to Pulp Fiction three times over April vacation in 1994, to Needful Things, to Grindhouse more recently (still a topic of hot debate between us). Thirty Days of Night simply never happened, even though I blogged about it. It's unfortunate, really, that the experience of going to the movies has been so downplayed in recent years. Part of it is justified: dumb-ass kids making too much noise and eating with their mouths open; Hollywood churning out such trash; good movies being sold out the first weekend and then discarded so we forget about them when the next Cedric the Entertainer shitpile comes out; etc. But my memories of seeing a movie in the theatres are far better, in most cases, than just watching them at home. Even with the advent of home theatre systems, which have become unbelievably good, there's still something to be said for grabbing some unhealthy popcorn and kicking back in a seat that's not quite as comfortable as your couch so you can watch a movie in the dark with strangers. Apparently. That's how I felt about American Psycho, Grindhouse, Pulp Fiction...hell, even Cool World. Yeah, I went there - I actually mentioned Cool World.

That's all the time we have for today. I'm away tomorrow after what should be a great Celtics game tonight, then I'm lounging at the folk's for the football game.

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