Archive for February, 2011

At Least I’m Not Unoriginal…Or Am I?

Friday, February 25th, 2011

“Maybe, but at least I won’t be unoriginal.”  This is one of my favorite lines from Good Will Hunting, when Will tears down that ponytail guy in the Harvard bar.  Unfortunately, with seven billion people on the planet, it’s really hard to be a true original.  I was just talking to my brother who was at the Bulls vs Heat game last night and I told him to check out for my Chris Bosh post.  He laughed and told me, “Ha, that’s great…actually, the first play of the game a guy behind me stood up and yelled, ‘Chris Bosh is an Avatar!'”  Uh-oh.  I Googled ‘Chris Bosh Avatar’ and man!  It’s definitely out there.

I feel like I have independently come up some really great ideas…you know Charles Darwin went through the same exact thing.  While he was taking his sweet time putting together his theories of Natural Selection in On The Origin of Species a man named Alred Russel Wallace was putting forth the same concept.  Unfortunately, one of the people he put his concept forward to was Charles Darwin who was then prompted to rush out and beat Wallace to the punch.  I am just like Charles Darwin…or Wallace…but at least I’m the only one who compared Bosh to the female Avatar Neytiri.  I still call it a win for me.

An Avatar Among Us

Friday, February 25th, 2011

My inspiration for writing this post was simply to find a way to justify putting a side by side picture of Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat (NBA) and Neytiri from Avatar because of their uncanny likeness to one another.  In finding my justification, I wanted to touch on athletics as a whole and our desire as a people for physical competition and even physical violence.

In popular culture science fiction movies and novels touch on violence as entertainment all the time, The Running Man, with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and The Hunger Games trilogy of novels by Suzanne Collins.  We hardly need to predict the future to see our physical nature.  The ancient Romans of our past held violent battles for entertainment (not as entertaining if you’re the victim) and today we have boxing and the UFC mixed martial arts competitions.  Even in more widely accepted avenues, sports are a huge part of the human cultural fabric.  What is it that makes it so?  This is a very hard question to answer.

In sports we have the chance to see what our physical bodies are capable of.  We have the opportunity to see the fruits of other respected activities like study and excercise and attributes like hard work and dedication.  I won’t try to answer the question for anybody else, but for myself a big part of the answer lies in being to support my local athletes.  I take an illogical pride in the athletes who represent me (albeit just marginally) and where I come from and where I live.  And now…phew…finally, I am able to write what I really wanted to write this whole time.  The Chicago Bulls beat The Miami Heat last night at home 93-89.  Yesssss!  Man that feels good to write.  And what about the Avatar among us?  Chris Bosh went 1-18 from the field and looked terrible…and like an Avatar.  See for yourself.  Go Bulls!

A Too Blue Valentine

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Blue Valentine is the story of Michelle Williams being a total B to Ryan Gosling. I could stop there but it wouldn’t do justice to Gosling who was great in this movie.

At the very first scene I thought Gosling’s character Dean was going to be a self-involved, troubled D (ick, ouche, fill in the blank) but after about fifteen minutes it’s clear that he’s an insightful, talented, charismatic, caring character. Through flashbacks it’s shown how he fell for Cindy (Michelle Williams) at first sight and when the life they built together starts falling apart (because Cindy’s a…because of Cindy) he tries to give his all to hold it together.

Williams is good in this, too, but because her character becomes so irremediably frustrated and distant from Gosling’s, the viewer is left only to enjoy the flashbacks to the couple’s better times and the brilliant portrayal of Dean’s grief.

It’s a heavy movie which doesn’t leave you with a smile but it does give you plenty of them along the way. The dialogue is sharp and Dean is entertaining all the way through. The only thing I wish is that Dean wasn’t so completely likable and Cindy so unlikeable. She was painted as the only faulty party which doesn’t work as well for a movie that pretends not to take sides. You need a fight not a fist and a punching bag to sustain the dual perspectives. The one thing I’ll say for the writers is that they nailed the title. This is the bluest Valentine I’ve seen in a long time.

Christina Aguilera and the National…at the…Bowl

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Yesterday I was watching the Super Bowl with my family and we all bet on whether or not Christina Aguilera’s rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner would be longer or shorter than one minute and fifty-four seconds.  According to my younger brother’s stop watch, she finished at one minute and fifty-three and a half seconds…I lost.  Oh, and she forgot to sing a whole line.  Don’t take me to the casino any time soon.  But I’m not mad at her, not really anyway.

It was clear from her rendition and her style that Christina brought her soul to the song, she put as much passion into it as she could (it wouldn’t take two minutes to sing the song without a little heart) so it doesn’t kill me that she made a mistake with the lyrics.  It happens.  The only thing that would really bother me is if she didn’t prepare for it.  If she was too busy doing…I have no idea what Christina Aguilera does, but if she was too busy doing that instead of practicing, then I’d be upset, but missing a lyric is less disrespectful in my mind than lip-synching is.

Everyone deserves one pass, even at the Super Bowl.  If she blows the lyrics again down the road, now you’re talking about a problem, especially since the opportunity to sing the National Anthem is a promotional opportunity that only benefits her so don’t try to convince me that she’s just trying to honor the country when she’s really honoring her record contract.  Anyway, she cost me a dollar and I’m willing to forgive her, even if the Packers won and I’m not in the best mood about that as a Bears fan, so can’t we put this behind us?

Chuck, Chuck!

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

NBC has threatened to0 cancel Chuck so often that the show has actually had like three series finale episodes in four seasons, always wanting to give their loyal audience an ending they can live with.  The latest quasi-finale aired just this past Monday and was called Chuck vs The Push Mix.  In my last post, I wrote how I was really upset with Chuck a couple of episodes ago, but Chuck immediately brought me back in and after this latest episode I will again reaffirm that Chuck is one of the best shows on TV.  You may never find the perfect television show, but as long as you have characters that you love (and talented writers/producers) you’ll always be happy in the end.  If only network executives would see what we fans see, we wouldn’t fear losing our best television shows.  Maybe that constant fear of cancellation brings out the best in Chuck, but I can’t stop thinking how if they would have cancelled Chuck at any time before this episode, we would have all really missed out.

Anyway, the message from Chuck‘s situation is that we shouldn’t take really good TV for granted.  If we’re not watching then we just might find out that there won’t be anything to watch by the time we finally catch on.  Watch Chuck!  …and Human Target.