Like: DRAG ME TO HELL

May 29, 2009

Oohhhhh boy.

Sam Raimi is cinematic sadist. It must be that simple right? I’m not a giant horror guy or anything. I kinda had my elementary school horror phase and it went out somewhere along the line too. But every now and then I love to go see fun horror movies. None of the torture nonsense. Irony laden slasher stuff is kind of a meh to me too.  I’m talking entertaining, funny, gross-out stuff. Stuff like Slither. And historically, the top notch example of the delirious horror comedy is the Evil Dead Trilogy. Sam Raimi just does it better than anyone else. There’s no getting around it. He kind of left the genre to go make spider-man films for a decade and while that’s been, you know, also fun, I’ve really missed the sadistic horror Raimi.

Well. He’s back. And he’s still got it.

DRAG ME TO HELL is outrageously good. It’s squirm in your seat for an hour and half good. It’s holy shit this scene is hilarious good. It’s wow these performances are really good for this kind of movie good. Its that is genuinely freaky image good. It’s wow that’s a hitchcock open good.

The less  I say the better in terms of describing any scenes so I’ll just let it suffice to say, this is great and maybe even important stuff (to the genre, not like, the earth).

Cause no offense to other horror directors, but this guy just walked in the room and showed you how its done. And you should be shamed. We’ve gotten so far away from this kind of movie. It sucks really. No one saw Slither so it didn’t swing the genre back in that direction, but if enough people go see this thing (and I hope they do, there’s been a lot of critical support) then hopefully we can move horror back to the “spook a blast”, a term Raimi coined for this movie. I want to start seeing clones. I want to see fun horror movies. I hope to see a generation of elementary school kids aping the shit out of this  because… well… it’s just a lot more fun then watching some idiot teenagers get tortured for two hours.

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Don’t Like: Orlando Magic being up 3-1 in a series they have no business being up 3-1 in… and ensuing deductions you have to make about modern sports as a result

May 27, 2009

Orlando is up 3 to 1 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

How the hell is this possible? Cleveland was supposed to have a cakewalk to the finals and for good reason, they played fantastic all year long. So how is this happening?

I’m calling it the NY Giants Corollary. A team that was pretty much dismissed as dysfunctional meanders into the playoffs, gets hot at that moment and suddenly becomes a complete different team. It happened again last year with the Arizona Cardinals. They were a joke and suddenly they were in the super bowl. And we’re watching it right now with the Orlando Magic. Don’t get me wrong, I like seeing Dwight Howard come of age right before us. I like underdogs playing above their talent. One of the greatest sports runs I’ve had as a fan was th e2001 Pats playoff run (even including apparent divine intervention and tuck rule discrepancy in Oakland).

But the sports fan in me also hates it with a vehement passion. Because what happens with the minority occurrence becomes the majority occurrence. It robs the moment of any kind of meaning. Every year any team can just “put it together” for a few weeks and contend. I’ve watched this Orlando team all year. They were streaky. They had major problems. Guys wouldn’t show up. Either Howard played well or the rest of the team did. As of Game 6 in the Boston series, they became a radically different team. They were efficient. Their “3 Ball” game suddenly became less reckless and desperate. They found a functional ball movement with Howard. He figured out better ways of getting down low (he still has no post game though). Petruis (Spelling?) suddenly became lights out… or SVG finally just, you know, starting playing him. And speaking of SVG I’m supposed to believe the ultimate headcase has suddenly just become and excellent coach? Cause that’s what he’s been doing this series: coaching the hell out of it. No. That’s not “who he always was.” This guy had shown a complete lack of coherence and confidence his entire career. Now he just “figured it out”? I don’t get it.

It’s a completely different team and we’re just supposed to say they were there all along?

I don’t know. The Cavs have been the best team in the NBA all year long. They’re not just suddenly sucking or anything. Maybe this is the Magic coming of age but part of me believes this is just like the Colorado Rockies in 2007; they’re just getting hot at the right time. Statistically they’re on a whole other level right now. It’s seems to come out of nowhere.

Maybe I’m wrong. Casual and some serious sports fans seem to love it. But that makes no sense to me. I like seeing teams just play at incredibly high levels. I don’t need to see a close game. I need to see great basketball. Great football. Great baseball, etc. When both teams play great? Perfect. But when a team is just playing at its height, dominating a season then coming to the playoffs to take care of business and go toe to toe with rivals? That’s the best. The 90s bulls. The 80s lakers/celtics.  That’s the best basketball. And yes Orlando is playing wonderfully but I just get this sick feeling in my stomach that its inconsistent with who they are.  They haven’t shown even flashes of this ice cold killer instinct they’ve had on display since game 6. I’m less amazed and more bewildered.

In an age where the exception becomes the rule, I’m still trying to be a fan of the rule.


Don’t Like: Scraping The Side of My Car and the Ensuing Ramifications

May 11, 2009

Note: Not my car.

So I’m a point A, point B kind of guy when it comes to my car. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t trash the thing. I keep it pretty clean, take good care of it, change the oil, inflate my tires, yada yada yada. Basically, I do those things because I actually look to spend as little money on my car as possible. It’s an old camry. I do the maintenance because I just hate the idea of putting needless money into it. I will most likely never own a fancy car even if I can afford it and will opt for something with great mileage cause I’m in no hurry to pay a lot of money for gas either. These behaviors might strike one is miserly, but I assure all that I am actually rather un-miser-like and just prefer to spend money in non-car-based arenas. To each his own. Etc. Which is all slightly strange because I actually rather enjoy driving and being the one who drives and am happy to drive you anywhere. And in the interest of this story and not self-interest; I’m also what I consider a rather adept car park-er. Parallel, tight fits, you name it. I can most likely park it.

So here I am pulling into a space this morning… There are a few open spaces further down, but the usual close one I like is available… A woman has just finished parking in the space next to it, she is over the line and technically in my space… but I think I can still fit… on the other side is a long concrete wall and a small yellow post to act as a barrier… I begin pulling in… slightly distracted by the fact that the woman next to me is still slightly inching forward and may be-

SCRATCH CRUNCH OW

and thus I promptly scrape the side of my car by the back wheel directly against the little yellow post. My car is scrape-y and indented… Sigh… I’m a fucking idiot. Not so much as a scratch on a car since I was 16… And alas, a decade later I am a fucking idiot again.

Do I care about the appearance of the scrape? Not really. I am not so occupied as to think someone actually cares about the appearance of my back right door. But Should it be fixed? Probably. Are there possible safety considerations for the passenger by that damaged door? Most likely.

But I am now in the position of spending a lot of money on something have no interest in spending a lot of money on. This is problematic as I am actually trying to save money for something else I really want to do, and have actually been saving for, for over a year. It’s a terrible feeling, actually. But one I feel is the kind of typical adult situation.(1) Spending money on stuff you don’t want to spend money on. Yeah… there is nothing worse in some ways than dealing with that last bastion of responsibility. But that’s how it works. It’s the kind of shit our parents or guardians have dealt with for decades.

Being an adult sucks.

1 – get your mind out of the gutter.


Don’t Understand: That somehow STAR TREK is now cooler than STAR WARS

May 8, 2009

If you told that to me in pre-may 1999, I would have laughed in your face. Star Wars was awesome. I was playing top of the line lucas arts video games. The first prequel was coming out. There was nothing shameful about being supportive fan of the series, mostly because it was/is an absolute giant fan base. All was good. Meanwhile, Star Trek had, and prior to this year, been languishing in the murks of boredom. The movies flamed out. Everything post Original Series was overtly serious and amazingly dull. The casual fans had been sidled off because of grave disinterest. Being a big “trekkie” was not exactly a badge of honor.

Then The Phantom Menace Came out. The rest of the prequels. You could convince yourself they were entertaining, but the truth is they were mostly shite. And having some sort of allegiance and love of those prequels was asinine. The non-rational part of me believes that George Lucas was really trying to make a generation get over their Star Wars hangups. The rational part, of course dismisses that. Star Wars is a relative joke now. I still have some affinity for the original triology of course, but the whole universe is no longer sacred stuff.

So I saw Star Trek (2009) last night. It was a long gestating reboot and supposed to be something that was alluring to mass audiences and still satifactory to the fan base who remained loyal through over a decade of crap. And truth be told, the film is great. Tons of fun. Big. Bombastic. The cast was fantastic. JJ Abrams directs the hell out of this thing. The script is trash, but might be the real first ever case of successfully polishing a turd to the point of alchemy.

By the time the credits roll I couldn’t help but be anxious, as I wanted to see their next adventure.

There is no better compliment.


Don’t Like: The Probable Truth of David Ortiz’s Demise

May 5, 2009

I hope I’m wrong… I desperately hope I’m wrong.

But David Ortiz, for all intents and purposes, is done. He won’t be the same. He won’t crush 50 dingers. He won’t be automatic. He won’t be Papi anymore.

We have the evidence. And no, I’m not talking about his terrible start to this season which everyone seems to be think is the smoking gun. People get out to bad starts all the time so that’s not the indicator.  I’m talking about all the other facts. He’s 34 and over-sized (not to mention the fact that a stunning amount Dominican players are 1-2 years older than they are listed). When guys of his similar build get to that age they often shut down (like power forwards in the NBA). It’s just a matter of body type and age. He’s had symptomatic wrist injuries which even the best players simply do not come back from (witness: Ken Griffey Jr, Nomar). It so difficult to swing when your wrist isn’t the same.  But the real kiss of death, is that he’s had 3 straight years of huge drops in statistics.

No one comes back from that. They might rebound slightly, but for all intents and purposes he won’t. Look at his stance. He’s not getting low anymore. He used to crouch and lock in. He’d scowl and be angry. Then he’d jump on a low inside fastball like it was a can of pudding. Now he can’t catch up to a 92 mph fastball right down the middle. It’s sad kind of. He’s choking up on the bat. He’s standing upright and far back. He’s playing catch-up.

How does something like this happen? Rather easily. It happens all the time, but we just hate to admit it. When is a superstar not a superstar anymore?

When does he get moved down in the lineup? Can he still be an effective hitter? Of course. He’s going to have to redefine his game a bit and he’s already been hitting in the other direction to avoid the shift. But with his size he should be richoceting those balls off the monster, not dropping them into bloopy left field. His timing is way off. He can’t get his bat speed up. It’s not looking good.

David Ortiz is probably done being David Ortiz.

I really, really hope I’m wrong.

End note-

-there’s a lot of steroids specualation in all this… which i refrained from because we have absolutely no evidence for. Does he kinda fit the profile? GULP. Yes. This was a guy who was cut by the twins after all. But the way things have shaken out we have no idea. There are no other physical indicators whatsoever. It’s all conjecture. So it gets an endnote and that’s it.