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Showing posts from August, 2008

Movie Review: Vicki Christina Barcelona

For those of you, like myself, who have been a little disappointed by Woody Allen's last few films, I have one simple message: Go see Vicki Christina Barcelona. The film will undoubtedly cause you to renew your membership in the Woody Allen fan club.

The film is--like most Woody Allen movies--a tightly shot and carefully scripted exploration of the themes Allen has been exploring for the past 40 years; love, relationships, and how individuals make sense of the two while being true to themselves. The film may not cover any new ground, but Allen chose a cast over-flowing with sex-appeal and a location that drips with old-world charm and raw sensuality, making this film a joy to watch.

The film is less neurotic and more liberated than his past few works, and has none of those off-kilter, sinister quirks, as in the murders of Match Point and Scoop. This time, Allen also did not feel the need to write into the script a role for an old Jewish magician/criminal/detective so that he could m…

Too Much Swimming... and Phelps Overload

Yeah, I like the Olympics as much as anyone, but I'm fed-up with turning on the T.V. and seeing another broadcast from the Water Cube.

How many ways are there for people to race through water? Theres the butterfly, the breaststroke, the backstroke, the freestyle, fine. I get it. Then you have all of the different distances like the 50, the 100, the 200. Then you have the relays. Then you have the combo-relays called "medleys." THEN we get to the men's and women's divisions...natch.

Is this enough to occupy the T.V. every night for almost a week straight? Apparently. I was excited to see the U.S. men's relay team win the big event, I even actually jumped out of my seat at the final second. But now I find myself settling in for the evening to watch women's gymnastics, volleyball, archery, weightlifting, ANYTHING...but somehow I keep tuning into the Men's 8,000 Meter Hibbity-Jibbity, featuring some combination of Micheal Phelps, Brian Lotche, and some othe…

Arkansas Democrat Shot

This is a story you may have missed...

The leader of the Arkansas Democratic party was fatally shot yesterday. Bill Gwatney, a car dealer, state senator, and Democratic party chairman, was sitting in the party headquarters in Little Rock when, according to reports, a man came in saying that he wanted to volunteer. When he was refused access to Gwatney's office, he barged in anyway and shot Gwatney three times. The gunman has since been arrested and is named Timothy Dale Johnson. Reports say he had recently lost his job, but no connection has been made between he and Gwatney, except that Johnson owned two cars that had been purchased from Gwatney's dealerships.

These are the kinds of stories that really stick out to me. What could have possessed this man to shoot the leader of the Democratic party of his state? Was he disgruntled at losing his job? Most likely. Was he mentally troubled? Authorities found anti-depressants at his home; but a lot of people are on anti-depressants an…

Why is "Beach Volleyball" an Olympic Sport?

Can anyone explain to me why Beach Volleyball is an Olympic sport?

I am puzzled by this. Maybe it's just one of those things I don't understand, but which makes perfect sense to everybody else. No, I think you'd have to be some kind of Volleyball-junkie to fully argue the reasoning for contesting Olympic volleyball tournaments on two (2) different surfaces.

Volleyball, of course, is a very physical game, but the "beach" part is what bothers me. It seems a bit leisurely, and even a bit elitist. It conjures up images of informal games thrown together by half-drunk college kids looking to get laid; images of Maverick, Goose, the Iceman, and bad 80s music; ugly flourescent sportswear; blistering sunshine and warm 32 oz. cups of beer. Somehow this doesn't fit with my image of the Olympics as rigorous and serious competition by dedicated amatuers, sacrificing their social lives at the altar of Sport.

This is a version of a normally In-door sport, played by people so …

Bernie Mac is Dead

Bernie Mac has died at the age of 50, due to complications related to pneumonia. This is a tradgedy. Not only was he funny as hell, he was relatively young.

I have nothing else to say at this time. I'm not going to get into some saccharine tribute to his humor or something. But, this is a terrible blow for modern comedy. He will be missed.