Sunday, December 30, 2007

Week 17

The Chiefs completed their historic season by losing to the New York Jets. In doing so, (as far as I can decipher) they appear to have wrapped up at worst the fourth pick of the 2008 NFL Draft. About one month prior to the draft, they will flip a coin with the Atlanta Falcons for the third pick. If the Chiefs win that toss, the Falcons and the Raiders will flip for the fourth pick. The Chiefs have the tie-breaker over both the Jets (strength of schedule) and the Raiders (conference record), and as such can pick no lower than fourth. Way to go on an historic nine-game losing streak Chiefs! Also in that article is the good news that both Herm and Carl Peterson will be back next year.


I give up.

I think I may be done.

What bullshit.

In better news, those arrogant old bastards from the '72 Dolphins didn't get to pop the corks on that champagne yet. I can't help but be reminded of Shula whining about an asterisk.

Update: Apparently the coin toss will go off as soon as tomorrow. All the confusion should be set to rest then.

Update #2: The Chiefs will pick either 4th or 5th, not 3rd or 4th. The Chiefs apparently edged out the Raiders for 3rd in the division as they had a better record against common opponents. Convoluted.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Is "The Bucket List" a gift to moviegoers?

The TV just told me this is the case--and I have to listen to my TV because it does not lie to me. Not to quibble with my television, but I'm leery of this one. By leery, of course, I mean I can't imagine a world in which that movie can be anything less than a total piece of shit based on the terrible TV spots and trailers.

My sentiment is just about the same in regards to "P.S. I Love You."

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Your fix for "The Wire"

Now these have been up for a while, but I'd be remiss if I didn't post these for those who didn't know...

Omar Prequel

Prop Joe Prequel

When Bunk met McNulty Prequel

Bo Love

Since I don't have much to say today, I'll let this clip do the talking:

Brian Bosworth, for whatever reason, is kind of Swayze-esque. When Bo was running over him, that Swayze was Don.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

By the way...

Happy Fucking Jesus Day, all!

Man on Film: Atonement

I've put off reviewing this film for a week and a half. I'll preface everything by stating that I'm in the minority on this film, and stewing has not improved my disposition in regards to the film. On to the review...

Atonement is a film steeped in nuance. It essentially has to be because without its countless shots establishing mood director Joe Wright would be left with a short film. While these shots do add to the feel of the film, it seems as though too much screen-time is spent on shots of Kiera Knightley's face fragmented through mirrors or the like.

The events that comprise the narrative are few and routine; to expound on them would be giving away pretty much everything that happens over the course of the film. Rather than events, the story is formed by the varied perceptions of the events. More precisely, it is framed by the misperception of said events through the eyes of a precocious 13 year-old playwright, Briony Tallis as played by Saoirse Ronan. Following her once-removed version of happenings, Wright then illuminates the few things that actually happen with the retelling of events by following the characters, primarily James McAvoy's Robbie Turner and Knightley's Cecilia Tallis, leading up to and during their occurrence.

Now in the right hands with the right story, reinventing a moment through the eyes of the various characters whose actions play out in that event can be intoxicating. Sidney Lumet's recent gem Before the Devil Knows You're Dead comes to mind immediately as an instance in which such a narrative device works well. In that situation, the other characters are more complex and have more things going on in their lives at the instant in which they are happening. The same cannot be said for Robbie, Cecilia, and Briony, whose lives lack much past the class divide and ensuing complexities resultant of their differing socioeconomic status. In all fairness, this difference in class is vital to the story, for Robbie's fate is wholly determined by his presumed lack of a voice in his defense. The problem is somewhere in the neighborhood of an hour and fifteen minutes is spent unfurling what amounts to be a precious few plot points, and while a certain degree of sympathy/empathy is cultivated that cultivation could have occurred in a fraction of the time.

The second act of the film is also filled with narrative issues. Robbie's efforts to reunite with the troops from whom he was separated--and, in turn, with Cecilia--while valiant and determined are largely aimless and lacking in the requisite tension to hold the attention of the viewer. While the actors did their part to enliven their characters with enough heart to endear them to the audience, the filmmaker's inability to craft a narrative in which your yearning for the the star-crossed lovers to be back together earns the level of concern that the nuance-laden screenplay fails to achieve.

Anyone speaking on the film would be remiss to not mention the spectacular tracking shot at Dunkirk. Its scope seemed to know no bounds. Technically, the shot rivals even that of Cuarón's stunning tracking shot in Children of Men, but where that film's tracking shot is wrought with suspense, Wright's shot seems to suffer from the same lack of purpose that much of the film suffers through. Its technical excellence cannot be denied, but its place in the narrative is questionable at best, and in a film so focused on the smaller scope of a pair's undying love for one another the shot borders on superfluity.

The part of the film that does work--past the acting, which is solid, if falling just shy of being great--is the third act. Vanessa Redgrave's role as the elderly Briony enriches the film, and the ending saves the film from being entirely style over substance. Unfortunately, for the greater part of its 130 minute run-time, Atonement wallows in its obsession with its own beauty, forgoing the effort of making a film with an engaging story.

For those who weren't aware

The Extras Christmas Special aired two Sundays ago. There didn't seem to be much hullaballoo about this. HBO is still airing it. Those with "It's not TV" can watch it Christmas Night at 7:30 ET, 6:30 CT, and Friday night at midnight ET, 11:00 pm CT. For the resourceful poor folk, I'm sure it can be found through other means.

By the way, it's really great. Gervais is has such a brutal comic mind. It's on full display in the special. The Clive Owen cameo is fantastically funny, and the ending is a pretty great coda to the series.

"Now I have a machine gun ho-ho-ho"

I don't know that there's a better Christmas movie that's ever been made than Die Hard. The regular cop shooting the hell out of terrorists is everything America and Jesus stood for. Especially when that cop is played by Bruce Willis.

Off the top of my head, the following are the best Christmas movies ever:

1. Die Hard
2. Scrooged
3. Die Hard 2
4. Bad Santa
5. It's a Wonderful Life

Now you may look at number five and think to yourself, "What the hell? Where did that come from?" In my defense, it's a good movie. Also, Donna Reed was really hot. Donna Reed in that film is hotter than just about anyone to grace the silver screen.

Now back to Die Hard... I can suspend just about all disbelief if I'm enthralled, but can anyone really believe the clerk at the convenience store thought that Reginald Vel Johnson's Sgt. Al Powell was buying all that junk food for his wife? I can't. That's really my only sticking point with the whole film. Really, I think the film is flawless. The screenplay is witty and taut. Bruce Willis was brilliantly cast as McClane. Rickman's a great villian. You've got the Chinese guy that was a henchman in every movie in the '80's. There's a Huey Lewis look-alike. The asshole Vice Principal from The Breakfast Club and the quintessential '80's asshole, William Atherton are present. Die Hard has pretty much everything you could want in a movie. Oh, yeah, and tons of violence.

As for Atherton, according to the commentary track for Ghostbusters, people would drive by him in New York years after Ghostbusters came out and yell "dickless" at him. From all accounts, he's a nice guy, and he did make his money from being an actor, but you've got to feel bad for the guy whose three most recognizable roles are that of Walter Peck in Ghostbusters, Professor Jerry Hathaway in Real Genius, and Richard Thornburg in Die Hard.

Monday, December 24, 2007

"There Will Be Blood" stuff

To give credit where credit's due, I wouldn't have known about this were it not for the good folks at cigarettes and red vines. Here you go:

By the way, there's a lot of great stuff at Charlie Rose's website. So much it would take years to cull through.

Peter Johansen has finally lost it.

Seriously, can you imagine sitting across from him in the terminal when he was recording this? I'd guess it was something akin to the first time you saw someone with a Bluetooth only you didn't actually see the Bluetooth in their ear and they were gesticulating and talking like a crazy homeless person only they were dressed like a sane, homed person.

And since Peter's lost it while traveling, here's a holiday treat for you (and yes, I know this was a Thanksgiving movie):

Week 16

If a 4-10 team loses and no one cares does it still happen? Even Whitlock has stopped the bashing. Don't look now, but the Chiefs are currently in the running for the fifth pick.

That Packers game was ugly. I had to stop watching. In all fairness to the Packers, it doesn't seem like many are focusing on the two blocked punts and the fumbled snap that Ryan had. Those were kind of big.

I begrudgingly don't mind watching the Vikings solely because of Adrian Peterson's presence, but that game was pretty awful, too. I still don't like the mentality of the Vikings Fan, though.

Really, it was a bad weekend for broadcast football. We didn't even get to watch the Patriots demolish the Dolphins. Austin televised the Titans/Jets game. Awesome. I can't stand this town's hard-on for Vince Young...

On a positive note, my team showed well in the only fantasy football league I'm in this year. It will take Jason Elam going off for about 40 points for my team to lose. This is the first time I've won in about six years. If only I cared...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I am sorry to anyone who may have gotten their hopes up about me posting the opening credits for Judd Hirsch star-vehicle "Dear John", but I was unable to track them down. The file has been taken down from youtube, undoubtedly because it was deemed too popular and caused their system to crash from its having been accessed so many times. As a slight consolation, I do have this to share...

Mark Linn-Baker: Man's Man


So I caved

and watched the Chiefs game over the weekend. I won't spend too much time dwelling on it, but I will spend some time on why the other shitty teams in the NFL should start playing better. The Chiefs are awful. They need a better draft pick than they're in line for now. If they lose out (which they should because they're atrocious--watching them is like having war crimes inflicted upon your people), they still may only have the eighth pick of the draft. That's messed up. They're way worse than the eighth worst team in the league. I'm crossing my fingers for a top five pick and a shot at Jake Long, personally. They are in dire need of a left tackle, and a first-round-caliber left tackle
at that. Let all Chiefs Nation start the Long Watch now (and not for that son of an asshole Howie Long, Jr.).

For now, I shall turn my focus towards the Packers. I may not even watch the Chiefs this week. For real. After all, what's the point?

I don't know much

but I do know that according to Margaret (via a text message sent to Peter) my blog is better than Peter Johansen's. I think one of the main reasons that mine is better is that I don't make fun of my Grandma. Not cool, Peter. Not cool.

Now, I hear Peter's been crying about this inferiority, and I'd just like to say that there might just be enough room in the internet for both of our blogs. I doubt it, though.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


When the Alamo Drafthouse was going to open their new downtown location, why were they not using this:

All you need to know

Mungo Jerry impart their wisdom. Jugs and atypical boot stomping abound.

'Roids seem to be all the rage

I'm not going to spend too much time dwelling on all this nonsense, but Joe Posnanski puts forth an interesting quandary. If things were reversed and Roger Clemens had been the first big name associated with steroids, would he have been villified as much as Bonds has?

To me, it seems there are just as many out there who've disliked Roger as have liked him. Were his name swirling around in this cauldron of PED-sludge from the onset, I can't imagine he'd have gotten better treatment. Hell, I think he's had many more incidents in his past to set up a media pouncing were the conditions changed.

I am glad that the initial reports that Pujols was named in the Mitchell Report were erroneous. I know if I were Pujols, I'd be livid, which it sounds like he is.

None of the players on my keeper squad were listed, so that feels nice, I guess.

Friday, December 14, 2007


As of 3:30 pm this afternoon, I am no longer drunk.

Mel Allen voice: How about that!

Not fun

What's 'not fun' you may be asking yourself?

Being drunk still from the night before while sitting at work. I have no idea how I woke up to get here in the first place, but it happened. I'm here. I hope 'Toine brings me water...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Iron & Wine show at La Zona Rosa

First things first: I'm what some would call 'hammered' so expect very little from this post...

The Iron & Wine show was about as I'd expected. What I expected was greatness. That's what I received.

At various points during the show, I felt like I'd been sucked into a swampy bar outside of Memphis with the three guitars and piano mesmerizing me. Almost all of the songs had been completely re-arranged from not only the album versions but from how they'd been playing the older tunes last time I saw them (which was about a year ago). Many of the songs this time around were turned into medleys of sorts to form epic tunes ten minutes long but never loosening their grip on your attention. And while the arrangements occasionally approached the realm of jam, they never went past that fine line.

Were I slightly less drunk, I'd be able to elaborate more, but that is not the case unfortunately. My apologies.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Once More with Feeling

And because Chad would want me to...

Hear N' Aid

If Peter Johansen thinks he can do it, then so can I...

And then stepping right back...

Larry Johnson is looking like he's going to be inactive again this week. Money well spent, guys.

Moving on...

Getting to see Iron and Wine Tuesday night. Expect a post shortly thereafter. If it's anything like the mind-blowing show I saw last time from Beam & Co., you'll most definitely have to clean yourselves off after I pass out from over-stimulation.

Reflections on a season for the ages

Sometimes as a sports fan, I sit sullenly by as my team gets obliterated and wonder why I even put myself through this misery. It's happened more often than I'd care to think of as a Chiefs fan. Off the top of my head, losses to Buffalo, Miami, Denver, Pittsburgh, and especially Indianapolis have sent me into a tailspin for days. Names like Lin Elliott, Dave Szott, Kimble Anders, and Johnnie Morton are hard for me to even say without a grimace, which is no doubt a physical reaction that cannot be helped any more. They have been 13-3 a few times in my memory, and each time I've allowed myself to get my hopes up for some taste of greatness only to have my hopes shattered.

The odd thing is football isn't even my favorite sport. I prefer baseball, but I think it's easier to write off the Royals as not having much hope for winning it all every year from the onset. The season is also so long that the losses don't sting nearly as much.

There's also the expectation that if a football team is run correctly it can contend every year. There's a degree of financial equality that puts the Chiefs on a level playing field that the Royals will never be able to experience, making it feel more and more like it is within the realm of possibility that the Chiefs could contend while the Royals have more of an excuse to not be able to make a run at the series.

All that being said, I never really had very high hopes for the Chiefs this season. I thought that they could maybe finish 7-9. Not much better--possibly much worse. Right now, I'm not sure they could beat the Dolphins.

The crappy thing is, I know I don't want them to win. I mean, yeah, of course pride kicks in, and you want them to show some heart and go win at Invesco, but you know each loss could bring them closer to someone they so desperately need, like Jake Long. Seeing them lose so terribly to a pretty bad Denver team, however, is a lot to try and stomach. This was the first game in five years that I've seen (I've missed seeing four games since the 9-0 start season for various reasons) that I actually left before the game was finished. I'd completed watching every game I started for five seasons.

Sunday, I couldn't do it.

I don't know where to go from here. I think we, as Chiefs fans, want to see some changes. I kind of have the feeling that none of the ones we want to take place will happen. Hell, I don't even know if they should. Well, I'm pretty damn sure Carl Peterson should no longer be making any decisions for the Chiefs. His time has passed. He made the Chiefs relevant for a while but has long since whittled that relevance down to a sliver of its former self. As for the rest of the management and personnel, who knows?

I do know this...

I may not even bother watching the Chiefs this weekend, and that's fucked up.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Man on Film: No Country for Old Men

After the release of two consecutive missteps, doubt began to creep into the collective psyche of filmgoers the world over as to whether they still had it. Joel and Ethan Coen have quieted any agnosticism with a resounding triumph. Owing much to their long-time collaborator, cinematographer Roger Deakins, they have taken Cormac McCarthy's minimalistic brutality and fully reimagined it for their medium.

The sparse nature of McCarthy's writing burns its way through the film; the Coens seemingly holding themselves to Hitchcock's belief that the right image will say much more than any words you can put in the mouths of the actors. This overarching lack of dialogue serves to lend even more credence to what each character does say. When the sporadic use of dialogue is coupled with the complete lack of a score, the result for the Coens is an intrinsically compelling film in which violence dances in and out of the characters' lives indiscriminately, just as it does in reality.

While the argument could certainly be made that the stars of the film could be Roger Deakins' camera and the landscape of West Texas, Southern New Mexico, and North Central Mexico, the Coens have once again managed to cast their film to perfection.

Javier Bardem channels insanity, dispassion, and determinism all at once, beholden to what one can only imagine to be some innate psychopathic code. Every choice Bardem makes is on point, including his much-talked-about hairstyle.

Tommy Lee Jones returns to the desert and scrubland of West Texas (the site of his little-seen directorial masterpiece The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada) where it seems as though he's destined to turn in fantastic performances. His wizened visage emotes so much that Joel and Ethan could have probably just trained the camera on his face, not given the character of Sheriff Ed Tom Bell any lines of dialogue, and still gotten every point across they desired. Fortunately, that was not the case, as his character provides the film with its center, heart, and much of its humor. As he and his deputy, Wendell (Garret Dillahunt of Deadwood notoriety), investigate the spree of crimes in their jurisdiction, their banter lightens up what would otherwise be an unrelenting look at an instance of violence devouring everything in the path of a misplaced $2 million.

To ignore Josh Brolin would be an oversight, as his turn as Llewelyn Moss punctuates his triumphant return from a decade of wasting away in mostly irrelevant films. The past year has been kind to him, and in return he gives the public what some would not expect: a resolute, defiant, ordinary man whose opportunism puts him in an extraordinary--and seemingly insurmountable--situation.

As tends to be the norm with the Coen Brothers' films, the supporting roles are well cast, placing the viewer firmly in West Texas of 1980 with each secondary and tertiary fitting the bill of West Texan. Harrelson, Root, MacDonald, Corbin and the aforementioned Dillahunt all excel to name but a few.

Insofar as the story is concerned, complaints about the last quarter of the film seem flawed. The narrative of No Country for Old Men is propelled by one thing: the determination of Anton Chigurh to see his mission to the end. It is driven by his necessity to carry out all of his actions by his code. For the film to have the standard ending would have been a disservice to the singular force that tears through the movie, carving its way through the film and its characters with its jagged blade.

I've calmed down a little

and can maybe reflect a little more calmly on a 13-10 loss to the Colts...

The defense looked really good. Granted, the Colts' line is depleted by injuries and Marvo watched from the sidelines, but Jared Allen looked like he may be the best defensive lineman in the game. He's certainly in the discussion. He was blowing up the backfield all day. He deflected three passes, one of which he could have picked and another which was picked. He was pressuring Manning the entire game. He was quite simply great. DJ was huge, also, and really seems to be stepping up and becoming the linebacker everyone thought he'd be when the Chiefs drafted him.

Maybe the Chiefs need to sign someone to return punts. Kennison fumbled one deep and almost lost another. He's also a thousand years old and not that fast anymore. Webb looked solid and *gasp* returned one past the thirty.

Colquitt had a couple of less than desirable punts this week. He's maybe a bit overworked this season, as he's out there punting six times a game. Maybe the offense could do him a favor and score. Just a thought.

Rayner is not very good at kicking field goals. Where's Lin Elliott when you need him? Sorry. That's not even remotely funny. I'd not be opposed to trying Vanderjagt out, though. He's available, Carl.

Croyle looked good (mostly). If they'd taken the kid-gloves off, he may have had a respectable game statistically speaking, but they didn't let him throw downfield until the third quarter. It did look like he had Kennison downfield for a gain of at least 20 when he dumped off to the loathsome Kris Wilson. I don't know if it's more that I'm pissed Kris Wilson is still on the team or that Croyle missed a bigger play, but I'd imagine it's the former.

Priest really did look good. I didn't have audio at the bar I was watching the game at, so I don't know if he was all right after the Brackett tackle, but I hope he can come back strong next week. He looks much better than Larry did behind the same putrid line.

Chiefs versus Colts again

As is the usual outcome of a Chiefs/Colts game, the Chiefs lost. I think any realistic Chiefs fan could have told you this would happen. They always lose to the Colts. Unless it absolutely doesn't matter, the Colts will win. It's inevitable.

Fatalism aside, the loss basically boiled down to a series of three plays with the game tied at tens and the Chiefs controlling their own fate and moving the ball despite having lost a once-again effective Priest on a horse-collar tackle (no penalty, unlike a lesser one Pollard a few drives earlier) on the first play of the drive.

First and ten, the brilliant play-call comes down from either God or Mike Solari (same difference) to hand it off for a run up the gut. Mind you this is not the first time this play has been called on first down. My memory is a little hazy, but it seems as though there was one occasion in which the Chiefs attempted a play downfield on first down (an incompletion intended for Dwyane Bowe if I'm not mistaken). Of the remaining first downs, there were less than a handful of pass plays called, all to the wide outs at the line of scrimmage one of which was dropped by the Samie "Sure-Hands" Parker. Every other play call on first down was a hand off. Beautiful. This play surprisingly resulted in a loss of five yards for Kolby Smith, who was met upon receiving the rock by a few blue jerseys.

So the Chiefs are faced with a second and fifteen. Logic dictates that any and all players be removed from the backfield sans young Brodie Croyle, who now has all of his weapons on the line, no one other than his solid offensive line to block for him, and no option of a running play to possibly confuse him or the defense. What no one could have predicted was that the pocket would collapse, and Brodie would need to scramble to not get dropped for a loss of six or seven, getting a few of those yards back, and only losing three on the play.

No matter, of course, as the Chiefs could surely convert a third and eighteen, right?

From the shotgun on third and eighteen, what gets called astute Chiefs fans? Anyone who has seen a Chiefs game could tell you. Wait, what? A draw play? The Colts will never see that coming. Wow. Unbelievable. Two yards later, Colquitt, who has spent more time on the field than anyone else on the team this season, comes out onto the field, well on his way to what will surely go down in the annals of football history as the most punts by any man in a single season.

Thank you, Kansas City.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Thoughts on the Chiefs after Week 10

I almost ended up going to this game. It would have meant embarking on a twelve hour car ride north to KC and dropping a large chunk of change on a first trip to Arrowhead only to end up seeing another abysmal performance by the Chiefs offense. I guess I'm glad I didn't go and have this game be my first Arrowhead experience.

That being said, here are my quick thoughts on the game and the Chiefs going forward:
  • Eddie Drummond needs to be set free. Granted, the blocking in the return game has been suspect at best, but even with the best blocking in the league, I don't think he has what it takes to return it to the 30. Ever.
  • Why the hell is Benny Sapp the other return man on kickoffs? Moreover, why the hell is Benny Sapp still on the team? He should have been cut weeks ago, when Herm had to bench him for two quarters after an infantile temper tantrum resulted in 15 yards getting tacked on to what was already a ten yard penalty that he had committed. He could very well have drawn another one today in a similar situation that he managed to not escalate into a ridiculous display of hot-headed foolishness. Then on the kickoff he did get to return he managed to run directly into one of his own blockers. Jeff Webb seemed to be somewhat effective last season when filling in for the much maligned Dante Hall. Wha happened?
  • Speaking of Jeff Webb, did it strike anyone else as odd that he became their go-to guy on the final drive of the game? He wasn't really pulling the ball down to warrant such treatment.
  • Samie Parker made a nice catch and managed to hold on to the ball. Let's hope for more of that.
  • It was nice to see Priest out there, throwing blocks and getting positive yards on most carries.
  • Maybe the Brodie Croyle Era has finally begun. Again, not to attack Damon Huard or anything, but Croyle could have turned it over twice in two dropbacks, too. They seemed to move the ball fairly well with Brodie in. Maybe this will mean shots of his hot wife in the crowd now.
  • That last drive was painful to watch. Sure they moved the ball upfield, but it was largely the result of retarded Broncos penalties (I'd lost interest at this point, but I would almost swear to the fact that there were three offsides penalties committed by the Broncos in the final 1:50 or so. Why?).
  • Could Huard's final two turnovers have been any more costly? I don't think so.
  • I fail to see what Kris Wilson brings to the team. I find myself cursing his existence whenever he's involved in a play. Everytime he touches the ball, he either drops the pass (and loses his helmet) or catches it and promptly fumbles. He doesn't block when he's lined up as a fullback. Why is he in the game? Why is he on this team?
  • The defense gave up 20. Another seven were excusable, as Huard handed them that seven with his second-to-last turnover. The D looked all right today, but they still gave up 100 yards to Selvin Young. Nothing great from them really, but they were serviceable.
  • Colquitt has maybe the worst punt I've ever seen him get off today. That being said, I'm still spearheading the Colquitt for MVP campaign.

By the way, my sister was at the game last week, where I had tasked her to find a Colquitt jersey for me. They weren't at the pro shop at Arrowhead. For shame, Arrowhead. For shame.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Man on Film: Lars and the Real Girl

It fell considerably short of being great and failed to meet my somewhat realistic expectations for the film.

Ryan Gosling continues his string of deftly nuanced performances with another great turn as a socially stunted young man raised by his withdrawn father following his mother's death while birthing him. He is able to channel a youthful naivete in such an inviting way that it is not much of a reach to imagine a small town bending over backwards to accommodate his break. His ability to carry on one-half of a two-sided argument with himself without losing it left me astonished at times.

Paul Schneider rounds out what has proven to be a great year for him, following up his scene-stealing work as Dick Liddel in The Assassination of Jesse James... by stepping into the shoes of the older brother whose years-past abandonment may or may not have contributed to his brother's delusional disorder. Perhaps this finally marks a time in which he is up for roles he can chew on outside of the David Gordon Green canon, rather than being stuck playing townies in dreck like The Family Stone. Emily Mortimer is strangely captivating--her warmth more and more compelling in everything she does.

Enhancing the performances of the principle cast, the cinematography and score capture the static and isolating winters of the Upper Midwest (even though it was predictably filmed in Ontario, which was personally disappointing for reasons relating to mild homesickness).

Where the film falls short is in its saccharine narrative. The ending is especially sappy, making for a surprisingly family friendly film when the "Real Girl" is an anatomically correct sex doll, but the tugging of the heart-strings feels a little forced. Its real emotion lies in the hearts of its main characters (as was on full display in the apologia between Schneider and Gosling in the basement), and the final act could have probably done without dialogue of any sort for the last two or three scenes and been the better for it, letting the images speak for themselves.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Football thoughts

Now I am by no means a football expert, but I've got a couple of thoughts...

First, non-Chiefs thoughts:
  • Adrian Peterson is amazing. Every time he gets the ball, I am captivated. And I hate the Vikings. Too many years in the heart of a fanbase who believe that they're Super Bowl-bound every pre-season only to not even care by the Week Five has soured me on the Viqueens (as Packer fans lovingly refer to them), but AP seems to be insanely talented and just looks faster than everyone else on the field once he breaks through the line.
  • New England may just go 16-0 (19-0). They have two main challenges left, Pittsburgh at home in Week 14 and at the Giants Week 17. I can't imagine they lose a game at home leaving the Giants in the final game of the season. If their starters play (and would Belichick sit starters with an undefeated season on the line if they have homefield in the AFC locked up?), can you see them losing to the less talented Manning? I certainly can't. And I know each week anyone can win, but I don't know that that is the case when this Pats team is in the mix.
  • Leaving the Chiefs out of the discussion for the moment, the AFC West is awful. Denver looks to be a joke, which is awesome. San Diego are either world beaters or don't belong in the NFL, depending on, well, depending on nothing. They don't really make any sense to me at all. As for the Raiders, I kind of feel sorry for them. That's messed up. I don't know if the Chiefs will ever lose to the Raiders again.

Chiefs Thoughts:

  • Not that I think Priest still has the natural talent that LJ has right now, but I don't know that the offense can't be more productive with him in. They moved the ball better with Priest in against the Packers, a lot of which seemed to be related to the fact the Priest would actually throw a block in the backfield, allowing for a little more time for Huard to sit stone-footed in the pocket.
  • As for LJ, is it just me or is he running scared. He doesn't seem to be hitting any holes, not that the line is opening any up for him, but he also doesn't seem to be running north/south at all. I'm not saying it's a heart issue or any of that nonsense, but he has certainly been dancing around behind the line of scrimmage trying to side-step tackles when it seems like he could take a lesson from Marcus Allen and lower that shoulder to ensure that he makes some positive yardage instead of getting dropped for a loss two of every three carries. Priest replacing him should at least have the Chiefs only losing one yard on each first down run play instead of the two yards that Larry has been losing.
  • The O-line is awful. As Joe Posnanski has pointed out, they don't seem to be able to utilize Weigmann's skills (pulling/blocking out in the open field) and instead have an undersized center with speed attempting to block much larger (but slower) and stronger defensive tackles. Damion McIntosh seems to be over-matched every game. Not a good thing for your blind-side tackle. Right tackle seems to be a sore spot as well.
  • Jared Allen has been phenomenal.
  • I'd like to reiterate that Dustin Colquitt is this team's MVP thus far. How about that coffin corner punt at the two? Outstanding! And yes, I used an exclamation point. I never use exclamation points in earnest.
  • I don't have anything against Damon Huard as a person, and I know the Chiefs are in the playoff hunt, but does anyone in the world think they could win a playoff game on the road (or even at home, for that matter)? This team is not the team to end the fifteen year (soon to be sixteen year) playoff-win drought. I know for a fact Brodie Croyle could have thrown that pick-6 in the fourth against the Pack.
  • Gonzalez has been great the past few weeks. Granted tight ends have been having their way with the Packers lately, but he has been reiterating that he is indeed the best tight end in the game and has been for the past ten years.
  • Lastly, I'm glad Bowe came back in the second half. Having their two go-to receivers being Samie Parker and Jeff Webb was a scary situation to be in there for a few possessions. It really would be nice to have Kennison healthy.
  • OK, I lied. Lastly (for real), Eddie Drummond taking it back to the 18 every return is not cutting it. They'd be as well off if they had Phillip Drummond returning punts and kicks. For those of you who were wondering, Conrad Baines is indeed still alive. He merely looked 70 years old at 55. If memory serves me correctly, he is 83. Maybe Carl Peterson can sign Conrad Baines. He couldn't do much worse.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Things I Can't Stand: Part One

I really hate it when women who have graduated from high school continue to talk about the men in their lives as "boys". They start spouting off about some new "boy" they met at some great house party, only this "boy" hasn't called them back, and then all "boys" are mean. You are an adult yet you continue to refer to love-interests as "boys"? Do you think maybe your relationship problems could stem from your mindset going into the relationship being that of a child? Because it is either that, or you are simply dating children.

Grow the fuck up and then maybe you will start to have adult relationships. Until then, do us a favor and leave your "boy-problems" to yourself.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Thank you Jesus for a bye week.

It's pretty fucking refreshing to have a respite from the Chiefs this season. I plan on doing a ton of cool stuff today. Maybe I'll even eat a salad to completely fly in the face of what I'd normally have eaten at a sports bar.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

So I saw a fair chunk of the Celtics/Cavs preseason game

and I know it was just a preseason game, but I have an inkling they waltz through the East. They are obscenely good. I really hope KG gets that ring this year. Jesus Shuttlesworth getting one wouldn't be an entirely bad thing either. It'd probably be just what the NBA needs to save their league from the prevailing apathy that sets in whenever the Clevelands and San Antonios of the world meet in its top stage.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

This just in...

When you thought the Timberwolves couldn't get any worse, they go and do this. They are now officially dead to me. In fact, I hope they never win another game after making KG toil away while never being able to run the franchise well enough to support him with anyone better than the likes of Szczerbiak, Sprewell, Cassell, and the Kandi Man. May McHale and Taylor rot.

Would everyone please mark down October 24th in the annals of internet history

as the day Old Man Duggan blew up the internet? Thanks.

My apologies, World

I've had this page up for a far longer amount of time than is excusable to not have gone off on my longest standing gripe with the world:


Get with the program, jackoffs.

If you want, the answer to my question, you can find it here.

I would also like to thank Jupiter

for Joe Posnanski returning to the internet. It's been a couple of weeks now, but he's really the best sportswriter out there, amongst other things, and needs a broader platform than the Kansas City Star can give him.

Everyone must watch "Friday Night Lights"

I just burned through the first season on DVD, and it's simply amazing. It has replaced "The Wire" as the show I tell everyone they must watch. How the entire country doesn't watch this show is beyond me (well, really, it's not since NBC has put it on Friday nights). The acting is fantastic, the story arc is compelling, the sports sequences are great, the Taylor family dynamic conveniently fills the hole left by the exit of Veronica and Keith Mars, the multiple-camera handheld filming really does allow for a more realistic portrayal of small-town life than a situation in which everyone is hitting their marks and standing right where the camera needs them to be, and the writing is top notch. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this show. It will completely envelop you and you'll find yourself watching three more episodes after the one you swore was going to be your last.

I'm going to catch up on this season right now on NBC's website. Everyone needs to watch this show. Your lives will be better for it.

Things that I've seen or heard recently and liked or disliked

"In Rainbows" - I'm not even remotely impartial, but the new Radiohead record is really fucking great. I can't say I was expecting what I got. It seems a little less resigned to minor keys, and they seem to have gotten back to guitar-driven music, which I think they're fucking great at. I've said nothing new to anyone, though, and there has been an over-abundance of Radiohead reviews/reactions, so I'll let this rest.

Gone Baby Gone - Unlike Marjorie Baumgarten at the always reliable Austin Chronicle, I was enthralled by Casey Affleck's turn as Patrick Kenzie. "Nebbishy quality and mumbly speaking voice" aside he really owns this role. More importantly, I was much more than pleased with Ben's direction and adapted screenplay. He establishes the city as a character exceptionally well and lets his actors chew on insanely engrossing monologues and diatribes. Ed Harris outside of the hospital blows a hole a mile wide right through your gut. It's much better than the other Lehane adaptation, Mystic River and, conspiring with his work on The Wire, makes me want to actually check out his work, which Mystic River most definitely did not accomplish.

The Darjeeling Limited - It was a welcome return to a world in which I could imagine myself living in, unlike my least favorite Wes Anderson film, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. I loved that each of the brothers were more or less complete assholes and was shocked by the Schwartzmann finger-lick, which is very much akin to the moment in the classroom in Rushmore where Miss Cross gives her "not if you've ever fucked before" speech to Max. It's certainly not Anderson's best film, which I still believe is Rushmore, but it was certainly good.

"The Shepherd's Dog" - Fucking amazing. There is not a single misstep in Sam Beam's musical evolution as far as I'm concerned.

"Yellow Dog" - The new Greg Brown live record is pretty damn good. It's full of songs that he pulled straight from a notebook. He'd not performed them or recorded them previously. Aside from "Oily Boys" being perhaps a little heavy handed (and with a political song the heavy handedness tends to go over like a lead balloon with me), the songs are great. It's also for a good cause with much (if not all) of the proceeds going to help the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Michael Clayton - While it certainly looked good, this film is simply a retread of every fucking ethical dilemma lawyer movie we've all seen 15 times before. The actors are all great, but I'm sure no one expects Clooney, Wilkinson, et al., to be anything other than that. Quite frankly, I'm not sure what anyone could have seen in this to make them think this was anything less than run-of-the-mill. Again the acting is great, but I kept waiting for the film to surprise me, and it didn't.

And there will be one more rave to come, not that anyone cares.

World Series musing


I'm going to turn it now and watch C-SPAN.

Sexy new managers, putrid offenses

I'm back, all of you--and by "all of you" I mean me--rabid Prick fans.

Not that this is news, but the Royals have a new manager who seemed to be a dark horse candidate for Torre's job. The best news of all is that joining the coaching staff as first base coach is none other than Rusty Kuntz. Awesome.

While everything seems to be coming up daisies in Kauffman, the Chiefs offense continues to lay down tons of manure at Arrowhead. They are damn near impossible to watch.

Their offense being as bad as it is does mean more time for my boy, Dustin Colquitt, who I truly believe is the Chiefs' MVP. Jared Allen would be a very close second, but no single Chief has had as much an impact on every single game as Dustin has. He's a man-god. If only the Chiefs would start working on him to be their third-string quarterback. My dreamworld is one in which Dustin Colquitt comes into the game on third down and teams don't know if they're going to punt or throw. I mean with this offense would it really matter if they punted on third down and saved everyone the pain of having to sit through another swing pass on third-and-long? When Norv Turner gets fired, Solari should volunteer to step back down and help with the offensive line (who clearly could use the help) and allow Norv to run the offense.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Kudos to the Royals are in order

as they've secured their second straight winning month, marking the first time since 2003 that they've accomplished such a feat. It's really hard to believe that guys like Mark Teahen and David DeJesus have been out of the picture insofar as on-the-field impact is concerned. If you'd told me at the beginning of the season that these two wouldn't be leading the charge at this point in the season and that the team would be playing its best ball since they made a run at the division five seasons ago, I'd have punched you in the balls. Hard. I'd have had to have apologized if I'd done that, too. I guess we're all better off for no such statements having been made. Here's to hoping they lead the team down the stretch (I'm gonna need Teahen to step up in a big way if I have any hopes of making a serious run for a fantasy title). Bottoms up, fellas.

Friday, July 27, 2007

And before I go to bed...

Good work, Royals. You showed tonight that you have more heart than the Yankees. They may be more talented and better compensated, but you didn't let them shut you out on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. But when those nancy-boys from the big city get down in your hood, they don't even have the heart to put one measly run on the board? I call that weak. Y'all got pride, Royals. Y'all got pride.

I had a dream

Shortly following a viewing of the 1972 film The Mechanic, starring one Charles Bronson as a methodical hit man, I went to bed. While I slumbered, I had perhaps the best dream of my life...

In this dream, I was in a horseshoe-shaped, multi-level, semi-abandoned building. Within the confines of this building were thugs, street toughs, and ruffians who were under orders to finish me, obviously from some criminal mastermind of great import. Now, I had nothing but my cunning and my brutish strength to protect myself against these hoods, but they were armed with clubs and bats and pipes and whatnot. No knives. No guns. But they still had an advantage.

Obviously, I was able to disarm these men with my many skills in combat, after which I had no choice but to bludgeon them to death, so as to not face one more than once.

Then I caught wind of a friend coming to the rescue. The odd part here was that this friend is an old friend of mine who I've more or less lost touch with because he's got a family now, and I'm mostly a motivationally-challenged malcontent who would much rather do nothing than fail at something I care about. I will be seeing this friend in a month for the first time in about three years, at which point I will have to thank him, because I totally helped me kick some big time thug ass in what was the best dream of my life, until I got a call from a friend wanting me to wake up and go to the gym 'cause it was noon or some such shit. Now this was the friend who I was watching The Mechanic with the night before, so when I told him the next day what had happened, he apologized for bringing to an abrupt end such a badass dream, so all is good.

The moral of this story, of course, is that in both dreams and real life men's men bludgeon muthafuckas to death when they have to, be it for self-preservation or coming to the rescue of a pal.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

President of the Internet, next stop President of the World

I'd just like to thank everyone for making me President of the Internet. Your votes and well wishes on the campaign trail were much appreciated. My old lady thanks you all as well. We both thank the Hendersons of Osawatomie, KS, for the seemingly endless supply of kolaches you plied us with, and the MacLeans of Post Falls, ID, for that great smoked pork shoulder you invited us to sup on.

As for my opponent, Phil, if you come near my residence or my kinfolk again, I will not hesitate to finish you. I'm dead serious. Don't test me. You don't want to know what I'm capable of little man.
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