Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Olympic Thoughts

Since I haven't touched on sports yet, I figured instead of diving headfirst into the crazy 2008 MLB season, I'll fire some rapid thoughts at you regarding the Olympics.

- Michael Phelps is from another planet. Being too young to have watched Mark Spitz' run, I was naive about how utterly incredible/borderline impossible it is to win this many Gold medals. In addition to talent, you need so many things to fall into place. While Phelps dominated the events he was supposed to, there's no way he breaks Spitz' record without Jason Lezak basically flying on the water, breaking the World Record for the fastest 100 meter split, or without Milorad Cavic pulling up apparently .001 too early. Must be nice to be 23 years old, possess 14 Gold Medals and have the Perfect Olympics. Oh, and be able to eat like this.

- If Michael Phelps owns the water, then Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh own the sand. The two best players in the world, who thought it would be fun/cruel for anyone else to team up 7 years ago, have not lost a match in 107 straight outings, nor have they lost a set in this Olympics. A single set. Last night against a Brazilian team that features the best volleyball player in the country, the hometown duo put them down in straight sets, 21-12, 21-14 in the SEMI-FINALS. For those not familar with how rally scoring works, basically a point is scored on each possession, which should be a back and forth affair. But May and Walsh rattled off several straight points in each set to dominate their much lesser opponents. These girls haven't lost a match in over a year, are the favorites to become the first volleyball team (men's or women's) to defend a Gold medal, haven't lost a match in Olympic or World Championship play since 2003 and are doing so in these games without dropping a set. I really can't imagine the top-seeded Chinese team they play Thursday at 11 am ET to have the same status afterwards.

- This is the 4th Olympics to feature women's soccer. The US team has played for the Gold Medal... 4 times. They won in Atlanta, fell to Norway in Sydney, beat Brazil in Athense and now face the South American squad yet again. What makes this run incredible is how little attention this squad gets and how this team has been able to refuel year after year. Long gone are Mia Hamm and Brandi Chastain. What makes this year's match so interesting - in last year's World Cup, Brazil drubbed this same US squad 4-0 to win the tournament ... in China no less. Best of luck.

- The Redeem team isn't going to lose. This team is doing everything right at a higher level than any other squad. We'll see if the pressure gets to them now that they are into the one-and-done round, but I doubt it. The only things standing in their way are an Argentinian squad that can play 5 NBA players on the court at once, or a Lithuanian squad that barely beat this Argentinian squad. If the US runs into Greece or Spain again, you can very well expect the same results. On a quick post-Olympics note - the Miami Heat must be giddy right now. They have the best player in the World at this time returning to their team with Shawn Marion and Michael Beasley waiting. Good luck Eastern Conference.

- I don't how its humanly possible to play ping pong at such a rapid level. Didn't they CGI that scene in Forrest Gump?

- I'm pretty sure these Olympic badmitton players could kill a man with those shuttlecocks.
- If Usain Bolt wanted to rob a bank, no one would be able to stop him.

- Of course the best diver currently in the world is from China - even when she cannonballs into the water, there's no splash. I'd prefer an American woman with a Bronze around her neck and some meat on her theighs anyday.

- For the last year of Olympic Baseball and Softball, this is an incredibly weak showing. No one will stop the US Softball squad, and no one cares who wins the gold in baseball, since our team boasts prospects and no proven talent. The home town team sure knows how to be gracious hosts, though.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Friday, August 8, 2008

Movie Review: Pineapple Express

Saw Pineapple Express the other night at the AMC Century City. 11:20 pm showing opening night. Had to wait in a line. Terrific. Oddly enough, the line beside me was for a 10:35 showing of The Dark Knight. Unbelievable, that movie. Though I guess Pineapple Express got the last laugh, supposedly pulling in over $12 million just on Wednesday alone, which should give it the weekend crown now, which most expected to go back to TDK once again.

Honestly, I felt this movie was just OK - nothing too funny, but entertaining enough to keep my interested. I'm not sure Seth Rogen's humor isn't old by now. While still delivering lines incredibly well, like when he describes how he's had sex with 2.5 women, but I just feel like this is becoming recycled now. We get it, Seth Rogen isn't handsome, likes to smoke pot and occasionally pulls a chick here and there.

I think the best part of the film was the chemistry (bromance!) between Seth Rogen and James Franco, old buds from Apatow's Freaks and Geeks. It's almost tough to believe that these two characters aren't really friends at the beginning of the movie, since the two actors seem so complacent around each other. Danny McBride kills as Red, since he's given the most support throughout the film from the other characters, who set him up for great one liners/responses continuous. Great supporting role from Gary Cole and definitely a random role for Rosie Perez. I think their forced intimate scene couldn't have been any more unappealing.

I also have to give kudos to David Gordon Green for actually coming out of the woodwork and navigating a mainstream film. The cop car action sequence alone might be the biggest cinematic undertaking he's taken yet. His indie auteurism isn't really felt, which is a plus. (Hopefully a little bit of it comes back if/when he helms the Suspiria remake.)

The comedy definitely plays to the level of its intended audience (whom surrounded me 100% - I figured this out when most of the audience couldn't stop laughing at the intro screens even before the previews started). This definitely feels the part of every other Apatow comedy thus far. If you're still up for some well delivered crude humor, then you'll enjoy this; for anyone else that's getting a little tired of it - you're not alone.

Intro Blogging 101

So, yes. I have a blog now. You're reading it. Welcome.

I feel like I always have something to say about most things (politics and religion excluded, obviously) so where better to voice my thoughts than through the digital medium that is the interweb.

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