Hey everybody, I am back in the saddle again. A quick recap of the season and then on to my other great love. Football ended a couple of months ago with my own personal nightmare as a Super Bowl, Indianapolis versus Chicago, two quarterbacks neither of which I wanted to see win a Super Bowl. But, big Brother finally got his and now can go down in history as the best quarterback ever... no, I'm sure he will go down as the best football player in the history of the great game of... no, wait, he will go down as the best human being ever to grace this planet! So sayeth Archie and the disciples of Manning.
The Steelers didn't make the playoffs as defending champions and Bill Cowher stepped down as head coach. I kind of like this new guy, he brings the same kind of fire that Bill did and every interview I have seen or read of him so far he has handled himself amazingly well.
My fantasy teams did really well. The bombers, the team I was most unhappy with wound up making the playoffs and essentially breaking even, winning me back my entry fee. Sweeney, the team I was ecstatic over, did indeed continue to dominate the league, running away with the points title in making the playoffs, but not managing to win the Super Bowl. Still, out of the 17 weeks, we finished first place in points eight times. That combined with the end of season rewards made the team a great success. My keeper league team shocked everybody and actually won the Super Bowl! Finishing third overall in points. So, of my three fantasy teams, one Super Bowl, one overall points title and all three made the playoffs... time to start planning for next year
However, in the meantime I figure I can let you all know about some movies as I see them. I go to see a fair amount of movies, trying to see at least one every week in the theaters. Here's a quick rundown of movies I have seen in the theaters so far this year with recommendations and warnings.
Freedom writers: Hillary Swank stars in this "based on a true story" movie about inner-city kids learning how to express themselves. Sounds pretty formulaic and done over, but I enjoyed the movie. I would definitely pick this one up on DVD when it comes out
Rocky Balboa: so many people forget that the original Rocky was actually a great movie, won the Academy award that year in fact. The second movie wasn't bad either and it went downhill pretty rapidly after that. Rocky Balboa promised to bring a close to the story line with a feel that would be much more like the original Rocky. I had hoped this would be a good movie and I was not disappointed. I really, really liked this movie. Sly apparently remembered that the reason the first movie was so good was character development and actually focused on furthering the characters again rather than just trying to find the biggest, toughest bad guy and build up the fight. This is one I will own on DVD
Children of men: billed as "Blade Runner for the 21st-century"... it's not. I was disappointed in this movie, it fails to make you care about any of the characters and really gives you no definitive reason why you would either want or not want the characters to achieve or not achieve their goals. Not a terrible movie, great concept for a world and a good set up for the plot line, decent acting, but overall definitely falls short. You can probably wait until this one makes it to the premium channels, no need to rush out for the DVD.
Three: never heard of it? Neither had I, just saw it playing at the movie, and already seen everything else I was interested in figure I would give it a shot. Consider yourself lucky that you never heard of it. This is two hours of wasted time. If they still had mystery science theater 3000, this one would qualify even though it isn't science fiction, it's just that bad. Don't rent it, don't buy it, don't order it on pay-per-view, don't worry when it comes on the premium channels, at most, pick it up for a dollar when it is a used DVD and get together with your friends to laugh at this "tense mystery thriller"
300: the movie based on Frank Miller's graphic novel. This was a fun movie, in wasn't as intense or great as I had hoped it would be, is missing some kind of movie magic somewhere but I cannot put my finger on what it is that is missing. Don't go expecting any kind of historical drama or historically accurate action film, it's based on a graphic novel! It looks good, the action works and its worth seeing on the big-screen if it is still in theaters around your area. If not, definitely worth owning
Pan's labyrinth: a Spanish film set in World War II. This movie is NOT what I expected and NOT, I cannot stress this part enough, NOT for children! This movie is dark, beautiful and frequently downright brutal. Don't see it with the kids, but do see it. I prefer seeing foreign films with subtitles rather than dubbed English as I think it allows you to get more of a feeling the actors are trying to express by hearing their actual voices. This is one you will talk about after the movie is over. Probably not still in theaters in many places, but pick it up on DVD when it comes out
Zodiac: if you liked the 1970s movie Helter Skelter, you'll probably like this movie as well. It's not so much of a courtroom drama, more along the lines of "all the Presidents men" with most of the action following a newspaper tracking the murders of the zodiac killer from the late sixties through the mid-eighties. The movie is well done, nothing really outstanding, but nothing really wrong with it either. It's nearly three hours long, so you definitely get the documentary feel and if you're not familiar with the zodiac story, this is a enjoyable way to find out about one of the most elusive serial killers from the United States.
Ghost Rider: the movie based on the comic book. Nicolas Cage, for those of you who don't know, is a HUGE comic book fan. Even took his name, Nicolas Cage, from a comic book (see iron fist from PowerMan and iron fist). This is another really fun movie, especially if you like comic books, which I do. It's not great, there are a number of fairly lame plot holes, but overall it's just a fun movie. Probably worth a rental, not sure I will ever wind up owning this.
Reign over me: Adam Sandler tries his hand at serious acting and it comes off pretty OK. Don Cheadle is great in this movie and the soundtrack is fantastic, right up there with hi fidelity as great soundtracks. The story moves along nicely and Sandler is believable as a guy completely lost within himself after losing his family on September 11. The material does not make it a big-screen must, and will translate just as well to the small screen, but if you have some free time and are looking for a nice movie, it's worth paying the $8-$13 to see it in theaters
That's about everything I have seen in the theaters this year so far. I'm hoping to be able to give you all a little writeup every week during the off-season about a movie that is currently in the theaters and one that is on DVD, although it may not be a newly released DVD every week (gives me the chance to do a little writeup on some of my favorites
If anybody has any specific movies they are interested in seeing either in the theaters or on DVD, feel free to contact me and let me know. I get into the movies for free, so if I have the time I might be able to do a review on what ever you are interested in