Archive for Avatar

April Is The Cruelest Month, While February Is … The Shortest

Posted in Entertainment, Fantasy Baseball, Movies, News/Current Events, NFL Football, Personal, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2010 by thelasthonestman

We’re now into the second day of the shortest month of the year — and what better way to welcome February than with a entry today filled with nothing but short notes:

— Even though their only game this past weekend was the “Why don’t they just play flag football if no one’s actually going to try and tackle someone?” exhibition known as the Pro Bowl,  the NFL is still in the news today.  The biggest story today from the upcoming Super Bowl is the ankle injury — reportedly a torn ligament — that threatens to knock Pro Bowl defensive end Dwight Freeney out of the game.

Maybe the Colts should have kept Freeney in one of these for safe-keeping

If he can’t go, the loss of the Freeney would be huge for the Colts.  He’s listed as questionable for Sunday, having missed every Colts practice last week, though Indianapolis coaches and players are hoping for better news as the week unfolds.  It’s too bad the Colts didn’t just rest him throughout that pesky regular season and playoffs — he might not have gotten hurt then!  Clearly, anything other than moving him around from August to now in any contraption short of having mattresses,  pillows, and pads tied around every inch of his body was unnecessary risk-taking from Indianapolis when it came to safeguarding one of they key players for the ultimate goal, the Super Bowl.  And yes, I’m being sarcastic.  Sort of.

— Meanwhile, the other big NFL news is the ruling from Special Master Stephen Burbank that the league’s attempts to rid themselves of a revenue sharing pool — which adds up to $220 million in 2010 and helps to fund almost 1/3 of the NFL’s lower-revenue clubs — isn’t going to happen.  The league had argued that the pool was only required in years with a salary cap — which the upcoming 2010 season looks like it will not have — but Burbank ruled in favor of the NFL Players Association in stating that such a change couldn’t be made without the consent of the union.

A sight no football fan wants to ever see again

For those of you who’ve forgotten about the ugliness of the labor struggles in the 1980’s that plagued the NFL, you’re about to get a refresher course as this decision is only the first shots fired in what’s going to be a bitter war between players and owners — meaning that we’re about to get another edition of billionaires fighting against millionaires, an idiotic exercise in greed that leaves the common fan like you and me as the real losers.  You’d think that with such a large pie to divide (partly thanks to the ridiculous costs now associated with actually attending or watching NFL games) and incentive to keep the money flowing in, both sides would be able to come to some sort of agreement rather easily — and of course, you’d be thinking wrong.

My own money is on a lockout by the owners next season.  In the past, I’d been on management’s side more often than not when it came to these sports labor disputes, but over time I’ve come to despise both parties when we reach a situation where ridiculous amounts of money coming in isn’t enough for either side.  The NFL has always been at the top of the sports food chain, but both parties in this fight should remember the 1994 baseball strike and the near-crippling effect it had on the game.  In a country where people are losing their jobs and their homes, and where the news is filled with stories of big-money businesses on Wall Street sticking it to the common man, the average NFL fan will have less patience than ever before for people, most  who are out of touch with the realities of life that face most Americans, fighting over billions of dollars.

"With this many films up for Best Picture, I don't understand why they couldn't have given a nomination for 'All About Steve' too."

Oscar nominations were announced today, with a larger roster of films than usual competing for the top prize.  This year marks the first since the change was made to expand the number of movies nominated for best picture to 10, (up from the previous total of 5).  Looking over the list of the films that made the cut, I’m thinking that some of the concerns voiced about the move watering down the honor were well-founded.

Nominated for Best Picture was box-office juggernaut Avatar, as well as the well-reviewed films The Hurt Locker and the animated Up.  None of those three were a surprise in their nominations, and if well-respected film critics are to be believed, all three were more than worthy (even though I still haven’t seen Avatar, everyone who loves the film can’t be wrong, right?).

However, there are some movies on the rest of the list that make it look like the Academy was just trying to fill space.  Several films on the list of ten were entertaining movies, but they just don’t feel like Oscar winners.  District 9Inglorious Basterds? The Blind Side?  Really?  While those three were all solid movies, none of them would have gotten an Oscar nod before this year – and that’s because, frankly, none of them would have deserved one.

The house keeps punching away, but we just won't stay down

— Lastly, I may be spotty this week with updates as I’ll be tied up with renovation work around the house.  I’ve got tile installers invading my life for the next two weeks, as well as upcoming visits from my plumber and carpet installer.  All of this is good news, however, as it means my stalled home renovation is picking up speed again.  My father-in-law picked himself up off the canvas like Rocky Balboa the last two weekends, coming through for the project in a huge way — and the work getting done in the next week or so will be crucial to get the work done here once and for all.

So while the work goes on around me, it gives me an opportunity to start boning up on my upcoming fantasy baseball season.  As we get closer to the start of the season, stay here for some advice guaranteed to probably be of  no help to you in your own leagues, but hopefully it will be entertaining nonetheless.  If you’ve forgotten how I did last season when it came to making predictions, a recap of the carnage can be found here.

Weekend Wrapup For The End Of January

Posted in Entertainment, Movies, NBA Basketball, Sports, The Wrapups with tags , , , , , , , on January 29, 2010 by thelasthonestman

My look at the Saints impact on New Orleans will be up on Monday, as well as my predictions for the Super Bowl.  Until then, some tidbits from the week that was:

–The news of actress Brittany Murphy’s death at the tender age of just 32, just before Christmas on December 20, was sad enough.  Now that tragedy is being compounded by misdirected anger and blame – or at the worst — greed — from family members in the wake of Murphy’s death, as the latest report is that the late actress’ husband and mother blame Warner Brothers for her death — and they’re prepared to sue the studio over it.

The official cause of death has yet to be released, pending toxicology reports.  However, Murphy ‘s husband Simon Monjack is claiming that her death from cardiac arrest is a result of stress from being released by Warner Brothers from the sequel to the animated film Happy Feet two weeks beforehand.  It’s a belief that is apparently being supported by Murphy’s mother Sharon — and Monjack is apparently planning to file a wrongful-death suit against the studio.

While I empathize completely with Murphy’s husband and mother — the loss they’re feeling is no doubt unimaginable — a frivolous lawsuit isn’t the way to deal with their grief.  Actors and actresses are replaced in roles by studios on a daily basis, and the world of Hollywood is ripe with stressful situations — that’s simply part of the business.  Losing a job definitely causes untold amounts of stress — but it’s not something that can or should be used as a reason to go to court.  Millions of Americans lost their jobs in the last several years — jobs that represented their entire livelihoods — and some of them certainly suffered physically from the stress involved.  They’re not all looking to sue their former employers — nor should they be.  This is a lawsuit that hopefully never gets filed — or if it does, hopefully it gets tossed quickly out of court where it belongs.

— Things I won’t be typing into my Google search anytime soon?  How about the phrase “Greg Oden’s junk”?

"Now with AT&T, you can get more coverage than ... Holy Crap! That's a picture of a fifty year-old, injured center's junk!"

The second-year and often-injured Portland center apologized yesterday for the nude photos of him and his … errr … manhood that are circulating around the internet as we speak.  Apparently, the photos were self-taken by Oden with a cell phone and sent by him to an now ex-girlfriend a little under two years ago.  Apparently, when you’re spending more time rehabbing injuries off the court than actually playing on it, there’s a wealth of time to kill.

My only question is this:  when are people who are famous going to learn to stop taking pictures (or videotapes) of themselves in compromising or embarrassing situations?  If the numerous sex tapes and nude photos of celebrities, even minor ones, that have circulated over the web over the years should tell you anything, it’s that if you take a picture of yourself naked it will end up on the Internet at some point.  That’s just a simple fact.  So to all aspiring actors and actresses, sports stars, and the like — it’s real easy to keep yourself out of these situations — and that’s to keep your private lives (and privates) really private and without a permanent record of some type that’s waiting to be leaked (unless you’re Scarlett Johansson, in which case I implore you to leak away).

Hopefully Oden can put this behind him and get back to more important matters at hand — which is being the second coming of Sam Bowie to Kevin Durant’s Michael Jordan.

— This week, James Cameron’s latest film Avatar reached some pretty elite company as it became the highest-grossing film at the worldwide box office ever and poised itself to take over the all-time domestic box office crown as well (which would put it in front of another Cameron epic, Titanic) (though those numbers are highly inflated by today’s higher ticket prices in comparison to, let’s say, Gone With The Wind).  It’s spent seven consecutive weeks as the number one film in the country, and it shows no sign of slowing down at the ticket windows.

So what am I missing here?

I may be one of the few people left who hasn’t seen the movie so far — which is something unusual for me, since I’m both a fan of a good science-fiction tale as well as for Cameron’s past films.  And yet, not only have I not seen Avatar — I haven’t really been possessed by a desire to see it.  I’m much more excited about the prospects of seeing Iron Man 2 this summer, and even when I did find my way to the theater on New Year’s Eve, my movie of choice (with tickets to Avatar available) was Sherlock Holmes instead (a box office success in its own right, and a film I enjoyed immensely,as I seem to enjoy everything that Robert Downey, Jr. does lately).

When the previews for Avatar were flooding the airwaves … well, what can I say?  I thought they looked interesting, but they just didn’t scream out “Must see this immediately” — to me, at least.  Apparently, I’ve been alone in that thinking, and that’s left me wondering whether I dropped the ball on checking this out.  The good news is for me, however, that if I want to see it in the theater, I’ll still have my chance for a while.