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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

College Hoops Top 25 (2/25)


So, I saw Dallas Buyers Club over the weekend. And it was pretty good. Which is to say, it was the best of what I'd consider a surprisingly weak crop of Oscar nominees. Granted, I've only seen a third of the 9 selections. With the other two being Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle. But seeing as those were the three I was most looking forward to seeing, and they're the three likely to produce the most hardware (minus maybe 12 Years a Slave), I feel comfortable in saying that this year's slate was underwhelming at best. Then again, maybe this year's best movies weren't even on this list. I mean, this is the same "academy" that didn't find the latest dramatic effort from the Coen Brothers worthy of a nod. So, who knows? I mean, I still haven't seen Inside Llewyn Davis. But I find it hard to believe it wasn't worthy of being deemed a contender in a massive 9 film field. Though maybe that's just me. (hint: it's not)...

But, yeah. So you should watch Dallas Buyers Club, if you get the chance. Or just watch True Detective. Yeah, do that. It's way better than all these movies. And, if for nothing else, you'll get to watch Woody Harrelson tap a bunch of primo Louisiana tail. He's kind of a selfish prick, so I'm still not sure how he's doin' it. But I'm definitely cool with the fact that it's goin' down. And you know it's goin' down, too. Because of what "she" said, and whatnot...

But all of that is just stuff that we watch when college basketball isn't on. Which, thankfully, isn't all that often. So let's get to said college basketball, and this week's Top 25. And yes, I think that was a terrible call against CJ Fair...

Enjoy...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

College Hoops Top 25 (2/18)


OK, let's see...

The Olympics have forced some of my favorite shows (Rick & Morty, Archer) into temporary hibernation, but the one that's decided to stick around and fight the amateur sports brigrade (True Detective) has been more than picking up the slack. I mean, what a freakin' show. And if you're not on board, either do so, or prepare to get entrenched in the camp that calls the rest of us "nerds" when we refer to it has one of the best TV shows of all time. Granted, the format (new cast & director every season) will keep it more in the "Sandy Koufax" category (ya know, due to the short shelf life). But, still. If you're missing it, you're missing out. Plain and simple...

Oh, and I saw "42", the Jackie Robinson biopic. Don't watch it. It was bad. Too much Disney, and not enough drama. It was like they set it up so that they could really go for it, in terms of realism and darkness. But then they pulled back, and were left with some Lifetime Movie of the Week retelling of one the the greatest figures in the history of sports and civil rights. Not to mention the guy who played Jackie (Chadwick Boseman), looked too much like a young Isiah Washington (it's the eyes, not generalized racism). Which normally wouldn't be a problem, except for the fact that another character in 42 was played by TR Knight. The same guy who Washington allegedly called a "fag" (then famously said he didn't), an incident which caused him to be kicked off what was then (inexplicably) a hit show. All of which was needlessly distracting to a nerd such as myself. So, yeah. Don't waste your time...

Other than that, pitchers and catchers have reported. Which is great. And NBA All Star weekend is being regularly referred to as "hot garbage". Which makes me smile. Oh, and the college basketball slate is steadily moving from red to white hot, as the tournament inches ever closer. So, yeah. Yeah, let's talk about that. Or at least rank that sports' respective teams in a manner in which I see fit. Yeah, let's do that...

OK, enjoy...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

College Hoops Top 25 (2/11)


OK. A few thoughts before the Top 25...

First, the Olympics. It's well documented, my dislike for the games. But I think I've finally put my finger on why I'm no longer even mildly interested. And that's because there isn't any real political tension behind what are otherwise unpopular sports that couldn't garner a decent prime time rating if sandwiched between The Sopranos and Breaking Bad. In the good ole days, beating the Russians or the Germans felt like you were actually beating them on the battlefield. Now? Well, now we know we're the world's foremost superpower (at least among countries that care about such things), and no hockey or figure skating result is going to change how we feel. And seeing as it would take another world war for that type of political tension to again become a factor, I think it's safe to say I won't ever be actively watching the Olympics again. You know. Because I'd probably die in that same nuke fest that would have renewed my interest...

Second, we have Michael Sam. Who became the first openly gay player to declare for the NFL Draft, and will most likely become the league's first openly gay player. This shouldn't be news, obviously. But it is. And I'd like to add my voice to the chorus of people that are commending Sam for his bravery, while wishing him the best on what will probably be a rather arduous journey. A journey that will begin with both Sam and we the public being bombarded with a lot of articles and features making crude generalizations about both homosexuals and the average athlete. Pieces that will almost certainly come from both Rick Reilly and Jason Whitlock. Not to mention all the Nancy Grace's and whatnot that will undoubtedly stir the pot by referring to Sam as something along the lines of an "Auntie Tom". That's actually pretty good. You know, as far as racially insensitive and homophobic slurs go. Maybe I should have my own show on a cable news network! Have the red necks and the lib labs up in arms with my incendiary commentary. Yeah! That's a great idea! Or not. Moving on...

Thirdly, this happened...



And so did this...



Yeah. Immediately two of my favorite videos of all time. Even if they did throw an E on the end of Gary Clark's last name...

And finally, you need to be watching True Detective. There's a 7+ minute continuous shot at the end of this last episode that is truly a thing to behold. For nerds like me, at least. And there's a lot of non-nerdy goodness, too. Like meth, and coke, and gang wars between the bikers and the gang bangers. Just good stuff. So get on board, lest you officially be labeled a lesser being. AKA: A Ted...

OK, so there's all that. Now, it's onto the hoops. Enjoy...

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

College Hoops Top 25 (2/4)


I'm mad at Philip Seymour Hoffman. A waste of emotion, I know, considering he's a dead stranger. But I'm still mad. Mad that he let addiction get the best of him. Mad that he left behind 3 children that will have to grow up without a father. And, most selfishly, I'm mad that he's robbed us of any opportunity to watch him act. Something he's been as well as anyone on the planet for as long as I can remember...

And I'm not going to get into which of his roles were best, or which were underrated. Because none of that really matters. And I'm not going to talk about how horrible addiction can be. Because none of that really matters to me right now, either. What matters, is that an incredibly talented person did an incredibly selfish thing, and now the world is worse off for them having done it. There's no silver lining, here. Certainly not because he made so many great films. Nope, there's only sadness and anger. And I'm beginning to think those feelings won't be going away. Not soon, and not ever...

I mean, it's not like I'm going to hold some grudge and never watch his films again. That'd be even more a waste than being mad at a dead stranger. But this guy went out of his way to make a lot of people care for him, and then took that all away through a thoughtless act of selfishness. Disease, or not. And I respect recovery and addiction. But, disease or not, his actions are the kind that can do nothing but fill anyone that even remotely cared about him with as much a sense of anger and betrayal as it will sadness and regret. It's a waste of talent, is what it is. And there's nothing worse than a waste of talent. Except, you know. Being found dead on your bathroom floor with a needle sticking out of your arm and in possession of enough heroin to make Frank Lucas blush. And he's a black man, so to make him blush. Well, ya know. But, yeah. Levity aside, this is as unfortunate as it gets...

That doesn't mean I still won't celebrate your entire catalog though, Philip. Philip, who loved acting. It just means that I'll be somewhat bitter while I do it...

Goodnight, sweet prince...

Now onto the hoops...