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Friday, September 25, 2015

Week 3 Picks: Limited Mass Appeal...


OK, so I saw Black Mass. And it was good, but by no means great. Here's what holds it back:

*Johnny Depp is a great actor. Fact. But he's just too big a star for this role. You're very aware that you're watching Johnny Depp playing Whitey Bulger, and that just shouldn't be. Personally, I would have liked to have seen Jonathan Banks in that role. But I have a cinematic man crush on that talented bald bastard, so naturally my opinion is skewed. Probably didn't help that Banks' Breaking Bad cohort, Jesse Plemons, is the first person you see when the movie boots up, either. Depp does a fine job. But, yeah. Jonathan Banks (or just a lesser known actor) would have been better. There, I said it. Twice...

*The female characters were fairly useless. Harsh, I know. But there it is. The performances themselves were fine. But the women in Black Mass just weren't very important characters, and seemed to be have their stories forced into the script merely as an attempt to prevent the audience from thinking that South Boston was/is a complete sausage fest. Which, to that end. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!


*The music didn't deliver, either. Maybe I'm spoiled by Scorsese, but I expect my gangster films to be accompanied by no fewer than 3 songs composed and performed by The Rolling Stones. One of which HAS to be Gimmie Shelter. House of the Rising Sun should probably be played, too. And something from Clapton. But none of that happened. Which was disappointing...

and finally...

*There just wasn't enough meat on the proverbial movie bone. Namely, none of the characters had nearly enough depth for my liking (that's usually my #1 beef with any film I don't love). Maybe it's because I was already so familiar with Whitey's life; having read several books, seen several documentaries and having lived my whole life in Massachusetts. I don't know. I mean, it's not as if I was expecting new information. But I guess I would have liked to have seen more of what made the man, and what made him tick. Rather than just a replay of his notorious acts, which have been discussed and dissected ad nauseam for the better part of the last quarter century. Depp plays the Whitey we already know to a tee. And that's good, for what it is. I was just hoping for a little more depth. Maybe an unrealistic expectation on my end. But there it is...


As for the better performances, I have to give the nod to Joel Edgerton as John Connolly and a criminally brief appearance by Peter Sarsgaard as Brian Halloran. Rory Cochrane does some solid work as Steve Flemmi, too. And Earl Brown is good as notorious Winter Hill hit man, John Martorano. None of their performances scream "award" to me. It's just more that those guys are great actors, and were suitably cast. So props there. Ya know, minus not giving the reigns to Whitey Ehrmantraut...

...oh and Adam Scott was a questionable call, too. I'm usually a fan of his brand of comedy. But it seemed like a reach to cast him against type like that in such a serious film. I saw what they were goin, for, I just don't think that they, or he, were able to pull it off...

So, yeah. I'd give it somewhere in the 6-6.5/10 range. A solid film that was cast well and pleasing to the eye cinematically. But nothing revolutionary. And definitely not a film I'd expect to ever crack my Hot Mun-Hundred. So there ya go...

Now, it's onto the picks...

Friday, September 18, 2015

Week 2 Picks: A Quick Batch...

Welcome back for week 2, my damies. As promised, I've got all of the picks that are fit to print. Granted, I didn't do any write ups on any of the games because I'll be spending the time that I'd normally allot for that on the golf course. But I kind of promised that, too. When I told you last week that I'd be easing back into my blogging routine. So, yeah. I'm one of those promise keepers. At least in as much that I am "golfer" and a "capable handicapper" (there's a reason that's basically an oxymoron). So there's that...

Week 2 Picks
New England Patriots (pick) @ Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears (+2) vs Arizona Cardinals

San Diego Chargers (+3) @ Cincinnati Bengals

Tennessee Titans (-1) @ Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions (+3) @ Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints (-10) vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

New York Giants (-2) vs Atlanta Falcons

Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5) vs San Francisco 49ers

St. Louis Rams (-3) @ Washington Tedskins

Carolina Panthers (-3.5) vs Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars (+6) vs Miami Dolphins

Oakland Raiders (+6) vs Baltimore Ravens

Philadelphia Eagles (-5) vs Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers (-3.5) vs Seattle Seahawks

Indianapolis Colts (-7) vs New York Jets


Last Week: 8-7-1

ALL TIME: 1278-907-72 (.582)



And if I'm anything in addition to a promise keeper and a golfer, I'm a cinephile. Which sounds dirty, but it really just means that I like movies more than I like most people...

In keeping with that, I'll be seeing Black Mass this weekend. So you can be on the lookout for my review somewhere in the near future. Whether it be on here, or on Twitter. Either way. I expect to be at least semi positive with something along the lines of "Joel Edgerton is such a boss!". Though there's a good chance I mention Benedict Cumberbatch, too. Mostly because I like saying his name. And by "saying", I obviously mean "singing it to the tune of Nickelback's Photograph". Because that's how it's done. You can actually do that with any word, name or phrase with 6 syllables. I call it "Nickel-batching", though I'm not sure if anyone else does. Seemed like the most appropriate moniker, though. So I'm stickin' with it. And it's fun! You should try it. Like, "Georgia Tech Notre Dame!" See? It's fun! No? Well, I know every time that I do it, it makes me laugh. So I'll always have that goin' for me. Which is nice...

NCAA Top 25 Picks
(15) Ole Miss (+6) @ (2) Alabama

(6) USC (-10) vs Stanford

(14) Georgia Tech (-2.5) @ (8) Notre Dame

Boston College (+7.5) vs (9) Florida St.

(19) BYU (+19.5) @ (10) UCLA

(13) LSU (-6.5) vs (19) Auburn

Fresno St. (+15.5) vs (21) Utah

UCONN (+21.5) @ (22) Missouri

Duke (-3.5) vs (23) Northwestern


Last Week: 3-4-0

ALL TIME: 687-465-29 (.594)


And there ya go. Hope my advice serves you well, Teds, And I'll catch ya next week...

Be good...


#BAGSMUNMAN

Friday, September 11, 2015

Week 1 Picks: Takin' the Slow Ramp...


Wubba lubba dub dubbbb!!!

I'm back, my damies! And so is football!! And so is the long awaiTed second season of Rick & Morty!!! All great things. And while I may have taken the summer to tend to my golf game and make a list of my 100 favorite films. I've returned just in time to provide you with just enough of my finely honed brand of "snark and shark" to get you ready for another exciting season of the brain crippling entertainment we so lovingly refer to as "football"...

This week, I'll be easing back into things by taking "the slow ramp". You know, as an homage to Rick and Morty, up there. That'll serve as the bulk of what this week will have to serve as"snark". The "shark", will be played by my career winning percentages (58% NFL, 59% NCAA). Which have almost reached the point in terms of sample size that they'll be nearly impossible to ignore! At least that's what all of those well balanced individuals on the Interweb message boards keep tellin' me. The man with the bouncing cleavage GIF as an avatar was particularly reassuring...

But alas. Until that day comes, and I'm properly immortalized as the legendary degenerate that I've long aspired to be, then I'll be here slaving away for ya. And as a part of said slaving, I'll usually post at least one picture per week of a scantily clad hottie. So, should all else fail, there will always be that. Which is nice. Reliability is nice...

Now, in the spirit of of reliability. It's time for me to do my job. And, yes. That timely pun was intended. Because if there's one thing I know, it's timely puns...and picking football games...and cartoons for adults...

So hop on the slow ramp to football, my friends. And enjoy...

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

My 100 Favorite Films


Getcha popcorn ready, my damies! Because I've spent my down time this summer carefully crafting a list of my 100 favorite films, and it's finally as ready as it'll ever be for it's all important public consumption. I'm calling it, "The Hot Mun-Hundred". Which, for those not so intimately familiar with my work, is a reference (or dare I say an homage) to my finely crafted alter ego, "Bags Munman" (pronounced like "Silverman" NOT like "Spiderman").  BUT FIRST, before you venture through the enigmatic obstacle course that constitutes my cinematic taste, I've provided you with a few disclaimer-type statements to help you get me in your cross-hairs. And they are as follows...

DISCLAIMER TYPE STATEMENTS:

*This is NOT (necessarily) my take on the "best films of all time". It's simply a list of my favorite films. Yes, I'm quite critical. And yes, I've seen more films than is considered socially acceptable for anyone with even partial use of their legs. But by no means do I consider myself some sort of definitive authority on the cinematic experience who's seen every film ever printed. You should think of me in that way. But I don't. I mean, that would just be totally arrogant and slightly inaccurate...

*I have NOT included documentaries or LIVE concert type films in my list. I love them, but there is a time and a place. And I have decided that this is neither...

*For the most part, I don't do horror, sci-fi/fantasy, OR anything with subtitles. And I'm NOT some critical student of cinema (cough:: Mulholland Drive ::cough). Much respect to those genres, the talented actors and directors that populate them, and their legions of fans. But I like what I like. I mean, I try not to discriminate, but it is what it is. And for whatever reason, those film styles don't tend to pique and/or keep my interest...

AND FINALLY

*Despite my best attempts at due diligence, and my consulting a myriad of respected friends and "best of" lists to help jog my memory, I'm sure I forgot a film or two. Probably even a film or two that I'd have rated highly on my list. So feel free to chime in at any time in the comments section. Whether it be to suggest a film you think I may have omitted, one you think I should watch and possibly include, OR to simply eviscerate my poor taste with your cinematic hot takes ("I don't see The Depahhhhted, guy!"). Whatever your opinion, I'd love to hear it. Besides, I plan on keeping this list around and updating/fine tuning it on a regular basis. So any and all suggestions are more than welcomed...

Oh, and I didn't do any write ups or provide any pictures for any of these movies. Though I have linked each title to its respective IMDB page. So, just assume I like each film because I think it's really good, and then feel free to check out the plot points and major players at your leisure...

Now, without further dudes. It's time to peruse and abuse. So here's my list. Enjoy...