Friday, February 26, 2016

College Hoops Top 25 (2/26)

College Hoops Top 25
1. Michigan St. (23-5) 1

2. Xavier (25-3) 6

3. Kansas (24-4) 3

4. Oklahoma (22-5) 4

5. Villanova (24-4) 2

6. Maryland (23-5) 5

7. North Carolina (23-5) 15

8. Duke (21-7) 8

9. Kentucky (20-7) 9

10. Virginia (21-5) 10

11. Louisville (22-6) 7

12. Miami (21-5) 12

13. Arizona (22-6) 11

14. Indiana (22-6) 16

15. St. Joe's (23-5) 17

16. Dayton (22-5) 21

17. Utah (22-7) 24

18. Baylor (20-7) 20

19. Wichita St. (22-7) 25

20. Notre Dame (18-8) 19

21. West Virginia (20-7) 18

22. Purdue (21-7) 14

23. Iowa (20-6) 13

24. St. Mary's (23-4) NR

25. Oregon (21-6) NR

just missed: Texas; Texas A&M; Iowa St.; Providence

dropped: (22) Providence; (23) Texas

What To Watch
Columbia @ Princeton

Arizona @ Utah
Louisville @ Miami
Oklahoma @ Texas
Maryland @ Purdue
UNC @ Virginia

Xavier @ Seton Hall
Duke @ Pitt
Iowa @ Ohio St.
Washington @ Oregon

Syracuse @ UNC
Kansas @ Texas

Kentucky @ Florida
Baylor @ Oklahoma
Indiana @ Iowa

Miami @ Notre Dame
Texas Tech @ West Virginia

Cal @ Arizona


Friday, February 19, 2016

College Hoops Top 25 (2/19)

Don't look now, my damies. But Michigan St. and Duke are beginning to gel.  And you know what that means, don't cha? Yep. Only 10 days til March. And, per usual, it's shaping up to be one helluva ride. Here's my latest (if limiTed) take on the current landscape, and a look at what's to come. Enjoy...   

College Hoops Top 25
1. Michigan St. (22-5) 3

2. Villanova (23-3) 4

3. Kansas (22-4) 13

4. Oklahoma (20-5) 2

5. Maryland (22-5) 1

6. Xavier (23-3) 8

7. Louisville (20-6) 14

8. Duke (20-6) NR

9. Kentucky (20-6) 11

10. Virginia (21-5) 5

11. Arizona (22-5) 9

12. Miami (21-4) 6

13. Iowa (20-6) 7

14. Purdue (21-6) 12

15. North Carolina (21-5) 10

16. Indiana (21-6) 20

17. St. Joe's (22-4) NR

18. West Virginia (20-6) 15

19. Notre Dame (18-7) NR

20. Baylor (19-7) 22

21. Dayton (21-4) 19

22. Providence (19-8) 23

23. Texas (17-9) 17

24. Utah (20-7) NR

25. Wichita St. (20-7) 18

just missed: Oregon; Iowa St.

dropped: (16) Texas A&M; (21) South Carolina; (24) Oregon; (25) Iowa St.

What To Watch
Duke @ Louisville
Miami @ UNC
Baylor @ Texas
Butler @ Villanova
Oklahoma @ West Virginia
Purdue @ Indiana

Michigan @ Maryland

Virginia @ Miami
Iowa St. @ West Virginia

Kansas @ Baylor
Michigan St. @ Ohio St.

Villanova @ Xavier
Louisville @ Pitt

PC @ Seton Hall


Friday, February 12, 2016

College Hoops Top 25 (2/12)

Well, my friends. I saw Hail, Caesar!. And my review is this: It's very, very, very...OK. Yep, just an average film. At least by Coen Brothers' standards. GranTed, there's a decent chance that multiple viewings of the film will change my opinion. But my initial takeaway was more or less what I had been expecting to see (when the Coens go full-funny they tend to be more hit or miss-ish). So I'm thinkin' that Hail, Caesar! is what it is. And that is a very average least by Coen Brothers' standards...

Alden Ehrenreich and Ralph Fiennes up there have some great scenes, though. And the film at large is definitely worth checking out. But I'm being critical. And this is more Burn After Reading than it is The Big Lebowski. So I'm letting you know. It had a lot of great potential, in terms of characters and situations, that I didn't feel it took advantage of. Something I'm not used to seeing from the Coens. Lots of times where you kept waiting for another shoe to drop, if you will, and it just never came. Underwhelming, is the ultimate word that comes to mind. The build up was there, and all of the pieces were seemingly in place. But in a sort of "can't win 'em all" type of fashion, it just never seems to completely gel. Almost as if it was just never meant to be. Or at least never meant to be great...  

So is Hail, Caesar! worth watching? Absolutely. But will it significantly change your cinematic life? Something that the history of the filmmakers and the strength of the cast might reasonably lead you to believe it might? I'd tend to lean towards absolutely not. Then again, I didn't particularly care for Fargo the first time I saw it (now firmly entrenched in my top 100). GranTed, I was only 16. But I tend to remember thinking that I had a pretty good grasp on things back then, too (in reality I was Ted #1). So, ya know. Grain of salt/catch me again when I've seen it 5 more times...

Now, here's my latest College Hoops Top 25. Complete with a debut from Shaka Smart and Texas. Which is why he's pictured below in complete and utter ecstasy, despite having backed into my Top 25 following a 3 point loss @ Oklahoma...

College Hoops Top 25
1. Maryland (21-3) 1

2. Oklahoma (20-3) 2

3. Michigan St. (20-5) 5

4. Villanova (21-3) 17

5. Virginia (20-4) 11

6. Miami (19-4) 7

7. Iowa (19-5) 3

8. Xavier (21-3) 8

9. Arizona (19-5) 25

10. North Carolina (20-4) 4

11. Kentucky (18-6) 18

12. Purdue (20-5) 12

13. Kansas (20-4) 15

14. Louisville (19-5) 9

15. West Virginia (19-5) 16

16. Texas A&M (18-6) 6

17. Texas (16-8) NR

18. Wichita St. (18-6) 24

19. Dayton (20-3) 21

20. Indiana (20-5) 20

21. South Carolina (21-3) NR

22. Baylor (18-6) 19

23. Providence (18-7) 14

24. Oregon (20-5) 13

25. Iowa St. (17-7) 10

just missed: USC; Duke; St. Mary's; Gonzaga

dropped: (22) St. Mary's; (23) Duke

What To Watch
UCLA @ Arizona

Kansas @ Oklahoma
Louisville @ Notre Dame
Wisconsin @ Maryland
Virginia @ Duke
Texas @ Iowa St.
Gonzaga @ SMU

Pitt @ UNC
Indiana @ Michigan St.
USC @ Arizona

New Mexico St. @ Wichita St.

West Virginia @ Texas
Iowa St. @ Baylor

PC @ Xavier
Duke @ UNC
Syracuse @ Louisville
Dayton @ St. Joe's

Wisconsin @ Michigan St.

Enjoy your Valentine's weekend, you loving Teds, you. And I'll catch you next week. Be good...


Friday, February 05, 2016

Super Bros...

Well, my damies. We'e got a slight change in plans. You see, originally, I was going to provide you with a myriad of potentially profitable Super Bowl prop bets, this week. Along with the latest addition of my College Hoops Top 25...

Instead, I've chosen to provide you only with my straight up pick for the big game, and in lieu of prop bets and bball, I'll be pleasuring you with my ranking of the 16 films of the Coen Brothers. Ya know, because Hail, Caesar! premieres today, everyone else is making these lists, and I did the same thing with Tarantino after viewing The Hateful Eight. So, here ya go. With no further explanations given, here are the 16 films of Joel and Ethan Coen. Ranked: (italics are where the films currently reside on my personal Top 100)

16. Intolerable Cruelty
15. The Hudsucker Proxy
14. A Serious Man
13. The Ladykillers
12. Blood Simple
11. True Grit 
10. Burn After Reading
9. The Man Who Wasn't There (#88)
8. Barton Fink (#55)
7. Raising Arizona (#13) 
6. Fargo (#11)
5. Inside Llewyn Davis (#9)
4. Miller's Crossing (#8)
3. O Brother Where Art Thou (#6) 
2. No Country For Old Men (#2)
1. The Big Lebowski (#1)

Like it? Well, then I'm glad you abide. Don't? Well then you can take it on the heel and toe, and get the Hell outta here! I'm kidding, of course. There's no need for a rumpus. But if you do have any hot takes on my list or feel you require more insightful explanations, feel free to hit me in the comments...

As for where Hail, Caesar! will fall on this illustrious list? Well that's anyone's guess. And since I'm anyone, I'll guess and and say that it will fall somewhere between Raising Arizona and Blood Simple. I know that makes it sound like I've already set some hardened expectations, but trust me I haven't. I just know that I tend to favor Joel and Ethan's more serious work (5 of my top 8), and from what I've heard and seen, their latest effort seems more intent on making you laugh than it does on reinventing the cinematic wheel. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's just that it'll probably limit how high I'll allow the film to rise within my popcorn pantheon...

It should make for an interesting and entertaining time at the movies, though. And you can't ask for much more than that. Not sure if it can make for as interesting a time as I had yesterday, when I was literally the only one in the theater for an afternoon screening of Charlie Kaufman's Anomalisa. But that's just because I was sitting alone in a very big room while puppets had sex on a 20 foot screen. Yep, just a dude watching some private big screen puppet pounding. GO AWAY. NOTHING TO SEE HERE!...

I did like Anomalisa, though. Even if I did just set myself up to look the perv in admitting as much. But that's a different story for a different day. Probably a day where someone mentions puppets and/or instances where they've found themselves feeling like Jared from Subway. Not that I have it on any particular authority that he's into erotic puppets, per say. But, ya know. Low hanging perv fruit...  

Super Bowl 50
Denver Broncos (+5.5) vs Carolina Panthers + OVER 44

As for that other event, this weekend. I'm going contrarian and taking the points. It's entirely possible that Carolina goes Seattle on Denver and blows them out of the water. But that seems to be the prevailing logic of "join my quare pool, guy" guy, along with the rest of the Teddy-come-quicklys. Which should give any and everyone pause, and send you runnin' for the points. And that's the way that I am choosing to run. To the points. Or, more importantly. Away from the Teds...

Oh, and I'm predicting a shadily-epic finish (though I'll be providing no prophetic details of said shadily-epic finish), with a visually awkward final score. So all of that should be pretty fun, too...

Carolina Panthers 25 Denver Broncos 22

2015-2016 season: 135-117-12 (.534)

All Time: 1405 -1016 -83 (.578)

And that's it, friends. Plenty to do, this weekend. So get out and enjoy! Or stay in and enjoy, as the case may be. Enjoyment, though. That's the key. So make sure you get in plenty of that. Even if it only involves you and a few puppets...

Be good, Teds. And I'll catch you next time...