Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Movies, baseball and True Religion (one man's view of it)

Alright, I know I've been slacking on the blog tip - part of it is being busy this past weekend, part of it not sure what to write about. But I just drop quick hits on what i've being seeing.

I saw Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Public Enemies in consecutive weeks. Starting with Transformers, I thought the movie was decent. Better job focusing on the robots but the love story seemed forced at points. Megan Fox looked absolutely scrumptious (Michael Bay must've said, "We made you a sex symbol in the 1st one so let's play that up more this time) and those two robots with crooked teeth were more annoying than insensitive I felt.

Modern "Amos N Andy" coonery? Perhaps but it wasn't as overt as I thought it would be. Nevertheless, some jokes hit and some made me SMH. But the movie It entertained me. Was it in Iron Man or Dark Knight or Spider Man 2's category? No chance.

Now for a movie that disappointed me, Public Enemies. Everything about this screamed great movie = Great director, star power, the story. But what happened? To me the two biggest hurdles with a major story are length and characters. Michael Mann overcame this in "Heat" because of the action and focusing on character development.

In Public Enemies, you see too many characters and it feels like the movie is a mix between a blur and a steady pace surrounding Johnny Depp as John Dillinger (the shakey camera angles don't help either). Depp kills this movie with a great performance as does a restrained Christian Bale. The story is definitely compelling but it's just not told that well. I had high hopes but it just didn't build up all around.

Another year, another All-Star Game, another American League victory (and thanks to some Facebook peeps - another loss at the hands of a Padres pitcher). It's been so long since the National League won, I can't remember anything about the 1996 ASG except for Mike Piazza winning the MVP in Philly. This game went by so fast because guys couldn't get on base and the AL pitching was nothing short of dominant (18 straight batters retired in an All Star Game???)

Was it wrong that perhaps the most exciting part was when President Obama threw out the first pitch cleanly and came in the booth during the 2nd inning. I know it's old hat but it's so cool to have a President who's not only a sports fan but one like most of us who know what we're talking about when we comment on it.

Critical plays in this game were baseball purity. HR Derby champ Prince Fielder's pinch-hit RBI in the 2nd, a home-run robbing catch by Carl Crawford, a triple by Curtis Granderson and a sacrifice fly by Adam Jones to bring him home. Of course the lack of excitement meant we had to hear Tim McCarver be Tim McCarver (SMH) and somebody had to be named MVP - enter Crawford, the most unlikely ASG MVP i've ever seen.

And yes, all four of those players were Black and if you count Orlando Hudson's critical single/steal in the 8th, most of the plays were made by Black All-Stars. For people who say we aren't playing this game anymore, there was your evidence.

But I felt bad for the NL - they had to face Jonathan Papelbon, Joe Nathan and Mo Rivera to end the game. If that's not an unhittable threesome, find me a better one. 13-game winless streak comes to Anaheim next year for the 2010 ASG.

Finally, I had a conversation with my Twitter peep Shane Morris (@iamshanemorris) on Monday night for a blog he published yesterday about his views on religion and his journey toward understanding it. Some things came up that made me ponder and reflect but i'll share that later. Instead read his take right here.


  1. You shouldn't say you've been slacking- from the sound of things, being a journalist is quite the task. It kind of scares me, but I can't imagine doing anything else for a living. If nothing else, I'll have a fine role model.

    I should really thank you for linking me to that blog; it was very thought provoking, to say the least. I even decided to send it to a couple people who I hope appreciate it as much as we did. I look forward to your own analysis.

    Oh, and I also thought Revenge of the Fallen was entertaining.

  2. Thank you Steven. If you have any ?'s about journalism, do feel free to email's an industry that's definitely changing for our benefit if we can master the internet. But its scary nonetheless.

    Shane's blog was definitely worth chatting about. My faith has been a great journey this decade maturing from a child and I'm glad I could just keep it real with him...good open-minded fellow.