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Nexflix Is Ruining The Royals

This week, I began my 42nd year of life on this planet. Forty-one of those have been as a Royals fan.  The first six months were a fan of pooping. The remaining years were of pooping AND the Royals. In that time, I've seen a lot of baseball. We've talked here before about the grace and majesty of the great game of baseball. We've talked about the casual pace and the fact that a Billy Butler at bat might ta ...

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Movie Review: Million Dollar Arm

tl;dr - Well written, well acted movie that stays away from trope baseball movie pitfalls to tell a very human story about the first Indian baseball players in the minor leagues.  You should go see this movie. Baseball is many things. It is technical. It is power. It is finesse. It is grace. Most fans, however, fail to understand exactly how human baseball is.  I went in expecting Disney’s “Million Do ...

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Obstructed reView: 30 for 30–The Schedule Makers

"Grit" is an awful word when applied to sports. Superman III is an awful movie, when applied to eyes. I often conflate the word with the movie. Simply can't tell them apart, in a practical sense. Like Bills Pullman and Paxton, they're interchangeable concepts. "Onix Concepcion has Superman III coming out his ears" was neither a confusing nor untrue statement in 1983. Still, if I were tasked with making an e ...

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Obstructed reView–30 for 30 and the USFL

The series 30 for 30 (now thankfully grown far beyond its original mandate) was a strong and surprising move by ESPN (to be called hereafter "TWwLiS", its more user-friendly subtitle-cum-slogan). I remember a mildly funny bit by Dennis Miller when he was just finding his way as the condescending, loudly-pandering voice of the Reageneration, bravely articulating a POV woefully out of touch with a zeitgeist b ...

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Obstructed reView: Seriously? You’ve Never Seen That?!

We’re considerably more than halfway through the #june100 challenge, and I’m barely off-pace to finish in good shape. Here’s this week’s list. I’ve got a lot of work to do, here, people. 34. Spanglish: Had absolutely no desire to see this movie. I'm a big supporter of James L Brooks' early career. Broadcast News is among my favorite films of all time and Terms of Endearment isn't far behind. He's ...

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Obstructed reView: Two Weeks In (#june100)

You know the drill: 100 movies I haven’t seen in just 30 days. I’m way behind, here, people. Let’s get to it. 7. Morvern Callar: This is where I left off last week. No effects, no violence, just the soft pretension of low-budget indie film-making. I can’t express how complimentary I intend that last statement to be. This is a terrific movie. Director Lynne Ramsay (she also wrote it with Liana Dognin ...

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Obstructed reView: Backdraft and a Good Start

#June100 is off and running. I'm two-plus days in and have only 6 movies under my belt, with the seventh chosen. I've got a more-or-less normal week, with Tuesday full of podcast things, Wednesday devoted to class, and the rest pretty open. I think I can make up some ground here. I can usually get in a family movie night over the weekend, but this time was all about family basketball, s'mores on sticks and ...

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Obstructed reView: 100 Films Challenge

100 movies in 30 days. That's gonna hurt. I received a friendly, polite, mostly off-hand Twitter request to join @grogg in a challenge to watch 100 Movies in June. And I jumped on it. Because I'm kind of a moron. I have my days free, which will help, but I have family stuff and a crippling sense of non-accomplishment as it is--how will an average of nearly 10 hours a day watching movies combat that? I imagi ...

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Obstructed reView: Eliminating Expectation

"Okay, I wanna see what happens, next week. Go 'La La La', please." Then this happens while I sing the last minute of this with my eyes closed, fingers in ears. It's a little ritual that keeps our family running smoothly. A similar tradition (in tone if not practice) happens at movie theaters. After the Jodeci retreads have played and we've answered the trivia cards, the lights come down, the green rating s ...

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Obstructed reView: Eat This

Just a quick couple of Netflix recommendations today. Our passions and our professions are to a huge extent what define us. When they're one and the same, however, the overlap can drive us nuts. Artists, politicians, athletes, moguls, yogis. A certain level of passionate obsession isn't healthy in combination with some personality types. As such, so very many chefs are insane or brilliant or a combination o ...

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Obstructed reView: Pepper Freaking Potts

We haven't seen Zero Dark Thirty or Drive. We missed Life of Pi in the theater and probably won't be seeing RIPD when it comes out. Our nights spent in dark rooms with light shining on the big wall and sound coming at us like a tide of rhinos while popcorn and Sour Patch Kids flow freely are limited to PG-13 extravaganzas with some amount of family appeal. Animated movies loom large for us, as do comic book ...

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Obstructed reView: The Ascendancy of FX

FX is having a grand old time with its original programming. Basic Cable in general is in a golden age of sorts. With Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Hell on Wheels and The Killing, AMC is the current monarch of Basic-Cable Awesome. TNT/USA's approach is stubbornly scattershot: green-light everything and throw it out there, who the hell knows what will work? This has given us greatness in The Close ...

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Obstructed reView: My Favorite Actor–Carole Lombard

Today, Jane Alice Peters is my favorite actor. I’m a little obsessed with Hollywood name-changers. Archibald Leach, Marion Morrison, Norma Jeane Mortenson and Bernie Schwarz are classic examples of stars who probably wouldn’t have been. Michael Douglas, James Stewart and Albert Einstein were all forced to change their names for even more obvious reasons. To be honest, Jane Alice Peters is a perfectly se ...

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Obstructed reView: Boston

Just a simple series of recommendations, today. Let’s look back at some of the best Boston movies. I find that I can only take so much media speculation at times like these, so it’s useful to take a step back and just breathe until there is more factual information for journalists and news readers to impart. In the meantime, I watch movies. There are ton to choose from, here, since Boston perhaps only t ...

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Obstructed reView: Remake This

Think of a movie. This is your favorite movie or the best movie. A classic. It’s a movie you could watch every week for the rest of your life or one you make it a point to watch once a year. Maybe it’s a movie you saw just the one time twenty years ago and it’s stuck with you ever since, like this picture of Gary Busey. You can’t just unsee that; it’s there in your head forever. This movie I’m t ...

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Obstructed reView: Career Day–Raul Julia

“I hate actors.” On the written page, that’s a fun little line. It’s the dying expression of a black-hat villain in a forgettable 80s comedy in the style of The Prince and the Pauper. The movie was kind of terrible. It was non-remade into Dave a few years later. That wasn’t a great movie, either, but it was clearly better than Moon Over Parador. Dave at least had Kevin Kline (NSFW) while he was st ...

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Obstructed reView: Roger Ebert

I was all set to write a column about remakes and the foolish/justified/entertaining way we prejudge them. I will keep my research and write it when another high-profile remake is set to premiere (shouldn’t have to wait long). But I can’t let the events of this afternoon (Thursday) pass without typing whatever feelings want to escape tonight (also Thursday), as I drink a bit of bourbon and think about t ...

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Obstructed reView: Opening Day and 1985

It’s opening day in Royals Land and optimism couldn’t be higher, which means that I am personally pessimistic. That’s just how I roll. I’m a Royals fan, and kind of live by the motto “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me 27 times….” Which is not to say that I’m down on my team, I love all of the players, coaches, fans, Hudlers, even the umpires. I believe that Alex Gordon will get MVP votes. ...

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Obstructed reView: A Dimension of Sight and Sound

Twenty-two episodes used to be industry standard. A production company (a network, really) would order a pilot to be produced. On the strength of that one hour (or one half-hour), seven episodes would be ordered. Or maybe thirteen. If the pilot showed real promise, maybe a full season would be contracted. Twenty-two episodes and the show would be off and running. Of course, there were exceptions. Cheers reg ...

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Obstructed reView: Career Day–James Hong

“I design your eyes.” This line from Blade Runner has floored me for 3 decades. A unique bit of dialogue, that. Difficult to imagine that sentence in any other circumstance. It’s not exactly “show me the money” or even “back off, man, I’m a scientist”. You’ll never see it on a T-shirt, is my point. It’s even possible that the line that follows it is more memorable (certainly more remembe ...

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