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Movies, films, flicks

Yes, it’s every Gentle Reader’s favorite time, that bit where Your Humble Blogger writes a few lines about a bunch of videos. OK, fine, but look, I could be writing whole entries about this stuff.

  • It’s probably a deficiency of some kind, but I think that the Kids in the Hall’s I've lost my indian drum! bit is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on television. I’m not a huge KitH fan, generally, as their most skit-like things often don’t work at all, and their completely bizarre stuff either works or doesn’t, as bizarre stuff does. Oh, and if you don’t find it funny, don’t worry—it’s like Zippy the Pinhead. It’s not that you didn’t get it, it’s that you didn’t think it was funny. There isn’t anything to get.
  • Why is it that (in movies, anyway), people think if they can just get onto an airplane with a suitcase full of money, their law-enforcement problems are over? I mean, Your Humble Blogger hasn’t ever worked in an airport, but it’s hard to believe the conversation doesn’t go something like this:
    FIRST SECURITY GUY: Damn, that’s a heavy bag
    SECOND SECURITY GUY: What the hell’s in that?
    1ST: Yeah, let’s open that fucker up!
    2ND: Holy Fuck!
    At which point, either they just take the fucking suitcase or they call some real police in. My guess is they take the suitcase. I mean, here’s you, with a trail of dead bodies behind you (most of them you didn’t kill, I know, but tell it to the judge), and the airline tells you that your luggage seems to be missing, and they can’t explain it, but it doesn’t seem to have gotten onto the airplane back in Wichita Falls. Who are you going to tell that you are owed two million dollars in stolen money? Of course, you could just take it as a carry-on, because certainly nobody is going to question a fifty-pound carry-on that x-rays show contains nothing but bundles of paper the size of dollar bills. Particularly on an international flight. Nope. You get to the airport, you’ll be just fine.
  • So, I finally watched Fever Pitch, and even though I had very low expectations, I was disappointed. For one thing, they totally did not show what it’s like to be a baseball fan. All the fans in the movie talk about being fans, but they don’t talk about baseball. Nobody started an argument by saying that Jason Varitek was better then Jorge Posada, or that David Ortiz should be playing first base so that Manny Rodriguez could DH, or that Mo Vaughn was a fat, lazy, overpaid selfish bastard who was a liability on the field and at the plate. I know that Mo Vaughn hadn’t been on the Sox for ten years at that point, but that is what being a Red Sox fan is like. There are guys in the bleachers who will tell you what a bum Harry Hooper was, and how Cy Young was a lazy, overpaid, bastard and they’re glad they got rid of him.

    For another thing, they totally did not show what it’s like to not be a baseball fan in Boston. I know the female lead wasn’t Boston born and bred, but the movie implied that she had been living there for five years, more or less, so when the male lead tells her he’s a Red Sox fan, she should know what he means.

  • Ushpizin is a profoundly good movie. I disagree with the main characters religious opinions, and I don’t really trust the ending, but the religious struggle of a man with a vile and violent history and a deeply devotional faith is not only instructive but surprisingly cinematic. I was disappointed that Ben Baruch dropped out of the movie, though, as he was on his way to becoming one of film’s great schnorrers.
  • In mentioning good movies, I saw and enjoyed I Know Where I’m Going. It’s true that it goes downhill after the opening titles, but that’s just because the opening titles are so unbelievably wonderful. And the rest of the movie is very good. If you like that sort of thing. If you don’t think that war-time British romance movies are swell, then you’ll probably be annoyed by the annoying things rather than charmed by the charming ones. Also: pipers.
  • Your Humble Blogger’s reaction to the movie of the The History Boys, to no-one’s surprise, was primarily frustration that I am too damn cheap and lazy to have gone to see the thing on stage. Well, and it was the right decision, too. But, damn.
  • The interesting part of The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada was the bit about making the murderer live with the slowly decomposing body of the victim. Very Lorca, if I’m getting that right. Sadly, there was a lot of other movie to fit that in. Ah, well. Lovely scrub brush. Sometimes I miss the desert.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


Nobody started an argument by saying that Jason Varitek was better then Jorge Posada

Why would there be an argument? Everyone know Tek is better!

First of all, there's always an argument. Second of all, Mr. Posada is a much better hitter. His OPS+ for 1999-2003, the five years before The Year: 97, 134, 119, 123, 146. For Mr. Varitek in those years: 100, 84, 124, 94, 120. Mr. Posada had been the Silver Slugger at catcher for the last four years. It's true that Mr. Posada strikes out a lot, but he also walks a lot, hits home runs and doubles, and generally created more runs at a faster pace than Mr. Varitek.

Defensively, it's a bit hard to tell. Mr. Varitek is better, I think, at blocking the plate and preventing the PB (particularly when keeping in mind that Mr. Posada does not catch a knuckleballer). I don't think either is significantly better at the CS. As for handling pitchers, they both had tremendous pitching staffs to work with. Mr. Varitek had caught Pedro Martinez'ses two Cy Young seasons, and Mr. Posada had caught Roger Clemons' most recent Cy Young season.

Of course, Mr. Posada wore pinstripes and was clearly evil, but on the other hand, COUNT THE RINGZ, BAYBEE! (remembering that the characters in the film are still in mid-2004)


Statistics SUCK!

I find the "indian drum" bit a little funnier, I think, than I did when I first saw it some years back--and it even has a philosophical point! ("look skyward!")--but it still doesn't do a lot for me. Whereas a fair number of KitH sketches make me fall out of my chair laughing.

Suitcase of cash: I think you've just come up with a movie plot. (Cash on a Plane?) The first half of the movie proceeds like a standard thriller, culminating in protag making it onto the plane, having checked the suitcase full of cash. And then when he (?) arrives, the suitcase is gone, and the second half of the movie is tracking it down. (Which could be a thriller, or it could be a Brazil-style bureaucracy-nightmare.)

Re Fever Pitch: I gather the original was about football (soccer); would you have found them more believable as British football fans? :)

...Btw, you're missing a slash in the closing li tag after the Fever Pitch bullet item, so there's an extra blank bullet item in my browser.

Okay, there are actual baseball people on this site, and this is a post about movies, so it is faintly a propos of me to ask "what the heck is it with Field of Dreams?" I watched (part of) it the other day, and found it to be unmitigated crap. Am I wrong, for some baseball reason that I don't understand, not being a fan of the game?

You may think (or even argue) that I'm wrong for some other reason, but I think you'll find that I'm correct, if the merits are anything having to do with the craft of film...


I loved it, but then I was—what—eighteen? Something like that. I haven't seen it since it came out, but I have fond memories. The memories are mixed up with the book, which I also really liked, and read when I was much older.

I remember almost nothing about the craft of the film other than J.E.Jones doing a marvelous job with his not-really-J.D.Salinger role, having fun with it. Oh, and Burt Lancaster being all twinkly and stuff. I should really see it again sometime; I wonder if I would like it.

Oh, and I keep meaning to read the book, which (if I understand correctly, and I haven't stopped to look it up) is actually non-fiction, and shares with the movie only the title and the idea of obsessive sports fan-dom.


I loved the movie (corny as it is, in several respects) and haven't read the book, but I do know that the W. P. Kinsella book on which the film is based is titled Shoeless Joe. Although it has some possibly fictionalized autobiographical elements, its plot appears to be as much of a fantasy as the film's.

Re. Kids in the Hall: alongside the Indian drum sketch, here some phrases my partner or I can say to the other for instant crack-up value: "I had the pear dream again last night," (sung) "these are the Daves I know," "girl drink drunk," and "a little oom-pah band."

The original film version of "Fever Pitch" did a good job of explaining why hope springs eternal for English soccer fans. I never saw the Jimmy Fallon version, so I can't compare the two, so I'll trust Varbidian's take on it. Besides, the acting resume of Jimmy Fallon vs. that of Colin Firth would be a rather lopsided match.

I didn't actually know there was a Colin Firth/Arsenal adaptation; I'm tempted to find it and watch it, just for comparison. And while Mr. Firth is certainly a better (and funnier) actor than Mr. Fallon, the deficiencies of the movie I saw were not Mr. Fallon's fault. Although, I suppose, had he been absolutely brilliant, I wouldn't have cared as much about the other stuff.

Oh, and I like Jed's idea about a find-the-suitcase-of-cash-in-the-TSA movie, but surely it would be better if the money were entirely legal? That is, if our hero had some totally legitimate reason (but wacky) for traveling with two million dollars in cash? And, of course, there's the identical suitcase with the mob's money, and the one with a shipment of guns ...


For instance, if our hero has collected funds at a charity event to build a ballfield on his property, and the mob is still pissed about the game that Joe didn't throw, and...

Costner's not doing anything right now, is he? I'll get on the horn, have my people call his people's people. Who loves ya, baby?

Like that.


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