Friday Film Review

Before I get to the finale of the Ken Burns “BASEBALL” series, I’d like to share another film review: “The Town.”

Terrible. Horrible. Hopelessly bad. I wish I had four hands, so I could give this movie four thumbs down.

I went into this movie knowing Ben Affleck was involved, but I should’ve
done more research and saved myself the $7. I won’t ruin it for you if
you still want to waste your money, but… ugh. The premise of the movie
is really stupid (bank robber dates one of his rob-ees and she doesn’t
figure it out until late in the movie), but I was able to look past that for the first half of
the movie. But then the main action of the story starts and the plot is
utterly preposterous, the dialogue is poorly written, Affleck seems like
he’s doing a bad impression of Adam Sandler doing an impression of a
serious person (think “Funny People,” which was also terrible) and it makes it look like assault rifles are commonplace in Boston. I asked Boston native (and former TinCaps strength coach) Rick SantaBarbara about this and he says this is not the case.

You know what the worst part about the whole thing was? After I sat
through about 10 minutes too many of assault rifle shootouts on busy
streets of downtown Boston, the movie finally ended (45 minutes later
than it should have). What’s the first thing that comes up on screen?
“Directed by: Ben Affleck”. What’s the next thing that comes up on the
screen? “Screenplay by: Peter Craig, Aaron Stockard and… Ben Affleck.”

I smacked myself in the forehead and felt like the guy on “American Gladiators”
who goes running through the Eliminator. He’s almost to the end, and he
gets to the part where he runs down the chute, through the paper mache
barrier and gets completely leveled by Laser, as if he just ran into a building. Legs go flying in the air, strands of mullet strewn everywhere, Mike Adamle wondering if he’ll be able to get across the line and collect his $25 winners’ check.
Think about it: You got the rundown from referee Larry Thompson and understand there
will be gladiators in three of the lanes. But by the time you get up the
treadmill, across the handbike, up the cargo net, down the zipline,
over the climbing wall and through the gauntlet, you only remember that
you’re almost done. But then all of a sudden your collarbone is pointing in about 9 different directions, everything you see has a green tint to it and you remember there was a 75 percent chance that a
gladiator was hiding back there. How did I not see this coming and prepare myself? Not
only did I watch “The Town,” but I did so knowing Ben Affleck was
involved. It’s nobody’s fault but my own.

Chris Watson
and I discussed this the other day… If you’re a bank robber and
you’ve been doing well, why would you keep robbing banks? Wouldn’t you
quit while you’re ahead and go away somewhere to hang out and enjoy your
money? This is when Chris pointed out that his hero, Patrick Swayze,
was the smartest bank robber of all time in “Point Break,” which is true.

On another note, Chris has never seen “Top Gun,” and never wants to. I only found this out because I made a joke about flying cargo planes out of Hong Kong and he had no idea what I was talking about.

On yet another note, where has James Tolkan been? He was the definitive
jerky authority figure in “Top Gun” and “Back to the Future” and we
haven’t seen him in forever. Do we have a guy like that in the Hollywood
pipeline? A new Mr. Strickland? I hope so.

Ken Burns’ “The Bottom of the Tenth” came out the other night, so let’s discuss some more.

  • That whole idea about baseball and America’s economy mirroring each other? Yep, one of the first things in the opening scenes was about just that. Stocks and home run totals going through the roof like never before and nobody “knew” why. In reality, I think a lot of people subconsciously knew something was going on, but maybe didn’t want to know what it was.
  • Barry Bonds hit his 70th home run at Enron Field. Perfect.
  • I didn’t remember this happening, but during a play-by-play broadcast, Bob Costas countered a point about the “ball being juiced” with “maybe players being juiced.” This was back when the events were still happening. Apparently he saw it. Why didn’t we?
  • Ichiro is a natural RIGHT-HANDED HITTER?!? How did I not know this?
  • The Red Sox worshiping in the segment about 2004 was a little much.
  • Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post is the star of the show to me. He was outstanding. He probably opened a can of worms with the “Jose Canseco milkshake” comment, but he’s good.

Other thoughts:

  • Baseball America‘s top 20 prospects in the MWL came out today. I’ll post in more detail on Monday. If you want to track the lists for every league, they’ll be here. Or check out past years’ lists here.
  • Don’t know how I missed this, but the Padres are trying to get Daniel Robertson to play some infield. Second base seems to fit him pretty well. I talked to a few people about Robertson this season and one person thought he’d make a nice National League utility man, someone who can play outfield and some infield to save a roster spot. Think David Eckstein’s effort level and size with a better arm and better pop. If I know him at all, he’ll jump in with both feet and probably be pretty good.
  • There have been some roster shifts in the Arizona Fall League. In total, nine Fort Wayne alums will play this year. That’s pretty good. Here are some rules for how players get assigned there. And if you want to keep track of the Padres’ minor-leaguers in winter ball, here’s the stat page (it won’t have anything on it until the leagues start up, but something to bookmark).
  • It’s Tony DesPlaines’ birthday. He’s not around this week, but you can still send him a birthday e-mail, or just celebrate the Dwight Schrute way, like we did in the office.
  • The Padres have put themselves into a spot where they have to win four in a row against the Giants in San Fran to win the NL West. Yikes. They had a 10-game losing streak, then lost 2 of 3 to the Cubs at home, being shut out twice. And they still have an outside shot. It’s a miracle.

And now, musical guest… Mike and the Mechanics!

Have a great weekend!


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