Sunday, November 30, 2008

Came across an article on my homepage, The Internet Movie Database, called the 100 greatest movie characters of all time. As I clicked further and further into the list I began to agree more and more with their choices. Martin Riggs at #100 is a great choice! I mean how many movies and TV shows have used the Riggs formula when writing for their now clichéd characters?

Enjoy the list.

Friday, November 28, 2008

We've lost some heavy hitters of the TV industry in the past couple of years. Shows like Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, Rome, Deadwood, The West Wing, Arrested Development, and the best TV show of all time, The Wire are gone and what do we have to replace them? Grey's Anatomy, The Sarah Conner Chronicles, Prison Break, 24 (hasn't been good for a while), Desperate Housewives, and Heroes (you guys should have stopped while you were ahead)? Not much back up if you ask me.

Now, there are a few shows out there like Lost (PS DO NOT watch any episode of Lost unless you're committed to watching it from the beginning, if you do that, you'll ruin the entire experience), Rescue Me, 30 Rock, Entourage, Curb Your Enthusiasm, House, and the soon to be canceled Life. But that's nothing compared to what we had just a few years ago. And now we've lost The Shield. And now, there's very little besides sports that make paying for cable worth while. WIth Netflix, I'm perfectly happy waiting for this season's season to come out on DVD next year. I can use that time to watch shows like Sports Night, Studio 60, and Boomtown over on DVD while I wait. I guess what I'm trying to say is that there is a ton of good tv on DVD right now and if you haven't seen any of the shows I've listed, I highly recommend you give them a chance. All of the shows I've listed will have to staying up till five in the morning saying, "okay just one more episode." They'll have you running to your local video rental store looking for the next disc in the series because you can't wait that one day for it to arrive via Netflix. And they'll have you posting blogs like this when you finish them. Good TV is a rarity and good TV that's still on the air is even more uncommon. Give the listed shows a chance, I guarantee you'll love all of them.
The Shield 2002-2008

Shows that aren't on the four major networks never get the acclaim they deserve. If it's not on FOX, NBC, ABC, or CBS, critics will give you as much publicity as ESPN gives to the West Coast.

F/X's The Shield came to an end this last Tuesday, November 25th, leaving a void that will not soon be filled by the shows that are currently on TV. That's not to say that there isn't any good television being broadcast because there is. But The Shield was unlike anything ever seen on TV. The fact that we were rooting for a group of dirty cops that were guilty of the murder of one of their own creates one of the most unique paradoxes in television history. How do you root for the man that just killed a cop in cold blood? In the series premier for crying out loud! If you're looking for a series to get hooked on and if you want to see Oscar caliber acting by previous Oscar winners such as Glenn Close and Forest Whitaker, check out The Shield. It will go down as one of the best TV shows of all time.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Marty Scorsese?!?

If you haven't yet seen the season five finale to Entourage, STOP READING NOW!!!!

For those of you that did, what a great way to end an up and down season for the entire cast. This was by far the darkest season and in turn I think this was one of the better ones. We spent eleven weeks waiting for Vince to climb out of the shit only to see him get pushed deeper into it.

We've all seen actors who've been at the top of their game until a few bad decisions shot them from the A-list to straight to DVD releases. Can you say Cuba Gooding Jr?

I was beginning to think that Vince would spend the entire fifth season in the dumps and the sixth season was going to show his slow rise to power, especially after Vince fired Eric with only a few minutes left in the finale. But the writers gave us more than a happy ending. They gave us something to look forward to and something to admire when re-watching the fifth season. Vince spent eleven weeks getting dragged through the mud but the final five minutes of the finale made it all worth while. Because of Eric's hard work, Vince landed the lead in a new Scorese film that's going to be shot in New York. Eric and Vince made amends and everything is well in the Chase camp.

It was a perfect ending to a roller coaster of a season that took Vince, Turtle, Eric, Drama, and Arie to new highs and lows. Every character matured more in the fifth season than the previous 4.5 before them (4.5 because season three was split into two parts). Just think about what we have to look forward to in season six.

Vinny gets to film in his hometown of New York, a city that wasn't seen on the show until this season. Arie has Dana Gordon on his side. Drama has a new bar. Turtle is dating a Soprano! And then there's Eric. He's repping Bow Wow who just beat the shit out of Seth Greene ("what up E?"). The one thing they need to do is bring back Emmanuelle Chriqui AKA, Sloan. She's one of the hottest girls that's ever been on Entourage and I think they did a little foreshadowing in episode 5.10. Besides, what's she got going now? Don't Mess With the Zohan, you've got to be kidding me! Come back to us, Sloan!

Season five is over and we won't see the crew until the Summer of 09 but here's a little Arie Gold to get you through until HBO starts showing the entire series that leads up to the premier. Enjoy!

Want Lamborghini-like handling for around $40,000? This is what you should be driving.

So what do you get when you buy a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo? Click on "Top Gear" to find out. This is what I'm saving for.

Friday, November 21, 2008

See ya later, Al! Harrington for Crawford in 1-1 trade with the Knicks.

In a deal that seems to have worked out well for both teams, the Warriors have gotten rid of Al Harrington and received a player that's averaging 20pts and 4.4 assists per game with the Knicks. Harrington has been asking for a trade since the season began back in late October, he's been out since November 5th with an apparent back injury.
Who'd the Warriors get? His name is Jamal Crawford and he's having a career year seemingly thriving under the fast paced offense of Mike D'Antoni. He's also got what the Warriors are looking for.

Crawford is a thin and quick shooting guard that can shoot from all around the court including 45% from beyond the arc, he's also a career 83.5% free throw shooter. This trade and the trade that took place hours later shows that the Knicks are prepping for the future. The Warriors obviously got the better end of the deal but the Knicks are planning on signing LeBron James in the summer of 2010 and if they're going to be players in the James sweepstakes, they've got to get rid of a lot of money.

Nevertheless, the Warriors got rid of Al and they got a 20pt scorer in return. Like I've been saying, if the Warriors can simply hang around the .500 mark until Monta gets back, there are hopes of them flirting with the eighth seed this season. The Mavericks, Suns, and Spurs are in decline and the Warriors are in the progress of building a very strong team. The season is young but the Warriors are a totally different team than they were back in October. They're improving with every game and with Crawford on the team, they've got someone who can run the point and let Jackson play in his normal position.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

C.C. to SF?

I just came across this article in the CC Times that says the Giants are expected to make a huge offer to free agent, Bay Area Native, C.C. Sabathia.

I may be one of the only people in the world that thinks this would be a good signing. First of all, Sabathia is a Bay Area native and a life long Giants fan. The mental aspect of playing for the very club that he grew up with would further add to the new clubhouse camaraderie that we've seen in the post Bonds era. Many Giants fans will have to choke back vomit if the Giants sign him but I think it'd be a great signing. Remember the big four in Atlanta of Maddux, Smoltz, Glavine, and Avery? How does Sabathia, Lincecum, Cain, Zito, Lowry sound? How about having Lowry and Zito two starters that would be number two or three guys in any other organization back up your rotation? And don't forget about Madison Bumgardner. He was the minor league's most impressive pitcher for 2008. That's not just in single A Augusta, that's an award that encompasses the entire minor league system.

Now this Sabathia stuff is all speculation and is something that was most likely leaked for a reason. But if the Giants sign Sabathia, that leaves the door open to trade players like, Lowry, Sanchez, Schierholtz, and a mid season deal for Winn when a playoff contender needs a switch hitter with a .300 average. A bat you ask for? How about packaging top talent like Lowry, Sanchez, and Schierholtz?

Building a championship team takes bold signings and I think that the Giants are making steps to create a young offensive team that's being backed up by the most awesome starting five the game has seen since the five man rotation became the norm. Look down the pipe in the Giants organization and you'll see true talent waiting to make it to The Show. Guys like Alderson, Bumgardner, Nicholson, and oh yeah, Golden Spikes Award winner Buster Posey are itching to show the organization what they can do. Does the Golden Spikes award sound familiar? It should, because a guy named Tim Lincecum won it in 2006. What'd he do in 08?

The West is going to be a hard fought division for years to come and I think that the team you see develop in 09 will begin to make headlines in 2010 and beyond. 2008 was the worst that you're going to see this team for a long long while. To lock up Sabathia would be a statement from the Giants saying that they're ready to make that push and they're ready to put game six of 2002 behind them and create a new franchise that will put San Francisco back on the map of the baseball world. The Giants are the most prominent and storied West Coast baseball organization and they've been in the dumps for a quite a while. Get ready to again be excited about Giants baseball. Change is coming and it's coming soon. And with the Padres, Rockies, and D-Backs dumping salary and rebuilding, expect the Giants to make the West interesting next year. The Dodgers will loose two top end guys in their rotation (Lowe and Penny) and when you don't have pitching, you usually don't have a winning team. It happened to the Yankees, Cardinals, Astros, Marlins, and Rockies last year.

The end of the Bonds era came last year. This year a new era will begin. And it starts with the five guys in the rotation. Sign Sabathia and you plant the seeds of success

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Quick, open a new page and do a google image search on Anthony Morrow. You'll find art from Morrow Anthony and a few pictures of a skinny guy in a Georgia Tech uniform.

Anthony Morrow no longer plays for G-Tech, in fact he's been a starting shooting guard for the Warriors for the past two games. He started on Sunday in LA versus the Clippers and went off for 37 points and 11 rebounds. Not only that, Morrow went 15/20 from the field and 4/5 from beyond the arc. For those of you who aren't basketball savvy, shooting 75% while scoring 37 points is nearly unheard of. In fact Morrow, an undrafted rookie, put up the most points of any undrafted player in the history of the NBA. It was a performance worthy of a short Sportscenter player profile and it got Warriors fans itching to see him in action on Tuesday night against the Portland Trailblazers.

What did Morrow do for an encore? How about 11 points in the first half on 4/6 shooting including three in a row from three point land. This seems to be a trend for the Warriors, finding talent that hasn't been drafted. There are three members of the Warriors that were undrafted as of 2006. C.J. Watson (began play in 07-08) is our back up point guard and someone that played a huge roll in last night's win. Kalena Azebuki (began playing for the Warriors in mid 06-07) was an undrafted rookie that recently signed a $4 million contract with the Warriors in the off season, oh yeah, he went for 15pts and 8 rebounds last night. And then there's Morrow, the find of the 08-09 season. He's the type of player that other teams cannot afford to leave open and the type of player that's going to draw defenders to him, leaving other teammates open. Morrow went for a game high 25 points last night on 8/12 shooting, a 66% clip. He's an unselfish player that knows his limits and knows when and when not to shoot, a attribute that few NBA players possess. His career as a starter is only two games old but he's already getting attention from around the league. The best part? He's only going to get better!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Welcome back 007.

Trying to make a Bond movie better than Casino Royale is like trying to make a The Usual Suspects 2 in hopes that the audience would forget who Keyser Soze is. Casino Royale and The Dark Knight are two very rare instances when the movie exceeded the high expectations set upon it. It would be foolish of someone to go into Quantum of Solace expecting a better movie than Casino Royale.

As a Bond fanatic, I've come to grips with two tragic truths about Bond movies. First, it seems that every Bond movie tries to trump the other. They try and be bigger and better than the previous one and in every case since the Connery era, the producers have failed. Not since the big three of Dr. No, From Russia With Love, and Goldfinger have Bond producers succeeded in blowing away expectations. Second, not since Connery have two movies been good in a row. The Spy Who Loved Me was good, Moonraker was fucking horrible. On Her Majesty's Secret Service was great but Lazenby stepped down after just one film. The Living Daylights was bad and so was Licence to Kill (a tragic waste of one of the best Bond titles ever). Brosnan came close with Goldeneye (one of my favorite Bond movies) and Tomorrow Never Dies but TND was only fair. That brings us to Mr. Craig and his second outing as the redefined Bond.

Quantum of Solace is in no way a better Bond movie than Casino Royale, and that's what makes it a perfect sequel. Marc Forster did not try to make QoS better, he simply worked off of it. QoS is the first true sequel in the Bond franchise and I think that Forster did an excellent job. Martin Campbell re-energized the franchise with Goldeneye and reinvented Bond with Casino Royale. Marc Forster simply plays off of Campbell's work instead of trying to create his own vision of Bond. One of the new themes in the Bond movies is emotion. Not only do Campbell and Forster show you Bond as a hero, they show you why he's a flawed hero. Something that until 2006 was only addressed in Ian Flemming's books and not the movies. Which brings me to the main plot of QoS.

It's a revenge story, plain and simple. Bond is after the organization that is responsible for the death of Vesper Lynd, his only true love. The Bond girl, Olga Kurylenko, plays Camille, a women after a dictator who killed her family. Bond and Camille's common interest is Dominic Greene, played by Mathieu Almaric. Almaric's character will unfortunately go down as one of the forgotten bad guys because he doesn't have any defining characteristics or some cartoonish henchman at his side. I personally wish his character had a bigger part in the movie, but I understand why he didn't have a bigger character. Greene is merely a pawn in the new Bond Franchise's network of evil. Connery's Bond dealt with SPECTRE, Craig's Bond will be dealing with Mr. White and the group known as Quantum.

There are many negative reviews of this movie and that's because I think only two types of movie goers will really appreciate this movie. One is the true Bond fan, one that notices the subtle nostalgic nuances in the film. For instance, Bond uses the Walther PPK for the first time since Tomorrow Never Dies and notice the position that Fields was placed on the bed after being dipped in oil (it's the same position Jill Masterson was placed in Goldfinger). The second type of person that would enjoy this film is the action film fan, someone that's seen Bond films but has no interest in them other than the fact that they're going to see fast cars, hot women, and cool shootouts.

Craig's Bond is nothing like any other Bond we've seen. You might as well call Craig's four Bond movies (he's signed on for two more) The Bond Quadrilogy. QoS is simply the launching point for the final two movies in the series and if you look at it as an hour and fifty minute teaser trailer, you'll love it. It's packed with action and stuffs a heaping amount of character development into a short amount of time without boring you. Felix Lieter was merely a field agent in Casino Royale, now he's high up on the CIA food chain and Bond is gaining the trust and respect of M. He is slowly transforming into the cold blooded martini drinking killer we've come to know, and Quantum, the new face of evil is slowly being exposed.

I didn't expect much from QoS, in fact, I was a little concerned giving the Bond franchise's track record when following an immensely popular movie. But Forster and the writers, Robert Wade, Neal Purvis, and two time Oscar winner Paul Haggis did an excellent job. They set us up for third and fourth movies that will have many looking back on QoS realizing what a good movie it is. It's a Bond movie that won't be admired until the Craig storyline is complete. I guarantee you that plot elements and story lines were started in QoS and they will be completed in Bond films to come. So get to the theater and watch QoS, it'll entertain you now and wow you in a couple of years.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What if Brosnan and Craig had a deathmatch? Who would win? All I know is that I'm going to see the new Bond flick tonight and I'm hella pumped!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

33 hours to go!!!


Congrats to Tim Lincecum on winning the second Cy Young award in SF Giants history. Thank, Tim, for making the 08 season something to worth watching. Now if only the Sabean can find us a couple of bats and a bullpen that doesn't suck balls.

Monday, November 10, 2008

NL Cy Young to be released tomorrow. Let's hear it for Tim Lincecum.

It's gonna happen! And this is why. Click the SI cover to see 6 of his 13 strikeouts come in the first six outs of the game.

We Believe!, we're going to be bad this year. . .

The Warriors are in bad shape. Ellis' suspension lasts for another 25 games, Corey Maggette is still nursing a bum hammy, and Al Harrington is still officially a Warrior. Rumor mills are spinning fast enough to power the entire Bay Area but until Harrington leaves the Bay, he will be an inoperable tumor in the Warriors' organization. In the past week and a half, the Warriors have lost to two of the worst teams in the NBA. They lost two games to the MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES! And lost to the Kings last night. Which leads me to believe that the Warriors aren't just loosing to bad teams, they're a bad team as well. The buzz of the 06 Playoffs is long gone and while the Warriors may still draw some of the biggest crowds in the NBA, fans may be in for a rough ride until Monta Ellis comes back in the middle of December.

Even if he does come back, he may only be taking part in the Warriors' epitaph, playing in meaningless games for the last four months of the season.

Last year, the Warriors started 0-6 but they had players like Ellis, Baron Davis, and an Al Harrington that wanted to be on the team. Without any of those players and only Steven Jackson and Andres Biedrins to carry the load, Don Nelson's Warriors are quickly reverting to the team that we once watched under the likes of Mike Montgomery.

But that's merely the worst case scenario. The Warriors have two more wins now than they did at this point of the season a year ago. If they can some how right the ship and play somewhat close to the .500 mark, something may happen come December. Ellis was drafted out of high school and he's still a kid, and he's going to heal like a kid. Yes, he had surgery, and yes he had surgery on the ankle that he pushes off of but I expect him to come out of the gates ready to play. Bobby Rowell has made some questionable decisions in the past but he's getting better and better with each passing year. I expect to find a good home for Harrington and get a good player in return. The Warriors' season has again started on a low note but if you think about the past fifteen years, when has it not? Remember, the Warriors were in the playoffs in 06 and were in the race until the final week. they're going to start clicking and with the extended minutes that the rooks are getting, in my opinion, they can only get better.

Four days to go!

For all of you that know me, I tend to flip out when a new Bond film is on the way, especially when it features someone other than Roger Moore part II (Pierce post Tomorrow Never Dies). Quantum of Solace is supposed to be a revenge story. That's all I know. I refuse to read any articles on the movie for fears that it will partially ruin it for me in much the same way that I read about the end of the first Daniel Craig Bond film. Anyway, I'll be posting until we go on Thursday at 11:59. Lemmie know if you're in! Laterz

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Bend it like Beckham . . .

Or a Toyota Aygo? Well, since the only active link on this post is the Aygo's pic, click it to see how you REALLY play "football."

The first piece of fan mail I ever wrote was to Michael Crichton. As a kid, my reading level was always a year or two ahead of my classmates. In fifth grade, I was asked to write a letter to my favorite author. I had seen Jurassic Park in theaters and had just finished reading the book. After finishing Jurassic Park, I quickly began to read my way through Crichton's other works. He was and still is my favorite author to this day. Sadly, Crichton lost a long battle with cancer and died on November 4th.

Crichton inspired me as a kid and still inspires me today. His ability to write educational yet action and suspense filled novels has shaped the way that I write today. I may not have the educational background that he did but I always strive to write stories that may be fantastic in nature but are rooted in reality. I will miss Crichton and I will forever remember the impact that he has had on my creative side.

Michael Crichton. 1942-2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Congratulations President Elect Barack Obama! I've been voting since I turned 18 and last night's election was the third Presidential election that I have participated in. I voted for Gore and technically won back in 2000. I watched Kerry get beat by the slimmest of margins in 2004. Looking back on the past eight years of my voting history, I wouldn't change a single thing. The first President that I voted for that won, was Barack Obama. Just thinking about the historical importance of last night tears me up.

Despite the economic woes of the past year, despite the U.S.'s ever deteriorating situation in Iraq, and despite the mountain of shit that Bush Jr., has piled on top of all of us, I am hopeful. Last night, the voting citizens of America recognized that change is needed and the Republican Party is not who they want spearheading the efforts. The Democrats not only won the White House, they also won the Senate. Their hopes of a filibuster proof 60 seat Senate are growing faint but the fact of the matter is that the Democrats won not only the election but they won a majority of the Senate. Now is the time for Obama and his party to start re-shaping America. I'm proud to be an American and I am even more proud to have taken part in such a historic election. America is beautiful.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

At around 1am yesterday morning, a fire broke out in a third floor condominium near Club Sport in San Ramon. Although the 911 call was received shortly after the fire started and fire fighters arrived on the scene five minutes later, both third floor units here destroyed. Resident Eric Matsui said that he was boiling water but turned on the wrong burner and melted a plastic cutting board that was sitting on the stove top.

Thankfully that story is not true. My house is not gone but I did melt a cutting board on my stove last night. Not one of my finest moments but thanks to my cat-like reflexes I was able to disconnect both of my fire detectors before they went off! The only thing I'm worried about is the amount of melted plastic smoke that I inhaled. I've had this raging headache ever since the smoke died down and I keep hearing the chorus to "Breakfast at Tiffany's" by Deep Blue Something, in the background. Which is weird because I'm listening to my I-Pod right now. So I'm basically listening to the Weezer remix of a nineties one hit wonder. I hope I'm okay. . . Maybe all I need is a nappppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp