Sunday, February 19, 2006

Lazy Sunday

Patrick and I went out Friday to visit Flanagan in Chicago, where our former RA now resides as some sort of anti-fraud investigator for Deloitte, which is apparently quite the swanky job to have coming out of business school. He's got a nice place just off the El stop in Lake View, which is walking distance - even in single digits, as we found out Saturday morning - from about everything you could need. It was a successful trip, as we got to eat Giordano's fantastic pizza and drink Mike's classy brews while watching Fat Camp (maybe MTV's best movie since 2gether), then went out for breakfast and Good Night, and Good Luck Saturday. Always good to see Mike, although the trip reaffirmed the fact that A) I'm really glad I'm not involved in the business school and B) I'm really content to just never graduate and avoid the whole "real world" thing as much as possible.


There's going to be a whole post dedicated to the Oscars, now that I've successfully seen all five Best Picture and Best Actor nominees, but I thought it might be a good idea to look at some of the upcoming flicks, as we'll have plenty of time for Oscar talk before March 5th. Seeing four movies in five days lets you see a lot of trailers, along with my usual searchs online for exciting trailers, so there's a lot for you to peruse to get ready for spring and summer releases:

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Famously pitched as "NASCAR comedy. Will Ferrell", this basically looks like Anchorman, only with the racing culture as opposed to the 70's television news culture. Although he stumbled in '05 with Kicking and Screaming and Bewitched, I don't think we can peg those on Will, just more on Will's poor taste in some projects. This is going to be absurd - his kids' name are "Walker" and "Texas Ranger" - and would be the runaway comedy of the summer if not for...

The Break-Up

I have an ongoing argument with Suzi Q and Jess over whose better, Angelina Jolie or Jennifer Anniston. I say Angelina's Oscar and relatively successful box office takes (Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Tomb Raider) shadow Anniston's limited success on her own, with her only hits coming as a supporting actress in Bruce Almighty, Office Space and Along Came Polly. However, with this movie, Anniston has the chance to shine with not only the hottest guy in Hollywood right now - Vince Vaughn, playing the exact same character from Old School and Wedding Crashers, but nobody cares because it's awesome - but with a great supporting cast, including Jason Bateman, John Favreau and Vincent D'Onofrio. This looks like it'll be in the Wedding Crashers and 40-Year Old Virgin mold - big laughs with heart, and I can handle that.

Thank You For Smoking

Apparently killed at the Toronto Film Festival, Smoking is about Big Tobacco's top lobbyist, Aaron Eckhart, and his quest to do his job while not looking like a total sleazeball in the eyes of his son. His scene in the trailer where he insults Vermont and William H. Macy is great, and the supporting cast looks sweet, with David Koechner (Champ from Anchorman), Rob Lowe, Maria Bello, Adam Brody, Katie Holmes and the previously mentioned Macy. It's apparently adapted from a novel, which just got added to the never-ending list known as "Shit I Have To (And By Have To, I Mean Want To) Read"

Mission Impossible: III

After seeing Philip Seymour Hoffman rock the house in Capote - he's going to be your Best Actor come March 5th, barring some major setback that would send Sean into a month-long depression - it'll be cool to see him playing the Big Nasty opposite Tom Cruise in the latest MI flick. Mission Impossible was really confusing, MI:2 was more of an action movie and was enjoyable, and this one appears to be following that formula. I'm in.

American Dreamz

And my favorite: Black comedy about a suicide bomber on an American Idol-type show, targeting a George W-level inept president played by Dennis Quaid. Willem DeFoe, Mandy Moore, Hugh Grant, Chris Klein. I don't know how this movie got made, but at least judging from the trailer, I'm really glad they did.


In a topic we haven't addressed all season because it was depressing, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish basketball team is showing some signs of life. Huge game with UConn Tuesday, where an upset win could turn all those close losses into "Bad Luck" rather than "Bad Team". Possible we could have some big momentum heading into the Big East tournament where there are plenty of big-time scalps to be claimed. While an NCAA bid is still a long ways away, it's actually possible at this juncture, where it was a laughable thought before we busted out the black unis in Jersey.

Still, there are some huge road blocks - taking the form of the UConn Huskies and Steve Novak - in the way, but if Chris Quinn and Colin Falls bombing away, Russell Carter keeps slashing and Torin Francis can keep the combined number of Rebounds Fumbled Away/Dunks Shorted in the single digits, we've got a shooter's chance.

(I'm going to get into some serious college hoops stuff later this week - JJ Redick must be addressed - but I just want to make sure everyone knows this Steve Novak thing isn't something that just flared up. All the way back in the 2003 tournament, Steve was killing teams in the clutch, including knocking out Mizzou in the second round with some dazzling OT shooting. You might ask how I would possibly remember that, and I would just have to shrugs my shoulders and point to the fact I have no life.)


EDIT: I forgot to mention that as we hung out at Mike's Friday night, I got a frantic call from my sister, traumatized by the Dancing with the Stars results. Jerry Rice, ten points behind the rest of the competitors, survived to the final three while Lisa Rinna was eliminated by the massive amount of votes Jerry apparently gets every week.

Is it fair? Well, according to the rules, where the judge's scores are added with the votes by viewers, yes, so there should be little complaining, but he was really far behind after the actual dancing. If Dancing eliminates the "Vote and watch the results show to see who wins" element, they lose the guaranteed results show ratings, even though it would probably make the competition fairer, despite the fact Carrie Ann Inaba's judging shouldn't be considered objective in any way, shape or form.

But, in all honesty, the fact Lisa was eliminated and not Jerry was unimportant, as either one was destined to finish third behind the Stacy Keibler/Drew Lachey monster. Now, unless Jerry busts out moves like we've never seen from him in the final episode Thursday night, no matter of internet and phoneline voting should give him the title over Stacy or Drew, who have been the class of the competition all season long. Thursday night they dance, Sunday night we find out the winner.


Raise your hand if you're upset Bode Miller keeps screwing up.

Yep, that's what I figured. NoobSports took the time to find out how much harder skiing is when you're drunk, and the results are sort of in favor of Bode.

Our favorite loud-mouthed, drunken skier pretty much exemplifies these Olympics for the US. Whether it's snowboarders tricking out before the finish line, Apolo falling down or getting ganged up on by the Koreans, the women's hockey team losing a sport designed for them and Canada to win or the men's hockey team basically living up to expectations of not doing anything special, the US has not been shining. Despite all that, I think I'm more upset with the continual use of "The Flying Tomato" to describe Shaun White, as I'm pretty sure when he started dominating the X Games years ago, we all decided "The Snow Ninja" was his nickname.

Thankfully, there's Tanith Belbin to keep American hopes, and libidos, up.

Stay warm, people. It should only be warm for another, what, three months? Sigh. Five more days til the weekend....

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