Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Bit Too Hungover

Well Jon the Bon wasn't in attendance so I don't think I can actually count this as a Quiet Pool summer movie, but if I were to compare The Hangover to summer comedies of the past, it would be last by a mile. The past five years I've seen Meet the Fockers, Wedding Crashers, You Me and Dupree, Chuck and Larry, and Step Brothers. Crashers, Dupree and Stepbrothers were instant classics, while Fockers and Chuck and Larry were just good. The Hangover was just not a funny movie.

As Seth Cohen claims in an episode of The OC, "big isn't funny." Like Summer's new boyfriend Danny, The Hangover was big, obvious, over the top and unclever. From watching the trailer and listening to the hype from the masses I knew this would be the case. I also knew that everyone would love it. And without a doubt everyone in the theatre was cracking up at some of the most unfunny gags I've seen in a while.

This is what is wrong with people. They find it funny when a guy gets hit in the head with a car door? There's a tiger in the hotel room, a lost baby, and a dude who loses a tooth and they go nuts. Does Hollywood not have to work for a laugh anymore?

Skip Bayless has been tweeting about all of his movie viewings recently and although I obviously agree with him about The Hangover not being good, I completely disagree with his analysis on why. The scenes from the trailer were not funny, just I had assumed. And there were a few, and I mean a few (two to three) times where I laughed out loud, which were not in the trailer.

All of them were from Zach Galifianakis's character, Beardy. When he wanted to be like Phil, Bradley Cooper's character, it was hillarious. The best part of the movie was at the wedding when Beardy had his hair slicked back and asked if his hair looked good. The Nard Dog said yeah, and Beardy asked if "it was good like Phil's." So good. Other than that there were a couple times when he laughed at the things that had happened that showed great comedic timing. A few other moments from Bradley as well as Matt Walsh as the doctor made me chuckle, but that was about it.

Bradley is fantastic, but he was basically the straight man in this three dude comedy group. He wasn't quite 'Sack master' enough to bring out comedy gold. Ed Helms proved once again JJ's theory that no one from the Office can branch out and do well out of Scranton.

I didn't know Galifianakis before this and I was impressed. He seems pretty funny, but he wasn't given enough funny material. He pulled a lot of things off well, as mentioned before, but was given too much unfunny and obvious material to make his character truly hilarious. Beardy got much better as the movie went on, but it seemed those in the theatre with laughing histerically at his early movie doings (this threw me through a loop).

I commend Todd Phillips for making a movie that a lot of people seem to like, and making a lot of money for himself on this one, but The Hangover is definitely not up to snuff.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Broken Bat

Although it was well worth it, three out of the four participants stopped having fun, and the Whiffle Ball League ended when JJ struck out, slammed the bat against the ground and broke it in two. A league that began as a fun way to play a little ball, with easy pitching, copious home runs, home run songs, and not much hustle, turned into some much more competitive somewhere before the halfway mark. Although home runs were still important, the race to the two-team World Series was the key driving factor. The increased amount of curve balls from me, and the increased speed on Bonz's pitches drove T-time to claim he hated the league. I of course was still enjoying it because my Yankees were in first and Mark Teixeira was still in the chase for top home run hitter.

On the final day of competition, I increased my hustle in the field and on the basepath. This immediately made JJ go nuts because my team had already clinched a spot in the World Series. After pulling off the best defensive play of the year (faking the throw home to get Jayj to run to second and then tagging him), JJ threw his usual hissy fit, claiming that was such a garbage play. After giving his team the run, me and Bonz went on to win that game anyway and give the Sox a chance to catch the Mets and put them into a one game playoff. As our number of balls went down from six to two, the play became ridiculously tough, as a normal at bat is around ten to 15 pitches (with mine and Bonz's horrendous pitching). It got to the point where T-time was sitting down in the outfield during an at bat. In the second to last game of the season with my Yanks beating JJ's Mets, JJ struck out and slammed the bat against the ground, breaking it into two pieces. Because no store in the world sells these fantastic nerf bats that are regulation baseball size, the league had to end with the Yankees at the top of the standings and Big Tex leading the league in home runs. Pretty solid ending.


Red Sox..........2-3
Devil Rays.....1-4


Home Runs

Teixeira (Danny)- 12
Youkilis (Bonz)- 10
Beltran (JJ)- 7
Melky (Bonz)- 6
Crawford (T-time)- 4
Bay (JJ)- 4
Sheffield (Danny)- 4
Pena (Danny)- 4
ARod (JJ)- 4
Upton (Bonz)- 2
Cano (T-time)- 2
Lugo (T-time)- 2


Crawford (T-time)- 7
Beltran (JJ)- 2
Youkilis (Bonz)- 1
ARod (JJ)- 1
Lugo (T-time)- 1
Longoria (JJ)- 1


Putz (Danny)- 3-0
--2 strikeouts...1 blown save...1 complete game
Burnett (Bonz)- 2-0
--4 strikeouts...1 save...2 complete games
Hughes (Danny)- 2-0
--4 strikeouts...1 complete game
Smoltz (JJ)- 1-0
--1 complete game
Lester (Bonz)- 1-2
--3 strikeouts...1 complete game
Masterson (T-time)- 0-1
Shields (JJ)- 0-1
Joba (T-time)- 0-1
Santana (JJ)- 0-2
Price (T-time) 1-3

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Greek to Me

I don't stray from major network television often, but one show I do go off the beaten path for is Greek on ABC Family. It is quite corny and poorly acted at time, but intentional and unintentional comedy is abundant. Cappie, the unmotivated, middle of the day drinking, prank pulling head of the Kappa Tau fraternity is one of my favorite characters on television. The terribleness of Rusty Cartwright shows no bounds, as he continues to make me want to slap him in the face as if he was stealing a pie from my house (which makes for intense viewing). What makes Greek so different is how pop culture concsience the writers are. There are more references to older tv shows, celebrities and the entertainment world than any other show on the small screen today. My favorite was during last week's homecoming episode when Casey or Ashliegh said something to the effect of "or we could go Emily Valentine and burn the float down."

Last night was the second season finale and it did not disappoint. Casey finally got rid of the awful Max (who will now attempt to ruin the new Melrose Place), she went after Cappie like everyone wanted, and Cap turned her down. Rusty and Jordan were so tough to watch, but the Dale and Calvin story made up for it. Dale is always hillarious and him pretending to be gay was no exception to that rule. Not quite enough Evan or Beav in this finale, but thankfully it's coming back for a third season soon, come August.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Midseason Breakdown

With six games being played, we are half way through the whiffle ball season. Last night's three games were fantastic, if a bit slick, with many a player falling flat on their face. A couple of major injuries have been endured, but the 14-13 extra inning game between the Rays and Sox was well worth it. Here's a look at the results midway through the season.

Yankees (Danny).........2-1
Mets (JJ)........................2-1
Devil Rays (T-time)....1-2
Red Sox (Bonz).............1-2


Home Run Leaders
Youkilis (Bonz) Red Sox- 7
Teixeira (Danny) Yankees- 6
Melky (Bonz) Yankees- 5
Beltran (JJ) Mets- 4
Crawford (T-time) Rays- 4
Bay (JJ) Red Sox- 4
Pena (Danny) Rays- 4
Sheffield (Danny) Mets- 2
Upton (Bonz) Rays- 2
Cano (T-time) Yankees- 2
Lugo (T-time) Red Sox- 1
Reyes (T-time) Mets- 1

Crawford (T-time) Rays- 4
Youkilis (Bonz) Red Sox- 1
Beltran (JJ) Mets- 1


Putz (Danny) Mets- 2-0
--1 strikeout...1 blown save
Burnett (Bonz) Yankees- 1-0
--1 strikeout...1 save...1 complete game
Hughes (Danny) Yankees- 1-0
--3 strikeouts
Smoltz (JJ) Red Sox- 1-0
--1 complete game
Price (T-time) Rays- 1-1
Kazmir (Danny) Rays- 0-0
Lester (Bonz) Red Sox- 0-1
--1 strikeout
Joba (T-time) Yankees- 0-1
Santana (JJ) Mets- 0-1
Masterson (T-time) Red Sox- 0-1
Shields (JJ) Rays- 0-1

Monday, June 8, 2009

Whiff Away

With the lack of television in the summer and my inability to watch much with so much going on here in the great state of Maine, I will not be posting much in the month of June. When the Quiet Pool Perspective does grace you with posts they will mostly be about the crazy happenings around these parts.

With that in mind let's take a look at the squads for the 2009 Quiet Pool Whiffle Ball League.

Yankees (Danny)
Primary Players
Batters: Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera
Pitchers: CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes

Red Sox (Bonz)
Primary Players
Batters: Kevin Youkilis, Jason Bay, Rocco Baldelli, Julio Lugo
Pitchers: Jon Lester, Tim Wakefield, Justin Masterson, John Smoltz

Mets (JJ)
Primary Players
Batters: Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Gary Sheffield, David Wright
Pitchers: Johan Santana, JJ Putz, Francisco Rodriguez, John Maine

Devil Rays (T-time)
Primary Players
Batters: Carl Crawford, Evan Longoria, Carlos Pena, BJ Upton
Pitchers: David Price, Scott Kazmir, James Shields, Andy Sonnanstine

Here's a look at the field with a fantastically constructed home run fence courtesy of Pops.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

#1 Football Movie- Remember The Titans

Remember The Titans (2000)
Starring: Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris

Great characters, great storyline, great football...Remember the Titans has it all and more. Not only are both Denzel's Herman Boone and Patton's Bill Yoast fantastic high school football coaches but two great characters that compliment each other nicely.

There is a great cast of characters on the team; from Frankie Stechino to Dr. Turk, the Notebook guy to Motar, TC Williams Titans had an awesome team of dudes. Heroes star Hayden Panettiere as Coach Yoast's young daughter is hillarious.

Last but definitely not least is the soundtrack. As with most movies set in the late 60s/early 70s, Remember the Titans is filled with great tune after great tune, and it really helps give it the number one spot on this list.

Friday, June 5, 2009

#2 Football Movie- Varsity Blues

Varsity Blues (1999)
Starring: James Van Der Beek, Amy Smart, Jon Voight

The Prefontaine to Friday Night Lights' Without Limits, Varsity Blues is by far the superior movie about Texas high school football. Here are my four favorite things about this movie and why it is the second best film on football.

1) Jon Voight as Coach Bud Kilmer. Voight portrayed this sick, sadistic, power hungry coach unbelievably well. This dude, who cared about nothing but winning and feeding his ego, reminded me very much of a coach from my past. Whether it was forcing players to play through injuries or non-stop acts of harrassment, this guy had serious issues and was extremely fun to watch.

2) Hating on Jon Moxon. James Van Der Beek's character, Jonathon Moxon, was the absolute worst until the very end of this movie. He's so lame I wanted to slap him silly. The difference between 'Mox' and say Dorothy from Jerry Maguire is that nothing about Renee Zellweger's character got me interested. Hating Mox was extremely fun and added a lot to the movie. Now don't get me wrong, the final speech by Mox at halftime was fantastic and a major highlight for me.

3) Amy Smart is awesome. No matter what the context, I've loved Amy Smart in movies. Here she plays Jules Harbor, Mox's girlfriend and the sister of the starting quarterback, Lance Harbor. She battles the conflict between her brother being injured for the season and her boyfriend becoming the star, all the while looking fantastic with the rare brunette hair style.

4) Great football scenes. Some movies just know how to create fantastic football scenes, and this is one of them. There's action packed plays, there's drama filled situations and the musical accompanyment is fantastic during every game the West Canaan Coyotes play.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Video Games Galore

The E3 video game convention was held this week. These are the three games that have me the most excited. Two of them (Wii Sports Resort and Grand Slam Tennis) use the new Wii Motion Plus that enhances the Wiimote so that your character on the screen moves with you in real time.

Wii Sports Resort

New Super Mario Brothers Wii

Grand Slam Tennis

#3 Football Movie- Jerry Maguire

Jerry Maguire (1996)
Starring: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renee Zellweger

Jerry Maguire is a classic movie that happens to revolve around football. If it weren't for some of the terrible Renee Zellweger parts, this could be one of the best all time. Rod Tidwell is easily Cuba Gooding Jr.'s best performance by a country mile, and is up there with some of the best characters ever.

The first thing most people think about Jerry Maguire are some of the most used lines in sports movie history. They are so popular that I didn't even have to look these up...

  • Jerry: "You complete me."
  • Dorothy: "You had me at hello."
  • Jerry: "Who's comin' with me?"
  • Rod/Jerry: "Show me the money!"
  • Ray: "Did you know that bees and dogs can smell fear?"
  • Rod/Jerry: "I love black people!"
  • Ray: "Did you know the human head weighs eight pounds?"
  • Dorothy: "I love him for the man he wants to be. And I love him for the man that he almost is."
Then there was this classic moment between Jerry and little Ray...

Jerry: "The f*ckin' zoo is closed, Ray."
Ray: "You said f*ck."
Jerry: "Uh...yeah...I..."
Ray: "Don't worry. I won't tell."

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

That New Wave

This past weekend Ty was babbling about some new technology by Google, Google Wave. He tried to explain how sweet it was, but it wasn't coming out as an unbelievable innovation to me. Because of my faith in my boy Ty, and of course Google, I was stilled intrigued. I searched for it and found myself watching the entire creators' demonstration at wave.google.com (run time, 1:20:12).

This thing is really gonna be the new wave in so many aspects of the technological world. Just in this semi-brief demonstration you can see all of the capabilities wave has. The wave has the capability to wipe out any normal uses of e-mail and instant messaging, while giving new life to blogging and twitter.

Some of My Favorites (with so much more I'm forgetting)
--In a message you receive, you can split it so that you can respond to different parts of the message individually.
--Add a person to a developed convo and they will see all the different places each person talked. Playback capabilities allow the third person to see in what order each comment was said.
--If any or all parties in a convo are online, you see all keystrokes in real time, as typing is updated immediately (this can be disabled if you don't want someone to see all your mistakes).
--Their new spellchecker changes words that are correct but don't fit a particular sentence. Example- 'I have bean to France.' would automatically change 'bean' to 'been'.
--Drag pictures from your computer directly into the wave and enters them into the convo as thumbnails.
--Using the edit tool, a paper or document can be edited by two or three individuals in a collaborative, real-time style.
----Highlights come back to you in yellow and red marks to show you what's been changed in your message.
----Enter the wave late and you can use playback to see how the document started and who made what changes to it.
--Add robots to the wave, such as Bloggy, to ship the wave directly to your blog. If someone comments on the blog post it is automatically added to the wave and vice versa.
----Another robot, Rosie, uses a real-time translator to have a convo with someone who speaks another language.

Creators' Demonstration


#4 Football Movie- We Are Marshall

We Are Marshall (2006)
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Matthew Fox, Ian McShane

What an anbelievably horrific beginning to We Are Marshall. It is the true story of the 1970 Marshall Football Team that was devastated by a plane crash killing almost all of the team and coaches. The accident really grabs you early and forced this movie watcher to be concerned for the future of Assistant Coach Red Dawson (Matthew Fox) and team captain Nate Ruffin (Anthony Mackie). Ruffin rallies enough students to convince the board of governors to let Marshall play the 1971 season.

McConaughey is brilliant as head coach Jack Lengyel who goes out of his way to take the seemingly unwanted position. Lengyel and the rest petition the NCAA to let freshmen play so that they can field a team. McConaughey makes the character strong but quirky, and his greatness culminates with his encounter with coaching great Bobby Bowden at West Virginia. When Bowden lets Lengyel and Dawson have free reign of the West Virginia game tapes, McConaughey's accent of "That's first class coach...first class," is my favorite moment of the movie.

I'm not gonna lie...I just watched the trailer and I got chills during the scene when almost the entire student body is out on the green chanting "We Are...Marshall!"

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

#5 Football Movie- Little Giants

Little Giants (1994)
Starring: Rick Moranis, Ed O'Neil, Shawna Waldron

Ed O'Neil propels this movie from a good kids sports movie to a hilarious comedy about little kids' football. Sure I get plenty of unintentional comedy from the Ice Box and a few of the kids have a couple of good lines, but without O'Neil as Kevin O'Shea this movie would fall to pieces. Not much funnier than a grown man that loves winning at the peewee level, hates on his little brother and thinks that girls shouldn't be allowed to play football. Butz as his sidekick also helps with a couple of gems.

(After Zoltec finishes the 40 yard dash)
Zoltec- "How'd I do Coach?"
Kevin O'Shea- "I don't know son, I don't have a sundial."

(O'Shea and Butz examine Zoltec after he gets tackled hard. They find food in his helmet.)
Kevin O'Shea- "You'll never get anywhere treating your helmet like a lunchbox son. What's that?"
Butz- "Cheetos."
Kevin O'Shea- "Crunchy of puffed?"
Butz- "Puffed."
Kevin O'Shea- "Whimp."

(O'Shea and Butz spying on the Little Giants' practice)
Butz (analyzing the Giants formation)- "The center's in the backfield, the tackles are out wide, and the quarterback's not even there."
O'Shea- "They're just standing around Butz!"

(Kevin telling Danny to not make another peewee team.)
Kevin O'Shea- "Guys like you and kids like that, that can't help it that they're no good."

Monday, June 1, 2009

#6 Football Movie- Necessary Roughness

Necessary Roughness (1991)
Starring: Scott Bakula, Hector Elizondo, Robert Loggia

I first saw this movie a long time ago when I was a young buck. I never watched it for a long time after and always had good memories about it. T-time bought it a while ago and I finally got around to watching it last summer. It did not disappoint. Necessary Roughness is the classic story about a college football team that, due to sanctions by the NCAA, has to form a squad from their current student body without the use of scholarship athletes.

My birthday buddy Scott Bakula plays the 35 year old quarterback, that was a high school star but never played college because he had to take care of the farm when his dad died. Between him, Sinbad as a physics teacher turned player, a chick as the kicker, a karate master and Rob Schneider as the game announcer, there are plenty of shenanigans to go around.