Brain Farts

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Movie Review: The N Word

I watched this documentary the other day, and I was quite impressed.  It features interviews with many prominent African-Americans in various fields (entertainment, education, etc…) and asks them about their feelings on the use of the infamous “N-word”.  Thankfully, it was done without any heavy-handedness (except for the few excerpts of poetry and book passages performed by actors and poets; didn’t need that).  And with folks such as Chris Rock, Whoopi Goldberg and Paul Mooney being interviewed, there was a fair amount of humor in the discussion as well.  (Why Mr. Mooney doesn’t have his own show on HBO or another cable channel is pretty much a tragedy).

The most interesting parts came with the telling of the history of word by scholars as well as old-timers who grew up subjected to being called the word.  (Oh yeah, the word we’re discussing is “nigger” just in case you haven’t heard anyone speak in the last 200 years.  Didn’t think I needed to establish that, but might as well).

I myself have always been a bit conflicted about it.  It’s never really been part of my vocabulary, although there are times depending on the present company, I’ll let it slip out.  And let’s be honest, as despicable of a word it is, it just needs to be said sometimes; never at a specific person, but more as a description of a type of person.  However, I have never been comfortable being called it by anyone of any race, as a term of endearment, an insult, whatever.  Hypocritical?  Yes.  So sue me.

The one interesting note I took away from this movie was a take you don’t hear too often.  A couple of interviewees noted that the public use of the word says more about the speaker than it does about the so-called “target”.  When you cringe upon hearing it, you’re more embarrassed for or ashamed of the person speaking it, than you are sad for whom they assigned it to.  I must agree.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Now that's classy

It comes as no surprise that Lane Kiffin was fired by Al Davis today.  What's a bit shocking is the manner in which it was done.  First, Kiffin has been twisting in the wind ever since January about his job status.  Davis has done his best to try to get Kiffin to resign on his own so he wouldn't have to pay him the remainder of his contract.  Kiffin basically said, "Um.. no.  I'm good.  If you want to get rid of me, you'll have to fire me."

Now with the Raiders 1-3 and headed into the bye week, Davis felt this was as good a time as any to finally fire his head coach.  But instead of being a man, or professional, Davis decided to fire Kiffin by phone.

"... the news was not delivered by Davis in a face-to-face meeting. Kiffin was notified by a team executive Tuesday morning that Davis would call him at 9:15 a.m. PT to relieve the coach of his duties. The call came shortly after that time."
"Linehan also was allowed to speak briefly with his players on Monday. Kiffin will not be afforded the same opportunity, a source said."

Wow.  So basically I've reached a point I have never been with a team of mine.  I want them to be as bad as possible.  I cannot possibly support this crap.  Don't get me wrong... the Raiders are still my team, but the best thing for them is to continue down the path they're headed so ultimately the league has to step in and relieve Mr. Davis of his duties.  As long as he's manning the ship, the Raiders will be the laughingstock of ALL sports.

So, good luck Kiffin.  You deserved better.  Actually, you're probably the happiest person right now.  You're finally rid of the baggage that is the Oakland Raiders.

When does the Laker season start again?


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Time to get back to work

Enough playtime with need to finish up some work, and get the hell out of here.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Movie Review: The Dark Knight

To use Flavor Flav's favorite word, "Wow." The Dark Knight surpassed all of my (high) expectations ten-fold. I'm actually at a loss for words in how to explain how great this movie is. It pretty much defines what any comic fan wants from a movie adaptation of their favorite title. Great storyline. Great special effects. Great action. Tremendous acting. And speaking of acting, I was skeptical about all the praise being heaped onto Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker. I was worried that the critics might be swept under the emotion of his untimely death, but I was wrong, they were right. He was ridiculous. There are many moments in the movie where you just say to yourself, "Damn! This guy is f**king good!" His is the most menacing, diabolical, sadistic, funniest Joker ever... and this is a good thing.

The Joker

But the acting kudos don't just go to Ledger. I have to give it up to Bale, Caine, Eckhart and others. Just brilliant acting all around giving life to a strong script by the Nolan brothers and David S. Goyer.

My only negative point about the movie is Maggie Gyllenhaal. If someone can explain to me how or why she keeps getting roles, please do. She's an average actress, and she's butt ugly. But I can't really even complain about that because the movie treated her justly. I'll just leave it at that so as not to reveal too much if you haven't seen it yet.

It easily goes to the top of my favorite superhero/comic films of all time. If you're curious, they happen to be:

  1. The Dark Knight
  2. Superman II
  3. Batman Begins
  4. Superman the Movie
  5. The Incredibles

Not only that, but it made my top-five movies of all time, regardless of the genre. It's that good of a film people. I'm definitely watching again in the theaters (probably IMAX, who's with me?), and definitely buying ASAP on DVD.

PS: Let's give a hand to the studios for once for releasing what has to be the best batch of comic movies in a single year. Ironman, The Hulk, and now The Dark Knight are just flat-out great movies.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Movie Review: The Incredible Hulk

Don't worry, there are no real spoilers below. Anything I mention about the movie you probably already know from the trailers.

Went to see The Incredible Hulk last night. I went in with lowered expectations. Not only because of Ang Lee's snoozefest, but because I was of the mindset that maybe this particular comic book character didn't necessarily translate to the big screen very well. And I'm glad to say I was wrong. I was pretty impressed. In my opinion, it wasn't as good as Iron Man, but a damn good movie nonetheless.

Obviously, there were many things wrong with the first Hulk attempt. And here is where I think Marvel and director Louis Leterrier made the greatest improvements.

The Incredible Hulk

First, it gave all the little pop-culture and Marvel universe nods that us comic-geeks love. From the subtle (a small TV clip of "Courtship of Eddie's Father" starring Bill Bixby), to the tired (the requisite Stan Lee cameo), and to the cross-over (the cameo of Tony Stark, minor mentions of Nick Fury, SHIELD, etc...) You can't help but get hyped knowing (or hoping) that Marvel Studios is correctly building a solid foundation for future movies and sequels.

Secondly, one of the issues from the first movie that most people overlook when critiquing it, is the timing of the release. Lee's Hulk came out in 2003, only two years removed from the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Seeing as the major villain in the Hulk storyline is the U.S. military, I don't feel America was ready to root against itself just yet. Not only that, but with no real super-villain for the Hulk to battle against, most moviegoers sighed a collective "eh". Leterrier's version gives us a worthy foe in Tim Roth's portrayal of Abomination, so at some point, we actually get to root for the Hulk, and not just wish he would chill the eff out.

Yeah, so I give it a thumbs up... Definitely worth a DVD purchase... And a possibility of paying to see it in the theater again.