Monday, February 23, 2009

Requisite Oscars/NBA cross over post

[EDIT: After several emails and other comments which told me that this post was unreadable, I re-formatted it so that it no longer appears ONLY in widescreen resolutions. Now all the text should appear. Thanks!]

If you are like me, you have a special woman in your life who made you a) watch the Oscars, b) simultaneously tape it to your digital media recording device, and c) do the same for the pre-Oscars red carpet thingy. Hopefully this is a small majority of men out there, for watching a program so self-aggrandizing disgusted me . . . then again, I read the ESPN.com website, so perhaps the two forums aren't too far off in reality. That said, let's take a look at some of the movies nominated (and not nominated), and see if there's some loose threads we can stitch together to make a post about . . .

After this off-season he's going to change his name to Moneysap

The big winner of the night was "Slumdog Millionaire", despite actually casting the talented Anil Kapoor in the role of a villain, the movie was pretty solid. It was not the best movie of all time, and it's not going to make anyone forget about previous movies that dominated the awards ceremonies, but it was a small film from the middle of no where that came on strong . . . and as people continued to notice it . . . it became such a huge hit that it ended up winning 8 Oscars -- you know 3 less than Ben Hur (my fav. movie of all time). Perhaps if the field was stronger this year, and there was more competition for Slumdog then the movie would not have been regarded as such a success. Sound like anyone we have on our team? It should, we have our own Slumdog Millionaire on our team in Paul Millsap -- born into a difficult situation in Louisiana growing up under harsh economic situations, yet learning the value of hard work, he has fought his way into the NBA and earned a minimum salary contract. This year he is a (restricted) free agent, and looks to break out and win his big payday.

A Carlos Boozer Joint (not affiliated with Brevin Knight)

A few Jazz fans would easily take the easy route and make initial connections to Carlos Boozer with the movie "Doubt". I don't want to go there, especially not when his coach goes to bat for him and suggests that Carlos has done everything he has been asked to do. Instead, I'm going with "The Dark Night", while the movie was enjoyed, it did not really gain any critical claim (save for being nominated for 8 Oscars). The Dark Knight, essentially, is a movie that delves into the issues of perception and reality. Bruce Wayne is a good guy who is caring and hard working who hides that with the appearances of being an extremely wealthy 'douche bag' who lives a good life and is vapid, but somewhere between the real Bruce and the fake Bruce is a man who fights for good. Yet even in doing that his crime fighting persona is equally loved and vilified by the very people that he is fighting for. The only people who really get Batman, really understand him and the sacrifices he has made are those closest to him -- his team. How is this not Carlos Boozer? We all think he's a bad guy -- isn't this almost exactly how all people on Gotham's police force and underbelly alike (save for Gordon) see him? He is like a Dark Knight in that he is not without blemishes, he can take the criticism, yet still press on to do good.

The part Jerry Sloan was born to play

When looking on IMDB.com I see a lot of movies that are highly ranked partly due to their own virtues, but mostly popular due to how recent they are. The 'industry' really appears to be a 'what have you done for me lately' kind of business -- and this is similar to the NBA in some respects. Thankfully some performances do get recognized, even though they are by older actors, or happen to occur in movies that do not have high profile stars the kids of today are familiar with. It's pretty much the same mentality that makes Doc Rivers a two time coach of the year -- yet he couldn't coach his way out of a paper bag, he's been fired like 2 times hasn't he? Clint Eastwood is a throwback, and his character (in Gran Torino) of a grizzled old man assessing his life in the wake of his wife's death, and trying to still forge a place in the world for someone like him really seems a lot like Jerry Sloan. Sloan has won a lot of games and was an All-Star a few times as a player himself; Eastwood was one of the best leading men in the film industry and gone on to be a great director. If it is possible, I find that both are talked about quite a bit, yet, both are still under appreciated today.

Andrei and Masha Kirilekno

Okay, this one is a stretch, but . . . did anyone actually see the highly acclaimed movie "The Reader"? 15 year old boy thrown into 'the game' in Europe during crazy times, passionate love affair with older woman who has a crazy past? Dude likes to read? Sounds like Andrei Kirilenko, who turned pro at the age of 15 (well, I think it was 16, but that's still 2 years earlier than CJ did); and married an older woman. (Masha is a few years older) The time between Andrei being a professional till them meeting later in life masks some weird shit Masha did. No, she was not employed by a genocide organization, but she did study abroad and became a pop music producer. (Not exactly the straight and narrow) Let's just saw that she knew much more of the world before Andrei knew her.

Starring Matt Harpring

I don't really want to go into it, but "The Wrestler" and Matt Harpring -- both are tough, gritty and flawed individuals trying to do the best they can with what they have -- while fighting their toughest rival yet: father time. Both spend more time grappling than any of the fancy moves you see today, and I guess that Harpring's wife (who is a successful doctor pulling in over $175k per year) is kinda like former Oscar winner Marisa Tomei on some level on the spousal success meter.

Starring Jarron Collins

I did not watch this movie either, but the plot seems kind of interesting . . . there's this guy, and when he's born he's all old and stuff. And then he ages backwards . . . somehow there's a tie into a love interest (and the special time in their lives when they are both the same age) and something about New Orleans. I guess the point, or gimmick is that instead of getting older, something natural, he gets younger. What else defies the natural laws of reality? How about a guy who was pretty solid in his rookie season, only to get worse every following season in the NBA? Thus, I give you, "The curious case of Jarron Collins". (click on "the curious case of" to go to the imdb.com website for the movie, or click on Jarron's name to read his actually curious case)

I could not actually find a movie poster for this one . . .

If you thought the Wrestler=Harpring thing was a stretch you're not going to like liking Kosta Koufos with "New Boy" . . . a story about being the new kid in school. Apparently there are some race issues in this movie, or undertones, and they probably don't exist in Kosta's life unless Memo gives him a hard time about Cyprus or something.

To get to the mooooooovies!

Okay, this is another movie I have not seen, but . . . the concept of "Step Brothers" seems interesting: two guys end up having to live together (as their single parents get married) and they have to learn to live with it. They have a history of competition, but -- I'm guessing -- learn to work it all out together. I'm thinking 2005 Draft Pick C.J. Miles and 2006 Draft Pick Ronnie Brewer for these roles. They were initially thrust into having to live together (as starters), have a history of competition (they had to fight for playing time over the last few seasons) and -- we're hoping -- learn to work it all out together. Both hardly see much time in the 4th quarter of games, and have had their ups and downs this season, but right now both are playing quite well. Also their film history does suggest that they could carry a comedy film. (necessary link)

Either their director was wrong, or I am wrong about what this movie is about

Out of all of these, the least research was put into linking "The Visitor" with Morris Almond and Kyrylo Fesenko. In the movie a college professor learns that he has some illegal immigrant squatters living in his apartment -- instead of calling the cops we get a drama about cultural exchange and growth. Instead of making it a college professor, how about a college grad . . . and instead of squatters, a large Ukrainian guy (with work visa troubles) who doesn't have a drivers licence and calls you all the time when he needs to go somewhere? This has buddy comedy written all over it, something like Rush Hour meets What about Bob?, but without all the fighting, and probably about twice as much slap stick comedy.

Just . . . a horrible movie all around

Okay, that's a flat out lie . . . the least research was actually trying to link "Burn after reading" with Memo, Korver, Brevin and Ronnie Price. Korver is the pretty dumb one (Brad Pitt). Knight is the intense dumb one (John Malkovich). Memo is the funny, bearded dumb one (George Clooney). Ronnie Price just wants to get paid (Frances McDormand). I got nothing.

I'm coming for your APG title, CP3

Lastly, I'm not a huge fan of remakes, though at times I can freely admit that a modern take on a great movie/character/script is well worth the admission. For example, I think that 12 Angry Men is a great movie; one that would be good in the right hands if remade. Similarly, John Stockton was amazing, and a modern take on him would desperately help our team escape from the Milt Palacio's and Keith McLeod's of previous years. That said, some times expectations are hard to meet on these remakes. "Quantum of Solace", on its' own, is an okay movie -- but as an closeted remake of the older Bond movie "Licence to Kill" it pales in comparison. The new Bond is better than the old Bond in some ways, similarly, Deron Williams is better than John in some ways -- but really, I think historical revisionism is going a bit far when some Jazz fans feel that Deron is better . . . Deron Williams' hasn't even made an All-Star team or been first in the league in APG in a season yet. But back to the movie . . . Quantum of Solace is, essentially, a revenge movie. A strong character who often has to do it on his own to get things done finally gets some help around the end of the film, puts it all together, and does what he is supposed to do, in order to attain that very small quantum of solace. Deron has over the past few seasons been an All-Star, though his 'team' hasn't won enough games by the All-Star break the past two seasons to warrant his inclusion in the All-Star game. This season has been no different. James Bond is in similar situations where he's not highly regarded, has to do it alone, and though hard work and perseverance gets the job done. The few quanta of solace for Deron this season (again, no All-Star nod) will have to be making the All-NBA team (again); getting just as far, if not farther than CP3 in the playoffs (again); and beating his ass in head to head competition (again).

Yeah. Going to bed at 2 am on a Sunday night isn't that fun . . .

2 comments:

The Crotty Kid said...

If you stayed up to watch the whole thing, you're a better man than I.

Amar said...

It was, really, a waste of my time. I told my wife that I'm boycotting the Oscars from now on.