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Found 10 results

  1. Heh. You're assuming I have a clue as to what backchecking is (don't worry, I can search that one). Are you betraying your hatred of the Caps by ranking Ovechkin 10-20 as opposed to 5-10? Or even 1-10? I honestly don't know the answer to this; only that people seem to think he is the second coming of ... Lemieux? (Give me credit for knowing you're from Western Pennsylvania and not saying Gretzky.)
  2. "7:19" is a dramatic tale of survival in the 1985 Mexico City earthquake (which happened at 7:19 AM). One little flaw I noticed is that, when an earthquake happens, everyone pretty much notices it at the same time (I was in the 2011 earthquake here while in *Reagan Airport* - small items were falling from the rafters ... that was a tense couple of minutes. Anyway, three people are talking, and they're slightly out-of-sync when the earthquake starts - these pictures are a total of only about three-seconds apart, so it isn't noticeable except in slow-motion, and yes, it's a nit-picky detail, but they definitely notice something is wrong, one person at a time: 1:25:43 - The pleasant chat 1:25:41 - The man says goodbye, and the older woman notices. 1:25:40 - The man now notices, and calmly says, "Oh, dear!" 1:25:39 - The man calmly adds, "It's an earthquake" as the younger woman looks like she's about to throw up. If you scroll through the four pictures quickly while looking at the younger girl, it's actually pretty funny. I'm quite pleased to add that I saw the 1974 film, "Earthquake," on release, in Sensurround. --- ETA - I suggest thinking twice about seeing this film, as it is one of the grimmest motion pictures I have ever experienced. It's an excellent movie, but you really need to be in the proper frame of mind if you choose to see it - it's something akin to visiting the Holocaust Museum.
  3. If you and your S.O. are ever sitting around one night, too tired to watch anything challenging, not wanting to go to sleep just yet, and talking about what to watch that's fun but not too mentally taxing (and this situation seems to happen fairly often), then "Fright Night" is the *perfect* answer to all your movie needs. I have no idea why, but I've watched "Fright Night" about three times now, and I always enjoy it as a fun, sometimes funny, sometimes mildly thrilling, piece of mindless entertainment with surprisingly good acting, plot, and special effects - a movie that you can pay 75%-attention to, and still not miss a thing, and yet, won't be a waste of your time at all. The film that immediately comes to mind when I try and think of a "comparable" is "Arachnaphobia" (1990), another fun, semi-mindless, but not-at-all-worthless piece of entertainment. Chris Sarandon (who met his wife Susan Sarandon at Catholic University) is *perfect* as Jerry Dandridge, the "vampire" - he's extremely handsome, charming, funny, and this part seems like it was literally made with him in mind. The other three major roles: the teen couple Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) and Amy Peterson (Amanda Bearse), and "vampire killer" Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall) are very well-acted, and then there's the sleeper of the film, the supporting role of "Evil Ed" (Stephen Geoffreys, who would surprisingly go on to dabble in porn), is brilliantly acted. All five of these actors are strong, and the special effects are worth a special mention. This movie is just plain mindless fun, and of high-enough quality so that you won't feel you're wasting your time by watching it. Do not hesitate to rent it. Think of "Total Recall" (1990) as another comparable, although that's more of a mind-fuck, and requires perhaps 10% more brainpower in order to figure out what on earth just happened.
  4. How great of a swimmer is Michael Phelps? So great that it's exceedingly difficult to understand his achievements by reading that Wikipedia article - it's so difficult to encapsulate his awards that reading the article is a chore. When I was 11 years old, there was Mark Spitz - I can still remember the TV screen, saying: "7 Events Entered, 7 Gold Medals, 7 World Records." Surely there would never be a greater swimmer than this; surely we were all wrong. How vast are Michael Phelps' achievements? You can take either his individual gold medals (13), or team gold medals (10), and in either category, he has more than anyone else has *total*. Add to this number 3 silver medals and 2 bronze medals, and his 28 olympic medals is 10 more than anyone else in history (legendary 1956-1964 Soviet gymnast, Larisa Latynina, won 18 olympic medals - and as of this writing, 29 other people have between 10-15 olympic medals). That's just the Olympics; Phelps has a total of 83 medals in international long-course competition (a "long-course" pool is 50 meters as opposed to a "short-course" pool which is 25). I have no idea how many world records Phelps either currently holds or at one time held - he was named "World Swimmer of the Year" 7 times, and "American Swimmer of the Year" 9 times. The awards have not yet been given for 2016, so you can expect these numbers to increase. What else can be said? (Actually, a lot, but I'll stop here.) Phelps must be considered on any intelligent short list of "Greatest Athletes in World History." For him to enter the surreal realms of Jim Thorpe, Babe Ruth, Jessie Owens, Jackie Robinson, and Muhammad Ali, he'll need to do something that transcends athletics, but give him some time - he's only 31 years old. Think about this: 52 years from now, for the 2068 Olympics, it's not inconceivable that he could light the torch! (I'll be long gone, but this thread will still exist in one form or another - make sure to update us about what's going on.)
  5. Two extremely knowledgeable friends of mine (a professional musician and a world-class amateur) cannot agree on this one performer - I say Gilels is world-class in every respect; they say he's "stiff." I say they're wrong; they say I'm wrong. I'm hoping that this title attracts knowledgeable pianists on Google that are familiar enough with Gilels to express an opinion. I don't even see this as being a close call. Gilels plays 20th-century Russian music better than anyone, including Richter. Love of Three Oranges (you have to watch on YouTube)
  6. FYI, Flutie is part Lebanese....while having absolutely nothing to do with this topic, he has likely enjoyed his fair share of kibbeh nayyeh in his lifetime. Although, as unbreakable records go, it is unlikely another part-Lebanese quarterback will win a Heisman....
  7. I saw this movie when it first came out, and didn't give it much thought; I saw it again (after having recently watched "Unforgiven" (1992) and "Dirty Harry" (1971)), and *loved it*. I don't know when Malpaso Productions (Clint Eastwood's company) became essentially "Clint Eastwood," but this was clearly part of, if not after, Eastwood's breakout, and I'm only beginning to fully realize just what a megastar he is in Hollywood. "Pale Rider" is based on one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and has religious motifs and sub-motifs throughout. It is a deep-thinking, reflective "Western" full of parable and allegory - like "Unforgiven," it's a "Western" in quotes. There's no question that Clint Eastwood is Hollywood - he's an impresario for the masses, even if his work is on a higher plain than many others, many of whom merely drift around for the money. But for mass consumption, Eastwood has done an honorable job, and in the process, has split many a stone, and broken many a seal. Parts about the ending I found a bit over-the-top (the hand reaching out of the water trough (which incidentally Roger Ebert (who I think was a *fine* critic) felt should have been edited out)), and melodramatic (Megan calling out to Preacher, saying "I love you! Thank you!"), but hey, it's Hollywood. I also find it discussion-worthy and interesting whether or not hydraulic mining was a precursor to fracking.
  8. As I'm typing this (and this), Stanislas Wawrinka has just defeated the great Novak Djokovic for the 2015 French Open Men's Singles Championship. Given that Wawrinka dispatched Federer in the quarter-finals, and beat Djokovic at the peak of his game, and also won the 2014 Australian Open Men's Singles Title, you really have to include him in any discussion of "Who's the best men's tennis player right now?" I think Wawrinka has broken through to the top 4, displacing Andy Murray, and may even be better than that. In no way is Djokovic finished, although Nadal's may be a career in decline from this point forward. Given that I think Nadal, and perhaps even Djokovic, have careers that are in question, it is fitting that it appears as though Federer may well rise above this giant, multi-year tangle of thorns to be ultimately considered the Greatest Of All-Time.
  9. Ok, so I don't know what the fuck Yorke is singing about most of the time, and some of their music can get a little ponderous for my tastes, but damn these guys are good. I pretend I can play guitar and know a fair amount about rock and its common musical structures, but I don't have any idea how they write and perform this stuff. It's like they come from another planet. Radiohead - Austin City Limits 2012 (can someone tell me the name of the tune at the 13 minute mark?) The layering of sounds they put into a track can be hypnotic. The guitar work is stellar. And Yorke has one hell of a unique and wide-ranging voice. If they ever tour again, I'm there even though I've sworn off stadium shows. From a great height... Michael.
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