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Found 11 results

  1. Chris Evert just said (after the 2019 Wimbledon Singles final, in which Simona Halep defeated Serena Williams, 6-2, 6-2), "Boy, I wasn't expecting this." I'm surprised Evert said that - I would have put my money on Halep before this match. The two-time former world #1 has now won two Grand Slams, one on clay, and the other on grass.
  2. And so I did, tonight for the third time. When I saw "Barton Fink" in the theater, I swore it was one of the greatest films I'd ever seen, but I didn't have the first idea *why* it was. Tonight, I still think it is, and only now do I fully realize just how much of this film I don't understand. As I type this, I'm partially finished with this piece, an important analysis of "Barton Fink" - "'Writers Come and Go': The Greatness of Barton Fink" by Eric S. Piotrowski on medium.com
  3. It has been said about Michelle Larcher de Brito that, 'Every time she hits a tennis ball, a little girl falls off a cliff.'
  4. For several years, I was a Big Brother, until my little brother, Ali, his mom Iris, and his sister, Naimah, moved to San Diego to stake out a better life for themselves. I remember taking his family to the airport, and had to pay for their cat to get on the plane because they didn't have the money. I only saw Ali once more after that, a few years later when I went to visit their family out in San Diego. We drove up to Los Angeles because Ali wanted to go to the Spike Lee Store, where everything was overpriced and of questionable quality. I bought him a T-shirt, and paid twice what it was worth - I didn't want to drive back to San Diego without a momento from his hero. A few years before that, I had flown in from Moscow. Exhausted after traveling the better part of 24 hours, I was ready to collapse into bed, but checked my answering machine first. There was a message from Iris: Ali's best friend Frankie was shot and killed in a drug deal gone bad, and the funeral was in about one hour. Somehow, I found the strength to throw on a suit, and drive to Seat Pleasant, where I was the only white person at the funeral. Frankie's mom came up to me, and asked me to say a few words. To this day, I have no idea why - what the heck was I supposed to say? Fighting lack of concentration because of sleepiness, I fumbled through my speech, turned to Frankie lying in his coffin, and told him we all loved him - that won the audience over, and things went as well as they could have under the extreme amount of pressure I was under. Six years ago, I wondered what Ali had been up to, and I searched his name on the internet, only to find his obituary. I posted this. Frankie and Ali were both the finest young men. I loved them and miss them terribly to this day - their premature deaths are 100% attributable to the neighborhoods they grew up in - even though Iris tried her best to escape, it just wasn't enough. She didn't have the money. I did things with Ali and Frankie about once a week, and remember one day asking them where they went to school. "Taney Middle School," Ali said, which meant nothing to me, or to him, or to Frankie. But a few years later, I did a little research, and found that Roger B. Taney was a Supreme Court Justice. 'Okay,' I thought to myself, they had gone to a middle school named after a Supreme Court Justice. Then, I found out that Roger B. Taney was actually Chief Justice from 1836-1864, and was the person who wrote the majority decision in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case of 1857. These children were going to a school that was nearly 100% black, and the school was named after the Chief Justice who tried the Dred Scott case? I couldn't believe it, but over the years, I forgot all about it. Until recently, when it popped back into my mind, and I Googled to see if that school was really named after the same man who wrote the Dred Scott ruling - the ruling that said, blacks "had no rights which the white man was bound to respect." Fortunately, in 1993, someone had the common sense to change the name of the school from "Roger B. Taney Middle School" to "Thurgood Marshall Middle School": "School May Change Name to Thurgood Marshall" on articles.orlandosentinel.com This column came out today: "Out with Redskins - and Everything Else!" by George F. Will on washingtonpost.com Will mixed up some valid points along with some reductio ad absurdum, as he seems to have a tendency to do - he's a smart guy; I wonder what he would say about Roger B. Taney Middle School educating a nearly all-black student body.
  5. Last month I took a flight from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and the plane wasn't full, but when I walked towards the back, I found there was only one row left with a single person in it, so I nabbed the aisle seat while another gentleman sat by the window (the middle seat being vacant). As soon as I sat down, I glanced over and said to myself, "This guy is an athlete." He was big, and fully dressed in NBA gear - not in a showy way, but in a "this is how I normally dress" way. I told him that all the other rows had two people in it, and that I'd give him plenty of room in the center - he was appreciative, and actually fell asleep for the entire flight - I asked no questions so he could have his privacy. But leaving the plane, I noticed he was sporting a well-worn "Reno Bighorns" backpack - the Bighorns are the NBA G-League team for the Sacramento Kings. Five minutes of research told me I'd been sitting next to Reggie Hearn. I wrote him a brief note on Facebook, wishing him luck, as he's steadily improving each year - he wrote back, and we exchanged a couple cordial notes - it turns out he's a super-nice guy, family oriented, and a starting 6'5" guard for the Bighorns. He asked why I didn't strike up a conversation, and I told him this little anecdote about one time I was in Dulles Airport: "Reggie, I thought you'd enjoy this story: I make a habit of giving celebrities (yes, you're a celebrity) their privacy. One day, I was walking up the ramp at Dulles Airport near Washington, DC, and in the distance, walking towards me, I saw a VERY tall man coming. I said to myself, "This is one of the tallest people I've ever seen," even though he was still about 50 feet away. I purposely didn't stare at him, but when we came to within about 20 feet of each other, an airport porter up above started shouting, "My hero! My hero!" I looked up, and it was KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR! He looked kind of annoyed, like he just wanted to get the heck out of there - I let him have his privacy and didn't even acknowledge him, figuring that's the best gift I could have given him after a long flight. Best regards, Don Rockwell" So, from this point forward, your moderator is an accidental Reggie Hearn fan, and I look forward to following his career going forward - it's kind of scary that someone this good hasn't quite made the leap to the NBA. Reggie Hearn Northwestern Stats on espn.com Reggie Hearn Reno Bighorns highlights on gleague.nba.com
  6. "Tous Les Matins du Monde" is an intense, unrelentingly sad drama based in the mid-late 1600s, involving the life of the great viol de gambe composers Marin Marais, his teacher, Saint-Colombe, and Saint-Colombe's two daughters. It is a film about loss, longing, wasted lives, and ultimate redemption. However, this film is so unrelentingly intense in its sadness that the "ultimate redemption" is like having an ounce of water after you've crawled out of a desert. To me, this is one of the greatest movies I've ever seen because the musical aspect resonated with me so deeply; to the average person, probably not as much (I saw this once before, back in the 1990s, and thought the same thing, so my personal life events have nothing to do with my thoughts about the film). I say, "See it!" But be aware that you're not going to want to go ride roller coasters when it's over. There's no violence, very little sexual innuendo, and nothing graphic; this is just a straight-up, human drama with a ton of character exploration. Guillaume Depardieu plays the young Marin Marais, while his more famous father plays the older, more decrepit version of same - the transition, while hardly seamless (I mean, this guy is *French*), is just about perfect.
  7. Wild Turkey makes a couple of wild turkeys - just like they all do (I'm looking at you, Jim Beam) - but the 101-Proof Bourbon and Rye have always come through for me. Some Bourbon aficionado friends of mine maintain that 90 Proof is the "sweet-spot," below which Bourbon and Rye dare not tread, but I've found some offerings in the mid-90s that seem to have declined in recent years - in particular, I'm thinking of Bulleit, whose Rye I used to really enjoy, and is offered at 95 Proof; however, that product is not what it once was - maybe I'm the only one who's noticed, but I used to like it, and no longer do. Having always enjoyed both Wild Turkey 101 offerings, I tried the "Rare Breed," which is a barrel-proof offering that was introduced to market in 1991. There have been varying degrees of strength over the years, but the current offering at VA ABC stores is at 112.8 Proof, and I'll take this over 90% of the Bourbons out there, any day (Bourbon has become subject to the same marketing game that wine, and then beer, have succumbed to, and the only way to be sure you're getting a good product is to either know someone, or educate yourself). Rare Breed is widely available, and sells in the $40s for a .750 bottle and in the $20s for a .375. I've had two experiences with really *bad* service at walk-in stores lately, and this was one of them, but I'm writing this one off to "youthful over-exuberance" - it was *so* over-the-top that it was laughable. Two other related threads that could, for now, justifiably be merged into one "Wild Turkey" thread: Wild Turkey "Forgiven" Wild Turkey "American Honey"
  8. I rewatched "The Silence Of The Lambs" this week for the first time in many years, and was struck by just how few minutes of screen time Anthony Hopkins had, compared to what I remember (and I've seen the film 3-4 times now, though some of it was, if you'll excuse the pun, in small bites). I feel almost guilty for not absolutely loving this great thriller more than I did, especially because it's probably a matter of it simply not living up to the considerable hype that I'd built up in my mind. And while I picked up nuances that I'd missed before, "Silence Of The Lambs" is, to me, largely an Anthony Hopkins showpiece, and when Hopkins wasn't on screen, everything seemed to drag a bit. Ted Levine didn't do much for me as Buffalo Bill - despite the entire film revolving around him, his character was, paradoxically, poorly developed. Yes, Jodie Foster was outstanding in her role of Agent Starling, and the much ballyhooed Pas De Deux between her and Lecter lives up to its billing. The strongest feeling I have about this movie is that I cannot imagine any other actor in the world playing the role of Hannibal Lecter. In all of cinematic history, this must surely be one of the all-time great actor-to-character fits. Hopkins stole the show, even when he wasn't there: The fascinating story of him talking his neighbor into committing suicide took place entirely off-screen, and yet the viewer can spend quite a bit of time imagining what must have transpired. The basic plot of using one serial killer to catch another is extremely interesting, and the human pathos of this man just wanting to be able to see a tree evokes a great deal of sympathy (see? I'm feeling sorry for a brutal serial killer - the ability to successfully manipulate the viewer is one of several remarkable achievements in this film). There's no doubt "Silence Of The Lambs" is a good movie, and there's very little doubt it's a great movie; but there are just too many things lacking, and it's just not complete enough, for it to be one of my all-time favorites, although I suppose it's one of my all-time favorites within the underachieving horror genre. The very end, for example - amusing as it may be - is poorly executed, and an extreme letdown. The phone call should have been breathtaking; instead, it was presented as a lily-livered (sorry) afterthought. Foster was much stronger than Hopkins in that scene - viewers should have walked out of the theater with echoes of a fortissimo chord clanging around in their heads, and instead exited with a bemused chuckle (although a case can be made that viewers are again being manipulated into cheering on the implied upcoming death of an unlikable character). This is a film that just about everyone has seen, and I would love to read what others think, even if it's just a few lines of writing.
  9. The Fisher King was a tough, tough movie for me to "get into" - after the first 30 minutes or so, I was nearly certain I was going to dislike it strongly. Then, other things started happening, and I didn't know what to think. Then, from the time when everyone was at the Chinese restaurant up until the time when Parry got Clockwork-Oranged, I thought that interval of the movie was so good I couldn't believe it. Then, the ending became forced and gratuitous. This film is a patchwork of weird, bad, good, great, odd, hackneyed, overacted, funny, bizarre, pathetic (i.e., pathos), terrifying (e.g. The Red Knight), and I've never seen anything even remotely like it in my entire life. Feeling melancholy about Robin Williams, I wanted to watch something of his that I was unfamiliar with, and I'm *so* glad I did. He was wonderful in this role, and really carried the movie if you think about it closely - many people say that Jeff Bridges and Mercedes Ruehl were equally good, but it's just not true - without Robin Williams, this movie wouldn't have worked. More than just about any other movie in this forum, I'm interested in hearing other peoples' opinions, be they positive, negative, or somewhere in-between. Even one-paragraph comments about certain scenes would be most welcome by these eyes - after all, isn't that what these forums are about, discussion? Netflix asked me to rate it out of four stars (so their algorithms can help me select future films), and assumed I'd give it 2.5, when in fact I gave it 3. So what does everyone else think about The Fisher King? And what drugged-up, twisted mind thought of such a bizarre movie, anyway? One of the beauties about this forum is that there's no need to do plot synopses which I feel are both a waste of time, and, simultaneously, great big spoilers. Many movies discussed here are older, and even those that aren't, I vote NO on plot summaries (though people are certainly welcome to write them if they issue spoiler warnings) - they're a remnant from an old-fashioned method of movie criticism that is needless in this medium.
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