Thursday, January 9, 2014

Some Things I Kinda Hate to Like

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
It’s been a few days… and I’m feeling MUCH better… basically ready for another adventure this weekend… but more on that later…
College Sports in Summary – I feel like this little story kinda sums up how a lot of major universities prepare young people for the future… while collecting a heft f**king profit from it too. Head football coach Charlie Strong recently accepted the dream job of head coach at the University of Texas… so after coaching the University of Louisville through some tough years and coaching what may be the #1 pick in the draft this year (Teddy Bridgewater), he’s moved up to his dream job. Under their former coach, the Louisville football team's "core values" were out in the open for everyone to see. On wallpaper outside the Cardinals' team meeting room, Strong listed the five things he most expected from his players:
1. Honesty
2. Treat women with respect

3. No drugs

4. No stealing

5. No guns
Simple. Core. Values. I’d love for my children to have those no matter what they did for a living. So Louisville was now without a coach… and they started interviews. Who did they hire to coach these young men? Former Louisville coach Bobby Petrino. Hold on though. Let’s go over this decision real quick. Nobody is surprised that Bobby Petrino is returning to big-time college football after coaching Western Kentucky this last year… but let’s backtrack a bit to when he first LEFT (emphasized emphatically) Louisville in 2006. During his time there, he was interviewing for every other job that came up… but in 2006, he had just signed a 10-year, $25 million extension to stay at the University… then a few months later, he left to coach the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons… and short story even shorter, he quit on the Falcons 13 games into a singular 16-game season. Next up was a year or so later, he had a scandalous four-year tenure at Arkansas that ended in April 2012, when he was fired after wrecking his motorcycle with HIS MISTRESS on the back and then LYING to his boss about it. Oh, during his first four years at Louisville, his teams had a record of 41 wins and 9 losses… and he had big school pedigree, so it sadly was only a matter of time before he was hired by a desperate football program (Western Kentucky this last year). That being said, do you want this guy as a role model for your children/young men? Petrino has an 83-30 record as a college coach and knows X's and O's as well as anyone. Petrino might be morally bankrupt, but he wins games and sells tickets, which sadly seems to be the only things that really matter in major college athletics anymore. Period. How else do you explain it? Throw in Louisville's NCAA championship in men's basketball last season and it has been the golden age of Cardinals athletics. They really could’ve hired just about ANYBODY to be their football coach & a pinnacle of integrity even in a controversial realm like “amateur” football. But Petrino won big at Louisville the first time, so I guess they’re convinced he'll do it again. Hopefully, Petrino's second tenure will come without the lying and deception that made him one of the sport's most despised and mistrusted coaches… but who knows. Maybe the wallpaper will be replaced outside the team’s meeting room because… well…
1.    Honesty – Everything from “Sure, I’ll be here for ten years” to “Yeah, nobody else involved in the motorcycle crash” to "We're just friends" to “I love you, my darling wife”
2.    Treat women with respect – Wife… mistress… motorcycle… hiding it for quite a while…
3.    No drugs – As far as I know, he’s clean
4.    No stealing – Not sure how much he got paid to bail on Louisville & the Falcons but… technically…
5.    No guns – Guaranteed he’s gonna be packin’ heat due to angry alumni
I know… “$teve, he’s a football coach at a higher learning establishment in Kentucky… a beacon of human intelligence in itself” but he’s hardly the only case. Just a REALLY extreme case… like… it’s tough to even think up a more ridiculous possible example. It’d be like Hitler getting re-elected Chancellor of Germany in 1952 because “he has a tremendous track record for turning around the economy… and he’s a former Time Magazine’s Man of the Year.” When you send your child to college, you want them to learn, grow & become better than you. You want them to be safe, have a passion for life, and have a set of core values to pass on to future generations. Whether they’re there on an academic or sports scholarship… or you’re paying… or they’re somehow paying their way (my route), it doesn’t matter. You want them to have teachers & other role models in the establishment that they can look up to… and can guide them through these tough years. One thing that I can say about Coach Petrino is that he has won football games… and he’s always looking for the next step up. Yes, Charlie Strong took a “next step up” when he took the Texas job leaving Louisville behind in the first place. That’s a fact. If you’re offered the exact same job for three times the pay, lower taxes, full control of staffing, a more established company & less of a “we don’t serve your kind ‘round here” vibe… You’d take that f**king job too. My beef is with giving the man who betrayed you before (and many others like you), cheated on his wife repeatedly, may be a pathological liar… and giving him the same job back 7-8 years later when you were better off without him… and you could’ve hired a myriad of other people who would do just as good of a job, if not better… and definitely be a better Leader for these young men. Then again, who knows? Maybe I’m wrong & he’s the Second Coming. Just win football games. That’s all that matters really.
Tuesday night, Dizzy & I watched “The Wolverine” starring Hugh Jackman yet again as the iconic X-Men Comics character. Now, I’m a HUGE fan of Marvel and their (at least recent) movie adaptations. HUGE!!! They’ve had great success & deserve every bit of it. That being said… I REALLY didn’t care for this movie. Like even a little bit… and it started early… and kept reminding me why throughout. Okay, I’m going to give you the first few minutes of the movie. Starts out in a Japanese POW camp 1945… and our mysterious mutant Logan (Jackman) is basically in an underground bunker-isolation chamber. How he got there is anybody’s guess really… because he IS Wolverine… but let’s say through some kind of miracle they drugged him & he woke up down there in the hole. Somebody in the crow’s nest sees a bomber coming in the horizon… yes… he’s in Hiroshima. The guards start opening the gates so that everybody can try to escape the coming bombing raid. A young guard opens Logan’s cage & he tells him to get down in the hole with him. No thanks, I’m going to fall on my sword for I have brought great dishonor to my country & famiry (not a typo). Moments before the atomic bomb lands & he falls on his sword, Logan grabs him, pulls him down in the hole… and basically goes Indy  & the Crystal Skulls with a nuclear bomb going off… but it’s okay, because the basically immortal Wolverine is holding a (rusty & holed) lead bunker lid kinda over this kid. Sure, he’s melting away but quickly regenerating… and radiation or intense heat don’t exist in this realm… but basically the kid is fine. They wait it out in the bunker for radiation to pass (I assume for the next 20 years, but probably more like… maybe 3 minutes?) and then this kid owes Logan. Smash cut to him waking up from a dream (MAJOR sign that this movie is going to suck even after all that). Who’s lying next to him in bed? Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) who died by his own claws in a previous movie. You know where this is going, right? After a pointless little conversation, smash cut to him waking up AGAIN (REAAALLLLLY BAD SIGN with the double dream wakeup that this movie is going to be hella lame). That being said, I still went with it… it’s a Wolverine movie.
So… the movie goes on. Basically Logan is living the Canadian wilderness or something as per usual when he’s being moody… and a Japanese girl finds him at a bar. She has been sent to let him know that the man he saved in Hiroshima (now… what? 90?) is dying (GASP!!!). However, he has to see Logan before he dies. “No thanks. I haven’t seen this guy in almost 70 years… or even thought about him until that crazy ass dream this morning.” “Oh, come on!” “Sigh… okay.” So he goes to see him… and he says that he wants to make Logan’s dream come true… to be mortal. WHAT? Okay… so… apparently… it’s the typical vampire-immortal BS drama… “Oh no, everybody around me dies… will I’m forced to be a perfect physical specimen for eternity, never wavering, bang a different chick every week (shooting blanks apparently BTW), having AMAZING & unrealistic powers, suffering no real consequences other than my own twisted personal issues, banging several different chicks every week… what’s that? I already mentioned that part? Well it’s a pretty big part of what I do with this CURSE of mine…” but the only twist with Wolverine… is he’s not restricted by vampire stuff like coming out only at night, killing innocent people to survive, or anything like that. He’s just an all-purpose badass… but yeah, thankfully this already-rotting Japanese guy wants to help him with all that mess. Long story short, he gets poisoned or something and becomes mortal… but now has to save the Japanese guy’s daughter (cuz she’s hot & like… six inches taller than anybody else in the movie other than the crazy evil chick, I think). The rest of the story you can kinda guess from there. By the way, while he’s apparently “mortal”, he’s shot… about 80 times… stabbed another dozen or so… and with samurai sabres, not just broken beer bottles… there’s an action scene on top of a bullet train going 200 MPH that’s just ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS in every conceivable way… MAJOR plot holes all around… complete disregard for anything resembling reality or laws of physics… all of the fight scenes are standard & stupid… bunch of yakuza run up, get stabbed, hundreds more where they came from… oh & this topper…
The final battle is with a giant 3-ton robot made entirely out of adamantium, which is the X-Men equivalent of Unobtainium. It carries any chemical property that it needs to have at that particular time. For example, it can have a light or heavy molecular weight… so you can either make a 12-foot tall, 3-ton robot… or it can be the entire skeleton of Logan/Wolverine who is a 5-foot-6, 200 pound man. Most known though is that it’s basically indestructible… unless apparently, there’s a superheated blade of the same adamantium… and then it cuts through other adamantium as if it were butter… because everybody knows that the best way to cut any metallic device is to heat the same metallic device to a point where by the law of transference, it would be hot enough to pass that heat along to the other metallic device, raising it to the point it would melt away. Of course, that basically means… you would have to get this heated device INSANE AMOUNTS HOTTER THAN THE OTHER DEVICE’S MELTING POINT… WHICH IS THE SAME DEVICE, BASICALLY TO LIQUID HOT MAGMA… ONLY YOU’D THEN BE WEILDING A BLADE OF LIQUID HOT MAGMA!!! There’s also a few times where 200 pound Logan jumps into the robot & forces it to move like five meters to fall off a side-railing or something. If my math is correct, he’d probably have to have launched himself something like 100 MPH to make that thing even budge… if it were standing still… and then he’s basically be hitting a brick wall… but that’s okay, because he’s an adamantium-boned, immortal badass, remember? I’m sorry… I… apparently elaborate more on the movies that I absolutely can’t stand than those that I actually liked. I basically do this so… you won’t want to see it & save two hours of your life by reading… about five minutes of my rants. So yeah, did not care for this movie at all. It was actually kind of insulting on just about every level. The action was bad, the plot was worse, there was a retardation in character development, just pass all around. I can’t believe this got better reviews than “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” or a multitude of other movies. I think a lot of critics out there are f**king idiots on the take from Hollywood… at least the professional ones… and I think that I’ll keep that opinion until I am one of those hypocritical f**ks. Until then, hopefully this helps.
We followed that up with another movie that we figured would be horrible… but were expecting it to be so… and then it went far beyond. The movie was “Dinosaur Island” on Netflix starring… you don’t know anybody from it... but produced by Roger Corman (more on him in the next movie review). The plotline read that a group of soldiers crash lands in the Blue Pacific (I’m assuming most of it is blue though during the day) and they wash up on an uncharted island. They soon discover that it’s inhabited by big-breasted virgin Amazonian warriors… and dinosaurs. The warrior village takes them in as Gods… but now they have to destroy The Great One (T-Rex) or face his wrath as they’ve been offering their virgins to appease him. Yup, that’s the plot. Oh… it was made in the mid-90’s too, like within a year of “Jurassic Park.” A few things… first & foremost, I think this was a “Skinemax” film back when Cinemax was starting because there’s a blatant gyrating breast and/or non-penetration sex scene every ten minutes like clockwork. Not entirely expected when Dizzy picked this movie. Also, the dinosaurs… are a mixture of hand puppets, Claymation & full body suits that despite being really horrible compared to CGI nowadays, I kind of enjoyed. Oh… and I think it’s supposed to be a cheesy bad comedy or something… so be prepared for bad jokes… luckily there are plenty of breasts to distract from all that though. Check it out if you want. It’s about 75 minutes long I think… so make a drinking game out of it. Big sip of beer for seeing a nipple, take a shot for sex scene, another sip for every time you hear somebody say “Great One” or some stupid sh*t like that.
Wednesday night, I watched a documentary called “Machete Maidens Unleashed!” that’s about the exploitation/grindhouse films that were shot & made in the Philippines back in the 60’s, 70’s & early 80’s. These were the gory, low-cost, bad-plot movies that would fill theatres & drive-ins for decades but because the Philippines were so much cheaper than shooting in Hollywood (and less laws there in the dictatorship that wanted movies to be made there), producer Roger Corman basically moved in & made a KILLING. They were turning out dozens of movies a year and because they didn’t cost much to make, they were all turning profits no matter how horrible they were. Probably the biggest star to really come out of the whole thing was Pam Grier (“The Big Doll House”, “Black Mama White Mama” and “Jackie Brown” once Tarantino wanted to make an exploitation film). Basically it goes through the history of it… and then in the late 70’s, Hollywood got wind of it and starting making movies like “Apocolypse Now” there… and then found that they could make exploitation films in-house with success of “Jaws” (think about it) and other big money makers… so the Filipino movie industry tapered off… but I found it amazingly interesting… and if you’re a fan of quirky movie making or marketing, I highly recommend that you check it out. It’s on Netflix of course.
Well, that’ll do it for tonight. Join us next time when Dizzy & I go on yet another Brewery-filled Weekend Adventure. This time… we head north on Highway 101 to tour& experience some of the more highly-respected breweries in NorCal – Anderson Valley Brewing in Boonville, Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa & Lagunitas Brewing in Petaluma… maybe even a few more if we can squeeze them in… but we shall see. Have a great weekend everybody!!!

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