Friday, March 2 — So much to talk about today. Lets just get started…
Dr. Seuss’ birthday: It is a good day to enjoy a good book. Seuss’ books are well-read in this house and I took a good portion of the day to read my daughter’s collection.
My favorite: The Lorax. I dig green eggs and can eat them anywhere, but the Lorax is a great character. And, to make it that much better, the movie came out today as well. Cool. I’m really looking forward to taking the little girl to see this movie. The guys from Despicable Me is behind this one, and yes I’ve heard they’ve moved away from the book a bit too much, but I’m still optimistic.
Speaking of movies, Seuss’ books have been hit-and-miss when it comes to the big screen.
The Cat In The Hat — Fuck you, Mike Meyers. Ruined it. The iconic character turned into a douchey stalker off his medication by this Saturday Night Live alum. A big miss.
The Grinch — Jim Carey as the title character and Ron “Opie” Howard behind the camera as director. This had the making of a good movie, but it was a live-action miss. The animated movie is gold: Chuck Jones (Looney Tunes) co-directed it and Boris Karloff was the voice of The Grinch.
Say that again: Boris Karloff, the man who was the original Frankenstein, was The Grinch. Damn near perfect casting…
Horton Hears A Who?: Jim Carey in voice as Horton and Steve Carell as the Mayor of Whoville, this turned into a really good representation and story of the book. Carey toned down his manic motions (vocally) and Carell played the Mayor pitch-perfect.
This is also a good day to try and sneak in a Seuss reference in a headline at work, but that didn’t work today.
New Orleans Saints: Brutal. Holy shit. Really.
For three seasons, the Saints defense held a ‘bounty committee’ that paid out money for hits that took out opposing players and more money for ‘knockouts.’ Also double and triple the money when you get in the postseason and you get a horrendous circumstance in a sport that is ultra-physical and have turned finely tuned athletes into case studies for brain injuries.
Two quarterbacks during the 2009-10 season were knocked out of playoff games — Kurt Warner and Brett Favre. Warner’s injuries suffered by the Saints forced him to retire from football. Favre came back for one last season, but he was never the same again. Warner was lucky not to be more seriously injured by the late hits and the violent takedowns he received. And that is outside of the legal hit/sack that brought him down for good in the 2010 NFC divisional game.
A couple of years back, the New England Patriots were hit with big penalties for illegally taping opponents’ workouts and warmups. If the NFL really believes that player safety is paramount (and they do), those fines and penalties handed to the Patriots for “Spy-gate” should look like slaps on the wrist next to the Saints’ punishment.
It is tough to fathom that this was allowed in the modern NFL, especially something like this more three full seasons. The game is physical and violent enough to threaten the players’ lives if you are not careful, but a bounty system almost brings a “Murder Ball” element that is more suited for the movies than reality.
The Sopranos: On Grantland.com, there was a good story about the upcoming anniversary of The Sopranos’ series finalé. It is called “Made In America,” but it is better known as “Cut To Black.”
It is polarizing. It is stacked with visual clues. It is parodied by comedians and shows. It is the best finalé I’ve ever seen. And, it makes me mad.
Tony Soprano was the anti-hero who received your cheers, your emotion and your praise, even when he is doing what mob bosses do every Sunday night. In the end, you wanted to see what happened to him, whether you cheered for him to be killed or to live his life.
You don’t get it with this finalé and that is what makes the episode just that much better. As a writer, I am in awe that David Chase, the creator of the show, allowed the audience determine in their minds how the show ended. That takes balls.
To me, the episode gives you the best feeling of the utter paranoia that Tony must live with every day, even more so that in the entire run of the series. You feel it, looking at the door and noticing the guy in the “Members Only” jacket go into the bathroom. And, blank….
Brilliant. I wanted closure when I first saw it. In hindsight, we as the audience got what we deserved — not truly knowing what would happen, just like the entire run of the series. And, we get to talk about it nearly five years later.