Either you’re a huge fan of Oliver Stone, or you likely can’t stand anything about Oliver Stone: the man’s polarizing. Personally, I’m not a fan. Any Given Sunday is, to me, one of Stone’s best films. It’s overlong and hackneyed at points, but it also was a prophetic and revealing portrait of the real culture of professional football and its consequences to those who play it long before the issues it raises became mainstream sports conversation. The centerpiece of the film is, without a doubt, another great monologue from Al Pacino.
Is there another actor who has more memorable career monologues than Pacino? The most iconic is, obviously, Scent of a Woman, but there’s Dog Day Afternoon, And Justice for All, a couple from the Godfather films, Heat, and on and on. “A Game of Inches” has to be counted right up there. As pre-game speeches go, they don’t come better. As the best sports-related motivational speeches do, it also translates to life as a whole, and whatever else you may take away from Any Given Sunday.…this scene makes the career portfolio of one of the greatest actors of all-time.
The Super Bowl has become, over the last decade, increasingly a debut showcase for new movie teasers/trailers, and last night was no exception. Whether you’re mourning the Patriots inability to tie the Steelers as the greatest franchise in NFL history or celebrating the Eagles finally winning the big one, you got to see some trailers last night. Here they all are in one 7-11 sized big gulp with my knee-jerk reactions.
1. Solo: A Star Wars Story – see here for thoughts on full trailer; liked this better
2. Mission: Impossible – Fallout – see here for full trailer thoughts
3. Avengers: Infinity War – continues to look like the movie of the year
4. Skyscraper – I do not ever immediately dismiss Dwayne Johnson….immediately
5. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – this does not look good
6. The Cloverfield Paradox – maaaan, now I have to renew Netflix
7. A Quiet Place – kind of intrigued; could go either way
8. Red Sparrow – still think this is a Black Widow ripoff, but I’m in
9. Annihilation – Alex Garland? I’m there. Day one.
10. Westworld Season 2 – BRING THIS ON!!!!! Best trailer of the night!
11. Krypton Season 1 – Really want to see this; DC on TV has been pretty stellar
12. Benji – Really?
13. Dundee: Son of a Legend – Really? Really?
If you’re not a baseball fan and you’ve never watched Moneyball because of that, here’s a great piece of news: it’s not really a baseball film; it’s a film about economics. Wait. No. That doesn’t make it sound more exciting. Moneyball by Michael Lewis is a book that changed the way baseball is viewed by fans and baseball personnel. It attempted to explain how the Oakland A’s, a team with a payroll a fraction of the size of, say, the Yankees, Red Sox, or Dodgers, is consistently in contention for a spot in the World Series. The answer is: they don’t sign players or people; they sign numbers.
The Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane became the disciple of a formula that looks for players who simply get on base. Getting on base produces runs; runs produce wins. Moneyball is the story of his crusade to change how baseball is run, and only Michael Lewis, who is the best writer on economic matters to people who have no understanding of economics (hi), and Aaron Sorkin, who can make any subject compelling and fun, could have put together a movie version of that crusade that is riveting. It’s one of Brad Pitt’s best performances, as Beane fighting the entirety of the A’s to make his vision work, and one of the film’s best scenes comes before things start to click and he stumbles upon an upbeat locker room after another loss that Beane knows he’s going to have to answer for to everyone.
One of my guilty pleasures is the idiocy and testosterone fueled soap opera that is professional wrestling (I’ve read all of Shakespeare too; I’m a complicated dude). I’ve not been impressed by past WWE 2K entries. It’s so hard to master the variety of things that can happen in the squared circle and out of it in the locker room, and I just haven’t seen it successfully done. Cover star Seth Rollins and RAW GM Kurt Angle go over all the new improvements to the franchise for this year’s edition. For those KTers who check it out, let me know if they succeeded. WWE 2K18 is in stores now. Cheevos below courtesy of the current heavyweight champion of the internet: xboxachievements.com. Continue reading WWE 2K18 Complete Achievement List (Xbox, Playstation – 2017)
I’m more of a fan of the Forza Horizon series than Forza proper, but it’s absolutely the best driving franchise in gaming. Horizon is more arcade and fun, but for serious car enthusiasts, Forza is the showcase. The seventh installment has over 700 cars and more than enough content to keep you behind the wheel until Forza 8, including cars from The Fate of the Furious. Forza 7 is also the only 4K game (though it plays just fine on Xbox One) exclusive it has for the Xbox X launch. It’s a solid title, with good reviews flowing in, but I think Microsoft still hasn’t given Xbox One owners enough of a reason why they’d want the X (especially if they don’t have a 4K equipped TV). Forza Motorsport 7 rolls into stores on October 3, 2017, and cheevos below are-as always-courtesy of the sterling xboxachievements.com.
Continue reading Forza Motorsport 7 Complete Achievement List (Xbox, PC – 2017)