Monday, November 30, 2009

Jets Still Alive

Darelle Revis played like the best corner in the NFL and the Jets got a much needed win.  Behind a punishing running attack, they moved a step closer to the wildcard play-off berth.  There are a ton of teams with a 5-6 record and the Jets need to keep it going to have a chance. 

I know the general thinking was that this team was built to win this year, but I tend to disagree.  It's next to impossible to win with a rookie quarterback.  And a first year coach.  I hope they can run the tables, but when I look ahead to 2010 it seems very bright.  Thomas Jones might be 30, but he doesn't have the wear and tear on his body that most backs do cause of his late blooming.  And Showne Green is a more than capable carrier, especially in short yardage situations.  Throw Leon Washington into that mix again when he returns from a broken fibula, with a strong offensive line and I think you have one of the leagues top running games.  Give Braylon Edwards a year to get on the same page as Mark Sanchez, who will have another year to mature and get on the same page as everyone else.  This offense could be scary.  I'd love to see them draft a DE who can get at the QB.  Or a certain dominant safety from Tennessee (who I think is the best player in college football).

Friday, November 27, 2009

Racism in NFL

Why is it that anytime there is a good white wide receiver, he immediately has to be labeled?  A broadcaster on ESPN this morning referred to Brandon Stokely of the Broncos as 'their Wes Welker'. 

This is bullshit for so many reasons.  Wes Welker currently leads the NFL in catches, as well as yards after catch.  He's one of the best receivers in the league.  Easily the best possession receiver.  There are hundreds of black receivers that wish they could do what he does.  It is bad enough that the other short white guy on New England is referred to as a Wes Welker clone. 

Stokely is an okay receiver, but without Wes Welker, the Patriots - the number 1 offense over the last few seasons - flat out suck. 

There was a great editorial at the back of Sports Illustrated this week, by a black guy, about how white running backs are immediately labeled as slow, bulky fullbacks.  They are never given their due.  There is takl about making Toby Gebhart from Stanford, currently 3rd in the nation in rushing, a linebacker.  If he was black, would this ever happen?  The short answer is - no.  The same piece discusses how far black QB's have come, and it is about time white RB's and Receivers are viewed in the same light as their black counterparts.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Movie Review: Twilight - New Moon

Yes, I am a heterosexual male and still saw this movie.  I am so on Team Jacob.  Mostly because he is going out with Taylor Swift and I'd let her ruin my life.  Also, because werewolves are cooler than vampires.  And Edward is a melodramatic puss.

No, I've never read these books.  And I never will.  I saw this out of work related curiosity.  It was fairly well-made, more so than the first one.  I think getting rid of Hardwicke was a good move, as I don't think for a second she could have handled the visual fx.  However, I think the acting in the first one was probably better.  That falls on Chris Weitz' shoulders.  There are scenes were the acting is laughably bad - mostly from Taylor Lautner.  And I don't blame him, cause there are other scenes where his acting is strong.  On the upside, it appears as if Weitz used the same company that did the creatures in Golden Compass, which is a good thing - cause the wolves look great and their transformation were amazing.

But was the movie any good?  No.  Part of the charm of the first one was the running time.  Under 90 minutes.  This was like 2.5 hours.  And for no reason.  It could have played at under 100 minutes.  Definitely under 2 hours.  The over-the-top parallels to Romeo & Juliet were nauseating.  The opening shot of the movie she wakes up and the book is next to her head.  A scene in class that same day and they are watching the movie in class, and Edward even quotes from it.  Really?

The biggest problem for me in this movie - it is supposed to be a love triangle between Bella-Jacob-Edward.  They set up that Jacob gets Bella out of her funk, and she even writes to Alice about how Jacob fills the hole in her chest/heart.  But when they're together - you never actually feel that she has fallen for Jacob.  So when Edward returns - or Jacob asks her to stay for him - it's falling on the audience's deaf ears because it never seemed like that was a choice.

Side note - Ashley Green is actually hotter in person than in the movie.  Which is saying a lot.  I'd let her ruin my life too.  In fact, would have when she was the shmoopy faced hostess at The Belmont.

Monday, November 23, 2009


It has come to my attention that I have a stalker.  She's been following my every move and I'm not sure how I feel about it. 

She's about 5'3" with dark hair and, unfortunately, a great smile.  She's usually carting around a 2 year old girl.  If you see this woman, run the other way.  She's liable to ignite, quite like a firecracker.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Chaz Bono

Is has been gnawing at me for a week now.  When Chaz Bono started going out with it's significant other - he was a girl.  So they were lesbians.  Now, she is a he.  And they are still together.  So, is she straight?  Cause she has a penis.  And if so, was she ever a lesbian?  Does she just hate men?  And if she does, does she hate Chaz?  If she likes penis now, then why not find a good looking dude.  Cause Chaz looks like a fat, lab geek with no facial hair.  

Or is it really all about personality with these two?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Movie Review: Precious - Based on a Novel Push by Sapphire

Monster's Ball producer Lee Daniels follows up his 2005 directorial debut, Shadowboxer, with this adaptation of author Sapphire's best-selling novel about an overweight, illiterate African-American teen from Harlem who discovers an alternate path in life after she begins attending a new school. Clareece "Precious" Jones is only a teenager, yet she's about to give birth to her second child - from her father. With a little help from a sympathetic teacher (Paula Patton) and a kindly nurse (Lenny Kravitiz), the young girl receives something that most teens never get -- a chance to start over. Mo'nique co-stars as her abusive mother.

What could have easily played out like a Lifetime movie of the week starring Judith Light was well-crafted, extremely well acted and never plodding.  Even when tugging at our heartstrings it was never overly melodramatic - and I think this is the reason I liked the film the most.  Often times sad - it was always somewhat eye-opening.  Someone asked me the day after I saw it, 'is it based on a true story?'  I realized then that it didn't matter.  Yes, in fact, it is.  It is based on many true stories.  Too many.  And that is the world we are living in. 

At the end of the day, this is an inspirational drama featuring a stunning performance by newcomer Gabourey "Gabbie" Sidibe, who will almost definitely be nominated for an Oscar.  If you think your childhood was rough, go see this movie.  If you think you had a great childhood, go see this movie.  Either way, you will realize that there are people out there every day in a struggle we can only imagine.  And they need help in one way or another.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Holy Trinity Titans Football

Wanted to say congratulations to Coach Mascia and the Holy Trinity Titans Football team.  Going 10-0 for the first time, with a huge showdown against St. Anthony's this Saturday at Mitchell Field House in Hempstead (across from Hofstra) at 7:00pm. 

Anthony Brunetti has been crushing teams this year (and last) and is the best RB on LI and probably NY state.  There is a decided bias in favor of the public schools, so he'll probably wind up losing the Thorpe Award to someone like Kevin Allen.  It is bullshit because the Catholic League is so much stronger top to bottom and each game is a challenge, whereas the public schools have a lot of cupcakes on their schedule.

This bias also shows in Newsdays large school's poll - which has Trinity at 6 behind one-loss schools from the public league that would last a quarter on the same field as most catholic teams.  Particularly Holy Trinity, St. Anthony's, Iona Prep and Chaminade.

Finish perfect.

Harbor Moon Update

It's really a non-update... only to say that the website is underway and should be ready by sometime next week.  The book was supposed to be done by the end of the month, but we have 15 pages left to color and I doubt that will happen.  The upside is that the book looks amazing.  If it is ever finished. 

Special shout out to Karol over in Poland keeping it on track and for building the website.  Without him there is no book...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ninja Warrior

Last night I started training for full contact fighting again.  Just over two years ago I had gotten really into it in Los Angeles.  However, they moved a professional lacrosse team out to LA and I decided to dedicate my training to lacrosse.  Now that I'm back in NY and recovering from a torn achilles I thought it was time to once again turn myself into a lethal weapon.  So my brother and I went into Panza MMA to give it a test run and joined up.

I'm in pretty good shape, but not 'playing' shape.  So I was hurting this morning.  Not as bad as after a lacrosse game, but my hands are all banged up and I definitely feel my age.  I give it another month before I'm cut from stone and ready to rock. 

It is a short trip from there to actual superhero. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Cold

And how much I hate it.  This will be my first winter in 8 years.  I am not looking forward to it.  There are some people that say, 'Oh, don't you just love the change of seasons?'  No asshole, I don't.  Or, 'It wouldn't feel like Christmas with sunshine.'  Yeah, have you ever had a Christmas in the sun?  Feels like Jesus' birthday to me.

I can't wait until March.  Spring.  Lacrosse.  Sunshine.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Movie Review: The Men Who Stare at Goats

"The best kind of movies are the ones you go into with no expectations and you leave thinking it was really good."  Some random girl said that to me the other day, and I think that best sums up this movie for me.  I hadn't heard any raves for it - but I hadn't heard anyone say it was awful.  The trailers didn't really give away much, but they didn't titilate either. 

I definitely left the theatre glad I had chosen this over '4th Kind.' 

Ewan Mcgregor and George Clooney together is a great combo.  And Daniels is doing his best Lebowski impersonation... but lets face it - Lebowski is pretty damn good.

Honestly, i walked in thinking this would be a zany high-brow comedy type thing (aka boring), with these guys training to kill people with their minds.  It is most certainly not.  Mcgregor is a reporter who can't find a story.  His wife leaves him for a guy with a fake arm.  So he packs it up and goes to Iraq, but they won't allow him into the country so he's on the border.  This is where he runs into Clooney's character, who may or may not be a total fraud - a psychic operative.  Together they go into Iraq.
Another pleasant surprise is Kevin Spacey.  I've come to dislike his work recently.  Like Al Pacino screaming his way through every movie since 'Scent of a Woman', Spacey has phoned it in since 'American Beauty.'  Hamming it up and over-acting.  But he was awesome in this and renewed my faith in the man.

The style and tone is Coen Brothers-esque, but a good Coen Bros. movie.  More 'Lebowski' meets 'Millers Crossing' than 'Ladykillers' or 'O'Brother.'  Some of you may recall my post about 'A Serious Man' last week, where I mentioned that the Coens are masters at the top of their game.  While Heslov isn't on their level, and is helped tremendously by an amazing crew - especially DP Robert Elswit - his game is good here.
So, Overture, fire your marketing department.  A company who started off with some pretty crap movies, on a decent roll the last few months. 
That random girl is reading this right now and is so pissed.  Pissed that the gossip blogs won't link us together because I didn't name her.  Okay... okay.  Dakota Fanning, thank you for your wisdom.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Pop Pop Louie

I know I just made a post about my grandma... and now I'm following it with a post about my grandpa.  Deal with it.

Pop Pop Louie is my grandfather on my dad's side.  He died of cancer while my mom was pregnant with me.  No one ever really talks about him, so I don't know much about him.  Occasionally someone will say, oh, he used to do this.  Or that.  I know he was an extremely hard-working guy, working about 5 jobs at one time.  One of those was pool cleaner for Plainedge High School - the asbestos in the pool room eventually led to his death via cancer.

Yesterday I was playing golf with my dad and my uncle.  And I heard a Pop Pop Louie story for the first time in 31 years.  It was something that no one in my family had even known either.

My uncle was out in Riverhead (deep Suffolk County) taking pictures for a school.  Because he was there on official business, he had to wear a badge.  A man about the same age as my uncle came up to him and said, "I couldn't help but noticing your badge.  Colucci.  You related to a Louis Colucci?"

Since my grandpa died 31 years ago and this guy was about the same age as my uncle, he didn't think much of it.  But he said, "Yeah, my dad's name was Louis Colucci."

"Did he work for Plainedge High School?"

My uncle was a bit spooked.  "Yeah.  He cleaned pools."

"Well, I worked alongside him when I was much younger.  I could never forget the man.  He had a great hand in who I am today.  While I was working there, I had the opportunity to attend college.  But I couldn't afford it, and so I was going to save up and attend a year or two later.  But your father said to me 'If you don't go now, you'll never go.'  And he went even further - he actually paid my first year's tuition.  This was a great man and I will never forget him."

The man went on to graduate, become a police officer, raise a family and even paid my grandfather back.

It made me take a look at my life and I see where my father gets his generosity from and I hope to one day be as great as either of them.

Old Age...

...Ain't it a bitch?

I moved back home to NY in part because my grandmother has lung cancer.  She was diagnosed last winter.  She wasn't given much time, but it is now November and she's still going strong.

In the last two weeks, her sister (my mother's aunt) suffered a mini-stroke and was told she had a mass on her brain.  And her best friend, my mom's uncle, died of pancreatic cancer.  My great aunt has decided not to get a biopsy and let it play out.  My great uncle was diagnosed about 5 weeks ago.  Both were relatively healthy for their age - 80's.

And my nana is going to outlive them all.  I got a fighter's blood in me.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Movie Review: Hellraiser

Wow.  What a colossal piece of crap.  I thought I was being a bad film nerd by never having seen this, but I was clearly being hard on myself.  And to think they made multiple sequels to this.

It was so poor in every aspect, but what sticks out is how ugly the chicks in it were.  This isn't me being sexist - part of the plot involves this woman who lures dudes back to this house to get killed.  But she's so gross it is really hard to swallow.

And I have to say that the pinhead guy and his crew of demons were laughable.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Movie Review: A Serious Man

Walking into this movie, I only knew two things - it was by the Coen Brothers and a father who's family unravels around him was at the center. 

I saw it on Tuesday, and it being Thursday, still am not sure how I really feel about the movie.  It was expertly done - as these guys are at the top of their game right now.  A friend of mine said, I think correctly, 'these are the guys our children will be studying in film school as masters.'  Although this film is very different, it definitely holds true.  What amazes me the most about those guys is that they operate on such a high level, across an enormous range of genres.  It is astounding.  And this is nothing like I've seen from them.  One thing is certain - it is not a very uplifting movie.  That is why I'm still perplexed about my feelings on it.  But the more I think about it, the more I realize I am a huge fan. 

A few of the character actors were recognizable, but for the most part this was a cast of unknowns.  They do an amazing job of setting up this characer who is slowly unraveling.  And then they pull the rug out from our expectations.  As things continually mount against this man, we expect him to snap.  To break out of his nebbish cocoon and become a man.  But it never happens.  He has a few moments, but he still retreats to who he is.  And that is what I love the most about the film.  It felt real... but usually when you use that term to describe what is essentially an arthouse film it doubles for 'boring'.  But this film is far from boring, complete with the Coen's trademark humor throughout.  Even when they lead you to think he's going to have sex with his ridiculous hot (and extremely sultry voiced) neighbor, it goes nowhere.  Because he's a pussy. 

It is definitely a recommend, but don't go in hoping for The Big Lebowski.  Go in knowing that you might need some cheering up afterward.

Rough Week

The last few days have been pretty rough.  Last Thursday my Uncle John (actually my mom's uncle) passed away from pancreatic cancer.  He was my grandma's best friend and it was really hard watching her break down at the wake.  She herself has lung cancer and was unable to attend the funeral. 

Then, on Sunday, my grandma's sister had a seizure and they found a mass on her brain.  We're waiting on the scans to see if it is cancerous. 

They didn't give my grandma that long, but she's going to out live all of her friends who were all healthy when she got diagnosed. 

If you read this, keep my uncle, Aunt Winifred and my grandma in your prayers...