Hello everyone, and welcome to 111 Archer Avenue. What started as a film review blog has become my online judgment forum. I will review the occasional movie or DVD, post an interesting trailer, critique a newly-read book, talk about sports, and share my thoughts and opinions on random issues. You can also follow me on Twitter (@OlieCoen) or check out my work on DVDTalk.com. Thank you and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sports - NFL Picks, Week 9

Here are my NFL Week 9 picks:
(I was 11-3 last week)
Bye teams: NE, NYJ, SF, STL

KC @ SD - Only one team scores fewer points per game than the Chiefs.  The Chargers have their own issues, but their embarrassing loss last week should motivate them enough for a home win.
Den @ Cin - Coming off their bye, the Bengals will look to stop a three game losing streak.  Too bad they have to face the red-hot Broncos, who have scored a total of 69 points in their last two games.
Bal @ Cle - The Ravens are hurting, literally, and the Browns are improving, but I can't really believe that the outcome of this game will be surprising.  Ravens.
Ari @ GB - After a hot start, the Cardinals have lost their magic.  And after a slow start, the Packers are back to normal.  This isn't a 1 vs. 16 seed match-up like last week, but the Pack should cruise.
Buf @ Hou - After a little hiccup vs. the Packers, the Texans showed that they are the most complete team in the NFL.  Coming off their bye, they look to smash an inept Bills team.
Mia @ Ind - Colts games have been consistently hard to call this year.  Both teams have a 4-3 record, but the Dolphins D is dominant and good on the road.  Tannehill or Moore, shouldn't matter.
Det @ Jax - The Lions might not be stellar, but the Jaguars are just plain awful.  They did keep up with the Packers last week, but they will remain winless at home.
Chi @ Ten - The Bears have the best defense if football, allowing only 14 points per game.  The Titans have the WORST defense, allowing 32 points per game.  You do the math.
Car @ Was - The Redskins can score with anyone, but their defense is sad.  But the Panthers whole team is sad.  The Skins & Obama will win.  No joke, check it out.  95% Presidential Accuracy.
TB @ Oak - The Jon Gruden Bowl!  Neither team is that good, but the Bucs are statistically better in all categories.  Freeman is hot and should light up the Raiders D.
Min @ Sea - Both teams have lost whatever momentum they created after fast starts, but the Seahawks D is for real, and that 12th man advantage hasn't failed them yet.
Pit @ NYG - The Giants dodged a bullet last week, but have played consistently well.  However, the Steelers are the more desperate team, and I have a feeling Eli is in for a rough day.
Dal @ Atl - Talk about desperate; the Cowboys entire team might be fired if they don't win soon.  I've been saying that the Falcons will lose soon, but perhaps they have one more week of perfection.
Phi @ NO - Obviously, both of these teams have major problems.  The Eagles can't score and Saints can't stop anyone.  I believe Brees will shoulder his team this week and come away with a victory.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Movie Trailer - The Sessions

Director: Ben Lewin
Starring: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy
Release: October 2012

What a refreshing take on a strange situation.  Based on a true story, this movie definitely has the making of an Oscar nominee.  It's nice to see Helen Hunt in a strong role, and it will be nice to see a love story that's based on reality, as opposed to fantasy (Safe Haven).

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sports - The World Series

Was it just me, or did no one watch the World Series?  As a Cardinals fan, there was the emotional let down of the losses, but I'm not sure that's to blame.  I watched every game of of the Giants win two years ago and every game of the Cardinals win last year.  Would it have been more popular had it been Yankees/Cardinals?  Or is the sport losing popularity.  Or is it simply that October is football time, not baseball.  For whatever reason, and it's just a feeling, but it seems as if the World Series was a flop.  Well, it was a sweep.  That's not really that fun to watch I guess.  What are your opinions of the Series and baseball in general?  Will you watch next year?  Or only if it's your team?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Movie Review - WALL-E

Director: Andrew Stanton
Starring: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin
Year: 2008

We all love Pixar films.  I've never met anyone, adult or child, who wasn't thrilled or touched by one of their animated instant classics.  Whether it was Toy Story, Finding Nemo, or Up, there is just something about these movies that enthrall young audiences while captivating adults as well.  And while these movies are great, WALL-E is the one that got me.  It spoke to me in a way not many films have ever done, and left with that special feeling you get after watching something that you will never forget.

In a story that starts out with upbeat music and a picturesque view of Earth from outer space, things go downhill quickly.  We soon see that Earth is not what it once was.  Mounds of trash higher than skyscrapers dot the landscape.  Dust storms rage across barren land.  And humans have completely abandoned the planet.  All that is left are WALL-E units, who's job it is to clean up the mess.  As the recent history of a space-bound human race is told, we meet perhaps the last working sanitation robot and his cockroach friend.  Soon, WALL-E will go on an adventure that changes his world forever, becoming the last hope for all humanity.

It's hard to put your finger on the exact detail that makes a movie phenomenal.  With only a handful of lines spoken in the entire film, WALL-E speaks to us on a different level.  From the way he loves others, to the music that means so much to him, to the way he views the world, this little machine has more depth of character than should be possible.  The 'lessons' in this movie are fairly obvious, and the humans are one dimensional, but it doesn't seem to matter.  The feeling you get from start to finish is what's important, and it's both unexpected and uplifting.  You can't watch WALL-E partly invested; it forces you to immerse yourself into a wonderful story, and you come out changed.

My rating: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Movie Trailer - On the Road

Director: Walter Salles
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund
Release: December 21st, 2012

I'm extremely curious about this movie.  It looks bizarre, but at the same time it might tell a story that is more real than most.  Yes, Kristen Stewart is in it, but let's assume she will be more Into the Wild Stewart and less Twilight Stewart.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thought - Politics

In a few days I will be voting to reelect President Obama.  Now, I've steered clear of all political discussions & arguments up to this point, and I don't intend to start one now.  The majority of people I know have already made up their minds one way or the other and no amount of propaganda is going to sway them.  However, on the off chance that an undecided voter is reading this blog, let me say that, as a moderate democrat, I see the President as the overwhelmingly obvious choice.

Let's do something that Washington can't and put parties aside.  If you like a small, capitalist government you're going to vote Republican.  If you like an involved, socialist government you're going to vote Democrat.  And if you're like most Americans, you're somewhere in the middle and you're going to vote on character, likability, demeanor, and viewpoint.  These things matter because, ultimately, the President is the face & voice of our nation.  He's not the lawmaker, that's Congress.  He's not the diplomat, that's the, well, diplomats.  He's the figurehead & spokesperson who's party has a miniscule amount of control over things.

Barack Obama is perhaps the exact individual we should want to represent us.  He's attractive, he's a color other than white, he's engaging, he seems trustworthy, and he sounds like he means what he says.  These things matter when people around the world hear our President speak.  We want the world to see America as a land made up of Obamas; not Bushes, not Clintons, and not Romneys.  In a global civilization, image matters.

Yes, you will be voting a party into the White House in November, but that party has very little say in very little.  Obama's main criticism is that he didn't get much done over these part four years.  One could argue that that isn't true and could quote improvements.  But that doesn't really matter.  What we should know is that no party can really do that much in any term because the other party will not let them.  It's the same every election, regardless of party.  It's the way our imperfect system works; the non-Presidential party must stop everything the President's party tries to create so that in four years they can seem like the new and dramatic idea that will change everything for the better.  This is exactly what the Republicans did to Obama, and it's exactly what the Democrats will do to Romney if he wins.  It's stupid, but it's true.

So we're back to the point; vote for a party if you want to, but understand that it doesn't much matter.  One party will push a bill, the other will reject it, and the President will remain the face of America, regardless of which policies are defeated.  Vote for a person, because that's what the President is.

I will be voting for Barack Obama.  I believe he is the person I would prefer representing me to countries around the world, some of which don't like us.  I voted for him four years ago for the same reason, even though I thought McCain was a great candidate.  Yes, I'm a democrat and I believe in that party's philosophies.  There would have to be an amazing reason for me to switch to a Republican candidate, and I don't see that happening.  But in this election, I can be positive that I'm voting for the right person on both levels; in support of my party and in support of the man I want to be my face to the world.  If you're undecided, please consider this at the polls.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Movie Trailer - Safe Haven

Director: Lasse Hallstrom
Starring: Josh Duhamel, Julianne Hough
Release: February 8th, 2013

I may have to add Julianne Hough (Ryan Seacrest's girlfriend) to the coveted 5th spot on my List, but that doesn't mean I have to watch this movie.  Actually, I think I've seen it before.  About a dozen times.  Movies like this are created to entice women with a false fantasy, and they always work, but not on me.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sports - NFL Picks, Week 8

Here are my NFL Week 8 picks:
(I was 12-1 last week.  O knows)
Bye teams: Bal, Buf, Cin, Hou

TB @ Min - Freeman looked good last week, but the Vikings are undefeated at home & the Bucs are winless on the road.  The Purple People Eaters win.
Car @ Chi - I will repeat myself; NFC North team undefeated at home, NFL South team winless on the road.  Cutler is still a tool, but the Bears are clicking.
SD @ Cle - After the week off the Chargers should have fixed a few of the problems that led to their embarrassment in MNF.  The Browns are improved, but not enough.
Sea @ Det - Neither team can score, so the Seahawks D should have the advantage.  But they're no good on the road and my gut tells me the Lions will be ready for this one.
Jax @ GB - Oh my.  This looks to be the most lopsided game of 2012, especially considering the Jags injuries from last week.  A Pack loss would be equivalent to a 16 seed beating a 1 seed.
Mia @ NYJ - The Dolphins D is no joke, and the Jets are.  A loss this week followed by a bye week will lead to a Tebow start in Week 10.
Atl @ Phi - The Falcons will lose soon, but it won't be this week, coming off a bye and facing an Eagles team that can't score enough points to keep up.
Was @ Pit - The net points of these two teams combined is +9.  In other words, this will be a close game.  The Stillers have the slight advantage and should could out on top.
NE @ STL - All bets are off when teams play overseas, so this London match-up is hard to call.  The Rams D is good, but Bradford can't match points with Brady.
Ind @ Ten - Might at well pick the Titans at home, as neither team can score or stop other teams from scoring, and Chris Johnson is ready to break loose.
Oak @ KC - The basement of the AFC West, the Raiders are winless on the road and the Chiefs are winless at home.  So...Raiders I guess, since McFadden in on my fantasy team.
NYG @ Dal - A great rivalry and a great match-up.  The Boys barely beat an awful Panthers team last week, and the Giants seem to enjoy playing on the road.  Big Blue beats Big D.
NO @ Den - Should be the highest scoring game of the weekend & a very entertaining SNF.  Both offenses can fly, but the Broncos D is better than the Saints', so they win a tight one.
SF @ Ari - The Cardinals have lost the magic they had at the beginning of the season, and the Niners are a strong team that don't make a lot of mistakes.  MNF means Jon Gruden!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Movie Trailer - The Loneliest Planet

Director: Julia Loktev
Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal, Hani Furstenberg
Release: October 26th, 2012

I'm very intrigued by this film.  It looks odd & interesting, but the trailer doesn't give much information, which is probably why I'm so curious.  Who knows, it could be great, I think it's worth a shot.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Thought - Time Travel

After reading The Time Machine (and currently reading The Time Ships), I've been speculating on time travel.  I think of time as a concept, rather than a physical entity, and therefore, if pressed, I would say that we can't move forward or backward in time because the past & the future do not exist.  However, I like the idea that nothing is impossible, and I also like the idea of quantum dimensions/the string theory/many-worlds.  So, perhaps someday someone will figure out something and we'll be able to traverse time.  What do you think?  Do you think it will be possible?  Do you think that the quantum theory gives a realistic possibility to the idea of time travel?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sports - Uniforms

Now, I'm not a big fan of college football.  I find it hard to watch amateur athletes play poorly every Saturday.  I understand that, for people who grew up near a major school & were raised to root for it or who went there, their 'fandom' is based on pride, loyalty, what have you, but I could never really get into it.  However, one thing I find excellent about college football is the blend of tradition and modernity. College uniforms reflect this really well, as they stay true to what they've always done, but they're willing to try out new concepts, change up the colors, even just for a game or two.  Teams like Oregon did they so well that they became legitimate franchises.  Now it seems that every school has five alternate jerseys, and perhaps it's gone a bit too far, but I like the idea that a school can keep tradition alive, but still have a bit of fun.

The NFL could take a lesson from this.  The league can be too rigid at times, too stuck in tradition.  Yes, most teams have alternate jerseys, but it usually trades one solid color for another, like the Broncos oranges vs. the blues.  That's cool, but not that cool.  Sometimes teams will bring out their retro look, like the Eagles' blue and gold, and that's a nice nod to the bygone days, but that's only one game a season.  This year the NFL tried to spruce up their uniforms a little by making a deal with Nike.  Well, the only team that changed anything was the Seahawks, who look awesome by the way.  All any other team did was add hideous lapel-like stripes to their collars.  They look like tuxedo t-shirts.  No one is willing to take a step forward and create an interesting new image.

And some teams desperately need an image overhaul.  1) The Browns.  My God, enough with the orange helmets with no logo.  And you're named after two people who's last name was Brown!  How do make it through the day?  I understand tradition, but the Brownies have been horrible for so long that it's time for a change.  2) The Vikings.  Purple isn't necessarily a bad thing.  The Ravens pulled it off by paring it with black.  Very nice.  The Vikings pair it with more purple.  Not nice.  And their symbols are awesome, both the Viking man and the curved horns.  But they don't do it justice.  3) The Dolphins.  They teased fans when they promised changes this year to go along with a new personnel.  Well, they're still teal & orange and are represented by a happy dolphin wearing a football helmet.  4) The Raiders.  I have no problem with the silver & black, and the pirate man is fine, but he needs updating.  He looks like he was invented in 1960 and never changed.  Oh wait.

Basically, if I can create a better image for a franchise on Madden '06 than the NFL can, then it's time for an update.  Those four teams need a new identity, and should follow the Broncos & Buccaneers into modern times, but the rest of the teams just need to have a little fun.  There is no shortage of ideas out there.  Check out this concept art:

The NFL and it's teams need to take some notes from artists like this, and from college teams as well, and step up their game a little bit.  You don't have to change tradition completely to be relevant, but you need to take some steps forward sometime or you're going to get passed. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Movie Trailer - To Rome With Love

Director: Woody Allen
Starring: Woody Allen, Alec Baldwin, Penelope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Roberto Benigni
Release: 2012

I've seen Midnight in Paris and, everyone has their own opinions blah blah blah, but that movie was not good.  Owen Wilson is not Woody Allen.  But finally, Allen is back in his own movie, and the result should be an incredibly better film.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Movie Trailer - Django Unchained

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz
Release: December 25th, 2012

First off, you better like Tarantino films (Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction) cause there's gonna be a lot of killin'.  But if you can make it past the gore, the direction & acting in this movie ought to be top notch.  A must see.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sports - NFL Picks, Week 7

Here are my NFL Week 7 picks:
(I was 8-6 last week)
Bye teams: Atl, Den, KC, Mia, Phi, SD

Sea @ SF - The last time the Niners were embarrassed by a bad loss, they won the next week 34-0.  I think they will rebound again, in a tough game between two excellent defenses.
Ten @ Buf - The exact opposite, two of the worst defenses in football.  If the Bills can get their run game going, they should be able to beat a very weak Titans team which can't win on the road.
Dal @ Car - Fairly even matchups so far, as neither of THESE teams can score any points.  The Cowboys finally got going last week, so they have the edge in a battle between desperate teams.
Bal @ Hou - The Ravens D took a hit with the loss of Webb and Lewis, both for the season.  The Texans will play mad coming off an embarrassing loss, and should come away with the win.
Cle @ Ind - Battle of the rookie QBs.  Both have played well for beginners, but poorly compared to the rest of the league, with 17 INTs between them.  Home field advantage; Colts I guess.
Ari @ Min - Both teams have come crashing down from hot starts.  The Vikings play well at home, and have more firepower, so they should have the advantage in a tight game.
Was @ NYG - RG3, meet the Giants D.  Coming off of completely whooping the Niners, Big Blue has the momentum and coaching to stop a dynamic player like Griffin III.
GB @ STL - Rodgers is rolling and should be able to beat a Rams team that plays pretty good defense, but can't score enough points to keep up.
NO @ TB - Freeman and the Bucs D looked good last week, but look for the Saints to be fresh & focused coming off their bye week.  Could be a shoot-out, with a Hartley game winner.
NYJ @ NE - The Patriots were stunned last week by the Hawks, but I don't think they'll see anything surprising this week.  Brady knows what to do and will beat his rivals.
Jax @ Oak - The two lowest scoring teams in the league, and their defenses aren't much better.  Look for Run DMC to get going and the Raiders to win fairly easily.
Pit @ Cin - A matchup of a lot of preseason hype, but so far no results.  Injuries have hindered both teams, and they each need a win badly.  The key is, Roethlisberger knows how to beat the Bengals.
Det @ Chi - The Bears don't allow points and they don't lose at home.  The Lions are picking up steam, but if Cutler can stay upright the Bears can win this very entertaining MNF matchup.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Thought - Post-Birthday Rant

So I took the weekend off for my birthday, but now I'm back.  It was a great couple days; checked out the new Hollywood Casino, pretty awesome, and had a very relaxing birthday party complete with Reese's Cups s'mores, very nice.  To me, my birthday signifies the beginning of fall even more than football does, and now I am ready for fall leaves, apple cider, hoodies, and Halloween candy.

I turned 29 this year.  I don't FEEL almost 30, and I don't think much will change when I officially become old next year, but I'm dreading it all the same.  I already have a wife, a house, and two kids, so I really can't get any older, but something about that number three in front of my age really frightens me.  I think I'll stay 29 for a while.

Speaking of October and football, let me rant about the NFL's pink sports equipment; it's ugly, stupid & pointless.  First, I understand it's to raise awareness for breast cancer.  You know how you could do that even better?  Announce in the stadium and on TV before every game, "BE AWARE OF BREAST CANCER! If you are a woman over the age of 40 please get a mammogram once a year!  Thank you for listening!"  I mean, doesn't actually saying that say it better than pink referee hats?  Are you kidding me?  Is a pink elbow band going to make anyone's mom go get her boob squeezed in a machine?  And secondly, why is breast cancer awareness the only cause so strongly advertised by the NFL? The leading cause of death in the US is heart disease.  Why not wear red nasal strips and tell people that they're overweight?  Breast cancer isn't even the most common type of cancer!  That would be prostate cancer.  Wear a brown towel in your belt and give free exams on the sidelines.  And how about non-medical causes?  Gay rights, a free Tibet, global genocide, the production of American goods by child slaves?  No, but a treatable form of cancer that almost exclusively effects people who don't watch football games and therefor won't see your hot pink mouth piece, that's a cause worthy of an entire month of constant TV advertising & ridiculously colored uniforms.  Asinine.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Thought - Who do you love?

I made a list the other day of the people that I love.  I tried to be honest and not include distant cousins & old acquaintances, but only the people who I actually feel love for.  There are 10 names on the list.  I don't know what to think about that.  Is that small?  Do I not love enough people?  Or am I lucky to have that many people who I love in my life?  Would other people say 100 but really only mean 5?  What do you think?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Movie Trailer - Stolen

Director: Simon West
Starring: Nicholas Cage, Josh Lucas, Malin Akerman
Release: October, 2012

Every piece of this movie is a reason not to see it.  West (Con Air, Tomb Raider) is the director.  Cage (Ghost Rider, The Family Man) is the star.  And the title; are you kidding me?  Please don't see this action overloaded, dead weight, turd of a movie.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sports - NFL Picks, Week 6

Here are my NFL Week 6 picks:
(I was 11-3 last week)
Bye teams: Car, Chi, Jax, NO

Pit @ Ten -  This could be a pretty lousy match-up.  The Titans have been outscored an average of 20 points per game.  But the Steelers have yet to win on the road. Pitt, I guess.
Oak @ Atl - Unlike the Texans, the only other unbeaten team, the Falcons are beatable.  They have holes that will eventually give them a loss or three.  But not this week.
Dal @ Bal - The Cowboys are in disarray.  But coming off a bye week they should be fresh & prepared.  The only thing is, they have to play the Ravens.  Romo might set an INT record.
Cin @ Cle - The Bengals have a winning record despite allowing more points than they have scored.  With Joe Haden returning, the Brownies will look to pull off an upset win.
STL @ Mia - The Dolphins are coming off a surprising road win, while the Rams have yet to win away from their dome home.  Tannehill is improving and will pick up the W.
Ind @ NYJ - The only team more muddled than the Cowboys is the Jets, but their D is still fairly strong.  Sanchez should hold off Tebow for one more week.
Det @ Phi - The Eagles might be imperfect, but they play very well at home.  With Vick struggling, McCoy should get the lion's share (mah) of the ball and run wild.
KC @ TB - The Bucs defense is actually pretty good, their offense just can't keep up.  Coming off a bye week, this team should give new Chiefs QB Brady Quinn a major headache.
Buf @ Ari - The Cardinals are undefeated at home and have a Top 5 defense.  Losing last week will not have sat well, and with the extra time to prepare the Bills should be worried.
NE @ Sea - The Seahawks have the 2nd best defense in football.  Surprising, I know.  They just can't score enough points to stay consistently good.  This week will be different.
NYG @ SF - Seattle has the 2nd ranked D, but the Niners have the 1st.  They have allowed only 14 points per game.  Eli is good, but that's hard to overcome.
Min @ Was - RG3 had to hit a wall at some point.  Well, he hit something last week, I'm sure it felt like a wall.  Even if he plays, the Vikings are simply the better team.
GB @ Hou - Rodgers is admittedly not playing his best football.  The Texans, however, are playing theirs.  They are the #1 team in the league, hands down, and look unbeatable.
Den @ SD - The Broncos/Chargers rivalry has become a great one, with both teams hating the other.  Peyton better watch out for pressure, but if he can stay upright he will pick up his first road win.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sports - Last Resort

So I've never seen the actual TV show, but I'm guessing it would only make this funnier.  Thank you, Monday Night Football for setting this up.  As if I needed another reason to love Jon Gruden.

Sports - Tebow

     As a Broncos fan, I've compromised my honesty in support of my team.  When John Elway went down and Bubby Brister took over, I declared loudly, "We believe in Bubby!"  We didn't, but luckily we won a Super Bowl anyway.  When Elway retired and Brian Griese became the starter, I said hopefully, "He can do it!"  No he couldn't, but he was all we had.  When the Broncos drafted Jay Cutler, I was in the middle of saying, "Who's that douche bag on the cell pho...Oh! Ok! Hey, welcome to Denver, you're cool!"  No he's not, but at least he has a strong arm.  I'm practiced in defending my team's choices because, what else am I going to do?

     When we traded Cutler, when we got Kyle Orton, when we drafted Tim Tebow, every time I tried to put a good face on the situation and accept who my team's new leader was because I will always root for the orange and blue uniforms I see on TV.  When those guys no longer play for us, I can hate them/curse them/knock on the them as much as I want because they're no longer Broncos.  I can finally be honest.  And in the case of Tebow, I can finally say whatever I want, however scathing it might be.  But, you know, I've got nothing new to say.

     Broncos fans believe in Tim Tebow.  We believe that he is a legitimate NFL starting quarterback who can score, lead, and win.  We may be the only group of people who can be completely unbiased when it comes to Tebowmania because we lived it.  We felt it.  We won and lost by it.  We know his faults and we know what he can do.  Trust Bronco fans; this kid is a winner.  He wins, no matter how sloppily.  He wins when there's no way he can win.  Even when he loses, when he tells you that he won on some level because he learned something, you believe him!  Tim Tebow is someone that you want on your football team.  We know, we had him, we rooted for him, and when he failed we didn't mind so much.

     I understand the mechanics concerns and I get that he might never be Tom Brady.  I don't care.  He's got that "it" factor that Simon Cowell is always talking about.  It's something you can't develop and can't learn.  For some reason or completely by chance, Tebow was born with the ability to make you listen to him and, if you've ever been on his side, make you love him.  That's rare, and if a quarterback comes along with that gift you don't toss him aside just because he has an awkward release.

    Yes, the Broncos bought Peyton Manning and traded Tebow away.  Do I think that was an upgrade?  Yes.  Was I sad to see him go?  Yes.  Would I welcome him back with open arms to be our starter when Peyton retires?  Instantly.  He made me enjoy football more than I normally do, which is saying something.  I watched him play knowing that I would see mistakes but that I just might see a miracle.  I think Tim Tebow will become a starter again some day, and I think he will win.  He will win over his city, his fans, and hopefully a game or two.  But I'll be rooting for him as I always do, because he is what watching football is really all about.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Movie Trailer - Cloud Atlas

Director: Andy Wachowski
Starring: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess
Release: October 26th, 2012

I love Tom Hanks.  I love sci-fi.  I like romance and I can stand Halle Berry.  But I'm not sure I'll enjoy a sci-fi/romance paring Hanks & Berry set in a multitude of times/dimensions/dreams/stories.  I mean, I'm intrigued, but I'm doubtful.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Movie Trailer - The Lone Ranger

Director: Gore Verbinski
Starring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Wilkinson
Release: July 3rd, 2013

I know it might not be all that I am hoping, but this is the team that made Pirates of the Caribbean, one of the greatest action/adventure movies of all time.  If they can just come close to the energy & comedy they created then, this could be big.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Sports - MLB Picks, Wild Card Play-in

Here are my MLB Wild Card play-in picks:

StL @ Atl - (Lohse 16-3, 2.86 vs. Medlen 10-1, 1.57)

     The first ever single-game postseason "series" should be a good one.  The Cards are the reigning champions, having sneaked into the playoffs last year thanks in part to an epic Braves collapse.  They lose LaRussa, Pujols, Berkman, and Carpenter, and yet remain a tough team to beat, mainly due to a high powered offense that can out-score anyone.  They will need their stars to shine tonight (Molina, Holliday, Craig, Beltran, Freese) to give Lohse some support in, what should be, a low scoring game.

     Runs have been at a premium for teams facing Medlen.  He has been amazing in limited appearance, and has the look of a long-term ace.  However, he lacks post-season experience, and the Cards must capitalize on his early nerves.  Veteran hitters like Ross, Chipper, Uggla, and Prado will be the backbone of this team in this game, and HR-hitting youngsters like Freeman and Heyward must show their muscle as well.

     In what might be Chipper Jones' last game as an Atlanta Brave, look for the home-town crowd to be loud and impacting.  The Cards will need a quick lead in order to quiet things down, or they could be in for a long night.  Should either team have a small lead in the 9th, don't look for any last inning heroics, as closers Motte and Kimbrel are both lights out.  If Lohse holds steady and Medlen makes some early mistakes, the Cardinals can hold on for another surprising finish to a mediocre season.

Cardinals 4 - Braves 2

Bal @ Tex - (Saunders 9-13, 4.07 vs. Darvish 16-9, 3.90)

     Two teams could not be less similar.  The Orioles are the perennial whipping boy of the AL East, a group of misfits that never rise to the the level of the Yankees and Red Sox.  This year is different.  They've put together pieces that, combined,  make a legitimate roster.  Young players like McLouth, Machado, and Wieters are primed to make names for themselves, and veterans like Thome, Jones, and Reynolds are ready to take this wild ride all the way to the World Series.

     The Rangers are as elite as any team in baseball.  With a roster stacked from top to bottom with proven talent (Andrus, Kinsler, Young, Napoli, Cruz, Beltre, Hamilton) they are virtually unbeatable when firing on all cylinders.  The losers of the last two World Series, this is a team and a home-field crowd that expects to win.  If they can get going early, there is no stopping this offense or this shut-down bullpen.

     In a match-up of two confident and capable teams, the final outcome might be decided by pitching, rather than hitting.  Both Saunders and Darvish are new to their respective teams, and both have done well.  Saunders' numbers are poor, but most of them came with a weak Arizona team, while Darvish's numbers are good but not great.  If both pitchers get touched for a few runs, and the closers Johnson and Nathan do as well as they have all season, then the game could come down to one costly mistake that ends one team's post-season dreams.

Orioles 6 - Rangers 7

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Movie Trailer - Fat Kid Rules the World

Director: Matthew Lillard
Starring: Jacob Wysocki, Matt O'Leary
Release: October 5th, 2012

I've seen Terri and it wasn't good, but Wysocki was.  I would give him another chance in a better movie, but this cannot be it.  Let us not forget that Lillard played Shaggy in Scooby Doo.  I refuse to watch the directorial debut of a man who is less talented than a cartoon dog.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sports - NFL Picks, Week 5

Here are my NFL Week 5 picks:
(I was 11-4 last week)
Bye teams: Dal, Det, Oak, TB

Ari @ STL - It's hard to imagine a world in which the Cardinals are 5-0.  They almost lost last week to the Dolphins, they will probably lose this week on the road vs. the Rams.
Mia @ Cin - The Bengals better get their wins in now, as they're about to face the Steelers, Broncos, and Giants right in a row.  But that aside, they'll win this game.
GB @ Ind - The Pack got back on track last week vs. the Saints, and they'll look to continue that against the Colts.  Rodgers should be just fine from here on out.
Bal @ KC - The Chiefs have a QB problem, and that's the worst problem a team can have.  The Ravens have no such issue with Joe Flacco.
Cle @ NYG - The Browns can't be happy that the Giants lost last week.  Now they'll be playing mad and, let's face it, they'll be playing the Browns.  G-men win.
Phi @ Pit - The Eagles have been a hard team to pick, as they should have lost a couple times.  Neither Penn team is playing well, but maybe Mendenhall brings some life to the Steelers.
Atl @ Was - RG3 has been playing great, but Matty Ice has been outstanding.  The Falcon's amazing O vs. the Redskin's pathetic D?  Yeah, I'm picking Hotlanta.
Sea @ Car - Cam looks to be improving, and Wilson looks in over his head.  Two dynamic QBs, but one has about 1 year more experience and 1 foot more height.  Panthers.
Chi @ Jax - Oh, Jay Cutler, how I despise thee.  But you win games, and the Jaguars are a beatable team, so I've gotta pick you.
Ten @ Min - The Vikings have got all cylinders pumping in all phases of the game: O, D, and ST.  They might falter in a few weeks and end 7-9ish, but not this week.
Den @ NE - This is tough for me.  Tom Brady seems to enjoy playing against the Broncos defense and scoring 40+ points.  Peyton might score 30, but it might not be enough.
Buf @ SF - As predicted, the Niners were much more focused last week.  They ought to roll this week vs. a Bills team that just doesn't match up well.
SD @ NO - The Saints will finally get a win this week and Drew Brees will say something foolish about God teaching him patience Job-style.
Hou @ NYJ - The Texans are just too much to handle right now and the Jets are in disarray.  It's soon to be Tebow Time!

Sports - NHL

I'm sure I'm not the first person to say this, but I'll say it anyway; this lockout is going to cripple the NHL.  In the early 2000s the NHL was going strong.  It was moderately popular, its players were well known, and it was expanding.  After the 2004 season was cancelled, popularity plummeted, teams struggled to sell tickets, and hockey players ceased to be celebrities.  In 2009, things were looking up.  Attendance was much improved, TV ratings were up, and all was going well.  If this season is cancelled, I don't believe the NHL can recover.  Football and baseball, and even basketball, are just too popular.  People won't scramble to get into hockey if and when it comes back.  They just won't care. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Movie Trailer - Lincoln

Director: Stephen Spielberg
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field
Release: November 16th, 2012

Looks like just another typical Spielberg movie; the best actors, a great story, music that breaks your heart, and a film that will always be remembered.  It could miss the mark, but it probably won't.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Thought - Carcassonne

I've gone and done it. I've played a nerdy board game and gotten hooked. And I've asked for it for my birthday. It's over.  It started with a trip to the Scott house. We had good times, good food, and the kids played well. Jessica & Jacob taught us how to play Carcassonne and I've decided I have to have it. And stickers for my Meeples.