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Posts posted by njskaguy33

  1. I think the first NHL game I ever played addictively was NHL 96 or 97...or it might've been 98, for the N64.

    ...good times

    If it was on the N64, it was NHL '99 as that was the first one to come out for that system. That was my big upgrade from NHL '96 on the SNES and I remember how jaw dropping it was at the time. Ironically, that is the one game in the series that does not hold up over time. The 16 bit style games are still fun in a classic sort of way and still are a blast to play, but those early 2000 hockey games are brutal to play now, NHL '99 especially.

  2. Yeah, NHL 96 is pretty good too. Probably has something to do with having the '95 Cup roster in it.

    To follow up on my earlier post in this thread: I did eventually find my copy of NHL 94... and found NHL 95 right next to it! NHL 95 is so much different than the rest of the series; I don't know if it was developed by a different studio or what, but it's practically unrecognizable as an EA Sports NHL game.

    Well, you're sorta right on this. NHL '94 was developed for both the Genesis and SNES by EA Canada and High Score Productions but when NHL '95 came around, the publishing rights split. The Genesis version would be done solely by High Score and the SNES version would be developed by Visual Concepts, who would go on to do the NHL 2K series. Given this, it makes sense the two versions would be different as High Score had total development control.

    That being said, I looked at some screenshots and while the two years have some noticable differences, '95 still feels like an EA game. Now if you have NHL All Star Hockey '95, that would make sense as that game was developed by Sega themselves and is totally different.

  3. New Movie Review


    Throughout all the bombast and squall of the summer movie season, quiet little jems often get bowled over by the ever-present noise of the local mainstream cinema. While 2011 has been no exception to this, the quality of mainstream movies has actually been pretty decent. With popcorn munchers like Thor, X-Men: First Class and Super 8 all impressing audiences and critics alike, this summer has been a good one for movie lovers who lack access to independent cinema. Sad thing is that this influx of decent summer blockbusters has pushed the indie scene to the background even more than usual for this time of year, despite there being some quality films to be seen. One of those diamonds in the rough is the latest film starring Ewan McGregor, Beginners, a film that examines the balancing act between living in the past and taking hold of your future with mostly delightful results.

    McGregor plays Oliver, a late thirty-something artist who lives alone, has a dog he talks to (and talks back via adorably funny subtitles) and has shut out much of the outside world due to a crippling shyness. The film opens with McGregor settling the affairs of his recently deceased father, played near perfectly by Christopher Plummer. This opening scene sets the tone of the film, showing us that while there’s going to be some serious meat to be digested, it’s all layered with a candy coating of wry humor. McGregor is pretty fantastic in this role, reminding me of how good an actor he really can be when given the opportunity. Displaying a great deal of subtlety in his very restrained performance, McGregor goes through the emotions of pain, loss and burgeoning love in a very real and connected way.

    Of course, without some fine supporting acting, McGregor’s great work would have been wasted. After the initial introduction to the character of Oliver, the film splits in two, one half detailing the relationship between Oliver during his father’s coming out and the present time, centering around a new relationship with a charming actress named Anna, played by Melanie Laurent. The flashback scenes detailing Plummer’s admitting he’s gay at the age of 75, his subsequent newfound zest for life and the effect it all has on his now older son is easily the strongest stuff in the film, balancing reality and whimsy in equal doses. Inspiring, sweet and poignant, the zeal for living Plummer displays reminds us all it’s never too late to taste the sweetness life has to offer.

    On the other side of the coin, the parallel story of Oliver and Anna falls into familiar territory. The impossibly cool couple roller-skates in office buildings, tags up buildings and go to parties with equally cool people, all very fun and interesting but difficult to connect with if you don’t live in Brooklyn or wear American Apparel short pants. Without the excellent work of both McGregor and Laurent in their respective roles, this hipster romance could have been intolerable but with some lovely chemistry and good direction by Mike Mills, the two hold together.

    From personal experience, the older you get, the more closed off you tend to become, especially towards relationships and the people you surround yourself with. Like an emotional survival instinct, it gets harder and harder to trust someone for fear of experiencing that same old pain of rejection, especially when you expect things will eventually fall apart. Through the present life of Oliver trying to connect with a maddingly charming woman and the flashbacks of his father breaking free of those emotional bonds in his twilight years, Beginnings shows us both the joy of being open to the world and the consequences of being closed off. Although the film has a small hint of trying to be too clever for the room, the meat of the feature is something we can all take a big bite out of. A celebration of life combined with a cautionary tale of how easily it can be squandered, Beginners may have tried too hard to be everything at one, but when the sum of the parts is this emotionally satisfying, I find it hard to find fault with any of it.

  4. Opening This Week – Nationwide

    Green Lantern (Also in 3D – Ever watch a trailer and say to yourself, “Boy, that looks silly and I don’t think it’s supposed to be”? Well, that’s exactly what runs through my mind when I see a trailer or sign or movie poster for the latest film by director Martin Campbell (Casino Royale, Edge of Darkness) Green Lantern. All I can think is, that’s a silly costume or look, that silly guy has a ten finger forehead or ahh, there’s the obligatory rock monster voiced by Michael Clarke Duncan. According to critics, the movie is exactly as silly and nonsensical as the trailer promises. Star Ryan Reynolds has great abs but no personality, the story is far fetched, even for a comic movie and the whole thing is seeped in a silliness so bad, so off the mark, it can’t even be classified as campy good. There are much better films out there to see in wide release, many of which will have shorter lines. My advice? Seek those out rather than waiting time with this snoozer.

    Mr. Popper’s Penguins – Another actor who has some experience with green tights (Batman Forever, anybody?), Jim Carrey stars in this family comedy about a hard nosed businessman whose heart of coal gets warmed the heck up when he adopts six penguins. Slapsticky, silly and undeniably light comedy, critics have said that while the film doesn’t break new ground, it could pass for decent entertainment for the kiddies on a hot summer day. Carrey plays the part with conviction, the penguins are decently entertaining and if you can ignore the obligatory fart jokes, there is inoffensive fun to be had here, for the kiddies at least.

    Opening This Week – Limited Release

    The Art of Getting By – Teenage coming of age story surrounding a lazy yet intelligent teen boy who falls for a beautiful girl who sees a warm spirit behind his slacker tendencies. Critics have been mostly negative about the film, citing that while Roberts is a very competent leading lady, the chemistry between her and star Freddie Highmore just doesn’t work on any level. Clichéd, phony and an almost parody of what we’ve come to expect from teenage romances, this film may have some arthouse cred, but in the end comes off looking flat. Opening in limited screens throughout NY and NJ

    Page One: Inside the New York Times – Hows this for expected? A film taking the view behind the scenes of the news desk for one of the biggest papers in the world is getting good reviews from critics, mostly working in print media. What a shock! Especially given the subversive agenda of the changing media structure and a cry to maintain the print media form, and it’s no wonder why magazine critics are giving it a thumbs up. Aside from that, the movie is a mildly interesting look into what makes a newspaper tick and evidently, the result is pretty much what you expect.

    Buck – Documentary about a real life “horse whisperer” who travels nine months out of the year, helping horses get over their “people issues”. Emotionally moving and very inspiring, Buck is the kind of doc that affects you personally, or at least that’s what the critics say. Highly recommended! Playing at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas and the IFC Center

    Opening This Week – Indie, Art House and Small Screenings

    Battle for Brooklyn – Documentary about the public battle between the local residents of a Prospect Heights neighborhood and the proposed Atlantic yards project, a plan that will bring the Nets to the neighborhood. While it could be an interesting look into local politics, the doc is very one sides and take a wild guess on whose side they’re on. Showing at Cinema Village 12th St and Indie Screen (Brooklyn)

    Jig – Documentary about the 40th Irish Dancing Competition where dancers from around the globe convene to show their skills. Definitely special interest but worth checking out, according to critics, if you’re into that sort of thing. Showing at the Quad Cinema

    R – Dutch film about a prisoner who has to navigate the ins and outs of a new prison life, doing everything he can to stay alive. Critics have praised not only the visceral thrills but the intricate pacing, creating genuine tension and intrigue. Also showing at the Quad Cinema

    My 3 To See

    X-Men: First Class – Still the best reviewed action film in theaters, this flick brings you back to the true origin stories of Magneto and Professor X.

    Beginners – Sweet, smart and funny, this Ewan McGreggor film has all the makings of a fun time in the theater

    Tree Of Life – Sigh….Ok, I didn’t fall in love with it like critics did but if a film that’s a mix of 2011: A Space Odyssey and A River Runs Through It sounds appealing to you, this is right up your alley. Certainly not for everybody but if every film fan should absolutely see this for themselves.

    Confused by the colors? Here’s the guide!

    Green means that reviews are great, the trailer looks great, so this is definitely worth seeing!

    Orange means reviews have been mixed but there’s enough here for me to say, “See It For Yourself”.

    Red means this film should be avoided at all costs! Run, Devil fans, run!!

  5. While I honestly don't mean this as a plug or some sort of shameless self-promotion, my podcast just finished a really fun End of the Season Special that I thought I'd share. It's entitled "Back To The Past, Connections To The Future", and talks about the weird statistical similarities between the '96 season and 2011, all wrapped up in a Back to the Future theme. Click here to check it out!

    Direct Link


  6. I don't consider LeBrun an ESPN property, they take his articles from TSN (the better version of ESPN).

    I can't see how a 7 game series can be considered boring. I still remember the Stevens hit on Kariya, Marty outdueling Giggy (yet not getting the MVP award), Friesen, Marshall, and Turner Stevenson playing tough.

    Although it's an unfortunate Devils memory, you also had the famous "Bleeder Goal on Marty" which is one of the craziest goals ever scored in a Stanley Cup Final. 2003 was wrought with tension and while this series has been the closest one sided series in history, it's still alot of fun to watch. Game 7's are always amazing, no matter how you get to them.

  7. Review My Collection #3

    2001: A Space Odyssey

    Sixteen years ago, in the basement of my parent’s house, I had my first run in with the Stanley Kubrick classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. My dad, being a pretty big science fiction fan, told me this was one of those must see films and for the most part, he was right. The stunning visuals, deliberate pacing and one of the most cunningly evil antagonists in movie history enthralled my growing pre-teen mind. The thought of my 486 Packard Bell computer becoming self aware or playing chess with my microwave was a chilling idea for my14 year old mind. Despite my amazement, one thing bugged me when the final view of the obelisk in alignment faded from the screen: what did it all mean? Asking my dad was no help. Sure he had read the book and had said something about the Star Child being a metaphor for the next era of man or some claptrap but I remember distinctly nodding my heads in agreement while wondering what the hell he was talking about. Since then, I’ve seen it numerous times and while I get the jist of the film much more than I did when I was fourteen, I still can’t help but feel I’m left with too many questions at the end, despite my mind, one again, being blown. Challenging, beautiful and sometimes exasperating, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a landmark movie that poses tough questions with no easy answers, forcing the viewer to interpret the events in their way, leading them to their own conclusions.

    Released in 1968, a full year before American astronauts would land on the moon, 2001: A Space Odyssey was Kubrick’s follow up to the wildly controversial yet wonderful Dr. Strangelove. This wide sweeping story of man’s evolution from ape to intelligent human to something beyond was met with critical damnation upon its initial release. Many theaters stopped running it due to poor critical support and the studio was ready to pull the movie completely due to languishing box office receipts. Despite this impending doom, the film, after a short period of middling success, finally found its audience. Largely made up of younger people, eager to experience the mind bending head trip of the star gate scene, new audiences ate up the revolutionary special effects, deliberate pacing and other worldly vision of a director at the peak of his filmmaking prowess. Science fiction would never be the same.

    Now, seen over forty years after its initial release, 2001 still holds much of its initial magic while at the same time becoming rather dated with age. This dichotomy is evident within the first ten minutes of the feature, where we are treated to six minutes of a black screen, peppered with noises, sounds and an overture gets immediately followed by stunning views of a pre-man world. This mixture of brilliant photography and head scratching surrealism is what makes 2001 a joy and a chore to get through. For example, just as you get sucked into the story of pre man creatures discovering humanity through violence, the film bogs down, showing long takes of spacecraft floating poetically to the Blue Danube. Right when you start learning about the lack of communication from the outpost and start wondering about the mysterious object, the film grinds to a halt, forcing you to sit through a painfully slow ten minute space travel sequence. In 2001, it’s the bets of times and the worst of times.

    Now, I’ll be the first to admit that these criticisms need to be graded on a forty year curve. Take the original viewing audience, for example. Back in the late sixties, nobody had seen space like the one Kubrick and author Arthur C. Clarke had imagined. The floating anti-gravity and the way everything in space seems to dance with the soundtrack was wondrous to an audience raised on Buck Rogers television serials. Now consider the source of this review. Being a newly crowned thirty-something living in Manhattan, I’m surrounded by constant motion: my route home is dependant on walk signs, I’ll transfer from subway to subway to shave minutes off my time and I walk at a pace so brisk, I should be auditioning for a Nike commercial. Sure, I relish and seek out slower moments in my free time, but in the end, my time is a precious commodity that I have little latitude to waste. The struggle for me is that even though I appreciate the artistry and beauty of the filmmaking of 2001, the effect has diminished some, removing much of the tension that must have been felt by the original audiences. Although the film really hits its stride when HAL is introduced ninety minutes in, even that experience is marred by long pod trips to fix antennas and brilliant yet tedious shots of astronauts walking in concentric circles. The film has a distinct ebb and flow to it and your enjoyment of the movie will depend largely on how much you throw yourself into the deliberate pacing. 2001 can either be hypnotic or mind numbing, all depending on your personal preferences, your point of view or how many Red Bulls you knocked down before the screening.

    Despite my less than perfect score, 2001 is a defining experience in the world of science fiction and film at large. A sweeping epic of impressive imagination and scale, Kubrick reaches out to the far reaches of space with only a handful of facts and returns wielding only more questions. Minimalist yet epic, complex yet simple, disarmingly patient while at the same intensely vibrant, 2001 is a film that should be experienced by everybody at least once. While much of the film plods along at a glacial pace, the acting is very average and some of it just screams of pretentious mumbo jumbo, it’s hard to put down a film that is the obvious result of indescribable genius. Kubrick had a lot to say about time, space and the nature of man and while the way he presented it may not jive with my modern day sensibilities, it is impossible to deny the artistry behind it all.

    **Check out my RT blog entitled "Review My Collection" for the rest of the series!!**

  8. I realize it's a few years old already, but I watched Zach and Miri Make a Porno last night. I don't recall the reviews at the time it came out, but I enjoyed it. It was a cute little movie with the witty dialogue that Kevin Smith is known for. Very funny. Does anyone know how Smith's fans received it?

    My brother saw it a year ago and really enjoyed it. He actually thought it was some of the better stuff he's done since Dogma. While I myself haven't seen it, most people agree it's a cute movie that isn't as brash as the title make it seem, injecting just enough heart and humor to go with the witty banter Smith is known for. Yeah, it's an under appreciated flick to be sure!

  9. Saw Super 8. If you're looking for a throwback homage done to Spielberg's ET and Close Encounters updated to modern standards by JJ Abrams then the movie will satisfy you....I think that's probably how they pitched the movie too. :lol:

    Yeah, that's what I've heard about it and to be honest, that sounds more intriguing than the old "Aliens Come From Space" style story. Definitely may check this out!

  10. Opening This Week – Nationwide

    Super 8 (Also available in IMAX) – The time us summer 1979 and in a small town in Ohio, a train mysteriously derails and a group of young filmmakers, armed with a Super 8 camera, capture all the action first hand. However, when people in the small town disappearing, the kids have the only to the truth and get caught up in the maelstrom. First things, first, this movie is definitely more Stand By Me than Alienm focusing on the kids and their perception of the unfolding events. The result is a feature that is very derivative but full of honest emotion and real feeling. Part of me tends to think critics are always more forgiving of kids in films, rightfully so in most respects as, let’s face it, they’re kids, but most people who have seen it enjoyed the kid-centric storyline, despite the stale nature of the story. Enough for me to say see it!

    Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer – Kids film about young Judy and her attempt to have an awesome summer with the help of her brother and her cool aunt, played by Heather Graham. That sentence long synopsis is all one needs to know about this movie as that is the entire plot. Hyper driven, overly bright and nauseating for anybody over the age of 13, this flick may entertain the young girl set but everybody else should just, I dunno, focus on having an awesome summer themselves.

    Opening This Week – Limited Release

    Bride Flight – Dramatic tearjerker about three young women, the men they choose to marry and the sometimes disastrous consequences of their decisions. Getting fairly good reviews from critics, most praise the film for showing some emotional restraint in a script that could have degenerated to soap opera. Sure, it’s a touch sappy but if you’re of the stamp that enjoys a good weeper, check this out! Showing at City Cinemas Paris Theatre, Kew Gardens Cinema, Clearview Clairidge (NJ) and Maplewood Theatre (NJ)

    The Trip – The best reviewed film coming out this weekend stars real life friends Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon who go on a mostly improvised road trip to review fine restaurants in Yorkshire. Reprising the roles they played in the Tristam Shandy, critics are giving both Coogan and Brydon rave reviews, saying the duo has natural comedic timing and look as though they are having a genuine good time while making this. Playing at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas and IFC Center

    Trollhunter – Silly sounding mock-umentary about a group of Norwegian film students who uncover a government conspiracy covering up the existence of wild trolls in the countryside. Critics have been mostly positive about the film, saying that it combines elements of fantasy, documentary and Norwegian folklore to create an implausible yet very entertaining bit of indie fluff. Showing at City Cinemas Village East

    Viva Riva! – Notable as the first feature film shot and directed in Congo, has a standard story about a crime heist gone awry involving a fuel score, some underworld rivals and a big payday. Critics have been praising this film as a breezy film noir style crime drama that doesn’t innovate but still is an entertaining way to burn ninety minutes. Playing at the Angelika

    Opening This Week – Indie, Art House and Small Screenings

    One Lucky Elephant – Gentle documentary about an ex circus elephant and the man who adopted him after his performing days were done. Critics have all enjoyed this heartfelt film about two unconventional friends, so if you’re looking for a doc that warms the heart, check it out! Playing at the Film Forum

    Road to Nowhere – Oddly involving film about a filmmaker who becomes obsessed with his subject whole shooting a movie about a real life crime. Critics have said that the film is wrought with tension and purpose but, like the title promises, leaves the viewer largely unresolved. Still, there’s enough intrigue here to give this a cautious see it for yourself. Showing at City Cinemas Village East

    Other Movie News

    The latest film from Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris expands to wide release this weekend. Marking a return to form for the director, this is a great option for those of you looking for a quality date night movie.

    My 3 To See

    Super 8 – A Stand By Me for the iPod generation, this film directed by JJ Abrhams and produced by Steven Spielberg captures the intensity of the unknown with the magic of a child’s point of view.

    X-Men: First Class – This 1950’s throwback provides both back-story, good acting and political intrigue in what is amounting to a surprise critical hit.

    The Trip – Tired of Hangover knock offs? Then check out this offbeat comedy starring the very funny Steve Coogan as a food critic on a road trip.

    Confused by the colors? Here’s the guide!

    Green means that reviews are great, the trailer looks great, so this is definitely worth seeing!

    Orange means reviews have been mixed but there’s enough here for me to say, “See It For Yourself”.

    Red means this film should be avoided at all costs! Run, Devil fans, run!!

  11. First he destroyed New York, Washington and LA in Independence Day. Next, he did all Devils fans a favor and leveled Madison Square Garden in Godzilla. After that, he froze the Eastern Hemisphere in The Day After Tommorrow and with 2012, he set out to destroy the world. So, what's next for director Roland Emmerich?

    He will destroy....Shakespeare!!

    Anonymous - The Movie!

  12. Glad to hear that they decided to strip it down to simplicity. Let's be honest, you're not making Three Sisters...you're making a silly Spiderman play for tourists to check out. It should be fun, have basic story structure and not get actors injured. I'm actually suprised the Actors Union hasn't come down on this thing in defense of the safety of the actors. Just a big abomination that they'll hopefully make a more manageable abomination that will hopefully make some money for the actors and crew involved.

    Also, it sounds like getting rid of Taymor was just thing they needed. While I don't know much of her stage work, Lion King aside, she needs to get back to puppeteering and stop ruining Shakespere with her bad film adaptations.

  13. Few thing i Learned about Brazil after watching "Fast 5"

    1º There is a freaking desert between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

    2º Brazilian women have small Butt's an wear enormous Bikinis.

    3º Everybody in Brazil has a automatic gun

    4º Every Cop in Rio de Janeiro is Corrupt except for one...

    5º The only thing drugdealers fear in Rio de Janeiro slums is "The Rock" with a Handgun...

    6º Brazilians speaks with a Funny weird almost sounding dubbed hispanic accent.

    Well at least the action scenes were woth it

    Well played, sir....well played!

    Just Watched

    My Left Foot

    Daniel Day Lewis is an actor that I always look at with a crooked glance. While you can’t argue his energy, passion and work ethic, I sometimes feel the guy needs to be toned down a bit. Fiery eyed and wild in his delivery, most know him for his over the top turns in films like Gangs of New York and There Will Be Blood. Although these are both fine movies in their own right, they feature an actor whose been given free reign. Rather than coaxing a more controlled performance from the actor, they allow him to scream, yell and borderline overact many of the scenes he’s in. Lewis is an actor that needs good direction and without that, he sometimes goes off the rails in his high energy performances. Now, many DDL fans will say that’s simply his style, that Lewis has an intense energy that can’t be contained. To these people, I say look no further than his earlier work, culminating in one of his finest performances to date, the portrayal of Irish painter Christy Brown in the fantastic My Left Foot.

    Born with only the use of his left foot due to cerebral palsy, My Left Foot documents the life of Christy Brown, from childhood to his first attempts at painting to the completion of his novel, all accomplished with the use of his remaining working appendage. No ghost writers, no friends working the brushes, just a man and his dreams, creating wondrous works of art despite his handicaps. The film is not only accurate to the life of Brown but true to the nature of the man and the family that supported him. Born in 1930’s Ireland, Brown came from a low income family who didn’t put him in a home, as any family of means would’ve done during that era, but rather take him in as one of their own, giving him a childhood filled with love and patience. This car and attention is faithfully reflected in the film, a wise decision by director Jim Sheridan, who would go on to direct Lewis in both the excellent In the Name of the Father and The Boxer. As the film goes on, we start to feel both Brown’s physical and emotional struggles, creating not just a pitiable character, but a complex one, filled with the same type of frustrations, fears and desires as anybody else. In short, the film is well directed, well written and full of complex yet easily relatable emotions.

    Lewis plays Brown in his adult years, and delivers a career making performance, giving the character a very human interpretation. Brown is no sad sack and neither is Lewis’ portrayal, letting his character experience the whole range of human emotions with his signature intensity while still remaining grounded in the role. Playing a character stricken with cerebral palsy, Lewis is limited in his bodily motions, forcing him to rely on solid acting technique to convey Brown’s emotions, the most effective being his steely gaze. Even today, Daniel Day Lewis has an extraordinary way of using his eyes to convey emotions and this film is no exception. The rest of the cast is equally wonderful, including Hugh O’Conor as the boyhood Brown, Ray McAnally as his gruff father and Brenda Fricker in an Oscar winning turn as Christy’s loving mother. Fricker in particular plays her role perfectly, especially one scene where, after hearing Christy struggling to speak with his speech therapist, laments on how much hope there is in his voice. Filled with fear that her son will never be normal, pain at the thought of losing him to a more independent life and worry that he will be ultimately let down in his goal to communicate, the scene is heartrending and deservedly Oscar winning.

    Modern day fans of Daniel Day Lewis, take heed. Better yet, take a rainy afternoon, rent yourself the following films in this order and make a day of it. Watch A Room With A View, In the Name of the Father and the movie I just reviewed and take notice. Pay attention to how Lewis, given the proper direction, can generate that intensity and power he’s known for without the need to overwhelm the actors he’s paired up with. With excellent direction, heartfelt acting and a story that makes you think, My Left Foot is a triumphant film that makes you feel not pity or sadness but joy at the successes of this modern day marvel. Not only a star making role for Daniel Day Lewis but a landmark movie for the Irish film industry as a whole, My Left Foot is an inspirationally powerful story of not only overcoming physical obstacles, of besting the traps and trips that reside within us all.

  14. I just feel for the fans of the Thrashers, considering how close we were to losing our team in '95.

    Also, on the naming front, let's go soccer-style and have a Winnepeg Somethings-style name. Nah, let's think outside of the box: First ever sports franchised named for an internet meme started by a rich celebrity cokehead.

    That's right, I vote we call the new team, simply...#WINNINGpeg.

    Not for nothing, this deserved a bigger laugh than it got in this thread. Well done, sir!

    As for the relocation, if it goes down, I just remember how it felt as a Devils fan to have all those Nashville rumors running around. Little fan support or not, there were people in the seats in Atlanta and those fans are left hurting. As for Winnipeg, I know nothing about the place aside from that Weakerthans song. If the sponsors are there and the people are into it, I say why not. As for a name, go back to the Jets. It's classic and ties connections to the past....that and I can't think of anything more witty :D

  15. New Movie Review


    Thus far this century, women have been given a raw deal when it comes to comedic films. Gone are the hilarious comediennes of the Mae West / Lucille Ball stamp, being replaced by boorish fellas in gag inducing misadventures, mostly at the expense of their female counterparts. In cinema, comedy has been male dominated for decades and any time a female lands a comedic role, it’s usually in some sappy rom com or an overly sweet made for Lifetime picture. Women are rarely allowed to be cringe inducing, maybe due to societal paradigms, lack of taste for it by audiences or both. Luckily for most of us, that limitation has finally been shattered in what just may be the funniest comedy of the year, Bridesmaids, a hilarious, honest and, yes, fairly gross film that cements lead and co-writer Kristen Wiig as a genuine comedic film star.

    In Bridesmaids, Wiig plays Annie, long time friend and maid of honor to bride to be Lillian, played by Maya Rudolph. Immediately you can tell that these former Saturday Night Live cast mates have a natural chemistry and the result is an instantly believable friendship. They talk frankly about the male anatomy, discuss sexual partners and it becomes obvious from the get go that this isn’t going to be your standard sweet female comedy. The language is raw, unrelenting and usually gut bustlingly funny. While Rudolph plays the part of a bride on the cusp of moving from the middle class to high society rather well, Wiig is the star of the show. In the role, Wiig displays uncanny comedic timing and is easily relatable as an emotionally disconnected bridesmaid, mining comedic gold from the depths of pain and longing. Just as her best friend seems to be on the rise, marrying rich and meeting fabulous new friends, life is falling apart all around Annie. Her bakery has failed, her boyfriend has left and she’s relegated to sleeping with a Porsche driving douche who glibly states he really wants her to leave right after making love. The character’s comedy is rooted in real drama and while her decent is borderline melodramatic, Wiig plays it straight, making the moments when she drunkenly makes a scene on a plane or gets the entire bridal party sick with food poisoning not only hilarious but emotionally resonating. A tough balancing act to be sure, but one Wiig pulls off brilliantly.

    Of course, this isn’t a solo effort and the rest of the bridal party, while shoehorned into strict archetypes, makes the freefall of Annie even more fun for the viewer. The main antagonist of the film is Helen (Rose Byrne), Lillian’s newest friend from the upper crust who does everything she can to make Lillian’s wedding over the top and magical, much to the chagrin of Annie. This immediate clash of wills and status provides the catalyst for the rest of the film and while Byrne plays the part almost too structured, the dichotomy between the snooty Helen and the grassroots Annie makes for some exceedingly entertaining rifts. The rest of the bridal party rounds out nicely featuring Wendi McLendon-Covey of Reno 911 fame as Rita, an ex-partier mother of three, Ellie Kemper as the almost virginal newlywed and Melissa McCarthy as the rough-necked wild card. While the entire cast is perfectly suited for their roles and pulls them off wonderfully, it’s McCarthy who deserves extra recognition. Stealing every scene she’s in, McCarthy is a joy to watch rampage in and around the many situations the bridesmaids find themselves in. Crass, raw and unabashedly rude, McCarthy not only pulls off the sight gags but much of the final denouement, a tricky feat to be sure but one that she knocked out of the park. High marks also has to given to Chris O’Dowd as the Wiig’s eventual love interest, Rhodes. Being the only male in an all girls party can be a tricky pitch to hit but O’Dowd plays it perfectly, injecting the right mix of Irish charm, patience and good guy sweetness into the role. In a word, Bridesmaids is the best cast movie I’ve seen thus far this year and I doubt another comedy will be able to beat it.

    But none of this fine comedic acting would be worth it without some fine material from Wiig and co writer Annie Mumolo and some smart directing by Paul Feig. I’d be interested to find out what percentage of the movie was off the cuff, as it really feels like these women are naturally conversing much of the time but my guess would be a careful mixture of improv and an actual script. Feig does a great job in allowing these ladies to not only be very funny but be very real within their characters. More of a female buddy comedy than anything else, Feig tows the line between gross out humor and real pathos, creating a film that is satisfying on all fronts. This is not a “stupid comedy” by any stretch and one that gives the viewer a chance to laugh and feel in equal measure.

    At the outset of this review, I spoke about the paradigm of females being relegated to either objects of male desire or the butt of their jokes. With a blend of fine acting, hilarious comedy and moments so crude you’ll be shocked that they actually agreed to do it, Bridesmaids not only smashes through that barrier, it redefines what it means to be a female fronted comedy. While I hesitate to say this is a landmark film, this is certainly the first step towards comedic equality in filmmaking. Easily the funniest movie you’ll see this year and on par with the equally side splitting The Hangover, Bridesmaids is comedy gold from beginning to end and establishes Kristen Wiig as a brilliant writer and comedic actress. Although the more conservative critics may tisk tisk about his film being too gross, to crass and too “unladylike”, it’s exactly that close-minded nature that Bridesmaid attempts and succeeds at breaking down. Women can be just as crude, silly and irreverent as the boys and in this critic’s opinion, it’s about damn time.

  16. Opening This Week – Nationwide

    X-Men: First Class – Remember how bad X-Men 3 was? Well, prepare to wash those notions away with this reboot of the classic comic franchise. Directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick Ass), and starring James McAvoy along with Michael Fassbender, this back to the roots reboot details the first class of mutants to grace our planet. Featuring some revisionist history, including the mutants involvement in the Cold War and a world on the brink of nuclear armageddon, X-Men First class has a nice twist on the tried and true comic book story. Much like next month’s Captain America, X-Men goes retro, showing fans how Professor X and Magneto first got together and their eventual split into good and evil. Critics have been very positive about this flick saying it’s stylishly directed and well acted, especially Fassbender in the role of Magneto. This should be no surprise to those who saw his turns in Jane Eyre and Inglourious Basterds but it’s nice to see a big budget film not only use real actors but use them well. At first, I thought this was going to stink but the overwhelming critical opinion has made me think otherwise. See it!

    Opening This Week – Limited Release

    Beautiful Boy – Tough edged family drama about a family dealing with their son committing a Columbine style shooting before taking his own life. While it may be some pretty strong stuff for some viewers, especially during a more lighthearted summer season, critics have been great reviews to both the director and the couple, played by Michael Sheen and Maria Bello. Although I doubt I’ll run out to see this, I’s definitely going to make my Netflix list. Playing at the Angelika and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas

    Beginners – Starring Ewan McGregor, Melaine Laurent and Christopher Plummer, Beginners is the story of a late thirties artist who, after the death of his recently out of the closet father meets Laurent and is forced to not o nly look back on the free wheeling life of his father, has to own up to his present. Getting mostly good reviews, I’ve been looking forward to this for quite some time a while some of the more negative reviews call the film soap orpery, I think the sweet message and fine acting make this one a sure See It! Showing at AMC Lowes Village 7 and Clearview Chelsea

    Empire of Silver – Set in turn of the century, this story of interfamilial love affairs and the wills of a man not wanting to follow in his father’s footsteps have been seeing mixed reviews by critics. Screening at AMC Lowes Village 7, AMC Empire 25 and AMC Lowes Fresh Meadows 7

    Submarine – Quirky film about 15 year old Oliver Tate who has two ambitions in his young life: save his parents marriage and lose his virginity before his 16th birthday. Silly and funny yet smart enough to get through, Submarine has been getting fairly good reviews from most critics. While the more negative thoughts revolve around how much they liked the character of Oliver, most critics found the film to be smart and edgy with a good emotional center. Screening at the Angelika and AMC Lowes Lincoln Center 13

    Yellowbrickroad – Nifty little horror flick about a group modern adventurers who looks to solve the mystery of Friar, New Hampshire, a town who denizens mysteriously left in the 1940’s. Getting mixed reviews from critics, this Blairwitch-esqe style flick may satisfy the hardcore horror fans but that’s pretty much it. Showing at AMC Empire 25 and AMC Clifton Commons (select days only)

    Opening This Week – Indie, Art House and Small Screenings

    The Last Mountain – Ecological documentary about the struggle between townsfolk and big business over mountain-top removal, a practice that may see as disastrous to the local economy. While some critics have blasted this film for making its point with a sledgehammer, most agree that it’s a fascinating and infuriating doc. Screening at Landmark Sunshine

    Love, Wedding, Marriage – Remember when Mandy Moore was a box office draw? Nope, neither do I and it doesn’t look like her latest film will do anything to change that. Moore plays a marriage counselor who finds her own parents heading towards divorce. What happens next has been called sitcom at best and has been getting killed by critics unfortunate enough to check it out. Playing at the IFC Center

    Mr. Nice – Odd little true story of a Cambridge student turned drug dealer and his rise to prominence. Critics have been mixed with some enjoying the lazy way the story is told and others thinking it’s too jangly for its own good. Showing at Cinema Village 12th St

    Rejoice And Shout – Doc about the evolution of Gospel music from its roots in hymns and early spirituals to the form we know today. Critics have been largely positive about film, making this an appropriate recommend for music lovers everywhere. Screening at the Film Forum

    !Women Art Revolution – Documentary about the feminist art movement and the impact its had on our life and times. Getting fine reviews from the few critics who’ve seen it, this is Special Interest to be sure but good Special Interest nonetheless. Showing at the IFC Center

    My 3 To See

    X-Men: First Class – Promising a return to form to the beleaguered franchise, this flick has been praised by early audiences and critics alike.

    Beginners – Definitely more of a personal pick than anything else, this quiet little dramedy starring Ewan McGreggor has been getting fine reviews from critics and is a great option for those looking for something a little quieter from their summer movie.

    Tree of Life – Terrance Malik’s tale of life, love and everything in between is still one of the best films out in limited and should be getting a little more exposure in the coming weeks, so check it out!

    Confused by the colors? Here’s the guide!

    Green means that reviews are great, the trailer looks great, so this is definitely worth seeing!

    Orange means reviews have been mixed but there’s enough here for me to say, “See It For Yourself”.

    Red means this film should be avoided at all costs! Run, Devil fans, run!!

  17. What nmig is talking about is that different defensive positions come with different offensive expectations. For example, if a guy is really good at hitting but crummy with a mitt on his hand, then he must play first base (which I can say is not always easy in its own right) or DH in the AL. All poor defensive players end up at these positions, thus they must be great hitters to rise above their competition. CF, 2B, C and especially SS are positions where good defense is crucial. Since fewer players can play these spots, there are fewer good hitters. So Reyes' offense coming from a player that plays SS, and plays it pretty darn well, is higher value than identical offense coming from a LF or 1B.

    Sorry for taking so long to say thanks but thank you very much for the info. Makes alot more sense now! So I suppose that means Reyes being third in BA in the NL is even doubly impressive being a shotstop. Was in the elevator today and saw that flash on the news screen they have in there. Not bad if that's still the case!

  18. I saw it tonight... I laughed .... I laughed pretty hard, but it didn't keep the magic and the charm of the first movie.... it's funny, it just wasn't EPIC

    You know, so long as it's funny, I don't think I'm going to care if it's set up exactly like the original. Also, I think my expectations are pretty low, so that always helps. As for magic and charm, that'll be a big sticking point with me as the original was just an amazing breath of comedic fresh air. We shall see!

  19. Hangover 2...eh

    Critics have been really down on it but I still need to see it for myself. Most of my friends have written it off based on reviews, but I read one good review of it in Time Out New York, a publication I usually never agree with and I think I just need to see it for myself. The worst I've heard is that it's framed exactly like the original, which doens't have to be the worst thing in the world, if the jokes are funny. We shall see!

  20. New Movie Review


    These days, it seems as though the term Marvel has become synonymous with box office gold. With properties like X-Men, Iron Man and Spiderman raking in the dough, it’s hard to think of a summer without a Marvel film featured in it, when in fact, the juggernaut hasn’t been rolling for very long. When Marvel Studios released its first film, Blade, in 1998, DC was the king of the comic film scene, featuring successful adaptations of Superman and Batman. With Blade and 2000’s X-Men making huge box office splashes, Marvel cemented themselves as real players in the comic book movie genre. While some films have been great (Iron Man, Spider Man 2) and some have been miserable (The Punisher, Daredevil, Elektra), Marvel is on a bit of an upswing as of late with its all encompassing Avengers project. The latest film in that pantheon, Thor, tries to keep the streak going and despite some minor issues, does a reasonably good job of maintaining the quality, providing a solid B grade entry into the Stan Lee family of films.

    Directed by long time Shakespearian Kenneth Branagh, Thor is a tale of two worlds, one the skyward planet Asgard and the other our very own planet Earth. On Asgard lives our protagonist, Thor, a cocky yet charming heir to the throne, played by first timer Chris Hemsworth. Hemsworth plays the part very well, injecting charm, likability and a sense of immaturity into the character in equal doses. Hemsworth not only looks the part but gives the character some much needed depth, important for the long term development of the character. Thor isn’t the most thoughtful of god people and when he saunters off to the land of the Front Giants to, for lack of a better word, start some s**t, his father banishes him to the far off land of Earth, making his brother Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, the new heir. What follows is a fairly interesting, if not totally predictable battle for power, that’s not unlike the Shakespeare that remains Branagh’s bread and butter. The clash works quite well and although you can see the end result coming a mile away, the strength in the characters more than makes up for it.

    In fact, if I have one knock against Thor is that the story is completely and totally predictable. Once Thor lands on Earth, stripped of his godly power, he comes across a team of scientists knocking around the desert looking at storm patterns. This unabashedly contrived meeting sets up the rest of film quite neatly; you have Natalie Portman as the brilliant scientist / love interest, Stellan Skarsgard as a fellow scientist / mentor and Kat Dennings as their assistant / comic relief. As you can see, each character has an archetype to live up to and while this makes for a pretty predictable storyline, each actor does a fine job with the role given. The comedy generally works, the chemistry between Hemsworth and Portman is strong enough and it’s genuinely enjoyable watching Thor stomp around modern day Earth, smashing glasses, being overly polite and adjusting to our primitive society. My only quibble would be Thor’s Asgardian friends, a band of warriors who are so underdeveloped, I couldn’t give you their names if I had gun against my head. The film also does a nice job of jumping between Asgard where Loki is vying for political position and Earth where Thor is just trying to cope with being once again mortal. It’s this nice balance of Shakespearian style familial in fighting and culture clash that moves the film along, although not at the pace most comic fans have come to expect.

    On that front, one only has to look toward director Kenneth Branagh for answers. Responsible for some of the best adaptations of Shakespeare ever put to film, including a masterful version of Henry V, Branagh is comfortable letting the actors tell a story, providing a slower, more patient comic book flick than we’ve come to expect from the genre. Summer popcorn fans needn’t fear, though, as the film is nowhere near a Victorian drama. The action is frenetic, there are some top notch special effects in play and the film moves along at a very nice pace; just don’t expect the itchy trigger finger of Iron Man. On the action front, it’s not anything you haven’t seen before, but when I first saw the trailer, I thought, “A hammer? What can one do with a hammer?” Evidently, quite a lot as Thor summons lightning and smashes baddies all about a desolate planet, providing just enough visceral fun to make the film a true summer popcorn flick.

    Thor, while falling slightly in the original storytelling department, more than makes up for its faults, providing fun action, an interesting tie to Norse mythology and enough eye candy to keep even the most jaded summer moviegoer entertained. While not quite on the level of the A list Marvel properties, Thor was a nice change of pace for me, providing thrills, pathos and humor in equal measure. Branagh has not been known for big budget action films and while I doubt he’s going to become the next Michael Bay, maybe somewhere along the lines of a Jon Favreau is not completely out of the realm of possibility. A fine opening to the summer popcorn season, Thor is some of the best action you’ll see in theaters this summer. That is, of course, until the next Marvel flick comes rolling into the spotlight.

  21. Opening This Week – Nationwide

    The Hangover – Part 2 – So, how do you make a sequel to one of the funniest comedies of the past decade? Evidently make the exact same movie over again. Stu, Phil and company are back for another headache filled whodunit in Todd Phillip’s The Hangover – Part 2 and the plot is pretty much the same as the original. The boys are in Bangkok for Stu’s wedding and after, somehow, a dainty brunch goes awry and the boys fins themselves, yet again, hungover and searching for their lost friend. While critics have blasted this flick for being completely derivative of the original, I’m interested to see how this all plays out. Despite critical derision, I love these characters and am actually looking forward to their next drunken escapade, even if it’s stuff we’ve seen before.

    Kung Fu Panda 2 (Also in 3D) – For those of you who prefer their comedy with more heart and less inebriation, the long awaited sequel to 2008’s surprise critical and audience hit, arrives in theaters with the same energy and charm of the original. Jack Black is back as Po, the lovable yet lovable martial artists who has a new, more dangerous foe to face. Critics have hailed this movie as just as good as the original, so if you’re a fan, this is an absolute must see!

    Opening This Week – Limited Release

    The Tree of Life – Director Terrance Malik’s long awaiting film about...well…the nature of everything opens this weekend to fantastic reviews. Tracking a boy living in a Midwestern 1950’s family and his growth to a man, this film examines family relationships and spirituality in a way that organic, involving and completely Terrance Malik. Starring Brad Pitt as the young boys father and Sean Penn as the boy grown up, this film has been getting pretty much raves from everybody whose seen it. While some critics found it boring and pretentious, if you let it get under your skin, this film is sure to amaze. Screening at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas and Landmark Sunshine

    Opening This Week – Indie, Art House and Small Screenings

    United Red Army – Presented in a raw cinema verite style, this film explores the mass student uprisings in 1960’s Japan. Depicting difficult scenes of political brutality, critics have said the film is all at once grueling and fascinating in its honesty. Showing at the IFC Center

    Tuesday, After Christmas – From the same Romanian New Wave scene that brought us the fantastic 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, this latest film centers around a middle class couple whose relationship is rocked by infidelity. Critics have been mixed on the film, and I suppose it all depends upon whether or not you dig this type of filmmaking. Screening at the Film Forum

    My 3 To See

    Bridesmaids – While The Hangover Part 2 is the newest comedy in theaters, according to critics, this is still the best.

    Kung Fu Panda 2 – Animation junkies and fans of the original alike should find plenty to love in the sequel to the 2008 surprise hit.

    The Tree of Life – This long awaited film by Terrance Malik looks to be challenging, thought provoking and visually stunning, all adding up to best film in limited right now.

    Confused by the colors? Here’s the guide!

    Green means that reviews are great, the trailer looks great, so this is definitely worth seeing!

    Orange means reviews have been mixed but there’s enough here for me to say, “See It For Yourself”.

    Red means this film should be avoided at all costs! Run, Devil fans, run!!

  22. Combine the fact Reyes is great for position and generally has played good defense, and you can see why hes so beloved. And if you don't value positional differences, then, well, I can't say much to you other than you should really change your thinking.

    Sorry for the late quote as I've catching up on the thread, but I was wondering if you could explain positional differences when it comes to offense. Just genuinely curious why where a guy plays defense would matter offensively. Again, not being sarcastic, just genuinely curious as I'm about as casual of a baseball fan as it gets. I just realized they got rid of Saves for relievers and now call them Holds...that's how out of touch I am :D

  23. I have probably had a beer from every microbrewery on the East coast. My favorite company is Long Trail and their brew master series, a close second is weyerbacher. Stuff is great.

    Current fav is centennial red from Long trail.

    Rowhouse red, Red ale from Philly is very good.

    Also if you have a Trader Joe's around try their beers like black toad. Good and light on the alcohol!

    Long Trail makes a fantastic beer. Haven't tried their red but as I love a good red, I'll definately have to try it sometime! Problem is, my stomach doesn't really agree with beer, so I'm usually limited to one, maybe two before I start feeling sick.

  24. Everytime my brother and I go on vacation, we always go to the local liquor store and make our own sixer of the weird, random local stuff they have. This one time, we tried that Rasputian stuff, solely because the label is awesome and it was excellent! My go to beer is usually Sam Adams but I love me a pint of properly poured Guinness. Guinness is an odd bird for me as there is nothing better a correctly poured pint and nothing worse than a bad pour. Just a range of emotions that have no middle ground!

    Other than that, I just picked up a sixer of the Magic Hat Summer...going to give it a try once it cools down :-D

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