Friday, December 31, 2010

Nicolas Cage... Uncaged!

Man, commercials for this movie are in heavy rotation.

Probably due to the presence of Ron Perlman in medieval garb, every time I see it I think of that Uwe Boll travesty, In The Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Adventure. But no, this is a different movie, directed by Dominic Sena (Gone in 60 Seconds, Swordfish).

OK, so it's not a Uwe Boll movie. And even though Sena got his start making music videos, it's not a full length version of the Donovan song.

So the only question remaining about this film is... do they uncage the Cage?

Let's face it, the only reason to watch a Nic Cage movie at this point is in the hope of seeing him lose his shit. It's what he does best.

I love this, but hey -- where's Moonstruck?

"I don't care! I ain't no freaking monument to justice! I lost my hand! I lost my bride! Johnny has his hand! Johnny has his bride!"

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Coach Jules

It's time to get fired up for hockey!

Do I look like a bitch? Do I look like a bitch?

Well why you skating for me like bitches?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

We still love you, Danny Woodhead

Undersized running back Danny Woodhead was always a fan favorite when he was on the Jets, but the coaching staff could never figure out a way to use him (except in the pre-season). This year he went to the Patriots and, sure enough, they found a way to get him the ball.

Not only is he a good player, but he seems like a really good guy. Check this out:

Good luck, Danny... hope you find even more success, just not with the Patriots!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Yankees Get A Molina

Not Bengie (who is a free agent), not Jose (still with Toronto), not Yadier (still with the Cardinals)... but Gustavo!


Gustavo Molina is a 28-year-old right-handed hitting catcher from Venezuela. Alas, he's not related to the Molina brothers. (In fact, they're from Puerto Rico.) Sportswriter and Mets fan Howard Megdal sponsors Gustavo's page on Baseball Reference with an amusing note:

WARNING: This is not an authentic Catching Molina Brother.

Gustavo MolinaGustavo has had a bit of a Crash Davis type career, getting call-ups for a week or two at a time when the big-league catcher goes down. He was signed by the White Sox in 2000, but has just 41 at-bats in the majors (5 hits, 1 double) for four different organizations, including the Mets in '08 and the Red Sox last year. The Crash Davis comparisons stop when you look at his minor league numbers... he's hit .235/.295/.348 in 2574 ABs over 11 seasons. He appears to be a pretty good glove guy (wouldn't he have to be?), with a .988 career fielding percentage and a 39% CS%.

The Yankees signed him to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training. With Jorge Posada, Russell Martin and Francisco Cervelli on the big-league roster, and presumably Jesus Montero waiting in Triple-A, I can't see him being anything more than an extra guy to handle pitchers in March.

Still... it's always nice to have a Molina.

Every zombie death!

Eric Linn took the time to edit all six episodes of The Walking Dead into a 69-second kill fest. Every zombie death in the series!

I saw one I forgot to count... Dr. Jenner shooting TS-19. But that was a recording, not live. Does it still count? What the heck. You go Doc!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

You kill the joe... you make some mo'!

Not really sure how it sold sneakers, but man I loved this commercial.

The first one was the funniest, but this one had some funny moments also:

And I never saw this one before:

There are a few more, but those three are the best.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A-Rod Is Now Greatest Yankee 3B Of All Time

Alex RodriguezWhile I was writing this with the help of the always awesome Baseball Reference, I discovered something that I sort of knew, but has been confirmed.

According to WAR (Wins Above Replacement), Alex Rodriguez is now the greatest Yankee third baseman of all time.

A-Rod didn't have a great year by his standards, though it was still a very good year (.270/.341/.506; his .847 OPS is 111 points below his career average; his 123 OPS+ is 22 points below his career average). According to WAR, he was 2.9 wins better than a replacement-level third baseman (3.6 wins better for his offense, but 0.7 wins worse for his defense).

A 2.9 WAR is considered a good season (it ranked 80th among all Major Leaguers this season), but it's the lowest of A-Rod's career since he became a full time player. He's been that good.

Anyway, A-Rod's 2.9 WAR this year pushed his career total to 101.9 and into 20th place all-time. This year he pulled ahead of Cap Anson (99.5); next on the list is Joe Morgan (103.5). (Everyone with at least 76 WAR is in the Hall of Fame.)

But he's only been a Yankee for seven seasons. As a Yankee, he's piled up 40.9 wins above replacement, ranking him 0.9 behind Phil Rizzuto for 17th on the list.

But those 2.9 WAR this season leap-frogged him over Don Mattingly (39.8), Gil McDougald (40.0) and Graig Nettles (40.6), who until this season had the most WAR of any third baseman in Yankee history. Now that title belongs to Alex Rodriguez.

He's still not a True Yankee, though.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Walking Dead Kill Counter: Episode 6

I'm only counting on-screen kills, and only when zombies kill humans or humans kill zombies.

Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen this episode yet!

Episode 6: "TS-19"

The Walking Dead: Episode 6

A little disappointing for a season finale. I get the point of the whole CDC arc -- there's no hope, and that point has to be hammered home to the survivors as well as the audience. So many zombie stories end with a rescue, either in the form of the military/government finally striking back (World War Z, 28 Days Later) or some crazy isolated scientist coming up with the cure (I Am Legend). Well, in this case, it's not about just holding out until the crisis is over. No one is working on a cure, no military is coming to the rescue. (I suppose the best case scenario is to last long enough for the zombies to starve or decompose or whatever.)

So you have to establish that there's no government, no cure, no savior coming. It's not enough just to wait out the apocalypse -- it's about surviving in an entirely new world. I get that. Maybe if they had more than six episodes to work with, they could have had this in the middle of the season instead of at the end; it just felt like a build-up and then not much of a payoff. No cliffhanger, just driving off into the unknown.

Random questions:

What did Jenner whisper to Rick? The big question, of course. If you read the comic books, there's a few possibilities, but so far they've strayed from the comic books enough that I wouldn't be confident assuming it's something from the comics. Maybe he saw something in the blood tests, or maybe he saw Shane and Lori, or maybe he wanted to know if Jacqui was going to put out. ("Hey, I see we have 10 seconds left...")

Did the French come up with a cure? OK, so maybe forget everything I said about there being no hope? Maybe they wanted to give a little light at the end of the tunnel for the truly optimistic viewers out there. Still, what Jenner said -- the French "thought they were close to a solution" before running out of power -- doesn't sound too promising to me. And besides, what are they going to do, try to sail to France? Still, the French scientists staying in their labs while everyone else ran off is a nice aversion of the cheese-eating surrender monkeys meme.

Is Andrea pregnant? That's not what happens in the comic books, of course, but there are a few clues: First, when they draw blood, she gets lightheaded; second, in the shower, she does the classic After School Special rape victim pose (hugging knees, staring off into space); and third, after the big meal, she throws up. Then of course we have her almost committing suicide at the end of the episode. Maybe the mystery whisper was Jenner telling Rick that Andrea is pregnant, and that she's unhappy about it? Should we all just assume she was raped by Meryl?

Line of the night goes to Daryl again:

Shane: What are those lights?

Jenner: It's a person's life. Experiences, memories. It's everything. Somewhere, in all that organic wiring, all those... ripples of light, is you. The thing that makes you... unique, and human.

Daryl: You going to make sense, ever?

I also like Daryl continuing to bash the metal doors in the background as everyone is quietly trying to reason with Jenner.

Now, onto the kills!

Tough to see if the military actually killed any zombies in the open, or if the zombies killed any soldiers. (They grabbed one guy, but we don't see what happens next.) Let's just move on to the bust-out at the end of the episode: Shane shoots two, Rick shoots one. Daryl cuts off a head, but come on Daryl, you of all people know that doesn't kill them! Now you just left a bitey head laying there on the ground for someone else to trip over. (Good thing it was probably wiped out by the blast.) Shane then turns around and takes a shot that looked like he was aiming... that's probably a third kill for him. But T-Dog took a shot that looked like it wouldn't have even hit the building. Miss!

This episode:
Humans Killed: 4

Zombies Killed: 40

Season Total
Humans Killed: 4

Zombies Killed: 86

Season Leaderboard: Rick 40, Daryl 9, Shane 8, Morales 7, Glenn 6, Merle 6, Morgan 3, T-Dog 3, Jim 2, Dale 2, Andrea 1

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Still a chance to eat some flesh!

I've done this many times -- heard a show was pretty good but missed the first couple episodes and thought, "I'm too far behind now, I'll catch up with reruns/on DVD." But I forget about it, or I've already heard all the spoilers, or whatever, so a year or two goes by before I catch a random episode and say, "hey, this is pretty good!" And I wish I'd been watching all along.

AMC has a Walking Dead marathon leading up to Sunday night's Season 1 finale

Well, now's your chance with The Walking Dead. The Season 1 finale is on Sunday night at 10, but leading up to it, AMC is showing the first five episodes starting at 4:30 p.m. A zombie marathon -- that's an unsettling thought.

So set those DVRs!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Walking Dead Kill Counter: Episode 5

I'm only counting on-screen kills, and only when zombies kill humans or humans kill zombies.

Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen this episode yet!

Episode 5: "Wildfire"

Episode 5: 'Wildfire'

A strong episode, heavy on the character development and light on the killing. (Lots of dead bodies, but only two kills.)

A couple observations:

  • This is, what, the third time that Rick has happened upon a military checkpoint/last stand, but no one's gone looking for an M16? Inside the tank, Rick came up with a pistol and a grenade (you didn't forget about the grenade, did you?), but that was out of pure desperation. Surely there's some usable weapons and ammo among all those dead soldiers.

  • Really liked the early scene between Jim and Jacqui, where he can't even finish saying "don't tell anyone" before she's yelling "he got bit!" to the group.

  • Thought the show really had a chance to go off the rails with the Amy reanimation -- if Andrea had been surprised to see her sister open her eyes and start yelling "she's alive!" -- but it turned out to be a strong scene.

  • I guess Daryl isn't too interested in finding Merle anymore?

  • The introduction of the Centers for Disease Control is an interesting idea and definitely shows this isn't just an adaptation of the comic book. But wouldn't it have been better if they hadn't had that segment introducing Dr. Jenner (aka Truman's best friend), building up the tension as to whether it was still occupied or not, before the door opened?

Line of the night:

Rick: We don't kill the living!

Daryl: That's funny, coming from a man who just put a gun to my head.

Just two kills -- Andrea has the first of what should be many kills as she takes out her zombiefied sister, and Daryl kills a zombie outside the CDC. All of Daryl's head-splitting pick-ax swinging is cool, but those zombies appear to be dead. As for Jim, he's still alive when they drive away, so I don't count him as a human death.

This episode:
Humans Killed: 4

Zombies Killed: 36

Season Total
Humans Killed: 4

Zombies Killed: 82

Season Leaderboard: Rick 39, Daryl 9, Morales 7, Glenn 6, Merle 6, Shane 5, Morgan 3, T-Dog 3, Jim 2, Dale 2, Andrea 1

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's got a good beat and you can dance to it

What is the music in that NFL Play60 commercial with the Atlanta Falcons players on the bus? It's infectious!

It's "The Power Is On" by The Go! Team.

I picture it being sung by about a hundred little girls doing handclaps in a giant playground.

So I was a little surprised to see The Go! Team is actually an indie band from England.

Here they are performing that same song live on stage:

It's still pretty cool, but I can't wait to hear the cover by the little girl handclapping chorus.