Friday, June 15, 2012

Random Nonsense

Reading about the Titanic Memorial Cruise, I was disappointed on a couple of different levels.  First of all, DAMN, talk about morbid.  Secondly, DAMN, how could the organizers have passed up the opportunity for the ultimate practical joke?  Would it have killed them to have an "uh-oh, you're not going to believe this, folks…." PA announcement halfway through the voyage and shake the ship around via some top-notch special effects?  (Surely, James Cameron would've chipped in.)  It would've been five minutes of panic before everyone rushed to the decks to reveal the captain and the crew, chortling merrily while unveiling a free buffet within the lifeboats.

Ok, sure, there may have been some legal issues preventing such a prank.  And, also, the chance of terrified passengers killing themselves in their rooms rather than face the thought of a horrible death by drowning.  But still, if The Game has taught me anything, it's that people driven to near-suicide for the sake of an elaborate practical joke are REALLY good sports about it all afterward.


I have no plans to actually watch the new "Dallas" show but I'm nevertheless glad it's on the air.  My parents were big fans of the original series and, as a youngster, I fondly recall sitting on the couch or the top step of our living room, eating popcorn with my folks and watching the program with them.  Well, maybe not really watching as much as I was probably reading a comic book and being vaguely aware that a soap opera based around oil fortunes was taking place in the background.  Still, "Dallas" was one of my first impressions of what a "grownup show" was like, given that my TV experience to this point in my life had been limited to cartoons, game shows and the occasional sporting event.

The new Dallas series apparently stars most of the old cast, which is good fun.  I'm somewhat amazed that Larry Hagman is still alive given all of his health problems of the last couple of decades but hey, it takes more than cancer and a failed liver to kill J.R. Ewing.  Fun fact: if you type 'JR Ewing' into Wikipedia, you get redirected to a page about a Norwegian punk band.  You have to type "J.R. Ewing" with the full initials for the page about the Dallas character.  Good lord.  Maybe this indignity will be what finally kills Hagman.


I suspect I'd be a poor gynaecologist.


Back when the Spurs had a 2-0 lead over the Thunder in the NBA semi-finals, I was preparing a Tim Duncan vs. Kobe Bryant discussion post that would've essentially argued that Duncan was the greater player of the two.  'Greater' is a nebulous term, of course, but my case would've been that if you were drafting an all-time team, you'd take Duncan first because of his incredible talent, his equal-to-Kobe championship caliber (San Antonio could've won its fifth ring in Duncan's tenure this spring), the fact that it's general basketball principle to always take a star big man over a star guard and the fact that Duncan's intangibles as a completely stable personality and a superb teammate counter Kobe's nonstop moody drama.

Then, however, the Spurs got blitzed by Oklahoma City and knocked out of the playoffs, meaning that unless San Antonio marshals its resources for another unlikely run in one of the next two years, this was probably Duncan's last chance at a fifth title.  Kobe's five rings to Duncan's four, plus his superior counting stats, will probably give Bryan the duke over the Dunc for all time.  But man, I dunno, I think I'd still rather take Duncan.  I'm admittedly biased since Tim Duncan is one of my favourite athletes due to his overwhelming normality.  (The Onion has made a small cottage industry out of stories about Duncan being a nice, bland, do-gooder.)

I stand by the argument that if you're drafting a TEAM, you take Duncan since he can fit in with anyone, whereas Kobe is a tougher nut to crack.  I posited this argument to a few people and the consensus was that they'd rather have Kobe "since he's a guy who will make his own shot."  It's a good debate.  Man, maybe I should've written this post.  Damn you, Kevin Durant and your holy-crap-they-are-beating-the-Spurs ways.


Maybe one of the reasons I like Duncan so much is that he goes out of his way to avoid publicity.  It's like how my favourite actor, Bill Murray, purposely cloaks himself in mystery both since that's a kind of publicity unto itself but moreso because that's just how he rolls.  It makes rare in-depth interviews with Murray, like this one with Scott Raab in Esquire, such an event.


Not to judge a movie by its trailer, but…well, here I go, completely ready to judge a movie by its trailer.  The Great Gatsby looks like it could be really bad.  Like, it'll look stylish as hell and the cast can and should act the hell out of the material, but good lord, everything in this trailer looks like overwrought nonsense.  Baz Luhrmann's manic style worked for Moulin Rouge but given the rest of his filmography, that might've been lightning in a bottle.

What this film will do, however, is give DiCaprio a bit more juice for his actual best role of 2012, his supporting role as the evil slavemaster in 'Django Unchained.'  I'm going to go ahead and call it right now --- DiCaprio's winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar this year.  The Academy likes him, they like recognizing actors in Tarantino movies and this seems like the kind of meaty villain role that can really give DiCaprio something different than his usual troubled man-child persona (which he seems to be doing in Gatsby, as it happens).

Other early Oscar predictions:
* Daniel Day-Lewis as Best Actor for Lincoln (DDL as Abe Lincoln?  Game over.)
* Keira Knightley as Best Actress for Anna Karenina (this is a wild guess, Best Actress doesn't have an obvious Oscar-bait favourite like the other categories)
* Anne Hathaway as Best Supporting Actress for Les Miserables (I cite Les Miz but it may be an unofficial tandem award for both this role and playing Catwoman)
* And, for Best Picture, what else but Men In Black III.


Finally, for my fellow U2 fans who are once again waiting an awfully long time for a new record, this is both funny and ruefully true….

No comments: