Monday, July 11, 2011

Home Run Hangover, Iowa's Mount Rushmore, 127 Hours

The All-Star Home Run Derby needs some tweaks. Monday night's slugfest lasted a mind-numbing three hours---longer than The Godfather---and proved that even towering home runs can become boring after a while. Furthermore, we had all this hype about National League captain Prince Fielder picking his team, and American League captain David Ortiz the other, and then in the finals we have... Robinson Cano vs Adrian Gonzalez. Yankees vs Red Sox. Wait, what? Even Chris Berman seemed to lose energy quickly, though that's not necessarily a bad thing.

The entire All-Star game needs fixing. You know there's a big problem when 25% of the players find ways to not show up.

Legends know how to seize the big moment. Derek Jeter is a legend. (But if he can go 5 for 5 on Saturday, he should show up at the All-Star game on Tuesday.)

Steve Stricker is not a legend, but he would be if he played the John Deere Classic weekly. Wow.

Most of us don't watch a lot of soccer, but we would if every game had the thrills of the World Cup Quarterfinal between the United States and Brazil. The way the U-S tied and then won had me and millions of others celebrating in front of our televisions. Awesome.

Best finish I remember was the Dodgers' Kirk Gibson's going Roy Hobbs in the '88 World Series with Jack Buck yelling, "I don't believe what I just saw!". Gibson dragged his bad leg to the plate and won game 1 by somehow wristing a walk-off home run that crushed the A's spirit. Gibson had only one-at-bat, but they might as well have named him MVP. (It was Orel Hershiser.)

The Murph & Andy Show listeners agreed with our Mount Rushmore of Iowa sports figures: Nile Kinnick, Bob Feller, Dan Gable, and Kurt Warner (in that order). Iowa entertainers: John Wayne, Johnny Carson, Ashton Kutcher (really), Donna Reed (in that order).

I saw Zookeeper, and it exceeded my expectations, which couldn't have been much lower. Reviews were bad, and I've seen so many talking animal movies, I'm starting to hear voices while walking my dog. I'll give Zookeeper a B- if you're taking your kids, a C- if you're not.

I finally worked up my nerve, at Andy's urging, to watch 127 hours. I'm glad I did. It's the true story of the climber who has to cut off his own arm with a dull knife to survive, but that's actually only a few minutes of the movie. It's more about the human spirit, and the lessons learned when facing your own death. James Franco is terrific. I'll grade 127 hours an A-.


I liked the movie Cedar Rapids too, though I wasn't expecting it to be as raunchy as it is. Ed Helms is likeable as the square insurance agent who learns to party in the big city (of Cedar Rapids!). John C. Reilly is crude and funny. I'll go with a B.


Perhaps even more perplexing than the number of talking animal movies greenlighted in Hollywood is the growing group of body-switching tales. I don't think this happens much in real life either. As I typed, I just saw an ad for another one: Change-Up. At least it has the promise of Justin Bateman. He's great.

2 comments:

Purdy Weird said...

Wow. The Home Run Derby is a yawner, or grating. Too long, and grating with Berman. What a tool.
I watched that Gibson homer live. One of the greatest bball moments of all time!

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