Thursday, December 30, 2004

Begging Bush to Put Israel on the Front Burner

Warren Christopher, Clinton's Secretary of State, sees an historic opportunity to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and implores Dubya to seize the day this piece in today's NY Times. Registration Req'd.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Walker clears the air

Think Metros goalkeeper Jonny Walker was upset about being on the club's unprotected list in the MLS expansion draft? Andrew Monfried gives Walker a shot in this interview.

My Top Eleven Movies of the Year

Now I didn't see as many movies in 2004 as I had in past years, but saw enough to pick the wheat from the chaff. With three days left in the year, I plan to see two more movies that may make the cut: Wes Anderson's "The Life Aquatic," and Alexander's Payne's "Sideways."

Here are my top 11 movies from January 1st-December 29th, 2004

11. The Village
Yeah, I know it was a glorified episode of The Twilight Zone, but Ron Howard's kid was terrific, as was William Hurt and M. Night Shamalamadingdong's regular, Joaquin Phoenix. Movies are about being taken to a different place, even if, well, you're here. Nice parable to post-9/11 paranoia.

10. Mean Girls
Adria and I were the two oldest peeps in the theatre on opening night. An 80's-style high school movie written by Tina Fey of SNL. Pre-hysteria Linsday Lohan was great, and it's always nice to see Tim Meadows getting work.

9. Man on Fire
Saw this on Pay-per-view at my in-laws. A great character study by Denzel, who blows his stack when the little girl who warms his heart is kidnapped. The moral: don't go to Mexico City. Ever.

8. Super Size Me
Watching Morgan Spurlock's body turn against him is terrifying, though he does show the guy who eats five Big Macs a day, and is the picture of health. A frightening expose on public school lunch programs.

7. Garden State
Oh, Natalie Portman. So cute, and so so young. Zach Braff is a S. Orange native, so now I can claim him as a neighbor. A smartly written riff on The Graduate, with less adultery.

6. Collateral
Love, love, love that Michael Mann. While I've heard that Jamie Foxx was terrific in Ray, he really impressed me as the cab driver who picks up the wrong fare. LA at night can be a scary place. The moral: don't go to Asian dance clubs after 2am.

5. The Incredibles
Not sure if I buy into Brad Bird's message on saving praise to only those truly special, but the animation, the plot, the evil lair, Elizabeth Pena's voice, and Edna Mode made for a super film.

4. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Finally, this franchise moves away from the candy-colored, to-the-book world of Chris Columbus do the forboding look of Cuaron. The dementors were super, as was the great scene with Harry and Snape in the dark hallway with Snape's wand producing a hypnotic, pulsing light. Shame we're shifting directors again for #4.

3. Farenheit 9/11
Was it gratutious? Yes, but with so much that the Bush administration has to answer for, extremely welcome. Not that it made a bit of difference in November. G-d help us all.

2. Spider Man 2
A sequel that surpassed its orginal. Alfred Molina made for a great villian in this truly character-driven superhero movie. The scene when Peter told Aunt May that he was responsible for Uncle Ben's death, and her reaction, was priceless.

1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
I'm sure glad that I'm not Charlie Kaufmann. I'm really glad that I get to enjoy his work. An original fantasy about the real crap of failed relationships, with superb acting, editing and effects, pushed this title to the top. I really forgot that Jim Carrey was in this movie, a testament to his acting skills. Mark Ruffalo is great in everything he did this year, including Collateral and 13 Going on 30.

2004 movies I didn't see, that may make this list someday:
Million Dollar Baby, In Good Company, Hero, House of Flying Daggers, Ray, Kill Bill Vol. 2, Bourne Supremacy, Shaun of the Dead, Dodgeball, Team America:World Police, Hidalgo, Before Sunset, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

How to Help Victims of the South Asia Tsunami

This is a time when we reflect on the year almost complete, and the year to come. Thousands and thousands of people are thinking about where their family members are and how they're going to find something to eat.

Please visit Tsunami Help for information on international charities. Please help.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Poor Martian Manhunter

The only member of the Justice League of America without a movie deal.

Could Labor Spat Threaten World Cup Qualification?

Ives Galarcep of surmises a big challenge for US Soccer if they can't get their act in gear with the players association. Also, Sean Wheelock of Fox Sports World recently sat down with player rep Mark Levinstein:

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Having a Bad Day?

THESE guys are having a bad day.

Metro 2005 Opening Day Set

The NY Times reports today that the MetroStars will open their 10th season on Saturday, April 2nd vs. expansion team Real Salt Lake. RSL is on the verge of signing former Metro Clint Mathis to their first-year squad. Should make for an interesting opener.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Spanking New at BU

Here's a link to some photos of BU's new Harry Agganis Arena, set to open on 1/3/05 vs. the Golden Gophers of Minnesota. The new place seats 6,300, up from Walter Brown Arena's 3,800, where the Terriers have played since the early 70's. Can't wait for my first trip!

COMMISHKIN Standings, Week 15

With two weeks to go for the inaugural Commishkin Prize, Andy Brown continues to lead the pack. Here's the top ten with 2 weeks to go.

Rank: Player: Fantasy-Pick 'Em-Suicide (Standing for each game), then Commishkin Points earned for each game (x denotes not participating, t denotes tie):
1: Andy Brown: (1-4-t1) 8-13-11.5: 32.5 Points
2: David Cutler: (x-1-t1) 0-16-11.5: 27.5
3: Brian Perkis: (x-2-t1) 0-15-11.5: 26.5
4: Mark Fishkin: (5-3-t11) 4-14-3: 21
5: Dan Fox (x-6-t5) 0-11-8: 19
6: Mike Steele: (x-7-t5) 0-10-8: 18
7: Drew Sumter: (x-t11-t1) 0-5.5-11.5: 17
8: Eric Broder: (6-t11-t9) 3-5.5-5.5: 14
9: Brett Friedman (8-10-t9) 1-7-5.5: 13.5
10: Will Caligiuri (x-5-x): 0-12-0: 12

First Three US Hexagonal Times/Dates Set

Despite a salary dispute between the US Soccer Federation and the US National Team Players Association, the first three dates of the hexagonal have been set:

Wed. Feb. 9 at Trinidad & Tobago at 2:30 pm
Sun. Mar. 27 at Mexico at 1 p.m
Wed. Mar. 30 vs. Guatemala at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala. at 8pm on ESPN2

The USSF considers the players to be on strike, and is prepared to play the TTO match on 2/9 with "replacement" players, if necessary. Not an ideal way to start the final phase of WC qualifying.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Frank Rich on the Culture War

Why do some members the hate-spewing religious right get air time on the nation's 24-hr cable shows? Because they're louder and more outrageous than their more moderate counterparts, surmises Frank Rich in last Saturday's Times. Reg. Req'd.