Wednesday, March 19, 2008

BRING ON THE MADNESS

I’ve been on the March Madness websites and read all the articles on the tournament. They do an excellent job of analyzing strategies, match-ups, and coaching. So the last thing you need is an amateur doing the same thing. I’ve decided to make my picks based on something far superior; personal connections to the school and its alumni.

MY FINAL FOUR:

TEXAS: I’ve been to Austin and partied on 6th street; a very fun time. I’m also currently dating a girl that went to UT. Choosing Texas is a test whether this relationship is serious or not. If Texas makes it to the final four, then I will commit to this girl. If not, I will move on. (This rationale could be why I’m still single.)

UCLA: I chose UCLA for one very important reason: Didi Reese! This ice cream shop/bakery in Westwood, CA has the best deal in the country. Two fresh baked cookies filled with the ice cream of your choice for only $1. Apparently, the sandwiches have risen (inexplicably) to $1.25, but they’re still amazing. UCLA is a lock.

UNC: Three years ago my friend and I traveled to Costa Rica. On our travels, we met two beautiful girls who attended the University of North Carolina, Kim and Kasey. We stalked them across the country and eventually bumped paths with them at the end of our trip. A heated romance followed (by heated romance, I mean nothing happened, but they were hot so I’m picking UNC.)

GEORGETOWN: One name comes to mind when I read about Georgetown: Hot Jessica, a former classmate. She got drunk once, and accidentally kissed me. Definitely a good sign that G-Town is making the Final 4.

SLEEPERS

ARIZONA: Me and my buddy, PA, hung out at the Tucson campus a few years ago. The girls were hot, horny, and loved to drink. One night in Tucson (drinks at Dirtbag’s, food at Bison Witches) was better than four years in Medford, MA. A pair of blondes drank us under the table and invited us back to their place. Unfortunately, we lost the address and failed to get their cell phone number. (It ended up being a miserable night.) But the point is this: we had the chance for a spectacular run and so does Arizona.

TEMPLE: I just got back from Israel and got in touch with my spiritual side. So choosing Temple is a no-brainer. They also have a guy named Christmas on their team. If I’m right, Christmakah could come early this year.

SOUTH ALABAMA: While I was working for The Price is Right, I met a few hick chicks from Alabama. Some may have described them as trashy, but I thought they were endearing. When one offered a co-worker some “lovin'” to be moved up in line for the show, I learned how dedicated these people were. They make things happen.

GEORGE MASON: I know a girl from this school with a tattoo on her left breast. Enough said.


FINALS:

UNC 75 UCLA 70


Good luck with your brackets and sneaking out of work to watch all the games.
Enjoy the madness!!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

MARCH MADNESS: NBA STYLE

March Madness is a special time of year. You bond with your family, friends, and co-workers over the words: “bracket”, “pool”, and “Cinderella.” The common woman, who knows nothing about basketball, even gets into the action. It’s getting warmer out, it’s St. Patty’s Day, and soon you’ll be skipping work to take in all the games. It’s really an amazing time of year. But this March we’re blessed with more than just the NCAA tournament. The NBA has decided to join in on the March Madness.

I suffered through dozens of painful NBA games for the past several years. It was a stale product: low scoring, lack of teamwork, individualistic, and the Celtics were horrible. But now, I actually flip from Seinfeld re-runs to watch random NBA games on TNT. Part of my enthusiasm is due to the Celtics success, but the other part is because the NBA is fun again. There are eight teams in the Western conference and they’re all decided by five games. If the season ended today, these would be the following match-ups:

Houston vs. Golden State
Los Angeles vs. Dallas
New Orleans vs. San Antonio
Utah vs. Phoenix

Their records are so close that each day the match-ups are going to change. (Just ask the Spurs who went from 1st place to 6th place in one day.)

Let’s take a quick look at the Western conference and see how they’ve brought joy to the basketball fan once again.

As of March 17th, these are the standings:

Houston Rockets: 1st place, 46-20, 97.1 points/game

They have won 22 games in a row. That’s 22! (I was hoping it would end at 21 so I could use the Headline: “21 Jump Street.”) I watched them play against the Lakers yesterday, and they were so entertaining. They reminded me of a college team: diving for balls, making 5-6 passes per possession, bumping each other while celebrating. In crunch time, they had these five players on the court:

Rafer “I was good as Skip to my Lou on the And1 tour 8 years ago!” Alston
Bobby "I was good when I was on the Kings 10 years ago!" Jackson
Shane “My name and personality are too bland to have a nickname” Battier
Luis “Who the hell is this guy?” Scola
Tracy “I bet you thought I was washed up” McGrady

If you’re not intimidated yet, on the bench, they still have:

Dikembe “I’m 72 and can still wave my finger” Mutombo

As I watched the game, I thought: “How can you NOT root for this team?” But then, at the end of the game, I figured it out. Rafer turned into an And1 punk, started showboating, and almost got into a fight. And then Mutombo kept signaling “22” in an arrogant sort of way. That kind of pissed me off. So I think the streak’s gonna stop at 22. Celtics 102 Rockets 96
(Headline: “Rockets Red Glare Pierced at 22”)

Los Angeles Lakers: 2nd place, 45-21, 107.9 points/game

Kobe is still extraordinary to watch. And whoever does his PR is amazing! When’s the last time you heard a Kobe “rape” joke? With the addition of Pau Gasol and with the return of Andrew Bynum, they are a force. You know ABC is licking their chops for a Celtics-Lakers championship.

New Orleans Hornets: 3rd place, 44-21, 100.2 points/game

Has anyone seen Chris Paul play? He’s the only the point guard in the league averaging over 20+ points and 10+ assists per game. He’s turned this team into a contender, and could even garner an MVP award.

Utah Jazz: 4th place, 44-24, 106.4 points/game

Deron Williams is another sick point guard averaging: 19.3 points/game and 10.3 assists/game. Throw in Boozer and Ivan Drago (aka Kirilenko) and they might crush you.

Phoenix Suns: 5th place, 44-22, 110 points/game

I still stand by the Shaq trade (see “I’ll trade you Shawn Marion for Shaquille O’Neal.”) The Suns are finally getting back to their old selves winning four in a row. By playoff time, they’ll have two styles to choose from: run n’ gun and the half-court set. Steve Nash is still the most exciting player to watch in the NBA, and without hyperbole, this team scores a million points per game.

San Antonio Spurs: 6th place, 44-24, 95.5 points/game

Boring! They don’t even average 100 points per contest. But they could play run n’ gun if they wanted to. Parker, Ginobili and Duncan are incredibly underrated and are the most cohesive threesome since Tera Patrick, Jenna Jameson, and Brianna Banks. When I watch both of these trios perform, I often wonder out loud: “how’d they do that?”

Dallas Mavericks: 7th place, 44-23, 100.4 points/game

Wouldn’t it be fun if you could watch Jason Kidd, Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Josh Howard, and Jerry Stackhouse play on the same team? Oh, wait, you can. And despite that line-up, they’re in 7th place right now.

Golden State Warriors: 8th place, 41-24, 111 points/game

Last year, the Golden State Warriors made a statement in the playoffs. They looked like Loyola Maymount circa 1988 with Hank Gathers and Bo Kimble. Points, points, points. They’re still around trying to prove last year wasn’t a fluke. Let’s hope not!

Denver Nuggets: 9th place, 40-26, 108.9 points/game

They scored a measly 168 points last night. You read that right: 168, the 4th most in regulation history. Of course, they also hold the most points scored in an overtime game defeating the Pistons 186-184 in 1983. (see this link to learn more:
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=neel/051213 ) Despite this, they’re still a game and a half out of the playoffs. Crazy!

MADNESS

There are nine teams in the western conference with 40+ wins compared to three teams in the East. The NBA has finally joined the NCAA for March Madness. Entertaining and unpredictable. Nobody knows what’s gonna happen.

And speaking of the field of 65…we’re just three days away. I’m gonna try to list my picks soon so I can prove how smart/stupid I am. Good luck!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Red Sox Nation vs. Hank Steinbrenner

As a member of Red Sox Nation, I had to post Hank Steinbrenner’s awesome quote from last week:

"Red Sox Nation? What a bunch of [expletive] that is. That was a creation of the Red Sox and ESPN, which is filled with Red Sox fans. Go anywhere in America and you won't see Red Sox hats and jackets, you'll see Yankee hats and jackets. This is a Yankee country. We're going to put the Yankees back on top and restore the universe to order.” -Hank Steinbrenner

It’s funny. Whenever I argue with my Yankee pals, they always dismiss the hat/shirt factor as a way of defining a good fan; probably because they know it’s an argument they’d lose. So I love that Hank Steinbrenner brought it up. “That doesn’t mean anything,” my buddy JM has told me on several occasions. (Did I mention that JM is both a Yankees and Mets fan…who does that?) Sure, I am a biased Red Sox fan, but even when I walk around NYC, I see more Sox paraphernalia.

Before we delve into that argument, we need to define sports paraphernalia. Real fans wear faded, worn-in hats. Real fan’s shirts and jackets shall have stains on them from overuse. Fake fans will have flat brims and tags/stickers still on the hat. Fake fan’s shirts and jackets are clean and actually smell normal. (If you are confused, just observe a group of New York Giants “fans” and it will be easy to make the distinction. Yes, I am still bitter.)

Red Sox Nation has obviously increased in size because of the team’s recent success. But even during our painful years, we were always the most passionate. And why? Because we’re IDIOTS! We’re the same people that chant “Yankees Suck!” at a FOOTBALL game! If we see a random stranger with a Sox hat on, we say hi. (Ask my friends. I do it all time, and they think it’s annoying as hell.) The same people that create two dozen Boston Bars in enemy territory.** So we’re obviously the same people that spend our savings on Red Sox gear. So Hank can bash us for being irrational, idiotic, and whiny. That’s fine. But don’t deny the fact that we support our team excessively by wearing hats, shirts, and jackets.

As far as restoring the universe, Hank has an excellent point. I will refer to Sports Guy on this one: There are 7 year-olds who have never seen the Yankees win the World Series; that is one messed up universe.

(**Boston Bars: I’ve been to Sonny Mclean’s in LA and I’ve been to a number of them in New York. I’ll use this time to promote Professor Thom’s on 14th St. They helped me with a fundraiser and I’d vote them best Boston bar in NYC. I have one question: Are there any New York bars in Boston? I hope not because if we found out that they existed, they would be destroyed. That’s how crazy we are.)

But it’s cool that Hank spoke his mind because he reminded me that baseball season is coming up. I’m also looking forward to the Bronx is Burning II starring Larry David as both Hank and George.

I’ll leave you with John Henry’s tongue-in-cheek response to Hank’s comments. He must’ve read: How to Talk to a Yankees Fan written by my buddy, Andy Wasif.

"I'm a big Hank fan. Just to ensure he knows how cool Red Sox Nation is, we officially inducted him as a member of Red Sox Nation and we are sending him his membership card giving him access to an array of options including our newsletter, bumper stickers, pins, Green Monster seats and a hat personally autographed by David Ortiz." -John Henry

Opening Day is just a few weeks away! I can’t wait!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Last night, I saw a sneak preview of Forgetting Sarah Marshall which comes out on April 18th. It’s another installment from Judd Apatow and the gang. This time Jason Segel (Marshall from How I met Your Mother) takes the reigns. (My buddy JMC doesn’t like Marshall, but I think he is very likable and would love to hang out with him.) Not only does Segel star in the movie, but he wrote it as well (his 1st script.)

It was refreshing to leave a movie and actually feel like I got my money’s worth (it was free, but still…) The basic plot is this: Peter is dating a famous young actress (Kristin Bell) and they’re in love. When she dumps him, he becomes depressed (think Mikey from Swingers, but funnier.) He decides a vacation to Hawaii will heal his pain; little does he know that his ex and her new British rocker boyfriend are at the same hotel.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a really funny movie. It delivers a bunch of big laughs, and it also has lots of heart. You could actually tell that they took the time to flesh out the characters, jokes, and scenes. They don’t all work, but the intentions are there. The movie doesn’t heavily rely on the same one liner or the easy gross-out joke.

Segel holds his own and Mila Kunis (see below) is delicious. Paul Rudd and Jonah Hill have small roles, but are pretty funny as well. Even the British rock star (Russell Brand) had some great lines!

Mila Kunis plays the hotel employee that Segel flirts with. She is so HOT! I can’t believe this is her first real movie—where the hell has she been since That 70’s Show ended? She is now on my list of Top 5 Celebrity Chicks I’d like to have “coffee” with. She joins Rachel Bilson (I love Summer), Jessica Biel (Go Tufts!), Jessica Alba (although she’s kissed Dane Cook) and Jessica Simpson (same as Alba.)

Forgetting Sarah Marshall is not a classic, but it is very entertaining. Take out the eccentric vampire jokes and male nudity**, and you got yourself a great movie.

(**There are a number of scenes with male full frontal nudity. My readers in Chelsea, West Hollywood, and Chueca excluded, you may want to shield your eyes for the first fifteen minutes.)

JUDD APATOW

Judd Apatow is on a roll and has become one of the best comedy producers in Hollywood. The list of successful movies in the last three years include: 40 Year-old Virgin, Knocked Up, SuperBad, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (not great, but still funny), and now Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Apatow has been smart; he’s formed friendships and basically collected a group of talented and underrated actors/writers (see Freaks N’ Geeks.) If there was a Moneyball about movie making Judd Apatow would be Theo Epstein or Billy Beane. It’s like Apatow has his own farm system, and everyone he calls up, succeeds. You see the same names and faces in all of his movies: Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill (the fat kid), Paul Rudd, and now Peter Segel----He lets them write, contribute, and improvise their work. As a result, we’re seeing comedies that are funny and also have some heart. I think of non-Apatow comedies I’ve seen recently, (Good Luck Chuck, Licensed to Wed) and I cringe. Apatow has created an amazing formula:

Smart Actors/Writers with Creative Freedom
+
Taboo Subjects (sex, drugs)

= Hit after Hit.

(By the way, if anyone knows him, I wrote a great script he might like to read.)

Movie Jail

Mid-way through the movie, some random guy kept yelling out jokes. Two people chuckled which encouraged his tirade of hideous one-liners. It took 3 or 4 “SHUT UPs!” over a course of 20 minutes to make him stop. I don’t believe this should ever be allowed, but I guess if a movie is terrible, sometimes it’s OK. But not only was he distracting us from a good movie, but he wasn’t funny either. He basically ruined 20 minutes of the film for all of us except the two stupid people who laughed.

So I have a theory to prevent this…the MOVIE JAIL. Offenders include the man from above, idiots on their cell phones, and d-bags that talk to each other throughout the movie. These offenders will be escorted to the lobby and imprisoned in a confined yet hospitable jail cell. I will neither encourage nor prevent abiding audience members from throwing popcorn and such at the perpetrators as they walk by the prison. Once the film ends, the offenders will be released, and hopefully will have learned a valuable lesson. Don’t ruin my movies!

This might seem a bit extreme, but I feel it will improve the overall movie viewing experience for all of us.

(I was on a date and actually brought up the movie jail. She was repulsed, and I never heard from her again. My theory is that she talks on her cell phone during movies, and feared I would turn her in. The other theory is that she thought I was really weird.)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

THE GREATEST BASKETBALL VIDEO GAMES OF ALL-TIME

I spent a long time on my column this week. I reminisced about my favorite basketball video games. If I missed any, please let me know. Enjoy!

Larry Bird vs. Dr. J (Atari and the Computer)

There was something special about pretending to be Larry Bird and draining 3s. But the highlight of this game was breaking the backboard with a Dr. J dunk. I think Bird could do it as well, but let’s get serious. The graphics were terrible and the game got pretty monotonous after a few times, but it still had Larry Bird and Dr. J: a classic 80’s item.

There was also a sequel: Jordan vs. Bird where you could compete in the dunk contest (w Jordan) and the 3 pt contest (w Bird.)

**This game reminded me of 80’s show that I used to love. Back in the day, I swore by them, but when I watch them today, I shake my head and cringe. Is this really the same show? see: Different Strokes, Mr. Belvedere, Three’s Company, Voyage of the Mimi.**

1985 NCAA Basketball (Computer: Apple 2e)

Not many people have played this game, let alone heard of it. My brother had a handful of games on his Apple 2C+ computer (Choplifter, Zorc, Strip Poker, and 1985 NCAA Basketball.) I used to sneak in and play strip poker—if you won enough hands, (it took about 3 hours) the game would unveil a blurry black and white image of a naked woman. That got old quick so I moved on to 1985 NCAA basketball.

There were no graphics—only statistics. It had every stat of every player at every college for the 1985-86 season. Because of this game, I now know useless information like: what college did Joe Dumars, Dan Majerle, and Bill Wennington go to? (McNeese St, Central Michigan, and St. Johns.)
.
You would select 1 of 6 defenses (2-3 zone, match-up zone, man 2 man, 1-3-1 press, etc.) On offense, you would have a choice of pass or shoot. The computer would calculate the odds of hitting that shot: “you have a 36% chance of scoring, pass or shoot?”

You could substitute guys in and out based on foul trouble, stamina, and matchups. Once again, there were no graphics; only text. It was completely strategic. The highlights of the game were some of the quotes from the computer. If you missed a shot badly it was known as a “Greg Kite brick.” And if you got a dunk, the computer would boldly write: “A fucking monster dunk.”

I particularly enjoyed simulating games between Villanova (Ed Pinckney was a monster) and Georgetown—a game I’m sure the Hoyas would like to replay.

This game was basically the bridge between strat-o-matic and video games. It deserves to be honored. If anyone has access to 1985 NCAA basketball, please let me know.

Double Dribble (Nintendo)

Who could forget the first game to really capture the dunk? If you got close enough to the basket, the game would cut away to a tight shot of your player dunking: windmills, double pump, statue of liberty. Very cool.


It’s definitely got one of the strangest titles for a basketball game; double dribble—why would you name a game after a violation? That would be like calling a football game, False Start (still better than 10 Yard Fight), or a baseball game, E-5. But when the game was loaded and the computer announced “Double Dribble”, we all got a little excited.

Another great part of the game was the secret spots on the court. If you bombed a 3 at the right point, it would almost always go in. And the crowd would go crazy.

Best memory: Summer camp, circa 1992. A bunkmate, XAM, somehow snuck in a TV and Nintendo into the cabin. We set up an intricate tournament with a bracket and our whole bunk participated; even stuttering BIF played. I think I was ranked #5. Games took place on the top bunk where XAM resided for the summer. People talked trash, and crowds would hover by the top bunk to get a glimpse of the game. It was very intense.

All was good until stuttering BIF jumped onto the bed to get a better look; the impact caused XAM's TV to bounce off of the edge of the mattress. I still remember XAM screaming as his TV dramatically crashed to the floor and shattered. We were heart-broken. Guess that’s why you don’t bring TV’s to camp.

Arch Rivals (Nintendo)


Another classic from the Nintendo Entertainment System. This was a regular basketball game except for one little twist: you could beat the shit out of each other. Players threw jabs, uppercuts and haymakers to try to steal the ball. It was kind’ve like the Bill Laimbeer Pistons versus Miami and New York of the 90’s. Characters included Blade, Hammer, Lewis, Mohawk, Moose, Reggie, Tyrone, and Vinnie. My favorite was Lewis because he wore goggles, had a nice jumper, and threw a nasty right jab.

NBA Live 95 (Sega Genesis)

I’m not going to go too in depth with this one. It was a pretty good game; I liked that you could see your player's stats at halftime and at the end of the game. Also, certain players had special moves—Tom Chambers had a sick 360 dunk. I liked the 95 version on Sega. I recalled having battles at EG’s house growing up. (EG had the best basement of all time: Sega and Nintendo, Pop-a-shot, a mini-hoop, and a ping-pong table. Wow! Nobody liked the kid, but we all befriended him because of his basement. Just kidding, EG.)

NBA Live has improved each year and is now considered top-of-the-line along with the NBA 2k series. But my problem with today’s version is that there’s just too many buttons, and it’s too damn complicated. (It’s like the current Madden vs. Tecmo Bowl; I’ll take Tecmo Bowl any day of the week!) So the whole time I’m trying to enjoy the game, I just end up asking questions and complaining. Triangle jumps? Nooo…it’s the trigger button. So what does triangle do? Triangle…jukes. Three more questions later, and I’m down 24-0. Good times. I’m just too old for the updated version, but NBA LIVE 95 is still one of my favorites.

NBA Jam (Arcade Version)

This is my favorite basketball game of all time. This was the first game that combined NBA basketball and fantasy. It took all of the best highlights and multiplied them by a million: the fancy passes, the crazy dunks. Players could do flips in the air, make full length behind-the-back passes, break the backboard, and if you scored 3 consecutive baskets, actually catch on fire! NBA Jam also featured one of the few announcers that wasn’t annoying. “Boomshakalaka!” and “He’s on fire!” became popular catch phrases…well, until Stuart Scott over-used and killed them. You could pick real NBA players that actually had their likeness. Stats were revealed every quarter and at the end of the game you smiled when you accomplished the elusive quadruple double.

Personal memories: I remember going to the arcade and playing this game non-stop. Whether it was with my friends from camp or my buddies from my hometown, a part of our childhood was NBA Jam. The goal was to get 4 players involved because then the winning team could stay on for free. My buddies and I entered in trick codes which unlocked secret parts of the game (giant heads, different uniforms, hidden characters.) If you entered SAL as your initials you could play with Sal Divita, one of the creators. Since he helped make NBA Jam, his skills were wicked nice; he was the best 3 pt shooter in the game.

One day in 7th grade, I was at the arcade, and I ran out of money. I toggled the controllers hoping for something to happen. Amazingly, NBA Jam transformed into Atari’s BattleZone free of charge. When I beat enough levels, I actually got a free game of NBA Jam. It was a miracle! (I actually just googled this to make sure I wasn’t insane. Apparently, the makers of the game created some complicated code just for fun and I happened to stumble upon it. I felt like Matthew Broderick in WarGames: except I didn’t start nuclear warfare; but I did get to play NBA Jam for free!)

Sometimes, when I wander by an arcade today, I still poke my head in, hoping to find an NBA Jam. I feel like Josh Baskin looking for Zoltar. I want to be a kid again.

NBA Street Ball (Playstation II)

This was a hybrid of NBA Jam and the ubiquitous (fancy word, huh?) And1 culture. It was one of those games where you could have the slightest idea what you were doing, but if you pressed all the buttons at once, something cool would happen. Plus you could build your own guys—my friend’s most famous character was Mambo, a giant yeti-type creature.

Favorite memory: In LA, we had a guy named AA stay with us for 3 months. He and I invented a drinking version of this game. We found a secret code which turned the basketball into a beach ball (if you can create a giant yeti, why not have a beachball too?) This created a whole new strategy to the game. The most coveted play was the pass-off-the-backboard dunk. It was the most difficult to accomplish because the beach ball usually sailed over your head. But once in a blue moon, one of us pulled off the dunk—the result: the opposing player would have to chug his beer.

I still remember my roommate JC coming back one night with his date. He begged us not to embarrass him. Unfortunately for JC, me and AA were in a heated game of a drinking basketball. When AA forced me to chug 2 beers in one game, there was pandemonium: screaming, shouting, dancing. JC’s date could only put up with us for 5 minutes. (Did I mention that I was also shirtless?) She exited in a huff and was never heard from again.

That's all I got. If anyone wants to play NBA Jam sometime, just let me know.

*Please write in and share some of your favorite moments in video game basketball history. I’m sure you guys will have a lot to say too. Peace.*

Monday, March 3, 2008

Be Kind Rewind

I would really like to be kind, but this was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. I had read that the movie parodies several 80s movies including my favorite, Back to the Future. Unfortunately, there was no sign of Marty Mcfly or Doc Brown, and I wish I had access to the flux capacitor to go back in time and get my money back.

Part of me wanted to write a great review of Be Kind Rewind so you guys could share my misery. If you go to rottentomatoes.com it seems many of the reviewers have gone this route. Don’t fall into the same trap as me; this movie is hideous.

I knew we were in bad shape when all five previews were terrible. For some reason they all focused on the UFC; even David Mamet (of GlenGarry Glen Ross fame) is writing about ultimate fighting. If we’re gonna have a new line of Bloodsport’s at least bring back Jean-Claude. Suffice to say, Redbelt, Never Back Down, and Run Fat Boy Run, did not put us in the right mood for comedy. (It was like the time Homer performs stand-up at Mr. Burns birthday party. Right before he goes on, Smithers announces: "A small puppy much like Lassie was run over in the parking lot. And now the comedy styles of Homer Simpson."
HOMER: "Are you ready to laugh?!")

I won’t bore you guys with the details, but instead I’ll pontificate about indie comedies vs mainstream ones. Let’s say I saw Semi-Pro which I heard is pretty dreadful. At least with a big box office comedy, I am guaranteed a few things: hot girls that could possibly get naked, celebrity cameos, and maybe a few choice lines I can quote at parties when I’m drunk. What does a bad indie comedy offer? Nothing; I actually felt violated when I left the movie. Like someone touched me in the bathing suit area without permission. It was a pretty awful feeling. My buddies GS and JM both displayed that combined look of pain, confusion, anger, and shame. Then they turned on me for choosing the movie. But at least our moods improved as we bashed it. And my friends were excited to know that their initials would be dropped in my next blog.

I eventually apologized to my friends for dragging them to such an atrocity. They were cool; much more understanding than my family. I still remember/repress convincing my family to rent The Limey on Thanksgiving several years ago. My Los Angeles friends assured me it was outstanding. What they failed to tell me was by "outstanding" they meant artsy, hard to understand, and painfully boring. My family hated the movie and thus hated me for a breif period. My movie rental privileges were banned for several years. My family finally let me rent another movie last year, but my ban was reinstated for choosing Baby Geniuses 2. Doh!