Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Do you feel lucky, Yankees? Well, do ya?

Lots of crazy stuff on TV last night. First off, Yankees vs. Tampa Bay. Per usual, the Unit looked like shit and infuriated me before being saved by the most ridiculous offensive assault I have witnessed in baseball, lo these many years. I was channel surfing, and when I flipped back to the game, sure enough, the Yanks had left the Rays beaten and bloodied. Sure, the Yanks had a 13 run inning against TB earlier in the season, but not when they were down 10-2. With a 13-run 8th inning, the Yanks won 20-11. Yeah, yeah, that's swell, but 11? Effing Randy Johnson. Murray Chass has a column today with the headline "It's Money for Nothing as Yanks' Starters Labor." Amen to that, brother. The most explosive offense isn't going to be enough against better pitching. Let's hope the boys haven't tuckered themselves out from running around the bases so much last night.

AFI put out its top 100 movie quotes last night. Number one was not surprisingly, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn," from Gone With The Wind. Also in the top 10 - "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse" from The Godfather (at #2); the "I coulda been a contender" schpiel from On the Waterfront (#3); "May the force be with you" from Star Wars (#8); and "You talkin' to me?" from Taxi Driver (#10). The full list is here. Casablanca had a whopping six quotes in the countdown. Some of my favorites that made the list:

#12 - "I love the smell of napalm in the morning." from Apocalypse Now
#27 - "I'm walkin' here! I'm walkin' here!" from Midnight Cowboy
#34 - "You know how to whistle, don't you Steve? You just put your lips together and blow," from To Have and Have Not
#35 - "You're gonna need a bigger boat." from Jaws
#92 - "Cinderella story. Outta nowhere.... It's in the hole!" from Caddyshack (my beloved Carl Spackler, so you mustn't be surprised that I was pleased with this choice.)

There were plenty of selections that I shrugged at - did they really have to put both "I'll be back" and "Hasta la vista, baby" in? And the On Golden Pond quote? Completely random in my opinion. And that dopey Love Story quote all the way at #13? Gag. Anyway, do you see any quotes that you think ought to have made the list? Let me know.

Also on the tube, Black Hawk Down, which I flipped in and out of while shuddering through the game. I'd never seen it before and had resisted seeing it because I wanted to read Mark Bowden's book before I saw the movie. Bowden is in that class of excellent journalists turned non-fiction writers - like Sebastian Junger, Jon Krakauer, Laura Hillenbrand. I read his Killing Pablo, about the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar, a few years ago and was pleased to learn it's being made into a movie. The thing is, I think the entire adaptation of these types of non-fiction books is so difficult. What Bowden, Hillenbrand, and Junger manage to do in their work is make the reader an expert in the field, while also attaching you to the individual story. In The Perfect Storm, you come to know all about fishing, meteorology, sailing, the training of para-jumpers in the military, and the physical aspects of drowning, while also forming an appreciation and attachment to the men of Andrea Gale. There is no sentimentality in the book - he simply interviewed the families of these men and creates an interesting portrait. Same goes for Seabiscuit, and both movies were very disappointing. Not having read Black Hawk Down, I can't say whether the movie lived up to the book. But, I think there's something to be said for creating a very realistic nightmare vision of what war is like.

So, since the Yanks will be playing this afternoon, there is nothing to stopme from enjoying tonight's episode of Dancing With the Stars. Woohoo!

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