In My Humble Opinion

A few words before the evening gets underway on this gloomy yet sunny Saturday in the southern end of St. Louis city.  I have been hanging with the kid all morning and day, and we are dealing with our own issues.  His poor ass is as red as a cherry and I am struggling to be able to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee.   There are times when you make coffee and get side tracked, which results in cold shitty not as mood boosting coffee.   I am on my third cup, a special five shot espresso shotgun gunpowder round of caffeinated ammo that should propel me into the later hours.   While I am riding that high, I thought I would share some humble Buffa opinion.   Here are some things that have been gathered over the course of the past few hours.

Blues facing deadly reality check early on

*The goaltending is becoming a liability quick.   Jaroslav Halak is hurt and Brian Elliot is being exposed.  Neither goalie can handle a #1 gig but they thrive off a shared schedule.   Elliot was able to maintain an unrealistic level of play last season but right now he looks overworked.  What was once a strength is now a weakness until The Blues get their tandem back.   It may be time to give Jake Allen a start after Elliot allows 11 goals in two games.  Just a thought.

*Their even strength play isn’t as strong as their power play.  What a change in such little time.    There is a lack of urgency at 5 on 5 that is killing these guys.

*Losing to Detroit and Nashville by a combined score of 11-2 is one thing.   Doing it at home is quite another.   The Blues need to understand this season doesn’t last 82 games.  This shortened schedule(inner conference games only) will make or break teams.  The Blues suffered a 12 point swing in the last three games against teams they are battling for a playoff spot.   This got ugly really quick.

*Attention everyone.  Vlady Tarasenko’s feet have finally touched down to earth’s surface.   The renegade Russian has cooled off and hasn’t recorded a goal in 3 straight games and looks a little tired.  This whole team looks slower to react and not as hungry as the first two weeks where they play relentless hockey and got off to a 6-1 start.

*The good thing is we know what this team can do when 100 percent.   We also know what they can do when they suffer a few injuries to key positions.  Look at their home games against Detroit and you see a potential mirror to their upcoming season.  A lopsided win and defeat that carry an equal bit of the sweet and bitter flavor.

Will this team break our hearts again or are they just in a slump?  Its one thing to lose 3 straight but it’s another to lose three straight games against divisional rivals by a margin of 15-5.   This was never supposed to be easy.  A 48 game sprint that will test a team’s resolve and endurance.   Who falters first and who recovers last?  The 2013 season will once again feature the classical Zig Zag Blues we have all come to know, love and fear.  They are still exciting, talented and capable.  They need to get hungry again.   They are lying on the canvas but there is no 10 count left.  We have 38 more games to go.  Many bandwagon fans will jump off now that the real Blues have shown up.  I’m not going anywhere.  This team can go all the way. They just need to realign themselves in this dogfight.  I may not know all there is to know about hockey, but I can tell the difference between good and ugly hockey.  In the Blues first 10 games, I’ve seen both.

Five Things about A Good Day To Die Hard that make it look worth seeing-

*This is the first original screenplay written FOR A Die Hard film.  The previous four entries were scripts that were adapted to fit the hero’s latest tale.

*R rating.  The first three Die Hards were solid R and for a reason.   Violence, profanity and excess.   Live Free Or Die Hard wasn’t bad but it went soft with the PG-13 rating and withheld our hero from spitting out his famous line.   This time its R and packed with explosive action and testosterone dialogue that includes George Carlin’s favorite four letter word, Fuck.

*The film runs 96 minutes.  Crisp, potent and relentless.  We don’t expect a complex plot here.  Just set up the bad guys and some traps and throw McClane in the fray.

*The setting goes outside the USA for the first time.   McClane is fighting Russian terrorists on their own turf.  Moscow will be left in pieces by the time the credits roll.  It will be fun seeing a wild Yankee like our hero run around the dirty mobster town with Vodka flowing like spring water.

*Bruce Willis as John McClane.  Worth the price of admission alone.   His most iconic character always entertains no matter the setting, plot particulars, bad guy or sidekick.

Cards Talk

*The Cardinals have a lot of money coming off the books after 2013 so signing Adam Wainwright to a long term extension shouldn’t be an issue.   Here is the tally of cash leaving.

Chris Carpenter-12.5(gone, baby, gone)

Rafael Furcal-7 million(gone)

Carlos Beltran-12 million(may return)

Jake Westbrook-9 million(gone, or dead)

That’s near 40 million this team could be without in 2014.  If Oscar Taveras explodes in 2013, he takes Jon Jay’s spot or Beltran’s.  Shelby Miller(barring injury) takes Westbrook’s slot.  The Cards invest in a young shortstop or put a one year stop gap there.

*David Freese and the Cardinals were able to come to an agreement and avoid arbitration.  The Cardinals haven’t had a case go to a hearing in over 14 years and this wasn’t the place to end that streak.   David Freese played very well in 2012 and was a World Series hero in 2011.   He showed a willingness to stay healthy in 2012 that was previously unheard of when it came to the career of this city native.  The one year contract will pay Freese around 3 million, which is right between the 2.4 offered by the Cardinals and the 3.7 that Freese requested.   If he bangs out another solid season, it will be team for the Cardinals to hand him a multi-year deal.

Film-Addict Bits-A tease to get you to go to the site for the full reviews

*Bullet To The Head-No Brains But A Lot of Fun.  The phone call from director Walter Hill to Stallone was similar to the fliers Sly handed out for his Expendables films.  “Let’s go blow some shit up and get paid for it.”  The result was an entertaining simplistic action bender.

*Identity Thief-The Worst Movie I’ve seen in months, or since Cloud Atlas scrambled my brain for no apparent reason.  This movie robs your time!  Jason Bateman is wasted and Melissa McCarthy is annoying.  It’s not funny and kills its DVD chances with a softcore rotten finale.

*Side Effects-Easily the most impressive film I’ve seen in 2013.  While it’s worth the trip, Steven Soderbergh’s latest thriller is also a smooth riddle of a story and has a solid payoff while cementing Rooney Mara’s status as a legit leading actress and gives Jude Law a role to chew on.  The twist at the end isn’t a gimmick but instead a perfect capper to the mystery that comes before its reveal.

*Silver Linings Playbook-My Oscar hopeful is still in theaters and worth more than a couple visits because of its superb acting (rooting for all the nominated souls), flawless direction and edgy take on a well-known genre.  A gritty romance and truly award worthy film that’s hilarious at one moment and heartbreaking in the next scene.  This film could sweep the major categories and I’d be happy.

Random Bits-

*Florence and The Machine’s covers of “Addicted to Love” and Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” are killer.  The redheaded shedevil with the pipes and presence to back it up makes the song her own and outdoes the original’s execution.   She sings it without any extra feeling that can’t fit into the chambers of her powerful voice.  Check it out.  It’s only 7 minutes.  It will be justified.  You can do it while reading the rest of this blog, which may indeed take 7 minutes.

*Steven Soderbergh isn’t retiring folks.   Actors, filmmakers, musicians, and general performers never retire.  You can always take a job, work a little, and produce something when you are in the creative field.  I am tired of people talking about his departure from film, and if it held any weight, I would join the discussion.  Soderbergh jumps genres, challenges himself constantly as a filmmaker and storyteller and having that deleted from the movie world would be a blow.   However, he isn’t retiring.  It’s not possible.  He can always call up his agent, a few actors, and jump on the train when a good script perks his interest.   This isn’t sports.  It’s life.  You can always work if you want in that field.  Judging by his last effort, Side Effects, I hope he doesn’t wait long before getting behind the camera again.

*Ben Affleck not being nominated for an Oscar for Best Director is still getting on my nerves.  Pardon me if I care to complain again about this injustice.  The man deserves to be awarded with the biggest movie prize possible for a filmmaker on February 25th and it won’t happen.  His three shot dose of film(Gone Baby Gone, The Town, Argo) deserves attention on a stage.  It’s a shame people in the Academy of Arts and Sciences can’t let go of someone’s past failures in order to appreciate what they are accomplishing in this day and age.  Spielberg, Bigelow, Russell and others did a great job with their films.  Russell is my next deserving filmmaker for his magical blend of love, madness and life in Silver Linings Playbook but to me Affleck’s retelling of the bravery of the USA and Canada in the Iran Revolution was superb.  The greatest thing about it is that his face was all over the movie and people finally got the idea that Ben is pretty fucking talented and may be more stepping ahead of his good buddy, Matt Damon.  Triple threat.   Fuck you Oscars.

*St. Louis weather is irritatingly inconsistent.   Up one day and down the next.  No real snow accumulation.   Boring in a sense.  I wish we had more action here in the weather department.

*Justifed, Banshee and Archer are the shows I look forward to the most these days.  The other ones I watch are either treading water, waiting too long to shock us or slowly yet surely starting to suck.

*There isn’t much a father can do about their kid having a diaper rash.  You change a diaper as quick as you can, shut out the screaming and try to keep him happy.  Vinny had a runny shit last night while sleeping and we didn’t get it right away, so he now has an ass that resembles a red apple.  The kid screams when I barely wipe his ass and even makes an attempt to throw punches at me.   I feel like swatting them away and screaming back, but the kid is in pain and can’t help it.  A father is helpless here.  You just tryt o get by without being a dick.   Kid don’t have it too easy.  They don’t know how to take care of themselves or what the hell is going on when things go bad.  One sympathizes.

Weird yet true things(Self-indulgence section)-

*A man never forgets an anal story.

*A wife likes to eat slowly at first and monitor how much the husband is eating the portion of a dish.  That way, she can yell at him for eating it all even though plenty is left.

*Coffee gives you a mood boost only if it’s good.  Bad coffee reminds you of the injustice and evil in the world.

*Nobody likes to do the dishes or laundry.   It’s a task built in ritual and execution but never in fun attained.  If someone likes doing laundry or dishes, please come and do mine as well.

*Boxing can be just as brutal, shocking and violent as mixed martial arts if one can have patience when watching it.  There’s something sinister yet honest about fighting in front of an audience using only your fists.

*Wrong expectations can ruin a movie going experience.

*The key to a good comedy is a good script that doesn’t go too soft or safe in the end.

*If everybody had a little more bacon, world peace wouldn’t so laughable.

*A good fitting t-shirt goes a long way.   There something about throwing it on and knowing how it is going to make you feel for the next 12-16 hours that is instantly comforting.  It doesn’t matter how it looks or feels on someone else.

*There’s no football until August but spring training games start in two weeks and hockey is in full swing.  Rest easy America.

That’s it.  Thanks for stopping by.  Take luck if you care for it and are good with taking it.

Sincerely,

D. Buffa

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Author: D. Buffa

A regular guy who feels a journalistic hunger to tell the news. I blog because its wired into my brain to write what I think in print. I offer an opinion. A solo tour here. Take regular stories and offer my spin on them. Sports, film, television, music, fatherhood, culture, food, and so on. Commentary on everything. A St. Louis native and Little Rock resident who wants to write just to keep the hands fresh and ready.

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