Good afternoon and weekend my friends,
Here it goes. Quick and blunt. My usual format of exportation of the goods that exist and move around in my brain on a daily basis. These things poke and prod around my mind as I work my full time gig and shove everything else crucial in life into the rest of the frame of my days. This is where it is freed for good and more room is made for new ideas. Follow along and get my take.
There’s talking and then there is definitive statements. I only wager the latter when I take to the keyboard for our chats. Stay tuned and strap in because my words are only meant to hook you and keep you in place.
Here we go again…back into the fray. I truly never leave this area. Take 7 starts now.
The Blues open a three game homestand tonight against San Jose. All year, they have had an inability to win consistently at home. That’s not the ideal situation for a playoff team. Jason Arnott wasn’t signed because Alex Steen and Andy McDonald are coming back. My question is…how long do you keep three goalies in a playoff push? Brian Elliot can’t afford to hold a therapy session on the ice right now. His head is gone and won’t be back. A relief appearance is his only hope.
(Update: The Blues beat the Sharks 4-2 on home ice and start it off right. They get a lucky skate bounce from David Perron, a couple goals from Chris Stewart(rebounding nicely from a porous 2011-2012 season) and another solid performance from Jake Allen. The kid isn’t perfect but is 6-1 and has a save percentage of 95 percent. Its going to be hard to sit him when he is producing those kind of results.)
If it is true the Rams are letting Steven Jackson and Danny Amendola go along with Quentin Mekkel(3 million), there must be money to at least pursue a free agent wide receiver. Either use the cash or dangle the draft picks. The Rams probably can’t afford to fix both areas so seal up one before the season starts. A backfield of Darryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead won’t spark fear in the hearts of any defense. Did you see the Rams offense without Amendola in 2011 and 2012? Few receivers could get space or break away from a defender. Chris Givens and Brian Quick are talented young players but how will Givens do without a slot genius like Danny and can Quick get more snaps? If you don’t shore up an area and power up an offense, this team will take a step back. The defense is strong but will break under the pressure of a 3 and out offense. Sam Bradford needs weapons. Proven weapons to throw to. He can also use a backup. The Rams are facing a huge test this summer. The 49ers and Seahawks, the best two teams in the NFC in 2012, went out and acquired premium proven receivers yesterday. What will the Rams do? They HAVE to react. If not, you suffer a recession. Jeff Fisher and Les Snead want to build the team out from under with drafted talent and young core players. That’s great. Every team needs a few threats on the field. On offense, the Rams may have none in 2013. Just saying. Where is the money going on this team? You can draft safeties and offensive lineman in the middle to late rounds. The time to put your hands on the free agent table is now.
With Ty Wiggington on the bench and acting as your primary corner infield backup, I don’t see a lot of starts for young husky slugger Matt Adams. The kid is white hot down in Jupiter right now, but can you afford to put him on the roster to fill a glorified bench spot at this stage in his career? My vote, right now, is no. Wiggington will be backing up Craig and Freese with help from Descalso and Matt Carpenter, who looks to get a ton of reps at 2nd base. Adams needs to play every day and build his stamina and stay ready. If Freese or Craig goes down, he gets the call. I am also a member of the camp that thinks the Ty Wiggington signing was marginally acceptable and I do not like the 2 year 4 million dollar term. With Adams, Descalso and Craig in play, Ty wasn’t really needed. He hasn’t hit well in four years. Just putting it out there.
Twitter continues to be valuable tool for me and my website. Along with being in contact with the entire Banshee cast, I also talk to sports and film fans on there and connect with people I’ve never met. I can count Bernie Miklasz as a follower as well after bonding over cigars last week. I am in the Twitter cause deep down. It’s not for everybody but for me its EXPOSURE for my writing and website as well as a chance to, you got it, connect. I also find the challenge of 140 character thoughts to be harder than it seems. Lots of quality opportunity on Twitter if you like the attention and exposure.
I haven’t seen a great film yet in 2013. I have seen crap(Identity Theft), DVD worthy films(Dead Man Down), and a few quality films(Snitch, Side Effects) along with my preferred blend of 1980s action that can’t be considered more than decent material(Sly, Arnold and Bruce’s latest adventures). I’m looking for a film to blow me away. One that makes me laugh out loud works as well. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone may be funny tonight or it may miss the mark. With a cast including Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Alan Arkin, Olivia Wilde and James Gandolfini, my hopes are slightly off the floor. Still, I haven’t been blown away or really thrilled with a movie in theaters. The Place beyond the Pines, with Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper, about the intertwining lives of a cop and a thief, comes out in 2 weeks and may be that power packed preferred dose of cinema I have been waiting for. Until then, happy hunting for this guy at the movies.
Update-Burt Wonderstone was very funny and Steve Carell anchored the whole thing. A nice little ode to the tough aging process of performers.
I will say Perks of Being a Wallflower, on DVD right now, was one of the best movies I’ve seen in a while. That is worth checking out. I went all in. Bought it the next day and now own the wickedly sharp soundtrack. Must see.
The Following just went to a whole new level with its episode last night. An effective thriller about a serial killer inspiring people to follow his code and build an army got the much needed jolt of chills in its latest hour with the killer, played by a wickedly sinister and talented James Purefoy, dispatching one of his followers after the man failed twice on a mission. It was the background music, the slow buildup and the weapon of choice(a big knife) that completed the climax to the episode. Kevin Bacon and Purefoy are the primary protagonist/antagonist duo of the show, but the rest of the characters are mysterious and the writers complement that well. The shocking deaths happen every hour and the drama is building. How many more will die before Bacon’s FBI agent tracks down killer Joe again? The characters have their quirks and backgrounds colored in shades of grey and the series improves every week but last night the first season was officially set in motion. I stated that when Purefoy’s Joe got out of prison and fully engaged with Bacon’s cop, Ryan Hardy instead of being locked up in a jail cell, the show would take off. It did. Shit got real and quick!
Time to go back to life. Thanks for reading.
Here’s a dose of what I think. When the work on my website, Film-Addict.com, is done and the time for me to expand my mind and fire off shots at the more general topics comes to mind, I come here. If you care to read, scroll or scan, I appreciate the eyes. A writer is only as good as his audience’s analysis.
- The IHOP Pancake house on Chippewa in St. Louis city is gone. A childhood establishment was closed months ago but was finally demolished this past week. It’s amazing when you literally see things change in your life. A place I went to over 100 times is gone now. Places like IHOP and Uncle Bill’s are old nostalgic treasures revered more for their personality than food. That place will be missed.
- It’s amazing the friendships one can create inside four months at one job. While the job wasn’t great, I did meet some interesting and good people at my current job. It’s crazy how many people we pass through in this life.
- Banshee is concluding its first season this Friday and I am literally on the edge of my seat waiting. It’s been a long time since I so anxiously waited for a season finale. This cinemax pleasure pack with a secret depth is coming back next year but what the hell will I do until then? Probably take up a retiring show like Southland.
- Flowers for your wife aren’t a bad idea if you can surprise her with them. Sure, they die, but they are damn pretty for two weeks with the right care and stand as a sign of appreciation. Saying they are a waste is kind of stupid. Buying a woman food can be called a waste because she eats it and releases it. Flowers mean something. I don’t get them for Rae every month but I do like to surprise her every once in a while.
- There’s nothing wrong with proposing to a woman at a sporting event. As long as she is not criminally shy or hates sports. If not, do it. Element of surprise is nice but not needed.
- There’s nothing wrong with standing in front of a charging basketball player getting ready to dunk either, poor Brandon Knight. At least you tried.
Good afternoon friends(or good evening or night, depending on how you roll),
Everybody works different shifts and leads a different set of hours. That’s why we get worried when certain people don’t say a word for weeks or a month. Dumb selfish people put together a scenario where that one friend is hiding in a corner laughing at the torment he or she is dishing this particular person. In fact, none of it is probably true(unless you have haters in your life). This is the way I take it. Life is busy. Time flies. People forget. I get it. If you ever think I am wondering about a response to one of these self centered bitching sessions, think again. I do love feedback of any kind. Until that reply button is touched, let’s a few quick things said.
This might rock your facial features or just come off as regular prose. A stream of consciousness with no particular order.
The Blues only remedy was to change the goaltender. Bring up the kid. They Did. This is the first step. Believe me. With 26 games remaining, the best thing this team can do is make a quick dramatic change in a position that affects the entire team. You defense can’t vastly improve its skills inside a season. They are who they are. The goaltender gives the entire team confidence if he can make a save percentage shine better than 16 saves out of 21 shots. Talking to you Mr. Halak. Bring up Jake Allen, who showed in a handful of games the future looks bright in net for the team. A small sample size for sure but this is a short season so you have to go with your strongest weapon. Brian Elliot is a scared man right now with zero confidence. He needs a fresh start. Put him on waivers and let Allen share starts with Jaro, who I have never been convinced is a #1 starter anyway. Do this or rupture the entire season. Remember when Manny Legace was put on waivers and Chris Mason’s iron man work for 32 games pushed Blues into playoffs. This team needs that kind of jolt. Allen starts tonight. He played well when Elliot freaked out weeks ago and Halak went down. The situation is similar now. Facing the Coyotes tonight, the youngest kid on the ice needs to take the entire game over or at least make a save percentage better than the Blues league worst 83 percent. That’s it.
I wouldn’t be surprised if TJ Oshie or David Perron didn’t end the season as a Blue. They aren’t kids anymore and not that cheap. Grow up or get out kids. Oshie takes games off and Perron takes horrible penalties and tries to deke the entire team. If I had to choose, Oshie goes.
Rafael Furcal is out for the season with a torn ligament. It’s official after 4 doctors. He will require Tommy John surgery and miss the entire 2013 season. Now, show me your shocked face. I am not shocked at all. I knew this back in September. He went down with a partially torn ligament and is a long throw making shortstop so damage can reoccur here. In November, after three months of rest, the ligament was showing improvement. Of course it did, coming from the unofficial doctor in the room here. When you don’t work a muscle or put stress on a ligament, magic happens and it improves. However, when you test it, bad things can happen. When Furcal tested it this month, he tore it completely. I believe that. It makes sense. At least I want to believe it and digest the fact that the Cards gambled and lost big time here. Look, I took a flame thrower to them the other night. Here, let me recount the temptation of the front office when Furcal’s elbow showed improvement in November. You are paying an aging ballplayer another 7 million dollars to hopefully play in 2013. You gamble and hope he comes to camp, makes throws, starts games and does well. The Cardinals seemed to come to camp with few questions and little worry. That, my die hard fans or casual lookers, was a false impression. Trouble has surfaced and is sticking around. This is an unfortunate situation. The gamble backfired and Furcal tested the elbow and it blew up Wainwright style. Bye bye 7 million. I get mad about them doing nothing in the winter and I think, well, who was out there? Stephen Drew. Really? For 9 million dollars, you want to bring him on board. 16 million dollars to a past his prime decent guy and an aging former All Star. No way. Trade for the Indians young shortstop or the Rangers solid shortstop. Sure, if you want to give up at least two young pitching prospects. Mo didn’t break and stayed with his gamble, all his chips on red. It didn’t work out. Now he is stuck with Pete Kozma and some guy I want to call Roger who is really former cub Ronny Cedeno. Two weeks into camp, and even Mo said on the radio today that the older Ex-Cub isn’t doing well. Cue the Kozma uprising. Pete homered today. Pete is the shortstop. Remember what he did against the Nationals. Good. Remember what he did against the Giants. Yeah, I know. Scramble those two together and that is what you get. A person who needs to overachieve. Back to the bad gamble. Along with Furcal going down, Chris Carpenter walks in and says he is done. Crying while he speaks over the phone. Toughest man in the world(who has Chuck Norris’ rib in his shoulder somewhere) is breaking down. This happened a month ago. You are watching two guys now sit on the bench making a combined 19 million dollars. Stop, think, slice up the Benjamins and eat up. Your other ace, Wainwright, is discussing a long term deal with the team that is going up and down depending on the day. It’s a lot of money and years because other teams went crazy with their ace and your guy is coming off TJ surgery himself. If you wait and he has an explosive 2013, you are paying him 24 million dollars in 2014. Sign him now and it may only be 18-20. What do you do? Albert 2.0 or a more Yadi Molina type ending? Also, Carlos Beltran, your 12 million dollar balky kneed outfielder is playing in the World Baseball Classic. That’s like letting another country borrow a bunch of diamonds for an exhibition and hoping to get them back. You also have a key piece of your bullpen, Mitchell Boggs, throwing for the USA in the same tournament. Lots of key pieces around the table. You have a rotation that will be dominated for young unproven men. You have a player with 85 year old ankles playing third base. A guy who fucks up his legs every year at first base. A center fielder who crashes into walls. A left fielder who likes to deadlift 500 pounds in season and hurt his back. A catcher who doesn’t mind collisions at home plate. A bench that is dominated by young unproven men. A closer who….has a big beard and pitched very well in 2012(had nothing on my boy Motte there). Anyway, a supposedly smooth spring has turned into a typical St. Louis Cardinals spring. Let’s all say it. FUCK! Enjoy the rest of the fake games and take your meds now.
Keep this in mind. Trevor Rosenthal is better suited for bullpen. Imagine a Rosenthal-Boggs-Motte end of game door slam crew. Deadly for teams. Our team has pitching to spare and pushing a cannon arm like RosenGAS to 5-6 innings hurts the rotation. Keeping him as a late inning bullet means the starter just needs to give 6 quality innings every night. Think about it. Shelby Miller and Joe Kelly are more suited for the rotation than Rosenthal, who carries a deadly offspeed pitch and a 101 mph propane heater that has a little movement to it.
101.1’s The Fast Lane is a decent guilty pleasure radio show. Randy Karraker is a know it all fossil, Chris Duncan knows his baseball and D’ Marco Farr needs to go off and be fat somewhere else. He can barely talk football without a huge bias streak entering the room and knows little about baseball or hockey. He annoys the hell out of me, yet I listen to these three guys every day after work. Why not give Steve Savard a football show, Duncan a baseball show and Kelly Chase and Tony Twist a hockey show. All these guys know their sport and aren’t overly bias and are fun to listen to. Two thugs, a tryout football player and a failed left fielder who owns a ring. Go with it.
The Rams don’t have to resign running back Steven Jackson, but have to either select an impact back in the draft or make a run at Michael Turner. Sam Bradford can’t take over this offense by himself yet. He isn’t that type of quarterback and the offense isn’t designed around him.
Danny Amendola deserves to get paid. That man has went from little known slot receiver to the the best slot receiver in the NFC and a reliable if fragile football player. He is good, tough and the Rams need to figure out a fair balance in a long term deal. He gets hurt a lot but he is worth the cash. Without him in the lineup, our offense looked one note and lost. He is too valuable to let go. YES, the Rams could use another wide receiver. A big name. Will it happen? NO. I would like to see Brian Quick given a bigger role along with Chris Givens. Brendon Gibson is too inconsistent. Tight end anyone?
Dead Man Down is worth seeing for its cast, director and gritty crime thriller story. This critic hasn’t seen a film in 16 days. That’s what having a small yet reliable staff can do. Save you time.
Banshee is awesome and has two hours left on its season. Doom and gloom will be coming into this week’s episode with the pasts of its two central characters, career criminals turned noble role players, starting to lose their grip on their second lives. My twitter feed is exploding with material about this show because I can’t stop thinking about it.
Let me frank here. Justified is still the best show on television. In it’s fourth season, the lawman series continues to break boundaries and maintain its story and versatility in character development. Timothy Olyphant and Walter Goggins are the heart and soul.
What else??? Losing my ideas here. Let’s play 5.
Warm weather is making a cameo.
Baseball games for real start in less than a month.
The Cardinals can STILL hang with the Reds in my opinion. Remember. Pitching is huge in a 162 game season.
The Movies are dead right now. No REAL killer film yet in 2013. Normal. Is Dead Man Down that killer film? Tomorrow I will know.
This man is starting a new job next on March 18th. Details to come.
Goodnight and good luck,
Greetings friends and readers,
- One of my biggest pet peeves in sports is when athletes think they are suddenly medical experts who have full knowledge of the way their body works. For instance, Rafael Furcal’s situation with the Cardinals. Back in August, Furcal made a throw from short and partially tore a ligament in his elbow. Overnight, Furcal turned into a snake charmer or white coat specialist and immediately refused surgery in order to make it back for the last part of the season. He never came back because the doctors(Cards medical staff included) prescribed rest. They could have just poured voodoo cream all over the appendage. Same effect. The season and playoffs ended and in November, the Cards medical staff, so good at these kind of calls, told a thrilled Furcal that surgery wouldn’t be needed and the healing was underway. They had no idea that any complications could come up or cause the elbow trouble. I believe Rafael duped his team and medical staff. I think the Cards went soft here and didn’t want to demand surgery to an aging vet that they were paying a shit ton of money. Wait a minute, repeat that last part. 7 million dollars. Let’s see. Ligaments don’t just heal. Give me one example of a player’s elbow getting fully healed in his late 30’s and coming back to play without surgery. While you look, I will keep going. This was a bad call. On the Cards part, John Mozelaik’s part and Furcal’s part. His year could be over. A bone spur has caused continued discomfort in his elbow and he can’t make a throw from shortstop. Wow. Whoa! Wow! I was playing doctor there. Me and Gene Wilder. Frankenstein has gotten loose in the Cards medical staff again. Bernie Miklasz nailed this in today’s column. How many players does this medical staff fuck with? Scott Rolen, Mark Mulder, Kyle Lohse, Brad Penny, Chris Carpenter, Lance Berkman, Matt Holliday. Telling us everything is fine and good, keeping the tax payers happy.
- Guess what MO? We aren’t happy. I am not pleased that nothing was done to provide insurance for a Furcal breakdown in the spring. Roger Cedeno doesn’t count. How many Ex-Cubs does this team need to rehabilitate? Cedeno plays horrible defense and his on base percentage is .290. I don’t care what he did in 2009. This is 2013 if you have locked yourself under a rock. Cedeno sucks and the only good thing is he doesn’t slice his wrists because of it. Pete Kozma followed 5 years of minor league futility with a whopping 19 RBI at the end of September and into October, helping beat the Nationals. He then came apart with the rest of the team against the Giants, making 32 errors it seemed like and his bat quieting down promptly. Kozma deserves a shot over Cedeno but is that a great battle to watch? A never was against a fizzled late bloomer. Was Kozma exposed after a certain amount of at bats? How many games before the rest of the National League spots the former Cub in a shiny red Cards uniform and starts throwing him ungodly sliders? I am making sense here people. We all knew(including my 18 month old kid) that Furcal wasn’t going to play. He tore a ligament. That requires surgery. Both my parents work in the medical field. I know my anatomy and physiology. Come on. Stephen Drew wanted playing time and 9 million dollars but the Cards didn’t give it to him because Furcal was healing and making 7 million already. Two year deals to players like Furcal and Beltran are poisonous promises. One could argue Mo’s hands were tied with the salary donated to Furcal but something else could have been done. No, Oscar Taveras can’t play shortstop. Right now it’s Kozma, Cedeno and Daniel Descalso(not good either). Stop the Brendan Ryan talk. He couldn’t hit a pig in the ass with a snow shovel and made plenty of errors to go with his marvelous ones. Jose Vizcanio is a call away. These are horrible options. Sure, the Cardinals can afford to put a lighthitting player at short because of their power elsewhere but this team is very vulnerable to injury. What if Craig, Holliday or Freese goes down? What if a big bat or two croaks? It may just be my cry for a long term shortstop that is eating me here. I wasn’t blind to the numbers. Furcal was declining rapidly when he got hurt. He isn’t the answer even when he is 85 percent healthy. That is my point. The Cards didn’t think that far ahead. Now they are fucked until the trade deadline, where they may be forced to hand over one of their young pitchers not named Lance Lynn or Joe Kelly. I like our young pitching surplus but I also like a good shortstop who can hit. For now, my vote is with Kozma based on what he did last fall. He deserves a look and while he isn’t a good option, the kid exists as the most logical one.
- I am torn with whether Oscar Taveras will make this club now out of spring. Sure, he could stay down in Memphis and play everyday but the kid is a special talent and can provide Beltran with rest. He may also be needed to push Jon Jay, a .300 hitter who gets hurt easily and can’t hit on the road. Taveras possesses real power and is a threat. He can’t hide down there for long. Matt Adams is a good bench bat but he can only play first base. I say keep them both and have that waiting at the end of games. Adams and Taveras could provide the Cards with that bench pop along with Matt Carpenter. However, keeping Taveras down at Memphis to get reps isn’t a bad play either. The Furcal injury changes things.
- Lance Lynn may have lost a baby goat’s worth of weight but he still has problem throwing 1-2-3 innings and not giving up the long ball. Country Twig Mountain Hatch Jones got thinner this winter by shaving his 6 lb beard and eating less fatty foods(simple diet of wheat and hay) but still struggles to find the flow he has from April through May of 2012. He is someone to watch because if he improves, the trade value only climbs. Joe Kelly and Rosenthal await behind him.
- Banshee mention of the day. It’s a great show, fresh(8 hours in) and is pure entertainment at least. Suck on that while I keep going.
- The Following survived tonight by finally putting the baddie James Purefoy out of jail and among his killing buddies. A faceoff is dry and boring if one half is in jail. Now that the killer can be matched with Kevin Bacon’s agent, the thrills can really begin. The twists, turns, shock kills and other ridiculous cable network devices to convince us they are as good as a premium cable network series(still not true) had grown tiresome by last week’s hour. Now that Bacon and Purefoy can share some more time, their scenes radiate with tension, the show will get better. Much better. The story is still golden. A killer becoming more powerful through a massive following of fans taking up his work. Dicey news for good guys but makes for great theater. May the killing carry meaning.
- Californication and Shameless survive on Showtime by pushing that nervy dirty comedy and in your face nudity with the white hot naughty dialogue to the brink of being overblown and tip toe back into safety. Each show is anchored by great acting that can deliver dialogue very well.
- I am reading The Heart and The Fist at the recommendation of a man named Affleck. A true story about an Oxford grad turned humanitarian turned Navy Seal Eric Greitens or as Affleck refers to him, “Jason Bourne with a PhD.” So far so good. The man has saved more people than one can count and put himself in the fray as much as any soldier all at his own request. Tough as nails. Old school.
- Dead Man Down is my first must see of 2013. A cold blooded crime thriller starring Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace and Terrence Howard as a deadly tripod of revenge fueled anger. One man lost his wife and kids to a murderer while the woman had her face sliced and diced by the same guy. Guess who wants payback? It arrives this Friday. The film looks tight, well written, acted and could cast a cold hard spell over the soul if the cards are played right.
- Janie Hendrix released another 12 tracks recorded by her brother, Jimi, today. One may ask how the hell the legendary guitarist is still putting out tunes and I will tell you again. He owned his own studio, Electric Ladyland, and spent several nights playing and playing until his fingers went numb, he ran out of drugs or needed fresh air. Hendrix was an introvert when he was off the stage and locked himself in a recording studio with a guitar and his band and played. He recorded everything. These 12 tracks, which I just purchased and have sampled, are devilishly polished guitar driven blues tunes that stay around for awhile after a listen. Nobody played the guitar like Jimi. Over 40 years past his death, people still think of him as the best and that group includes Eric Clapton, Tom Morello and Jimmy Page. He created sounds, music and ideas with an instrument in a way few could. These tracks are his everlasting legacy. Think of it as a neverending encore.
- The Blues are frustrating bunch of cock teasers. They win, lose, repeat and pour misery into our drinks. They are the streakiest bunch of players ever to step foot on the ice. They are worse than a bad team. They are full of talent, doom and inconsistency. Dangerous blend. They started 6-1, lost 5 straight, and have split the last bunch of games. After sprinting back at home down 2-0 to defeat Edmonton 4-2 and getting off to a 1-0 start Sunday in Dallas, the Blues lost 4-1 and now play 5 more games in 8 days starting with LA tonight. They are 20 games in and unpredictable. They play well on the road and shitty at home. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen tomorrow or next week. Ken Hitchcock’s disciplined team from last year is coming and going. Brian Elliot is petrified and exposed because the Blues don’t lead the league in least shots against(a title held in 2011-2012). Jake Allen is down in Peoria for now. Jaroslav Halak can only play as good as his defense allows him. Neither goalie can take over a game. They need great defense to excel(except for Allen, he could be a game changer). Early on in the season, the Blues defense was strangling teams at the blue line and not allowing shots. That led to 3 early shutouts. When the shots increased, the goals followed and Elliot is next to useless right now. If he manages to win a game or two, he is easy trade bait. Halak could go down at any moment and I can tell you right now Allen will be back soon. The offense is hit and miss, failing to forecheck or create a sustained pressure. David Backes and TJ Oshie takes every other game completely off. David Perron is talented yet takes very stupid penalties. Patrik Berglund has been missing for 3 games. The team is playing without Vladimir Tarasenko, Alex Steen and Andy McDonald. That is no excuse to be embarrassing to watch. Last year, the team dealt with injuries and found a way to win. This year, they have to do it again or else Doug Armstrong will make some trades. Jason Arnott coming in won’t save this team, at least not the 2013 version of Arnott. Something else will have to be done. Only if there was a way we could acquire Jarome Iginla or lure another legit FEARED goal scorer away from their home. The Blues will continue to thrill us and kill us.
Let’s call this a rendition of the usual suspects that continue to roll around my head. I make time to do things I am passionate about and while my website, film-addict.com, quenches my film appetite, the urge to inform about broader subjects always occupies a space in my mind. I lack an edge if I withhold from sending out an occasional(or weekly to bi weekly) dose, so play along here and get my take on things. What makes you stay beyond this point has to do with having skill or playing a con. You decide that while I write. Starting with, an update on my TV crush.
Banshee is still must watch television after its 7th hour produced a thrilling reveal to the endurance and resilience our main character, Lucas Hood, built in his 15 years in jail time. Let’s just say that it involved a knife, a bald muscle bound albino, a 45 pound weight and a barbell with smashing involved. This show is fearless when it comes to sheer violence, blunt nudity and the limit people will go in order to survive their predestined fate. Everything about this series feels like an exposed nerve. The fight scenes are clothed in a silent horror, without music and only producing the bone crunching sounds of fists and knees colliding with weak joints and breakable bones. Antony Starr is the anchor of the show, a New Zealand getting his first real shot. He has the ability to be intense and convincing without overacting. Steve McQueen school. Ivana Milicevic, a Bosnian actress who has existed right outside Hollywood’s notoriety for quite some time(she poisoned Daniel Craig in Casino Royale) is also getting her first real shot and doing a lot with it. She is tough, vulnerable and coiling with emotion without being melodramatic. It’s a credit to Showrunner Greg Yaeltonis that these actors got a shot and are running with the roles. As the two main leads, Starr and Milicevic’s tortured souls masquerading as normal people share a past as well as chemistry. They pull us in and keep us going. The supporting cast is wicked as well and sets this show on an unpredictable path.
It gets better with this show. I wrote a piece about the Cinemax series for Film-Addict in a crossover piece on last Friday. I did this because its female star Ivana Milicevic urged me to do so. I am not lying and clothed in truth right now. Milicevic is a Twitter lady and gets on there along with the cast and showrunner to hype up the rookie series that is the best new show on television in 2013. She and I exchanged a few tweets about the show’s greatness and she urged me to write a review of it for my site. She knew it wasn’t film but indeed the “INDIE OF TV”. The lady is classy and a good fine looking actress as well. After 12 hours, the piece had 120 reads, which is a lot for our site. Four members of the cast and the showrunner retweeted it (sending it to their followers) in the coming hours. The piece is right now around 300 reads. The site is getting more hits because of it and this is how websites grow larger and start to make money. When you market a piece of entertainment and people respond. Give it a look here. The 8th episode premiered last night and included the a brutal hand to hand fight scene between Ivana and a Russian thug that can only appropriately re-position the way we look at women in action. The best thing about Ms. Milicevic and the rest of the fierce women on Banshee is that they come across as brutal as your first impression of them hits your head.
I will keep talking about this show until it goes off the air, starts to suck(not happening with these kind of storytellers and creators) or I get feedback. There’s 8 hours to jump into and here is my FA piece to get your lips wet. Read it. Get involved.
Cards Spring Into Action
*First, calm down. These games mean nothing and are scrimmages carrying the idea of scouting and monitoring injuries. Obsession, meds, addiction, panic, joy, thrill and anticipation. That’s the spring. Fake games. Lots of players. Opportunity for fans to see the future and for that crop to see the field. Second, please don’t worry about Adam Wainwright’s long term plans. I don’t think he is going anywhere, especially if him and the team use their brain.
*Wainwright is bound to be paid and one can only hope the Cards don’t lowball him with an offer but he understands the Cards aren’t on the West coast and can’t pay him 22 million a year over 8 years. John Mozelaik let Albert Pujols walk. Wainwright will be no different if he lets feelings or pure greed enter the deal. He gave this team a discount on his last deal and this time he wants to cash in. I get his situation and the Cards and will let this play out. Part of me wants the team to stop the bus and get him signed and part of me wants Mo and his suits to do their due diligence. Without Carpenter for 2012 and beyond for sure now, keeping Waino is a big step towards solidifying a rotation that will get very young very quick in 2014. Let’s hope the Cards and Waino hammer something out in March and get it off the table. If not, the door will be open and I think it will get done.
*Oscar Taveras is a certified fresh talent and isn’t even 21 years old yet. Give him time. I agree with Jon Jay when he urges people to let Oscar play. Stop comparing him to Albert Pujols. It’s ridiculous, crude and short lived. Let the kid get out there, get dirty, hurt, rebound, go through rough patches and rise again. He isn’t going anywhere. Let’s not fuck him up the way we did Anthony Reyes or Colby Rasmus. Just let Oscar roll right along. He can’t even order a drink yet or say Jack Daniels in English properly. He popped a grand slam this week and hits the ball to all fields really hard and can take an outside corner pitch to the opposite fence. He is going to be insurance behind Carlos Beltran in right field in 2013. He will be on the team by June at the latest.
*Same for pitcher Michael Wacha, who is opening eyes this spring. The kid was pitching college ball a year ago and has an excellent swing and miss changeup to go with two other quality pitches. He has only thrown 136 innings in a season. Let him get time at Springfield and Memphis before we anoint him the next Wainwright. For the first time in years the Cards have more pitching than their current MLB roster can handle. That’s a great thing.
*Imagine if Matt Holliday, Carlos Beltran and Allen Craig all stay healthy for more than 3 weeks at a time. The possibilities are endless and most of them include bad nightmares for pitchers. Our team is a wrecking ball that just needs to swing. We were beaten in our first two games and then destroyed teams for four days straight before tying the Astros yesterday. The games don’t count, but the trends spell things out more clearly. This team can score but has to work on the consistency of manufacturing runs without their A-team. At some point, one of the vets will go down.
*While Jaime Garcia is impressing me with his shoulder strength, I am disappointed in the Cards and Rafael Furcal. He really should have gotten elbow surgery in September instead of holding out to make an appearance in the playoffs or try to make it through the winter on rehab. You can do that with a muscle. When it comes to ligaments and elbow cartilage and connective tissue, surgery is needed. That kind of pain doesn’t just go away. There is a problem here. It’s March 2nd and Furcal can’t throw for full power from shortstop or bat righthanded. He won’t make it through a month before he is on the disabled list. He is making 7 million in 2013 and shouldn’t have been fucked with. Regret is a huge price to carry on your shoulders. Also, Roger Cedeno isn’t an option and Pete Kozma won’t be given a real chance even though he showed a real bat in the fall last year.
Funny Thought-Albert Pujols isn’t playing this spring. He had knee surgery. They say he may play in a week. Really? He had the minor procedure in October!! I still think the guy’s body is going to explode and that is a funny thing now. What was once a constant worry for me(the state of AP’s health) is now a comical thing. And the Cards are 30 million lighter.
5 Quick Things About The Blues-Frustration, dangerous trends and an uncertain future
–Injuries do play a part but don’t cover up the reason ballet by themselves. Steen, McDonald and Tarasenko are key players and make a dent on the ice but this team either has energy or looks flat. Against the Blackhawks on Thursday, the Blues looked dead and lost for nearly the entire game and got embarrassed at home. Take away Chicago’s unbeaten record and I still require dignity from a team with this much talent. Injuries happen to every team. How you react determines if you get in or not.
–NEED A LEGIT GOAL SCORER. Does this sound familiar? I’ve been saying it for years. Vlady impressed, Berglund looks better but acquiring a player like Jarome Iginla and putting him on this team with this talent could change the season. I’ve sang it for years. Team needs a player that makes other team adjust instantly. Is Tarasenko that guy? When he can play again, that question will continue to gather steam. Call Jarome Iginla’s agent and tell him we can help him escape the misery of being a Calgary Flame.
-Start the Brian Elliot Watch. Jake Allen proved he could play and do it very well. Elliot becomes trade bait.
-The Blues rebounded from a horrible start last night and won 4-2 at home. What was once a powerhouse strength for the team has been a hazard in 2013. The Blues simply haven’t played well at home. Their big 5 game losing streak included an 0-3 stretch at home. The Hawks beat them on Thursday. Last night, the Blues remembered they were playing the Oilers and found a way to win. This team can’t walk a straight line anywhere and it happens every season.
-The Good news. The team is 11-7-2 and tied for 4th in the conference. They are 5-5-1 at home and 6-2-1 on the road. I can’t tell you how the next 18 games will go but I can remind you and this team that wasting any more games on injury excuses or flat play will result in a quiet playoff period in St. Louis. All we have to do is survive, stay in the hunt, add a weapon and get healthy. It was never supposed to be easy. No sport is or ever will be.
Seth McFarlane started fine and then either (A)Ran out of ideas (B) Got told to tone it down or (C)underestimated the widespread panic that’s sets in stage that’s turns one either into a zombie(James Franco) or makes them too hyper(Anne Hathaway). Last year’s safe routine with Billy Crystal sucked and the year before with Franco and Hathaway was the worst but Seth did mix in his brand of new age prank and gasp humor and got mixed results. I do like his comedy, loved Ted, get a kick out of Family Guy, so I was looking for him to give a fresh take. BUT…after the long opening act, he too often tried to dance or fire off weak offensive jokes to shock the crowd. He laughs too much at his own jokes too. Next year I really hope they give it to Conan O’ Brien.
*As far as the nominees go, I was very pleased with Argo winning Picture and Screenplay. Ben Affleck not getting a nomination or the award took away from the thrill but that’s the Academy for you. Argo won best editing and deserved it for being a taut tight historical thriller. Affleck got the last laugh with a wonderful speech that wrapped around a hyper opening but ended with a touching ode to redemption in Hollywood. “It doesn’t matter if you get knocked down. Only that you get back up.” He was citing his career turnaround from young Oscar winner to disgraced movie star to renegade filmmaker/supporting actor. Affleck is pure emotion and didn’t hide a thing. Good for him. I’d drink a cup of coffee and eat a twinkie if I was up there with an award. Suck it orchestra!
*Zero Dark Thirty’s snub was predictable. It’s just too bold for the Academy. They let it hit him with Hurt Locker but never again. Zero Dark is better than that effort. It’s a tough unflinching look at the war on terror and had some horrifying (wink wink) torture in it. I praise Kathryn Bigelow, Jessica Chastain and Jason Clarke for staying away from sentimental value and delivering a brutal retelling of the takedown of Osama.
*Jennifer Lawrence deserved it for Silver Linings Playbook and another award for honesty. After tripping while going to the stage, she quickly acknowledged it and didn’t let it stop her from her speech which was good and short. Lawrence was an exposed nerve in the film, reshaping the genre and rewriting the map for female stars in edgy romantic comedies. Bravo 22 year old foxy lady who now has 2 nominations.
*Kristen Stewart talks like a meth addict with Pink Floyd playing in her head. Cast someone better and the Twilight films are instantly better. I fucking hate her. Break the other leg.
*Christoph Waltz didn’t deserve it for best supporting actor. He was good but not as good as Robert DeNiro(Silver Linings) or Alan Arkin(Argo). I was the only person on the planet who didn’t like Django Unchained. It was long, boring and cartoonish and over the top, which is saying something for QT’s movies.
*Daniel Day Lewis deserved it for Lincoln. While I wanted Bradley Cooper or Denzel to upset him, it’s hard to argue with his performance as Abe. He was the guy for 2 .5 hours and is the best of what’s around. He is as good as it gets accepting awards as well, always speaking with sincerity and grace. The man is a marvel and hard to argue against. He is playing Barack Obama next.
*I’m kidding but imagine his prep. Hours upon hours with the Obamas at the White House mimicking the President and everything else. Don’t count him out.
*Adele is talent personified and I could listen to her filthy naughty British accent all night. She can be my voice for the Siri on my IPhone any time she wants.
*It’s hard to pick between the Best Picture nominees. I saw 6 of the 9 films and loved 5 of the 6. Silver Linings Playbook made me smile. Lincoln made me emotional. Zero Dark Thirty left me drained and inspired but feeling free to continue to let other people chase terrorists around the globe. Argo was just a perfect blend of drama, thriller, action, and power inside one 2 hour movie. Affleck didn’t waste a minute. That’s why it deserved to win.
I don’t mind the Oscars being 3.5 hours long. I wish it didn’t feel as long. The Bond tribute sucked. Barbara was flat. William Shatner didn’t need to show up.
They need to tighten up the telecast. Remedies to follow.
The Random Pile
Baseball Movies come to mind during spring training. Bull Durham is my favorite baseball movie because I can’t get enough of the minor league hustle and Kevin Costner’s performance as Crash Davis is legendary. There are several jewels. Field of Dreams, Sandlot, The Natural, Eight Men Out, and Cobb. Major League is the Anchorman of baseball film lore. A very quotable film. Go to my website in the Addicts Corner and vote on your favorite.
Film-Addict Interview with three more members of the Twilight Cast on Friday. Patrick Brennan, Lisa Howard and Marlane Barnes had very small roles in the last chapter(which was crap by the way), but meeting actors in person and seeing the real people behind the big screen presence is always a cool experience. They are all theater trained and still young in Hollywood so I hope they get a shot. Chatting with them was a good way to spend an hour at the Four Seasons Hotel.
Rams-LOOK AT MICHAEL TURNER. Seriously, Les Snead and Jeff Fisher need to call Turner’s agent. Atlanta has a young running back in the waiting and didn’t want to pay Turner his money. With Steven Jackson on his way out, Turner’s power running style with an additional ability to catch is just what the offense needs. He is explosive and durable. The Rams acquire Turner and become a deeper threat. That way, they can focus on beefing up the offensive line in the draft and not have to waste another pick on a running back. He was unable to pass a physical for an ankle injury suffered in the playoffs but given time he can be 100 percent and accumulating rushing yards again. In his five seasons with Atlanta, he averaged 1150 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns per season. He did work in a better offense but he can be a plus addition to the Rams. Without Jackson, the Rams look weak at the halfback slot.
Vincent Mania. My kid turns 18 months in 12 days and is already wearing 2T clothing(24 months and up). He is a true beast and is doing new things every day. The hardest part I find with being a parent is making sure your kid is getting the right information and growing in the mind as well as the body. It all happens with time but if you are as impatient as my wife and I, the process is hard. Vinny is intuitive, passionate and happy, but is starting to put words together, learn a few manners and act like a good little man. I just can’t believe he’s 18 months and wearing bigger clothing. He is my son indeed!
JOB STATUS is going as good as it possibly can. I work at Ronnoco and make a wage that is less than I need and I know I need more money so I keep looking. I am sinking my teeth into the job market again because with the stability of a job comes the patience in checking the market. I can be more selective now because I have something. It’s different when you are out of work and money and need a gig. I am not settled and ready to post up at Ronnoco. They are a company with new owners and plans and won’t be paying their employees more money. The job search continues.
Running is something I want to be doing more of. By eating well, working a physical job and going to the gym at least 2-3 times a week I have gotten into great shape but I want to carve even more off. I can’t wait for the spring so I can get out on the open road and run my ass off. There’s a freedom and energetic spell that comes with running outside on the streets that can’t be found in a gym. With the cold holding me indoors at times, I am disappointed that my running dates have decreased. However, the best thing about fitness is you can always do better the next week.
Coffee Consumption is something that will never stop. It’s my favorite thing and along with water, takes up most of my liquid diet. I have already had a 3 shot espresso and dark roast 12 ounce with a shot of espresso today and it’s only 2 p.m. Working a coffee warehouse(albeit one with shitty coffee) leaves me with the aroma and odor of a coffee fanatic but I flesh out my true identity with serious consumption. It’s mood boost and a confidence syrup at the very least. Find your passion in a cup ladies.
Music crush continues to revolve around The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, a San Francisco rock band that has flew under the radar for 15 years. They are energetic punk cool rockers who make a brand of music that combines elements of rock, blues and alternative genres. I am tracking down all their music and have purchased a shirt with the letters, BRMC with a crossbone on the front. That way people ask about it and I get to explain to them my new music passion. Put their music, Banshee, a cup of strong coffee and bacon into a quiet screening room together with my wife and I am as happy as it gets. Plus, my son Vinny dances to their music. Apparently, any band with BLACK in the title makes him dance his ass off. The Black Keys and BRMC. Go figure. Like father like son.
Finally, a closing rant.
The Reason why I don’t get into politics is…
Simply put, I don’t see the direct effect on my life. There are certain people who probably see it better or could list me reasons why it does directly affect my everyday life but I just don’t see it. From politician to politician I see no change on me. Gas prices go up and down. Groceries vary. Bills vary. No easy scale to judge a significant change by. I wake up, go to work, and have a life. Merchandise and car payments are the same. When I lost my job, I needed government support but when I found another it was back to normal. I pay my taxes, do my thing and see nothing that Obama, Bush or Clinton for that matter have done to change my life. To me they are all hacks in a suit trying to do a very difficult job. Make all the mouths happy and the streets clean. Leave it better than when you found it. I understand their job but I choose to think in the other direction. I just keep living, no pun intended. I wake up, work, inject passion on my own dime and go back to sleep. I am sure someone could tell me to make speeches, spend everybody else’s money, authorize a war that kills thousands or put my foot further in the ring but I decide not to unless I see a real benefit or change. I get through life by cutting the bullshit away from it as best as I can. I don’t get into politics because I don’t see a real valid reason to take time away from things that make me happy. Two things happened this week that prompted this slice of Buffa life. I got a notice in the mail for voting for the next primary municipal election. Who gives a shit? Vote the next bone headed Alderman into office and I will keep moving on. I also got a smart ass comment from a facebook “friend” who told me the Cards don’t do shit for me so why should I care for them. I responded by telling him that I don’t ask for any direct love from the team. All I want is for them to play the game I love and do it well. What fan asks for unconditional love from athletes? It’s a two way street. We show up, pay our taxes(their salaries) and they return the love by playing. Sports gives more back to myself and millions of others because we know what we are getting and how much we aren’t getting. It’s an easy give and take. Movies are the same. I get a lot of meaning and enjoyment out of them than I do with politics’ dirty game. Until it gives me a reason to engage myself, I stay away from harm of getting shit on because I am sure I already do without much effort on my end. When I give my passion to something, it’s full tilt. Trust me. One day, my son Vincent may tackle the world of politics. He may be a firefighter or a doctor. An artist or a freedom seeker. I won’t tell him what to do. I will give him my advice and it is this. Politics is not a healthy way of life and doesn’t directly affect my life in a way that I can calculate or give a shit about. The end.
That’s it. Thanks for reading. Hope it left a dent or made you think a little. I never know until you respond. Read and digest.
Dan L. Buffa