Month: January 2015

Appreciating The Versatility of David Backes

biopic01My first memory when David Backes comes to mind is from last April. When Backes got rocked by Brent Seabrook in a playoff game with the Blackhawks. Any other player would have laid on the ice stunned and cold. Backes wasn’t having any of that nonsense. He got up like he wanted to exact revenge right there. Sure, he didn’t know what planet he was on but that is beside the point. That particular play, while unfortunate and scary, is what David Backes is all about. Backes is tough as nails, and many fans outside St. Louis forgot that and don’t give it the proper amount of respect.

Being a captain in the NHL creates a level of complexity for certain fans. Seeing the C on the chest, they immediately think the guy should score 40 goals like Alexander Ovechkin or skate around the ice like a rugged angel like Sidney Crosby. David Backes is the quintessential power forward in the NHL. He can score goals, bang skulls and give his teammates a sense of calm and confidence when he touches the ice. For young players like Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz, they look up to Backes like a leader. That is what a captain means to me. Someone who can step on the ice and demonstrate a versatile skill set while being effective in the right areas of the game. The complete, if understated, package. (more…)

The Gambler Is A Hypnotic Thrill

thegambler1Jim Bennett has a 260,000 dollar trust fund parachute at his disposal. He is a smart college professor. He is good looking. He’s also a degenerate gambler who doesn’t care about owing three different people over 200,000 large each and accepts kicks to the chest and punches to the face as warnings. Bennett, played by a Boogie Nights skinny Mark Wahlberg with a lustful whatever cynicism, is a complete cinematic home run shot. Director Rupert Everett cuts and dices up William Monahan’s script into the middle of this gambler’s drunk salad, and the movie is a pure hypnotic thrill ride.

All I heard about going into the film from critics and other movie fans ran along these lines. Bennett isn’t likable so I can’t like the movie too much. Give me a break and go suck on a paperback Nicholas Sparks novel please. Everybody isn’t a charming sympathetic leading character in films today. The filmmakers took James Caan’s character from the original film in the 1970’s and turned him into a talky English professor philosophy loving gambling poet. I’m all in here. This is the movies, ladies and gents. This IS NOT real life. You want real life. Walk outside and watch traffic go by. I’ll stay here in the theater and bump my hips off the comfy leather seats to The Gambler’s groovy soundtrack(which includes M83, Sixto “Sugar Man” Rodriguez, Ray LaMontague among others). (more…)

The Bullshit Crowd

Morning folks,

If you are catching this as you sip the coffee or digest the oatmeal before work, hopefully it will fire you up. Back in the day, a college professor told me writers are needed to inform others not only how to think but to slap some sense into them. We are 90 percent blabbering morons but sometimes a pulse is clicked and a vein is pierced. Here are a few things I need to get off my chest. Call it a bullet round. A head clearing. A roast. Give it a name and I’ll turn it into a stamp.

The Bullshit Police

More like the gossip fucks. The people who must stick their large fucking heads into other people’s business because guess what…their life sucks like spoiled rotten egg nog. Why not? You’ll find these people on social media, in the neighborhood Walmart or at your workplace. They like dirt so much that National Enquirer is their middle name. They don’t care about good things. It bores the shit out of them. All they want is bad dirty info they can spread around to other people and hopefully start a storm cloud of shit. People reading this will know instantly what I am talking about. Others will just think I didn’t get the right amount of coffee this morning. The answer is easy. I’ve always hated people who can’t mind their own business. I ask myself every time I see this happen, what do they have to gain by sticking their fat beaks into other’s lives? What are they getting out of this? Satisfaction? Glee? Misery relief? At the end of the day, it doesn’t make them any less uglier or full of shit. I look at these people a lot. Through their words or right through their temples. I want to know what their purpose is. Are they replacing something they are missing? Gossip hounds are lawyers without a suit or a law degree. They want to investigate but their cases would fail straight up in court. They stink like the shit they dispense. Next time you see one of these people, tell them the next time a person asks about someone else’s personal or wants to know about a matter of business that isn’t privy to their needs, recite these three wonderful words. I DON’T KNOW. Those three words are a godsend. They save you from fucking yourself up and from fucking up lives. If someone asked me about biology or how to fix an engine, I’d tell them I don’t know. I wouldn’t want to lead them down a path that ends with our heads stuck further up our own asses. What good is that? I would tell them I have no clue. It helps. It keeps life moving. It presses go on the escalator. It cycles the bullshit out faster. Next time you feel like leaning into someone else’s business, do everybody a favor and fuck off. (more…)

Fighting For The Right Causes

heforsheSince I can’t literally fight for the causes I care most about, I write about them. If I led with my fists, I would spend time in jail and that doesn’t help anyone. I want to talk about a few things I care about here today and spread this post as far as I possibly can. Words can travel far with the right tools and they need the right push. Social media helps. So when I am done here parading for powerful cool shit, I am going to post it there. If you know of another way to make words fly fast, let me know. I’ve always said if you take the time to write about something or talk about it, that means you care.

Striking Out and Kicking Cancer’s Ass

Diseases suck. What sucks more? People dying young from a disease. People dying old dying from a disease. You know what really fucking sucks. A kid dying from a disease like cancer. My parents work in hospitals and I’ve had the privilege(if that is the right word) to spend quite a decent amount of time in them. Nothing shrinks a person into a human raisin like seeing a kid with cancer. A bald, lifeless, doomed and completely sad kid. I’ve seen it and it made me mad. The kind of mad where you need to take a walk or else you will punch shit mad. Enraged and full of fight. It isn’t right and never will be.

Former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jason Motte gets this. He started a foundation to help children with cancer in 2013. You may have seen the shirts…

K-Cancer_Motte_copyMotte met and befriended many kids with the disease and used his name, money and time to start something truly special. You can buy a shirt(they are cool and super soft) with a portion of the proceeds helping kids with the disease.  (more…)

Guardians Is An Enjoyable Romp

2014_guardians_of_the_galaxy-wideGoing into Guardians of The Galaxy this week on DVD at home, I felt like the last soul on the planet to watch this flick. I sat in my living room on my couch like a lonely soul in a movie theater. It felt weird and that is something a film-addict should never feel. Imagine getting to a Christmas party and seeing the cake all picked at and eaten and somewhat missing. Sometimes, films come and go without me seeing them in theaters. It happens when you digest so many cinematic treats. Occasionally the cookie jar gets crowded with forgotten fare and I don’t make it a point to see the big blockbusters in theaters.

What did I think of Guardians? Is it the greatest thing since toasted garlic bread or just another fun film to get lost in for two hours? This film wasn’t exactly polarizing but it had its lovers, admirers, and haters.

A few things about the film I liked-

*The soundtrack is kickass. Take some 70’s and 80’s rock and pop classics, blend them in with some forgotten bluesy gems and the movie never feels boring. The tunes selected makes for one great mix and doesn’t feature one original soul. Thankfully, there is no Fall Out Boy or other weak boy band lead song stuck in the end credits. Instead, we get Marvin Gaye singing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. On the DVD menu, we get Blue Swede’s unforgettable classic, “Hooked On A Feeling”. At the beginning of the film, Chris Pratt dances around a lost planet in space to Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love”. If there is a sequel, the soundtrack has big shoes to fill. Nicely picked, James Gunn(the writer and director from St. Louis, MO).

*Chris Pratt is very good here. The guy has serious comedic chops and keeps the action light and moving. He has spent his career hanging around the movie stars and taking the supporting helpings. Here, he is the main guy and his “Starlord” routine is hilarious. He anchors the action. (more…)