Monday, December 20, 2004

Why the Hate???

I was flipping though my Maxim the other day and they started making fun of a film icon of our time. DeNiro? No. Pacino? No. Keeanu Reeves (C'mon, he is an icon with lines like, "I am an EFF-BEE-EYE AGENT.)? No, not even him. They dared to come down on the greatness that is Sylvester Stallone. I will wait while you contain your laughter...

Seriously though. This guy gets no respect. Sure, his acting isn't Oscar caliber. Sure, the storylines aren't always award winning. However, does every movie need to shoot for a golden statue? Does every movie need to have some deep hidden meaning? No. Sometimes, people just want to sit down for 90 minutes and be entertained by senseless nonsense. Now, if you are the kind of person that only enjoys period pieces and preachy dramas, then stop reading now. I enjoy those kind of movies too, but you have to change it up now and then. So in honor of Stallone Appreciation Day (What, you don't celebrate this?), I give you the top 5 Stallone movies that you need to see.

I have excluded Rocky and Rambo movies because those eare too obvious. Sure, Rocky is his best movie, but it was also nominated for 10 Oscars and actually won Best Picture. It can't go in this list.

Honorable mention:
Assassins (1995) and Tango and Cash (1989) - Two great movies that just weren't good enough to make it on the list. Both of these made great because of a fun storyline and good banter with the costars- Antonio Banderas and Kurt Russell respectively. You want 90 minutes of mindless action, check these out.

#5- Over the Top (1987) - Man needs to win arm wrestling tournament to win the respect and love of his estranged son who was living with separated mom until her death. Okay, so it sounds a little hokey. In fact, it is VERY hokey. But, what male my age doesn't try to do the over the top thumb move when arm wrestling a friend that he learned from this movie? That alone is a sign of lasting power for this movie. And when Stallone had to battle with the big, bald, idiot at the end of the movie, who wasn't on the edge of their seat? Yes, great movie indeed.

#4 - Lock Up (1989) - Stallone plays Frank Leone, a guy who ends up in a maximum security prison because of a vindictive warden played by the always great and evil Donald Sutherland. Leone tries to keep his morals while fighting off whatever Sutherland throws at him. It is hard to hold back the tears as Sutherland orders the car that Stallone and his inmate friends spent so many hours fixing to be destroyed while they watch. You want to jump through the screen and grab Sutherland around his neck. If it wasn't a good movie, you simply wouldn't care.

#3 - Cobra (1986) - Now we are getting to greatness. Stallone plays Marion Cobretti, a homicide detective protecting a witness from a serial killer. My wife watched this for the first time a year or so ago and actually said, "This movie is creepy." Aha! If it was bad, she would have just laughed. But it actually disturbed her in a Silence of the Lambs kind of way. Didn't that win Best Picture? Stallone has some great lines in this as well. When a killer threatens to blow up a supermarket, what does cool Stallone say? Simply, "Go ahead, I don't shop here." In the final battle with he killer, he spews off two great lines, "This is where the law stops, and I start- sucker," and "You're the disease, and I'm the cure." Classic. Go rent this now!

#2 - Cliffhanger ( 1993) - Deciding between #2 and #1 was hard but this gets #2 because it is less quotable. Stallone is Gabe Walker, a mountain rescue man who is retired because of an unfortunate mishap one snowy day. In fact, let's talk about that scene at the beginning. You can't tell me that when you first saw this scene, you weren't on the edge of your seat sweating. When Michael Rooker says to him, Don't you drop her Gabe," was their anyone who really thought he was going to drop her. Not the great Stallone. What a twist, 5 minutes in tot he movie. John Lithgow plays the evil Eric Qualen. I am not sure that Lithgow has ever equaled this great performance. Anyways, Lithgow loses tons of the money he stole in the snowy mountains and has Stallone and Rooker find it for him at gunpoint. You can imagine that they fight back. Special effects and sound are spectacular - earning three Oscar nominations. The scenery is beautiful. Just way too underrated.

#1 - Demolition Man (1993) - Wow, 1993 was a good year for Stallone. For mindless fun, it doesn't get any better than this. Stallone plays John Spartan, a cop who is framed for murder and is put in to a frozen state as his punishment. His nemesis, Wesley Snipes, the man who set him up, is also frozen. 30 something year later. Snipes is able to escape and causes havoc in the now, completely devoid of anything bad, society. So of course, they thaw out Stallone to catch him and chaos ensues. The society they live in, where anything not deemed clean or good, greasy foods, foul language, even sex is deemed illegal. Besides being fun, I am sure this movie was meant as some kind of political commentary as to what the world would be like if censorship were to take over. In the time we live in now where the FCC rules the airwaves, this movie becomes even more relevant. But this movie is more than just a comment on where society is heading, it is damn fun. All the futuristic gadgets and the great wit of Snipes makes this movie one of a kind. Sandra Bullock is at her cutest and does not bring down this film at all. Dennis Leary also has a small, but vital and hilarious role as the leader of an underground society who don't live up to the morals of the new society. His group just wants things how they were and he has a great monologue on this similar to his great spots on MTV in the early 90s. Overall, this is simply a great movie. Watch it for the great comedy and action blend. Watch it for the comment on today's society. Either way, you can get something out of this. It knew what it was talking about. Example - Bullock talks to Stallone about how Schwarzenegger eventually became President while Stallone was frozen. A sign of the future? Maybe? Here is the freaky one. I just glanced throughout the movie real quick to look for a quote. In one scene, there is a listing of the frozen prisoners who are to have a parole hearing. One of the names? Scott Peterson. How freaky is that? Finally, you can't ignore some of the great lines in this movie. Too many to list. Just see it or you will be "Fined one credit for violation of the verbal morality statue.:

So there you have it. Quite an expansive list, but a necessary one. So please, stop making fun of Stallone. He stays within his limits and entertains the masses. Sometimes, that is all we need, to be entertained. Stallone can do that like so few can. Thanks Rocky...

Saturday, December 18, 2004

More bad beats...

Bad beat definition- When you have the best hand in poker and some lucky son of a bitch gets lucky and pulls a win out of their ass thus taking almost all or all of your chips. For an example, see Manuel's last three poker nights. Yeah, I am pissed. This is the third time in a row that I have lost almost all or all of my chips on a lucky card. Worse yet, it was to my buddy Duncan every time. Example #1 from a month ago: He has pocket jacks and I have pocket queens. He ends up getting his third jack while I end up losing all my money. 2 weeks ago, he goes all in with King/Jack off suit, and I call him with Ace/King suited. All that comes up is his damn Jack and I go out. Tonight, he goes all in with Queen/Jack. I have a pair of Jacks and call him. Of course again, a queen comes up. I am down to $30(imaginary dollars- we play $20 each), he doubles to $1,400 and I am all but done again. Same guy ALL THREE times. I have to be due for some luck on this guy. But apparently, tonight was not the night AGAIN. Sometimes, maybe you do need a little luck on your side...

Friday, December 17, 2004

Catching up...

Wow, I haven't written in this since Monday. So much for doing it every day. Things have been pretty hectic with it being the last week of school before vacation. I saw Ocean's 12 on Tuesday night. Pretty good. Not as great as the first one though which is slightly disappointing. I think the main difference in the two movies is cool versus suave. The first one just oozed with coolness. The guys in it were just a bunch of cool cats hanging in Vegas. I guess Soderbergh thought that this one needed a different feel since it was now in Europe instead of Vegas. Hence, the suave feel of Europe. Still a good movie, but it wasn't quite as good as the first one. The cast and the story were just as good in this one, but it just had a different feel.

Finally saw my recorded tape of the finale of Survivor. I was very happy for Chris. I mean, he had everything going aganist him from the very beginning. Luckily, when it came down to him being the last man, the claws on the women came out - against each other. All he had to do was stir up things a little and then watch the women go at each other. Once it came down to the final four, there wasn't a likeable woman there that he had to worry about. A salute to you for hanging in there, Chris. One thing that pisses me off as how people get so bitter at the final tribal council. If someone gets betrayed, they turn in to the worst possible human being with name calling and accusations coming left and right. Why can't people just realize that it is a game. If they were put in that same situation, they would have done the same thing for the million bucks. It's not like the liar killed a family memeber of theirs or something. They lied behind your back to get themselves closer to the miliion dollars on the game. I think they end up realizing that they overreacted a little because by the reunion show, all seems to be forgiven. I am still tired of these kinds of people. But then again, I am sure the producers eat it all up. If I got outsmarted, I would tip my hat, and walk off. Maybe that is why I haven't been picked to go on the show yet. Yes, I have applied.

Poker game at my house tonight. I haven't won in like a month and a half. Need to get back in the swing of things. Maybe I will update on how the game goes right after. Wish me luck, not that poker is about luck.

Monday, December 13, 2004

The weekend update

Hmm... so much to tell. I went to a staff Christmas party on Saturday. I tell ya, nothing kills a fun white elephant gift exchange like someone bringing a "nice" present. Either you have no idea what a white elephant party is or you have no imagination. Is it really that hard to go into your garage and find a piece of garbage that can be passed off as a present? EVERYONE has received some gift in the past that is so gosh darn putrid that it has to go in the garage or the closet instantly. For example, I had this ugly wooden viking/gerbil/munchkin pen holder thing that I have had for years. Yeah, it was time to get rid of it. I also took from my father some hat that was made out of tighty white-ies. That just screamed white elephant. THAT got traded 5 times. The nice looking candle someone brought- traded ZERO times. Tell me which is more fun? Sure, the candle has more use, but that is not what the goddamn party is for! What a bunch of prudes...

Saw Alexander this weekend. On a scale of 1 to 10 of how much I wanted to see it I would give it a -2. I just was not in the mood to see some Oliver Stone 3 hour preach festival. My father wanted to go see it really bad, so being the kind son I am, I went. Besides, he paid. Well guess what? It was a damn fine movie! Now I don't mind long movies at all. I have seen plenty of epics. I just heard this one wasn't good. It actually ended up being really good. Long, but good. I think the only thing that could have made it better was to chop off maybe 20 minutes. That potentially could have made it a 5 star movie for me. But alas, it was a teeny bit long so it only gets 4 stars out of 5. Plus, Angelina Jolie was so hot in the movie. Creepy, but hot. Now, she still doesn't make the aformentioned top 5 list, but she was still a looker. The scale of my top 5 is still to come. Maybe sometime this week.

Alright. Nothing else to complain about/praise today. I do get to see Oceans's 12 tomorrow though, and I am ecstatic about that.

I should think of some cool signout. "Seacrest out" does not qualify as a cool signout. Sorry dude...

Friday, December 10, 2004

Same ol' story...

Well, it was the same old story again. Another loss for my beloved Kings to those T'wolves. I have to say, I am sick of losing to those guys. I mean, yeah, Garnett is amazing, but can we just figure out a way to beat them? They teased me with a win for the second time this season against them only to blow it in the last few minutes of the game. Way to go guys...

Damn, T-Mac!

Ok, so did anyone else see the end of the Houston-San Antonio game? Umm, what got in to T-Mac? Honestly, I have never seen something like that before. This guy was simply out of this world. Now, I am sure that there have been feats like this in the past, but I am still so much in shock by it that nothing comes to mind. It also hurts when you bet on San Antonio. It was right there with 35 seconds left and then damnit!

I just saw the teaser trailer for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In case you haven't heard, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are remaking this flick. After I saw it, the only thing that came to mind was, "What the hell?" Then I remembered, oh yeah, it is a Tim Burton film. Can this guy make a sane movie. I honestly have to say that after seeing this trailer this film went from "absolute must see" to "Yeah, I will probably go see it." I mean, it is Depp as Willy Wonka. But still, pretty weird. Now if I can just find time to see Blade 3 and Ocean's Twelve in a timely fashion.

Did anyone else see that ending coming on O.C. last night or am I just blind? My mouth truthfully dropped. Yes, I am a man and I watch this show. Get over it.

Ok, time to see if my beloved Kings can not get blown out in Minnesota tonight.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Let's Get it Started

Ok, I always seem to have a lot on my mind. Most of the time, it is the things that really bug me. I stew on them for a long time. I figured, why not let everybody else read what is going on in this little head of mine too. I'm 26, married, and a school teacher but I hate my job. Sometimes, I just need to vent.
I guess I can start with the Barbara Walters 10 most fascinating people of the year show that was on last night. Paris Hilton? C'mon, is there one interesting bone in her body? Sure, her show was fairly amusing for one season and I am sure men love her DVD, but beyond that, there is just not much there. Truthfully, not even that attractive. Wouldn't hold a candle to anyone on my top five list and there will be a story about that another day. And could she look more disinterested to be on that show last night? She seemed almost pissed to be there with that smug look on her face. Then Barbara picks the Google guys. Besides all the money they have, was their anything really there? I didn't see it.
At least I was still awake because of another great episode of Lost. There is not a better show on tv right now. Might as well write out my top five shows on tv:
1.Lost- Keeps me guessing each and every week. Plus, Evangeline Lilly is quite the hottie.
2.CSI- Only number 2 because Lost came around.
3.Survivor- Still great after all of these seasons. Could be better if they had just picked me with that audition tape I sent in. Bastards...
4.Scrubs-Is there a more underappreciated show on tv today? Only show on tv that makes me and the Mrs. laugh out loud.
5.The O.C.-I haven't had fun like this since Melrose Place. Might make less of a guy by watching it, but sometimes you need your evening drama.

So that is it from here. Maybe people will respond to know that this is actually being read. Maybe...