"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

The life and times of a real, down to earth, nice guy. A relocated New Englander formerly living somewhere north of Boston, but now soaking up the bright sun of southwestern central Florida (aka The Gulf Coast). Welcome to my blog world. Please leave it as clean as it was before you came. Thanks for visiting, BTW please leave a relevant comment so I know you were here. No blog spam, please. (c) MMV-MMXV Court Jester Productions & Bamford Communications

Saturday, August 29, 2009

SNMR 7.3: "Definitely, Maybe"


Maya Hayes (Abigail Breslin) is not happy that her parents are getting divorced. She wants her father, Will (Ryan Reynolds) to tell her the story of how he met her mother. He keeps resisting, saying it's too complicated. Finally he relents but tells her that he's going to change the names and some of the facts and see if she can't figure out who her mother is. There are three choices: Emily (Elizabeth Banks), Summer Hartley (Rachel Weisz) and April Hoffman (Isla Fisher). Who is it? I'm not going to tell you.

This is one of the best romantic comedies I've seen recently. The cast is absolutely wonderful. Ryan Reynolds has come a long way since the semi successful television series "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place" which ran from 1998-2001, and is actually a fine actor. Abigail Breslin, even at such a young age, gets it. It's going to be fun watching her grow up through the movies she does. Lets just hope she doesn't become one of those child actor turned tragedy stories. I compare her now to a very young Drew Barrymore, who also 'got it' at a very young age.

As for the three actresses who form the core of the story, they are so different yet mesh well together. I'm really not familiar with Elizabeth Banks and don't recall noticing her in movies I've seen, but she has been in some, like the "Spider-Man" films. Rachel Weisz is usually pretty good in her movies, notably "The Runaway Jury" and two of "The Mummy" films. Isla Fisher is absolutely adorable in this film. Makes me want to rent "Confessions of a Shopaholic." Too bad she's engaged to such a putz. Kevin Kline is superb as the alcoholic voice of moral conscience Hampton Roth.

The script is well written and ably directed by Adam Brooks and has a good pace to it. The run time of 112 minutes is perfect. Not too short, so we don't feel like we're missing out on anything, nor too long so we don't get bored.

The DVD has some short but informative extras.

If romantic comedies is your thing, then I think you'll like this one. I can definitely, maybe see adding this DVD to my collection at some point. (And indeed I now have done just that.)

****½ out of *****

Definitely, Maybe (2008, PG-13, 112 minutes) starrng Ryan Reynolds, Isla Fisher, Rachel Weisz, Abigail Breslin, Elizabeth Banks and Kevin Kline. The film was written and directed by Adam Brooks.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Senator Edward M. Kennedy (1932-2009)

Longtime Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy died last night at age 77 after a long battle with brain cancer and exactly one year after speaking briefly at the Democratic National Convention.

You may not like Senator Kennedy personally or agreed with his politics, but you can't deny his great service to our country in the United States Senate.

Nor can you deny that Kennedy was a strong man, dealing with all of the tragedy that his family had over the years, yet still remaining a viable and visible presence in fighting for what he believed in.

Growing up and living most of my life in Massachusetts, I can tell you that Kennedy was idolized here by many, many people. You don't win as many terms in the Senate as Kennedy did if you're a slacker and not doing your job.

My prayers go out to the Kennedy family today as they deal with the passing of another member of their family within the last 2+ weeks.

Here's another article on the death of Senator Kennedy.

(l-r: The Brothers Kennedy: Robert, Edward and John)


Saturday, August 22, 2009

SNMR 7.2: "Leaving Las Vegas"


Ben Sanderson (Nicholas Cage) is an alcoholic who has hit rock bottom in his personal and professional life. After being fired from his job he decides to cut all ties to his life in Los Angeles and move to Las Vegas. There he can peacefully drink himself to death and no one will notice. What he doesn't count on is meeting worldly hooker Sera (Elisabeth Shue) with whom he forms a relationship based on mutual respect and unconditional acceptance and ultimately, love. Will their relationship change the course of their lives? Maybe, maybe not.

First of all, I have to say that I don't think Nicholas Cage deserved to win the Best Actor Oscar in 1995 for this role. Was he better than Richard Dreyfuss (my personal fave), Sean Penn, Anthony Hopkins or Massimo Troisi (who?) who were also nominated that year? No, I don't think so. Should he have been nominated? Sure, I'll give him that as he did turn in a moving performance, even if he over dramatized it a wee bit. Part of my thing with Cage is that he's either hit or miss with me. There's no middle ground.

I've always liked Elisabeth Shue as an actress, who more often than not gives you a solid performance in the roles that she plays. Rightly though she was nominated for Best Actress for her part in this movie, but did not win.

It's kind of unusual that the screenwriter/director would also have the music credit to his name but such is the case with Mike Figgis here and in other films he's worked on. I think that Figgis did a good job with the music for this movie as it seemed fitting to the story. His direction though was so-so. Didn't really do anything for me. In fairness, I have not read John O'Brien's original novel so am unaware how much of it was left out of the screenplay or what was changed. Perhaps the book is better. What I learned from reading the promotional material included in the DVD, is that O'Brien himself was an alcoholic who committed suicide at age 33, about two weeks after learning his book was going to be made into this movie.

Without realizing it, the DVD I watched was the unrated version of the film, with a few brief, extra (probably nude) scenes not found in the R rated theatrical version. What extra scenes there were didn't add anything to the story as far as I could tell.

I'm not saying this is a horrible movie but neither am I saying it deserved all of the praise it received. Still I enjoyed watching it - I only dozed off once but quickly recovered to scan back to what I missed.

*** out of *****

Leaving Las Vegas (1995, R, 112 minutes) starring Nicholas Cage, Elisabeth Shue and Julian Sands. The film was directed by Mike Figgis and based on the novel by John O'Brien.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Yankees visit Fenway for three HUGE games.

True enough, whenever the Yankees and Red Sox get together the games are huge. Never more so than the three game series that begins tonight at Fenway.

Entering this series, the Red Sox own an 8-4 advantage vs. New York this season. But those last four losses, a four game series sweep by the Yankees in New York earlier this month, were devastating losses.

That sweep is a large reason why the Red Sox find themselves in second place, 6 1/2 games behind New York in the standings, entering this series. That the Red Sox need to return the favor and sweep this series is a no-brainer if they want any shot at the AL East title in 2009. Even so a Sox sweep still would have them 3 1/2 games behind. Perish the thought, but if the Yanks sweep the Red Sox this weekend, they'd be 9 1/2 games out and the division race would be over for the Sox.

I've been reading articles around here lately that say the Sox need to focus on the Wild Card and forget about catching the Yankees. I say that's a load of crap. It's a defeatist attitude and is not helpful. Until the Red Sox are mathematically eliminated from wining the division I say they should focus on both the division and Wild Card.

But how do they do that?

As the much vilified Al Davis always says, "Just win, baby." Just play good ball and win as many games as possible and see what happens in the end.

The Red Sox do seem to be on a roll, sweeping the Blue Jays in Toronto the last three days, including an impressive win over ace Roy Halliday.

In any case, these next three games will be fun. Good drama as always, I'm sure.

Here are the pitching match ups for the series, beginning tonight:

Friday, Aug 21st: New York 20, at Boston 11
Pettitte (9-6) v. Penny (7-7)
WP=Pettitte (10-6), LP=Penny (7-8)
20 runs in a game most allowed by Red Sox since 2000.

Saturday, Aug 22nd: at Boston 14, New York 1
Burnett (10-6) v. Tazawa (1-2)
WP=Tazawa (2-2), LP=Burnett (10-7)
One good beating deserves an even bigger one - this time by the Sox.

Sunday, Aug 23rd: New York 8, at Boston 4
Sabathia (14-7) v. Beckett (14-4)
WP=Sabathia (15-7), LP=Beckett (14-5)
Beckett allows career high five homers as Sox fall.

As always, this post will be updated after each game with the results and link to the recap and box score.

The last regular season series of the year will be Sept 25-27 at Yankee Stadium.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

SNMR 6.1-6.30 Index Page

Okay my friends, the time has come for a summary of the movies I reviewed for series six of "Saturday Night Movie Review" (SNMR) and the ratings (out of five stars) that I gave them:

  • 6.30 Friends With Money 2½ stars

  • 6.29 City of Ember 2½ stars

  • 6.28 Summer School 3 stars

  • 6.27 Sunshine 2 stars

  • 6.26 My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 stars

  • 6.25 Independence Day 3 stars

  • 6.24 Easy Living 3 stars

  • 6.23 Paul Blart Mall Cop 3 stars

  • 6.22 Charlie Bartlett 3 stars

  • 6.21 27 Dresses 4 stars

  • 6.20 Lost in Space 1½ stars

  • 6.19 The Savages 3½ stars

  • 6.18 The Incredible Mr. Limpet 2½ stars

  • 6.17 Ghosts of Girlfriends Past 3½ stars

  • 6.16 Rachel Getting Married 4 stars

  • 6.15 What Happens in Vega$ 3 stars

  • 6.14 Marley & Me 4 stars

  • 6.13 Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day 2½ stars

  • 6.12 National Treasure 2 - Book of Secrets 4 stars

  • 6.11 National Treasure 5 stars

  • 6.10 Eagle Eye 3 stars

  • 6.9 Becoming Jane 3 stars

  • 6.8 Police Academy 4 stars

  • 6.7 Speed 4 stars

  • 6.6 When Harry Met Sally 5 stars

  • 6.5 The Devil & Daniel Webster 3 stars

  • 6.4 Eight Men Out 5 stars

  • 6.3 Coming to America 3 stars

  • 6.2 The Story of Us 4 stars

  • 6.1 Juno 4½ stars
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    Tuesday, August 18, 2009

    Monday was weird

    Weird but nice. Lemme 'splain.

    As some of you who read here regularly know, I've been divorced since April 2004. Since then I've not spent any great amount of time with K, until yesterday.

    Sunday evening when we met to exchange the kids, she told V and M that she thought Monday would be a great day for the three of them to go here. They met the suggestion with a slightly injuring (oh, the ego) enthusiastic tone. I was excited for them becasue I knew they'd have lots of fun but disappointed because I wouldn't be there to have fun with them.

    Tickets for this place aren't exactly cheap at $35.99 per person over 48" tall, to be exact. After I got home Sunday night, I was still thinking about their planned trip the next day and how much fun they'd have without me. So I went onto the web site and saw the promotion they were running which was that if you purchased 4 passes on-line, they'd only charge you $109.00 or $27.25 per ticket.

    Seeing this, even at 22:30, I called K on the phone and told her about it. I told her that if she bought the four passes, I'd use the fourth one and reimburse her for it at the park, pointing out the savings of the reduced ticket price.

    She agreed that this was a good idea and we agreed to meet at the park at 9:30 in the morning. The park opened at 10:00 and closed at 18:00 with the plan being that we would stay at the park all day. The only thing I asked her not to do was to tell V and M that I was coming. I wanted to surprise them.

    Much to my delight they were in shock when they saw me in the parking lot as they drove past where I was parked. My presence was a nice surprise for them. They allow coolers inside the park so we each packed one full of food and drinks. Of course the park security has to inspect the coolers for alcohol, etc. upon admission, which for us was not an issue.

    What a perfect day for this kind of activity. The temperature was around 95 and the water was probably in the mid 80's. with hardly any clouds in the sky. We went on several of the slides which were great fun, gave the wave pool a good go and made many laps around the lazy river. There was only one slide which we tried to do but eventually decided not to becasue of the long line. We stood in line for 30 minutes and in that time probably only moved 50 feet. When we decided to abandon the line, it was longer behind us than it had been when we got there. We could have easily wasted half our day standing in that one line.

    I didn't do too badly dealing with the sun. Got a little red but not severely burnt like I normally do. It realy is amazing how nice of a suntan V and K end up with every summer. Certainly didn't get that from me. Normally I burn way too easily.

    The one complaint about the park that I had was, surprisingly not the crowd, eventhough the place was packed. Packed I tell you! Where we decided to park our stuff was at a picnic grove on the grounds. Some brilliant park people decided to put small rocks down on the round as the base instead of something softer and less harsh on the feet. Liek grass or mulch or something. Rocks are fine when you're wearing sandals or shoes but not if you're barefoot and wet...

    The other complaint I had was my own fault. I had brought a book and noteboook with me in case I wanted to take a break and read. I had these things at the top of my cooler, so they would stay dry. But when the day was done and I was on the way home, I reached in the bottom of the cooler to pull out a water bottle and part of my book and notebook went in the melted ice water. I didn't realize it until I arrived home and was unpacking the cooler.

    I hate soggy books. Fortunately the book was inexpensive and I will be able to replace it. I also am attempting to dry out the copy that got wet, but it's still not the same.

    Even though it was awkward at times to spend time with K, it was still a great day which we all enjoyed.

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    Sunday, August 16, 2009

    BB 11 episodes 14-16

    Here are the links to this week's episode recaps. Watch the actual shows on cbs.com.

    Episode 14 - Aug 9.
    Episode 15 - Aug 11.
    Episode 16 - Aug 13.

    Chima won an easy HOH competition and her goal this week is to get Russell out of the house. With that in mind, she nominated Russell and Lydia the super pawn.

    Kevin won an amusing PoV competition which had the house guests trying to lift eggs up a chicken wire fence and out a hole in the top of the fence without dropping them. The first to get 12 eggs out won. However, Kevin decided to not use his PoV power because he didn't want to upset HoH Chima. Lydia, Kevin's best friend in the house, was not happy to be left on the block.

    Michele now has a solid alliance with Jeff and Jordan. She's still unsure about Russell because of the argument they had.

    Jeff won America's vote and was granted the power of Coup d'etat, which was a surprise to some (especially Jordan, whose chin almost literally dropped out of her skull onto the floor. He indeed decided to use it and summarily dismissed Chima's nominations with two of his own: Natalie and Jesse. (YES!!). Not really surprising that Jesse was voted out 3-2. Jeff and Chima were not allowed to vote. Bye bye muscle man!! Chima is not a happy camper but I am, and that's what matters.

    My house guest rankings: Chima and Natalie are whiny and annoying. I still have no use what so ever for Kevin but I will say that he is a smart, strategic player (he guessed Jeff had the power almost immediately). Lydia still is creepy with her tattoos and pierced tongue, and is more annoying and whiny than she was before. Russell isn't nearly as bad as I thought at the beginning, even though he's had his annoying moments. My favorites are still Jordan, Jeff and Michele.


    Saturday, August 15, 2009

    SNMR 7.1: "The Life of David Gale"

    Welcome to the new and improved "Saturday Night Movie Reviews" (SNMR) format, kicking off series seven of my long running column. As you'll see, I'm adopting the post format that Scribe and I use over on our BIG SCREEN blog, because I like writing a review this way much better. As I said, I'm pressing on with this column, even though readership and comments are down to virtually nothing because I always love to give my opinion about stuff, whether asked for or not. I also happen to enjoy movies. A lot. What a perfect combination! I hope you enjoy reading my reviews as much as I like writing them.


    Using flashbacks can be a risky way to tell a story. Sometimes it works and other times it does not. Fortunately with this film it works just fine.

    Bitsy Bloom (Kate Winslet) is a hardened, veteran New York reporter fresh out of jail for protecting her sources. David Gale (Kevin Spacey) is a former professor/ and anti death penalty advocate, now ironically himself a Texas death row convict, who was accused of rape and murder. Gale requests Bloom to do his lone, final interview. Believing he is guilty from the beginning she reluctantly agrees to go to Texas for the three day interview. What she learns during her sessions with Gale is revealing and shocking. During the course of the interview she is forced to reconsider her preconceived notion of Gale's guilt. Is he really guilty? Was it a set up? What she discovers outside of the interview is even more shocking. Can it be true? There's a twist at the end I didn't see coming.

    Let's just say that if I tell you more of the story I'll ruin it for you.

    This movie is a grueling look at the use of the death penalty in Texas, which annually leads the country in executions. It effectively raises the questions that always surround the use of the death penalty vs. lifetime imprisonment, which mainly revolve around, "Did they get it right?" However, this movie is not a mouthpiece for speaking out against the death penalty but attempts to provide a balanced view. It does indeed make you think about it and forces you to reach your own conclusions.

    Veteran director Alan Parker (Pink Floyd The Wall, Evita, Mississippi Burning) does a wonderful job managing a superb trio of lead actors. Kate Winslet, Kevin Spacey and Laura Linney all give excellent performances. The supporting cast is also very good. Kate Winslet has long been one of my favorite actresses. Kevin Spacey is excellent more often than I like to admit and Laura Linney is still a very underrated actress.

    The story has excellent depth and character development because at the end of the movie you are fully and emotionally invested in the result. It is interesting (as we learn in the DVD extras) that this was Charles Rudolph's first attempt at writing a screenplay, which gives hope for aspiring writers like me. However, I was disappointed to learn that this movie received no Academy Award nominations at all. None. Nada. Nyet. Zip. Zilch. Zero.

    The DVD has some excellent extras which are entertaining, informative and worth watching.

    You need to see this movie if you haven't already. If I can find it in the $5 DVD bin, I can see myself adding it to my movie collection one of these days.

    ***** out of *****

    The Life of David Gale (2003, R, 131 minutes) starring Kevin Spacey, Kate Winslet, Laura Linney, Gabriel Mann, Leon Rippy and Rhona Mitra. The film was directed by Alan Parker and written by Charles Randolph.

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    Thursday, August 13, 2009

    Change coming to SNMR

    Yes, I'm still going to keep my weekly "Saturday Night Movie Reviews" column going, as I begin the seventh series of reviews with this week's upcoming post.

    Even though readership is down and comments are hardly made anymore, I'm pressing on with this column because I love to give my opinion about stuff, whether asked for or not. And I happen to enjoy movies. A lot. What a perfect combination!

    In an effort to improve SNMR I'm changing the format. How exactly you'll have to wait and see. One thing that will never change is that I prefer to watch and always recommend the widescreen formatted version of any movie on DVD whenever possible.

    Besides, if it weren't for SNMR it seems like I'd hardly post anymore.

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    Sunday, August 09, 2009

    BB11 episodes 11-13

    Here are the links to this week's episode recaps. Watch the actual shows on cbs.com.

    Episode 11 - Aug 2.
    Episode 9 - Aug 4.
    Episode 10 - Aug 6.

    Russell won HOH in the first endurance competition of the season. In doing so, he made a deal with Jeff that he and Jordan would be safe this week and that Ronnie would be one of the nominees. True to his word, he did just that, nominating Ronnie and Lydia, even though Lydia is just a pawn, but she doesn't know it.

    Michele won the PoV competition again and vowed not to use it, also wanting Ronnie out. Michele now has an alliance with Jeff, Jordan and Russell which seems to be a strong alliance.

    Now that the cliques are gone everyone is on their own. This will eventually expose who are the weak players and who are the strong players.

    This mystery power, the coup d'etat, will be awarded on Wednesday or Thursday and we'll see the results on Thursday's show. Here's how it works: America voted (online and via text) through Tuesday 8/4 on which house guest will get the power. The power allows the holder to overrule the HOH's nominations, one or both of them, to be used either this week or next. The key is that only the house guest who has the power will know that they have it and they are prohibited from telling the other house guests that they have it. The power can be used right before the live vote on this or the next Thursday.

    I've personally voted for Jordan and Jeff (you can vote multiple times online). There was concern that someone on the outside linked to one of the house guests would use voting bots to skew the vote. Previously the house guests appeared on the ballot in the same spot. Now, each time you vote the house guests are listed randomly.

    So, the plan is to get Ronnie out and I really think he will go, though the vote may be closer than I want to see, as it seems that Natalie, Jessie and Chima will vote to evict Lydia. Jeff, Jordan and Michele will vote to evict Ronnie. Kevin seems to be the swing vote, though I think he will vote to evict Lydia. Either way, I predict the vote will be 4-3 in favor of evicting Ronnie (and indeed it was exactly that...)

    Personally, I still can't stand Ronnie and will be disappointed if he doesn't go home this week. (Fortunately he did! YES!!) Chima and Natalie are still annoying. I have no use what so ever for Kevin. Lydia still is creepy, and becoming more annoying than she was before. I'm lukewarm on Jessie. Russell is proving to be worth rooting for, considering he kept his bargain with Jeff. My favorites are still Jordan, Jeff and Michele.


    Saturday, August 08, 2009

    SNMR 6.30: "Friends With Money"

    Tonight's SNMR feature is "Friends with Money" (2006, R, 88 minutes), starring Jennifer Aniston, Catherine Keener, Frances McDormand, Joan Cusack, Jason Isaacs, Simon McBurney and Greg Germann. The film was written and directed by Nicole Holofcener.

    PLOT SUMMARY: Four long time female friends get together regularly to discuss their lives. Three of the friends are married and rich. One isn't either married or rich, so she becomes the topic of frequent conversation. To Olivia (Aniston) their married lives are perfect while she's struggling to get by working as a maid. Just beneath the surface of the married couples seemingly perfect lives are the problems that can go along with marriage and family.

    MY OPINION: The title of this film should be Dysfunctional Friends with Money. But I guess it's not because there has to be a little suspense, right? Well, no. Actually there's no suspense whatever as it's painfully obvious right from the start how broken and flawed each person is with in the circle of friends.

    Frankly I only had interest in this movie because Jennifer Aniston is in it. This film is very slow, almost to the point of being boring. However dull it is, it does paint an interesting picture of dysfunctionality in its many forms and how that affects the relationships between friends. The fact that the writer and director are the same person I generally like but in this case it doesn't matter because of the subject matter. Thankfully, this film has a running time of just under 90 minutes, though it easily could have been longer, depending on how much dysfuntion we were meant to see.

    Individually the four women lead characters appear to have bonded well in real life, which is one part of good screen chemistry. Even this however, can't save a weak script.

    I would recommend this movie to you only if you're a fan of one of the actresses, all of whose movies you must have in your DVD collection.

    **½ out of *****


    Thursday, August 06, 2009

    John Hughes (1950-2009)

    In another example of how fragile life is, movie writer and director John Hughes died on Thursday from a heart attack. He was only 59.

    Hughes list of writing and directing credits is quite impressive. Click on the link in the title and see if these films don't bring back some memories, especially if you grew up in the 1980's, as I did. I'll bet that the majority of us can quote some of the lines from his films.

    You may not have liked all of his movies or maybe thought they were too stupid or sappy, but they certainly were an indelible part of the decade. Many of the actors who worked in Hughes' films, at least in the articles I read, have nothing but fond memories of the man.

    Hollywood has lost a great one.


    Sox in the Bronx

    The Red Sox (62-44) enter this series 2 1/2 games behind the Yankees (65-42) coming into this always crucial and always fun rivalry. Four game weekend series in the Bronx are never dull. This series should be more of the same.

    The fact that the Yankees are 0-8 vs. Boston this year is stunning but hardly relevant now since the teams haven't played since June. I would think that the pressure for this series is still on the Yankees even though they are ahead in the standings, they still have to prove to themselves that they can beat the Red Sox. I expect a hard fought, well played series. Realistically I would be pleased if the Sox can split these four games and clinch the season series which would ensure any tie breaker scenarios for playoff positioning go Boston's way.

    I'll also admit that the Sox have been in a funk since the All-Star break, while the Yankees have been playing some of their best ball of the year lately. I can take some solace in the fact that when these teams last met in June the Yankees were also playing well and Boston's sweep put them in a funk for a few weeks. Hopefully that will be the case here.

    Here are the pitching match ups for the series:

    Thursday, Aug 6th: at New York 13, Boston 6
    Smoltz (2-4) v. Chamberlain (7-2)
    WP=Chamberlain (8-2), LP=Smoltz (2-5)
    All I can say is, "Ouch, this one hurts."

    Friday, Aug 7th: at New York 2, Boston 0 (15 innings)
    Beckett (13-4) v. Burnett (10-5)
    WP=Coke (3-3), LP=Tazawa (0-1)
    What a duel! What a heartbreaker! Ouch again...

    Saturday, Aug 8th: at New York 5, Boston 0
    Buccholz (1-1) v. Sabathia (11-7)
    WP=Sabathia (12-7), LP=Buchholz (1-2)
    O offense, wherefore art thou? 3x ouch!

    Sunday, Aug 9th: at New York 5, Boston 2
    Lester (9-7) v. Pettite (9-6)
    WP=Coke (4-3), LP=Bard (0-1), SV=Rivera (32)
    Red Sox lost weekend in NY complete - including 31 consecutive scoreless innings (most since 1974).

    As always, this post will be updated after each game with the results and link to the recap and box score.

    The Red Sox next shot at redemption comes Aug 21-23, when the Yankees make their final regular season Fenway appearance.

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    Sunday, August 02, 2009

    BB11 episodes 8-10

    Here are the links to this week's episode recaps. Watch the actual shows on cbs.com.

    Episode 8 - July 26.
    Episode 9 - July 28.
    Episode 10 - July 30.

    Jessie nominated Jordan and Michelle for eviction this week, but his real target was Casey. This move is baffling to me because Casey was not coming after Jessie at all and told Jessie to his face before the PoV competition. Casey had thought (along with the rest of the house, except Jessie, that the plan was to backdoor Ronnie.

    Michelle won the PoV competition and took herself off of the block, forcing Jessie to choose a replacement nominee, which was Casey.

    So it's Casey vs. Jordan. That sucks because they are two of the house guests that I like. Before the eviction each house guest is allowed a minute or two to say something in their defense. Jordan didn't say much, since she said it all last week. Casey, on the other hand, really handed it to Ronnie and Jessie, apparently because he knew he'd be out. (He definitely was, being voted out 7-1.)

    Julie announced that the high school cliques would be broken up and everyone is now on their own. If I were the producers of this show, I wouldn't have broken up the cliques for a few more weeks, but that's just me. She also announced that one house guest would be awarded a special power to overrule the HOH's nominations, one or both of them, to be used either this week or next. The key is that only he house guest who has the power will know that they have it and they are prohibited from telling the other house guests that they have it. The power can be used right before the live vote on this or the next Thursday. Hopefully someone I like will get it and use it to shake up the house. I've personally voted for Jordan and Jeff (you can vote multiple times).

    The first HOH endurance comp was Thursday and it was quite amusing. The house guests were required to sit on a swing that spun like a merry go round - faster, slower faster. Also they brought out a huge foam diploma which the contestants would slam into each time they went around the circle. To make it worse they also intermittently sprayed the house guests with water, and I'm guessing it wasn't warm water.

    As the live show ended on Thursday, they were still going at it. (Looking at the cheater blog, I know who won but I'm not saying...)

    Personally, I still can't stand Ronnie. Chima and Natalie are annoying. I have no use what so ever for Kevin. Lydia still is creepy, though I don't mind her too much. I'm lukewarm on Jessie. Russell is getting better (less annoying). My favorites are still Jordan, Jeff and Michelle.


    Saturday, August 01, 2009

    SNMR 6.29: "City of Ember"

    Tonight's SNMR feature is "City of Ember" (2008, PG, 95 minutes), starring Saoirse Ronan, Harry Treadaway, Tim Robbins, Bill Murray, Martin Landau, Mary Kay Place and Toby Jones. The film was directed by Gil Kenan.

    PLOY SUMMARY: Some unnamed disaster came upon the world some 200 years ago, forcing the construction of an underground city called the City of Ember, where humankind now lives. Now no one remembers life as it was on the outside and tales of the outside are considered myth and it is against the law to leave the city. However, the generators that power the city are failing and the city itself is crumbling. Most are resigned to their fate that they'll die when the generators finally go out. But the builders of Ember left instructions and a key in a metal box that was sealed for 200 years, when the scientists and engineers guessed it would be safe to leave the city. For 153 years the box was passed down from mayor to mayor, each unknowing of what was inside, until the box was forgotten. As time passed the box eventually opened as programmed. Now two kids, Lina and Doon, have the box and are trying to figure out the secret message before the generator dies. Will they figure out the riddle or die trying?

    MY OPINION: I love movies like this where the premise has loads of promise. Stories of survival with a twist of mystery I usually find compelling. This movie is slow in the beginning but once the story comes together flows pretty well to a semi-satisfying but highly predictable conclusion, espcially the very last scene which is totally contrived and unrealistic. The movie's special effecs are decent and director Gil Kenan does an okay job developing the plot and characters. As witrh most novel to film adaptations of this kind, I'm sure the novel by Jeanne Duprau is far better and contains more expository detail of the story.

    **½ out of *****