Archive for January, 2009
I am writing this because Season 3 of Friday Nigh Lights has just started airing on NBC. I just checked and every episode from the first two seasons, in addition to those that have aired from this season, is available here. After reading this, go get started.
Friday Night Lights is one of the best shows on television. I told my sister to watch it, and Carrie said, “Isn’t that just about high school kids partying?” No. It is unlike any movie based on Texas football. It is also unlike any teen drama there is. It is phenomenal.
It is different from other dramas and the movies that came before it because of its scope. It follows the lives of the athletes, the coach’s family, the athlete’s girlfriends, a booster, and basically people from all parts of a small town. This allows them to go into all the aspects of living in a small town.
I don’t even want to ruin any of the plots for anyone who is going to watch the show, just know it is awesome. Watch a few episodes and you will agree.
Enjoy this show. Go on, get to enjoying it already.
It has been a while since I went to this movie, and it has been even longer since I did a movie review, so take it easy on me.
Here is the story: Walt Kowalski,an old, lonely, racist, retired autoworker, veteran of the Korean War, enforces a “get off my lawn/property” rule. He also sticks up for his teenage neighbors. This leads to Walt befriending a Hmong (Southeast Asian) family. Walt’s family is questionable. His wife died and his sons and their families seem only interested in him when they need something. Their children are spoiled and disrespectful. It might be Walt’s fault for being cold, but he is not close with them. There is a priest that was close with his wife who discusses issues like death with Walt. A gang does some bad things. That is the general outline without ruining the ending.
The main focus is on Walt’s relationship with the youngsters of the Hmong family that live next door. Walt helps Sue (ably played by Ahney Her) when she is harassed by three black teenagers. She then talks him into going to a party at their house by the Sue. Soon after being there, Walt realizes he has more in common with their community than he does with his own family. They are generally old school, like he is.
Thao is Sue’s brother, and his cousin attempts to get him to join their gang. His initiation is to steal Walt’s 1972 Gran Torino from his garage. Walt chases him out but does not see him. Thao’s family punishes him by forcing him to apologize to and work for Walt. During the time he is forced to work for Walt, they develop a relationship. There is no man in Thao’s house, and Walt seems to like shaping him into a man. He even gets him a job. The gang gives Thao more problems, and Walt sticks up for him. The rift eventually leads to some heinous actions by the gang that Walt must deal with.
When he is with his neighbors, you get the feeling that Walt is as happy as he has ever been. Walt is a racist, but you see that sort of fading as the movie progresses. In the beginning, he sees his neighborhood as being invaded. Anyone not like him can be reduced to an offensive word. But as he befriends the Hmong family, the words soften and lose their edge. He somehow turns the offensive term “gook” into a term of endearment by the end of the movie.
Some people complained that it was out of character for Walt to befriend this family, but I thought the was the movie. He suffered a terrible loss, was lonely, realized he is not going to live forever, found out the Hmong people next door were pretty great, and developed. That’s what a character should do. I think the point is that his character had been through enough in a short period of time that it changed him. If the main character stayed exactly the same the whole movie what would be the point?
Clint Eastwood is awesome. It’s like the role was written for him. Eastwood’s aged face seems able to produce more anger and emotion than ever. When his face starts trembling, you honestly think people are going to get hurt, even if it is his son.
Having said that, the supporting cast was not always as excellent. At times the acting around Clint was pretty awful. Christopher Carley was a bright spot as the young Father Janovich. Father Janovich’s interactions with Walt were all excellent.
Some of the most memorable parts of Gran Torino are Dirty Harry-type Eastwood moments, when he is intimidating and fearless. While they are fun and great to watch, seeing Walt actually care about the Hmong family next door and help them out was what made the movie. It is apparent in the ending that Eastwood wanted more than a hardass from this character, and the movie was better for it.
Rating: Go see it if you haven’t yet. If you have seen it, see it again.
Enjoy the show.
Turns out the agenda set by Obama has more than overturning a restrictive ban on providing aid to women’s health organizations in other countries.
Here is a small taste of what he did on his first day:
Obama’s first day
He worked on problems involving the Middle East, the economy, and Guantanamo Bay (which Dr already knew).
Characterizing lifting that ban as something that takes up a lot of his time and is a large part of his agenda is disingenuous.
Enjoy more mischaracterizations.
Well it didn’t take long for Obama and his administration to put forth their agenda.
Obama will lift restrictions on U.S. government funding for groups that provide abortion services or counseling abroad, reversing a policy of his Republican predecessor George W. Bush, an administration official said.
Whether your for abortion or against it…this is rediculous. We have our own issues to worry about and our own economy to worry about, but lets send even more of our money overseas.
Remember, we dont have money to support the war, but we can support this…come on!
First of all, Congrats to the president Obama. Its was a HUGE day in our country’s history. Lets now see if all of those promises will come true. You definately have a nice Clinton/Bush mess to clean up.
Now that Obama has take the oath…twice…Bush is no longer the president…he is history. Let it go. You got the change you wanted. Palin is not the VP although who knows what 4 or 8 years will bring. We have a new president, lets move on.
And Finally and another thing that Mr. Feser and I might agree on is the closing of Guantanamo Bay. Kudos to the new president for getting rid of something that may violate a treaty or two. Our country should not be represented like that…
Here is a message from Dana Perino, former Press Secretary for W. Bush:
In this Moment of Zen, Jon gives credit to those who have made his job incredibly easy for the last eight years. The credits:
Enjoy a less unintentionally funny administration.
What a day to be alive, huh? Here is some inauguration video in case you missed it. Chief Justice Roberts struggled with the oath a bit, but what do ya do?
It is a new beginning, and it doesn’t feel real yet. George W. Bush has been president for a third of my life (the third I remember most). That hurts. I’m excited that I no longer have to cringe every time our president speaks. We shouldn’t be afraid that our president will offend half the planet when he speaks. That in itself is enough to make me happier. Here’s a video:
Enjoy a new beginning.
P-E Barak Obama wants to conclude his inaugural oath with the words “so help me God.” Shockingly (sacasm) there is a group of athiests in California (what a shock) that are suing Chief Justice John Roberts in federal court for an injuction barring the use of “so help me God” office (source American News, Page 10a, Jan. 15, 2009)
This actually doesn’t come as a shock to me. I am actually wondering what took so long for them to do this. The judge is going to hear the arguments today and can hopefully render a quick decision.
I appluad P-E Obama for his decision and I hope the federal judge will agree. We are in a world of free speech, right? If we tried to stop them from putting their beliefs on us we would be in federal court b/c we would be sued.
They need to let it go…just let it go.
Jacob Weisberg compiled a list of his 25 favorite Bushisms for slate. Debate could rage for years and years over which of the countless streams of word vomit deserve the top spot, but I think this is a pretty solid list.
Enjoy flannel pajamas.
I was going to add this on to the earlier post, but I thought this one deserved its own. I can’t believe I didn’t include this on the original list.
Any phrase following the “First Name the Occupation ending in ‘er’” format. And not just how often these annoying phrases were repeated, but also the fact that people cared what they thought. Joe the Plumber has made a name for himself for… what? He obviously was, at best, uninformed. Remember when he told viewers it was there responsibility to figure out why he thought a vote for Obama was a vote for the death of Israel? Then remember all the other Name the Somethingers who lacked a clue but were given time to say whatever the hell they wanted? Adam the blogger wanted to throw up every time they were actually listened to.
I almost forgot, Joe the Plumber, in an obvious publicity stunt, is now a war correspondent for Pajamas Media. He’s off to a great start as he already got into a ridiculous verbal exchange with an Israeli reporter. He said something about being unbiased and going for more than just sound bytes. Odd, considering that the only reason we’ve heard of this guy is a sound byte. But don’t worry, judging by the exchange, he quickly forgot any standards he had.
I just returned from L.A. and started up a new semester. Expect more work from me now that I have work that needs to be put off.
Enjoy the ongoing debate over how much cleavage is too much for awards season.
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