@23 – What they were doing as their off-season routine is beside the point. Be smart enough to know that you’re on the bubble and that showing up early to camp would make you look good and motivated. Simple as that. Be aware of perceptions.
Just streamed Argo on Amazon. (SPOILERS). Maybe I was at a disadvantage because of all the hype, but I wasn’t too impressed. I was distracted by all the “running clock” manipulations going on. Like, I could tell which parts of the story were “enchanced” because they stuck out so badly as suspense conventions. The cliffhangers (the ringing phone picked up JUST in time, the airplane taking flight JUST in time, the ticket hitting the airline computers JUST in time, and the list goes on) were among the most artificial I’ve ever seen, and I’m the last person to pick a film apart for stuff like that; I usually get sucked right in. But dang, you can’t be saved just in the nick of time every ten minutes, and it sticks out really bad if it’s based on a true story.
I loved The Town and Gone Baby Gone, and have considered Ben Affleck a legit talent since the beginning, and I went into this with complete confidence that it would be great. But even the emotional beats were so predictable. The dad-not-there-for-boy’s-birthday beat, the quasi-spiritual Eastern chant segues that’ve been done to complete death by now.
I will say the acting was just about flawless. But films like Michael Clayton and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy have set the bar for these kinds of thrillers. Suspense has to be handled carefully or you’re just doing the thriller version of jump-scare horror flicks.
But hell, everybody else loved Argo, the critics I mean. So maybe I’ll try it again with lower expectations. Did you guys dig it?
Bub – I liked Argo, but I went in with opposite expectations and not a Ben Affleck fan prior to seeing the movie. Gone Baby Gone was good, but I didn’t like The Town for some reason (probably had to do more with not liking Affleck than with the story itself). Your points about the suspense stuff are valid in retrospect, but I wasn’t bothered much by them at the time.
I still need to see Django and Amour (not gonna bother with Life of Pi cause it won’t win anyway, plus I’ve heard too many mixed reviews), but right now my pick for best picture is Beasts of the Southern Wild with Les Mis second. It’ll probably go to Lincoln, which was way too long and slow for my own tastes.
David & Ham, lots of Tinker Tailor was over my head, too. But I’m kind of a sucker for slow movies. Terrence Malick is almost my favorite director (though the whispering voice-overs I could do without), if that tells you anything. I think it’s because my mind is the super-fidgety, spastic-quick kind, so the reeeaaallly slow stuff, if it’s moody or cerebral or surreal or whatever overused movie adjective I should use here, it’s almost like a drug. Lost in Translation, Space Odyssey(sp?), et al. All that to say, Tinker T was unnecessarily opaque, but I just bought into the mood. Michael Clayton was the best of both worlds: brooding, but really tight.
I’m scared of Django. Didn’t make it through Inglorious B’s. Lemme know how it went.
I personally enjoyed Tinker just because it didn’t hit you with a hammer. It was constantly evolving. And the pace seemed natural. I hate when things build and build yet you know the outcome the whole time. It was slow at times, but in a more human way. And very true to LeCarre.
I thought Argo was great. I didn’t find it contrived at all. And I think Affleck is legit as a talent. Anyone else see the Hobbit? Took the oldest to see it in IMAX 3D and it was something. I didn’t think it was as bad as many people thought, or as boring.
Funny that you guys are talking about Tinker Tailor so much–I watched the movie with my wife this week b/c she’d just finished reading the book. She’s going to start on the “sequel” book now.
We’re planning on watching the ’70′s BBC miniseries version with Alec Guiness on Monday. Being about 3x’s as long as the newer movie version, it’s supposed to develop the story in a much better way.
I like that the movie didn’t play down to the audience, but I think it went too far the other way: I’ve seen it more than once and have just a loose grip on what’s going on. Embarrassingly, I thought Control was alive the whole time and my wife had to tell me most of his scenes were flashbacks.
One man’s slog is another man’s hypnosis. But I can’t fault anybody for disliking, or even hating, Malick films. And during the extended cut of The New World, even I thought if I saw one more macro-focused grass blade I would set myself on fire.
Ham, if my favorite ballplayer was accused of PED’s tomorrow, and if he came out and delivered the most convincing denial I’ve ever heard in my life, swearing on the heads of his kids and the souls of his grandparents, and showing a tattoo he had on his testicles that said “Play Clean or Die,” my conclusion would be, “eh, he’s probably lying.”
Some day anthropologists will talk about what changed in the American consciousness as a result of the Palmeiro-to-Lance-Armstrong Years. The way they used uber-sincere language to lie through their teeth.
We can’t let them all cheat. Use by kids will get out of hand.
It’s actually entertaining to watch Braun talk right now. Everybody knows he’s lying but its fun to see someone lie with a straight face. Can’t blame him though. He’s in too deep. Deny deny deny. Hey, it worked the first time.
Bub – I totally agree (although I think that kids are already using more than we think), but still….
I think there are two options though. Either let em all cheat, or live forever in the world we live now, lots of talk, lots of outrage, no action. There is just too much gray area in the whole thing. I mean, nowadays what is an “unnatural advantage”?
Ham, if I thought the battle was definitely being lost, that we were nowhere closer to a clean vast majority than we were five years ago, ten years ago, I might go along with that.
But I can live with the gray if it’s a fight to the bitter end that MLB has any chance of winning. By winning, I mean a sport that’s, say, 85% clean. Do you think that battle is already lost? Do you think the Lance Armstrong clean tests et al prove that we’re a lot further behind than we thought before?