Musings on writing, lessons learned by an aspiring professional, book reviews, movie reviews, an occasional t.v. show review, and unashamed opinion.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


If you're like me, you hate sports movies.  They're the same predictable storyline every time.  Underdog team/person faces unbeatable opponent.  Underdog beats unbeatable opponent.  Yadda yadda.  Sports movies just plain stink.

Okay, not all of them.  Rudy is a great movie.  I think I like it so much because the climatic moment isn't when Rudy scores the winning touchdown, but when he gets to play for a minute or two and sacks the quarterback.  The dude got to live his dream by dressing for a game and getting some play time.  It was more about Rudy's hard work and dedication than taking home a trophy.

Hate Remember the Titans.  Hate Hoosiers.  Hate Miracle.  Hate Rocky V.  I loved Warrior, though.

  Look at those dudes.  They're freakin ripped!

Warrior is about two brothers who enter a UFC tournament, for a winner takes all cash prize of 5 million.  The movie follows usual sport movie cliches.  There are some training montages, there are plenty of doubts whether the protagonists will win.... yadda yadda yadda.  But beneath the typical storyline are some great, well-rounded characters, who make you care about their lives outside of the fighting ring.

One brother is an ex-soldier, recently returned from Iraq.  He is struggling with his post-war world, and has a lot of anger to deal with.  The other brother has a family, and teaches high school physics.  His paycheck isn't enough to provide for his family in modern day America.  Both have competed in martial arts in the past--one was a champion, the other a mid-lister professional.  Neither has communicated with the other for years, and both have major issues with their alcoholic father.

The plot isn't surprising, but I won't give anything away.  The mixed martial arts fighting scenes are edge-of-your-seat-exciting, and the acting is top notch.  Everything about this film is premium movie making.  But you'll want to watch it for the relationship between the brothers and dad.  Their struggle to become a family again is the heart of Warrior.  The themes of the film are what make it stand out.

A lot of film critics compare it to The Fighter, saying Warrior is a simpler version of the same story.  I disagree.  The Fighter won all sorts of awards, but it lacked soul.  The Fighter went for gritty realism, and is one of the hardest R's I've ever seen for language.  Warrior packs twice the punch and keeps the rating an adult PG-13.  In my opinion (the only one that counts) Warrior is by far the better of the two, and is one of the best movies of the last five years.

Don't miss seeing this one.  It's on dvd now, so stop by a redbox and pick it up.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  Maybe, like me, you'll be tearing up by the time the credits roll.  Maybe Warrior will be one of the films you remember for a long time.  It was that kind of movie for me.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Father Christmas

Christmas is almost upon us and I've been meaning to post my favorite Father Christmas clips from Finland.  Here they are, for your viewing pleasure.

Be warned, you will see brief male nudity in the first video... but watching the second without watching the first one beforehand may result in a bit of confusion.  Trust me, it isn't a big deal.  I wouldn't post anything that I would consider offensive.  I hope you laugh your guts out.  Enjoy.

And now, clip number two:

Happy Christmas everyone.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Things you should watch

I haven't posted much lately.  Baby girl is taking up lots of time.  I've been getting a lot of Netflix in, though, and there are several things you should watch if you never have, and rewatch if it's been a long time.

Malcolm in the Middle.  I passed on this one when it came out years ago.  I might have been too young to catch all of the humor.  Then again, it aired in 2000, so I was 16.  Maybe I just didn't care.  Either way, I missed it.  This show is hilarious.  I can't stop laughing about it.  Watch it!

My Name is Earl.  Great show.  Made by the people who did Raising Hope.  It's about a guy who believes karma has been out to get him because he's been such a jerk to everyone.  He writes a list of all the bad things he's done in his life, and sets out to correct his past.  It's funny, it's white trashy, and it's got some heart to go with the punch lines.  If you've never seen this show, it is worth many hours of your time.

Secretariat.  Yes I'm saying watch a Disney movie.  Crazy, I know.  Usually I avoid them like dirty underwear.  But this story of the fastest race horse in history is decently made.  Diane Lane does a good job  with the limited material she is given.  The story is predictable, but enjoyable.  Plus John Malkovich plays the horse trainer.  Any movie with Malkovich in it is worth seeing.  (Okay, I can think of several to avoid, but shut up).

Ondine.  This is a little film starring Colin Farrel, who plays an Irish fisherman who finds a woman in his nets.  The woman (played by a beautiful unknown actress from Poland) just might by a selkie--a seal person.  Some things that just might be magic happen to Farrel's character, and he falls in love with the mystery woman from the sea.  It was an enjoyable film.  Not one I'd usually pick, but when you're scrolling through Netflix with a crying baby in your arms, you're just looking for something to make some noise.  It just so happened to turn out to be a good movie.

That's all for now.  I've got some links I need to post to some hilarious Christmas videos, but that will have to wait for later.