Sunday, June 26, 2005

Reviews from the weekend

This weekend was a scorchah! At least that's what they've been saying around here, as yesterday the temperature reached 97 degrees. Even thought it was hot out, I just think back to the miserable weather we had from November through March. Cold every single day. Not even just a wee bit nipply, it was a tongue-frozen-to-the-flag-pole-type cold every freaking day.

So two months full of hot weather is fine by me.

Not much happened this weekend, got a lot of wedding crap done, did eight loads of laundry at the future parents-in-law's place, saw Jeff Baglioni's new house (real nice) and went to Nick and Debbie's bridal party get together. They're getting hitched a year from now (on my birthday, in fact) and they wanted everyone involved in the wedding to have a chance to hang out a bit and get to know one another.

It was fun, the food was plentiful and catered (always a bonus), the Sox were on (they won) and they had plenty of beer. A nice day.

Last night we were at Jeff's. He's bought a place in Franklin that's really nice and quite large. It's so big in fact, that there are a few rooms that are bare. Not a bad problem to have. He said that he likes having a home, but he gets sort of lonely coming home to an empty house. I agree with him because while you'd be able to get a bunch of stuff done, it would suck to always watch a game or a movie or a cool show by yourself.

To remedy that, he's thinking about getting a roommate.

I finished another book last week, this was a good one:

As you can tell from the cover (yes Virginia, there are actually times when you can tell a book from its cover) this book is about the 2004 seasons of the Red Sox and the Yankees. It was written by beat writers Tony Massarotti and John Harper, which means that this is a more in-depth story of the season from two guys who was around the team from Spring Training through the last game of the World Series.

First off, a pledge, this is the last thing that I buy about the 2004 Sox. I have at least four magazines, two books, two DVDs, three shirts, a cap and just about every newspaper from October. That's it, I'm bled dry. No more ... though I hear next month they're releaseing a DVD set that has every single game from the playoffs. If anyone is reading this that wants to buy me a wedding or birthday gift, that would be the one.

Short story, I liked this book a lot. Maz really gets into the Sox/Yanks rivalry. He grew up in Waltham and went to Tufts, he's a Massachusetts guy through and through, so he takes it pretty personally when a New York writer rips on the Sox. I found this to be the most shocking part of the book because the prevailing "wisdom" through out Internet-land is that Tony Maz hates the Sox. That's just not true. In fact there are times in the book when he goes overboard defending the Sox.

His passion for the team that he covers is apparent, while Harper's is more detached, I don't want to say more professional, but it's more hardened, like he's seen everything before. I don't think that's necessarily a good thing because at times he writes as if he's bored by the events occuring to each team. I don't know whether it's because I'm a fan of the Sox, but I felt more excited, more disapointed, more pissed, more jubilant when I was reading Maz' chapters (the book was written in a fashion that every other chapter, one of the author's would take over.)

Not only did Maz' chapters have more energy, but they were longer too. He set up the scenes, gave the Boston view and then Harper would come in and give the New York perspective. Maybe because Maz led off, Harper was at a disadvantage, but there were times when it just seemed that he was a bit disinterested.

The one complaint I had about the tome was that for all of the detail they went into each Yankee/Red Sox series, they glossed over the rest of the series. That's a minor point however, because unlike the Stephen King and Stewart O'Nan trainwreck, these two guys really did a great job of getting the reader new information. Especially on the Jeter/ARod relationship, what some of the Sox really thought about Curt Schilling and on what makes Steinbrenner and Luchino tick.

Obviously I haven't read all 27 books that came out about the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox (I love writing that, BTW) but I find it hard to imagine another book even coming close to matching the information found in these pages.

After doing some homework on Friday night, I had to make a poster about summer in Boston using images, Aly and I went to the movies.

Anyhow, we went to Kendall Square Cinemas in Cambridge to check out this flick that we both got wind of, "Miysterious Skin". Not a good choice. The movie and acting itself was ok, but the plot was terrible, Aly almost puked. In a nutshell, these two eight-year-olds are sexually abused by their baseball coach (who looked a lot like Jeff Kent) when they grew up they went in two different directions. One became a gay hustler, the other was convinced that he was abducted by aliens.

The kid who turned out to be a gay hustler was played by the kid from "Third Rock from the Sun" Joseph Gordon-Levitt. If you see this movie, you'll never look at this guy the same way again. The way I felt after this movie was the way I felt after seeing "Kids" or "Saving Private Ryan". The sex scenes were as graphic (and all pretty much gay) as any that I've ever seen and there were times when I had to remind myself that this was "only a movie".

After having two days to think this over, the one thing that I can say is that it did for gay sex scenes what "Pulp Fiction" and "Resevoir Dogs" did for violence. It was that disturbing. I would probably never see this flick again, but it brought the viewer into the world of the abused and the confused.

The major problem that I had was that there was no real resolution to the story. I have a feeling that the screen writer left it that way purposely. While I did not expect a happy ending, that would've been a HUGE copout, but I wanted some sort of closure. Anything. You left the characters the same way as you found them.

For most part, the acting was top notch. Levitt had to work hard to make himself believable as a street smart (for Kansas anyway) street hustler, and he did a terrific job. Brady Corbet, who played the alien-obsessed other victim of the baseball coach (Bill Sage, BTW), did a tremendous job as well. And to be honest, while Levitt's part had more heavy lifting, Corbet had to be believably niave and he pulled it off.

Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn from Buffy) wasn't as great as her male counterparts. She was more annoying than anything else as she was supposed to be the moral compass of the flick and at that she failed badly. Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe from 24) was an interesting choice for Corbet's UFO ally.

All in all, it was well acted, profoundly disturbing and an all around ok flick, though one that I'll never see again.

1 comment:

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