Thursday, July 14, 2005

Montville, Movies and a Mohel

This is going to be a pretty long post, so you better strap yourself in, I have a lot to say.

First up, last Thursday I went to the Brookline Booksmith and got to meet a true giant in the sportswriting business, Leigh Montville. He's always been sort of a hero of mine from when he was writing for the Globe, but mostly when he was at Sports Illustrated.

He spoke before about 20 of us about his new book about the 2004 Sox and he took a bunch of questions. Some of the more interesting answers that he gave was that he hates sports radio, Curt Schilling isn't well liked in the Sox clubhouse (and probably lost some points for tonight) and that the Ted Williams biography (which I bought) was supposed to be a year's worth of work and 100,000. It turned into 2 years worth of work and 200,000 words.

I asked him about Sports Illustrated and the differences between working there and the Globe. Basically, he said that working at SI sucked. Too political and they would hack up all of his stories as it went through FOUR editors. He said by the time they finished up, it was nothing like what he turned in.

Of course he mentioned that he was there for 12 years, so it couldn't have been that bad.

I also asked him about the "new media", Blogs and web sites. He said that it's something that one should keep their eye on, but he doesn't know much about it. All in all, he was a real nice guy and he had a bunch of terrific stories.

Saturday morning, Aly and I woke up bright and early to go to New York and witness the briss of Tyler Jack Cole, Danna and Rick's newborn son. I had never seen a briss and while I was sort of squeemish about the experience, I sort of wanted to see what it was all about.

We made it to the party, but we missed the ceremony. There was a nightmare of a traffic jam on the Tappen Zee bridge, but according to Danna's brother Evan, it was probably a good thing that we missed it. "There was blood every where," he said. "I almost puked."

We hung out there for the better part of the day and then turned around and went home at about 4:00. I was really beat and wanted to sleep in my own bed that night and besides, I had a ton of homework to do. My last Photoshop class was on Tuesday and I had to finish my project.

I really enjoyed working with this program. It's odd because in the middle of class, things just started to come to me. It's almost as if a light went in my head and I really started to put together everything that my teacher was saying. While I'm not Photoshop expert, I do think I can more than hold my own when it comes to doing this stuff.

Next week we're going to begin Adobe Illustrator. I have no idea what that does, should be a lot of fun.

I meant to tell you that I got my first web site gig. Let me first say, I don't know crap about putting up web sites, that begins in the fall, but I contacted the Boston Braves Historical Society and they want me to do their site. I talked to a guy, Mike Fine, who was really cool. He said that he's been looking for someone to do this for them, but with their membership (a lot of older guys) no one really has the skills to do it.

So I am going to do it for them and have it as my final project. I can't wait, I have a great idea for what to do. I am really pumped about it.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, Aly and I saw a couple of movies, one really good and the other one ... not so great.

The first one we saw was Batman Begins. That was awesome. It told the tale of Batman and how he came to be, especially his training. For a closet comic book geek like myself, this was manna from heaven. The scenes of Bruce Wayne in Tibet (really it was filmed in Iceland) at Ra's Al Goul's training facility were tremendous. Great fight scenes and just a cool overall feeling to flick.

Besides RAG, the Scarecrow was a tremendous villain. For a long time there were a bunch of rumors that Howard Stern was going to play him. Cillian Murphy blew him out of the water. He was really that good. Also, Christian Bale (who was really good in 'American Psycho') did a nice job as Batman. The one complaint was his voice when he was the Caped Crusader. A little hacky.

There were a few sort of rough patches: the casting of Katie Holmes as the "tough, no nonsense DA". Really a stretch as Aly said, "She's just playing Joey Potter as a 'Law & Order' character." Also the fighting scenes in the city were very hurky jerky, it was very tough to tell what the hell was happening.

I believe they are doing a sequel and it's going to be great, I bet.

The next night, it was lady's choice, so we went to see "Bewitched". To be honest, I went of my own free will because though I wasn't a big fan of the original TV series, I like Will Ferrel a lot and spending two hours looking at Nicole Kidman, well I can think of worse ways to spend my time. Plus there was a Daily Show feel to the flick as Stephen Colbert, Steve Carrell and Mo Rocca all had parts in it.

Unfortunately, it was a dud. The first half was pretty good, but it went down hill very quickly. Kidman made an interesting choice in playing her character is a complete retard. I'm not sure why she did that.

And the ending came right out of leftfield. It just happened without any explanation. It wasn't a complete waste, as there were some funny Ferrel scenes, but between this and Ferrel's last movie (Kicking and Screaming), he's going to have to come up with something better ... or at least read the scripts.

Some time this weekend, I'm going to post my Red Sox midseason report card. It's a damn good thing I wasn't grading after this crapfest, they all would've flunked.

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