Tagged: Clint Eastwood

The Second Day After…

I went to another movie screening. Yesterday’s film was a very good distraction and helped me forget that THE YANKEES AREN’T GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES, so I was looking forward to this morning’s offering. It was “The King’s Speech,” which is coming out in December and will – I guarantee it – be nominated for Best Picture come Academy Awards time. It’s hard to imagine Colin Firth not giving a great performance and he doesn’t disappoint in the role of King George VI, a man with a horrible stammer who nevertheless had to reassure a country at war.

the-kings-speech1-530fp092110.jpgHere’s the trailer.

Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter are terrific too, and the director told us after the screening how meticulously he researched the story to insure its authenticity. Two thumbs up from me. Tomorrow night I’ll be seeing Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter.” And then it will be on to Wednesday night and Game 1 of Rangers-Giants. I’ve decided to jump on the Giants’ orange-and-black bandwagon.
orangevan2.JPG
The Dodgers are sort of my “second” team after the Yankees, because of Mattingly, and I know it’s heresy for Dodger fans to root for the hated Giants. But Michael’s brother and cousins live in SF and I live in California, and it’s hard not to be caught up in the excitement of castoffs like Cody Ross making it all the way to the big event. That said, someone needs to explain to me why Brian Wilson and other members of the bullpen have those dyed black beards.
SmithBrothers.jpg
It must be some solidarity thing? Like: “Let’s all do this and see if it’s lucky for us?” And I get why Sandoval is called “Panda,” but isn’t that what everybody called this guy?
JoseMolina-BlackBack.jpg
I guess you can have more than one “Panda” in baseball. What you can’t have more than one of is “Mo, “Jeet,” “Tex,” “A-Rod”….Uh-oh. I’m feeling sad again. Better go watch a movie or something. How is everyone else doing? Do we need a group hug?

As Clint Eastwood Would Say: “Get. Off. My. Yankees.”

grantorinoposter.jpg
I can’t pretend to be inside Josh Beckett’s head. (The thought of going anywhere near his head is highly unappealing.) So I can’t say with any certainty that he hit anybody on purpose in tonight’s 10-3 massacre at Fenway. But here’s what I think. He was cruising along with pinpoint control, striking out batter after batter. Then Swisher drove one out of the park for three runs. And the Beckster wasn’t amused. Or, as MLB’s Bryan Hoch put it, he became unhinged.
man-going-berserk.jpg
He pitched inside to Cano, hit him on the knee and knocked him out of the game. Just what we needed: another injury. Actually, not just another injury but an injury to our hottest hitter. The Beckster threw in the vicinity of Cervelli’s head twice, including once after Cisco had the nerve to step out of the batter’s box. And then we get to Jeter, who was plunked squarely on the #2 on his back. I was watching via the NESN feed (thanks, MLB Network), but it was easy to see how angry some of the Yankees were — CC, A-Rod, even Mo. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Mo mad, because normally he looks like this.
mo.smiles.jpg
Anyhow, the Beckster basically handed the Yankees the ball game, but we did get timely hits too. (You go, Randy Winn.) And even better, we got another great performance by Huuughes. He got into trouble here and there but always managed to get himself out of it, and gave us seven strong innings. Kudos. I wish D-Rob would recapture his 2009 form, but maybe he needs some time in Scranton to work things out. Dunno. What I also don’t know is why the ump didn’t warn Beckett….and whether the Yankees will retaliate tomorrow with CC on the mound. If I were a Red Sock and CC plunked me, I sure wouldn’t charge the mound and risk looking at this.
angrybear.jpg
On one hand, I want to see the Yankees send a message. On the other, we don’t need any ejections or suspensions, and we certainly don’t need more injuries. I mean, Nick Johnson. Wow. When I heard he had a sore wrist and was on his way to NY for an MRI, all I could think of was that he’s becoming this guy, only with a better attitude.
carlpavano.jpg
To sum up, in yesterday’s post I speculated that The Rivalry might be getting a little stale. Now? Not so much.

Yankees Cap in Santa Barbara: The Sequel

My last post was about how I had a run-in over this.

cap.rhinestones.jpg
Today I ventured out in it again….this time to a local theater where Roger Durling, the executive director of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, gave everybody a preview of the movies we’ll be seeing between January 22nd and February 1st. The Festival is a big deal here in town, and since I love movies almost as much as I love baseball, it’s a big deal for me too.
SBIFF_logo_header_nograd.gif
I settled into my seat with a few hundred other Santa Barbarans and braced for an incident involving the words “Yankees” and “suck.” Maybe yesterday was not an aberration and I’d be called out again for my allegiance to the Bombers.
Nope. Nothing. This was such a polite crowd that nobody even asked me to remove my cap so they could see over my head. Crisis averted.
Roger kicked off the afternoon by telling us about the stars who were coming to accept awards and attend parties, including Kate Winslet and Penelope Cruz. But it was when he said, “Clint Eastwood,” that I really snapped to attention.
Clint Eastwood? Clint “Get off my lawn” Eastwood? One of my all-time faves?

clint-eastwood-picture-1.jpg
Turns out he’ll be here on Thursday, January 29th. I probably have no shot at meeting him, but stranger things have happened.
“I wonder if he likes baseball,” I whispered to my husband Michael, who told me to be quiet.
“I bet he’s a Giants fan,” I said anyway. “He used to be the mayor of Carmel, which is closer to San Francisco than L.A.”
“You have a one-track mind,” said Michael. “Give baseball a rest, O.K.?”
“I’m just -“
“Shhhush.”
keith-olbermann shush.jpg
Fine.
I sat silently as I learned about the Festival’s opening film, a political thriller called “Nothing But The Truth,” with Kate Beckinsale, Matt Dillon and Alan Alda….about some foreign films that are rumored to be Academy Award nominees….and about “Going Home,” a documentary about the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, who will be on hand for a Q&A.
I was thinking how much I was looking forward to the movies and yet….I was also thinking how antsy I’m getting about spring training. I want baseball to start!

Just then, something amazing happened. The Festival’s director said, “This weekend we’ll be showing a movie called ‘Sugar.’ A big hit at Sundance, it’s a terrific film about baseball.”
All right! I gave my husband a “So there” look.
“Sugar” is the story of a ballplayer named Miguel “Sugar” Santos, who’s recruited from his home in the Dominican Republic to play for a minor league team in the Midwest after he masters the art of the knuckle curve.
sugar.jpg
The movie is about his adjustment to life in the American Heartland and gives us inside looks at both minor league baseball and the immigrant experience.
sugar.kc.jpg
Here’s a review I pulled from Variety. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? But hey, it’s a baseball movie. How bad could it be?
I’ll weigh in once I see it. In the meantime, check out this clip of the writer-directors speaking at the Sundance Festival a few days ago.
One more thing….Happy birthday to my Red Sox-loving brother-in-law up there in ice-cold Concord. Have a great day, Geoff!

Movie Break – “Gran Torino”

If you liked Clint Eastwood as “Dirty Harry”….

clint_eastwood_230.jpg
you’ll love him as Walt Kowalski.
Gran-Torino-Clint_l.jpg

Eastwood may be 78 years old, but in “Gran Torino,” my last screening before the Santa Barbara Film Festival kicks off on January 22nd, he’s every bit as menacing when he says, “Get off my lawn,” as he was years ago when he said, “Make my day.”¬†

He plays a retired auto worker and Korean war vet, who’s enraged by the changing ethnicity of his Detroit neighborhood. An equal opportunity bigot, he rages at everyone but especially at the Hmong immigrants who live next door.
poster.jpg
I admit I’m a fan of nearly every movie Eastwood has directed and/or starred in – “Mystic River,” “Unforgiven,” “Million Dollar Baby,” to name a few – but “Gran Torino” took me completely by surprise. How it manages to be both very funny and extremely poignant is a miracle. I laughed out loud so many times, even as I shed some tears at the end. No special effects. No car chases. Just a simply told tale of a man trying to adjust to life in post-war America. I’m putting “Gran Torino” near the top of my list for 2008.
But don’t take my word for it. Go see the movie when it opens nationwide on January 9th.
Here’s the trailer.

Movie Breaks

angelina_jolie_brad_pitt_01.jpg
No, I haven’t gone all TMZ on you. I’m aware that the winter meetings are kicking off in Vegas. But since I have absolutely no control over what happens there, I might as well take a break for some movies.
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival¬†starts at the end of next month and it’s a big deal here in town – sort of a mini-Sundance. It lasts for two weeks and everybody sees tons of movies and hears actors talk about their work. Last year, for example, we had Angelina Jolie (accompanied by Brad) discussing “A Mighty Heart.” We also had Javier Bardem, who cracked jokes about making “No Country for Old Men” with the Coen brothers.
Javier-Bardem-LP_e_b531446b815d841fa57ff7ac29559923.jpg
Grrrr. Such a sexy beast.
The year before, we had Helen Mirren, who ended up winning the best actress Oscar for “The Queen.”
helen.jpg
Veddy veddy proper lady – until she admitted that she quite enjoys playing nude scenes.
And Will Smith and his wife Jada were on hand so he could tell us about “The Pursuit of Happyness.”
will&jada.jpg
Don’t they look like a loving couple? Either that or they’re….acting.
This year, we’re getting Penelope Cruz and Clint Eastwood, among many others, and I’ll be sitting in the front row for every event.
audience.jpg
O.K. I’m lying about the front row. I’ll be lucky if I can see anything from way up in the balcony, but it’ll be fun just the same.
In advance of the Festival, the studios send prints of their films that are in contention for awards and we get to screen them.
Recent screenings have included “Doubt,” “Milk,” “Frost/Nixon,” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Before that, I saw “Body of Lies,” “The Secret Life of Bees,” “The Changeling,” “Vicky Christina Barcelona,” and the French film “I’ve Loved You So Long.” My favorites of those? “Frost/Nixon” and “Vicky Christina Barcelona.”
This weekend, I saw two more films. The first was “The Reader” starring Kate Winslet.
katereader.jpg
Interesting shoes if you like dog collars.
It opens January 9th and co-stars Ralph Fiennes. Set in post WW II Germany, it’s based on the bestselling novel and Oprah pick. Here’s the setup: Ten years after his affair with a mysterious older woman, a law student discovers she’s a defendant in a war crimes trial. It’s not a Holocaust story; it’s more about the generation of Germans dealing with its aftermath. Very compelling. I bet Kate gets an Oscar nom.
The other movie was “Frozen River” starring Melissa Leo. Remember her as Detective Kay Howard on “Homicide?”
MelissaLeo.jpg
It’s an indie flick that was shot in, like, 20 days for hardly any money, and it takes place in a border town on the Mohawk reservation, somewhere between New York State and Quebec. Melissa’s character is drawn into the smuggling of illegal aliens in order to feed her kids. It’s winning all kinds of pre-Oscar awards. It certainly opened my eyes to the problems of Native Americans.
Here are the trailers for both films in case anyone else needs a break from speculating about which free agent will land where. (Come on, Cee Cee. Sign already.)
 

Movie Break

Went to see “Changeling” after reading reviews suggesting Angelina Jolie was a shoo-in for the Best Actress Oscar. She’s great, but those lips. Seriously.

lips.jpeg
They take up the whole lower third of her face, and it’s just wrong.
As for the movie, if you like dark, depressing stories about corrupt cops, serial killers and looney bins, this one’s for you. Personally, I found it talky and boring.
Here’s the trailer.