Gunfight at the OK Foxboro Corral

DATELINE: BRADY & MANNING UP A TREE

Tom&Peyton 

With media insiders having conniption fits and ordinary fans going into delirium tremens, we must be looking at the 20th meeting, shoot-out, and ersatz tug of war between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Yes, it’s time for a Bronco-Patriots game. Stop the world.

The rivals actually never set foot on the playing field at the same time. Yet, for those not facing the TV screen with accuracy or sense of reality, this is a match-up made in heaven.

BradyPullsRabbit

You can count on obligatory video of them chatting before the game and having a manly Manning hug in a postgame moment. They may as well be in different universes, separated by a big wormhole.

Beyond that, they will do their thing on the field. There is no pas de deux. There is no tango espresso. There is not even semaphore cheering on the sidelines as they watch each other.

When asked during the week to name common threads in game prep when Manning comes to town, Coach Bill Belichick gave a deadpan response to nail the perspective about these encounters; he shrugged with more dry qualities than a martini in regard to what stands out after 20 Manning-Brady games: “I guess Manning.”

Tom Brady continues to talk about Manning as if he is waxing eloquent about Peyton’s pop, Archie, the grand old man. Tom’s tongue is always in cheek when he refers to the glorious senior NFL citizen to whom he must pay respect .

With the clocks falling back this weekend and the windy chill descending upon the Foxboro faithful, the game will be the first dark exercise of autumn. At 4:30 kickoff will be after dusk. We’re not in summertime sunshine anymore, Toto.

Wes Welker’s Bronco team is a three-point favorite, and those little piggies cannot be pleasing to Bill Belichick who will huff and puff and try to blow down the Denver opponents on Sunday. Cue the scoreboard.

 

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Hernandez Can Change His Undies, but Not His Venue

DATELINE:  PLAYING POCKET JURY POOL

who me?

You know matters have become desperate because the Ninja lawyers for Aaron Hernandez have blown a gasket of logic.

The Harvard educated lawyers are now accusing the lowly paid, poorly educated prosecuting team of plagiarizing their motions for the court. Writing up a legal paper has sunk to a new low.

Change of venue is not like a change of socks or underwear. Hernandez will have to keep his underpants on in Fall River.

The Ivy League Ninjas are hinting that the only way those pesky prosecutors could have passed the bar was by cheating. So, they have found that the group against Hernandez has actually stolen a page from the group of prosecutors against Marathon bomb suspect Joker Tsarnaev.

Hernandez’s Ninja gang claimed that Fall River’s district attorney and his aides copied verbatim words from the successful Tsarnaev motion to deny changing venue. Never mind that the Marathon Bomber and Aaron Hernandez each is charged with murdering the same number of people.

The Tsarnaev case recently lost a motion to move the trial out of hostile, liberal Massachusetts to a location where conservatives are obviously stupid and won’t know the facts of the case.

To no one’s surprise, Judge Susan E. Garsh isn’t about to give up her hunky Hernandez without cause. She denied the looney defensive team arguments about plagiarizing. She will not let Aaron ‘Big Boy’ Hernandez take his junk to another jurisdiction. Aaron’s jurisdiction will stay in the Judge’s pocketbook for a game of pocket pool.

The mouth-watering Hernandez hulk will keep be able to change his socks and undies in Fall River, but not his venue.

In denying the motion, Judge Harsh Garsh will keep Aaron all to herself. She has called 1000 potential jurors from the Fall River area to fill up the dead pool. Judge Garsh is gathering nuts like a hungry squirrel for a long drawn-out trial.

Rondo Naps Amid Celtic Nips and Tucks

DATELINE: CELTIC HUMOR

TB@12

A squirt with magic dust!

With the Celtics season opener on the line, Rajon Rondo continued to tease the media and fans. All week he had been handicapping his potential return to game playing.

Early in the week, the rating started at 79% and rose upwards of 83% in the day before the Kevin Garnett Nets of some city or other came to Boston.

Then, Rondo returned to his rare form by announcing he would take a nap before the season opener. Only after awakening, like Sleeping Beauty, he would announce whether he would be fit enough to play.

We did not dare ask what Prince Charming would be given the task of kissing our slumbering but not slumping star. Normally such dirty work went to Kendrick Perkins, but there are no big men big enough to bring a star beauty out of a beauty sleep. We suspected this was a job for Celtic superstar Jelly O’Sully.

The odds still have not been fairly assessed. Rondo awoke on his own and announced with trumpets blaring that he would indeed play.

And play he did.

Tom Brady, another sleeping beauty whose awakening has turned back the clocks in Boston a week or two early, sent out a tweet to Rondo’s minions wishing them luck.

It appeared the Celtics did not need luck. The Nets did. The Celtics actually looked interesting and fun. Jelly O’Sully played like a big man when he is actually two big men, Olynyk and Sullinger.

Our favorite little leprechaun of the season never made it off the bench, alas. Phil Pressey is the sort of boy you send to do a man’s job. He did not have a chance this night.

It looks like our humor train is pulling out of the station on time this season.

Sexting with Colossus: The Forbin Project

DATELINE: MOVIE MASHUP

Sexting 101

The paranoid plot of TV hit Person of Interest brought us back to the granddaddy of government conspiracy computers, Colossus: The Forbin Project from 1970, based on D.F. Jones’s 1966 novel.

It was before PCs, social media, smartphones, and yet the movie is startlingly contemporary. You’d think it was made yesterday. Dr. Forbin (Eric Braeden) is one of those scientists like Dr. Strangelove—with a German accent. So, his cavalier attitude about the overreaching computer he invented is de rigueur. The head of the CIA (William Schallert) and the President (Gordon Pinsent) are greatly troubled.

Colossus soon starts doing his stuff. He makes the HAL model from a few years earlier (Kubrick’s androgynous baby) appear to be a petulant set decorator. Colossus wants to subjugate all humankind because he’s smarter and knows more.

As the computer stretches its tentacles, we begin to see, like HAL, the machine is a “he.” When he makes his robotic voice to express his infatuation with Forbin, you know you are in the same territory as the apparently Lesbian machine in love with Miss Forbes on Person of Interest.

What gives with these machines so fascinated with the sex lives of their makers? It seems almost perverse. Well, it is perverse. It’s Sexting 101.

The kinky machine Colossus will let Forbin have a few sexual moments with his assistant (Susan Clark), but she is a plant by Dr. Forbin to try to regain control over the machine. Colossus is nobody’s fool, and also seems to have gone in the direction of Peeping Tom.

Believable, underrated, and hoot-worthy, Colossus: The Forbin Project is ripped from today’s TV hits. In the meantime, the supporting cast features many familiar faces from 1970s television series.

 

Tom Brady Returns from the Dead

DATELINE: HUMOR

 Brady ResumeGronky

Jake Peavy bought a duck boat in Boston, but Tom Brady has outdone him. Tom has apparently purchased a Hot Tub Time Machine.

Yes, Tom Brady has climbed out of his Dr. Strangelove wheelchair and saluted the past. Against the Chicago Cubbies, he managed to turn back time and tide. Tom suddenly looked like the teenage phenom of ten years ago.

Brady has not been leaping over tall buildings in a single bound in recent years, and perhaps today’s passes faster than a speeding bullet are merely a last hurrah.

How does this happen? Was there some special fluids in Tom’s Fountain of Youth this week? Even Rob Gronkowski who has looked old took a swig of Tom’s secret elixir. He was shaking off tackles like a dog coming out of a cold lake.

Tom threw five touchdowns on his 100th victory at Gillette Stadium. He only failed to connect five times with his receivers.

So much for Tom needing an arsenal of quality players around him. He did not throw to Wes Welker, Deion Branch, or Brandon Lloyd. He barely threw to Julian Edelman. He seemed to find a new batch of receivers. Can we extrapolate that it is Tom, not his receivers who is the big talent here?

Many so-called media experts and insiders in Boston had Tom ready for the glue factory and ready to have knackers hacked.

Apparently the old workhorse still has a few runs around the mountain left in him.

Rumors of Tom Brady’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

Tip-Toppie Topper

 DATELINE: MOVIE MASHUP

Topper

We jumped into our Hot Tub Time Machine and transported ourselves back to 1937 to put on a mindset to watch the classic ghost movie, Topper.

Thorne Smith’s novel has actually been compared to The Great Gatsby because the 1920s glamour couple (Cary Grant, Constance Bennett) seems to have stepped out of a Long Island party as the notorious George and Marian Kerby. They also seem ill-fated drivers. The original plan was to have W.C. Fields and Jean Harlow play the fun-loving Kerbys. What a movie that would have been!!!

Alas, the young couple is overplayed as self-indulgent, willful and spoiled rich folk by Grant and Bennett. They are neither witty, nor particularly likeable. If you expected this to be a set-up to how they act after they are turned into car crash dead people, you will not see Dead People.

Actor Roland Young is a surprisingly nimble and youthful old banker, adept at physical comedy, playing benighted Cosmo Topper. The Kerbys have their money at his bank and seem to bedevil him in life and want to be guardian angels in death.

Their amazing white Buick roadster (we presume it is white in a black and white world) actually crashes three times into the same spot during the movie, qualifying as a death car. Were the ghosts trying to transport old Toppie to the next plane?

Compared to the fancy special effects you’d encounter today in a residual haunt, the Kerbys are saving “ectoplasm,” as Marian reveals. However, they appear alive and kicking in many scenes.

Billie Burke is perfect as Topper’s wife with her confidante butler, Alan Mowbry.

The movie spawned a sequel, but neither Constance Bennett, nor Cary Grant, were around for that one. They said their goodbyes and went on to better scripts.

This film too often feels like dead weight to be a light-hearted comedy. Yet, by today’s standards, it is worth 90 minutes of your time.

 

 

New Book Features Titanic, Haunted House, Murder Tale: All True!

kindlecoverHAUNTING-1

If you like haunted houses, ghost stories, 19th century poetry, Americana, mineral springs, and have an obsession with RMS Titanic, then Ossurworld recommends a new book for you.

HAUNTING NEAR VIRTUOUS SPRING is a true story about one street in New England that managed to have some of the most fascinating people and moments in American history.

Starting with a mysterious poem about a murdered peddler whose ghost haunts an old house back in 1861, the tale unfolds with more amazing facts and situations. It all culminates with some paranormal investigating.

Now available in paperback from Amazon.com and as an e-book, you won’t soon forget the amazing tale of American success and tragedy in Winchendon Springs, Massachusetts.

Godzilla: Still Big, Only the Pictures Got Small

DATELINE: MOVIE MASHUP

Godzilla Mr. Fatstuff

With his comeback movie, Godzilla may actually have performed his swan song for this generation. He reminds us of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, coming out of retirement isn’t part of the best-laid plans.

After 64 years and a history of playing more villains than Sydney Greenstreet, the big lizard seems to have missed most of his personal training sessions. He’s out of shape and just going through the motions. He’s been hitting the pastry tray more than eating healthy seaweed and sushi.

Bloated and over-important, he doesn’t appear for quite a while in this two-hour movie (talk about supersize). The plot has more chaos in it than the string theory that seems to explain why Godzilla has returned from the dead more times than Dracula.

This time there are dozens of Raymond Burr wannabes populating the cast. And, this time the government is covering up a big scandal, the 21st century conceit to explain everything from supermarket shelving to nuclear iguanas.

If you were expecting the ‘Thrilla from Godzilla,’ you will be sorely disappointed. Giving his usual one-note performance, the dragon lookalike should be basking on one of the Gallapagos Islands at this point in his life, not stomping off and on cities in a huff. Alas, Godzilla seems to have gone the way of the Beat Generation. He’s on the road show again.

Godzilla isn’t the only familiar face in this movie. Bryan Cranston, Juliette Binoche, and David Straithairn, lend their talents to the film, but we really thought Godzilla should have peppered the cast with cameos from stars, like a Muppet movie—or at least like Sharknado II.

We can only remark that Godzilla makes Mike Tyson look like Larry Olivier.

Mike Napoli Oversleeps During 2014

DATELINE: HUMOR NAPS

Jack & the Sleep Apnea Knife

With the miserable Red Sox season over, the other Sox shoe drops daily. Now we know why Mike Napoli looked like a somnambulist during the past season. He needs more beauty sleep. To be successful at beauty, he needs about the same amount as you can fit into a century.

We decided to pick up one of the Sox slippers of the team’s evening men’s wear and learned it was the wrong size. To our surprise, the other shoe-sock belongs to Mike Napoli.

We have discovered why he was unable to lead the Sox to a repeat of the World Series this 2014 season. He has just had surgery to try to rectify his nightmarish problem.

Yes, Mike Napoli needs more naps. Naps for Napoli will be our clarion call for Mike next year.

It appears that our stalwart first-baseman has problems with Mr. Sandman. No, not some pitcher for the KC Royals, but Napoli suffers from sleep apnea, which is nothing to sneeze at, nor snore at either.

We aren’t sure what surgery corrects sleep apnea. It probably has something to do with a deviated septum. Being cowardly as a nature, we would opt for one of those mouthpieces that fit snugly over the teeth to depress the lower jaw.

Perhaps all those nose hairs are clogging up his air passages. Aren’t those strips you place over the nose cartilage enough to open the snort hole and allow sufficient oxygen into the lungs?

Surgery seems so drastic, but if it means fewer naps and more REM moments in the sack for the first sacker, we support undergoing the knife.

As we recall, Jack Nicholson had a nose condition in Chinatown and underwent the knife. We wish Mike Napoli well and hope he dreams a little dream of comeback.

Scrooge Belichick Meets Ghost of Future Super Bowls

DATELINE: ZOMBIELAND

 Belichick

Something is rotten in the state of Foxboro.

We haven’t quite seen Hamlet’s Ghost, but it is starting to look like the Ghost of Past, Present, and Future Super Bowls may be making a call and throwing a yellow flag.

Patriots experts said there would be a massacre against Rex Ryan’s deplorable Jets on a Thursday night, but the truth was stranger. The Jets almost pulled a victory out of the humble pie like it was a plum.

The Walking Dead aren’t just a cable TV show. They are the army of former Patriots and injured Patriots that have been sent to Zombieland by Bill Belichick.

The latest hobbling zombies are Stevan Ridley and Jerod Mayo. It’s a dill pickle indeed. Throw in Logan Mankins and Wes Welker and you have the cold slawing of the Patriots.

We hasten to point out that the next few weeks will mean a curtain call for the season. The strongest opponents outside of playoff time will be knock-knock-knocking on heaven’s door and Belichick’s defense.

The Patriots have played well against the worst, and they may lose every game against the best.

With the Celtics, Red Sox, and Bruins, now flirting with closing the lid on the toilet, the Patriots seemed to be the only ones on automatic flush. Now we suspect they may not make it to the potty in a knick of time.

After several seasons of gloating about good times, the floodgates of losing are wide open. And, our little Boston boat is about to be swamped. Somewhere Aaron Hernandez is laughing.

 

 

What’s the Source for Source Code?

DATELINE: MOVIE MASHUP

source code

Director Duncan Jones makes familiar movies. His intriguing Moon a few years ago was a rip-off of style and substance from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Now he has re-done Groundhog Day without the laughs.

Source Code is a fascinating little movie from 2011. It once again proves that Jake Gyllenhaal is more than a pretty face.

The premise is not a day, but eight minutes repeated ad nauseam. Of course, the culprit now is a secret government program, misusing soldiers and sending them into a mind control experimentation. There is even a Dr. Strangelove type behind the diabolic plan (Jeffrey Wright).

Science has learned that real death of the brain does not occur for eight minutes—and now they can manipulate and place a mind in another body destined to die in eight minutes.

Enter Afghan war hero Jake Gyllenhaal who seems to have discovered the posthumous honor of re-living life he did not choose, nor has any control over. When did Jake become such an interesting actor?

Repeating the same moments and altering them slightly may not change the eventual outcome, but Gyllenhaal’s character finally becomes fed up with being a government-issue automaton.

There are some effective moments of suspense, and a delightful cast dragged along the same scene until the soldier gets it right. You may also begin to wonder how the mad bomber put his cumbersome and heavy bomb in a certain place without being noticed. However, as Hitchcock always laughed, while the film is on, such matters are overshadowed by the tension of the plot.

We always recommend movies that use the style and philosophy of the old masters with such aplomb.

Identify Thief and Muppets Go Into Our Ash Film Canister

DATELINE: MOVIE MASHUP

Miss PiggyMelissa McCarthy

We tried. Forgive us, but we tried. Our general rule of thumb in doing movie reviews is that we avoid taking an axe to a bad movie. If a film causes us to crave a banana daiquiri after 15 minutes, we shut off the television and chose not to do a review.

Our initial sense of what will give us the heebie jeebies is well honed after many years. We knew there was trouble lurking in movies like Identity Thief and Muppets Most Wanted. We never made it to the end.

Light-hearted frivolity is something we enjoy, but the wit of Noel Coward and Blithe Spirit is not much found nowadays at the cinema. It’s better to go to the archives and call up on demand some chestnut made when granny’s granny was a girl. These were pleasant films on some level, we suppose. Our crotchety demeanor stopped us dead in our video tracking.

Identity Thief stars a charming actress, but her Rubenesque figure has forced her into doing movies that require mugging and slapstick. Melissa McCarthy still manages to be likeable even when playing amoral slugs like the woman who steals Jason Bateman’s unisexual name (“Sandy”) and parades around as Miss Sandy.

This turns Bateman into a stalker, even more unattractive than the thief. One supposes in a politically correct era, we should applaud a movie wherein male and female clobber each other with lack of restraint. No one called this movie sexist, glorifying physical abuse. We just felt we wanted better.

And, as for our beloved Muppets, with their satiric take on movies, we may have exceeded the expiration date. Have we grown too old to appreciate their semi-self-deprecating humor? There were just too many uninspiring songs, though the lyrics were cute. Muppets Most Wanted will be left on our neighbor’s doorstep. We didn’t want them.

So, we don’t have a movie worth reviewing this week. We promise to do better next time—but only if the producers give us something to appreciate.

Monsieur Nappy

DATELINE: MOVIE MASHUP

M. Nappy

Here’s another gem that slipped through the cracks about ten years ago. Monsieur N is the story of Napoleon’s final incarceration at St. Helena and his mysterious death.

This film gives itself a disadvantage by actually having Napoleon speaking in French—and his British guards speaking in English. So, there are lots of subtitles for the disadvantage of people who hate to read.

Richard E. Grant is marvelous as the new governor of the island who is furious about having a living legend as his prisoner—a man who thinks about escaping and turning the world on its ear. It’s like Wile E. Coyote dealing with that pesky Road Runner.

Jay Rodan is cute as a button, even when he pastes on a mustache and tries to pass as Basil Heathcote, young officer assigned to Napoleon, as a man 20 years older in flash forward scenes.

The film belongs darkly to French actor Phillippe Torreton who plays the emperor turned general prisoner into some kind of a scheming evil genius. His Napoleon belongs up there simply because playing Monsieur N. is joy for any actor.

Condescending, venal, temperamental, Napoleon Buonaparte is delicious movie script catnip. How can you go wrong with a murder mystery wrapped in an enigma?

It all may be true, which is even juicier. It’s Nappy time, but you won’t take a nap while the movie is playing on your screen. The issue of who poisoned Napoleon requires Hercule Poirot to join the screenplay. Instead we have lame Jay Rodan, but he is easy on the eyes as the callow officer on the governor’s tricky staff.

The film is now on DVD, and you have no excuse to avoid a history lesson with panache.

Step by Step, Inch by Inch, Tom Brady Slowly Turns an Ankle

DATELINE: HUMOR

Belichick

Tom Brady has been on injury report. Again.

Like he has for every game of his career under Bill Belichick, he was “seriously” on the list, turning up like a proverbial bad penny. He has been questionable for playing  weakly weekly. Last year every week he was listed as having a shoulder problem. The year before he was listed as having a thumb problem.

Unlike Dustin Pedroia whose injuries are generally real, Tom Brady’s injuries belong in the realm of Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass. The White Rabbit of Injury Reports has initials that read BB.

BradyPullsRabbit

Tom rolled his ankle this week, and you will see him hobbling once per week and on the list this season.

His injury caused him to throw four touchdowns on Sunday. A lesser man might have thrown five.

So, when Tom is not on injury report, we worry. During the reported skein with the way the team is coached, Brady looked more injured than ever. He had hurt feelings, caused by a loss of friends cut by Belichick.

Brady still may be looking for the only cure for such an injury: a trade. And, experts from out of town have ridden in on their old gray mares to say Tom is going round the bend.

Yes, we can understand a player demanding to be traded for being put on the injury report. Just ask Brandon Spikes. He was injured so badly that he had to shuffle off to Buffalo. It didn’t help. He still looked like one of the walking wounded. Alas, like most of the Belichick injuries, it’s 5% mental and 95% temper.

If the Patriots are beginning to look like a classic episode of the Three Stooges, they slowly turned at Niagara Falls into their usual juggernaut.

New England Patriots Not Falling like Ancient Rome

DATELINE: HUMOR


BradyPullsRabbit

 

Tom Brady Thanks the Easter Bunny

After being crucified on pregame shows, Tom Brady resurrected.

The rabble had come to bury the Patriots and the evil left undone by Bill Belichick. To the utter dismay of undefeated Bengals everywhere, the worm turned.

Yes, the deader than a doornail Patriots stood up in the coffin and demanded blood from their shocked fans.

With predictions to be cremated by the Boston sports media and radio blabmasters, the Patriots made the media look like a 1929 Stock Market Crash dummy. Tonight the Pats resembled Bigfoot with his tootsie on the accelerator pedal.

Instead of calling Ghost Hunters to Foxboro to find the lost Patriot spirit, Tom’s team might be the team to play in Tombstone—the Town too Tough to Die, but they did not need a tombstone or epitaph on this night.

Fans had been looking for their best black duds and a map to the funeral pyre. After all, Tom Brady wanted to take is act elsewhere, hating to play for the dreaded emasculator, Bill Belichick.

Yes, you guessed it. The Patriots uncovered the spread and then some. Prognosticators put their Tarot cards up for sale on eBay.

It was like Mr. Peabody brought the Wayback Machine to Foxboro and out stepped the youthful Tom Brady.

The road to the Super Bowl looked like a shortcut through Foxboro—at least on this night.

You can shut out the New York Jets this week, but you can no longer think the Patriots are their twin. Rex Ryan will not have a QB with more panache than Brady this year.

The Jimmy Replacement Fan Club skulked back to the place known as oblivion. There’s be no quarterback controversy this season.

Once again Bill Belichick looked like Stephen Hawking, and the Big Bang Theory meant fans jumped back on the bandwagon faster than you can say ‘Last Hurrah’.