Avatar = Pocahontas

3 02 2010

As I mourn for the Vikings’ horrific overtime loss in the NFC Championship (just how many times can zillion-dollar-paycheck, award-winning running backs fumble away the football?), I have been watching movies. “Troy” is fantastic (see the extended Director’s Cut), “Taken” is a great little cathartic action flick with a wonderful turn by Liam Neeson, “Forbidden Kingdom” is a lush fantasy with two of my favorite action stars, Jackie Chan and Jet Li, “Valkyrie” is a beautifully made homage to a small group of German soldiers and politicians who tried to assassinate Hitler during WWII, and “Sherlock Holmes” is an absolute delight, with Robert Downey Jr. just marvelous in the title role. Last night was “Vantage Point,” a tense and intricate story about a terrorist attack, viewed through the perspectives of many different players.

I haven’t gone out of my way to see “Avatar,” though it has already been recommended to me by a film-buff buddy. When I saw the initial previews, I was all, “Eh. I already saw ‘Ferngully: The Last Rainforest.’ And knowing that James Cameron wrote the thing automatically gave me pause. His better films, such as “Aliens” and “The Terminator,” were written or co-written by other people. I enjoyed “Titanic” as a meticulous gazillion-dollar documentary about the doomed ship, and didn’t pay the soap-opera storyline much mind. “Avatar”‘s $2 billion return and now #1 Moneymaker status is just making me resist all the more; I don’t want to squirm through another “I’m king of the world!” Oscar acceptance speech. And I have never forgiven Cameron for two-timing Linda Hamilton. But I digress.

Yesterday my husband showed me this: James Cameron’s Avatar = Disney’s Pocahontas. Priceless! We still aren’t rushing out to climb on the Cameron bandwagon, but I’ve already gotten my money’s worth.


Vikings vs Bears: it was the best of times, it was the worst of times

29 12 2009

Wow. This game is a tough, tough loss for Minnesota and Favre.

Despite the slow start, despite Cutler’s uncharacteristically fabulous game, despite the Vikings defense going on vacation and allowing the Bears to score and score and score again, despite several butterfingered Vikings receivers, Brett proved that he could indeed do the job in the December cold. He was classic Favre in the second half, engineering 17 unanswered points to tie the game at 23 with five minutes to go. Then, after the defense laid down and let the Bears score again, Brett pulled off another breathtaking game-saver with 22 seconds to go, on 4th and goal, with a terrific TD pass that tied the game at 30. Oh, if only Longwell’s extra point had not been blocked earlier in the game. 😦

Favre said in the post-game press conference that he figured a Vikings win was “meant to be” when they survived for OT. When the Bears won the toss and were lined up for a game-winning field goal barely three minutes into overtime — and the kick went wide right — destiny seemed squarely on the side of Minnesota. But then Peterson fumbled the ball. AGAIN. The Bears recovered, and at that point the game was lost — it was just a matter of when. Chicago only needed two plays to score again.

I’m glad the Vikings are already in the playoffs, because those last couple of minutes were awful to watch. Rooting for the Cubs awful. Brett and the Jets in December awful.

Did the Vikings peak too soon? Did they get complacent? Just a few weeks ago, they looked unstoppable, charmed, destined. Brett was playing as well as he ever had. Winfield is back, and Percy Harvin is able to contribute again…not enough, not enough. The only silver lining I can see is that, if they don’t pull off a first-round bye, they won’t get rusty like they did during their bye week earlier in the season. But…damn. Home field advantage would have been pretty cool.

Somebody had better teach Mr. Peterson a few things about holding onto the ball, ASAP.


“The Blind Side” gets a thumbs-up from me.

22 12 2009

I’m a sucker for feel-good sports dramas. I enjoyed “Miracle” and “The Rookie,” partly because they were emotionally satisfying for me, and partly because I knew the real stories behind the screen dramatizations. I’m adding “The Blind Side” to the list. I remember being very touched when I first heard about Michael Oher’s journey to success with the Baltimore Ravens, and I was looking forward to seeing how the movie version handled the story.

I was not disappointed. This story is about compassion and love, determination and persistence, and faith. It’s about the rewards that can come when you do the right thing, stand up for what you believe in, and follow your heart. Knowing that Oher is making a difference with the Ravens in his rookie season makes the story all the more heartwarming.

I’ve followed Sandra Bullock’s career for a while (Remember “The Bionic Showdown”? Anybody?), and it’s wonderful to see her in a great role. She tackled the character of Leigh Anne Tuohy with gusto, and she is a huge part of the effectiveness of this movie for me. John Lee Hancock (no surprise that he did “The Rookie”) has another winner.

I saw a TV interview with the Tuohy family over the weekend, and they were warm, funny, well-spoken and humble. I got the impression that the real-life Tuohy-Oher story went so smoothly that the filmmakers felt the need to inject some conflict into the tale (such as daughter Collins’ friends questioning the family’s motivations in taking in Michael) to give it more drama. The most touching moment of the interview for me was when Collins recounted how she unexpectedly broke down during a morning-show interview a couple of days earlier, after being asked what life would be like without Michael in the family. She said that he is so much a part of the Tuohys that imagining a Michael-less life is simply unthinkable to her.

Go see “The Blind Side,” if you haven’t already.

Favre vs. the Packers in the playoffs? “It’s just another chance for him to kill them.”

19 12 2009

Good article by Alex Marvez on Brett Favre’s improvement over the season. The quote above is from Vikings left guard Anthony Herrera, as he talked about the possibility of facing Green Bay in the playoffs in Favre Bowl III. “He’s a 40-year-old guy who plays like he’s 17,” Herrera said of Favre. “He loves to play with us because I think we bring his youth back. In turn, he takes us to where we need to be led by teaching the young guys how it has to be done.” That pretty much sums up why I enjoy watching Favre so much.

Percy Harvin is back practicing, and hopes to play Sunday against the Panthers. I sympathize with his fight against migraines (I’ve had them since I was 15). He’s consulting with specialists, trying different treatments — all the stuff I’ve gone through over the years in an effort to deal with them. I sincerely hope he finds something that works for him.

Vikings sweep Green Bay! And oh yes, Favre sets another record.

2 11 2009

Sweeeeet victory by the Vikings over the Packers this past Sunday. Same deal as when the Pack went to Minnesota last month — the Vikes kept scoring, and Aaron Rodgers kept getting sacked. And how about that Favre-Harvin synergy? Amazing to watch. All those fans who booed Favre as he took the field, who held up anti-Favre signs (“Welcome back, Brent”)… they must have been pretty quiet today. I much preferred the lone family dressed in Viking purple amid a sea of Cheesehead green, defiantly cheering Brett from their front-row seats at one end of the field.

This week’s record for Brett: now tied with Dan Marino for the most 4TD games, at 21.

This is getting pretty damn exciting.

Favre on win over Packers: “It never gets old to me, even though I do.”

7 10 2009

It was better than I could have hoped for. Vintage Favre — effortless 30+ yard passes, pump-fakes, fadeaways, endless time in the pocket (great pass protection, Vikings!) before finding his receivers. Running around the field with little-boy glee after each Minnesota score. Three touchdowns, 271 passing yards, no interceptions, no sacks. (Poor Aaron Rodgers was sacked eight times, ouch.) Not bad for a guy who turns 40 this coming Saturday.

Favre is now the only quarterback to defeat all 32 NFL teams. He was named Offensive Player of the week. And oh yeah, the GB/Min game on ESPN’s Monday Night Football was the highest-rated show in the history of cable TV.

The Vikings triumphed 30-23, and are now 4-0, and facing the hapless Rams (0-4) next week. Favre has never started at season at 5-0 — perhaps next week he’ll set another record.

Favre finally leads the NFL highlight reel

28 09 2009

Minnesota’s home opener against the 49ers. The Vikings, trailing by 4, get the ball back with a minute and a half left and no timeouts. They’re 80 long yards away from a go-ahead touchdown. Some of the spectators are already heading for the exits. It doesn’t look promising.

Who ya gonna call? John Elway, of course — the king of the 4th-quarter comeback win. But he’s retired. Fortunately, the Vikings have Brett Favre, who has 39 come-from-behind last-second wins under his belt. He passes and spikes his way downfield to the 49er 30-yard line — close enough to drill the ball, rather than throw a Hail Mary. With 12 seconds left, there’s time for one, maybe two plays. He’s flushed out of the pocket, but manages to scramble free long enough to throw a dead-on 50-yard bullet to the far edge of the end zone, just as he is knocked to the turf. He watches from the ground as Lewis makes an outstanding catch and manages to keep both feet in bounds as he goes down, clutching the ball. An interminable second or two later, the referee signals touchdown, and the crowd goes bananas. The Vikings go up 27-24 with 0:02 left in the game.

Perfect. Favre. Ending.

Everyone’s sports recaps are about Favre rather than Peterson. ‘Bout time.