Saturday, August 19, 2006


It's been a while since I've written about the movies…mostly because I haven't been seeing too many recently. Every week day evening I'm either rowing or passing out exhausted (or going on a date). For several weekends, I've either been out of town (beach, Montreal) or rowing (regatta, followed by party). This weekend is no exception, but last night, Friday night, I had an unprogrammed window and I decided to go to the movies.

I had my usual dilemma—vaguely artsy independent film or dumb, funny mainstream film? There are plenty of both to choose from these days, but it wasn't that hard to decide. I wanted to do as little thinking, and traveling, as possible, so I picked a mainstream film at Union Station, Accepted. It was silly, fun and surprisingly old-fashioned. There was no nudity, mild slap-stick violence and a moving speech at the end. A sweet, good natured film. I was one of five people in the audience. You could happily take your small children to see this film. It had none of the cynicism or depth of a Varsity Blues or Crazy/Beautiful, but I enjoyed it and even laughed a few times.

What also surprised me was how ridiculously choked up I got at the preview for Invincible (it is thoroughly panned on the IMDB page). I love this kind of underdog sports movie. I actually like most any sports movie about baseball, even the really goofy ones (my one exception is Angles in the Outfield; I have no patience for that malarkey).

For example, The Rookie was an excellent example of this genre. (Not to be confused with sweet and entertaining Rookie of the Year.) Oh, and if you're in the mood for a fantastic baseball movie, don't miss Pastime (titled "One Cup of Coffee" when I first saw it, but, presumably the reference was too obscure). It's not a comedy, like the effervescent Bull Durham, but it might just be the best baseball movie ever made.

There are some pretty good football movies out there too. Is it just me, or are they generally more cynical than baseball movies? From North Dallas Forty to Friday Night Lights, there's a touch of brutality in all the football movies I've ever seen. Doesn't make them bad, just different. Maybe it's just the nature of the sport.

So, when I last saw David, he said he would call me on Friday. I wasn't sure whether to believe him or not. Friday was a slow, sleepy day and I was very modestly productive. While I was on the bus on the way to the movies, the phone rang—and it was David. He said, "Hey, J, how you doing?"
"Good, thanks." I laughed.
"So, I had a good time last night."
"Me too." I laughed. Again.
"Ok, I gotta go."
"What? That's it?"
"Yeah, I have to get ready for something."
"I know. Good Shabbos."
"Yeah. Shabbat Shalom."

He hung up. Total length of conversation: 39 seconds. I laughed, again. Dude called when he said he would, I have to give him credit for that. Clearly, he's not much of a phone person. And, oddly, even when he does annoying stuff, he cracks me up. I have to admit that I am dying to call him tonight to see if he wants to hang out with me and my friends, but, so far, I have resisted. I wonder will what happen when I get a beer or two in me?

Grateful for: sports flicks.

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