Saturday, June 23, 2007

Dear Tim Duncan

Dear Tim Duncan,

Hey man it's me Chris. We have never met, and probably never will. Just wanted to say I am sorry. Sorry for being a part of the group of people who have consistently under appreciated your talents.

Well I am here to say you have convinced me that you are indeed one of the greatest power forwards to ever play the game. Heck, when you probably hang up your shoes you will be the greatest.

Not sure why you had to win 4 championships before I gave you your credit. Most likely it's your quiet demeanor you operate with, or that goofy look you get on your face during a game.

As a basketball fan who loves to study the game, I have come to realize just how exceptional of a player you truly are. Your passing is that of a guard, and that textbook bank shot is a thing of beauty. Through all the criticism, you have kept your head up and continued working hard.

Nothing seems to rattle you, or for that matter make you the least bit upset. At 31 years old most NBA players may be on the down slope of your career. Well believe me, I am convinced you are still very capable of winning a couple more championships.

In fact, I guarantee when you retire you will have at least 6 NBA Championships.

One of the most incredible aspects of your game is not your fluid, grace-like post moves, but rather your instinctive ability to consistently play better come playoff time.

In 10 NBA seasons, you have averaged 21.8 points and 11.9 rebounds per game. Pretty good, yet come the postseason, Mr. Big Fundamental, you are putting up 23.8 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. An astounding increase that leads directly to all the hardware you at your home in San Antonio.

Well I think I have said everything that needed to be said. Bottom line, you are the most underrated player in the NBA today. If not in history. Honestly, has anyone in history ever been under appreciated as much as you have? Really can not think of anyone along those lines who is also a 4 time world champion.

You are the perfect ball player as you do not care about individual awards or stats, you simply care about doing what is absolutely the best thing for the team.

Come to think of it, last guy to do that did not turn out all bad. Ain't that so Bill Russell?


Your Servant

Friday, June 22, 2007

Upcoming Summer 2007 and Beyond Movies

Watching movies is a pastime of mine I deeply enjoy. Only problem is I rarely can make the time to actually go to the theater. Last movie I saw was Spiderman 3, and much like what everyone else thinks; it stunk.

But anyway it is summertime and that means big blockbusters will be released every 30 seconds. Here are some of the biggest blockbusters on their way...

(In no particular order)

1. Live Free or Die Hard Release: June 22nd

Thoughts: I like all kinds of movies, and as you may guessed I do like the occasional action packed film. With that said, the first Die Hard movie was an enjoyable film to watch. At the time it was a new, raw type of plot, along with some good fight scenes. I was not much of a fan for Die Hard 2 or 3. I mean they were okay, but I would never rent it again to watch with my friends. (Probably because the movies are on FX every other day.) Anyway, Live Free or Die Hard is the story about John McClain (Bruce Willis) saving America after a computer hacker shuts down half the US. Die Hard 4 looks good, but there seem to be too many scenes flat out silly.

Example 1: In the commercial preview a helicopter is shooting at Bruce Willis's car. He decides to drive his car at a fast speed into a ramp. At this time Willis rolls out of the car, and in the same instant the car hits the ramp and crashes into the helicopter causing an explosion the size of 5 nukes.

My problem with a scene like that is it loses the audience. I understand there are things in every movie that are "impossible," but they do not look ridiculous. In the end, a scene like that makes the main character look like a superhero. That is not wanted.

Analysis: Live or Die Hard will be an exciting, thrilling movie, but nothing more. Just another typical Hollywood action-packed movie.

2. Transformers Release: July 3rd

Thoughts: I have been eagerly waiting for this film for almost a year. Before you criticize the silliness in having a real life movie about transformers, realize who is at work here: Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay. Spielberg is famous for Jurassic Park as well as every other great movie. Bay was the producer for the recent Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie, and well as a few others. The movie will be an incredible showing of special effects. More importantly, is the detail the robots are being done with. For instance when these robots transform there arms are filled with grease and marks of discoloration and scratches. Bottom line: realistic.

Why is that important? The more Bay and Spielberg can guide the Transformers movie away from the cartoon image of these perfect looking robots, the more likely the audience will really began to believe the story, thus in the end like the movie.

Analysis: Transformers will be a very fun movie to watch. Better than Live Free or Die Hard because it's a new type of action movie. For crying out loud, the main characters are transforming machines. Financially it will be successful and overall I think it will be a hit in that it entertains, while giving the audience a deep, understandable plot. I think many will be surprised on how good Transformers will end up being.

3. Rush Hour 3 Release: August 10th

Thoughts: Rush Hour and Rush Hour 2 were two hilarious movies. Along with the comedy, the movies combined realistic plots that consisted of excellent karate scenes. Though, Mr. Chris Tucker being so good at karate did seem like a stretch. Another good aspect of the movie is how the two main characters are two different races. Why may this be a plus? It allows for the color of some one's skin to be irrelevant (in this case an Asian and an African-American), while poking fun at various racial issues that plague our news stations.

Example: "You ain't never touch a black man's radio!" Chris Tucker said in Rush Hour 1.

This movie has been due for a number of years. Chris Tucker is a great actor for this movie because he is so blunt with what he says. No BS. As for Jackie Chan, his karate always makes a movie worthwhile.

Analysis: The third movie is not always the greatest of a series. (Spiderman 3, Jurassic Park 3, Die Hard 3, and Pirates of Caribbean 3) Even so, I see Rush Hour 3 being a hit again. Like the previous two Academy Awards were not won, but the film was an overall success. Tucker and Chan's movies typically attract a very wide range of audience members. (Teenagers, Asians, Adults, and African-Americans.)

4. The Simpsons Movie Release: July 27th

Thoughts: The Simpsons remains the longest running television show in history (17 years), and for many of those years fans have been awaiting the day a Simpsons movie would be released. As much success as the franchise has had, problems still remain present. For one, recent episodes have been criticized as not being as humorous. Maybe the company is running out of ideas, but regardless this needs to be fixed. The second problem is the franchise's biggest: Family Guy. Fans are turning from The Simpsons to FOX's other show Family Guy.

!NOTE! I would like to make a special note regarding Family Guy and the Simpsons. I enjoy both shows, yet for me personally Family Guy seems to go over the top too much. Now for the most part the program is fine with me, but certain scenes cross the line. Also, The Simpsons seems to, believe it or not, emphasize family values more than Family Guy. (That is more important than you may think. People want to relate to television characters who are overall good people.) Okay, I understand that sounds "mom-ish" to say, but let me explain.

Example: In a Family Guy episode Peter Griffin tries to remember a certain character he runs into. The next scene shows a flashback. Peter is in high school laughing at this certain character who is crying at his mom's grave. How's that funny? To me that plain wrong.

Analysis: Making this movie is a huge risk. The Simpsons ratings are already on a down slope, and a poor movie showing could dent it even more. I think the movie will be comical, yet nothing really special. Just another typical Simpons episode. Also, it will run into the same problem of Family Guy's Stewie Griffin movie. The Simpsons is a half hour show that will running at least three times longer in theaters. You can only have so much material for a show for so long. Look at the Family Guy movie, by the end you could tell the jokes had run out.

5. 1408 Release: July 22nd

Thoughts: This is a movie starring Samuel L. Jackson and John Cusack about a mysterious hotel room that is haunted. Cusack's character wants to pursue the mystery behind this room and decides to stay in it for a certain amount of time.


How many times has there been a scary movie about a haunted room? Pathetic. This is so unoriginal I can not imagine how anyone would have an interest to go see it. There many be some thrilling scenes, but overall very bleak and uncreative.

Analysis: Movie of the moment is what 1408 will be. Teenagers will want to see something scary one Saturday night and 1408 will be their choice. It will be a scary film to watch, but afterward the film will be nothing special. Just a spur of the moment kind of deal. (Cough. Panic Room, House of Wax, etc.)

6. The Bourne Ultimatum Release: August 3rd

Thoughts: This will be the third installment of the Bourne series. Matt Damon is back and many fans will be hoping he again creates a suspenseful thriller. Damon's character, Jason Bourne, was a highly-trained killer working for the US government. After a freak accident Bourne wakes up one day to find out he has no idea who he is. Through the first two films Bourne slowly begins to piece together the life he had as an assassin.

In the third book of the "Bourne story," the character Jason Bourne ages and refrains from his encounters with the government officials. What's that mean? This upcoming movie is not based off the book, but rather the director. Keep that in mind.

Analysis: The first two films got better each time. As for this third one, I do not see that happening. In fact I seeing the Bourne Ultimatum being a big disappoint financially and visually. Main reason for this assessment of mine is no hype has been present for this film. That is very odd considering the success of the first two.

Upcoming Movies Not this Summer

American Gangster Release: November 2nd

-Denzel Washington is the taxi driver for a notorious crime boss. When the boss is murdered Washington seizes power and begins his "American Dream."
(It will be good. Denzel Washingon is an incredible actor who is always in quality films.)

Alien vs. Predator 2 Release: December 25th

-Much like the original, this film will be very entertaining and consist of many good fight sequences between the Alien and Predator.
(It will be entertaining, and nothing more. Expect another silly ending like AVP.)

Dark Knight Release: July 18th 2008

-The second of Christian Bale's Batman series. This will pick up immediately after Batman Begins with Batman pursuing the mysterious character known as The Joker. Expect to see action from Two Face.
(Batman Begins was so well done. Why? It was believable. I look for the same greatness it yet another film directed by Christoper Nolan.)

Bond 22 Release: November 7th 2008

-Similar to Christian Bale, Daniel Craig was stellar in his first performance in the series of James Bond. Casino Royale brought the Bond franchise off of life support. Please do not worry, Bond 22 is only the temporary name of the movie.
(This movie should be just as suspenseful and rewarding as Casino Royale. Daniel Craig is a great 007. Only possible roadblock is a new director is in charge this time around. Do not fail Marc Foster.)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Be Careful What You Wish For...

Since 2002, Kobe Bryant's reputation has taken a 180 turn. Back then the Lakers and him just finished sweeping the New Jersey Nets in the Finals for the Lakers' third consecutive title. Shaq and him formed some of the most incredible teams in NBA history during that era.

Now look at him...

He's dealt with rape allegations. Sure the case was dropped but the damage was done.
And then there was the Shaq feud that ended with the big man leaving for the Miami Heat.
And now the possibly of Mr. Bryant wanting to be traded from the very team he wanted for himself.

Kobe, if you have any sense about your reputation you will stay put in LA. Without a doubt, when Bryant is on no one can touch him in the NBA. As much as I dislike the Lakers I have to hand it to Kobe and Co. for all the years they took down tough teams like Portland, San Antonio, and Sacramento. And heck, did I mention Kobe is surely one of the 50 greatest NBA players ever?

But that all goes out the window if the Lower Merion H.S. grad darts LA.

Every person with any remote knowledge about the sport of basketball realizes Shaq's departure was Kobe's doing because he wanted the team to himself.

Now Kobe wants to leave the mess he created? Say he does get traded to some other team and wins another championship or two. When his career is over, and people look back at his statistically, amazing career they will not help but say, "Yeah he was a great player, but..."

Just look at Wilt Chamberlin. A mythological creature who forever changed the way basketball was played. He is always talked about but people continue to mention how he was a poor teammate and how he did have various off court problems.

In the long run leaving LA would be an unwise decision. Bryant is a Laker. He's been one since he was traded from Charlotte to LA during the 1996 NBA Draft. Again, if he is traded his reputation will be similar to the Big Dipper's.

"Yeah he was great player, but..."

Just be careful what you wish for Kobe.