Football Movie Madness #5: The Replacements

Posted in Football, Football Movie Madness, Movies with tags , , on March 3, 2010 by Janna

I figured not having very high expectations of The Replacements would prepare me for the film. But, no, it still sucked so hard I felt like I had entirely wasted half an afternoon.

I knew I had to suspend disbelief a little bit, to buy into things like that somehow the cheerleaders in the movie were on strike, too. But none of that could save me from a horrible Keanu Reeves, Jon Favreau embarrassing himself, and all the characters being much more like incredibly shallow caricatures, and not even funny ones at that. The whole movie was like that; it followed the classic underdog-sports-movie formula, but was an awful, stereotypical entry into the genre. I was mildly amused by the footballer smoking on the sidelines, but only the first time. Not the ensuing 17 times the joke was used.

Oh, and there was so much awful 90′s fashion. And music. And then IMDB tells me this thing came out in 2000?!? I don’t remember 2000 being this bad.

Space Cowgirls

Posted in Space Cowgirl with tags on February 28, 2010 by Janna

One of the illustrations by artist Philip Bond in his series of female astronaut portraits (h/t to io9).

Football Movie Madness* #4: Brian’s Song

Posted in Football, Football Movie Madness, Movies with tags , , on February 16, 2010 by Janna

So I wasn’t really fully-aware that Brian’s Song was made for TV until I looked it up on Wikipedia, but that explained the fades-to-black and pacing that felt like commercial breaks (they were!) and the low-budget feel of the flick, including the 70′s Horror Movie soundtrack. Though I commend the use of actual game footage (wide shots only, of course) throughout the film, I got a kick out of that. I’m too lazy to do the research, but I’d guess the only way they could afford to do such a thing was cause those games aired on ABC (the network that made the movie). That would sure explain why it was cheaper than just re-creating the plays.

But, really, I can see why this is supposedly the one movie guys are allowed to cry during. This film is all about the “Bromance” – it’s not the same relationship seen for decades in buddy comedies, these guys are total (interracial!) BFF’s. You can tell it’s a Bromance when if you imagine one of the dudes is actually a girl, it’d be a prototypical romantic comedy. I especially felt this early on, like in the scene where they are sprinting and Brian teases Gail, saying he was letting him get falsely confident so he could take him down. That was straight-up flirting on Brian’s part, if you ask me.

But, overall, it was a pretty good movie, though it felt awfully short – cause, you know, it was TV movie. The pacing was probably a bit off without those planned commercial breaks, too. It sped through the years really, really quickly, and an extra 15 minutes in the middle could’ve made a world of difference in detailing these two dudes’ relationship. Additionally, I was surprised that I was able to buy Billy Dee Williams as anybody besides Lando Calrissian (or some analog of Lando) – though I was laughably resistant during the opening scene, since I had done no research and didn’t even know he was in the movie, and it caught me off-guard. I’d be hard-pressed to name this one of the top-3 greatest football movies ever (at this point), however, as many have.

*At this rate, I think I’ll get through all the movie on my list for this recurring feature by, oh… 2017?

Some College Football Speculative Fiction

Posted in Football, Sports with tags , , , , on December 5, 2009 by Janna

I’ve always wanted to write some good alternate history or dystopian future fiction, but I’ve never been able to fully realize a vision, including all the little details and ramifications of a single pivotal change, around which one could build a story. Until the nightmare I just envisioned tonight.

Now, I’ve been saying all week that with a win over Pittsburgh, Cincinnati would be able to edge TCU (suffering from a bye week) for that coveted spot in the Bowl Championship Series rankings right behind Texas, waiting to overtake them and challenge Alabama for the National Title,  should the Longhorns falter. Sure, Iowa fans might cry foul for losing a potential at-large BCS Bowl bid to Texas or an ACC champion of questionable quality. Undefeated TCU supporters, whose coach is a proclaimed supporter of the BCS system, would claim superiority and conference discrimination until the end of time. But it wasn’t until the Longhorns tempted fate with a single (almost debatable) second remaining in the Big XII Championship game against Nebraska that I realized the ridiculous drama and “doomsday” scenario that very well might’ve played out had the Longhorns lost that game (they won on a field goal kicked after that one second was put back on the clock, following an official review). Continue reading

The World’s 3,744,987th Blog Post About Twitter

Posted in Internet with tags , , on November 27, 2009 by Janna

Exactly seven months ago today, I wrote a little blog post announcing to the world that I was committing  to Twitter. And commit I did. I’ve since linked it with my Facebook account, so all my Twitter posts are simultaneously fed to my much larger Facebook audience. I’ve also started using it with my dumb-phone, as text messages to Twitter are an easy way to post to Facebook when I don’t have an internet connection.

However, when I wrote that original post, I thought Twitter was “less like blogging and more like an instant messaging tool, except you’re broadcasting your messages to everyone.” I’ve since learned that I had it completely backwards.*

Except with a couple of people, I never got around to using Twitter “@” replies or Direct Messages as a viable means of communication. I have all those guys’ cell phone numbers, and they’re much more likely to keep up with their texts than the Twitter DM’s pushed to their iPhones. The vast majority of Twitter accounts of friends that I follow are also linked to their Facebook profiles, and several of my friends who often post great links post exclusively to Facebook. And most of my favorite Twitter accounts are those run by bloggers, news outlets, public figures, and organizations, not people I know personally.

So, my Twitter use ended up being about 2% direct communication with friends, and 98%… blogging. That goes for my Twitter output, as well. Most of my Tweets are designed for mass consumption, providing interesting links or photos, random facts and one-line thoughts and experiences I want to share with people. You know, just much more succinct versions of the exact kind of things one might write in, oh, say, a blog.

Somewhere around the peak of my Twitter use a couple months ago (I tend to post a lot while I travel, and I’ve done a lot of that), I fell victim to one of those horrible trends that are a sign the internet is destroying the universe, etc: I started to encapsulate all my important thoughts into 140-character tidbits. If I couldn’t trim it down enough, it wasn’t worth posting; it would be too long to read for my News Feed-skimming audience. My focus on producing comment-generating Facebook posts (via Twitter, of course) reduced the number of more expansive thoughts and opinions I wanted to write down to about nothing.

In short, Twitter killed my blog.

However, in the spirit of my totally bitchin’ Zombie Song Girl Halloween costume (now, see, wouldn’t that ridiculous process and adventure have made for a great blog post instead of a series of one-liners on Facebook?), I will attempt to make my blog rise from the dead. I will challenge myself to expound on those bite-sized flashes of insight I normally post to Twitter, and see if I can’t generate as much interest in a few paragraphs of writing as I do for 140 characters on Facebook every day. And I’m totally gonna shamelessly self-promote my blog posts over Twitter more often.

*I realized after writing this that I’ve pretty much recited this blog post as a topic of conversation at parties at least twice this year.

“Wait, What City Am I In?” – A Brief (Cell Phone) Photo Essay of Minneapolis

Posted in Backpack Hobo Adventure, Cell Phone Photography, LA Fun with tags , , , on August 27, 2009 by Janna
“Wait, What City Am I In?” – A Brief (Cell Phone) Photo Essay of Minneapolis

Not in Hollywood

Not in Hollywood

Not in Echo Park

Not in Echo Park

Not in Hollywood

Not in Hollywood

Not in Silverlake

Not in Silverlake

A Bizarre Facebook Mystery

Posted in Internet with tags , on June 22, 2009 by Janna

A while back, Facebook introduced this “Suggested Friends” feature wherein it would skim your friends list and their friends and lists of people who went to the same school as you, etc., and would post people on your homepage, encouraging you to friend them based on your common past or amount of mutual friends. I’ve actually taken up a couple of these opportunities, and recognize lots of people it suggests, though I ignore many of them (sorry, younger brother of that guy from my high school history class!), and there are always some suggested friends I have never met in my life.

Of course, Facebook gives you the option to delete people out once you’re sure you never want to be Facebook friends with them, and it won’t suggest them anymore. However, I’m pretty lazy and don’t do this very often. So I’ll get a few complete strangers who show up on my homepage on a regular basis that I continue to ignore, but have probably glanced at their names enough times that I’ve memorized them. Yesterday I saw one of those regular names, and suddenly, it seemed familiar. And not just because I had seen it suggested to me a dozen times, but it felt like I actually knew the name. Girl who went to the other high school in my home town? Friend of my mom’s? College professor from a class I slept through? No, no, no. I clicked through to see her “limited” profile so I could investigate further. All I had to go on was a first and last name and a geographic network, “Northern Arizona”. This mystery person and I share no mutual friends.

Then it hit me. I don’t even know in which tiny corner of my brain I had saved this name, but I recognized it.

I bought soccer tickets from her. Over Craigslist. Two years ago.

We shared a half-dozen e-mails through my GMail account, and nothing more. We were never communicated through Facebook, or anything else. But somehow Facebook knew. Does Facebook somehow skim my e-mails? Is this some new kind of stalker tool I was unaware of? And if so, why isn’t it better at giving me targeted ads on the side of my profile page?!?*

*Actually, that “I’m On A Boat” t-shirt advertised to me today was pretty rad…
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