Tag Archives: Argo

A sea otter is a slam-dunking king. The incredible surfing dog. And the greatest cheerleader shot you’ll ever see


A short blog today, filled with fun and bizarre stuff to take you into the weekend capped by the Oscars Sunday night. For the record, my quickie Oscar picks (this is who I think will win, not who I want to win:)
Best Picture: “Lincoln” (in a nail-biter over “Argo”)
— Best Actor: Daniel-Day Lewis (no relation to me, if you were wondering). But Joaquin Phoenix was amazing in “The Master.”
— Best Actress: Jessica Chastain (I’m calling the upset here over Jennifer Lawrence)
— Best Supporting Actor: Toughest category to call, but I’m going with Tommy Lee Jones for “Lincoln”
— Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Miz. She was awesome, if only in the movie for 30 minutes)
— Best Director: Mr. Spielberg.

We start today’s trio of amazing videos with something you may have seen this week; it’s a sea otter named Eddie who lives at the Oregon Zoo. And he’s like the LeBron James of otters, apparently; check out how good he is at dunking.

Of course, no one’s playing defense on Eddie; let’s see him do that shit when a dolphin is playing him man-to-man.

**Next up, we have Surfing Bulldog Tillman and his amazing talent. I think that’s all I need to say about this video, except look how good Tillman is in the snow, too! All-weather surfer.

**And finally, this happened Thursday night: A female cheerleader at William Carey College made this ridiculous shot at halftime. From halfcourt on the flip like that? Impossibly awesome.

Good News Friday: Oscar nominations come out, whoo-hoo! The L.A. Kings give $1 million to the community. A dance compilation to make you smile.


Always love the day when the Oscar nominations come out, as myself and millions of other movie fans get ready to debate the merits of movies we haven’t seen, movies we’ve seen that got robbed in the nomination fight, and trying to figure out who will win in some of the most competitive categories.

I love all the debate and the silliness, and can’t wait for Oscar night on Feb. 24.

Some quickie thoughts on the nominations:
— I’ve seen three of the nine Best Picture nominees, and hope to see “Django Unchained” pretty soon. If I had to guess right now, I’d say “Lincoln” is the favorite, “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Argo” have an outside chance, and “Life of Pi” and “Silver Linings Playbook” have almost no shot.

— I don’t know why the Academy hates Ben Affleck, but while “Argo” got a Best Picture nod, he didn’t get tabbed for Best Director. Just wrong.

— This may be the most loaded Best Supporting Actor field ever. I mean, how do you choose among Robert De Niro, Alan Arkin, Philip Seymour Hoffman (who was really a co-lead in “The Master”, but the equally-awesome Joaquin Phoenix was up in the Best Actor category), Tommy Lee Jones, and former winner Christoph Waltz? Absolute Murderer’s Row. No idea who’ll win that.
— Love that we have a 9-year-old nominee (Quvenzhané Wallis, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”) and an 85-year-old nominee (Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour”) going against each other.

**And now, five minutes of a pretty awesome dance compilation mash-up, with every style you can think of. But instead of that famous video where that comedian does “The History of Dance,” this is the real performers. Pretty sweet stuff…

**Finally, a lot of us hockey fans, as we anxiously await the season to finally start (next Saturday, yay!), are wondering what NHL teams are going to do to make it up to us, after blowing four months of a season in a silly lockout.

Well, the L.A. Kings, the current Stanley Cup champs, are off to a good start. They’ve teamed up with McDonald’s to donate $1 million to four local charities, as a thank you to fans for the support.

The money will go to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Ronald McDonald House, the Boys and Girls Club of America, and City Year Los Angeles.

Very nice job, Kings. Very classy.

“Argo” as good as the hype says it is. Halloween lights, Gangnam style. And ESPN’s “Benji” a doc worth your time.

It’s pretty rare that a movie puts you literally on the edge of your seat in the final 15 minutes, and you really don’t know how it’s going to end.
Even more rare when it’s based on a true story.
But I saw “Argo” over the weekend, and it was pretty freaking fabulous. There are so many movies you see after hearing good reviews, and they’re just OK.

But “Argo” lives up to they hype it’s gotten. The script is terrific, the acting and cast are splendid (Ben Affleck’s the star, but John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston and a sadly-underused Kyle Chandler are all first-rate), and the plot is too incredible to make up: During the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, a CIA team concocts a story to rescue six U.S. citizens who had escaped on the first day of the crisis and have been hiding in the Canadian embassy.

Their plan? Pretend to be a film crew scouting locations in Iran.
The movie (and the reality) sets this up brilliantly, creating a fake studio, fake script, and fake business cards for the hostages.

Ben Affleck, who’s turning out to be a hell of a director, is the CIA agent who’s the mastermind behind the plan. He does a great job as a director here letting the plot unspool slowly, and giving each of the six hostages a distinct identity.

The final 20 minutes, as the plan unfurls and the hostages go to the airport, is just a terrific piece of filmmaking. I highly, highly recommend you go see this movie.

All three of the flicks Affleck has directed have been stellar. Who knew Banky’s roommate from “Chasing Amy” was this good?

**I have tried as hard as I could to avoid the Gangnam-style craze, because I frankly don’t get why people think it’s so funny and cool. But a few things have slipped through my radar, and this seemed pretty darn cool.

Psy’s famous song set to Halloween light decorations. Kind of mesmerizing if you watch it closely…

**Finally, ESPN’s “30 for 30” documentary series, which I wrote about extensively last year, is once again proving to be must-see TV. The first few episodes this year, especially the Ben Johnson 1988 Olympics one (*9.79, it’s called) have been terrific.

But Tuesday night’s was just beautiful and heartbreaking. It’s called “Benji,” and it’s about a former high school basketball star named Ben Wilson, who in 1984 was the No. 1 player in the nation. Out of Chicago’s famous Simeon High program, Wilson was a 6-foot-8 kid who could shoot, pass, and defend as well as anybody. (“He was Magic Johnson with a jump shot,” someone said in the film.)

He had survived and avoided the gangs and street life of Chicago until one day in November of 1984, when on the eve of his senior season, he was killed in a mugging attempt by two teenage hoodlums.

The movie takes you back to that time in Chicago, and shows you Wilson’s impact still today (NBA star Derrick Rose wore his uniform No. in high school, and Fab Five member Juwan Howard chose No. 25 when he got to college).

It’s a really well-researched and well-done movie, with the benefit of one of the convicted killers telling his side of the story as well.

It’s on again tonight at 9 p.m. on ESPN. Skip the World Series for 90 minutes; this is definitely worth it.