An Apple A Day

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News broke early this morning that Apple CEO Steve Jobs sent a memo to his employees confirming that he’s sick. It seems like there is even more speculation now that he’s confirmed what we all already knew.

While he stated that he’d “step aside if he were no longer able to perform his duties” he has already put Apple and its share holders in a tough spot. It has been said that Jobs is the company’s biggest asset as well as its biggest risk. Like the franchise player, he can make or break the whole team.

Does he deserve privacy while he fights this mystery disease? Of course. But don’t the shareholders also deserve to be told the truth about their ‘franchise player’? If he were the Quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys every detail of his illness would be in the papers.

The whole case raises a lot more questions than it answers. Questions that deal with celebrity, publicity, and what kind of information a company is obligated to share with its stockholders.

The Ram

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Yeah, that’s right…Randy “The Ram” Robinson’s wrestling tights on display at The ArcLight Cinema in Hollywood.

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

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The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button is a good movie. Everyone should go see it. I saw it on Christmas night and the theatre was packed and there wasn’t a dry eye in the audience. That being said, there are a number of problems that I have with it. 

First of all it was way too long. Most of the time I agree with directors having ‘final cut’. The amendment that should be made to giving directors final cut should be that the film has to clock in under 2 1/2 hours. If you can’t get your film down to 150 minutes then you should be doing something else. I love David Fincher, I’ve really enjoyed his films, but at some point there has to be a ‘suit’ there who puts his foot down and says two and a half hours is enough.

The whole movie felt very familiar. Almost like I’d been there before but I couldn’t put mu finger on it. Then walking out of the theatre someone said that it kind of reminded them of Forrest Gump. Then I remembered that it was written by the same screenwriter. While watching it the fact that it was very Forrest Gump-ish didn’t really bother me. But after reflecting on Button, it is kind of annoying. It’ll be even more annoying if Eric Roth gets an Oscar nomination for writing the same movie twice.

I didn’t really have an issue with Brad Pitt’s acting in Button. Benjamin Button never really shows much emotion throughout the film. There aren’t any ‘Oscar Moments’ as a friend likes to put it. Pitt makes great decisions when it comes down to which films he’s going to do. But I can’t get behind the glamorization of Brad Pitt in movies. If he wants to that he should do more romantic comedies (see Ben Affleck or Owen Wilson). Pitt is great to look at, handsome guy to say the least, but why was a third of the movie all about showing us just how good looking he is. I can see a little bit of it in the aging theme of Button, but there were a number of shots that it seemed were simply there to make him look good. It may make more women see the movie, but to me it was a little distracting.

One last thing on Pitt. If The Academy chooses to give him a nomination for best actor it’ll be a disgrace. Again, there was no acting on his part. So do there want to nominate him because computers made him look like an old man and then an hour later he looked like Brad Pitt again? 

I think that Pitt will get his trophy someday. But not for Benjamin Button.

This was a good movie with plenty of flaws. It’s a film that really makes you wrap your head around some pretty tough ideas. And a lot of the ‘Forrest Gump moments’ are pretty good. Cate Blanchett is great, as she always is. It’s not a light film so maybe that’s the reason that it felt so long. I do recommend but I really don’t think I’d see it again.

GRADE: B

Outliers By Malcolm Gladwell

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I’m late to the Malcom Gladwell party. His books had caught my eye in the past but I didn’t pick up “Blink” or “The Tipping Point”. I guess the buzz of those two made me pick up “Outliers”.

It was a good read, but in the end it left me a little disappointed. “Outliers” is an easy read in that you don’t feel like you’re reading a textbook even though there are a lot of statistics and scholorly quotes thrown at you. But his theories just seem a little weak to me. He gives you hard stats but it’s all tied very loosely together.

One of his ‘theories’ was that, in short, children in middle class families do better in school than children from lower class households. I didn’t need to read fifteen pages to come to that conclusion.

With all of that being said, I just picked up a copy of “The Tipping Point”.

GRADE: B-

Andrew Ashwood Tribute

A month ago I went to the funeral of a friend. It was a long service with a variety of speakers, all of which added to the memorial. Stories told by his sisters about him as a child. Childhood friends told stories of teenage hi-jinx. And professional colleagues told stories about how much fun he was to work with.

But the thing that struck me was how effective the video tribute was in actually capturing exactly who Andrew Ashwood was. From the clips of him as a radio novice, to him addressing the camera in his office at Fox Sports in his last days. That was really the Andrew Ashwood that I knew and loved.

The Wrestler

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Mickey Rourke for Best Actor. Mickey is back. Mickey is back in a big way.

The Best Actor Oscar should go to the guy who plays a role that nobody else could play. That’s exactly why Rourke should get the trophy. With all due respect to Sean Penn and his performance as Harvey Milk, this year it belongs to Mickey. Could Robert Downey Jr. have pulled off Harvey Milk? Maybe. Christian Bale? Sure. Brokeback Jake would’ve given it a shot for sure.

Who else could’ve played Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson? The answer is nobody. It wouldn’t have been the same movie with any other actor. It couldn’t have been the same movie.

I’ve intentionally stayed away from other reviews of The Wrestler. I wanted to have a clean slate as I watched it. I don’t know if Rourke has talked about the ways that The Wrestler mirrors his own life.

This is Mickey Rourke’s Raging Bull. This is his The Godfather. Mickey is The Wrestler.