Escape from Vancouver

Where’s Snake Plissken when you need him? Vancouver, if winning the Stanley Cup meant that much to you, why don’t you just go ahead and take it? Otherwise, can you tell us how many more days of burning and looting we will experience before normalcy can return to the streets of British Columbia. Where was this passion during the Winter Olympics? I can only imagine the destruction that would have occurred if Canada hadn’t won curling gold in 2010.

I would also be very interested to hear what the rest of Canada’s thinks about these latest riots in Vancouver. My completely uniformed sense is that the other provinces dismiss the behavior as a typical Vancouver reaction, see 1994, and certainly behavior not indicative of all Canadian sports fans. Although, don’t be so quick to judge Toronto. If your Maple Leafs ever made it, and then lost the Stanley Cup in 7, I’m sure your reaction would be a little “salty” too.

Speaking of Game 7, last night felt like a huge letdown. Granted, I don’t root for the Boston Bruins, nor do I proclaim to be an sort of hockey connosiour, but still, the whole game felt a little anti-climactic. Probably because expectations were so high heading into the game. I can’t remember a single hockey game generating this much buzz, of course I barely remember the Rangers winning in ’94 and was just a wee little infant for the Miracle on Ice. Yesterday afternoon, a good friend of mine refused a twilight round of golf just so he wouldn’t miss the drop of the puck. You just don’t turn down those types of opportunities unless something really important – like your wedding or birth of a first child – pops up.

About the game, the Canucks looked tired from the start and the Bruins used their energy to attack Roberto Luongo. Tim Thomas was unbelievable in goal for Boston all series long and definitely deserving of the Conn Smythe. What happened to the Sedin twins and Ryan Kesler? I was under the impression that the Bruins defense couldn’t match the skill level of these three Vancouver stars. Credit to defenseman like Chara and Seidenberg for shutting down what was supposed to be a very potent Canuck offense. And how about Brad Marchand? Pretty impressive performance for 23 year old rookie.

I feel for the Bruins a little because now, with what went happened on the streets of Vancouver after the game, the Stanley Cup returning to Boston for the first time in 39 years has already become “after the jump” news.

Enjoy the parade Boston, and remember, burning police cars isn’t a healthy way of showing how much your Bruins mean to you.

view from the Canucks Riot courtesy of @KIRO7Seattle

Plodding Through the Previews: Green Lantern

Some folks boast a photographic memory while others claim to count cards. Me, I have a strange telekinetic ability to predict the plot of a movie based solely on the coming attraction. I will channel these talents every week in an effort to breakdown the latest summer blockbuster. With a little luck, and patience, I’ll also connect the movie to a current sports story however, this final pursuit may result in complete and abject failure.

Green Lantern

Is this really what the general public wants, weekend after weekend of CGI souped up comic book adaptations? I know it made a lot of money but did any one enjoy Thor? And don’t pigeonhole the recent Christopher Nolan Batman films as just comic book adaptations. That series has been cultivated to fit the interests of main stream moviegoers not just attendees of the recent Comic Con.

This weekend we are graced with the presence of Green Lantern, another movie based on a beloved comic book starring an overly charismatic Ryan Reynolds, now sans Scarlett Johansson. I typically like Reynolds even though a lot off people find him smug and overly cynical. Frankly, I don’t see why the guy just doesn’t stick to his wheelhouse which is any rom/com costarring Sandra Bullock.

A Second by Second Breakdown

:10 – Nope. Un-un. Not gonna work. I’m sick of the CGI. It is too much to ask to give me real Green Lanterns with real receding hairlines and real fish gills? For the record, I’m not anti comic book adaptation. I’m anti comic book adaptation that uses CGI as a storytelling crutch. I respect the mythology and symbolism of comics but do not understand why comic book movies must continue to assault our senses with over the top CGI. I guess some filmmakers just do not respect the intelligence of the average moviegoer.

:18 – Man that voice is familiar, where have I heard it before? And why do I want to buy a Jaguar XJ 7?

:37 – First shot of a clearly brooding Ryan Reynolds. Probably still lamenting the loss of his now ex wife who I think we’re all happy to hear is no longer dating Sean Penn.

1:10 – Alright, I can get down with this ring conjuring thoughts thing. Reminds me of that classic scene from Ghostbusters where Dan Aykroyd summons the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. If any of us where in that situation we would have done the same thing. You can’t be told not to think about something without then thinking about that something. Don’t think about the Republican debate last night! You see….

1:28 – Inspector Clouseau, what are you doing here?

1:39 – Copyright infringement! Copyright infringement! Eric Stoltz and the makers of Mask should sue Peter Saarsgard. And poor Tim Robbins. We really have gone a long way since Shawshank Redemption, heck even Arlington Road.

1:47 – Ohh Blake Lively. She seems really nice. You see kids this is why you always give previews a chance.

1:51 – Now Saarsgard is ripping off Vigo the Carpathian from Ghostbusters II.

2:14 – “In brightest day. In blackest night.” Catchy. I kinda like the Green Lantern oath. Next have to figure out how I can weave it into a work email. Suggestions?

Preview Review

So here’s the deal, a talented but underachieving Hal Jordan faces a critical turning point in his life when all of a sudden a pink alien crashes through a barn and delivers Jordan a powerful ring that looks like it came out of a box of Cap’ N Crunch. At first, Hal doesn’t want or understand the power he now possesses. Eventually he puts the ring on and is magically catapulted through the sky to a different galaxy where he meets his fellow Green Lanterns and learns about his new power, responsibility.

Upon returning to earth, Peter Sarsgaard has started to eat the remains of the former Green Lantern and slowly starts to morph into Barry Bonds. Hal Jordan returns just in time to confront Captain Forehead but discovers that he needs helps. So….he returns to planet Lantern to recruit the services of his fellow Greenies who begrudgingly oblige. In the end, a few Lanterns perish but Hal survives, beats the bad guy, gets the Gossip Girl, and sets up the sequel – pending box office returns.

Plodding Scale: 4/10 Donkeys

Connection to a Current Sports Story

Let’s go with the Stanley Cup Finals and those Vancouver Canuck fans who dress up in green body suits in an attempt to intimidate opposing players sitting in the penalty box. Fellas, you better bring your A game Wednesday night because Roberto Luongo is going to need all the help he can get after a stunningly inadequate performance last night in Game 6. Honestly, there was a point last night during the first period where the Canucks would have been better off putting one of the Sedin twins between the pipes. Needless to say, I don’t think Luongo is going to be making any trips back to Boston during the offseason.

view from TD BankNorth Garden courtesy of @VanCanucks

 

Bruins, Habs Game 7 to Determine Better System of Universal Health Care

The first 6 months of the NHL calender – aka the regular season – are largely irrelevant. Injuries can change the season, you may end up in the half of the league that makes the playoffs… yes, half. The season is so long that little wrinkles, a win or loss there mean almost nothing. Teams will switch goalies mid-season, and as the Vancouver Canucks proved, maybe even mid-first round playoff series!

Playoff game sevens, however, are entirely different. Playoff hockey in general has an entirely different feel. Players skate faster, shoot harder, hit way harder. It is so exciting to watch for hockey fans and Americans alike. In game seven it is all or nothing, and in a game where one puck bounce will make the difference, players are extra focused and work extra hard. Imagine the USA v. Canada Olympic match every time they take the ice no matter the round.

Which brings me to what will likely be the greatest game 7 this year, between the Bruins and Les Habitants. Take it from me, Bruins fans represent a specific type of Masshole. I’ve only been to a handful of Bruins games, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a fight in the stands in every one. You get the impression that Bruins and Habs’ fans don’t care much for each other either. That bad blood radiates from the ice.

Lucic’s hit on Spacek last night certainly shows that there in no love lost between these two member of the Original Six. They are hitting hard this series, and tonight it is both teams’ last chance. It is cliche, but that is what drives excitement in an NHL game 7. The players exhibit tremendous skill and athleticism, but hockey games that are close will often come down to some random puck bounce, or an unpredictable goalie rebound. Watching the game you spend half the night trying to catch your breath.

Whichever side you root for, the new incarnation of the Big Bad Bruins, or the Le Bleu-Blanc-Rouge, tonight will be great to watch, that is if you can take the time to locate VS. on your channel menu.

Take Out the Garbage

In a battle between two NHL bubble teams trying to find themselves, the Bruins laid an egg and made Jonas Hiller and the “no longer Mighty” Ducks look like world beaters. Hiller stopped 45 Bruins shots, at times looking like Dominik Hasek in his prime. The Bruins danced like they had lead weights tied to their skates and, in all honesty, the Ducks were the beneficiaries of some fortunate puck bounces into their sticks on the first two goals.

The real fireworks came in the 3rd period with 3 minutes left to go when a youngish, barely five foot tall “lady” straight out of the Ecklund household decided to vault over her seat in the row behind me, swinging fists wildly at a “gentleman” behind her with whom she had been having an animated conversation only moments earlier. About two minutes, 8 combatants, 6+ police and security guards, a couple broken Rene Rancournaments, one bloody eye socket and the fight was over. My buddy Derek and I hoped that the woman who initiated the yard-sale would not get off the hook on account of her feeble “self-defense” claims.

This incident begs the question that I must admit makes me uncomfortable to ask: are hockey fans somehow different? Do they possess a certain distasteful joie de vivre that reflects poorly on the sport? No, wait, Jets fans are the same way. Nevermind.

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