Friday, September 25, 2009


Sit down.
Are you there?
Because I have an announcement:

Mike Tyson is going to melt your cold, dark heart.

Don’t believe me? Then sit through this new documentary, Tyson. I promise you that you’ll find your heart filling with gooey Mike Tyson mush.

Mike Tyson isn’t easy to love – for most of my life I considered him just one step above a housetrained animal. After all, this was boxing’s bad boy who attacked his opponents with brutal ferocity, bit his rivals and raped women on the side. The Tyson documentary is a chance to look behind the headlines and understand what fueled Mike to make the choices he did.

He is so incredibly candid, humble and reflective in this documentary that you can’t help but find yourself in his proverbial corner. In talking about the tabloid frenzy that was his marriage to Robin Givens, Tyson sagely reminds us that in the end, they were just kids who didn’t have any business being married so young (age 20!).

Consisting only of direct interviews with Tyson and intermixed with photos and footage of his career, Tyson traces his blazing rise and furious descent from fame and glory. And I mean nothing is held back. He speaks about his personal life and his professional life with complete candor. All the machismo and charisma is stripped away and he doesn’t shy away from any subject, even coming to tears a few times and discussing the inherent fear that drove him to many of his bad decisions. And dare I say it; he speaks with great intelligence and even eloquence at points.

Although, I did do a double-take at one point when discussing his alleged rape of Desiree Washington (which he still denies), Mike said something to the effect of, “I’m not saying I never took advantage of other women, but I did not take advantage of her.”

Head whip…
Did he just admit that he raped other women? Or maybe he just like drank milk out of their refrigerators while they were sleeping?


In the end, I walked away feeling like Mike Tyson The Famous Boxer is now Mike Tyson The Very Humbled and Damaged Person. I for one am rooting for a second chance.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Gran Torino

First of all, Gran Torino is a car, not a desert city in California like I believed it was for some unknown reason.

Second, you will spend the first hour of this movie wondering if Clint Eastwood lost his mind in some sort of Geriatric Dirty Harry bout of dementia. There is no other way to explain the great lengths he goes to in order to demonstrate FOR AN ENTIRE HOUR that his character Walt Kowalski is:
a) Old
b) Codgety
c) Racist
d) Prone to facial twitches
I think we pretty much had that nailed down in the first five minutes of the film, Mr. Eastwood.

Third, you will think the second hour of the film is a complete turnaround. It was completely redeemed for me, although I did find it a bit hard to believe that Eastwood's surly Walt Kowalski would so easily befriend his Asian neighbors, Sue and Thao. Still, there are a lot of touching moments and the end truly surprised me, although I was kind of jonesing for a true Dirty Harry-takes-down-the-bad-guys bloodletting.

Finally, you will be amazed that anyone let Clint Eastwood walk in front of a camera wearing sweatpants pulled up to his armpits. That's Dirty Harry y'all. Someone should have put a stop to that.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

And we're back among the living

What a summer it's been for our beloved TV. Here's what we did in a nutshell:

LOVED HBO's TrueBlood. Like I-AM-A-TOTAL-NERD-FOR-VAMPIRES loved it. Hot southern gentleman vampire? You can't go wrong with that. Sure, the first few episode are a little vamporny, but I still love it.

HATED HBO's The Tudors and Rome. Oh, wanted to love them. Tried to love them. But had to admit they just suck. Here's an example: in The Tudors, all the drama and intrigue surrounds whether or not King Henry will leave Catherine of Aragon for Ann Boleyn. Um, excuse me, but WE ALREADY KNOW HOW THIS ENDS. You are just telling a history lesson here. And not very well. As for Rome, well, it's just a little too 'old men wearing dresses and talking politics' for me.

WATCHED a fabulous documentary on steroids, Bigger, Stronger, Faster. Very entertaining. Also watched a devastating documentary, Dear Zachary. It's decent, but I'm telling you, you don't want to see this. It will make you weep. Dead children. 'Nuff said.

BECAME ADDICTED TO Mad Men. Right? I know, we're possibly the last people on earth who work in advertising to watch this show, and we should have our membership revoked for taking so long. All the same, I died when Betty Draper didn't bat an eyelash at her daughter playing inside a plastic drycleaning bag. My mom did the same thing. Props, Betty.

EH could have done without both Slumdog Millionaire (predictable and cloying) and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (shades of Forest Gump all over it and we don't need another Forest Gump). Did I mention BB is approximately 14 hours long?