Sunday, January 28, 2007

Football Free Weekend

Pale ManStayed busy this weekend to put off the annual post football season depression until after the Super Bowl. We saw "Pan's Labyrinth" Friday night. This is a stunning film that is on every critic's top ten list for 2006. It is a subtitled Spanish film by acclaimed Mexican director Guillermo del Toro and it has some of the most amazing visuals I've seen since Lord of The Rings, including one of the creepiest, nightmare-inducing characters ever on film - Pale Man. It is an adult childhood fairytale pitting innocence against pure evil and it seamlessly flows between reality and fantasy. It's a great flick - but for me, I still put "Children of Men" above it.

Saturday we went to a Dana Farber Marathon event where Lori got to meet the patient she is running for. Eight year old Olivia lives in nearby Bolton and this is her third year involved with the Boston Marathon. I was a little concerned with what the mood might be at an event full of children fighting cancer, but the whole afternoon was a lot of fun. There wasn't a sad face to be seen anywhere, and all the little bald heads just made me feel more welcome. Plus the "kids menu" of chicken nuggets, fries, pizza and ice cream was right up my alley. Then it was off to the Boston Home Show to see what the latest things to throw some money at were and then we hit a recently opened Indian restaurant near us, Monsoon, and it was awesome. I haven't had Indian food since our trip to Nepal in 2000. I still have no idea what anything is or what its called, but I love it.

Sunday we started prepping to paint our downstairs rooms and finally pulled down curtains that Lori's been swearing about since we moved in three years ago. Plus - we finally got to see an advance copy of "Illegal Aliens" this week - and its really GOOD!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

What a Game!

That is what a playoff game should be, I have no complaints on this one. Peyton Manning and the Colts finally pulled out the big game. Very impressive after the Patriots dominated the first half so much and were up 21 to 6. Then it turned into a slugfest with the Colts not being ahead until the final minute of the game - when it mattered most - and won 38 - 34. There are no questionable calls or freak plays to blame, the Colts just played their asses off. The Patriots really over performed this year, with the loss of more coaches and players and another season full of major injuries, but there are no excuses and no regrets - this was what playoff football should be, a battle until the last moments of the game. And I'm glad it didn't come down to field goal kickers. Guess I'll be rooting for the Colts, for first time ever, as they face the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XVI.

Championship Sunday

The AFC Championship is coming down to the teams it just had to come down to, the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts. This rivalry has been a fantastic one and this game feels like it is bigger than the Super Bowl will be. Can the Patriots dynasty continue? I had my doubts during the season, seeing three losses at home was really a shock but this team pulls it together when it counts most. Just ask the "classy" San Diego Chargers. The Patriots are at their best when they are underdogs and having the league MVP whine about how they celebrate after playoff wins just adds more fuel to their fire.
The Patriots have never lost an AFC Championship game! They are 5 and 0. That is just amazing. The Colts have never beaten the Patriots in the playoffs. Lots of people are saying this is finally the year for Peyton Manning (I remembering hearing that a lot last year too). They've got the Pats playing in Indy at their dome where they are undefeated this season (just like San Diego was until last week), but Tom Brady has never lost in a dome himself. Plus today is the anniversary of Bob Kraft buying the team, and Adam Vinatieri has never missed a kick inside the RCA Dome - oh wait, he's with them now - another reason to hate the Colts. I bet plenty of Colts wish there were headed to San Diego for this game instead of being at home facing the Patriots.
If the Pats pull out another upset and go to the Super Bowl yet again - there can be no doubt that this is the greatest team in NFL history. But I'm torn this year - ya gotta love the New Orleans Saints. If the Patriots can't win it all this year, I hope the Saints do. So I'm pulling for a Patriots - Bears Super Bowl, which will give us a little revenge for being blownout back in Super Bowl XX.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Dynasty Continues

Yeehaah! What a day - the Patriots upset the San Diego Chargers (The Best Team in Football this year) and "24" is back! The Chargers were better than I expected, I knew their offense was good, but their defense is a lot more than just linebacker Shawne Merriman. And I love that the game down to a game winning kick by the new kid Gostowski.
Next weekend it will be my favorite playoff matchup for the Pats in the AFC championship - beating up on Peyton Manning and the Colts yet again and some revenge on Adam for leaving New England. Gotta love it.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Patriots Roll Over Jets

Man, what a game yesterday between the Patriots and Jets! I don't know if it was the shockingly warm temperatures, the week of hype of Belichick vs. Mangini, Mad Genius vs. Mangenius, Master vs. Apprentice.... but it felt like a special game.
We got to our seats early and watched warm ups while many Patriots players chatted with former teammates now on the Jets like Matt Chatham, Bobby Hamilton and Hank Poteat. It was interesting to see the few brave souls - Kevin Faulk and Corey Dillon - who approached Jets Coach Eric Mangini and gave him a warm hello.
It wasn't just the Patriots towel giveaway (which thanks to the great weather and upbeat crowd were waving the whole game through) that proved this was a playoff game, the celebs were even in the house. Donald Trump was up above us in the owners box with Robert Kraft while Aerosmith's own Joe Perry was roaming the Patriots' sidelines.
It was all you could want in a Patriots win - competitive but in control and then the score is blown open in the fourth quarter. It was rare to see such competitive, noticeable coaching. This was a real chess match with moves and counter moves, dueling no-huddle offenses, both teams racing to make substitutions. Coach Belichick was much more emotional and demonstrative than his normal stoic self. He was one of the first to welcome Asante Samuel to the sidelines after his interception and he was going nuts to get Vince Wilfork's attention to run with the ball when he came up with it after Jets QB threw a backward pass the was tipped by Pats' linebacker Rosevelt Colvin. The ball hit the ground and most players stopped, believing the ball to be dead and the play over, not-so-gentle giant Wilfork scooped up the ball and after much prompting from Belichick chugged his 325+ pounds down the field.
At the end of the game, Belichick had to fight a media mob and shoved one dude aside to give a nice hug to his former disciple Mangini. He even swore in his press conference when describing all the photographers in his way. Classic.
Next stop, San Diego, where the Pats will face the league MVP LT. It won't be easy for the Patriots to upset the Chargers, but it is certainly doable. A month ago I thought Pats would be lucky to win one playoff game, now I'm dreaming of another Super Bowl.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Go See "Children of Men"

While waiting for the NFL Playoffs to start we went to the movies today and saw what I'd be shocked doesn't end up being my favorite movie of 2007. "Children of Men" is set about 20 years from now (though it feels like it could be just a week or two away) in Britain at a time of world war and female infertility. The youngest person in the world is 18 and he just died. Clive Owen stars as Theo who ends up having to transport a woman who seems to be pregnant. Great suspense, action and thrills abound, plus some fantastic performances by Michael Caine and Julianne Moore. I am now firmly on writer/director Alfonso Cuaron's bandwagon. The directing and cinematography made this feel like the news at times - so many powerful scenes could have been live reports from Iraq or the Gaza Strip. Throw in touches of the Holocaust, Jesus Christ, Abu Ghraib prison, WWII.... this was just an awesome movie that really sticks with you long after the final frame.

Speaking of playoffs, tomorrow we will be off to the Patriots - Jets wildcard came at Gillette Stadium. Every other year we considered ourselves fortunate if it was above freezing for a game in January. Today it was 72 degrees here. WTF! Damn that Al Gore and his inconvenient truth.

Friday, January 05, 2007

2007: The Year Ahead

A new year, a new playoff run for the New England Patriots - all is well in the world. Our cat Samantha came through her surgery just fine and should be wearing her goofy protective collar for just another few days. I'm continuing to develop my first optioned screenplay with a producer in LA and will be writing more all year. This will be a big year for "Illegal Aliens."
It will also be a big year for Lori as she runs the Boston Marathon for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. You can donate and sponsor her online. Once she's had time to recover from that we'll head down to Chile for a totally sick white water rafting trip and a quick jaunt over to Easter Island just for Larry The Lizard to get his photo taken there.
Each year seems to go by faster, but as long as they keep getting better - that's fine.

Monday, January 01, 2007

2006: Looking Back

Santa LarryWell another year is in the books and it was pretty damn good one. The year began with my beloved New England Patriots in the playoffs once again, but for the first time in Tom Brady's career the playoffs ended with a loss. I also jumped into some online businesses - auto surfs and high yield investment programs - that were doing great for a couple months until the SEC decided they were ponzi scams and it all fell apart.
My writing career continued as I attended Beyond Structure in April and took an online Fiction Writing Class in July. This year I finished two more screenplays (and started many others) and got my first option for "Bottom of The Ninth". "Illegal Aliens" generated buzz all year and had a successful preview in NYC in March but the shocking death of Daniel Smith brought the sales process to a crawl. Interest among potential distributors only increased amongst all the drama so it certainly will see the light of day.
We made it two of the great sights of the world; the Amazon River and Machu Picchu in May. Lori launched a new company (Always Your Weigh), finished her first road race ever; the Falmouth Road Race in August and got approved to run the 2007 Boston Marathon.
September brought the loss of Daniel Smith, whom I met on the set of "Illegal Aliens" and Sue Gardner who acted in my short "We've Got Johnny."
By the end of the year I was finally playing with old "Cool Stuff" mayhem and getting it up on to youtube.
My favorite movie that every critic seemed to rip apart was "Lady in the Water." My other favorites that other people loved too were "Borat" and "The Departed." While easily the best Mayan subtitled action flick ever was "Apocalypto."