February movies, part 3 of 3:
35. (1474.) Warcraft (2016)
Yee-ouch, does this movie need a script doctor. They clearly threw a tractor-trailer of money at it, and the effects on the screen are top notch. Only the story and any attempt at characterization are lacking. What a shame that a studio with this much money to spend on a fantasy movie didn't have anything interesting to say.
36. (1475.) Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Who is the protagonist in this thing? Rage! Violence! Cars! If this is all the world has to offer, let it burn. (Great cinematography, though. The world might be completely, unenjoyably hostile, but at least it's beautiful.)
37. (1476.) Rachel, Rachel (1968)
This is Paul Newman's directorial debut. I found the horrible characters in Mad Max more engaging than Rachel, the mouse of a rural, stunted 30-something finally growing up in this very narrow character study. Once again, this isn't poorly made. It just wasn't the movie for me.
38. (1477.) The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018)
This movie is not so well made. It meanders badly in parts as it turns Lisbeth Salander into a super hero and reduces her sometimes-partner Mikael Blomkvist into a mere damsel in distress. The climax feels unearned. Watch Mad Max and Rachel if those are your sorts of films, but I'd advise against this.
39. (1478.) Boyz N the Hood (1991)
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the movie! Friday covered this territory better. (Yes, I know which came first. But it's like trying to read the Emerson after every other Transcendentalist has stomped that ground to death. The original just feels... dull.)
More to come.
Whenever I used to hear old people say "life was better when," I thought they'd were full of shit. But now that I'm in my mid-40s myself....
No sooner do the Dolphins trade one Ryan than they pick up another.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzgerald has been signed as the Dolphins' starting signal caller. The Dolphins will be Fitzpatrick's 8th team in his 14-year career. He'll set a record if he completes a single pass for the 'Fins in 2019. Long-term marginal competence has to count for something, and that something appears to be about $5 million, the price of Fitzpatrick's new contract. The team paid Jay Cutler twice that in 2017. He won 6 games. I guess they're expecting Fitz to manage only 3.
This will be Fitpatrick's third tour of duty in the AFC East. He's already passed through the locker rooms of both the Bills and the Jets. All totaled, he's managed a career 6-5 record against his new team. The only team in the division that hasn't hired him is the New England Patriots. He has a 2-9 record against them.
It's probably worth noting that during Fitzpatrick's entire career, the Bills, Jets, and Dolphins have had at least 13 starting quarterbacks — each — while the Patriots have had essentially one. (Technically, they've had 4. Tom Brady missed all of 2008 with a knee injury and served a 4 game suspension in 2016 because he likes saggy balls. But there was never any doubt who the team's starting quarterback was.)
Will Fitz bring his Fitzmagic to Miami in 2019? My Magic 8-ball says no. So does Vegas. Even before dumping Tannehill, sports books were down on the 'Fins. Last week, if you bet a dollar on them to win the Super Bowl, you could pocket $300. That's three times longer odds than are being given to any other team. Comparatively, the never-going-anywhere Detroit Lions are 100-1. Those were Friday's odds that the Dolphins could win their division. I'm sure the addition of Fitzpatrick isn't bringing them any closer.
Ye gods. It's going to be a long season.
One year ago, I wrote, "Sadly, it looks like another rebuilding year is in the cards for the 'Fins." I shouldn't have acted so surprised. Ever since a real estate baron bought the team in 2008, the rebuilding never stops in Miami.
It was pretty clear that 2019 was going to be a rebuilding year when Coach Gase was fired (with cause). And then Yesterday, the Dolphins traded starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill to the Titans. Ryan was a first-round pick (8th overall) in 2012. After 6 years — though only 4½ on the field thanks to some very questionable medical decisions concerning his oft-injured knee — he's now worth something less. (The Dolphins essentially gave away Tannehill plus $5 million for a 2020 4th round pick. That feels about right. He should have been a 4th round pick in 2012.)
With Tannehill gone, there are zero quarterbacks on the roster who have played a single snap in the NFL. That's a step up from 2017, when Jay Cutler filled in.
The question now is whether the Dolphins hire a cheap free agent to fill the void or will some rookie from the draft get the call? Neither of those seem like great options. I can't say as I'm very excited about the prospect of Jacksonville wash-out Black Bortles taking snaps, and there's no phenom like Andrew Luck coming out of college this year. 'Suck for [Drew] Lock' doesn't have the same ring.
Maybe I can find something else to do on Sundays this fall.
Movies from February (that aren't Aurora Teagarden mysteries), part 1:
21. (1460.) Young Mister Lincoln (1939)
Henry Fonda as Abraham Lincoln has its moments (most of them being Fonda's plainspoken impersonation). Unfortunately, the courtroom drama in the second half isn't very engaging.
26. (1465.) CBGB (2013)
This is also a biopic, focused on the rise of the famous club in New York City that launched the American punk scene, especially Blondie and the Ramones. I'm a fan of the music and the actors involved, so of course I liked it.
28. (1467.) Sherlock Gnomes (2018)
A worthy sequel to the underrated Gnomeo and Juliet. I solved the mystery plot easily, which means I'm probably ready to graduate to tween fare. (It's an animated kids movie featuring talking lawn gnomes, not a sequel to Gone Girl, Walter.)
29. (1468.) Young Winston (1972)
Sort of the opposite of Young Lincoln, Winston Churchill as a young man in his own words really doesn't get moving until the second half, which may also be an apt description of the man's actual career.
31. (1470.) The Accountant (2016)
I found star Ben Affleck's portrayal of autism as a super power to be the only thing that didn't work in this otherwise enjoyable action thriller. (To be clear: the concept isn't so terrible. Affleck's acting is.) The supporting cast is particularly good.
34. (1473.) Young Tom Edison (1940)
If you didn't know that the real Tom Edison died in 1931, you might think he wrote and directed this ridiculously glowing biopic of his younger days himself. What fools we all are to not recognize what a great human being Tom Edison was! That was sarcasm. I didn't care for this.
More to come.