Yes, Georgetown exited the NCAA tournament early once again this year. I’m so sick of this.
I’ve watched every Georgetown game for 4+ months. I’d like someone to tell me why.
— Chad Dotson (@dotsonc) March 23, 2013
No, really. Why?
For Georgetown, Friday night’s upset win was just the latest in a string of disappointments for the program since John Thompson III took the Hoyas to the Final Four six years ago.
No fan base has endured more heartbreak and embarrassment than this one. Here’s the rundown on how G’town’s had good-to-really-good regular seasons end in flameout since the 2008 NCAA tournament.
Read the rundown, if you wish. I’ve lived it.
This will be Georgetown’s fifh straight loss to a double-digit seed in the tourney. That’s hard to accomplish.
— Chad Dotson (@dotsonc) March 23, 2013
Can someone explain this? There’s only one constant: coach John Thompson III.
Somedays, I wish I had just gone to Duke Law, rather than Georgetown.
Okay, that’s silly talk.
Double Indemnity (1944)
Director: Billy Wilder
Writers: Wilder and Raymond Chandler
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson
In the late 1990s, the American Film Institute released a list they called “100 Years…100 Movies.” Ostensibly, it ranked the top 100 feature-length American movies, and at the time, I thought it would be a fun project to watch all 100.
Here we are, fifteen years later, and I’m still working on that. (At some point, I’ll figure out how many I have remaining, but it can’t be very many.) Recently, I was able to mark Double Indemnity — AFI #38* — off my personal checklist. In one word: masterful.
The plotline actually seems pedestrian: “An insurance rep lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator’s suspicions.” Fred MacMurray (of My Three Sons fame) stars as Walter Neff, a successful insurance agent who runs into Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck, in an Oscar-nominated performance) in the ordinary course of business. Dietrichson is married to a less-than-successful oil executive, one thing leads to another and — this always happens, doesn’t it? — murder and insurance fraud are committed. Dietrichson and Neff conspire to murder her husband and cover up their deed.
The actual criminal act occurs somewhat early in the film, and most of the film consists of the tension created when Neff’s boss, an insurance analyst played by the always-entertaining Edward G. Robinson, becomes suspicious and launches an investigation. No, that doesn’t sound high-concept, does it? You’ll be surprised. For instance, the viewer can never really be sure why these two team up to commit this act. Passion? I don’t know; at times, we aren’t even sure Dietrichson and Neff like each other (and, in fact, Dietrichson admits as much later in the movie). For the money? They don’t show much interest in it.
I have some theories, but I’ve already exceeded my allotted ten seconds. Suffice to say that many questions remain unanswered after my first viewing, but the film still worked brilliantly.
Double Indemnity is classic film noir, from the stylish cinematography, the superb use of black and white, and the snappy dialogue penned mostly by detective novelist Raymond Chandler. Oh, the dialogue. Chandler had me with the opening line of the film:
I killed him for money — and for a woman. I didn’t get the money. And I didn’t get the woman.
I love it.
Billy Wilder has always been one of my favorite directors. (I love Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, The Seven Year Itch, and Sabrina, in particular.) Double Indemnity, one of his earliest works, is unlike anything he did after. Add it to the pantheon. It’s good.
I’m really kicking myself for not making time to watch Double Indemnity before now. Rest assured, however: I will watch this one again. Five stars out of five.
*In 2007, AFI released an updated list. Double Indemnity must have aged well; a decade after the original list, AFI ranked it nine spots higher at #29.
Because everyone here is asleep, and I really don’t have anything better to do: a ranking of the James Bond films, from worst to best. Enjoy (or not). Please remember, these are just my opinions, so…no wagering.
23. Licence to Kill
21. The Man With the Golden Gun
20. Live and Let Die
19. The Spy Who Loved Me
18. Diamonds Are Forever
17. Quantum of Solace
16. Tomorrow Never Dies
15. A View To A Kill
14. The World Is Not Enough
13. Die Another Day
12. Never Say Never Again
11. You Only Live Twice
10. The Living Daylights
7. Casino Royale
6. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
5. Dr. No
4. For Your Eyes Only
2. From Russia, With Love
A friend sent this to me today, and I have no idea what it means:
So I just finished “Paterno,” the latest from Joe Posnanski. Posnanski is the best sportswriter in America, so it’s obviously well-written, but no one is judging this book by the quality of the writing.
Poz was really in a no-win situation. He went to Happy Valley expecting to write a certain type of book — a celebration of the career of Penn State football coach and anointed saint Joe Paterno — and it turned into a completely different book after the revelation of the unimaginable horrors perpetrated by Paterno’s long-time assistant Jerry Sandusky.
I liked the book, and I thought it was even-handed. If you are looking for a slash and burn attack on Paterno, you aren’t going to get it here. Posnanski was very critical of Paterno’s actions in relation to Sandusky, but he also spent a lot of words talking about all the good things Paterno did in his lifetime. The contrast between the moral authority that Paterno spent his life building, and the way he went out — accused of ignoring, and enabling, contemptible crimes against the most innocent of victims — is stark. He helped hundreds of kids during his lifetime, but it’s the handful of kids that he did not help that has stained what had been a remarkable career.
It’s a terribly sad story, but I do recommend the book.
Good grief, I love “The Royal Tenenbaums”
A couple of guys have been counting down their top twenty Dave Matthews Band songs (including covers) on Twitter the last couple of days. Since I’m easily persuaded, I let them talk me into making my own list. To wit:
Honorable Mention (in no particular order)
Best of What’s Around
If I Had a Boat
Old Dirt Hill
Rhyme and Reason
When the World Ends
Don’t Drink The Water
Big Eyed Fish
What Would You Say
20. Why I Am
19. Cortez the Killer
18. Two Step
15. Ants Marching
13. Grace is Gone
12. The Maker
11. The Song That Jane Likes
8. All Along The Watchtower
5. Jimi Thing
4. Long Black Veil
3. Grey Street
2. One Sweet World
1. Lie In Our Graves
Barry Larkin, of course, played for the Cincinnati Reds his entire career. I watched and listened to a lot of Reds games during those years, and Larkin was simply a joy to behold. He should have been elected to the Hall of Fame two years ago, but we’ll take what we can get.
For some reason, my most enduring memory of Barry Larkin came in Game 2 of the 1990 World Series. The World hadn’t really been fully introduced to Larkin yet, but Reds fans were already beginning to realize what a special kid we had playing shortstop. In Game 2, the A’s had taken the lead in the top of the first when Larkin stepped to the plate. Two pitches later, Bob Welch (that year’s Cy Young winner) had Larkin in an 0-2 hole.
I’ll never forget that next pitch; it was a fastball and it’s no exaggeration to say that the ball was eye-level. Inexplicably, Larkin took a mammoth swing and hit a ground-rule double. By the end of the inning, the Reds had taken the lead and my confidence that the Reds could actually pull off a victory was restored.
I guess the reason why I remember that play most was that it was so unlike the Larkin I came to enjoy throughout his career. Larkin was a guy who did the little things correctly; he was a great fielder, an excellent base-runner, he took a walk. On October 17, 1990, he hacked at a pitch, and I’ll never forget it.
Anyway, I’m happy for Larkin, and I’m glad I got to watch him play. (Below are a few pics I snapped of Larkin at Great American Ballpark a few years ago.)
I thought I’d post some photos I snapped at Saturday’s Virginia – Miami game at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville (click on the individual picture to embiggen):