Monday, February 08, 2010

Weekend Update; Crazy Heart; Super Bowl

Hey! Hope everyone had a good weekend. Mine went pretty well. I went out for pizza with friends on Friday night. My parents were in town on Saturday, so I went to see Crazy Heart with them and did a small bit of shopping. Saturday evening the whole Steans clan got together at Gueros (with Ryan and Jamie, Susan and Ciera), and we had a nice dinner. Later that night I went to see Avatar (for a second time) with Reed and Chris. Sunday I had lunch with Ryan and Jamie, and Matt and Nicole came over for the Super Bowl.
It was a good weekend. Busy, but busy with good stuff.
I really liked Crazy Heart. Kind of a tough movie, in terms of having some depressing stuff in it (it's a movie, after all, about an alcoholic country singer who's struggling through both personal and professional failure in the latter part of his career), but it has some great acting, an authentic feel, it's well written (especially dialogue), and it has some good music. In particular, Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhall both put in really strong performances. That Jeff Bridges is a really good actor. He sinks right into the role of country singer Bad Blake in a way that might make a person think they had just typecast someone who really always talks and sounds like that- you might think that if you hadn't seen Bridges play other, utterly different roles just as convincingly and with the same amount of conviction that he brings to Bad Blake in Crazy Heart (I mean, the guy has been in everything from Starman to Iron Man to The Last Picture Show to The Fisher King to Tron to The Big Lebowski). Bridges is one of those actors who hasn't gotten all of the accolades that some of America's other top notch actors have gotten (he's been nominated for 5 Oscars, but has yet to win one), but I really do think that he's one of the better actors of his generation. Hopefully he'll finally get a Best Actor Oscar for his work in Crazy Heart (I guess he already won a Best Actor at the Golden Globes for the performance).

What else? The Super Bowl was actually a decent game. I'm glad the Saints won. I'm happy for the city of New Orleans, and I'm happy for Austin's hometown hero, Drew Brees. I gotta say that Brees looked pretty impressive. He wasn't afraid to take chances by throwing the ball as he marched his team down the field (well, I'm sure he wasn't calling the plays, but the coaches had faith in him, and he executed beautifully). I think I really enjoyed watching the Saints play because, unlike many teams, they seemed willing to take some pretty big chances, but had enough faith in their own ability to feel that either the chances would pay off, or that they could recover from them if they didn't. The Saints managed to pull off a two point play following a touchdown, they successfully executed an onside kick, and they had a drive where they opted to go for a touchdown instead of kicking an easy field goal (which ended up failing, although the offense quickly retook the filed and managed to get a field goal, anyway, before half time). You just don't see much of that sort of aggressive play calling these days. Coaches are too worried about being second guessed in the media coverage (and by team owners) after the fact. I think New Orleans new that they were facing a really good Colts team, though, and they new that they were likely to have a better chance if they took some risks as opposed to simply playing the game conservatively and safe.
Fortunately for them, those risks paid off. (If the onsides kick had failed, if the extra two point play hadn't worked, and if the Colts had managed to turn that failed touchdown attempt into an offensive drive that put points on the board, I probably wouldn't be writing this post).
But I think the Saints worked hard at perfecting some risky plays, and they came into the game expecting to take some chances. Good for them. They showed a lot of heart, and it paid off.

Well, that's it. Hope you guys have a good start to your week!

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