REDCHAIR: Sports Editor
Prediction – December 2011/ Actual
1) Heat – Bulls 50-16
2) Bulls – Heat 46-20
3) Celtics – Pacers 42-24
4) Knicks – Celtics 39-27
5) Magic – Hawks 40-26
6) Hawks – Magic 37-29
7) Pacers – Knicks 36-30
8) 76ers – 76ers 35-31
(Finals: Heat & Thunder. Heat win in 6 Dec. 24, 2011)I will admit I’m not a huge regular season NBA fan. I enjoy watching games but as I’ve said for the last several years nothing matters until the playoffs begin. Once the playoffs begin I love it. It’s like the start of summer for me. Kobe and D Rose sitting on the bench to rest up for the playoffs helps prove my point that the regular season doesn’t matter. I managed to pick 14 of the 16 teams that are going to the playoffs and pretty close to their actual positioning so even if you’re not impressed with it I’m impressed with it and that’s all that counts!
Anyways the NBA playoffs begins Saturday so with the bracket set up this is who I believe will move on and who will be sent home early.
1 Bulls vs. 8 76ers – Although the 76ers started off playing really great basketball this season they have slowly regressed. They traded away one of their key bench players and now they just haven’t been clicking. Do I think they’ll show signs of it and make this is a fun series to watch? Yes I do. In the end the Bulls defense with D. Rose playing every game, whether he’s completely healthy or not, is enough for the Bulls to advance past the 76ers.
2. Heat vs. 7 Knicks – The Knicks have been an interesting team this season to say the least. The craze of Linsanity and Carmelo playing probably his beast basketball he’s ever played makes this a must see series to watch. Stoudemire and Carmelo are both healthy going into the playoffs and the Knicks have good young players coming off the bench that can make a difference. I like Shumpert as a defender a lot and I think Fields doesn’t get enough credit. Novak is a great off the bench shooter who can give you points in bunches and J.R. Smith is also a great guy who can contribute and light a spark. Chandler will be there and I think he will neutralize Bosh in the paint during this series. If there is a major upset waiting to happen it could be this. The Heat haven’t been playing well rolling into the playoffs. As much as I do believe that the Knicks are better than a #7 seed I can’t help but stick with my early prediction and say the Heat will beat out the Knicks in this series. It will go seven games, or five, I can never remember if the first round is winning 3 games or 4 games.
3. Pacers vs. 6 Magic – This is an easy series for me to pick. Even though I never expected the Pacers to be good enough as a #3 seed I do know they have some nice pieces on their team even if I don’t consider any of them elite. The Magic won’t have Howard to my understanding with a back injury and that’s all I need to know that the Pacers will advance. Too much depth and Granger will probably go off for a few games.
4. Celtics vs. 5 Hawks – The criticism of the Celtics is always they’re getting old but I think Coach Rivers has done a great job with this team as they’ve aged. He’s changed up the roles of the team. He takes Garnett out early with the first squad and let’s him play with the second unit a lot more and be the go-to guy when Pierce and Allen are resting on the bench. The Hawks have talent I’ll give them that. I just don’t feel like they have that one player who can step up and get them over the hump in crunch situations. When they were getting by last season they relied on their sixth man Crawford for some big three pointers. I love the Celtics Bradley and Pietrus for their quickness and defensive ability. I think they’ll be big in this series and do the things the average fan doesn’t notice.
1. Bulls vs. 4 Celtics – Another good matchup and series that I will enjoy watching. As much as I do like giving Bulls fans shit, I do like the Bulls and I like to see them do well. It’s just I don’t want them to do better than my Thunder but I’m getting off topic. Derrick Rose vs. the combo of Rondo/Bradley will be a great matchup to watch. I think the Bulls youth along with their depth (Korver, Asik, Gibson, and Brewer) will be the difference. Bulls preach defense and they live it. Deng has had a great year and I think has really come into his own when Rose was injured and someone had to step up. One of my biggest problems with the Bulls last year was Boozer but he even seems to be playing better. The only worry I have in this series is that Rose has taken too much time off and isn’t his self and makes some key turnovers or he reinjures himself and the Celtics are able to take advantage. If Rose stays healthy the Bulls will advance to the Easter Conference finals.
3. Pacers vs. 2 Heat – If the Heat plays defense like I know they can and have shown I don’t think this series will be too hard for them. Granger is the only scorer to worry about and LeBron can neutralize him. I like Paul George in this series if he guard Wade. I just think the quickness of the Heat attacking a slow Hibbert will get the Pacers bigs in foul trouble and the Heat will just keep attacking the rim and win the series at the foul line. See you in the Eastern Conference finals Miami Heat.
1. Bulls vs. Heat – Oh the long awaited rematch. Small things have changed since last season but they are good improvements. Last season the Heat lacked depth and Wade and LeBron seemed to wear down a lot late in games. The Bulls didn’t have that other guy at shooting guard who could make big shots. The bulls went out and picked up Rip Hamilton who, although an aging veteran, has proved himself in the playoffs. The Heat added depth that they needed. Haslem came back for a full season. They drafted Norris Cole who is a spark and can spark the second unit on office and run the offense when LeBron and Wade are on the bench. They also added Battier who is a proven veteran and is a guy that can shutdown key players on the defensive end. He’s a guy that does things that don’t show up on the stat sheets. D Rose will be banged up by this series and I don’t see Hamilton being a big enough factor in this series. Deng will do a good job but he will mostly be guarded by LeBron and he will be marginalized. I think the Heat made enough additions that they will still advance to the NBA Finals.
“There’s magic out there.” I know I have started my other River posts with this line but it’s too perfect to pass up. Last week, the River aired its season 1 finale, giving us an interesting look into the heart of the Boiuna. Though there were some flaws with the episode and the season as a whole, the final episode not only increases the already fascinating story line but leaves plenty of places for the show to grow next season.
This season the River has given us ghost ships, a cannibalistic disease, troves of murderous warriors, a never dying hang man, spontaneous blindness and murderous spirits and demons. The season is topped off with a resurrection and a demonic possession. The show follows the crew of the Magus as they search for missing father/husband/boss/mentor/friend Emmett Cole. The search leads the crew to the Boiuna, a magically charged, supernatural expanse of the Amazon. Each episode pits the crew against some supernatural element of the Boiuna as they get closer and closer to their goal.
It has been debated whether or not this show was to be cancelled after a single season or how the show’s plot could support more than one season. After finding Emmett Cole during the second to last episode, it doesn’t surprise me that people began to wonder about the show’s future. I can’t speak to if the show will be cancelled or not, that depends on viewers and ratings, but I wouldn’t worry too much about the show’s plot. Beyond the end of the season finale, which shows the physical structure of the Boiuna changing to trap the Magus in it, the show has laid out many possible plots for the storyline to follow. The mysterious Source, the source of all magic in the world, has yet to be seen or explained. I think that Emmett found it but we still have everything to learn about it. Emmett’s other abilities still need explanations such as his ability to create fire, to use dragonflies and the protective cocoon in which the crew found him. Questions can also be raised about the research center where they found Emmett. Who lived there? Why couldn’t the research not be allowed to leave the facility? Why was Kurt’s wife there? Why was Kurt really on the expedition? There’s also the Boiuna itself, which declared its hatred for Emmett and the crew while possessing Lincoln. A little doffing uncovers many different possible directions for the plotline to take.
While the show boasts a stellar story, there are portions of the show that leave something to be desired. I have mentioned in an earlier post that I didn’t always care for the “quick fix” ending that the show sometimes uses. Problems weren’t always fixed by the crew, the problems sometimes just worked themselves out. Another thing that sometimes bothered me was the acting. While there were a number of great performances, the acting often times turned quite corny. Though I had a few complaints, the show also had some brilliant aspects. Beyond the story, Paranormal Activity creator Orin Peli brings his hand-held camera filming to television, creating a unique and intense show. Even though the acting gets corny there were still some great performances, specifically Emmett in his tapes and Lincoln when he was possessed by the Boiuna.
Though I don’t think this is a 10 out of 10 best show on television, I am a huge fan of this show. I think it has a ton of potential next season if it can iron out some of their plot and acting. I give the show a 6.5 out 10. What it lacks in acting it more than makes up for in creativity and storyline. I hope that rumors about the show being cancelled are false and that next season, we return to the Boiuna for some more supernatural adventures and more importantly, some answers.
In two days time, rainbowchair will be under the knife experiencing it’s first plastic surgery operation ever! What should we get done first? Our boobs or our balls? Do you really think we need them both?
In two days times, February 29, rainbowchair will turn 2 months old, not even old enough to walk, talk, or crawl yet, and already almost RBC has been viewed almost 1,500 times.
This is the part of the show where I thank you, our readers, for all that you have done, and by all that you have done, I mean somehow, someway, finding your way to our little home on the enormous web, and for at the very least loading our page up just long enough to hit back.
Regardless of how you got here, thank you for getting here. And for those of you who did not mean to find us, ha ha to you, you should be smarter than that.
Once again, in two days, Wednesday, Feb. 29, we will be turning two months old, growing our first chest hair, taking off the training wheels and having our braces put on.
I would also like to introduce a new section of RBC that will be coming soon as well that will feature an ongoing story Orangechair and myself have devoted much of our time to as of late…
Other than that, I have nothing left to say to you. Good day, and good riddance.
- Achievement in Cinematography: Robert Richardson for Hugo
I thought the Tree of Life should have taken it but in all fairness, I haven’t seen Hugo so I can’t disagree with the choice as much as I would like to; it really makes me want to see Hugo though.
- Achievement in Art Direction: Hugo
- Achievement in Costume Design: Mark Bridges for the Artist
Not only did it deserve to win, the comment made during the Artist clip where the idea behind George Valentin’s costume is describe is exactly what the costumes did. When the film starts, his clothes all fit very well but as the film goes on and he falls from the spotlight, his clothes get looser giving the appearance that the man inside the clothes is actually shrinking.
- Achievement in Make Up: The Iron Lady
- Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation from Iran
- Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer in the Help
Though I said that Jessica Chastain should win it in my win win/should win post but Octavia Spencer certainly deserves the award as well. What a great speech by Octavia Spencer! I love it when
- Achievement in the Film Editing: Girl With a Dragon Tattoo
I’m just happy that Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is getting some form of recognition though it will not receive as much as it deserves in my opinion.
- Achievement in Sound Editing: Hugo
At least Transformers didn’t win, I would not be pleased if we gave an Oscar to that movie.
- Achievement in Sound Mixing: Hugo
I’m starting to see a familiar pattern here….is it going to be a Hugo heavy awards show?
- Best Documentary Feature: Undefeated
- Best Animated Film: Rango
RANGO?!?!?!? I did not see that coming at all.
- Best Visual Effects: Hugo
- Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer in Beginners
- Best Achievement in Music: The Artist
- Best Original Song: Man or Muppet from the Muppets
Wow, only two nominated songs? Slim pickings this year.
- Best Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants
For those of you that don’t know who the Groundlings are, they are a Second City type group that started Kristin Wiig and Melissa McCarthy and the men who wrote the Descendants. I’m liking the Groundlings recognition at the Oscars tonight.
- Best Original Screenplay: Woody Allen for Midnight In Paris
No Woody at the Awards? Bummer.
- Best Live Action Short: The Shore
- Best Documentary, Short Subject: Saving Face
- Best Animated Short Film: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
- Best Achievement in Directing: Michel Hazanavicius
I’ve never been so happy to be wrong. In my earlier post I said that though I thought Hazanavicius should win the award but that Scorcese would win. Hazanavicius deserved the award and I’m so happy he got recognized.
- Best Actor: Jean Dujardin in the Artist
YES!!!! No more trying to explain to everybody why he should win, he did
- Best Actress: Meryl Streep in the Iron Lady
Very sad Rooney Mara didn’t get the Oscar, her performance was truly brilliant but it’s hard to complain about Meryl winning. Gotta love me some Meryl Streep!!!
- Best Film: The Artist
There is no doubt in my mind that this film deserves this award and this honor.
This week’s funniest moment came at the very end of the week. The moment (or situation) comes from Showtime’s hit series Shameless and, befitting the network’s unique comedy/drama genre, was as depressing as it was funny. In the latest episode Frank, everybody’s favorites drunk played by William H. Macy, comes face to face with one of his biggest fears: his mother. Originally behind bars for a life sentence after her meth lab exploded, Nana Gallagher has been released early due to a medical issue. She tells Frank she has convinced the government she is dying but as the episode progresses, it becomes apparent she may actually be dying. Every interaction between Frank and his mother is hilarious. Though I have managed to narrow it down to a specific scene, the funniest moment of the week is anytime Frank and his mother share the screen.
When around his mother, Frank turns into more of a drunken child than normal. Constantly trying to ear the smallest speck of praise or respect from her, Frank’s mother spends her time insulting and demoralizing her son. This only pushed Frank to act more like a child. The look on Frank’s face when he first saw his mother was priceless but funnier yet was their ice cream break. Deciding that she didn’t like the flavor she chose, Frank’s mother forces him to trade. This throws Frank into what can only be described as a temper tantrum and ends with him pouting with his arms crossed. The combination of Frank and his mother created some of the funniest scenes of the week.
Beyond being funny, Frank’s interactions with his mother reveal a lot about his character. If Nana Gallagher’s treatment of her son at all reflects how she treated Frank as a child (which it does) then as a child, Frank was neglected, ignored and verbally abused. Frank’s own “parenting style” was obviously inherited from his mother. It does nothing to excuse the way Frank lives his life and treats his kids but it at least gives some reasons behind it and sets up one of my favorite scenes from Shameless. At the end of the episode, after a blowout with his mother, Frank is sitting on the front porch completely humiliated and dejected. Fiona, his daughter, comes out, wraps an arm around him and says “my parents suck too.” It was the perfect end to a great episode of Shameless.
- Best Achievement in Film Editing: Christopher Tellefsen
- Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
- Best Motion Picture of the Year
- Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: brad Pitt
- Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Jonah Hill
- Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay
Moneyball, a film directed in 2011 by Bennett Miller, takes a very interesting look at the inner workings of baseball. The film stars Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Robin Wright and Philip Seymore Hoffman. It is the true story of the Oakland A’s miraculous turn around when general manager Billy Beane (Pitt) begins to recruit players using computer software rather than the traditional way. This is not a movie that focuses on the players of the team. Instead, the film’s plot revolves around the manager and recruiters that put the teams together.
One of the most shocking aspects of this movie is how controversial Beane’s decisions were in the world of baseball. Traditionally, recruiters memorized facts and stats about the major league players, as well as the most promising minor league players, watch them play and make their decisions based off what they saw. The recruiters’ hunches and experience often factored into the choices they made. They would look for well rounded players (who were often quite expensive) and trusted themselves and their feelings. In one, single season, Beane managed to take this traditional method and flip it on its head.
When we are introduced to the A’s, they are a failing team that doesn’t have enough funds to compete with larger tears, like the New York Yankees. Frustrated manager Billy Beane is desperately trying to field a decent team but does not have the money or resources to do so, until he meets Peter Brand. Brand (Hill) is working in his first job out of college compiling data on players for an opposing team. After seeing Brand’s unorthodox method of analyzing data, Beane hires him. It turns out that Brand has developed a unique mathematical way of looking at baseball. Rather than buying expensive, well rounded players, a team should focus on buying what wins games: runs. Players that get a base have a better chance of scoring runs so they are valuable. As Beane puts more and more faith in Brand’s method he becomes more and more ostracized by his coworkers, namely his head recruiter and manager (Hoffman). The team’s success however proves Beane placed his faith in the correct method.
The film has earned itself a couple of Oscar nominations. Brad Pitt has been nominated as Best Actor, Jonah Hill has been nominated as best Supporting Actor and the film has been nominated for Best Picture of the Year. I thought that overall, the film was great but to be honest, I don’t see it bringing home any Oscars. Brad Pitt played the part of Billy Beane brilliantly, bringing his turmoil and confusion to life but it is not an Oscar winning role, this year. Pitt gives a great performance that may have won in other years but he is up against some strong performances like George Clooney in the Descendants and Jean Dujardin in The Artist. Jonah Hill is facing the same problem with his nomination. Hill is in a category up against some amazing performances by Christopher Plummer and Kenneth Branagh. Hill plays the subdued, somewhat nerdy roll perfectly, filling his scenes with dry humor. As refreshing as it was to see Hill step out of his comfort zone, it was even more refreshing to see what a great actor he really is. Normally, Hill plays loud, in-your-face, vulgar characters and Peter Brand is the opposite of that. I really would like Hill to win the Oscar but I really don’t thing he is going to.
As far as Best Picture goes, Moneyball is in for a tough fight. As great as the film is, it is up against the Descendents, the Artist (which won the Golden Globe) and the Help. I do not believe that Moneyball has what it takes to win best picture. The film will need to fight the same battle for its other awards. It is up against Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and the Decedents in the Adapted Screenplay category and a number of other great film. Personally, I give the film an 8 out of 10. It is a great film but, though I hate to say it, I don’t think it’s an Academy Award winner. Watch it before the Awards and let me know what you think.