Archive for December, 2007


Ode to the Man Purse. Or Goodbye Gordan Giricek

gira and purse

Oh, the stylish Gira. Gira of the pink shirts and the man purse. Of the Euro-style and the Euro-travel. You will be missed. Though, I do ask you to return my mom’s glasses.

Gordan Giricek was traded yesterday from the Utah Jazz to the 76ers.  When the jazz first aquired him in a trade for Deshawn Stevenson, he seemed like a perfect fit for the team. He had several 20 point games and hit shot after shot. There was love in the air in Salt Lake.

Then Gira got his 4 year contract.

Since then he has been in Coach’s dog house. Something rubbed Coach Sloan (or COY as I like to call him) wrong about Gira. Perhaps it was that he traveled at least once every game that he played for us. Maybe he even pinched COY’s cheek or something one day. Most likely it was that he refused to stay within the offense.

When I say refused, I mean it. One thing that I have noticed about Gordan Giricek over the years is that he is one stubbord SOB. He refuses to change. He has a certain belief about himself and his talent level and he sticks to that belief.

I enter into evidence Exibit A: The Euro Travels

Gordan . . . most likely traveling

Gira makes this little stutter-step move every time he intends to drive to the basket. All european players seem to have it when they come into the league, but most get rid of it after a few games. The Officials are all clued in on it. (I swear that they have a meeting before each Jazz game and say “Watch Giricek. He travels. Like a lot”) He get’s called for traveling with this move every game, somethimes even two or three times in a single game. The thing is, Gordan refuses to change his style.

Exhibit B: The interviews.

Oh yeah . ..  More purse

Whenever a reporter confronts Giricek with something, he mentions europe.

He says something like “Why does everyone think I am a bad defender? I was the best defender in Europe.”  Or “I was the best two guard in europe.” Or “Me heap good in Europe, no?”

I think that Gordan actually believes he is just that good and therefore does not need to change.

Exhibit C: The Offense

Boozer says

Gira had been on the team for four years. For four years he has been in trouble with COY about playing outside of the offense. He inevitably get’s benched for games at a time for trying to play his own game instead of coach’s game. Why? Wouldn’t a normal average guy learn?

With the best two guard on the team (Gira) on the bench, we end up playing substandard guy after substandard guy at the position. How much better would this team have been over the last four years if Gira had played within the offense like COY has asked him to? It’s an unanswerable question really. But Jazz owner Larry Miller has quoted the assistant coaches as having told him that Gira was the most talented player on the team.

Ah well, no big deal. The trade has been made. Gira and his man-purse are gone. But he has left a legacy behind with the other players as I read in todays Sltrib blog. http://blogs.sltrib.com/jazz/

Now we have a new player for me to pick on. Kyle Korver, or “Deformio” as I like to call him.

Deformio

Hey, on his own website, he calls himself a “heartthrob” so he’s fair game.

Actually he is a fantastic shooter, so here’s hoping that he improves our team.

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A quick thought on the writer’s strike. I didn’t think it would have that much of an effect on my life, but I was actually quite wrong. Sure some of my beloved shows are on hiatus, (The Office, Pushing Daisies, How I met your mother, and others I may or not be ashamed to say I like.) but I can put up with that. There isn’t a show that I can’t live without like say Firefly or Angel or Ed on television anymore. (24 has even lost it’s appeal to me.) So the lack of new scripted television to watch isn’t that big of a deal. Where it has affected me has been in my change of entertainment choices.

In the past, Mrs. Edge and I would put the kids to bed and turn on the DVR to watch the shows from the previous day or week that we had missed. Since the shows have stopped airing, I have turned to watching movies more often or playing video games. Thus began my rewatching of MST3K and the discovery of Rifftrax.

In other words, I’ve moved on. How about everyone else? Have you just started watching the programming that has replaced the shows you used to like? Are you watching Riverdancing with the Stars or Midget Biggest Loser? Or are you filling your time with other activities? I think that a lot of us have moved on. There are far too many entertainment choices out there these days. Internet, games, dvd’s . . . heck, there are even the great outdoors for you fetishists out there that actually leave your house.

I think that the networks are going to be surprised to see just how much of their audience has moved on.

The only thing that makes me nervous is when the strike is over and all the studios rush out movies based on hastily written first drafts of screenplays so that they can have their schedule filled. 2008 could be a filmic crap fest folks. You heard it here first.

TV’s Frank weighs in.

MST3K Fans have it good

Joel and the bots
It is a golden age for fans of the late TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000 and I’m loving every minute of it. For years the only thing available to the fans has been tape trading and the occasional DVD release of an episode by Rhino. But recently things have heated up.

The MST3K crew has split into three seperate camps and all of them are offering new content to us diehard fans.

The camps: Rifftrax, Cinematic Titanic, and MST3K.com.

So far the three groups have for the most part refused to acknowledge eachother. They are in competition, but the fan base is ravenous and I believe that we will be well able to consume whatever the parties turn out. Still, you can’t help but compare the groups and many fans have already taken sides.

MST3K.com:

Recently the producer and owner of the rights to MST3K, Jim Mallon (Also the voice of Gypsy) teamed up with one of the shows old writers, Paul Chaplin to bring the bots back through flash animated cartoons. This seems to have been done mainly as a vehicle to sell merchandise. So far the few cartoons that they have done have been mediocre or borderline lame. They promise that things are going to get better, but so far the response of fans has been tepid at best.

The two heavy hitters are Rifftrax and Cinematic Titanic
Cinematic Titanic logo with Iconic sillhouettes

Cinematic Titanic has the advantage of a wealth of talent available. Joel Hodgson (MST’s Creator and the main man for the first 5 years of the shows run.), Trace Beaulieu (the original voice of Crow), Josh Weinstein (The voice of Tom Servo in the first season of MST), Mary Jo Pehl (Longtime writer on the show, she played Ma Forrester in seasons 7-10.), and Frank Conniff (Loveable TV’s Frank).

Like MST3K, Cinematic Titanic is a movie riffing vehicle where a team gathers to watch a bad film. Not a lot is known about the details yet except that The riffers will be sillouhetted against the screen and that they will interact with the film in various ways. They have finished the first film and in a few weeks, fans that have placed their orders, will get the DVD in the mail (Mine is on it’s way.) The website is Cinematictitanic.com. There is a lot of excitement about the possibilities here, but from what we fans have been able to see, the production costs look high and we have to wonder if the profits that come in will be enough to keep the ship afloat. Right now the advantage goes to Rifftrax

Rifftrax:
Rifftrax Rules
Over the the years since the show was cancelled, Mike Nelson (Longtime head writer and lead on the show for seasons 5-10) has been carrying the torch with different projects. He has been writing books and doing commentaries for movies for Legend Films and staying in contact with the fans.  But two years ago he started another company called Rifftrax.  The concept is this, Mike (together with guest stars) riffs popular movies that are readily available on DVD. He sells these riffs as audio files for a very reasonable price on his website, You can then play the rifftrax along with your movie as you watch it. They also have available as a free download a Rifftrax player that will synch up the riff files with the dvd for you on your computer.  The great part is that the studios profit as well. We fans go buy their movie just so that we can watch the guys make fun of it.

He is joined by two of my favorite MST cast members, Kevin Murphy (Longtime writer and the voice of Tom servo for seasons 2-10 of MST3K.) and riffcown extraordinaire, Bill Corbett (writer and the voice of Crow T Robot for seasons 8-10) .

They are also the team behind The Film Crew. A project that put out four DVD’s of bad movies torn to pieces by these masters of mirth. Unfortunately that particular project seems to have found its way into limbo. The films are available here, but the odds aren’t great that they will continue to make more.

Rifftrax’s advantage over the other two groups is their team chemistry and their catalog of over 50 films already riffed. They put out another one every 7-10 days or so, so they can keep fresh content coming. The riffs are cheap (running 2-4 bucks depending on how long the movie is and how many of the guys are riffing on the film.) and they have an established money making system that seems to be doing well. The website is WWW.Rifftrax.com.

I must admit that at first the idea of Rifftrax didn’t appeal to me too much. I love those guys but do I really need to see movies like Spiderman, The Bourne Identity, and the Star Wars Prequels made fun of? Heck, do I even watch movies on my computer at all? Then I purchased the Film Crew Videos and my whistle was whetted. I wanted more, but the whole concept of playing the audio file along with the movie put me off. Then after a quick trip to their forums I found out that there were ways to take my own DVD’s, rip them to my computer, add in the rifftrax and burn new copies to watch on my own entertainment system.

From there on I was hooked. I currently have over 30 of the riffed films burned to DVD and I love them. The guys are just as hilarious as they were during the MST3K days. Sure I miss the sillhouettes. I miss the host segments with Crow and Tom, but the voices are there. The core of the show is still intact and as good as ever. And how is it watching the MST guys take on a film that you actually like? So far, it hasn’t changed my enjoyment of the films at all. In fact it has added to the experience. I watched Mike and guest riffer Neil Patrick Harris (Of CBS’ How I met Your Mother) take on the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory. It’s a film I love, but I laughed along with the jokes and enjoyed the film at the same time. I even broke down and watched Mike and Kevin Riff The Fellowship of the Ring, (My favorite movie of all time) I loved every minute.

Now I look forward to Cinematic Titanic’s first release landing on my doorstep. I hope that the MST3k.com guys get their act together. I also wish that there could be a reunion of the old show that all these projects are based on. But until that happens, I am content with my Rifftrax. (I can even get my wife to watch with me.)

Update 1/16/08:
I Have The Oozing Skull. (I know. Sounds bad) My review has been posted here.

Neil Diamond doesn’t suck so much for me anymore.

Oh lord please no.
To start off my blogging endeavor I thought that I would bring up one of the dark periods in my life, and I do this to prove a point.

My dislike of Neil Diamond and all things Diamond started at a tender age. My Fifth Grade class was assigned a few songs for a show the school was putting on for our parents. Our teacher chose Neil Diamond’s ” America”. He sang the lead and we children sang the chorus.

Till that point in my young life I wasn’t aware that one word could inspire hatred in me, but after singing the word “today” Twelve hundred thousand times in a row for two weeks straight I learned the truth. Neil Diamond became my nemesis. I had nightmares where I was forced to sing “today” over and over again for hours on end. I would then go to school and those nightmares would become a reality.

The teacher would put the music on and my throat would go dry, I would start to wimper. Beads of sweat would break out on my brow. By the hundredth chorus of the word “Today”. my feet were aching, my voice was strained and horse. I didn’t think that the other children were quite as affected by it as I was, but every once and a while one of them would falter or start sobbing and the teacher would make us start over again. (that child was a marked man once recess came, let me tell you.)

The concert finally came and left, but that didn’t change my dislike for all things Diamond. If any of his songs came on the radio. I would angrily shout “Today!” over and over again. (to the dismay of my parents or anyone else listening.) It became something of a mission to me to belittle Neil Diamond in front of anyone that I knew liked him.

As the years rolled by, my dislike for the man didn’t exactly wane, but it wasn’t in the forefront of my mind. (Though I did quote Bill Murray from the film “What about Bob” frequently. “There are two types of people in this world. People who love Neil Diamond and people who hate Neil Diamond”)

Then I met my wife. We had so much in common. We became best friends. We fell in love, got married. Then one day we were at Walmart and she stopped at a CD rack. To my shock, she picked up Neil Diamond’s greatest hits and put it in the cart.

“Are you really going to buy that CD  . . . ‘Today‘?” I asked sarcastically.

“Yeah.”

“Why would you do that. For the love of all that is holy, why?”

“What? You have a problem with Neil Diamond?”

“He is Satan’s son. That’s right, the spawn of the devil himself. While Satan was in the garden tempting Eve with the apple, Neil Diamond was in the kitchen pooping in Adam’s oatmeal!”

“But I love Neil Diamond. Don’t worry I won’t make you listen to it.”

But she did. She had to listen to it in the car. To my surprise, there were a few of his songs that I actually liked. But when “America” started I made her skip the song. A year later she made me watch “The Jazz Singer.” The movie stunk, but to my surprise I found that I didn’t hate Neil anymore.

To this day, I still cannot stand that song. But I actually have to admit that I like Neil Diamond in general. There is something about his voice . . . . Anyway at the beginning I said that there is a point to my ramblings.

I have since forgotten the point, but I will try to come up with something on the fly.

Get ready, because this is going to be good. This is going to be profound. You are going to finish reading what I am about to say and go, “Wow. This guy is profound. Where does a guy, an every joe like Edgewriter come up with with a statement that makes me feel so complete?”

Okay, crap, I blew it. I raised your expectations too high. Screw it. The point isn’t going to be that great. The basic premise is that, uh  . . . . stuff  . . . changes over time. One day you think that something meaningless is important to you. You might even think that it partially defines you. But in reality it doesn’t. Over time, your feelings will change.

But for now I want to leave you with something that I hope haunts your dreams for a while like it did mine. You deserve it, I’m sure. Just listen to the chorus  . . .”today” . . . . .”Today” . . . “Today . . . . . .