Archive for May, 2012|Monthly archive page

Film Society and Moonrise Kingdom

Love belonging to the DC Film Society. You get the chance to see new movies just before their big release.

the line for Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom was over 200 people long and filled the entire bottom of the waiting area. I didn’t think we were going to get in. But we got in and got seats in the fourth row up. Didn’t have to strain the neck to see.

The movie is well-acted and beautifully filmed. Bruce Willis is funny as is Jason Schwartzman and Ed Norton.

Those who love Anderson will enjoy this movie for its otherworldliness.

The critics loved it, scoring a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes; audiences gave it less but a still high 87%.

I didn’t think it had anything to say about the world, life, or anything else. The director has made this kind of movie before and I think it’s time to stretch boundaries and try to comment on the world.

Overpriced Seats at Stadiums

For years many of us have wondered, who could afford to buy the best seats at the new stadiums. Yes, corporations can buy some, but they usually like the suites in the middle tier of the stadium or arena. Some celebrities and wealthy buy court seats or sit behind the dugouts, but they make up a small number of the population. There are many seats that are empty and everyone can see this on television.

Here’s an article that challenges announcers to mention this fact:

We must be seeing things. Rather, we must not be seeing things.

The public used to rely on the media to fight for it, to go to bat for the bat-less. Not so much anymore. Most in the news take their corporate orders — real, tacit and imagined — or make themselves available to be bought and sold to multiple masters, restricting what they would otherwise report.

Thus, ugly, smack-you-in-the-senses realities go ignored. Worse, on TV, we’re often told to ignore what we see and instead believe what we’re told.

While we understand that local broadcasters are frightened to tell certain here-and-now truths about the teams that employ them, MLB’s national networks have no such restrictions.

SOMETHING FISHY: Shortstop Jose Reyes swings in front of prime empty seats at Marlins Park — but don’t expect baseball’s TV announcers to comment on this epidemic.

SOMETHING FISHY: Shortstop Jose Reyes swings in front of prime empty seats at Marlins Park — but don’t expect baseball’s TV announcers to comment on this epidemic.

Heck, for the billions paid to MLB in rights, ESPN, Fox and TBS should insist that their announcers speak all truths. What’s MLB going to do about it, not cash their checks? Forbid them from bidding next time?

In other words, ESPN, Fox and TBS might have — could have and should have — spent the last four seasons hammering a point so embarrassing to MLB that it might have shamed teams and Bud Selig to exact greater-good changes.

Specifically, the best seats in new parks — those most often in view throughout telecasts — are so over-priced that they’re going empty, greed-wasted. After all, these are ballparks where ballgames of pre-undetermined value are played; they’re not destination resorts.

Over the weekend, the Mets played the Marlins in Miami’s new, climate-controlled stadium. The Marlins were returning from an 8-1 road trip.

Yet, clearly visible during Friday night’s telecast on SNY and throughout Fox’s on Saturday afternoon, many of the best seats — hundreds, if not thousands, behind the backstop and along the infield lines — went unoccupied.

On Fox, not only didn’t play-by-player Rich Waltz and analyst Tim McCarver seem to notice, they seemed to think that we didn’t either. In fact, they seemed to see people where we saw none.

“Another big crowd here, on a Saturday afternoon” said Waltz, after applauding the new park.

“They built it here in Miami,” said McCarver, “and they have come.”

The biggest big ticket for Marlins home games is $250, dirt cheap by Yankee Stadium standards, yet still illogically expensive to watch any baseball game. The family of four, with eats, drinks, travel and parking, is reaching for over $1,000 to attend a game.

No thanks, they’ll sit upstairs, or at least outside the Yankee Stadium-type moat that separates and designates — a financial caste seating system. Above and beyond such seats is where crowds now begin to gather.

Read more:

Tasty Big Meal

The Studio Theatre produced another strong play. Part of its Second Stage productions, the DC theater company unveiled The Big Meal by Dan LaFranc.

The play shows five generations of a single family in the Midwest U.S. of today. Showing characters in pairs, quartets and occasionally in larger groupings, the play provides strong and interesting characters. The actors are very strong playing a multitde of roles.

The play addresses the ups and downs of rather middling lives, highs of weddings and romance and lows of jealousy, sibling rivalry, and racism. None of this hits one over the head but instead flows naturally out of the characters. Younger versions adopt good and bad habits of their parents as they age, all the types of things that we each discover about our selves.

Cinco De Mayo Pets

Lots of pet events today for Cinco de Mayo in Washington, DC.

Went down to the Waterfront in Southwest to watch dog races. Chihuahua races took place inside a penned in area. One owner held the dog and waited for the call to release while the other stood at the far end encouraging the dog to come to the finish line. They had twelve heats of five and six dogs each.

The winners of the heats went on to the semi-finals and finals. My favorite, a loud Washington Capitols fan trying to psyche up his dog before the start of the race as he stood at the finish line. When the race started his dog started playing with another competitor at the starting line and didn’t even run.

So many cute dogs.

Next Planet Pet had a big party on Florida Avenue in Adams Morgan. Lots of foo, beer, and pets of all sorts.