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Archive for January, 2013|Monthly archive page

2013 First Quarter Movie Guide

In future, movies on 01/23/2013 at 20:33

The first quarter of the 2013 movie season has already begun. Nothing much about January interested me though, and the dead of winter is notorious for its lackluster cinema offerings. However there are a few interesting films on the horizon before the summer season picks up in May.

February 8th: “Side Effects”
Starring Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Channing Tatum
THE DEAL: I have purposely not read into the story behind this movie and have been avoiding the ad campaign as best I can. Side Effects is a psychological thriller involving murder, medication and mental health issues…so you know there will be plenty of twists and turns. Channing Tatum looks to be taking another step in his inevitable march toward super stardom, Rooney Mara is as magnetic a screen presence as ever, and Jude Law seems to be the wildcard holding it all together. This could be a good one.

February 8th: “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III”
Starring Bill Murray, Charlie Sheen, Jason Schwartzman
THE DEAL: Written and directed by Roman Coppola, I have likewise not read too much into this film as it is the type of comedy that will keep taking you by surprise as it spirals into madness. Sheen plays a graphic design artists in the 70s whose girlfriend (Katheryn Winnick) dumps him, throwing his life into a nosedive. This will only get a wide release if it does extremely well, so be on your toes if you want to catch this torpedo of truth in theaters.

March 1st: “Stoker”
Starring Mia Wasikowska, Nichole Kidman, Matthew Goode
THE DEAL: “After her father dies, an enigmatic uncle moves in with a girl and her emotionally unstable mother. Although the mother has suspicions about his motives, she finds herself drawn to him.” A simple plot to a psychological horror film written by Wentworth Miller and directed by Chan-wwok Park, the man behind “Old Boy.” This movie has a high ceiling and low basement. Here’s hoping the solid casts pulls it off and delivers a solid, intelligent scare, something American horrors have been sorely lacking.

March 8th: “Oz: The Great and Powerful”
Starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, Zach Braff
THE DEAL: Any “Oz” prequel seems doomed from the start, much like a live action, CGI-laden “Alice in Wonderland.” The options are too endless, and if director Sam Raimi hasn’t pulled the reigns in, this thing could be a meandering, dazzling pile of horse shit. Here’s hoping it isn’t, because the visuals so far have been stimulating and the cast is definitely worth getting excited about.

April 5th: “Jurassic Park”
Starring Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neil, Laura Dern
There are a few notable re-releases in 2013, including “The Little Mermaid” and all three of the Star Wars prequel films. The Disney re-releases got old after “The Lion King” dominated the summer box office for three weeks, and further dressing up the nonexistent magic of “Attack of the Clones” simply doesn’t do it for me. “Jurassic Park,” however, is a movie I’d go see in theaters once a month if I could. It is the first movie I ever saw in theaters (followed by “Lion King,” coincidentally) and the awe inspiring presence of Spielberg’s dinosaurs has yet to diminish. The CGI might benefit from some slight touch ups, but the animatics used in JP have yet to be surpassed 20 years later. And while I’m not a huge fan of 3D, with this blockbuster it totally works. Imagine the whole tree/car scene in 3D? Or that stampede veering its course directly at you! What were those things called again? Galli…galli…gallimimus!

Maria Sharapova: $1000 per minute

In girls, sports, TV, Uncategorized on 01/23/2013 at 19:44

The 2013 Australian Open is midway through its second week and the eight Men’s and Women’s semifinalists have all spent varied amounts of time on court. Maria Sharapova has looked particularly dominant in her first 5 matches and will seek to keep that streak alive in tonight’s semi against the charming and dangerous Li Na.

Masha Masha Masha!

But let’s examine just how dominant (and just how lucrative) Sharapova has been so far:

R128 Sharapova def. Puchkova 6-0, 6-0 (55 minutes)
R64 Sharapova def. Doi 6-0, 6-0 (47 minutes)
R32 Sharapova def. V Williams 6-1, 6-3 (79 minutes)
R16 Sharapova def. Flipkens 6-1, 6-0 (78 minutes)
QF Sharapova def. Makarova 6-2, 6-2 (66 minutes)

Maria has lost 9 games in 5 matches and no sets. She has yet to play a match that lasted an hour and twenty minutes or exceeded a 6-3 scoreline. In fact, with just over 5 hours on court and a cool $500,000 already in the bank, Sharapova is earning an astonishing $1539 for every minute she’s on court.

To put that in context, a typical 9-5 job with that sort of rate would pay $3.7 million every week. Lucky for the Happy Slam, Maria isn’t logging that sort of time. And her efficient play has been as impressive as her minute/dollar ratio.

Through five matches Maria is +21 winners to unforced errors.┬áHer serve percentage is erratic, but she’s winning 80% of first serve points and 54% of second. Azarenka, the defending champion and Marai’s┬ákryptonite of late, will dominate any weak serving, so there is certainly cause for alarm.

With Serena Williams out, Sharapova has a huge opportunity not only to reclaim the world #1 ranking (she only needs to reach the finals) but earn her 5th career Major. While her numbers have been encouraging, I’m sure she would not mind Sloan Stephens scoring another huge upset on her behalf.