Inaugural Propcast

Alex wadE Wade A

Are you a faithful SP reader? Now you can be a faithful SP listener! Like many other blogs we’ve decided to jump on the podcast bandwagon with the “propcast”. Now you can enjoy the unique humor of Wade, Alex, and wadE in audio format. This is our first of many, so bear with us as we work out the bugs and hopefully improve. Enjoy!

Hall of Flame

Alex Baseball

I’m intending to write more on this year’s baseball Hall of Fame election results after they’re announced on Wednesday. But, after reading Jayson Stark’s article on how he filled out his ballot, I will say this:

Anyone who submitted a blank ballot should be banned from having a vote. I’ll be happy to name names when they’re published.

The Cost of Life

Alex Sports TV

Wanna watch the NCAA college basketball tournament (aka March Madness) online (presumably at work) this year? It’ll cost you. If you’re a cable or dish subscriber, you can ‘authenticate’1 with your account and watch all the games for ‘free’. If you’re not one of those people, you can pay $3.99 for the whole slate of games.

“We had to protect our distributors, and part of that protection is to make sure when people are cable, satellite or Telco subscribers, they have the opportunity to watch all these games for free on any device they want,” [Turner Sports president David] Levy told SI.com.

Translation: “Why aren’t you witless sheep spending $100/month to buy cable and watch all of our quality programming? Then this would be ‘free’ for you.”

I will allow that four bucks is a reasonable price point. However, this does nothing to lessen my view that the cable companies are doing EVERYTHING they can to protect their cartel model for television against those of us who would prefer not to pay a maximum amount of money to watch the minimal amount of what we’d like to see on television.

  1. We’ll see how well that works.

Thursday Night Movies: Unforgiven (1992)

Alex Movies

Short version: The last of an era?

Watching True Grit last week put me in a Western mood, and since I had never seen Unforgiven, I queued it up from The Netflix. Great cast (Eastwood, Hackman, Freeman, and Richard Harris). It won Best Picture (and Hackman won for Best Supporting). And I’d bet it’s the last True Western made, or at least I can’t think of another like it since.

If you’ve seen a classic Clint Eastwood Western, you pretty much know what to expect from Unforgiven, with the twist that this is basically capital-C Clint coming out of retirement to do one last killin’. He teams up with his old partner (Freeman), and a new ‘kid’ (Jaimz Woolvett) to kill two cowboys who cut up a lady, and claim the bounty for it.1

I think there are two things that mark this movie as the last of the Westerns, at least in our current movie climate. First, the pace. It’s a slow movie. (Note: I do not think that this is a bad thing.) We get plenty of time with all the characters to establish who they are,

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and what they’re doing, and why. I enjoyed it, but it was jarring. I’m not used to watching movies like this anymore. The second thing: Not only did this movie not glorify killing, it made shooting a man a very difficult thing. Morgan Freeman lost his nerve and couldn’t shoot the first cowboy, and the Kid, for all his big talk, had never shot a man until he killed the second cowboy, and he couldn’t handle it afterwards. The movie spent time on this to make a point of it. (Note: I also do not think that this is a bad thing.) Even Gene Hackman’s character, played so well as an almost reluctant villain, never shot anyone in the movie.

In any case, for a 20 year old movie, Unforgiven holds up quite well. I’m glad I watched it.

  1. Thought: Is this the Lethal Weapon of Westerns? Sadly, at no point does Morgan Freeman say: “I’m gettin’ too old for this shit!”