Archive for the ‘Metaphors And Tangents’ Category

I hate to do this to you. I get the sense that The Hunger Games is going to become one of those things that people who aren’t familiar with it reflexively hate (if it isn’t that already). But it’s pretty much the biggest thing going right now, and I have read the books, so I feel compelled.

And I really loved the first book. I was underwhelmed by the second, and hated the third. In fact, I hated the third so much that it kind of ruined the first two, and it’s hard to have any interest in seeing the movies. But I did like that first book, on which this movie is based, and it lends itself pretty well to this sort of thing.

You can get a summary from essentially anywhere on the internet right now, but basically: it’s some unknown time in the future, and what used to be North America is now a totalitarian regime run from the affluent Capitol, the hub surrounded by the twelve impoverished districts it keeps firmly under its thumb. Over seventy years earlier, the districts staged a failed rebellion, and as punishment, every year each district must offer two “tributes” — teenagers, one boy and one girl — to compete in “the Hunger Games,” a kind of reality show or televised sporting event in which  they all try to kill each other in any way they can. The winner is paraded around and treated like royalty, but the others are dead.

So here are how the teams heading into 2012 are like some of the tributes [tons of spoilers likely ahead]:

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If you follow me on Twitter (and really, if not, why not?), you’ve probably noticed that I’m quite the fan of the new movie, The Muppets. My wife and I (sans kids, after bedtime) saw it last Wednesday night, and had such a good time that we went back and saw it at the same time on Thursday night. It’s pure joy, basically, one of the only movies I’ve ever seen that is joyous and happy and silly without feeling kind of forced and phony, thrown together because the dumb kids won’t know the difference. This is an earnest film, created lovingly and well, that just happens to be family-friendly. It’s great. I’ll just stop and go ahead and second more or less everything Keith Law says in his review here.

So, of course, I had to do something on The Muppets for my weekly Getting Blanked spot. Unfortunately, my friend Larry Granillo at Baseball Prospectus had already expertly done what I’d probably normally do — cast current ballplayers as the Muppets — so I’ve got to pull some tangential thoughts from the movie itself. Here we go: Read the rest of this entry »

With two kids now running us ragged, The Walking Dead is pretty much the only show my wife and I agree to watch together these days.  I let her watch her Downton Abbey and her Vampires, Werewolves, and Ghosts shows.  She lets me watch Boardwalk Empire, Community, Parks and Recreation, and Fringe.  But every Sunday night, after we put The Boy to bed, she and I sit down and stare through a window to a world where the dead come back and try to eat the living.  And so, last night, we were as shocked by the way events spun out of control on the mid-season finale of TWD as anyone and I found myself thinking more about their relations to our beloved sport.

What follows after the jump is mostly spoiler-free (spoilers being defined as talking about what happened in last night’s episode), except for the very end.  You’ve been warned.

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