The Fighter: Reviewed

To say that Christian Bale becomes a character may be the understatement of 2010.  And I’m glad to get it in just under the wire.  Bale, along with Mark Wahlberg and Amy Adams lead the way in what was probably the best movie I’ve seen in the last couple of years, “The Fighter.”  Based on a true story, Wahlberg portrays boxer Micky Ward, and Bale plays his washed-up boxer/drug addict brother, Dicky.  Gritty, intense, edgy, real.  Those are few words I would use to describe the action.  And it’s not just about boxing.  In fact, non-boxing fans will love this movie just as much.  Boxing is merely the backdrop for this film.  It’s more about family and relationships and the sub-culture of growing up and living in South Boston.

And while Walhberg is very good in a role that seems right up his alley, Christian Bale steals the movie.  He’s so good that you actually forget you’re watching a movie, unless you’re me and you’re irritated by people behind you explaining the movie to each other every five minutes.  Bale actually looked physically like someone strung out on crack.  He was gaunt, pale, and unfocused but still somehow endearing as the brother who actually had a title shot against Sugar Ray Leonard in 1978.  For some reason, I don’t have a vote in the Academy Awards, but if I did, my Best Supporting Actor Oscar would go to Bale.

Another thing this movie has going for it is the actual boxing action.  It is very real, believable, and authentic.  How many times has a good movie been ruined by actors “trying” to play football, or basketball, or singing?  Not this one.  The training scenes and the fights are as close to the real-deal as you will ever see.

F-Word Alert:  if the liberal use of the mother-of-all-swear-words is a deal breaker, you might want to stay home.  And by liberal, I mean probably somewhere around 100 times.

While at the movie at the beautiful River Cinema 15, I enjoyed a popcorn and 25% Sierra Mist/75% Red PowerAde beverage.  I invented that drink about four years ago.

The Fighter:  4.5 stars out of 5.

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Random Thursday

*I plan on going to see “The Fighter” today.  Full review tomorrow.  I know some of you might be thinking, “Gee Reggie, are you really going to write a blog entry on your day off?  That seems incredibly thoughtful of you!”  Why yes, yes I am.

* “True Grit” is also on my radar.  I love the Coen brothers.

*A friend of mine said I would enjoy the television show “Glee.”  I find that hard to believe.

*Happy Underwear to Al’s Angels.

*Remember to go to the Reggie Tales Facebook page and “Like It.”  Reggie Tales on FacebookYou will become eligible for prizes and more importantly, a Reggie Tales shout out!

*Is it just me, or does it seem that every time there is a winter storm on the east coast, IT’S ALWAYS THE BIGGEST BLIZZARD IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND!?

*Reggie Tales shout out to Lizzy.

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Vikings: Seems About Right

*Leave it to the Minnesota Vikings to win a game they really have no business winning.

*The Philadelphia Eagles played exactly the way I would have predicted the Vikings would have played.

*I texted Jimmy From Accounting last night towards the end of the game and stated that if I’d been in Las Vegas, I would have lost some money betting on the Eagles to win and to cover the spread.  He concurred.  Good thing we weren’t in Vegas.  Wink.

*It’s kind of funny, (not in the ha ha way, but in the strange way) that it took the Vikings 15 games to decide to apply pressure to the opposing quarterback.  What a concept!  A blitz?  That’s unprecedented!  Who could have ever thought of something so far outside the box?

*I would love someday if someone could explain to me why it is that Vikings defensive players laugh when they drop an interception.  A professional athlete dropping a ball thrown directly at them?

*Before we start ordering the production of “Joe Webb” jerseys, let’s see how he does against the vaunted Detroit Lions.

*True story:  I honestly never knew that Bernard Berrian was playing last night until he kicked the ball out of Adrian Peterson’s hands causing the fumble.

*I’m glad the Vikings won, but when the draft rolls around in the spring, and the Purple are picking in about the #9 spot instead of say, the #6 spot, remember this win.

*Finally, the always over-looked Jimmy Kleinsasser threw the block that sprung Webb on his touchdown run.  Announcer Cris Collinsworth gave him some recognition, but nothing like having his name mentioned on The Tales.

Christmas Leftovers: Sock Monkey Style

Original Sock Monkey, as seen in Vancouver

Long-time readers of this blog may recall the infamous “Sock Monkey” escapades from early 2010.  While on assignment in Vancouver at the Winter Olympics, I purchased a Sock Monkey with a squeaker inside for my dog, CJ.  At the time, I accurately predicted the demise of that Sock Monkey.  You can read about it by clicking this link:  Sock Monkey

Well, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, I came upon a mini sock monkey Christmas ornament.  It brought back a flood of memories.  So, naturally I bought it with the sole intention of tormenting my poor dog truest meaning of Christmas in mind.  And just like people with small children, I had to dog-proof my tree and put the sock monkey up on a higher branch.  But for the purpose of a blog, I moved it to a lower branch and took a picture.  It apparently brought back a flood of memories for him, too.

Mini Sock Monkey Ornament, In Happier Times

An Irate Dog Lunges at a Christmas Ornament

Not seen in this photo is Blonde Daughter holding CJ back by the collar, so as not to maul the harmless ornament.  He really hated that cute little sock monkey.

While visiting for Christmas, Bro#1 suggested that CJ may benefit from a visit from “The Dog Whisperer.”  I’m not sure what he meant by that.

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Best of 2010

*BEST TV CATCH-PHRASE:

“I don’t know a lot about this but I have a buddy who’s an expert on it.”  -Rick, “Pawn Stars”.

Honorable mention:

“You’ve got a bunch of people here who love you like crazy and they’re willing to fight to get you back.”  -Jeff VanVonderen, “Intervention”.

*Best Movie I Saw:

“Toy Story 3″

*Best Movies I Didn’t See:

“The Social Network”

“The Town”

*Best Movie I Saw But Didn’t Understand:

“Inception”

*Best Hamburger in Grand Forks:

The Double Bacon Cheeseburger at the Italian Moon.  It is unbelievable.  It’s so good that people are smashing their vehicles into the building to get one.  It is, however, over-priced at $9.99.

*Best Hamburger in Vancouver:

The Milwaukee Market’s Bacon Cheeseburger with a fried egg on it.  I sure miss Henry.

*Best New Restaurant in Grand Forks:

Mi Mexico

*Best Vikings Player:


*Best Drive-In:

Earl’s Drive-In, Roseau.

*Best Octogenarian Beer-Drinker:

Beer Granny, Friday nights, Ralph Engelstad Arena.

*Best Food Item at Ralph Engelstad Arena:

Baked Potato with chili, cheese, sour cream, bacon, etc, etc…

*Best Twins Player:

Tie:  Monique Lamoureux, Jocelyne Lamoureux.

Honorable mention:  Nick Punto.

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Random Thursday

*Why are we so enthralled with what the English Royalty does?

*As Christmas approaches, I’ve decided that it’s quite possible that I’m a better rapper than wrapper.

*I hadn’t been to the Big Sioux Cafe in a long time, so it was a great reminder as to how good that place is when I went recently.

*Reggie Tales shout out to Paul in south Grand Forks.

*My Pecan Pie must have been above average, as its been requested to make another appearance for Christmas Eve.

*Peace Out.  And good-will towards men.  And women.

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Coming Soon: The Best of 2010

It seems that everyone has a “Best Of” list, so why not me?  I’d like to take credit for this idea, but it was actually Summer Sidekick that came up with it during a recent lunch outing.  BTW, SSK seemed to adapt quite nicely into the Winter Sidekick role.  WSK is much smarter than his lethargic Summer counterpart.  But I digress.

So beginning next Monday, I’m going to list some of my favorite things from 2010.  I think I’m going to be all over the map with my topics.  Stay tuned.

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Vikings Hangover

*I will no longer cheer for a team that employs Bryant McKinnie.  What a joke.

*Apparently Leslie Frazier is not the answer.  If the players wanted him as their next coach, they ALL would play hard for him.

*To Madieu Williams:  Good-bye.

*Why did we let Matt Birk go?

*Time to get a real quarterback.  Vick?  McNabb?  Rickey Foggie?

*Does anyone know if Bernard Berrian is still with the team?  I haven’t seen him in a month.

*Last night, with the Vikings leading 7-0, Ben Leber dropped an interception that was in his arms. This season, Minnesota has been presented with probably 100 make-able plays, and converted on few.  Good teams make easy plays.  Great teams make all plays.

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My Gift To You

My Christmas gift to you, the faithful reader, is a gift that keeps on giving:  The Famous Sausage Stuffing Recipe, courtesy of the New York Times Best Seller, The Argyle Cookbook.

Stuffing

1 loaf bread, cubed and dried

1 lb. pork sausage

3/4 cup cut up celery

1 large onion, cut up

2 tsp. sage

1 tsp. poultry seasoning, or to taste

salt and pepper to taste

Simmer sausage, celery, and onion until done.  Wet bread cubes with water.  Add cooled meat mixture.  Mix and stuff turkey or chicken.

The Good Doctor suggests to substitute chicken broth for the water, thus adding another layer of seasoning.  And I’m sure that Rosie Stoltman, the original author of this recipe, would concur.

Enjoy.  And don’t say I never gave you anything.

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Friday Photos

I’ve always been of the opinion that Grand Forks has more “interesting” people per capita than any place in the United States.  I rest my case.  Please click to enlarge.  It’s worth it.

While minding my own business yesterday morning, I came upon this situation.  I think these photos speak for themselves.  Or maybe they don’t.  Either way, they embrace the idea of Christmas, motorcycling, and Mickey Mouse.  All at the same time.

Ps…It took me a long time to catch up to them.  Approximately 25 blocks.  True story.

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