Random Thursday

*I hate surprise storms.  I think we can stop with the wind and the snow and the cold.

*I might go to “Gangster Squad” next.  Or “Parker.”  I always enjoy movies with Jason Statham.  But at the same time, J-Lo is in it so I have a real dilemma on my hands.

*I might be alone on this, but I’m tiring of the Ray Lewis act.

*Reggie Tales shout out to Big Jeff in Alvarado.  Without his expertise, trains would be crashing into each other at the Alvarado Exchange on a daily basis.

*I don’t care who wins the Super Bowl.  I’d like for it to be close and have lots of funny commercials.

*Very entertaining game last night between the Wild and the Blackhawks.

Silver Linings Playbook: Reviewed

Good news and bad news concerning my recent trek to see the much ballyhooed “Silver Linings Playbook.”  The good news is that my string of seeing above average movies was extended to six.  The bad news?  It fell short of my high expectations.  Keep in mind that in the last two months I’ve seen “Argo,” “Lincoln,” “Flight,” “Django Unchained,” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”  A pretty impressive list.

This might be a case of when you see a movie.  After seeing all of those, my standards might have been a little askew.  “Silver Linings Playbook” might have been one of the better movies I’d seen if I had gone to it before the others.  But I didn’t.  And it was “just o.k.”

Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro are fantastic in a story about a couple of people battling some mental health problems.  And the movie is centered around the Philadelphia Eagles and their importance in the lives of middle class Philadelphia family.  The movie is equal parts entertaining and predictable.  And while I enjoyed it, I’m really not sure where all the Oscar “buzz” for this movie is coming from.  I left the theater wishing it had been just a little bit better.  I also left the theater wishing I had more Peanut Butter M&M’s.  Those things are awesome.

So anyway, go to this movie.  It’s feel good and harmless all rolled into one.  But keep in mind, all of those other movies mentioned are a better option.

Silver Linings Playbook:  3 out of 5 stars.

Popcorn, Diet Coke, Peanut Butter M&M’s.  They really taste good with the popcorn.  I think it’s some kind of salt and chocolate deal. 

Random Thursday

*Nothing really brings the people of this country together more than a good lip-synching controversy.  It’s really heartwarming, watching people argue for days and days whether Beyonce actually sang at the Inauguration.  I have an idea, why doesn’t somebody just ask her?  Better yet, how about we don’t worry about it?

*In a league that recycles head coaches year after year after year, I wonder why Brian Billick and Herm Edwards haven’t gotten another NFL coaching job.

*Reggie Tales shout out to Hawke from South Bay.  He’s going under the knife and some other surgical tools today and I’m sure he’d welcome the thoughts and prayers of Reggie Tales Nation.  Yes, Reggie Tales Nation.

*My next movie will be “Silver Linings Playbook.”  I’m on an unprecedented string of seeing great movies.  And I fully expect it to continue.

*People say the cold “keeps the riff raff out.”  Well, I think they’re gone now.

*My good friend Bokko sent me this text this morning:  What’s the ruling on getting a new toothbrush after you are sick?  Doesn’t that make sense?  He asked that I open it up to the readers for discussion.

*On an unrelated note, I’m worried about my good friend Bokko.

Zero Dark Thirty: Reviewed

“Zero Dark Thirty” is the story depicting the manhunt for Osama Bin Laden by United States forces.  Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, (The Hurt Locker) the debate over just how accurate “Zero Dark Thirty” is will go on for a long time.  But even if it’s only half true, it’s still an unbelievable story.  And an even better movie.

The heart pounding picks up shortly after the events of September 11, 2001.  The film depicts the sometimes not so glamorous world of trying to procure information from detainees.  I will leave the methods used for historians to debate.  If the movie is accurate, they seemed pretty useful.

Bigelow’s use of extremely tight camera shots to heighten your anxiety is incredible.  And Jessica Chastain as the lead CIA agent is award worthy for sure.

I’ve seen so many good movies in the last couple of months I can’t even keep them straight.  “Argo” is still probably my favorite.  Then it might be a toss-up between “Lincoln” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”

“ZDT” is a great movie.  Incredible movie making skills and scenery.  It feels like a real look at the world of espionage and intelligence.

Zero Dark Thirty

4 out of 5 stars

Popcorn, Diet Coke, and M&M’s.

Random Thursday: Manti Te’o Edition

*Well…this might be the craziest story I’ve ever heard.  And my guess is we’ve only uncovered about 10% of the truth.

*So, for three years, Manti never actually met, in person, his girlfriend?  And he never once Skyped or iChatted with her?

*And he never went to her funeral?

*I think for me, the most interesting part of the story at this point is that Notre Dame has chosen to firmly stand behind Te’o.  They’ve had three weeks to investigate his version.  If it ends up Te’o is lying, Notre Dame is going to have a very difficult time circling the wagons.

*One thing is for certain, and I’m not even joking here, the book and movie are going to be fabulous.  It’s early, but I’m thinking Mario Lopez as Manti Te’o:






*And I leave you with this:  Even though Manti Te’o’s girlfriend doesn’t exist, Brent Musburger still thinks she’s good looking.

*Ps…Reggie Tales shout out to Rudy in South Bend.

Warren Johnson

We lost one of the good guys this week. Warren Johnson, a long time Grand Forks lawyer in the States Attorney’s Office, died on Sunday. He was 73.
I met Warren twenty years ago when I first moved to Grand Forks. And he was one of those guys you liked to cross paths with because he was the happiest guy in the room. He seemingly always had a twinkle in his eye and a beer mug in his hand. And you would have never guessed he was a lawyer because he rarely spoke about it, even though he was a darn good one.
His love of UND sports was legendary. He once had his head painted green and white to resemble a basketball when the North Dakota women’s team made it to the Nationals. And in his spare time, he was a high school football referee.
I will miss his smile and his positive attitude along with his hearty laugh.
Warren Johnson was good people.

Random Thursday

*I’m surprised at the Oscar snubs of Ben Affleck and Quentin Tarantino.

*With Minnesota out of the playoff picture, I think I’m going to throw my support behind Peyton Manning, Chris Kuper and the Denver Broncos.  Good to see Kuper back in the lineup.

*Reggie Tales shout out to Justin at Judy’s World Famous Tavern.

*The Minnesota and UND hockey series next weekend in Minneapolis is going to be a good one.

*If you like a good television story like I like a good television story, you won’t want to miss TV’s David Schwab’s story tonight about a 102 year old Grafton woman who happens to be a bowling phenom.  You can also check it out on wdaz.com later tonight.

*Bonus shout out to the great people at Amazing Grains.  If you haven’t had soup or a sandwich from AG, you’re missing out.

*I bought new tires for my vehicle at Wal-Mart this week.  I could write a sitcom based on the experience.  And I could easily get eight episodes out of it.

Now We Know Why

Somewhere, Sage Rosenfels is smiling.  Heck, he might have even passed out from laughing.

Rosenfels was the quarterback the Vikings deemed dispensable because Joe Webb was going to be their backup.

Well, now we know why Leslie Frazier never pulled Christian Ponder at any point during the season.  And there was probably two or three times when he should have.  The Vikings inability to judge quarterback talent is as comical as Joe Webb attempting a forward pass.

Once the Green Bay Packers realized that Webb was a one trick pony, they directed all their defensive efforts to Adrian Peterson.  And somehow, Peterson still managed to gain 99 yards with everyone in the stadium trying to tackle him.

I’m guessing the Vikings don’t let their backup quarterbacks throw any passes in practice.  Otherwise, how could they knowingly stay with Webb in that role the entire year?

Reggie Tales tried to contact Sage Rosenfels for a comment, but he was laughing so hard he couldn’t talk.

Django Unchained: Reviewed

I’m fairly certain that “Django Unchained” is one of the best, craziest, most shocking, bizarre, and wildly entertaining movies I’ve ever seen.  And now that I’ve had a full twelve hours to digest it, I’m still not quite sure how to describe what I saw.

Even if I didn’t know that Quentin Tarantino had directed it, I would have figured it out within fifteen minutes.  Tarantino loves to cross lines and to turn taboo subjects into almost comical fodder.

“Django Unchained,” in large part, deals with slavery in America in 1858.  Jamie Foxx is excellent as the freed slave, Django.  And Christoph Waltz will probably win an Oscar (Best Supporting Actor) for his effort as Django’s partner and mentor as bounty hunters.  Also appearing in the star laden cast is Samuel L. Jackson and Leonardo DiCaprio.  And of course, Tarentino provides a cameo.

The white elephant in the room concerning this movie is its use of the N-word.  110 times to be exact.  I’m not going to lie, it’s aggressive.  And like most Tarentino movies, it’s exaggerated.  But somehow, he’s able to poke fun at some of the strangest things.

So, if you go, brace yourself.  For a lot of action and for a three hour movie that somehow doesn’t feel like three hours.

True Story:  Have you ever gone to a movie and when you’re buying your ticket you momentarily forget what the movie is called?  It happens to me about 25% of the time.  And it happened last night.  My mind raced as I frantically searched for the title on the sign.  After three seconds I blurted out, “Durango Unchanged.”  The kid behind the counter, to his credit, nodded and smiled one of those smart-aleck type smiles.  Wink.  I’m sure he told his work friends about it as soon as I walked out of earshot.  On the tough streets of Stephen, if you made a mistake similar to that, we referred to it is as a “Richy.”

Django Unchained

4 out of 5 stars.

No popcorn, no pop.  Although, after two hours I was mad with that decision.