I know I don’t really talk about sports on this particular blog and I keep it to movies instead, but this is my blog and I can do what I want and I couldn’t stop thinking about two plays all week. You may not care about sports, or maybe you like basketball but hate soccer, or it could be the other way around. Two things happened this week, two days apart, one in the NBA playoffs and one in the Copa America Centenario semifinal, that were, by every definition of the word, amazing. I’m reminded of a scene from one of my favorite shows, Sports Nite. It’s a scene where Casey’s on the phone with his kid, who he has a bad relationship with. It’s late at night and he tells him to turn on the TV even though it’s past his bedtime. There’s this guy running and he’s about to break the world record for the 15,000 meters. Casey tells his son that he’ll fill him in on what the significance of this even means, but for now, he tells him to “just watch.”
On Sunday, Lebron James did everything he could to win the NBA Finals, including this block. Just watch:
On Tuesday Lionel Messi imposed his will on a soccer game and showed the USA they have a long way to go to consider themselves a contender. He did a lot of things during that game, but he scored one of the most ridiculous goals I’ve ever seen. Just watch:
The thing that got me was that these two guys who are considered the best in the world at what they do, elevated their game to a level that was so amazing, it kind of became unbelievable. They’re moments that just kind of leave you shocked. It doesn’t make sense that these people are part of our species.
What was also amazing was how similar and different both these plays were. Lebron is a giant monster of a man. He’s the closest thing we have to what a superhero would look like in real life. Lebron is everywhere. He’s probably the second most famous person in America, next to the president. For that block, he ran full speed, the length of the court, jumped higher than anyone else and smashed the ball against the backboard like it was a grape, if you were some weird person who smashes grapes against the window. Messi is not a giant man. He’s quite small. Look at him in that picture, he’s like an adorable, little hedgehog. He doesn’t talk during his commercials. Before that goal, he takes a moment and reties his shoes. He had all the time in the world to take that kick. It was just him and that ball. And he bent it through time in space into a part of the goal that was unsavable.
Even though they did it in very different ways, both of these men looked at the ball, said “Fuck that, I’m not losing tonight,” imposed their will on a round piece of leather, and nothing was the same for the other team after that. The other team was destined to lose after that moment. It’s like they’re two sides of the same impossibly, amazing coin.
That shit is amazing. You don’t just GET to do that. You can’t always get what you want. It’s true, they even wrote a song about it. Most people can’t just think they’re going to do something better than everyone else, and it actually happens*. I can’t do that with anything in my life, unless it’s eating too much and feeling bad about myself.
*See Trump, Donald
They even both have a singular name that is synonymous with greatness. Jen and I went to Boston again last weekend to go see Argentina play, and I kept describing Messi as the “Lebron of soccer” to my non-soccer savvy friends. In a completely different conversation, when someone asked “How is Argentina so good, I thought it was just Messi?” and I compared it to how Lebron carried those shitty Cavs teams to the finals all those years when it was just him. Somewhere in Europe or South America, that same conversation is happening, just with the two names are switched.
And it turns out they aren’t just carrying their teams or are surrounded by inferior talent. Argentina also has 4 or 5 World Class players and 9 or 10 more great players. The Cavs have a bunch of past and future All-Stars. And whatever you classify JR Smith as. And Lebron was playing against the two-time MVP, Steph Curry, and NBA All-Defense winner Draymond Green. This is what makes these moments even more unbelievable. There they were, in the middle of all this other talent, and just said “Nah. My turn.” They took an already-raised bar, and bunny hopped right over it. It’s like that video that was going around right after Prince passed away, of him playing with all these other rock superstars at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame George Harrison tribute:
Prince is on stage with Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood, and Dhani Harrison. And when it comes time for him to solo, it’s like Prince looks around and goes, “Y’all are cute. Watch this.” And he FUCKING RIPS it.
Look, you may not understand sports, but you get that Prince reference. It’s that feeling you get when you watch greatness. It’s the feeling you get when you finish the train heist episode in Breaking Bad. It’s that feeling when you see [great painting] in person by [great painter guy]. It’s that feeling of, “Holy shit. That’s amazing. Seriously, no one else on Earth can do that,” and enjoying the hell out of it.
And that’s what sports do for me at the end of the day. I get to watch someone do something that no one else on the planet can do and enjoy the hell out of it. And on a day like today when the news feels like a stream of headlines from the Onion and people are making stupid decisions based on, basically, spite, it’s nice to have something that you can look at and makes you think “That’s incredible” and it puts a smile on your face. Just watch:
Welp, for the first week, I did not come in first place. I decided to put all my fish eggs in one basket and ride with Finding Dory. You’d think this was a good decision, as Finding Dory broke the record for most money made by an animated movie in an opening weekend, with $135 million. That’s enough for 19th ever, overall, as well. Many of us tried to FIND success with Dory (get it?!), which lead to a very close weekend, where 6 of us were only separated by $8 million. But alas, Dory was not the right play this weekend. The right play was to ROCK out with Central Intelligence ($35.5M) and Alice Through the Looking Glass ($4.3M), which was this weekend’s best performer at $204K per Bux!!
Danny* was able to grab first place this weekend with $159 million. Danny went with Dory, but also managed to take Alice 3 times, which lead to a $6 million bonus. I came in second, $10 million back from Danny, followed very closely (<$400k) by Jenny*, as we both swam with Dory and didn’t manage to take this week’s best performer. Tanya (4th), Andy (6th) and Sean (8th) went the Central Intelligence route, but didn’t manage to grab the perfect lineup. Danielle came in 7th this week, because she only used 4 movies. Leaving slots open loses you money! Stop this! Do I need to explain how the internet works? If you click on a movie you add it. If you click on it, while it’s in your roster, you can remove it. Look, I know you may think, “Oh Dory will make so much money, I can afford to lose the $6 million that 3 empty slots penalizes me” but you can’t. If you weren’t penalized that $6 million, you’d have been in fourth place this week and… okay you’d still be in the same place overall, but stop it! Help me, help you.
*I don’t actually think, I know. But I wanted to keep the joke going for one more week.
Central Intelligence ($35.5M) x 4 / Alice Through the Looking Glass* ($4.3M) x4 = $172,304,040
*Best Performer of the Weekend = 2M bonus
Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum vs. Aliens, again. Matthew McConaughey vs. the South, and maybe the North too, or perhaps he takes on the whole Civil War. Blake Lively vs. a Shark. Me vs. my couch, because I’m not seeing any of ’em.
Independence Day: Resurgence ($620)
The first one was ID4. So this one would be ID4 2? Is that then ID8? ID16*?
Why is Will Smith not in this movie? He should be sitting next to Jeff Goldblum with a salt and pepper beard saying stuff like “I still have GOT to get me one of these!” and “Welcome back to Earff!” Come on! Grumpy Old Men fight space aliens is way better than some bullshit about living up to your dead father’s… blah blah blah snoooooooze. We already have Goldblum just silverfoxing it all over the screen and Bill Pullman’s beyond scruffy beard. They even brought Data back! No one wants to see the lesser Hemsworth and… I honestly have no idea who that kid is.
The movie gods were not happy at the exclusion of the Fresh Prince and in result, this movie is not that great. It comes in at 46%. Most of the reviews describe it as “like the first one but not quite as good and a lot more blow-uppy.” It seems like it just depends whether a particular critic likes that or not, because they either describe it as “Over the top and fun!” or “Over the top and tired.” The original Independence Day is rated 15% better, at 61% and the reviews are very similar: “I’d love this if I was 10,” “Big, loud, cheesy”. But when we’ve been seeing that for 20 years and 4 Transformers movies, people probably are going to get tired of it. Especially, if there’s no Will Smith! All this of course means Andy and Tanya will love it.
Independence Day opened to $45 million and went on to make over $300 million. It is also one of the top-10 grossing movies released before the year 2000. Estimates have it making around $50 million this weekend. At $620 Bux, the $80k per Bux average is good but there may be some better deals to be had.
*I learned that this one is #IDR. LAME.
Free State of Jones ($147)
This is basically The Patriot in the Civil War. Except not as good. Not even close. And The Patriot wasn’t even that good!
This movie sucks apparently. It scores only 35% on the Tomatometer. It sounds like they used up all the action scenes in the trailer because critics consistently say this shit it boring. This movie would probably more interesting if it was a two and a half hour Lincoln commercial. At least high school history teachers can take a week off in June next year by showing this mess.
Estimates for this movie are around $9.5 million. At $147 Bux, that’s only $64k per Bux. Leave this one to die on the battlefield.
The Shallows ($126)
I can’t get over when that one dude just gets completely gobbled up by the jumping shark. I know they do that shit when they’re chasing seals, and it’s absolutely terrifying. But they don’t do that when it’s a surfer not swimming away from them, right? I’m gonna say right. Let me have this. I like the ocean. I don’t wanna be scared of the ocean for the rest of my life. SHARKS DON’T EXIST.
So the shark, gobbles up one dude. Then another dude. Then spends hours waiting to eat Blake Lively? You don’t think Mr. Shark would lose interest and just swim off to go eat mad fishes? On second thought, it does kinda make sense. Ollie will stick his nose up at the counter for like 45 minutes if he thinks he’ll get a scrap of something.
By the way, speaking of Mr. Shark, if you have 5 (more) minutes, you should read this. I think if I ever made it to become a professional writer, this is the perfect example of what I’d strive for.
So this movie is really good! This movie comes in at 74% fresh. Apparently it’s simple, intense, well made, and most importantly, 86 minutes. The funny thing is that as soon as I saw this trailer, I thought, “Oh I’ve seen this movie, it was called Open Water,” and that movie scored a 72%. Critics like them some simple shark movies.
Lead by positive reviews, people’s love of scary movies, huge social media love, and Shark Week beginning on Sunday this movie is estimated to pull in between $12 and $13 million. At the price of $126, that’s a $103k per Bux average! I will definitely be taking Blake Lively and her fake boobs on my team this week.
The Neon Demon ($37)
Ugh, hardest of passes. I don’t know what I think about this movie, but none of it is positive. But here are some people who found some words to say about this movie (Spoiler: They’re not positive either):
“A special kind of awful,” “dumbfoundingly awful,” and “hot garbage.” Yeah, this movie sucks.
It costs $37 and estimated to make $2.5 million. That’s an average of $70k per Bux. It’s probably best we never speak of this movie again.
Shade of the Week
Set your lineups before noon! Have a good weekend!