Friday, January 02, 2009

2009 State of the TANBR

I've been away for the past week, and a few things have happened.

This happened:

Which means this happened:

I'm convinced that Les could beat the '85 Bears if he had four weeks to prepare. The man knows how to come up with a gameplan and make a statement in bowl games. I was delighted that we were still going deep and faking punts up by thirty-five in the fourth quarter, and I'm sure some borderline recruits were as well. Way to get me excited about the Russell Shepard era, boys, even if Ricky Jean-Francois seems to be leaving, which is a big batch of terrabull.

I'm almost done with the best albums of the year post if anyone cares about that, and the best films of the year should be done by January 9.

Also in the "if anyone cares" pile: I wrote a proposal for a book. Enough people have asked about it that I'll post it here at some point this week.

My brother met Jonathan Bender a few days ago. That's exciting. I think he tells the story better than me, so I'll put that up later this week.

In case you didn't know and don't check out the links to the immediate right, I have a tumblr blog that I update constantly. Peep the new Saul Bass inspired layout.

I also saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button last week with my family, and I really loved it. It's a hard movie to pin down, partly because of my expectations. I'm a Fincher fan, and I had been following the development of the project from the beginning. So I was anticipating it for so long that seeing it was actually anti-climactic, which lowered my expectations, even though those expectations were still unrealistically high.

It's a lyrical, moving, but difficult movie. Is it flawed? Yes. Is it too long? Yes. The first hour is inexorable, with its development of Benjamin's family and the overwrought explanation of the high concept premise we all already knew before buying our tickets. Somewhere, there is a 110 minute movie in here, but that 110 minute movie would suck. The film is about the interconnectedness of our long, eventful lives, as well as how that interconnectedness never really lasts. The length of the movie continually reinforces that theme. It's watching a film as an act of devotion, mirroring the frustration and pain and occasional elation the character faces. No one complained when War and Peace did the same thing. I could go on and on about the performances, and the way Fincher (because it's always been Fincher and not the DP) uses light and sometimes uses no light to even better effect. But I keep coming back to the scope and breadth of the thing. It doesn't have to be as long as it is, but its length is actually one of the best aspects of it.

Anyway, finally, I wanted to tell you about what to expect from TANBR in the coming year. Jelly and I have a few plans regarding former basketball players and groundbreaking statistical analysis. No, seriously. And, to keep me writing, especially in the tough sports months, I'm unveiling a huge new project. We're near the end of the decade now, and I'm going to--one by one--do write-ups for the top fifty movies, tracks, and albums of the past ten years. The lists are some of the most widely read entries on the site, and this is something I really want to do, so we'll see how it goes. I realize that's 150 posts, and we've only done 271 posts overall, but it's worth a try. I'm not going to write them in order, so #43 could be one day and #3 could be the next. I think it will be fun, and I invite you to join in with your own opinions.

I guess I'm saying that TANBR is alive and well. Happy new year.


Reves said...

Exciting! Welcome back.

Will said...

Odds that these best of posts get completed: 50-1 against.

Had any hole punchers thrown your way lately? I miss that kid.