OK, I'm 20 minutes into tonight's episode of FRONTLINE, and I'm officially appalled by the motion picture industry.
Please Keanu, take a break after Reloaded/Revolutions.......play some bars in LA with the band, do an independent film (if there still is such a thing), do a play, or just take a break.
(edited friday morning: what the fuck? I watch a little PBS and start throwing around words like repellent?)
Here's the wrap-up of Hardball. It's short and sweet.
Krix plays Hardball (in her VCR) part 4
It's the morning after the tragedy with G-Baby. Conor gets the phone call, and there's some nice editing here. At the funeral, Mama is barely holding it together, but she exudes grace and dignity to me. She asks Conor to say a few words and he starts off awkwardly, but tells the story of the last game with tenderness and passion. We cut between the church and the field. Slow motion and thoughtful music in the background. This had the potential to be pretty cheesy but it worked just fine. Conor's eyes are glistening with tears as are mine every time I watch this part, and if anyone who watched this movie wasn't reaching for the tissue, well, they're just not human. By the way, to the AOLChatMC(or the chatter) that asked "Did you use drops in that scene?" I extend a whole-hearted "Fuck You." Because Reeves(in the chat) was too gracious to. Great scene. So proud.
Anyway, after the service, the rest of the team wants to talk to Coach Conor. They all seem a little more grown up. Conor tells them they don't have to play, but they want to. For G-Baby.
"Hell Yeah" they do, and Conor does the little nod that I've noticed he does when he learns something about these boys and himself. He did it in the pizza place, he did it at the stadium. Every time he's treated them as equals, and given them respect, they rise to the occasion. Even in the face of this sensless death, they have strength you just don't expect.
So the Kekambas make it to the 'ship. Elizabeth is there and even Ticky shows up. It's all good. Elizabeth plants one on Conor when she finds out that he applied for the job at the school. Heh, I'm fighting the urge to make a raunchy cloakroom joke, because really, this final part of the movie is just so uplifting.
Conor's little speech to the team is a big part of that. "I'm blown away by your abilty to show up."
I'm blown away by this whole movie. And when Kofi shows up to play, in honor of his brother, that's what it's all about. They don't even have to show the game or if they won, because at this point it's unimportant, really. They do win though, because it's Hollywood.
I said before, I really thought I was going to hate this movie. I read the book and wasn't that impressed. But the movie was very different and much better.
"Start with the lightest wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio before advancing to reds such as a Sangiovese or Pinot Noir. The whites will freshen your palate, ease you into this most luxurious sport, and are just as good at dooming you to an afterlife of misery, suffering and pain as the heavier vintages"Hee! More evidence that Keanu is the devil.
Here's more of
Krix plays Hardball (in her VCR)
(please note that there are some total spoilers in this, so if for some reason you haven't seen this movie yet, you might not want to read it)
Ok, it's another day and another game. D.B. Sweeney continues to be an asshole, and not only does he get Jamal kicked off the team, he puts the kibosh on Miles' magical headphones. Conor brings the team in to let the bad guys face them. He makes a great point about the League. That it should be about the kids playing, not about the trophy that D.B. brings home, or to the office as it were. He also breaks the news that this is his last game. Kids are bummed.
The other team's chatter breaks Miles' concentration and they lose the game. D.B let's out a "Boo-Yah" and frankly I'd like to kick him in the nuts.
That night, it's the $12,000 game, and Conor and Ticky watch through the window at Sluggers. Keanu gives a great performance. Conor's emotions run the gamut. He's stressed and desperate. "Never again."
When it looks like the bet is lost, he's freaked. And when they pull it out at the buzzer he's on the gambler's winning high. He and Ticky show up at Duffy's singing Big Poppa. It's short lived, though. Duffy asks "What now?" Yeah, Conor, WHAT NOW? You saved your ass this time, are you gonna keep living like this? Coaching crack babies? Hmm, Conor sure seems to care about a team he just bailed on. He doesn't have to keep coaching. But you can tell, he's changed.
Next day. Ticky comes over, and the plan is that he and Conor are going to go place another bet with Fink. One thing I want to comment on. There's a pizza box on the top of the TV (which is on top of another TV, heh, white trash decor), in the exact same place there was a pizza box presumably weeks ago when the barber's son paid a visit. There was some discussion on a list I'm on whether this was a continuity error. I'd just like to say again, that I know guys like Conor. It's the same pizza box. He also has no clean forks and is using at least one coffee cup as an ashtray. His trash can is overflowing with beer cans and if you look in his fridge there's nothing but a half bottle of spicy brown mustard, and an empty Miracle Whip jar with the knife still in it. I'm suprised he actually has sheets on the bed. Anyway, they need to go to the field and drop off the equipment. There's a bit of a stand off at the field between Conor and the kids. Or actually between Conor and Conor. I love the "Hah!" action here. Great stuff. He tries, really tries to not give a damn, but he just can't help it and eventually loads the kids up to take them to see a real baseball game, leaving Ticky "flapping in the breeze". Aww, poor Ticky. Whatever. Go Conor! The whole Stadium thing is cute, there's a little cheesy slo-mo stuff, but all and all it's just right. Kids are happy and Conor is happy. Again, Reeves works his powers of cuteness just by sipping through a straw. Speaking of cuteness, next is a great scene between Conor and Miss Wilkes. More cute chemistry and if I were her? His ass would have been dragged into that classroom and thrown across the desk then and there. Good thing I'm not a teacher at a catholic school.
Anyway, the team makes it to the finals and coach Conor suprises them with some spiffy new uniforms. Even G-Baby gets one. It's the epitome of heart-warming.
It's a good game. And the tune that they play here, is NOT on the soundtrack, which it should have been, coz it's real groovy.
Last inning, and Conor brings Miles back in to pitch. Miles knows they're gonna sweat him, but Conor has faith, and with a little help from Conor, the team, and the crowd in the stands singing Big Poppa, he finds the zone even without his headphones. D.B is visibly annoyed, Heh.
All they need is one run. In typical movie fashion it's down to two outs, and G-Baby goes in for Jefferson, who's busy sucking his inhaler. D.B. doesn't mind side-stepping the rules when it looks like they'll benefit him, again I say :Asshole.
We don't see the end of the game yet. Next we see Conor dropping off Kofi and G. They can't get into the building, though because something obviously bad is going down. We see that Jamal has joined a gang since being kicked off the team. Sad. Kofi and G-Baby go around to the back just in time to get caught in the crossfire of a gang hit. FUCK! G-Baby has caught a stray bullet through the heart and is still and quiet in his brothers arms. This sucks. Really bad. Especially because this sensless shit happens in urban areas everywhere. I can recall at least 2 similar deaths in Las Vegas in the past year. So fucking sad. All comparisons to The Bad News Bears or Mighty Ducks end here and now. This isn't a movie about the underdogs pulling it out and winning, it's about so much more.
Still no time to sit down and watch the rest of Hardball, but I know how you get when I go a day without posting so I 'm gonna share this little experiment that I did a while back with you.
Sick and wrong, huh?
Thank jebus I never went into genetic engineering. Who knows what I would have ruined?
OK, here's more of me babbling about Hardball. I know it's kind of screwy with the entries being in reverse order, but I have faith y'all can figure it out.
~I just got another great email from Lori. and she has some awesome points about some things. I admittedly get caught up with trying to be clever and fitting a lot in, so I'd like to add her thoughts in a few places. I agree with all of what she says, and thank her for sharing her insights.~
Krix plays Hardball (in her VCR) part 2
After the visit to the hospital, Conor meets Ticky to scalp some tickets. There's a little exchange where Ticky says that Conor has told him about all the kids on the team, letting us know that he is, in fact, starting to care.
Keanu actually got picked up for scalping in preparation for this role. He told a funny little story on Leno about it.
Seems people recognized him.
"Hey, aren't you Keanu Reeves?"
"Yeah," he said. "Do you need tickets?"
I love this guy.
Conor decides to lay another bet to try and get himself out of the hole he's in.
Back at his day job, Conor starts to work with the kids a little more, busting Kofi on his negative chatter.
It's a charming scene by the end. The team, as much as they suck, are starting to come together.
Then a look at a typical day for Conor, in yet another noteworthy outfit. Drinking a brew at what's probably 11 am, he collects his check (he does a funny lunge thing at the receptionist, I'm thinking that was improv), pays the barber, comes home with a slice and another beer and reflects. Or maybe he's just thinking about the pizza. Chicago-style pie does that to a guy.
LORI: YES, he was reflecting. I saw this as a very telling scene, where we learn more about how Conor feels about his shitty little life. How depressing to get the check, get it cashed, then hand it all over (and then some) to the Barber? I mean, what kinda dinner is one slice of pizza and a beer? Tasty, yes, but fulfilling, NO. So we see Conor ruminating about all this, the bleakness that is his life. The man is ripe for a change
Classroom. Jefferson recounting his real life incident as a short story about "banditos". He comes out the victor in this version, though. Conor shows up in what he seems to think passes for a suit. I'm telling you that THIS was the BWAH! moment in this movie. Ray-ray nails it with "Yo coach, why don't you invite your pants down to your shoes so the can party" *snort*
LORI:...the cool thing is, Conor acknowledges it, doesn't let it embarrass him like some adults would. He's so good with these kids, they respect him and he respects them. The scene with G-baby and the uniform is another great example of this. He may have thought he "ain't no good with kids," but boy was he wrong. 'Cause he just treats 'em like people, with respect and kindness, something they don't get a lot of from adults. They respond well to it, don't they?
He looks dorkier than I thought possible. More quasi-slapstick with a briefcase mishap. Kids do their oral book reports. Kofi gives another look at life in Cabrini with his brief commentary. "Where I'm from, don't nobody's father come back." Sad.
It's the first real game, the team gets uniforms, except for G-baby, but Conor soothes his tears and makes him feel included anyway. It's very sweet and we get a sweeter Reeves smile at the end.
Play ball! The Kekumbas can't play for shit, but they're fun to watch. They get creamed even with Kofi's home run. Lots of post-game bickering in the dugout and Kofi quits. Conor takes the rest of the team for pizza to boost morale. After trading some Bulls seats for the pies, Conor and the boys wax about "Goin' to the 'ship" The championship, that is.
Also, Reeves makes holding a styrofoam cup look mega-sexy.
Conor takes Andre home, looking in doorways as they pass down the hall. 'Dre gives the coach a reality check when asked what they do for fun. "Play baseball with you," he says with a shrug. We see it sink in.
Another game, the Kekumbas show a marked improvement. Miles, a quiet kid with headphones pitches. He listens to "Big Poppa" to get in the zone, and it works. Really well. They win the game..
Hey, it's been a while since we've checked in on the love interest plotline.
Conor asks Wilkes out, she'll think about it.
Another game, Kofi watches from the fence. G-baby negotiates his return and while he's no Jerry MacGuire, it works out for everyone.
The team wins again, and Conor scores a victory, too. Wilkes agrees to meet him for dinner. I would too, although he almost lost me with his lame "well-lit, people can hear you scream" line.
LORI: I personally think he had her from the moment she said, "I'm not a nun" and he replied, with that lovely smile, "Thank God!" Well, he woulda had me, anyway. (krix: Me too)
Before dinner, Conor and Ticky go and meet a creepy guy named "Fink", so Conor can place that "one last bet that's going to pay off and turn everything around, dammit". It's a real heavy situation, I can tell by the "Watcher"-like background music. Then, afterwards, as if first-date jitters weren't bad enough, Conor gets chased by a couple of the barber's thugs. This satifies the "In every Keanu Reeves movie, he must run" requirement, and I check it off the list. He crashes into his apartment with a hearty "Fuck this". He makes the call to place the bet but before he hangs up he waffles and switches it. I'm pretty sure this breaks some sort of gambler's code or system or something, but Conor's gut hasn't been so reliable so maybe it's a smart thing. Kind of like when George Costanza did everything the opposite of his instinct and his life started to work out. In any case, he has the "What the hell did I just do??" expression when he hangs up.
OK, at the restaurant. Conor sets the tone for the date by finishing his drink and leading Wilkes to a...get this...dirty table. Right there? You are SO not gettin' any, dude. What a shmuck. And it gets worse from there. Wilkes says she knows he isn't a broker and immediately Conor cops a 'tude. Hello? She's there anyway, man. No matter, he blows it. Blows it bad.
LORI: Yeah, you're right, he does much to blow it on the first date, but I think she blew it just a little too. When she said, "You just don't look like a broker" didn't you get the impression she was sorry it came out that way, that she wanted to backpedal a little? I was offended for Conor, and could totally relate to his natural (though thick-headed) response. That really vulnerable, hurt look on his face, just for a second, right when she said it, spoke volumes. Then of course, he got all macho and stupid, as men will do, and made us hate him, but for that split second we saw just how much it hurt him that she would see him that way and TELL him so.
Anyway, she grabs a cab and leaves Conor with some words of wisdom and a job offer, but he's too busy being a jerk to catch the 6th, 7th, and 8th chances she gives him. Even though I understand why he's being such a dick, I'm not ready to forgive him, no matter how cute that little shrug was. Which means Keanu has done an excellent job in this role.
LORI: Yep, keanu acted his ASS off in this film, no doubt about it.
....more to come. And again, thanks to Lori.
Well, I started with just jotting down some comments as I watched Hardball for the second time today.
I fear it's going to reach re-cap proportion in length however. So I am going to do it in parts here, and maybe eventually make a page for it once it's done. SO...
Krix plays Hardball (in her VCR)
~Y'all gonna make me lose my mind.....~
Ok- first off, preview for Crossroads? Thank jebus for FF buttons.
I like movies that start out with him wet, hee!
I wonder why he was wearing the tux.
Anyway, nice intense opening scene. I hear that he really cut his hand on the car window. Suffering for his art yet again.
Passing out in the puddle, no one faints like Keanu.
Cripes, this is gonna be long, but I also have to comment on the "coming to" close up. How does he make looking like death warmed over so sexy? huh? HUH?.
Damn~ I love his little lip scar, too. Always have. I actually have one that almost matches, but mine's not from a puck, it's from some home pimple surgery went awry. ANYWAY....
Yadda-yadda..jail. Ticky tries to bring the funny, but the "zackleys" joke is pretty lame. Up to Conor's seedy digs and WHAM! He's in a towel. I'm pretty sure it's not integral to the plot but who cares? VIVA la gratuitous towel scenes! Frankly, it should have fallen off when he ducked the baseball bat...I'm just sayin'.
Conor up in whatshisname's business office. Even if this character would have turned out likable, his hair-don't makes me hate him.
Moving onward...Nice groove as we fly over Cabrini Green.
It's our intro to the kids. Fun and swearing in the dugout. I really liked the individual characters that are immediately established .None of them seem stereotyped at all. Andre rocks, Bryan Hearne is sure to grow up to fill Chris Rock's shoes.
Here comes D.B. Sweeney already being an asshole. More dugout hijinks. "Can we cool it with the 'bitches'"? Heh.
More atmosphere/exposition. Kids knowing guns by the sounds of the shots. We get a feel of how it is in the projects without it being rammed down our throats. Keepin' it real and all. It's actually sobering when you stop and think about it.
Then it's a not-too-terribly-dressed (except for those shoes) Conor going to see Miss Wilkes (Diane Lane) for the first time. A little slapstick with the door, I don't see Jim Carrey having anything to worry about though. Reeves pulls it off OK, not BWAH! funny, but cute enough. There's a little chemistry between Conor and Wilkes, or Reeves and Lane as the case may be. That smile of his is more than an act, that's for sure.
Conor's attempt at bullshitting her is hilarious. "Business part" of Canada? Puh-leez.
Conor back in his element at Duffy's trying to cover his ass. We're learning just how deep he's gotten himself...any deeper and he'll have to worry about more than his thumbs, I'd say.
Back on the field, we meet Kofi, Lamont and G-Baby for the first time. G's about the cutest thing ever and Michael Perkins....well, let's just say I'd really like to see him in about 5 years.
So it's the first real practice and coach Conor has his hands full. Or he would if he were doing anything but biding his time waiting for Ticky to show. Husky little Jefferson wants to leave early and we'll see why in a bit. In the meantime, boys will be boys and there's a scuffle to be broken up, Ticky shows up and practice is over. Conor goes off to deal with his own shitty life and Jefferson ends up walking home after dark. There's a gauntlet to be run to get home and it's all very tense. I half expected the crackhead that lights up in the doorway to be wearing a hockey mask ala Micheal Meyers in Halloween. Oh wait, was that Friday the 13th? Whatever, you know what I mean...Jefferson, armed with only his inhaler, tries another approach but is cut down by some big kids on bikes that rough him up and steal his backback. Speaking of Halloween, I had my candy stolen by big kids one year and this gave me flashbacks, but being pushed down in the street and having your bunny ears torn off is a cakewalk compared to the brutal beating this poor kid takes. For a fucking backpack, what the hell?. Now we know why he wanted to get home before dark. Every night is as scary as Halloween in the 'hood. Conor goes to visit Jefferson in the hospital the next day. The boy's mom is very cold to him, but remains calmer than I would expect. I think in reality there would be some screaming involved instead of just the nose-wrinkling and cutting remarks she gives Conor. He tries some damage control but not even Jefferson is buying that he gives a damn.
"You're never gonna stay being our coach"
Sure don't look like it to me at this point, either.
..to be continued.
Here's another portion of that AOL chat from last year in which Keanu talks about getting (and not getting) roles:
Mr. Moviefone: SJoe0021 says: Do the costars influence you accepting a role in a movie, or is it purely script? Good question.
Keanu Reeves: Generally, my experience has been -- the past few years, it's been script and then director and then part. You know, so kind of yes, script, character, director, part.
Mr. Moviefone: I guess you pretty much get to do what you want now, don't you?
Keanu Reeves: No.
Mr. Moviefone: No?
Keanu Reeves: No. Of course not. No.
Mr. Moviefone: Really?
Keanu Reeves: No, of course not.
Mr. Moviefone: Come on.
Keanu Reeves: No, really. I mean, life is odd sometimes, where you know, you think, oh, OK, this is -- you know how when you do something and you think this is going to get easier, the more I do it?
Mr. Moviefone: Right.
Keanu Reeves: And then sometimes it doesn't? You know, and when you think it does, all of a sudden you have a moment where you go, wow, I thought I knew what I was doing, but I don't.
Mr. Moviefone: Right.
Keanu Reeves: And in work, you know, being an actor, you know, you always -- there's always a part that you want that maybe the director doesn't feel you're right for or the studio doesn't feel you're right for, you know. And I've had that experience, where it's just been like, you know, I had the begging bowl, and no one took it away from me. I still had it. I read the script and I still had the bowl.
And here is a part where Keanu talks about high school:
Mr. Moviefone: Let's take another question. Were you popular when you were in school?
Keanu Reeves: Which year?
Mr. Moviefone: High school, I guess.
Keanu Reeves: High school? The first year, no. The second year -- it depends. It was kind of depended who you -- I went to four high schools in five years.
Mr. Moviefone: Thrown out of a few? Trouble?
Keanu Reeves: I got kicked out of two.
Mr. Moviefone: Is that true?
Keanu Reeves: Yeah.
Mr. Moviefone: For what?
Keanu Reeves: They wouldn't let me back into the performing arts high school in grade 11 because, well, I had problems with the principal.
Mr. Moviefone: OK. We can leave it at that.
Keanu Reeves: Yeah.
I would SO have had a crush on him in high school.
Here's the deal:
So that's a great idea, right? I'm sure you all don't mind throwing down an extra fifty cents to help these kids and to give me have a shot at fufilling my fantasy of shaving a strange man in public??
I didn't think so, but just in case...it gets better.
Anyone that buys anything after Valentine' day* and sends me a picture of them in their keanuvision shirt, drinking out of their mug or using their mousepad gets a FREE COPY OF QUATTRO FORMAGGI**
Plus some Bill and Ted's trading cards. Quite the bonus, eh? DAMN SKIPPY!
It's a win win win win situation. For You- For the kids- For me, if I get to shear the boy- for him, likewise....heh heh...EVERYONE
So think about it.
And if you don't want anything from the store, you can always go to ShaveHoopty.net and just make a donation.
Feel the love? I thought so.
Does this make sense to you?
"Goaltenders may not be checked even if they leave their creases."
If you just want to cover the basics,
this site is a really good place to start.
Fun to read, too.
Well, I was going to save this to post on Valentine's day, but what the hell....
This is from Keanu's AOL chat last February promoting Sweet November. I think this was the best question of the entire chat, and I'm not just saying that because it was mine.....Oh alright, maybe a little.
Mr. Moviefone: That's amazing. It looks like Matrix-something (note: that would be me, MTRXHZU) says: Thanks for spending part of your Valentine's Day with us, Keanu. Would you consider yourself a romantic?
Keanu Reeves: Yeah.
Mr. Moviefone: How?
Keanu Reeves: Not only in romance, but there's a certain part of me, especially coming out of a lot of like the kind of -- if you consider the tragedy of "Hamlet" or Romeo and Juliet, in the kind of melancholic aspect, and in romance, being with someone and saying, "Let's go. Let's get out of here." Impromptu acts or letters or phone calls or paying attention to what they like or love, and surprises, all those kinds of things to me are -- if you're in that situation, are quite fun to not only give, not only to receive, but also to give, you know.
Mr. Moviefone: All the young girls are crying over their computers right now. They're broken down, weeping.
For a full transcript of this chat and others, AOHell users can search keyword:LIVE for Keanu Reeves.
God, I sound like a shill for Time/Warner......ick.
"I enjoy a good suit, I have a nice car, I like a nice Bordeaux but I haven't bought any shrines" -on what he does with his money
"I got to perform some Shakespeare and it felt like a kind of epiphany, or something that I wanted to do more of.
So I pursued that and that same feeling of playing and investigation still exists today, except now I've matured and gotten older so a lot of my sensibilities and feelings about life have developed alongside with that original impulse to play." -on discovering acting when he was young
"I had a great time there and the people were extraordinary - although occasionally I'd read somewhere which store I'd been into and which book I had bought and that was a bit alarming when you think you're anonymous."-on Sydney
"I look at it like I'm marrying The Matrix and there is just such a true core commitment to creating it and being there every day focusing on realising what the directors want to see." -on filming
"When you see it, it's got the kind of mythical figures that make a great classic; the hero, the wise man, the warriors, the guides, the prophesy, the oracle and the Messiah, but it also has a contemporary experience to it." -on The Matrix trilogy
"For the past few years especially I feel like I've really enjoyed acting more and more by just doing a lot of it and getting more of a sense of my own technique." -on acting
"So whether it's true or not to someone who's watching my work, my own sense has been that I am coming more into my own craft." -more on acting
Every year Las Vegas hosts the Emerging Artists and Technology in Music or EAT'M conference.
If you look at EAT'M's past highlights page, you'll see a small picture of Dogstar 3rd down from the center. You can tell by the bass player's posture that it's them. Or I can, anyway. They did the conference in '98, I think. I don't expect they'll do it again, though.
Hey, it's not much, I know.....especially when I could be reporting about the super secret broken link on The Matrix official site that may or may not indicate that they will be putting something to do with Reloaded up sometime in the next year or so.
Sigh, it's just slow on the Keanu information highway these days.....
At least I'm not posting pictures of my cat.