Boxing, Action Movies, and The Depp/Decaprio Corollary

Hello,

I just wanna say a few things: this will be un-organized, a little random, and a little all over place. Cool.

Boxing: Last night, the “Fight to Save Boxing Was On.” Floyd Mayweather vs. Oscar De La Hoya. After throwing five bucks to watch it with a few friends, we all realized something: this fight sucked. It was boring: one guy tried to avoid fighting the entire time, and the other guy missed about 700 punches that he threw. In the end, we were split as to who would win. It turned out, Mayweather did. But driving home with a couple guys, we decided that no one actually won or lost the fight: Mayweather did enough not to lose, and De La Hoya did enough not to win. So pretty much: mediocrity ruled.

Here’s the point: you know your sport is in serious trouble when an incredibly boring, mediocre fight is deemed as “The Fight of the Century”, or the “Fight That Will Save Boxing.” Boxing…..you need help.

A Movie Selection: I saw Venus this weekend. Tremendous movie. The main themes centered around old age and youth, but more importantly I felt, beauty, and the way it stays the same through the ages, was a very important theme. If you really appreciate good films, see Venus. I won’t discuss it any further since I’m sure a lot of people haven’t seen it yet.

Another movie note: I saw Charlie’s Angels for the first time on TNT this morning. I have to say…..I enjoyed it. I feel like the action movie is sort of a lost art these days. There’s too many movies like Fast and the Furious, ect….that all follow the same generic outline. Badass main character, love story, someone dies, a bad guy, ect, ect…..they seem a little tired most of the time. Well, quirky as it may have been, I liked Charlie’s Angels…..it was an enjoyable action with enough comedy thrown in that I actually watched it despite having to deal with commericials, which I usually don’t.

While we’re on the subject of movies with commercials….there should really be a law against showing movies like Casino, Goodfellas, Shawshank Redemption, ect….on stations like TBS, TNT, USA, ect….Casino just happened to be on USA this morning, so you know, I had to stop by for a few minutes. But it has absolutely criminal the way they were chopping it up. I know, I know…this is nothing new. Just get the DVD. But still…..I feel its a crime to tarnish these movies on stations like this.

(Note: the TV version of Casino does have one of the funniest sequences in all moviedom. There’s a scene where one of Nicky’s friends (Nicky is the thug played by Joe Pesci) takes off his shoes and puts them on a table. Well, De Niro (the casino boss) is having none of that in his casino, so he comes over to straighten things out. In the real movie, the guy tells De Niro to “go f**k yourself”; in the TV version, he tells him: “Go Stuff Yourself!!” This is followed by the scene where Pesci shows up and beats him up with a phone, all the while screaming “You told my friend to go stuff himself?!?! You told my friend to go stuff himself?!?!” Absolutely hilarious…..and yet, also, very sad.

While I’m talking about movies…..another very good action movie that I saw recently for the first time was Pirates of the Caribbean, starring Johnny Depp. I always avoided these movies, even though people said they were good: they just looked so damn stupid, plus the title of the movie made it sound like a really bad PG-13 movie. But I watched it….and it was an excellent action movie, filled with battle scenes, comedic presence, and cool characters. The coolest? Jack Sparrow.

Its funny about Johnny Depp….I’ve never seen many of his movies, so I’ve never seen the big deal about. I know he’s good looking and everything….but I thought that was really the only reason people girls liked him. But after watching him play Jack Sparrow….I’ve gotta say, he’s the man. Sparrow might be one of the coolest characters in movie history, right up there with Cool Hand Luke, Franco from The Dirty Dozen, and every character that Steve McQueen ever played.

I compare this revelation I’ve had about Depp to the same one I had about Leonardo Decaprio back in the fall. Like everyone else in Boston, I went and saw The Departed. And like about 99% percent of the people I talked to afterwards….I absolutely loved it (the exceptions: my friend who lived in China for awhile, and saw the original version of this, which was Chinese; so okay, I guess that’s acceptable; and Peter King, NFL writer for Sports Illustrated and si.com. Peter lamented and cried in his squeaky little girls voice after The Departed won best picture at the Oscars. His reasoning? It was too violent. Yah, like the sport he covers for his living, football, isn’t violent. Whatever….Peter King is a total dweeb, so its not that important). But it was the acting of Decaprio that moved me more than anything. His portrayal of Billy was superb: I grew up in the general Boston area (Somerville), and was convinced the guy spent his entire life living in East Boston/Somerville/Charlestown/Southie/Medford/wherever. That’s saying a lot, because when actors usually try to get the Boston accent down on the big screen, they ultimately fail.

The interesting thing about all this: I felt the same way about Decaprio before I saw The Departed as I did about Depp before I saw Pirates of the Caribbean. I saw them as being useless pretty boys pre-viewing: they both proved to me that they are superb actors, and I’ve obviously had my head in the sand.

An even more interesting little nugget: They both starred in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape back in the early 90s, and from what I’ve heard, both did great jobs (I’ve never seen the movie). So maybe, there’s something going on here. Hmmm. And then again…maybe not.

Well….that’s it. I’ve just dumped all the weekend thoughts rumbling around in my head onto my computer screen. Hope you enjoyed it.

Note: I will be continuing with the Nintendo music project I’m engaged in…hopefully sometime this week.

Anyway….everyone have a safe work week!

See ya.

Until Next Time,

Greg

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3 thoughts on “Boxing, Action Movies, and The Depp/Decaprio Corollary

  1. Jay says:

    Johnny Depp is one of my top 3 actors for the off center films he chooses and his acting in general.
    The Departed was in my opinion over rated. The best part of the movie was the plot twists and the end, both of those were bought from the Hong Kong creators. Buying an already successful Movie’s story and recreating it with the top names in Hollywood is a guaranteed box office hit and classic film, but not deserving of best picture(Departed wasn’t even on the same level with GoodFellas.) Plus no matter how good he plays it I can’t buy Dicaprio as a hard ass tough guy…

  2. grhovane says:

    To respond to Jay: I agree with the whole idea that based on these points, The Departed shouldn’t have won Best Picture at the Oscars, but you forget about one point: Hollywood always gets it wrong at the Oscars. Ask any film buff or professor, and they’ll tell you: “Best Original Screenplay” is Hollywood’s way of saying Best Picture. So, to put it short: Hollywood pretty much always gets it wrong. In my opinion, a movie winning Best Picture at the Oscars is one way of saying “This movie has a good chance of sucking.”

    All that being said: I still think its a great movie (despite being a Hollywood blockbuster), and I actually thought it was a breath of fresh air that something of quality, with a little grit, was voted Best Picture.

    No, it wasn’t on the same level with Goodfellas….but Goodfellas is also, in my opinion, the greatest crime movie of all time, excepting The Godfather and The Godfather Part II. So….yes, it was the same director……but its not exactly easy to compete with Goodfellas. In fact, at this point in his career, I’d say its impossible.

    Anyway, I’ll be back with a new post soon….promise.

    Greg

  3. Kev says:

    You two are both donkies

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