Based On a True Story…
My parents are in town for the holidays, so we’ve been taking in some cinema during their visit.
On Christmas Eve, we saw Charlie Wilson’s War. It was fabulous. The story moved along at a really great pace. There was just enough of everything to make it not so over the top on any one particular subject in the movie. Charlie Wilson certainly lived the stereotypical life of a congressman that the tabloids like to embellish, but deep down he was someone who cared about the world being a better place. But that’s not the best part. The best part was, by far, Phillip Seymour Hoffman. He, as he does in all his movies, stole the show. Tom Hanks is getting lead actor billing only because his character’s name is in the title. Now, that’s not to say that Tom Hanks didn’t do a great job. He portrayed Charlie perfectly, and though at the beginning it was difficult to believe Tom Hanks as a womanizer and boozer, I actually believed it by the end. Go see this movie if you’ve got some time because you will laugh your ever-lovin’ behind off!!!
On Boxing Day, we saw The Great Debaters. I saw the cast on Oprah recently, and Denzel Washington said that the actors who play the debating team members were the real stars of the movie, but I didn’t believe him. I didn’t know how you could have two Oscar winners in Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker and have three virtually unknown actors steal the show. Well, go figure, I was wrong and Denzel was right. The poise and strength that the debaters portrayed could only exemplify the characters they played. Some of the topics that they had to debate would have had me yelling and screaming instead of calmly and meticulously fighting the opponent with facts and figures. They managed in the 1930s and 1940s to erase the color of their skin and their opponent’s skin to defeat them with their words. It was a fantastic story, and although some of the characters were composites of the debate team members rather than actual people, the point of the story was still there. These students from a tiny historically black college in Marshall, Texas practiced, researched, and trained themselves to be the best debaters they could be…in the end going 10 straight years without a defeat. Brilliant…Absolutely Brilliant.
Additionally, we watched Talk To Me on DVD with Don Cheadle as the late DC radio talk show host Petey Green. I’ve been a huge fan of Mr. Cheadle’s for a long time now, and I hope to one day see him holding his very own Oscar. He portrayed this character incredibly. If you can get passed the language (if that kind of thing bothers you), the movie is a great character study of someone that, based on their background, shouldn’t have had as much influence on the number of people he did, but Petey Greene never gave up on saying Why Not. The pivotal scene in the movie to me was his radio broadcast after the announcement of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. He was a the voice of a city that to some degree still has no real voice, but he was there to listen, to sympathize, and to help. Don Cheadle showed that impeccably. Behind the scenes, the best part to me is that a woman directed this movie.
So, if you’ve got some time…spend it at the movies because there’re some really great stories out there.
In other news, the stat of the day as heard on Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN radio during my drive in this morning…the 22 starters for the Indianapolis Colts have all played their entire NFL careers with the Colts. That’s a stat I’m pretty proud of because I would imagine that’s a rarity in this league especially in this day and age of free agency. Now, I’ll cop to the fact that a lot of our players are in their 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year in the league, but when you look at the players in our key positions, they’re on their second contract with the team…most of them long-term.