Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sports: The Last Game at Yankee Stadium

Sunday afternoon was a monumental event in Yankee history. I watched in part sadness and pride as ESPN so graciously gave Yankee Stadium it's due after 85 years of history. The game was truly secondary as we saw Whitey Ford, Goose Gossage, Yogi Berra, Ron Guidry, David Cone, Don Larson, David Wells and many more don their uniforms and take their positions in the field one last time. We saw some of the children and wives of Legends who were no longer with us, like David Mantle who wore his Father's number 7 walked out onto the field, it was almost as if the Mick were there himself. The culmination of seeing all of these great players from almost every generation of Yankee lore was quite a sight to behold.Andy Pettite took the mound and only gave up three runs in 7 innings. The quote of the day was from the man whose house this is after hitting the first home run in Yankee Stadium, in 1923, "God only knows who will be the last player to hit a home run." The answer---Jose Molina. It almost was Johnny Damon when he hit a three run homer early in the game. You might be saying, who is Jose Molina, but if you are a true Yankee watching him this season, it really shouldn't be a surprise at all. For a back up catcher he has been clutch behind and in front of plate all season. Thankfully Pettite got the win against Baltimore 7-3, otherwise it would have been, um, awkward.

As I write this though I have learned the sad news that even with Mike Mussina's 19th win tonight, the Red Sox have eliminated my boys from the running and have clinched the Wild Card. So when the lights went dark late Sunday night, it would now seem, inevitable that it will be for the last time.Yeah, I could leave it all depressing like that but I would prefer to give Yankee Stadium the send off it deserves from Yankee fans all over the country. So if you have a memory of Yankee Stadium in it's 85 years of glory feel free to tell us about it in our comments section below.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


The Bucket salutes:

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner -
We hate to love you. Thanks for the memories.

A True Celebrity Hero.

Yankee Stadium 1923-2008
The House that became a home.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Burn After Reading

Clever title but after watching the film perhaps the title should be Burn After Watching. I have always been a big fan of the Coens all the way back to Miller's Crossing and Raising Arizona but sometimes, sometimes they make a movie that is a little too airy and a little too obnoxious. Unfortunately Burn After Reading falls into this category many many times. Don't get me wrong the cast was great the script was well written....but the pacing was all over the place.A disgruntled former CIA agent Osborne Cox (John Malkovich) decides to write his memoirs about the agency that has snubbed him. The disc containing his memoirs winds up in the hands of two ignorent gym employees Linda (Frances McDormand) and Chad (Brad Pitt) who then try to extort money from Osborne in exchange for the disc. This is the general premise but wait there's more. The Coen Brothers in their odd wisdom decided to broaden the storyline to feature Harry Pfarrer (George Clooney) a serial philanderer who happens to also be bedding Osborne's very cold wife Katie (Tilda Swinton). Clooney is great and all but sometimes I'm not really sure why we are following his life more than the interesting Osborne Cox? Linda and Brad are funny but really annoying and I was glad to move on from them. Also I enjoyed J.K. Simmons as the befuddled C.I.A chief trying to figure out what the hell is going on in this movie, honestly I felt I related most to his character.The theme of this flick is paranoia and absurdity. Two things the Coens do very well but they do it too often. It also in my opinion doesn't seem to go anywhere. There just doesn't seem to be a satisfying climax to this story. There are some great laugh out loud moments and if you like theatre of strange then there will be something here for you to enjoy.Grade 2 1/2 Buckets

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Paramount Vantage R.I.P

I know the shit hit the fan a few months ago but it took a little while to finally settle in my brain. Not long after I left the Mountain, Paramount made a big move to consolidate Vantage into the parent company. Of course Paramount wasn't the only studio to let loose on their Indie division. New Line, owned by Time Warner, and their Indie division Picturehouse laid off about 450 people. It's a tough time to be working in the movie biz as of late, especially distribution. As frustrated and disappointed as I am with Paramount for what happened I can't help but feel proud of what we accomplished in my year and a half.

When I started in November of 2006 Paramount Classics was put on the back burner while Vantage was picking up steam. John Lesher, who was given the reins of Vantage, was attempting to rebuild the Indie label. The first hit was An Inconvenient Truth with Al Gore that, for just a college lecture, made more money and acclaim than anyone ever anticipated. It won best Documentary as well as best song for the Oscars that year by beating not one, not two but three Dreamgirls songs. Take that big Paramount. Next up was Babel which did OK at the box office but did really well at the Golden Globes by winning the top prize, the Best picture award. Babel was nominated for 7 nominations at the Globes. Babel was also nominated for 7 Oscars but won only one for original score by Gustavo Santaolalla. (If you check the movie reviews on the site you can see my review for Babel.) It was a great film and an excellent follow up to An Inconvenient Truth.

In 2007 we hit a bit of a snag with quirky films like Black Snake Moan and Year of the Dog. I personally liked Black Snake Moan but it tanked at 9 million. In all fairness it was a tough film to market because of the weird tone of the film; was it a B movie, was it a drama, was it a comedy? I felt that it was all of the above but it was just too strange for the mainstream. This was Craig Brewer's follow up to his hit Hustle and Flow. Next up was Mike White's Year of the Dog. It was reviewed well but again it just wasn't for a mainstream audience and tanked. As the Summer of 2007 approached I got a chance to see a great bio-pic that was heart wrenching and hard to watch. On top of that I felt I learned some interesting, little known, facts about Pakistan in the film. We had a huge star, Angelina Jolie, and overall we had a good film to boot. The tricky part was trying to sell it to an audience that already knew the fate of Daniel Pearl. As good a film as A Mighty Heart was it just didn't resonate with people despite good reviews and Angelina Jolie. We were 0-3 at the start of 2007 and it was frustrating. If you've read any of my reviews I'm usually pretty black and white I don't hem and haw about a lot of technical things I usually like a flick or I don't, everything comes from the gut. It was troublesome to me to really enjoy 2 out of 3 films in early 2007 and then to have them all bomb, it was tough.

As Summer 2007 was coming to a close we again thought we had a marketable film, this time for the kids. I mean how many people flocked to March of the Penguins it made like 1oo million bucks which is insane for a documentary, especially a documentary of this type. Arctic Tale, narrated by Queen Latifah about a family of walruses and Polar Bears and their struggle to survive in the Arctic tundra. We gave out a bunch of those plush toys and marketed the shit out of it. I guess the kids really love Penguins cause after our movie came out they sure as shit didn't like Walruses and Polar Bears. We released Margot at the Wedding in October/November, it was a modest indie that did ok, but not big bank. It was directed by the indie darling Noah Baumbach. As many would say it was a very "New York" type of film. The trifecta we were waiting for was Into the Wild,(Note: Into the Wild was released before Margot.) There Will Be Blood and the Kite Runner. You could technically include The Coen Brother's No Country For Old Men which we shared with Miramax. Our three films I thought were the creme of the crop for Vantage, our crowning achievement. I still believe that too.

Into the Wild was one of my favorite films of that year. Now the statement I'm about to make may sound funny to you especially if you know the true story of Chris McCandless, but after seeing this film I really wanted to get my backpack and go hiking again. Yes, I realize the guy died of starvation in some beaten up old bus out in the middle of nowhere but that really isn't the point of the film. It was beautifully shot and directed and I got to tell you that Emile Hirsch owned the role. I'm not a big Sean Penn fan but I really did love the hell out that movie. It did well at the box office, not well enough in my eyes or probably in the eyes of Paramount but it was a damn good film. Now I must do a little bitching here I couldn't believe that Into the Wild got snubbed so badly at the Globes and the Oscars. There were only two Noms at the Oscars for editing and for Hal Holbrook in the supporting actor category. You mean that incredible score by Eddie Vedder wasn't even included? Nope. WTF? I think they nominated three songs from that Enchanted movie, I tried to watch the musical numbers--- they were just horrible. At least the Globes had the sense to give Eddie the nomination and the win, but they didn't have it in their hearts to give any other noms. Ok, end of rant.There Will Be Blood was the best film of the year period. It most certainly was the Godfather of the oil industry. Daniel Day Lewis was exceptional as always, but it was P.T. Anderson who really stepped it up and made the best film of his career. Daniel Day did get the Oscar and we did have a funny if not odd marketing campaign where Daniel Day Lewis' Oil Man makes the pronouncement that he drinks our milkshake. It was fairly effective, I know some of the publicity guys and gals delivered shakes to some of the press people to keep the Oscar buzz alive. Our other film No Country For Old Men took the other top prizes like Best Picture and Director.

The Kite Runner was a good film by Marc Forster and the novel had a huge fan base, but for the film, we had a real problem. The Parents of the childen in the film were concerned about repercussions against them regarding some of the scenes that included the rape of a child. So Paramount did the right thing and delayed the opening of the film to later in the year when the kids were out of school. They felt once school was over the kids could leave to the Arab Emirates and be protected in case of some backlash, and thankfully everything worked out well in this regard. Although it's hard to say whether or not this move hurt the film, but regardless of the popularity for the book, the movie tanked. You're probably saying to yourself I am sensing a pattern here.In early 2008 How She Move and Son of Rambow fell through the roof in domestic sales. Son of Rambow was a quirky comedy about kids trying to make their own film about their favorite hero Rambo. The only probelm for American audiences, they were British and it took place in the 80's. It did real well in it's native England but I think culturally it was difficult to relate to an American audience. How She Move was a dance movie that didn't shake it's money maker at anyone.

And that pretty much sealed our fate and put Vantage where it is today, in a pine box. I really enjoyed my experiences there and will always have fond memories of the people that I worked with. I learned alot at Vantage and I will always will be grateful for the opportunities it provided. But I just wanted to iterate how great many of the films were and even though they didn't make a lot of money I think they will be remembered down the road even if Vantage is not.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008


The Bucket salutes:

Kansas City Chiefs Safety Bernard Pollard - for making football interesting again.

A True Celebrity Hero.

Friday, September 05, 2008

THE NEWEST PALIN: Helping Name America's Favorite Fetus

Earlier in the week a bit of joyful news arose from the black cloud of vitriol properly referred to as the 2008 Presidential Race. Of course, I am referring to the news that Bristol Palin, 17-year-old daughter of GOP VP hopeful Sarah Palin, is pregnant with child. Bristol, a high school senior and part-time baby holder, was knocked up by this strapping and well-armed fella:

He is 18-year-old Levi Johnston, a fellow senior at Wasilla High School. Bastion of journalistic integrity, The New York Daily News describes the young statutory rapist as a “superhunky bad-boy ice hockey player”.

Reports of the couple’s engagement followed not long after the story of Bristol and Levi’s inglorious love child broke. Looking at these two, clearly in love, mature beyond their teen years, I’m sure the proposal was a beautiful and genuine moment that young Bristol and Levi will look back at and laugh and cherish as their ever lasting bond grows stronger well into their elder years.

However some lonely pessimists in the liberal elite media were quick to label the timing of the youngsters’ betrothal as "suspiciously convenient”. Taking it a step further over the line, some leftist pundit pinheads have even suggested the incident conflicts with Sarah Palin’s staunch stance against sex education in the classroom and the GOP’s core political platform of strong religious, moral, and family values. We here at The Bucket suggest that these arguments are not only ridiculous, but extremely sexist as well.

Seeing how busy the entire Palin clan seems to be at this time, we thought it would be helpful to suggest a few possible baby names for the little bastard on the way. And given Sarah and her robotic stud of a husband Todd’s inspired penchant for naming the children in their family after elements taken from the Great Northwest wilderness - Bristol after Bristol Bay, Willow after a willow tree, Piper after a Piper Cub plane, Trig from the Norse word for “strength”, and Track after... a track – we thought it would be a great idea if they kept that tradition alive when picking out a name for the newest little illegitimate addition to the Palin family.

If it’s a boy:

If it’s a girl:

If it’s twins:

Hopefully we’ve helped the Palin family with this post. Whatever outdoorsy, rustic name they do decide to bestow upon their misbegotten bundle of joy, one thing is for certain – if it is a boy, he will be one very, very lucky little mongrel…

…because his grandma is a total GILF, dude!!!