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Monday, December 6, 2010

Football versus the Movies . . .

Yesterday, Sunday, December 5th, shall live in Infamy! (With apologies to FDR).

I began to watch our San Diego Chargers versus the Oakland Raiders on tv. They did not play well. Not at all.

With each successive play I found myself getting more and more frustrated, more and more irritated. I was becoming a grumpy old man.

I decided to switch channels and found a magnificen movie, “Matador” with Pierce Brosnan, as an international assassin, and Greg Kinnear, as a businessman, visiting Mexico. They meet in a bar, have drinks together, become fast friends . . . and then Kinnear learns of Brosnan’s profession. It builds from there. Great acting, great story line, great plot, enjoyed the movie immensely. Even enjoyed the ending. I would click back to the rotten Charger game during commercials and catch up on the score. When I did, I found myself growling with rage at my poor, innocent tv set. I turned back to the movie.

The movie ended. Another one came on. I decided to see what it was about.

The movie was “The Pledge” with Jack Nicholson as a retiring senior police officer in Reno, Nevada. Six hours before he retires a seven year old girl is brutally raped and murdered. Nicholson decides he needs to use his considerable law enforcement talents to catch this monster that killed this girl. He meets with the little girl’s mother and gives his pledge he will catch the bad guy.

In time, he learns that this was apparently a serial rapist and killer, all of the little girls between the ages of five and seven, all wearing red dresses. His six hours are now up, he is officially retired and his colleagues, believing a suspect they captured, who then committed suicide while in police custody, are reluctant to pursue the case further, even though Nicholson pencils out for them the logic of why the now dead suspect was not the real bad guy.

And it builds from there.

Nicholson is at his best in this movie. I was sitting on the edge of my seat.

And then when the end came . . . I was disappointed. It was one of those endings that are dumb. Endings where you have to become an instant psychoanalyst to figure out just exactly what happened. And why. Rent the movie and watch it. You’ll love it. And probably be as pissed as I was at the end.

But probably not as pissed as I was at the final Charger score. At least I didn’t have to watch that debacle and got the benefit of two entertaining, if sometimes frustrating, movies.

(Actually, rent BOTH movies. They’re both very well done . . . if you excuse the dumb ending on “The Pledge.”)

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