Sat, Mar 31, 2001

: EPL: Tottenham at Arsenal

Incredibly dull first half, with nothing happening for either team. Then in the second half, suddenly Arsenal showed up and began to play. They peppered poor Tottenham with shots, but a combination of frantic defending and luck kept Arsenal off the board. Then, on a harmless run down the left wing, Frenchman Pires doubled back, beating his marker, and instead of crossing, took a shot. It curled into the far corner past the outstretched keeper. A beautiful goal. Later, Thierry Henry got one to put the matter beyond doubt. Final: 2-0 Arsenal.

Topic: [/soccer]

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: Under 20: USA vs. Costa Rica

A bit of a meaningless game as both teams had already qualified, but fought hard for pride. The teams seemed evenly matched for a while, but then Costa Rica started really pushing. They finally struck in minute 42 with an incredible curling free kick blast from thirty yards out by Fajardo. Early in the second half, the US came back: Convey’s easy long-range shot slipped through the legs of the hapless keeper and crept over the line. After that the teams just traded the ball. There were opportunities on both sides, with Costa Rica having the edge in possession, but in the end, neither team could break the other. Final: 1-1.

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Fri, Mar 30, 2001

: Bundesliga: Hansa Rostock at Wolfsburg

Okay game, with Wolfsburg dominating. They scored 14 minutes in by Kuhbauer, and he got his second on the hour mark (chipping the ball over the keeper). Majak scored on a header on a corner kick to bring Rostock back for a little while, but their new-found faith didn’t last long, and they finally fell. Final: 2-1 Wolfsburg.

Topic: [/soccer]

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: Charlie’s Angels (again)

Just got the DVD — very cool, an even better film the second time around. Since you know what to expect (eye candy) you just ignore the silly plot and just enjoy the view. A blast.

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Thu, Mar 29, 2001

: Kelly’s Heroes

Cool WWII action-comedy with Clint Eastwood and a bevy of stars. Clint is Kelly, and he leads a group of men attempting to sneak behind German lines to rob a bank holding $16 million in German gold. Absurd spoof, but fun; I especially liked the music by Lalo Schifrin (the guy who created the Mission: Impossible theme.)

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Wed, Mar 28, 2001

: Under-20: USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago

Another slaughter, with the U.S. dominating. Things started off with a goal from Beasley quickly followed by Convey, who had two in the first half. T&T had a few chances, especially late in the first half, but the U.S. hit the woodwork several times and T&T was lucky the score wasn’t 6-0 going into the half. In the second the Americans took off from where they’d stopped, quickly scoring again, and though they finally gave up a goal, they scored yet another to make up for it (Davis, late in the game). Final: 5-1 U.S.A.

Topic: [/soccer]

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: Champions League: Sturm Graz at Manchester United

Nicky Butt’s blast five minutes in put United in a good position, and Sheringham made his look easy fifteen minutes later. That lead was all Man. U. needed, but Roy Keane added one late to secure an easy win. Final: 3-0 Manchester United.

Topic: [/soccer]

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Tue, Mar 27, 2001

: Code to Zero

Author: Ken Follett

Excellent spy thriller, though slightly confusing in tense. It’s set in 1954, when the U.S. is rushing to put their first satellite into orbit or lose out to the Russians in the space race. But then it keeps flashing back twenty-some years earlier to when the main characters were in college together. The flashbacks are clearly marked by year, so that’s okay, but the “present” chapters don’t say 1954 and Follett doesn’t do quite enough in his descriptions to remind us that it’s 1954 and not 2001. I kept forgetting which decade we’re in. But Follett’s details of the first successful U.S. rocket launch are fascinating, and the plot of his story is good. He starts us off with a rocket scientist named Luke who has lost his memory (a bit cliche) and doesn’t know who he is. But people are following him, and he has secret agent-like skills. Is he a spy? Gradually, he pieces together the clues leading to the traitor who betrayed him, and discovers the plot to stop the launching of the rocket. Pretty good tale. There are a few flaws, but one thing I liked was the way Follett fed us information and backstory behind the group of characters. We see them dating in college, hear about their exploits during the war, and gradually find out how relationships fell apart or came together in unexpected ways. Worth the few hours it takes to read such a novel.

Topic: [/book]

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: The Crow: Salvation

Weak sequel with more of the same revenge killing; a few good scenes but the plot has large jumps in logic which hurts momentum. Okay; some of the action is decent. Starts off too slowly and the ending is feeble.

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Mon, Mar 26, 2001

: Oscar Commentary

Okay, I have officially lost all respect for the Academy Awards. There have been times in the past I’ve disagreed with their decisions, but mostly that was simply because I had a favorite I was pushing. But giving

Topic: [/oscars]

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: La Liga: Deportivo at Las Palmas

Not a bad game, though a week old. Deportivo’s the reigning champs, but tiny Las Palmas rained on their parade. They got their first goal just five minutes in from Josico, and another in first half injury time from Alvaro. That was all they need, for though Deportivo made a rash of changes for the second half, it was all for naught. Final: 2-0 Las Palmas.

Topic: [/soccer]

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: Oscar Commentary

Okay, I have officially lost all respect for the Academy Awards. There have been times in the past I’ve disagreed with their decisions, but mostly that was simply because I had a favorite I was pushing. But giving

Topic: [/television]

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Sun, Mar 25, 2001

: EPL: Sunderland at Chelsea

This was a rerun game I’d missed, but it was a good one. Both teams have been on losing streaks and desperately wanted wins. Desailly managed a header in the 14th minute to put the home team up one, but Hutchison equalized fifteen minutes later. But just before the half, Gudjohnson, the Finn, who’d had a great assist on his team’s first goal, got one of his own. Sunderland went into the lockers at halftime a goal down, but came out determined. Hutchison got his second just six minutes into the second half, quickly followed by McCann less than ten minutes later. Kevin Phillips ended his goalless streak with a tap-in twenty minutes after that, and Chelsea couldn’t break down the Sunderland defense. So Sunderland wins at Chelsea for the first time since 1957! Final: 4-2 Sunderland.

Topic: [/soccer]

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: Under-20: USA vs. Guatemala

Wow, what a romp! The U.S. Men’s team struggles against lowly opponents like Guatemala, but not these American youngsters. They came out storming. This bodes incredibly well for the future of U.S. soccer. Many of these kids are already known for the Sydney Olympics and their play in Major League Soccer. Connor Casey started things with a goal just ten minutes in, quickly followed by two from 17-year-old Bobby Convey. Thirty minutes in it was 4-0 U.S.A. courtesy of Jamar Beasley. In the second half, the U.S. easily held Guatemala off and got one more from substitute Brad Davis in the 76th minute. Wow! 5-0 U.S.A.!

Topic: [/soccer]

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: True Grit

Cool movie. I’d never seen this, or much of any John Wayne movie, but I started watching it on TV and then went and found my tape of it. It’s the story of an ornery Marshal (Wayne), a Texas Ranger (Glen Campbell), and a stubborn teen (Kim Darby). Darby’s father has been shot and she’s out to catch the man that killed him, so she hires John Wayne. Campbell ends up joining the party as the murderer’s wanted in Texas for shooting a senator and there’s a big reward out for him. The movie’s got some good action, lots of big stars in early roles (Robert Duvall’s one of the bad guys), great scenery, and of course the three main characters like to argue with each other. But it’s the teen, Darby, who’s character holds the film together, with her intelligence and determination: she hires Wayne because he’s got “grit,” but it’s really her who’s got true grit. Fun, though a little long.

Topic: [/movie]

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: Bring It On

Director: Peyton Reed

Cool flick! It’s astonishingly refreshing to see a comedy that doesn’t degrade its subject with stereotypes and crude jokes. Of all things, cheerleading is a subject you’d expect stereotypical humor, but I only counted one instance of “airhead cheerleader” humor. Instead this is a sharply written, realistic portray of the intensely competitive world of high school cheerleading. And yet it is a comedy, and manages to find lots of humor without degrading the characters. The characters are fun, cute, and likable: you want them to succeed. The story mostly centers around Kirsten Dunst’s character, who’s just been promoted to captain and is in charge of the squad. She then discovers that her predecessor stole the squad’s routines from a rival black high school. But is there time to come up with completely new routines in the few weeks before nationals? While certainly not deep or profound, this is a fun, enjoyable film, quite funny, and remarkably tame for a modern teen flick. Dunst is ideal in her role — so obnoxiously cute you want to slap her, but then she turns and smiles knowingly at the camera and you see that she’s having fun with the role, and isn’t vain or stuckup at all. Impressive performance.

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Sat, Mar 24, 2001

: Farinelli

Fascinating film about Carlo Boschi, a.k.a. Farinelli, a castrato — a castrated choir boy — who becomes the world’s greatest singer in the 1730’s, a contemporary of Handel. The film is mainly about the relationship between him and his brother, and I found it fascinating. His brother’s a composer who gains fame through his brother’s voice yet there are questions about his talent. Overall the film’s flawed: it has some rough spots, is confusing with its excessive use of flashbacks, and a touch long. But it is incredibly interesting, with excellent performances, and tells an unusual tale. I really liked the debates about creativity, inspiration, and talent. Worth seeing. Best line: After Carlo proposes to a woman who rejects him with laughter, he apologizes by saying, “I have played God so many times on stage I thought I could be a Man off stage.”

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: Zero Effect

Another uneven film. This movie didn’t know what it was. The promos made it sound like a comedy: having Ben Stiller in it made that seem logical. But Ben played straight man in this, and though there were a few humorous situations, it didn’t work. Bill Pullman plays the world’s greatest, most eccentric private eye, Darryl Zero; Stiller’s his mouthpiece, as he doesn’t talk with clients in person. The mystery’s not bad, but rather predictable, though I liked the way Zero solved things. But the film drags on forever at a glacial pace, and meanders, not knowing what it is: comedy? romance? film noir? private eye flick? Who knows? Falls flat.

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: World Cup Qualifier: Finland at England

Awesome game! No regular league soccer this weekend as it’s World Cup qualifiers, so I shelled out twenty bucks to watch this on pay-per-view. It seemed outrageous to me, but then some morons pay $60 for wrestling, so who’s to say. Anyway, this turned out to be an excellent game. England was at the bottom of their group and this was a must-win for them to have any shot at going to the World Cup in 2002. Their new coach, Lazio’s Erikson, had to come up with a critical win in his first real game (their recent friendly didn’t count). Things weren’t looking good when England’s early pressure didn’t yield a goal, and suddenly a mistake at the back deflected the ball into the net instead of clearing it: Finland were ahead. England kept pushing, however, and just before the half miracle boy Michael Owen became a hero when his long shot curled into the goal. In the second half, England came out storming, and Captain David Beckham came up big. He got the ball on the right side with some space and blasted it into the Finnish goal. He’d had a few great shots during the game and they all went right to the keeper, but this one struck pay dirt. The Finns couldn’t come back from their deficit, though they fought hard and made the last ten minutes very interesting. In the end, though, all was well for England. Final: 2-1 England.

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Fri, Mar 23, 2001

: Me, Myself, and Irene

Extremely uneven film. Had a few good moments, some amazing performances by Jim Carey, but the story was too fragmented and much of the comedy just didn’t work. Some of the humor was just crude bathroom humor that even Carey seemed uncomfortable with, and other scenes just weren’t funny, like the business with the cow that wouldn’t die. Weak.

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Wed, Mar 21, 2001

: Champions League: Lazio at Leeds

A meaningless match, as Leeds is already through in the group, and Lazio can’t advance even with a win. But instead of taking it easy, these teams battled ferociously. Awesome game! Lazio got going first, with a goal from Ravenvelli in the 21st minute, but Bowyer tied it miutes later with an unbelievable shot standing with his back to the goal and spinning around as he shot. Minutes later a penalty kick was awarded to Lazio, and Milhajlovic easily scored. But just before the half Wilcox got a goal on a corner kick to level everything. Viduka had an easy goal shortly into the second half, and Leeds hung on to their lead until the end of the game, when Milhajlovic got his second in injury time. Wow, six great goals! Great game, though ultimately it doesn’t mean anything. Crazy. Final: 3-3.

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Tue, Mar 20, 2001

: UEFA Cup: Barcelona at Celta Vigo

Awesome game, though Barcelona had the edge going in, leading in the home and away series. Rivaldo started things off with a fantastic long-range strike in the 29th minute, but five minutes later Celta was back in it on an incredible turn at the top of the box shot from another Brazilian, Catanha. Just before the half Rivaldo scored again, this time on an amazing free kick. It looked like it was all over for Celta. But then a penalty was award and Lopez finished to tie the game. Mostovoi got one in stoppage time to allow Celta the victory, but unfortunately for them, the two away goals from Rivaldo took their toll and broke the tie, so Barcelona advance and Celt’s out. Final: 3-2 Celta Vigo.

Topic: [/soccer]

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: La Liga: Real Madrid at Mallorca

Good, competitive match. Luque slipped in a deflection goal off a shot from Eto’o (who had several great chances but didn’t score) near the end of the first half. Real Madrid really fought hard, but seemed baffled by Mallorca’s amazing defense. There was always a player marking the man with the ball, and no one was allowed through. Good to see the champs suffer a little. Final: 1-0 Mallorca.

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Mon, Mar 19, 2001

: Serie A: Parma at Udinesse

Pretty good game, though the scoring took a while to start. DiVaio started things off in the 58th minute, but then a minute later Fiore tied things up on a penalty kick for Udinesse. Things were looking better, but only for seconds: a penalty kick was called the other direction. Amoroso put it away. He scored again toward the end, to really put the nail in Udinesse’s coffin. Final: 3-1 Parma.

Topic: [/soccer]

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: EPL: Leicester City at Manchester United

Bizarre game. I’d expected big scoring, but Man. U. were quiet. They completely dominated Leicester, who hardly had a shot on goal the whole night, but couldn’t finish. Even as we approached the end of the game, with just minutes left, I still figured United would not only not let the game end in a tie, but would beat Leicester soundly. Sure enough, that’s what happened. Yorke deflected a shot to score in the 88th minute, and in injury time, Silvestre got his first Premiereship goal (a great shot, btw). Crazy. Final: 2-0 Manchester United.

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Sun, Mar 18, 2001

: Serie A: Juventus at Lazio

One of the most anticipated matches of the season, and with both teams at the top of the table, critical. Juventus played well, but shockingly it was Lazio who took the early lead on an easy feed to Nedved that beat the offside trap just 23 minutes in. Crespo, who’s been off form the last couple of games, was back with his own goal just one minute into the second half, a great one-on-one finish against Van der Sar, Juventus’ keeper. Juventus was down by two but not out, but then Davids got his second yellow and was ejected. It was starting to look bleak for Juventus, so Del Piero went in on his own and scored a magnificent roofer right on the hour mark. But Lazio wasn’t going to let that stand: they came back with more: another from Nedved and another from Crespo, to really finished Juventus off (Lazio’s first win against their rivals since 1985). Amazingly, a quarter of the goals that Juventus have given up this season they gave up in this game! Tons more stuff happened: a red for Trezeget late, leaving Juventus with only nine players; several top notch saves from Lazio’s keeper; and a goal mouth clearance from Lazio’s Nesta. Terrific game, exactly what soccer is all about! Final: 4-1 Lazio.

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Sat, Mar 17, 2001

: EPL: Manchester City at Bradford City

This fight of two teams at the bottom of the league turned out to be surprisingly good, though none of the goals were of the world class variety. Man. City started things off with a goal from Wiekens, and it looked like things were going their way until the second half, when suddenly Bradford came on strong with two goals in five minutes! Blake scored first, then Ward, and it wasn’t until Goater’s tying goal in the 70th minute that Manchester City could breath again. Bradford fought hard — a draw does them no good at all, they are so far down — but a draw is what they got. Final: 2-2.

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: Bundesliga: Leverkusen at B. Dortmund

Why can’t they play like this all the time? They started with a goal from Schneider eight minutes in, quickly followed by one from Kirsten a minute later. Worns got one back for Dortmund fifteen minutes in, but they still trailed. There was some good goalkeeping, but Leverkusen held on. Finally, in the end, Dortmund keeper Lens Lemann went forward in injury time to see if he could help out on a corner kick. He got caught out on the counter, and Brdaric easily scored into the empty net. That was the last play of the game. Final: 3-1 Leverkusen

Topic: [/soccer]

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: Titan A.E.

Director: Don Bluth

Cool animated film, though they never explained what A.E. meant. The DVD extras revealed it means After Earth, as the film takes place after Earth is blown up by aliens. The Titan is a new supership Earth was building just before it was destroyed, and it was saved and hidden, though no one knows where. The main character, a young man named Cale, learns that his late father was the ship’s creator, and there’s a secret map hidden in the ring his father left him. So Cale is roped into helping a handful of renegade humans find the Titan and save the human race. Cool animation, with lots of computerized effects, great voice acting (it took me until the credits to place the oh-so-familiar voice of the girl: Drew Barrymore), and some above average dialog. Overall the story’s a bit predictable, but it’s far more ambitious than your average animated film. Good job!

Topic: [/movie]

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Fri, Mar 16, 2001

: FA Cup: Arsenal vs. Blackburn Rovers

Another boring match, but for a different reason: the goals came too easy. Arsenal had two goals in five minutes, pretty much sealing the game before it started. Wiltord scored just two minutes in, and Tony Adams of all people, got a header three minutes later. Pires added one in the 36th minute, and that was more than enough. Final: 3-0 Arsenal.

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: Bundesliga: Koln vs. Wolfsburg

Neither team did much, and the result was a boring 0-0 draw.

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Thu, Mar 15, 2001

: UEFA Cup: Porto at Liverpool

Great game, with Michael Owen in amazing form. He took the Portuguese team to task! Gerrard was also amazing, involved with both goals. His sharp cross set up Murphy for the first goal, 33 minutes in, and just five minutes later he crossed the ball to Owen who headed the ball down perfectly to beat the flailing keeper. Porto forgot to bring their offense and never even threatened Liverpool. Final: 2-0 Liverpool, who advance to the quarter-finals.

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: Champions League: Arsenal at Bayern Munich

Both teams needed a win in case Lyon won their game in Moscow. As it turned out, Lyon tied, so both Arsenal and Munich go through anyway, but the games were played simultaneously, so no one knew that. Still, Arsenal didn’t play up to expectations at all: Bayern scored ten minutes in on a great diving header by Elber, but Arsenal just kept trying useless long balls all night and all except one were called offside. Really lame. Bayern deserved the win, and based on this game, Arsenal does not deserve to be the in quarter-finals, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Final: 1-0.

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Tue, Mar 13, 2001

: FA Cup: Tottenham vs. West Ham United

Frantic pace to this game — both sides really wanted to win. But Tottenham struck first, on an amazing volley by the Ukrainian Rebrov. The took it right from the throw-in and blasted it into the upper part of the net. But just before the end of the half West Ham answered, on a great free kick by Stuart Pierce, who curled the ball through a crowd and beat Neil Sullivan at the far post. In second half, however, Tottenham went on a roll. First Rebrov got his second goal when Ferdinand’s header found him even with the last defenders, and Rebrov received the ball, turned, and beat the keeper with his shot. West Ham countered on several occasions, forcing Sullivan to make a couple terrific saves. But it looked like it was all over for West Ham when Tottenham’s Doherty scored for a two goal lead. Then Torodov finished to bring West Ham back within one. As the clock ran down, Tottenham defending valiantly and West Ham attacking relentlessly, keeper Sullivan kept Tottenham in the game, including a one-handed save off the line two and a half minutes into stoppage time. That turned out to be West Ham’s last chance, and Tottenham’s manager, George Graham, gets to keep his job. Final: 3-2 Tottenham.

Topic: [/soccer]

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: Champions League: Deportivo at AC Milan

Boring game, even though it was a must-win for Milan. Deportivo finally went ahead on a soft penalty kick in the 74th minute, but Milan got one back with their own penalty twelve minutes later. But it wasn’t enough. Final: 1-1.

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Mon, Mar 12, 2001

: FA Cup: Liverpool at Tranmere

In the first half it looked like Liverpool had this game wrapped up. Michael Owen and Danny Murphy took turns helping each other out to each score, Murphy in the 11th minute on Owen’s cross, and Owen in the 27th on Murphy’s pass. But in the second half Yates scored just two minutes in to bring Tranmere just a goal away. Gerrard put in a header to restore Liverpool’s two goal lead, but then Allison, just on as a substitute for Paul Rideout (who used to play for the Kansas City Wizards of MLS), scored on his first touch! It was a overeager blunder on the part of Robbie Fowler, who’s defensive back-pass was too hard and therefore was fumbled, allowing Allison to grab it and slip it through Vesterveld’s legs. But Tranmere’s luck finally ran out. They gave up a penalty with nine minutes to go and Fowler converted, and Tranmere couldn’t get back after that. Final: 4-2 Liverpool. Great game!

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: La Liga: Real Sociedad at Real Madrid

What a wipeout! Morientes scored twice in the first half (the second a tap in), then Raul and McManaman add their own late in a second half in which they allowed Sociedad to dominate. They even had a great chance to go five up when the last shot of the game hit the goalpost! Final: 4-0 Real Madrid.

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: Serie A: Lazio at Bologna

You’d have that the Rome club would have dominated this one, but for some reason they forgot to show up. Nervo scored early for Bologna, and just before the half Lazio got a man sent off, leaving them just ten for the rest of the game. After that it was all Bologna, with Lazio hardly getting a chance on goal, and finally Signori scored against his old club to top things off. It was a cheeky goal, too: when the keeper went way out of his box to stop him, Signori scooted the ball around him. The ball trickled for twenty yards, everyone watching breathlessly as it curled into the net, no one near enough to catch it! Final: 2-0 Bologna.

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Sat, Mar 10, 2001

: Weekend Movie Watching

Watched Meet the Parents on DVD and Molly again. Both were excellent, even better on second viewings. Recommended.

Topic: [/personal]

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Fri, Mar 09, 2001

: Bundesliga: Werder Bremen at Bayern Leverkusen

Okay game, but it was too one-sided. Leverkusen dominated from the start and ended Bremen’s good streak. The Brazilian Lucia started things off for Leverkusen with a goal just 12 minutes into the game, then things settled down for a while with neither team doing anything. In the second half, however, Leverkusen came alive again, with Neuville scoring early, and Brdaric adding to the tally ten minutes after that. Those goals pretty much did Bremen in, and Leverkusen easily defended their lead. Final: 3-0 Leverkusen.

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Wed, Mar 07, 2001

: International Friendly: Argentina at Italy

This was a great game until I realized I’d only recorded the first half. I’d forgotten I’d told my satellite dish to switch to a movie that I thought I might be interested in, and so it switched away from the game and recorded only part of the movie. Brilliant. I did get to see Fiore score for Italy 26 minutes in, and then Gonzalez tied it up for Argentina ten minutes later. For all I know that’s the way it ended. I’ll have to check on the ‘net for the final score.

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Tue, Mar 06, 2001

: Titanium PowerBook

My Titanium PowerBook G4 arrived today and it is awesome! There are a few glitches, widely reported on Mac websites, but the ‘Book is so fantastic I don’t even care! The 15.” screen is H U G E — it’s wider than most 17” CRT monitors. Incredible. Playing a DVD on that wide screen is impressive, to say the least. The laptop is very speedy, too. I can’t believe how light and thin it is. Really remarkable, considering all the stuff inside. I opened it up to install some extra RAM (I’ve got 384 megs) and the metal of the bottom of the laptop is right there — it’s like there’s no room inside! It will be interesting to see how durable it is over the long haul, but for now I’m amazed.

Topic: [/technology]

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: La Liga: Barcelona at Real Madrid

Awesome game! This is the match up that all of Spain waits for every season, and watching a 100,000 screaming fans certainly fills you with anticipation. The game started off with a bang just seven minutes in with Roberto Carlos putting in a shot that he scuffed, but the slower ball turned out to be the perfect through-ball for Raul, who finished it. Barcelona took over the game after that, but it took them until the 36th minute to score, when Rivaldo took on the keeper one-on-one and beat him. But less than a minute later, Raul scored his second when he poached a rebound of McManneman’s shot. Rivaldo picked up his game, scoring his own second in the 70th minute, shooting from long range perfectly between defenders, the keeper, and the goalpost. There was a lot of rough, hassling play after that, and Rivaldo’s hat trick was denied due to an offside call. Neither team was going to get the better of the other, and the game appropriately finished 2-2.

Topic: [/soccer]

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: Champions League: Leeds United at Real Madrid

Excellent game! Both of these teams were already through to the quater-finals, so the match was somewhat a formality. But the result would determine who would win the group and have home field advantage later in the competition. Leeds started off great, with Alan Smith scoring on a break-away just seven minutes in. But victory was very short-lived when Madrid struck back just sixty seconds later, when Raul finished. Before the half was over Madrid had pulled ahead on Figo’s long cross that turned into a shot, and the awkward bounce fooled Leeds’ keeper, Nigel Martin, and went into the goal. Viduka brought Leeds back ten minutes into the second half, but just a few minutes later Raul got his second goal to secure Real Madrid the victory. Great to see Leeds scoring against the titans of the league! Final: 3-2.

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Mon, Mar 05, 2001

: EPL: Aston Villa at Sunderland

A rather boring game until Joachim scored early in the second half, then Sunderland fought back hard. They couldn’t score for a long time and it looked like they were going down, but finally McCann put it away and secured the draw. Final: 1-1.

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: Serie A: Juventus at Udinesse

Excellent game. After a lag in which one began to wonder if Juventus would be happy with a draw, Zambrotta scored in the 38th minute. Udinesse fought back valiantly, but they couldn’t do anything against the tough Juventus defense. An hour in Inzaghi increased Juventus’ lead. There was some hope for Udinesse when Del Piero handled the ball and got his second yellow, but minutes later their own Alberto was sent off for the same offense. Juventus easily held on after that. Final: 2-0 Juventus.

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Sun, Mar 04, 2001

: Bundesliga: Bayern Munich at Hansa Rostock

What a crazy, amazing game! It had everything. A mistake by Jens Jeremies gave Nigerian Victor Agali an in on goal and he dribbled around Oliver Kahn to score in the first half. Jeremies’ mistake was that his clear hit Agali and bounced forward, the exact thing Jeremies was trying to prevent! But seconds later, defender Sammy Kuffour equalized for Bayern with a terrific header, and ironically, Kuffour was being poorly marked by none other than Agali! Good for Kuffour, who’s still most famous for his mistake in the 1999 Champions League final that gave the trophy to Manchester United. In the second half, Rostock was back with fantastic goal from Salou, who dribbled through what seemed like half the Bayern defense to score! Amazingly, on the hour mark Bayern gave up another free kick near the box and Jakobsson put in a leaping header on the cross to put Rostock up by two. But Bayern cut the lead when Jeremies ran from midfield straight through the defense and beat the keeper. Elber missed a great chance for the equalizer late in the game when he had the ball at his feet in front of an empty net but somehow couldn’t get the shot off in time. Rostock held on and held on through all sorts of drama, and then, in stoppage time, on a Bayern corner kick, goalkeeper Kahn went forward. When the cross came in, he inexplicably punched the ball to score (obviously the goal was disallowed)! I know Kahn’s Germany’s national goalkeeper, but doesn’t he know that keepers are only allowed to use their hands in their own penalty box??? Incredibly stupid! He was given his second yellow card and ejected from the game! (He’ll also get at least a one match suspension too.) Wild! A few more seconds passed, during which a field player played goalkeeper for Bayern, and then it was over, with Rostock beating the perennial champs! Final: 3-2 Rostock.

Topic: [/soccer]

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: Molly

Why haven’t you heard of this film? It’s very good. It’s basically a retelling of Flowers for Algernon with a woman as the lead, but well done. (If you aren’t familiar with Flowers, it’s about a retarded man who becomes smart through a medical experiment and then slowly becomes dumb again.) Elisabeth Shue gives an excellent performance — by the end of the film I’d forgotten it was her and was thinking of her as Molly. A film like this could come across as overly sentimental or forced, and I was prepared to not like it, figuring it was just another “disease of the week” movie. But Molly is very well done, appropriately low-key, with lots of humor and very little melodrama. Quite remarkable, really. I’m surprised it didn’t get more press. One of the things I liked best about the film was its realistic portrayal of the caretaker, Molly’s brother, as he deals with feelings of guilt for neglecting Molly and the struggle to form his own life. Molly, as a character, is wonderful: she’s 28 but has the mind of a child. She’s not self-conscious at all and reacts to situations exactly like a child. For instance, in one classic scene, while watching a play of Romeo and Juliet, she gets up and runs onto the stage to slap Juliet to wake her up and show Romeo that he shouldn’t kill himself because she’s only sleeping. A big part of the story is the way Molly’s love of life infects everyone she meets, including her brother. Best line of the film: at a restaurant, where during a moment of quiet, Molly suddenly screams, to everyone’s horror. “There was a silence,” she calmly explains. “I screamed for everyone.” Wow, that’s good, really good. Very deep. Two thumbs up for this one. It’s sweet but not saccharine, occasionally profound, and often moving. Well worth 87 minutes of your time.

Topic: [/movie]

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Sat, Mar 03, 2001

: International Friendly: Brazil vs U.S.A.

Excellent game which aired on ABC Saturday afternoon. After their fantastic win on Wednesday, the U.S. team was pumped up, but come on, this is against Brazil, the best team in the world. Worse, most of our top players were heading back to their club teams in Europe and were unavailable. The U.S. barely had enough players to fill the field. The youngsters played well, though mistakes were made. The biggest was a pointless foul by Richie Williams to give up a free kick at the edge of the penalty box a half hour into the game. That gave Brazil a good chance and they took it, with Ronaldinho putting in a curling shot that cleared the wall and beat Tony Meola for the first goal of the game. I thought Meola should have done better on the free kick, but he looked very sharp the rest of the game. But the U.S. came back with a terrific goal by Clint Mathis, one of the heros of Wednesday’s game. He ran down the right wing and instead of putting in a cross, saw that the keeper was guarding the near post and put in a shot to the far post. It was perfect, bypassing the keeper and grazing the post to go into the goal. Awesome! Scoring against Brazil is a career-making event and Mathis deserves notice. In the second half Brazil played much better and the U.S. players became tired. Brazil really should have had two or three more goals, but they did get one to go ahead and win the game. A great run by Silvinho up the left side allowed him to get behind the U.S. back line and put in a cross, which Euller ran onto just a step from the goalline for a simple finish. Brazil deservedly won, but the U.S. did themselves proud. Just scoring against Brazil is enough to widen the eyes of many who question the United States’ soccer skill. Final: 2-1 Brazil.

Topic: [/soccer]

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: International: France vs. Germany

Cool game. I just happened to catch upon this on Telemundo (a Spanish station) while channel surfing. France won on a great goal by Zidane, who took a through-pass and finished with such calm it was almost ridiculous. The guy scores and it’s like, “Okay, that was fun. What’s next?” Germany really struggled in the first half, but played much better in the second (including a terrific volley right on goal by Scholl that was saved by French keeper Bartez). But still, Germany’s just not the soccer powerhouse they once were. Their big stars are retired and they don’t have new ones to replace them. It will be interesting to see how they progress in the future. Final: 1-0 France.

Topic: [/soccer]

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: EPL: Liverpool at Leicester City

Lame game until the second half, when Liverpool got desperate. Akinbiyi scored early in the second half for Leicester, when Fowler’s poor clear went straight to Robbie Savage, putting the Liverpool defense in an awkward position. Liverpool fought back, but the Leicester defense was a brick wall, and late in the game Izzet ran onto a through-ball for an easy goal which sealed Liverpool’s fate. Final: 2-0 Leicester City.

Topic: [/soccer]

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Fri, Mar 02, 2001

: Metropolis

Author: Fritz Lang

Director: Fritz Lang

Strange, but remarkable film. It tells the tale of the future city of Metropolis, where the worker class toils relentlessly in the bowels of the city, while the elite live in luxury in the skyscrapers above. The city master’s son, Freder, learns of the worker’s plight, and tries to help them. He meets the beautiful Maria, the leader of the rebellion, who preaches peace. But Freder’s father has the evil inventor create a robot in Maria’s image, and the robot tricks the workers into violence, which is exactly the excuse Freder’s father wanted so he can use violence back. Remarkable for being able to tell such a complex story without sound, so far back at the dawn of cinema. While the quality of the film is poor in terms of film quality, there were many impressive special effects (such as the electric fields and the dream sequences), and the acting was excellent. I found the film’s pace to be lethargic, especially compared to the high-speed visual storytelling I’m accustomed to, but silent films had to explain the story solely with visuals and minimal text, and of course film was so new audiences were not as savy as modern moviegoers. Definitely worth your time.

Topic: [/movie]

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Thu, Mar 01, 2001

: EPL: Leeds United at Tottenham Hotspur

Good game. Tottenham started off well, though against the run of play, with a goal from Les Ferdinand a half hour in. He caught the loose ball on a mistake from the Leeds defense and moved forward to dribble around the keeper. Good job. But Leeds didn’t give up. A gentle take-down of Lee Bowyer right at the 45 minute mark gave them a penalty kick, and Ian Harte put it away so they could go into the half tied. In the second half, Lee Bowyer had several chances, finally putting one away seventeen minutes in, on a short corner where he ran the ball out at an angle, turned, and put in a shot which no one bothered to block. Silly goal for Tottenham to give up, and it cost them. Final: 2-1 Leeds.

Topic: [/soccer]

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