Music and Movies during a sports lull: While We’re Waiting

Happy Friday everyone. It’s great to be here even as I’m still winding down from one hell of a downer of a Browns season. I’m happy I didn’t have to delve too far into parade talk over the holidays. So, let’s talk about movies.

I got to see Star Wars in 3d IMAX and it was incredible

I know that Cleveland has a large-format screen, but we are still missing a legitimate IMAX. Over the holidays I was out of town and we had access to one of those really giant, legitimate IMAX screens so the whole family went to see Star Wars. It was the second viewing for me, and I think I liked it even better the second time. The movie still suffers for being the middle child in a trilogy that hasn’t been completed yet, but I think it has a chance to be considered a classic once we find out the resolution for this Kylo-Rey storyline. The most interesting thing about Star Wars, however, is the amount of time we’re willing to invest thinking about this film series.

Maybe people spend almost as much time thinking about the Marvel Universe these days, but I think Star Wars is still on another level. Most other movies have to beat you over the head with their messages and stories for fear they won’t be heard. Star Wars is almost its own genre because they can play it more subtle knowing that people can pick these things up on third, fourth, or fifth viewings of the films. It makes me wonder how much impact that has on the directors as they’re putting their own personal spins on the films.

Back to the screen, IMAX is just a different level. When you’re watching an IMAX 3d movie, the screen is so big that everything feels like it’s floating right in front of your face. Not in a goofy way, but just in terms of how close or inside the film you actually feel. When Poe goes on his daring run, you feel yourself dodging with him. As the salt speeders are shooting across the expanse leaving their red trails behind, you get a feel for just how far they have to go to try and meet the danger that’s approaching them. The sense of remote size you’re supposed to get from Luke’s island is more apparent in those overhead drone shots when you can move your head from side to side to take it all in. And the earth-shattering sound of the battle scenes end up impacting you far more than the simple surround of the standard digital theaters we’re used to visiting around town.

I’d stop just short of saying it’s worth a drive to Pittsburgh or Columbus to see it, but it’s a close call.

I’ll admit it. I liked The Greatest Showman

I like the greatest musicals, but I wouldn’t say I’m a fan of the genre. Yet, after having occasion to see The Last Showman,1 I’m kind of blown away just how blown away I was by it. Everyone loves Phantom. Wicked is great. Fiddler is a classic. I never saw Cats, but “Memory” is one of the greatest songs ever written. I am not a fan of movies that are musicals, generally speaking. Once is really cool with Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova singing duets, but it’s not a typical musical where they have exposition in the lyrics of the song. It’s a movie where the characters are musicians and perform their songs as a part of the story. I despised Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge. And yet, when I watched Wolverine (Hue Jackman) and High School Musical (Zac Efron) singing the story of P.T. Barnum, I was game for some reason.

I don’t like to look at reviews before seeing a movie and I’m glad I didn’t for this one. It’s a scenario on Rotten Tomatoes where the critics are overly harsh, but the audience loves the film. Despite that, I sometimes find myself tainted by an overly low critic score.

Maybe you won’t like it, but if there’s one thing I can share with you that might convince you it doesn’t stink, it would be this song.


Need some happy music? Try the Mowgli’s

The end of the year turned out to be pretty low stress, but for whatever reason, coming back into 2018 had me on edge. You ever have those weeks where you just can’t seem to calm yourself down. Can’t take the edge off your nerves? That’s the kind of week I had for no reason in particular. I was searching for some happier music to listen to because most of my favorite stuff is angsty or sad. After hunting around a bit, I came across a band called The Mowgli’s. In particular, I became addicted to their song, “Spacin Out.” It made me wonder where this band has been and how I missed them for so long.

  1. we had time to kill before a flight and we saw most everything else that was appropriate for the whole family []

  • RGB
  • mgbode

    I am not a fan of movies that are musicals, generally speaking.

    I am a big fan of the animated version of the genre. Lion King, Aladdin, Tangled, Frozen, and Trolls are all high quality musicals. It becomes a bit more silly for me when actual people take the roles but plenty enjoy those.

  • Secured my ticket this week for Black Panther in IMAX, and I’m now even happier that I went with that option. I have seen IMAX before, but only those movies they show at Kennedy Space Center (a very young me wanted desperately to be an astronaut after seeing The Dream is Alive during my first visit there). I’m looking forward to seeing the MCU in that format.

  • MartyDaVille

    I hate movies and TV shows that:

    1. are animated
    2. star animals
    3. feature precocious, wisecracking children
    4. have even one stupid adult

    I read a lot.

  • Disney movies are their own category, in my opinion. You know you’re going to get some serious music when you sit down for one of those (and you’ll likely be singing along during every subsequent viewing). I a
    Ways find live action musicals on film to be a bit…awkward. But live performances are great. Something about being in a proper theater seeing it done live really adds to the experience for me.

  • Don’t like animated shows?!


  • MartyDaVille

    It’s not you, it’s me. I just can’t watch ’em, not even the Simpsons. My loss, I know.

  • JNeids

    Today’s sign of the apocalypse: Are the Browns actually the least depressing Cleveland team at the moment? Between the Cavs losing the last two games by roughly 100 combined and the Indians disappointing offseason, the Browns FO moves have been the high points of the week.


  • JM85

    I have a feeling Black Panther will surprise people and end up one of the better Marvel movies.

  • JM85

    I thought Jumanji was great. It’s perfect for families. The cast did well together and Jack Black was hilarious.

  • Definitely one of those movies I know I’ll end up watching numerous times on TNT once it goes to television, but I just can’t bring myself to pay to see it in a theater. Jack Black outside of his role in High Fidelity just doesn’t do much for me, nor does Kevin Hart as an actor. But I don’t mind the Rock, and Karen Gillan is one of humanity’s greatest accomplishments. So yeah, TNT it is.

  • JM85

    You’re going to enjoy it. Black is great and hilarious in a ton of scenes and Hart wasn’t bad either.

  • tigersbrowns2

    different times … musical movies used to be the norm back in the day & there were some pretty good ones : West Side Story , My Fair Lady , The Sound Of Music & all the Shirley Temple & Bing Crosby movies … and you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Lee Marvin & Clint Eastwood actually sing in Paint Your Wagon.

    And there have been some newer ones that were pretty good : Walk The Line , Chicago , Across The Universe & one of my all-time favorites School Of Rock.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi J … i sat through every play of every Browns game this year … not nearly as exciting as this off-season has been so far , that’s for sure.

  • tigersbrowns2

    Hi MARTY … if you have kids , Disney movies are required.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi B-BO … Jack Black hasn’t been in too many critically acclaimed movies , but School Of Rock is one of them & I could watch it over & over … Shallow Hal had some pretty good moments as well.

  • tigersbrowns2
  • I disliked both of those movies soooo very much. My general distaste for Black as an actor is not for lack of effort.

  • tigersbrowns2

    well , at least you tried … I’m not a big fan of his either , but as a musician , School Of Rock hit home with me … and the kids in the movie are all super-talented.

  • RGB

    You would love him in The Jackal.
    Trust me.

  • Wait, was that Bruce Willis’s blond moment? I recall seeing that at some point, but damn if I can remember much else about it.

  • RGB

    Jack Black’s role is small, but you will enjoy it.

  • Shadow_play

    “Wait wait wait! Here comes Lee Marvin! Thank God! He’s always drunk and violent!”

  • CBiscuit

    Would it help if every single one of those wise-ass children or talking animals’ parents were dead or missing? Because if so, you then might enjoy every Disney movie.

  • Steve

    The Browns make FO just about every offseason, and look where has them. The Indians usually do little every offseason, and look where that has them.

  • CBiscuit

    Painfully close but never enough to get over the top…so close that the losses are excruciating and torturous, that you wish just once, we’d get that extra something or someone to push us over the top. Too much? Probably, espec since it’s Fri in January.

    The age old: Is it better to have loved and lost? Perhaps. But I’d still like to see something–anything–beyond a Yonder Alonso (a flyer/poor man’s Santana).

  • Eric G

    It’s certainly getting the hype, but I agree. I can’t wait.

  • Eric G

    Did you see Coco?

  • Eric G

    “Ponderooooosa Pine. Ooooooo”

  • Eric G

    I thought it was ok. I didn’t love it, but I am quite partial to the original. I do like the Rock, though. He’s really got a grip on the nation at this point.

  • Steve

    “Painfully close but never enough to get over the top”

    Solely because the playoffs are a crapshoot, and not because they didn’t assemble a talented enough team. Maybe if they had found a bubble suit for Carrasco to pitch out of.

    This team is projected to easily win the division, throwing their hat in the crapshoot another time. They’re in great shape.

  • tsm

    Agree, but Tito’s loyalty to veterans Kipnis and Brantley also played a role. Yandy and Almonte should have been selected instead, and I advocated for this before the NY series began.

  • CBiscuit

    I hear you. Hope you’re right. Need things to all click, including health for Carrasco…plus Danny S, Kip, Brantley, and Chiz.

  • Steve

    Preaching to the choir on Tito’s loyalty issues. We didn’t give ourselves the best chance in 2017. But things like Jose Ramirez putting up a 1.183 OPS in the ALDS or a .282 played a big part too. And that’s as predictable as flipping coins.


    Is it, like, 45 minutes shorter when you watch it in IMAX? Because then, maybe, I could get on board.

  • JM85

    It’s funny how he went from action to family movies to comedies back to action and now a mix of all 3.

  • JNeids

    You must have missed (ignored?) where I said “at the moment.” I’m still much more optimistic about/excited for the other two teams…at least in the short term.

  • Steve

    I didn’t. I have no idea how it is depressing that the team who has thrived off continuity and not pretending that making loud noises constitutes improvement each offseason continues their boring steady greatness.

  • tsm

    Yes. Both he and Lindor were sub par at the plate.

  • mgbode

    Not until it goes streaming, looks like Valentine’s Day.

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    Ugh… They were horrendous aside from Frankie’s pole shot

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