(A Random Post)

Let’s Go To The Judges

Watch The Tapes – LCD Soundsystem

This post is going to be about scoring in gymnastics and its relation to my love for Ghost Town. Buckle up.

Gymnastics scoring works like this: Your move or routine begins with a pre-set score and if you do everything you’re supposed to do, that’s the score you get. The pre-set score is based on the difficulty of the move or routine. Following me so far?

Let’s say you have a simple routine on the rings. A couple of lifts, some suspensions, a flip and a how-do-you-do to cap things off. That would be, like, an 8 or 8.5 at best. So if you do the whole routine perfectly and it’s the best performance of that particular routine that anyone has ever seen, you’re still only getting an 8 or 8.5.

On the flipside, if someone has a routine on the rings that involves biting on one of the rings and spinning like a spider on a thread of webbing, that might be a 9.0 or a 9.5. This means if they screw up a little bit, they can lose a few tenths of a point and still have a higher score than the guy who did the simple routine perfectly. Understand?

I bring up this scoring system because I realize that this is how I approach watching a movie. In my head, there’s a pre-set score and as the film moves along I mentally deduct points. This is why, in my opinion, there is no such thing as a perfect movie. For me, every movie starts off perfect and then I begin to remove tenths of a point.

Take Street Fighter for example. You’ve got a movie based on one of the greatest video games of all time. The game world possesses its own rich history and a cast of characters that are just begging to be put on screen. You’ve got one of the guys who wrote Commando and Jean-Claude Van Damme. My pre-set score for a film like this is, like, 9.5 or 9.7. It’s a difficult film to get right, but the elements were there for something truly spectacular.

In gymnastics, this would be like someone attempting a triple somersault in the vault event.

Now instead of getting what could have been one of the best sci-fi/martial arts action films of all time, we got a stinking piece of shit straight from the devil’s asshole.

In gymnastics, this would be like someone attempting a triple somersault in the vault event, but instead of getting any air they slip on the springboard, smack their jaw against the vault apparatus, land on their head and then spontaneously combust. But worse than that.

You’re watching Street Fighter and you’re pumped up as soon as you see the logo. Oh man, this is a 9.7 movie fo’ sho’! Then Chun-Li, E. Honda and Balrog show up and it turns out that they’re undercover as news reporters. Two tenths deduction. Van Damme plays Guile without any attempt to cover up his accent. Two tenths deduction. Raul Julia does Raul Julia things. Score remains steady. Ken and Ryu are gun running hustlers. Three tenths deduction! Carlos Blanka?!? One tenth deduction. Not a single decent action scene in the whole flick. Two full points!

By the time the characters do their classic poses in the end (ugh), you’re left with maybe a 0.3 or 0.4. Maybe 0.5. As with everything, the higher the expectations, the more stunning it is when we faced with such grand failure.

Which brings me to Ghost Town. With my effusive praise of this film, I’ve undoubtedly artificially raised this film’s degree of difficulty by a whole point for some people. Brian, for example, was nonplussed. For me, the film began with a score of around 8. The points to consider in the routine lay in the casting of Ricky Gervais as a romantic leading man, an ill-fitting supernatural premise and the fact that the film is essentially yet another Hollywood romantic comedy. By hyping up the film, I led poor Brian into expecting the film to possibly reach a score of 9 or above. This was my mistake. Even if he appreciated the film to its fullest, it would still be a full point below his expectations! And herein lies the dilemma. For me, the film is perfect or at least near perfect. Thus, it’s about a 7.9 in my book out of a possible score of approximately 8. You still with me?

I don’t recommend this scoring system for everyone as it is highly convoluted and frankly, I’m not even sure if it’s applicable to every film. This whole process has likely spawned from my usual mental meandering and the fact that I love to watch the same movies over and over again while finding new ways to appraise them. That’s fun for me. In case you’re wondering, the closest thing to a perfect film is Heat. I’m not saying it’s my favourite movie, but it is damn near flawless in its execution.

Inevitably, after I become tired of this concept I will return to my time-tested two-tiered scoring system (the 4T scoring system, one might say). Those two tiers being: Movies that are good and movies that are shit. It doesn’t always make for great conversation, but it works for me.

*****

NBA All-Star Weekend is next week and other than a one or two selections (Iverson again?) all the starters are deserving of their spots. There were a couple of anomalies in the voting that bear mentioning. Bruce Bowen was only a few hundred thousand votes away from overtaking Amare Stoudemire for one of the West’s forward spots. Apparently Juicy Brucey has been doing basketball clinics over in China for some time now, so they love him over there. I can live with that, I guess.

Even easier to explain is Luke Ridnour’s impressive fifth place finish in guard voting in the East. I imagine that because Yi Jianlian played in Milwaukee last year, that the team now has some kind of footing in China. However, that does not explain why Ridnour (who did not play with Yi) would get more votes than, say, Michael Redd (who actually did play with Yi). It looks like Luke still has a lot of fans from his 30 Seconds To Mars days.

With the Raptors season going poorly, there are only a few respites left for Toronto basketball fans. One can always look forward to next year’s draft, even though it looks like it will be the worst one since 2006, coincidentally the last time the Raptors had a high draft pick. For those seeking more immediate satisfaction, there is always the excitement of the trade deadline, which is coming up in a couple of weeks. I can honestly tell you that I would welcome the much-rumoured Shawn Marion trade, if only for plays like this.

On a more serious note, did it get any better than these Larry Bird/Michael Jordan ads? Nothin’ but net.

*****

After reading this Krav Maga article, I’m reconsidering my anti-semitic beliefs.

A comic about Rick Rolling. You know, I tend to be highly resistant to internet memes and this was no exception. Though I will say that the idea is brilliant in it’s randomness and that I spent a lot of time wondering how Rick Astley felt about the whole thing. Assuming that he isn’t the one who started it.

Having been unemployed for almost a year, what the hell has Alex been doing with all his free time? In an attempt to shed some light on this pertinent question, I present to you this Punch Out One-Hit Run. I watched every second.

Which of course, led me to watch this piece of brilliance. I’m not even going to pretend that I watched this whole thing and if you do, you’re a better man than I.

Oh, one last thing. I had to track down the link myself, but I was made aware of this clip reading a Bill Simmons article: Teen Wolf penis. You’re welcome.

Come on, sit your buns back down. Ok, we can’t just give up.
But coach this guys are so good and I’m very, very scared of them. Can I be real with you right now? I mean like really, really, really real?
Yes.
I just thought about going out there for the second half and a little bit of pee came out.

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Destined to fight the world's evil, The WAMBAG endures massive battles involving impossible stunts, races on horse-pulled carriages, and the desecration of enchanting medieval castles (all done with dizzying computer graphics). Not only does the eye candy keep on coming, the tongue-in-cheek writing and deep Transylvanian accents perfect the film with a dose of dark humor.

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