Archive for July, 2010

Inception: Dreaming Is What’s Left Of Psychedelia…

“The trick is to combine your waking rational abilities with the infinite possibility of dreams…if you do that, you can do anything.” —-Waking Life

Here is what you do if you have a passing interest in neuroscience, psychology, or physics but are too lazy to take science classes in college: make movies. In the last decade or so, some of the most successful movies from nearly every genre—from thrillers like Memento to sci-fi/action movies like The Matrix to art house movies like Waking Life—involve quirks of the mind: alternate realities, psychological disorders, and imaginary characters.

Inception, the latest film from Christopher Nolan (director of the aforementioned Memento as well as The Dark Knight, which means we at NPI are predisposed to like him), tackles dreaming, an area so loaded with psychological and epistemological ramifications that the movie feels ready to burst at the seams. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Cobb, a thief who enters peoples’ dreams to steal their ideas. This process, known as “extraction,” involves exploiting projections of a dreamers’ subconscious to reveal secrets. Continue reading

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Got a Secret? About Last Night’s “Pretty Little Liars”

You weren’t kidding when you approvingly linked to a review of Pretty Little Liars a few Monday Medleys ago, were you? Trust me. We never use Monday Medley to kid.

Seriously, though, why Pretty Little Liars? Because it’s summer, because Degrassi just isn’t fun anymore, because it’s accurately billed as Gossip Girl meets I Know What You Did Last Summer

Sans Jennifer Love Hewitt: Sigh…

If it’s so great, what took so long? Well, we didn’t want another FlashForward on our hands, am I right? Also, I didn’t see the first three episodes.

Then how are you qualified to do this? I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s pretty gratuitous use of flashback in PLL.

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Monday Medley

What we read while being snookered by Fox News…

Mad Men Returns

In case you haven’t heard, the fourth season of AMC’s Mad Men premieres tonight at 10 PM. But you’ve probably heard. As I mentioned last year, Mad Men is quite the buzzworthy show, which means promotional material and spoilers are somewhat hard to avoid.

Luckily, I have been able to stay somewhat sheltered from the released information about this season—I prefer to enter new seasons with no preconceptions. This is particularly exciting in the wake of last season’s Mad Men finale, which set up a totally new realm for the characters to inhabit.

Season Three ended with almost all of the main characters—Don Draper, Roger Sterling, Peggy Olsen, Pete Campbell, etc.—leaving Sterling Cooper to start a new agency. Meanwhile, Betty was flying off to Nevada to marry Henry Francis. In other words, there are a lot of things to be explored as the new season picks up.

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Shut Up Michael Jordan (And Magic Johnson, And Probably Larry Bird Eventually)

Shut up, Michael Jordan. Nobody should be listening to you. You were an excellent basketball player—probably the best ever—but you are an arrogant, selfish idiot. We all know that by now.

So nobody should care that you said you would never have called Larry Bird and Magic Johnson and asked them to join you on the same team: “There’s no way, with hindsight, I would’ve ever called up Larry, called up Magic and said, ‘Hey, look, let’s get together and play on one team.’” Oh, really? “With hindsight,” you wouldn’t make drastic changes to what pretty much everyone agrees was the greatest professional basketball career of all time? Shocking.

What about without hindsight? What about when you were 25, like LeBron James is now, and you, like LeBron James, had never won an NBA title? Continue reading

MLB Midseason Bonanza: The National League

So John S was all like, “When are you gonna criticize your MLB predictions? You’re just gonna hang me out to dry?” And I came back with, “You call that a criticism? I call that a hearty pat on the back you did.” To which John replied, “Yeah, well, you got a lot more wrong than I did.”*

*Dramatization. May not have happened.

Alas, my re-evaluation of my pre-season predictions in the National League won’t be headlined by What I Got Right so much as What I Got Wrong, and Often Very Wrong. That being said, I totally got three of the eventual playoff teams from the NL, and I’m sticking to that.

NL WEST

What I Got Completely Wrong

I had the Padres winning 64 games all season; they will surpass that total if they go 11-60 the rest of the season. I specifically mocked the fact that Jon Garland was San Diego’s Opening Day starter. Garland is 9-6 with a 3.45 ERA, and the Padres have the best ERA in the Major Leagues. Mat Latos was a legitimate Cy Young candidate before he failed to sneeze the other day. Their bullpen, boasting former Mets Mike Adams and Heath Bell, is phenomenal.

But, the Padres aren’t making the playoffs. Bank on it.

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Open Letter to Fans from Raptors Majority Owner

Dear Toronto and All Toronto Raptors Fans, Regardless of Your Present Location;

As you may have heard, our former “hero” Chris Bosh went to Miami after a prolonged, egotistical campaign played out mainly through his let’s-be-honest boring Twitter account.

I want you to know that I, like you, am not in any way devastated by this decision. In fact, I’m not even mad. I’m pretty cool with how it all went down.

I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE TORONTO RAPTORS WILL NOT MAKE THE PLAYOFFS WITHOUT CHRIS, JUST AS WE DIDN’T MAKE THE PLAYOFFS IN FIVE OF THE SEVEN SEASONS WITH CHRIS!

Furthermore, I’m very confident that our newest first-round pick, Ed Davis, can fill Chris’s shoes, since, like Chris, Ed was unable to lead his team to the NCAA Tournament.

Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day.

SERIOUSLY!

Your owner,

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Ltd.