The Film Room with Chris Corbellini: The Place Beyond the Pines


Our Chris Corbellini is a cross between Roger Ebert and Bobby Hebert: His love of cinema is only matched by his ardor for the NFL. Here is his review of the Ryan Gosling/Bradley Cooper vehicle in which the two men share all of one scene together — and barely that.

There’s a line of thinking in film that if you have two characters standing with their flags firmly planted on polar ends of the story — good versus corrupt, corrupt versus worse, prom queen versus band geek, Christopher Walken vs. Dennis Hopper – then these two principals must meet someplace.  Maybe a diner. Or a World War I trench. Or a raised ranch home on a leafy street. From the initial point of contact you wonder: What are they going to finally DO to each other? What happens after? The makers of “The Place Beyond the Pines” embrace that line of thinking, and that embrace holds and holds, tighter and tighter, until the movie runs out of breath.

Too much. Too much epilogue. Check your watch too much. “Pines” weaves two mood pieces together confidently and boldly, and then wants you to hang in there for thirds. It kick-starts with Ryan Gosling, and he toys with the first-half of the movie like the switchblade in his fingers in the opening scene. It finishes with Bradley Cooper in a moment of triumph and competing for an ending with another generation entirely.

Still, watching two well-made films unspool for the price of one ticket is not a bad thing, especially since the director, Derek Cianfrance, and his writers clearly adore other well-made films. Pop culture references and movie homages slip out from time to time, and an argument can be made that Gosling’s Handsome Luke is a stand-in for Steve McQueen from “The Great Escape.” On the bike, life is one big wheelie no matter how grim the setting. Off the bike life becomes complicated, but instinct still drives. At one point I wondered if the movie was going to have Gosling bounce a tennis ball off something until he formulates a plan, just like McQueen did in “Escape”… and then he literally did so.

The flick also boasts an impressive, Goodfellas-esque tracking shot of Handsome Luke – sinewy with body art like a ransom note of words cut out of magazines – weaving his way through the blinking lights of a carnival before he rides his motorcycle in, around and up a metal ball of death. Afterward he spots the Eva Mendes character, easily the prettiest waitress in all of Schenectady N.Y. (the diner she works in would have been a lot busier than this movie suggests), and judging by the body language alone there’s a lot of history between them. Body language that leads to having a kid. Once Luke sees his infant son, he decides his world-class riding skills would be useful to rob banks. As a result of his actions, Mendes comes face to ugly mug with an actual actor from “Goodfellas,” Ray Liotta, who enters the second act like a spitting cobra, and Cooper.

Cooper and Gosling do indeed meet as well, and it is not for me to say what happens. I’ll only mention that I went to see the movie twice to confirm the sequence of events. It’s a credit to the filmmaker’s shot selection and his sound editors that the viewer really doesn’t know one of the biggest movie stars on the planet is actually involved in a high-speed pursuit until the high-speed portion of the pursuit is over.  There’s a genuine “oh sh-t, it’s him. I was wondering where he was” moment.

The movie then … tips.

Taken as a whole “Pines” has something to say about the lower and upper classes of small-town America. Cooper is a cop with the Triple Crown of rich kid entitlements: Smarts, a law degree, and a daddy with a lot of political pull.  Over a stiff drink in the family dining room the father says “there’s a way out of this,” and that’s exactly how it plays out. It should have ended how it played out. The third act involves the fateful meeting of the sons, and there are no teenage actors alive that can yank this slow-burn story away from the two male leads and bring it to the finish line in a satisfying way – even if guns, drugs and a sweet-looking motorcycle is involved.

You can see the talent behind the camera. Gosling and Cooper are entering the primes of their careers and well-known character actors fill out the lineup card, so the director is on the rise in his industry. Perhaps the best endorsement of Cianfrance’s work here comes from a performer on the soundtrack – Bruce Springsteen. The Boss loaned out “Dancing in the Dark” for one sequence – a rare moment of levity in a tale of dark places. The Jersey legend once loaned out a song to a production I was involved in with one caveat: he must see and approve how the picture is edited to his music exactly. I was told he does that with each film he considers. Springsteen must have enjoyed the sliver he saw in this case. No surprise. There’s a lot to like here. It just kept going, so sure you’d stick around, and it wore me out.

Day of Yore, April 30


“The Cosby Show” ended its eight year run tonight in 1992. The last episode was titled, “And So We Commence.” Theo graduates from college and Cliff remembers how he thought his son would never live up to his potential. The show was about an upper middle class family living in Brooklyn. It starred comedian Bill Cosby and a lot of sweaters. Lisa Bonet had the look of a breakout star, but it never happened for her.

It was today in 1945 that Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun killed themselves a day after getting married. I’ve heard of bad honeymoons, but that’s right up there.


Today in 1975 marked the Fall of Saigon as Communist forces took control of South Vietnam, signaling the end of the war and denting the US’s perfect record.


A crazed fan came out of the crowd and stabbed Monica Seles today in 1993.


“Mean Girls” hit the screen today in 2004. The movie that would launch the career of Lindsey Lohan instead pushed Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried toward stardom.


— Bill Hubbell

Posted in: 365 |


1. “Come out! Come out! Whoever you are!”

— Former Washington Wizard and 12-year NBA veteran Jason Collins, 34, becomes the first athlete in one of the three (sorry, hockey) major American sports to openly profess his homosexuality. So, if you had Robin Lopez, Brook Lopez or Jarron Collins in the “Which Seven-Footer Who Attended Stanford and Has A Twin Brother Will Be the First to Profess that He is Homosexual” pool, you lose.

Brittney Griner came out a week or two ago and was Soup Nazi’d by SI: “No Cover for You!”


— Fortunately, we live in an era in which most fans and media (most, not all) absorbed the new with a shrug of the shoulders and a, “So, the Jets cut Tebow?” For those of us who have close friends who are homosexual, there is no scarlet letter associated with being gay (and if there were, I don’t know if it would be an “H” or a “G” or an “L”). Truth: In my first year in NYC, both of my male roommates would come out of the closet; hey, I have that affect on men. Anyway…).

— The author of the piece is Franz Lidz, who is one of the true all-time characters in the history of SI writers. In the 1990s Franz and Steve Rushin would team up to write Sunday Styles pieces for the New York Times in which they’d attempt to outpun one another. This particular piece, which looking back was likely the inspiration for the Appellation Trail that appears at the top of this blog, is pure pun-ishment and a lesson in the old adage, “If you’re going to step over the line, you may as well take a Beamonesque leap.” It includes the line, “This puzzling film is a sort of Rubik’s Kubrick in which Kubrick’s Rubric is Confuse the Viewer.”

— 2013 has been sort of a Coming Out party, no? Earlier this year sports columnist Chuck Culpepper ventured outside the closet. Earlier this month Brittney Griner did so as well. Now Collins. Who will be the first SportsCenter anchor to do so? The first NFL player? The first NASCAR driver? And maybe that’s the point. If so many people do happen to be gay, could it be that maybe homosexuality is NOT unnatural? Or at least no more unnatural than monogamy, which seems to take a hit with every new issue of US Weekly (which is not to be confused with Boo Weekley)? I’m just asking…

Yep, he’s Gay.


— Kudos to SI, which has been on a hot streak with its covers ever since posing Bryce Harper on the Capitol mall in Washington, D.C. The Tiger Woods cover was a classic, as was the cover from the Boston Marathon. Even last week’s Kevin Durant cover, which accentuated the fact that, no thank you, Joe Jackson, he does not want to be your number two, was effective. And now this.

(by the way, I really miss the work of Joe Jackson. “It’s Different For Girls”  appears on his Live album in three different versions –acoustic, a cappella and original recipe — and each version is better than the other. The years have not upheld the legacy that JJ deserves, IMO).

2. This Dove ad. Simple. Effective. And goosebumpy. “In all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity,” said Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, whose name was not. Still, this ad illustrates that adage to perfection.

3. Comedian/social observer Jerry Seinfeld turns 59 and celebrates his birthday with the obligatory “star-studded bash” at an Italian restaurant. We diehard acolytes of his sitcom knew that he would not celebrate at a Chinese restaurant or Mendy’s or a soup stand. And, though we hoped he’d dine at Elaine’s, that bistro went out of business recently. All that’s left to wonder is whether Kenny Bania snared an invite.

4. Flori-Duh: Thanks to Andy Staples, a Sunshine State native and proud resident, for posting this link on Twitter. You’ve got public nakedness and gibberish, which are like two of the dozen holy tenets of any Florida-based story worthy of this segment (others include “stripper”, “alligator”, “domestic dispute”, etc.).

5. So, yes, the New York Jets released (and never has that verb been more pregnant with all of its implications) Tim Tebow. On the same day that Jason Collins revealed that he was gay and ESPN’s Chris Broussard stated on national television that to “live an openly homosexual lifestyle or an openly premarital sex between heterosexuals” is “walking in open rebellion to God and Jesus Christ.” It’s funny, isn’t it, how little you ever hear Tebow, the most publicly devout Christian in pro sports –if not in all of American public life — judging others in any way, shape or form? For me, that is the MOST Christian thing about Tebow. As for Broussard, he appeared on “Outside the Lines” with LZ Granderson, an openly gay columnist, who noted that “I would love to not have premarital sex, but in this country I’m not allowed to get married.”

The Passion of the Tebow: Stay tuned for further developments.



Game of Thrones: I’ll spare you an exhaustive recap (here’s one you may read) and leave you with a few observations, such as this line from Lady Olenna (Dame Diana Rigg), who asks the Master of Coin, our erstwhile flirty and Falstaffian friend Tyrion Lannister, “What good is the word ‘extravagant’ if it can’t be used to describe a royal wedding?” Myself, I often describe non-lavish affairs simply as “vaganzas”… also, I’m sure Chris Broussard and I were not the only two who got the baptismal symbolism going on in the scene with Kingslayer and Lady Brienne… By the way, Lady Brienne: As my friend Jeff Bradley would say, “That was full back-al nudity”…. By the way, how many bare asses appeared in this episode? My count is four….My mom reads this blog, so I will have nothing to say about Jon Snow… So Robb Stark cut off someone else’s head to spite himself?… I was hoping when Danys told Grey Worm that he could choose a new name that he would choose “Kunta Kinte.” (If you don’t get that, you’re probably under 40 years old)… I’m fairly bored with the Stannis story line. You?… Don’t you hate it when your dad orders you to marry someone?


How do you turn on the jets in this hot tub?


Sacramento keeps the Kings, while Seattle has its leash yanked yet again by the NBA. If this list is to be believed, the Seattle metropolitan area is larger than NINE other U.S. metropolitan areas in the Top 30 alone that also have NBA franchises. Toss in the fact that Seattle is the only NBA market since 1959 to have lost an NBA franchise that won an NBA championship, and I’d say the land of Kurt Cobain and Frasier Crane has a legitimate gripe. I’ll be over at the Café Nervosa with Niles mulling this fact all day.

The Emerald City remains an NBA pariah, while Orlando, Charlotte, Memphis and New Orleans all have teams.


One of the true legends of country music –some would say THE patriarch of the genre –died over the weekend. George Jones. I don’t profess to be an expert on the man or his music, but even I’m a fan of this classic.


Embodying honky-tonk ’70s cool.

FYI: Carlos Santana is leading the Major Leagues in batting with a .386 average. Oye como va!

Atlanta Brave outfielder Justin Upton has hit 12 home runs. The same number as the Miami Marlins.

Remote Patrol

Game 5, Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets

TNT 8 p.m.

Will the most entertaining first-round series end tonight in the Mile High City? Or can the Nuggets, trailing three games to one, force Game 6? The Warriors were 3-18 without All-Star forward David Lee during the regular season since Lee had joined the team, but they are now 3-0 without him (hip flexor; out for rest of playoffs) in the past week. We love George Karl and the Manimal, Kenneth Faried, but we salivate at the prospect of a Spurs-Warriors series in the second round. That series would include key players from four different continents (Australia, North America, South America and Europe).





Starting Five

1. Don’t feel bad, Joan, I Couldn’t See Paul Newman, Either

Thoughts (and prayers?) on last night’s episode of “Mad Men”, which revolved around the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.:

— “And as soon as they build the 2nd Ave. subway line, this place will quadruple in value.” HA! Great line by Matthew Weiner and his writers, as the year was 1968. It’s now 2013 and the city has only just gotten around to, in the past three years, constructing that line. The Upper East Side has a strict line of demarcation, by the way. If you live west of Lexington Ave. –some would say Park Ave. — you are the upperest of crusts. If you live east of it (3rd, 2nd, 1st, York), you have the Manhattan apartment equivalent of obstructed view seats. East of 1st Ave? You almost need to take a bus just to get to a subway line.

— The guest shot by William Mapother was brilliant (I’ll never forget the words of Tecumseh now). Mapother, whose cousin is Tom Cruise, was a classmate of this blogger’s in college. Ranking the top five Notre Dame Class of ’88ers, I’ll go with:

Sparks: From blue books to The Notebook


Browne: Does this skinny suit make me look…?











1. Nicholas Sparks (member of school track team).

2. Heisman Trophy-winner Tim Brown (member of football team).

3. Non-Heisman Trophy-winner-but-famed-skinny-suit-designer Thom Browne (member of school swim team).

4. William Mapother.

5. Dean Kramer (close friend who somehow has managed to work for the same employer — the U.S. Dept. of Treasury — since one month after we graduated)

Awkward Hug Week: Joan and Dawn; Peggy and her secretary; Henry and Peggy; Don and his son, Bobby, at least when Don puts his arm around the lad’s seat rest (and yet, there’s a shimmer of “That boy’s got a future in advertising” pride in Don’s eyes when his son displays enough insight to tell the black usher that “people go to the movies when they’re sad.”).

— Great idea to interject “Planet of the Apes” into the episode with MLK, Jr. When you think about the racial unrest running rampant in 1968 and the release of this film, which is a thinly disguised allegory of the white-black dynamic in the United States and a possible future “overthrow” by the former slave class, well, I would have enjoyed reading Roger Ebert’s review of that film. What? You say that I can? I love you, internet (Ebert: “It is not great, or significant, or profound.” I beg to differ).

General Irko: Well-versed in the art of gorilla warfare

I’m a little younger than Bobby Draper, and I don’t think that my mom had banned us from TV for one week, but my dad did take my brother and me to a Charlton Heston film in the early 1970s that also took place in the future and also had a surprise reveal at the end of the film. Any idea what that film was, and what the famous line from it is? (Don’t you all go running to IMDB right away).*

— A “Planet of the Apes” aside. The climactic scene reveals the upper torso and head of the Statue of Liberty, but I am almost certain that it was filmed at Point Dume, just north of Malibu, Calif. Point Dume is a highly picturesque spot that has provided the backdrop for many a TV or movie scene, but I consider this one from PotA its most iconic.

— Finally, Roger Sterling (John Slattery) is my favorite “Mad Men” character and he has been criminally under-utilized so far this season. And yet, in the few scenes Slattery has had this season, he’s made the most of them. “He could really talk,” says Roger as his way of broaching the assassination of MLK on the day after it took place (which would have been Friday,  April 5). “I thought that would save him.”

— Here is ABC’s “Special Report” from the night of MLK’s assassination. The internet: incredible.

And yes, the U2 song has always had it incorrect. MLK was murdered at around 6 p.m., and not “early morning, April 4.”

* The film was Soylent Green (1973) and the line was, “It’s people. Soylent Green is made out of people.”

2. Hot Spurs: San Antonio 4, Los Angeles 0

My pal Arash Markazi reported that the Lakers actually handed out white towels to denizens of the Staples Center before Game 4. L to the OL (yes, I am aware that the Lakers traditionally wear white at home on Sundays, but still). The story, at least from Disney, has been LA’s first-round elimination and Kobe Bryant’s uncertain future, but as Charles Barkley said on TNT, “The Spurs are the best organization in the NBA.” Amen.

“Hit the road, Jack, and don’t you come back no more no more no more no more.”

It’s not even surprising to those of us who follow the hoop that while San Antonio won its two home games by an average of 11.5 points, it won the two games at Staples by an average of 26 points. This is a coldly professional team, one in which players who might die on the vine on other benches suddenly step in and become valuable contributors. No one will ever confuse LA’s defense with that of the ’89 Pistons, but what I constantly marveled at yesterday was how many easy buckets the Spurs scored. And not just by their starters. The Spurs provide a clinic in passing in the halfcourt, while the Lakers looked like a bad version of the And-1 Tour.

Kudos to the TNT producer who ran the shot of the front row of Staples Center being almost entirely vacated with one minute remaining in the Lakers’ final game of the season. One picture said it all.

It’s looking like San Antonio versus Golden State in the next round. That could be the most entertaining series of the entire NBA playoffs, Finals included.

3. “How do you like my new entrance music?”

President Barack Obama (’44…not to be confused with Jackie Robinson’s “42”, though the parallels are obvious) takes the podium at the White House Correspondents Dinner to the strains of DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win” (which, let’s face it, is fitting for him) and jabs, “Rush Limbaugh warned you about this. Second term, baby.”

Here’s video of his entire speech. And if you don’t watch the entire speech, at least click onto this link that shows the “real” photo of Barack Obama skeet-shooting. As he tells the audience, “The one you saw was photo-shopped. We felt we had to tone it down a bit.”

Too many good lines to include here on my own, so just read this roundup. Still, I’ll mention how Conan O’Brien compared news media to a high school cafeteria: “Fox is the jocks; MSNBC is the nerds; bloggers are the goths; NPR is the table for kids with peanut allergies; Al Jazeera is the weird foreign exchange student nobody talks to — and print media, I didn’t forget you: You’re the poor kid who died sophomore year in a car crash. Cheer up, we dedicate the yearbook to you.”

4. Hot Spur: The Prince of Wales

Welshman Gareth Bale, 23, wins both the Professional Football Player of the Year Award and the PFA Young Player of the Year Award. The forward for the Tottenham Hot Spurs. Bale, who has 19 goals, is the third-leading goal scorer in the English Premier League or, if you prefer, the 2nd-leading scorer among players who have yet to bite someone (we’re looking at you, Luis Suarez). The overall leading scorer, with 25 goals, is Robin Van Persie of Manchester United). Bale now becomes the second-most renowned Gareth that the UK has produced this millennium, after Gareth Keenan, the assistant general manager at Wernham Hogg (“No, that’s assistant TO the general manager.”)

Gareth Bale

Gareth Keenan










5. Michael Jordan ties the knot.

MJ married his girlfriend of five years, Yvette Prieto, at the Bear’s Club in Florida. We actually attended a wedding there two years ago, but our wedding did not include the “largest wedding tent in history.” The 40,000-square foot tent is actually larger by 5,000 feet than Jordan’s home. Immediately after the ceremony Cirque de Soleil set up shop there for the next six months (my backup joke was, “After the ceremony Charles Barkley wore the tent home as a blazer.”)

MJ’s nuptials set attendance records for a Charlotte Bobcats-related event.






“We’ve had enough Bushes” — Barbara Bush, when asked whether she’d like to see her son, Jeb, run for president. She did preface that comment by saying that Jeb was the best-qualified Bush (so as to make sure she alienated all the Bush men in one quote. Well done!)

In the mid-90s, Gavin Rossdale and friends filled the Bush void between 41 and 43.

Starting Five

1. Three offensive tackles are chosen among the first four picks in the NFL draft and author Michael Lewis quietly says to himself, ‘Ch-ching!” Eric Fisher (Central Michigan), Luke Joeckel (Texas A&M) and Lane Johnson (Oklahoma) are picks 1,2 and 4. Picks 3, 5 and 6 are all defensive ends — Dion Jordan (Oregon), Ziggy Ansah (BYU) and Barkevious Mingo (LSU) — which proves a commonly held theory that defensive linemen have more unorthodox parents than offensive linemen.

The Chiefs used the No. 1 pick on a player who was formerly an All-State honorable mention player at Stoney Creek H.S. in Michigan.

So maybe the camera should be focusing on the “edge” all game than following the football. That is, apparently, where the game is won or lost.

Five of the top ten picks were first-team All-Americans last season, which may mean that the scribes and the scouts are generally in agreement (Fisher, the No. 1 overall selection, was a 3rd-team All-American). Not one running back was chosen and only one quarterback, E.J. Manuel of Florida State, was selected, even though Jon Gruden absolutely cannot stand his sleeves. Manuel was not even chosen first-team QB in his own conference (Tajh Boyd of Clemson was) and his selection by Buffalo at No. 17 is an even bigger surprise since the Bills’ new coach, Doug Marrone, just arrived from Syracuse where he coached draft-eligible quarterback Ryan Nassib.


2. Biggest NAMES (not necessarily best players) still available today, for the 2nd Round and beyond. These are the names that college football fans know better than almost all of the names from Round 1: CB Tyrann Mathieu of LSU, QB Geno Smith of West Virginia, QB Matt Barkley of USC, QB Landry Jones of Oklahoma,  LB Manti Te’o of Notre Dame (who won the Lott Trophy, Maxwell Award, Bednarik Award, Walter Camp Trophy, Butkus Award, Lombardi Award and Bronko Nagurski Award…. but dated a phantom), QB Denard Robinson of Michigan, QB Collin Klein of Kansas State, LB Arthur Brown of Kansas State, WR Keenan Allen (“his brother is the quarterback”) of Cal, CB and 2012 Thorpe Award Winner Johnthan Banks of Mississippi State.

In fact, only three men who won a major college football award last season were selected last night: Outland Trophy winner Joeckel, Paul Hornung Award winner Tavon Austin of West Virginia (8th, St. Louis) and John Mackey Award winner Tyler Eifert of Notre Dame (21st, Cincinnati).

FYI: Nine different college football players made a national or regional cover of Sports Illustrated last fall. None were drafted last night (Klein, Mathieu, De’Anthony Thomas of Oregon, who is still in school, Robinson, Barkley, Te’o, Jones, Smith,  and Katherine Webb’s beau, who is also still in school)

Small but speedy Tavon Austin: We can already hear Berman doing a “whoop-whoop” during a Sunday Blitz package in which Austin could go all the way.

3. Outrageously compelling first-person account of last Thursday night’s car-jacking in Boston that eventually led to the capture of the Boston bombers. “Danny” is one brave, brave soul.

4. David Letterman meets A.J. Clemente ( a few nights ago). Dave: “And I know the folks in Bismarck were on the edge of their chair wanting to know the results of the London Marathon.” As usual, Dave cuts to the salient point that no one has yet made.

5. Tomorrow night is the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, a.k.a. The Nerd Prom. Conan O’Brien, who last hosted in 1995, will emcee. The Washington Post compiled five memorable moments from the WHCD — you can straight to No. 3. I still think Seth Meyers’ set in 2011 was as good as anyone’s. “Donald Trump often appears on Fox, which is ironic, because a fox often appears on Donald Trump’s head.” And: “What can I say about Joe Biden that hasn’t already been said incorrectly by Joe Biden?”

I’ll take either Seth or either Jimmy when it comes to late-night host potential.



So, apparently there is a television program called “Duck Dynasty” on A&E and on Wednesdsay night, for its season finale, it drew 9.6 million viewers. I’d have watched it but I spent most of the evening channel-surfing for “House of Cards.”


Duck Dynasty: Not brought to you tonight by the Gillette Pro Glide Styler.

A few days ago Tyrann Mathieu announced, via Twitter, that he’d be hosting an after-party on Thursday night after his first-round selection in the NFL draft. The only two problems with that? Mathieu was not selected and he does not turn 21 until May 13th, whereas the party was due to be held at the SL Club, a dance club in NYC’s Meatpacking district. Hmm.

David Letterman: “Today is ‘National Take Your Children to Work Day’. I brought in my kids –Tina, Nancy and Frank, Jr.” Paul guffaws, the audience furrows its brow, and Dave grins with an air of satisfaction as he says, “I know. It never works, but we do it, anyway.” (Dave is referencing the Sinatra kids, by the way).

More Letterman: ” ‘Stooge of the Night’, brought to you by Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. Face it, life’s too short for a Single Eagle steak!” Why didn’t I think of that???

Even more Letterman, on yesterday’s opening of the Bush Presidential Library: “They have a section dedicated to weapons of mass destruction…but nobody can find it.”

Please join me in raising Hazardous Duty Pay funds for the ESPN makeup artist whose job it was to work with the coifs of Chris Berman and Mel Kiper, Jr., last night. Even Jon Gruden’s blond locks are starting to look a little thin. And there’s full-bodied Adam Schefter, just itching for his chance to join the big desk next April.

What, hunh? Half-Pint married the dude from Thirtysomething? What are the odds on two redheads getting wed, by the way?

Ray Allen buries five threes to give him 322 for his career in the postseason, passing Reggie Miller for the all-time NBA record in Miami’s Game 3 victory in Milwaukee. And Stephen Curry makes a mental note of it.

Remote Patrol

Game 3: Spurs at Lakers

ESPN 10:30 p.m.

This will be fascinating. It’s all on Dwight Howard’s shoulders at Staples Center, as a Laker team that may well be without its top four guards must face the league’s most consistently consistent team. Lose tonight and the series is over for all intents and purposes. No word yet on whether Mike D’Antoni will activate Arash Markazi in time for tip-off. Also, in case you’re interested (speaking of leading men types), Jon Hamm appears on Late Show with David Letterman.




Starting Four (In Honor of The Big Lewandowski)

Early steak morning, so this will be brief. Sorry.

1. Hey, Did You Happen To See The Most Beautiful Girl In The World?

Well, People magazine thinks it did and thinks that it is Gwyneth Paltrow. Seriously. Comely? Yes. Pulchritudinous? We suppose. But you can bet this morning Sophia Vegara, Diana Kruger and Julianna Hough (among others) are phoning –or firing –their agents. Heck, Gwynnie has not even been asked to appear on “Splash!”.

2. Deutschlansd Uber Alles!

Spain has ruled soccer since 200 (Euro Cup winners that summer, World Cup champions in 2010, Messi/Ronaldo, etc.) but in the last two days a pair of clubs from Germany have outscored the world’s two premier clubs, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, by a combined score or 8-1. Yesterday Robert Lewandowski scored four goals to lead Borussia Dortmund over Real Madrid, 4-1. It’s almost a lock that Dortmund and Bayern Munich, which defeated FC Barcelona 4-0 on Tuesday, will meet in an all-German Champions League final in May.

If you ever find yourself in a German pub in a Tarantino film with an SS agent, that is the proper way to signify “four more beers.”

3. “Close the window; I feel a draft.”

The NFL Draft commences tonight –just one block north of the steakateria. Last night at said steakateria we spoke to a representative from an AFC team who described the draft as “99% boring and 1% terror.” Did you know, by the way, that team reps simply print the name of their pick on a card and hand it to an NFL rep, who then hands it to Roger Goodell? What if you spell the name wrong by one letter and there is another pick in the draft with that name? See, this is why it is wise to name your child Barkevious Mingo. Here is one of our favorite scribes, Matt Taibbi, on “Decoding the NFL Draft.”


Mingo! Mingo! Mingo!

4. I have not yet read this Grantland story on the Iditarod, but I will. Why? Because from a design perspective, it’s the most beautiful story I’ve ever come across on the internet. If MH conformed to such high aesthetic qualities, we’d have at least three different people who commented on our entries.





Day of Yore, April 24

Today in 1990 the Hubble Space Telescope was launched into space from the Shuttle Challenger. If I had a nickel for every time someone’s asked me, “like the telescope?” I’d have about a dollar. (People hate science.)

300px-HST-SM4 Unknown

Talk about Argofuckyourself…. today in 1980 Jimmy Carter’s limp-ass military launched Operation Eagle Claw in an attempt to rescue the 52 Americans being held hostage in Iran. It was one of Delta Force’s first missions and it failed miserably. Eight helicopters were sent to the initial staging area, but only five showed up operational. In planning the rescue mission, it was decided that the mission could be aborted if six or less of the helicopters remained operational, even though only four were needed for the mission. The commanders of the mission asked Carter if they could abort and in a decision that is still discussed in military circles, Carter aborted the mission. Eight US servicemen then died when one of the helicopters crashed into a transport aircraft. I think it was the only time in its history the US ever dropped to “others receiving votes” in the world power rankings.


Today in 1953 Queen Elizabeth II knighted Winston Churchill. Nick Faldo has since been knighted. That’s sort of like Babe Ruth and Don Sutton both being in the baseball Hall of Fame, no?


It was today in 2005 that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became the 265th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, taking the name, Pope Benedict XVI. He resigned earlier this year, becoming the first Pope to step down since 1415 and the first to do so of his own accord since 1294. I think you can find him singing karaoke on Tuesday nights at Joe’s Crab Shack in Naples.


Tom Petty released his first solo album today in 1989, “Full Moon Fever.” Some of the Heartbreakers were a little pissed off about it, but all but one of them ended up contributing at least a little. Petty tells a great story about how Heartbreakers bassist Howie Epstein heard a track and shook his head no and called it terrible. The song was “Free Falling.” The lesson, as always, the lead singer is the lead singer is the lead singer. (Unless it’s Stillwater.) That song, “Running Down a Dream,” “I Won’t Back Down,” “Yer So Bad,” “The Apartment Song,” “Zombie Zoo,” I’d say TP did okay.


David Robinson wrapped up the NBA scoring title tonight in 1994 by scoring 71 points against the Clippers, to finish the year with a 29.8 average, besting Shaquille O’Neal’s 29.3. At the time Robinson was just the fourth NBA player to score over 70 in a game, joining Wilt, Elgin and David Thompson. Kobe has since joined them.


Barbara Streisand is 71, Danny Noonan (Michael O’keefe) is 58, Kelly Clarkson is 31 and Tyson Ritter (All-American Rejects) is 29.


  1. Gives You Hell
  2. The Last Song
  3. It Ends Tonight
  4. I For You
  5. Kids in the Street
  6. Dirty Little Secret
  7. Swing Swing

— Bill Hubbell

Posted in: 365 |

The Film Room: “42”

Medium Happy’s own Chris Corbellini, a film geek and a former producer on HBO’s “Hard Knocks”, sometimes graces us with his thoughts on films. Here’s his review of “42”, the Jackie Bradley, Jr., Robinson biopic.


Watch enough DVD commentaries of films that involve touchy and historical subject matter and you pick up how sly a director can be when the studios come sniffing around the edit bay looking to make changes so the movie becomes more palatable for mass consumption. In some cases a filmmaker will plop in an over-the-top scene as a sacrificial lamb – executives will feel they’ve done their duty by removing it – to save another moment they really want in the picture. That practice occurred to me as I watched actor Chadwick Boseman channel a seething, raw Jackie Robinson in a dugout tunnel after absorbing racist taunts in the baseball biopic “42.” It may not have happened, but it occurred to me.

You do have to see it to fully appreciate its weight, but the title character howls like a wounded beast and turns his bat into kindling against a wall, and when supportive, grandfatherly Brooklyn Dodgers man Branch Rickey approaches, Boseman as Robinson hisses at him: “I swear if another white man opens his mouth I’ll …” before the elder figure urges him back into the light – literally up the steps into the sunshine of Ebbets Field and, of course, baseball immortality. There were two masters this flick needed to serve before release – marketing executives armed  to the bow ties with focus-group notes, and Major League Baseball itself. It’s not difficult to imagine someone from either camp suggesting the scene be softened and re-cut to only show Rickey consoling him (played by screen icon Harrison Ford with tumbleweed eyebrows, his best moment of the picture) before Robinson steeled himself. But I’m sure writer-director Brian Helgeland was willing to do battle by any means necessary to keep the one take where his chief character went low and stayed there. The entire take. Even if it meant a take had to go from someplace else .


It’s a small victory of real feelings. Because we are not, absolutely not, under any circumstances NOPE NO WAY NO HOW, getting a complicated movie on Jackie Robinson for mass consumption. You’re not getting a complicated portrait of Hank Aaron and his slow, scary trot through hillbilly-boy-hate-mail-ville as he chased Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, either. Not unless you want baseball to back out. The Show trades on nostalgia more than any other American sport, and number 42 has been retired forever. You don’t pitch inside on the legacy of a baseball iconoclast, even if the story demands you plunk the man over and over at the plate. The legend should be up there on the silver screen with a syrupy score. The human being? That’s debatable. A director has got to squeeze it through the cracks when he can.


With those parameters in place — Scotch on-the-rocks storytelling instead of neat from the bottle — “42” was the best version of itself it could be. It’s a two-and-three-quarters-star movie that projects Robinson’s nobility in every frame. After the age-appropriate opening narration and based on a true story title card, the talented ballplayer is hand-picked by Rickey from the Negro Leagues to be the first to integrate baseball because he can handle the inevitable poop storm that follows. Once the Dodgers man utters the line (retort really) “I’m looking for a ballplayer with guts enough to NOT fight back,” Robinson does exactly that in spring training, the minor leagues, and finally in Brooklyn during his Rookie of the Year season. The one bit of soul-stirring imagery plays out exactly when it should: following a climactic home run as #42 is rounding third in slow-motion, the pennant in hand as a Rockwellian coach waves him home. It’s intercut with his beaming wife Rachel and his baby son in a carriage on a Brooklyn sidewalk as an entire neighborhood celebrates. And it’s just beautiful to look at. No other adjective for it.


That snapshot aside, I thought the casting department did the finest job of the entire production, giving the main character all dem racist-looking racists he needed to overcome. How exactly do you start to find extras who can play appropriately ass-backward and ignorant? Yet there they were – boozy residents of Sanford, and a nightstick-wielding cop – resembling chain-gang guards from “Cool Hand Luke” or real-life versions of Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel. There’s a heaping helping of southern inhospitality going on here, so much so they used one to go against type and provide a little balance, approaching Robinson and his wife menacingly before saying, and I’m paraphrasing: “If you deserve it, more power to you.” Smarmy-looking performers filled out the disapproving teammate roles. Character man Alan Tudyk played the most despicable figure of all – the n-word spewing Philadelphia manager, Ben Chapman, who pushed Robinson to the precipice.


Then there are the Robinsons. Boseman looks like a rookie cornerback in the NFL (that’s about right, Robinson was 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds of lean and mean at that age), and in that one moment the script allowed him to emote something beyond a brave heart, he smashed the scene to splinters. With a haircut styled to a point on his forehead, there’s no denying his resemblance to Jackie. The same goes for the actress who plays his wife Rachel, Nicole Beharie, who didn’t have much to do except smile or fret in the stands. I wondered, wasn’t the stress involved so great that a fight at home becomes inevitable? Or must every sports hero look out longingly at the New York City skyline at night, followed in a few beats by the love interest, who gently hugs him from behind with total understanding?


Obviously this is a period piece, so you expect a timeless quality to it. Still, I’m guessing some of the CGI stuff involved here will look dated in about 10 years. The panoramic shots of Ebbets Field and the spring training diamond in Panama (with a tanker cruising through the canal off in the distance) looked a little hazy around the edges. A ballpark that seats at least 50,000, which by the way no longer exists, is obviously is a great challenge to recreate no matter the budget. So they hoped for the best from their computer folks (and it’s fine by today’s standards), and cut to closeups of the supporting characters in the seats with about 50-60 people around them. But consider the final possession of a truly timeless sports film “Hoosiers,” when Jimmy gets the ball and looks over at Gene Hackman (“Take your time! Take your time!”) before his final, fateful jump shot. Behind them are hundreds of extras the movie-makers went to great lengths to find, real flesh-and-blood extras dressed like they belong at a 1950s dance, and it’s an electric atmosphere. You can’t fake that, and I wondered if the talents behind “42” could have rounded up thousands of extras for that final at-bat, and let the crowd shake it up and take us back to September of 1947.


A ground-breaking time, a somewhat-scrubbed story. Maybe baseball will allow Ron Shelton to produce a motion picture about a great like Pete Rose that has humor and real anger and real f-ck-ups and yes, real joy behind it. Maybe Spike Lee gets a shot at Aaron’s pursuit of Ruth. Until then, we have Wynona Carr’s heavenly “Life is a Ballgame” warbling during the final frames of “42,” a montage when the players are actually enjoying the great, goofy game. We don’t get to see the sunny side of Jackie Robinson here, he was too busy and exhausted being so important to everyone else. If that’s the true Jackie, Jackie the guy not the legendary figure, boy, did he get the shaft once again. It must be hard looking at yourself being looked at all the time.


Starting Five

1. “You down with ‘CFP’?’ ‘No, you know me.”

“We decided to call the playoff what it is — the College Football Playoff,” said Bill Hancock, director of the Bowl Championship Series. The peripatetic Brett McMurphy has all the details righcheer. Naming the college football playoff the College Football Playoff proves that middle-aged white guys were behind this decision (Did no one suggest “Pass the Heinz?”).  The best part, as Pat Forde notes, is that an outside consulting group, Premier Sports Management of Overland Park, K.C., was actually retained by the BCS to help with the name (consulting is where it’s at, kids*). Patrick Finley of the Arizona Daily Star suggested “Football Four”, but that will look awkward when the playoff expands to eight teams in a few years.

2. “Are you guys as excited as I am about The Obesity Epidemic?”

Jimmy Kimmel Live sends a camera crew to Coachella to ask music fans about bands “that are so obscure they don’t even exist.” Classic idea, classic execution. Straight out of the Carson/Letterman playbook. By the way, the dude answers (about a non-existent band), “I just like their whole style, their whole genre…is great.”

Bands with names such as Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine (above) leave us empathetic toward Kimmel’s victims.

3. We are not even four weeks into the baseball season, so take this list of the worst E.R.A.’s in the Major Leagues at face value. Still, worth noting: Three of the nine worst E.R.A.’s in the game belong to pitchers who have hurled perfect games (a feat that has been performed just 23 times in baseball history): Matt Cain, San Francisco, 6.59 (6th-worst); Roy Halladay, Philadelphia, 6.04 (7th); and Mark Buehrle, Toronto, 5.87 (9th). Also, your reigning Cy Young Award winners are at 14th-worst (David Price, Tampa Bay, 5.52) and 32nd-worst (R.A. Dickey, Toronto, 4.66) out of 107 pitchers. The Rays are 0-5 in games in which Price has started this season.

Matt Harvey: 4-0, with baseball’s best WHIP and 2nd-best E.R.A. We called this more than 2 weeks ago. Pitches today at Citi.

4. “I know people say I saw blood on the boat… not true.” Watertown’s “incidental hero”, David Henneberry, clarifies the tale of how he happened upon Dzhokhar Tsarnaev last Friday evening. In short, he is not as clueless as the news reports –and I — assumed him to be.

The hiding place


5. Who’s hot? J.R.

The Knicks’ J.R. Smith edges out the Clippers’ Jamal Crawford for the NBA’s Sixth Man Award (a month or two ago I proffered that these are the league’s two best long-range gunners). Last night Smith ended the first quarter of the Knicks’ win over Boston with a 36-foot jumper that swished through the net, three of his 19 points. Smith never starts, but he is the second-leading scorer (17 ppg) on a team whose star is more averse to passing than the Navy football team. New York can seriously challenge the Heat if Smith maintains this level of play –and if Ama’re Stoudemire remains injured. Honestly, Bill Simmons is going to have to add an “Ama’re Clause” to his Ewing Theory. How delightful that the two men play the same position for the same franchise some two decades apart.

J.R. Smith: In dire need of a skintervention.



In Champions League, Bayern Munich obliterates what had been the premier football club on the globe, FC Barcelona, 4-0, in the first leg of the semifinals (“SCHWEINSTEIGER!”). In fairness, the world’s top striker, Lionel Messi, is nursing a tender hamstring and should not have been on the pitch. Still, Barca will need at least a 4-0 shutout or to win by five goals next Wednesday at Camp Nou if it hopes to advance to the final. That ain’t happening. Oddly enough, the coach who led Barca to brilliance the past half decade, Pep Guardiola, stepped down last summer, is on a one-year sabbatical, and will return next season to manage…Bayern Munich.

Bayern in red. We don’t have any context here, we just like the photo.


Apple beats earnings forecasts. The tech monolith announces that it will double the dividend payout it is returning to investors. And yet the stock actually dips. Apple stock has become Jennifer Aniston, going from sharing a home with Brad Pitt and making the cover of “People’s Most Beautiful” to dating Justin Theroux and a minor role in “Horrible Bosses” without any visible drop off in production/appearance. It’s just that, well, we’re all so used to them both by now (by the way, if you have a better analogy, please send it our way).


I culled eight different Mock Drafters, including Todd McShay at ESPN, Don Banks at, and Charlie Casserly and Gil Brandt (both former NFL GMs) at The consensus is that these five names will, in some order, be the first five players selected in tomorrow night’s NFL Draft: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M; Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan; Shariff (don’t like it) Floyd, DT, Florida; Dion Jordan, LB, Oregon; and Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma.


Joeckel (I’d pair him in the future with Ohio State RB Carlos Hyde)

Take it for what it’s worth, but only one of those five names (Joeckel) appears on the first two non-hacked AP All-America teams from last season. Two more names, Floyd and Fisher, are on the third team. Now, obviously, everyone on an All-America team is not entering this year’s draft (if they were then Jadeveon Clowney would be the first pick) but isn’t it always funny how NFL experts seem so unimpressed with how AP voters evaluate college football talent? Andy Staples over at wonders whether they may sometimes be too smart for their own good. Does this make Andy a Mock Draft Mocker?

Game Of Thrones Wiliness Rankings

I never thought I’d see the day when Tyrion Lannister wasn’t atop the Wily board, but he suddenly finds himself holding precariously onto the bronze spot.


1. Daenerys Taryargen, alias “Khaleesi”, alias “Mother of Dragons”: Add “Commander of the Unsullied” to her list of sobriquets. Oh, and by the way, she does speak Valyrian.

2. Margaery: If I could play guitar as well as she’s playing King Joffrey, I’d be touring with The Obesity Epidemic right about now.

3. Tyrian Lannister: It was sort of a bye week for Tyrion in terms of wiliness, but he held ground by not losing ground.

Westeros’ Least Wily: Again, Theon. Watching him make poor decision after poor decision is as much torture for us as his actual torture is and will be for him. I won’t be surprised if he releases a double album in the near future and marries a Kardashian.


Daddy issues





* My Consulting Story: So, last summer I’m driving through Utah with three high school buddies, the most successful of whom is a partner in a major international consulting group. He is on a conference call in which the partners are discussing hiring an outside person in which to provide assistance for a project they are doing. So, that you are up to speed, a consulting group is hiring an outside consultant. I broach this point to him and he tells me, “It’s okay, the guy we’re hiring used to work for the company for whom we are consulting.” At which point I ask him, “So why doesn’t the company just hire him directly to lend his expertise?” At which point my friend looks at me with a stare that says, “You have no idea how the world really works, do you?” That, kids, is what you call an epiphany.


“This is Genesis. She likes her men completely hairless…and, no, she doesn’t think that’s weird.” Genesis: “I don’t.” Hey, Genesis: you’re a freaky freak girl. And I dig that! Question: Does “completely hairless” include bald? Like, would Genesis prefer Varys from “Game of Thrones?”  Or is she already mackin’ on Charlie Villenueva?

Varys: No hair… and a lot, lot less.

 Starting Five

1. Love, Actuary

As you have probably seen by now, the Wall Street Journal released a ranking of 200 jobs, Best to Worst, and actuary, a person who uses mathematical skills to perform risk analysis, finished first (personally, I consider “Being The Rock” the best job, and Steve the best Jobs, but what do I know? ). Also, “newspaper reporter”  finished 200th, or last. That must have done wonders for the WSJ staffers who helped put it together. As a person currently holding down the 185th-best job, I’m calling b.s. on this list. Why? Because “dishwasher” finished 187th, or 13 spots above reporter, and trust me, there is no worse job –particularly in a busy restaurant –than dishwasher. None. And podiatrist finished 23rd? Do you want to live in a country where more than 85% of the people have worse jobs than being a podiatrist? I don’t.

This is Mr. February from the “Sexiest Actuaries” calendar.

2. Meet Seventh Woods. Yesterday, Matt Norlander of (Matt is a “Senior Blogger!” Geez, CBS, can you give this diligent reporter a real title?) introduced us to him and made the obligatory George Costanza reference regarding his given name. Woods is only 14 years old and six-foot-one but he must be on anti-gravity pills. His entire game reminds us of this classic Cheech & Chong tune. Woods’ MJ-ness is alluring, but I counted at least seven palming violations in the first 63 seconds of the video before I grew queasy. I then went outside and practiced my underhanded Rick Barry-style free throws.

“Basketball Jones/I got a Basketball Jones/I got a Basketball Jones/Oh baby, ooh-ooh-ooh!”


3. NBA Playoffs Opening Round: Miami, New York, Indiana, Chicago in the East. OKC, San Antonio, LAC and Denver out west. At worst I’ll be wrong on one of them (Brooklyn?). We can pretend to be intrigued, but I’m honestly more interested in the mini-Olympics that will transpire between Shaq and Sir Charles. Can we just proceed to the second round and pronto?

This is Genesis: “I could hair less about the first round of the NBA playoffs.”


4. “I’ll take ‘Famous A.J. Profanities for $200, Alex”

“This young man reacted to the news that his grandmother would be a no-show at the family barbecue with, “So, what? No (bleepin’) ziti now?”

–Who is A.J. Soprano? Correct!

“A.J.’s for $300.”

“This bastion of blogging sent a resignation letter to his staff in January that read, in part, ‘As for 2014, who the (bleep) knows?'”

–Who is A.J. Daulerio? Correct!

“A.J.’s for $400.”

“This neophyte newscaster opened his very first newscast on KFYR in Bismarck, N.D., earlier this week by uttering, “(Bleepin’ Bleep).”

–Who is A.J. Clemente? Correct!

My favorite part of the A.J. Clemente clip is not the profanity, but instead his meathead self-introduction that follows: “Thanks, Van. I graduated from West Virginia University and I’m used to, um, you know, from being in the East Coast.” That right there was grounds for termination. If you did not know, Clemente was fired from KFYR, located in the nation’s 151st-largest TV market, and handled his pink-slipping with grace.

Stay classy, Bismarck.

“Rookie mistake. I’m a free agent,” Clemente tweeted. “Can’t help but laugh at myself and stay positive. Wish I didn’t trip over my ‘Freaking Shoes’ out of the gate.”


5. House of Ca$h

Netflix (NFLX) was up 25% in after-hours trading yesterday afternoon, from $174 to $223, after it announced its first-quarter earnings. This is a tremendous comeback tale. Two years ago NFLX was approaching the $300 mark when it announced that it was splitting it subscription service, in terms of how customers would pay, in two. The move was universally criticized and NFLX stock plummeted. Flash forward to last summer (August 3, to be exact) when the stock price was down to $52.

But then NFLX copied the HBO model and introduced original programming. “House of Cards“, a political drama starring Verbil Kint and Princess Buttercup, premiered on February 1 and has drawn rave reviews. Coming up next: a new season of “Arrested Development.” (No touching! And no sharing of your Netflix password!).

One degree of Kevin Spacey

Now Netflix has 29.2 million subscribers, or more than HBO does (28.7 million), and the stock price is up more than 400% from where it was nine months ago (it’s the most successful company in terms of stock price on the S&P 500 this year thus far). If you are an investment neophyte, that’s once-in-a-lifetime type profit (Personally, I think at least 25% of Netflix’s success has to do with people thinking its ticker symbol of NFLX means that it is the National Football League).

The good news if you missed out on NFLX? Apple (AAPL) is announcing earnings after the bell today. The stock is hovering at $400 after being as high as $705 last September. Are you ready to take a chance on AAPL making an NFLX-ian rebound?


Someone on Twitter asked yesterday how come there were no good photos from police cruisers of the shootout in Watertown in the first hour of last Friday morning? I don’t have an answer for that, but Andy Kitzenberg shot some historic photos from his apartment window and has posted them on his site, You have to click on that link. As faithful reader @Okerland points out, some of the most invaluable reporting from both the Bin Laden raid and this disaster was done by men sitting at home, minding their own business, who just happened to find themselves within 100 yards of history.

The shooters (allegedly). I don’t believe anything any more unless I hear it from Pete Williams. photo by Andy Kitzenberg

Hustle. That’s what The New York Times did in being the first to bring us this story. I’ll use the “H” word again: historic.

It’s funny how much NBC’s Pete Williams’ star has risen in the past week. Williams has the look of someone who was too square to even be cast in Network, or should be the news director at a station that might hire –and fire–the likes of A.J. Clemente. And yet all week long his reports have been the most credible. And last Wednesday, when everyone else was informing us that there had been an arrest in the Boston bombing case, he held fast and said, “No no no.” Kudos to Williams. If he didn’t look like someone you’d run into at the Cedar Rapids Elks Club meeting, someone at NBC would be making bigger plans for him. As it is, Williams has a good gig. And he knows it. People trust him. That’s worth something.

In Pete We Trust




Final thoughts (for today) on the Boston bombing case, with a heavy assist by reader Susie B. (whom I’ve never met and have no idea who she is), who made some salient points in a recent comment:

1) From the very beginning I assumed that the bombers were A) local and B) college students and/or college-aged students. Turns out I was correct about that. If you look at the mass murders in April from Columbine to OKC to Blacksburg, etc., your suspect is a male between the ages of 15 and 25.

2) As Susie B. points out, it is remarkable, if these suspects are the correct ones, that the brothers went through all the trouble of manufacturing these bombs and yet had no getaway strategy. That they were car-jacking an SUV and forcing the driver to withdraw money from an ATM at gunpoint less than seven miles from where the bombing occurred, and a full three days after the incident, illustrates that their plan was crude at best. What authorities should be concerned about is that some future nihilist will not be so short-sighted. How difficult is it to already map out an escape route and have funds on hand with which to do it? Movie villains really are more savvy than almost all real-life ones.

3) How is it –again, credit to Susie B.– that a pair of locals were identified on camera on a Thursday afternoon and nobody phoned the authorities to identify them? No one? That’s correct, no? How does that happen?

4) Sunil Tripathi: Still missing.

5) And finally… a Watertown resident spends an entire Friday in lockdown, and he knows why. When the lockdown is lifted, he steps outside for a smoke (putting his life at risk in two ways simultaneously). He notices that the tarp on his boat parked in the driveway is torn and also notices blood. And his first thought is, I’ll go check this out, unarmed, myself. Really??? Really??? That’s about 17 degrees of stupid. He is lucky to be alive today. Also, notice that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev chose the same hiding spot as Gianni Versace’s murderer, Andrew Cunanan: an unoccupied boat.

Mad Men

Upon further review, is not the theme that Don Draper is suddenly finding the women in his life turning the tables on him? He meets his paramour-or-less in the elevator, dressed up and clearly headed out –alone– and she fails to tell him the particulars (she’s got to be headed to the same club where Joan and her friend wound up, no?). He happens across Peggy ambushing his Heinz campaign. And there’s Zou Bisou Bisou, the Lovely and Faithful Megan, kissing the leading man in her soap opera. So what if was in the script? And so what if Ted McGinley wrote the scene?

Turnabout is not fair play. Not for Don Draper it isn’t.

Don’t worry, baby: the drinks are on the louse.

So, now what? Would it be so inconceivable that Don turns to the one woman who has yet to double-cross him? Who as we saw in this episode is a little lonely herself? And who has resolved to leave behind the menial tasks at SCDP and become a true partner herself? And if you’re a partner, who better to partner with than a fellow partner?

Also, stay tuned: Historically, we’re approaching the most turbulent moment of the decade outside of the JFK assassination in 1963. Within a two-month span both Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy will be assassinated. I expect those events to influence either next week’s episode or the next two episodes. There’s a lot of meat on the bone for show runner Matthew Weiner.

Remote Patrol

Game 2: Boston Celtics at New York Knicks

TNT 8 p.m.

Yes, I’ve already said that I don’t care too much about the opening round. And these two teams are so veteran-laden that there will be uncalled fouls on every possession. First team to 85 wins. Ugly hoops, in other words. The redeeming quality is that Carmelo Anthony appears to want the mantle of NBA’s Best Player. Yeah, you heard me. Everyone knows who LeBron is, but Carmelo has similar size and –dare I say –superior scoring ability. All LeBron is is a better athlete. Watch Carmelo. This is HIS time.

There is a “me” in Carmelo, but no one seems to care as long as the Knicks win.