Archive for February, 2008

A scheduling mess, part II

February 27, 2008

Imagine an Ohio State-Michigan football game played on a Tuesday.

Imagine an Ohio State-Michigan basketball game played during spring break.

Crazy, right?

So why have two of the biggest Central Michigan-Western Michigan sporting events this season been shafted like this? CMU hosts Western on March 4, but it’s during Spring Break, so there likely will be few people there. Likewise, many were upset when CMU football played the Broncos on a Tuesday night last fall.

Men’s basketball coach Ernie Zeigler is upset with the scheduling, as he should be.

Granted, the Mid-American Conference is not the Big Ten, and Central/Western is nowhere near the rivalry Ohio State/Michigan is. But from the perspective of the MAC, it should do everything in its power to showcase Central/Western games. Burying the Central/Western basketball game during Spring Break is a horrible call.

Yes, the Central/Western football game was on ESPN2, but locally, it was a mess. Students complained about it being on a Tuesday night, and alumni were hard-pressed to try to attend the game.

Central/Western is probably the biggest rivalry the MAC has to offer. For the conference to treat it otherwise is absurd.

***

Elsewhere, the wrestling team is up to No. 2 in the dual meet rankings, but as of now, it means nothing. The postseason is here, as CMU travels to Kent, Ohio, on March 7-8 for the MAC Championships.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the weight classes, as six of Central’s regular starters are undefeated in the MAC:

125 pounds

Senior Luke Smith is 5-0 and doesn’t have the competition he did last year when he finished third, as NIU’s Pat Castillo moved up to 133 pounds, and Kent State’s Chad Sportelli graduated. He should win easily.

133

Definitely the toughest weight class in the MAC. Castillo, Eastern’s Sean Clair and Kent State’s Dan Mitcheff all are ranked. CMU’s Conor Beebe, 1-3 in the MAC this season, likely will be left out unless he wins it all.

141

This should be a two-man race between CMU’s Eric Kruger and KSU’s Drew Lashaway. Lashaway won the regular season meeting, but Kruger won the match between the two in last season’s MAC Championships.

157

Very wide-open. CMU’s Tyler Grayson is 2-1 in the MAC, losing to EMU’s Cory Mancuso, but Steve Brown has earned the wins in the last two MAC duals for CMU. Mancuso is 4-1 in the MAC.

165

CMU’s Trevor Stewart was the favorite for most of the season, but Kent State’s Kurt Gross changed that with a 6-4 overtime win against Stewart. Gross is 5-0 in the MAC.

174

Another two-man race between CMU’s Brandon Sinnott and NIU’s Duke Burk. Sinnott beat Burk 4-1 this season.

184

Central’s Christian Sinnott is 4-0 in the conference, but could be challenged by Kent State’s Eric Chine, who only lost 3-2 to Sinnott this season.

197

Not much to say. CMU’s Wynn Michalak is 5-0 – three pins and two major decisions. There isn’t any reason to think he won’t dominate his through the weight class.

285

CMU’s Bubba Gritter is 5-0, with Kent State’s Jermail Porter as his only real competition. Gritter lost to Porter in the MAC Tournament two seasons ago, but Gritter won last season.

– Robbie Sgro

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Film: Tuesday cleanup

February 26, 2008

So there’s just a few bits and pieces I want to get out there to the five or so people who will read this.

-Firstly, after my massively massive Academy Awards blog post Sunday night, I wrote a column for tomorrow’s paper about the Awards, and an Academy Awards-themed Lifeline Picks.  I am now as sick of the Academy Awards as I am of beards, after the facial hair coverage I wrote last week.

If you happen to be a bearded man named Oscar, I will probably never, ever talk to you.

-More importantly, Variety is reporting that director Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon have signed on to make a fourth “Bourne” movie, and I really disagree with that decision.  The Bourne movies were a trilogy.  In “Identity” it was “book open,” and in “Ultimatum” it was “book closed.”  Call the new movie “The Bourne Redundancy.”

– Also, THE SMURFS is coming out on DVD!  Squeal!

-Finally, in an addendum to my post on internet videos last week, Leave It To Skullcleaver, CMU Student and genius Paul Isakson’s likely-illegitimate brainchild, has finally been posted online for public consumption.

Watch it, love it, then email the MHTV executive staff to tell them how big a mistake it was that they didn’t pick this up when Paul pitched it to the as a TV show. 

Later gators.

–Brad Canze, the CM Life Movie Dude

Academy Awards Live Coverage

February 25, 2008

One of my favorite aspects of the modern Oscar broadcast is bloggers, giving live-update coverage. So, since I am now a legitimate journalist and blogger (hah!), I am going to be updating throughout the night with commentary and my opinions on the results of the awards. This will start when the awards start, because red carpet stuff is lame.

Although I have to say,it was pretty cool to see Javier Bardem sitting right next to Jack Nicholson in the front row right before the broadcast started. That would be the seat to have. I imaging Jack’ll be making dirty jokes throughout the entire show.

 

-John Stewart’s opening monologue isn’t that bad, which is remarkable for an Oscar ceremony. That cut about Norbit was pretty funny (“Too often the Academy ignores movies that aren’t good”), and his Diablo Cody joke was great (“She went from being an exotic dancer to an Oscar-nominated screenwriter! I hope you’re enjoying the paycut”).

Also, I had never seen Diablo Cody before. She’s a stone-cold fox.

 

-Jennifer Garner, presenting the Costume Design award (I know, it’s an exciting one), was so obviously reading off cue cards that it’s not even funny. However, it’s nice to know that she can read.

“Elizabeth: The Golden Age” won costume design. For most of the awards, I’ll be including the movie I think should’ve won, but for this one, I just can’t force myself to care enough.

 

-You know, with how much everybody frets about how the television ratings plummet annually, you’d think somebody would eventually say, “Gee, maybe we should do away with these dirt-dull montage packages!” But apparently not. Maybe next year.

-The skit with Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway is awful. Please, please stop.

“Ratatoulle” wins for best animated feature, and I think I would have to agree, only because I haven’t seen “Persepolis” yet.

“Le Vie En Rose” wins for makeup, after a trainwreck of a presentation by Katherine Heigl. Again, haven’t seen the movie, but I LOVE the winning makeup artist’s hair. More people should wear greying puffy mullets. Personally, I was pulling for Norbit…what?

Man, the writers must have been writing desperately fast to get the introductions done, because most of them are absolutely horrible. If the writers want their extra compensation, they should do better than this.

And if Amy Adams is not the biggest stars in the world in coming years, there is absolutely no justice in the world. She’s the biggest star…in my heart.

 

-I can’t help but love Dwayne Johnson, but it’s a darn shame he’s dropped “The Rock” from his name. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson just had such a cool sound to it.

“The Golden Compass” won for special effects. I probably would have given it to “Transformers,” because it really sold me on giant robots stabbing eachother.

“Sweeney Todd,” won for art direction, which is okay, I guess. It was beautiful, but the whole “Tim Burton doing gloomy, gothy movies in which Johnny Depp has weird hair” thing is getting old.

Javier Bardem won best supporting actor for his role in “No Country for Old Men,” and thank goodness. His performance was amazing and chilling, although Tom Wilkinson was a very close second in “Michael Clayton.” Wilkinson overshadowed everybody else in that movie, and when you’re performing alongside Clooney, that’s saying something.

But man, was Bardem’s speech touching. What he said to his mother in Spanish, all I caught was the first two phrases “This is for you, this is for my grandparents…” and then I lost it. Curse that two years of high school Spanish.

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Get real President Rao

February 24, 2008

University President Michael Rao is just doing his job when he lobbies for more money from the state.

Like any other good university president, he wants the best for his institution. But he needs to get back to reality if he thinks CMU is going to get more funding from the state of Michigan. He made his case in a guest column in Sunday’s Detroit Free Press. http://freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080224/OPINION02/802240574/1068/OPINION

He writes how CMU is receiving the same appropriation in real dollars as 10 years ago. He talks about how most CMU students are from the state of Michigan and stay after graduation.

All of the above are true.

But if he can find a way for the state to churn out more money, then he should be Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s chief financial officer. More funding for CMU — or for any other Michigan institution for that matter — isn’t coming anytime soon.

It’s a shame, but it’s the harsh reality. President Rao needs to get back to that reality.

Film: A Series of (You)Tubes

February 21, 2008

(NOTE: There are many links to many different sites and videos on this post. Some of them may include disagreeable content or language. But you should come to expect that. This is the internet.)

In this day and age, it’s very well known that visual entertainment can be found not only on televisions and in movie theaters, but also abundantly online.

There’s Myspace Video , Vimeo, and the like, but the reigning champion of online video is now and probably forever Youtube.

The thing about Youtube is that anybody can post whatever they want on there. So there are some really good videos, and a lot more awful videos.

Many people are already aware of stuff like “Will It Blend?“, “Ask A Ninja,” and “Chocolate Rain,” but I want to bring to attention a close-knit group of filmmakers that are creating a staggering amount of great videos (and, yes, some actual movies) on Youtube.

A group of friends in schoolmates in Boston and Kingston, Massachusetts, seemingly do nothing but make funny videos with eachother.

The most prominent (or at least my favorite) three filmmakers of the crew would have to be Neil Cicierega (NeilCicierega), Ryan Murphy (Vicious516), and Max Pacheco (MarcoBat16).

Max Pacheco is the Youtube director I have most recently become a fan of. Studying at Emmanuel College, he’s active in the school’s theater, and is accomplished enough an actor to have been invited to a few prestigious acting competitions in Massachusetts.

Max’s videos are often a lot of fun. They often carry the same dry cynicism that Max himself possesses onscreen. He is currently entrenched in a project he is calling “Video-A-Day,” which consists of him uploading a new video to Youtube every single day for the month of February. Some have been really great, and some were obviously put up just so he’d get a video up that day. It’s a fun project, nonetheless, and it’s spawned some great stuff, such as his lambasting of the common usage of the word “Random,” and his recreation of the “Dark Knight” trailer.

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Nearing the end

February 20, 2008

The men’s basketball team has just four Mid-American Conference games remaining in the regular season. The team hosts Ball State at 7 p.m. today.

The women’s team has five games left before the conference tournament.

Where does this leave the Chippewas? On the outside looking in, barring a tournament win by either team.

The men would be the No. 9 seed if the tournament started today, facing Toledo, while the women are fighting Akron and Toledo to avoid being the lowest seeded team.

As a whole, the conference probably will get only one bid to the men’s tournament, unless Kent State loses, the macreportonline says. The Golden Flashes are 21-5, but would still need a deep run in the MAC Tournament if they hope to earn an at-large bid.

Meanwhile, CMU coach Ernie Zeigler still is trying to settle on a rotation. The problem – defense. Zeigler said his team hasn’t defended well since its Jan. 26 win against Akron. We’ll find out if the rotation becomes more clear tonight against the Cardinals.

***

The wrestling team is up to No. 4 after Minnesota lost 20-17 to Wisconsin. However, the NCAA Championships are what counts, and the Chippewas are ranked as the No. 10 team team on tournament-strength by Intermat.

Central will get its best test within the MAC at 7 p.m. Friday at No. 20 Kent State. The Golden Flashes feature ranked wrestlers at 133, 141, 165, 184 and 285 pounds

– Robbie Sgro

Film: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

February 15, 2008

Some of you may have heard of “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” Terry Gilliam’s most recent project, that was to star Heath Ledger. At the time of his death, Ledger had already completed a considerable amount of shooting, and nobody was really sure what was going to come of the movie.

There were reports that Gilliam had decided to drop the project all together, and just move on, but a few weeks ago reports came in that Gilliam was going to continue, with a different actor in Ledger’s role, but at the same time preserving Ledger’s performance for the film.

Apparently, the script somehow allows for the main character to appear differently at different points in the movie. I don’t know how it works, since little is known about the plot at this point, and my inner pirate has failed to procure a copy of the script.

However, Ain’t It Cool News reported today that we will see three actors step in and portray Heath Ledger’s character, and the list of actors reads like a Hollywood Heavyweight roll call.

In the red corner, hailing from Foggy Londontown, boasting such credits as “Closer,” “Cold Mountain” and “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow,” is JUDE LAW.

In the green corner, from Dublin, Ireland, is the star of “In Bruges,” “The New World,” and “Alexander” (but don’t hold it against him)…COLIN FARRELL.

And in the blue corner, Owensboro, Kentucky’s favorite son, the star of “21 Jump Street,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” and “Ed Wood,” (and oh yeah, “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Edward Scissorhands,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” etc., etc.)…JOHNNY FREAKING DEPP!

As far as recasting a part goes, Gilliam hit a grand slam with this. I am of the opinion that Johnny Depp is physically incapable of doing anything less than stellar live action work (making that stipulation so I don’t have to answer for the mess that was “Corpse Bride”), and Jude Law is great in most everything he does. I’ll be interested to see how they use Colin Farrell, because he’s certainly a talented actor, but he’s less proven than the other two, and his acting style is quite different from the others, as well.

I’ll be keeping a close eye on this project. Terry Gilliam is a favorite director of mine, and when he brings his A game, there’s nobody else that can do the things he does the way he does them. With this film now boasting the talents of four monster stars, and having the PR momentum behind it of being Heath Ledger’s final film, “Dr. Parnassus” will be worth keeping an eye on.

See you space cowboy,

–Brad Canze, the CM Life movie dude

Seam Ripper: Underwear Designer Creates Goodwill

February 14, 2008

*Seam Ripper will be a ongoing column informing CMU about interesting and obscure happenings in the fashion industry. The information is compiled from fashion news outlets and other blogs…enjoy!

The man behind iconic underwear brand Joe Boxer is lending his artistic skills to the forgotten. Designer Nick Graham is combining efforts with a local San Francisco Goodwill store (Filmore and Posts St.)  to revamp second hand clothing.

The project called William Good started putting designs back on Goodwill’s shelves last November. The way it works is after a garment has been on the floor for 30 days and still remains, Graham takes his stock and re-creates the forgotten fashions. He then puts them back on the shelf where they will hopefully sell. Goodwill hopes this will become a nationwide project as recycling fashion contributes to helping the environment.

Currently the William Good site is up and running and many recent creations can be found at:
http://www.shopwilliamgood.com/Home.aspx

Also I found some of the great thrift finds on eBay. Although a little more expensive than a typical $3 sweater, most items were between $20 to $50.  It seems like a hefty price for used clothing but when you realize some of the proceeds go to Goodwill and your also getting a one of a kind piece, the price tag seems minimal. Peace all~Ashley Barlow

 dress.jpg        sweater.jpg    blazer.jpg

Banning Valentine’s

February 13, 2008

There nothing sexier than doing something illegal, whether it’s drinking bathtub gin or doing something somewhat more sanitary. That’s the appeal behind prohibition and robbing stagecoaches.

And that’s why Valentine’s Day should be banned. It would only increase the popularity of the holiday and actually make it cool.

To those whiners who say that Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday: Duh. It’s not a political or religious holiday, so of course it’s a commercial holiday. Political holidays have fireworks, drinking and days off work while religious ones have meaning and significance (and sometimes days off). Commercial holidays get stiffed. Arbor Day, Take Your Kid to Work Day, the only cool commercial holidays are Halloween and April Fool’s Day. That’s why the Valentine’s Day cabal has to get the holiday banned. Because Valentine’s Day can’t rely on cheap scares or costumes, the romance is left to compete with those other prank-based holidays. There’s got to be a way to make Valentine’s Day something guys look forward to and pushing the holiday underground is the way to do it.

For me, the coolest thing about the day is Al Capone’s St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, or rather the History Channel’s never-ending, never-updated coverage of the 1929 gangland hit. Banning the hooch worked miracles for Capone’s business; it would work for Valentine’s Day too. Husbands and boyfriends are already on board with me, they want a black market where they can buy bootleg roses for their significant others. Visiting an illegal florist is manly; visiting a florist is not so much. Wives and girlfriends, I suppose, secretly want their men to be daring and risk arrest to demonstrate their love and devotion.

Kuwait and Saudi Arabia already have bans or restrictions on Valentine’s Day activities because of religious reasons. Businesses should get behind the measure, because the U.K.’s Telegraph reports that one rose seller makes an extra six or seven bucks per rose in the black market the Saudi Arabia ban creates.

There’s hope yet for a holiday built on candy – Halloween paved the way. Banning Valentine’s Day is the best way to get rid of the cheesiest crap, but keep the candy and kissing and romance.

Valentine’s Day has been, for too long, just an excuse to get your better half something special. What would really be special is surprising them on any other day. I got something up my sleeve for my fiancée, but because it’s not illegal yet, it’s got to be even better than if it was. Can anyone out there do me a solid and ban a nice dinner?

 

Mike Ellis

Columnist

Competing with the Big Ten

February 12, 2008

The wrestling team’s dominance against Mid-American Conference opponents is well documented.

Central has won the regular season conference title nine consecutive times, and the MAC Tournament six straight times.

But could CMU win the Big Ten?

The Chippewas aren’t switching conferences by any means, but just for the sake of debating, it’s an interesting question. The topic was posted at thematforums.

The Chippewas have wins against Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan and a loss against Minnesota. Iowa and Penn State also would be top competitors for CMU.

The Golden Gophers have had CMU’s number the last few years and are 8-0 all-time against CMU. This season at least, the Chippewas would have a realistic shot at winning the Big Ten regular season or the tournament. At 165, 174, 184, 197 and heavyweight they match up as well as any team.

We’ll probably never know, but coach Tom Borrelli and his team are probably content with owning the MAC. We will know in March, however, how Central stacks up with the Big Ten’s best, and other conferences. An article from the Saginaw News looks at the wrestling team in the national spotlight.

Elsewhere, the basketball team lost Wednesday at Bowling Green. Here are the highlights in case you missed it.

The MAC report also looks ahead to the postseason for men’s basketball. Also, Central is ranked eighth in the site’s weekly rankings.

Also, it’s never to early to talk football. Jahleel Addae, the recently signed running back, seems excited to be coming to CMU.

– Robbie Sgro