Dinner and a Movie: Super Bowl Hype Edition


It has been 10 days since I’ve watched SportsCenter.

Not that I don’t care about who wins the Super Bowl and who loses, I just don’t give a spit about all of the side stories, the rumors and accusations, chest beating, beer spitting, bicep kissing and players’ wives being all mouthy.

Football is football.  I don’t care what the players do on their off time.   I don’t care about their sins – that’s on them. 

But what they do on the football field, about that I care very much…

…oh, I hear things – perhaps glance upon something that somebody said on my way to the draft boards and the basketball and hockey scoreboards – but my TV stays off when I’m by myself, and on Disney Channel on the rare occasion my boy wants to watch TV – or Lifetime Channel when my wife is trying to clear the room and get some solitude.

The two weeks between the Conference Championship games and the Super Bowl is football’s version of a Lifetime Channel movie, with so much testosterone instigated hijinks and estrogen motivated mouth-spouting that it if you were to add a smidgen of teen-angst it would be perfect for the militants that produce their shows…

…and the soft porn, let’s not forget about that.  A lot of skin on display in the love scenes…so when the wife flips on the TV, my boy and I know that it’s time to go hunker down in the man cave, play some video games, have munchies, take in a good movie and ignore that nightmare in the living room – pretend it’s not happening – because it is wrong.

But so is being mired in this self-induced vacuum for another four days – so it’s important for us to keep busy, to forget about the mindless hype going on all around us and concentrate on entertaining ourselves properly.

And not because my team is not in the game – I did the same thing last season – but unfortunately the Patriots laid an egg so large in the AFC Championship game that the producers at Lifetime wanted to make a made-for-TV, based-on-a-true story about how the Patriots oppressed themselves…

…but because I’m a Patriots’ fan, I know what the fans for the Ravens and 49ers are going through right now: Sensory overload, thoughts swirling, vertigo taking over, obsessive-compulsive disorder beginning to manifest, even if you don’t have it…

It’s important for them to remember to sit back and look at the world for a few moments.  Super Bowl hype can engulf you.  Take a break, don’t let it consume you…don’t worry, it will still be there when you return…retreat to your man cave, take your sons with you and make sure you have plenty of hot dogs, because this weeks “Must See” movie begs for them…

“People once believed that when someone dies, a crow carries their soul to the land of the dead. But sometimes, something so bad happens that a terrible sadness is carried with it and the soul can’t rest. Then sometimes, just sometimes, the crow can bring that soul back to put the wrong things right.”

In the movie The Crow, the lead bad guy named Top Dollar quipped,”Childhood’s over the moment you know you’re gonna die.”…but I beg to differ – childhood is over the moment you sit through one of those violent, bloody films on that evil Lifetime channel…so much so that the violence in this movie pales by comparison.

Why?  Simply because no one mistakes what happens in the Crow for real life.  It is understood that Brandon Lee plays a character who is essentially a zombie – an undead regular guy that climbs out of his grave and goes after the dirtbags that murdered him and his girlfriend.

It is understood that the bad guys in the film are stereotypical hoodlums and that their boss is a circa-1970′s style cliche-spouting, over-acting narcissist who isn’t happy unless half of the city is burning…it is understood that the movie is based on a comic book series of the same name – and it goes without saying that the movie is a lot of fun, taken in that context.

The cinematography is extraordinary and the musical score is first rate…there is no graphic gore and the whole beyond-the-grave storyline gives the film a surreal presence in stark clarity…and it has one of the coolest explosions in the history of movie explosions.

And that’s the thing about this movie…it has everything a guy could want in a mainstream film:  A zombie (who’s the hero no less), explosions, hot cars, a sword fight and more cliches than you can shake a stick at…and intrigue is added when you consider that the guy that plays the Zombie/Hero was killed during filming in an unfortunate accident involving a prop gun…

The photography is the most striking feature of the movie, and it grips you from the opening scene…always a deeply contrasting grey scale and always raining – a perfect statement film for the mid-90′s – dark, grinding, surreal…a grunge movie from the grunge rock decade.

It’s right in a kids’ wheel house, too, which makes it entertaining for the entire family – plus if you time things exactly right, it becomes interactive as well:

…there’s a scene just into the meat of the film where Ernie Hudson of Ghostbusters fame and obscure actress Rochelle Davis are sitting on stools at the counter of an open air Hot Dog emporium that serves as sort of a launching point for the action, with Hudson, who plays a cop, offering to buy Davis a hot dog…it’s perfectly placed in the film because by the time you reach it, the hot dogs that you bought from the store earlier have had time to steam properly..

And you did buy hot dogs, right?  And buns, maybe some potato salad, chips, assorted condiments including hot dog chili…get it all worked up, evil-scientist style, so that when this scene is reached, you can glide through the line of food and fixins with no hassle or delay…

…pause the film, run out into the kitchen and in a flurry of arms and legs and elbows fix your dogs, get drinks, and take care of your business, because the movie takes off like a rocket after that scene, and you won’t want to miss a second of it’s weirdness…

And afterwards, after everyone scatters to the four corners of the house or have gone to bed, then you can get back to the hype and drama of the Super Bowl – but with a fresh mind and without guilt because you just took the time to do something with your kids.

By the time the game starts, the stats have been recycled, ad nauseum, and all that’s left is opinion, false platitudes and an endless live feed of drunks “woo”ing…and in the end, even if your team wins the damned thing, you’re too exhausted from all of the forced input that you feel like you just got a lobotomy, and you’re glad that it’s over.

But I’ve been through enough of these drama-filled Super Bowl weeks to know to stay away from all of that until game time…and to plan it out so that I’m busy cooking during halftime – because nothing but the game itself is important.  I want to see football – if I wanted to see glitz and glamour and blood and bullying and backbiting and people acting like idiots in general, I’d sit down and actually watch the lifetime Channel…

…football is far less barbaric, so long as you leave the drama out of it.

Tags: Movie Night Nfl The Crow