Tag Archives: Brad Pitt

NFL 08 with Righteous Burn: Colts drizzle on the Vikings

I don’t remember who said it, but back in the mid-90s, I heard that the bank robbery scene in Michael Mann’s incredibly executed crime-drama Heat (1995) was the best bank-robbing sequence ever–and so I watched it and I agreed. Al Pacino and Robert De Niro delivered engrossing performances as characters on either side of the law.

When I first saw previews for Righteous Kill (Jon Avnet, 200eight) about a month ago, I knew I had to watch it. Pacino and De Niro together again? Of course!

I also reviewed it for Film Threat. You can read it here.

The product placement and branding consisted of: 50 cent, Budweiser, flat screen TV (plasma or LCDJohn Leguizamo and Donnie Wahlberg are at a crime scene debating whether or not the TV on the wall is plasma or LCD), iMAC (50 cent uses one), Dell (the cops all use them), New York Mets (verbal mention), 406 Ted Williams (verbal mention), Heinz ketchup, Aquafina, Bee Movie (atop a taxicab), Bud Light, O’Douls, Verizon (logo atop a building), Gibson guitars, Pepsi.

According to IMDB, the filmmakers rented Nextel cellphones from Rockbottom Rentals.

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I also watched the Coen Brothers’ new film Burn After Reading (200eight). I loved it. My favorite Brad Pitt performance to date. The product placement and branding included: Dell, Claire Danes (on the poster of a fake movie), Jamba Juice (the store, the cup, verbal mention), Ford, Chevy, Lexus, Tropicana orange juice, Windows XP, Mac or PC (verbal mention by the Russian cultural attache), and gray Motorazr.

The Indianapolis Colts canoed over to the Metrodome to thumb-war with the Minnesota Vikings. Broadcast on CBS, the first half spelled discouragement for the Colts. The Minnesota kept Indianapolis scoreless 9 to 0. The second half didn’t bring much sunshine to the Colts. The Vikings earned two more field goals by the end of the third quarter.

Holy seltzer water! Colts quarterback Peyton Manning threw to wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez, who ran fifty-eight yards and then tossed the ball to wide receiver Reggie Wayne for a touchdown? Minnesota challenged if Gonzalez threw the ball to Wayne in time and if Wayne reached the end zone. From the televised replays, Wayne didn’t break the plane before his knee touched the turf. The referee ruled the ball down at first and goal. Manning tried twice to get the ball into the end zone but to no avail. On the third attempt, running back Joseph Addai went for it but Minnesota threw down another red flag–did Addai really get the ball to the desired location? The referee did not overturn the call. So, Vikings 15 and Colts 7.

The fourth quarter nearly deepened the Colts’ frowns even more. Defensive end Dwight Freeney and defensive tackle Keyunta Dawson snipped the ball from the Vikings only to lead to a missed field goal by Adam Vinatieri from thirty yards. Fortunately for Indianapolis, Minnesota’s next field goal attempt by Ryan Longwell didn’t hit the spot. A Reggie Wayne TD and a two-point conversion catch by running back Dominic Rhodes tied the game 15 to 15. Vinatieri wouldn’t make that miss again. Bottom of the fourth quarter, field goal good. Colts win it 18 to 15.

Interceptions, balls punted away, and tight-end Dallas Clark and center Jeff Saturday unable to play. I flipped on CBS at the bottom of the first quarter (one minute or so on the clock). Minnesota’s offense was on the field. The camera was honed in on Peyton Manning sitting on the sidelines in close-up. He looked dazed, confused, and very morose. Here’s hoping Manning can go to sleep tonight much relieved.

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

Thanksgiving 2007: Packers ziplock the Lions

But first, a little something to make you smile.  When I was leaving work yesterday, I overheard someone talk about a Sears gift card.  Another person said, “There’s nothing like a Sears card that says ‘Merry Christmas.'” I thought it was funny.

And now for the football.

Turnovers and interceptions make for a narratively and visually thrilling game.  And when the producers decide to vary the kinds of camera angles that get air time (field goals and punts filmed from behind the kicker and punter), football game-play can’t get any lovelier (unless you’re NFL Films, of course).

The daytime Thanksgiving game between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions (on Fox) was such a game.  The first and fourth quarters were quite stirring athletically and aesthetically.  Both teams started defensively impressive, but then Green Bay’s defense and offense took control of the game in the second quarter when Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings made a touchdown (running ten yards into the end zone and then catch!), and then running back Ryan Grant put in one.  By the end of the first half, the Lions sustained a slow pace by making field goals, three of them.  Green Bay got three points from a field goal in the very end of the second quarter, giving them a total of 17 points before halftime.  The Lions had 9 points.

The third quarter started with another Green Bay touchdown, courtesy of Jennings.  Packers 24. Detroit got a fourth field goal shortly thereafter for 12 points–that Jason Hanson has a great leg.  Great leg or not, the Packers still demonstrated their skill, grabbing another TD thanks to wide receiver Ruvell Martin.  Green Bay 31.  Detroit 12.

The Packers’ field goal in the top of the fourth quarter increased their score to 34.  Then hallelujah, Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (a former GaTech Yellow Jacket) caught a touchdown pass.  Detroit 19. After Johnson caught two more passes, the Lions made it to the end zone and running back Kevin Jones galloped into the the zone for a TD.  Detroit 26.  Alas, in the final two minutes, Green Bay widened the point gap with a field goal, and ultimately winning the game 37 to 26.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Katherine McPhee sang the national anthem in the Packers vs. Lions game.  After singing a few lines, the camera cut to Calvin Johnson.  It then cut to Packers wide receiver Koren Robinson who had overcome an addiction to alcohol and has lived the redemption narrative in the last couple of years.

2. Although Calvin Johnson didn’t make that touchdown in the first quarter (around 6 minutes on the clock), simply watching him attempt the catch was enough.  His body sailed through the air and achieved a kind of slow-motion look without actually being in slow-motion.  Good stuff.   He caught but then dropped the ball towards the bottom of the first quarter; in one of the replays, the camera cut to Lions quarterback Jon Kitna, who slammed his arms downward to his knees, where he remained hunched down.  His back was facing the camera.  Johnson made a thirteen yard catch in the third quarter, jumping in the air (nearly straight up) with the grace of a dancer.

3. The Goo Goo Dolls performed for the 70,000 or so fans at Ford Field in Detroit during halftime.   I wasn’t too keen on that modern ballet dance number.  I would’ve preferred something by a color guard (nevermind that a color guard performance would probably be saved for a college game).  A United Way banner was unfurled halfway through the Dolls’ second song.

4. Aside from after-Thanksgiving shopping ads, the commercials that appeared throughout this telecast included holiday wishes from family members of players in the game.  Pretty creative idea on the part of the marketing/sales/advertising folks.

5. Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre is thirty-eight years-old.  Brad Pitt is forty-one.

For game summary, stats, and play by play, click here.