I wasn’t able to catch most of the action this weekend people, and for that I apologize. It was a busy weekend between out-of-town guests, Bulls basketball, Blackhawks hockey and pooch-sitting for a family friend. (Life in the suburbs: where amazing happens.) So instead of bullshitting you about what went wrong (hitting is still suspect in the gut of the order) and what went right (minus Thursday the bullpen was solid, they won three of four), I’m going to talk about a movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
First, let’s get our biases/baggage out of the way. It depresses me to say this, but I am not X-Men Origins target audience. You would think that a 22-year-old male who grew up watching their cartoon on FOX Saturday mornings would be the exact person they are trying to get to come see their film, but if you though that you would be wrong. Why? Because I have graduated from recreational fan of comic book/super hero/cartoon stuff to an actual comic book nerd. I read comic books, I know when they come out, I’m starting to be recognized at Comix Revolution on Davis street: I’m a little more intense of a fan than you regular audience member.
But, again, what’s my angle to say that this X-Men movie wasn’t made for me? Because none of the shit that happened in that movie A. didn’t jive according to the years of history Marvel has created for their X-Men characters B. make sense. Period. I left the theater in awe of the utter incompetence of the executives in charge of Marvel’s movie-making decisions. With all due respect to Stan Lee and his people: What the fuck?
1. Wolverine DOES NOT HAVE BONE CLAWS. Why? Why did you give Wolverine bone claws. It doesn’t make any sense. What a horrible mutant power. Essentially, because of this made up fact, for the first 100+ years of Wolverine’s life he could poke people with three sharp sticks that came out of his hands. They’re bone: they aren’t cutting through shit, they are only useful for poking. Remember that Family Guy episode when the Griffin family gets super powers and Meg gets fingernails that grow (this is also, apparently Sabertooth’s power as well. Nerd note: it isn’t)? Do you also remember that the point of her fingernail power was that it was a joke, because it is an incredibly lame power? Do you?
In case you were curious, Wolverine receives the claws when he is made into Weapon X.
2. The biggest screw up with the X-Men franchise was that they totally excluded one of their most popular characters: the cajun accented, gambling womanizer Gambit. So, in what I can only imagine as an effort to apologize to the fans, they included Gambit in this film in all of his card throwing and staff wielding glory. Which was great. Except there was NO REASON for him to be in the film. he had nothing to do with the story, has no connection to Wolverine at this time in his life, and they didn’t even give him an awesome cajun accent! It’s like they threw him into the movie because they knew people liked him and were mad he wasn’t in the other three X-Men flicks. Hey producers: TAKE SOME TIME TO GET IT RIGHT! Gambit isn’t a Wikipedia entry you throw into a college paper the night before because you misread how many sources you were supposed to use.
3. Deadpool: Wrong. Close but wrong. He signed up for the tests, you can’t control him with a goddamn computer and you can’t sew his mouth shut. The whole point of Deadpool is that he’s a son of a bitch that can’t stop cracking wise. For shame producers. For shame. What’s the point of even casting Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool if you’re going to sew his mouth shut?
Ok, I’ve got to stop, my blood pressure is going to give me a stroke. Suffice to say, the plot of the movie was an utter joke: it was an excuse to string as many characters and action sequences together as humanly possible. X-Men was one of my favorite childhood memories. Nightcrawler, Gambit, Colossus, Magneto, the whole gang was a serious part of my developmental stage of life, and watching the executives kill the franchise and bleed it for money ($80+ million opening weekend is more than enough to keep this low-quality trend going) is something that truly hurts my soul. Please Marvel, in the words of the immortal Dave Chapelle, get it together, Grouch. Onto the games.
Cubs win the series against the Florida Marlins: L-W-W-W
Cubs Series Record: 4-3-1 (13-11 overall)
Thursday: FAIL. Carlos Marmol continued his quest to walk every batter in the N.L. at least once and blew the lead, then Aaron Heilman imploded to the tune of 5 ER without retiring a single batter (Nothing says quality pitching like an infinite ERA) in the 10th, rendering any sort of comeback/win unlikely.
Friday: A. Rich Harden couldn’t make it out of the fourth and the pen filled in quite nicely. Jeff Samardzija, David Patton, Marmol, Neal Cotts and Kevin Gregg pitched 5.1 innings and surrendered only one insignificant run.
Saturday: A. This should probably be an N/A rather than an A, but the 1 IP by Heilman was without a run and all three outs were recorded via strikeout.
Sunday: B. Again, a Cub starting pitcher didn’t make it past the 5th and the bullpen had to protect a lead, though this time it was because of injury, not ineptitude (Carlos Zambrano will probably miss his next start, and a stint on the DL is pssible). 4 IP and 2 ER later, El Pobrecito, Marmol and Gregg helped make sure the Cubs got to raise the W flag and win the series.
Bullpen season GPA: 2.68(B-) GPA through 21 games. You would think that GPA would rise up given the two As and the B, but nothing quite sucks the fun out of the law of averages like a 0.0.
Thursday’s Goat: Aaron Heilman. 6 R (5 ER) in the 10th inning to squish any hope of any dream of any desire of a comeback. Way to ruin the innocence of children Aaron.
Friday’s Hero: Ryan Theriot. If you go 620ish ABs without a home run, it’s nice to hit a granny when you break that stretch. The fact that Theriot then hit a second home run the next day is a sign. Of what, I have absolutely no idea, but a sign none the less.
Saturday’s Hero: Ted Lilly. Just when the pitching staff as a whole needed a break Ted Lilly mans up and goes eight innings strong, allow one tiny little fish escape his net and score.
Sunday’s Hero: Derrek Lee. Derrek, I know I’ve been tough on you this season, what with calling you washed-up and such. And who knows, maybe you are washed up and such. But for now I say thank you for the grand slam and the game winning RBIs and welcome you to the Hero Squad.
Hero/Goat season leaders:
Hero Squad: Fukudome, Lilly, Soriano, Ramirez, Zambrano – 2.
Fontenot, Johnson, Lee, Theriot – 1.
Goat Bastards: Bradley, Patton – 2.
Cotts, Fontenot, Gregg, Harden, Heilman, Hoffpauir – 1.
Next up: Two pint-sized, two-game series against the San Francisco Giants and the Houston Astros. The good news: Both of the those teams aren’t very good. The bad news Tim Lincecum is starting for the Giants in game two. Ideally, the Cubs should go 3-1 or 4-0, but realistically look for a split.