Sunday, March 11, 2012

Things That Made Me Go Whoa!

This week, the League of Extraordinary Bloggers had but one simple mission. Write a blog about the things that made you go whoa. I've seen a lot in my 40 years on this earth and I considered few, like the Tim Burton Batman or the first time I saw Star Wars as a kid in the theaters. But instead, I went with these three that, as Darrell Sheets of Storage Wars would say, had the "Wow" factor for me.

First up for me is the the movie that is still the standard of all Superhero movies, Superman The Movie. While, Supes is not one of my favorite heroes, this movie is definitely one of my all time favorites. The film was well written, wonderfully acted and still stands the test of time. What got me as a kid was seeing Superman fly. It wasn't the George Reeves bounce on a trampoline 195o's style. He actually lifted off the ground. As a kid, seeing this blew me away.

Christopher Reeve's portrayal as Superman/Clark Kent remains the definitive one. He was terrific as the Man of Steel and equally great as Clark Kent, managing to totally separate the two with different styles of acting. Reeves played Superman as the quintessential good guy. The guy who you couldn't corrupt and you believed he really stood for truth, justice and the American way while playing Clark as a dorky, clumsy, reporter. He nailed what mild mannered was supposed to be. Plus, he showed his acting chops when he displayed rage, sadness and love all at once over the death of Lois Lane. The producers initially didn't go with Reeve as Superman because he was too skinny and not a known actor. They tried to get people like Robert Redford, Sly Stallone, Paul Newman, Charles Bronson (Charles Bronson?? Really?? Can you image him as Superman? Hey, scumbag. Drop the cash.). Thankfully, after bulking up a bit, Reeves got the part and the rest is history.

Any kudos to Reeve's performance has to have some left over for Gene Hackman's comedic performance as Lex Luthor. A bit over the top, yes, but it worked. Hackman, played Luthor as an intellectual smartass, but you knew this guy was pure evil. Surrounding himself with the beautiful Miss Tessmacher and the oafish Otis, Luthor set out to destroy California for real estate purposes with the use of nuclear missiles, one was aimed at California and the other was aimed at toward New Jersey. Superman could only save one and Luthor knew that. Luthor also managed to secure a bit of Kryponite to kill Superman. This was not a nice guy. Hackman's Luthor was obviously the basis for Kevin Spacey's Luthor in Superman Returns.

Superman The Movie had my jaw open throughout the whole movie. It was the first Superhero motion picture and in someways, still remains the best ever made.
My next wow moment, and probably my biggest one, came along in late 2001. Anyone who knows me knows Spider-Man is my favorite superhero (Batman being 1B). If you go back in my blogs, you can see the two shelves I have of Spider-Man stuff. So, you all can imagine the excitement I had when I saw this online


I was thrilled, tickled pink, beside myself with excitement and any other word you want to throw out there to describe how I felt that Spidey was finally coming to the big screen. Spider-Man had been trying to get on screen for years. In 1986, Cannon Pictures was supposed to have a Spider-Man movie with Michael Bean playing Spider-man and Tobie Hooper directing it, but never materialized. Then James Cameron had a script ready in the 90's and wanted Leonardo DeCaprio for the part and that was never done. Finally, Sam Rami bought it to the silver screen with Tobey Maguire as Spidey.

Spider-Man is not the greatest movie, I will admit (I think part 2 is a better picture). I never liked Kristen Dunst as Mary Jane nor was I fond of the armor Green Goblin had. He looked like a Power Ranger in this movie. But Wilem Dafoe's chilling performance as Gobby made up for it. Also, James Franco did a great job as Harry Osborne as did Rosemary Harris as Aunt May and J.K. Simmons as J.Jonah Jameson.

I was just happy that Spidey was finally getting a movie. I was at the first showing with my buddy when it opened and I had the biggest, cheesiest grin on my face through out the movie. It was so big it should have been surgically removed to get it off my face However, Spider-man 3 did that for me.


The last thing that made me go whoa happened in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS between the Boston Red Sox and my New York Yankees. I'm one of the biggest Yankees fans around and have been since I was a five year old. I saw Chris Chambliss send the Yankees into the World Series back in 1976, but was too young to appreciate the magnitude of that moment. I saw Bucky Dent's Home Run in the one game playoff between The Red Sox and Yankees back in 1978, but that only sent the Yankees into the playoffs. Aaron Boone did Chambliss one better.

The Yankees and Red Sox started their ace's for this game. Pedro Martinez for Boston and Roger Clemens for NY. The series was already highly emotional thanks to the bench clearing brawl between the two teams in Game 3 when Pedro first threw at Kariem Garcia and then Manny Ramirez charging the mound when Clemens pitched inside. That was also the game that Pedro tossed Don Zimmer to the ground, earning the wrath of not just Yankee fans, but people all over for tossing a man 40 years his senior to the ground. Heck, even the Fenway grounds crew got in it with the Yankee bullpen later in the game.

Clemens was out of the game by the 4th inning after giving up 4 runs. Mike Mussina relieved him and pitched 3 innings of shutout ball. By the 8th inning, it was 5-2 Boston. Pedro, dispite giving up 2 solo shots to Jason Giambi, was pitching a good game, but was tiring. He gave up a double to Derek Jeter and a single to Bernie Williams. At that point, Boston Manager, Grady Little came out. Dispite having a left handed Alan Embry ready to pitch to Hideki Matsui, he allowed Pedro to convince him he can continue. That move cost Little his job in Boston as Pedro gave up a double to Matsui and a bloop double to Jorge Posada to tie the game at 5. No one else scored until Aaron Boone came up in the bottom of the 11th when Aaron Boone launched the first pitch he saw from Boston pitcher Tim Wakefield into the October night to send the Yankees to the World Series.

I was watching the game at home with my mom and kid sister. After the 9th, my mom went to bed and my kid sister stayed with me to watch the game. I was on the edge of my seat after each half inning when no one scored. When Boone came up, I told my sister it's over. That was something that was said instinctly. I didn't even think about it when I blurted it out. Before my sister could respond, Boone had swung and was going up the first base line with his arms out stretched. I was jumping up and down in my living room like I had just hit the home run myself, much to my sister's amusement. To this day, I'm shocked I didn't wake y mom or the downstairs neighbor didn't bang the their ceiling with a broom to quiet me down. All I know is I was ecstatic that my Yankees were going to the World Series in one of the most dramatic fashions in Yankee history ending one of the most emotionally charged series in baseball history.

As you can see, each one of these events caused a level of excitement that no other event had. I'm sure the rest of the League members have different events that rushed the beat of their hearts like the three events I wrote about and I look forward to reading all about them. If you'd like to check out the other blogs, you can find a list of all the blogs here:http://coolandcollected.com/the-league-of-extraordinary-bloggers/league-members/. Tell them the Sexy Geek sent ya.