Friday, October 6, 2006

My NY "Free" Day!

Yesterday morning the cell rings and it's Martin, a friend I've known since we met the very first day of college in 1981. Martin just left his job of 15+ years to pursue the freelance life, and lucky for him (and me) we make our schedules because a friend of his gave him 2 tickets to the Yankees/Tigers game!! FREE!! Game 2 had been rained out the night before and this was an afternoon makeup game. "Hells yeah!" I replied when he asked me if Iwanted to join him. It was gorgeous and sunny, but cold, and luckily I layered the clothes - it felt like a 20 degree difference between sitting in the sun and sitting in the shade where we were. I never sat in the bleachers before, and it's a different breed of fan there. For starters, there's no alcohol allowed in the bleachers. Everyone seems to know eachother. Lots of cops. And lots of abuse to the opposing team's outfielders. But hey, the best part of being at a live game is the crowd, and these bleacher bums really get into it. The funniest was when they'd play the fanfare to yell "Charge!", this guy would yell in a raspy, deep, New York accent-ed voice, "Chahahahahahge!"

We were right behind Bobby Abreu, and unfortunately the Yanks lost 4-3. But I love going to Yankee Stadium, and I have mixed feelings about the new stadium. When I go to Yankee Stadium, it's the history that gets you. You sit and realize that the field you're looking at was played upon by the Babe, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mickey, Yogi, Reggie, Thurman, Murcer, Mattingly and the amazing rosters of the past 10+ years. OK, the new stadium will be "nicer" and have more luxury boxes and maybe more food and family oriented stuff, but dammit, I like the grittiness! Oh well, you can't stop "progress". One more Yankee note: I think the most overlooked player on this team is Jorge Posada, my favorite. A-Rod gets the press and the big bucks, Jeter has the skills and the looks, and so many others get more media attention, but Posada is Mr. Consistent. I'm not enough of a sports fan to be able to rattle off stats, but Posada always gets the clutch hit or homer, never causes waves - he'd be a huge star on another team but this team has so many stars he gets a bit lost in the shuffle.

OK, so this is about my NY Free Day. I get home from the game and checked email and got a free screening pass for the movie "Infamous" about Truman Capote. It's exactly like the last movie about him starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Capote". This stars Toby Jones and directed by Douglas McGrath. Apparently this film was in the works for some time and sat on the shelf for a bit. Perry Smith was originally to be played by Mark Wahlberg, then replaced by Mark Ruffalo in 04 and finally by Daniel Craig who did a great job. Michelle Pfeiffer was originally to play Slim Keith but was replaced in 05 by Hope Davis. Get this cast: Jeff Daniels, Sigourney Weaver, Isabella Rossolini, Peter Bogdonovich, and Sandra Bullock. Much different in tone from the brooding, sometimes plodding "Capote", Jones' Capote is much more flamboyant than Hoffman's, from what I remember of Truman Capote on talk shows and such, more true. "Infamous" had plenty of humorous moments and focused alot on his gossipy relationships with NY high society. There was an awful lot of liberty taken here and the film had a disclaimer at the end. McGrath employed the use of fake talking head interviews with the other characters, and I don't know how much was scripted and how much was taken from actual statements. Interesting, because the film talks about how Capote was developing a new style of reportage, that being using the techniques of a novel to report non-fiction, and here we have a film that is doing the same thing. Daniel Craig's Perry Smith was deeper and explored more here than in Capote. In that film the stance is that Perry wasn't very bright and Capote simply used him for the book. "Infamous" delves more into their relationship, including a kiss and confession of mutual feelings which may or may not have happened - - did Capote ever admit they kissed or is this supposition based on the rumor that they had developed real feelings for eachother? I'll be curious to see the reviews and to learn more about what was "real" and what wasnt in this movie. If you're not annoyed by the Greek chorus faux interviews, it is an entertaining movie with a very fine performance by Toby Jones. How odd would it be to have 2 actors win Best Actor for portraying the same character? My pick, though, is Forrest Whitaker as Idi Amin in "The Last King of Scotland", which I highly recommend! Watching Jones as Capote preening in long scarves and fur coats in rural Kansas at that time was a riot, and the supporting cast make this movie worth seeing.

Even better, I saw it (and a Yankees play-off game) for FREE - all in one great New York day!

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