Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I'm sort of a sucker for lists, and Amazon has compiled a page of "best" movie and television DVDs lists, including picks by editors and audiences. Click through and buy a few for, you know, the heads of state that you might call upon during the holiday season.
This list has Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino at #2 for 2009. But Clint isn't done yet. He directs Invictus, which opens Dec 11.
Morgan Freeman channels Nelson Mandela. Freeman's one of our best actors -- this is the role he was born for.
Invictus will end with South Africa beating New Zealand in OT for the 1995 Rugby World Cup. You can't underestimate the significance to a new nation of Nelson Mandela in a #7 Springboks jersey jointly hosting the Ellis trophy with #7 Captain Francois Piennar.
Mandela used his influence to bring the 1995 World Cup to South Africa. It was a magnanimous gesture from a guy who had been imprisoned for twenty seven years, as rugby was the big love of the white Afrikaners. Most years, the two best rugby nations in the world are the New Zealand All Blacks and the South African Springboks. Their teams are built upon the two toughest ethnic groups in the World -- the New Zealand Maori and the South African Boer Afrikaners. In the years before 1995, South African rugby had declined due to the effects of worldwide apartheid boycott. In the 1995 World Cup, South Africa wasn't expected to get past the quarter-finals. Instead, they made it to the final after surviving France 19-15 in their semi -- a match played in a biblical deluge with a two-minute goal line stand at the end. Meanwhile ... in the dark trunks ... the 1995 All Blacks were the best rugby team ever. They went medieval on everyone else's ass in their run to the final. Their semi-final against England was effectively over after the first ten minutes of play. Watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvR8CsGcwyQ All Black winger Jonah Lomu will likely get attention in Invictus, but the final pitted my two favorite players of all time: All Black hooker Sean Fitzpatrick and Springbok scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen Wait until you see the New Zealand haka: A preview here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rulZOE8bDa8
Oscars coming for Best Picture, Best Actor (Freeman) and Best Director (Clint). Matt Damon will get nominated for Supporting Actor but lose to the kid from The Road, the second best flick of 2009.