Thursday, July 15, 2010

Movie Review: Toy Story 3

Ashley and the boys took me to see Toy Story 3 yesterday as my Father's Day present. I was a big fan of the first one, but thought the second one was just okay. But the reviews seemed very good for three, so I went in with high expectations.

It did not disappoint. Very good movie. I'm impressed they've been able to keep so much of the original cast involved through three of these. They have also been able to dramatically increase their abilities as far as the computer generation of the graphics. The facial expressions are incredible, as is Buzz's spanish dance scene. Amazing work.

This was by far the most emotionally moving of the three movies for me, and I'm sure it will be for any parent. I don't think I'm spoiling anything by saying that the theme of the movie is what happens to all the toys as Andy prepares to leave for college. I mean I know my kids will leave one day, and I thought I was fine with it, but wow. This movie drives that realization home. Even with that, I still really enjoyed it. Nice work, Pixar.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Goodbye, George

So, I've never been a huge baseball fan, but I've been enough of one that I've always sort of hated the Yankees and in particular, George Steinbrenner. But much like I felt when Dale Earnhardt died, I was sad to hear George had passed. I felt like I lost something, and that something was something I enjoyed hating. Hating is probably an exaggeration, but that's what we do with sports. That's what they are for. Someone to cheer for, and conversely sometimes, someone to hate.

There's been a lot of rhetoric about how big "The Boss" was not only in baseball, but in the world of sports and even in the world that is New York City. To me there's one simple way to point to what George built with the Yankees, and that is what every baseball player strives for: To be courted by the Yankees. Make no mistake, there are plenty of kids that grow up playing baseball and hating the Yankees. But ask even those kids what the biggest compliment to their game they could get would be and they'd say "to have the Yankees want me." Sure, they might prefer their lifelong team to be the one to actually sign them, but the team they'd want the most to chase them would be the Yankees.

Why? Because it means you're one of the best. That's all the Yankees have settled for since George took over. And even when they got what they thought was the best, they expected you to maintain that level or they'd move on to whoever had surpassed you. Period. Now, that might sound bad in some ways, but it is the pure business of sports. And from the sound of things, as long as you did what you were brought in to do, nobody treated you better than the Yankees would.

I'm happy to learn more about how philanthropic George was. I'm happy to learn more about how he turned a $10M franchise into a $1.6B franchise. But the real legacy he leaves is the aura of the New York Yankees. You either love them, or you're jealous of them.