Big Premiere Weekend.

Awwww...Katniss.

The movie version of the Hunger Games was so huge that they had to have a midnight screening last night.  Wait until Friday evening?  Unlikely.  It must feel good having a movie that can sell out theaters at midnight on a school night.  I’m saying school night, because the movie is adapted from a YA novel.  How many parents gave their kids a free pass and took them to the midnight showing?  Who wants to be the cool parent?  I bet there weren’t many kids around, there are more than enough adults addicted to this series to fill a theater.  If I was releasing a film, I’d want it to 1st show at 11 am–on a Tuesday.  Because, the kind of people who would come to my movie would certainly be available.

I’m a little worried about The Hunger Games movie, though, because the reviews I’ve seen to this point haven’t been that great.  Here’s an unsubstantiated theory.  I think some of the adults who are into this series were counting on the movie to convert people, to prove their point.  Tired of being brushed off as being a fan of a children’s book?  Well, suck on this avalanche of early Oscar buzz!   Not going to happen.  Some early audiences have been uncomfortable with the level of violence.  Apparently watching teenagers murder each other is unsettling?  The movie will be a huge success regardless, it’s just a question of whether it’ll be one of those movies that the kids go see four and five times in the theater.  I think Twilight is safe.  Looking forward toward your reviews….

In far more important premiere news, Mad Men returns on Sunday after a year and a half hiatus.  That’s a long time to be away from the best characters on TV.  How I’ve missed you, Roger.  According to AMC’s previews, all the major characters are back, so you don’t have to worry about Betty Draper Francis losing her screen time, or anything catastrophic like that.  I’m not sure if Bert Cooper is sticking around for season five, but other than that the gang will all be there.

Mad Men is produced under a cloud of secrecy so mysteries abound about the fifth season.  The two biggest questions?  What year will it be?  And, will Don really be married to his French-Canadian secretary Megan?  Oh, and did Joan keep Roger’s baby?  Three big questions.  I stand corrected.  I’ve just re-watched season 4 (most of it) and I forgot how tough of a year it was for the staff at Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Price.  Don hit rock bottom with his drinking, they lost the Lucky Strike account, half the office was laid off , Cooper resigned–the only positive was Roger made it through the season heart attack-free.   Call me sentimental, but I hope SCDP is running a bit smoother this season–at least on the surface.  Can’t wait for the two-hour premiere.

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Sports Issues for the Weekend…

1.  Chase Utley is due back in Clearwater sometime this weekend.  Perhaps we’ll get some information (surgery?), perhaps we won’t.  The Phillies have about 10 days left to make a decision on adding an infielder.  I wish there was someone out there who I really thought could help.

2.  We’ll be down to the Final Four by Sunday evening.  I managed to go 3-1 on my picks last night, which means I’ll win only one game (at most) today.  I did manage to jinx Michigan State, which is fine with me.  I can’t believe Louisville or Florida is going to the Final Four–but, that’s where we’re at.  Tonight, the big boys (Kentucky and UNC) are back in action.  Can Kentucky emerge as a true favorite with a big win?  Can UNC survive without their point guard?  The pool results could hinge on these two teams.  Several people can still win, but the current top-5:

  1. Jessica Nixon’s Bracket–57 points
  2. McNabb Eli–52 points
  3. Switzen Suz–51 points
  4. I’m a Mad Man–51 points
  5. Suck It–50 points

3.  The PGA Tour is at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill this weekend.  Tiger Woods opened with a solid 69, and has won at Bay Hill six times.  You keep thinking Tiger is going to put it together at some point at one of these courses he plays so well, but he hasn’t done it yet.  He’ll have plenty of big-name competition to deal with.  One name to focus on–Ernie Els.  Ernie needs a win to get into Augusta where he’s been a fixture for the last two decades–without managing a win.  Perhaps the thought of getting into the Masters led to his painful choke job last week.  If he gets back into contention, it’ll be interesting to see how he handles the pressure this time.  And, speaking of the Masters, like I mentioned yesterday, their unequaled website is up and running.

All right, I think that’s going to do it for the week.  Enjoy your movies, settle in for Mad Men Sunday night, officially trash your NCAA pool, and we’ll talk on Monday.