The immediate thought that came to mind after the conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises: Has there ever been a trilogy that has reinvented its genre in such a way? Has there ever been three movies so complementary of each other and so well executed that it has become the new standard bearer by leaps and bounds? Not recently.
To be sure, several franchises have begun and rebooted to critical acclaim (X-Men and Spiderman, to name a couple), but all have universally lost their momentum by the third installment. Batman is the new standard in comic book adaptations, and it may never be topped.
Set eight years after The Dark Knight, we see the ramifications of the character’s choices in the first two movies. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has become a recluse, driven by his pain and inability to escape the memory of Rachel Dawes. He has distanced himself from confidants Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) and Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine).
1. Let’s start with the basketball standpoint. Lin was the best point guard option available. Felton, by all accounts, is overweight and coming off the worst season of his career. Kidd, or the shell that’s left of him, is 39, (though he apparently still has the party habits of someone 20 years his junior). Pablo Prigioni has even less NBA experience than Lin. Are there arguments that Lin isn’t the best of the group? Sure. But then again, this wasn’t a money decision.
2. Nope. This wasn’t about money. This was about loyalty. Jim Dolan gave Jeremy Lin his chance, and Lin stabbed him in the back. And by “giving a chance,” I mean signing the dotted line below Lin’s minimum NBA pay check, and by “stabbing him in the back,” I mean shopping around for a contract because Dolan and the rest of the knuckleheads in the front office told him to. How dare Lin accept a contract for more money to become a millionaire when he made $600 million for Cablevision and single-handedly ended the Time Warner Cable dispute? Seriously, if anyone handed you $5 million dollars, would you *ever* turn that down? Where was it written in stone that Lin had to come back to New York?
Finally, Aaron Sorkin has found the right premise.
In 2006, Sorkin’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip lasted one inglorious season before the overly expensive and lightly watched “inside the writer’s room” dramedy was cancelled by NBC. Why was the show such a failure? The premise, I wrote.
At the heart of every Hollywood production, there must be some kind of believability. This is a sliding scale, of course. (We accept that James Bond will never be seriously injured because he’s a summer action star.) But with Studio 60, the show was built around a comedy show, and Sorkin was completely out of his element. The jokes and skits simply weren’t funny and the political dialogue seemed completely out of place. Had Sorkin changed the show to an inside look at The Daily Show or the Colbert Report, the premise would’ve been more palatable.
Magic/Bird is a play that comes about 15 years too late, telling a story that has a definite beginning with a compelling middle, but struggles to find where to conclude. It’s a story that has its dramatic moments, but isn’t best told on the stage. So it comes as no surprise that the play was shut out of the Tony’s this year, and will shut its doors for good on May 12 after opening just a month earlier.
To be sure, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson dominated all of the headlines of the mid-80s, as their heated rivalry from college extended into the NBA. The Celtics and Lakers were regulars in the finals during that decade, and the two played each other in some of the most memorable games that resurrected a stagnant NBA.
It’s strange when “Syracuse lacrosse” and “dominant” (or some other synonym) aren’t used in the same sentence these days. Since 1983, the Orangemen have won 11 National Championships, produced a pair of Tewaaraton Trophy winners and have seen 12 players become four-time All-Americans.
Yet, there exists a time when the Orangemen were underdogs in the lacrosse world. Before 1983, SU had last won a national championship in 1925 (to put that in prospective, F. Scott Fitzgerald published The Great Gatsby that year) and in the 1982 season, the Orangemen had gone 6-4, losing to a pair of Division II teams while missing the tournament completely.
The question burning on everyone’s mind in the basketball universe recently centers around former Syracuse star Carmelo Anthony and current sensation Jeremy Lin. Anthony has been out for the majority of Lin’s amazing run with the New York Knicks—save six or so minutes—and everyone’s wondering what’s going to happen when Anthony returns.
On the one hand, there’s an argument to be made that it’s going to be a pure disaster. The Knicks of the last seven games run a free flowing, motion offense, while Anthony has been one of the biggest isolation players in the league his entire career.
For instance, this season, he’s averaging 32.2 percent of his plays coming from isolations, which leads the league. Last year, he led the league with 37.2. It wouldn’t be a stretch to think that Anthony would get in the way of Lin’s abilities to get to the basket and create opportunities for his teammates.