I settled for the highlights of KC’s win over Denver last night rather than watch the NFL Network’s regular season game debut, thusly, I have nothing to add regarding the wit and wisdom of Bryant Gumbel and Cris Collingsworth. Of the circumstances surrounding a Thanksgiving tilt that didn’t take place in Detroit or Dallas, The Feed’s Josh Alpers wrote,

Among those who couldn’t watch the game? Chiefs owner, AFL founder and longtime proponent of Thanksgiving football in the nation’s heartland Lamar Hunt. Forced into the hospital with an illness, Hunt had to listen to the game on the phone while his daughter held it up to a TV that actually carried the NFL Network. Thanks for devoting your life to pro football Lamar now go fuck yourself, love Roger Goodell.

With all due respect to Josh, surely a guy who has more money than God can arrange for a DirectTV hookup in the infirmary. If Tony Soprano is allowed to have a PPV boxing bash while recouperating from a gunshot wound, the Hunt family could’ve sorted something out.

As for me, I’m feeling fine, I’ve got a dish, and I blew off the game in favor of the following cinematic works ;

a) “Down In The Valley” (2005, David Jacobsen)

It’s a funny world we’re stuck in. If I stride to the counter of my local video hut with a DVD featuring Evan Rachel Wood riding Ed Norton’s cock, I’m just an independent film buff. If, however, I were to voice my appreciation for a movie featuring an actual teenage girl getting busy with an adult, I’d be looking forward to a stretch in the stony lonesome.

Anyhow, avoid ‘DITV’ like Jake Plummer’s pubic hair beard. Ed Norton did the schizo act far better in the way more formulatic (and watchable) “Primal Fear”, and if you wanna see David Morse doing the slow-burn-thing, there’s got to be a “St. Elsewhere” box somewhere that’s a better value. If the predictable storyline and phoning-it-in acting weren’t bad enough, Peter Sallet’s soundtrack is abominable, vearing from sub Iron & Wine wispiness to totally obtrusive tremelo bar hysteria. Granted, he’s setting a mood. But it’s the kind of mood that’ll have sane persons looking for the mute button.

2) “United 93” (2006, Peter Greengrass)

I’ll concur with Jay Hinman ; considering we already know how it’s gonna end, that we’ve read the 9/11 report and there’s nothing remotely revelatory left to be told (not in this film, anyway), “United 93” is an amazing achievment. Even by the standards of David Simon and Nick Gomez’ best works for the small screen, “United 93” is incredibly tense and carefully crafted, with an absence of artifice that makes most documentaries look staged by comparison. The combined non-actor / no-name cast are super solid, and if you’re a frequent flyer like yours truly, there’s no way watching this won’t make you want to blow chunks (the ease with which the hijackers pull off their clumsy coup is horrible to contemplate given that airport security is no more consistent or efficient now than it was 5 years ago).

I have one tiny gripe with Greengrass’ opus : I was assured by the man at the video shoppe that during the most desperate moments of “United 93”, Wesley Snipes would turn to the lead hijacker and say “Always bet on black.” And then he’d kick ass and save the day.

I’ve replayed the final 30 minutes twice. Where the fuck is Wesley?

Under normal circumstances, I’d ask for a refund. But the other video store in my ‘hood doesn’t stock films featuring Evan Rachel Wood riding Ed Norton’s cock, so I’m inclined to let it slide.