Friday, October 21, 2011

Run, Forrest

Do you know what movie ranks first on the Top 250? No, it's not "The Godfather" or "Citizen Kane" or "Gone With The Wind."

It's actually "The Shawshank Redemption," which has a score of 9.2 out of 10 and edges out "The Godfather" and "The Godfather Part II" in the top three.

"Shawshank" is a great movie, obviously, though TigerBlog isn't ready to call it the greatest movie of all-time. It's definitely in the Top 50 or maybe even higher, and it certainly has great characters, a great story, great scenes and a nearly perfect ending.

What it doesn't have is the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1994. That honor belongs to "Forrest Gump," a movie that checked in at 28th on the IMDB list.

In fact, at the Academy Awards that year, Tom Hanks won Best Actor, beating out Morgan Freeman from "Shawshank" (who should have been Best Supporting Actor), while Tim Robbins - who played Andy in "Shawshank" - wasn't even nominated.

TigerBlog holds grudges against some movies that won Best Picture over others, such as "Chariots of Fire" over "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Unforgiven" over both "A Few Good Men" and "Scent of A Woman," not to mention the biggest travesty of all, "Shakespeare In Love" over "Saving Private Ryan."

In the case of "Forrest Gump," it beat out two of the top five movies in the IMDB list (which, by the way, is merely a ranking done by people who go to the website), winning Best Picture over "Shawshank" and "Pulp Fiction."

TB likes "Forrest Gump," though he's never quite understood the message. Is it that some things are just destiny and others can be controlled? Is it just supposed to be a nostalgic look at some of the major events of the late 20th century? Is there no message?

"Gump" was on the other night, and TB was switching back and forth between that and another Best Picture winner, "From Here to Eternity," which stunningly isn't in the IMDB Top 250. By any objective view, "From Here To Eternity" is one of the 25 best American movies of all-time.

Flipping back and forth, TB was able to see most of his favorite scenes from both.

The best parts of "Forrest Gump" are the ones in Vietnam, the one where he first becomes a shrimp boat captain and the best one, where he sees Jenny in Washington.

As for "From Here To Eternity," every scene is great, pretty much. If TB had to pick his favorite moments, it'd be anytime Burt Lancaster speaks.

As an aside, Lancaster did not win Best Actor of 1953. Nope, that went to another military role, William Holden's portrayal of Sefton in "Stalag 17." TB is fine with that choice.

Going back to "Gump," it loses TB in the parts where he runs across the country and back and around and over and finally stops. TB has no idea what it's supposed to symbolize, what is means, why it was important to be in the movie in the first place or any of it. He also didn't like it at all.

Really, what was the point of it? This one is completely lost on TigerBlog.

"Gump" ran across the country.

As for Princeton cross country (that's a great segue, even by TB's standards), well, the first really big meet of the year is a little more than a week away, as the Ivy League Heptagonal championships come to Princeton on Oct. 29.

Actually, that's a huge day of events at Princeton, with Heps cross country in the morning followed by football, field hockey and men's and women's soccer against Cornell through the day.

Princeton swept the Heps titles a year ago. The Princeton women have won the last five years, and they are one of the favorites, along with Yale and Columbia.

As for the men, they lost by one point to Columbia two years ago, which is the men's only loss in the last five years. Princeton won convincingly last year.

This year, Princeton will enter the race ranked in the Top 10 nationally, unless the Tigers fall two spots without running a step this weekend.

Princeton is ranked ninth in this week's poll, after having finished fourth last weekend among 21 ranked teams in the meet at Wisconsin. This is Princeton's first trip into the national Top 10 for the men since 1998.

Heps cross country is one of TB's favorite events each year, and he'll miss not heading up to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx this Friday, which and where the meet is usually held. This year, because of construction at Van Cortlandt, it'll be held on Princeton's West Windsor fields before returning to New York next year.

If you've never seen a major cross country race, don't miss the Heps this year. It's a wild scene, as runners move up and down at the end, leaving spectators bewildered as to where the team standings are from second to second.

And the runners certainly give their all, as many collapse after crossing the finish line.

And then there's football, field hockey and two soccer games.

Princeton hasn't had that many home events the last few weeks, but next Saturday will more than make up for it.

Get it circled, and get out there, starting with the men at 11 a.m. and then followed by the women.

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