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HBT Weekend Wrap

May 20, 2013, 8:23 AM EDT

Great Gatsby

I saw “The Great Gatsby” yesterday. Gatsby is my favorite novel of all time. The movie was not the book and if your basis for slamming it is that it’s not the book, well, your standards and expectations probably need to be checked. Deciding beforehand that I’d not make my judgment of it dependent upon how it stands up to the book, I ended up having a nice time and enjoying the movie on its own terms. Those terms: “Hi, I’m a movie with not a ton of weight or importance, but I will be entertaining and you will leave realizing you could have spent the past couple of hours doing far worse things.” I can accept that. And it was way more entertaining than the Robert Redford version, which was snooze city.

Oh, and it might have helped that I saw it at a theater with a full bar and had Manhattans during the movie. But still, I think the thing woulda stood up on its own, not-too-weighty terms just fine without the drinks.

Other things that happened this weekend:


Next up: the Star Trek movie. Which I’m guessing I’ll be way more fanboyish and far less clear-eyed about.

  1. heyblueyoustink - May 20, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    ” He tasks me! He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him round the Moons of Nibia, and round the Antares Maelstrom, and round Perdition’s flames before I give him up! Prepare to alter course!”

  2. polonelmeagrejr - May 20, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    Craig – If gatsby’s your favorite book then you have a whole world of literature to experience. Always felt Gatsby was over rated. I can’t imagine the new movie is any worse than the leaden rendition starring Robert Redford. If I lived in a world where Journey to the ENd of the Night was a sportswriter’s favorite book I’d feel better.

    • heyblueyoustink - May 20, 2013 at 9:05 AM

      “Craig – If gatsby’s your favorite book then you have a whole world of literature to experience. Always felt Gatsby was over rated.”

      It’s like the Kim Kardashian of “literary masterpieces”.

      • historiophiliac - May 20, 2013 at 9:17 AM

        Meow. At least the polonel offered an alternative.

      • unclemosesgreen - May 20, 2013 at 9:21 AM

        I don’t think any aspect of Kim Kardashian is overrated – she’s pretty much been thoroughly dissected and overanalyzed. It’s not possible to overrate her physical beauty, and I find it likely that her intellect and business acumen are underrated.

        I’m sorry, what were we talking about?

      • heyblueyoustink - May 20, 2013 at 9:22 AM

        “Don Juan”…… The Lord Byron version, of course.

        My favorite baseball related yarn though, “Blockade Billy”.

      • heyblueyoustink - May 20, 2013 at 9:26 AM

        ” and I find it likely that her intellect and business acumen are underrated. ”

        Her and Paris Hilton, I would hire their agents in a nanosecond. As far as they go and their percieved stardom, in the beginning…….

      • historiophiliac - May 20, 2013 at 9:27 AM

        Urrr, snob.

      • heyblueyoustink - May 20, 2013 at 9:53 AM

        Snob? C’mon now, Byron was the essential every day person, and that piece is hilarious by any standards. Satire at it’s best.

        ” Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.”

      • historiophiliac - May 20, 2013 at 10:08 AM

        I’m just impressed you can read, Phan. I mean, besides cave drawings.

    • indaburg - May 20, 2013 at 11:34 AM

      It’s personal preference. Who are you to say Gatsby is overrated? I may or may not agree with your opinion on the book. At the same time, I lack the audicity or arrogance to tell someone else what their literary tastes should be.

      • historiophiliac - May 20, 2013 at 11:54 AM

        What’s yours?

      • indaburg - May 20, 2013 at 12:50 PM

        My favorite? It’s not really relevant. I also don’t know if I could pick just one. There are so many books I’ve loved. It’s like picking a favorite child. I guess some parents can but I am not I one of them. I could pick one that make me sound learned and deep. I could pick some self indulgent claptrap. The bottom line is that some of my favorite books remain those that I read when I was younger. Books like Huck Finn, A Wrinkle in Time, The Hobbit, and when I was a little older, The Story of O. Books that introduced me to new worlds, that I could read over and over, each time finding something new. I also have a soft spot for Oscar Wilde because I like things that make me laugh and think. You?

      • historiophiliac - May 20, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        Yeah, I couldn’t pick just one either (and it also fluctuates with age and interests). When I was 18 it easily would’ve been You Can’t Go Home Again, but then I got into basically all of the Southern Renaissance writers and the Lanny Budd novels, which are fun. I love Sinclair Lewis’s works too…and Somerset Maugham. Not surprisingly, I read a lot of old stuff. I always thought it was telling that my favorite book as a kid was the Count of Monte Cristo and my ex’s was the Secret Garden. lol I love Fitzgerald’s and Hemingway’s short stories much more than their novels.

      • indaburg - May 20, 2013 at 3:28 PM

        lol At least your ex reads.

      • professormaddog31 - May 20, 2013 at 12:01 PM

        Count me among those who also have Gatsby as a favorite novel. Although, I wouldn’t say it is my favorite ever, as I don’t have one specific favorite novel. I find that as I evolve as a human being, my understanding of the world around me and what pleases me on a personal level also evolves.

        For example, when I was about 15, Gatsby was my end-all and be-all of literature. And then when I turned 17, I discovered A Prayer for Owen Meany. Who is to say one is better than another? No one. A novel is much like a favorite baseball player – there’s something indescribable as to why that person or work of fiction touches your soul. No one is wrong to love Gatsby just as no one is wrong to say that their favorite player is some sadsack outfielder or something. It’s all personal and relative.


      • indaburg - May 20, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        Exactly, professor. It is as individual as who your favorite ball player is. Just a few days ago, I was asked by a Rays loving patient of mine who my favorite Ray was. I said if you ask me who is the most talented, it is Evan Longoria, in my opinion. Evan though isn’t close to my favorite. He’s a tad too cocky for my taste. My favorite is Sam Fuld, the sad sack outfielder you described. He’s a diabetic nebbish 5’9″ (if standing on tip-toe) guy from NH who majored in economics at Stanford. He has no business being on a baseball field. He should be one of the nerds calculating the numbers who determines who should be playing on the field. Yet, there he is playing. He can’t hit much, but he can run fast and boy, can he make some exciting catches. On a team of underdogs, he is the ultimate underdog. Who is to say my choice is bad? It’s my taste.

        Who is your favorite current player?

      • professormaddog31 - May 20, 2013 at 3:20 PM

        Actually, Sam Fuld is awesome. I love how much heart he has. (But my tastes in all things run toward nerds, so…)

        My favorite current player – hmm. I always have a pitcher that I follow, and then one everyday player. For the everyday player it’s Freddie Freeman. It’s hard not to love that big galoot, with his derpy face and glasses and hugging everyone and everything. I just like watching him play, he has an infectious joy.

        For pitchers, it’s Derek Holland. He’s the cause of a lot of heartburn for me. When he’s on, he’s brilliant, and when he’s not he’s a giant piece of crap.

        And in teams that I don’t follow but like the guy anyway, just ’cause, it’s Ben Zobrist. I have no idea why.

      • stex52 - May 20, 2013 at 12:49 PM

        I will slide by Inda’s basic point about dictating tastes and say that any list that restricted me to fewer than a minimum of ten novels would be merely taking a snapshot of my thoughts at that moment. It’s a huge genre. I couldn’t narrow it to fewer than a dozen or so that were highly significant to me.

  3. number42is1 - May 20, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    Craig – I am little surprised that you and your team missed this one.

    Sorry i am too lazy to summarize it this early in the morning.

    • El Bravo - May 20, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      I knew there was a good reason I turned the channel after watching him hit that dinger…

  4. obpedmypants - May 20, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    We don’t have many certainties in life: death, taxes, and whenever there’s a Hardball Talk post that has little to nothing to do with baseball, Craig is the author. The Atlantic and Times be damned, HBT is my prime source of movie and literature reviews.

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 20, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      There are links to over a dozen separate baseball stories in this post. Sorry the short bit at the beginning upset you so much.

  5. storebrandcookies - May 20, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    Ah yes, “The Great Gatsby”.. My favorite novel as well and sadly the only novel I ever finished in high school.

  6. sheriffpeyton18 - May 20, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    Craig. Where did you see a movie that has a full bar??? Interesting!

    • contraryguy - May 20, 2013 at 2:45 PM

      Sounds like the Arena Grand downtown. Great place to watch a big-screen action flick, kinda overkill for a movie like this though… oh wait, did you watch this thing in 3D?

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