WBEZ | Kevin Bacon http://www.wbez.org/tags/kevin-bacon Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Bad at sports: Movies that definitely don't got game http://www.wbez.org/blog/alison-cuddy/2012-03-29/bad-sports-movies-definitely-dont-got-game-97727 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-29/AP96112602563.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-29/AP96112602563.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 403px; " title="Bill Murray, Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan in Space Jam. (AP/File)"></p><div class="inset"><div class="insetContent"><p><span style="font-size:10px;">Listen to Alison Cuddy talk sports movies on <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em></span></p><p><span class="filefield_audio_insert_player" href="/sites/default/files/120328 seg b mp3_0.mp3" id="filefield_audio_insert_player-128715" player="null">120328 seg b mp3.mp3</span></p></div></div><p>It's no surprise that sports and movies go together like high tops and hardwood - each relies heavily on story lines involving underdogs, unlikely heroes, falls from grace and second chances (frequently in sudden death overtime situations - so tense!).</p><p>But sorting out the bad from the good sports movies is kind of hard - even the ones I like rarely rise above formula.</p><p>There are exceptions. <em>Goon</em>, which opens in Chicago this weekend, pays homage to (wait for it!) an unlikely hero - the hockey enforcer - and is an odd mix of the angsty interpersonal interests of Judd Apatow and the ultra-violent obsessions of Sam Peckinpah (<em>Straw Dogs</em> meets <em>Knocked Up</em>, on ice?).</p><p>Sports films I admire (and reliably cry over, because what's sports without tears?): <em>Hoop Dreams</em>, <em>North Dallas Forty</em>, <em>Slap Shot</em>, <em>Brian's Song</em>, and <em>Love and Basketball.</em> A good friend's review has me itching to see <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0478337/"><em>Zidane, A 21st-Century Portrait</em></a> - a real-time take on the French footballer over the course of one game, made by a couple of conceptual artists and 17 synchronized cameras.</p><div>What follows (in no particular order) is a list of sports films I love to hate - or at least think are bad enough to merit mention:</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>1. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106611/"><em>Cool Runnings</em></a>. A comedy inspired by the real-life Jamaican bobsled team, whose efforts at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics won the hearts and minds of many. Despite the affable presences of John Candy, Doug E. Doug and Leon Robinson, the ultra-formulaic approach misses an opportunity to tap into the anarchic power of amateur sports. Kind of more disappointing than flat-out bad.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>2. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109067/"><em>The Air Up There</em>.</a> Kevin Bacon tries to recruit a Kenyan talent for his college basketball team and winds up saving the heart of Africa. Really? The white man's burden is no better fit for Bacon than any of the other film roles he tried on through much of the mid-'90s. Racist and just plain ugh!</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>3. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117705/"><em>Space Jam</em></a>. Michael Jordan agrees to help a Looney Tunes crew out! As a Chicago Bulls fan maybe I should be more appreciative of this mash-up of live-action and animated play. But to me this ode to Air Jordan makes the "I'm going to Miami!" infomercial ESPN put together with LeBron James look positively humble brag. There's a reason Derrick Rose declines to dance at the All Stars and I think it's <em>Space Jam</em>.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>4. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079510/"><em>The Main Event</em></a>. Barbara Streisand hopes to recoup her financial misfortunes through the faded talents of boxer Ryan O'Neal. Streisand made this film with both her current boyfriend (Jon Peters) and ex-flame (O'Neal) which may explain why, like Jordan's folly, it's a star vehicle with zero substance. Now if Streisand and Clint Eastwood had collaborated on a boxing flick...</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>5. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0263734/"><em>Men With Brooms</em></a>. A rom-com plot complicates an already little understood and frequently maligned sport: curling. With the late great Leslie Nielsen and Paul Gross, the guy whose TV show <em>Due South</em> brought mounties to Chicago. Which when you think about it seems a far more head scratching scenario than a sport involving rocks, brooms and briars.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Okay, hit me with your best shot - weigh in below with your favorite bad (or good) sports movies!</div></p> Thu, 29 Mar 2012 13:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/alison-cuddy/2012-03-29/bad-sports-movies-definitely-dont-got-game-97727 Daily Rehearsal: Kevin Bacon comes to Chicago http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-08-01/daily-rehearsal-kevin-bacon-comes-chicago-89916 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-August/2011-08-01/20110830bacon.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. <em>Chinglish </em>said goodbye to the city of Chicago</strong></span></span> in a dramatic fashion; Rahm Emanuel saw the show on Friday, and Governor Pat Quinn made an appearance Saturday. It's too bad they didn't plan it so they could sit together for a nice photo op.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-01/20110830bacon.jpg" style="width: 227px; height: 350px; margin: 10px; float: left;" title="The Bacon Brothers"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. Besides being married to <em>The Closer</em></strong></span></span>, and being that dude that everyone knows, Kevin Bacon has a band. With his brother! No this is not high school; The <a href="http://baconbros.com/">Bacon Brothers</a> really are a thing. There probably won't be any acting, but a girl can dream about a some <em>Footloose </em>dance scenes being reenacted, or perhaps a cover of the timeless tune of the same name. You'll have to wait until the end of August to see them and experience their “forosoco” style music ("a blend of folk, rock, soul and country")&nbsp;at the <a href="http://www.paramountaurora.com/20110830bacon.php">Paramount</a>.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. The shadow puppet show<em> Ada/Ava</em></strong></span></span> was one-weekend only, so you missed it, but why don't you just sit down and hear about it for a second, alright? Presented by Manual Cinema, it's the story of twin sisters who are reunited even though one is dead (sounds mystical).&nbsp;Tony Adler <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2011/07/31/last-chance-to-see-adaava-tonight">at the Reader says</a>, "The piece mixes extraordinary technical sophistication—a rich quadraphonic sound design, cinematic transitions—with assertively naive children's-gothic-style storytelling. The combination can get clunky at times, but the overall effect is gentle, lovely, fascinating."</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Tonight is the first Monday of all Monday's in August for <a href="http://www.gorillatango.com/cgi-bin/public/gttv2.cgi?location_number=2&amp;shows=yes"><em>$500 GTT Stand-Up Thing</em></a></strong></span></span> at, you guessed it, the Gorilla Tango. "Do you love voting for things but have no idea what to do with yourself since American Idol is over for the season?" Stop by Gorilla tango, be funny, or vote for people who are funny, and whoever wins the final round will get $500, a hot dog, and a headlining show at GTT. Which prize is worth the most to <em>you</em>? Tonight at 8 pm.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=116690075085159">Hug City</a> has a free show at Racine Plumbing Bar and Grill tonight</strong></span></span>. Hosted by Lauren Vino, it features&nbsp;Marty DeRosa,&nbsp;Aaron Weaver,&nbsp;Ramon Rivas,&nbsp;Jesse Baltes and&nbsp;Sam Mechling. Despite the name, Hug City is more about promoting comedy awareness in Chicago than about just touching a bunch of people physically. They also want to remind you that "This show has a zero tolerance policy for disruptive audience members, that will be enforced in a friendly but firm manner." Hecklers, you've been warned.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Mon, 01 Aug 2011 18:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-08-01/daily-rehearsal-kevin-bacon-comes-chicago-89916