Monday, November 28, 2016

Cool World

It's astonishing how bad 1992's COOL WORLD, the first effort in several years from Ralph Bakshi, really is.  I somehow sat through the film twice in theaters during its original run.  I realize I was less discerning in those years but, gee...How deflating it was to see an innovative, rule breaking director, willingly or otherwise, compromise his vision to studio standards.  Though how Paramount deemed this fit fit for release is another mystery.  Bakshi intended for this to be a patently adult, R-rated feature, but had his script hijacked by the studio and rewritten.  The resulting PG-13 movie exists in some nether world.  Not a kid's picture but too silly to be mistaken for a companion piece to Bakshi's earlier work.  A sleazy, low rent live action/animation hybrid that plays like WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT's degenerate cousin.

This is some strange movie. So many random moments, ostensibly intended to display the eccentricities of the citizens or "doodles" of a place called Cool World, created by cartoonist Jack Deebs (Gabriel Byrne, likely wondering what the hell he's doing in this movie) for a comic book series.  Lots of characters off in the margins and sometimes in the foreground doing odd things.  I read that Bakshi instructed his animation team to draw whatever they wanted and try to make it funny; they had no script from which to work, or even draw inspiration.  This sort of anarchy could've been successful, but here just feels like a mad pastiche that exists only to be flashy and vulgar. A good example: a chase scene that climaxes with a doodle urinating on the vehicle for no discernable reason.  Anyone?

Deebs, about to conclude a stretch in prison,  is enticed by his sexpot creation Hollie Wood, a trouble making blonde siren, to join him in Cool World.  A human already travels in this violent cartoon landscape - Frank (Brad Pitt), a police officer who was accidentally summoned there decades earlier by a daffy scientist called Dr. Whiskers. Never mind the details.  Hollie has an agenda: to become human and join the real world, where "noids" live.  For this to happen, Deebs and Hollie must have intercourse in Cool World.

Soon after, the three main characters are shuffling between the lands of the doodles and noids, their presence threatening to destroy both.  Kim Basinger plays the human Hollie and voices her drawn namesake, neither very effectively.  She does look great.  I also read that the actress wanted COOL WORLD to be the sort of film she could screen "for sick children in hospitals".  Evidently, Kim was not familiar with the Bakshi filmography.  All of this behind the scenes disagreement resulted in a very confused, disjointed movie. I liked the idea that Cool World actually existed long before Deebs dreamed it up.  There's plenty of food for thought with that idea alone, though here any development of it is stymied.   The director has mined the themes behind COOL WORLD before, namely in 1973's HEAVY TRAFFIC, a crude but potent film.  You're far better off watching that one.

But there are a few reasons to see COOL WORLD, if you can suffer the odious elements:

1. The animation looks great.
2. The early parts of the film, including the live action opening, are not bad.
3. The soundtrack, with wickedly danceable tracks by Ministry, Future Sound of London, Thompson Twins, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, and many others.  I still have the compact disc.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Can't. Wait.

"See you in twenty-five years" Laura Palmer said to Agent Dale Cooper in the Black Lodge during the series finale of David Lynch's Twin Peaks back in 1991.  And so it will come to pass.  We'll learn if Cooper is still Cooper/Bob.  What happened when Nadine got her memory back.  What happened to Audrey after the explosion in the bank.  And how in the heck Trent Reznor and Eddie Vedder fit into this universe.

To say that that anticipation and expectations are high for Showtime's reboot (due in 2017), well...

See you soon, Dale.

Monday, November 21, 2016

All About Eve

If the dialogue's the thing, 1950's ALL ABOUT EVE is easily one of the best films in the history of the medium. We can all quote great lines from films of every era, from the dawn of the talkies through the latest knucklehead comedy du jour, but few are as acidicly witty as director Joseph L. Mankiewicz's near nonstop gems as spoken by his divine cast:

1. Bette Davis as aging Broadway star Margo Channing.  At age forty Davis herself was at a career crossroads after a series of not so well received films. ALL ABOUT EVE gave her a role she was perhaps born to play - a worldy, cynical, downright bitchy celebrated leading lady who harbors deep seated insecurities despite a teflon veneer.  Much of the Davis persona is embodied in Margo, from the husky voice used to spout off those great lines to the near micro facial expressions and confident body language.  Watch her motions in a living room scene with....

2. Gary Merrill as Bill Sampson, Margo's stage director and younger love interest.  Merrill holds his own/plays off nicely against his costar.  Their heated debates are as electric in execution as they are erudite.

3. Hugh Marlowe as writer Lloyd Richards, a volatile personality with a (fragile?) ego to match.  There's plenty of quiet smoldering in some scenes, fire in others. Marlowe is a perfect vehicle through which Mankiewicz  makes points about writing vs. acting, as to which is ultimately what makes a play (or movie) great.  The writer may often be considered a mere carpenter in Hollywood, but in the theater world he is a god among mere mortals.  This would not include many actors.

4. Celeste Holm plays Lloyd's wife, Karen, not among the temperamental thespians in their creative yet vital in manners beyond mere matrimony and friendship.  Margo, Gary, Hugh, and Karen are a close knit group of caustics who make sport of those less sophisticated than themselves.  One night Karen happens upon such an individual....

5. Anne Baxter as the titular Eve.  A soft spoken, humble young woman found outside in the shadows of the theater where Margo performs nightly.  Eve claims she's seen every single performance.  Soon she's chatting with the inner circle, then playing her assistant.  Eve is smart and thorough, but also quite obsequieous and sycophantic.  Is she plotting to dethrone Queen Margo as darling of the Great White Way?

6. Thelma Ritter is Birdie, Margo's sharp tongued maid, who sees right through Eve's faux nicieties from the start.

and..

7. George Sanders as critic Addison DeWitt, whose every word reveals a steel trap brain and frozen core.  His opening narration is positively stellar.  Your inner snob (should you indeed house one) will positively rejoice.

How Eve slithers her way to the top is classic backbiting, seized opportunities, attempted seductions. Baxter is a revelation.... But Eve's past and her torrent of lies may catch up with her, leading to a rather tricky alliance with DeWitt.

But don't let me spoil it.  Find your own way to that lengthy finale, a revealing "passing of the baton" that perfectly caps the scheming ways of Ms. Eve Harrington.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Manhunter

Have you ever seen blood in the moonlight, Will?  It appears quite black.
 
1986's MANHUNTER is a curiously obscure movie, despite it being an adaptation of the Thomas Harris novel The Red Dragon and being directed by Michael Mann.  If you are familiar with either talent's work you might find this collaboration a bit unlikely, and indeed Mann's Miami Vice like handling of the story that would launch more films (including SILENCE OF THE LAMBS) and a television series often comes off as a hyper stylized relic of the 1980s, but nonetheless an involving and fascinating few hours.

William Petersen, currently well known to audiences of CSI, plays Will Graham, a Federal agent forced into retirement after a mental breakdown.  Graham was brutally attacked by one Dr. Hannibal Lecktor (Brian Cox) before apprehending him. When his old FBI boss Jack (Dennis Farina) shows up seeking his help to catch another serial murderer - a sickie known as "The Tooth Fairy" as he leaves bite marks on his victims - he's far from interested or tempted.  But a man who delves into the minds of his adversaries isn't so easily out of the game.  Once a profiler....

MANHUNTER follows Graham at bloody crime scenes, talking aloud, bit by bit trying to recreate the steps of the crime.  No detail is too small.  There are visits to Lecktor's cell, the expected clever wordplay of the insane criminal who is of course smarter than everyone else.  Cox is arguably the best actor to have played this character, with apologies to Sir Anthony Hopkins.  Cox's entirely natural, confident, and non-hammy performance is all the more menacing because he is so laid back, so cunning without being theatrical. He seems to be unconcerned with notions of good and evil.  When Graham seeks his assistance in tracking the Tooth Fairy, he quickly recalls why he retired.  Having Lecktor in one's head is the blackest of nights, indeed.  A condition that alienated Graham from his young son and wife for a lengthy stretch.

Mann frames the story moodily, often bathing entire rooms (and characters) in in a single color or composing long shots that resemble paintings.   Lots of experimentation with focus and editing.   He is especially fond of two shots from a distance.  It may apt, as we are usually kept at more than arm's length from the characters, even though Mann attempts to make them human and emotional.  Lecktor is given some interesting bits of business, such as his posture during a phone call with Graham; he lies on his back with his feet up on the wall as if he were a teenage girl chatting with a friend about cute guys.  I would've liked more scenes with him. 

MANHUNTER has become something of a cult favorite, with its gritty yet meticulously composed style in a very distinctive '80s sort of way.  Another such film would be TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A., also starring Petersen.  MANHUNTER is a mostly impressive motion picture, with good performances, especially by Tom Noonan as the killer and an early role for Joan Allen as a blind photography lab worker with whom he falls in love.  Their scene with a tranquilized tiger is quite interesting and revealing as it invokes William Blake poetry.  Kim Greist, as Graham's wife Molly does not fare nearly as well, given little to do and appearing as if reading her lines off cue cards.

The use of music in MANHUNTER is another debit, not at all a "suture into the diagetic world" as it's been described.  The Reds' songs are prototypical '80s cheese, undermining the film's mood at every turn.  One tune is also awkwardly timed and unintentionally funny during the final minutes.  As for Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" use during the climax - it's a suitably disturbing tune but also just doesn't quite work.  I would also have not had someone jump through a window during that scene, but that's just me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Parallax View

SPOILERS


The Commission, a Congressional special committee, submits its report after months of research and hearings: the latest political assassination was committed by someone who was clearly sociopathic, obsessive.  The sort of individual the Parallax organization will recruit to eliminate senators whose views are deemed too....radical? Is Parallax a right-wing militia of sorts?

1974's THE PARALLAX VIEW does not make that clear, and it suits the cloaked, clandestine nature of the film itself.  It is a movie that exists in shadows and darkness.  You might say that master cinematographer Gordon Willis is the true star of this picture, with his use of long lenses and shallow focus and framing of  events behind curtains and in barely lit spaces. The lighting gives everything, even in broad daylight, a uniquely frightening sheen.  Anamorphic photography at its finest.

Warren Beatty plays Joe Frady, a newspaper reporter who begins to investigate after his former colleague/ lover turns up dead and a series of leads begin to point to said Organization.   Lee (Paula Prentiss) was a T.V. reporter who was there the day the senator was killed by a waiter at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle.  She tries to convince Frady that someone is trying to kill her.  Her paranoia is fueled by the deaths of four (or is it six?) others who had also been there when the Senator got it.  Didn't several of the bystanders at JFK's assassination site mysteriously die, too?

Frady, also previously in attendance at the Space Needle, brushes Lee off, thinks she's delusional.  One scene later, in a superb use of film editing, she's on the slab at the morgue.  Drug overdose, the police report reads.  Frady sniffs around a small town, where the local sheriff tries to plug him. Why? Frady will search the sheriff's house and find documents about Parallax, an agency that is in the business of hiring assassins.

More people turn up dead.  People who knew people.  Not just key people.  There are more attempts on Senators' lives.  Some are successful. Was there a second gunman?  Frady tries to learn more about Parallax by applying under a false identity.  At their headquarters, he will attend a "test", a rapid fire slide show that juxtaposes positive and negative imagery (and sometimes the same image changes connotation), set to patriotic music.  This sequence, by the way, is one of the most effective uses of stills I've ever seen.  Absolutely chilling.

And that's the best word for director Alan J. Paula's film, part two of his "conspiracy" trilogy (along with KLUTE and ALL THE PRESIDENTS' MEN) in the '70s. Everything contributes to an entirely forboding atmosphere, a feeling of hopelessness and distrust.  Perhaps the way many Americans were feeling after the ravages of the previous decade.  The '70s were, for many, like a wicked hangover from the '60s.  While the screenplay by David Giler and Lorenzo Semple, Jr. sometimes detours into silliness (bar fight, car chase) and has some fairly large plot holes (How did Frady escape from that exploding boat? How did he know that he had enough time before that bomb detonated on the airplane?), it is still a solid exercise in fear and loathing.  It may be even more reflective of American society (and beyond) today than ever before.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Darker

Learning of Leonard Cohen's passing this week indeed made a dark week that much darker, bleaker.  I was just beginning to dive into my recently acquired Blu-ray of MCCABE & MRS. MILLER (review forthcoming, of course) when I read the news on Facebook.  It was posted by a friend who is likewise a huge fan of this matchless arbiter of emotion through words and music.  MCCABE has three of Cohen's songs - "The Stranger Song", "Winter Lady", and "Sisters of Mercy", all of which contribute immensely to the mood of the film.

I had heard his best known contribution "Hallelujah", a song that apparently took years to compose (the artist agonized over his work), many, many times over the years.  Those who are only familiar with that one have their work cut out for them, and it would be time very well spent.  The Cohen catalogue encompasses tunes about women, politics, spirituality.  Of the latter, Cohen was quite a devout Buddhist, but many found his lyrics applicable to their own faiths.  There is a reference to Scientology ("Did you ever go clear?") in the 1971 song "Famous Blue Raincoat", still one of the loneliest songs I ever have heard, and still one of my favorites.

Spending time with Leonard Cohen is always a welcome respite from and an acknowledgement of a dark and increasingly despairing world.    We'll miss you and your beautifully raspy voice, old friend.




Friday, November 11, 2016

Decision '16

My disbelief was thick and my stomach sour in the wee hours of Wednesday, November 9th, 2016.  An event as unlikely as anything I could imagine - Donald J. Trump won the Presidency of the United States of America.  This vulgarian, not so long ago a mere punchline, was now just weeks away from assuming the most powerful seat in the world.  This incoherent, sexist, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, and every other pejorative adjective you could muster was now to become the 45th President.  His mug would join the faces of many great Commanders in Chief of the past.  Awesomely unworthy.  Even to sit with Millard Fillmore.

I had trouble falling asleep on Election Night/morning.  I was worried and yes, scared.  Doomsday scenarios, once musings, now seemed more likely.  Quite (I hope) irrational thoughts.  I came back to Earth, comforted in the knowledge of checks and balances.  That DJT would be surrounded with individuals who actually understand domestic and geopolitics.  Who would be able to be the proverbial duct tape over that crude, no filter maw of his.

But I recalled, and was reminded of via news clips, that Donald Trump wants to "make America great" by returning to policies in place as early as the 1950s, the so-called "good old days".  Good old days for white folk.  Hey, many of the votes for Trump came from rural areas, from individuals who felt left behind in the wake of social and technological progress.  Some you might rightly call, Luddites.  I can sympathize with them to a point, but mankind is not meant to be stagnant.  While some so-called advances merely bring more problems, many more lead us closer to solving centuries old maladies.  Many in the medical realm.

Yes, I understand that "playing God" is a concern.  Another time. And there is an entire essay to compose regarding technology, how working "smarter, not harder" has its drawbacks, but that's also for another time.

Social.  How were things for people of color and non-heterosexuals back in the day? I needn't tell you.  As a Christian it continues to baffle and sadden me how my brethren seek to deny them of basic rights.  Why are evangelicals so obsessed with homosexuality? Do they really believe they are some sort of threat? Threat to the nuclear family? A possibility that the species will no longer be propagated?  I've yet to read a compelling answer to these inquiries.  Most are a theological stew that will be especially meaningless to those who don't subscribe to the same G(g)od.

This nation is filled with many different belief systems - no one faith should dictate the law of the land, no matter how strongly we believe we are "right".  Separation of church and state - a good thing.  These views will put me at odds with many Bible believing/quoting Christians.

Then there's the continuing abortion debate.  The "pro-lfe" movement.  "Pro birth" is more accurate for many.  "Pro life" should include advocacy for adoption agencies, safe houses for pregnant women, on and on.  And as far as the "black robes matter" argument? Meaning that a Republican president would actually take steps to appoint conservative leaning Supreme Court Justices? I'll quote an old friend who is an attorney and a devout believer:


They are NOT likely to overturn Roe v. Wade. A conservative court had its chance in the 1990s, and it chose not to.  Look at how Roberts voted on the health care act.  He got into it with the conservatives on that one and he went the other direction. An appointment by a president of a particular background does not guarantee a voting record. Justices have proven that time and time again. Besides, the Court does not like to overturn itself. If it has not overturned it by now (with Scalia, Renquist, and Thomas on board in the 90s), it is not going to, plain and simple. The Court is not stupid. They know the social upheaval that would come from that. The conservatives will always posture opposition in the dissents, but they are not going to overturn it. Frankly, I am sick of the propaganda that is spewed about this to create single-issue voting in women because that's exactly what all this talk about the justices is.


Amen.  She states it better than I ever could.

Facebook exploded, quite predictably, the day after the election.  I have a very diverse group of friends and the juxtapositions of postings were more startling than usual.  There were hateful, gloating conservative rants and memes.  There were more level headed calls for peace and respect.  Then there was this from one of my militant left-wing, atheist friends:

Fuck all these unity sentiments of peace and love; it's time to fight fire with fire, play hardball!
An eye for a goddamned eye! Grow some balls, dig in your heels, obstruct the fuck out of this Clownface Von Fuckstick presidency, vote Rethuglicans out of office in the midterm elections, dig up the dirt on Trump's taxes, shady dealings with Russia, whatever it takes, and impeach the shit out of him!

I read that with some degree of pity, but also with sadness and my own anger.  It disturbed me that part of me was in agreement with this bileThe party of espoused tolerance and love cannot act like this.  I wonder how this individual would respond to the Bible verse about a time to love and a time to hate?

I understand the massive protests.  I understand the frustration.   Conservatives wonder why there were no such actions when Obama was elected.  Trump is quite extraordinary in his offensiveness, lack of experience, etc.  It's like the Devil himself assumed human form, in their eyes.  Protest, assemble (The Constitution gives you that right), but don't incite violence.  Don't block the roadways of those trying to go to work, or get home to their families. Please.


For now, I await cautiously.  I suspect Trump will be great for bankers and not exactly the white knight for those with little education and skills.  I hope I'm wrong.  I could lament the death of a possibility for a single payor health care system (that died when Bernie Sanders lost to Hillary Clinton).  I can and will pray for those non-white, non-straight, non-Christians among us.  I will call upon my Lord to change my "Fuck you!" to "God be with you" to our new President-elect.

And I will do that without chastising or excluding my brothers and sisters who do not share my spiritual beliefs. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Wild in the Streets

SPOILERS!


Youth is not only wasted on the young, it's become a disease! With luck and health it is a disease from which you will all recover!

How to take 1968's WILD IN THE STREETS?  Right-on satire or campy counter-cultural embarrassment? For me, the argument leans toward the former.  It quite effectively (sometimes savagely) lampoons both sides of the political divide, ever widening.  It does have thoughts in its head, despite what appears to be an attempt to be flashy and raucous.

The movie has the requisite jump cut sequences of sex and drug use and many of the things you'd expect to see in a low budget film from this era aimed at young people.   But Robert Thom's screenplay, based on his novella, mines some truthfully observant moments amidst a crazy plot involving a rock star named Max Frost (Christopher Jones) who becomes President of the U.S.A. and lowers the voting age to fourteen.  This revolutionary (demented?) idea brews in his head long before he gets to the Oval Office; he and his band The Troopers sing the anthem "14 or Fight" at a rally for Senate candidate Johnny Fergus (Hal Holbrook) months earlier.

The road to the White House is a wild one, maan.  Max is frustrated by his square parents and a sheltered life in suburbia.  As he leaves home, he blows up the family car.  This kid is headed for big things, clearly.

L.A.  Big mansion, swimming pool.  He and his band (which includes Richard Pryor as Stanley X, the drummer) all room together.  Living the dream.  When Max sees Fergus on T.V. he believes perhaps a ray of hope in the Establishment does exist.  After the big concert, it's clear that Max wants to take the would-be senator's progressive ideas much further.  Demonstrations break out from coast to coast. Fergus wins the Senate, but Frost and co. decide they'd like to get into politics. Compromise had been made to get the voting age down to fifteen.  The Troopers' keyboardist Sally (Diane Varsi) is voted into Congress by her newly minted young constituents.  "14 or Fight" is back on, baby.

Fergus' eldest son Jimmy (Michael Margotta) joins The Troopers and their cause.  When dad asks him to come home, he explains why he can't, how he equates it to rallying with the Man and his prejudices.  "I don't see a Negro anymore.  I see a man who started his tan sooner than I did."

Max finds, quite amusingly, that he has to run as a Republican to win the Presidency; the Democrats are old and not with it at all.  With a wealth of young voters, Max easily wins.  There will be an assassination attempt.  Thirty becomes the mandatory age for retirement ("30 is death!").  Those thirty-five and older are placed in "re-education" camps and fed LSD to make 'em understand, you dig?

WILD IN THE STREETS follows its ideas right to the end, and while the outcome is entirely logical, I found its development a bit disappointing.  Thom has the right idea but the final scenes are a bit thin.  Perhaps he and director Barry Shear - who contributes many highly cinematic moments throughout the picture - should've come up with a more satisfactory conclusion.  Youth may in fact be the disease that may ultimately lead to society's demise, and "God the father cannot be replaced by God the eternal juvenile son."  Does that line reveal the filmmaker's thoughts on the subject? Is that why Phil Ochs rejected an offer to play Max?

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Accountant

Some reviews have described the recent release THE ACCOUNTANT as a cross pollination of the BOURNE movies and RAIN MAN, which is a fair assessment.  Beforehand, I was not encouraged by this description as for all of its qualities I found RAIN MAN to be a highly overrated drama, a lost entry for a series of reviews I did here some years back.   Stories about autistic individuals always run the risk of being exploitative or unintentionally funny.  I have worked with numerous patients in the spectrum and can tell you firsthand their low moments are far from laugh worthy.  Add to this visions of a main character opening up a can of whoop ass on some bad guys and you have the makings of a potential camp fest.

Bill Dubuque's script mostly avoids becoming some sort of grotesque extravaganza, like when autistic children act up on daytime talk shows and are showcased as if some circus act.   The character of Christian Wolff is shown as a special needs child who does act out, sometimes violently, when he is unable to complete a task.  Or his routine is interrupted.  As an adult, Christian works as a forensic accountant tracking the "cooked books" of numerous international criminals.  By this time, Wolff has also built up an impressive set of tactical skills, the result of his time in the military and a martinet of a father who subjected the boy (and his brother) at a young age to intense training in Indonesian martial arts.  These skills will come in handy, for example, when revenge against the Gambino crime family will prove necessary.

Cristian is shown ritualistically torturing himself with a wooden rod while strobe lights and speed metal dominate his bedroom. Also, muttering nursery rhymes during key moments.  This sounds a bit showy and cliche, but somehow rather helps us understand the young man's private hell even better. 

Ben Affleck drains himself of his usual onscreen charm and smirk as he plays the titular hero, believable at every turn, whether puzzling out a company's spreadsheets during an all-night marathon or taking down an assortment of armed goons as he protects that company's junior accountant (Anna Kendrick) who's uncovered a major discrepancy on the books.  Kendrick is likeable as Dana and while it seems she will become a love interest, Dubuque's script thankfully refuses to cave in to such Hollywoodisms.

THE ACCOUNTANT does adhere to Screenwriting 101 rules, the most obvious of which is the old "If you introduce a gun in the first act, you gotta shoot somebody in the third".  Here, it is the repeated presence of Christian's brother in the childhood flashback scenes.  You just know he will show up again, and it shouldn't take you too long to figure out who he is.   Another: Wolff  for the first time fails to park his truck precisely in a garage when things start going badly.  It reminded me of that wildly silly moment in THE COOLER (in sort of a reverse way) when the main character, who usually only gets drips of milk for his coffee from his regular waitress' creamer, gets a generous pouring of the stuff when Lady luck is shining upon him.  Things like that make me crazy.

Director Gavin O'Connor stages strong action sequences and quieter character moments with equal adeptness.  A door has been left open for a sequel but I hope all is left alone.  The delivery to Dana's apartment at the close of THE ACCOUNTANT is really the perfect coda to her relationship with Christian, and for the film itself.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Curse is Over

I waited twenty-seven years for this.  The Cubs? One-hundred and eight.  I had a feeling Game 7 of the 2016 World Series would be a close nail biter, but this truly earned the "historic" moniker. When the Cleveland Indians answered in the eighth inning to tie the score 6-6, I joined legions of Cub fans around the world in their anxiety, thoughts of goats.  Answerless Inning Nine.  Then, a rain delay! Sleep deprivation was on my mind but nothing short of a NyQuil highball would keep me from watching to the end.

Switch hitter Ben Zobrist sealed the deal.  The thirty-five year old hit a double inside third base to bring in Albert Almora for the ultimate 8-7 victory.  Ben would also win a very well deserved MVP award.

So much to say about this win.  So tired right now.  Full day of work ahead.  For now, FLY THE W!!!!!

I hope Harry Caray and Neil Rogers are celebrating somewhere! CUBS WIN!!!