Monday, June 27, 2011

The New Hawaii Five-0

By Keith Antigiovanni

CBS' new Hawaii Five-O premiered on September 20, 2010 over 40 years after the original Hawaii 5-0 premiered on September 20, 1968.

I was curious to see how well the producers would keep the show in its' original format and was surprised that they had most of the details correct. To make a quantifable comparison I would give a point for every detail that was similiar to the original series.

First the remake gets four points for getting the name of the characters correct (McGarrett, Williams, Chin Ho and Kono). Another three points for getting the same sex (McGarrett, Williams and Chin Ho) and another three for the same race as the original characters (McGarrett, Williams and Chin Ho). McGarrett's original Black Sedan is missing (-1 point) but he still drives a vehicle (1 pt) and they have the same office as in the original, Iolani Palace (1 point).

Another point for having the character of the Governor, a (-1) point for casting a female (Jean Smart) but two more points for 1) givine the governor the same name (Jameson) as the original and another for making sure 5-0 reports directly to the Governor.

They did not receive a point for the sex and race of the Kono character since the original Kono was a Hawaiin male while the current Kono is an Asian female. Although I would like to give a bonus point because the female Kono is quite beautiful but she does not bring the humor and physicality that the original Kono (played by Hawaiin character actor Zulu) brought to his role.

The actors who play Steve McGarrett and Danny Williams have the right look (McGarrett- tall, dark haired, Williams-short, blonde-haired) but the personalities appear to have been switched.

The original McGarrett was played by the unforgettable Jack Lord whose presence could dominate every scene. The new McGarrett played by Alex O'Loughlin does not have the fiery personality of Jack Lord nor his domineering presence but does have the handsome features.

Another feature that is lacking from O'Loughlin is his lack of polish as the chief of Hawaii's State Police. How can one forget Jack Lord in his black and blue suits, clean cut appearance and perfect hair? O'Loughlin comes across as quite ordinary with his casual wardrobe, Don Johnson-like stubble and short cropped non-descript hairstyle.

Enough about McGarrett. The actor that has been most impressive after the first season is James Caan's son Scott Caan who plays Danny Williams. Caan brings an impressive swagger to his role which is reminiscient of the late Jack Lord in contrast to O'Loughlin's quiet performance.

Unfortunately Caan is also lacking the polish of his predecessor James MacArthur with his stubble, and hybrid-casual/formal appearance.

Another mistake is the chemistry between the two stars. In the original TV series McGarrett and Williams were very much like Batman and Robin without the "camp". McGarrett was older and served as Danny's mentor while MacArthur's Danny had a strong enough personality to challenge Lord's McGarrett when necessary.

In the 1968 series Danny would never think about antagonizing McGarrett because A) he had too much respect for him and B) he had a fear of his superior and knew when not to push.

The 2010 version is completely off in this respect. Danny comes across as a rude, boorish East Coast transplant who hates Hawaii and will openly taunt his boss while McGarrett seems to be timid and lost for words most of the time during their frequent exchanges. The dialogue is more suited to a Starsky and Hutch or Car 54 remake than Hawaii 5-0.

The new Chin Ho Kelly played by Daniel Dae Kim is interesting since the writers gave him a backstory from an original 5-0 series episode when Chin was accused of taking bribes to support his huge family. Chin was eventually cleared by McGarrett and the boys. Kim's Chin is considered a pariah by the HPD (Honolulu Police Department) for taking bribes except in this case it is unclear whether he had actually taken the bribes or not.

As previously written the new Kono (Grace Park) looks nothing like Zulu. She is a beautiful young Asian female who looks a modern day Charlie's Angel. The two actors are so different that it is impossible to compare but the producers get a negative for not casting a Hawaiin male in the role.

Next is the opening theme. Again the producers get a point for getting the right theme and the right images to match the theme. Both are updated versions of the original but neither create the excitement or beauty of the original series.

If you are the producer and you have a new version of an old hit TV show why wouldnt you use what was great about the original series like the iconic theme but this is nothing new for Hollywood.

The camera work also needs improvement. It has the 1990s-2000s shaky camera technique which is distracting to watch. It would be nice if these TV shows could set the camera down and keept it steady long enough to follow a scene but this is just part of bad trend since the early 1990's.

Overall the new Hawaii 5-0 is marginal which by Hollywoods' current pathetic standard of TV make it very impressive. Given the amount of Police shows on TV and their long runs the past 20 years the new Hawaii 5-0 should be on for the next 10 years.

Book em' Danno

Sunday, June 26, 2011

AAA Standings

By Keith Antigiovanni

Updates on AAA standings will be a new feature on this blog although I am new to it. For the true baseball fan it will be interesting update to see how your teams' AAA club is progressing or if you are a fan of the AAA club feel free to talk about your team. Either way, AAA and soon to be AA and independent league updates will be new topics on here.

First, there are two AAA baseball leagues the International League (IL) and the Pacific Coast League (PCL). The IL has 14 teams and the PCL has 16 teams. Each league is divided into divisions. The IL consists of 3 and the PCL has 4.

The division leaders thus far in the IL are Durham in the Southern Division (41-34), Columbus in the West (52-24) and Lehigh Valley (44-32) in the North.

The division leaders in the PCL are Omaha in the American Conference North (41-36), Round Rock in the American Conference South (43-33). The Pacific Conference North leader is Reno at 45-32 and Sacramento in the South ( 50-27).

After each league finishes its playoffs there will be a AAA World Series between the champions of the two leagues that was held in 1998-2000 and 2006-present.

The previous champions are:
1998 New Orleans PCL
1999 Vancouver PCL
2000 Indianapolis IL
2006 Tucson PCL
2007 Sacramento PCL
2008 Sacramento PCL
2009 Durham IL
2010 Columbus IL

Friday, June 24, 2011

Third Round of College World Series

College World Series; Third round
By Keith Antigiovanni

The third round of the College World Series is complete and both bracket finals are set for today.

The Virginia Cavaliers (2-1) eliminated the Cal Golden Bears (1-2) on thursday while the Vanderbilt Commodores (2-1) eliminated the UNC Tar Heels (1-2) in the other bracket.

Bracket one sets up a re-match of the SEC Tournament Championship game and second round CWS game of Vanderbilt/Florida. These two teams know everything about each other as conference rivals, conference tournament foes and a second-round CWS game. Neither program has won the CWS with Florida coming the closest after a CWS Finals series loss to Texas in 2005.

Bracket two finals involve another SEC team, South Carolina against Virginia. South Carolina is trying to repeat as CWS champs while the number one ranked Cavaliers are in their second CWS in three years and going for the upset to put their program on the college baseball map.

The two bracket champions will meet in the College World Series Final series.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

MLB Standings After 12 weeks

MLB Standings After 12 Weeks
By Keith Antigiovanni

The defending AL Champion Texas Rangers are holding on to first place 2 games up with the Angels at 4 games back.

The surprising Arizona Diamondbacks are in first place at a half-game in front in the NL West. The Colorado Rockies have climbed back into contention at 2.5 games back and third place. Meanwhile the Dodgers are 7 games back and the Small-Market Padres are 9 games back but managed to take 2 of 3 from the Red Sox in Boston.

St Louis is holding on to a share of first place in the NL Central despite Albert Pujols injury. The struggling Houston Astros maintain last place in the division with a 27-48 record and 13.5 games out.

The Kansas City Royals are also struggling and are in last place in the AL Central at 8.5 games out.

The Florida Marlins are another struggling Small-Market team that went from second place to fifth place in the NL East in the month of June. Jack McKeon has returned as manager 8 years after he led the Marlins to the World Series title in 2003.

The Atlanta Braves continue to win as they swept Toronto and improved their record to 43-33 and 4 games out of the lead in the NL East.

The Small-Market Tampa Rays continue to hang tough with a 41-34 record in the Big Market AL East. The Rays have won the AL East in two of the three past years and cannot be taken for granted.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

College World Series Round 2

College World Series Round 2
By Keith Antigiovanni

The second round of the College World Series is complete with 6 teams still in Omaha and 2 teams going home.

In bracket one Florida defeated Vanderbilt 3-1 and is the 2-0 team while Vanderbilt (1-1) will face the North Carolina in a re-match from saturdays' game. The winner will advance to play Florida in the bracket finals in the third round elimination game.

In bracket two the defending champion South Carolina Gamecocks are 2-0 after a 7-1 victory over the Virginia Cavaliers. Virginia will face the Cal Bears in another re-match in the third round elimination game.

The Texas Longhorns were eliminated on monday when the UNC Tar Heels won 3-0 and the Texas A&M Aggies were eliminated n tuesday.

Monday, June 20, 2011

First Round of College World Series

College World Series First Round Games
By Keith Antigiovanni

The First Round games are complete after sunday with not too many surprises. Texas dropped its' first game to Florida after taking a 3-0 lead with their ace Taylor Jungmann on the hill. Florida was not intimidated and ended up winning their first game 8-4.

Vanderbilt, in their first College World Series appearance ever, defeated the more experienced University of North Carolina Tar Heels 7-3.

In the other bracket the top ranked Virginia Cavaliers defeated the Cal Goldern Bears 4-1 and the defending champion South Carolina Gamecocks squeezed past the Texas A&M Aggies 5-4.

Texas A&M like their rival Texas took an early lead at 4-0 in this first inning but immediately gave up four runs in the bottom of the first inning to South Carolina. The Gamecocks scored the only run for either team the rest of the way.

The second round games being today (Monday) the matchups will involve bracket one with Texas and UNC in an elimination game while the saturday winners Vanderbilt and Florida play in a re-match of the SEC Tournament Championship game.

Tuesday's games will be bracket two with South Carolina/Virginia and Texas A&M/ Cal in the elimination game.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

MLB Standings thru 11 weeks

MLB Standings thru 11 weeks
By Keith Antigiovanni

With the College World Series set to begin at Omaha this saturday their Major League counterparts are still one month away from the All Star Break in July.

The NL West continues to be a stalemate with the surprising Arizona Diamondbacks only 1.5 games out of first with a chance to take first place if they can beat the Giants the next two games at home. As surprising as the Diamondbacks have been the Rockies have been disappointing at 6 games back with a 32-35 record. The rudderless Dodgers (8 games back) and low payroll Padres (9 games back) bring up the rear.

The defending AL Champion Texas Rangers still lead the AL West by two games but have very inconsistent thus far this season. The Angels have won their past two games and are 3.5 games out but have been inconsistent as well.

Due to poor weekend St Louis has found themselves tied for first in the NL Central and have also been inconsistent by sweeping their opponents and then getting swept. Pujols has yet to break out of his slump despite recent flashes of his old self. The Astros continue to struggle and appear to be going nowhere.

The KC Royals are fourth place in the mediocre AL Central and have won two straight games but are still 7 games behind. The once proud Royals franchise have not had a winning season since 2003 and not won their division since 1985.

The Atlanta Braves have taken sole control of second place in the NL East after they swept Florida and took 3 of 4 from Houston the past week while the "Small-Market disease" has struck the Marlins who are now in fourth place and 8.5 games out.

The defending AL East champion Tampa Rays are in third place behind the usual big market clubs in their division and if they have any hopes of making the playoffs must go on a long winning streak to overcome the teams in front of them. Because they are small market they have some long odds against them. The win over Boston on tuesday may help jumpstart a new winning streak.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

2011 College World Series

2011 College World Series
By Keith Antigiovanni

The 65th College World Series begins this saturday (June 18) in Omaha when College Baseball's "Elite Eight" face off in the first round games to determine the 2011 NCAA Division 1 baseball champion.

The defending champion South Carolina Gamecocks will face the Texas A&M Aggies. The Gamecocks are trying to become the first team to repeat since Oregon State (2006-2007). The Aggies have yet win a CWS title and are making their first appearance since 1999.

The Texas Longhorns will make their 34th appearance in the CWS (all-time lead) and play Florida in a rematch of the 2005 College World Series Final series. Texas has won 6 championships (1949, 1950, 1975, 1983, 2002, 2005).

The Vanderbilt Commodores are in Omaha for the first time in school history and will play the North Carolina Tar Heels. North Carolina has made 9 CWS appearances which include back to back Finals' appearances (2006-2007).

The Virginia Cavaliers are also making their first appearance against the California Golden Bears. The Bears first appearance since 1992 and won the initial CWS in 1947.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

NCAA Super Regionals

2011 NCAA Super Regionals Are Set
By Keith Antigiovanni

The 16 teams and 8 sites for College Baseball's Super Regional round are set. The Texas Longhorns will host ASU in Austin. Both programs have a history of advancing to the College World Series. Texas has appeared in the CWS 33 times and ASU 22. UT has also won 6 CWS titles while ASU has won 5.

The Chapel Hill Super Regional will be North Carolina against Stanford. UNC has appeared in 8 CWS and finished as the runner-up recently in 2006 and 2007 while Stanford won the title in 1987 and 1988 and has been to Omaha a total of 16 times.

Virginia and UC Irvine will face off in Charlottesville. Both teams have made the CWS once. Virginia ended the regular season ranked as the number one team in the nation.

The defending CWS champion South Carolina Gamecocks host the UCONN Huskies in Columbia.

The two-time CWS winner (2006-2007) Oregon State Beavers travel to Nashville to play the Vanderbilt Commodores. The resurgent OSU program has been to the CWS 4 times recently while Vanderbilt is hoping to make its' first CWS appearance.

The cinderella Dallas Baptist Patriots have advanced to their first Super Regional and will travel to Santa Clara to play the California Golden Bears.

Texas A&M and Florida State will play in Tallahassee for the right to go to Omaha. A&M has not appeared in the CWS since 1999 while FSU has made the most CWS appearances (20) without winning it.

In the eighth and final Super Regional SEC rivals Mississippi State and Florida will play in Gainesville. Neither team has won the CWS title but both have appeared in it. Mississippi States has made 8 appearances while Florida has made it 6 times.

Monday, June 6, 2011

MLB Standings thru 10 weeks

MLB Standings Thru June 5
By Keith Antigiovanni

The defending AL Champion Texas Rangers are coming off a 4-game sweep of AL Central leader Cleveland and lead the AL West by 2.5 games. The Anaheim Angels have slipped to third and are 4.5 games out.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are still a half-game out of first place in the NL West while the Colorado Rockies are now tied with the Dodgers in third place each at 5.5 games out and the low payroll Padres in last place but only 6.5 games out after winning 3 of 4 from the Astros.

The Kansas City Royals have fallen to fourth place in the AL Central with a 25-34 record.

The St Louis Cardinals continue to lead the NL Central at 36-25 after a 3-game sweep of the Cubs this weekend while the Houston Astros bring up the rear of the division 12.5 games out.

The small market Rays have also fallen further back in the AL East at 30-29 and 4 games out while in the NL East the cross-state rival Florida Marlins are now 3 games back after dropping 3 straight at home to the Brewers and the Atlanta Braves hold third at 3.5 games back.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

MLB Standings after 9 weeks

MLB Standings After 9 Weeks
By Keith Antigiovanni

The NL West race remains tight with the surprising Arizona Diamondbacks only half game out of first place with the disappointing Colorado Rockies in third place and 4.5 games out. The Dodgers are in fourth place at 5.5 games out while the Padres are 7.5 games in last place.

The AL West also remains tight with the defending American League champion Texas Rangers two games up over the Seattle Mariners.

The St Louis Cardinals continue to lead the NL Central while the suddenly resurgent Houston Astros have won 4 straight but continue to reside in last place.

The Kansas City Royals have dropped to fourth place at 9 games behind.

The Florida Marlins and Atlanta Braves are in second and third place respectively in the NL East race. Florida at 2 games behind while Atlanta is 3.5 games behind.

The small market Tampa Bay Rays are now in third place behind the big market Red Sox and Yankees at 3 games behind.