January 25th, 2021

Tiger: On Crave HBO Sports has released a two episode documentary on Tiger Woods. It is three hours of interviews of people who have known him, like family friends, ex-girlfriends, ex caddie Steve Williams and others. It is informative, from the early days with young 2yo Tiger being showcased on the Michael Douglas Show, with Bob Hope and Jimmy Stewart, to him winning three times the US Amateur Championship. From the highs of winning the Tiger-slam in the early 90s (by holding all the major golf championships at the same time – Masters, US Open, British Open and PGA) to the down times of being arrested for DUI in Jupiter FL and the SUV accident in front of his house as his marriage to Elin falls apart. The viewer realizes pretty early on that one of Tiger’s most magnificent gifts was his ability to compartmentalize his life and emotions. His father, Earl, in many ways was like Leopold Mozart, who pushed his young son into greatness, but the son eclipses the father from talent, determination and hard work. Earl had a Messiah-like belief in his son which would have been difficult to live up to as a young man. It was. Still, despite the challenges, this is a remarkable life, and even though he likely won’t overtake Jack Nicklaus with his 19th Major victory (he is currently at 15, with the 2019 Masters remarkably captured) but it in no way diminishes his impact on the game of golf. It is also a cautionary tale of what persona you put before the public which you aim to meet. Time well spent, especially for those who enjoy golf.

I Am Burt: Crave also had the documentary about Burt Reynolds. Burt the Hollywood actor, had led an interesting life. He early on was a football player of note in Florida and went to Florida State. A knee injury in those early 60s was a fatal career diagnosis. He needed to pivot and choose another way to keep himself occupied. He by chance got into drama. He was good and became an extra with bit roles in Hollywood, mostly in TV cowboy series. Much like Clint Eastwood, his career became stalled and he decided to go to Italy to perform in some spaghetti Westerns. Clint’s career took off as a result of his, but Burt didn’t do himself any favours (Navajo Joe). His big break occurred in 1972 with Deliverance. From there a string of successes with The Longest Yard, Smokey & The Bandit, and others. He was noted later in life for a messy financial situation which was a result of him being gullible and generous to a fault it would seem. There never seemed to be a thought toward “another day”. It seems that the attitude was that the money would always be there. If Tiger was a tale of a being careful of a hard-to-emulate squeaky clean image, this is a tale of fame and money being taken for granted. It is interesting to note that Burt was viewed as a bigger star than today’s Brad Pitt or Leo Dicaprio and others. In fact, the stuntman Pitt character in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood was based upon Reynolds, who himself was a stunt man at one time. This is also worth viewing.

Soul: Pixar recently released this animated full-length animated feature on Disney +. Pixar is well known for quality pictures that have a heart, good stories and relatable characters. Known for classics like Finding Nemo, Up, Cars and Toy Story, they more recently have done pictures like Coco. Back in 2015, they released Inside Out that spoke to the inner workings of a teenage girl’s emotions. It was clever and cute. They have followed up with Soul. Focusing on an aspiring jazz pianist who has only secured a job as a part-time teacher in a high school – this young, single black man looks to have his big break. Just as he does, he meets with an accident and his multi-coloured “soul” is on its way to heaven/The Great Beyond. Instead he fights back hard to complete this mission to make his way in music. The film goes more into Inside Out territory as it explores the plains beyond what we perceive. It once again is clever with some colourful imagery. Little pre-souls are meant to gather their personalities and then find a “spark” that allows them to head to Earth and occupy a human. The details aren’t as important that there is a story with a message. I enjoyed this more than I thought that I would. Although not on the level as the classics from Pixar, it is an exploration of a subject matter that is best suited in animation. Wirth checking out for some lighter entertainment. Can’t we all use a little lighter entertainment.

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