Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Movie Review: Napoleon Dynamite

In a last-ditch effort to understand what the bloody heck is up with the 2005 Mariners, I watched Napoleon Dynamite tonight, since I'd never seen it before. (It has been mentioned several times that it was a favorite movie in the Mariners clubhouse for a while, and as a possible omen, the DVD was in Randy Winn's charity basket at the Mariners Care auction right before the trade deadline.) And suddenly, it all makes sense.

Napoleon's new t-shirt will soon be all the rage.

Napoleon Dynamite is the story of some dorky kid who doesn't really have much of anything. Even worse, most of what he has is grief from his family, his schoolmates, etc. But he doesn't let it get him down. He meets this new kid Pedro, who becomes his best friend, and helps Pedro run for school president. Eventually Napoleon realizes that trying to go out with pretty popular girls is stupid, trying to be friends with the school jocks is stupid, putting up with his family is stupid, and honestly, most things are stupid and he has the most fun once he ditches all the useless crap and people and hangs out with his true friends.

The 2005 Mariners are a bunch of dorky guys who haven't really had much of anything all year. But they're not about to let it get them down! In a fit of pique, they've managed to ditch the dumb jocks (Bret Boone), the all-around popular kids (Randy Winn), the boneheaded useless brother (Scott Spiezio), and Uncle Rico (Pat Borders). In the meantime they picked up an awesome Latino guy or two with amazing skills. You know, like nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, curveball skills, awesome infield defense skills.

The scariest moment of this movie, I swear, was when they played Pat Borders's at-bat music as this big orange van drives up to the house, and then... Pat Borders steps out of the van. Well, I mean, Uncle Rico steps out of the van, but he looks just like Pat Borders.

I can't help but think that one day, after watching Napoleon Dynamite ninety times in the clubhouse, Bret Boone or Richie Sexson saw Pat Borders walk by and started calling him Uncle Rico, hence the at-bat music and all. I mean, in the movie, Uncle Rico is the old guy who comes to stay with Napoleon and Kip after their grandma gets injured; in the 2005 Mariners, Pat Borders is the guy who comes to stay with the team after Dan Wilson gets injured. Uncle Rico won't shut up about how he used to be a great football player in 1982; Pat Borders was a World Series MVP in 1992.

There's also a high school jock in the movie that's almost a dead ringer for Roger Maris. It's sort of disturbing, actually. And perhaps the Mariners should DFA Tara the Ball Girl and sign Tina the Llama.

Wow, hey, I wonder whether anyone around here would actually wear a "Vote For Felix" shirt much like the people around Shea Stadium were wearing "Vote For Pedro" shirts. I should go get some iron-on letters one of these days and make one, just for the heck of it.

Anyway, no, this mostly really has nothing to do with baseball, but I do have to admit that Napoleon Dynamite is worth watching -- if nothing else, suddenly I get all the things people have been quoting from it. Even down to whoever said the newest Edgar promotion was going to be a Li-gar; like a lion and an Edgar mixed... bred for its skills in mojo.

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