Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A sort of review of The _________ Lie.

I have said it before semi seriously... there are a couple of topics I don't like to touch other than to very easily poke fun at. Unfortunately, most people who would be reading this have long ago formed their opinion on he who shall not be named, and nothing good can come from starting a holy war on my generally lighthearted blog. That said... it's my blog, I watched the documentary and while I am going to do my best to keep it in "review" disconnect from my own opinions... some will undoubtedly spill through. I don't care what you think overall about the situation... and I'm not going to argue over it. If you want to skip the stuff on Lance, now is the time to Ctrl F "banana" and that'll be LA free viewing of this post.

Looking a little rough after the Oprah interview...
Ok, so Friday night The Armstrong Lie opened in the local back alley theatre. I admit I've been interested in seeing it since it was announced. Like a train wreck... I can't get enough of the better look into "how things are were" in the peloton.  It just so happens that the missus is really into any documentary... so win/win.

Honestly, I didn't have very high expectations of this film, and although it did end up being a bit disappointing overall... it wasn't for the reasons I came in expecting. I had figured that the movie would have a rose colored tint to it, painting Lance as more of the "tragic hero" than the "anti-hero" (If you're into typecast sort of things) which I found wasn't really the case. The film does a good job of portraying it's lead as a deeply flawed human being and not a mythic hero, but at the same time does an adequate job of leaving you just a little hope that he has the potential to right a lot of the wrongs. I may be overly optimistic (and probably am) about that last part, but hey... I'm a dreamer.

As far as the film itself went, it was easy to see that they had done most of the work for the proposed original film (set to be about Lances 2009 return) and then hastily re-edited and added new footage recently. Obviously the film admits doing just that, but a little delay and a bit more meat to the "now" instead of just throwing some interviews over top of the previous footage would have went a long way in my opinion... I mean, if you're watching the movie you probably have a fairly solid grip on everything Armstrong in a historical sense... but I digress.

There was one thing really didn't set well with me. If the movie did a better than expected job of painting Lance as a "bad guy," it did a piss poor job of portraying basically anyone else accurately. You want to sell me on the Andreu's being the victims...fine, I'm not 100% on board with that, but for the films sake I'll take it... but please oh please don't sell me guys like George, Levi, Vaughters, Tyler or Landis (REALLY... REALLY... Floyd Landis??? I at least expected an honorable mention of the Floyd Fairness Fund...) as victims and/or good guys. None of them wielded the same kind of power as Lance to step on the "enemy" but none of them were innocent or deserving the positive portrait they got. This was the big stumble of the movie in my estimate.

Lance looks more human (and older) in these interview scenes than I think I've ever seen before.
Nonetheless, much like "The Secret Race" and other media on the subject, the documentary was entertaining if not overly shocking/revealing. The couple of scenes filmed in the hospital were the most revealing (to me) and did a good job reminding us(me) that there are glimmers of good in everyone.

And here is my dirty little confession... despite a general dislike for the abuse of power... the film reminded me of one thing that has been true since I have been a cycling viewer. I really enjoyed watching Lance race. Watching the clips of the old races... even the 2009 "comeback" I can't help but enjoy watching... I am entertained. :/

The safe word is Banana

Ok, so next week I'll probably not be posting since... it's Christmas! I'll be running the New Years Day 5k the following Wednesday, so I'll probably have a short write/report up sometime before that weekend.

Training this week has really beat me up (so far! and it's only Tuesday night) and next week I plan to back off and recover some. Christmas week is the perfect time to do that since there is so much happening that week and swimming is pretty much cut out (as the gym is closed for holiday hours) No need to overly stress between running to Christmas gatherings and trying to fit a ride in. It's also early enough in the season that a few easy days won't hurt down the road.

I bought myself a new lid for Christmas (making my 4th aero lid, the others being a LAS, a Wingspan and a Selector) mainly because it looks really cool (and it was priced right)

Safety first... always
Drinking that SKY coolaid I snatched up this Kask. Although the stubby tail (although it wasn't a Kask) helmet didn't test the best for me when I was in the tunnel, it did test well. Also, there are claims the benefit is more relevant with higher yaw (and I tested 5° sweeps) so it isn't a bad choice. The helmet is VERY nicely made, leather strap and all. I (unfortunately) only have the clear visor though... that has to be remedied. The Chrome look is just too cool.

Anyways, I will take this time to wish you all a happy and safe holidays. May your stockings be filled with bike parts and race entries.

Thanks always for reading

- Christopher Morelock

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