The Mirl
The Website of Eric Mirlis
Blog Archive #5 - January 24-30

January 30 - Million Dollar Baby
Last night, Keri and I knocked our second of the five Best Movie candidates off the list and saw "Million Dollar Baby"
(we previously saw "Sideways").

My review? Great. Really, really good. The acting was incredible and all three main actors (Hillary Swank, Clint
Eastwood and Morgan Freeman) deserve their nominations. In fact, and time Eastwood and Freeman are on screen
together, it is magic. The story is not what you would expect, either. Overall, it was a great movie. Not as good as
"Sideways", though.

All this Academy Awards talk got me thinking , though. I had an idea for the Awards broadcast that I would love to see.
Here it is -- ABC should use one of its other networks, such as ABC Family, to air a second broadcast at the same
time. However, there would be one difference. The host, the awards, the speeches, the canned packages would be the
same. The difference would be the emcee and his/her voiceovers. In place of that, I would love to see something
equivalent to a sporting event play-by-play announcer and an analyst. They can start reviewing the winners as the
show goes on. For instance, if Jamie Foxx wins Best Actor, instead of hearing the emcee talk about how this was his
first win or his first nomination, etc., we would hear how this was expected, yadda yadda yadda. Likewise, if he doesn't
win, the announcers would start talking about how this was a huge upset. If they show Jamie Foxx in the seats, the
announcers can describe how disappointed he looks.

Think about it. From an entertainment perspective, with the right announcers (think Joan Rivers when she wasn't
irrelevant), this could be more enjoyable to watch than the regular broadcast. It's just an idea, but it would probably
echo the conversations going on in every living room in the country. I know I would probably watch it instead of sitting
through the generic stuff they have now.

January 27 - An Exciting New Idea
The site is about a month old now and, while I can't complain about it so far, I have to admit there is plenty of room
for improvement. The thing I need to explore now is how to make it better.

Here is my idea, which I have told some people about already. I would like to branch off and create a
writer's forum. The area will have a totally different look than the main site, but will still be a part of The
working title right now is "The Columnists" and of the feelers I've sent out so far, it looks like I might soon go to the
next step, which is actually designing the site.

I am still looking for people to write. I have some firm commitments, but I think for this to really work, the more
columnists there are, the better. With more contributors, the content will continually be updated and remain as fresh
as possible. The key is bringing people back to the site. Of course, since there are no ads on this site, I can't pay
anyone. But hopefully, I'll still get enough people who are interested in writing for it and it can get off the ground.

My unresolved issue remains around the "sports-only" debate. I am leaning towards making it about sports only, just
because it will be easier to carve out a real niche that way. I am thinking big with this, so I need to find a little
consistency, but with as few constraints as possible. I want everyone who writes to be themselves - I will have no
input whatsoever into the content of the columns.

OK. With all that said, if you are interested in writing for the site, or have any suggestions about it, feel free to e-mail
me. I have no time frame at this point and am looking to see what kind of stable of writers I can come up with. If we
do go ahead with this, I will most likely put out a press release and try and drum up as mush attention to the site as

Let's see what happens. Please let me know if you are interested in joining.

January 25 - My Movie Checklist
Well, the Oscar nominations are out, so I now know which movies to see over the next month.

Keri and I are not great with going to see movies. OK, make that I'm not great. She is always saying, "Let's go see a
movie," and I always say, "OK", but we never actually get to the theater. Of the movies that received a bunch of
nominations, we have seen just one, "Sideways", which we saw within the last couple weeks (at a pre-Noon showing
on Martin Luther King Day). Everything else is now on the list to see in the next month. And we are making a
conscientious effort to go see them.

We actually have been talking about seeing "The Aviator" and "Million Dollar Bay" a bit recently, so those will be the
first two on the list. I really had no desire to see "Finding Neverland", but Keri has wanted to go and watch Johnny
Depp on a big screen for a couple hours, so now, I'll go with her. I wanted to see "Ray" from day one, but Keri had no
desire to see that one. She might be bending on it, though. So those are the four we haven't seen yet. Hopefully, we'll
get them all in by the time the winners are announced.

The Academy Awards are one of those nights that I like to have plans to watch. It is the Super Bowl of the
entertainment world. And they made an inspired choice for host this year with Chris Rock. He is going to bring an
edge to the show that no one has before. It should be a fun night.

Now I just need to finally see some movies.