(This post appeared in our Olympics blog, The Torch.)
The American Ashton Eaton can call himself the greatest athlete in the world, today.
With 8,869 points, Eaton took the gold medal in the decathlon. His American teammate Trey Hardee took the silver with 8,671 points.
If you're not familiar, the decathlon is the closest the sports world comes to a standardized test in athletic ability. It spans two days and 10 events, including the 100 meter dash, the long jump, the high jump and the shot put.
As the title of the fourth movie in a perhaps never-ending series, The Bourne Legacy is almost too perfect. Variations on what happened to Jason Bourne in the first three entries can befall new characters indefinitely. If this prospect sounds a little tiresome — well, that's what quick cuts and superhuman stunts are for.
It might seem unfair to compare an artist's latest work to his masterpiece from over 20 years ago, but Spike Lee not only appears to welcome the comparison, but invites it. From the steamy, sweaty, summer-in-Brooklyn setting to its loose structure to its incendiary climax, Lee's new Red Hook Summer is immediately identifiable as the direct descendant of 1989's Do the Right Thing.
There's so little craziness today in American movies — even American independent movies. Filmmakers are so busy trying to look as if they're not trying too hard that their strained effortlessness is sometimes the only thing that comes through.
Late in The Green Wave, a soulful look back at the brief 2009 people's movement for democratic elections in Iran, a former United Nations prosecutor and human rights activist observes that the protest, despite being brutally quelled by the forces of President Ahmadinejad, was "a tidal wave" that would sweep through the Middle East.