It's a shameless plug, I know, but I feel like The Equalizer is a pretty good NBA nickname that is just sitting out there for the taking right now, and I thought I might nominate DeAndre Jordan before anybody else gloms on or tries to grab it. Partly, you know, because I feel like I can — The Equalizer, an Escape Artists/Zhiv/Mace Neufeld production starring Denzel Washington arrives in theaters today.
Maybe we start with the idea that you can't really call Blake Griffin or Chris Paul equalizers. Those guys are Advantages. On any given night, Griffin has the advantage over his direct antagonist, his opposite number, the opposing PF — especially when he's backed up by the Equalizer! On any given night, Chris Paul has the advantage over his opponent, over the incredible gathering of NBA PG talent we're privileged to witness right now — CP3 is the Babe Ruth of point guards. He's just better at every single thing than every other player and competitor. Or if they are better, transcendent like Curry's shooting or Westbrook's athleticism and balance, playing offense/defense, CP still shines brighter, a precious lodestar. Not an equalizer.
DJ's humble skills, the rebounding, the rim protection, blocking shots, running the floor, finishing, still grow today, even by, I dare say, his signature leaps and bounds — especially if last season is any evidence. We saw the rough, primitive potential from the first day and knew we would have to be patient, extra patient, that we would be tested. Kaman got thousands of early minutes and we wondered why DJ languished under MDSr, and we looked forward to Kim Hughes setting him free. But DJ was a raw talent and a fun, exuberant kid and those were just the earliest beginnings, and we still had a long wait, had to continue our patience all the way through the illustrious, perfectly coiffed VDN era. The ineffable quality of potential coherence, finding just the right harmonic convergence, well, that's what Bill Walton has been talking about all these years--yammering on ever since his impediment was lifted, and he could shout his joy to the heavens. Perhaps the time is now, and it has finally arrived for DJ, for the Clippers, and for this proud Nation. Bring it on!
And here are a few quotes for those of you who enjoy modest filmed entertainment about nothing:
"The movie is stupid, but it's my kind of stupid."
"'The Equalizer' might be the most enjoyable bad movie I've seen in a long time."
"He's Batman, except he actually kills way more people. That'll work."
"It's like the producers decided that the reason Larry Crowne bombed was that Tom Hanks never killed every motherfucker in the room."
"Thus begins an unending sequence of idiotic vigilante moves that included (and I swear I'm not making this up) making crooked cops give their shakedown money back to nice immigrant moms who just want to sell their tacos with dignity."
Isn't that really all that we can ask for?
To be honest, the film is an excellent Hollywood crowd-pleaser, review-proof more or less (snark obviously welcome here, as long as we're having fun — and there are plenty of good reviews that are "inside" the movie) and a lot of smart, dedicated folks worked really hard on it to give the people what they want. That begins with and includes great actors, filmmaker, producers, executives, the whole schmear. Really fun and exciting to be a part of it — happy now to get it out there, and then get this Clipper season started.