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Ryan Beltram

Ryan Beltram

Passionate about movies, sports and writing, Ryan hails from Bend but lives in Springfield now. He earned his college degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and hopes to one day write a novel. He also enjoys sunsets and long walks on the beach.
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Where Did The Week Go…

USC Football Player’s Heroic Story Not Legit

Earlier this week, the University of Southern California posted a story on their website detailing a heroic story about how defensive back Josh Shaw injured both of his ankles.

According to the story, Shaw said he was at a family party in Palmdale, California, when he saw his 7-year-old nephew, Carter, struggling in a pool.  Shaw jumped from a second-story balcony onto concrete before dragging himself into the pool and rescuing his nephew, who doesn’t know how to swim.

It’s an amazing story right?  An athlete sacrificing his own body to help a young boy from drowning.  Only problem is, Shaw made it up.

Josh Shaw - fansided.com

Josh Shaw’s heroic tale was too good to be true. | (fansided.com)

“On Saturday, August 23, 2014, I injured myself in a fall,” said Shaw in a short statement through his attorney.  “I made up a story about this fall that was untrue.  I was wrong not to tell the truth.  I apologize to USC for this action on my part.  My USC coaches, the USC athletic department and especially Coach Sarkisian have all been supportive of me during my college career and for that, I am very grateful.”

Exactly how he injured his ankles remains a mystery.  According to the Los Angeles Police Department, Shaw was mentioned in a report involving a break-in at a downtown apartment building that same night.  A woman told police she saw a man, fitting Shaw’s description, pry open a window, enter a third-floor apartment and then flea without taking anything.

Shaw suffered two high ankle sprains which will keep him off the football field for several weeks as well as an indefinite suspension for lying.

It looks as if Shaw might have been visiting a lady friend late Saturday night, got busted by somebody (the female’s boyfriend perhaps) and escaped out the window Spider-Man style.

My question is, why make up such a detailed story involving another person that could refute the story?  Especially a 7-year-old you know would eventually cave in.  Why not just say you were skipping down the stairs and you landed wrong.

Shaw has a lot of egg on his face.  I would expect this from a freshman, but a fifth-year senior who’s also a captain on the football team!  Let this be a lesson to all you kids out there.  Don’t lie.  And if you’re going to lie, don’t embellish to this extent.

Netflix Instant Pick: The Art of the Steal

One of my favorite genres is the heist film.  It usually involves a collection of likable criminals doing far more exciting things than you or I to earn a living.  I mean, if it wasn’t for the whole illegal aspect to it and potentially spending time behind bars, who wouldn’t want to recruit a ragtag group of individuals, look at schematics of some kind, case a joint and then narrowly escape with a priceless Egyptian septor.  It just sounds delightful.  Movies have really romanticized the life of a thief.

Which brings us to The Art of the Steal.  Despite featuring Kurt Russell, Matt Dillon and Jay Baruchel, Steal spent only two weeks in theaters in March of this year where it grossed a grand total of $64,065 according to Box Office Mojo.  This is a film that was meant to be discovered on Netflix.

The Art of the Steal - Collider

A great cast highlights ‘The Art of the Steal.’ | (Collider)

Russell plays Crunch Calhoun, a semi-reformed art thief now posing as a washed-up motorcycle daredevil following seven years in a Polish prison.  Strapped for cash, he reluctantly agrees to a job with his brother-in-law Nicky (Dillon), who happens to be the man who sold him out in Poland.

Reassembling the old team, Crunch comes up with a plan to steal a historical book.  Only problem is, Nicky has loftier goals if they pull off the heist which will lead to an even bigger payday.  Should Crunch trust Nicky?  Watch the movie to find out.

The Art of the Steal is a confidently shot film heavily influenced by Steven Soderbergh’s work, particularly the Ocean’s Trilogy.  The chemistry between the cast is tremendous, the script is quick and sharp and there are moments of absolute hilarity, particularly between Jason Jones who plays an Interpol agent pursuing the criminals, and Terence Stamp as an art expert reluctantly helping the agent.  Baruchel as Crunch’s apprentice is also amusing as he naively attempts to enter the world of thievery.

Some will call this a low-budget Ocean’s rip-off, but all movies about thieves are stealing from one another anyway (No pun intended).  The Art of the Steal is a fun 90-minute ride worth checking out.  How the horrid Now You See Me made $100 million and this made $64,000 is beyond me.

Flight Delayed Over Reclining Seat

Imagine flying from Newark to Denver and having your flight diverted to Chicago over a few inches of reclining space.  Even the most miniscule of things can cause chaos while you’re in the air and it certainly did for this United Airlines flight.

Two passengers got into a heated argument after a male passenger used a product designed to prevent the person in front of him from reclining their seat.  Called the Knee Defender, the device attaches from the tray table to the back of the seat.  This gentleman wanted to get some work done on his computer so he used the $22 product to avoid any additional movement.  The woman in front of him had other ideas.

The female passenger became angry over not being able to recline her seat and when the man refused to remove the device, she threw a cup of water in his face.

Airplane - ibtimes.com

Don’t invade someone’s personal space or you might get thrown off the plane. | (ibtimes.com)

The flight ended up being diverted due to the argument and both passengers were removed from the plane and not allowed to re-board to continue on to Denver.

I blame everyone for this.  Yes, the woman should have been allowed her extra reclining space, but we’re talking about a few inches here.  It’s not going to make a huge difference.  But the man should have removed the device once she complained.  I’m sure he would have been able to manage.

But I also blame the airline for overreacting.  I’m sure two other passengers would have gladly switched seats with this pair to avoid further confrontation and avoid being diverted to another airport.  Now instead of two pissed off customers, you have an entire airplane full.

Ironically, both passengers were seated in United’s Economy Plus section, which gives you extra legroom for an extra fee.  Apparently, that wasn’t enough personal space for them.

 

 

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