U2 in 3D and Cam Cameron

January 24, 2008 | Nestor Aparicio

Before I begin any discussion of the Ravens’ offense or Cam Cameron, I must give you a very brief film review.

I’m no Gene Siskel or Roger Ebert, but if you like U2 even a little bit, you really gotta get out to see this new U2 film, shot in 3D and produced by John and David Modell (yes, THOSE Modells).

Full disclosure: I was at one of the four South American shows that were recorded to make the 85-minute film (Morumbi Stadium in Sao Paolo, Brazil). The other shows were in Mexico City, Buenos Aires and Santiago. It took nearly two years to get the film to the theatres, but it was well, well worth the wait. The production quality and 3D details are simply astonishing. When Bono reaches his hand out during “Vertigo” and you duck, well, you know you’re not watching your father’s tinny, cheesy 3D any more.

I saw the show at the Maryland Science Center’s IMAX last night (strangely, the theatre was only 20% full) and there were definitely some shortcomings. First, I couldn’t order a beer to go with the show (they oughta fix that for the Friday and Saturday night shows at the very least). Second, seeing the film with 75 people who didn’t so much as move was less than thrilling. Third (and most importantly), the volume was frighteningly low. I wouldn’t go back and see it again if I couldn’t be assured that the volume would at least in some way emulate the “experience” of going to a rock concert.

Now, I didn’t expect it to sound like it did on that balmy, crazy night in Sao Paolo, but for the full effect of being there, you gotta have the pounding beat of Adam Clayton’s bass and a little boom from the drums of Larry Mullen, Jr. The hair on your arms needs to stand up a little bit, otherwise it becomes a totally vicarious experience and not really like “being there,” which is the whole idea of 3D.

The film itself, though, is nothing short of a masterpiece. There are just enough visual “tricks” to keep you on your toes and the crowd shots of the insane South American people make the film unforgettable. There’s just no way to express to you the energy that the crowds have in Latin cultures for music. You simply have to see it for yourself.

And the directors of the film slow down the action in the requisite parts and it really is a story within the story of a simple rock concert. All of U2’s messages – peace, freedom from oppression, etc. – are all woven into the fabric of the tale of a few concerts in South America during February and March of 2006.

Go check it out…but make sure they turn the sound up…

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Now, onto Cam Cameron.

I’m sure people will be asking me every day on the streets, “What do you think of the Ravens’ new coaches?” And my answer will be the same: “How the heck do I know how this is gonna work out?”

So far, they’ve hired a first-time coach in John Harbaugh and it seemed VERY MUCH like he wanted his pal Pat Shurmur to come with him and run the offense. Turns out, ownership (re: Steve Bisciotti and Dick Cass) there must’ve said something like this to Harbaugh: “Hey, you’re a first time coach, we want you to have a LONGTIME offensive coordinator.”

So, while Harbaugh couldn’t bleed the Shurmur rumors to enough people via the Philadelphia media, now in walks Cam Cameron, who is a “safe” choice at this point. He’s a decorated guy, and one who probably learned a LOT amidst the mayhem in Miami this past season. He’s been a head coach, a successful offensive coordinator and could probably help Harbaugh in a lot of situations. Plus, they have a previous relationship, even if it was the “other” way around in the boss-employee food chain.

(I personally think the only way for an offensive coordinator to look any good here is to bring in a quarterback and an offensive line that’s going to MAKE him look good…but that’s a discussion for another day!)

I think the hiring of Cameron is a fine decision by the “organization,” but it is strange to me that Harbaugh didn’t get to bring “his guy” in Shurmur. Already, it’s starting to feel like Harbaugh will have a LOT less latitude to do what he wants than Billick. If Bisciotti now has a head coach he can “control,” that might not be such a great thing.

It’s starting to feel like Cass and Bisciotti are making EVERY football decision in the organization and that’s usually a recipe for disaster.

We’ve already seen Ozzie Newsome get neutered by Dick Cass earlier in the month, and the Jason Garrett fiasco was clearly presided over by Bisciotti and Cass, so it would not be shocking if ownership would start the Harbaugh administration by reigning in his rookie powers as a head coach.

We’ll see…

And whatever they’re doing with Rex Ryan is just ugly at this point. Either you want him or you don’t. Either you’re going to pay him what he deserves or you’re not. He’s already been fully insulted – the team didn’t hire him and Bisciotti couldn’t say enough nice things about him last Saturday and pimped him big-time to Arthur Blank, trying to pave his way to Atlanta — and this drama has played out so publicly that I don’t really know why he’d even want to come back at this point.

(And wait’ll we hear what the players think if Ryan isn’t retained…believe me, they’ll be chiming in daily if the past equals the future!)

Put yourself in Rex’s shoes: He’s done nothing but run a helluva defense, never hid his feelings about being a head coach (and has come very close) but to make him stand out in the cold at this point is just tacky.

If you don’t really want him back in the building, just tell him to go get another job. He’s made his life here over the last nine years and has been a good soldier. Despite his bluster and bravado (what would you want from Buddy Ryan’s son?), he’s always had a “purple” heart and it’s a shame that it’s going down like this.

Come to think of it, the purple ownership and management team has a done a LOT of tacky things over the past three weeks. The Rex Ryan deal is yet just another example of how things are changing over at The Bellagio. The way the “business” of people and football is conducted is FAR different than the way the Modells did it.

It’s just been far too messy — an unnecessarily and publicly so — for my taste.

I’m reserving real judgment until the whole thing is put together and the product is on the field. But so far, the only thing I know for sure is that the place is changing, and changing quite dramatically.

And some quality people – longtime loyal people who loved the team, the city and the organization – have been treated very poorly and very publicly.

That’s just a fact.

And, call me a Pollyanna, but I don’t think these good people should be treated this way.

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