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Game 96: Tigers at Twins

I feel uptight on a Saturday night...

Gene Simmons...any relation to Andrelton?
Gene Simmons...any relation to Andrelton?
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

First Pitch: 6:10 PM
TV: Fox Sports North
Radio: Go 96.3, TIBN
Know Theine Enemy: Bless You Boys

Today's soundtrack is the aptly-themed Detroit Rock City, released exactly 41 years ago this Friday.

Film enthusiasts will remember the 1999 motion picture that shares the song's name, chronicling the misadventures of a school-aged Kiss cover band, as they try to make it to Detroit to see Gene Simmons and company in concert. But true film aficionados will remember the scene from 2009's Paul Blart: Mall Cop, where the titular Blart (portrayed by Kevin James) plays the song on Rock Band during a montage that depicts the first stages of a bank heist that drives the rest of the narrative.

Let's talk about Paul Blart: Mall Cop for a minute. Largely panned by critics and audiences alike, and holding a 33% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Blart missed the mark for most moviegoers. But I would have to dissent. I think that moviegoers missed the mark on Paul Blart. Let's make a comparison to Shaun of the Dead, the 2004 breakout feature that paved the way to critical and commercial success for director Edgar Wright. People LOVE this movie for two reasons: 1) it's an affectionate parody of the zombie movie genre, and 2) it's a good zombie movie on its own. The best kind of parody can wink at its audience for 90 minutes and still stand on its own as a good piece of art.

And that's exactly the fine line that Paul Blart: Mall Cop toes so well. It's absolutely a parody of the Die Hard subgenre of action flicks. But it's a GOOD one. Kevin James shines when he has good material and leeway for physical comedy, and he gets both here. The script is tightly written, and sets up a lot of investment in the protagonist's later successes by spending a good half-hour on the lackluster life of this good-natured mall cop doing his best to raise his daughter by himself while living with his mom. The laughs and the payoffs are earned. Go find this movie and watch this movie. If you didn't like it, watch it again, because you were supposed to, and now you know better.

Oh, yeah. Baseball.

Today it's Kyle Gibson vs. Jordan Zimmermann. Gibson's had some struggles again recently, and will look to turn in a quality start after falling a bit short against Houston. Zimmermann has an ERA whose high numbers are reminiscent of Gibson's similar marks, but pitched nearly seven frames of one-run ball in his last outing against a Royals club that's about as good as we are. Tonight's an important game, because a win gives us the chance to win another series tomorrow.

Today's Lineups

Ian Kinsler - 2B Brian Dozier - 2B
Alex Presley - RF Max Kepler - RF
Justin Upton - LF Miguel Sano - 3B
Alex Avila - C Joe Mauer - 1B
Nick Castellanos - 3B Robbie Grossman - DH
Victor Martinez - DH Eddie Rosario - LF
Mikie Mahtook - CF Eduardo Escobar - SS
Andrew Romine - 1B Zack Granite - CF
Jose Iglesias - SS Jason Castro - C
Jordan Zimmermann - RHP Kyle Gibson - RHP