Wednesday, November 25, 2009

my interview with korean superstar rain

here's the text of my story published in the philippine star containing my interview with korean pop superstar rain.

***

When it Rain(s), it really pours
By Raymond de Asis Lo, L.A. Correspondent

MANILA, Philippines - Rain (whose real name is Jung Ji Hoon, lead star of Full House which will soon air its Filipino adaptation on GMA 7) walked into the little corner assigned to us for the round-table interviews inside the famous Yamashiro restaurant, which sits on top of the Hollywood Hills, with a big smile on his face and an English interpreter in tow. He was holding in his hands his watch and his bracelet. “I love bling-bling,” he said. We asked him why he wasn’t wearing them and he said because it was heavy.

The Korean superstar is in town to promote his first major Hollywood movie after doing a bit part in the movie Speed Racer two years ago.

The Philippine Star met with him over the weekend for the junket of Warner Bros.’ latest film Ninja Assassin, a bloody and violent film that puts to shame some of the most violent films ever made (that’s not counting the recent spate of mindless gory horror movies, of course!) in Hollywood. The movie feels like watching a blockbuster video game only that this one is live-action and way more visually arresting and exciting. The fight scenes are choreographed like a ballet only that the props are the flying limbs and the sputtering of blood from everywhere. The screening this writer attended ended with a loud cheer from the audience.

Tall, handsome, and charismatic (he kept referring to his publicist as “my sexy publicist”), the actor made the lady journalist from Spain exclaim that he looked like he was only 21 years old. Rain is 27. He now wears his hair short and looked very lean — thanks to a diet of chicken breasts, vegetables, salmon, and white eggs. He also had to endure rigorous and punishing training for eight months!

“I hate martial arts!” he joked. “I had to make my body fit like Bruce Lee. I trained for eight months, five days a week for eight hours a day — it was horrible! I learned a lot of martial arts and learned how to use the chain.” The actor had a stunt double who said that Rain easily coped with the training regimen and even helped in setting up some of his fight sequences. To show the strength that he gained from the training, there is a scene in the movie where he does a standing up push-up — on a bed of nails, at that!

Asked if there were any instances that he didn’t feel like training because his body was hurting and he didn’t want to carry on, Rain replied, “No, it’s my big opportunity… I wanted to focus on the film so I did my best. Joel (Silver) is producing, the Wachowski brothers (the makers of the Matrix Trilogy) are producing, how can I say no to that?”

The actor had to give up touring and performing for almost a year to make this movie. This sacrifice he said was necessary because he always wanted to work in Hollywood . “My role model is Al Pacino. He is my hero and I love Scarface — it is my favorite.”

But if he can have his choice, he’d like to work with Megan Fox. “I love Megan. She’s lovely.” The sultry actress was quoted to have once said: “There’s this Korean Justin Timberlake named Rain, and I’m really in his situation now. I’m trying to fix this up. I’m working hard.” Whatever she meant by it, tabloids picked it up and proclaimed that Megan has a crush on the singer.

Rain portrays a ninja assassin who is being hunted by his former master after defying an order to kill someone. His casting was not accidental. He didn’t have to audition for his part, either. The movie was written with him in mind. The star first got Joel Silver’s attention seven years ago in Japan when the actor caused a commotion when hordes of screaming fans stormed a hotel lobby just as the Hollywood mega producer was doing a round of movie promotion.

When Silver and the Wachowski brothers were looking for an Asian actor for a part in the Speed Racer movie, the head of Warner Bros. in Japan recommended the Korean sensation, who immediately grabbed the chance despite having a tight schedule touring Asia.

It was during the production of Speed Racer that Silver discovered Rain’s potential to crossover to Hollywood. “We were trying to find a new martial arts star and we saw Rain and saw his abilities. We designed the movie around Rain. It was designed as a movie to highlight his ability and I think that it worked and the audience will agree that he’ll have a big career.”

This huge Hollywood break for Rain is the pop star’s biggest in an otherwise already mega-successful career as a music superstar in Asia.

“I’d like to do everything: Romance, comedy, action, horror, yeah, I would definitely like to continue my career in Hollywood. Keep watching for me,” he said. And although he plans to move to L.A. eventually, he doesn’t plan on giving up his career in Asia. Rain, who still considers Seoul home, plans to divide his time between Asia and Hollywood. “I will concentrate on both because I love my fans. And Asia is a big market, and Hollywood is, too… I am going to be a superstar!” he teased.

Told that he already is a superstar, he feigned surprise and said, “Really!? Thank you! I’ll do my best in getting better.”

Rain is easily the biggest Asian sensation today. His face has graced various advertising campaigns all over the region. He is followed by screaming girls wherever he goes which has gotten so extreme that at one point a girl showed up in an airport in China proclaiming that she was carrying his son.

“This one fan claimed that she had my baby,” he recalled. “It was crazy. We were at an airport in China and it was so scary. She looked like…,” he paused and acted how the woman looked. His bodyguards had to drive the woman away. He, however, made it clear that he likes the adulation he gets from the girls. “It’s my dream!” he said in jest.

His rise to the top is something that he has always been proud of. “When I was young, my mother passed away and we were so poor but it’s because of her that I am here.” The Internet is filled with unconfirmed stories including that of a young Rain drinking from a glass of water that was later discovered to have a dead cockroach in it. “My mother is my hero. She’s my angel and she’s always here,” he said pointing to his heart.

He now considers his life comfortable. “Now, I am… just a little bit rich,” he said. “Life is comfortable.”

He credits his mentor Park Jin Young in helping him chart his impressive rise to stardom across Asia, yet he is still aiming to go higher — as high as he could possibly get.

A known workaholic, Rain sees no problem working on another martial arts movie. “I want to work with Joel again,” he said. “And I love Bruce Lee, I love Jackie (Chan), I love Jet Lee. They are my heroes. But I am so powerful, I am so fast, I am younger and I am so handsome than them,” he said then paused and smiled. “I am kidding! Please don’t tell Jackie, he’s my brother.” He said that Jackie has always been nice to him and has even given him tips on how to make it big in Hollywood. “Just do your best always,” Rain recalled Jackie telling him.

The night before our interview, Rain graced a Hollywood nightclub to promote his movie and was expectedly mobbed by a throng of young girls. “I love L.A., I love the girls,” he said.

Life after shooting the movie has been a lot of fun to the star. “No more workouts, no more chicken breasts,” he said. He has been eating lots of his favorite chocolates since filming ended but sees no problem going back to the hard workout regime he followed if he is asked again.

We ended the interview on a high note with the five other journalists from Europe all in awe of the Asian superstar!

Ninja Assassin is now showing in theaters.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

stephen king's latest book earns high marks!

here's a glowing review of stephen king's latest book "under the dome"

***

Review: Stephen King's dome yarn is among his best
By Ted Anthony, AP

By now with Stephen King, it's easy to think this is all kind of ridiculous. An invisible dome descending upon a small town in Maine? People trapped inside, trying to figure out what on Earth is going on and — as always in a Stephen King story — dying in droves?

Good Lord. Is the King of Really Heavy Books — the author who is a one-man argument for the hernia-preventing benefits of e-books — running out of viable plot devices?

This is, after all, the guy who wrote entire volumes about cell phones turning fellow citizens into ravenous zombies, about possessed and murderous 1958 Plymouths and about evil, immortal clowns who live in the sewers and prey upon children. Really, now. How much gimmickry can one writer expect us to stomach?

Those statements are all completely fair and true. Trouble is, when it comes to "Under the Dome," they're also all entirely inaccurate.

Because "Under the Dome" is one of those works of fiction that manages to be both pulp and high art, that successfully — and very improbably — captures the national zeitgeist at this particularly strange and breathless period in American history.

The town of Chester's Mill, Maine — just up the road from the equally fictional Castle Rock, home to so many of King's unsettling yarns — is minding its own business one dazzling October day when an unseen force field descends upon it, slicing in two pretty much anything that was crossing the edge of town at that moment.

What happens in ensuing days is even more unsettling. Except for Internet service and spotty cell-phone signals, the town is isolated and imprisoned in plain sight. And inside the dome, society slowly, inexorably, almost methodically begins to fall apart.

King is usually classified as a horror writer, but he is more of a chameleon than that. He's capable of shifting from genre to genre at will, particularly in his short stories. "Under the Dome," however, is such a hodgepodge of genres that it ends up transcending genre entirely, and in the best of ways. The most accurate way of characterizing it in a single line may be "Our Town" meets "Silent Spring" meets "Lord of the Flies."

For it begins becoming evident, in the usual serpentine King way, that the environment and the way we treat it have everything to do with why the dome is there and what it might mean. Coupled, of course, with some seriously non-rational things that are going on.

The chief protagonist, Dale Barbara, is a just-retired Army man who fought in Iraq and did some things he isn't entirely proud of. He has repaired to Chester's Mill as a fry cook, trying to lay low. But in the days before "Dome Day," he runs afoul of some of the local cretins and becomes persona non grata through no fault of his own. In fact, he is trying to leave town when the dome falls and narrowly escapes becoming one of its first victims.

Barbara becomes one of the focal points in the us-vs.-them panic that overtakes Chester's Mill like a slow-motion tidal wave, pushed along by the other focal point — "Big Jim" Rennie, the town boss, who is about as prosaically malevolent a character that King has ever devised and who has a no-good son to match.

What pushes "Under the Dome" forward is not so much its whodunit or whatdunit plot, though that is tighter and more well-structured than usual for a King novel, even at more than 1,000 pages. It's how the characters treat each other and react to each other as they are forced together in their Biosphere-from-hell scenario.

And why not? Chester's Mill in late 2009 is a microcosm of America at the same time, with all the angst and post-9/11 fear and suspicion of fellow citizens that pervades the entire republic. Add to that the notion of an entire society being watched and watching itself through a translucent bubble — a reality-TV metaphor if there ever was one — and you have novel as cultural document.

The end, and the resolution, are less important than the path taken to get there. As usual with King, it's all seen through a fun-house mirror. And though the requisite supernatural elements are there, the really troubling thing — as with so much in society today — is that the fun-house distortions of popular fiction are, to everyday America, more recognizable than ever.

The main reflection isn't that of Frankenstein or Dracula or the Joker or the Incredible Hulk. Instead, it looks a lot more like us. That's how Stephen King, at his best, has always been. What's really scary is that the world has caught up.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

roger corman gets an oscar!

in yet another proof that cinema is not entirely about "good" movies but about style, vision, and originality, the academy of motion picture arts and sciences announced today that roger corman, the man who stripped jane fonda in "barbarella", will receive a special honorary oscar during next year's oscar ceremonies.

here's the story from AP

***

And the Oscar goes to... B-movie king Corman
By Writer David Germain, AP Movie Writer

LOS ANGELES – Roger Corman, memorably dubbed "the Orson Welles of the Z-Movie" and "the Pope of Pop Cinema," never expected the words "Academy Award recipient" would accompany his name.

The man, whose 350 movie credits include such low-budget fare as "The Masque of the Red Death" and "X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes," is receiving an honorary Oscar for a lifetime of achievement that includes mentoring such filmmakers as Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, James Cameron and Ron Howard.

Corman, 83, said he was aware the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was considering him for the honor. He felt certain he would not make the cut, though.

"I predicted that I would not win because I make low-budget films, and I felt the academy would not give an award to someone who made low-budget films. I was truly surprised when I got the call," Corman said in an interview at the offices of his production and distribution outfit, New Horizons Pictures.

Corman does not just make low-budget movies. He's a maestro at it, creating plenty of schlock with titles such as "Night Call Nurses" and "Galaxy of Terror" but also cult hits with staying power. Among his productions are "Death Race 2000" and "The Little Shop of Horrors," shot in just over two days for $30,000, featuring a young Jack Nicholson and a creepy, campy story line that later spawned a stage show and Hollywood musical remake.

Along with Nicholson, those who got acting breaks from Corman include Robert De Niro (1970's "Bloody Mama"), Charles Bronson (1958's "Machine-Gun Kelly") and Sylvester Stallone (1975's "Capone" and "Death Race 2000").

Corman is receiving his award at a ceremony Saturday along with fellow honorary Oscar recipients Lauren Bacall and cinematographer Gordon Willis.

Keeping budgets tiny and shooting quickly, Corman has made a profitable career defying the Hollywood maxim that you never put your own money into a movie. He still finances his own films so he can make them his way, without interference from studio backers.

His memoir is titled "How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime" — though the book's title is wrong on both counts, Corman said. He's made far more movies, and he acknowledges a few have lost money.

Sex and violence sells many of Corman's movies, but he also has peddled social commentary — racism with 1962's "The Intruder" starring William Shatner, and mental illness with 1977's "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden."

From his initial success in the late 1950s and early '60s, Corman set out to nurture young talent.

"I'd made a little bit of money, and I felt I should invest this money, and I don't really know anything about real estate or the stock market," Corman said. "But as a young filmmaker around town, I socialized with and knew other young filmmakers, and I thought, 'I think I know the ones who are the most-talented and who haven't had their chance yet.'"

So he invested his profits in people. Corman gave early directing shots to Coppola (1963's "Dementia 13"), Scorsese (1972's "Boxcar Bertha"), Howard (1977's "Grand Theft Auto"), Jonathan Demme (1974's "Caged Heat") and Joe Dante (1978's "Piranha").

Cameron did effects work on early 1980s Corman productions such as "Battle Beyond the Stars," while others who got a start in Corman's stable include John Sayles and Peter Bogdanovich.

Corman said he's never envied his proteges for the acclaim and box-office success they achieved later.

"I've admired them and actually, I take pride in what they have done," Corman said. "I know that they all would have achieved the same level if they had never met me, but I think what I was able to do was to give them a start and help them a little bit in their careers, and I take great pride in that."

Corman himself has a distinctive awards history. His office is wall filled with Oscar nominations for foreign-language classics he distributed in the United States. Corman's former company, New World Pictures, was a U.S. home for films by Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Francois Truffaut and Akira Kurosawa.

Though he has had films at prestigious festivals such as Cannes and Venice, Corman jokes about the acclaim he's earned from lesser events.

"I'm the great winner of awards at minor film festivals," Corman said. "I've got a shelf at home filled with awards from festivals you never heard of."

Where will he put his Oscar?

"It'll go in front," Corman said.

Amanda Peet

here's another story i filed for the philippine star. this time, it's my story on hollywood actress amanda peet. the interview took place during the junket of "2012"


****
“I am not Gwyneth Paltrow — news flash!” declared Amanda Peet when told that Gwyneth doesn’t go to the grocery store. “I do not have an assistant, who else is going to the grocery store?” she asked.

Last week, The Philippine STAR met with the pretty thirty-something actress during the junket for Columbia Pictures’ newest film, 2012, the stunning doomsday epic starring her, John Cusack and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

In the movie, Amanda is Kate Curtis, a suburban housewife with two kids. She had to contend with an ex-husband and the threat of the world coming to an end. Her character literally finds out about the earth’s grim future inside a grocery store when the ground literally broke apart under her feet. This prompted the question: Would she be caught shopping at a grocery store herself?

2012 is Amanda’s first Roland Emmerich film. “I wanna tell you that it was so hard and grueling but Roland made it quite a lovely experience,” she remarked when asked how it was like making a disaster movie. “I mean I didn’t like being in the tank for a very long time and it is exactly not easy to be conjuring up emotions when you are acting opposite an X on a wall but there are other people doing much harder than I do, truthfully, right?”

Her character, indeed, has to go through a lot. The world is going to end and the filmmaker’s vision of the cataclysm is a visual extravaganza of mayhem and destruction. She has no way out!

But if Amanda will have her way, she’d rather not think about it. She has a two-year-old daughter in real life to think of before engaging in any talks about the world coming to an end. “Of course you have to think about the things that are happening in the Middle East… I live about two blocks from ground zero and I think about these things all the time but you have to get on with it, you know, thank God for Obama!”

Amanda was first introduced to the Filipino public a decade ago when Studio 23 aired a syndicated American TV series about a mismatched couple who just can’t seem to get together. The cutesy set-up about a guy named “Jill” and a girl named “Jack” immediately caught on with viewers and earned avid followers, this writer included. That sitcom was called Jack & Jill and it starred two fresh-faced Hollywood newcomers, Amanda and Ivan Sergei.

That sitcom, however, didn’t last more than two seasons. It was yanked out midway through its second season and fans did not have a chance to see what became of the two main characters’ complicated relationship. No, Amanda had no idea either how the series ended when this writer asked her. “Oh God I don’t remember… it was 10 years ago!” she said before pausing to ponder. “I don’t remember if they were together or have broken up.” Dang!

When the series was canceled, Amanda was cast in the 2000 Bruce Willis comedy The Whole Nine Yards, which she considers her biggest break. “When I got the call after I read with Bruce Willis, I got the feeling like not that I made it but that I’m making a movie with Bruce Willis!”

She has since appeared in a number of movies, most notably in the Oscar-winning Something’s Gotta Give and in Woody Allen’s Melinda & Melinda.

2012 is her third film with Cusack. “I love him so much. I will do anything to be in a John Cusack movie, I will search high and low to find him,” she said. They have previously appeared in Identity and Martian Child.

Despite having spent more than a decade in the industry, Amanda is still unsure of her stature in Hollywood.

“I get really jealous and compare myself against them,” she confided. “I am haunted by the feeling that I am just mediocre all the time. But you push on and you have moments where you have a feeling that’s very peaceful — that there’s enough room for all of us.”

“I have my gifts whatever they are and hopefully at some point, before I am 80, I get the role that I am waiting for — whatever that means. I guess I find that the older I get the more it is important not to have some kind of a singular notion about what success is and what it means to have made it or to have the recognition of your peers because...” she struggled to finish before finally saying, “I am also a mom and a wife and lots of everything!” Amanda is married to writer David Benioff.

She lamented losing plum roles in Lovely and Amazing to Brit actress Emily Mortimer and to Jennifer Connelly in Waking the Dead.

She sees something positive working in Hollywood though. Amanda confessed to still being star-struck until now. She enumerated a list of actors she would want to work with — and there is a lot! Among the actors she would love to work with, she considers working with the great Oscar-winning Emma Thompson, her biggest dream. “Emma Thompson will probably be my dream, end-of-the-word, to-die-for, just-let-me-stand-next-to-you-and-you-can-just-breathe-on-me moment!”

She also added that she was fawning like crazy in front of Catherine Keener, one of the most admired actresses in Hollywood. “I actually worked with Catherine (who is also appearing in the current blockbuster movie Where the Wild Things Are, which opens in the Philippines in February next year) and it was kind of ridiculous. I was like…” she gestured with a wide mouth awed look.

But unlike other fans, Amanda hasn’t asked for autographs from any of her favorite stars ever. She confessed, however, to having written someone a note two years ago. She did not identify who but she told us it was to another actress. “I just said ‘I love you’.”

When a writer from Russia complimented her looks, she blushed and whispered a polite thank you.

Amanda has a degree in American history but she considered becoming an actress “because I wasn’t good at anything else,” she teased. “I went to the university but when I was seven, my sister would play baseball with the boys and my mom took me to an acting class at the bottom of a church.”

Later, when she was 19, she studied with the famous Uta Hagen. That’s when she realized she wanted to pursue acting as a profession.

Amanda has recently completed filming Gulliver’s Travel with Jack Black.

2012 opens tomorrow, Nov. 13, in theaters.

Monday, November 09, 2009

'2012"

Here's a copy of my story i filed for the upcoming columbia pictures' disaster flick "2012".
*****
What if the world ends in 2012?
By Raymond de Asis Lo, L.A. correspondent (The Philippine Star)

If you knew the world is going to end in 2012, what would you do?

This writer posed this question to the three leading stars of Columbia Pictures’ latest film, the riveting and breathtaking 2012, during the junket at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills over the weekend.

“I will end this interview and go to the beach,” joked John Cusack, who stars as writer Jackson Curtis out to save his family from harm and danger in the movie. He would later correct himself and shared that he would most probably welcome it by watching a very good movie.
Amanda Peet, who plays his ex-wife Kate, declined to answer but exclaimed that, “I truly try hard not to imagine it. That’s so horrible. I can’t think about that — my daughter is only two years old!”

British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, who received wide critical acclaim for his performances in Dirty Pretty Things and Kinky Boots, and who plays Adrian Helmsley, the geologist who calculated the timeline of the world’s demise, offered a more introspective answer.

“It depends on a number of factors,” he began. “One would be if everybody else knew versus only a few, in which case it would be a good opportunity to travel and see all the places in the world you hadn’t seen and only later on, say the last six months, would you then figure out how to survive the thing — if there’s any possibility at all.”

Wise advice indeed!

If one wants to see all the beautiful landmarks in the world, one must hurry up because when the world ends three years from now, all these priceless treasures are going to be destroyed in spectacular fashion — if master filmmaker Roland Emmerich will have his way, that is.

2012 is an apocalyptic look at an earth finally succumbing to major environmental upheavals. It features intense and eye-popping display of state-of-the-art movie special effects and, save for the Mecca in Saudi Arabia, no major world landmark is spared.

The filmmaker behind such blockbuster epics as Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, Stargate, and Godzilla toyed with the idea of showing the destruction of Mecca but decided against it and opted to destroy the Vatican City instead. “That tells you so much about the world. You can destroy Christian symbols as much as you want but you have to keep your fingers off Islam,” director Emmerich confided.

The movie’s cataclysmic scenes are some of the scariest this writer has ever seen on cinema. For someone who lives in Los Angeles, it was a nightmare to see the destruction of the city. Think of all imaginable disasters in the world — tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, fires, entire countries going under the sea, etc. — this movie has it all!

What makes it scarier is the scientific theory supporting the movie’s premise. It utilizes the controversial Mayan prophecy that the world will come to an end on Dec. 21, 2012. The Mayans, who are noted for their precise mathematics and keen astronomical insights, devised various calendars during the golden age of their civilization. One calendar they created, which scholars call the “long count” calendar and which exactly measures the planetary alignments and its cyclical patterns, tracks every 5,126 Gregorian years and resets to zero (or the beginning of time) at the end. The current 5,126 year-period, based on the Mayan calendar, is expected to end by 2012.

On Dec. 21, 2012, another extraordinary phenomenon is expected to occur. This occurrence happens only every 26,000 years. On this date, the sun will be aligned with the center of the Milky Way. Mayan enthusiasts have long claimed that this rare celestial episode is proof that an earth-shattering event that will change the course of history will occur on this date.

This grim end-of-the-world scenario was the perfect setup for the $200-M movie — and the filmmakers unapologetically went all out destroying the world. “I hope and pray to God that what we are doing is not true,” writer and producer Harald Kloser pleaded. “Parts of everything are true but we kind of engineered it a little bit to make it work as a science in the film. The San Andreas Fault, the earthquakes, the planetary alignments are all true. Even the earth’s crust displacement theory, although true is still a highly questionable theory.”

2012 did offer one prediction that ultimately became true: When filming began in Canada in early 2008, the US had a white president then, but the script already had a black man for president. “The black president is not a coincidence,” Harald said. “When I wrote my first scene in the white house, the story had a woman president.” The gender was changed after Hilary Clinton lost to Barack Obama in the Iowa primary. Acclaimed actor Danny Glover plays the president.

The movie begins inauspiciously with the discovery of the earth’s core heating up in the present times (2009) and the story slowly escalates to the year 2012 when all the mayhem started taking place.

The world, as we know it, is going to end! Consider this movie a fair warning.

2012 also stars Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, and Woody Harrelson, who is so good and initially unrecognizable in another offbeat role.

The film will open Nov. 13 in theaters.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

the hug that defined the yankees' 27th world championship win!

here's an interesting sidebar story by a yahoo sports blogger named "DUK" to the historic win of the new york yankees in the world series last night! a touching one at that!

NEW YORK — The throng of media members around the makeshift stage seemed impenetrable, but Harlan Chamberlain motored his way through all of the cameras and notepads anyways. Reaching a blue barrier, he stopped his scooter, strained to look over a crowd of world champion Yankee ballplayers and tried to get a glimpse of his son. When that proved useless, he simply resorted to his considerable vocal chords.

"Jaaaaaaahba!" he yelled. "Jaaaaaaaaaahba!"

Harlan said his son's name a few more times, then spied A.J. Burnett(notes) in the crowd.

"Burnett!" he said. "Can you get my son!"

Burnett could and a few moments later, Joba Chamberlain(notes) put down the giant blue Yankee flag he had been waving up on stage. The big Yankees pitcher hopped off the stage, disappeared from the view of the Fox cameras and quickly made a beeline for his father. When they came together, they wrapped each other in a huge rocking bearhug.

It wasn't long before both were crying.

They said the same thing over and over.

"We did it, dad," Joba said.

"We did it," Harlan said.

"We did it," Joba said.

"We did it," Harlan said.

And on and on. They held tight for almost a minute. Their eyes were red when they let go.

You see the Yankees' $200+ million payroll and it's easy to get cynical. Same goes for their $1.5 billion new stadium, the seats that cost more than the average mortgage payment, the steroid controversies involving some of their team members and all the endless hype and hooey about mystique, aura and all the Yankee legends and ghosts.

But then you see this very simple and very real scene of a 24-year-old pitcher sharing the hug of a lifetime with his dad and you remember that those father-son relationships — one of the only things that really matter — are at the very heart of this great game that we love.

The same dynamic was on display everywhere at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night. Way up in the upper deck, a dad tossed his little son into the air whenever Hideki Matsui(notes) came through (which was often). A mid-20s hipster sitting next to them made sure to ask one of my co-workers to snap a photo of he and his pops with his grainy cell phone camera. CC Sabathia(notes) did his postgame interviews with his little son on his shoulders the whole time.

And while all of those tiny little snapshots meant the world to those pictured in them, none of them seemed quite as remarkable to outsiders as the one taken by the Chamberlains.

Their story has been told often since Joba became a pitcher with the Yankees. Harlan was stricken with polio as a child and his health problems have confined him to the trademark scooter that gets him recognized by Yankee fans everywhere. Despite his limitations, he raised both Joba and his sister in Nebraska and provided for them while working in a prison. The sad story of Joba's mother is sadly well-known — she's facing 20 years in jail for a drug charge — but he's always had the love and support from an extraordinary father. They call each other their best friends. It's impossible for them to be any closer.

I caught up with Harlan later on Wednesday night and asked him what it was like to see his son pitch a scoreless inning in a World Series clincher. Then I asked him what it was like to have the hug on the field with him afterward. His eyes were still teary as he talked.

"I told my son for years that he would do this, we would talk about getting to the World Series all the time" said Harlan while stopped near home plate of Yankee Stadium. "We just shared that moment while realizing that he did it. I pinched myself a few times. It's pretty awesome.

"We love each very much. This whole adventure in life is about family and in our case, it's about father and son."

In the days ahead, we're sure to see a lot of scenes from the Yankees 27th championship. Some we'll be bound to remember. Some we'll be bound to forget.

It's not hard to tell which category the Chamberlains' special moment will fall under, because it rarely gets much better than that.

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