Wednesday, December 30, 2015
The Bengal's season is over !! The Bengals are looking at going 3-5 during the second half of the regular season. Whomever they play in the 1st round of the playoffs will be favored by the experts to win. Andy Dalton won't be ready to play. McCarron will be sacrificed to either the Jets or the (ugh) Stealers. Marvin will be 0- 7 in the Playoffs. Former Bengal coaches' Mike Zimmer in Minnesota and Jay Gruden in Washington will also get beat in their playoff games to complete the Circle of Futility.
I'm hoping that the following doesn't happen in order
1. The Stealers beat the Bengals in the 1st round again
2. The Jets beat the Bengals in the 1st round again
3. Carson Palmer wins the Super Bowl with the Cardinals
IV. Patriots win #5
5. Stealers win # 7
I hope I'm wrong
Sunday, December 27, 2015
My first admission before the review is that in the 1980's, I was a huge Rick Springfield fan. HUGE! Bigger than any straight, black dude from the hood should've been. I am not sure why?! The music was alright, but I am not sure that is what made me such a fan. Like I wanted to be dude. If I had been white, I would've walked, talked, and dressed like dude. I woulda had my hair done like him..... I mean, I was a huge fan. So when I saw the trailer for this movie a while ago, I was like, " Hey, that's Rick Springfield"! And I made a mental note in my head that I would see this movie just because he was in it. I mean, I saw Hard to Hold- the movie he starred in the 80's so....
But is Ricki and the Flash worth a Redbox.... sadly, NO. And I mean that sadly part because the movie is depressing as shit. The trailers played it up as a dramedy but the comedy part is lacking really and I'm not sure if they were trying to make funny moments. Its a full on drama! The story goes that Ricki( Meryl Streep) is an aging, wanna be rock star. In her younger years, she abandoned her family( husband and 3 kids) to pursue her dream of music and left her Indiana home to move to California. Like most, it did not work out and her kids hate her for leaving and her husband, played by Kevin Kline, has moved onto marry again( the incredible Audra Mcdonald)
But an event with the daughter, played by Streep's real life daughter, Mamie Gummer, forces Ricki to come home and deal with the mess her child's life is. Its overwrought with drama as she seeks to reconnect with her children and the husband she left behind. Streep seems to channeling Chrisie Hynde from the Pretenders as her inspiration. Rick Springfield plays her lead guitarist/boyfriend who offers her support through all the drama. There is some cover music played and if you are a fan of Streep, seeing her "rock out" may give you some thrill. But overall, the movie is bland, the acting is bland, and I am blander from having to watch it and review it for you.
So, no this movie is not worth your $1.50. Its easy to see why this bombed at the box office. Too much drama for your mama and as much as I like Rick Springfield, even my fan boy caping for him could not make this watchable for me.
Thursday, December 24, 2015
With the extra time off at Christmas, @brothascomics has a few movies that we have wanted to see. This is the first of 3 movies the Producer has seen over the last few days. Remember, Is it worth a Redbox looks at movies that were not blockbusters to see if they are worthy of your $1.50.
The first entry this week is Amy, the documentary about Amy Winehouse. In a word, this movie is well worth a Redbox. It documents her rise from local singer in England to global phenomenon. With video footage from when she was 16 and looking for work as a singer, to her tragic death, you are able to watch her rise and her ultimately fall and die from alcohol poisoning at the age of 27.
The documentary is a window at modern celebrity. Take one talented singer, from a broken home, mix in fast fame, and a group of hanger-ons who know this person is their meal ticket and will do anything to prevent the gravy train from stopping.
I only know Any Winehouse from "Rehab" but from the documentary you could see and hear the talent. You can also see and hear the pain as her lyrics were an open book to her struggles as a young kid and her major struggles as a young adult. Her music was her life and its all there. I am more interested in going back and buying her music now after seeing this documentary.
Overall, the movie is a bit long and drags on its way to the end. But on a whole, its well worth the rental and will leave you saddened that her voice was silenced so soon.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
The Producer is also a Blerd Dad. For those of you who have kids my age( 9 and 10) or a bit older, you know getting out to do anything can be an adventure( and not always in a good way). This is my adventure to just get to see the Force Awakens. No spoilers or movie review here. Just a dad sharing a life long passion with his kids.
If you have been reading this blog and/or listening to our podcast, you would know that I/we are all huge Star Wars fans but I had been holding down my excitement for this movie based on how hard I got burnt on the prequels. I had my concerns on how they were going to meld the new and old characters together in a way that did not seem like pandering to the "old" Star Wars fans. I had concerns about how "old" Star Wars fans would take to the new leads in Star Wars and if we could/would give a damn about the new characters.
Now my kids are "New" Star Wars fans. Of course they have seen the movies. We have watched them numerous times, but their interest in Star Wars is more rooted in the Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels cartoons. They like the movies...kinda, sorta. They watch them, but most of their understanding, or lack of understanding, is based on their knowledge of those cartoons. They play with their Star Wars toys sometimes. They are just kinda lukewarm to the franchise and, honestly, thats probably because of me. I do not force things I like onto my kids- besides making them cheer for the Bengals. They need to like what they like and I need to learn to accept it( as long as they don't cheer for the Steelers- I'm good).
So leading up to the release, I been kinda out of it. When the new toys went on sell, I didn't even bother buying anything. When pre-tickets went on sale, I let it slide. This is totally not like me. Before Episode 1, I bought my tickets weeks in advance and hid them in my Bible thinking if someone broke in, they could steal the tv, but don't fuck with my Star Wars tickets. Before Episode 1, I took off a day from work to go to different stores to buy Star Wars figures and proudly showed them off to co-workers when I came back to work the next day. But for The Force Awakens, as the release date got closer, I pretty much ignored all the tv spots and I watched the trailer a normal amount of blerd times( like 3). I was suppressing any level of hype ahead of this movie. My kids were feeding off me. They watched the trailer, but since I wasn't hype, they wasn't hype. Of course we was gonna see it, but we were thinking more opening weekend, not opening night. There was even talk about waiting until the Monday to let the hype die down before seeing it.
When we got to release week and more and more people were talking about seeing the movie, I started to think, I need to see the movie sooner than later because the internet has no chill on spoilers. So just random, I started looking to see if any midnight showings were still open. Now I have not been to a midnight since the Batman shootings in Colorado. Now that I have kids, the idea of dying just to say I saw a movie first made no sense. As I searched theaters, all midnight and late night shows were sold out, but I found plenty of Thursday night showings. Now me, being me, and you would have to know me to know what that means, did not purchase the tickets right away. I looked at them, consulted with others from @brothascomics, consulted with the Mrs, posted on FB what should I do.... I am just not an impulsive person when it comes to purchases. In my consultation time, I lost tickets to a 7:00 PM and an 8:00 PM and both shows sold out. Now I was shut out again and was thinking, "man, somebody gonna spoil this movie for me before I can see it". On top of that, me being me, I told the kids we were going to see it Thursday and now I didn't have any tickets. I could see the therapy my kids would be paying for because their dad promised to take them to Star Wars but didn't.
Then I checked the movie theater that you go to ONLY because its showing something you want to see. The Regal Cinema in Kennesaw is that theater for me. Its just kinda old, its super over priced, and the popcorn is terrible. Regal had a 9:30 PM and after consulting ( again) with the Mrs., I purchased the tickets for us and our 2 kids. I did this on Tuesday night! And not surprisingly, my hype level went way up. Like I was having a hard time sleeping. Plus, sharing Star Wars with my kids on the big screen had me in my feelings. It would be their first late night, opening night( on a school night), experience. This made me emotional in a way I did not anticipate. The only other time I felt this way was when I took my kids to see Toy Story 3!
As we got closer to Thursday, the hype level in the house was building. My daughter wanted to watch Return of the Jedi to refamiliarize herself with what we were about to see. My son told all his friends that he was going to see the movie Thursday and damn near got in a fight at school because kids thought he was lying because the movie didn't come out until Friday.
Thursday came and the Mrs bailed feeling that she would fall asleep during the movie( she would have) and so it was just me and the kids. My daughter has dance on Thursday till about 6:30 PM and I was gonna head to the theater by 8:30 for the 9:30 show. My wife suggested leaving around 7:30 PM and she was 100% correct. When we got to the Regal, lines were everywhere for the many different showtimes and we were not sure what line to stand in. In Regal Cinema fashion, no one was around to let you know what line was for what showtime. I went inside and found a manager and he told me that they already began seating for the 9:30 PM- it was 7:55 PM. They had opened seating 2 hours before showtime. So the kids and I blow through the line( damn some nasty ass popcorn) and catch seats on the top row, left of center. Theater held about 200 and at 8:00 PM, I would say about 150 of the seats was already filled.
Again my kids are 9 and 10 years old- having them sit for 90 minutes in the dark with nothing to do would be a parental suicide. But being Super Blerd Dad, I had packed their tablets and they were able to game and Netflix the time away waiting for the movie to start. As I put out in my tweets that night, no one in the 2D showing was dressed up. This totally surprised me. I figured someone or many someones would be dressed up as Jedi but not one. Security was also lacking. As we went in, no one searched my bag. All I had in there was a Pepsi and two Kindle Fire's. But they didn't look to make sure I didn't have a gun in there and that scared me once we got seated. Plus the cat we was sitting next to, was sketch at best( I never trust men who go to the movies by themselves).
Naturally, my kids want snacks and I'm faced with that parenting dilemma of getting up and possibly losing our seats to the late arriving crowd or leaving my kids with this potential To Catch a Predator dude sitting next to us. I rolled the dice hoping that dude was on his 2nd strike and that my kids "Stranger Danger" lessons from school would kick in if anything popped off. I ran out to concessions and the line was not that long, but for some damn reason, people are still confused about what they want to order at the movie theater. Get popcorn or nachos and a drink and sit the fuck down! I ordered 2 combos( popcorn and nachos, duh) and that shit was $26. Whatever. I run back into the theater and made sure dude ain't try to touch or proposition my kids and waited out the last 20 minutes before the movie began.
I wrote about the trailers in a previous article but once the lights go dark and we knew the movie was about to begin, I felt this sense of excitement that I had not felt before. My daughter was so excited, she clutched my arm like she does when we are in a crowded park or store. And when that John Williams theme hit, I began to cry. I could not believe that 32 years ago, I saw Jedi in the theater and now I am seeing The Force Awakens with my own kids.
Now without spoiling the movie, when its over, even around midnight, my kids are hyped. My kids are biracial( their mom is Latina). My son was all about Finn and Poe and I was so excited for him ( and myself) to see someone who looked like me( us) and for him to be the hero. And my daughter was all about Rey for the same reasons. It doubled my enjoyment of the movie for them to see themselves on screen-something that was so rare in sci/fantasy when I was growing up. And of course they want to see it again! We tried to see if after church on Sunday and both showings we wanted to go to were sold out!
Now of course, days before Christmas, they want all the Finn and Rey toys and they are not easy to find. They want The Force Awaken pj's and posters and because I suppressed all my hype, I did not buy any swag ahead of time and now its all sold out. Maybe Santa will hook them up!
In short, if you love Star wars and you have kids, sharing this experience with them will probably get you in your feelings when they drop the lights and you hear that music. Enjoy it because moments like these are what makes being a blerd dad special!
Saturday, December 19, 2015
@brothascomics saw The Force Awakens on Thursday night and we will have the full movie review up on Sunday so you need to see the movie before we spoiler it in our review.
Before that tho, I wanted to drop on the trailers that ran before the movie We saw a 2D print o may be different m so our tr Plan for an extra 20 minutes with the trailers because there are a few of them. A few we had already seen I was looking forward to seeing Civil War on the big screen, as well as X-Men: Apocalypse. A few, I had never heard about and the trailers assured me that I will never see these movies when they come out unless someone else is paying.
Here is our rundown. Enjoy!
Now Big Hutch is more of the RPG guy of @brothascomics. I've never really been into them and this movie ain't changing that opinion anytime soon. The CGI is "Incredible Hulk" bad and the dialogue is straight out of a badly written comic. if you pay real money for this, you better own stock in World of Warcraft.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Independence Day: Resurgence
Fantastic Beasts- And Where to Find Them
Captain America: Civil War
Those were all the trailers. When I looked at my phone when it was over, I was like, "damn, we just watched 22 minutes worth of trailers and Star Wars ain't start yet"! But overall, a couple of movies I want to see, a couple that I will be made to see by my kids, and a few I will never see and will unfriend people I know if I find out they saw them.
Check back on Sunday for our The Force Awakens movie review!
Monday, December 14, 2015
This past week the trailer dropped for the highly anticipated follow up to Days of Future Past- XMen: Apocalypse. This is an official trailer, unlike the leaked trailer from comic con this summer. We finally get to see Apocalypse in all his CGI glory and not looking like a villain from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
Off the jump, I saw the trailer on my phone after unofficial @brothascomics member, Sandman texted me early in the morning to let me know the trailer was out. On my phone, I was a little underwhelmed. Plus I was at work and was kind of distracted and couldn't focus on what I was actually seeing. Once I got home, I was able to watch it in peace by myself and then with my daughter, who is a huge X-Fan. So lets look at some frame by frame shots and break down the trailer! I am also going to mix in some information from the interview Bryan Singer did with ew.com the day the trailer released as he has more background information on our favorite mutants.
Opening scene is on new Jean Grey as she awakes from a nightmare of the worlds destruction and Charles is with her to let her know that it was just a dream.
I do not watch Game of Thrones, but Big Hutch does and he is pretty excited about Sophie Turner as Jean Grey. This is a "hit reset" of sorts for the Xmen movies as they cast younger with the eyes towards the future of the franchise. This new group of Xmen( Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Nightcrawler), along with a new Storm and new characters Psylocke and Jubilee are the future of the franchise. And unsurprisingly, there is no Wolverine- which I think is a very good thing!
The trailer shifts to a voice over from Apocalypse dropping the many names he has been called over the years, God, Rah, Yahweh.... and the scene is inter cut with what looks like him recruiting his Four Horseman.
In the EW article, Singer talks about how Apocalypse wakes up from a 5000 year sleep and is not pleased with the world he sees and is now going to set it the way he sees fit- something he has done many times over the years apparently. This plays into the comics version of Apocalypse who is constantly wanting to cull the weak and allow only the strongest to survive. His main co-hort in doing this is usually Mr. Sinister so I wonder if he makes it into this movie somehow.
The scene then shifts to the CIA and Moira McTaggert briefing Charles and Alex Summers on the history of Apocalypse. The idea that he is the first mutant is tossed out there and you get the sense that Apocalypse has already made his first move(s).
The scene moves back to Apocalypse as he seems to be either recruiting or speaking to Magneto. From the EW article, Singer indicates this movie occurs 10 years after Days of Future Past and Erik and Charles are still estranged. Erik has left the world of Evil Mutants behind and has moved to Poland and has a wife but something happens to his new found life and family and Erik is at his lowest point when Apocalypse comes to him offering hope and Erik joins the 4 Horsemen along with Archangel, Storm, and Psylocke. This scene is also cut with a shot of Jubilee.... Now I hate the character Jubilee with a passion! The comics version was annoying and somehow they made her even more annoying in the 90's cartoon. I am not sure how/why they decided to put her in this movie, but I am not happy about it!
As Moira explains the 4 Horsemen to Charles and Alex Summers, there is a great line of how maybe the Bible got the 4 Horsemen idea from Apocalypse. Let me also take the time to hate the idea that the Summers Brother who has it most together is Alex.
Let me tell you something...no one in their cotton picking minds in the 80's or 90's ever wanted to be Alex Summers. We all wanted to be Scott Summers, leader of the XMen and bae of Jean Grey. The fact they have screwed over Scott Summers/Cyclops in these movies is probably the thing I hate most about the XMovies. They dicked the character over so much, they even turned him into an asshole in the comics,too! Sorry, side brotha note!
The trailer then moves to show Charles hooked into Cerebro with a tear and a concerned look worried that "he can control all of us". The quick cut is to outside of Cerebro and Apocalypse and the Horsemen are there and Magneto moves Charles across the room.
Raven/Mystique is upset by this and we see a scene with her and Beast discussing why the XMen are needed again and Raven drops a line as to why she is there.... to fight...... Side Brotha note..... I am not down with this Raven not being blue stuff. I know the actress now is high profile with 2 Oscars and probably believes she is better than this material! She made mention in an EW article where she was not down with the 4 hour make up to play Mystique. Fine, I guess! But it just seems a bit odd now that she is only Raven in the trailer and we don't even see her as Mystique. And it looks like Raven is taking on a leadership role with the Xmen... again it just seems a bit off and forced. It looks like she is leading with Beast- which makes sense since Hank has been with Charles from the beginning.
Then there is a line in there where Raven corrects Scott about being able to control his powers , "but this is war".... ugh. Look, I am excited for this movie, but that line gave had a XMen: Last Stand vibe to it and made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. Hopefully this is the start to having Cyclops become the leader of the Xmen that we know him to be and not the whiny little bitch he is portrayed as in the movies.
The trailer starts to wind down with some drop in shots of Storm and Archangel, along with Magneto using their powers( Psylocke does not make the cut at all using her powers.)
The trailers ending begins with Apocalypse monologuing and seeing more destruction, mixed in with a shot of Apocalypse inside Cerebro and Quicksilver doing Quicksilver things
The final shots are of Charles. One he is hooked to Cerebro and his eyes go black as he explain how he has never felt this type of power and the trailer ends on the money shot of Charles, in the wheelchair, and bald. In the EW article, Singer says its the original chair from the 1st Xmen movie and they actually had to buy it back from a collector( I bet that cost them!)
That's pretty much it.... There is such debate about the XMovies... Some people love them, some people loathe them and this trailer, if you read and believe Twitter, intensifies that debate. I am not sure how I felt about it. I guess, meh... Trailers are to get you to want to spend your money but I was gonna spend my money on this anyway. Bison4Life, a follower on Twitter, stated that maybe we are all in trailer fatigue and overload and that could very well be true. In the past 3 weeks, we have gotten trailers for 3 of the most highly anticipated movies of 2016. That is on top of what seems to be a new Star Wars trailer everyday. Maybe there is nothing to get excited for? Maybe, six films in, we know exactly what we are going to get from an Xmen movie and Bryan Singer and we are just holding excitement down until it comes out? This trailer did nothing to make me want to see it more, I do know that. In Singer I Trust with these movies, tho. He seems to have a beat and pattern to make these movies successful and highly entertaining so until he makes one that is terrible,
I'm rolling with him like Xavier!
Thursday, December 10, 2015
With the not so surprising news this morning that Michael B Jordan was not nominated for a Golden Globe award for Creed, I felt moved to finish this project that I have had in draft for the past couple of weeks. I have only seen parts of Creed but people I respect who have seen the entire movie stated that Jordan did a great job and he looked to at least, maybe... possibly.... get a nomination for best actor for Creed. I paused when the person said it tho because if you look at the history of film, there has not been a lot of love for fictional, black boxers in movies.
The movie,The Great White Hope, starring James Earl Jones, was nominated for Best Picture( didn't win) and he was nominated for best actor( did not win). But this movie is a kind of, sort of biography itself of boxer Jack Johnson.
Biography pictures about black boxers have generated Oscar nominations. One for Denzel Washington in the brilliant, The Hurricane. Side brotha note... .how in da fuq he did not win the Oscar that year is still beyond me. His role in the Hurricane is 1000x better than the win he got for Training Day...but whatever. The other nomination went to Will Smith for his portrayal of Muhammad Ali in the not so brilliant movie Ali.
Contrast that with stories movies about white fictional and non fictional boxers and you will see there are tons of nominations and wins for movies featuring white boxers. These movies tend to be "Oscar Bait" and the award shows fall for it hook, line, and sinker. There is something about white, and underdog, and boxer that the awards love and we have been fed these films for the past 40-50 years. Do a google search and put in "boxing movies" and what comes up will tell you how comfortable Hollywood is with this genre of film.
And this speaks to the white people's comfortableness with seeing their underdog stories presented on film, while not being comfortable with blacks and people of color underdog stories. The narrative, as they see it, is that all blacks are gifted athletically, so there is no way they could be underdogs in any athletic event. Its why films like Rudy and Hoosiers are held to such high standards as virtues of hard work and determination by white people. Since blacks are viewed as superior athletically, they could never be underdogs and presenting a movie where they are the underdog or they have to work hard to achieve, aren't received as well do to the stereotype. Unless of course they are helped by a white person to achieve their dream. I am looking at you, Blindside!
However, whites are quite comfortable with black boxers in comedies( and so are black people). Boxers in comedies tend to play into the stereotype as the gifted athlete who dominates any and all comers- especially any white boxer who dares challenge for the belt. Whether its the stuttering champ, Jack Jenkins in Harlem Nights, Damon Wayans, SR as the Grim Reaper in The Great White Hype, or Eddie Murphy Kelly Robinson in I Spy, there is a general acceptance with black boxers in comedy.
I was hoping Creed would break through for Michael B Jordan and maybe it still will once the Oscar nominations come out; although I am not holding my breath. He should have been nominated for Fruitvale Station. It seems Rocky once again and scored the upset over the black boxer by getting the Golden Globe nomination! But I guess its really not that surprising.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
We continue on our road toward the Age of Apocalypse with Legion Quest part 3. To this point, Legion, AKA David Haller, the love child of Charles Xavier and Gabriel Haller, has gone back in time to kill Magneto. Legion believes that Magneto is the reason that his fathers dream of peaceful co-existence between mutants and humans has not happened because of Magneto and his insistence on the dominance of Homo-Superior.
In a battle with the Xmen, Legion transports himself back in time, along with four Xmen( Storm, Bishop, Iceman, and Psylocke). The trip back in time has left all involved with memory loss as to who they are and why they are in Israel. Legion is a mental hospital being helped by Magneto who is working as an intern at the hospital, along with his good friend, Charles Xavier.
Issue 3 picks up with Charles and Magnus( Erik) having a drink at a local bar. They are having discussions on the idea of people with special powers and IF they exist, how they would be perceived by normal humans. The roots of conflict are already planted and their positions are steadfast since this time. Charles believes that we could all just get along, while Magnus believes that humans will never accept those different than themselves and they would fight against all those who are different. I love the interaction between the two and the long established friendship they had. The writers are careful to show how much these two old friends care(d) for one another.
As they night goes on, a conflict in the bar breaks out and Charles, being the bleeding heart that he is, looks to assist a disabled man from being picked on by drunkards in the bar. Charles, showing some machismo we don't often see from him, takes on the biggest dude in the bar and puts him down without even using his powers.
Magnus, not wanting to see his boy get pummeled by the bar patrons, jump in and Magnus and Charles take on a bar full of drunks fighting back to back to beat them all off( without their powers). This builds upon their friendship further- showing how close these two dudes were before it all went to shit later in life.
The story switches to present day Israel as the remaining Xmen and Cable attempt to go back in time to inform the Xmen in the past that they need to stop Legion from executing Magneto. In the previous issues, the Shiar and the Watchers had visited the XMen and informed that there is a fabric in reality being torn by issues in the past and they need to fix it. The Xmen's plan is to use Cable, and his latent time travel abilities, to go back in time and inform the Xmen of what is happening in the present and inform them to stop Legion. The Shiar have provided the technology and using the PSI and telepathic abilities of Jean Grey and Charles Xavier, Cable is transported back in time to find the Xmen.
Back in time in Israel, the Xmen are working their lives as ordinary people. They know their names and they know they have powers, but they do not know why they are in Israel- even though there is a sense of lingering purpose as to why they are there. In the meantime, Charles and Magnus, fresh off their Roadhouse bar fight are headed on a ferry back to the hospital. Charles confesses his affection for Gabrielle Haller and Magnus tells him to follow his feelings and go for it. However, someone else is going to "go for it" with Gabrielle. In a weird scene, even for comics, Legion goes back to meet his mom, but poses as his father, Charles. They meet and, even though its not shown, he appears to bed down his mom. That is kinda fucked up!
Charles "senses" something is wrong with Gabrielle and he and Magnus begin rushing back to the hospital. The Xmen, working on the docks in Israel, are finally visited by Cable. Cable is drawn to Bishop, another man lost in time, and Cable informs them that they need to stop Legion. He urges them to "remember" and as the Xmen fight against Cable, the chronal energy lifts the fog of memory from the Xmen and they remember why they are back in time.
When Charles and Magnus arrive, they find Gabrielle a little beaten up and bruised. As they attend to her, Legion is there, and it appears his mind has also been restored to his mission back in time and his aim is clear- To Kill Magneto!
This concludes Legion Quest 3. Join us for the conclusion next week- which ushers us into the Age of Apocalypse.