Category Archives: EVERYTHING

Creed 2 movie review

Ironically these days boxing movies are bigger than boxing itself. The Rocky franchise has been the benchmark for great boxing flicks since the 1970’s and remains that way decades later. Sure, there are good ones out there such as The Fighter, Southpaw, and Bleed For This, but Creed 2 steps back in the ring and shows them who the real champ is.

Creed 2 once again continues the story of Adonis Creed, Apollo Creed’s son. Apollo is now the world heavyweight champion, having just won the belt. He is on top with no opposition until Viktor Drago, son of Ivan Drago, the man that killed Apollo comes forward and challenges him for the title.

I will admit this movie is very formulaic. The first Creed movie follows the same story as the first Rocky and this one skips a few steps and jumps right to being the same (basically) as Rocky 4. Despite that though I personally believe and see this movie as being better than its predecessor. Not by much! But, still better… The first movie was very solid, and very good. It was a great introduction to the character of Apollo and eased us back in to the world of Rocky nicely. While Stallone was a show stealer in the first one, and still remains awesome in the this, I really feel like Michael B. Jordan’s performance and emotion fuel this movie well. Emotion is really what drives this film. I found myself overcome with it a few times and was surprised with just how serious it got.

The bad guys set it apart as well. Or, should I say “bad” guys. What is most surprising is that the villains are never really villiainized and are fleshed out and three dimensional characters. I wouldn’t say I liked them, but I was conflicted on wanting them to lose, and I definitely didn’t want to see them hurt.

All in all I would put this very close to the top, maybe even number two in this legendary eight film series. I hope they end it here as I feel Creed’s story has been told perfectly. I don’t need to see anymore and we run the risk of getting to the point Rocky did in his later films. I don’t want that for this, and it doesn’t deserve it.

Band of Brothers TV show review

Band of Brothers doesn’t need me to accolade it or approve of it. Band of Brothers is already widely known as not only the best military depiction for entertainment, but also one of the best (if not the best) mini-series ever made.

Band of Brothers is made by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks in 2001, after they collaborated on the movie Saving Private Ryan in 1998. It follows the history of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, of the 101st Airborne Division from their training early on, through D-Day, all the way until the end of the war.

I myself love military movies, shows, and books. I have come back to this show a couple different times and can guarantee I will many times again in the future. I love it for many, many reasons. The fact that the action sequences are gripping and awesome is just the tip of the iceberg, but they really are. Some episodes are more gruesome and focus on the battles than others, but every time they do I find myself holding my breath and staring intently at the screen. The sequences stay realistic and in reality, nothing is over the top but they certainly don’t pull punches. The war was hell and people were lost around every corner and it depicts that throughout the whole run of the show. At any moment a person that you found yourself invested in could die. Knowing that all of it is real makes it that much more emotional.

The characters (though that isn’t an entirely accurate description) are what really hold this together. You follow Easy Company from the very beginning before they have even seen the war. You get to witness a long arc of character development that shows how men are truly effected by everything that happens to them, and the strong bonds they create and what happens when those are severed. Some episodes focus on a specific character, such as the 7th episode, and my favorite, “The Breaking Point”. This episode follows First Sergeant Lipton, a man you get to see from his early days as a SGT before the D-Day drop. We follow him as he holds his company together during the battle of the bulge and we get a closer glimpse of him as he narrates the episode. Many episodes follow this formula and it never feels like cheap exposition dropping, but essential to the story. Almost as if we are reading a soldiers letters home. It would be impossible for me to write why I love every single character in this, even the ones I hate, while keeping this short. But, the fact that I could should tell you something.

I don’t want you to think I am overstating when I say that I have never seen anything in the theater or on television that has impressed me and made me feel more than this has. I could go back and watch Band of Brothers a hundred times over because everything about it is both wonderful and terrible in the best ways. It is truly a benchmark for both war depictions and storytelling itself.

 

Silent Hill movie review

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Kevin Smith movies: Best to worst

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Anthem: my first thoughts

Anthem is a game that is not only widely anticipated, but highly anticipated within my close knit group of friends… Destiny was big for me and everyone I game with and when Destiny 2 came out I was very ecstatic. Unfortunately, Destiny 2 was a major let down and fell off of my radar rather quickly. I, along with everyone else, have kept myself busy with Overwatch been have been starved for a new MMO. Well, I’m very happy to say that if you are in this same boat than this will fill that hole.

Anthem is an MMORPG, or “Massively-Miltiplayer-Online-Role-Playing-Game”. Though I have never played Warframe I hear it compared to that quite a bit. I feel it is HEAVILY like Destiny though. Like Destiny it is a shooter with heavily customizable loudouts, looting systems, and co-op missions. On the surface however two aspects set the games apart. Anthem is a third person shooter instead of first and allows you to pick from multiple different exosuits, or Javelins. The Javelins play different roles in combat such as tank, distance, speed, and all-around. I like this a lot because I always felt MMO’s on console lacked roles in combat.

As for the gameplay itself it is is very smooth. Combat makes you feel powerful yet still becomes overwhelming if you get carried away. Flying is fun and feels like you’re Iron Man. The visuals are fantastic with the world being really unique and just awesome to look at when you’re not getting shot.

All around I think this game will be a hit as long as EA doesn’t make the same mistakes they have in the past. But as for BioWare, I think they are back to the makers we know and love.

Hobbs and Shaw trailer review

So I’d like to start this off by saying that I WILL go see this. I’m not ignorant to the fact that this will be mindless and over the top, but that is what I have come to love about the Fast and the Furious franchise. What I do find a bit weird though is that THIS is the spinoff they went for. I had no idea this was coming and I have no idea why it is coming. No one asked for this….

Anyway, Hobbs and Shaw follows two characters recently introduced to the FatF franchise in their own spinoff movie. Why? Who Knows. It is a ‘save the world’ plot mixed with a ‘begrudging body-cop’ plot. It stars Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, and Idris Elba as the bad guy. Now, FatF is super over the top now but this one seems to take the cake and run away with it. Idris Elba is a genetically engineered super human poised to annihilate the world and the government has chosen a cop and an ex military dude to defeat him. Like, what the fuck?! My favorite part of the whole trailer is one of the introductory lines of Idris Elba when someone asks who he is and he literally responds, “Bad guy”.

I don’t think this will have any real connection to its parent series. There might be a cameo of some kind and a few references, but outside that I think it is entirely its own thing. They probably had an idea like this and morphed it into a spinoff so that it would have name recognition and sell more tickets. Who cares though. It looks fun and sometimes it’s nice to turn off your brain and enjoy something.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing book review

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, By Hank Green, is the first book I read in 2019 and the first book I finished in its entirety in quite a long time! (you can watch my TBR here).

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing follows April May, an aspiring young artist in New York City. One day April stumbles upon a giant metal samurai statue and makes a video with her friend Andy. Overnight the video goes viral as the world discovers these statues have popped up all over the world and are presumed to be alien.

I love this book. I never review books I don’t like because I don’t finish them. Well, I finished this one in five days flat. It may help that I laughed my ass off a lot, and that rarely happens with books!.. I am a long time fan of the Green brothers and the work they do. My first book, Blackout, had “DFTBA” a nerdighter reference in the first pages. Picking up this book I was preparing for a read similar to John’s style and was pleasantly surprised that Hank has a much different style of writing; almost quicker, adult oriented, and more personal. The standout for this book to me is just how modern it is as well. The characters make YouTube videos, converse through Facebook, and worry about their Twitter followers. It merges the written word with modern life and technology like I haven’t seen before.

AART is about the contact with these alien objects, the reaction of humanity, and the conflicting hate/comradery that comes with all this. But, all of this is more of a vessel for what I see as the real point of the book… Fame. April comes in to fame almost over night. Despite what she wants, she is consumed by the fame and loves every moment of it. She wants more of it, and she needs more of it. Hank Green himself speaks about this from a first person perspective and seeing an honest portrayal of the hunger for fame people have is awesome.

I legitimately see myself picking this book up again to read a second time. You should check it out.

Ocean’s 8 movie review

Ocean’s 8 is a spin-off/sequel to the Ocean’s trilogy that takes place after the third movie and follows the sister of Danny and her “crew”. After Debbie, the main character played by Sandra Bullock, gets out of prison she of course sets out to preform a massive heist. She wants to steal an insanely expensive diamond necklace from a star studded event and needs a crew to do it. I will say that the best thing this movie has going for it IS the cast. Every single actress is massively different in their styles and yet they somehow have a great chemistry. Luckily they have a great chemistry though because without it the lackluster script and dialogue would be just that much worse. Out of everyone, though, I thought the show was stolen by Anne Hathaway. Hathaway plays the woman that is being stolen from and does an amazing job of being a pompous celebrity while still remaining likable. I had watched her in The Intern the night before and was reminded of just how stellar of an actor she really is, because it was hard to picture her being the same person in both roles.

When it comes to the movie itself, it was unfortunately pretty boring. It followed the same three act formula of all heist movies.
Act 1: Meet the team.
Act 2: Plan the heist.
Act 3: Execute the heist.
During the first two acts I found myself repeatedly looking at my watch to see just how long I had been subjected to planning an admittedly boring heist. Meeting some of the team was kind of cool, but not cool enough. The heist itself amped it up quite a bit for me. Seeing it all unfold and the different pieces fall together was satisfying as hell. UNFORTUNATELY, the biggest drawback this whole movie has and what put the nail in the coffin for in making it officially a bad movie for me was them revealing too much that the audience didn’t know. It tries to be too clever in the last ten minutes of the whole damn thing, revealing a large number of things that went on off screen that the audience didn’t know was happening. Things that honestly would have been more interesting to the viewer than we were given.

In the end Ocean’s 8 is blessed with a stellar cast of diverse actresses but unfortunately doesn’t leave the shadow of its predecessors.

Blackout and American Holdovers eBooks are now FREE until 1/20/19!

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