Archive for April, 2012

30
Apr
12

We Marquette Now

Since I couldn’t get back into school when i got back home back in February,I had to wait a whole semester just to register for (summer) classes.

Now everything went through and now I’m officially a Marquette student majoring in Broadcast & Electronic Communication.

28
Apr
12

NBA 2012 Playoffs predictions

Finally, it’s playoff time. The time where casual fans decide to show up and watch the games, while spewing their nonsense opinions so that the rest of us can get annoyed by their stupidity. Anyway, let’s get on with the predictions:

Philadelpha 76ers v. Chicago Bulls: Come on, Philly. You know whether or not you play Chicago or Miami you guys would still get eliminated in this round. It’s your own fault for slipping so hard when you guys were considered a top 4 East team and then lost the Atlantic division to Boston. Chicago Bulls in 5.

New York Knicks v. Miami Heat: The Knicks are the dark horse of the East and they have plenty of momentum, yet so many question marks such as Amare’s rebounding and defensive abilities. His offense has been slowly coming back, but still a minor question mark. It just so happens that the Knicks have to play the scariest team in the league, which is Miami. It’s hard to see the Heat losing in the first round when they’re one of the favorites to win it all. Miami Heat in 6. (God, I hope I’m wrong)

Orlando Magic v. Indiana Pacers: The Magic suck. They’re awful. They pretty much tanked the season already with Dwight opting for surgery. Indiana is the real deal. They’re not quite in the upper echelon like Chicago or Miami, but these niggas ain’t scrubs. Indiana Pacers in 5.

Dallas Mavericks v. Oklahoma City Thunder: This is a rematch of last year’s playoffs. However, this time around, the Thunder are the most dangerous team in the West and the Mavs lost a lot of key players from last season. Oklahoma City Thunder in 6.

Utah Jazz v. San Antonio Spurs: The Spurs came as a surprise to me, and many others as they took the no. 1 spot over OKC. At the start of the season, I saw them coming in at like the 5th seed, factoring age and lack of talent. Even with many injuries and age, Popovich has coached the shit out of what looks to be on paper, a team destined for first round elimination. San Antonio Spurs in 5.

Denver Nuggets v. Los Angeles Lakers: The Nuggets never really looked scary all season long. There are just a bunch of solid players with no standout superstar and that will hurt them in the playoffs. Al Harrington is also limited with his meniscus injury. With the acquisition of Sessions, the Lakers became a contender instantly and they’re looking pretty good. Also, Nuggets have no answer for Bynum. Los Angeles Lakers in 5.

Atlanta Hawks v. Boston Celtics: Probably one of the more repetitive matchups of recent years. Atlanta is good, but without Horford they’re really handicapped. The Celtics are banged up a bit too, but they found gems out of Avery Bradley and Brandon Bass. One more key thing, Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves decided to show up all of a sudden. This can be a great series. Boston Celtics in 7.

Los Angeles Clippers v. Memphis Grizzlies: The Clippers have so much talent on their team. Lob City, bitch. Lob Lob City, bitch. Okay, all the hype aside, Memphis is the real deal. At the start of the season I predicted Memphis being as good as no. 2 in the West. I was kinda off, but that’s probably because of the huge injury to Z-Bo and the surprising Spurs. Memphis Grizzlies in 7.

13
Apr
12

The Cabin In The Woods Review

The really neat thing about Cabin in the Woods is how wildly fresh it is. I have yet to see a movie since Scream that has bended the boundaries like this movie has. What Scream 4 could not accomplish last year, Cabin did. And surprisingly enough, Cabin was finished before Scream 4 even had a solid script down. I’m really glad Lionsgate got ahold of this film, because they really know how to market a horror film, and I usually have faith with their choices in modern horror.

When I go into a horror movie, I look for a few things.

1) Does it scare me? Most horror movies now and days don’t really terrify me, so this bullet point is usually missed. Did Cabin in the Woods really scare me? Not really, but I did get that rush that I normally don’t feel in modern American horror. That exciting, on the edge of your seat, what’s going to happen next heart pounding excitement that a horror movie should give you. Cabin works it.

2) Does it surprise me? I’m not talking about those cheap thrills where everything is silent and then there is the loudest noise possible that sends you fleeing from your chair and spilling your popcorn all over the person in front of you. I mean true shock, the shock that gets you looking over at your movie buddy, both mouths open, speechless. Not knowing what’s going to happen next, and then when it happens you realize that deep down it’s the only way it could have happened. Yet again, Cabin gets this element of surprise just right. I didn’t see it coming, and yet the answer seems so simple.

3) Are there buckets of gore? I get serious about my bloody body parts. I am one that will firmly state that Hostel is not as gory as it appears. The camera shakes, it flashes away when anything happens, and the only thing I can say was “gory” was the eyeball scene. Not to rag on Hostel, but this is how a lot of gore goes down now and days in Hollywood so that can get a cushy R rating. Either way, I’d prefer gallons of phony gore than grotesque mutilations I can’t even see. Cabin is fabulously gory. The amount of blood and guts spilled everywhere is intensely fun.

and finally 4) Is it original? The reason I was a such a fan of Insidious last year, was because unlike many phantom paranormal films now and days, it was genuinely scary in the first two acts, and then in the third it did something surprising — it parodied itself. It was very slight, so that the average audience member maybe didn’t realize it, but I had a good laugh as the movie played with the average horror confinements. Cabin does this as well, but even better. It felt so original in its execution. I not once was bored by the plot. I suppose this means if you want to make an original horror movie in Hollywood lately, you have to spruce up the horror genre a bit. Make it entertaining. Tell the audience what they always pay money to watch, but don’t make it so obvious that we’re all getting a lesson in traditional horror themes (ahem Scream 4). I loved Cabin for its original parody of a  story, very much like why I loved Scream when I first saw it. And even more important, I was never, not once, bored.

I really don’t want to spoil anything about this movie.The twists are grander than any horror film I’ve seen in a while, and it was also super entertaining. The first act is fairly average horror set up, but if you’re not watching or listening close enough you’ll miss a lot of information, that once the second act hits make so much sense. The final third act is a drenching blood bath filled with terrors like you’ve never seen before.

There are a few things about this movie that were a little off, but the overall appeal of it makes up for the tiny let downs. Just go see it, spoiler free (I cannot stress that one enough), and sit back, relax, and enjoy the blood soaked ride that is coming your way. There’s really no other way to enjoy this movie. It’s entertainment at its best, for sure.

11
Apr
12

I don’t compete with niggas

So I was at school earlier today getting paperwork ready to take summer classes and ran into this girl I hadn’t seen in like 3 years. We had went to HS together and then moved back into town earlier this year. We kicked it since freshman year and I was digging her but she ended up starting to date this one guy and she’s still with him now.

So we start talking, just reminiscing about hanging out and I just come out and say “you know I was digging you back then, right?”

She responds “Darius, I LIKED YOU TOO!! Why didn’t you say anything?”

And that’s the thing. The nigga she’s with now was all over her when I wasn’t chilling with her. While you’re always “competing” with niggas, I don’t believe in being on no team Edward and team Jacob shit with chicks. Now was she bad? Yes. Was she seemingly cool as fuck? Yeah. Regardless,I’m not gonna be going the extra motherfucking mile to get with a chick. I learned my lesson back in HS. Either you’re interested or not. Courting a girl shouldn’t be comparable to the World Martial Arts Tournament. Especially with my frequently hectic life. Not to mention all the fish in the sea and that jazz.

Am I wrong for this? If a chick seems “worth it”, do you swallow your pride and say fuck it? Is proving yourself even against a direct rival a critical part of courting that is unwise to back off from?

09
Apr
12

The Fall Of Lamar Odom part 2

image

I just woke up and that’s one of the headlines on SportsCenter. I’m a little surprised, but completely shocked. I’ve followed this team for almost 11 years now and this is a pretty rare situation. Unlike most of the Mavs fans I’ve been around, I’ll be the first to say that I was the biggest Odom supporter when he was traded to Dallas. I felt like his game would help us a lot and really make us a dangerous team in the West.

However, I remember going to a game back in March against the Wizards and it was my first time hearing boos and harsh comments from the fans whenever he came in the game or missed a shot.

The opinion I had was that maybe the ball just wasn’t going in. He was missing open shots and it looked like Lamar lost all confidence in his game. Though his play was terrible, I still thought he would come around eventually and start to get things going in the last month of the season.

After showing up late to an eventual home loss to Portland on Friday, I think that was the last straw. (He and his wife Khloe live right across the street at The W Hotel, I’ve seen it.) Odom only played 4 minutes the next night against the Grizzlies.

Afterwards, both Coach Rick Carlisle and the typically media-accessible Dirk Nowitzki expressed how they felt about the situation.

“No Lamar questions tonight,” Carlisle said.

Dirk refused to answer when asked about Lamar: “I’m done talking about that.”

So, now I look at it this way. If a guy hasn’t shown any commitment to the team and it becomes clear that he’s not willing to go to battle with the guys in the locker room and play hard, then you have to cut ties.

Overall, it’s a calculated risk we’re taking but also a shrewd business move. Don’t release him, make him inactive. That ensures he can’t just clear waivers and go back to the Lakers or Clippers; two teams that are ahead of the Mavs in the standings.

It sucks that he couldn’t help us, but if it’s dragging the team down when they’re  trying to fight for a playoff spot and defend their championship, you gotta cut your losses and start fresh. Hopefully, with 9 games to go, it isn’t too late.

05
Apr
12

Wrath Of The Titans Review

   Man, you kids today don’t know nothing ‘bout your Greek mythology.  Let me give you the run-down.  So there was this dude, and his name was Perseus.  Now, Perseus is a Greek-Australian apparently, who, despite what you’ve read, encountered every single creature in Greek mythology.  You though Theseus fought the Minotaur?  Wrong!  You thought Odysseus defeated the Cyclops?  What are you stupid?  Perseus, baby!  He fought so many foes, that he ran out of Greek monsters to defeat.  So he fought the Kraken, became a hero, and eventually traveled to far-off planets to fight alien monsters on Pandora.  Geez, you guys need to learn your history, I tell ya…

So this is the review for Wrath of the Titansjust in case you couldn’t tell from whatever it was that I just did there.  As I’m sure you all know, this is the long-awaited and highly anticipated sequel to that classic piece of Ray Harryhausen cinema, Clash of the Titans.  Wait!  I almost forgot… wasn’t there another one of those, y’know more recently?  Oh yes, now it’s coming back to me.  You’ll have to excuse my memory kiddies, I’ve been trying to block the 2010 Clash of the Titans film from my mind ever since that monumental disappointment entered my retinas.  See, I was the one who was excited for that movie when I saw the trailers.  However beloved the original Clash of the Titansis, the special effects are dated to say the least.  I wanted to see a more modern retelling of it.  Little did I realize just how many times Louis Leterrier could wipe his crack with that story.  When Perseus and his soldiers are entering a cave to go kill Medusa and he turns to the camera and says “let’s kill this bitch”, something has clearly gone wrong.

But I don’t want to cast too negative a light on the sequel, Wrath of the Titans.  Let’s start with the plot, shall we?  Yes we shall… anyone who disputes me will taste my unholy vengeance.  You hear me Leterrier!  That means you too! The world has moved on from your movie and the angry masses will leave your street corner alone!  Where was I?… Oh yeah, plot!  So years after the defeat of the Kraken and the death of his wife, Perseus returns to his fisherman’s roots alongside his son Helius.  He still holds animosity towards the gods, including his father Zeus, and rightfully so, because just when Perseus had a good thing going, Zeus beams down into his house one night looking like a homeless rasta man and says “the end is nigh!”  So Perseus has to fly off to battle and stop the destruction of the earth… once again.

I thought about structuring this review like I normally do, but the more I thought about it, the more it just made sense to list everything the previous movie did wrong and how they improved it in this one.  So… stay tuned for that.

The Characters

In Clash of the Titans, the characters were flat, uninteresting and unmotivated.  The same is still true for Sam Worthington, but c’mon… it’s Sam Worthington, what were you expecting?  But in Wrath of the Titans, he’s surrounded by much more interesting characters; both from the last movie and newbees brought in just for this one.  It was disappointing seeing Liam Neeson in something where he wasn’t given anything interesting to do… and no, I’m not talking about The Phantom Menace.  In Clash of the Titans, I expected more out of Zeus and especially more out of Liam Neeson.  But he’s… stern… and that’s really about it.  Well I ‘m glad to see that they gave him some depth and some emotion in this one.  Ditto for Ralph Fiennes.  In the last movie, Greek asthmatic Voldemort wasn’t enough… Okay, it’s not too different in this one, but at least they give him a really interesting character arc.  As for the new characters that they brought in, Edgar Ramirez plays the traitorous Ares and makes for a really intimidating villain.  Also, keep an eye out for cameos including Danny Houston.  And Bill Nighy shows up for a bit and absolutely steals the show.  That guy just has a lot of presence to begin with.  When you turn him into Santa Claus crossed with Dumbledore, hell… I’m entertained.  Oh!  And when he first shows up, listen closely for a little joke that the filmmakers threw in there.  It made me giggle when I heard it.

The Directing

Louis Leterrier did not direct this one and Jonathan Leibesman, did… need I say any more?

The Effects

It’s no secret that the 3D in Clash of the Titans was some of the worst in history.  Well they fix that right up here.  There are several shots that just weave in and out of these incredibly expansive environments that are already really well designed and the 3D totally lends itself to that.  There’s a whole sequence in the labyrinth that was really well done on all levels.

As for the creature effects, I enjoyed them much more than the ones in the last movie.  In that one, I liked the Kraken design, but that was about it.  And even then, it was there for like half a second and then he was dead.  I looked down at my soda to take a drink and almost missed the entire scene.  Here, I thought the designs were a bit more inspired.  Even from the first action sequence I could tell Wrath of the Titans was gonna be a bit better.  Perseus has to defeat a Chimera that invades his village and, first of all, the cinematography in the scene was really cool.  There’s a lot of long extended shots where the creature would go off-screen in the background and then show up somewhere else while the camera follows Perseus.  It’s welcome relief from the super-fast, no idea what’s going on style of cinematography they used in the last movie.  Y’know, the Transformers method.   But the design of the creature itself was also cool.  I mean c’mon, it’s a two-headed, winged, fire-breathing cat-beast with a snake for a tail.  It’s got a strong presence and silhouette.  I feel that a good creature design should always have a strong silhouette.  This is all true for the other creatures that show up in the movie.

The presence of hair on Perseus’ head

I know this point has been beaten to death, but I need to throw in my two cents.  How in the hell would Perseus find an electric razor to shave his head?  He would not!  I don’t know, maybe the gods sent him the Clippers of Destiny or something.  Well they fixed that in this movie.  Perseus has a full mop of hair.

Despite all of the praise I’m showering upon this movie, keep in mind, I’ve only compared it to the last movie so far, which isn’t saying much.  At the end of the day, this is still a very generic action/adventure movie.  The dialogue’s not great and some of the new characters they brought in like Toby Kebbell annoyed me.  But at least there’s some stuff here that might make it a bit more memorable.  I might even watch this again just for some of the action sequences and to admire the overall design which I have to say again, they put a lot of work into.  If you see this in the theater in 3D and you’re willing to have a good time, there’s no reason you shouldn’t like this at least a bit.

Rating – B




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