Marvel Summer 2015 Review

Avengers: Age of Ultron: The Highest Budget Filler Movie Ever

Plot:

Tony Stark tries to keep the world safe by creating Ultron, an AI who was stronger than all the Avengers. Inevitably, Ultron becomes evil (for no real reason) and tries to destroy the world. Not surprisingly, the Avengers stop him.

Analysis:

Man, was I excited for this movie. i watched the trailers for months, and bought my tickets way in advance. I really thought all the Avengers coming together and fighting one of the strongest foes in the whole Marvel universe would be thrilling. Instead, what Marvel delivered was a dense plot, and a plodding movie that tried to set the stage for too many characters and storylines. I really liked the fact that there was a lot of exposition, loved Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch, and thought that explaining Hawkeye’s backstory was a great addition to the plot. However, the part where Thor went on a “dangerous” mission to a pool – not a great addition. But what reaIly killed this movie was Ultron. He just never seemed like he would win. He didn’t seem menacing, and was reduced to just spouting one-liners every chance he got. I think Marvel would have rather done Civil War or even Infinity War in this slot, but they just didn’t have enough characters developed to pull either of those two off, so they thought they could just put together an in-between movie to set up everything else. If nothing else, it did set up Ultron to be a villain to come back in Phase 4, and maybe next time he’ll actually pose a threat.

Rating; 6/10

Ant-Man: “Wait, He Can’t Even Become Big?”

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Plot:

When Darren Cross is close to replicating the formula for the “Pym Particle”, a particle that makes you smaller, ex-Ant-Man Hank Pym recruits ex-thief Scott Lang to become Ant-Man, and to steal the particles.

Analysis:

No one was excited about Ant-Man. It didn’t crack my Upcoming Marvel Movie Rankings back in January. This was just supposed to be the movie about the guy who could get smaller. So I am as shocked as anyone to say this is one the best Marvel movies to date. I think that what I really liked is that this movie isn’t really connected to the other movies. It was a heist movie that just happened to take place in the same universe as the Avengers. Scott Lang accidently ends up in the new Avengers base (and then totally beats Falcon). While only 20 minutes of the movie is actually hero versus villain action, the lead up to those minutes is filled with preparation and training montages that kind of form an X:Men: First Class and Oceans 11 hybrid. Michael Pena’s long-winded ramblings steal the show, and the movie has some interesting camera angles to utilize Ant-Man. And again, the only really bad part about this movie is the villain. Darren Cross has no real motivation for being evil. When I first saw the movie, I thought that he was just mad at Ant-Man for blowing up his lab. But, upon watching the movie again, I realized that he just randomly killed someone simply because he thought that the Yellowjacket armor was a security risk. But, overall, the movie has a good story and great acting, and I can’t wait to see Ant-Man appear in Civil War.

Rating: 9/10

“Furious 7” Review

The following contains spoilers for “Furious 7”

I have to admit, when I first heard about this movie I thought that Furious Seven would be a strange mix between “Taken” and “Transformers”. The trailer furthered my doubts about the movie. Nevertheless, I went to see it, and my expectations were blown.

Before, after and during the Events of Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift, Furious 7 follows the team after Han is killed by Deckard Shaw, the brother of Owen Shaw, who is on his own revenge mission against the team.

The movie opens with Shaw in a hospital, where he, of course, has killed everyone. After that, he goes to the police headquarters, where he fights Luke Hobbs and wins. Then, he tries to kill Dom, Brian, Mia and their kid, Jack in a bomb that he had planted on their doorstep.

After that the scenes after that consist of:

1: The team attending Han’s funeral, where Deckard Shaw shows up, almost kills Dom, but he is saved by the US Government.

Dumb, Physics Defying Shot – Dom and Shaw face off by driving straight into one another, with both of them knowing that they are driving straight into each other.

2. The team, in their cars, jump out of an airplane onto a mountain.

Dumb, Physics Defying Shot – THE TEAM, IN THEIR CARS, JUMP OUT OF AN AIRPLANE ONTO A MOUNTAIN!

3. The team engages in a high-speed chase on said mountain to rescue a hacker, who has created a device that can locate anyone, anywhere, called the God’s Eye, from a crime lord, and also, Deckard Shaw shows up.

Dumb, Physics Defying Shot – Brian runs up a bus which is falling off a cliff and catches on to car.

4. The team goes to Abu Dhabi to recover the God’s Eye, which just so happens to be in a supercar.

Dumb, Physics Defying Scene – Dom drives the supercar out of the window of the Ethiad Towers. Twice.

After the get the God’s Eye, they go after Shaw, who has now teamed up with the crime lord. The bad guys win, and get the Eye. Then, the team goes back to LA, Dom kills Shaw, Hobbs kills the other bad guys, and they hack the gods eye.

With more than enough action to go around, just enough humor to tide you over, and a really sentimental tribute to Paul Walker at the end, Furious 7 is the first good movie I’ve reviewed.

Furious 7: 7.5/10

See it if: You hate physics

Don’t see it if: You like knowing when a movie takes place

10 Random Thoughts From Watching March Madness 2015

10. Those “Tourney Tips” commercials are the only consistently funny ads this year.

“You do realize the irony here…” 

9. If you bet on March Madness, you’re crazy.

I know that people predict random upsets in their brackets, but if you are crazy enough to actually put money on the line on upsets, or just the tournament in general, you’re just plain crazy.

8. If you are 7’6″, you don’t really have to work for your points.

 

I watched the UC-Irvine-Louisville game. I saw the guards of Irvine just throw the ball to the giant Mamadou Ndiaye. I saw the 6 foot 9 Montrezl Harrel get blocked by him. There is no way to guard someone who is 7’6″. Did you know that he can cut down ten foot hoop nets without a ladder?

7. No matter what seed they are, Tom Izzo’s teams are always underseeded.

5-seed? Underseeded. 2-seed? Underseeded. 1-seed? Still underseeded. How does Tom Izzo always have his team playing so well during the tournament? If you could choose 1 active coach to coach your team during March Madness, who would you choose? If you didn’t choose Tom Izzo, you’re wrong.

6. I always choose the wrong upsets.

I’ve always been someone who has loved the underdog during March Madness. If my team wasn’t playing, I was rooting for the lower seed. Now, when I try to fill out my bracket, I always choose upsets. Somehow, I always manage to pick the wrong upsets. Who thought Stephen F. Austin wasn’t going to make it to the Elite Eight?

5. Villanova is always the overseeded 1-seed.

Sometimes I feel bad for them, but then I realize that choosing them to lose in the second round is an easy way to choose an upset, and my bracket can take all the help it can get.

4. The whole basketball world goes wild if anyone is even close to Kentucky.

I know that Kentucky barely won that game, but America would have said that Notre Dame played well even if they lost by 6-8 points. Any time anyone gets close to Kentucky, it is born way, way out or proportion.

3. Wisconsin will beat Kentucky if they shoot like they did against Arizona.

They made 12 3s and shot over 50 percent from the field. Watching that game, you could see that in the first half Arizona had control, but then Wisconsin came out in the second half shooting all the hope out of Arizona. Whenever the Wildcats started a mini run, it was always stopped by a Badgers’ three.

2. The Final Four will be one of the best we’ve seen in years.

The all under-classmen team going for the undefeated season. The great coach with the underdog team. The second most talented team in the nation trying to prove that they are the best. The team of upper-classmen trying to convert their last chance into a national title. What more could you want?

1. March Madness is the best American sporting event.

Every year, we are reminded just how fun March Madness is. The close games. The upsets. The bracket groups. Nothing compares, or every will compare to March Madness

“Insurgent” Review

*The following contains spoilers for Insurgent*

I thought the trailer to this movie was ridiculous. Turns out, that wasn’t just the trailer.

Now, in yet another dystopian future society, after a war killed most of the humans on Earth, the last few stragglers build a walled city, in which people are divided up into five factions, consisting off: Candor, the honest ones, Erudite, the smart ones, Abnegation, the selfless ones, Dauntless, the brave ones, and Amity, the nice ones. There are also people who fit into none of the categories, called the factionless, and people who fit into more than one, called Divergents. Eventually, as with all dystopian societies, people realize that the government is controlling them and revolt.

The main character in the story is Tris, who in the first movie learns that she is divergent. She tries to fit in, but then when the government takes control of her friends and uses them to kill her family, goes on the run with her significant other, named Four. This particular society, the villains of the story are Erudite, who believe that all Divergents should be eradicated from existence to maintain peace. At the beginning of the movie, the leader of Erudite, named Jeanine, finds a box that contains a message from the founders of the civilization telling them how to get rid off all Divergents. The only problem? She needs a Divergent to open it.

Meanwhile, the Divergents, consisting of Tris, Four, Peter, and Caleb, take refuge in Amity, home of the nice ones, where they plan their next move. And, inevitably, (after Peter betrays them) Erudite finds them. They remaining three escape on a train. Throughout the movie, Tris struggles with the fact that her she killed her friend Will, when he was shooting at her, and that her parents died protecting her. She blames all 3 of the deaths on herself, and it creates many, many dream scenes where Tris sees her dead loved ones.

Eventually, Tris is captured by Erudite, and the movies starts to really go downhill. Needles are inserted into her and, she has to pass a series of simulations, based on the different factions, to open the box. The dauntless test, which is seen in the trailer, involves a visually stunning but really stupid flying house which is also on fire. The other trials consist of the directors trying to fool the audience into thinking that the trials are real life, which happens multiple times over the course of the movie and ultimately gets repetitive.

After the end of the fourth trial, the Erudite decide to finish in the morning. In the morning, it is revealed that Four has also been captured. In the final simulation, Tris falls off a building and dies. But she is saved by Peter, who happens to be her guard at Erudite. They rescue Four, but before they can leave, Tris decides she needs to open the box. She completes the Amity sim after forgiving herself for the deaths of Will and her parents, and the box opens. A message from the founders reveals that Divergents are actually the good guys, and that there are people living outside the wall. The big reveal of this movie is something that the audience already knows, so it becomes almost worthless. The Divergent series still has two more movies left, but what are they going to be about? I felt like this one relied too much on action to move the story along. It was never unexpected. Even the plot twists were expected.

Insurgent: 4/10

See it if: You enjoy watching glass break.

Don’t see it if: You enjoy being fooled by plot twists.

What did you think of Insurgent? Were you fooled by the plot twists? Will you see Allegiant: Part 1 or 2? Leave a comment below.

5 Things Marvel Should (Or Shouldn’t) Do With Spider-Man

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few weeks, you’ve heard the news. Marvel and Sony have reached an agreement to give Marvel the rights to Spider-Man, while Sony still receives the profits. Now that Spider-Man has finally returned home to Marvel, what should they do with him?

5: Have him befriend Tony Stark

SPIDER-MAN, TONY STARK

One of the biggest parts of Spider-Man’s story arc is his relation with Tony Stark. One of his dreams is to become a rich, powerful man like Tony. He looks to Tony as a mentor. Tony is his idol. Tony gives him the Iron Spider armor as well, but that might be pushing it. Finally, Marvel has the opportunity to have Spider-Man interact with Tony Stark, as well as the other Avengers. It’s a victory for all fans.

4: Make it Fun

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Don’t go all Man of Steel on us here, Marvel. Spider-Man is the fun superhero who spits out bad puns at every opportunity. He’s not dark and brooding like Batman. Amazing Spider-Man almost got the “fun” vibe, but they had more of a jerk Spider-Man vibe. The movie should have a lighter, Guardians of the Galaxy-esque tone.

3: Make A Sinister Six and A Venom Movie

The best part of Spider-Man is his villains. He has the most, and the most interesting ones, in the Marvel universe, and this needs to be taken advantage of. The Venom storyline is one of the most iconic in all of comics, and it deserved much more than it got in Spider-Man 3. The Sinister Six is a key Spider-Man plot that really cements Spider-Man’s “all alone” character from his earlier days. If you spend 3 movies setting up all the villains, people will lose interest. Make a Sinister Six movie with the 4 villains from the previous Spider-Man movies, and two newcomers. Introduce the new villains in the movie. DO NOT MAKE US WAIT ANOTHER MOVIE FOR THIS, MARVEL!

2: Don’t Do Another Peter Parker Origin Story

We have seen Uncle Ben die. We have seen Peter Parker get bit by a radioactive spider. We have seen him get beaten up by Flash Thompson. Do we want to see it again? No. Not at all. Although I didn’t agree with Marvel’s decision to fire Andrew Garfield, I can see why they wanted a fresh new face for the franchise. But, that doesn’t mean that they have to do a complete reboot. Start with Spider-Man just going through the motions of being Spider-Man, until something bigger than anything he has ever fought before (The Sinister Six?) comes to attack New York.

1: Make Miles Morales Spider-Man

If Marvel really wants to have a fresh new Spider-Man franchise, then this is the route that they should take. Miles Morales as Spider-Man would add welcome diversity to Marvel’s roster of heroes. Also, he could revolutionize the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the possibility of alternate dimensions. Marvel needs to do this.

Arrow 2/3 Season and “Nanda Parbat” Review

*This contains spoilers for Arrow Season 3*

Season 3 of Arrow has gone by the same CW standards as all of the other shows. The first part is dull, the mid-season finale has a wicked cliffhanger that tides you over through the first hiatus, and the second part of the season starts to get interesting.

The third part is absolute chaos. And that’s why I keep watching it.

Part 1

I really enjoyed the beginning of the first episode, with Roy becoming a full fledged member of the team. I never really understood Oliver’s reason for completely giving up on having any life outside of being the Arrow. Wouldn’t being with Felicity keep her more protected than with anyone else? Sara’s killing was definitely the most shocking moment in the first episode of a season that’s conflict directly impacted the rest of the season ever. The Arrow-Flash crossover showed how cool The CW’s DC plan actually is. Laurel’s transformation into Black Canary took a long time, but she is still the most lousy hero on Team Arrow.

Part 2

The season really starts at Episode 9, The Climb, where Oliver has 48 hours to turn over Sara’s killer. If he doesn’t, they will siege Starling City, and I’m not what could possibly beat the cliffhanger mid-season. Stabbing the main character and pushing him off a cliff? Even if we know that Oliver can’t actually die, if that’s not great writing, I’m not sure what is. The next three episodes give the characters who are normally just squeezed into episodes are really given a chance to shine. The “Brick” storyline is an entertaining one, but how powerful is Brick in a world where there are super-soldiers? And drugs that make you “extremely susceptible to suggestion?” Even though he strong, he wasn’t really a great threat. The battle at the end of Uprising was one of the stranger moments in Arrow history, because it was something that Oliver would never allow if he was there. Also, I would have liked Roy and Laurel to be able to take out Brick and his minions on his own, without Oliver, just to show that they could actually protect the city.

Canaries, The Return and Nanda Parbat

These were two of the most satisfying episodes, well..ever, just because things were actually revealed. Laurel finally told Captain Lance that Sara told. Oliver told Thea he was the Arrow and that she killed Sara. Thea told Laurel that he she killed Sara. It took a long, long time but Ray Palmer finally made his Iron Man.. er. ATOM suit. We are finally at a point that all the characters know what is actually going on. And also, Oliver Queen has been asked to be Ra’s Al Ghul. That happened.

The third part of the third season will chaos.

A Brief Super Bowl Preview

Superbowl Week is upon us!

Get ready for the week leading up to one of America’s biggest hollidays, as grocery stores go all out, making football themed baked goods, while radio commercials mention “the big game” because they don’t have rights to use “Super Bowl”. But who is going to win?

Seattle Running Game vs. New England Rush Defense

Seattle has the best rushing offense in the game, and that is because of Marshawn Lynch. I already said how I think that Marshawn Lynch is the best player on Seattle, and I’m not going to go into that again, but Marshawn Lynch is the best running back in the NFL. Because he has plays like this.

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And this.

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Anyway, let’s focus on the New England line. They currently have the 9th best run defense in the NFL, and only gave up 83 yards in the Conference Championship, but that was against the Colts, so..

Advantage: Seahawks

Seattle Passing Game vs. New England Pass Defense

The New England Patriots have a great pass defense, who just held Andrew Luck in check. The combination of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner is one of the best 1-2 punches at corner in the league. As for the Seattle pass offense, Russel Wilson is good, the receivers are, well, only ok. But I’m scared to say that after this.

Advantage: Patriots

New England Rush Offense vs Seattle Rush Defense

I mention Marshawn Lynch, but LeGarrette Blount hasn’t been too shabby himself. He rushed for 148 yards last week, and ever since he has gotten the starting job, he’s played very well. No matter how good Blount has been, he’s facing Seattle’s number 1 ranked rush defense.

Advantage: Seahawks

New England Pass Offense vs Seattle Pass Defense

I know that you aren’t supposed to vote against Tom Brady, but he does not have enough weapons to really put away a team like Seattle. (How much can you expect Rob Gronkowski to do?) Can you imagine how good the Patriots would be if they invested in wide receivers? I don’t think that we would be talking about the Patriots winning the Super Bowl for the first time in 10 years. But this all comes down to the health of Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman. Right now it looks like thy will play. And if they play, I think the Seahawks win.

Advantage: Seahawks

Final Score: Seahawks 3, Patriots 1.

Winner: Seahawks

Enjoy the Superbowl!

The Upcoming Marvel Movie Rankings

Recently, in the time not thinking about the NFL Playoffs, I’ve been obsessing over the upcoming movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron. So much so that I know the entire story, have looked up when tickets will go on sale, and even purchased the comic book. So, to take my mind off that, I have created the Ultimate Upcoming Marvel Movie Rankings.

The Rules:

The “Marvel” tag stretches across the Sony, Fox and Disney owned franchises.

Movies must have lead actor/actress announced.

Movies are judged out of 100

After consulting the panel of 1 person (me), we have come up with the following rankings:

The Following Contains Minor Spoilers For Upcoming Marvel Movies

#10. Thor: Ragnarok

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Excitedness out of 100: 65

I’m sure this movie will be good, as all Marvel movies are. It has also been regarded as “a very important movie to us” by Kevin Feige – the president of Marvel Studios. Now, that all sounds good and jolly, but I just don’t find Thor a very entertaining character. Maybe this is because I have not read Thor comics or the fact that he gives off a “Superman” aura, and I don’t really like Superman movies.

#9. The Sinister Six

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Excitedness out of 100: 68

I understand that not all of the actors are officially cast for this movie yet, but we have a lead, so it meets the requirements. I think that the Sinister Six is one of the best Spider-Man storylines. But the real question is: Who will be in the Sinister Six? Lizard, Green Goblin, Electro, and Rhino are probably givens, but who will be the final two? I would think Doc Ock would be in it and the final spot will be taken by Kraven the Hunter. If Sony retains their rights to Spider-Man until this is made, it should be a good movie.

#8. X-Men: Apocalypse

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Excitedness out of 100: 75

I was a lot more excited about this movie after I watched Days of Future Past. In fact, I was more excited about the X-Men in general after Days of Future Past. That was before Marvel Studios revealed their entire phase 3 lineup in a war with DC Comics for comic book-movie supremacy. And we wonder why society hates mutants…

#7. Black Panther

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Excitedness out of 100: 80

The fact that we finally have a “black” superhero is cool enough, but the fact that it is Black Panther, a fan favorite in the Marvel Universe, makes this an absolute must-see movie, just so you can be a part of this. I think that T’Challa is a very important place in Marvel World, so I think that this will just lead to better things.

#6. Doctor Strange

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Excitedness out of 100: 82

Benedict Cumberbatch is Doctor Strange. BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH IS DOCTOR STRANGE! That is all.

#5. Guardians of the Galaxy 2

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Excitedness out of 100: 86

Everyone, including myself, did not think the original Guardians would be a good movie. The trailer made it look like a joke and I had never really heard of the characters. They proved us all wrong. And now, after Marvel knows that we liked the jokey-action masterpiece that was Guardians, they will go bigger, and it will be better. (I hope)

#4. Deadpool

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Excitedness out of 100: 89

I wanted a Deadpool movie for a long time. And then I got what I wanted in the abomination that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Now that Fox is going to make a movie, I just hope they make it right, because if they mess it up again, I doubt we’ll see another Deadpool movie for a long time.

#3. Avengers: Age of Ultron

age of ultron

Excitedness out of 100: 93

Now we’ve got to the top three, all of which I am crazy excited to see. Age of Ultron is an Ultron adventure and the beginning of the Avengers: Disassembled story line. At fIrst, I just wanted to see the movie, but after seeing the trailer, I started to obsess over it. Just seeing all the Avengers together makes for a good movie, but when you combine that with a great villain, this should be one of the best movies of 2015.

#2. Captain America: Civil War

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Excitedness out of 100: 96

The day this movie comes out is going to be absolute chaos in theaters, as Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice comes out on the same day. Civil War is one of the few comic books I’ve read, and it’s one of the best, too. The government passes the “Superhero Registration Act,” which forces heroes to unmask themselves in front of the authorities. This leads to a lot of conflict between the heroes. Apparently this will not be about Super Hero Licenses, which was the premise of the comic, but I doubt that this movie will be any worse than its comic book counterpart.

#1. Avengers: Infinity War Parts 1 and 2

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Excitedness out of 100: 99

This will be the cumulation of everything Marvel has done since Nick Fury broke into Tony Stark’s house and told him about the Avengers. This movie has it all. The most memorable villain from the Marvel Universe. All the heroes from all the movies. (Maybe even Spider-Man?) And the fact that it is two whole movies. If you thought that the first Avengers movie was good, just wait until you watch this.

Did Russell Wilson Play With A Concussion? Breaking Down One of The Strangest NFL Games Ever

What? What? 

Don’t get me wrong, the Packers Seahawks game on Sunday was one of the best games I’ve ever seen, but the combination of things that actually happened in that game that you don’t se happen often in games was astounding.

Let’s take a look back on some of major points of the game.

Green Bay’s First Half and Play Calling

The play calling wasn’t great. Why would you not go for fourth and one-half-maybe-fourth of a yard? I understand that you want to get points on the board when you are playing on the road in Seattle, but you have one of the best fullbacks and one of the hardest to take down running backs in the game, I would think that you would want to go for it.

And then, on the second field goal YOU ALREADY HAVE POINTS ON THE BOARD IN SEATTLE. YOU HAVE THE BEST QUARTERBACK IN THE LEAGUE. TRUST HIM TO GET ONE YARD. While I didn’t agree with all the calls, who expected Green Bay to be winning 16-0 at the half anyway? They outplayed Seattle, but in that game, it isn’t really saying much.

Seattle’s First Half and the Russell Wilson Conspiracy

When have we ever seen the Seahawks play that bad? In the three-year career of Russell Wilson, I don’t think Seattle has ever looked like they were losing a game by so much. Even though they were only down by 16 points, it already felt like they had lost that game at halftime. Everything was going wrong, except for the red zone defense and Marshawn Lynch. That raises another question: Why doesn’t Seattle give the ball to him more often? He only had 20 rushes for 157 yards. That’s a 6.7 ypc. How many times does Marshawn Lynch have to prove that he is the Seahawks best chance at winning? Also, what was wrong with Russell Wilson? After that Clay Matthews hit, he looked dazed.

Terry Bradshaw said that he “could see Russell wasn’t making his reads.” Russell Wilson has never been someone who misses reads. Even on his third-down throw to Doug Baldwin he didn’t notice him for a long time and he was wide open. Even when he did see him, the throw was not good. Did Russ Wilson have a concussion? Did Seattle just not acknowledge it so that they could keep him in the game? The world might never know, but whatever it was, he must have gotten over it quick.

The Fake Field Goal

This comeback in general was absolutely crazy, and was all fueled by (guess who) Marshawn Lynch. One of the three defining moments of the game was the fake field goal. The Seahawks punter John Ryan encouraged Pete Carrol to call the play, and when he did, backup offense tackle Gary Gilliam, who hadn’t caught a touchdown since high school, didn’t pull a full-out Coby Fleener and caught the ball. It completely changed the momentum of the game, and instantly started the crowd.

The Onside Kick

If the Packers knew that when it came down to it, all that they needed to do to win this game was to catch an onside kick, they would have taken it in a heartbeat. Brandon Bostick, the Packers tight end who dropped the ball (and the game), was not supposed to even touch the ball. On onside kicks, the first line of players is supposed to block the incoming players on the kicking team. The second line, normally consisting of the best hands on the team, tries to catch the ball if it is popped up. Brandon Bostick was on the first line, and should have been blocking Chris Mathews, who manged to squirt through the line and recover the kick. The onside recover was actually executed perfectly and Jordy Nelson shoud have easily fielded the ball. With all that said, you cannot blame this loss solely on Brandon Bostick. It took a collective effort by the Packers to lose this game.

“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Review” (Spoiler Alert)

The Battle of the Five Armies picks up exactly where the Desolation of Smaug left off. Smaug the Dragon (Benedict Cumberbatch) is wreaking havock on the island town of Laketown (in mind-numbing 48 frames per second!). For the first few minutes this movie is quite entertaining. Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans) tries to singlehandedly take down the dragon. And, he succeeds. And the movie goes downhill from there.

Now the rest of the movie, aside from the occasional shots of Thorin (Richard Armitage) and the rest of the dwarves in the castle, is The Battle of the Five Armies. Now, when we heard that Peter Jackson decided to split a 300 page book into 3 movies, this was inevitable. This movie never really had much of a chance, just because it did not have enough source material to actually be an accurate adaptation of the book. The battle is, like most the battles in the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit movies, a very well made battle. There are plenty of action scenes in this movie that should have been memorable, but in a movie full of memorable moments they all just blend together and the memorableness all gets canceled out. I also don’t understand why the heroes look at the giant army of villains and worry about how they are never going to defeat them, when eventually the battle starts and they cut through the army like Swiss cheese.

Meanwhile, in the castle Thorin mopes around with “dragon sickness”, which means that he doesn’t want to do anything, other than keep his gold, even though he gets rid of the part of his character that is fair and that we have seen throughout the first two films. Bilbo (Martin Freeman), on the other hand, has the Arken Stone (the prized jewel of the mountain) and tries to convince Thorin to do the right thing. Eventually, after the orcs come, Thorin comes to his senses and decides to guess what – fight with the dwarves and elves against the orcs. Also, in Dol Gildur, after an orc army traps Gandalf (Ian McKellen) in a cage, Galadriel saves him and it turns out to be an origin story for Sauron. If you ever make an origin story, make it before the audience has already seen 3 movies where he/her was the main villain. 

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies: 5/10

See it if: you really, really, really hate orcs.

Don’t see it if: you get motion sick