Wednesday, December 20, 2017


Is anyone else unenthusiastic about the college football playoff? Personally, I just don't care and won't go out of my way to watch any of the games. The combination of leaving the Big Ten out plus two SEC teams plus general animosity towards ESPN plus scheduling has killed my interest. In fact, given my travel schedule this year I'll probably miss all of the playoff and it doesn't disappoint me one bit.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Change of Taste?

So 20 years ago I developed a dislike for Quentin Tarantino and his movies, but not sure why. I guess it had something to do with "Pulp Fiction." It seemed like that movie was constantly on the cable channel network circuit every week and that everyone called it a cult classic, yet I just didn't get it. I never really watched it, it was just always on and the short amount of the movie I'd seen didn't seem that great to me. But, I tried watching it a few years ago on Netflix to see if I could see what others loved about it and give it a second chance. I couldn't make it 30 minutes.

However, a few years ago I tried "Reservoir Dogs." Excellent. Then I tried "Django Unchained." Awesome. Then "Inglourious Basterds." Great. A few nights ago I finished "The Hateful Eight." Terrific. Keep in mind, that's if you can get past all the language and gore. Even with this new attitude, there's just something I don't get about "Pulp Fiction."

Maybe I'll give it another 30 minute try.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Post-Ragnarok Rankings

1a.Captain America: Civil War
1b. Guardians of the Galaxy
1c. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
1d. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
5. Avengers
6. Iron Man
7. Thor: Ragnarok
8. Doctor Strange
9. Iron Man 3
10. Spider-Man: Homecoming
11. Avengers: Age of Ultron
12. Thor
13. Captain America: The First Avenger
14. Ant-Man
15. Iron Man 2
16. Thor: The Dark World
17. The Incredible Hulk

Thoughts on Thor: Ragnarok

A few thoughts on Thor: Ragnarok:

-Who would have thought the way to make a great Thor movie was to make it Guardians of the Galaxy?

-That's a bit of an exaggeration but this film obviously owes a ton to those two. It doesn't get made without them coming first.

-The movie is really colorful. It almost hurts your eyes. Also, if you're at all familiar with the late comic artist Jack Kirby his art influences the look of the movie very much.

-This movie is funny. Probably too funny, the humor undercuts some of the more dramatic moments. Like with Iron Man 3 I find myself liking the movie a lot but wondering what the darker version would be like.

-The Hulk is great in this movie, and he's in much more of the film than I expected.

-The movie takes material from multiple different comic stories and I was impressed that it came together as a cohesive whole. I'm also pretty surprised at the way it ended.

-I like the movie a lot but there are definitely a few details that bug me as a comic fan. Your mileage may vary.

-Cate Blanchett is good as Hela but the role isn't very deep. She's still a lot of fun though.

-Dr. Strange makes an appearance and part of it is right out of the post-credit scene that Thor appeared in earlier. It's a nice scene but the magic is very inconsistent with how things worked in his movie.

-Chris Hemsworth is a great comedic actor.

-The mid-credit scene is somewhat important, the post-credit scene is just fun.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Thursday, October 19, 2017


Credit Suisse is projecting lower earnings for CBS and Fox because NFL ratings are dropping. It depends on how exactly you calculate the numbers but ratings are generally down 16-18% from two years ago. You'll see a less dramatic decrease from last year to this year but that's because last year was already a record low. The bottom line is something is definitely hurting NFL ratings and anthem protests seem to be a major part of that.

As for me, I haven't watched a snap of NFL football since the Sunday night game the week the NFL was responding to Trump's tweets. I also bought Coke instead of Pepsi the last few times at the store since Pepsi is the official NFL soft drink. Not sure how long this will last but I'm definitely finding myself doing something I never would have expected.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Taking A Knee

I hadn't really followed the commentary around Trump's tweeting about NFL protests last week and I was out of town for part of Sunday so it wasn't until shortly before the Sunday night game that I was somewhat caught up on what was going on. I did turn the game on, but after seeing so many of the Raiders and a few Redskins kneeling I walked out of the room. I turned it off a few minutes later, though part of that was due to audio issues they were having with the broadcast. Still, I have to say that while I've disliked the anthem protests all along, this Sunday made a difference. The league decided to get behind these players and for the first time I find myself disliking the league as a whole, not just some of the players. I'm not sure I'm ready to quit but I'm actually finding myself thinking about it. I have to think there are other fans thinking the same, especially since NFL fans tend to skew Republican, and turn out to vote. Alejandro Villenueva, NFL lineman and U.S. Army veteran, the only Steeler to stand outside the tunnel for the anthem, has the best-selling jersey in the last 24 hours. I'd buy a shirt myself but the money would just go to the NFL. Anyway, this could turn out bad for the NFL and for once I'm rooting against them.

Friday, August 04, 2017

"Gotham needs its true hero."

Kevin Conroy is Batman. He's never wore the cape and cowl onscreen but he's still the definitive version of the character, voicing him for 25 years in animation and video games. Below, he reads Batman's speech from the end of The Dark Knight.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Thoughts on Dunkirk

What do you need to know about Dunkirk? I think this statement from a 97-year-old veteran who was there says it all:

“I never thought I would see that again. It was just like I was there again.”

Which means it is intense. Early in the film there is an attack by a Stuka dive bomber and the volume increases to almost painful levels as the screaming plane makes its bombing run. I wanted to duck under my seat. Zimmer's score also keeps everything tense as I'm sure you can imagine if you're familiar with his work. It's not something you'd want to turn on and unwind with after a long day. I'm listening to it now (thanks Amazon Prime) and getting a little tense.

A few other thoughts:

-The movie is split into three stories each taking place over a different period of time: One week, one day, one hour. This is clearly indicated in the titles but many people, including myself, seemed to have missed that at first.

-"Mole" is another word for essentially a big break wall, so when you see that show up in the titles don't think the guy on the screen is a German spy. This also confused me until they used the word later in the movie.

-If water really freaks you out don't watch this movie. It's definitely as close as I ever want to be to being inside a sinking ship.

-The movie is surprising bloodless. There is plenty of violence and death but it's not gory like the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan.

-You're probably going to jump multiple times watching this movie.

-It's a different movie than some of Nolan's previous work, like Interstellar and Inception, but I still liked it a lot. I will need to see it again to really appreciate it because the first time you sort of just survive it.

-The movie ends with one of the characters reading Churchill's famous speech in a newspaper. Here's the speech:

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Homecoming Rankings

1a.Captain America: Civil War
1b. Guardians of the Galaxy
1c. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
1d. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
5. Avengers
6. Iron Man
7. Doctor Strange
8. Iron Man 3
9. Spider-Man: Homecoming
10. Avengers: Age of Ultron
11. Thor
12. Captain America: The First Avenger
13. Ant-Man
14. Iron Man 2
15. Thor: The Dark World
16. The Incredible Hulk

It's getting difficult to slot these new films in. There's very little difference from 7-14 for me and I could probably change that around every time I look at it.

Thoughts on Spider-Man: Homecoming

A few thoughts on Spider-Man: Homecoming:

-I was a bit skeptical about this movie. Tom Holland was great in Civil War but Sony's involvement and the weight of all the previous Spider-Man movies made wonder if they could pull this off. They definitely pulled it off.

-This was the first Spider-Man movie to feel like it was actually taking place to a character in high school. It was nice to see high school kids played by actors that at least looked like they could plausibly (the main cast is a little older) be high school kids.

-Skipping the origin story allows us to get more time with Peter learning how to be a superhero. It's one of the only superhero movies that shows the hero screwing up big time and learning how to deal with it. That's a nice change and perfect for Spider-Man.

-Speaking of perfect, Holland is just that as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man. The previous actors could do one or the other but not both.

-The Vulture is an excellent villain. They managed to make a silly-looking character cool (comic pic below) and Keaton did a great job making him somewhat sympathetic and appropriately threatening.

 -I love that the film definitely takes place in the MCU. Even with Stark involved I was afraid they would downplay that fact but the whole story develops from the events of previous movies. I wish S.H.I.E.L.D. had been involved but that seems to be an issue with the TV-Movie divide at Marvel in general rather than this movie in particular.

-I think the Stark upgrades to the Spider-Man suit are pretty cool.

-Stark himself came off as a bit of a jerk in the movie. No doubt part of that is even having him in it for a few minutes strains the budget.

-The only things I didn't care for in the movie were two supporting characters, Flash and Michelle. Flash is a real departure from the classic version and that just didn't work for me. Michelle has a similar issue, but they go to great lengths to hide her true identity until the end.

-Spider-Man will appear again in Infinity War and his own sequel. After that it's up to Sony and Marvel to reach a new deal. Hopefully Sony doesn't screw it up, though Sony not screwing things up would be unusual.

-The mid-credit scene is related to the movie and kind of interesting. The post-credit scene is just fun but you could certainly skip it if you were trying to get out of the theater.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Black Panther

I'm very interested to see how this movie turns out. Black Panther never really clicked for me as a character until Civil War. Wakanda especially has always been kind of silly since writers could never seem to decide if it was a country of extreme wealth and super-advanced science or the most stereotypical kind of African tribesmen. Hopefully they can find a way to make it all make sense.

I'm not feeling the slight redesign of the costume.

Monday, June 05, 2017

"Thanks for nothing Russo..."

A post shared by Chris Hemsworth (@chrishemsworth) on

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The best thing about Heroquest...

Ran across this the other day. This one is pretty much just for Adam, so consider yourselves warned.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Marvel Movie Rankings Vol. 2

1a.Captain America: Civil War
1b. Guardians of the Galaxy
1c. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
1d. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
5. Avengers
6. Iron Man
7. Doctor Strange
8. Iron Man 3
9. Avengers: Age of Ultron
10. Thor
11. Captain America: The First Avenger
12. Ant-Man
13. Iron Man 2
14. Thor: The Dark World
15. The Incredible Hulk

This feels like a bit of a cop-out but at the moment I'm having a hard time breaking up those top four and I'm not even sure Avengers should be behind them.

Thoughts On Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

A few thoughts on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2:

-This movie delivers on everything you're hoping for from a GotG sequel. In fact, it's only real weakness to me is that it may try a bit too hard to deliver those things, at least in the first 30 minutes or so.

-The director, James Gunn, promised this movie would be more emotional and he delivered. A surprising amount of this comes from Yondu and Nebula, the latter which I was surprised to find somewhat sympathetic.

-Rocket also has a major arc in the movie and "acts" it very well. It's amazing that you can completely forget a CGI anthropomorphic raccoon isn't a real actor on stage with the rest of the cast. He's also developed a fondness for Quill's music, which is kind of funny.

-Speaking of music, it's right there with the last album, if possibly slightly weaker. After listening for a few days it's a close call.

-Groot steals every scene he's in.

 -Mantis also manages to steal quite a few scenes.

-The ending packs a surprising emotional punch. Even if I had known exactly what was coming I would have been surprised at how hard it hits. Maybe I'm going soft in my old age.

-This is the first movie I've seen that does not eventually go to a black screen with letters for the end credits. It's like a continually-scrolling back cover of an old record album with small animations scattered throughout. That and the five post-credit scenes help keep you interested until the very end.

-Two of the scenes potentially set up future movies (not Infinity War) and are probably completely impenetrable to fans who don't know comics. The other scenes are funny.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Game On

Fantasy football is live. Yahoo changed things up a bit so I think everyone may actually be signed up.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


It seems I've mostly been posting about ESPN lately but it's hard not to when they offer up so much material. Today, a big one: ESPN fired 100 people today and some of them are names you'd recognize. Some of the more familiar names: Ed Werder, Roger Cossack, Jay Crawford, Trent Dilfer (one of the best NFL analysts out there), Jayson Stark, and the one that hits me the hardest, Danny Kanell. Russillo and Kanell is just about the only thing on ESPN worth watching (or listening to) so losing half the team hurts. Russillo is reportedly still going to be on the radio but will be cut back on the TV side but it still leaves me concerned. Maybe I'll get to dump the ESPN app the same way I dumped ESPN.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Tuesday, April 04, 2017


ESPN has released new guidelines for discussing politics on the network, though you won't find them on the front page and they waited until just after a NCAA Championship game to do it. As near as I can tell they're giving commentators the green light to discuss politics as long as it's related to sports in some fashion. They're supposed to offer "balance" to opposing views but note that idea is subjective, so you can read probably assume they won't feel the need to talk about conservative views unless they're mocking them. I find this especially interesting given the last story I posted. ESPN again seems determined to double-down on the things people are complaining about. I'm going to enjoy laughing at them when they can't pay their bills any longer.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Falling Off a Cliff

Bloomberg Business Week has an interesting article on ESPN and cord cutting, something I've posted about before. It includes a graph that shows the subscriber numbers falling off a cliff. ESPN though appears to be doubling-down on protecting the cable bundle. Their main problem? Cost. According to that article Game of Thrones costs HBO about $100 million for a season. ESPN pays that just for one MNF game. It's hard to believe that's going to go well for ESPN in the end. They probably can't afford to give people a lower-cost option for consuming ESPN content, but ESPN is a pretty awful deal compared to... well, pretty much everything.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Justice League

 I post this not because I'm excited but rather because I think it's interesting. Batman v Superman was awful. This... doesn't look a whole lot better. Those costumes? Ugh.  It'll make a lot of money though.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

No Good Deed

Inappropriate, some bad language, but still pretty funny:

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Monday, February 20, 2017


I love this poster.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Monday, February 06, 2017

Political Football

I'm not a Patriots fan but this one time it doesn't bother me much that they won. Why? Well, this article pretty well sums it up. Even though I avoided most media in the week leading up to the Super Bowl I was still aware that various sports personalities criticizing Brady and the rest for having ties to Trump. I find this despicable. I still don't like Brady or the Patriots but he made all the right people angry, and that's something.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Nate's On To Something

FiveThirtyEights Nate Silver is on to something. He has an interesting article about "Power-Pairing" and used the Big Ten as the example of how that would have looked for 2016.

The Tri-Valley Conference already does something like this for basketball. The TVC consists of the East, West, and Central. So, at two different times in every team's schedule, they do a sort of "power-pairing" with another side of the conference. For example, on Friday, Jan. 6, the #1 team in the TVC-East will play the #1 team in the TVC-Central. Then, on Friday Feb. 3, the #1 team in the TVC-West will play the #1 team in the TVC-Central. And, on Friday, Feb. 24, the #1 team in the TVC-East will play the #1 team in the TVC-West. (Obviously the same is done for every team seeded #2-#7.)

He's right, it would definitely be a logistics/transportation nightmare. Plus, you may not know very long in advance who that team would be.

But, I like the direction Silver is going and I've been screaming it for the past 2 years...get rid of the divisions. It's too risky or ends up not mattering anyway. If Florida beats Alabama in the SEC Title game, that should not give a 4 loss Florida team the right to get in the Final 4 of the playoffs. Or, PSU wins and doesn't get in anyway.

Do I necessarily want to use that extra weekend for the opportunity to expand to an 8 team playoff? No. Look at this year. Clemson and Alabama are the two best teams. End of discussion. Six more teams would have said the same thing. Could FSU or USC or Oklahoma have made it interesting? Yup.