Month: May 2022

Sports – 2022 NFL Draft Recap

Category : Sports

The 2022 NFL Draft is complete.  Seven rounds, three days, numerous trades, two hundred and fifty six players chosen, and thirty-two teams with new players on their rosters.  In my Mock Draft, I attempted to predict the first round, and of course I got it mostly wrong.  It was fun to guess, but here’s how the first round really shook out:

 

1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Travon Walker, DL from Georgia

2. Detroit Lions – Aidan Hutchinson, DL from Michigan

3. Houston Texans – Derek Stingley, CB from LSU

4. New York Jets – Sauce Gardner, CB from Cincinnati

5. New York Giants – Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE from Oregon

6. Carolina Panthers –Ickey Ekwonu, OL from NC State

7. New York Giants – Evan Neal, OL from Alabama

8. Atlanta Falcons – Drake London, WR from USC

9. Seattle Seahawks – Charles Cross, OL from Mississippi St

10. New York Jets – Garrett Wilson, WR from OSU

11. New Orleans Saints – Chris Olave, WR from OSU

12. Detroit Lions – Jameson Williams, WR from Alabama

13. Philadelphia Eagles – Jordan Davis, DL from Georgia

14. Baltimore Ravens –Kyle Hamilton, S from Notre Dame

15. Houston Texans –Kenyon Green, OL from Texas A&M

16. Washington Commanders – Jahan Dotson, WR from Penn St

17. Los Angeles Chargers – Zion Johnson, OL from Boston College

18. Tennessee Titans – Treylon Burks, WR from Arkansas

19. New Orleans Saints – Trevor Penning, OL from Northern Iowa

20. Pittsburgh Steelers – Kenny Pickett, QB from Pitt

21. Kansas City Chiefs – Trent McDuffie, CB from Washington

22. Green Bay Packers – Quay Walker, LB from Georgia

23. Buffalo Bills – Kaiir Elam, CB from Florida

24. Dallas Cowboys – Tyler Smith, OT from Tulsa

25. Baltimore Ravens – Tyler Linderbaum,  OL from Iowa

26. New York Jets – Jermain Johnson, DL from Florida St

27. Jacksonville Jaguars – Devin Lloyd, LB from Utah

28. Green Bay Packers – Devonte Wyatt, DT from Georgia

29. New England Patriots – Cole Strange, OL from UT-Chattanooga

30. Kansas City Chiefs – George Karlaftis, EDGE from Purdue

31. Cincinnati Bengals – Dax Hill, S from Michigan

32. Minnesota Vikings –Lewis Cine, S from Georgia


Movie Review – War of the Worlds

Category : Movie Review

Director: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Justin Chatwin

Year: 2005

War of the Worlds is lower tier Spielberg, and that’s a big disappointment.  That legendary director, this classic story, a bona fide star leading the cast, one of the best child actors we’ve ever seen; this should have been a bigger moment and a greater success than it was at the time, and also how it watches now.  Audiences deserved more impact from a story this famous, compelling, haunting, and historic, but what we got instead were performances and filmmaking that all felt phoned it, rather than completely committed.  And, you know, that’s a real shame.

Across the globe, bizarre lighting strikes and power outages cause concern among the citizens of Earth, as they walk out of their homes to see storms but witness something much more deadly instead.  Beings from another planet have arrived on ours, or have they been here all along?  Doesn’t really matter, it’s a moot point, and soon all of humanity will be an afterthought, as the creatures in their machines begin decimating the populations of every major city and destroying everything in their paths.  One man, along with his semi-estranged son & daughter, see the entire mess unravel as they trek across the country, trying to stay alive.

The set-up is a little silly; divorced man, doesn’t understand his angry kids, a little unstable, forced to show his love to them during a disastrous situation.  It’s silly, but it’s an OK vehicle for us to watch events unfold from, so that is what it is.  But the rest of the movie doesn’t really ever pick up from there, we simply go with the flow, and there are never moments that will make you glad you were along for the ride.  Cruise is cool, Fanning is great, the acting isn’t the problem, and, I guess, neither is the direction or the visuals; looking at this movie is pretty fun.  It’s the story that isn’t compelling, oddly enough, since it’s based on something so colossal and directed by such a genius.  We are simply never drawn in or fully invested, the film just doesn’t force us to care, it’s far too surface level, and when the end comes we’re all like “huh”.  A lackluster cinematic experience if ever there was one, War of the Worlds isn’t awful, it’s just alright, and that’s not good enough, Steven.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

 


Movie Review – The Omega Man

Category : Movie Review

Director: Boris Sagal

Starring: Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Rosalind Cash

Year: 1971

From the same story as I Am Legend, The Omega Man tells a similar tale of mankind on the brink of annihilation, this time a little more virus and a little less vampire.  Also, far too much early 70s ridiculosity and Charlton Heston braggadocio.  Will Smith did it better, and he had a dog, which was cool, but Heston did it first, which, I guess, is something.  Neither movie is great, and this one has the negative aspect of being outdated past forgivability, which is strike three, you’re out.

Dr. Neville is the last man alive in his city, now that humanity has been wiped out by a chemical weapon that turned into a devastating virus.  Well, that’s not exactly true, there are others, but they, The Family, can’t be out during the day, spurn all technology, and have basically become a bizarre cult that is glad the world has moved on.  When Neville discovers that there are others like him still surviving, he makes a plan to create a vaccine from his own blood so that they don’t turn into weirdos.  But, of course, you know what they say about best-laid plans.

Omega Man is pretty damned awful.  It’s the Will Smith movie in its original format, but with a Blaxploitation feel that icks you out and a Heston gunfight mentality that’s just juvenile.  The acting is abysmal, the story is all over the place, 90 minutes feel like 900, and by the end you’re wishing you were dead too.  All I can say is that post-apocalyptic movies are fun, and this one is no different, but that doesn’t mean that it’s good, like, at all.  Planet of the Apes gone horribly wrong, stay away from revisiting this quasi-classic; there are better dated sci-fi flicks.

My rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

 


Movie Review – The Batman

Category : Movie Review

Director: Matt Reeves

Starring: Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Jeffrey Wright

Paul Dano, Andy Serkis, John Turturro, Colin Farrell

Year: 2022

One of the most anticipated movies of, god, who knows how long, The Batman, in theory, was everything all of us wanted; comic book for some, dark drama for others, action & weapons, love & catharsis, and the list goes on.  It also borrows from as many films as it’s trying to be, which turns out to be sort of a problem; too many cooks in the kitchen, stand for everything and you stand for nothing, something along those lines.  Basically, The Batman is a cool movie with a little bit for everyone, sure, but it also relies too heavily on snippets of other movies, and far too much on our desire to love more from the franchise we grew up with.  Trying to be too much at one time, sometimes it’s nothing in particular, and that’s a big problem.

As we step into Gotham City once more, we are introduced to a Batman who has already begun, and who may already be too jaded to finish the heroic work he started.  Bruce Wayne is a creature of the night searching for revenge; for his dead family, for his dying city, for the life that was taken from him, and for the lives that are lost every day in the streets.  But his newest case will be his biggest yet, and the culprit isn’t some petty thug, he’s finally a rival worth outsmarting.  Dubbed ‘The Riddler’, a madman is killing prominent GC politicians, cops, and lawmakers, always assuring the public that there are lies beneath the surface that make these deaths justifiable.  Batman must put aside his anger, get to the bottom of the killings, and figure out who Riddler is, before his own alter-ego becomes the next target.

I love Robert Pattinson in this role; he’s one of the best to inhabit it.  He’s young, handsome, brooding, a phenomenal actor, and only does a partial raspy voice, for which I was grateful.  He’s also not just a stiff action figure doing karate chops, thanks to Matt Reeves’ cool version of this classic story, and the pair seemed perfectly matched for this kind of take on this kind of franchise.  It was mostly neo noir, with a detective element and a “dame in trouble” side story, with dark scenes and rainy nights; it’s a style you have to sink into, but it worked for this plot & this hurt hero.  But it was also very strongly Se7en, which seemed a little less a nod and more a steal.  Also, we just saw a similar incel story in Joker, we’ve seen Dano do this character/voice in There Will Be Blood, and Batman’s theme song is literally one more note away from being Darth Vader’s.  That’s where I have a problem; as much as I enjoyed this film, thought it was dark & cool & weird & well-acted, I couldn’t help understand that a lot of it was taken from other, better projects, and that three hours was a long time to simply showcase the work of others.  There was some fun action, Bruce Wayne was fascinating done this way, I liked Catwoman a lot, I applaud that they didn’t do anything “fantasical” or over-the-top, I liked the grit & the rain & the details & the side actors & the general feel …but I wonder how much of the entire movie was original at all.  Joker is bleaker, Batman Begins is more awesome, Se7en is the murderer-with-a-message movie you want; as good as The Batman turned out to be, I’m left thinking that it could have been better, and that there are definitely films that really did accomplish what we wanted this one to.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

 


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