Month: August 2014

REVIEW: BoJack Horseman – Season One (2014)

Recently, I decided to introduce season or show reviews for television shows, and coincidentally ‘BoJack Horseman’ popped up on Netflix as a fresh new binge-product. This will be my first season review of a television show ever – and as you should always do when reading my blog, expect SPOILERS. You’ve been warned, so without further ado – here’s my take on this new animated series starring Will Arnett and Alison Brie.

The show is centered around BoJack Horseman, an anthropomorphic horse. BoJack is a former actor best known for a sitcom in the 90s. BoJack lives in his Hollywood home with Todd (played by Aaron Paul), a friend of his. The show co-stars Alison Brie, primarily as Diane Nguyen a Ghost Writer for BoJack’s memoirs; Paul F. Tompkins, primarily as Mr. Peanutbutter, a rival of BoJack who has the same background as him; and Amy Sedaris as his Agent/ex-Girlfriend Princess Carolyn.

The show is incredibly ‘meta’, and features a lot of throwbacks to the golden age of US sitcoms. And though this show follows the feel of The Simpsons, Family Guy and American Dad, you will quickly notice that the show incorporates a linear narrative. Unlike the aforementioned animated television shows, this show is primarily about the sadness of celebrity, and you don’t expect a happy ending for ol’ BoJack. Inspite of the serious tone, the show is funny – though I find it much more poignant and strong, when the show leans on its depression-tone of storytelling.

The standout episodes for me are “The Telescope” (Episode 8) & “Downer Ending” (Episode 11) – with both episodes revolving around the very sad horse that BoJack is. One thing I wanted from this show was a heartwarming episode, not unlike many Futurama standouts, but the sorrow showed in the aforementioned BoJack standouts left me satisfied.



Pre-Season Notes – Chicago Bears – Game 3

Well, that didn’t go according to plan. In what was supposed to be a game about new beginnings, the Bears did little to fix their defensive reputation from last season. In fairness, though, these were the World Champions. Friday the Bears dropped to 2-1 in their Pre-Season schedule – which really isn’t all that important. Today, I’ve decided that the result itself did not warrant standouts to be mentioned. Firstly, there weren’t many – secondly, we had no chance to make anything standout really. David Fales, Jordan Lynch and Kyle Fuller did not appear, and their respective overall scores of -1, +2 & +4 do not change. The less said about this game, the better – so let’s get the scores out and over with.

  • #25 – Ka’Deem Carey: 2+ points, 1- point; Average Performance – [3 points].
  • #95 – Ego Ferguson: 1+ points, 1- point; Average Performance – [0 points].
  • #45 – Brock Vereen: 0+ point, 1- point; Below Average Performance – [-1 point].
  • #93 – Will Sutton: 1+ points, 1- point; Average Performance – [0 points].
  • #16 – Pat O’Donnell: 1+ points, 1- point; Average Performance – [3 points].
  • #57 – Jon Bostic: 2+ points, 1- points; Average Performance – [-1 point].
  • #50 – Shea McClellin: 1+ point, 1- point; Average Performance – [-4 points].

Rookie of the Game: Pat O’Donnell

Player of the Game: Willie Young


Pre-Season Notes – Chicago Bears – Game 2

In continuing with the tradition mentioned last week, today I will give out scores for specific performances and note standouts. Yesterday the Bears hosted a Pre-Season game against the Jacksonville Jaguars [which resulted in a 20-19 Bears win] – and that’s the focus of today’s post. First of all, here are the scores for the specific players I’m watching this year [note the overall score for the player in brackets].

  • #25 – Ka’Deem Carey: 3+ points, 2- points; Average Performance – [2 points].
  • #12 – David Fales: No Participation – [-1 point].
  • #95 – Ego Ferguson: 0+ points, 1- point; Below Average Performance – [0 points].
  • #45 – Brock Vereen: 1+ point, 1- point; Average Performance – [0 points].
  • #93 – Will Sutton: 0+ points, 1- point; Below Average Performance – [0 points].
  • #23 – Kyle Fuller: Early Injury, no notes – [4 points].
  • #16 – Pat O’Donnell: 3+ points, 0- points; Above Average Performance – [3 points].
  • #36 – Jordan Lynch: No Participation notes – [2 points].
  • #57 – Jon Bostic: 2+ points, 0- points; Above Average Performance – [-2 points].
  • #50 – Shea McClellin: 1+ point, 0- point; Average Performance – [-4 points].

Moving on now to standouts. Onca again our Special Teams performed poorly, and actually I only saw Pat O’Donnell as a positive experience. Offensively, though, we saw some nice things on the field. Jay Cutler, and his O-Line, was amazing – and he felt so comfortable. Honestly, if he performs like this in the regular season, we’ll have a great season. As for the 2nd and 3rd strings? Well, I soured somewhat on Jimmy Clausen – but not due to him performing badly; actually, Jordan Palmer was just that good. Defensively, I loved what I saw from Stephen Paea and ‘Peanut’. For the second week in a row, I loved what I saw from Trevor Scott – he’s a lock for the 53 man squad. Finally, the interception from C.J. Wilson needs to be noticed. Nice job, young man.

Rookie of the Game: Pat O’Donnell, Punter.

Player of the Game: Jordan Palmer, Quarterback.


PREVIEW: English Premier League 2014/2015

It’s time to begin, isn’t it?

Quite possibly the biggest sporting national football/soccer league is about to begin in twenty different Premiership stadiums. Three newcomers await their chances to prove their talent, two experienced managers are ready for their revenge and one new coach looks out at the league unimpressed – ready to unveil his revamped Manchester United squad. This is the English Premier League – we’re back folks. In this article I’ll look at the four biggest teams challenging last year’s winners Manchester City – as well as give several predictions for the season, including a predicted league table. I’ll be starting off with a look at this year’s Community Shield winners – Arsenal.

Wenger’s Revenge

His game 1000 will never be forgotten…

Last season felt disastrous for Arsenal, especially with Wenger’s 1000th game (the 6-0 loss to Chelsea, in case you’ve forgotten) – but it was actually a pleasant surprise for Arsenal fans, who got in a comfortable position in the league, while taking their first trophy in a very long time. They capped it off last weekend by winning the Community Shield against Manchester City. They’re extremely happy at the Emirates – but they need to remember that Manchester City didn’t have the likes of Zabaleta, Agüero, Negredo, Lampard and Joe Hart in their squad – while Arsenal really only missed Mertesacker and Özil.

Now, Arsenal did win 3-0 against Man City – and they do have a very good squad in place; especially now that they’ve added the likes of Mathieu Debuchy and Alexis Sanchez to the squad. However, with last year’s league results in mind – they’ve not improved more than their rivals have. Now even Tottenham and Everton could be vying for their spot in the top.


Is It Over For Gerrard?

Dropped the title…

Last season was heartbreaking for The Reds – and though they never walked alone, their tears were plentiful. They let it slip out of their hands, and now the title seems farther away from them with Luis Suarez gone to Barcelona. Will this then be the swift return out of the top 4? Or can they fight back, and retain a fine placement in the top? Personally, I would feel very happy with the moves they’ve made if I were a fan of the Merseyside Reds – and the fact that they’ve tapped most of the talent out of Southampton is both scary and fascinating. I have the Reds finishing in the top yet again, and that’s due to a great coach that is still controlling the Kop through his personally-designed system, first unveiled to the Premiership during his stint at Swansea. This will probably be a very good season for the former top team.

United Back On Top?

The Man With The Plan…

Look at his grin. While I may not be a fan of his new team, or the man himself, one has to respect his managerial talent and his mind. This man fooled everyone when he subbed in his reserve goalkeeper in the World Cup in Brazil – only to have him ready for the Penalty Shootout. It worked, and he skillfully became the envy of most clubs. Now he will begin his adventure in the best league in the world – taking hold of the Manchester United squad. A team in need of a fresh feeling. He’s brought in a lot of people to help the team succeed. Personally, I feel that he’s rushing things by bringing in these new players in new surroundings without knowing the team himself. He’s changing the formation as well, thus making limited strides with the in-house players. He needs to work with players like Kagawa and Mata, not bring in a ton of his own players – for this team was set-up right with Sir Alex Ferguson.I feel that the team will improve from last year, but that it still won’t be enough of an improvement to push off the top teams. They’re still a step behind the two oil-clubs, and don’t have the player-for-player advantage in surroundings that Merseyside does. However, they’ve improved much more than Arsenal has – and they should finish higher than them.

Mourinho’s Finally Ready

Can Diego Costa Fire Chelsea To The Top?

José Mourinho said goodbye to Chelsea Legends like Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard, and is ushering in Atletico players left and right. This means that they know eachother, and will have an easier way of adapting to their surroundings. Adding to that, Chelsea has gotten younger – and added two huge stars in Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa.

Having seen all of their Pre-Season games, I can tell that they’ve improved their ball-pressure; and have reworked their possession tactics. However, some things just don’t work – including their 3-man defense when attempting to play an offensive 3-6-1. Their main formations are still 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3, but they work with more fluidity now. Their team has improved.

Bold Predictions

Here we go…

The following is a list of bold predictions I’ve thought long and hard about. The list of predictions includes a league table I’ve tried to think out, along with projected points for each team.

  • Arsenal Sacks Wenger – My first bold prediction is that Arsenal will finally fire their legendary manager Arsène Wenger during their season, or as a result at the end of the year.
  • Liverpool Won’t Miss Suarez – I predict that Daniel Sturridge and Coutinho will score and assist at a higher number than that of the total of Suarez last year.
  • Left Back Will Be The Weak Link For Van Gaal – I predict that Luke Shaw will fail in his first year at Manchester United, and it will lead to problems on the left flank for the red side of Manchester.
  • Blue Topscorer – I predict that Diego Costa from Chelsea will become the topscorer for the Premier League.
  • Predicted League Table:
    1. Chelsea Football Club – 103pts.
    2. Manchester City – 97pts.
    3. Liverpool Football Club – 85pts.
    4. Manchester United – 77pts.
    5. Tottenham Hotspur – 75pts.
    6. Everton – 72pts.
    7. Arsenal – 70pts.
    8. Newcastle – 54pts.
    9. Stoke City – 49pts.
    10. West Ham Utd – 43pts.
    11. West Bromwich Albion – 40pts.
    12. Aston Villa – 33pts.
    13. Swansea City – 32pts.
    14. Sunderland – 30pts.
    15. Leicester City – 29pts.
    16. Southampton – 20pts.
    17. Queens Park Rangers – 19pts.
    18. Crystal Palace – 18pts.
    19. Hull City – 17pts.
    20. Burnley – 16pts.


Pre-Season Notes – Chicago Bears – Game 1

Last year I made it a tradition for me to watch the Chicago Bears Pre-Season games in their entirety, compile notes – note standouts and specific performances. I’m not too certain, though, whether I’ve ever released those notes. This year I am releasing them, though, and it all began yesterday when the Philadelphia Eagles took on my Chicago Bears at Soldier Field for the opening Pre-Season Game.

For this year’s Pre-Season I’ve chosen to keep an eye on the following list of players; and each player will score points based on his performances each week:

  • #25 – Running Back – Ka’Deem Carey – Rookie.
  • #12 – Quarterback – David Fales – Rookie.
  • #95 – Defensive Tackle – Ego Ferguson – Rookie.
  • #45 – Safety – Brock Vereen – Rookie.
  • #93 – Defensive Tackle – Will Sutton – Rookie.
  • #23 – Cornerback – Kyle Fuller – Rookie.
  • #16 – Punter/Holder – Pat O’Donnell – Rookie.
  • #36 – Running Back/Quarterback – Jordan Lynch – Rookie.
  • #57 – Linebacker – Jon Bostic – Second Year.
  • #50 – Linebacker/Defensive End – Shea McClellin – Third Year.

Before rating these specific performances of note, I’ve compiled a list of standouts from the game – which cannot include the players above. In a game where very few Special Team highlights for the Bears were noted, I’ve decided to gloss over that section – and in stead, first look at the defensive standouts. Safety Ryan Mundy and cornerback Sherrick McManis both picked off Nick Foles, and are obvious standouts defensively. Second year Linebacker Khaseem Greene outplayed every 2nd & 3rd string linebacker in the game, and hopefully he can continue to get better – and maybe even battle for a spot with the 1st string. Undrafted rookie cornerback Al Louis-Jean also managed to get a pick, and showed solid movement on the interception itself. Jeremy ‘Jay’ Ratliff also performed well in the game, provided good pressure. My premier defensive standout, however, was defensive end Trevor Scott. He showed an ability to pressure the Quarterback, and was solid on all the snaps he played.

Offensively we have a lot of people to note as well, first and foremost we have our Franchise Quarterback – Jay Cutler. After a poor opening drive, he came back on his second and final – and led his team back in the redzone, and then to the endzone. Cutler managed to find Alshon Jeffery, Brandon Marshall, Dante Rosario and Zach Miller – the latter two being premier offensive standouts. Look out Martellus Bennett. I also have two standouts for the 3rd stringers. First and foremost, former CFL Wide Receiver and Punt Returner Chris Williams performed well, and even had a 70+ yards Touchdown to cap off his night. Finally, I must congratulate 3rd string Quarterback Jimmy Clausen – he’s managed to perform at a level that exceeded that of 2nd stringer Jordan Palmer.

Now we move on to the specific ratings.

  • #25 – Ka’Deem Carey: 2+ points, 1- point; Average Performance; Game 1 Score: 1 point.
  • #12 – David Fales: 1+ point, 2- points; Below Average Performance; Game 1 Score: Negative 1 point.
  • #95 – Ego Ferguson: 3+ points, 2- points; Average Performance; Game 1 Score: 1 point.
  • #45 – Brock Vereen: 2+ points, 2-points; Average Performance; Game 1 Score: 0 points.
  • #93 – Will Sutton: 1+ point, 1- point; Average Performance; Game 1 Score: o points.
  • #23 – Kyle Fuller: 4+ points, 0- points; Above Average Performance; Game 1 Score: 4 points.
  • #16 – Pat O’Donnell: 1+ point, 1- point; Below Average Performance; Game 1 Score: 0 points.
  • #36 – Jordan Lynch: 3+ points, 1- point; Above Average Performance; Game 1 Score: 2 points.
  • #57 – Jon Bostic: 0+ points, 4- points; Below Average Performance; Game 1 Score: Negative 4 points.
  • #50 – Shea McClellin: 1+ point, 5- points; Below Average Performance; Game 1 Score: Negative 4 points.

Rookie of the Game: Kyle Fuller, Cornerback.

Player of the Game: Zach Miller, Tight End.


Preparing for Marvel’s Third Phase

Before going any further, do note that this post is about speculating over the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – therefore expect SPOILERS from the MCU’s Phase 1 & Phase 2, as well as some comic book SPOILERS for characters like Ultron, Captain America and the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Looking Back on Phase 1

It all began with a bang, as Jon Favreau introduced the perfect Tony Stark – Robert Downey Jr. – a character he was born to play. The first solo-film for Iron Man began the first phase for Marvel and Kevin Feige – and it gave us a great battle between the confident and brainy Stark, and the powerful and cruel Obadiah Stone. The film also introduced the character of Pepper Potts, who is extremely important in today’s Cinematic Universe. Also, do note that the computer version of Jarvis was used for these films, and J.A.R.V.I.S. will be of importance sooner rather than later. The film not only began the first phase for Marvel, it also outlined the basic information of the Avengers Initiative – and suddenly fanboys everywhere ran amok in joy – myself included.

One character that Marvel has tried to perfect for a very long time, is Bruce Banner – once perfected with Lou Ferrigno – and they had actually prepared long ago for the return of this green smasher, with Ang Lee’s Hulk from 2003. Eric Bana played Bruce Banner in the 2003 film, but as it became a failure, Marvel had to rebuild with the beginning of the Avengers Initiative – and this was one character you could not leave out. Marvel went about it the right way, trying not to retell the origin story, but instead including clips designed to tell the tale of the 2003 film, now recreated with new actors. People knew how Banner became Hulk, and Marvel didn’t need to retell – something the Amazing Spider-Man by Sony should’ve taken notes from. Edward Norton played the part of Bruce Banner – and for me, he did a fine job – but in the end, he was not to be the future Banner. The one used by Joss Whedon for the future project of Avengers.

Building on the massive success of Iron Man, Jon Favreau made Iron Man 2 in 2010. The film focused on both corporate, as well as supervillain, villainy – by having both Justin Hammer and Whiplash as the rivals for Stark and his suit. At this point, Stark’s a superstar – based on his Iron Man reveal, and the military desperately want his suit. When unsuccesful, Whiplash helps Hammer create these new mechs to defend America – but when Whiplash makes his move – and unleashes hell on Stark and Rhodey – the movie reaches its boiling point. The film itself wasn’t a huge success, but it stands as a huge part of the build-up to the Avengers Initiative. Why? Well, we are introduced to Natasha Romanoff in this film – the Black Widow. The film ends with the information that Stark is too difficult to work with, and that a hammer has been discovered by the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

2011 introduced us to Thor, a Norse God, in a film by Kenneth Branagh. The film has had mixed reviews, but personally, I loved this film – and it touched on a lot of stuff I love about the Marvel Cinematic Universe – though I disliked the big battle with the Destroyer; a special type of action, I feel they’ve had a lot of problems with, on most projects. The film is of the utmost importance when looking at the bigger picture. The, at that point unnamed cube, Tesseract is introduced here – as well as the premier Phase One villain, Loki. Loki is brilliant, and this film is perfect in introducing him. Also, this is the first film wherein we see Hawkeye.

Then came a film, that I felt was placed poorly in the Phase One schedule – AFTER Thor. Captain America: The First Avenger. The film introduces Bucky Barnes, someone the most unaware Marvel fanboy would, sadly, easily forget. The Red Skull appears in this film, but his weight is not felt really – and in the end only the scenes that feel important are involving the Tesseract.

Then came the finale – Marvel’s The Avengers. Featuring an ensemble cast, the film gave us something most thought we’d never see on film – dialogue featuring all the principle Marvel heroes. As the Avengers are finally assembled, including the new Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), they battle Loki and his army of Chitauri. The long battle ends with Stark sacrificing himself for New York, and Loki being beaten down and imprisoned. In the mid-credits scene we see the huge Marvel villain, Thanos – someone interested in courting death.

 Phase 2: An Avengers World?

One thing these films always have to battle is the fact that no solofilm should matter anymore. If Romanoff was in trouble, she could just call up Stark, who’d call up the rest of the Avengers. And that should be the end of it – but that’s not how comic books work – and that’s something Hollywood realists have to get used to. For appearing almost a year later than Avengers, was Iron Man 3 – this time by Shane Black. The film was supposed to include the premier Iron Man villain, the Mandarin – but as millions of fanboys would soon find out; that was not really the case. The film ends with Stark being ‘fixed’ and him destroying his suits. The film was a success on the box office, but received mixed reviews.

A film that really did not work for me, was Thor: The Dark World. Featuring an angry Jane Foster and a crazed Erik Selvig, the film focuses on the power of the Aether, something that possesses Foster. The film also features the return of the imprisoned Loki, who wants to revenge his ‘mother’. Eventually, they save the day – though not without losses. A seemingly dead Loki, is mourned somewhat – but soon we are shown that Loki has taken the form of Odin to rule Asgard. Thor returns to Earth. In a post-credits scene we spot Sif and Volstagg at the Collector’s place – and he is given the Aether to keep it safe. The Collector then says: “One down, five to go” – setting up the plot of Guardians of the Galaxy.

Prior to the Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier was released. The film was huge, both in success and result. The film features Captain Ameria doubting S.H.I.E.L.D. – and the reveal that HYDRA has taken over the once great agency. One teased element of the film, is the idea that Nick Fury is killed by HYDRA – but in the end, it is revealed not to be the case. And the last remnants of S.H.I.E.L.D. takes Alexander Pierce down. In a ‘side-quest’ Cap faces off with the Winter Soldier – a Russian assassin – who we learn is actually Bucky Barnes from The First Avenger. In battle, Cap tries to convince Bucky of his origin – but is somewhat unsuccesful. Thankfully, The Winter Soldier decides to save Cap from drowning – and a severe plot point for Captain America 3 thickens. In a post-credits scene we see Baron Wolfgang von Strucker – who’s captured the SPOILERS children of Magneto (don’t tell Fox). The Age of Miracles has begun.

The final film in the second phase, prior to the unreleased Avengers: Age of Ultron, was Guardians of the Galaxy. The film has elements of Firefly, Star Wars and Back to the Future in it – and is somewhat of a stand-alone film (even if that’s not exactly the case), as the main characters aren’t associated with the Avengers yet. The film follows these Guardians as they race to protect a special orb, now titled Infinity Stones, from the powers of Thanos and Ronan. They are eventually succesful, in what is a perfect summer blockbuster – to rival the ones from the 80s. No post-credit scene of Avengers importance is shown, though someone else appears… Quack quack.

 Looking Forward

We have one final film before we close out the 2nd phase of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Avengers: Age of Ultron will feature the cast of the last Avengers film, as well as these two new siblings. They will battle ULTRON, a ‘robot’ presumably built by Tony Stark in the Cinematic Universe – to ensure that the Avengers Initiative can end. Expect Skynet-like results. A teaser trailer was shown at San Diego Comic Con, but I’ve not seen it. It has been described as a somewhat ominous trailer – showing Tony Stark shaken and seeing his fellow Avengers beaten down, and Cap’s shield broken. There are no strings on Ultron – and the Pinocchio metaphor will take front focus in this Whedon-production.

This is where I begin to speculate – I expect Ultron to be beaten (this is a comic book universe after all), but, like some comics, I expect Ultron to be thrown into space – and then uploaded by the SPOILERS Phalanx – which could be how Guardians of the Galaxy get to encounter the Avengers in the future.

The following dates have been marked by Marvel:
Ant-Man – July 17th, 2015
Captain America 3 – May 6th, 2016
??? – July 8th, 2016
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – July 26th, 2017
??? – November 3rd, 2017
??? – July 6th, 2018
??? – November 2nd, 2018
??? – May 3rd, 2019

Now, a Dr. Strange film has sort of been announced – but not really – and I expect it to be released July 2016, directed by Scott Derrickson. As you should know, Marvel’s been talking to Joaquin Phoenix about the project, something I’ve been wanting for a while now. At the end of this blog-post I will attempt to guess the entire schedule for Phase 3 for Marvel, but before doing that – I have some ideas. First for Captain America 3.

With the introduction of the Winter Soldier in Cap 2, it is expected by many that ‘The Fallen Son’ storyline is coming up – this will be important for Marvel, as it would be the first time they’d kill off a main character. Can they really afford to lose Chris Evans? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Another trilogy ending film we’re waiting for, is Thor 3. When that eventually comes to fruition, we all expect something like ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ – that would be natural.

I doubt we’ll see another solo-Iron Man film with Robert Downey Jr. (due to contract issues), but I’m still hoping for it – instead, we can discuss the future of Guardians of the Galaxy. The sequel to the 2014 hit, will have to focus on Star-Lord’s father and Gamora’s ‘sister’ – however, I feel that perhaps this would be a great opportunity for Marvel to unite the Avengers and the Guardians, by having Tony Stark find them – to take down a potential Ultron-led Phalanx army. I guess we’ll have to see.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article, feel free to ask questions in the comments – and without further ado, here’s my guess for the schedule of Phase 3:

Ant-Man – July 17th, 2015
Captain America 3 – May 6th, 2016
Dr. Strange – July 8th, 2016
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – July 26th, 2017
Black Panther – November 3rd, 2017
Untitled Mark Ruffalo-Hulk Project – July 6th, 2018
Thor 3 – November 2nd, 2018
Avengers 3 – May 3rd, 2019