It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s the newest movie remake of the Superman story, this time called Man of Steel(rated PG). This new stab at the Superman story is at the directorial hands of Zach Synder(300/Watchmen) and producer hands of Christopher Nolan(Batman Trilogy) In this newest installment the Man of Steel is portrayed by Henry Cavill(Kal-el) with a star studded cast behind him including Russell Crowe as the Man of Steels father Jor-el, Kevin Costner as his earthly father Jonathan Kent with Amy Adams(Enchanted) as Lois Lane and Laurence Fishburne(The Matrix) as Perry White.
Synder starts us out with the last days of Krypton and how Jor-el sends his only son to earth to hopefully continue the Kryptonian way as well as assimilating with his new home of Earth. We then find Clark Kent as an adult wandering through different jobs and places because he knows he has a special gift but can’t seem to pinpoint how, why or what he has. We see flashbacks to his early childhood, teenage and early adult life which set the tone of his current day life and how he has come to this point.
Eventually he finds who he is and how he is meant to help Earth while still keeping the Kyrptonian ways alive within him. He also finds out that a General Zod(Michael Shannon) is on the lookout for him, the General and his crew are also from Kyrpton. Generla Zod was exiled to the Phantom Zone early on in the movie after a coup attempt fails. He now returns to find Kal-el and get his idea of the future of Krypton moving forward, but as you can guess Superman is not on the same page as Zod. The battle that ensues next between Zod and Superman is one of the best and shows what the man of Steel is all about.
I truly enjoyed the Man Of Steel, it was definitely action packed and loud, I love that. We see the Man of Steel in all of his glory using his powers for good and to well kick some butt. Director Zach Synder does a great job of keeping the story moving while giving us what we need of the young Clark Kent’s life to give us enough of the back story on why he is a little lost in this world. We see that no matter how great Superman is he is still just trying to find his way through our world with only the guidance of his father’s Jor-el conscience. Hennery Cavill is the right choice to play the Man of Steel, he brings both ruggedness and caring Superman who believes in humankind and will fight for his adopted world. Amy Adams does a nice job as Lois Lane, always getting herself in the mix of it all while finding an interest in the Man of Steel. I loved the guidance of Jonathan Kent played by Costner helping lead Clark through those tough times that all of us went through growing up but for Clark it was of course a little bit more. Michael Shannon plays the villainous Zod right to the tee and makes a great opening challenge to the Man of Steel with both brawn and brains but a little of that psycho too, because that’s why they are villains right? Russell Crowe does a great job as Jor-el, in fact he would make Marlon Brando proud(played Jor-el in the 1978 movie)with the stature that Crowe has built up over his years in the acting world.
Man of Steel is a great opening to the revamping of Superman, bringing both humor and action together at the right mix, the casting is right on as well. I have to admit that my expectations were very high and though it didn’t reach all levels it meet the main level which was a very, very good restoration of an American Icon. Man of Steel will excite you and maybe bring a tear or two to your eyes, but it does the best which is entertain you and make you feel great again about the future of Superman. Go enjoy the Man of Steel and let him leap tall buildings in a single bound.
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It’s 2022 and the US has an unemployment rate of only 1% plus crime is almost non-existent. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well there is a catch in the new Universal Pictures movie 'The Purge' opening Friday June 7th.
The US Government has sanctioned for a 12 hour period the legalization of any and all crimes, they suspend all police, fire, etc. and all Americans can do their civic duty to well Purge themselves. This cleansing by you and I let’s us have total mayhem where no one is safe. Ethan Hawke plays James Sandin who believes he has all the answers to his life and this annual event, he is a security salesman and many of his sales have been done to his neighbors to keep them safe from this yearly purging. He’s done so well(he also has this security system in his house) that he’s been able to live well and even add on to his home for his family. His wife, daughter and son are living the good life but have some internal problems including his high school daughter Zoey who has falling in love with a boy older than her. His young son Charlie who is very introverted and spends most of his time in a closet hiding place in his room, while his wife, Mary is just trying to keep the family together while she stays home and keeps up with the neighbors, total suburbia.
As they prepare for the annual Purge, James feels like he has it all figured out, gathering the family around the TV for the beginning of the Purge while their security system locks down the house for the next 12 hours. The movie really starts here as the family is thrown into some interesting predicaments due to causing someone else’s purge night to be altered due to a mistake or for some a caring by a family member. This is not a slasher film as far as horror goes but it defiantly is a psychological thriller that makes you think about human nature as well as the survival of the fittest. How will these people react when the Purge is brought right to their front door, how will they react, how would you react if you were put into this situation. The Purge is a very original idea as far as movie premises go, though there is a touch of the Hunger Games in it. I even had my wife who saw it with me saying if this is something that could happen or lead to people that might think of going on sprees like this in real life. Well you can never predict the future or what people might do because there are always wackos out there but the thought that our government would ever sanction something like this is to me is very farfetched. The Purge I believe does a serviceable job of bringing this to life and showing you how people can and may react to being put into certain life or death situations.
There are times that the chasing or searching gets a little slow but it does offer some seat jumps. There is a lot of death by gun means so know that going in but it relates to the purpose of the movie so it was in my opinion necessary to be there. The Purge tells a tale of how we all can be looked at as non-essential and that if we are looked upon as to rich or too poor or not pretty enough or not nice enough someone out there may have it out for us, its Charles Darwin’s survival of the fittest. I thought The Purge made the effort and for that I’ll say if you like these type of movies with psychological undertones then you will like the Purge. If you find murder and gun use too much you might want to stay away. The Purge doesn’t get it all right but there are some twists and turns that will make you at least think of the world we live in and who we live next too.
Follow me on twitter @johnandsuzanner
By Adam Auslund
Grant Hill announced his retirement yesterday on TNT's pregame broadcast and it got me thinking about the direction his career could have gone. Maybe I read too many Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid and enjoy the hypotheticals, the the fork in the road talk, but we all know that if Grant Hill didn't have that stubborn left ankle injury late in the 1999-2000 NBA season things would have been much, much different.
What if Grant Hill wasn't such a nice guy and didn't succom to fan pressure to play in that first round series of the playoffs for Detroit that same year. Then he wouldn't have played on an ankle that was thought to just be a sprain, but was actually broken, and therefore wouldn't have exacerbated the injury and put a cap on what looked like a limitless amount of potential and talent to tap into as he was entering his best years as a pro.
Afterall, he was a 27 year old point/forward coming off his best season, averaging 25/6/5 while shooting 48% from the floor. Those are numbers certainly deserving of a max contract, which the Orlando Magic were happy to give him, not thinking he'd only give them 200 games of work over the next 7 season in return. 200 games where he was only a fraction of his former self, btw.
Orlando at that time was desperate to replace two players that had taken them to the Finals a few years early with Shaq and "Penny", and were looking to reward fans who hadn't given up on the organization after they let Shaq go for nothing in '96 and then traded Penny to the Suns for Danny Manning, Pat Garrity and two 1st round draft picks the summer before.
While hindsight would prove trading "Penny" was a wise move-- as he was just a year away from the dreaded microfracture surgery that would put the nail in the coffin of his own injury plagued career-- little did they know they'd just replaced him with another scuffed-up penny, who was about to disappoint Magic fans far more than Dwight Howard ever did. Hey, at least D12 played well on the court for them before wanting out in the most dragged out, annoying and awkward way possible.
So in comes a hobbling Grant Hill, fresh off his first ankle surgery, on crutches still, probably looking like a 6’8 “tiny Tim” to sign a 92.88 million dollar contract with the Orlando and form would could have been one of the most devasting tandem’s the NBA had ever seen, because the Magic had also grabbed Tracy McGrady from the Raptors.
It was a unique pairing of slashing guards, one that could have taken the league by storm, but unfortunately for the Magic and NBA fans, Hill’s ankle wouldn’t cooperate, and from the combination was doomed before it ever got started.
Hill only played 4 games that first year with the franchise and it didn’t get much better from there. So while T-Mac was fulfilling his end of the bargain, becoming the best scorer in the league, the Kobe Bryant of the East (and was probably better at that point), Hill spent most of his time wasting away on the bench. What should have been his best years became an endless torture cycle of surgery, rehab, a handful of games, more surgery, more rehab, and so and so forth. By the summer of 2004, 4 seasons had past, and Hill had only played in 47 games, and was now 31 years old.
He had missed his prime. The window was shut for his peak years as a player. The dream of what he could have become vanished like Kaiser Soze.
So let’s play through the what ifs. If Hill stays healthy, it’s likely he and T-Mac contend as one of the top teams in what was a very weak Eastern Conference at that time. They would have beaten a one man show in Philly, where Allen Iverson led a bad Sixers team to the finals in 2001, and they also would have contended with those Jason Kidd running and gunning New Jersey teams that made back-to-back finals appearances.
So they still lose the Laker team in 5 games in the Finals, but oh well, at least they made it. And maybe with a some well thought out roster moves, they could have recruited some former stars that wanted one last shot at a ring to come and join them on the cheap.
Also, If Grant Hill is playing, does Tracy McGrady still break down the way he did, also before entering his prime? Many cite the fact that he had to carry a Magic team, with one of the worst supporting casts in NBA history, as the reason the injuries piled up so quickly. Perhaps Hill significantly lightening the load also extends McGrady’s career. Plus, if Hill is healthy and they're winning, McGrady never demands a trade to the Rockets. And oh yeah, they never fire Doc Rivers as their head coach.
Having 2 wing, slashing, scorer types of that caliber joining forces via free agency also would have been historical for the NBA. The orginal Wade/Lebron combination of it’s kind, and something we would have used to compare the Heat stars alignment to.
Back to reality though. Ultimately you can sum up Grant Hill’s career as unfulfilled potential. It’s most people’s biggest fear in life, including this blogger.
Perhaps if Hill would have been more selfish, less of a team guy and the consummate professional he was, and not returned too early from that ankle injury in Detroit, we would instead be talking about a sure Hall of Famer, and maybe one of the top 50 players to ever play the game.
Maybe Derrick Rose has the right idea. Forget what the fans want. Forget what the organization wants. Don't worry about anyone but yourself.
By Krystina Ramey
As a sports fan, this stretch of the year is one of my favorites because it’s PLAYOFF time! And although the Lakers and the Clippers dropped out early… and the Ducks… LA still has the Stanley Cup Champion Kings to keep them in the race! But because the hockey playoffs run longer than the NBA’s, this week I’m going to focus on basketball. Hockey fans, I promise some NHL next post.
Let’s start with one of the teams that didn’t make the playoffs, the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks were in the midst of a heated battle with the Sacramento Kings, who, as we recently learned, will be staying in Sacramento. The Mavericks had just gone up by 2 with 36 seconds left in the game when the referees headed to the replay booth to review a controversial play. Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki thought he’d lend the refs a hand, but a Sacramento security guard had other plans…
The Kings might need to sign that guy to a contract… come on James, why didn’t you set a screen for your boy??
Unlike the Mavericks, the Denver Nuggets actually did get a taste of the post-season. It was short-lived, however, as a 6-game defeat at the hands of the Golden State Warriors dashed the Nuggets’ hopes for a deep run. Probably the biggest loss here is the lack of any further JaVale McGee antics this season. That is one entertaining athlete… Check out his move after blocking a shot from Clippers forward Matt Barnes:
Gotta get my hands on that invisi-pen…
I guess you have to take ‘em while you can though, JaVale, because we all know soon enough you’ll be doing one of these again:
Ahh, I’ll miss those.
The Spurs and the Rockets are two teams that also earned post-season berths this year, and while Tony Parker’s Spurs are still alive, James Harden’s Rockets tasted defeat in Round 1. But what a great year for Harden, becoming a breakout star in Houston, no longer a bench player, and leading his team to the playoffs for the first time since 2009. And it seems the good continues off the court too, as Harden linked up with Parker earlier this year to surprise some kids at a pickup game:
It’s always good to see the pros giving back to the kids, even if it is by whooping up on them. Oh, and, glad to see these two don’t care who they play for… No
It’s too bad the Knicks got booted in the 2nd round, cause it means we’ll have to put these next 2 club-bangers on the shelf… at least til next season. I’m not sure why athletes continue to try to take their talents to the music studios, but it seems they each think they’re going to break the trend of athlete / emcee flops. Iman Shumpert tried his hand this year, creating a team-themed remix to Kanye West’s “Clique.” My thoughts? I honestly don’t think I could’ve purposely come up with a more annoying song than this.
You can ignore the last 25 seconds of this video. Unless of course you actually want more of this.
Sharing in the Knicks love is teammate J.R. Smith, who, not surprisingly, has his own silky smooth R&B anthem entitled “So Right.” What is surprising is the fact that J.R. Smith actually didn’t have any hand in creating this. Someone else actually chose to put this together, just for him. Talk about a fan.
I think the craziest part about all this is that I actually walk around singing this song… unprovoked. I can’t help it, it’s catchy! See Iman Shumpert? Leave the music to the professionals. Props to Milford Jerome for voicing this one.
Obviously I have no material for the notoriously boring San Antonio Spurs, so I’ll just move on to the Heat. Man, these guys really don’t want to give up that spotlight for who can show up to the playoffs outfitted in the most ridiculous and outlandish of fashions, do they? I guess they need something to keep them entertained at those post-game pressers, seeing as how they statistically have to attend more than any other team in the league, save 1 I suppose. Why am I talking numbers? Anyway, something tells me South Beach has this guy dressing this way every day of the year, playoffs or not…
I’ve seen Russell Westbrook’s red frames, I’ve seen Kevin Durant’s backpacks, I’ve even seen teammate LeBron’s random bright orange sweater, but this, Dwayne Wade… this is a new level. What… the hell… are you doing…
All I can do is shake my head. I give up. D-Wade, you officially take the crown. WoW. ( ß Props if you get that!)
Alright, I’m out of here. I can’t possibly follow that with anything. But YOU can follow ME, on Facebook and on Twitter. Much love!