Monthly Archives: October 2014

Movie Review: The Family

Today is Monday but a week late. The floodgates of WordsofWisTIM had some rust on them, but after some tinkering have opened.

This film was suggested by a friend and despite all of the films on the shelf I have not watched, I went back to Netflix anyway and watched this.

Up to this point in my life, I have not enjoyed mobster movies. I watched Goodfellas and The Departed. I hated both of them. The acting is phenomenal and the films were definitely worthy of the awards they were nominated for and/or received, but in terms of entertainment, I didn’t find any. Every character is sludge. There are no likable characteristics for any of these people. I shouldn’t be looking for that in a genre like this, but I always try to find at least one good thing that allows me the benefit of the doubt that the people I’m watching aren’t Satan’s minions. I could not find that with either of these movies. I haven’t written a review on either yet and I will eventually, but I’m trying to stay away from the genre right now.

Yet this film was part of the genre and at the same time, not. Never delving into the darker depths of the underworld, The Family manages to detail the intricacies of living the lifestyle. Filth and brutality are met in a whimsical manner rather than the oppressive and forceful avenue. It defers to a satirical touch on the infamous criminal rings. Dark humor with flavor is the way to define The Family.

Luc Besson is probably the best cinematic export from France in the last three decades and deservedly so when you look at his repertoire. The Transporter series provided some mindless fun and yet a memorable character with all things considered that is now spawning a television show and Taken continues to be a popular action flick today.

Besson writes and produces most of his films. Sometimes he also takes the director’s chair and he did just that for the 2013 product. The writing’s parallel to the directing and allows for seamless transitions, steady pacing and changing tempos and tones.

Everyone knows that Robert De Niro is one of the best mob actors to ever hit the silver screen and so it seems fair to assume that he’ll hold his own. Giovanni Manzoni is just another name for the filmography. With that said, Manzoni is a character, not just a name.

Contemplating his life as he’s removed from the brotherhood and crime, Manzoni’s looking for a new outlet to exude his personality. Being the local felon and money-making emperor isn’t an option anymore. He finds an export in writing his memoirs, with the hope that someone will read it and finally know the true Giovanni Manzoni.

Like the chaotic occupation, Manzoni’s flippant facial features demonstrate a lot of emotion as do more than a few profanities. There’s a scene where his son, Warren, is talking to his sister, asking why his dad needs to write memoirs when he can convey all the emotion he needs to with one word, the f-bomb. A very good question and a well-flavored conceptual monologue that I enjoyed.

De Niro’s supporting cast does a fair job of extending the mob life to the rest of the family. The kids’ life at school tops the charts and gets the most screen time. The piercing blunt approach of these two is the metaphorical leading lady and sets the stride for the rest of the film.

De Niro keeps up as does Besson’s tale. Some symbolism is even granted to the viewer’s eyes, as Manzoni, who’s trying to make a clean life for himself, finds the water coming out of the faucet is brown and then spends a large majority of the film trying to find out how to make it clear.

The precise functioning of The Family only makes the third act that more deprecating as the film gasps for air when it should have been running its hardest. No fault can be placed on the cast, only on Besson giving his third act more credit then it deserved.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Gone GirlMulanGuardians of the GalaxyDawn of the Planet of the ApesTransformers: Age of Extinction)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2Young Guns)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too.(When the Game Stands TallBlack Hawk DownRed Dawn(2012)MaleficentRise of the Planet of the Apes)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (House at the End of the StreetThe RavenDead SnowRubberHansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (ZoolanderThe Expendables 3HomefrontG.I. Joe: RetaliationVantage Point)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBilly MadisonA Haunted House300: Rise of an EmpireCowboys and Aliens)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark WorldThe Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (GallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafeWatchmenClash of the Titans)

My score for The Family: 78.

Robert De Niro is great at the mobster spiel and The Family has some original elements that differentiate it from the films before it, but the third act is a letdown. Based more on suspense and surprise action than the vile characters and crime you normally see, The Family is worth the watch and maybe a second viewing.

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Tim Sports Report for 2014 NFL Week 7

Top 5

1. QB Peyton Manning 22/26 for 318 yards, 4 TDs, 157.2 QBR vs. SF

Breaks Favre’s 508 TD record

2. QB Russell Wilson 23/36 for 313 yards, 2 TDs, 110.1 QBR, 7 carries for 106 yards, TD vs. STL

First player to throw for over 300 yards and run for 100 yards in the same game

3. Steelers score 24 points in 2:54 (21 in 1:13) in second quarter vs. HOU

4. WR Demaryius Thomas 8 receptions for 171 yards, 2 TDs vs. SF

5. RB Le’Veon Bell 12 carries for 57 yards, 8 receptions for 88 yards, TD vs. HOU

Sets Steelers record for most yards from scrimmage in player’s first two seasons.

Worst of the Worst

1. Bengals shutout vs. Colts, 0-2-1 and outscored in 107-54 in last three games.

1/13 on third down, 54 plays for 135 yards (2.5 ypp) 10 3-and-outs, punted franchise-record 11 times

2. Seahawks lose to third string QB, third string RB and second string RB tops receptions in Rams win.

3. QB Brian Hoyer 16/41 for 215 yards, INT, Fmb, 46.3 QBR vs. JAC

4. QB Blake Bortles 17/31 for 159 yards, TD, 3 INTs, 40.3 QBR vs. CLE

5. Bills lose Spiller, Jackson to injury

Steelers Recap

I went to the Steelers game on Monday and it started the way I feared it might, with Arian Foster gouging the Steelers defense with 102 yards in the first quarter and the Texans jumping to a 13-0 with 7:16 remaining in the second quarter. The Steelers looked pretty bad, but as I noted to one of my friends in the stands, all the Steelers needed was a big play: a sack, a big run, anything to give the Burgh some momentum. After a Suisham field goal and a Texan 3-and-out, Roethlisberger escaped a sack and screened it to Bell, who ran for a 43-yard gain. The very next play, Big Ben found their fourth-round pick, WR Martavis Bryant, in the end zone for his first touchdown of the season. The ensuing kickoff was bobbled by the Texan returner and left the Houston with poor field goal position. On the second play, Foster fumbled the ball and Antonio Brown threw, yes, threw, a touchdown pass to Lance Moore. The next Houston offensive possession, a deflected pass wound up in the hands of Brett Keisel and RB Le’Veon Bell scored on the next play.

It was a demonstration of how deadly the Steelers can be if they execute. The last three minutes of the second quarter was some of the best Steelers’ football I’ve seen in a while. Despite how well they played, they face the second-best team in the league right now, the Indianapolis Colts. Got to side with Luck on this one.

Game of the Week: Eagles @ Cardinals

Both teams are 5-1 and with the Cowboys on a hot streak, the Eagles have to keep pace if they want to win the division. The Cardinals have a good defense but their pass defense has been one of the worst in the league, a huge surprise for many. Going to take the pass-heavy Eagles.

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Movie Review: House at the End of the Street

Guys, it’s been long. Too long. And ironically, so is this review, probably my longest yet.

I apologize for not writing much recently. I’m the soccer beat writer for the college paper and the broadcaster for both men’s and women’s soccer and with them playing two to three games a week plus classes and trying to hang out with friends, there’s been little time for reviews, sports, or life posts as of late.

I have watched some movies, just haven’t written reviews on them. Among some of the stuff I’ve watched in the last month: Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark (I feel like this goes without saying), Dredd (Dreddful, haha, no really it was awful), State of Emergency (Not nearly as terrible as I thought), American Psycho (Oh my gosh, Christian Bale, why I never expected such witty dark humor from you), The Judge (An Oscar-worthy film), The Kid (Similar to The Judge in scope but Disney-ified. A good family film) and V for Vendetta (Voluminous in vivacity and viewing valued).

I don’t know how much writing I will get to for the remainder of the week because I’m on break right now with my 21st birthday arriving shortly. Expect something on Monday for sure. The floodgates of WordsofWisTIM will be opened soon 🙂

For today’s post, I have House at the End of the Street starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bates Motel‘s Max Thieriot. There will be more plot synopsis with this review than I usually do, but as always, spoilers will be contained in the spoiler’s edition.

We see two parents get their heads bashed in by their clearly deranged daughter. Daughter runs into the woods. Flash forward four years later because time transitions are necessary in every horror movie ever.

Elissa (Jennifer Lawrence) and her newly divorced mother move into an enormous house in an upscale, small neighborhood.

What is the fascination with large houses on barely inhabited streets? One, if you’re going to get a huge house, get one where you have neighbors that aren’t half a mile away so if something goes wrong, like I don’t know, some crazy people trying to kill you or something, you’ll have somewhere to go, rather than running around the house screaming “help me, help me” with no one to hear you. Two, if you have two people in your family, why do you need a house that could shelter a dozen? If you’re rich, I get it, you’ve earned the right to, you want to live the American dream, yada yada yada. These two are not rich. They just got it for a cheap price because there was a double homicide at the house next door. “Hhmm,” I would’ve said to myself. “If this is such a great deal then why hasn’t anyone taken advantage of it? There’s probably a reason for that and with me just starting a new job and it being just my daughter and I, there’s really no reason for us to have such a big place anyway. I think I’ll keep looking.”

You would also think if you haven’t spent any time with your daughter that you would want to buy a small place so that your daughter can’t hide around this expanse of a building and avoid any interaction with you, but our mom, Ms. Cassidy (Elisabeth Shue) isn’t very bright.

This setup has a lot of problems but it’s a horror movie, so I guess it’s a just-go-with-it element.

After a “feed the hungry” club meeting ends up to be a reason to get wasted and she finds out how much of a prick this one kid is, she begins to walk home when she gets picked up by Ryan Jacobson (Max Thieriot), the son of the murdered parents who was with a relative at the time of the killing. Yeah, there’s some misplaced pauses during their short drive home in the rain but Elissa handles it rather well and Ryan takes note of that. Elissa begins to have a relationship with Ryan despite her mother’s insistence not to do so.

As House at the End of the Street progresses, we learn more about Elissa. Director Mark Tonderai does a fair job of showing personality rather than telling us. She’s curious, a given for characters who find themselves in this genre. She’s a little pushy, forcing herself into Ryan’s house and just giving herself a personal tour and starting conversations on topics she really has no right to discuss, but perhaps the most revealing characteristic that Elissa emboldens is her want to fix people.

As stated in her mother’s monologue to this friend, “And that’s what she does: she picks the most damaged kid around and then she makes him into a project. So I guess I’m just worried that Ryan’s part of that pattern.”

I liked this tidbit because of its separation from the character norms we see in these films. Yes, there are other films where the girl tries to save the monster from eternal damnation, but it was the way it was presented and built on that clicked with me.

Beyond that, the character writing is pretty bad. The dialogue is okay but the colors of the characters are left pretty basic. I get that Elissa is a purple and that Ryan’s a blue, but what kind of purple and blue? A violet or a lavender? A turquoise or a baby blue? I’d like more specifics and with the horror reveal coming in the 26th minute but the actual horror not arriving till the 38th minute, I wanted more. At 101 minutes, 38 is slightly more than a third of your film and still not much has happened. The only substantial progress we have is our character learning, which is minor.

Ryan had his parents murdered and his sister was never found, yet he seems so reserved and nonchalant about it all. Where’s the pain? People treat Ryan like a freak, never disconnecting him from the malicious acts that happened at that house. Where’s the rage? Elissa’s prodding gets us somewhere but nowhere where we’d like it to be.

At the halfway point, there’s a twist that ends the supposed conflict, making you wonder what they’re going to go over for the next 46 minutes, but screenwriters David Loucka and Jonathan Mostow keep the former and latter halves of the tape together with a nice diversion from our original conflict that tidies up nicely but still leaves us with a few untied threads that bother us at the film’s conclusion.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Gone GirlMulanGuardians of the GalaxyDawn of the Planet of the ApesTransformers: Age of Extinction)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2Young Guns)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too.(When the Game Stands TallBlack Hawk DownRed Dawn(2012)MaleficentRise of the Planet of the Apes)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (The RavenDead SnowRubberHansel and Gretel: Witch HuntersAnchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (ZoolanderThe Expendables 3HomefrontG.I. Joe: RetaliationVantage Point)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBilly MadisonA Haunted House300: Rise of an EmpireCowboys and Aliens)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark WorldThe Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (GallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafeWatchmenClash of the Titans)

My score for House at the End of the Street: 66.

After finishing the film late last night, I wrote the following:

“House at the End of the Street is slightly more than the average horror flick with a few unexpected twists, but the character writing and therefore acting are pretty shoddy and overall isn’t worth a viewing let alone multiple visits.”

In retrospect, the schematics for the film were pretty good. I was overly satisfied with the plot, but I have to agree with my prior self that the character writing dragged down the talent that Lawrence and Thieriot have shown in other works. Its creativity is what puts it in the 60’s, not the entertainment I got out of it because I didn’t feel filled at the end.

*SPOILER ALERT* IF YOU DON’T WANT THE MOVIE SPOILED, STOP READING!!!

SPOILER’S EDITION

This is probably the most thorough spoiler’s edition I’ve put together. Enjoy!

In a conversation with Elissa, Ryan divulges that he accidentally injured Carrie Ann on a swing set and the resulting brain damage from the incident made her extremely aggressive, leading to their parents’ murder.

The first reveal is that Ryan’s sister, Carrie Ann, is still alive. Why Ryan is still keeping her alive, I have no idea. When someone you love does an act like that, they’re not your brother or sister anymore. They stopped being that when they decided to start killing people for fun. I love my brother with all my heart, but if he went loony and killed my parents, I’d make sure he never saw the light of day again, not just for my own sanity and safety, but for those of others, and I’d ask him to do the same thing if our roles were switched.

Ryan goes to a secret basement section underneath the floorboards and brings food to feed her but she is delirious and attacks him and he has to sedate her. The next time he goes down, he brings food again and sedates her before leaving but FORGETS TO LOCK THE DOOR!!! If you’ve been taking care of her all these years, how do you forget to do that?!!! It should be like clockwork! You shouldn’t even have to think about it!

So Carrie Ann runs to Elissa’s house to kill her for who knows why but Ryan grabs her right before she gets there. Tragedy averted.

During Elissa’s next visit, which involves a make out session, Carrie Ann manages to get out again. “How’d she do it this time, Tim?” Well, Ryan puts the key to the locked door on top of the door frame, probably the second worst place to put a key that unlocks a door to a psychopath ever, with the exception being if he put the key in THE DAMN ROOM!!! Why? Because all you have to do is slam on the wall a few times for the key to fall over, you idiot! HOW HAS SHE NOT ESCAPED YOU IF SHE’S COME THIS CLOSE THIS MANY TIMES IN A WEEK??!!

Carrie Ann takes the top of a board game box, flattens it out and slides it under the door and bangs the key off the frame so it falls onto the lid and she drags the lid into the room. Pretty easy. She gets out and Dylan sees her run out the door seconds before Elissa comes out from the bathroom. He tells Elissa she has to leave right away and then runs out the door to chase Carrie Ann. This time, Carrie Ann almost gets to the side of the highway before Dylan catches her and while trying to keep her quiet when a couple making out in a pulled-over car hears them, accidentally breaks her neck.

“Thank God,” I said to myself. “Should have done that a long time ago.”

Fast forward a few scenes and Elissa drives to Ryan’s house looking for him. She finds a tampon box in the trash, making her come to the same conclusion we came to a while ago: Is Carrie Ann still alive? She investigates, finds the underground compartment and Carrie Ann jumps her right as Ryan comes in to save the day. Wait a second. Ryan broke Carrie Ann’s neck. That can’t be her. The hair color isn’t right. As we get a closeup of her face, we see the eyes aren’t right either. Carrie Ann had two bright blue eyes. One of these is hazel.

In the tussle, one of the bright blue contacts ends up on Elissa’s shirt, which makes her look through the trash again and discover an empty package of blue contact lenses and the wallet of the kidnapped girl.

After abducting Elissa as well, Ryan confesses that Carrie Ann died that day on the swing set, which leads to Elissa’s follow-up question: “Then who killed your parents?” which he ignores, saying he can’t have her and Carrie Ann, but that Elissa could be Carrie Ann, so he drags the kidnapped girl somewhere.

Other stuff happens but I need to wrap this up. Ryan tells Elissa that Carrie Ann’s death was his fault, which is why he was punished, but that “he stopped them,” leading us to believe he killed them but there are still a lot of loose ends. Other stuff happens, people die, blah blah blah and the final scene answers the rest of our loose ends…somewhat.

On an old videotape, we’re shown the mother bringing a birthday cake, asking Carrie Ann to make a wish. Ryan, dressed up as Carrie Ann, says, “My name’s not Carrie Ann. It’s Ryan.” leading to an abrupt slapping and a counter of “Yes it is. Your name’s Carrie Ann.”

Yet I still have questions. If Ryan told the police he was at a relative’s house, wouldn’t they look into that? Weren’t they curious how he got from “up-state” to wherever they are now? He says his relative had a stroke when he was 18, which conveniently would have been about the same time that the murders occurred, leaving really no one to attest to his whereabouts. However, the girl we see at the beginning was no older than 13, leaving a five-year gap. A few too many holes here.

All summed up, an easy message can be gathered here. One, don’t do drugs if you’re parents. The whole reason Ryan was watching Carrie Ann in the first place was because the parents were too busy doing cocaine. Two, if you’re parents and you do drugs, don’t force your living child to pretend to be your dead one. Favoritism is the first step to creating a psychopath.

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Tim Sports Report for 2014 NFL Week 6

Top 5

1. QB Cam Newton 29/46 for 284 yards, 2 TDs, INT, 85.8 QBR, career-high 17 carries for 107 yards, TD vs. CIN

2. WR T.Y. Hilton 9 receptions for 223 yards, TD vs. HOU

3. DE J.J. Watt 7 tackles, 2 sacks, fumble recovery for a TD, 3 passes defended vs. IND

4. RB Matt Forte 17 carries for 80 yards, 2 TDs, 10 receptions for 77 yards vs. ATL

2nd consecutive game with 10+ receptions (last week 12 receptions for 105 yards, TD vs. CAR)

5. QB Tom Brady 27/37 for 361 yards, 4 TDs, 139.6 QBR vs. BUF

Worst of the Worst

1. Seahawks fall to Cowboys at home. Play calling may be responsible. In their loss to the Chargers, the Seahawks gave the rock to RB Marshawn Lynch 6 times. Against Dallas, only 10 times. The Seahawks are a running team at heart and if they go to the passing game, they will lose.

2. Lots of injuries this week in the NFL. Season-ending injuries include RB Knowhon Moreno (knee), RB Stevan Ridley (torn ACL/MCL), WR Victor Cruz (torn patellar tendon), LB Jerod Mayo (knee), and CB Dee Milliner (achilles). C Alex Mack will most likely miss the remainder as well with a broken fibula and ankle. RB Darren Sproles strained his ACL/MCL and will miss a few games and WR A.J. Green has already been ruled out for Sunday’s game with a toe injury.

3. QB Russell Wilson 14/28 for 126 yards, INT, 47.6 QBR vs. DAL

4. QB Teddy Bridgewater 23/37 for 158 yards, 3 INTs, 41.3 QBR vs. DET

5. Cincinnati and Carolina tie. I hate ties.

Steelers Recap

The Steelers were destroyed by the Cleveland Browns on Sunday and failed to run the ball effectively despite injuries to the Cleveland defensive line, but that’s not I want to talk about. The Steelers have a great stat line right now (11th pass, 5th rush, 10th against the pass, 15th against the rush), which makes you wonder how they lost two of three games during their easiest stretch of the season: at home vs. Tampa Bay, on the road vs. Jacksonville and Cleveland. That should be 3-0 for the Steelers, no excuses, no exceptions, period. Cleveland was the only game they should have been close to losing.

Instead, the Steelers lose to Tampa Bay despite an early lead, the first big upset in the NFL, and then nearly blow a second game against the Jaguars. Then they get thrashed by the Browns. Considering the standings now, San Diego, Baltimore or Miami look likely to take the wild card spots with Pittsburgh the odd-man out and deservedly so.

Pittsburgh has the fourth-most yards in the league (2,379), which you would expect to translate into points. For the three teams above them, you’d be right. Indianapolis is king of the hill with 2,664 yards, 189 points and 31.5 points per game, one of two teams averaging over 30 (Philadelphia). Atlanta is second with 2,460, 164 and 27.3 respectively. Rounding out the top three is surprise team Dallas with 2,392 yards, 165 points and 27.5 ppg. How do the Steelers fair? When you sort by total points, the Steelers drop to 20th (124) and when you sort by points per game, they drop to 23rd (20.7).

“But how can this be Tim? That doesn’t make sense.”

Actually, it does if you consider one factor: execution. Total yards does not accurately demonstrate offensive firepower. Last year, the worst team in the NFL was the Houston Texans. They had 5,556 yards at season’s end, good for 11th in the NFL. Their points per game? 31st (17.3). Washington had a similar season, placing ninth in total yards (5,915) but 23rd in points per game (20.9).

You can have a ton of garbage yardage at the end of a game that accrued no points and you only got the yards because the opposition has such a huge lead that there’s really no need in giving it their all anymore. Execution is the crucial factor. If the yards don’t lead to points, they don’t mean anything. Mr. Execution himself, Peyton Manning, has demonstrated that. On this year’s chart, the Broncos rank 20th in total yards (1945), which seems awfully low for one of the best offenses in the game. In points per game? 29.4, third-most. If you only have to go 80 yards one time to score 7 points, you’re going to score more. Makes sense. If you have to go 120 yards to score a touchdown, that means you’ll have to do more work to match the point total of the first team. That is the Steelers problem right now: execution.

By no means am I saying I’m expecting offensive coordinator Todd Haley to get fired at the end of the season. That would be a mistake. However, consistent progress is a necessity if you’re leaning on your offense to get you to the playoffs because the Steel Curtain ain’t cutting it these days.

Finally, the Steelers play Houston on Monday Night and with the Steelers going 1-2 on a three-game schedule most teams could go 3-0 on, I’m taking Houston. I’ll be at the game, the first time I’ll be entering Heinz Field in eight years. It’s make-it-or-break-it time for the Burgh. They don’t win on Monday, they can kiss the playoffs good-bye after just week 7, sooner than any Steelers team has had to acknowledge defeat in recent memory.

Game of the Week: Bengals @ Colts

I can’t take another Sunday Night game and truthfully, I’m looking forward to this Bengals-Colts game. The Colts are my Super Bowl pick this year and the Bengals defense the last two games has not looked like the Bengals defense we’ve come to expect. Their defensive stat line is 22nd against the pass and 29th against the run, which is terrible considering the playmakers and depth this team has. They’ve also allowed a combined 80 points in their last two match-ups. I’ll take Luck and the Colts.

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Movie Review: Zoolander

Zoolander. According to my peers during high school, Zoolander was one of the best comedies of all-time. As I look at the trailer now, I see their point. Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell? Sounds like a blast.

The concept’s original, centering around the lives of male models and Zoolander’s accent is over-exaggerated but still brings smirks. Stiller tries hard, you have to give him that. Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell though? Not on-screen even close to enough. It’s a pity because this film could have been so much more witty and grin-inducing then it is.

Like most comedies of the last decade and a half, plot is given little thought in the film’s production. The film’s one-liners, timing and obnoxious character traits are the core. While Zoolander’s primary purpose is indirectly stated from the get-go based off the preposterous plot components, the quality of the humor is far too dry for my liking.

Comedies frustrate me because they are oblivious to all of the other important emotions and segments of life, aside from an almost mandatory but always pitiful attempt to pull heart-strings in the intermediate stages. There is more to life than laughing and goofing off.

What about the everyday problems we constantly find ourselves drowning in?

What about the friends that are always taking something you say and reverberating that message to others out of context?

What about the coworkers that continue to make the same irresponsible decisions every day that make your life harder? These are things that are relatable to a lot of people. Why is no one doing routines centered around these things? I’m not a genius and don’t claim to be, but am I the only one that would love to see Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell go to an everyday, blue-collar job and then go to a bar and talk about all the things wrong with their lives? I would love that, having them talk about all the things they’d like to say to their boss but don’t, about all the things they’d like to say to some of their naive friends but don’t.

It wouldn’t be hard to write. You could interview people on the street about their lives, about things they would like to say but don’t and incorporate them in the script if you wanted to. It would be easy money and better entertainment.

The screenwriters for comedies these days are utter trash. They really are. It’s garbage material. You remember the trailer for Tammy? Who, in their right mind, would willingly go see that for any other reason aside from the fact they were a critic or a fan of Melissa McCarthy? You could tell that was a flop from the get-go and I wasn’t the least bit surprised when I read reviews running it through a meat slicer. I’m sure it deserved every ounce of the criticism it got.

The comedic spectrum is one-note and uneducated. It’s unwavering flatness sickens me and is no doubt one of the underlying reasons why I don’t laugh much. Film and television are meant to enliven life and make us smile despite the chaos around us. Movies like Tammy, even to an extent films like Zoolander, make me facepalm and question what I’m doing with my life.

The comedies of today could be graphed on a timeline and doing so would not be the least bit difficult. They’re far too organized, too structured and too blatantly stupid to be entertaining, unless blatant stupidity is what you’re looking for. If you’re fine with these things, then I guess you’re thrilled with Hollywood right now.

Name a comedy that’s significantly impacted you in the comments, and I don’t mean the funniest one you’ve seen. I mean one that you watched and began to have a new outlook on life or at least look at yourself in the mirror and made you re-examine your life. Mine would be Click. Adam Sandler’s last big flick and in my opinion, his best, Click demonstrated the importance of family first and did so while changing genres in the middle of the film to a surprisingly effective and efficient effect.

Try to name another one. I can’t. I can’t think of another comedy that made an impact. That’s sad.

Comedies are not looking for that impact. They’re looking for light-hearted fun and I respect and understand that, but when you don’t deliver on the light-hearted fun, you’ve got nothing. I’ve got no takeaways aside from the fact that the film was a drag and did not need to be viewed and when you have million dollar budgets, big name production companies and comedy’s best actors, there is no excuse for that. None. You’re incompetent and need kicked off the red carpet. Also, I hate you for wasting hours of my life on a continual basis while I continue to trek around cinemas, film stores, and Netflix in the pursuit for a decent comedy. You have all the tools and materials to make another Click, but you continue to settle for the next Tammy. In the words of one of my British friends, sod off.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Gone GirlMulanGuardians of the GalaxyDawn of the Planet of the ApesTransformers: Age of Extinction)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2Young Guns)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too.(When the Game Stands TallBlack Hawk DownRed Dawn(2012)MaleficentRise of the Planet of the Apes)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (The RavenDead SnowRubberHansel and Gretel: Witch HuntersAnchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The Expendables 3HomefrontG.I. Joe: RetaliationVantage PointThe Starving Games)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBilly MadisonA Haunted House300: Rise of an EmpireCowboys and Aliens)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark WorldThe Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (GallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafeWatchmenClash of the Titans)

My score for Zoolander: 56.

Comedy needs the next big act to step up and redefine the genre like Adam Sandler of the 90’s and early 2000’s. Aside from a three-minute sequence between Stiller, Wilson and Taylor, this film fails to hit on an average level. Stiller and Wilson had sufficient chemistry there but it dissolves in order to stay with the male-model-is-a-trained-killer plot that no one cares about. Distracting and nonessential cameos add to an already short run-time and Ferrell’s left acting like a loony bin in his cumulative ten-minute stand-up.

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Tim Sports Report for 2014 NFL Week 5

Top 5

1. Patriots dominate the Bengals 43-17 and Tom Brady surpasses 50,000 yards. The Patriots outgained the Bengals 505-320 in total yards, 220 of those on the ground. New England also allowed zero third down conversions the whole game. A superb performance just one week after their 41-14 loss to Kansas City sparked criticism.

2. Browns rally from 25-point deficit to stun Titans at home. It was the largest comeback in league history by a road team.

3. WR Demaryius Thomas 8 receptions for 226 yards (franchise record), 2 TDs vs. ARI

4. Broncos’ record-setting game. The Broncos had their best offensive output in franchise history (568 yards) against two of the best cornerbacks in the game, Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie. Peyton Manning set a career-high with 479 yards and threw his 500th touchdown pass, joining Brett Favre in the elite club. Finally, Wes Welker’s seven receptions moved him past Rod Smith for the most catches by an undrafted player (854).

5. RB Arian Foster 23 carries for 157 yards, 2 TDs vs. DAL

Worst of the Worst

1. Jets obliterated by the Chargers 31-0. QB Geno Smith was benched at halftime. New York didn’t make it past the 50-yard line until 7:35 left in the fourth quarter, which was only thanks to a 33-yard pass interference call. They had only four first downs through three quarters. At the game’s conclusion, the Jets had run 54 plays for 151 total yards (2.8 yards per play), committed 12 penalties for 94 yards and two turnovers, and gone 1/12 on third down.

2. Bears blow 14-point lead, commit four second half turnovers in loss to Carolina. The Bears have been outscored 34-3 in the second half the last two weeks.

3. QB Christian Ponder 22/44 for 222 yards, 2 INTs, 6 sacks, 95.8 QBR vs. GB

4. QB Drew Brees 35/57 for 371 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs, 70.1 QBR vs. TB

5. Someone shoots laser pointer in Bills’ field goal holder’s eyes during field goal try. Come on, man!

Steelers Recap

The Steelers beat Jacksonville 17-9, a score that was much closer than it should have been. A late interception for a touchdown solidified the win, but the fact the win needed to be solidified in the fourth quarter is not encouraging. Props to ESPN for trying to give the Steelers more credit than they deserved.

As the recap says, “Pittsburgh’s defense looked somewhat suspect in the first four games, giving up 350 yards and 25 points a game.”

That sounds a lot more than suspect to me. Sounds like criminal negligence.

“The Jaguars finished with 243 yards and were 3 of 12 on third-down conversions.”

When you’re complimenting a team’s defense for throttling the Jaguars, you know you’re desperate for results.

“Jacksonville’s defensive effort was more surprising. The Jaguars had been gouged in every game this season, giving up an average of 451 yards and 38 points in the first four weeks.”

I don’t like stats that average things because it doesn’t account for outlier performances. Jacksonville forced three first half turnovers and led 17-0 at halftime against the Eagles in week one. I would also mention that the Jaguars had the misfortune of playing Indianapolis and San Diego in back-to-back weeks, two prolific pass offenses.

What all that comes down to is that the Steelers are trending down and need a decisive win. In Cleveland, they’ll have the opportunity. Let’s go Steelers.

Game of the Week: Cowboys @ Seahawks

I hate picking the same teams each week for Game of the Week, but the Cowboys-Seahawks matchup looks like the game to watch in week 6, with the Packers @ Dolphins matchup being a close second. I’ve got a lot of upsets picked this week, including the Dolphins, the Bills at home vs. the Patriots, the Jaguars on the road against Tennessee, the Bears in Atlanta, and the Redskins in Arizona. Not in that list? The Cowboys in Seattle. Tony Romo is overrated and as good as DeMarco Murray is, I think this is the week he struggles.

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Movie Review: The Raven

I hate John Cusack. He’s such a lifeless, insipid and monotonous actor. Serendipity? A romanticism of a story that not only wouldn’t happen, but makes love way more difficult than it needs to be. Just ask the girl out on a date! Geez! The Contract was so bad and so, just no. I don’t even want to talk about it. No care was given for that whole production by anyone. Finally, while I haven’t watched all of 2012, I’ve watched enough to know it’s terrible and while Cusack isn’t the thing that started the fire, he didn’t help anything either. I’m doing my absolute best to avoid his films at all costs.

I almost saw The Raven in theaters and then I thought better of it. “Why waste money on a John Cusack film? Why, in the name of your own sanity, would you do that?” So I didn’t go and I didn’t regret it.

I played football yesterday and did not have fun at all, so being pissed, I had three options to burn off steam: 1) Walk to the gym and shoot hoops and I didn’t feel like that 2) Shoot things…in video games, mostly Call of Duty. My friend’s X-Box was unavailable. Which left me with 3) Watch a movie.

I don’t like watching bad movies, but at the same time, I find a certain level of satisfaction in railing on a film on my blog for you fine compatriots and creating new catchphrases and divulging my wrath onto a film’s flimsy shoulders. I wasn’t looking for a grotesque film or a film that only angered me more, just something to pass the time and deflate my bubble. The Raven was one of the first Netflix films that popped up.

Edgar Allan Poe was an odd man who very few understand even today. Has anyone watched The Following with Kevin Bacon? I did for a while and the show started to get really dark, almost too dark, which ironically, is what I think happened whenever someone got to know Edgar Allan Poe on more than a superficial level. His writings were maniacal, borderline psychotic, making you wonder if the man was capable of committing the crimes he described. At the same time, there was a certain fluidity to his work that few have been able to match. His mastery of the macabre, or quality of having a grim or ghastly atmosphere, was incredible and not appropriately respected at the time. He struggled through life but everyone knows the name Edgar Allan Poe.

Following this film and prior to this review, I read through the Wikipedia biography of Poe just for giggles because the film got me interested in the famous persona.

John Cusack, I hate you so much. The fact that you’ve gotten to Hollywood and probably make more in a year than I’ll make in an entire life disgusts me. You’re a terrible excuse for an artist. With all that said, good job.

Cusack exudes quick-witted, joshing language in the earlier segments and gives us a brighter aspect to the Poe we know. Probably not historically accurate, but not far-fetched. I could see a struggling writer performing these parlor tricks. There are some impressionable love lines between Poe and his one-and-only Emily Hamilton, played by the lovely Alice Eve from Star Trek: Into Darkness. Alas, we won’t be with the two lovebirds for long. A murderer starts killing people in the same manner as some of Poe’s writings, so Poe, with the aid of detective Fields (Luke Evans), must track down the killer and put a stop to it once and for all.

Kind of corny, huh? Sounds like a mix of The Following and Castle. Cusack and Evans take their work seriously and don’t give up on it, which is both admirable and partially effective. I’m still watching but some of this dialogue can’t get out of the gate. It clutters and clanks around the starting gate while the genre’s more effective counterparts gallop ahead.

There’s too fine a line between dialogue and plot points. The Raven is rudimentary. Driven by its need to solve the murders, the script never grips the characters and immerses itself in them. We’re talking about Edgar Allan Poe, one of the greatest literary minds in history, yet his character is largely ignored. Had it not been for the endless name dropping and physical likeness, it wouldn’t be hard to forget Poe and imagine our protagonist to be a struggling poet who has found success in writing works of gothic violence. The need for Edgar Allan Poe in this story doesn’t exist. In fact, retaining Poe is probably The Raven‘s greatest hindrance.

As I voiced wrote above, our knowledge of Poe is limited. That is not an excuse to pen a poor fictionalized account of how Poe met his end. If you’re going to fictionalize/create a story, create the character. Screenwriters Ben Livingston and Hannah Shakespeare (not making that up) did the product a disservice by aiming their sights below this form’s potential. This wasn’t going to be a best actor opportunity by any means, but give us a story that Poe himself would have approved of. Make it dark, gory and suspenseful. Read The Tell-Tale Heart for inspiration. Sculpt the horror, paranoia and bewilderment that Poe used as the bedrock for his pedestals. Produce a work that only Stephen King could match.

Perhaps the writers did not have the talent to accomplish such a feat. Director James McTeigue’s inability to acknowledge the failings convince me that The Raven was purely an economic venture. When money is your primary purpose, I lose respect for you. Greed is such a barren ideal and contemptible value. There’s more to life than currency. Something tells me that Poe understood that. Most great minds do.

I almost would have preferred if The Raven wouldn’t have been about a series of murders and would have instead turned its gaze on the love of Poe and Hamilton. I wished to see how they made their love work despite her father’s hatred of Poe and the dire financial circumstances Poe found himself in. The Raven needed a subplot of some kind desperately. Its stern gaze ahead made it totally oblivious to the story angles around it. Ahead was corroded copper, but to the side there was bronze that they missed out on because of their overconfidence.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Gone GirlMulanGuardians of the GalaxyDawn of the Planet of the ApesTransformers: Age of Extinction)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2Young Guns)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too.(When the Game Stands TallBlack Hawk DownRed Dawn(2012)MaleficentRise of the Planet of the Apes)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Dead SnowRubberHansel and Gretel: Witch HuntersAnchorman: The Legend of Ron BurgundyThe Transporter)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The Expendables 3HomefrontG.I. Joe: RetaliationVantage PointThe Starving Games)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBilly MadisonA Haunted House300: Rise of an EmpireCowboys and Aliens)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark WorldThe Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (GallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafeWatchmenClash of the Titans)

My score for The Raven: 65.

The Raven may feature my favorite John Cusack role, but an ill-used duo of Luke Evans and Brendan Gleeson plus an over-polished story and a lack of propulsion in the film’s final third drop this into the mid 60’s. Still hate you, Cusack.

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Movie Review: Gone Girl

OH…MY…GOD! This was phenomenal.

David Fincher is a critically claimed director. Yes, he’s responsible for making the worst film I’ve ever seen (Alien 3) but following his premiere film, he rolled some huge hits onto the Hollywood strip, including Se7en, The Game, Fight Club, Panic Room and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Clearly one of the best directors of the last 20 years.

Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) was in love to a pretty blonde and marriage to this blonde seemed like a great idea. Five years later, he hates his marriage but won’t ask for a divorce because he’s broke. After coming home to find his living room upturned and his wife missing, a manhunt to find her begins. Dunne shows little empathy and few emotions, drawing the suspicious eyes of the police and the more that develops, the more it seems that Nick Dunne killed his wife.

Adapted from the 2012 novel by Gillian Flynn, the script and character writing are of the greatest esteem. With so many kidnapping/crime films, uniquity is hard to come by but remains for the entirety of the film. No character feels unneeded and no plot point unwanted.

Something I loved about this film was that it was never clear-cut where this story was going. There were always multiple routes that this story could have taken. I don’t usually see stories like that. I don’t want to use the word “predictable” because that’s not what I mean, but I find a lot of the stories today predetermined. I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen but I know it’s going to center field. Gone Girl was not like that at all. I had no idea where this was going because of all the avenues this had at its disposal. When I’ve seen a movie based on a book without reading the book, rarely do I go to review the original source material. Gillian Flynn’s novel is on the top of my recreational reading list.

There were wrinkles in the overall fabric but they were put there on purpose. It was not accidental or a temporary lapse of the pen. They were put there for a reason.

Affleck has received plenty of hate over social media after news broke that Affleck would be the new Batman in the upcoming Superman-Batman film. If you’ve seen Daredevil, you know why. For a little, I admit I bought into all the hate. Ben Affleck is a wild-card for me. Good Will Hunting? Life-changing. Armageddon? Over-hyped. Reindeer Games? Witty and creative. Pearl Harbor? Hated by most, loved by me. The Sum of All Fears? Garbage, just a few points above suckage. Daredevil? Dare I watch this again? Argo? How did he win an Academy Award for that borefest?

Point being? Ben Affleck is hit or miss for me. His record with me prior to this film? 3-4. Granted, Good Will Hunting was so awesome I could probably count that as two points in the win column but the fact remains that some Affleck movies I just plain hate. Affleck’s face wasn’t going to turn me away from this film though and I’m happy it didn’t.

I can’t say anymore without spoiling so if you haven’t seen it, stop here. Got to see it before you read this.

Affleck’s Dunne is not a likable guy. He doesn’t seem to care about anything. He’s very vocal about how much he hates his wife yet refuses to get a divorce. We find out later he’s having an affair with one of his students. He’s constantly lying to the police and his sassy twin sister, Margo (Carrie Coon), who’s very likable and a great sideshow presence. He’s not a good guy. I was convinced he did it.

In most crime movies, the writers usually try to paint the suspect as innocent and convince us of his/her innocence before taking off the mask and showing us they were guilty all along. This film took a different approach, trying to paint our suspect as a guilty, good-for-nothing, cheating husband. I was convinced he did it. Then I found out Amy Dunne was alive.

I was shocked, as I think most viewers were, because we’ve watched too many films where the guy’s guilty. He did it, the movie shows him getting off and gives us a flashback of how he did it and wraps it all up with a roll credits. Because of all of those previous viewings of similar material, we allowed ourselves to be shoehorned in our thinking. The result was a Oscar-worthy film that surprised, thrilled and created one of the most creepy characters of all-time.

If Rosamund Pike doesn’t win the Oscar for Best Actress, the whole awards ceremony is a bunch of baloney. I’ll never look at Pike again without thinking of her role as Amy Dunne. She is a maniacal, control freak, killer psychopath and I never saw it coming. Even when it was revealed that she had set her husband up for murder, I was like, “Well, that’s not really how you should deal with a cheating spouse but okay.” Only when the facade of amazing Amy was beginning to wither did I realize that Amy Dunne was indeed amazing, but not in the context that I thought. She was always one step ahead of everyone. Her journalistic abilities to read and sway the court of public opinion were mesmerizing and her delivery was cutthroat (PUN). Amy Dunne was one to be feared.

Affleck was great, but Pike was, dare I say, legendary. This was one of the best character portrayals by an actress I’ve ever seen and I definitely did not expect such an example from Pike. I hadn’t seen enough of her to determine her potential, but I never would have thought she could have pulled off something like this. This role could turn Pike into one of the leading ladies on the Hollywood strip for the next decade. Time will tell but I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on her.

The complementary roles were solid, especially Tyler Perry bringing another serious role to the table. I was just so blown away by how this film was able to sway the audience and myself like puppets. They got us rooting for Nick’s guilty verdict and then we were rooting for Amy’s imprisonment. It led me around like a dog chasing a bone and I wasn’t even mad about it. It was incredible. It really showed how the media can brainwash your thinking if you don’t maintain neutrality.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (MulanGuardians of the GalaxyDawn of the Planet of the ApesTransformers: Age of ExtinctionJack Reacher)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2Young Guns)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too.(When the Game Stands TallBlack Hawk DownRed Dawn(2012)MaleficentRise of the Planet of the Apes)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Dead SnowRubberHansel and Gretel: Witch HuntersAnchorman: The Legend of Ron BurgundyThe Transporter)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The Expendable 3HomefrontG.I. Joe: RetaliationVantage PointThe Starving Games)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBilly MadisonA Haunted House300: Rise of an EmpireCowboys and Aliens)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark WorldThe Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (GallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafeWatchmenClash of the Titans)

My score for Gone Girl: 98.

David Fichter’s latest venture Gone Girl should expect a few Oscars at this year’s ceremony and Gillian Flynn should expect to sell a few million more copies of her book because with two great leads and great direction, Gone Girl is bound to be one of the greatest films of 2014.

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Tim Sports Report for 2014 NFL Week 4

Top 5

1. QB Aaron Rodgers 22/28 for 302 yards, 4 TDs, 151.2 QBR vs. CHI

Neither team punted, only 2nd time it happened. Rodgers gets to 25,000 yards with fewest pass attempts and fourth-fewest games played.

2. RB Jamaal Charles 18 carries for 92 yards, TD, 3 receptions for 16 yards, 2 TDs vs. NE

3. WR Antonio Brown 7 receptions for 131 yards, 2 TDs vs. TB

NFL record 20th consecutive game with 5+ receptions

4. RB DeMarco Murray 24 carries for 149 yards, 2 TDs vs. NO

Joins Emmitt Smith as only Dallas RBs to eclipse 100 yards in first four games

5. WR Steve Smith 7 receptions for 139 yards, 2 TDs vs. CAR

Worst of the Worst

1. Steelers lose to Bucs in final seconds

2. QB Kirk Cousins 19/33 for 257, TD, 4 INTs, Fmb, 53.0 QBR vs. NYG

3. Patriots held to 290 total yards, allow 443, 207 on ground vs. KC

One of Belichick’s worst losses as coach

4. Saints destroyed 38-17 on Sunday Night Football vs. DAL

Allowed 1584 total yards through four games (third-worst) and allowing 27.5 ppg

5. QB Geno Smith 17/33 for 209 yards, TD, INT, Fmb, 68.9 QBR vs. DET

Steelers Recap

The Steelers had 13 penalties for 125 yards in their shocking loss to Tampa Bay. The Steelers top-ten offense (8th in passing, 5th in rushing) could not beat one of the worst teams in the league (last in passing, 24th in rushing, 29th against the pass, 17th against the rush). They had multiple opportunities to close the game out, most notably when Antonio Brown dropped a perfectly thrown flea flicker from Roethlisberger. Had Brown caught that, it was probably six points for the Steelers considering the lead he had on the defender and the game was put out of reach. That dropped pass was the momentum-changer and also describes the Steelers of the last two years accurately. It describes missed opportunities. This team’s discipline remains a huge blight on the team. Stupid football is exactly that: stupid. Stop it, Tomlin.

Despite losing to Tampa Bay at home, the Steelers schedule is still favorable to a playoff appearance, but it is crucial the Steelers win their next two games against Jacksonville and Cleveland. Following those two games, the Steelers play against Houston, Indianapolis and Baltimore at home. Pittsburgh and Baltimore usually split the season series home-and-home and the Steelers should be able to beat Houston, giving them two W’s out of three. They also face the struggling Jets and Titans in back-to-back weeks. It’s crucial the Steelers do their winning now because following their week 12 bye, their schedule gets a lot tougher (New Orleans, Cincinnati twice, Atlanta and Kansas City). If it weren’t for the Steelers’ weak schedule, I’m not sure a playoff appearance would be on the horizon but with this schedule, missing the playoffs would be almost inexcusable. Get back to winning and take it to the Jaguars.

Game of the Week: Bengals @ Patriots

The Sunday night match-up takes my game of the week once again, this time with the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals traveling to the always-tough Foxborough. Beating the Patriots at home is always a challenge, but man, did they look terrible on Monday. I didn’t get to watch any of the game but the box score and recaps alone show the lack of communication that Brady has with his offensive line and receivers. A defense that has plenty of high-caliber players also got scorched by a team whose number-one receiver is Dwayne Bowe. That’s pretty terrible. Also acknowledging that the Chiefs whole offense is based on Jamaal Charles, you would think the Patriots defense could have done better than 41 points. With that said, the Patriots usually lose at least one game they were favored to win every year. Last year, it was the overtime loss to the Geno Smith-led Jets. The year before that it was the loss to the Kevin Kolb-led Cardinals in Foxborough. With all that said, the Patriots haven’t lost in Foxborough since their January 2012 playoff game against the Ravens. Even with the Patriots mediocre stat line (30th passing, 23rd rushing, 1st against the pass, 23rd against the rush), ain’t nobody going to have an easy time in Foxborough. It won’t be easy, but the Bengals are the more complete team and therefore, should break the Patriots win streak at home.

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