Monthly Archives: November 2015

Tim Sports Report for 2015 NFL Week 6

Top 5

  1. QB Andy Dalton 22/33 for 243 yards, 3 TDs, 118.6 passer rating vs. BUF

2. QB Philip Rivers 43/65 for 503 yards, 2 TDs, 99.7 passer rating vs. GB

3. WR John Brown 10 receptions for 196 yards, fumble vs. PIT

4. WR Keenan Allen 14 receptions for 157 yards vs. GB

5. RB Chris Ivory 20 carries for 146 yards, TD vs. WAS

Worst of the Worst

5. Cardinals get upset by Steelers with backup quarterback, turnover ball three times against Steelers defense

4. QB Sam Bradford 24/38 for 280 yards, TD, 3 INTs, 61.3 passer rating vs. NYG

3. Seahawks blow fourth quarter lead for second straight week

2. QB Marcus Mariota 21/33 for 219 yards, TD, 2 INTs, 2 Fmbs, 67.6 passer rating vs. MIA

  1. QB Peyton Manning 26/48 for 290 yards, TD, 3 INTs, 53.3 passer rating vs. CLE

Steelers Recap

The Steelers lost a game they should have won when they played the Chiefs weeks ago, but the game didn’t cause any worries in me. Prior to their loss to the Chiefs, the Steelers defense had beaten arguably two top-ten quarterbacks in Philip Rivers and Carson Palmer and the Steelers won those two games with Michael Vick and Landry Jones in at quarterback. So when the Steelers lose a game they shouldn’t lose after winning two games I didn’t think they’d win, especially against Arizona, I’m a happy man.

Game of the Week: Jets @ Patriots

The Jets gave the Patriots their first tough test of the season. The Patriots still own the AFC East, but the rest of the division is coming back to life.

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Tim Sports Report for 2015 NFL Week 5

Top 5

  1. Cincinnati vs. Seattle game

2. QB Andy Dalton 30/44 for 331 yards, 2 TDs, INT, 95.9 passer rating, 7 rushes for 18 yards, TD vs. SEA

3. RB Thomas Rawls 23 for 169 yards, TD vs. CIN

4. RB Doug Martin 24 carries for 123 yards, 2 TDs, 3 receptions for 35 yards, TD vs. JAC

5. RB Devonta Freeman 27 carries for 153 yards, TD vs. WAS

Worst of the Worst

5. QB Matt Ryan 24/42 for 254 yards, 2 INTs, Fmb, 55.1 passer rating vs. WAS

4. QB Matt Stafford 20/32 for 188 yards, TD, 3 INTs, 50.0 passer rating vs. ARI

3. Seahawks blow 17-point 4th quarter lead vs. CIN. According to Trey Wingo, teams had lost 427 straight games when down at least 17 in the fourth quarter.

2. QB Peyton Manning 22/35 for 266 yards, 2 INTs, 62.3 passer rating vs. OAK

  1. QB Nick Foles 11/30 for 141 yards, TD, 4 INTs, 23.7 passer rating vs. GB

Steelers Recap

The Steelers vs. Chargers game showed us one thing: Le’Veon Bell is the man. Yes, it showed us that Michael Vick needs to retire, that the Steelers offense is nowhere close to the same without Ben and that the defense has been great when all’s said and done, but when you need someone to turn to, Bell should be the go-to guy. A huge win over one of the better quarterbacks in the league, although a depleted Chargers o-line helped a lot.

Game of the Week: Panthers @ Seahawks

This is the game proved which team was for real.

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2015-2016 NFL Power Rankings: Week 9

1. Patriots (+0)

Pats clean up the Redskins, continue to dominate.

2. Panthers (+2)

Big wins over Seattle and Green Bay propel Carolina to the two-spot.

3. Bengals (+0)

Playing Cleveland gives any team an opportunity to get back on track.

4. Broncos (-2)

Denver’s streak comes to an end against Indianapolis, who had just gotten a new offensive coordinator. Wow.

5. Packers (+1)

A nice comeback attempt at the end wasn’t enough but Green Bay is struggling this year and is in danger of losing their control of the NFC North.

6. Jets (-1)

Jets haven’t looked like themselves for two straight contests.

7. Vikings (+0)

Vikings pass up St. Louis. Hopefully Bridgewater can return next week.

8. Rams (+0)

Todd Gurley can’t do everything. This team doesn’t have much offense.

9. Cardinals (+0)

Bye. Arizona needs to come out scoring next week against division-rival Seattle.

10. Bills (+3)

Now that Buffalo is healthy, let’s see what they can really do.

11. Raiders (-1)

Raiders are still a playoff contender, but I don’t think they can afford to get in shootouts with teams like they did this week with the Steelers.

12. Steelers (+0)

Steelers beat the Raiders in a shootout. Shame they couldn’t have won last week against Cincinnati. That game was theirs.

13. Giants (+1)

Giants with an easy win over Tampa Bay. Up next, a Super Bowl rematch with New England. I’ve pegged it as my game of the week.

14. Eagles (+3)

Philly’s an average team right now. Let’s see if it lasts.

15. Seahawks (+0)

Bye. Can Seattle turn things around?

16. Chiefs (+0)

Bye. Despite the absence of Jamaal Charles, the team remains in the playoff hunt.

17. Falcons (-6)

After an impressive 5-0, Atlanta has lost three of four and against poor opponents, too. The season is slipping away.

18. Colts (+1)

Who would have thought Indianapolis would be the team to end Denver’s streak? With that said, I’m not giving the Colts too much credit just yet. Let’s see if it was another fluke like the Patriots’ game.

19. Browns (-1)

That’s four losses in a row for Cleveland.

20. Ravens (+0)

Bye. Let’s see how the Ravens return.

21. Redskins (+0)

Lose to the Patriots, but a 27-10 score isn’t a blowout.

22. Dolphins (+1)

Maybe all the Miami fans will calm down again and welcome reality back after getting dismantled by a healthy Buffalo squad.

23. Cowboys (-1)

Just keep on losing Dallas. I’m loving every second of it.

24. Jaguars (+2)

A narrow loss against the Jets deserves some credit.

25. Chargers (-1)

San Diego has been a complete disappointment this year.

26. Titans (+2)

Titans are still one of the worst teams in the league but the defense has been better this year and Mariota has showed some promise.

27. Saints (-2)

The Saints still have no defense. Brees vs the world isn’t a good team philosophy.

28. Bears (+2)

The Bears beat a bad team, but they’ve surprised us before. Do they still have some tricks up their sleeves?

29. Texans (+0)

Bye. Somehow, they’re still in the playoff hunt.

30. 49ers (+1)

They beat Atlanta with Gabbert. That’s incredible and pitiful if you’re a Falcons fan.

31. Buccaneers (-4)

The choking continues.

32. Lions (+0)

Bye. A new offensive coordinator and a new front office. How does Detroit return to the field?

Biggest Climb: Bills, Eagles (+3)

Biggest Fall: Falcons (-6)

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Movie Review: Crimson Peak

Guillermo del-Toro. I’m being perfectly honest when I say I have no idea who that is. When I say that, I don’t mean I don’t know who del-Toro is. I mean I don’t know who del-Toro is.

Guillermo has dabbled in so many genres in the realm of moving pictures that I’m unsure what significant impression he’s left on the industry, if any. I don’t consider myself an expert on del-Toro’s filmography, but I wonder if anyone truly is. He has played small behind-the-camera roles in some notable productions and has found himself accredited as a creative consultant more than a couple of times. He has seemingly fallen off the grid when it comes to the director’s chair, but when he decides to pursue a project, he does so full steam ahead. With Hellboy, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Pacific Rim and now Crimson Peak, del-Toro directed and wrote the script. Coincidentally, that is the extent of knowledge I have regarding his filmography.

However, I have the luxury of having viewed the film that epitomizes del-Toro to the letter and that product is known as Pacific Rim. The hype for Pacific Rim during the summer of 2013 was mountainous. All of my friends were pumped. My brother and I were pumped and even Hollywood was on their heels. The Mexican director praised that Pacific Rim would blow our minds, we would be so in awe of what we were witnessing. Alas, that wasn’t the case. Pacific Rim was nothing more than a trend. It was hot and like a poor installment of a video game franchise, was forgotten and passed over in a matter of months.

Fast forward two years and del-Toro decides he wants to make another movie. Let me introduce you to Crimson Peak.

Crimson Peak provides the scenery that allows del-Toro to tinker and sketch a Gothic horror, a throwback to the traditions of the horror genre. In pre-production interviews, del-Toro said he wanted to make a modern installment in the fashion of horror classics such as The Omen, The Exorcist and The Shining. Before the 21st century, the artistry of film was limited in the visual department. What they couldn’t compose on the screen had to be conjured by the writer’s pen and director’s firm hand. I actually watched The Omen for the first time on Halloween a few weeks ago and while it wasn’t scary for me, it was clearly evident why the film has found itself a candidate for the Mount Rushmore of horror. Film in the glory days whipped up the idea of the film and spent hundreds of hours constructing the invisible.

What the horror industry has forgotten and why it struggles so heartily today is because the directors tasked with injecting new blood into the drying veins of this behemoth have forgotten about the invisible-the tension, the suspense, the genuine terror that our own imagination can manifest all its own with the right prodding. They’ve forgotten the difference between a momentary shrill cry, and paralyzing fear and shallow breathing. They’ve either forgotten or still do not understood what truly scares us.

At the very least, Guillermo del-Toro understands what does. Crimson Peak plays the fiddle of our fears, giving the urgency, despondency and dejection of being alone in the world, surrounded by those who wish us harm and a place that makes our bones shudder like the curtains on the attic window. Guillermo’s study of visual aesthetics and Gothic decorum administers an eerie glow to an ash-black setting. Something is astir and our curiosity is peaked, play on the title intended.

The pacing of Crimson Peak is like a slithering snake, slowly sizzling and storming across the floor. At times it’s appropriate and at others you want to see the snake put the rubber to the road and just go already. Tension and grit are built on the foundation of timing and tempo and while del-Toro understands the horror genre better than many of his counterparts of late, it’s still not where it needs to be.

Luckily for del-Toro, he has a cast that bails him out in some facets. It feels like fresh air, seeing Tom Hiddleston in a non-Loki role and Jessica Chastain chewing on a meaty character. Hiddleston, away from the one-liners and crowded cast lists of Marvel films, seems to revel in the luxury of additional screen time. Chastain plays alongside Hiddleston as his sister and is given more range as an actress. Chastain is the one to watch in Crimson Peak.

Yet with all these positives, Crimson Peak still has its negatives, keeping it at an average level overall. Mia Wasikowska’s leading lady doesn’t get the development anyone wants. Curiosity and independence drive her character forward, but audiences will be hard-pressed to find much more. Instead, the elements of a mystery-based plot control the steering wheel of this horror ride. As more clues are uncovered, more of the plot is revealed to the eyes of the audience but none of these discoveries are earth-shattering nor are they all that unpredictable. By the third act, Crimson Peak becomes an average horror entry at best, but still surpasses some of the laughable attempts at scares that peruse my recent memory. Looking at you, The Visit.

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. (Avengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe BabadookInterstellarChappie)

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

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (The MartianBlack Mass,Enemy at the GatesAnchorman 2: The Legend ContinuesLeon: The Professional)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Beasts of No NationTerminator: GenisysBlack SheepTwistedParker)

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. (EverestHerculesThe SentinelMad Max: Fury RoadBlitz)

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. (The Lost BoysZombeaversCrankErasedI, Frankenstein)

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 VisitThe Fantastic FourThe Boy Next DoorThe ColonyIn the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale)

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.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for Crimson Peak: 70.

Crimson Peak isn’t without its cringe-worthy moments, imposing set designs or haunting supporting cast, but without a developed protagonist, del-Toro’s work slowly mutates into a mystery crime novella rather than a perusing of the deepest depths of the human soul and the demons within.

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2015-2016 NFL Power Rankings: Week 8

1. Patriots (+0)

There were some people foolish enough to say the Dolphins might contend with the Patriots on Thursday. My response: HAHAHAHAHAHA

2. Broncos (+7)

Denver ousts the Packers handedly and jump to the two-spot. Who can pick apart this defense? When will Peyton’s inability at quarterback and this desolate offense finally cost Denver a game?

3. Bengals (+0)

They struggled against the Steelers and had it not been for Ben clearly not looking like himself and throwing three interceptions, they would have lost. They didn’t but Denver passes them up for the two spot.

4. Panthers (+2)

A close win over the Colts isn’t what you want to see as a Carolina fan but it’s good enough to get them into the top-five. Cam’s having the best year of his career.

5. Jets (-1)

As soon as Fitzpatrick left the game and Geno Smith took over at quarterback, the team quit. The team has no faith in Smith. I expect the Jets to look themselves if Fitzpatrick starts next week.

6. Packers (-4)

Where was Aaron Rodgers? Because he wasn’t in Denver.

7. Vikings (-2)

Another struggle against a division rival. They need to find their game again real quick or they’re out of the top-ten.

8. Rams (+0)

A win over the 49ers is no big accomplishment but it’s enough to get keep them at eight.

9. Cardinals (-2)

The Cards were picked apart by McCown but the Browns being the Browns managed to let Arizona take control and get the win.

10. Raiders (+4)

A big win over the Jets, one of the better defenses in the league. The Raiders are contending for a playoff spot right now. Who would have thought?

11. Falcons (-1)

As a Falcons fan, I’m disgusted. They have one more chance to get their game together or they’ll fall quite a couple spots.

12. Steelers (-1)

As a Steelers fan, I’m equally disgusted if not more so. The Steelers defense is a top-ten squad right now, harassed Andy Dalton all night long and the Steelers offense, mainly Ben, managed to hand the game right back to them. At home and against a division rival, that’s unacceptable. Le’Veon Bell is out for the season, only making the wound from the game that much deeper.

13. Bills (+0)

Bye. Hopefully the Bills can get their starters back from injury for next week.

14. Giants (+1)

The Giants have no defense and no way to attack the quarterback. Luckily, the offense has shown they can stick around in a shootout, which seems to be all you need to do to win the NFC East this year.

15. Seahawks (-3)

Seattle almost loss to Matt Cassel and Darren McFadden. Take a second to let that soak in. Dan Quinn’s departure has been the thorn in the side of Seattle all year long.

16. Chiefs (+0)

A Charles-less Chiefs squad put up 45 on Detroit. Let me repeat. Detroit.

17. Eagles (+0)

Bye. Philly didn’t start showing up until week 5 but it doesn’t look like it matters this year in the battered NFC East when you show up.

18. Browns (+0)

Josh McCown put the Browns up by a large margin against Arizona and then vanished. They’re starting Manziel at quarterback next week.

19. Colts (+5)

Colts decided to play this week. I’m sure they’ll decide not to next week and will fall back to 24 again.

20. Ravens (+3)

The Ravens get a much-needed win against the Chargers but have lost their biggest weapon, Steve Smith, for the season. It’s looking pretty dismal in Baltimore.

21. Redskins (+0)

Bye. The Kirk Cousins meme continues to run through my memories.

22. Cowboys (-3)

Let’s take a minute to laugh at a team with the best offensive line at football still managing to suck. Hahahaha. If we’ve learned anything this year, it’s that Dallas has no depth on offense.

23. Dolphins (-1)

It seems unfair to lower someone in the rankings for losing to New England this year, so Miami only falls one spot. Who expects you to contend, honestly?

24. Chargers (-4)

The Chargers injury bug continues. Keenan Allen’s done for the year.

25. Saints (+2)

The Saints have no defense. Coincidentally, neither do the Giants!

26. Jaguars (+0)

Bye. Bortles and Jacksonville has impressed me this year even though they’ve haven’t climbed the board much yet.

27. Buccaneers (+3)

Tampa over Atlanta. There’s something I never thought would happen.

28. Titans (-3)

The Titans need Mariota desperately. He’ll return next week.

29. Texans (+2)

Houston responded to their throttling by beating Tennessee.

30. Bears (+1)

Bears will be Bears and Cutler hate aside, they’re looking better as is Cutler. Forte’s injury will cost them, however.

31. 49ers (-3)

Kaepernick is being benched and I’m overjoyed. Blaine Gabbert will start, lol.

32. Lions (+0)

Lions don’t have any fight in them this year. None at all.

Biggest Climb: Broncos (+7)

Biggest Fall: Packers, Chargers (-4)

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2015-2016 NFL Power Rankings: Week 7

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, fans, but I assure you the wait is over. Also, these rankings were made prior to the next week’s contests, so they’re not biased in anyway from the last few weeks’ results.

1. Patriots (+0)

New England refuses to be deterred. Another big win, this week 30-23 over the New York Jets.

2. Packers (+0)

Bye. They have a huge match-up against Denver next week.

3. Bengals (+0)

Bye. Face division-rival Pittsburgh on the road next week.

4. Jets (+3)

They are the only team that’s been able to stick with New England until the end.

5. Vikings (-1)

They shouldn’t have struggled with Detroit but it was a division match-up. Cincinnati always struggles against the Steelers so I’m willing to give Minnesota a break to an extent.

6. Panthers (+0)

They put on the heat later then I would have liked, but Carolina’s a top-ten team right now.

7. Cardinals (-2)

Again, Arizona doesn’t show up, beating Arizona late by one score. Where’s this team?

8. Rams (+2)

Dominant win over Cleveland might not be saying much but the defense has looked like it should and the emergence of Todd Gurley has been huge. I’m unsure how high they can go with only one true offensive weapon, however.

9. Broncos (+0)

Bye. At home against the Packers next week.

10. Falcons (-2)

Dan Quinn’s group looked so good through the first five weeks. That team hasn’t shown up the last two.

11. Steelers (+0)

A tough loss against Kansas City, but I’m not dropping Pittsburgh in the rankings this week. The defense has looked good and Ben is expected to return next week.

12. Seahawks (+1)

They beat San Francisco. Whoopie.

13. Bills (-1)

A loss to Jacksonville would normally drop a team much farther than this, but Buffalo’s struggles are because of a laundry list of injuries. That excuse won’t buy them much time.

14. Raiders (+2)

They beat San Diego handedly in the first half but let them get back in the game. With that said, let’s give a round of applause to Oakland. They look like a football team this year and a good one at that.

15. Giants (-1)

The NFC East is in complete shambles when a barely average team is leading the division.

16. Chiefs (+4)

No Jamaal Charles, no problem. Kansas City gets a big win against Pittsburgh at home and has an easy contest versus Detroit next week.

17. Eagles (+4)

It took forever, but the engine is starting to churn in Philly, which is not to say Chip Kelly is off the hook just yet. The team’s struggling in a struggling division.

18. Browns (-3)

One week Cleveland shows up and the next it doesn’t. Who knows what they’ll do next week against Arizona.

19. Cowboys (-1)

They haven’t won a game since Romo’s departure from the starting lineup. When will the streak end? Who knows, but if they lose next week, they enter the 20’s.

20. Chargers (-3)

No team has lost more to injury than San Diego, but a team’s potential is demonstrated by how it battles adversity. Melvin Gordon hasn’t made any sparks this year.

21. Redskins (+1)

*Insert Kirk Cousins meme here

22. Dolphins (+2)

They bombed Houston all day long. Now let’s calm down and remember they played Houston.

23. Ravens (+0)

They’ve lost by single scores multiple times this year. They’ve been in them, just can’t seem to finish.

24. Colts (-5)

Another team that doesn’t seem to show up week to week. The team’s fall from grace has been hard.

25. Titans (+2)

I’m unsure whether to credit Tennessee for hanging in there or to accredit the score to the Falcons’ disappearance.

26. Jaguars (+0)

Blake Bortles is impressing, Allen Hurns is a fantasy stud and they beat an injured Bills squad. They almost blew a huge lead though, meaning they earn no points with me this week.

27. Saints (+3)

New Orleans has no defense. Coincidentally, neither do the Colts!

28. 49ers (+0)

They loss to Seattle and aren’t likely to catch my interest any time soon.

29. Texans (-4)

They were hogtied and whipped last week by Miami. How will they come out next week?

30. Buccaneers (-1)

They blow another lead, this time to Washington. They continue to choke when victory is mere minutes away.

31. Bears (+0)

Bye. How long will the Bears hibernate?

32. Lions (+0)

Detroit’s struggles are not because of coaching, yet I feel Jim Caldwell’s firing is doomed to happen by season’s end. Detroit should have put more value into signing their defensive line, the only thing keeping the team together. That and Matt Stafford is awful.

Biggest Climb: Chiefs, Eagles (+4)

Biggest Fall: Colts (-5)

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Movie Review: Beasts of No Nation

It’s been a whole month since I’ve blogged. It’s been a while.

I’m dealing with a lot of things right now. I’ve still been watching and I have written some reviews, just never clicked that publish button.

Get ready for some reviews, NFL power rankings from the last few weeks and eventually, sports reports so we can recap the best and worst performances of the year.

I’m starting up a new series called BVF, or Book versus Film, in which I’ll read a book, view the movie adaptation, discuss the highlights of both and conclude which brings more to the table.

Please remember that all of my series (Winners And Losers, Best Picture Journey, and now BVF) are side projects. With winners and losers, I’m trying to see at least ten films with each actor/actress/director before I include them and I want to make sure I write the best review of a Best Picture winner that I possibly can. BVF will be more of the same. Getting novels takes time but I will have the first installment of that series posted by the end of the week. For now, let’s get into this.

Netflix has been coming out with original content for a few years now but recently decided to take that a step further, purchasing the rights to Beasts of No Nation. This is a new direction for Netflix and hopefully one that works, because Amazon Prime and Hulu are trying to grab pieces of the online streaming pie as well.

That also means Beasts of No Nation had to make a statement with both audiences and critics and has thus far. It holds a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes based on more than 100 reviews, no small feat.

Yet calling Beasts of No Nation a beast of its own would be a lie, because as much as it tries, it struggles to bust out of the cage, that cage being the bars of creativity, original story and acting proficiency.

Director Cary Fukunaga may have worked seven years on the script, but I’m unsure where all the time went. The film is based on a novel of the same name and as we’ve seen from film adaptations lately, such as The Martian, much of the groundwork is already laid down for the visual cover. A great script and dialogue born from the pen of a natural storyteller should be expected from a film sharing material from a previous work and yet so often that is not the case nor is it here.

The truth is, Beasts of No Nation is soft. A story of survival and redemption should be gripping and its tenacity should command attention. It should parade such resolve and appeal that the breathing of its audience turns shallow, they’re so fearful of what comes next. A film based on audience alignment and experience parallels should demonstrate control and a strong compass. Beasts of No Nation, however, can barely contrive enough to keep me watching.

Dramas should want to keep its audience close but Fukunaga’s West African war creation only has the gravity to keep us where we are, not the strength to pull us closer. Like a large, unwanted boulder, we find ourselves incapable of moving this story out of the way and have no choice but to tolerate it and hope it traverses somewhere that makes our time dedicated to it feel worthwhile.

I’m being honest when I say it gets somewhere but I’m being equally honest when I tell you that point doesn’t come until the last fifteen minutes of this near two-and-a-half-hour charade. A film this long should have a huge payoff but the meal I have been presented with is mere crumbs when compared to what I’ve been teased with. A story of survival, the loss of child innocence, growing up in dire circumstances and seeing the world as it is for the first time turns out to be a film about a child who loses his family, is forced into a clan and then meanders around with things surely going on upstairs that we’re not privy to until the final scenes, which by this point is like a meal I ordered two and a half hours ago finally being brought out cold.

So should you get excited for Beasts of No Nation? No, I see no reason to but despite all of the beating I’ve given it, Beasts of No Nation is watchable. The acting stints from Idris Elba and first-timer Abraham Attah are average, no doubt limited by a casserole of a script that seems unsure what it wants to taste like. A story of survival doesn’t allow for character development as much as it allows for audience connection which is why the script’s failings are so crucial to this film’s overall success or lack thereof. Attah’s inexperience as an actor does come through at times, leaving a void in the already limited narrative.

The film’s visual storytelling is where the film hits pay dirt. The scenery and tone are constant in the visual sense. There’s no doubt where we are or what situation were in. The present is made very clear to us. There’s just no urgency to move in a direction nor an aspiration to make us feel or think about the underlying meanings that may or may not be there.

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. (Avengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe BabadookInterstellarChappie)

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

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (The MartianBlack Mass,Enemy at the GatesAnchorman 2: The Legend ContinuesLeon: The Professional)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Terminator: GenisysBlack SheepTwistedParkerHouse at the End of the Street)

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. (EverestHerculesThe SentinelMad Max: Fury RoadBlitz)

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. (The Lost BoysZombeaversCrankErasedI, Frankenstein)

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 VisitThe Fantastic FourThe Boy Next DoorThe ColonyIn the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale)

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.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for Beasts of No Nation: 61.

Beasts of No Nation isn’t a great film and it’s not an average film, but Netflix could have done a lot worse with their premier film. The acting turns and detail behind the camera make for a decent watch, but it’s not one I plan to revisit.

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