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Old Movie Double Feature #1

Posted by Halbridious on July 1, 2013 at 4:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Why Old Movies?  Because maybe you haven't seen these.  Maybe they're good?  Who knows?  I do.  Presumably. 

Todays Double feature are sports/MMA titles "Warrior" from 2011, and "Never Back Down" from 2008.

First up is Warrior.  A critically aclaimed movie, rating an 8.2 off IMD and 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, the story revolves around 2 brothers fighting in a grand melee tournament for 5 million bucks.  The driving force of the movie is the underdog stories - not 1, not 2, but 3 of them.  Those of the brothers, and that of the father - A former alchoholic, the fathers drinking and abuse drove the mother out, with brother 1 Tommy.  Brother 2, Brenden,  chose to stay with his girlfriend and the father.  As the brothers try and deal with the father, the complications of life, and being complete unknowns in the MMA world, the audience really has a chance to feel for these characters.  By the end you've really had a chance to feel out each character, and when it comes to conclusion,  you can feel satisfied knowing where things are going to end up. 
The Cinematography is pretty well done - even during the rough and tumble of the MMA scenes the action is fluid and followable even for those who aren't used to the MMA scene.  The color and costume are perfectly set, and the soundtrack leaves very little to be desired.  It's not exactly an emotional rollercoaster like some dramas - they throw a curveball or two, but that isn't what the movies there for.  The actors and director give you what you want - Action, and the drama to make it count, all done as crisply and well done as you'll find in cinima.  This is one of the movies that didn't get sold as high as it should have, and recieves a 4 star rating from this guy (P.S. movies are done outta 4 stars, not 5, as is often thought.  The more you know.)

Feature number 2 is Never Back Down.  Somewhat of a cult hit, it recieved less in the way of critic ratings - 6.4 from IMDB and only a 22% from Rotten Tomatoes.  This is mostly due to the cheese factor - the movie is often compared to the classic "Karate Kid" films.  This is a tad unfair - all martial arts movies with the while "Novice to Champ" feel are going to get that comparison - but the movies do have a similar feel.  Protagonist Jake Tyler is anger-issues football-star who moves to florida and gets wrapped up with Cocky MMA champion high schooler.  Add in some girl issues and you've got a lot of testosterone packed into 113 minutes.  A bit of a 180 compared to Warrior, Never Back Down doesn't have the same level of cinematography.  The color pallet is a little less balanced - lots of color is packed into some scenes and lots of dark and grainy in others.  A bit of a redeeming factor is the soundtrack - instead of orchestrals, they went with the pop/hip-hop scene.  This somehow manages to take the basic directorial choices and tie it all in to a movie.  Overall, this isn't a movie designed to win awards for anything, nor does it hide what it is -  A Martial Arts Movie designed to burn time.  You cheer for the good guy, you boo the bad guy, you say "woo female lead is attractive" and in the end you feel like you wasted your time appropriately.  From a critical perspective, movie might be worth a 2/4, but on the right day, it can be the perfect 4/4 for what you want. 
For the record, the 2nd film is more of the same - no Jake Tyler, but it works just as well. 

So if you're looking for the polished drama fight movie, Warrior is one of the highest quality films you're going to see.  If you want that lighter bro-y movie just for fun, Never Back Down should satisfy your desires. 

Look forward to more Old Movie Double Features later perhaps

Borderlands 2 (And it's DLC)

Posted by Halbridious on June 27, 2013 at 6:05 PM Comments comments (0)

With the June 25th release of Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, Borderlands 2 has officially completed all pre-planned DLC.  With that, this GOTY 2012 deserves a review for people unfortunate enough to not own this game already. 

Lets start with a synopsis of WHAT Borderlands 2 IS.  Just like the first game (To which almost all comments on the second apply:  They didn't bother fixing anything that wasn't busted in the first one), Borderlands 2 is a dungeon crawler that had a hot nasty threesome with a first person shooter and a comedian.  The last part sounds wierd, but when you hear the dialogue provided in the first hour alone, you understand what I mean.  But more on that later.  Borderlands 2 is a stylistic shooter, where things are meant to be over the top and crazy.  Its a loot based game, where you see glowing gear explode out of dead guys and you're constantly on the hunt for MORE and BIGGER and BETTER.  There's a surprising amount of story for a game like this too.  Details to follow.

First things first though - art and sound direction.  Borderlands uses an interesting graphic styling that, to me, has always reminded me of some kind of colored pencil art - Intense color is edged by dark edging giving every aspect of the game an amazing look even when the 3d models themselves aren't as complicated.  This is a GREAT thing - the higher the quality of texture work, the less aspects of a model have to be done in 3d, which means the more stuff can be on screen at a time.  This allows borderlands to have a huge view-distance in its world, and keep everything nicely detailed even in perspective.  As for the music direction, it deserves a nod for almost one reason only - the intro song.  The first game brought "No Rest For The Wicked" by Cage the Elephant back into the world.  This one brings a less known song - "Short Change Hero", by The Heavy into the fray.  I only mention this because both songs are so, so perfect for the game.  Its one of the little things they did so right it can't help but stand out.  I highly suggest people follow this link HERE to see both intros - they'll show the art direction beautifully.

Next thing to talk about - Gameplay.  As a shooter, the game is fairly standard.  A HUD keeps you informed as to your surroundings, and serves as a means of communication for various NPC's to deliver comments to you.  You can melee, though it is NOT by any means a one hit kill - there are a total of 4 (plus 2 more dlc characters) different heros, and each one will provide diffrent things when meleeing.  Gunplay is smooth, and guns are varied (They used the term BAZILLIONS during their trailor) and each one provides a different play style - some over the top guns providing some pretty serious extremes.  You have grenades, which are customizable with a mod pack to allow for multiple styles of use.  Shield modules are an important piece of the loadout as well, as is a class mod and a special artifact, the latter giving a variety of bonuses, while the former upgrades certain skills and stats in with a "class title".  With all these things available to customize, each loadout brings extreme differences in play style - the same character with the same guns but a different shield will have to play very differently. 

The gunplay in and of itself is smooth.  An aim-down-sights feature is present, and ADS isoften involved the behavior of the weapons (Dahl brand guns for example, will always fire in bursts when ADS).  Damage is satisfying, and critical hits (HEADSHOT) are a prevalent feature of every enemy that gives each situation and opponent a built in strategy.  Each hero has a special ability  - Axton the commando summons a turret for example, while salvadore the gunzerker can temporarily dual wield weapons.  Maya the siren can use a little black hole like ability, and Zero the... well, not sure exactly what to call him.  He's the ninja/sniper/assasin class (depending on his skill tree) and can summon a ghost form of himself to move invisibly. 

A huge facet of BL2 is co-op.  The game can be played through the first play through (about lvl 30) easily via single player, but the new game + difficulty is much higher, and co-op is heavily recommended.  There is also a NG++, which is Very much co-op.  Drops are SHARED however, which means that friends are suggested - nothing hurts quite as much as watching that rare drop go to the dumb-#@#$ pub guy you tried to share a server with.  An important aspect of co-op is teh raid bosses, which require multiple lvl 50ish players to properly do.  Multiplayer is purely drop in - open a game up to either public or friends only and people can drop in and out as they like.  There can be some confusion here however:  Missions completed during co-op can count towards whoever dropped in, but sometimes you can skip things - very rarely does this lock you out of anything, but if possible, make the host be the person FURTHEST BEHIND.  this way if they catch up to other players, the other players will complete any missions they haven't done, but not miss anything. 

The RPG elements of borderlands are very important, and have recieved a fairly significant upgrade over BL1 - Each character has 3 unique skill trees, each tree has about 2 unique paths - some are designed to be better for casual players (Zero's sniping tree for example is essentially a boost to critical damage and overall gun usefulness) while others designed for people who want to be a little more invested (Gaige the Mechromancer, DLC character #1, has a tree that increases damage and decreases accuracy per a stacked ability - things can get a little crazy.)  The aforementioned class mods adjust these skills or stats directly -  Zero might have a "sniper class" (Name made up, may not exist) that gives him a boost to a pair of abilities and increases crit damage by a flat %.  The "Sniper" mod will be one of maybe 8 kinds of mods, which will upgrade as you pick up better and better ones - they'll always adjust teh same thing, just MORE.  Another big aspect of the RPG elements is the new ability to customize characters LOOK.  Both head style and color scheme (as well as the paint job of the vehicles you'll use from time to time) are customizeable, though relatively limited. 

The story of borderlands is not exactly a HUGE surprise - bad guys gotta be stopped, lets stop him, ect.  There are a couple of minor twists, one real Major one, and some things that are much more important to people who played BL1, but its not exactly the memorable thing about the game.  The memorable thing is the DELIVERY.  Voice acting, Dialogue Writing...  The work put into the NPCs this time around is drop dead incredible.  Tiny Tina and Handsome Jack are especially well done, both voiced entirely convincingly and written so zany you can't help but laugh.  But when you uncover recordings and other things about their past during sidequests and the like, you can't help but have FEELS.  BL1 players will have many more oportunities for feels, as the playable characters from the first story are back as the NPCs, and NPCs, including the Fan Favorites Claptrap and Moxxie have plenty of things to say as well.  This is all i can say without spoiling things, but rest assured that even if you know whats comming next, you'll never really predict the way it comes.

One of the things you'll constantly be doing is side missions in Borderlands 2.  Some of them are just excuses for NPC's to make jokes, some are tied tightly with the story, but they do tend to be mandatory - failure to do these will leave you with limited funds, and more importantly, limited experience.  THis is important because Death does NOT take away any xp, but it will steal your gold, about 7% if I remember correctly.  This is more important early, since late game you'll have millions and most of the purchaseable things aren't that special. 

A new feature is Eridium, a purple gem/mineral substance that acts almost like real money transactions in a free to play game.  Its echanged for upgrades to backpack/bank/ammo space, and in the 4th dlc, can be used to increase the rarity of chest drops.  Raid bosses also drop seraph crystals, which can be used to buy raid equipment.

A final bit here is that there is a bevvy of DLC.  It is ALL WORTH IT.  There are some cosmetic packs you can skip if you want, but if you can find a deal on the DLC, jump on it.  buy the GOTY edition when it releases (No idea when that is, but it'll happen).  4 brand new sets of areas, 4 brand new missions and raids, each one containing new drops.  There are 2 dlc characters, Krieg and Gaige, both of whom are incredibly fun to play.  There is also a upgrade dlc that increases lvl cap and some other things - you can hold off on this for a bit, to see if you like the game, but if you plan to play, this is a must have as well.

There are few things worth complaining about here, but i'll list them as i can...  The inventory screen has a significant bug in it, where you have to close and reopen or it won't properly highlight things.  Its pretty common, and while easily fixed still irksome.  The inventory screen itself isn't the BEST - its pretty, but could be more organized.  Borderlands 1 players tend to prefer many of the guns from teh first one (I miss my old revolvers and some of the machine guns personally) but the new ones are still plenty fun.  The game can be harder than you expect at times, a couple unlucky drops are all it takes to be behind for a bit.  Some people have compained that the backpack and bank are too small.  The aforementioned miscellanious DLC helps with this, but it would be nice if you didn't have to farm eridium to buy the upgrades and if it didn't make out at about 30 slots a piece.  In the end, we always want more.  I personally ended up creating a character and quickly getting him to the area where you unlock the bank and stash (the stash is universal to all characters to switch items between them) and using this guy as a second bank.  but oh well. 

The game is fantastic.  The first is a 6/5 insta-classic winning machine, the second didn't quite live up to that, but still, the few things I miss are not because the game is bad but because the first is better,  and this one is still 100% worthy of a 5/5.


MEDIA

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World War Z

Posted by Parks on June 23, 2013 at 3:15 AM Comments comments (0)

 

Zombies have been a part of popular fiction for a loooong time now, even spanning back to the 1950's with George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead", but because they are such an integral part of modern culture, they’re here to stay. It comes as no surprise that Hollywood has decided to contribute another blockbuster to this blood drenched corner of the horror genre with "World War Z", a film based on the book by Max Brooks. Now to keep this review as fair as possible, I have decided to omit reading the book so that I will not be able to make comparisons because this review is for anyone wanting to see the movie, not for someone deciding to read the book.

An immediate red flag to anyone going to view WWZ is the rating: PG13. This can spell certain death for any movie that intends to have a serious, mature audience, and that is the exact demographic the movie is targeting. One of the primary draws of a zombie movie is the blood and guts associated with a movie about undead cannibals, but World War Z lacks this component of the zombie movie machine and suffers for it. Don't get me wrong, the movie can be scary at some points with some top notch jump scares and very well done, suspenseful moments, but they fade after one viewing; the real horror of a zombie movie, and the type lacking from” World War Z” comes from the disturbing scenes of people getting eaten and zombies getting their heads turned into Play Dough by gun fire and cricket bats. In fact, it doesn’t appear that the zombies actually eat anyone, they're sole purpose just seems to be to infect other humans, and it is this element that immediately decreases the entertainment value of this movie to any serious horror fan or anyone desiring a true zombie movie.

Another problem in the film exists is the absurd amount of times that the Brad Pitt’s character is saved by an element of Deus Ex Machina, which is a Greek term that means being saved by an absolutely lucky and almost God-like event. There are at least 4-5 instances where he should have died and by some silly circumstance is saved. In addition to writing themselves into a corner and having to create dumb story lines to save the protagonist, they also made him very hard to relate to, unless you happen to be a United Nations trained Ex Special Forces agent. Brad Pitt’s character of Gerry Lane starts off as an interesting, seemingly normal father of two with a wrinkled but attractive wife in a nice house who drives a beige Volvo (Which actually saves his life, props to Volvo on that one), but soon after his secret “Old Job” is revealed to be that of a UN investigator, his character development starts to head South quickly and before you know it, the man is starting to shoot people in super markets and attach knives to things (McGiver would be proud). Regardless of his obsession with combining things with cutlery and covering himself in magazines, he still isn’t a compelling character due to his lack of flaws and his shear badassness. I love a good badass who fucks shit up as much as the next guy, but the characters in a zombie movie should be normal people who have to learn how to survive in a new, undead infested world. Taking out that part of a character’s development leaves them dry and uninteresting, especially in Gerry Lane’s case, which is a shame because, as a character, he and his storyline of defending his family could have blossomed into a rose compared to the silly little daffodil it actually is. However, the worst part of the film is not the fact that the character is about as interesting as a brick, but that his family is never really put in any danger after the first 20 minutes which fails to create a sense of importance for the protagonist to finish his mission quickly and return to save his family.

While the movie has its pit falls in the gore and characterization departments, it still succeeds to tell and entertaining story. Just because the personal stakes for Brad Pitt’s character are never really raised, the biggest stakes are kept very high by the films excellent usage of setting to give a scale of the zombie outbreak and how hopeless the situation is. Another of the films strengths is its dedication to realism which adds an air of believability to the movie and provokes the scary thought that a zombie out break could actually happen in real life, and while Gerry Lane may be a boring character, but the writers do an excellent job of crafting wonderful set piece events and badass moments for Gerry to provide entertainment with.

While “World War Z” is a very well made movie with a lot of entertainment value, it lacks the crucial bit of hardcore grit and a relatable protagonist that would really take this movie to the next level in terms of being a true zombie movie instead of it being just another run of the mill summer action movie that just happens to include zombies as a plot device. I give “World War Z” a big, sloppy, 7 out of 10.

 


The Last of Us

Posted by Halbridious on June 22, 2013 at 6:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Lets be clear: The Last of Us is already my personal candidate for GOTY.  As of June, this is a hands down frontrunner.  We'll see what happens when the new consoles release and we get to look at their launch games, but until then...

So what makes The Last of Us such a clear favorite?  What is it about?  The Last of Us is a dynamic adventure game, styled as a 3rd person shooter, made by Naughty Dog, of Uncharted series fame. 

Artistically, the game has a gritty, yet vibrant realism.  It's set in a series of towns and landscapes devestated by the games version of a zombie apocalypse, and each environment is GORGEOUS.  Levels are very linear, but the game is so heavily story driven this is not an issue in the slightest, instead allowing you the freedom to scavenge for your ammo and crafting items while funneling you into the next area.  Each area is well set up for the strategies you might use to fight off varius opponents, and all are totally believeable - none of this gears of war "chest high walls everywhere because thats how we do it" nonsense.  Every piece of cover really feels like it fell there. When that building crumbled during a bombing, because the owner of that car parked it there to escape into the cover of that garage, ect.  It just feels so very right.

The game's story is centered around Joel and Ellie.  Joel is an older man, a veteran scavenger and smuggler, while Ellie is met maybe an hour into the game, a young girl who drives the story.  The interactions, emotionally, between the two, and the well designed supporting cast, are among the best written pieces ever witnessed in a game.  Without giving away any spoilers, you'll know by the first hour exactly how strong this story really can be.  The characters are voiced well, and are synched to their voices well, allowing the quality cinemetography to really show during cutscenes and action scenes alike.

As far as the action goes, it plays very similar to an Uncharted, or maybe a Resident Evil game (though without the wierd movement RE uses).  Stealth plays a big factor, as ammo is rare, and your reserves are limited anyways - most guns don't hold more than 2 magazines worth of ammo in reserve.  Melee weapons can be picked up but shatter after a few swings, boards lasting only 4 hits, while bats or pipes last longer.  This means that for most situations, you stealth around until you're caught, club your way free, then finish off the last few with your carefully guarded ammo.  This sets a familiar pace for each battle, yet keeps you on your toes for each one.  It all works rather smoothly, gunplay and melee alike, and different triggered animations really help the flow - punching an enemy into a counter will cause joel to smash their face down into the counter, or against a wall perhaps. 

The RPG elements, while minor, allow players to tweak playstyles just a bit - the game gives you manuals at predetermined times to upgrade the quality of equipment, slowly making things like your breakable shivs (A necessity when fighting high lvl zombies) last longer, or medkits work better.  Throughout the game you can also pick up various "pills", some form of steroid or whatever, which can be spent on minor skill upgrades, like steadying your aim, making you craft or heal faster, ect.  Speaking of crafting, the game has a somewhat limited system, but one that provides everything you need - in the end, you'll be able to make more shivs, a couple kinds of explosives, and medkits, as well as upgrade your melee weapon.  It all spawns from 6 materials you find, each of which have a limited space in your inventory - 3 of each at a time.  You'll have to decide which is better for you, that shiv or a spiked bat, or other important supplies like a medkit or molotov,  ect.  Guns also can be upgraded a bit - most significantly in reload speed and magazine sizes. 

Multiplayer is a little forced - certain rpg elements are added to compicate things, and the directions aren't very clear, but it is entertaining enough, a few rounds are a worthy distraction when you want to just shoot something.  The inventory loadouts can allow for a nice variety of playstyles, all in good fun.

Overall, there are few things to complain about - personally, I'd love a slightly deeper crafting system and more space for items and ammo, just so I could get a little wilder, and I wouldn't mind if melee weapons lasted longer, even if they were weaker in trade, since many of them break after just 2 beatings.  I also wouldn't mind a slightly different style of inventory management - the one they have works just fine, i just don't find it to my organizational taste.

Nevertheless, this game is an EASY 5/5

Web's pre-season NCAA Football rankings

Posted by Web on June 22, 2013 at 3:55 AM Comments comments (3)

As a foreword I would like to say that this is still an early work in progress, and as we near opening kickoff there will likely be many changes as the practices wear on. But without further ado, here are my pre-season Top 25.


1- Alabama

 

The return champions look to continue with the excellence they have shown the past 4 years.Their #2 ranked recruiting class (via ESPN.com) will definitely help them in their journey to repeat as champions. They will face a big task in trying to get revenge for their only blemish on another otherwise perfect season at Heisman trophy winner Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M in their second game.

 

2- Texas A&M

 

Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel looks to not only become the second person to win the award in successive years, but also to lead his team to a SEC Championship and a date with Pasadena on January 6th. The Aggies also added the 3rd best recruiting class to a team that finished 5th overall in the USA Today and AP polls. But their matchup with Alabama will likely decide who will make the National Championship Game.

 

3- Ohio State

 

Oh how the tables have turned. The last time they were in the National Championship, Urban Meyer was on the opposing sideline. Now he looks to lead the only undefeated team from last year to the National Championship again. This year’s schedule is unusually weak, but them and their bitter rivals Michigan looks to be on a collision course come November 30th.

 

4- South Carolina

 

Does the Old Ball Coach have another winning season up his sleeve? Mike Davis appears to be the replacement for the talented but injury prone RB Marcus Lattimore, and Jadeveon Clowney looks to be back to deliver another bone-crushing season. A September 7th meeting in Athens will show if they are contenders for the National Championship, or if they will deliver another disappointing year.

 

5- Stanford

 

Stanford appears to be the odds-on favorite to win a tight PAC-12 over fellow front-runner Oregon. Their game against UCLA on October 19th will be a good barometer to see if they are ready for their showdown against the Ducks on November 7th. Their biggest test might come however in their last game against Notre Dame.

 

6- Georgia

 

Quarterback Aaron Murray will look to lead a young Bulldogs team in his last year in Athens. After losing 9 defensive starters like standout linebackers Alec Ogletree and Jarvis Jones, Georgia will look to rebuild with the #13 ranked recruiting class. Georgia will be tested early at Clemson and then against South Carolina.

 

7- Louisville

 

19 starters are returning from a team that beat Florida handily in the Sugar Bowl 33-23 last. In addition, the Cardinals brought in the #20 ranked recruiting class, not to mention the soft Big East schedule. They look to following in Notre Dame’s footsteps and be this year’s Cinderella team.

 

8- Florida

 

Quite contrary to Urban Meyer’s explosive Gator offense, current head coach Will Muschamp hopes to lead last year’s #5 ranked defense to another Sugar Bowl. Their November 2nd game against Georgia in the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” and at South Carolina on the 16th will show good this Gator defense really is.

 

9- Oregon

 

Even though they lost Chip Kelly, quarterback Marcus Mariotta and De’Anthony Thomas hope to help new head coach Mark Helfrich keep the Ducks rolling. There is a good chance that they will be undefeated coming into their game against Stanford on November 7th.

 

10- Oklahoma State

 

One of the highest scoring offenses from last year looks to reload and look to win their second Big 12 Championship in 3 years. The senior led team (13 of their top 27 players will be seniors) leads to one last chance to clinch their 3rd ever Big 12 title.

 

11- Michigan

 

Devin Gardner looks to follow in former quarterback Denard Robinson’s untied shoes this year for the Wolverines. The #1 recruiting class will be put to the test in crucial games against Notre Dame and at in-state rival Michigan State before their showdown with “that team down south” on November 30th.

 

12- Texas

 

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the recruiting class, which was ranked 4th. Junior QB David Ash looks to lead these Longhorns in crucial games, like the Oklahoma and Oklahoma State games, which will determine the Big 12 title.

 

13- Clemson

 

QB Tahj Boyd and star WR Sammy Watkins look to lead the Tigers over very good Georgia and South Carolina teams.

 

14- LSU

 

The gauntlet of Texas A&M following a road game in Tuscaloosa could either make for a memorable Tigers season, or lead to another second of being second best to former coach Nick Saban.

 

15- Oklahoma

 

Blake Bell looks to take over for former QB Landry Jones and lead the Sooners through a tough Big 12 schedule and also over challenging non-conference opponent Notre Dame.

 

16- Florida State

 

A cupcake like schedule makes it plausible that the Seminoles could be undefeated coming into their rivalry with Gators on November 30th.

 

17- Notre Dame

 

Another Cinderella run seems unlikely for the Fighting Irish, with all drama from departed players Manti Teo and Everett Golson and a hard schedule featuring Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma, and Stanford.

 

18- Northwestern

 

With the Big 10 wide open this year, this might finally be the year for the Wildcats to win their first outright championship since my birth year, 1995.

 

19- TCU

 

The opening game in Jerry’s World against LSU will show if the Horned Frogs will fare better than last years 7-6 letdown.

 

20- Michigan State University

 

An easy schedule and great defense could allow the Spartans entrance their 2nd Big 10 Championship Game

 

21- Nebraska

 

A challenging stretch of Northwestern, Michigan, and then Michigan State will decide if the Cornhuskers can make a return trip to the Big 10 Championship Game

 

22- Boise State

 

Can the blue-turf magicians make another perfect run through a schedule of perennial cupcakes?

 

23- UCLA

 

UCLA looks to repeat as PAC-12 South champs in a water-down division

 

24- Oregon State

 

The Beavers will have to shock the world to play for a PAC-12 title by beating National Championship contenders Stanford and Oregon.

 

25- Arizona State

 

Arizona State will hope to dethrone perennial powers USC and UCLA to play for the PAC-12 Championship

 

(All recrutiing class rankings come from ESPN.com)

(Photo courtsey of https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/392982_456608547734357_847006384_n.jpg)

Soccer Transfer Rumors 6/22

Posted by Parks on June 22, 2013 at 2:30 AM Comments comments (0)

For any soccer fan, the offseason during the summer (aside from the MLS fans out there) means the summer transfer window opens!  For those new to the wonderful realm of soccer, this means that clubs can now begin to buy and sell players to make money and strengthen their lineups for next season, but the best part of the transfer window is the rumors, and this year like every other year is filled to the brim with some real juicy ones.  These posts will review my top 5 transfer rumors along with my opinions on them.  So without any further adieu, lets get to it!


1. Gareth Bale

The hottest commodity in this years transfer window is by far the Welsh Wizard on the Wing.  But enough of the alliteration, Bale has certainly earned his position at the top of several clubs shopping list through his very consistent performances on the wing scoring 16 goals in 24 matches and assisting in another in the Premier League alone, which are Ronaldo level stats (SPOILER ALERT! not going to be the only comparison to Ronaldo in this article).  Despite being a sublime player up front, he can also drop back and defend as well as play up the middle.  His knack of scoring goals also comes from his shear sniper-like precision when taking free kicks.  His stance when taking freekicks resembles Ronaldo's almost identically and is just as deadly and more consistent than Ronaldo's in his current form.  One question remains:  Will he leave?  Short answer: Yes.  Long answer: Yes, but it won't be pretty.  A player of Bale's ability doesn't come walking through White Hart Lane's gates everyday, and despite Tottenham being a big club in England, its European prestige isn't exactly the same calibre as Real Madrid's; Bale's biggest admirer, and with Tottenham not qualifying for the Champions League this season, the Magical Welshmen will be more than happy to take his talents to the Madrid this summer.  Is it a smart move on Real's part?  No, and this is where it gets interesting as Bale will now be competing for playing time on the left wing with Ronaldo, a battle he will most certainly lose, and with Los Blancos potentially trying to snatch up notorious Serbian biting, Ghanese hand balling, Evra abusing Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, Bale will be out of a spot on the first team until he learns how to use that club he calls his right foot.  However, if Bale were to stay with The Spurs, he'd become and instant legend umongst the Tottenham faithful and Andre Villas Boas could begin to build a team around Bale that could get them into the Champions League and perhaps even get them to an advanced stage of the tournament itself.  Even if it is a stupid idea for Bale to go to Real, my opinion won't stop him, he's a big boy and can pick his own battles, but if he's hungry for European glory, he'd better be prepaired to starve because despite the Spanish clubs big spending and high profile managers, they still haven't won a Champions League in eleven years and counting.


2. Wayne Rooney

Everyones favorite English Redneck comes in at number two, not only because he's tried and failed to leave Manchester United before, but because he will fail to again, and it will be a good laugh for all.  Most non-soccer followers will at least know Rooney's name if not some of his accolades or his bicycle kick against Man City, but what most of those people do not know is that for a while now, his form has been suffering as of late and he is most certainly no longer "The White Pele".  The problem with Rooney is consistency, in fact I don't even know if he knows what that word means or how to spell it.  During his youth at Everton and then Man United, he was a key performer of a United team that went on to win the UEFA Champions league in 2008 along with several Premier League Trophies along the way, but since then his form has become like a caffiene stuffed child using a light switch, it constantly flips on and off.  This basically means that he is a world class player, when he's not trotting up and down the field like the mindless troll he is.  Don't get me wrong, when his form is on, he can pull some magical stunts, like his overhead kick, but whens he's off, I'd rather have a rock instead of him, and at least the rock would be better to look at.  The really interesting thing is how will he do with a club thats not Manchester United?  PSG and Arsenal are some potential suitors for the hair transplantee's services, and while the potential of seeing Rooney in a Gunners jersey is amusing, it is more likely that the Parisian club would foot  the most money for the England international.  The real question here is: Would it be a good fit for Rooney?  The short answer is: HELL NO!  The Long answer is still HELL NO!  He wouldn't fit anywhere else other that Manchester United.  He's become the poster boy for Man United (unfortunately) and he has a short shelf life.  His health habits are atrocious, how many pro athletes can you list that smoke and drink on a regular basis, well one for that very short list is Wayne Rooney.  He is also in his late twenties which is when most players are in their prime, but Rooney has been putting up performances that are less than par for him, at least at club level, and if he signs a long term contract with another club, whoever signs him won't be able to turn around at the end of his contract and make any money off of him, and thats one hell of a gamble for ogre with a hair problem.  Do I think he will stay?  Yes, and even if he does leave, he'll regret it becasue Man United gave him everything, and he won't have the same platform he's on now anywhere else in the world.  As for his future at United, he has shown promise in midfield, and a spot there could be worth his weight in gold with United's dire need for a stronger midfield presence, but with the likes of Micheal Carrick and the possiblity of Thiago Alcantara in midfield, Rooney's going to need to shape up, get his shit together, and start playing like he has a brain in the place where all of his hair transplant plugs are.


3.  Luis Suarez 

The possibilty of Ole Dirty Suarez to Real Madrid is a very interesting prospect not only because of his insane talent for scoring goals but that he is the perfect fit for their central striker position which up to this point has been inhabited by the almost non-existent presence of Karim Benzema and Gonazalo Higuain because of his excellent finishing and good ariel presence, but also because it would be hilarious to see Gerard Pique fend off the ravenous Suarez and his taste for human flesh.  Its unclear why Benzema and Higuain have been so ineffective in their efforts this season, perhaps its Benzema's inability to show up to practice due to his license always being suspended by the Madrid Police for speeding, but at least he has an excuse, Higuain on the other hand is a truly good striker who doesn't end up in trouble, but he has just been simply impotent up front for Los Blancos.  With Suarez desiring a transfer away from Anfield this summer, Higuain probably leaving this summer to London and Benzema still unable to drive, this leaves a perfect hole in Real's starting eleven for Suarez to fill.  With his knack for finding the back of the net coupled with Madrid's signature left winger and wherever they can fit Bale, Madrid will be carrying enough fire power to put a U.S. Navy Battleship to shame, and even if they fail to win a European Trophy, Real Madrid can always rely on Suarez to entertain and excite, or to just eat someone, preferably Segio Busquets, I even heard he tastes like fish.


4. Gonazalo Higuain

Poor Gonzalo Higuaout is, despite his current form for Real Madrid,  a proven goal scorer and a world class striker.  A move to a club like Arsenal would be a good move for the Argentine seeing as how if he stays where he is, he'll be playing second fiddle to a troublesome Frenchman and sandwhich to a bucktoothed Uruguayan.  However, he will have to compete for his playing time with Oliver Giroud unless Wenger decides to break out of his wrinkly shell and change his formation form a 4-3-3 to something more two striker friendly.  Maybe this competition for playing time with Giroud will bring out his form again, whatever it does for him, his future is most likely red with whiter stripes.


5. Razvan Rat

In another one of West Ham United's glorious ideas which includes signing Andy Carrol (and thats really all you need to hear to know why this article is sarcastic), the heavily indebted London club have decided to sign free agent and Romanian international Razvan Rat.  Personally I don't care what else happens with the transfer window this season because this signing is my favorite one of the season, and its only the start.I'm not even a West Ham fan, I might have to buy his jersey for next season.  But seriously, what else do you need to know about this guy, his name is fucking Rat!  Regardless of what happens this transfer window, I'm as sure as Torres missing a wide open net that this transfer window will be full of exciting news and crazy deals that can only be seen to be believed!

Yeezus

Posted by Elliott on June 22, 2013 at 2:00 AM Comments comments (1)

"Yeezus", an album only the so called "God" Kanye West can only pull off in the industry.  Let's just say it's Kanye's past album "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" on steroids as he fantasizes in a darker realm, that is, his narcissitic mind.  If you are looking for old vintage Kanye from "Graduation" or "The College Dropout" then you've come to the wrong place because you've taken the wrong turn awhile back.  Egotistical, techno, and fashionista Kanye is the one that embodies this album.  West lets you delve into his narrow-minded views are about with politics, race, and religion which can only be relatable to you if you were Kanye West.  Ye praises his "own" religion and Yeezus is his bible, it truly expresses the word of Kanye.  Although most of us believe Kanye is one crazy motha fucka he is still a gifted producer and rapper that can change the landscape of hip-hop with one song.  He may push the boundaries of the genre and others may disagree, but he doesn't give a shit, we are the ones who follow and listen to his crazy ass.  Yeezus is a very unusual album but when has the usual ever been linked with Ye, yup you've guessed it, never.  Expect the unexpected when you listen to this album, it is almost as aberrant to his newborn's name "North West" now that's what's up (and a little to the left). 

You can listen to the whole album here: http/www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9uleYh_vhw

3.5 out of 5 stars


Movies

Posted by Web on June 22, 2013 at 1:55 AM Comments comments (0)

This is going to be a whole section devoted to movies

Music

Posted by Web on June 22, 2013 at 1:55 AM Comments comments (0)

This is going to be a whole section devoted to all kinds of music (except country. That isn't music. That's a combination of whiskey and regret.)

TV Shows

Posted by Web on June 22, 2013 at 1:55 AM Comments comments (0)

This is going to be a whole section devoted to every show know to man, and some to monkeys


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